Monday, January 31, 2011

Beef Burgundy is not the way to my heart, but being domestic might be.

This might sound old-fashioned.

I made Beef Burgundy last week and wore an apron while doing so. It's green and white and I bought it at the Rejuvenations store in Reardan, WA. It was an impulse buy. I don't know if it was the apron that led me to the beef burdundy or if the beef burgundy led me to the apron... I love the apron. I wasn't so much a fan of the beef burgundy.
Lately I've been, well, domestic. I've had strange urges to sew things and cook things from scratch. I've even been slightly crafty as of recent.
Here's my theory: I now have people to do these things for. Two little ones and a big one, to be precise. I love seeing them enjoy the food I've made or the home I've created.
Now don't get me wrong, I jump on the bra burning bandwagon as fast as the next 20-something, liberal arts-educated, inner-hippie child.
(There are so many things wrong with that sentence. A) Women's Rights is not a bandwagon on which to jump on or off and B) should not be considered a result of age, education or culture, but A) I couldn't resist the alliteration and B) often times my dad mumbles "I should have never sent you to that liberal, hippie school."  after a heated discussion about, well, anything. And then I laugh. Because there's irony in raising a child to think for herself only to get ruffled feathers when she actually thinks for herself. Also... I went to Whitworth. You get the idea here. ) 
So I'm standing in the kitchen, barefoot, pregnant, apron-clad, with a child hanging off my leg. Not necessarily the image of a Lucy Stone or a Susan B. Anthony (although I'm sure they had those moments), but I'm happy. A light goes off and I suddenly understand that I'm not doing those things because I'm oppressed. Or because it's expected. Or because that's my role. I'm doing those things because they make me happy. And they make my family happy. And seeing my family happy makes me happy. It was like a symbolic bra burning.

Wedding update: (We've known this for awhile and have even been telling people. It's just been a secret to the blog, I guess.) We've set the date for September 10th. 9.10.11. Huzzah.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's all in the Details.

   Poor Chris... he lost his girlfriend. Has anybody seen her? Oh, wait... she's over there, under that pile of wedding magazines (blogs).

   Lately, it seems that all I talk about with the poor guy are wedding plans. It makes me wonder what we'll be talking about the day after the wedding. Probably the wedding...

   I guess it's to be expected. It's only been three weeks since his proposal and as I mentioned in my last blog post, I have a lot stored up in my file of "all things glorious for my wedding day."

   But before I get into the most recent details I need to update you on Jackson.
He will be 2 next month. 2! The words come out of my mouth, but I hardly believe them! He is his own little human- complete with attitude and opinions. He's been sleeping in his "big boy bed" for about a month and each morning I wake up to Jackson standing in the doorway of his bedroom yelling "Mommmeeee!" (I put up the baby jail because I'm afraid he'll fall down the stairs.) This new morning ritual is cherished, even on mornings when it occurs at 6am and I want to roll over and pull the covers over my head.
   Sometimes, complete sentences come out of Jackson's mouth. The other day he told me I needed to go take a bath. I'll admit, sometimes I stink, but that was just harsh.
It's the cutest when we're driving down the driveway (it's a long one...) and Jackson excitedly says, "we're home!!" over and over. Or when he gives me "kisses with his lips" and comes at me unabashedly with his tongue. Or when he squeals in delight over the cat. Every day. Apparently, the concept of Kiki never gets old. Or when he points to no particular part of my body and says "what's that?" I don't know man... I don't know what happened.
His outlook on life is so raw. So untainted. I love it and feel refreshed by it on a daily basis.

   Something else that is almost as refreshing to me are the colors we have chosen for the wedding (and we're back...).
Olive, Corral and Cream. What d'ya think?
   My mom and I were at the Bridal Festival in Spokane last weekend and I had these colors in mind, but hadn't decided on the exact shade. (This is how crazy I am being.) I saw the most perfect bouquet from aNeMonE that incorporated these colors and at that moment knew they were right for our wedding. I briefly worked with one of the owners of aNeMonE at the Davenport Hotel when he was just starting this amazingly brilliant business and will most likely be purchasing my bouquet from there (not the one I saw though... too much baht required). I love the idea of being able to keep my bouquet for years and years because it will be made out of handmade paper flowers.
   Chris agrees on the colors and here we are. The bridesmaids will each be wearing a different colored dress and the groomsmen will be wearing dark brown suits.  

   I'm so excited about this next detail of our wedding. So excited.
Flat4 Photography will be our photographer for the big day. Whitney Tampien from Flat4 has been a friend of mine since our days at Whitworth where we played volleyball together. She's so creative and has such amazing vision. Many of you probably saw the pictures she took last August. Enough said. She's wonderful.

   The next detail I'm going to divulge isn't quite set in stone, but I'm confident enough to spill the beans. Old Bear Mountain (formerly known as A Sailor A Captive) will most likely be providing the music for the reception.
Yes please, and thank you.
They are a young group from Mead, WA who came out to the farmers market last summer and I fell in love with their music and style. I've since booked them for pretty much every event I'm involved in planning. They are currently recording a CD which everyone should own when it comes out. You can sample their stuff by following the link. And by the way, if Jackson grew up to be as responsible and respectful as Wade (their lead), I wouldn't be mad.

   This last detail is near and dear to my heart. Our cake will be made by Sawyer's Artisan Bakery. Let me tell you about these people:
Chris and I have absolutely fallen in love with this family. Matt and Jen have become dear friends since last spring. Their fam includes four boys (that's right... four boys) and anyone else who is willing to sit at their dinner table and eat Jen's gloriously delicious food. They are also opening a bakery in Davenport on January 24th. What makes them amazing, though, is that even through obstacles they are so giving.  How many of us can say that? I know that when I'm going through something difficult... or exciting... or life-changing in any way whatsoever, it's all about me (case in point: this blog). They are opening a business in less than two weeks and yet they continue to volunteer and assist our community in whatever way possible. Jen is constantly reminding me to be positive and caring of the people around me- no matter who they are. And she's hilarious. Man, I love this family! 

   It feels so great to get all the details out in story form. I look over the list of "vendors" that we've decided on so far and I realize they are all friends- they're all people we know and love. I can't wait to be fully surrounded by friends and family on our wedding day and to feel that love through every detail.   

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

For my own sanity... A Temporary Blog Transformation.

What's this? Two posts in one week? I must have a sudden surge of free time. Or... not. Rather, I have so many things swirling around in my head, keeping me up at night and distracting me from the things I should be attentive to. These things cause me to reach for the closest form of chocolate and then put it back again because I tried on my mom's wedding dress this weekend and it didn't fit. To be honest, it will never fit. My mom is short and was little, tiny when she wore that dress on her wedding day. She's little, tiny now, but she was littler, tinier then. I, on the other hand, was graced with height- which I love, but let's be honest, I could stand to lose a few pounds. So I'm trying to be good. And not stress-eat. Which I do. Often.
But I digress...
As you know, I am recently engaged. And I am ecstatic! Yay! (see?) I feel the need to confess this though: Ever since Chris muttered the M word months ago I have been secretly planning my wedding. (well, Chris knew.) In fact, it's basically all planned in my head, but when people ask about the specifics I play stupid for fear of seeming too eager.
I've had a "wedding inspirations/planning" folder for months.
I feel like I've now been given the green light to execute my wonderfully creative ideas (and Chris's wonderfully creative ideas... I'm not the only one getting married here). The problem is that as soon as the light turned green all of those ideas went lurching forward and traffic jammed themselves at right about my forehead.
So if you don't mind, my blog will temporarily be transformed into a wedding planning blog. I hope I don't spoil any surprises for those who will be attending, but I need a place to digest everything.

I'm feeling the need to prioritize my thoughts on the wedding.
Priority #1: Chris and I love each other. We're not getting married to have a wedding, but instead to be life-long partners who love and support one another. Our wedding will be a reflection of who we are and of our love and commitment. Along with that, our children will be a big part of our wedding because they will be a big part of our marriage.
Priority #2: I've learned that weddings can get big and expensive very quickly. Our wedding will not be big and expensive. I plan to DIY until the cows come home for two reasons: Chris and I, unfortunately, do not have a money tree and I feel that DIY will allow us to truly reflect ourselves in every detail of the wedding.
Priority #3: We're going green. I'd like for our wedding to be as eco-friendly as possible. Now, the wording in that sentence feels a bit like a cop-out, but the fact of the matter is that our wedding will not be good for the environment unless we plan to walk to the middle of the forest somewhere in our birthday suites to plant a tree or we happen to be driving past the Hitching Post and decide to stop. We can, however, make conscious decisions to use local products and vendors, to not be wasteful and to keep it simple. I kinda like that tree planting idea though...

Much better.

I'll leave you, today, with some images and inspirations I like.
Please check out this inspiration board at Style Me Pretty. Perfect

Also, since we do have some things decided (okay... a lot of things decided), here's a little morsel for you.  The places where it will all go down:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Highlights and other things that shine.

It's 11pm on New Year's Eve. I'm sharing the sofa comfortably with Chris and the cat while Maus is curled up on the rug in front of us. There's a great fire crackling in the fireplace. Chris started it earlier, just before he ran to town to get me some cranberry juice. Man... I love that guy.
The kids both fell asleep long ago. Jason Mraz is appropriately serenading me with his opinion on humanity. We're waiting to ring in the new year and reflecting on the events of the past year as most everyone in the world is doing. Despite this perfect little scene I feel enormous amounts of angst. I always do this time of year. Maybe it's the finality of everything. Maybe it's the pressure of planning out an even better year for 2011. This year was pretty damn good and that's a lot of pressure.

Highlights for 2010:
  • Chris and I started officially dating in January (although we've dated before and have known each other for many years)
  • Jackson turned 1 in February. I still can't believe we made it through that first year and here we are, just barely over a month until his second birthday.
  • We got Maus in May. She came to us after she experienced the loss of her previous owner and has truly become part of the family.
  • The Big Red Barn Farmers Market started in June and had its first successful season.
  • I completed my first year working as the Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator for Lincoln Hospital District 3 this fall. I still enjoy the job and continue to learn almost more than I can handle about the medical field, health care reform and communications on a daily basis.
  • In writing this, I realize that my general feeling of contentment over the events of the past year come not from the big events like those listed above, but from the little things. The time Chris and I went camping, the first time we took the kids to Mobius, our bike trip in the rain, Greenbluff, the trips to Jackson Hole, sitting on the front porch watching the summer storms, my failed attempt at gardening that ended up making for a pretty good photo shoot, Bluegrass music, driving to Heppner to get my Grandma Judy's piano. painting the living room green and the kitchen orange, Fam-Damily Day... I can think of a million moments that made this year amazing.
One moment in particular occurred on Christmas Day. I was digging around in my stocking and came across a small, green, velvet box. The box felt too light to be what I thought it should be, but my heart skipped a couple beats anyway and I slowly opened it up... to find a piece of paper. That paper led to another and then another and then another. Finally, it led me back to my stocking which I had emptied earlier. Inside was a small, polished box. Again, my heart skipped a couple beats. I knew what was happening and I was trying to savor every single moment... to soak it in as though in slow motion. I opened the box to find... absolutely nothing. In that split second I second guessed everything I thought was going on. Maybe it was just a really, really bad joke. In which case, I had determined that I would then break up with Chris and deem this the worst Christmas ever.
I looked up to meet Chris's eyes. They were so intent, so genuine, so loving. I knew it wasn't a joke. And then he simply said, "Merry Christmas, Carey. I love you so much. Will you marry me?" and he slipped the most beautiful ring on my finger. I, of course, said yes- followed by something brilliant like, "I already told you I would marry you..." (obviously we had discussed this previously and apparently I felt the need to remind him of this). In the background, my mom was saying something brilliant like, "She's too young to get married!" while furiously snapping pictures.
Right there, on Christmas morning, in front of Jackson and my parents, Chris proposed to me. I had just gotten out of bed, had no make-up on, was in my pajamas and didn't even care. It was rightfully the highlight of my year.