Looking for inspiration

You know how pregnant women say they have ‘pregnancy-brain’? Well, I honestly think that ‘bride-to-be-brain’ is also a real thing. And oh boy do I have it.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written an original blog post on here. I’ve written a few drafts of this post, but each time I’ve been unhappy with the outcome. They’re either too rambly or I just didn’t want to publish them. So let’s try again…

Lately, I’ve just been re-posting or linking our wedding website blog posts, because at the moment (and for the next 3 weeks) that is what my life consists of. Wedding stuff. Wedding planning. Thinking about the wedding. Talking about the wedding. Making wedding decorations. Talking to wedding vendors. Coordinating everything with the wedding party.

And then there’s the upstate reception the following weekend. So I guess, technically, my life is all wedding for the next 4 weeks.

Deep breath.

So that’s the major excuse for not writing anything new on here. I guess another excuse is that Tom and I got an apartment in Brooklyn (exciting!), but since he works during the day, I’ve been spending a lot of time unpacking, arranging, re-arranging, and cleaning (not as exciting!). A lot.

As a teacher, I have had the summer off, so needless to say I should be having the time of my life, right?

You’re probably thinking, “Well Holliday, aren’t you lucky that you have all this free time to move and unpack and plan a wedding?!”

But you have remember that humans enjoy interaction with other humans. And they like experiencing things with other humans, connecting emotionally by sharing new or familiar experiences.

So I’ve been going stir-crazy being stuck in our apartment by myself for hours on end. With the lack of close friends or family in the city, I’ve been getting pretty lonely. Friends who are closer obviously have day jobs, so they aren’t free until the evenings or weekends. It makes seeing friends that much more special, but those days or weeks in between seeing them are the worst. Ugh, adulthood.

So I guess what I’m getting at is my lack of original blog posts can be chalked up to a lack of inspiration. I mean, if you want to see a bunch of posts about how I’ve been planning my wedding, there are plenty of those. In terms of decorations or making other elements of the wedding, I want to wait until after the wedding to post anything so that it doesn’t spoil the excitement.

But sometimes, you just want to talk about anything but the wedding stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I am no less excited about getting married to my best friend and celebrating with friends and family. And I understand people like hearing updates and how things are going in the wedding area, but it seems that’s all I think or talk about anymore. And it gets tiring (and frustrating) after awhile. So I want to find an outlet so that I can focus on things other than the wedding.

Tom and I recently got two GoPros to record the wedding. We also talked about making YouTube channels and videos. I was all for it, excited to finally do something I’ve thought about and have wanted to do for years.

But what the hell am I going to make them about? Again, there’s a lack of inspiration. I’m just so consumed by the world of weddings, I can barely think of anything to write or talk about. Other than something wedding-related, obviously.

So if you have any suggestions on what you might be interested in seeing in a blog post (or video!) let me know! In the meantime, I’m going to go print out some escort cards.

Bridal Shower #2

What a crazy and stressful and fun and relaxing weekend.

My upstate bridal shower was set to start at 1pm on Saturday, so I booked a flight for Friday afternoon, allowing a relaxing night before the partying began.

But then my flight was delayed and later canceled on Friday evening due to thunderstorms traveling across the Northeast. Luckily I was rebooked for the next morning at 8am, which still left time to get prepared (physically and mentally) for the shower. You can read more about my crazy weekend in the 2 month update!

Everything worked out fine and I was blown away at my friends’ love and creativity. But, then again, I wasn’t. They’re my friends for a reason, right? Of course they love me and I know they’re all amazingly creative and thoughtful; I guess I was just taken aback at how everything came together beautifully even though only 2 of them are currently living in the same town as the shower and as each other!

Room Decor

The shower was held at Sweet Ecstasy Bakery in Batavia. Now, I know you may think that sounds like a strip joint, adult toy shop, or something, but I promise it is a great location for lunch or some other special occasion. My Aunt Gracia had originally sent me the brochure as an idea for the upstate reception at the end of August, but I realized that the largest room most likely wouldn’t be big enough (it holds up to 55).

We arrived a bit early to decorate and check out the venue a bit before everyone started to arrive. It was great to finally be back with my best girlfriends again – making your life and home in a new city and being far from familiar faces is so difficult. You realize just how much you took for granted all those times you just hung out watching TV or sat in the backyard roasting marshmallows or had the ability to just go out to lunch on a spur of the moment thing. But then again it makes the times you do get to see each other that much more special and precious.

It was wonderful just throwing around our familiar jokes and stories while creating new ones. And it made me so happy to see friends from different “groups” come together and get along. Not that I thought there would be a problem between any of my bridesmaids, but not everyone gets along with everyone else (AKA life). I have the best friends.

So we got all the decorations out, made the place look even more beautiful, and people started arriving! I got to see family and my mom’s long-time friends whom I haven’t seen in (literally) years. It was so wonderful knowing that I had the support of all of these ladies and I can’t wait for them to meet Tom, whether at the downstate wedding or the upstate reception, because I know they will love him.

I was especially ecstatic that my mom was able to make it to my shower. Not only because I haven’t seen her since December, but also because she doesn’t get out of the nursing home much. I know she was so happy to see me, her friends, and family that she also hasn’t seen in years.

Mom and me

Once everyone showed up, my friend Megan took over as game hostess. And she rocked it – look out Vanna! I must admit I was a bit skeptical about playing bridal shower games – I’ve heard of and played a bunch that are so cheesy and lame, they just seem like time-wasters.

But not these games – these games rocked. The first game was Name That Tune Love Song Edition. Everyone was so into it! The prizes were cute little cups filled with a bunch of mixed mini chocolates – Twix, 3 Musketeers, Milky Ways, etc.

After the game, we ate our delicious lunch and then it was on to game #2 – He Said, She Said: Facebook Edition! It was the cutest game: given Facebook statuses that Tom and I have posted, guests had to guess who said each by circling either the mustache (Tom) or lips (me). I got them all right, so I got a cup of chocolates. Boom, memory. Also, let me just say that the two of us are very witty in our status posts.

Then it was time for presents; I got so many great items and beautiful cards, so thank you to everyone!! Thankfully people offered to take the larger ones and ship them to us downstate because there was no way I could take them all on the plane back home.

Presents pose

And then: Cookies and Cream Marble cake. Sorry, do I need to repeat that? Could you not hear over your mouth salivating? I don’t blame you, I could totally go for a piece right now. It was so amazingly good. And a few truffles, petit fours, and macarons were placed in the middle of the tables as well. Overall, I would give the food a 10/10, hands down.

Did you think it ended with cake? Nope! They had one more game for me and it was fantastic. And difficult! It was like the couples quiz game; Megan said she asked Tom a bunch of questions and I guess how I thought he answered. Got it? Well it actually ended up evoking a question from our Pastor’s wife about Tom and my first date. I just kind of said, “We went to Starbucks on campus in Geneseo.”

Courtney's story

But my friend Courtney (whom I befriended through Tom) took over and told the whole story of Tom getting ready for said date, his being gone for over 3 hours for said date, and his reaction after said date. It was so nice getting someone else’s perspective on it; she had everyone’s attention and they all ‘aww’ed afterward.

Everyone started heading out after we thanked them all for coming, taking their Bath and Body Works hand lotion favors with cute little tags on them. I am so incredibly blessed and thankful for everyone who took part in that day.

The owner of the bakery was exceptionally nice as well – she was focused on making sure we had everything we needed the entire time. She did a fantastic job on the food, cake, table set-up, and her hospitality was superb. I definitely recommend Sweet Ecstasy Bakery!

To my friends in my bridal party: thank you all for setting the whole thing up, for being great friends, and working so well with each other! I am so glad to have you in my life, not just for throwing me a great party, but for the wonderful times that we’ve had together in the past and that we will have in the future. I love you all.

Bridal Party

I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone again in August!

Wedding Update: 2 months left!

Okay, can time just speed up now?? It’s so cliche but where has the time gone?! We’ve been engaged for almost 10 months already?!

But at the same time, it feels like it was forever ago. Does that make sense? Probs nobs.

Does anyone else say that? I said that to Tom last night and he was like, “Who says that? And what does that even mean?”

I say it, and it means probably not. Only it’s more e-fish. Get it? Like, efficient? Anyone? No? Alright, let’s move on.

So the past week and a half was crazy insane.

Like seriously. This post includes not only wedding updates, but also life updates because, well, it’s my blog and I do what I want. Are you ready?

Last weekend, I wrote about my progress with invitations. I’m glad to say that I’m 99% done (there are a few stragglers that Tom needs to find addresses for) and have sent out any and all invitations that I could! I put the majority of them in the mail on Sunday the 8th (the day after I wrote my 10 week update post on our wedding website) and have already gotten a bunch of response cards back!

Instagram - invitations

I’m using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of responses as they come. I made a column of all the people we invited, and then made columns for the downstate and upstate festivities, under which I will write the names of people in relation to how they responded. So I’m keeping track of who has responded, how they responded to each event, and also how many are coming. Exciting stuff! Yeah!

The next day, Monday, I accepted a teaching job for next school year! I’ll be the newest addition to the math and science crew at Mary McDowell Friends Upper School here in Brooklyn and I couldn’t be more excited! I worked there this past year as a paraprofessional, employed by a family whose student attends the school. I’m ecstatic that I get to work with (almost) everyone again this year, only as a teacher this time! I’m sad to see people go, but wish them all the best in their amazing future endeavors (one guy is going to Malaysia to teach math!) and know they’ll kick butt wherever they are.

Tuesday was a ‘no school’ day so I spent the day cleaning and relaxing. Wednesday was the last official day of school for my student, and it was a half day, so I got to chill a bit that day too. I went and got a spray tan so that I wouldn’t blend in with my ivory colored bridal shower dress. Although they were two different dresses, both of my shower dresses were similarly pale and would not mesh well with my pastiness.

Shower Dresses

Thursday I got my hair colored and blown out. I’m telling you, I would love it if those girls would wash my hair and massage my scalp like that every other day. It feels amazing! And the stylist was able to get my hair straight and swishy! Please come home with me!

Friday was flight day, so I spent the morning packing and getting ready to fly upstate for the weekend. I hadn’t heard anything bad in weather reports, so I left for the airport around 2 so that I would arrive about 75 minutes before my scheduled flight time. Everything was going smoothly – the subway was on time and connection times weren’t long, and I got to the AirTrain in great time.

And that’s when Delta emailed me saying that my flight was delayed an hour. I texted my friend in Boston, Michelle, since we were originally flying in to Buffalo around the same time, and I also texted my friend in Buffalo, Courtney, to let her know since she was picking us up. Michelle said her flight was cancelled and wouldn’t be getting out until the next morning. We discussed what it could be due to – both of us were looking at fairly clear skies!

I got to JFK and my flight was still only delayed an hour which was good. I got my bag checked and, wouldn’t you know it, when I walk out of security and check the departures board, my flight was cancelled. Delta kindly sent me an email letting me know that everything was good and they rebooked me for a 4pm flight the following afternoon.

Oh hell no Felicia Day

Little did they know, that would not work seeing as my bridal shower was at 1pm the following afternoon. So I stood in line for over an hour and the agent was able to rebook me for the 8am flight the following morning. She was really kind and wished me congratulations and good luck on my bridal shower.

Back home I went, this time only with my small carry-on, which was convenient but also meant that all of my beauty products were somewhere in the airport instead of at my fingertips. This meant that I would look like a bag lady until I got said products and the use of someone’s bathroom mirror and outlets upstate. And I was worried that something would happen that would cause my luggage to be lost, and then I’d look like a bag lady all weekend. Nonetheless, back on the AirTrain and subway I went, annoyed but sure everything would work out fine.

Except it was lashing rain when I got out of the subway. Thunder, lightning, the whole shebang. Luckily, in said carry-on, I had my umbrella. Okay, I guess it was a good thing we didn’t try to fly.

The next morning, when I went to leave at 4:30am to go through the whole process again, my sneakers were still wet; not pleasant. Everything went fine and before I knew it, I was landing in Buffalo…where it was about 20 degrees colder than I had packed for. My checked bag made it there fine and, wouldn’t you know, Michelle’s flight was only about half an hour ahead of mine! So it all worked out perfectly!

We got to Batavia in record time, enjoying some TimBits and caffeine on the way, and I was (finally!) able to beautify myself. The entire day was party day – bridal shower, lingerie shopping (oh la la!), and bachelorette party. It was so great seeing all of my friends and family! I want to thank all the ladies who planned and attended my bridal shower this past weekend – it was a fabulous time and I can’t begin to tell you how special I felt. I’ll be writing a post about it soon so stay tuned!

Bridal party

Sunday was relax by the pool day with my friend Jenna whose family generously opened their home to me all weekend. I’m so glad we got a nice sunny day to enjoy! Monday was spent visiting my mom and Godmother before I had to take off once again. My friend Becky drove me to the airport and we got to talk like we used to in college, just shooting the breeze…figuratively and literally since the AC doesn’t work in her car and it was like 84 that day, so the windows were all down! My car was the same exact way a few years ago so it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

My flight home was very smooth and it was so nice to get home and finally not live out of a suitcase! And, of course, see and hug and talk to Tom! I am so grateful that I was able to see and spend time with so many wonderful people this weekend. I miss that so much and I know that it will probably only get harder as everyone gets married and starts having kids and whatnot, but I want to make a point to get together at least once or twice a year because those relationships are so important!