Friday, December 30, 2011

:: foto friday :: 2011–Our Year. The Recap.

I saw this floating around on different blogs last year so I wanted to steal it and do it here.  This year has FLOWN by.  Even though wedding planning was a big part of this year, we tried our best to mix in things that we’re unrelated to wedding planning and just enjoy each other’s company.  I tried to include pictures as much as I could…. but Kyle hates cameras and is not photogenic so it made it harder than I thought.

January:  Um…. I am not so sure if we really did anything in January other than house hunt and look at 4 million houses and decide to not move into a house with a pool (which I regretted once the southern summers came), we packed to move, played the Wii, and watched Auburn unfortunately win the National Championship. 

February:  We moved into our 1st house.  Yeah… it is a rental house, but it is still our 1st house.  It has a great big backyard for our dog, with doggie doors so Mulligan can come and go as he pleases and it feel great to have so much space and not be on top of each other.  Our neighbors are nice (even though they’re Auburn fans) and the neighborhood is nice and quiet which is a good change for living right off of Peachtree.  We signed a 2 year lease so it is a good thing we like it. HA!

March:  I got my wedding dress and probably kept it on for close to 45 minutes.  I love it.  It is gorgeous and in 3 months everyone gets to see it.  YAY!  It has the vintage, romantic feel that I wanted, but it has a touch of youngness to it.  I ended up getting a veil since my mom wanted it, but that is fine.  I plan on ditching it right after pictures and only wearing it in some pictures.
medievalWe also celebrated our “365 days till we’re married” day.  And we of course went to Medieval Times because we (or me) love that place and because that is where we got engaged.  Once again, our knight lost. We always have the yellow knight and he always loses.  What a let down.  We kind of talked the whole way through because if you have seen it once you have seen it a million times, it does not change. So we have decided to not go back for a few years or until we have kids old enough to go and appreciate it.
April:   ….I cannot think of anything we did in April. (Yeah… I started this midway though the year – that is why January and April are LAME!!)  OH – we did get a minister.  That is exciting right?! 

May:  Kyle and I LO071VE Zac Brown and I had always said that I would love to see him in concert.  Well, I was given the opportunity to go see him and sit in a VIP box from one of our vendors.  We went with 2 other couples from my office.  We of course had a good time, but it was a total bummer that we had to leave early.  Note to self: once we have kids and go out with friends who are kidless, don’t suggest to go home early… the kidless couple won’t want to bow out early, but they will. =)
Kyle and I also took a trip to Tuscaloosa to help with tornado relief efforts.  We helped with the animal shelter and sorted donations in a warehouse/distribution center.  Though we felt like we did a lot and accomplished a lot… in the grand scheme of things, I feel like we did very little.  It was a great trip and a great experience.  That town needs a lot of support and help and will need it for awhile.  I hope the volunteers continue to flow in.
Oh. And we started our wedding registry at Crate and Barrel.  Kyle acted like a child because he got bored and I realized that registering for wedding gifts is a lot more overwhelming than I thought it would be.  Plus it is kind of weird asking for SO many things.
June:  Kyle and I got dressed up all fancy schmancy and went to the Le075ukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year Gala. It was fun to get dressed up and go to a big charity function to support a cause that means a lot to me …. and we were celebrating my friend Mitzi being in remission for 10 years!  YEAH!  We participated in the silent auction (and didn’t win anything), people watched, and I learned that the dress I chose for my bridesmaid can be worn again.  There were about 4+ girls in the black version of it. 
We also continued registering for wedding gifts.  This time at Target.  It was chaotic and Kyle as on horrible behavior so he became uninvited for future wedding registering events.  Rawr. But we registered for a lot of useful things and things that will be much needed.  And I really hope someone gets me the Magic Bullet {{update :: i got it for christmas}}.
AND!!  Wthesavethedate.e sent our save the dates out to all our wedding guests (with a little bit of panicking thanks to them being magnets and mailboxes being metal). This was a total accomplishment since we (well, I) had been dragging my feet on them since I couldn’t decide on what picture to use. I knew which save the date I wanted, but I couldn’t decided on a picture. But, with Kyle’s help I made a decision they came in, and they got mailed out.  When they came in the mail I was so so so excited with the final product and so excited to send them out to our guests that I sent them out a month early!  Whoops! And I was really excited about the custom cupcake stamps and the personalized Kyle and Barbie return address stamp. I was so excited to hear the positive feedback from so many of our guests (and to know they were not stuck in USPS purgatory)! We hope everyone liked them and that they’re still on your refrigerator!
July:  We took a REAL quick trip home to Northern Virginia to see Kyle’s parents and mine.  It was a good break from reality and it was good to see Kyle’s parents since we rarely get to see them.  Lots of chatter about wedding decisions – didn’t share my dress with them – and the wedding in general.  I got to go run Burke Lake which could be one of my favorite running spots. 038
We spent part of a Sunday knocking more things off our “to do list” – my parents came down from Northern Virginia and we all headed to the venue for a “Bridal Extravaganza” to taste food and cake.  We also headed back to McDonough for some major wedding planning and decision making. 
August:  Kyle brought home a cute little dog that had been abandoned by its parents (car drove into neighborhood. neighbors heard a bark. saw car drive off. spotted new dog. sad. kennesawsome people do not deserve pets) one Monday and left the decision to ME on what to do with her.  I could not put her at animal control knowing her family was not looking for her and knowing that in 5 days she would be put to sleep so we got our 1st and only foster dog and named her Kennesaw (after where Kyle got her). I of course got super attached and cried for hours when I learned that she was finding her furever home and was a hot mess the day I had to hand her over to her new mom.   But not even 24 hours later I got a call telling me that Kennesaw was not going to work out & that she was not getting along with the cats on the farm; therefore, she would have to come back to Atlanta.  Kyle and I just decided to just keep her and make her a permanent member of our family because I couldn’t handle the handing her over again and we both didn’t want to put her through the adoption events again.  So… as of August 30th we are a 2 dog house! =) 
September:  What a lazy lazy month for us.  We really just enjoyed each other’s company, got on each other’s last nerve, tried to get used to having 2 dogs, and watching a lot of football.  It was kind of nice to not really have anything on the schedule, but the month somehow still flew right by.
So many wedding details came together – welcome bags ordered and came to my house.  All the apothecary jars for the candy buffet were bought.  Candy was starting to collect.  Match books bought.  Koozies bought and delivered.  Wedding gift for Mom chosen. Wedding day gift for Kyle chosen. Bridesmaid’s gifts completed. Invitations selected.  September was a REALLY successful wedding planning month.
October:  My good good friend and one of my bridesmaids got married inDSCN0612[1] early October at a gorgeous gorgeous church and the Fabulous FOX Theater here in Atlanta.  I was SO excited to be part of Chrissy’s big day.  She looked fabulous and the wedding was amazing and of course I cried when her dad handed her off to Matt.  Chrissy seriously has the nicest friends and Kyle and I buddied off with another engaged couple.  Kyle and I had a great time dancing and laughing at people and we realized that this is our last wedding until ours. By 11:00 we were EXHAUSTED so I can only imagine how tired we will be on our wedding day.  But…. Yay for Chrissy & Matt – we wish them many years of happiness!!
I also wanted to find a pumpkin patch, so we could carve pumpkins for our house and because when living in ViDSCN0618[1]rginia we went to a pumpkin patch and had a lot of fun.  Well, I found one down in McDonough and it was GREAT! It had an awesome corn maze that Kyle ruined the fun in (kidding. kinda) by telling me that you take all right turns. At first we were rock paper scissoring it at each turn to decide who chose the next turn, but since I dressed like “fall” in a sweater and boots I was getting hot. We rode the hayride and went down the slide and the best part was the corn cannons when you had to shoot corn out of a cannon. I hit the target and Kyle did not, so I had fun taunting him and yelling Champion! =D And we of course got 2 awesome pumpkins to carve!
November:  November was rather uneventful.  We went home, of course, for Thanksgiving to Northern Virginia. It was a quick trip as always, but it was sentimental for me because I knew next year I wouldn’t be at Thanksgiving dinner with my family.  you never realize how much your family means to you and how much you love them until you have to think about not doing a holiday with them.  It was the 1st trip home with both the dogs and it was really not that bad.
December: We celebrated our 1st Christmas in our house! 031And even thought it is just our rental house it is / was so nice to not have our whole living room taken up by a tree.  We of course celebrated our Christmas early (which is going to be weird not doing next year) and then we headed home to Virginia for the holidays.  This was our last holiday apart so it was all just bittersweet.  December was pretty boring as well, but we enjoyed wrapping the presents and decorating our house. 
Ok… I had planned for this to be cliff notes, but it was pretty much a play by play of our year (well, what I could remember of it before I started this in may). next year will be better. promise.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

:: thursday thoughts ::

oh Thursday. you have been expensive.

1.  today i spent $1042.96 on my car.  i died a little inside.  not only did i need 2 new front tires and a new drive belt, but i also needed an alignment and something about my coolant, transition fluids, and differential fluids.  i am officially poor for January and A LOT of my Christmas money has gone to fixing big black.  And they also told me I need a fuel injection service and something about a tune up.  There is a VERY big chance they're taking advantage of me because I am a lady.

This month I also need to:
  • Finish paying off the Honeymoon
  • Buy Kyle's Wedding Band
  • Pay for the Marriage license(s)
  • Pay for the dry cleaning I dropped off this morning.  this is meant to be funny.
Long story short - I am gonna be POOR after this month is over with.  I need a part time job!

2.  Brighter, happy notes and news.  The candy buffet at our wedding is going to look fabulous and I am so excited about it.  Granted, putting the labels and ribbons on is going to make me go cross eyed, it is all 100% worth it.  I am not so sure there will be any taffy left by March so we may have to buy more (it is oh so good) but all in all, it is looking good!  =D 

3.  Can you believe that this is the LAST WEEK of the year?  Where has 2011 gone? I can't believe that we're so close to to 2012 and then I am so close to getting married.  Officially - we are 86 days away.  And the fact that people are asking about our registries and where to stay legit means it is getting closer and closer. 

4.  We booked our engagement photo session.  Friday January 13th in the city.  It is going to be cold so I need to figure out what to wear.  That day is actually going to be really really busy because we're doing wedding rings and marriage licenses and engagement photos all in one day.  Phew there is a lot to do when you get married.

5.  Kyle and I had a REALLY good trip home.  It was good to see family and just spend time away from the hustle and bustle that is life in Atlanta.  The trip back home was painful - evidently there was a bowl game in Charlotte the night we passed through which would explain all the traffic.  But as good as it is to get away, it was good to get home and back to the groove that is our life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

how cute are these thank you cards?

ok. legit. I NEED these thank you cards (of course they would say future mrs. shanahan).  How flipping cute are these?  I need them so much that I have misspelled the word "these" all 4 times I have tried to type it.

January is going to be oh so busy.

January is going to be a crazy month in the Vines-Shanahan house.  Not only do I start traveling for work and head to both Florida and St. Louis - but the wedding things are intense and off the charts.

January 6th :: 1st wedding dress fitting & dinner with a bridesmaid to exchange Christmas presents oh so late and catch up.

January 8 - 11th :: work travel.  Kyle gets to fly solo with the dogs.  Bless him.

January 13th :: Kyle and I are taking the day off and getting our marriage license (eeeek) and our wedding rings (even bigger eeeeek) .... talk about 2 events in the wedding planning that scream oh my goodness we're getting married!! .... and then we're meeting our photographer at 3:00 for engagement photos in the city.  Topped off with an early dinner because we're gonna be oh so tired.

January 22nd - 24th  :: more work travel.

January 29th :: My first (and main) wedding shower.  =D  I guess that means I need to buy some amazing thank you notes so I can get those written and out quickly after.

....and mix in there work and wedding work outs and I have to have 2 more dinners with 2 other wedding party ladies to give them their christmas presents!!  I think January will FLY right by!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ee Iiii Yeaah!!

That is excitement!

People are starting to make hotel reservations! =D  Yeahhhhh!! We have some confirmed wedding guests, people want to see Kyle and me get hitched!!

2012 Goals

I am not going to even revisit my 2011 goals.  If you want to find them - read them whatever - I am gonna make you dig for them.  Sure 2011 is not over yet, but by the looks of my DailyMile training it has sucked when it came to working out and putting the miles down.  Highest monthly miles: 14.  Wowzas.

So in 2012 I am not gonna stress about it. I am getting married in March and that needs to be my main focus.  I do have a half marathon on the books for February which I need to really get some miles in, but all in all 2012 I am just gonna try to find the joy of running and get working out back into my life.  So if that means I only do 1 half, then so be it.

Goal #1 :: Feel REALLY pretty on my wedding day.  I of course want to look good, but I don't want to stress myself out over missed workouts for the next 3 months.

Goal #2 :: Find a work out routine that I love and stick to it.  Mix up the running and the cross training.

Goal #3 :: Run my half marathon in February.  In 2011 I "skipped" / DNS'ed all of my halfs.  I don't want to be a quitter anymore.

Goal #4 :: Run 20 mile months at the very least.  That is 5 miles per week.  That is do able. 

And that is it.  I didn't want to set too many or aim too high.  I want to be comfortable in 2012.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wedding Update.

I just realized that I have not done a real true wedding update in FOREVER.  And since the main point of this blog (currently) is to keep friends and family updated on my wedding plans I guess I should update you all.

1.  A month or so ago my Mom and Dad came down to Georgia for my flower appointment.  I think it went well.  We hashed out a lot.  But then of course, a week or so later I started second guessing everything.  I LOVE my bouquet and all the bouquets and boutonnieres, but I ditched the idea of Shepperd hooks along the aisles.  I think the centerpieces for the tables are gorgeous.  I just get nervous because I TOLD the woman handling the flowers what I want, yet she did not put arrangements together for me to eyeball.  And being the control freak that I am I will either be super happy or not thrilled at all. In my life - there really is no in between.  And I am still wondering if I should move the ceremony site out of fear that it (a) rains or (b) is too cold.  ...I seriously need to take a chill pill.

2.  I was supposed to have my dress fitting a few weeks ago, but per the usual, the salon was unable to keep an appointment and it has been pushed to the 9th of January.  

3.  Speaking of the dress boutique.  They gave me the HEART ATTACK OF THE CENTURY when I found out they ordered the wrong dress then that they did not order the wrong dress.  If the dresses come in and they are not a douponi navy I may just fall over and die.  I hate bridesmaid dresses and the douponi is the only fabric that does not scream "bridesmaid dress".  Le sigh.

4.  Happier news:  I started putting the tags on our candy buffet and all I can say is LOVE.  Seriously, the woman I bought them from on Etsy is nothing but marvelously crafty.

5.  Wedding invites - they should be going out after the 1st of the year.  I think I will be addressing them by the tons over the holidays.  Weeeeeeee.

6.  My wedding showers are on the books.  The BIG one is January 29th and the my work one is sometime in February.  I guess it is time to start cleaning out the kitchen and closets to make room for new and improved stuff.  And it is time to start buying cutesy thank you notes.

7.  There are 97 more days till the wedding.  97.   

8.  Have I mentioned in the past that I chose a wedding cake and that I L-O-V-E it?!  Well.  I did and it is amazing.  And I would like to thank Pinterest for helping me discover it. 

9.  I am trying to get our engagement pictures on the books but with the holidays and my soon to be insane work / travel schedule this is proving to be hard.  And it appears that our photographer does engagement sessions on week days.  So I think Kyle and I will be taking a day off work in January to go ring shopping and smile for round 2 of engagement pictures.  He is oh so thrilled. 

10.  Last and most important:  I have some of the most amazing girls in my bridal party.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dear Trip Home To VA:

I would like to run and not lay in bed watching Netflix and reading the whole time I am home.  And since I will not have the dogs, there are no excuses why I cannot get a run in at least on Christmas Eve and the Monday after Christmas.  I do have a hair cut Friday morning (at a mall, what was I thinking!?) and dinner with one set of Kyle's parents but I must run some.

I am doing Pure Barre tomorrow morning and today at work I started trying to book myself up for January - March (nothing like a wedding get in shape and be pretty cram fest :: reminds me of college exam time) but their system is whack and wouldn't let me only book under the 'Baby Bounce Back Package'.  =/

As you know, I did get a run in on my work trip this week - but other than that I am sucking it up with the running and this holiday booty buster challenge thing.

I am gonna get a run in on Sunday after Kyle and I do our Christmas.  There is a lot that I need to run off.  This week has been a hard one.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Greenboro Work Trip.

Whenever I travel I always BRING my work out clothes and if I get a work out in... that is impressive.  But I made a point to try and get a run in.
We got to Greensboro early evening Sunday night and after dinner at Mellow Mushroom and a beer, we headed back to the hotel to call it a night.  I got the "brilliant" idea to hit the treadmill before bed.  Totally forgetting what I had had for dinner oh 40 minutes earlier.  It made for a semi uncomfortable run and after about 2.5 miles I called it quits. 
I really wish that it wasn't so cold (or that I had brought better outdoor running gear) and that it was not dark so early because I would have loved to run Downtown Greensboro where we were staying.  But to run it in the dark... not so much.

The working out on this trip was less than impressive, I blame the fact that I had a travel buddy - but I am going to make my trip to Florida and St. Louis more exercise-ish.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

thursday thoughts.

This week really has been a chore thus far.  Monday did not go smoothly at all and Tuesday was a train wreck at work.  I guess all week cannot go well right?  But (as you know)... Kyle and I did put up the Christmas tree this past weekend and a Christmas tree just makes everything better.  I also joined the iPhone world (thanks to my company paying for $150 of it) and never have I had a phone that outsmarts me before! =D

1. do you know what sucks? knowing you want a new car and need a new car but realizing that you really cannot afford a car payment right now. ...correction: a car payment on a suv and you really want is a suv. (and really what i want want is a Volvo CX90) ... so i will be holding onto big old black 1 more year and I guess i will just be buying myself 2 new tires and replacing that cracked belt.  and holding onto this car for another year.  le sigh, being an adult sucks.  

2.  I am pretty sure if there was a casting director for Bridezillas near me on Monday I would have been instantly offered a spot on the show.  The poor manager at Demetrios got the end of my frustrations about my vendors and their inability to keep a scheduled appointment.  Long story short: Demetrios called to "reschedule" my dress fitting Friday and instead of calling to see if it would be ok to change and then keeping the appointment (a la Hazlehurst House) they just cancelled all together.  And hi. hello.  I am traveling for work next week, then home for the holidays, and then it is 2012.  So yeah. My new 1st dress fitting: January 6th.  I should have taken the house or the car that my dad offered because this wedding planning thing sucks. But seriously, when I was in sales I NEVER cancelled appointments.  I found a way to be there or sent someone in my place.  It is rule #1 of customer service -- value your client's time.

3.  I started putting our candy bar together this past weekend.  Not putting candy in the jars (since the wedding is 107 days off) but attaching the tags to the jars and of my goodness do they look cute.  I absolutely LOVE them.  If you're having a candy bar at your wedding (or any event) and need tag/labels I totally recommend Sweet Talk Designs on Etsy.  I legit, could not be happier with the final outcome.  I love them so much I am going to use the same lady to make the to-go candy bags.

4.  I also started wrapping up some bridesmaid's gifts this past weekend. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I have gotten my ladies.  I cannot wait till the bridesmaid brunch to give them their gifts!  In fact, I love them so much I added part of them to my Christmas list & bought another part for myself. 

5.  I feel like in general I am a pretty neurotic person.  Kyle always tells me that I immediately hit the "panic button" ...  well I am still wondering about the weather in March. I feel like the floral design we did for our ceremony site would look AWFUL inside if it rained or was too cold to get married outside .... so I am beginning to wonder if I should move the ceremony site from the fireplace to the big brick wall and do something like this (minus all those weird green bushes on the left): 
So, have the two arrangements at the top of the aisle then the clothy looking thing at the end.  That would transfer inside beautifully.  Seriously, I an neurotic.  But half of me REALLY wants to price this out because with the way all the wedding planning is going (cancelled appointments, trying to reschedule appointments) it is bound to hurricane on my wedding day.

6.  Oh and in good news - Kennesaw went to daycare last Friday and did WONDERFULLY! =D  So she is cleared the spend the night.  She is going tomorrow (with out her big brother) to see how she does on her own.  But they told me last week that she just played and played.  They are still on wait lists at both day care and the vet for holiday boarding so it looks like they will have to make one last trip to VA with us ... however, they're going to stay with Kyle's Mom and not me.  They may be at my house for less than 24 hours (dropped off afternoon of Christmas, gone the day after Christmas).  That is all kinda an added holiday stress that we're about to have to deal with.  We know for next Thanksgiving & Christmas -- make the reservations early!

I cannot believe that we're 107 days away from the wedding.  Soon we will be in the double digits only.  I

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

it's the most wonderful time of the year

We decorated for the holidays!!  We put our tree up this past Sunday and ate clam chowder (as a tradition) and listened to Christmas music and put all the gifts under the tree!  And wrapped more presents for our families!!  It was quite the festive weekend!!

I love our tree and all our ornaments.  And the best part of our ornaments is that every one of them has a meaning behind then :: whether they were passed down from family, given to us as gifts, plucked off my parent's trees, or *my favorite* given to each other as gifts ... they all have a meaning.  I am curious what my ornament is this year ... kyle had to order it for me...
our beautiful tree!! =D
Stockings were hung by the chimney with care!

I hope everyone has a good holiday season!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Because I'm Having a Bad Day...

I wanted to share this.  Who can have a bad day when both your dogs got to sit on Santa's lap at Doggie Daycare with funny things around their necks?!  I love those little guys!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Mulligan!!

In honor of Mulligan's 3rd birthday {I feel like we have had him for wayyy more than 3 years} I am posting pictures of him growing up into the stapping young man that he is today.  Happy Birthday Bigs!

Mulligan's 1st Snow!

Napping with his Momma! We both have baby blankets!

1st and only baby pool that he destroyed

with his brother - believe it or not

happy dog!! big smiles!

cone of shame!

winter coat that he hates *sorry mom*

Here is to many more years and laughter and fun and fabulous pictures with Mr. Mulligan!!

5th Year Anniversary Surprise!

I have been thinking about my 5th anniversary gift to Kyle for a while now.  We’re celebrating 5 years on February 27th – a little less than a month before we tie the knot and I kinda want to do something awesome for the big 5 years!  (Honestly, I cannot believe it has been 5 years – it feels like we’ve been together forever at times and other times it feels like it has been 5 months!)

And I think I have figured out just the right thing and given that it is less than a month out from the wedding I know it will be much needed (probably more for me than him, but still).  I so badly want to spill the beans and all the details here, but I can’t.  Even though I would be REALLY surprised if Kyle read this or checked up on this but still … not willing to take that risk.  But some February I will give you all the details and post pictures.  I know.  I know.  The suspense will kill you! :)

"it doesn't matter if the guy is perfect. or if the girl is perfect. as long as they are perfect for each"