Friday, November 19, 2010

Back to Chicago I Go… This Time with My Beau

I am happy to say, I am finally caught up on wedding updates for my blog! Yes, it's a month later, but I did it! There are still the wedding details to post, of course, but I am glad to finally have pre-wedding details up! Next week, I promise to work my little hiney off and get everything about the big day posted. I will include pre-wedding details of me and my girls getting ready, first look details of me and Tres seeing each other for the first time, the limo ride and picture taking, the ceremony, the reception, and my favorite details that happened that day! It will all be included! Oh yes, and then there’s the honeymoon… I almost forgot about that one, but I promise to include posts of that as well! Whew, I am wayyy behind!

As for now… me and the hubs are headed to Chicago! I am overly excited about this trip because I haven’t been since I went with the girls for the bachelorette party! It’s going to be cold, but our suitcases are packed to the airplane weight limit with sweaters, coats, scarves – you name it! This Southern gal can’t walk outdoors unprepared for ice needles to hit my skin! I have also prepared myself for this trip by border-line committing suicide on the treadmill everyday this week. I plan to eat everything in sight in that city, and I mean everything! The food is amazing, and I've said it once, and I'll say it again: I PRIMARILY TRAVEL FOR THE FOOD!!! Always! :) I have this theory that I could easily take Adam from Man vs. Food on in any challenge. HA - at least I would try. I promise I would not be scared to attempt that at least once! I will bring updates of this trip soon! Have a great weekend everyone!
Photo from

Wedding Week: Rehearsal Dinner

Saturday, October 16

To pick up from the post below, Tres and I walked into the rehearsal dinner about 20 minutes late with everyone waiting on us, but I don’t think anyone was a bit surprised. We are never on time for anything… it’s awful! I mean, I always thought I was bad, and now I have a husband who is even worse than I am. That is the only way we’re not good for each other :) Ok, so back to the story… The rehearsal dinner was better than we could have ever been imagined. The closest people in our lives were all there to celebrate our marriage the day before it happened, and we had a blast with everyone! The food… ok, this is another story all in itself. Seriously, when we went for a tasting back in July, we were blown away and chose the place solely on how wonderful the food was. But when we ate dinner that night, a number of items we had not tasted were added to the spread, and OH. MY. GOSH.! No joke, this place has some of the best New Orleans food you will ever eat! It’s called Oceana Grill. It’s on the corner of Bourbon and Conti. If you are ever in New Orleans… GO THERE! I am a doing you all a favor by telling you that. Our wedding party and family were all completely blown away by the food. I made about three plates and still insisted that I had not had enough, so I consumed about half the dish of bread pudding! I cannot say enough words about this food… DELISH!
We didn’t do the typical rehearsal dinner slideshow, but we wanted something to entertain everyone after dinner and before the speeches. Why we decided against the slideshow… 1) We just waited until the last minute and 2) We didn’t really want to do the “typical.” So instead, we decided to play a game. We had a card placed at each table setting that said “How well do you know the Bride and Groom?” We had everyone fill it out, and then we got one of the groomsmen to be the “announcer” and call out all the correct answers. We bought $100 in casino chips, and gave the top three winners money to go gamble! It was lots of fun, and everyone got really into it! The winner was our good friend Lori and my mom was a runner-up!

After the game was speech time. The speeches were amazing. I have been to at least a hundred rehearsal dinners and weddings and always wondered what it felt like to have so many people that you love speak their true feelings about you. One after another, it is compliment after compliment, congrats after congrats, and best wishes after best wishes… it’s a great feeling. It makes you feel so blessed to have so many people in your life who love you, think so highly of you, and believe in you. And the best one, in my opinion, came from my groom. What he said about me, my family, his family, and friends, confirmed what a genuine, wonderful husband he would be. I already knew it, but his words that night made it even more special. Finally, I have to mention what my girls did for me. They presented me a scrapbook. Each of my close girlfriends who were in the wedding got together on the idea and each made a scrapbook page to go in the book. Each page included the past, present, and future of my fun times with them! Throughout the book, they also included wedding invitations, memories from the bachelorette party, and pictures from the bridal shower. It was the most thoughtful, wonderful gift my best girlfriends could have ever given me! I mean… there were pictures in there from high school and college - memories that I had completely forgotten about, and afterward, it was fun sharing those distant memories with my groom. I love my girls! Thank ya’ll again!

The rehearsal dinner was three hours, and time flew as it always does when you’re having fun. We didn’t want the party to end, so we headed back to the hotel to hang out in Tres’ dad’s suite. He had a party going on for everyone in town for the wedding. It was nice to get to visit more, but when I say I was exhausted, I mean… I was the most tired I have ever been in my entire life. I felt like I had been run over by a train. Combine that with several glasses of wine and the 100 things I had on my mind, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I said goodnight to my family, friends, and groom and headed to bed. I went to the suite, shut all the doors, and though I had considered having some of the girls stay the night with me, I decided I just wanted to be by myself the rest of the night. It didn’t take long to go to sleep, and soon enough, it was Wedding Day!

Best Man Speech

Dad's turn!

My sweet groom's speech to me Bride to GroomTHE BOOK from my girls!!!

Looking through the book at our fun memories together
"The Girls"
Tres being silly with "the girls"
One of our favorite couples! The crew and our men!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wedding Week: Bridesmaid Brunch

SUN, SUN, SUN…. LUCK, LUCK, LUCK!!!! Just call me and Tres leprechauns!!! We had more luck and joy than two people could ever experience in the amount of four days, and Saturday got even better! That morning, we both woke up with little 8am headaches from the 3am evening the night before, but it was nothing a Starbucks Pumpkin Latte and a few mimosas couldn’t cure! I was off with my family to the Bridesmaids Brunch, which my exceptional Mom, my wonderful Nenne, and my magnificent Aunt Gina threw for me and my bridesmaids. We also invited all the close women on Tres’ side of the family, so it was just a big girl-fest!

The best women in the world... Aunt Gina, Cousin Melissa, Mom, and Nenne I have to say, the place we had the brunch was further away from the hotel than expected, and we were all starting to get a little antsy in the taxi ride there, but pulling up made it all the better. 1) ALL my girls (the college friends) were standing outside to greet us! I promise, nothing can put words on what these girls mean to me. We never get to see each other, and every time we do, it’s exciting and emotional enough to nearly bring tears to all our eyes! And 2) we walked into the place, which I had blindly booked, and it was PERFECT in every way! Perfect meaning we had the entire upstairs with lavish décor throughout, perfect place settings with personalized menus, and a private door that lead outside to enjoy the beautiful day – it was a southern gal’s dream brunch. I could see women in the 1920’s having tea in this room… it was so beautiful! Not to mention, I booked the place completely blind. There were no pictures on the website, and I only talked to the event planner a few times on email and maybe once on the phone. I have to say, I was scared going into it, but the planner could not have done a better job!! As a matter of fact, if you ever go to New Orleans or you need to plan a private party there, call Rachael at Café Atchafalaya… she will set you up! I have to add this to the “all the things that went perfect this weekend” list because the brunch was a hit! Wonderful food, mimosas galore, and more fun than a group of girls could ever have! We reminisced about old times, talked about new times, planned the wedding day schedule, and laughed until we couldn’t breathe! I also gave my nine bridesmaids their final presents - gold vintage necklaces to wear with their gold BCBG Maxazria shoes I gave them before the wedding. I knew then, they would be the hottest pack of bridesmaids anyone had ever seen, and they WERE!

All my bridesmaids in front of "The Skillet"! I love my gals! After the brunch, I went with my mom, my Nenne, my aunt, my cousin, and Tres’ mom and sister to get our nails done. We pretty much took over the nail salon located in the mall connected to our hotel – it was loads of fun, but about halfway in, I hit a wall. Maybe it was the mimosas, maybe it was lack of sleep, maybe it was visiting with 100 people in less than a full day, or maybe it was because I was already 30 minutes late to my hair and makeup appointment for the rehearsal dinner – whatever it was… I had a feeling I would not be able to carry on normally through the rest of the night. It was unreal how it all just hit me at once like that. All I could think was… ‘I still have a rehearsal dinner and wedding to go. I’ve got to dig for some energy because I am not ruining all this by being tired.’ So after nails, I picked up a coke and got moving again: running to my hair appointment (luckily the salon was in the hotel). I rushed the stylist through and ran (literally) to my makeup appointment. It was at Sacks in the mall across the street, and I was dashing through the busy traffic all while trying to keep my hair fixed. The makeup artist almost didn’t take me because I was so late, but I talked her into it, and she rushed me through. Needless to say, Tres and I were late to our own rehearsal dinner (umm…. Duh! It wouldn’t be me and Tres if we weren’t late!) TO BE CONTINUED IN REHEARSAL DINNER POST……………..

Mimiosas galore!

One of the yummy brunch dishes! I had Bread Pudding French Toast and wish I'd taken a pic!

Mom-in-Law and me

My sweet cousin after reading the letter I wrote her. She couldn't stop crying :)

Two of my very favorite friends!
Two more of my very favorite friends!

Lori and me clowning! Love her dearly!

Wedding Week: Second Day in the Bayou

Friday, October 15

Yep, another run was on our schedule. We woke up and ran down the beautiful NOLA Riverwalk down the long, powerful Mississippi. Nothing new for us though – we run down the Mississippi River all the time. It’s just two blocks from our house in Downtown Memphis, but to see the same river knowing we had just driven 400 miles… that’s an impressive body of water! We knew all friends and family would be coming in on this day, so we had to get moving fast to make sure we could equally spend time with everyone. We headed out to West New Orleans first thing to pick up all the guys’ tuxes, do a final tanning bed session, and stock up on champagne, wine, and snacks for our suite!

That afternoon was a dream! We worried ourselves sick before we left thinking: Who are we going to spend time with on what day? When are we going to have time? How are we going to split time evenly between 150 people? Are we going to have to split up… Tres go visit you family and Andrea go visit yours? But, I should have known… everything would work out, just like the entire weekend did! Our suite ended up being a hit, and I’m so glad we got it! Once we got back from running around, there was no need for us to go anywhere… in just a few minutes, we had at least 20 people in our suite – Tres friends, my family, some of Tres’ family – it was great! Soon after that, we found the time to visit with Tres’ dad’s side of the family, and then immediately after that, my family ran into Tres’ grandmother who they had been longing to meet… it was like one big, happy, accidental reunion! Everyone was so excited to be there and finally meet each other!

That night, we even had the time to go out with a big group of Tres’ friends and their wives (my newest girl friends! They have been my friends for years now, but I still refer to them as “my new girlfriends”… hehe!) Only a few of my friends had made it in town this day, but I’ll be darned if we did not accidentally run into them at La Feittes Blacksmith Shop! I was just hanging out and all of a sudden there was Erin (one of my bridesmaids), her husband Brandon, Tina, Zack, Corbett, and Justine. Corbett had traveled all the way from Oregon, so it was good to get to visit with her a day early. Running into them was just the craziest thing ever, and when I say this is EXACTLY how the entire weekend worked out, I mean this is EXACTLY HOW THE ENTIRE WEEKEND WORKED OUT! Everything was like a dream… unplanned, yet so easy! It was like there was this constant good luck cloud over mine and Tres’ head every single day leading up to the wedding. I can’t even out it into words… all I can do is describe the unbelievably terrific events that kept unexpectedly happening to us. And believe me, it only gets better. After all, this was only FRIDAY! We still had two more days before the wedding! (P.S. ANOTHER beautiful day! Not a cloud in the sky! It was like the closer we got to wedding day, the more the sun shined… we were so lucky all weekend!)

*** Here are some pictures from our crazy night on Bourbon! I wish I had more from throughout the day. I think my grandma took some family ones of all of us hanging out that afternoon, so I will have to hunt them down from her and add them :)

The Real Housewives of Memphis, Knoxville, and Atlanta!

Tasha, Holly, Me - Acme Oyster House It got pretty wild, and the video camera came out... I can't wait to see what we got on here. Yikes!
Nice shirt Mike! We thought his shirt and my purse were too funny!
Hurricane time on Bourbon!
The crew we ran into... my high school gals! Love them!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wedding Week: First Day in the Bayou

Thursday, October 14

We got up in time for a little run (nothing was stopping us from trying to be in the very best shape of all on our wedding day… even a few days before we will still at it). We knew we had a day of errands to run before friends and family started getting in town, so we got busy immediately! We started the day off by getting our marriage license. This was the first step to becoming an official married couple, and we were both about to pee our pants with nervous excitement! Getting a marriage license has to be the easiest thing I have ever done – I swear if dogs could talk, two of them could walk in and get a marriage license… it’s crazy! After that journey, we headed to our rehearsal dinner spot to make sure all our ducks were in a row, we talked with the event planner, and we checked out the magnificent room one more time… we were set to go! Late that afternoon, we had our rehearsal with Southern Oaks. We were done with everything else extra-early, so to kill time, we enjoyed the city – walking around listening to the ever-famous NOLA music, smelling the spicy food seeping through the walls of all the restaurants, and hoping in every bright-colored, silly shop we could find… got to love New Orleans! There’s never a dull moment!

Our rehearsal was interesting, and oh-so-perfect. In the many weddings I have been in over my lifetime, I decided Southern Oaks does the rehearsal in a way that makes a lot of sense: TO NOT HAVE ONE AT ALL! Yep, that’s right… no rehearsal! Let me explain… There actually is a rehearsal, but it’s for the bride and groom only. The beginning of the rehearsal was set up like a meeting. We spoke with our main wedding coordinator on everything… and I mean EVERYTHING – all the fine-print stuff from who would be standing where in the ceremony to the exact songs that would be playing in each part of the reception. After we were 100% confident with everything, our coordinator took us (just me and Tres) step by step through the ceremony. It was the perfect rehearsal… no need for bridesmaids and groomsmen (They would learn everything one hour before the wedding. May sound stressful, but it’s actually the most amazing, calm rehearsal I’ve ever been to.).That evening, we had a magnificent dinner at Jacques-Imos Cafe (word to the wise: if you ever visit NOLA go here... or else!!!). We went here with Tres’ mom, aunt, and a few of our good friends who came in early. It was a good wrap-up to a great day! P.S. I have never woken up to a more beautiful day… wow, could the sun have been shining any more perfectly? I prayed for it to continue!

Getting things organized in the suite

Walking around the French Quarter that day. This may have been the most still I have ever seen one of these Mannequin people. It was UNREAL!
Me and Tasha at dinner - Jacques-Imos

Wedding Week: Trip to the Bayou

*** Note: Today is our ONE MONTH Anniversary as a married couple... wow! Time flies! So in honor of one month, I am FINALLY posting "Wedding Week" posts! Sorry for the delay... Enjoy :)

WEDNESDAY, October 13

We started our last day of work with a packed down car. Hint… when you get married out of town, be prepared to drive! For you brides who fly to your wedding destination with no problem, I praise you! I have no idea how we could have gotten married somewhere not close enough to drive! It was quite funny though, we took lots of pictures of ourselves leaving the house as a “single couple” and of our packed car (pictures below...haha), and headed to work for the day. We left work normal time: 5:00. It only takes about five and a half hours to drive to NOLA from Memphis, so we were in good shape, getting in just in time to get some much needed z’s. Much needed because we had both been up every night that week finishing up last minutes wedding details, packing, and preparing for Wedding Weekend! (P.S. The sun was shing down heavily on Memphis when we left… I hoped the same for New Orleans).

About to walk out the door and head to New Orleans... next time home, we'll be married!

In the car ready to go!

My sweet driver
Back seat... PACKED!
Trunk... PACKED!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm a Wife... Now What?

When I said back at the beginning of October that I was officially OVER the wedding, I clearly was not kidding. Almost a month later, I have not blogged about the entire wedding weekend. Not that it wasn’t fantastic, perfect, or the most amazing time of my life, but “wedding” was my second job for over a year… I think I have subconsciously wanted to forget about it for awhile.

Not only have I not blogged about the wedding, but I have not gotten around to even LOOKING at the honeymoon pictures we took. If one more friend/family member asks me to post them on Facebook and I continue to forget, I may just have to forfeit my life as a Social Media Queen. Not sure why I even would refer to myself as that, considering the incompetence I have shown over the last month, but we have trucked it into married life on an open, speedy road. We have so much going on in our lives right now! I cannot begin to tell you the number of people who asked me before the wedding, “What in heaven’s sake are you going to do with your time when this is all over?” Oh, boy… what a question! I told them all that I could think of 100 things post-wedding to do with my time, but I didn’t know 1,000 would be on the agenda! Here are my “bad blogger” excuses…

Getting back to work after nearly two weeks off is cause for enough stress, but outside of work, I have been overly consumed with a few other aspects of life. One, I will start graduate school in January. I got accepted into the Journalism program at the University of Memphis, and I have been consumed with registration, choosing classes, and learning the process of becoming a student all over again (it’s been 4 years… I need to get back into the groove!)

Two, if it was a show, we would be at the beginning of HGTV’s “True Life: I’m Redecorating.” As a married couple, we will be residing in Tres’ condo in Downtown Memphis. He bought it just a few years ago, and it’s absolutely perfect, but we are about to make it perfectly “ours” with new furniture and décor! We have started shopping and getting ideas, but we are going to take our time with it.

And three… it’s about to be head-on, craziness in the travel category. It’s that time of year in the cheer world – competitions! So I will be all over the place in the next six months. Not to mention, THE EXCITEMENT of a few fun trips me and the hubby have planned. The weekend before Thanksgiving, we will be going to Chicago! Ekkk, I love that city and can’t wait to experience it all over again! And we just confirmed tonight a trip to ATLANTIS!!!! We will be traveling to the Bahamas for a quick weekend trip in March for a friend’s birthday! I’ve heard it’s fantastic, and I can’t wait to dip my feet into beautiful, tropical water again!

More blogging on school, redecorating, and travels to come… Until then, I PROMISE to be a better blogger and get the wedding weekend details up soon! See ya’ll soon with some WEDDING BLISS!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wedding Photos... What a Blessing!

WOW, WOW, WOW!!! Once again, my breath has been taken away by Armosa Studios! These photographers were an absolute gift for God. All the way from Florence, Alabama, we were lucky enough to have run across this wonderful couple that has talent that speaks perfectly through photos. Not only are they gifted, but they are also amazing people. I bet there isn’t one bride and groom they’ve worked with who they did not become friends with after their shoot. They not only have a talent that every bride longs for to be treasured in the scrapbooks of her wedding, but they are easy going, fun to work with, and they have a love for each other that is so evident when you’re around them. The mere fact that they “love love,” is more than enough reason to want them to take your wedding photos; add their matchless talent in there, and you have the BEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS in the world! Thank you Tera and Wes for being dream photographers. Because of you guys, for the rest of our lives, a photo album can be opened, and we can relive the best day of our lives all over again!

Below are some of my favorite photos Armosa took of us, but there are more on their blog that can be seen from our special day! See the Sneak Peak here: