There are 2 Sides to Every Story

weddingcaketoppersPhoto from Shannon Leahy Events

I don’t know if you guys have seen the recent viral posts on Facebook and other social media outlets, but they have really resonated with me because they are all about marriage advice.  From both sides of the story: a man and a woman.  I thought there were a lot of great points so, I wanted to share them with you.

There is the original post, which is from a man recently divorced who shares advice that he wishes he would have known…things he wishes he would have done differently.   AND then there is a woman’s response about the 10 Marriage Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear.

Here are her tips:

  1. Respect your husband.  
  2. Guard your heart.
  3. God, husband, kids…in that order.
  4. Forgive.
  5. Over-communicate.
  6. Schedule a regular date night.
  7. Never say the “D Word”.
  8. Learn his love language.
  9. Never talk negatively about him.
  10. Choose to love.

There were a lot of aha moments for me as I read through her explanations. Read them here. But, one of the things that I wanted to start right away  after reading it was #6 Schedule a regular date night. I have allowed myself to get caught up.  Caught up in the stress of my career, my commitment to the gym, and wedding planning that I just have lost sight of spending quality time with my future husband.  Lucky for me my fiance is so patient and understanding…he doesn’t make a fuss if I fall asleep on the couch at 8:30 because I am exhausted from everything that is going on, but I know he misses me and I miss him.  So, this weekend I am planning a date night and taking time to just be with him and I can’t wait! While trying to come up with a fun idea I found these Out of the box date ideas , so I think I might try one of these out. 

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Wedding Planning Stress

Believe it or not wedding planning is not all sunshine and rainbows.  There are moments that are beyond stressful! Not like the normal I need a donut stressful but, like the I am going to eat 7 donuts in less than 24 hours stressful (yes that did happen this week and I still feel sick).  Obviously donuts are not the answer to anyone’s problems…

Both the Mr. and I were having beyond stressful weeks with work, wedding planning, and life in general and without going into detail let’s just say things didn’t go so well.  But, I think that it is the commitment to yourself and to each other that get’s you through.  I saw this silly but insightful internet meme on Facebook which, I thought summed up what we have been going through and what our future holds:

marriage

my ladies

introducing my ladies…

Katrina

katrina my love: maid of honor + best friend.  trusted confidante of my most outrageous moments.  most likely to get pulled into a political debate at the wedding.

Rebecca and Lisa0001

lisa simmons: loving sister who wished me into the world.  delicate ying to my audacious yang. most likely to cry at the wedding.

Ashley

ashley feldman: amazeballs roomie + best friend for nearly a decade.  witness to my most tragic style (or lack thereof, ehem reeboks) years. most likely to make me “lock it up” at the wedding.

Rebecca and Sissy0001

michaela boese : beautiful niece + mini me. inheritor of my commitment to perfection when getting crafty (see: mums). mostly likely to call foul if i go bridezilla.

MaryBeth

marybeth bunting: soon to be sister. kindred spirits of theme party passion. most likely to get the dance party started at the wedding.

i am beyond happy to have all of these beautiful, intelligent, incredible ladies by my side as i say “i do” to the mr. and i must say i have had many, many fun memories with each one of them and i can’t wait to make a lot more fun memories leading up to the big day and beyond!

Love AND Football

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Football is kind of a big deal at our house and this weekend will be yet another test of our love for our teams.  Ray VS Brady: Ravens VS Patriots…it’s the playoffs and this just got real!

Chadwick and I have had an interesting playoff history from the beginning of our relationship see below (an admittingly biased view):

2009 Playoffs 33-14 Ravens, the game started with the memorable 83 yard touchdown run by Ray Rice (when my taunting began) and ended with the Patriots pondering their first home playoff loss in 32 years

2011 Playoffs 23-20 Patriots, the game ended with a heartbreaking “dropped” touchdown pass to Lee Evans

2012 Playoffs Ray Lewis’ Last Ride, Ravens seeking justice and Brady being Brady

When I look back on the first 2 playoff runs between our teams during our relationship, I think we were somehow saved from a potential disaster.  2009 we were still in the “honeymoon” phase of our relationship where we each thought the other was perfect, so we didn’t let football get too much in the way of our young romance.  Then last year we thought it would be the perfect time for our parents to meet so, we had an even viewing audience and things worked out well (minus the Ravens loss), AND now this year it’s up to me… Chadwick has given me the responsibility to choose how we watch the game.  We can watch it together or he’ll watch it by himself and I’ll go watch it with Mom and Dad.

I have reservations about both options…

I must say I am a pretty lucky lady.  Mr. Chadwick is the ultimate gentleman even when it comes to football.  When watching Ravens games he comments on good plays and he’s encouraging when I lose hope.  Even this past weekend when I had doubted my Ravens he renewed my faith moments prior to the last Manning interception before the big win.  But, I unfortunately cannot say the same for myself.  I have an innate adverse reaction to the sight of Tom Brady and I have been trying to tame it since we’ve met but, it’s an ongoing struggle.     Hence my reservations to watch the game together…

But, no one deserves to watch one of the most exciting games of the year for a team they are immensely passionate about by themselves.  Especially, not Chadwick…and when I really think about it one of the things that I love about him the most is his passion and loyalty to his sports teams: New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, the list goes on.  AND I know it’s one of the the things he loves about me, he was one of the first to like and comment on the below Facebook post I wrote about Ray Lewis’ retirement

Ray Lewis' Retirement

So, I think I am going to be brave and watch the game with Mr. Chadwick and hope to contain myself enough to be considerate of the love of a man and his football team, my love.

Wish me luck!

Venues, Venues and more Venues

There are way too many beautiful options when it comes to wedding venues.  Who knew?! Certainly not this lady!!

Luckily for the Mr. and I we have come to an early decision to keep the wedding outdoors. So that has eliminated a lot of choices but, there are still way too many.  It’s a little overwhelming.  I must admit.  I have been doing some preliminary research online.  Along the way I have been sharing little bits and pieces of the good stuff with Chadwick and I feel blessed that he is so receptive and has a lot to contribute.

I guess the biggest problem for me is my borderline stubborn commitment to not have a typical wedding…I am so determined to have our fete be so uniquely us that everyone leaves our celebration saying this was a wedding unlike any other.   My goal is not being the best wedding ever and certainly not the most elegant and no where near the most expensive, but the most US!  As most of my friends and family will agree I have a big personality and Mr. Chadwick is right up there with me with his, so I want to make sure I do both of us justice.

So far this is some of the inspiration that has gotten the wheels turning as to where to host our beautiful day:

The gorgeous Victorian rose garden at Antrim 1844, a classic choice.

The gorgeous Victorian rose garden at Antrim 1844, a classic choice.

The rooftop terrace at the Maryland Science Center, a more urban, funky  spot.

The rooftop terrace at the Maryland Science Center.  A more urban, funky spot.

Roop's Mill, a hometownish historic landmark in Carroll County.  When the Mill was deserted I always hoped someone would restore it and they have and it's beautiful.

Roop’s Mill, a hometownish historic landmark in Carroll County. When the mill was deserted I always hoped someone would restore it and they have. And it’s beautiful! Plus, Mr. Chadwick has spoiled me with the Spa treatments here so, it’s been a special place for us.

Chadwick and I have both enjoyed frequenting the Baltimore Farmer's market and supporting local farmers.  Plus, it's a true homage to both of our families.

Farm to table: Chadwick and I have both enjoyed frequenting the Baltimore Farmer’s market and supporting local farmers. Plus, it’s a true homage to both of our families’ histories.

If any of brides or grooms out there have some advice on what helped you choose a venue PLEASE SHARE!!

Getting Crafty

When Chadwick and I first talking about taking our relationship to the “next level” somehow we started talking about how long we would be engaged…before we even got engaged (I know I can’t help it I like to plan, haha).  So, I would always say 2 years and he would look at me with the cartoon-like bug-eyed face and gasp “WHY?” every time!  Then I would have to go on and explain and reexplain my crafty plans and I think he would tune out…. I can’t blame him.  There are a lot of plans, which is why I need the time.  But, we have compromised on how much…we are thinking Spring 2014!  Soooo exciting! I can’t wait to start looking at venues and actually setting our date!

I wanted to get to work right away on my crafty plans as soon as he popped the question.  But, I had to contain myself through the holidays.  Since yesterday was officially the day after Christmas, I got to work.  I know, such restraint!  Yay to finally beginning some of the crafty plans that I have been dreaming of!

Here is a sneak peek of Project #1:

Polka Dots Yellow & White

GOOD FRIENDS ARE LIKE STARS

YOU DON’T ALWAYS SEE THEM

BUT, YOU KNOW THEY ARE ALWAYS THERE

Unique Gray Bridesmaid Dresses

Once the project is finished I will share my inspiration and the finished product, so stick around for the good stuff.

Christmas is Only 5 days Away

Merry Christmas

Christmas is such a very special time of the year for almost everyone, and I can’t help but feel like it is extra special for me this year.  I just feel so blessed to be surrounded by so much love in my life.  Between my incredible family and soon-to-be family and my dear friends, I don’t think life can be much better.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is not buying the most expensive or glamorous presents but, taking the time to find something that is thoughtful or sentimental as a way to show someone just how much you care.

Lucky for me Mr. Chadwick has the same mindset, but he does it better that anyone I have ever met.  I unfortunately learned this the hard way early on in our relationship.  Mr. Chadwick and I’s first Christmas was soon after we had started dating.  We had only been seeing each other for a few months, so I had a “I’m not sure what to do on this first major holiday,” approach.  I had teased Chadwick relentlessly about his, at the time, preference for instant coffee.  I didn’t even know that such a thing had existed and I was skeptical to say the least that something so horrid could be any where near as delightful as a warm cup of freshly brewed Starbucks.  So, after agonizing over what to get him I had this brilliant (or so I thought) idea to buy him a coffeemaker.  It was practical so not too serious and kind of funny since the whole coffee thing has been an ongoing joke between us.

He however, was not messing around.  He went full force with Christmas gifts ranging from thoughtful(an office calendar, my fav show at the time)  to practical (a gym bag) to incredible (a beautiful cashmere scarf) and beyond.  I remember opening up gift after gift thinking worse and worse about my decision to go the safe route with the coffeemaker.  I had been reluctant to go BIG our first Christmas for fear that I would be making my self too vulnerable and get hurt, when he might not get me anything.  Boy was I wrong!  That first Christmas showed me a lot about this man I was falling for.  Not only does he love to make other people happy but, he does so without expecting anything in return.

Throughout the past few years I have tried to meet his Christmas challenge and feel as though I fail miserably every time.  He always seem to get me something so perfect and thoughtful and awesome that I don’t think I will ever top his natural born talent.  But, I look forward to keep trying year after year for the rest of my life <3

Merry Christmas Everyone!

There is A First Time for Everything

When this tree was struck by lightning it was formed into a heart. Perfectly, imperfect!

<3

As is the time that I first said, “I love you.”  Mr. Chadwick had beeeeen saying, “I  love you.”. . . I remember thinking to myself, he can’t honestly already know that he loves me.  Then I would spend countless nights trying to come up with an argument of what he was trying to accomplish by saying it.  Obviously not quite at the trusting phase of our relationship on my end.  But, after much and I mean much analysis I came to the conclusion that this crazy man was just saying what he felt with no expectation.  I on the other hand was not quite ready for such a risk.  I replied with a smile and a thank you.  Polite.

This continued on in the sweet, small moments he would sneak in an, “I love you.”  I would then just repeat my usual response.  Part of me started to freak out a bit at the idea of him feeling somewhat rejected and maybe giving up on our young romance.  He never did.  A man who had lost so much had the courage to risk it all again for me AND be patient.  After that realization I slowly opened up to the idea of being vulnerable.   Then one day snuggled up together I realized that I wanted to be no where else in the world.  I was so happy in that moment being held by him.  My eyes got all teary and those three words just came to my mind.  I was having this interior monologue with myself about how I did love him and I wanted to tell him.  But, was I ready to tell him? Should I tell him? Is this the right moment?  Then it just came out in that perfectly simple kind of way.  He didn’t say anything.  He didn’t have to…he just squeezed me tight and I held back tears, the good kind of tears.

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