Thursday, June 27, 2013

Anniversary Series: The Honeymoon

The morning after the wedding began bright and early as we had to get to the airport for a 6-something AM flight to our honeymoon in Cancun!  By far the best vacation of my life.  We knew that we wanted to stay somewhere all-inclusive and thought we might like to be somewhere in the Caribbean, although we weren't too picky as long as it was near the beach and warm.  Initially, we found a deal for our resort on groupon, but after some research to find airline tickets, hubs found a better deal for the same resort with airfare included from expedia, so we picked that one.

Our resort from the road
GR Solaris Cancun
 The resort had different themed shows every night.  I was expecting something kind of cheesy at first, but after going the first night, we made sure not to miss any of them.  They had a Mexican themed night, a circus night, an American night for the 4th of July, and a Caribbean night.  

One of our favorite things that we did was to visit some of the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. We traveled with  a tour group that picked us up at the resort and then made stops at the other nearby resorts before heading to the ruins.  It was about an hour and a half bus trip, which we totally didn't mind.  It was a welcome opportunity to catch some zzzz's.

The tour itself was so much fun.  We really enjoyed being outdoors and getting to learn more about places that we'd read about in school, but now were seeing first hand.

Yes, they're dancing with bottles on their heads.  
 Kayaking on the 4th of July 

 On the beach

And then we went out to eat.  And our rental car (the white one) got parked in like this:  

Yep, that happened.  

And then we came back to reality and began unpacking our apartment.  I've said so many times after this trip that almost all the vacations I've been on, I've been ready to come home by the end of it.  I'm thankful for the trip, but excited to get back home.  This trip was absolutely different though.  I was in between jobs, so there was no extra work piling up on my desk and I knew that coming back home meant going to work full-time (and I like my job a lot.  I just also like vacation.).  In Cancun, it was just the hubs and me.  I didn't have to cook and we didn't have to think about where we would eat.  There were always fun activities going on that we could participate in if we wanted and because it was out honeymoon, we were really off the grid for the week.  And we didn't even have to set an alarm clock.

Best trip.  

Annnnd, I'm signing off for the weekend to celebrate.  

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Anniversary Series: The Wedding

And on Day 1,583 of dating, and after an 11 month engagement, we got married on June 30, 2012.  This was by far, the best day of my life to this point.  I was very intentional about making sure that our wedding day would be as low stress, fun, and memorable as possible and I was very happy that our preparation paid off. 

During the planning process, we were both working, living in different cities, and I was finishing graduate school and so, like I usually do, I quickly made a game plan.  That was, get all the big things (BUDGET, date, venues, photographer, videographer, cater, DJ and wedding dress) done as quickly as possible.  This was mostly to delay the stress, but also to be sure that when the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's) arrived, we would be able to celebrate them with our families without worrying too much about wedding things and then pick back up with the wedding planning after the start of 2012.  

And that's exactly what we did. 

One thing that really helped us out was having a budget and identifying our priorities.  We knew that we didn't want to spend a ton of money on our wedding, but we wanted to have as many friends as possible there, we wanted good food, and we wanted good pictures with which to remember the day and ultimately, we wanted to create a day that was special for us and for all of our guests.  We decided that all the rest was details and while we worked hard to make the details just right, I wasn't overly concerned about them being perfect.  Dollar Tree sells cylinder vases in cases of 24?  Ok, we're doing vases with floating candles for centerpieces.  That was pretty much my mindset for the details.  We also were fortunate enough to be able to re-use some of the decor from friends' weddings and find some sweet little votive holders from Craigslist that were all incorporated into the celebration. 

And the planning really wasn't that bad.  I think the last week was pretty stressful, but thankfully we had a great day-of coordinator who helped us think about the whole day (rehearsal and wedding day) and spell out in itinerary form what should happen when and who should be where when.  This was probably one of the most helpful things to do and something that I would recommend to any bride.  (Maybe one day I'll post an example of the itinerary as a little wedding advice.) It allowed me (I really like to be in control) to let go and have confidence that the people that were helping me knew exactly what I wanted and they were equipped to make it happen as easily as possible.  

Our wonderful wedding party 

One of my all-time favorite pictures of these guys

 First dance

 Our cake

Our wonderful family

I've heard more than one person say that their wedding day is kind of a blur.  I remember it all.  We had such a great time celebrating with our families and friends.  We were surrounded by love and were so thankful to be with so many people that we cared about.  My dad actually read a list of some of the places people had come from to celebrate with us: California, Alaska, Florida, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and probably other places that I'm forgetting.  It was our honor to have your presence on our special day.  

A short video re-cap of the whole day lives back in the blog here:  Our Wedding in Just 4 Minutes

Looking back on that day, I wish I could relive the reception over and over again.  We were truly blessed beyond measure and continue to be so thankful for the wonderful gift that God gives to us in marriage.  

This year has gone by so quickly and I can't wait for all of the others.  

Lucky for me, the hubs has planned our whole anniversary weekend and I'm in the dark as to what our plans are.  I'm ok with that, just happy to celebrate!  

Love love love.

All of our pictures were taken by Brian Fleming Photography.  Other sweet moments were captured by a good friend, Lauren, and can be found on her blog here
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Anniversary Series: The Proposal

After we graduated from UNC, hubs moved away from our college town and I moved on to grad school.  It wasn't unusual for Bryce  to come up for weekend visits, especially since his brother lived close to me (it was his senior year of college), so he always had a place to stay.  Earlier in the week, Bryce made an appointment for us at a local nail salon, so we went after I got off of work. (This was on account of me mentioning recently that I wanted to get my nails done, but didn't have any time that summer to go do it.)  So, he got a massage and watched TV while I was having my nails done.  (I was actually thinking that this would be a good idea so that we could do it again before he proposed and I wouldn't be expecting anything, little did I know that this time was it.)

Sunday, we went to Summit Church and Top of the Hill for lunch to watch the Women's World Cup.    Neither of us had been to Chapel Hill in way too long, and thought that it would be fun to go back for the afternoon.  After lunch we went walking on campus and stopped at my FAVORITE place...the back steps of South Building overlooking the quad toward Wilson Library.  (If you've never stopped on those steps before, you totally should on account of that campus is beautiful and it is such a WOW, I WENT TO SCHOOL HERE, HOW LUCKY AM I? and MAN, COLLEGE WAS SO FUN moment.)  It was just as beautiful as it always is and of course empty on account of it being summer.

When we stopped, Bryce asked me if I knew what today was.  I didn't, but he reminded me that on that day we had been dating for 1,234 days.  He proceeded to sing the 1234 chorus from Plain White T's and then he got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him.   

I had been pretty adamant about not asking him when he would propose and just trusting in him that he would pick the perfect time, so I was completely not expecting anything.  But, I always just knew that when it did happen, I would have a major freak out.  You know, tears, jumping, laughing, the works.  None of that happened though, and when he asked I just said very calmly, "Yep, I will marry you."  And that was that.  (We went to the Melting Pot afterwards and had a delicious dinner and that was also so fun!)

All of the pictures are thanks to Bryce's college roommate who was hiding nearby.  I had no idea he took these until a couple months after the fact.  

Be sure to check out our "official" engagement pictures that were also taken on campus (because where else would they be taken?!) by some great friends here.   

Linking up here:  
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Anniversary Series: How We Met

It's our anniversary week!  And since I've enjoyed so much sharing the weddings of our friends with you all and because I never got around to actually sharing pictures or stories about our own wedding with you, this week is going to be a week chock-full of love and mushiness.  In thinking about how I would do the little ML & B wedding re-cap anniversary series, I figured the best and easiest way would be to stick to the basics.  So, for this week, there will be a special post each day with bits and pieces about us - how we met, our proposal, our wedding, our honeymoon and our life in the past year.  (Ok, some of this might spill over into next week, but that's ok, right?)

I'm copying most of this from our wedding website that we made when we were engaged to let our family and friends know all the details about our big day, but I might add some other fun things, too.  We'll see.

Regardless, I love the gift that marriage is and I am absolutely beside myself to share that gift with the best hubs in the world.

So for starters, we'll go way back with how we met.  

We met at UNC in 2007.  We both lived in Granville Towers South on the 7th floor.  This was by far the best year on the best hall.  We spent so many hours that year sitting in the hallway, on top of the trashcans, in the study lounge, pretty much everywhere just talking.  I would say that this was the time where we really got to know one another, but really, the majority of this time was spent with me talking and telling B about myself, trying to learn about him.  He always answered my questions with more questions though, so I didn't really learn a lot.  I did figure out from observation though, that he was very fun and an excellent listener.  (He never forgot anything I told him.) I also learned that he was an excellent friend.  He was constantly doing nice things for people, or organizing events for people to enjoy.

May 2008
I kind of thought I might like him and my friends were convinced that I did.  It all came to a head though after a road trip with our hall to visit one of our families when a couple of my girl friends took a picture that I printed of hubs and me and gave it to him with a suggestion that maybe there would be more pictures in the future.  Maybe Valentine's Day?  And long story short, I was so embarrassed.  So so so embarrassed like middle school embarrassed.  I avoided him at all costs.  He even sat at our table one night in the cafeteria and I promptly got up and had to go.

That only lasted for a week though and on Valentine's Day, he asked me to be his Valentine after an elaborate and quite charming "banquet" that he organized to serve all of the girls on our hall.  Everyone was smitten, but I got to be the Valentine.   

B asked me to be his girlfriend on February 29, 2008 and I said yes. 

And of course, the rest is history.
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Later, Google Reader. Hey there, Bloglovin!

First of all:  Happy Friday!  Happy happy happy Friday!  Today is a little public service announcement.  You may or may not be aware that Google Reader is going away after July 1, which is just days away.  What that means is that you (all 7 of my Google Reader you!) won't be able to see my updates easily from your blogger dashboard.

There are a few alternatives out there, but I've settled for now, at least on Bloglovin'.  The whole process takes about 3 minutes to create a free account and to import all the blogs you follow in Google Reader. And if you're unsure, this tutorial is super helpful in making the switch (thanks to Lauren over at My Polished Side for this step-by-step)

I've been using Bloglovin' for a while now and have really enjoyed it.  I hope you will join me over there.  (You can follow Thrift for Today with the little button below!)  Let me know in the comments if you're following.  I can see the number of followers, but don't know who you are.  I'd love to follow back!

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P.S.  I've been playing around some with the layout and background of the old blog and I think I've finally settled on this cute gray pattern.  Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wedding Spree 2013: Part 3

To be honest, I wasn't sure this week if I was going to have time to get all of these pictures up here, but I am happy that I did and am excited to share the third installment of Wedding Spree 2013 with you all.

Last weekend, we had the privilege of celebrating Andre and Tasha's wedding.  It was an outdoor event that took place in the backyard of a beautiful mansion and the weather was per-fect.  Guests were shaded by beautiful trees and the sun was just starting to head behind the clouds for the day.

I met Andre through marching band in college, where we were both in the mellophone section.  We spent lots and lots of hours together practicing and performing and Andre was my go-to to be sure I was in the right spot, and moving in the right direction for shows.  And because they've been dating for a long time prior to the wedding, I'd met Tasha before through Andre (and she graduated college with one of my sisters...small world...).

We had a ball dancing the night away with friends and really enjoyed meeting other important people in their lives.

Beautiful backyard wedding

 The kiss

 Mr. & Mrs.!!

 First dance

Father-daughter dance

One of the most fun mother-son dances I've seen.

Congratulations, Andre and Tasha.  We wish you all the best for the rest of your lives.  Thank you for letting us share in your special day!

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