Friday, November 26, 2010

who's your daddy?

since i wrote a blog all about the mom, i have to do the same for the dad!

my dad and i have an interesting relationship. when i was younger, i would get so angry with him for pushing me so hard. now that i've gotten a bit older, i realize that he was doing me the biggest favor in the world. he pushed me so hard, because he knew how capable i was. he has, at times, wanted better for me than i wanted for myself. i appreciate him so much for seeing what i could accomplish in my future while i was always so caught up in the present.

what impresses me the most about my dad is that he didn't have to be my dad. he became my dad when i was three years old. he may have missed the day i was born, my first words, and my first steps... but that's all he's missed. to be honest, i can't remember life without my dad. as long as i can remember, he has ALWAYS been there.

my dad says that when he married mom, he knew he was getting a package deal. how lucky am i that he considered me part of the package that he wanted!

there are so many lessons that my dad has taught me. he was there to teach me how to pray. he was there when i asked Jesus to come into my heart and i received the most precious gift - the gift of salvation. he was there for my greatest achievements and he was also there to hug me through my biggest heartbreaks and disappointments. my dad has instilled so many values in me. i'm so blessed to have a dad who, above anything else, is a good man. when i was ten years old, he taught me to pray for God to prepare a man for me to marry one day. i've prayed that since i was ten years old. i know that it was my dad's direction that led me to pray for tyler, long before i knew him. and it was my dad's direction that led me to a man that my dad told me i should have - a man that loves God first and loves me second... sometimes, daddy does really know best.

i can't wait to stand at the back of the church with my daddy in the few minutes before he gives me away. i wonder what he'll say, how he'll act, if he'll cry. my daddy is always full of surprises! but i do know one thing - he loves me (and the rest of his children) with all his heart and we are all so blessed to have him as the leader of our family.

there are some real tear-jerker songs i am thinking about for my dance song with dad for the wedding, but if my dad is anything, he is HILARIOUS! so... just for fun, this song is for my dear old dad. hahahahahaha!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

mama, don't you worry about me

my mom is my best friend. from the beginning of wedding planning, she has been the #1 person that i go to with ideas and plans. it's been a blast!

i was going to save this story for another blog post, but now seems the perfect time to tell it...

when i went to try on dresses, i had tried on nearly a dozen when i was pretty frustrated and i thought i might never find the perfect dress. then, i tried on "the one". when i first came out, i got plenty of oohs and ahhs but then there was "are you sure you like this?" and "is that supposed to go that way?" i was starting to doubt my beautiful dress but then... they put the veil on me. i was holding a handheld mirror and looking at the back of the dress in the big mirror behind me, and i said, "mom, what do you think?" i put the handheld mirror down and saw my mom's face... she had tears rolling down her cheeks. the search was over. the dress was mine. i said, "oh mom..." and hugged her and started crying too. then, i'm pretty sure everyone else cried as well. it was the sweetest moment between us. that moment made me understand a mom's love a little bit more than i did before.

i know that mom has prayed for me since i was little. i know she has always wanted me to achieve every dream i've had for myself, and i know she wants to be there for me every step of the way. i know every mom feels that way, but i think since my mom lost her own mother at such a young age that it makes an even bigger impression on her. my mom amazes me with how strong she is but also how deeply she feels emotions and how deeply she loves. when my mom cries, regardless of for what reason, i cry too. it's just automatic. the moment that she cried watching her little girl in her wedding dress for the first time is a moment that i will hold so dearly in my heart for the rest of my life.

there are so many songs about daddies and daughters but so few about mommas and daughters. this song reminds me so much of my mama and sounds like a conversation that we would actually have. i'm so blessed to have the mama i do. i wouldn't trade her for anything in the whole, wide world.


Monday, November 15, 2010

what does your ring say about you?

theknot apparently thinks pretty highly of me solely because of my engagement ring style.

just in case the link above doesn't work, apparently having a pear shaped diamond engagement ring means...

Your style: Classic, but with a twist.

Your relationship: Independent, yet utterly committed. You and your guy have each other's backs. Period.
(right on!)

Your wedding: Contemporary and chic with trendy shots of color and fun, out-of-the-box ideas.
(we'll see...)

pretty complimentary, i would say. however, i think it just means that i liked the pear shape. but whatev. find what your's says about you!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

give me your forever. please, your forever. not a day less will do.


that's a long time.

sometimes, people get caught up in the planning of the wedding and not so much the planning of the marriage. luckily, tyler and i have both been given great examples of rock solid marriages. his parents have been married for 30 years and mine have been married for 22 years. also, tyler's mimi and granddaddy as well as my mamaw and papaw have been married for a combined total of nearly 100 years.

that's a lot of love!

tyler and i are determined to make sure our marriage gets off to a splendid start. we're going to be completing pre-marital counseling. a lot of couples see this as a drag, but i'm really excited about it! it's a way for us to get to know each other on a deeper level, and i'm always down for spending time with my future hubby! and it gets us a discount on our marriage license. not much of this wedding planning comes with a discount, so we'll take what we can get!

that... and papa said he wouldn't marry us unless we get it. LOL - gotta love my papa!


Friday, November 12, 2010

do me a favor

matchboxes. shot glasses. candles. picture frames. candy buffets. magnets. handkerchiefs. pictures. cd's. donations to a charity.

favors... sheesh...

how in the world do people choose favors?! there are only 11 billion options out there... and that's just on the oriental trading website.

i am bouncing around a couple of ideas, so we'll see what shakes out of it. it's just hard to figure out... should i go with a romantic gift, a practical gift, a funny gift? so many options. i'd like to know what other people did for favors at their weddings. it's hard to capture mine and tyler's personality in a favor for less than $3. but... i am determined... i'm also determined not to order 5,000 hawaiian leis from oriental trading. seriously, is that necessary? who really needs that many leis? it amazes me...


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


maybe it's because i'm a singer or maybe it's just because i love the crap out of music... but i'm having the hardest time narrowing down song lists for the wedding. the hard part is that i love so many songs and i've always heard songs and thought "oh, i'm going to play that on my wedding day" but what i'm going to be playing most of are fun, dance songs because we are going to par-tay at the reception! so now i have about 60 slow songs on a playlist, and i don't know where in the world to interject them into the day.

cutting some of my favorite songs of all time is probably the most frustrating part of planning so far...

but then again... maybe i'll just save the best stuff for the honeymoon. bow chicka bow wow! tmi? probably. but we'll be married so get over it. :-P


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

the best of the best.

i have to gloat a bit. in one of my previous posts, i talked about how wonderful our venues were. well, apparently, the whole city agrees with me.

patten chapel won the 2009 best wedding venue in chattanooga. duh!

good taste never goes out of style...


Monday, November 8, 2010

deal with me.

sometimes, there are sparkling moments in my life that remind me of how blessed i am.

as i've mentioned before, i've had some major self-esteem issues, especially regarding losing weight before the wedding. sometimes i feel bad for tyler having to listen to me drone on and on about the various things i don't like about myself. he always reassures me and tells me how beautiful he thinks i am. he is the one person that makes me feel beautiful, even when i'm in pajamas, glasses, no makeup, and with my hair in a pony tail.

recently, i told him, "i'm sorry you have to deal with me" and his reaction completely caught me off guard. he said, "i don't deal with you. i grow with you." when he said that, i immediately burst into tears. he gets me. he grows with me. he was obviously made for me. i couldn't be more in love or more sure of anything in my life. 327 days left until we start our life together, but i think we're already in training... and i think, so far, he gets an A+.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

save the dates?

first wedding dilemma... do we really need save the dates?

we are having a super long engagement and, with the advent of social networking, wedding websites, and this blog, do we really need the sd's? (sd is a better abbreviation than std. work with me here...)

this has really been a huge back and forth with me. it forces us to get our final guest list together sooner... which, at first, sounds bad but it's really a positive because, as of right now, everyone involved has the "we have time" mentality. that would give me a way to be like, "no, we don't! get it together!" without being a bridezilla. (which is a chief goal in my bridal planning - no bridezilla action, except towards the other 10/1/11 bride. but she deserves it.)

so, i had pretty much convinced myself to save the time, money, and stress over doing the sd's. but i keep seeing such cute ones and i wanna do them too! plus, for all of our family who aren't connected to the internet, it gives them advance notice of our nuptials. so, i've been researching. my sorority sister, katie, who will be a june 2011 bride, had great ideas for her sd's and they turned out FABULOUS! especially after seeing how she was able to have beautiful sd's on a tight budget, my curiosity was piqued. THEN i saw the cutest idea ever for a website save the date. so, now i'm back to beginning... deciding if they are worth it. i could just send out my invitations early (since i already have them picked out) OR i could up the ante (and the fun) with a cute sd.

the sd's would most likely feature our engagement pics, which are scheduled for march. if we send our sd's out 6 months in advance, that would mean they go out in april. that's a quick turn around! i'm just wondering if it will be worth it...

as much as i HATE this phrase... "there's still time" to decide and come up with a plan, but a post documenting the sd process will be in the future. (hopefully!)


Saturday, November 6, 2010

he liked it... so he put a RING on it!

there are two things that i love the most about being engaged:
1) practicing our wedding kiss... ooh la la!
2) staring at my gorgeous engagement ring!!!

tyler and i started looking at rings in march of this year. tyler knows me well enough to know that i'm a girl who knows what i want, so he wasn't going to take a chance on the biggest purchase of his life! (thus far anyways... i'm sure our house will top the ring.)

the first time we went to look at rings, we pulled into the parking lot of jared... then, i started crying. i don't even know why! i think it was the first time that i really freaked tyler out regarding the status of our relationship. i think he might have thought that i was about to break up with him or something. i wasn't crying because i was sad though... i was really excited and scared at the same time AND it was the first time that i realized that it was REALLY happening and that he REALLY wanted to marry me. i think that i half expected him to say "eh, nevermind" and turn in a different direction. lol

it was just a high emotion moment.

that was one of the first times that i realized what a wonderful man i had in my life and how good of a husband he would be. tyler just sat there and put his forehead to mine and told me how much he loved me and that it was ok to be nervous and a little scared and that we could wait if i wanted. he gave me lots of kisses and gave me a big hug when we got out of the truck and i knew that i was ready. but i was still nervous! we started to go in the store... i don't think i've ever held his hand so tight as i did right then.

so, when we got in the store, the tables turned. i got really giddy and excited. tyler saw price tags and i think he wanted to cry! it was a good starting place, because the selection was great, but i told tyler (being the knowledgeable woman i am) that the rings were overpriced and we could get a better deal elsewhere.

he had the idea to shop at a store that his family had visited for jewelry repair for years - wright jewelers. when we walked in the door, we were greeted by bob groves, also known as bobbie. he was, by far, the friendliest and most helpful sales associate of any jewelry store i've ever been in. he was so patient with us and worked with us to find the ring of my dreams within our budget. i knew that i wanted a pear shaped diamond ring, and i wanted my ring to be unique. i found a wedding band set that i loved but i didn't like the diamond on it. i also found a loose pear shaped diamond that i loved. then, my work was over. tyler met with bobbie and had him take the loose diamond that i loved and pair it with the band set that i loved. i knew that the ring was being made, but i didn't know when it would be ready or when i would be receiving it. i definitely thought it would be awhile, so i was trying hard to not get my hopes up.

the first time i saw my diamond and the band together was when tyler proposed. it exceeded my expectations, by far. there's nothing like seeing it all together for the first time. some people say that picking out your own ring takes the romance out of it. i told tyler from the beginning that i wanted the proposal to be a surprise but not the ring. i'm going to be wearing this for a LONG time! and as much as i would like to say that he could pick out anything and i would love it, that just isn't true. call me spoiled if you want, but at least i won't have to "upgrade" within two years because i'm not a fan of my engagement ring. i have one that i will love the rest of my life.

and tell me... the following picture is a picture of where tyler proposed. can you think of anything more romantic??? because i can't!!!

so... here's the finished product. two pics of just the engagement ring and another of the engagement ring with the band.

i can't wait until the day that i get to wear my band and engagement ring together! let's be honest. two blings are better than one. ;-)


Friday, November 5, 2010

the name game.

one of the best aspects of planning is that i am planning with my best friend from college, erin. she is planning her wedding for may, and i am planning mine in october. it's so much fun to share my wedding frustrations and victories with a fellow bride, who i love so much.

anybody familiar with my friendship with erin knows how downright silly we can be. we have a plethora of inside jokes that would take YEARS to tell... and more years to actually explain fully. the girl kept me sane through college, and i like to think i did the same for her.

our most recent endeavor has been making the wedding planning process as fun as possible. today, we named our dresses.

erin is a may bride so her dress's name is maya.

i had one name picked out for my dress, but then i realized that the name i chose would give away too much. so.... the new name is....


gotta love when you can name a wedding dress after a reba mcentire song, but "the night that the lights went out in georgia" isn't really fitting. so, from now on, "the dress" shall be referred to as "fancy".


Thursday, November 4, 2010

how do you do it?

WARNING: this blog post is hyperlink heavy and looooooooooooong.

since i posted that i was doing weight watchers, i've had a lot of people ask me how i'm doing it... and for free?! well, i figured i would share. you're welcome!!

1) start here. this site tells you how to figure out how many points you are allowed each day. follow the formula that is laid out on this page. it's super easy. trust me. i failed two math courses in high school. if i can do it, you can do it. (and on a sidenote to all the kiddos: yes, you can fail math and still be successful. don't let your parents lie to you. calculators exist for a reason.)

2) second... what can i eat?! it's a common misconception that you have to get weight watchers food only to follow the plan. not true! that's one thing i love about the plan is that i can still cook! you can calculate the points that are in food by following the formula on this site, but i just find numbers too complicated, so i found this calculator that does the work for you. (see kids, i told you calculators exist for a reason.)

3) meet dotti. she's my hero. she has made a website compiling an abundance of weight watchers information. (thank you, dotti!) it takes a bit of maneuvering to find your way around the site, so i've posted some other links that are from different parts of dotti's site. also, dotti has an app that you can download on an iphone or a droid to take her tips with you wherever you go.

4) if you're like me, you're probably wondering about produce, which usually doesn't come with nutrition facts attached but it must be good for you... right?! well, dotti has provided a 0 point foods, 1 point foods, and foods with 3 points or less. pretty much any produce i can think of is found here. if not, google the food's nutrition information and find out the food's calories, fat grams, and fiber. then use the trusty calculator from step 2 to calculate the points!

5) something i have a lot of trouble with when dieting is going out to eat. i'm a foodie and i love to go out with family and friends. that usually blows my diet plan, but it doesn't have to! dotti has also provided an awesome restaurant guide that tells you the weight watchers points for many dishes at sit down and fast food restaurants. talk about a life saver! you can still go out to eat, but you have to be responsible to make smart food choices. dotti's guide is also updated regularly so if there's a new dish you are wanting to try, you'll probably find it on there.

6) exercise is so important! even if you aren't dieting, exercise has so many positive benefits and is something that everybody should incorporate into their schedule. exercising 30 minutes three times a week is a great goal to set for yourself.

7) for those following the WW plan, exercising can actually increase your point allotment for the day. first, you have to determine whether your activity is low intensity, moderate intensity, or high intensity. determine this by doing the exercise for ten minutes. if you don't sweat at all, the activity is low intensity. if you sweat towards the end of the 10 minutes, the activity is moderate intensity. if you begin to sweat between 3-5 minutes of doing the activity, it is high intensity. other clues to help you figure out the intensity level are: your intensity level is low if you can talk, sing, your breathing is regular and you’re not sweating. your intensity level is moderate if you can talk, but can’t sing; your breathing is often and deep; and you’re sweating after 10 minutes. your intensity level is high if you can talk briefly but can’t sing; your breathing is rapid and deep; and you’re sweating after 3-5 minutes

8) so how many points can you get? i found the following information at livestrong, which is another great health and fitness site.
high intensity: for 30 minutes, you earn 3 points if you weigh less than 140 pounds. 4 points if you weigh between 140 and 180. 5 points if you weigh 181 to 225. add one point to this total for every 40 pounds of weight over 225.
moderate intensity: for 30 minutes, you earn 1 point if you weigh up to 160 pounds. 2 points if you weigh between 160 and 260. three points if you weigh 260 to 360. you get 4 points for this activity if you weigh over 360 pounds.
low intensity: if you weigh less than 220 pounds, 30 minutes will earn you 1 point. if you weigh between 220 and 360 pounds, you earn 2 points. if you weigh over 360 pounds, you earn 3 points.

9) the points that you earn by exercising can be used as extra food points. these points can roll over from day to day within one week but cannot roll over from week to week. so if you exercise on monday and earn 5 points, you can apply those points to a dinner out on sunday. however, if you don't apply your activity points as extras, you will lose weight faster.

10) there are so many great products on the market that are specifically geared towards those on the weight watchers plan. lean cuisines, smartones, and healthy choice products usually have the weight watchers points right on the box. also, weight watchers has their own ice creams and bakery products. i love their blueberry muffins (3 points!) and their lemon cream cakes (only 1 point!). i even had them when i was home a few weeks ago and my little brother, caleb, ate a muffin and some of my lemon cream cakes. they're tasty! smartones desserts are lifesavers! they're key lime pie and chocolate chip cookie dough sundaes are AMAZING! even if you aren't trying to lose weight, they're just as good as any restaurant dessert. they are a staple in my freezer.

11) i've found that eating high fiber foods is key to WW success. i found some delicious wraps by la tortilla factory at public that are 0 points! i like to fill them with grilled chicken, low fat cheese, and lettuce and gobble them up. i usually pair them with reduced fat pringles (2 points a serving!) for a delicious and filling lunch.

12) find tricks that work! many fruits are filling and delicious. i've found myself chomping on grapes while i'm preparing dinner. grapes are only 1 point and they are a great appetizer because they fill me up a bit before dinner so i don't eat too much. a lot of being successful is portion control. in the spirit of halloween (which we just celebrated) find tricks and treats that work for you!

13) and speaking of halloween... i am a candy fanatic! i've found that you can have the candies you crave. but moderation is key. for example, a fun size bag of peanut m&m's is only 2 points. give in to your cravings. but only a little at a time. this will help you avoid over-indulging later.

14) remember... nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

so that's it! i know it may seem kind of complicated and a lot of information, but the plan is really easy to follow. let me know if you follow it and it works for you! i'll update my progress as we get closer to the big day. 331 days and counting!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

(healthy?) competition.

it all started when i was trying to find a videographer. i was turned down by my #1 choice because another 10/1/11 bride had already booked him.

WHAT?! i've been planning this wedding since july. a full 15 months in advance! i had OVER a year to go when the other 10/1/11 bride had already beat me out for my videographer choice. i was determined to find her and inflict some sort of pain on her. (and when i say that, we all know i don't really mean it. i wouldn't actually hit her, but i would most definitely look her up and down, size her up, and talk badly behind her back. ya know... that's how girls roll.)

anyways. i found another videographer who i LOVE and am so excited to work with and was actually cheaper but is able to produce a high quality product. but more on that later...

so, this morning i got a call from my cake maker. (i will also dedicate an entire post to her later...) she told me that another 10/1/11 bride had contacted her and wanted to know if we were booking her before she talked to the other 10/1/11 bride. just a note about our cake - we had already met with our cake maker, chosen designs and flavors for our cakes, and we even did a taste testing (yummo!). however, we never actually got a deposit to her. (how did i forget this?!) i immediately let out an emphatic "OH MY GOSH! YES! YOU ARE OUR CAKE LADY!" (At the time, I wasn't thinking of how stupid I sounded... "you are our cake lady"? really, paige? anyways...) I started talking a million miles a minute about deposits and contracts and anything else i needed to do to make our reservation "official". I COULD NOT LET THE OTHER 10/1/11 BRIDE BEAT ME! without going into too many details, our cake maker is reserved... officially this time. victory is sweet... almost as sweet as my fabulous 5 layer wedding cake.

now, i don't really know that the 10/1/11 bride from the videographer booking and the cake booking are the same bride... but, in my mind, it is. (it's just more fun.) SO, that being said....
1) i need to think of a new nickname for the other 10/1/11 bride. comments with suggestions are needed please!
2) she may have won the videography battle, but i won the war. i found another videographer who is extremely talented for a better price AND i won the cake maker. BRING IT ON, 10/1/11 BRIDE! you're going down.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

here comes the bride! big, fat, and wide! err.... WHAT?!

it's funny how when the amazement of this little shiny thing on my left hand set in, a flurry of self-doubt set in too. i've never had a single doubt in my relationship, but my self-esteem took a major plummet. now, how much sense does that make?! i've found a man who loves me so much and thinks i am so beautiful... beautiful enough, in fact, that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. however, the thought of roughly 300 pairs of eyes on me in a fitted white dress makes me have a near panic attack. i was TERRIFIED when i went shopping for my dress. excited, yes, but mainly terrified. i, like every other girl that dreams of wedded bliss, am obsessed with wedding shows, like "say yes to the dress". the girls on there are all so skinny! my initial thought was that i am going to look like a huge cupcake or, worse, the michelin man. however, stephanie at monica's was a God-send! she put me in a dress that made me feel like a total babe! i didn't choose a dress that i would only look good in given i lose weight. i chose one that looks good NOW and will look even better as i trim down before the big day. but more on the dress later...

i'm in my last year of law school. STRESS CENTRAL! dieting and exercise have been on the agenda for a good while, but i've never had the motivation that i have now! big white dress. photographers at every angle. videographers too. engagement pics. bridal pics. there are plenty of events for which i need to look my best. and, let's not forget, the tropical honeymoon. tyler deserves a hot bride. so i have a plan...

i'm not going to stress out or make unrealistic goals for myself. in fact, i'm not making pound-related or size-related goals at all. (SHOCK!) my goal, however, is to be healthy and look good and feel comfortable in my own skin. my wedding dress is a 14. there's no shame in being a size 14! i have no desire to be a size 2... or a 4... or a 6 for that matter. i just want to feel amazing and look amazing on my day. that being said... i am taking efforts to improve my health and well-being, and the weight loss is a plus.

i've started the weight watchers plan. it's super easy to follow and i found everything i need to follow the program online - for free! i also downloaded some apps on my droid which enable me to follow WW while on the go! i don't really see it as a diet, because i'm not depriving myself. i'm just learning healthy alternatives, making smart food choices, and portion control. so far, so good! and i allow cheat days. for me, a diet without cheat days is like law school without skip days. not gonna happen.

i also bought an elliptical machine which is in my house. i know myself well enough to know that having a gym membership won't get me to a gym. therefore, i brought the gym to myself, leaving me no excuse! i find that when i get stressed out doing school work, a few minutes on the elliptical does me a world of good.

i also just bought a package at pure barre - chattanooga for me and my MOH1, kendal. we are gonna have a great time getting fit and bonding at the same time! i can't wait!

in addition to that, i've started taking supplements. nothing dangerous! i'm taking fish oil, green tea extract, and b-complex. tyler recommended them to me, actually. they all speed up the metabolism and ensure that your body gets a supply of the good fats that it needs!

so... when i walk down the aisle, i know that the "ah"s that i hear will not be of disgust, because i will be more confident, happier, and healthier than i've ever been!

operation "i will not be a fat bride" is going strong. 333 days to go until the big day!!!