Saturday, November 29, 2008

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.
Joyce Brothers

Nick, my mom (who is in town visiting) and I are headed to his parent's home in Iowa this afternoon. Tomorrow is our "at home reception" brunch hosted by his parents at their country club in Nick's hometown. It is our last wedding hoorah and will be a great chance to see and meet all the old friends of Nick and his parents that are joining to wish us well.

It will also be the first time my mom will be visiting Nick's parents in Iowa so I'm excited for her to see their lovely home, darling dog Chance and all of their cows (yes, cows!).

Here's to safe travels and a fun few days!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
William Shakespeare

We had a lovely Thanksgiving in our new St. Louis home. My mom and I cooked (okay, I cooked and she helped clean it all up!) while Nick worked all day. It turned out to be a delicious dinner!

Our warm Thanksgiving fire

Mr. Turkey

Lovely table

First Thanksgiving (please ignore the moving boxes!)

Topped off with pie

Thursday, November 27, 2008

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
Meister Eckhart

I hope you all enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving. I am "hosting" my very first full dinner, to be cooked by yours truly, at our new home in St. Louis. It will just be me, my mom who is in town visiting and Nick. A small group but delicious just the same!

Our menu will include all of the favorites I have grown up with like roasted turkey with sausage stuffing, green beans with slivered almonds, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and corn bread pudding. Pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert (Nick's favorite!).

Nick has to work all day so my mom will be enjoying cinnamon toast with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade (it's our breakfast tradition!) and then cooking all day in our PJs.

Sounds like plenty to be thankful for to me!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours."
Robert Byrne

Well, I'm still freezing in St. Louis. My new jacket has been great to keep warm but my poor hands is a mess and they hurt terribly. All of my knuckles are scabbed and I have red bumps all across the top from my skin being so dry.

So, cold weather ladies, what do you recommend? I've heard Aveeno is good and so is the Vaseline line. But do have you have a lotion to recommend for my "princess skin," as Nick would say.

Thanks in advance from my sad little Florida hands.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • how Bella loves my mom
  • toasted everything bagels from the bakery
  • the warmth of a new, much needed, jacket!
  • hearing the laughter of the kids playing outside nextdoor
  • old episodes of Mad Men on DVR

Friday, November 21, 2008

Winter is the season in which people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer, when they complained about the heat.
Author Unknown

We safely arrived in St. Louis yesterday afternoon. The drive was no problem, long but easy and Bella was on perfect behavior the whole time. Today Nick is working and my mom and I are continuing to unpack and get this place somewhat organized.

I will say that I am SO cold. I'm a Florida girl, born and raised, so my lips are so chapped and I'm freezing! Last night we all went out for pizza and I literally was shaking when we got back in the car for at least 10 minutes (while Nick, with his thick Iowa blood, laughed of course!). But it is good cuddling weather!

So please send me warm vibes!

Randall's Coldness Courtesy of KSDK St. Louis

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On an island in the sun
We’ll be playing and having fun
Honeymoon Day 3: At Sea

The third day was at sea as we made our way to St. Thomas. We enjoyed the pool, BINGO, relaxing and exploring the ship. Formal night was also that evening at dinner which made it special.
Before dinner in the Royal Promenade

Fun statues in the casino

Beautiful three story dining room
Fun towel animals from our room steward

The result of sending all his dress shirts to be pressed - having to wear a shortsleeve shirt with his suit and looking life Homer Simpson without his jacket.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On an island in the sun
We’ll be playing and having fun

Honeymoon Day Two: Coco Cay in The Bahamas
Our first stop on the cruise was Royal Caribbean's island, Coco Cay. We headed ashore early to relax but everyone had to head back to the ship by 11:30 a.m. because of the high winds. It was still a nice morning!

Plenty of chairs and hammocks

Our ship from the island

Beautiful blue Caribbean waters

That's my sign!

Bye Coco Cay!

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis
Meet me at the fair
Don't tell me the lights are shining any place but there
Judy Garland, Meet me in St. Louis

Today is the big driving day! All of our moving efforts have finally come to fruition and I start the trip to St. Louis today. My mom is my trusty co-pilot with Bella in the back seat (fully sedated in her carrier, of course).

Here's to a safe trip for us. Looking forward to arriving on Thursday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On an island in the sun
We’ll be playing and having fun

Wedding Night and Honeymoon Day One

I obviously wasn't able to take pictures during the wedding (I was a little busy!) so I thought I'd share our honeymoon photos first and then the professional wedding photos when we receive them.

After we left th reception, we headed to The Ritz-Carlton in downtown Sarasota.

Our cute decorations from my friends Ashley and Melissa!

While downstairs at the hotel, Nick spotted Dick Vitale!

Breakfast in the room

View of Sarasota from our room

We then headed by car over to Port Canaveral on the east coast of Florida where we boarded our honeymoon cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas.

Our ship coming into view

The Royal Promendade inside the ship

Beautiful pool on deck

Setting sail and ready for our cruise!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
John Lennon

It has been a busy and wonderful week!

Our wedding was a smashing success followed by a relaxing week long cruise in the Caribbean! I'm working on posting honeymoon photos and will share the professional wedding photos when I receive them. Nick leaves tomorrow back to St. Louis by plane and then my mom and I start driving Wednesday morning. I have a lot of unpacking and cleaning ahead but I'm excited!

But here is a little candid photo teaser from the wedding, taken by my friend Melissa:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gee I really love you
And we're gonna get married
Going to the chapel of love

The Dixie Cups

Today I get to marry my Nick surrounded by so many people I adore - yippee!

See you all in a week after our fabulous Caribbean cruise. Yes, it will be wonderful even if we have to sit on the ship somewhere in the Bahamas all week due to Hurricane Paloma... I'll be married and that is all that matters right now!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

If I could have put it into words I would have written it down. But I couldn't, so I took a picture.

Last week we had a late chance to take some engagement photos with our wonderful wedding photographer. I was excited to have some great shots of us not in bride-and-groom mode for parent gifts and at the rehearsal dinner.

We picked up the disc from the photographer this morning and they turned out so great!

I love them all but here are my favorites to share (2 days to go!):

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have...
Thomas Jefferson

Happy Election Day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.
Ann Landers

After a full day of moving yesterday - so fun to move out of a second floor condo - all of my worldly pocessions are now in Nick's garage awaiting to be moved into our P.O.D. by Nick and his parents on Wednesday. Every joint in my body hurts today and I've decided we did at least a week's worth of cardio going up and down those stairs and lifting boxes.

We got back to my mom's house in Sarasota late last night but it feels to good to be done!

Now it is officially wedding headquarters with moving out of the way for now (until I have to unpack it all in St. Louis!). Nick is playing golf today and I've gotten so much done with DIY stuff and plenty of vendor follow ups. Tomorrow's "to do list" of errands is a page long but it feels good to get these final tasks checked off the list!

Just 5 days and counting!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • Jiffy apple cinnamon muffins
  • Watching Nick play fetch wit my mom's lab Francis
  • A whole stack of free moving boxes
  • Red bromeliads in clay pots
  • Comcast On Demand movies

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The most exciting happiness is the happiness generated by forces beyond your control.
Ogden Nash

We're getting married one week from today! Yippee!

Things have been busy and productive around here:
  • Engagement photos on Wednesday night went wonderfully and I'll be picking up a CD of the images on Tuesday - cannot wait to see them!
  • Had my final dress fitting yesterday and my friend Melissa came along. All the alterations were done perfectly and they showed her how to bustle me up. It is a little confusing so I have images of someone yelling, "someone find Melissa!" after the ceremony because she'll be the only one who saw it done!
  • Packing, packing, packing - Bella is having a great time with all of the boxes. Just the kitchen and my clothes to finish.
  • My mom comes tomorrow to help clean the condo and wrap it all up - I'll be officially condo-less on Monday.

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