April 27, 2011

My perfect day

Finally-- the post I've been waiting for months to write, the one where I describe all the things that went right and wrong at our wedding, all the details, the photos, the memories of the day I've been planning and looking forward to for the last 3 months.

And I am happy to say that nothing went wrong. Everything was perfect. Even better than I expected (and if you know me, you know I have some pretty high expectations, especially when it comes to myself). It was so beautiful and so sweet and heartfelt and I can truly say that I enjoyed every minute of it.

The ceremony was my favorite part. As I waited in a bedroom that looked out over the field behind our friends' home where we had the wedding, one of the best things was watching all of our friends and family start filing down to the open field where we had set up hay bales with beautiful quilts on them for people to sit. I loved watching that stream of people walking down to where Daniel and the priest were waiting for me. It was nice to have that perspective that only I had.

I stood with my dad who had already started to cry and we started the long walk down to the hay bales. I think the smile on my face was stretched from one ear to the other. I know it was. It was such a happy moment. I loved the look on Daniel's face who also had started to cry.

Our ceremony was lovely and instead of it being a blur and feeling too emotional to pay attention to anything, I feel like I really absorbed all of it: I listened to every word and felt every emotion coming from Daniel and it was like time stood still. We read our readings to each other and we both teared up out of pure joy and emotion. His was remarkably similar to mine: honest and loving and a pure testament to the commitment we were making to each other.

My favorite parts aside from our vows, were the song that our friends wrote and played for us and the moment when we were pronounced husband and wife and everyone let go of white balloons that floated into the air on a gush of wind that blew just at the right moment. This was a surprise from Connie, a friend who helped us so much that day. The weather was spectacular, the sky blue and everything so green and bright all around us. It was really a picture perfect day, even better than I had hoped.

Here are some of my favorite photos so far. There are so many good ones and we haven't even seen the photographer's yet.

It is bittersweet now that it is all over. I enjoyed the planning so much and the wedding itself was everything I had hoped for, and more. I am filled with happiness to be married to the man I love and have so many wonderful memories of the event we created. But I feel the distance between the loved ones who just left and the fun-filled weekend we just shared and my life here in Tennessee. I can't wait to have an excuse to see them all again. There is nothing like a wedding to bring all the people you love most in life together in the best way. And after all is said and done, I have not just my husband, but my little bundle of joy that is my Junebug to love each day. I am a lucky girl.

April 14, 2011


It has been wedding central around here lately. It's busy and I have 101 things on my mind, but mostly I am really excited to finally be counting down the days until the wedding I've been thinking about for the last 3 months. Granted, a lot of people start planning their wedding a year or more in advance, but ours was kind of last-minute. We were either going to elope to Hawaii with our little girl or have a small wedding in Nashville with family and a few friends. We chose the latter and ever since I started planning in earnest I have known it was the right decision. Mainly this is because I am really enjoying it this time around (this is my 2nd and last time to ever get married). We are doing most everything ourselves and what we are not doing, friends or neighbors are, so it is really all about us and our little community that we live in. No "wedding industrial complex," no huge venues, bland food choices, bridesmaids and groomsmen, just us saying "I do" in front of our closest and a big, fun party afterwards!

Our house looks like a craft bomb went off in it, and I'm too busy to write much, but here are a few photos of what I've been up to...

I bought this hurricane with candle in it for 99 cents at the thrift store. Perfect.

I am making goodie bags for the few out of town friends to leave at their hotel rooms. Instead of buying the bags, I used ones I had from local Nashville shops and put our sticker on it. They'll have locally made treats inside like Olive and Sinclair chocolate, these little locally made chess pies I found, some nuts and mineral water, along with a thank you note for coming and the program for the weekend.

I made this box to put our rings in. It's a real bird's nest and a old 'love' charm that I found on the ground. We bought our rings at a local family-owned jewelry store that has been here 80 years. Mine is an antique eternity band from an estate sale, very thin and dainty and his is a simple tungsten band made for durability.

I made this for my hair for the party, after I take my mom's veil off. I've had the flower since high school and I sewed a leftover piece of lace from the dress onto the back and added a ribbon then sewed the whole thing to a hair clip.

And this will be Olive's "outfit"--a heart collar (again from the thrift store) with a new, festive bow. She's going to be running around at the wedding for sure.

And June had to try on her dress and try crawling around, which wasn't easy. I had visions of dirt and grass stains all over the linen, and it turns out, the top of the dress is a little too big. ! New rule: never buy expensive children's clothes too early because you never know what their size is going to be in a month.

Luckily, a good friend, Connie from Memphis was channeling my mom when she called me last week to tell me she had found the perfect dress for June to wear at the wedding. She sent it in a box that arrived at my door yesterday and when I tried it on June she looked like a doll. So I think this is the one. I am a little sad about the other dress because I love it, but it is perhaps not age appropriate as this one is. And, let's face it, she would look cute if she showed up in a diaper so it really is all just icing on the cute cake.

And these are the shoes I finally settled on. I think they are ready to party.

April 4, 2011


June had two firsts yesterday: she took her first bike ride and she ate her first lime. Both were important and here's why.

First the lime. We were sitting on a friend's porch and those friends where drinking beer with limes in it. Their little one-year-old boy was eating a lime from his mom's cup so June decided she wanted to try that bright green thing too. My friend gave it to her and I fully expected her to spit it out but her face did not even contort like I expected it would upon tasting the sour fruit. Now it could have been the fact that it had been soaked in beer. She made no distasteful face at all, just ate it like it was the best thing she'd ever tasted and would not put it down until after we got home from our bike ride and I pried it out of her little fingers. She held onto it and sucked on it the whole way home.

The friend who gave it to her told me that it was a good sign that she liked the lime because she read somewhere that when a baby likes the taste of sour things it means they have an eclectic palate. I like to think that this is true of my girl. She loves so many different things and lately she has been tasting so many new things and she has yet to spit anything out. I am sure she will one day and it will probably be something I love and I'll try not to take it personally. But until then, I am really enjoying her enjoyment of food. It is so, so gratifying to feed her and watch her eat.

The other day I gave her some polenta we'd cooked for dinner with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil on top. She seemed to love it. I secretly want her to love Italian food and I'm pretty confident she will. How could a child of mine not love it? Oh and she tasted a little bit of pork sausage (no reaction) and she loves nibbling on grapes lately too, in addition to her perennial favorite, broccoli.

here she is with our friend Judy about to try some asparagus for the first time.

It was great. She hung it out of her mouth like a cigar.

She has also tried hamburger, salty crackers, baked eggs (frittata), red bell pepper, tuna and almond milk in the last few weeks. She has five little teeth now and chews everything in the front of her mouth. Just wait until she gets those molars in back and can really get down with chewing!

The second big first this week was her first ride on a bike. This was one of the most fun moments I have had so far as a mom. Feeling the weight of her little body behind me as we rode around the neighborhood, glancing back as she giggled with her face in the wind, holding onto me and patting my was pure joy. I am a big lover of bikes (and her dad and I had our first date on a bike ride)and I have four of them (plus a scooter) in various states of disrepair hanging around the house. It has been a while since I've been able to get on my road bike and go for a long ride. But now I feel like I've gained a new freedom: hopping on my cruiser with June on the back and going down to the coffee shop or the grocery store or just tooling around the neighborhood. It sure beats the stroller.

April 1, 2011

a busy time

It has been a busy couple of weeks. June turned 9 months old and is very active, crawling all over the place and really into exploring her environment. This stage is so much fun, but also much more intense for me. And this is where I have to wonder if maybe I should have done this whole child thing 10 years ago. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape now, having just now lost all of my pregnancy weight (it really is 9 months to put on, 9 to take it off), but I just don't bounce back like I used to.

I just turned in the last of the stories I was assigned in March for a total of 7 articles I wrote this month. They're all features on Latin artists for BMI, the musician's rights organization. I am really enjoying this new work and it makes me feel productive and like it *is* possible to work from home and be a mom. I hope I can keep it up.

On the wedding front, we went out to the site last weekend which is the home of our friends Salem and Judy who are still settling into their new house in the country. There is a lot to do there, but things are coming together. We ate a meal with our caterer Kindy and tasted some of the items than will be on our menu. We were happy with everything. To go with it, we tried a nice Italian white wine provided by our friend Will at Woodland Wine Merchant. We have been 'forced' try others all week and think we have settled on a crowd-pleasing and light sangiovese from Tuscany for red, and a crisp and light blend from the Veneto for the white. How could we not go with Italian wines?

And I have been busy making these table cards to let people know where they'll be sitting for dinner at the reception. We aren't going to tell them where to sit, just which table. I think we came up with a fun alternative to the usual table numbers. I bought the cards at Michael's and glued pieces of old wrapping paper to them to give them some color.

I found these cool prints on etsy of all different types of bicycles to go with our theme, some with owls on them -- another element from our invitation. We're told by Salem that lots of owls live on the property, plus I just happen to like owls.

We will put the larger prints on each table pinned to the burlap table runners my friend Ellen is making. We shrunk down the bicycle images to fit on the card with the colored paper on it which will also have the person's name and will lead them to the table with the same image. It will be a lot of cutting and pasting when it's all done, but I think they will be cute.

And I am on the hunt for shoes to go with my dress. Who would have thought I would have so much trouble finding an awesome pair of shoes? It's so not like me! But the challenge is finding something dressy, yet fun, yet comfortable enough to wear all night and appropriate for the outdoors.

These are the ones I thought I would buy for sure--they would have been perfect--except for that kitten heel that would go straight into the grass and leave me stuck all night long.

So now I am looking at wedges and espadrilles, which luckily are in style right now and are everywhere. I bought these last weekend and tried them on with the dress and they were not quite right, which is too bad because I'm in love with them:

These are my next attempt:

Oh, did I mention my dress is pink? It is being made by a local designer named Jessica Maros who also makes a line of really cool jewelry that is getting picked up by boutiques all over the country called Sleeveless. She is really talented and sweet and I am so lucky she has time to work on my little dress. It is a combination of lace from my mom's 1966 tea-length wedding dress and a blush pink silk vintage dress I found in a local second hand shop. I think it will be unique and different and my mom would have loved the idea of using her dress in this way. I am also going to wear her veil in my hair, which Jessica hand dyed to match the lace on the dress.

Of course, June has her dress all ready to go. She is going to look like a princess in this ivory linen sundress with a tulle underskirt that I found at this cool new baby store in town called Tweed.

I will pin a pretty pink flower on the waist to match the color of my dress and find her some little pink shoes to go with it. Maybe these:

It's all coming together and we are less than a month away! I am so excited and nervous and just a little bit overwhelmed all at once.

So to relax a little after June had gone to bed last night, I made these little chocolate ganache cupcakes. They were so delicious and Daniel loves anything chocolate. I think he ate 3 in a row. I'm responsible for the half-eaten one here, the result of getting up at 2:00am, unable to sleep with all the excitement.