Wedding Weekend

One of my favorite people on the entire planet is Pam. She is a friend to me, a mentor, an example of a Godly wife and mother and someone who has more sass than just about anybody I know. There are times that I get stressed out when planning an event and I have to emulate her “no big deal!” laid-back attitude. Typically for me it’s one of those “fake it ’til you feel it” situations.

The first time I really got to know her was four years ago when she showed up to my sister’s surgery, over an hour away, having only met us once or twice, to sit with our family in the waiting room. She was the only person from our church who came, and I will never, ever forget that. When I was single, she gave me the BEST pep talks about it being for God’s glory and not because I had three foreheads – the kind that kept me going when two of my ex-boyfriends got engaged in the same week or when it felt like I would NEVER meet Mr. Right. Once I met Mr. Right, she and her husband basically adopted us into their extended family, along with a lot of other people they’ve adopted along the way.

Pam is a women’s minister at church, but she also is a fabulous wedding planner. She planned my wedding, which was so gorgeous that the chapel coordinator called me later to tell me she wanted to hire Pam to do her own wedding – and she sees 3-4 weddings every weekend. It was to die for.

So when she asked me to help coordinate her daughter’s wedding reception last weekend so she could do her mother-of-the-bride duties, it was a no brainer. I jumped at the chance (besides, both of her daughters worked at my wedding). I helped coordinate her other daughter’s wedding a few years back and it was an absolute blast. Both times she did all of the planning (and flowers) in advance, and then I helped set things up the day of the wedding so that she and her family could enjoy the day.

This time Mr. Right came too, and I just loved serving alongside him, both of us in aprons and comfortable shoes, running all over the venue, him helping with the food and me helping with the decorations. Once the reception started, we bussed tables together and stole a few kisses and even sneaked in a dance in the kitchen. It was exhausting but also one of my favorite days in a long time. A total adventure.

Oh, and I tried to help out by sewing custom bean bags for a corn hole game at the wedding. I was SO proud of my gorgeous handiwork, done in haste just a few hours before the reception. I patted myself on the back, congratulating myself on being such a fabulous seamstress, thinking that maybe someday I could sew hacky sacks for my children to play with.

Those gorgeous custom bean bags ended up exploding all over the patio at the wedding, leaving hundreds of dry lima beans and a few very upset children. Turns out I could have made them a bit more durable. I think I’ll stick with quilts.

Thanks Pam and family for letting us be apart of such a beautiful wedding. And I owe you three new bean bags!


PS- Don’t forget to enter my contest for free Texas Lovely art! Details here.

2010 Year in Review

This is my fourth year to do a year-in-review. It’s fun to look back on how my life has changed over these past few years, and I think 2010 may have been one filled with the most changes, and the MOSTS fun. For past years, feel free to check out 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Where did you begin 2010?
I went to a church party, but left a little before midnight, so I rang in the new year on the telephone with my sister. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were both filled with dozens of media calls, and on January 2 I had a story on the front page of the paper (the best New Year’s gift a PR gal can have).
New Year’s Eve
What random cool things happened in 2010?
I went on a first date with a certain Mr. Right who ended up being the man of my dreams… six months later he asked me to marry him, and VERY soon we’ll officially be husband and wife! Other than that rather cool thing, I also went on a mission trip to Colombia, a beach trip to Florida, cooked a ton, hosted 30 people at my house for Easter, attended my first World Series game, watched my sister marry her best friend, bought a car, had my picture made with the governor, I got a new office with a window, and went on some amazing dates. Oh, and my house got hit by a tornado.
Books read in 2010?
Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity
Son of Hamas (one of my favorites of the year)
Laura Bush’s autobiography: Spoken from the Heart (this is what I’m reading now, only half-way finished)
Orange is the New Black (such a fun book!)
Forgiveness: Breaking the Power of the Past (maybe the best study I’ve ever taught… life changing)
The Magician’s Nephew (a Narnia book)
The Horse and his Boy (a Narnia book)
Do anything embarrassing?
Right before Mr. Right asked me out, but when I knew he was kind of digging me, I had a very flirty conversation with him after church one night. I was feeling really good about myself… probably too good. As I was walking away, still looking at him as I said goodbye, I walked STRAIGHT into the visitor welcome desk. HARD.

What scripture did you study? (this is for me… fun to keep a record)
I did pretty deep studies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, John, and all of Paul’s letters in the New Testament. I did an amazing study during Christmas on the Advent with Mr. Right (we’re going to make this a new family tradition) and taught Sunday School classes on forgiveness, prayer, and fasting. I had never studied much on fasting, let alone practiced it, and this year I loved learning about this often missed spiritual discipline. Even better, we had some much older and wiser people come speak and give us tips – it was so interesting to learn from them.

Did you know anybody who got married?
2010 was the year of the wedding. My other sister got married (Sarah & Philip), Sara & Dave, Amanda & Kevin, Amanda & James, my boss’ daughter, and two of Mr. Right’s closest friends. I was a bridesmaid twice and ALMOST a bride (I’ll make the 2011 list).
(With my sister @ her wedding)

Did you move anywhere?
Celebrating four years in my house this January. And getting a new roommate!

What sporting events did you attend?
I went to the last game of the Rangers World Series (we lost), and also to a Division Series playoff game against the Yankees. I went to Opening Day of the Rangers and saw a handful of their games through the summer. I also attended my favorite marathon, where I single-handedly handed out about 8,000 finisher shirts. Woah nelly, that was a crazy exhausting but very fun day.

(at the World Series)

Describe your birthday:

Mr. Right threw me a lovely birthday party at our favorite coffee shop (site of our first “sort of” date) and our two families and some friends came by for cake made by our wedding cake designer (my favorite). Since it was my 30th we did a lot of celebrating – I also went to dinner with some girlfriends, and my family and his family both had family dinners.

(at my 30th birthday)

What’s something you learned about yourself?
I learned that God really did have plans for me that were better than my own. I learned a lot about what it takes to love someone else in the way they want to be loved, and I got lot’s of great advice from married couples young and old about how to make a good marriage. Hopefully I can put those things into practice!
I also traveled to my first third-world country and learned so much about myself, my desire to serve the Lord, and my willingness to follow Him wherever He leads me. I learned a lot about people – we’re all the same, whether we live in the interior of Colombia or in the suburbs of DFW. It’s one of my favorite parts of traveling – realizing just how similar we all really are.

(in one of the barrios in Cartagena, Colombia)

Were you in school this year?

NO! For the first time since 2006… no school for me!

(NEW!) Where did you travel this year?
I got to add South America to my ever-growing list of places I’ve conquered. We took a week-long mission trip to Colombia, where I discovered that I love the people there and LOVE the food.

I also went to Destin, Florida with my family for a week, I went to “The Lake” with Mr. Right (aka – his family reunion), drove to Oklahoma for a wedding shower, took two trips to Midland, and squeezed in a quick road trip to Abilene.

Destin, Florida

Any new additions to your family?
I got another new brother-in-law (Philip), plus an enormous family through Mr. Right. I am so blessed to be marrying into a solid, laid-back Christian family who has been absolutely welcoming. All my life I hoped I’d marry into a big family, and last year when I attended their family reunion with 100+ people (complete with an old-fashioned baptist hymn sing-along), I knew my prayers had been answered!

Favorite night out?
There were several. Our first date at my favorite Italian restaurant (Taverna) and then a walk through downtown and our favorite bookstore. Or the night we had a private tour of the Amon Carter Museum and then a walk through the museum grounds and a nightcap on the patio at Starbucks. Or maybe it was the night he took me to Babe’s for old-fashioned comfort food after a particularly stressful day, and then we walked out onto the dock overlooking the lake, dipped our feet in the water and watched the stars… for hours. Or maybe it was a simple evening of hanging out next to the glow of our Christmas tree listening to the crackle of a warm fire. There were MANY favorite nights this year.

What do you want to change in 2011?

I think I’m going to get married. Maybe gain a new roommate–seems like a good idea. I also look forward to finding a new way to serve in our new ministry. There’s lot’s of new folks I don’t know very well, and that has to be remedied quickly. It’s time to start hosting dinner parties again.

Where did you spend most of your time?
I spent a lot of time home in my kitchen, cooking dozens and dozens of dinners with Mr. Right. It’s kind of “our thing” and probably why he and I have had to hit the gym a bit harder lately. Worth it though.

Do you have a new year’s resolution?
Get married.
Memorize 2 verses per month.
Read through the Bible chronologically.

What was your favorite purchase?
I didn’t purchase any of these things, but my new favorite things are (1) my engagement ring, (2) my new chaise lounge, (3) my Nook.

Did you get sick this year?
I was very healthy this year – what a blessing.

Start a new hobby?
No, but I picked my quilting and knitting back up. It seems to go in spurts, but I think this year I’ll have more time than ever before to work on projects, since Mr. Right is in grad school and will have lot’s of homework to keep him occupied. I also sorely neglected my writing (and this blog), but hope to remedy that in 2011.
My latest quilt, made from scraps of material samples from Ethan Allen

What are you hoping and planning for in 2011?

I plan to learn how to be a good wife to Mr. Right. I plan to learn how to serve in a new ministry–this includes figuring out how to be a good minister’s wife (not the cookie-cutter stereotypical minister’s wife, but one who can help my man love on our people and reach out to folks who desperately need to know Christ’s love), but it also involves me finding my own “place” in a new ministry and different areas of the church than I’ve been for the past seven years. I plan to read through the Bible in a year, this time chronologically (I have been going in book order before). And I plan to log a lot of time on my knees asking God where he wants us… whether it’s here or in some far off land. Either way, I pray that we can both be faithful to the Lord and his calling for us in 2011, whatever that looks like.

The Latest

Here’s the latest:

Two years ago I saved up for a new dining room table, and right before I was set to buy it, one of my best girlfriends asked me to go with her on a 3-week Mediterranean cruise. Plans for that dining room table were quickly abandoned in favor of one of the best adventures of my life. Fast forward two years, and I’m now inheriting a gorgeous, hand-made dining room table that belongs to Mr. Wright. I promise I’m not marrying him for the table, but it was certainly a nice perk. Last night Mr. Wright moved his beloved dining room table into my our dining room. Now all I want to do is throw a dinner party. It may kill me. (ignore the mess on the table… those are wedding invitations that are going in the mail next week.)
My tornado-riddled fence has been repaired. Praise Jesus!
I have a new obsession: Cuppies & Joe cupcakes. Someone served them at our first wedding shower, and now it takes every ounce of restraint I have left in my body not to hop in the car and drive 3.5 hours to Oklahoma City just to get their carrot cupcake with cream cheese icing. I should add that I don’t like carrot cake OR cream cheese icing, but these cupcakes are change-your-life good. Oh. My. Goodness.
I turn (cough cough) 30 in about a week. I’ll admit that I’ve been dreading this birthday since I turned 26, and I’m not overly thrilled to be entering a new decade. But I’m working on getting my mind right and I’m determined to rock any age. But it still sounds so much older than I feel.

We took our engagement pictures this week with McGowan Images. These photographers are amazing–some of their photos are going to be published in People magazine! They shot 750 pictures of us in less than two hours, so I figure they’ll have at least a handful where my eyes are open and I’m not acting like a total dork. Here’s a sneak preview of one of our pics (the rest are posted on their blog on Tuesday). It helps that Mr. Wright is total arm candy. (sigh)

Back on the wagon

You know what’s funny? I kind of assumed that the minute I got engaged my metabolism would click into overdrive and I would burn thousands of calories a day simply by being excited. Then, as the big day drew near, the stress would make the pounds melt away and I’d have to eat large amounts of chocolate chip cookies just to maintain a healthy weight. And underneath all those pounds would be these super firm muscles that would make Jillian from The Biggest Loser jealous.

But somehow there was no magical change when Mr. Right proposed. I was too excited to eat for about a day, and then I was back to my normal self. And so now, three months from the big day, I’m suddenly feeling highly motivated to get my tushy in gear, even if it means setting my alarm for 5:45 in the morning. That, my friends, is true love. Or at least, I want my hiney to look great in those jeans for our engagement pics.
Thankfully, Mr. Right will gladly take me just the way I am, but my whole life I wanted to look smokin’ hot on my wedding day, and by golly, it’s going to happen. And so for now, my new best friend is the guy from the P90X videos.

All things wedding

Ahhh, the joys of wedding planning. I’m a professional event planner and have told myself for years that I won’t stress someday over planning my big day. In fact, all the little details really don’t excite me, because I realize that they’re just something to be enjoyed for a few moments, and I’m much more excited about enjoying Mr. Right for a few decades (63+ years).

Within a week of getting engaged, I had booked the chapel, the reception venue, the DJ, the cake lady, the photographer, and my caterer/florist. A week after that I had found my dress, jewelry, bridesmaid dresses, and their jewelry. And now a month later I’ve done just about everything there is to do, minus finalizing the ever-growing invitation list and designing the invitations (but they’ve been written). Heck – I even cleaned out half my closet so I can get used to squeezing my clothes into a smaller space before I start sharing.
It was all relatively enjoyable and pain-free, and yet there were several moments last month that were so overwhelming that all I wanted to do was curl into a fetal position, shut my eyes tight, and disappear for a few hours. I’m not sure what it was – I think it might be the hundreds of wedding blogs I’ve been following that emphasize the great need for perfect table reservation cards, or wearing a pair of shoes that have some sort of great symbolic meaning. Carrying a handkerchief that your great grandma’s cousin’s neighbor wore in her wedding in the 1400s, right after she came over on the Mayflower. If I don’t have something nostalgic like that, will my wedding still count? Oh, and don’t forget the paper lanterns. If you don’t have paper lanterns at your outdoor wedding… well you might as well just go back home. That, and bunting that spells out something clever, like “Eat, drink, and be married.” It’s everywhere, people.
But during those silly, overwhelming moments, I am so thankful to have Mr. Right to reassure me that he doesn’t care about paper lanterns or the perfect handkerchief or any of those things for that matter… that like me, he just cares about the getting married part… the part where we get to spend the rest of our lives together. Instead of curling up in the fetal position, I curl up next to him on the couch and let him wrap his arms around me, and I thank God that I got a good one who can bring me back to reality, who loves me in my silly, stressed out moments.
I can’t wait to marry him.