The Perfect Dress

I began planning Luna’s outfit for our friends’ wedding months before she was even born. Yup, I’m apparently¬†that¬†Mom. I just couldn’t wait to pick¬†out¬†a fancy dress, doll her up and have everyone ooh and aww over my beautiful girl. The only problem was that I had built up the outfit so much in my head that I couldn’t find any that I liked. About two weeks before the wedding I finally landed on one very fluffy over-the-top handmade dress from Etsy…it was perfect.

It’s Little Mermaid inspired which is perfect because the bride is Disney obsessed and her absolute favorite character is Ariel. Not to mention both the Bride and Luna have red hair…brilliant. I even got crafty and made her a pair of the oh-so popular barefoot sandals. (Tutorial coming soon!)

A little homage to Ariel
A little homage to Ariel
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SO easy to make

I planned to dress her once I arrived to the ceremony because it’s a little to fluffy for the car seat and I wanted as little time as possible for the risk of spit-up/baby poo to end up on the dress. When we pulled up to the church she was fast asleep. I decided to hold off dressing her until she woke. (Rule #1: Never wake a sleeping baby.) So, she slept through the hour-long ceremony, the ride to the reception and would have continued sleeping, but I decided it was time for her to eat and get dressed.

From the moment we entered the cocktail-hour room she cried. She whined and cried until the reception started. She also spit up on herself and the dress at least 8 times within a ten minute span. She then continued crying as I desperately tried to console her at least until Husband arrived. He was Best Man and was lined up with the wedding party waiting to be introduced at the reception. I only wanted him to see her and for us to get a photo together. That’s it. I tried very hard to explain this to Luna, but she could clearly care less.

Finally, the music stopped and the DJ announced that it was time to introduce the Bridal party. Hallelujah. The second the room was silent Luna let out a wail that could have been heard around the world. Every head in the room turned to stare in our direction. Lucky for me, I happened to be standing next to the kitchen which I immediately darted into looking for refuge.

It is my belief that the kitchen staff is secretly a group of nannies/angels who disguise themselves as cooks and servers. The second I ran in they took me under their wings. One began helping me pull off Luna’s dress while another prepared her¬†bottle. When Luna refused to take the bottle they set up a chair for me to sit and nurse her in private. They brought me dish towels to use as burp cloths and never once acted like I was interrupting them in the middle of serving diner, even though I was doing exactly that.

By the time I made it out and into the reception, Husband had made both our plates, ate all of his and Luna was mostly naked. Oh well, so much for that.

The rest of the night was much smoother. Luna’s many Aunts and Uncles held her and kept her company when I needed a break. We got lots of dancing in and Luna partied in her PJ’s. (Thank God I had something packed in her diaper bag.) My favorite photo of the night is when I caught our friend Derek and Aunt Zoey watching Luna together outside. They looked like the picture perfect family and I got it on camera.

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At least someone had a "family" photo taken
At least someone had a “family” photo taken

We weren’t able to take any photos of Luna’s outfit at the wedding, but I was not going to let that precious dress go to waste. I decided to put Luna in it in the morning, when she’s happiest, and snap some photos at home.

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If you love this dress you should check out My Sugar Muffin’s Etsy shop. She has tons of adorable handmade girly tutu’s and whatnot.

Cheers!

 

A LOVEly Wedding

This weekend was so full of love that I still feel all gooey and melty and on the verge of tears. Two of our closest friends got married and the whole weekend was centered around them and their big day. It may have been their wedding, but it somehow became an entire family affair for us. Husband was the best man, Zoey (sis-in-law) was the coordinator and cousin Steph was the florist. All of these made me the assistant.

Our friend, Genevieve, had a very specific enchanted garden theme in mind for her wedding and like most brides, she had a clear vision of what she wanted this to look like. She wanted arbors covered in flowers and greenery, moss-covered planters, lanterns, tables themed after famous lovers, mis-matched floral dishes, fresh maple leaves for name cards and lots and lots of beautiful fresh flowers. To make this dream of wedding come true she would need a miracle. Well either a miracle or a lot of people who love her.

Turns out, lots of people love her and Matt (the groom)! I cannot even begin to tell you how many people it took to put this wedding together, or how much work and collecting of whimsical-looking mis-matched tableware her Mother collected over the last year. What I can tell you, is that we all worked hard to make their dream come true because we love them, and they love each other. It was something so obvious to anyone watching the weekend celebrations come together. I love weddings, but this wedding was special. Everywhere I looked I seemed to spot small and large acts of love.

As we put together centerpieces, the bride and groom practiced their first dance in the hall. They were so happy/excited/nervous/cute.

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Dozens of us worked together to created a sort of Wonderland in the reception area. We worked all night and were back in the early morning. No one fought about what goes where, or who should be doing what. Nope. We asked “what next?” and then hopped to it. ¬†Everyone just seemed happy to be there.

Busy Bees!
Busy Bees!
a small glimpse into the reception area
a small glimpse into the reception area

We were literally singing and dancing while working. Even little Luna cooed and hung out peacefully during most of the work.

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Husband was the best man. He was all the chauffeur for the weekend, the entertainer on the¬†dance floor, the errand runner and if you ask me…he is the best man. He even managed to squeeze in a dance or two for me and Luna.

We actually asked Luna to make a kissy face, but whatever
We actually asked Luna to make a kissy face, but whatever

Genevieve’s Dad presided over the wedding and gave the sweetest ceremony for his oldest daughter.

Even the cooking staff showed us lots of love as they took me in and helped me survive a rough patch with Luna (story to come.)

We spent the night of the wedding dancing away with new friends from that very night and with old friends we haven’t seen in years.

It was absolutely beautiful. We visited the newlyweds the morning after, before they took off for Hawaii, and Genevieve still had tears in her eyes as she talked about “the perfect night” that everyone managed to put together for her and Matt. I’m so happy to have been a part of their big day. It’s a wedding we will always talk about with stories of “remember this”, “remember that” and “I still can’t believe…”. I love that Luna was a part of it too. For the rest of her life she’ll hear about the awesome wedding she went to at 3 months old.

Congrats to the happy couple! I think the amount of love and support shown at your wedding is a testament to how much everyone believes in your relationship. xoxo

Cheers!

Food and….Food? Festival

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Disney is known for catering towards families and children (just read yesterday’s post), but there is one celebration that is strictly for adults (or children that are 21 and older); the food and wine festival. If it’s a little odd to see Magic Kingdom under a spooky lights, than it’s surreal to see Disney turned into a bar hop. Surreal and delicious. This is my third food and wine festival to attend, and I plan to attend many more!

EPCOT

Besides the fact that I could not drink (thanks a lot baby), this may have been the best year yet. The weather was perfect, 80 degrees and a little breezy. The lines were not too long and I now eat fish, which opens up a whole new world of foods to taste. Since we were saving so much money on alcohol, we got more food than should be legal. I took pictures of almost everything we tried, so enjoy.

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I just had to take a break to eat something because editing those photos made me SO hungry.

The festival had 30 different countries and a free passport to stamp and check off purchases in each country. There are also tons of wine tasting classes and cooking classes you can pay a little extra to attend. We stood behind one of the wine tasting classes for a minute and heard things like “if you smell closely you can get a hint of pepper, mint, bay leaves and raspberries” and “sip and taste the poblano¬†peppers, cherries, cilantro and a hint of cinnamon”. I wanted desperately to ask for a show of hands of who actually tasted these subtle flavors.

checkout china menu passport wine class

There are also free concerts all evening at the American Gardens Theatre. Wilson Phillips was the big act the night we were there.

wilson phillips

There is a Chase Lounge at the festival for Chase bank members that offers free sodas, juices, coffees, teas, Disney movies, air conditioner and unlimited phone chargers. Thank God I have a Chase account. It is heavenly to be able to step away from the crowds at the festival and relax with some free goodies for a bit. The lounge was located on the third floor of the American pavilion this year, which happened to be the location of our cocktail hour for our wedding. We never actually got to attend our cocktail hour so it was fun to be able to sit and hangout out where our guests enjoyed some cocktails before our reception.

chase lounge

Speaking of our wedding, we couldn’t help but walk through the American pavilion and talk about how we had our first dance right in the middle where the colonial singers were currently performing classic American songs. Then we skipped over to Italy and I forced Husband to take a picture on the bridge where we stood and watched the fireworks after our ceremony. You better believe I’ll force him to retake the same picture in the next year or so with our little girl.

us on bridge

Between stuffing our faces and Husband getting a little tipsy, we had some fun outside of the festival. We rode the rides, took photos with characters and showed off my new favorite tank top! Husband got to ride the new and improved Test Track (it’s not safe for pregnant people). Sleeping Beauty suggested I name our daughter Aurora, and everyone wanted to know where I got my Disney maternity top.

test track sleeping beauty Minnie baby take shirt

For those of you who may be wondering, I ordered from Etsy at a shop called BabyTalk Designs.

Did I mention how nice of a day it was?

sunset france at sunset

The only downside is that we had to leave before Illuminations…I just don’t have the energy I had last year! Oh well, it’s nice to not feel rushed on vacation.

Cheers!

I Threw a Bachelor Party

Hello there. I have an entire list of excuses for not writing (this seems to be a trend for this pregnant gal), but lets skip the excuses and go straight to the “I’m sorry!”. ¬†I’ve been in a bit of a funk, but that’s for another post. Today¬†is about waking up early, drinking a cup of coffee (yup that’s right, baby likes a little caffeine in the morning…so does Mommy) and writing. I’m getting back into the swing of things. I am. I am. I am. I am.

Over the weekend, Husband through a bachelor party for one of his very best friends. This particular best friend is a low-key, wedding in the backyard, live in a tent, relax and enjoy life kind of guy. He is not the typical bachelor and therefore would not want a typical bachelor party. Husband, being the awesome guy friend that he is decided a bachelor party-adventure was the way to go. His plan was to take a small group of guys on canoe trip that involved some sort of scavenger hunt expedition, BUT he did not want to do the planning.

Husband wasn’t being lazy, he just wanted to be able to participate in the festivities. So, the decision was made that Dad-in-law and I would be the masterminds behind the great day of boy’s fun. Here’s how it all began…

Husband found this video of the best bachelor party ever, watch it!

Doesn’t it look amazing? And, isn’t it so sweet how these men are all such good friends to each other? They went to great lengths to make sure their soon-to-be-married buddy had the time of his life. Did you get a little teary-eyed too? Or is it just my damn pregnancy hormones?

Anyways, we did not have as much time, resources or people as this video, but we used it as a baseline for our plans. Saturday morning here began with Husband, myself, and the fiance sneaking out of the house at 6:30am. (Did I mention they bachelor and his fiance are living with us this month?) The fiance and I left with a few others to head to the river. Husband met up with his other BFF’s to prepare for the bachelor’s arrival. At the house, we had an entire adventure set up just for the Bachelor… (Husband helped plan this part.)

His alarm goes off at 8am. He woke to an empty house and found a note that lead him to a hidden iPod.¬†iPod began playing directions for how to get through the house with very specific rules to follow. One of my favorite directions was to climb on the roof where he found a bag containing his outfit for the day (a very small short tanktop with “bachelor” painted across the front, and a matching neon pink headband. After finding clues in our loft, garage and crawl space he ended in the woods behind our house where he found a bike and was told to ride it down our street. His friends were waiting for him in the car at this point. (If only someone was taking pictures!)

Meanwhile, Dad-in-law, myself, fiance, Grandpa and Uncle Michael drove to Duck River*. Our plan was to set 10 challenges along the river. We started by tying bright pink flagging to a branch hanging over the water to mark each challenge/clue.

first flag tying flag

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When the boys spotted a flag they knew to pullover and look for a clue/directions. Near each flag (maybe in a crack, maybe in a branch, maybe in a bush) was an envelope holding the rules and often a large zip-loc containing supplies. After completing each challenge, another envelope would be opened to reveal the prize/punishment for winning/losing the challenge.

All the liquor I supplied for the games.
All the liquor I supplied for the games.

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canoes IMG_20130914_133113

Confused? Just imagine setting this up. I actually made all the clues until little rhyming riddles. I was so clever and funny…until about the 5th clue. By the end I was just writing do this and win this.

A few examples of our awesome games?

-Be the first boy to find and capture the flag at the top of a nearby tree. The winner of this challenge got to take the paddle from any opponent.

-Be the first to find “hidden treasure” 10 feet out into the water. The treasure was a bag with four mini-liquor bottles. The winner got to divvy them up.

-Build a popsicle motor boat (popsicle sticks, super glue and rubber bands were provided) with a team mate. The team with the slowest boat has to pull the winner’s boat.

Etc. Etc. They had to stack rocks, race, flip each other’s boats, play basketball, drink too many little bottles of liquor and basically act like themselves. We hid lunch at one of their flags, provided snacks and drinks and did everything we possibly could to make this party successful. I was so nervous that they would miss the flags or that someone else on the river would find our supplies, but everything worked out perfectly!

They took 6 hours to complete the expedition and when they arrived home the house was full of chips, dip, beer, moonshine, Monster energy drinks, pizza, video games and no girlfriends, wives, fiance’s or pets to bother them.

I stayed at my in-laws that night and got a call from Husband at 11pm. I answered by saying “Well, I’m surprised to hear from you!” After all, he was hosting his best friend’s bachelor party. I wasn’t exactly expecting a call. He told me he just really loved me and wanted to thank me for helping make the party so awesome. I couldn’t stop smiling. He then followed with….”I am very intoxicated.”

I think my first bachelor party planning was a success. Only 4 days until the beautiful wedding!

Oh, AND, we found a little something special while setting up the events…

box

Cheers!

*This was my first time on Duck River and we rented boats from a Higher Pursuits. I am telling you this because they were by far the nicest, friendliest, most informative company we have ever rented from. They felt like friends and were able to help us in numerous ways. I loved them, if you ever plan on floating down Duck River, you should definitely rent your gear from the awesome people at Higher Pursuits.

They even have a nice dog named Sweetie!
They even have a nice dog named Sweetie!

A Wedding Seen Through Instagram

My cousin’s wedding in Chicago was beautiful and a blast! This is the first wedding Husband and I have been to together since our wedding. Being at a family wedding, thinking of our own and being pregnant made me a sentimental mess. I teared up when the bride walked down the aisle, when they were announced “Mr. and Mrs.”, when the best man gave his speech and when the bride’s grandfather got up to dance. It was just so sweet!

At the cocktail hour we found coasters that asked the guests who use Instagram to use a specific hashtag on all their photos so the bride and groom could easily see all the photos taken at their wedding. Genius! I was excited to start snapping and hashtagging some photos. Husband…well Husband not only got excited, but soon believed he was their actual photographer. I am not exaggerating when I tell you he took 120 Instagram photos at this wedding.

Cousin, I’m sorry. I’m sure you are rueing the day you came up this idea.

Between the two of us we took some fun and snazzy photos of their big day…

Have any of you used a specific hashtag at a special event or big party? I’d like to try it for my next big shindig…maybe a baby shower!

Cheers!

Paper Anniversary

wedding

 

Yesterday was mine and Husband’s one year wedding anniversary! My gift to Husband was a trip to NYC with many rooftop dates¬†a few weeks ago. All I wanted from Husband was a finished bedroom to sleep in when I got to our new home. I came home Saturday night to a freshly painted bedroom, a new bed and a new occasional table built by Husband and my Father-in-law. It was the perfect gift, and I didn’t expect anything else…except a day of relaxing with Husband, and a card, and maybe breakfast in bed…

Sunday morning came and Husband did make me breakfast in bed. He also surprised me with a bouquet full of handmade paper flowers for our Paper Anniversary! I didn’t even know that one year is considered the paper anniversary.

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Belle wanted to be a part of the celebration...
Belle wanted to be a part of the celebration…

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Relaxing outside of our new house

After spending about 4 hours to very slowly shower and get ready for the day, Husband informed me that we were having a paper airplane contest as part of our paper celebration. I am probably the world’s worst paper airplane maker, but Husband kept insisting it would be fun to play and winning doesn’t really matter. Yeah, yeah sure. So, after a distance, height and accuracy contest we added up our points and I was determined the winner. I made sure to jump up and down and yell “I’m the winner” over and over and then gently remind him that “having fun is what is important”.

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Husband gave me rice paper candies as a prize.

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We spent the afternoon shopping and made sure to browse the local paper and stationery store.

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Husband then surprised me again with a handmade paper bracelet! I don’t know how I ended up with such a creative and thoughtful guy, but I thin he is starting to make me look bad.

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We ended the night having dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant with the whole family because that is how we tend to celebrate everything, with the entire family. It was such a nice day and I can’t believe it’s already been one year since our fairy tale wedding day. So many changes ¬†and adventures have happened over the past year, and I’m so thankful to have experienced all of them with Husband.

all year

 

Can’t wait to see what this next year has in store! Happy Anniversary Husband!

Cheers!

 

The Story of My Rings

After I left Albania, I stopped writing my former blog “Adventures of a Teacher”. (It’s no longer available thanks to iWeb shutting down). I quit writing for a while and created “Positively Panicked 9 months later. During that hiatus we got engaged, moved to NYC, got new jobs and took the city by storm. There are many things I regret not writing about during that time, one being the story of my ring.

I LOVE this story. It’s romantic, unique, adventurous and centers around me! Husband is a special special man. I don’t brag on him enough. He may leave his dirty laundry on the floor and play too many video games, but he has so many other qualities that makes me swoon. Besides being hilarious, handsome and smart, he is incredibly thoughtful.

While living in Albania, he spent months secretly designing my engagement ring with the help of his sister. The diamond in the middle is from his Great Grandmother’s pendant. He designed the ring and added a secret special touch using yellow diamonds (my favorite color) on the inside of the band.

diamond mickey

The ring was only half the presentation during the proposal. It came in the most beautiful little box. Turns out that Husband’s Dad made the box himself!

Husband found a pretty box on display while we were visiting the Vatican in Rome with my Mom. He spent FOREVER snapping a billion photos of this little box, which I basically ignored. He then sent the photos to his Dad who made a tiny replica of the box using ivory and brass. I wish¬†I could find the photos of the box in the Vatican, but I can’t so you will have to take my word for it. It is identical. My father-in-law is a magician who can magically create anything we desire. I don’t know how he does it.

front side theback

How could I ever say no to this???
How could I ever say no to this???

Then, there is the wedding band. This was another surprise. I didn’t get to see the band until he placed on my finger after I said “I do”. When Husband explained the band to me after the ceremony I was in shock. I still don’t know how he came up with such a sweet idea or how he pulled it off. Husband asked all the remarkable women in my life (Mom, Mom-in-law, both Grandmothers, both Grandmother-in-laws) for a stone from one piece of their jewelry. He then had the stones set in a band. Now, I have a piece of each of these special women forever and always with me. I get teary-eyed as a I type this. I lost all but one of my Grandparents and having this piece of jewelry is the best gift I could never even imagine.

band3

Both rings
Both rings

That’s right, I am one lucky lady…almost as lucky as Husband.

Cheers!