Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Weekend Recap:: Save Our Date

We mailed the Save our Dates this weekend! Since Michael was in Las Vegas last weekend, Mom came up to stay with me on Saturday and we had a productive and fun couple of days! We spent Saturday afternoon stuffing and addressing envelopes and were able to get all but maybe 5-10 of the Save our Dates in the mail. We are a bit early since the guideline says 6 months in advance is the ideal time to send them out, but with a hectic couple weekends ahead, I figured better early than late!

Saturday evening Mom and I grabbed dinner and margaritas at Chimi's Fresh Mex, and then went to catch a movie. We watched Beauty and the Beast, and I loved it! Sunday morning we woke up, made breakfast, went to church, and pinned a few wedding invitation ideas on Pinterest before she headed back home. Doesn't get much better than some quality one-on-one time with your Momma!

I hope everyone has a great week! It'll be a short one for me since I took off Friday to help one of my pals decorate for her wedding this weekend. Looking forward to celebrating with her and her soon to be husband this weekend!


Emily Ann

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cake Inspiration

Instead of having one big cake for our wedding, we have decided on several small cakes with different styles and sizes of cake stands. I recently purchased some stands from the Magnolia Homes line that I absolutely LOVE and think will make a good addition to our collection. Here are a few inspiration pictures of the look we are going for (only cakes though, no cupcakes, cookies, etc.):



Emily Ann

Friday, March 24, 2017

2017 Weekly Bits:: III

Found:: Wedding party inspiration ^^
  • The dresses my bridesmaids will be wearing is a color called bordeaux (it's a burgundy) and I am wanting the guys to wear navy suits. I have been on the hunt for some Pinterest inspiration and finally found a perfect example of the look I'm going for! 
Completed:: Pre Cana Classes
  • Michael and I completed our Pre Cana classes with Father Chuck this week. Not going to lie, I was nervous to go to the classes, but they ended up being totally fine! It was honestly a great way to have some conversations about topics that we hadn't even thought about discussing. We scored an 85% on the FOCCUS compatibility test, which was an average score (it would have been higher had we not misread several of the questions). Now we just have to complete an Engaged Encounter weekend and a Natural Family Planning class before officially being able to get married in the Catholic Church. Getting closer!
Collected:: Addresses
  • We spent an evening this week with Michael's mom collecting addresses for our save the dates. I think we will be able to get them all in the mail within the next week or so!
Recovering from:: #ActingAFoolinKC
  • I spent the past weekend in Kansas City celebrating on of my best gal pal's upcoming wedding and it was SO much fun! I'll have a full recap of our weekend posted soon, but I'll tell you now that you it took me three days to fully recover from all of the shenanigans! Can't wait for the wedding next weekend!
Enjoyed:: Michael's new ride
  • Ever since we started dating, Michael has talked about purchasing a side-by-side and this past weekend he finally pulled the trigger! It's going to be a fun new toy to have around the farm that's for sure!


Emily Ann

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March Lineup

While I know I'm late posting this one, I want to get back to sharing my monthly activities, so here is what I have had going on so far this month as well as what I am looking forward to in the upcoming weekends.
  • Bridesmaid Dress Shopping
    • A couple weeks ago my girls and I went bridesmaid dress shopping and found the PERFECT dresses for the wedding. You can read more about the day here.
  • Blues Game
    • Last Friday one of my pals and I headed to my first Blues game of the year. I always try to attend at least one game, and they even pulled off a win so I consider it a successful evening.
  • Mom's Birthday
    • Since my Mom's birthday was actually the weekend we did my bridesmaid dress shopping, I didn't get a lot of quality time with her then.  So, I made some time the following weekend to go home and hang out with her. You can read all about my weekend here.
  • Kansas City Bachelorette Party
    • One of my best girlfriends is getting married the first weekend in April and we are packing up and heading to Kansas City this weekend to celebrate! I am eager to spend some time with so many of my favorite ladies.
  • Fish Fries!
    • With Lent officially upon us, I am excited to spend Friday nights with the Haines' family. Michael's mom and dad fry fish for us every Friday during Lent. It is a tradition that I look forward to every year and hope we continue it for years to come.
  • More Wedding Prep
    • Mom is planning to come up the last weekend in March so that we can get the Save Our Dates in the mail and do a little shopping for wedding invitations. She wants to make the invitations herself (I know, she's crazy!) so we plan to go look for paper and other necessities to get that process underway.
This year is already flying by and as good of a month as March has been/will be, I am SO excited for everything else the year has in store. 


Emily Ann

Monday, March 13, 2017

Weekend Recap:: Mom's Birthday

Loved these barn doors!

This past weekend I went to my hometown to spend some time with the family. The previous weekend was my Mom's birthday, and since I didn't get any quality one on one time with her then, I made sure to spend a lot of time with her this weekend.

My friend, Tom, got us tickets to the Blues game on Friday night, so after work I ran a couple errands before meeting up with him to head to the game. While I am not the biggest hockey fan, I do always enjoy the atmosphere of being at the game. We try to make it to a game every year, a tradition that I really enjoy. It was a fun night with good company and the Blues even pulled off a win!

The forecast here in Missouri called for snow Saturday morning so I was a little worried that the weather would throw a wrench in my plans to go hang out with my family for the rest of the weekend. While it did snow a little, it wasn't too bad, so I decided to go ahead and make the trip to my parent's house.

Dad just installed hardwood floors in their living room, so my mom is in the market for a new couch.  She wanted me to go to a couple furniture stores with her so we made our way to Jeff City that afternoon. We popped into Missouri Furniture and JC Mattress Factory. Looking at furniture with Mom made me really excited for when Michael and I have our own home someday. I can't wait to decorate and really make a home our own.

Later that evening, the whole family went to El Jimador (our favorite Mexican restaurant) to celebrate Mom's birthday a little more. I haven't gotten to spend time with my nephews for a few weeks now, so I loved getting to see them. After dinner, we stopped by the local bar for a few games of pool. It was such a fun night with the family.

Hoping we can get Dad to make something like this for wedding decor!
We ended up purchasing these cake plates for the wedding!
This silly boy makes me SO happy. 
Mom and I went to church on Sunday morning. When we got home, Dad had breakfast ready for us. I spent a little more time hanging out with my parents before swinging by my sisters to see my nephews one more time. After that, I met up with my girlfriend, Heather, for a quick pedicure before heading back home.

Sunday night Michael and I were pretty lazy. His mom dropped off carry out from the Sausage Dinner and we spent the evening lounging around and watching tv. It was another great weekend that has me feeling so blessed to have the friends and family that I have. Life is so good.

I hope you have a great Monday!


Emily Ann

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

This past weekend was absolutely perfect and I felt so much love from my friends and family. All of my bridesmaids with the exception of one were able to come bridesmaid dress shopping with me on Saturday.

I wanted to get the dresses from Dala's Bridal, which is the same boutique that I got my wedding dress from. Most of the girls traveled a couple hours to make the event and my two cousins even drove all the way from Washington D.C. to be there. Talk about making a girl feel loved!

We started the day off with brunch and a couple hours of mingling at my Grandma's house before heading to the boutique to check out all of the dresses. When we arrived, the girls helped me pick out several dresses for them to try on. My friend Heather and cousin Rachel modeled all of the dresses we picked out and we determined that we really loved all of the Morilee dresses.

Originally, I was going to let the girls pick whatever style of the dress that they wanted, but it worked out that all of the girls loved two styles so we decided that my sister (and Matron of Honor) would wear one style to stand out and the other girls would all wear the other. The girls all then got fitted for their dresses and we were on our way. I couldn't have asked for things to go any better. The process was smooth and the girls all looked stunning in the dresses.

After we left, we popped into a little drive-in that was across the street for some ice cream and then the girls were all on their way back home. Michael's mom actually rode down with me, so I took advantage of my time with her and showed her where my Mom and Dad live and gave her a glimpse of what our reception will look like. I'm so glad that she came and I got to show her a taste of where I am from. The day was literally perfect. I am so very blessed to have all of these ladies in my life.


Emily Ann

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Colorado Ski Trip

Well, I officially made it back from our ski trip in one piece. Barely. One thing I learned is that skiing is really not my thing. Like, at all. I actually hated it, which really surprised me because it was something I've been wanting to try forever and figured I'd be decent at. I was oh so wrong. Let's start from the beginning.

It was Valentine's Day, but Michael and I had decided not to do anything since we both had a lot to do before we left. I had been working a lot of extra hours to get caught up at work before heading to Colorado early Wednesday morning. After staying at work a couple hours longer than I had hoped to, I decided to run to Kohl's really quick to return some stuff before heading home to finish up packing. Sure enough, on my way to Kohl's I was involved in a car accident that really tore my poor little Cruze to shreds. Another driver T-boned me and spun my car 360 degrees in oncoming traffic. Luckily, my car didn't hit any other drivers, and nobody was injured in the accident. Michael did have to come to my rescue and put the spare tire on and attempt to drive my car home. We finally got it home (it was questionable for a while), I contacted insurance, and decided not to worry about it any more until after our trip. (Update:: turns out there was a significant amount of damage to my car, so I actually ended up selling it as is and getting a new vehicle.)

Thankful for this guy.  
We woke up before dawn to jump in the car and make our way to the airport. We arrived in Denver before 9 a.m. and started our hour and a half drive to Frisco, Colorado where our condo was. Let me tell you, Frisco is the cutest little town! Our condo was perfect for the four of us, and it was located just 5 minutes from Copper Mountain where we planned to spend most of our days skiing.

After we got settled into our condo, we made a grocery/beer run before heading to White Mountain Tours in Leadville Colorado for a little snowmobiling. This was by far my favorite part of the trip. We had a blast riding through the mountains and the views were breathtaking. Our tour guide Dugan was pretty entertaining as well. We finished up the evening by grabbing dinner at Ollie's Pub and Grub in downtown Frisco. It was $3 burger night, so you know we couldn't pass up that deal!

Michael and I had signed up for ski lessons at 9:30 Thursday morning so we were up bright and early and pumped to get the day started. Petey and MaKenzie were both snowboarding rather than skiing. While MaKenzie knew what she was doing, it was Petey's first time snowboarding, and ultimately he decided to sign up for a lesson as well.

The morning started great. We got to the bunny slopes where we started learning the ins and outs of skiing. While Michael was MVP of our class, things started going downhill (pun intended) for me not too long after we progressed to the mid-sized hill. The lift pulled us up and a couple of us girls in the group fell down trying to go down the hill. Another guide helped us all to our feet and ended up taking me under his wings for a little one on one training. Guys, I was REALLY bad at skiing. I knew it would be  hard, but I didn't think that I would be incapable of doing it. After a while, I kind of got the gist of it and was falling less and as soon our lesson was over and we headed back to the lodge to meet up with Petey and MaKenzie to grab lunch.

After lunch, things went even more downhill for me. Everyone wanted to go up a couple lifts and test our their skills on the real mountain (not just the training hills). I knew I should have said no to this, but I begrudgingly agreed and up the mountain we went. I was all kinds of anxious because at this point, I had not mastered how to slow down or actually stop and I just knew it was going to end badly. I also am not a big fan of heights so the lifts being so high off the ground was not helping anything. After taking both lifts up to the top, we started down the mountain. I fell...multiple times and ended up with several bruises and knocking my head several times (thank goodness for helmets). Michael attempted to help me several times and even held me up for a portion of our ride down the mountain, but not being able to slow down or stop ended up being a real issue. Ultimately, I took my skis off and walked down the mountain. Talk about a crash and burn. I am a ski failure.

After we finished up our day "shredding" as the boys liked to call it, we headed back to the condo where we had a fun little game night. We played Heads Up (I seriously love that game), Cards Against Humanity, and a few drinking card games before calling it a night and heading to bed.

I decided that I was far too sore and scared to try out my skiing skills again so I decided to stay back at the lodge and explore Copper Mountain a little while the rest of the gang hit the slopes. The resort was pretty big, and had several "villages" that had cute little shops, restaurants and bars. I popped into a few of the shops before finding a trail that went through the mountains. It actually took you all the way from the East village to the West village so I decided to hike the whole trail. Eventually I met back up with the rest of the group for lunch and we decided we wanted to get back to Frisco early enough that we could explore the town a little more.

The condo we stayed at was actually walking distance to downtown Frisco so we spent the afternoon walking the downtown area and popping into a couple restaurants and bars for drinks. My favorite drink was a margarita from 5th Ave Grille. It was made to perfection. One of the bars we stopped in had a pool table and being that I love games, we were sure to play a game before going to grab dinner. We ended up at Boatyard American Grille for dinner and decided to split several appetizers. The homemade pizza rolls were phenomenal! After dinner, everyone was pretty exhausted so we watched a bit of Netflix before calling it another early night.

I woke up with intentions of giving skiing another try but was worried I would ruin the rest of the group's good time if they had to deal with me falling down all over the place again (or at least ruin Michael's time), so ultimately I decided to throw in the towel on skiing and explore the resort a little more in the morning. After a lunch break, the guys decided to head back to the slopes while MaKenzie and I did a little souvenir shopping and then found us a couple of stools at the bar overlooking the mountain. We sipped a few (okay several) drinks and chatted while waiting for the guys to get done. It was a perfect afternoon with great company.

We ordered takeout for dinner and started to pack up all of our stuff that evening. We had to be up at 4 a.m. for our flight so everyone took it pretty easy our last night in Frisco.

Our flight was bright and early Sunday morning which meant we got back to St. Louis before 11:00 a.m. We missed some pretty perfect weather here in Missouri that weekend, so I took advantage of the day and went for a long walk on the gravel road and Michael grilled some steaks for dinner. It was a great way to end our little vacation before we were back to reality on Monday morning.

Even though I was not successful at skiing, the trip was so much fun and I'm so glad that we went! Frisco was such a great place to stay. It was only 5 minutes from Copper Mountain and the town was adorable. I highly recommend it if you are looking for somewhere to go on a ski trip (or any kind of trip). I also highly recommend snowmobiling if you haven't gone before. The views were incredible, and we had a blast cruising around on the snowmobile. We couldn't have asked for better company either. This was the first trip we had taken with Petey and MaKenzie, but I see more trips in our future!


Emily Ann

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Random Wedding Thoughts

  • Day-of timeline
    • Figuring out the day-of timeline is actually very stressful! Originally, I had hoped to do first-look pictures and get all of the pictures out of the way before the ceremony, but after talking more with our photographer, I think we are going to do pictures following the ceremony after all. She said the perfect time for outdoor pictures will be between 5:00 and 6:00 as that is when the sun will provide optimal lighting. Since I love pictures and they are one of the more important parts of the wedding to me personally, I'm going to take her advice. Michael is happy about this change because he's old school and didn't like the idea of seeing me before the ceremony anyways. 
  • Cutting the cake
    • I really don't understand the significance of the bride and groom cutting the cake together and don't intend to do so at our wedding. Since there will already be so much going on at the reception, I see no harm in skipping this small tradition. Michael completely agrees so it made the decision very easy.
  • Rent tuxes or buy suits?
    • A friend of mine who is also getting married this year mentioned that all of the guys in the wedding purchased suits from Macy's rather than renting tuxes. He mentioned that they really just fit and look so much better than your typical tuxedo rental. Plus then you get to keep it. So now I am tossing around that idea and having a hard time deciding which option is best for us.
  • Ice
    • When my mom, sister, and I attended a bridal show a while back, there were so many vendors that it was almost overwhelming. One of the vendors who really stuck out in my mind was a guy who owned an ice company. The thought of how/where we were going to get enough ice for the day never even crossed my mind until then, but it will be a real issue for us. We intend to have a bar, margarita fountain, and can beer set up at different locations throughout the yard which will require a lot of ice!
  • Preparing for a Catholic wedding
    • Michael and I will be having a Catholic wedding which requires us meet with the Priest for several classes and participate in an Engaged Encounter weekend retreat. While I knew about this process going into the Catholic wedding planning, I didn't realize how hard it would be to coordinate a wedding in my hometown while living in Michael's hometown. We start our classes next week. Wish us luck!

Emily Ann