Monday, May 27, 2013

Lauren and Mer's Wedding

As I mentioned in my last post, Lauren and Meredith certainly had their share of adversity to overcome in the planning of their wedding. Their first wedding venue cancelled on them two weeks out (!) and their second wedding venue cancelled on them two days out (!!). So when they were able to find a third venue, their friends and family came together to turn it into a wedding site. The site ended up being the very same Bed & Breakfast that we were staying at, which ended up being awesome for us from a convenience standpoint. 

On Saturday morning, after waking up and eating breakfast, we strolled outside and started setting up. 

Over the course of the day, I'd say there were about 30 people who all helped out with tasks big and small. I was touched. How wonderful for Lauren and Mer to be a part of a community so willing to devote their time to them. 

Here are all of the flower arrangements. The great many bottles collected over time each had to be filled with water and manually arranged with the hundreds of blooms that were purchased or picked. 

Working on these was so much fun. I loved just listening to everyone's commentary while they worked.

"I think the problem is that I'm simply not creative."
"I feel that I've been given too much responsibility in the flower department."

One of my biggest contributions was hanging some of them by floral wire from the tent:

By the end of the night, only two had fallen and none directly on top of anyone. So, success!

An hour and a half before show time, I headed upstairs to get ready. Since I'm so terrible at getting photos of myself, this is the only one I have of me that includes by boots! (And Judy, who was my twin. Lace on top, boots on bottom!)

And another that gets a full-length of June!

It started to rain (good luck!) and we decided to wait it out. It turned out great - the skies dried up and the sun made its way through.

June was one of the flower girls. There was a small gaggle of them that all came out together. 

This is one of my favorite photos of Uncle Bill helping June down the stairs. June could take the steps normally, but with that big dress, she wasn't able to see the step below her. Doesn't Uncle Bill look like the ultimate gentleman, helping the girls down the stairs? Adorable.

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of pictures of the ceremony. For one, we were looking right into the sun, so they might not have turned out great. For two, I was honored to take part in the wrapping ceremony, bringing a quilt from our side of the family up to the altar. For three, I was busy feeding June ALL THE CRACKERS, as I am apparently not above bribery to keep her happy during weddings. And after weddings. "June, please stop climbing on all the chairs and come take exciting photos! Don't photos sound fun? No? Then smile for a minute and you can have a cracker."

And then it was time to relax and enjoy.

(The ONLY picture I have of the three of us from the whole trip:)

June could NOT WAIT to get on the dance floor. She dance from the moment we wandered under the tent until the moment I carried her off to bed. She outlasted most adults. Girl just loves to dance. (There was one particularly wild dance we did together to Florence + the Machine's "Dog Days are Over" that ended with a young girl looking at my hair and asking, "Do you really sweat that much?")

June was also pretty sweaty. Tulle is very hot, as I learned after hours of sewing with it on my lap. After a few hours of June dancing, I was glad we'd thought to bring her a backup dress in case anything happened to her tutu dress (including June just hating it). So June had a wardrobe change! What a diva!

A lot of people asked how June liked her cowboy boots. I did worry a little before the wedding that they wouldn't be comfortable enough for her. They had a little heel on them and I had a backup pair of shoes in case they bothered her. But she insisted on wearing them all night and the next morning when we tried to get her in her jellies, she demanded the boots then too:

At 11:30 I decided that it was time to bring June upstairs and put her to bed. The party continued on and I was so happy to snuggle my little Bug upstairs knowing the family was still having fun under the tent.

So I leave you with a picture of two sweaty girls after a night of celebrating the love of two awesome women.

Congratulations, Lauren and Meredith! I'm so glad everything came together so wonderfully!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cincinnati Beginning

I tell you, never before have I seen a couple overcome so much adversity when it came to their wedding. Lauren and Meredith had their wedding venue cancel on them two weeks before the wedding. Then, their backup venue that they had scrambled to find cancelled on them TWO DAYS before their wedding. But they didn't panic, they didn't despair, and they figured something out. 

In a turn of events that ended up perfectly for our little family, the wedding was finally settled as being at the same Bed & Breakfast that we were staying at! This wasn't a complete coincidence, my in-laws booked rooms at this B&B after seeing it while it was being considered as a venue in the early stages of planning. 

When we pulled up to the B&B, Six Acres, I was immediately charmed off my feet. 

The place was just so charming. It has some awesome history and was a part of the Underground Railroad. Every room was decorated with its own style and unique furnishings. Our bathroom was big enough to set up June's pack-n-play, which we loved because it gave us the ability to stay up later than she did at night. 

I think June could sense my overflowing joy at this room and it's huge bed with quilts. All she wanted to do all weekend was jump.

As soon as we showed up we found Lauren, Meredith and a bunch of their friends working to turn the B&B into a wedding site for the next day. I was so touched by the amount of friends they had that were willing to work hard for long hours to make their wedding dreams come true. We worked almost all the way up to the rehearsal and dinner that night.

June got to see her second cousins, Sammy and Charlie. She loved these two, despite how indifferent she appears here:

After the rehearsal, we headed to a bar down the street to enjoy some food, drinks and time together. 

Being on Arizona time (three hours earlier) was really perfect for this trip. June was able to stay up late (11:00 PM) and still be on her schedule that we keep at home. So many people were a little surprised to see her so active and happy at 11PM but I kept telling everyone that we were on AZ time. "I'M NOT A BAD MOM letting my kid stay up til 11 at a bar," I wanted to shout. "I only let my kid stay up til 8 PM at a bar!"

Friday, May 24, 2013

My House of Dreams

Good news, y'all! I found my house of dreams! I guess we'll have to move to Indianapolis here soon.

For real, though, taking a walk through the midwest during the summer reminds me that my soul sometimes feels like it craves color. I couldn't believe the sheer richness of the green. Sure, in Arizona you can find a golf course that's well irrigated and green, but it's not the same lushness. 

I was so appreciative of all of that awesome nature, even if the humidity and a few mosquitoes came along with it.

But back to my house of dreams!

It was an awesome, dark little ranch with emerald shutters.

Those shutters just about did me in.

And they had at least three wheelbarrows in their side yard, to which I said "Why?" and "How can I become a part of this?"

Their trees! I need their trees in my life!

But the best part, the very best part, was the brick. It was all uneven and lumpy and wavy and unusual. It looked like the courtyard of the Leaky Cauldron meets a Salvador Dali painting.

Of course Michael has to have his jokes. I came home and announced to the house that I found the home we'd be moving into, don't worry, my house of dreams had been located! What did Michael say upon seeing the pictures? "Looks like it has foundational problems."

What...just what? Am I supposed to do with him?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Toddler Travel Time

Traveling with June this time around had its ups and downs.

She didn't nap at all on the way out there. Unfortunately we haven't been doing as well scheduling flights during ENT (Established Nap Time), and we paid the price for it.

And maybe it was that I packed her play bag within an hour of leaving the house, but I was totally drawing a blank here. I couldn't bring her loud toys, and none of her little dolls were going to keep her occupied. I had my work iPad on me, but it didn't have any apps for her on it. I really felt like we were struggling to think of things to keep her occupied the whole time.

The flight home was another story. June hadn't had a nap that day and we were keeping her up with the express purpose of getting her to nap on the plane. The poor Junebug was trying so desperately to nap in the car on the way to the airport and we gave Grammy the task of keeping her up. Pretty sure we had to resort to poking her a few times. The poor child was permitted to snooze an hour later on the flight and we were all glad.

And just HYPOTHETICALLY speaking... this window:

Would you consider it belonging to your row? Or the row in front of you?

Would you, say, close it without thinking because its light was pouring in on your sleeping toddler? Would you be overcome with awkwardness as the man in front of you deliberately looked back and forth from you to the window in question?

Would you, in response, decide to ever so slowly, centimeters at a time, move the window shade back up so as to not create any awkwardness, therefore creating the most possible awkwardness as the man caught you doing this?

Just wondering. Not that this happened to Michael. While I cried tears of laughter from the aisle seat.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DIY Tutu Dress

When my sister in law, Lauren, originally got engaged to my now sister in law, Meredith, I was immediately excited for the wedding. At one point Meredith sent me an image she had Pinned with June in mind - a little girl in a tutu and cowboy boots. As you can imagine, adorable beyond belief, and my imagination started going. 

I'd heard that making tutus were very easy, so I considered making my own. I wanted to glam it up a little, though, so I started looking around for inspiration. I fell in love with this dress, which I found on Etsy by Googling "toddler tutu dress." 

It cost $89, and I was sure I could make one for under that price. 

I gathered my materials:

25 yard rolls of tulle in ivory (4) - $12 
Ivory crocheted headbands in the biggest size available - 12 for $12
Spool of ivory ribbon - $4
Fabric flowers - $18 (6 packages)

Total cost: $37, factoring in that I ended up using 3 of the headbands

Those fabric flowers were the hardest part, trying to find ones that would work and look right. I went with these, from Hobby Lobby:

And here is June modeling the crocheted headbands when they arrived.

There are a lot of links to help make your own tutu dress out there, and I used the ones found at this link the most. 

When I was done with my three rows of tulle, I had a huge puffball of a dress on my lap to sew flowers onto. This part was the hard, time-consuming task. Each one of those flowers were hot-glued to one big piece of felt, so they had to be cut apart. Then, because of the hot glue, sewing them was no easy task. It was like trying to push a sewing needle through concrete. So after some injuries, and after sewing only three flowers in an hour, I went a different route and tried sewing the edges of the flowers.

It still took forever, but it was better than the alternative.

My advice to anyone else out there going for this look is to find fabric flowers that do not have hot glue anywhere on them! (You'd think this would be easy, but I had a hard enough time.)

I had June model her dress just to make sure it fit after all the stretching and sewing. Thank goodness it did! Problem was that June loved to pull it down:

I knew I was going to put a strap of some kind in, but this told me that I had to make this dress as sturdy as possible with two over-the-shoulder straps. Sewed those babies on and we were done!

Without further ado, I present the finished product:

And after traveling with the dress (which I wondered about, but we just flattened it and it poofed back out once we got there), it was time for the big day!

 More pictures of the wedding to come!