Paralyzed Without a Chute

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I can remember feeling this way only one other time in my life.

It was six weeks from my wedding date and all I had was a ring, a dress, and a groom to prove it. Not a single flower had been ordered, invitation had been sent, or bridesmaid had been squeezed into overpriced satin. See, I was not your typical bride that had envisioned her wedding from the age of 6. The truth is, I never really gave my wedding much thought before I actually agreed to get married.

No vision + No money= Planless-ly paralyzed bride-to-be.

Instead of looking forward to my wedding day, it felt as though I was 6 weeks away from jumping out of a plane without a chute.

… which is exactly how I feel presently.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you might assume we’ve taken up relocating as a new hobby. Last month, I announced that we would be moving for the FOURTH time in three years. Well, we are exactly three weeks from said move–

… and all I have is a few cardboard boxes to prove it.

I spent the latter part of May scouring the countryside for rental properties. We’re a bit high-er maintenance this time around now that Salem is getting his speech and occupational therapies through the county school system, and we’ve limited our search to three top elementary districts. Not to mention, if you’ve spent any time on the streets of Atlanta, you know that unless you live within a 15 minute radius of where you work, you will die a slow and premature death from the stress of the rush hour commute. So, we mapped our 5-ish mile radius and Mia and I drove our real estate route every morning after we dropped Salem off at school. It became so much of a routine that Mia would ask to, “go see da pwitty houses” before I could even find my car keys. I tried to keep my chin up about it, but you know what I realized pretty quickly?

There are a lot of DUMPS for rent out there.

After we completed our Curbside Drive-by Tour each morning, I wanted to jump out of the van and kiss the pavement of our current residence. It has nothing to do with size or luxury or comfort or status. It has all to do with spending 95% of my waking hours raising small children under one roof. I want to feel safe. I want to feel at rest. I want to pull up the drive and enjoy that feeling of “Ahhh– we’re home.” Not to romanticize brick and mortar too much, but I want to feel even mildly inspired within my immediate four walls.

Girls, you get this. I know you do.

With each passing day, I would return home more discouraged. With the Moving Day Skydive fast approaching, I was nearing the edge of panic. And then one morning, I was running through a neighborhood and I stumbled on a quaint little cul de sac with a home for sale. Fast forward: Quaint Little Cul de Sac House is being sold, flipped, rented out for a decent rate AND it is in a great school district, AND it is 6 minutes from Clark’s work, AND the next door neighbor doesn’t have a garden gnome in his yard holding a sign that says, “TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT ON SIGHT’ {which is more than I can say for some rentals we considered}. Problem solved, right?

No, problem not solved.

There’s a catch. There’s always a catch. The buying investor has yet to close on the property which means the home is still technically unavailable. We technically have to be out of our current residence in 3 weeks which means I’m technically contemplating voluntary admission under the Baker Act..

Plane. No chute.

I feel like I’ve turned back the clock 8 years and I am reliving my Planless-ly Paralyzing engagement. In wedded hindsight, I wish I would have had a more matured sense of adventure– perhaps a white mini dress and sneakers, a tandem bike and the downtown JOP with a black bean burger reception following at the Vortex in Little Five Points. It might have made for a great story and even better pictures. But the sheer gravity of making the single most important decision of my adult life had me thinking my wedding day ought to be a bit more sacred than sporty. S-a-c-r-e-d for us was spelled 30 people, a three-day weekend, and a vow-exchange on the side of a mountain. It was spontaneous and intimate and “us” and I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved my wedding. And I am sure that I will love our next address, but in the Land of the Uncertain, I’m beginning to worry we might become a family of couch surfers– party of four.

So, I’m calling in for a little perspective reinforcement. You don’t have to come physically pack up my underwear drawer or anything. What do I need here? A greater sense of adventure? A back up plan? A motorhome perhaps?

In the meantime, I am off to look at some more pwitty houses.

 {Image via Beyond the Screen Door}

Bridal Poll

blurry wedding

New York Magazine recently conducted an interesting bridal poll which got me thinking of the parts of my own wedding that are most memorable. Before Clark and I got married, we had so many couples tell us that they barely remember their own wedding day. “It’s all a blur”, they would say. We got married so fast {and with little to no money, I might add}, so there wasn’t much time for us to mull over choices like seating charts, flowers, or cake frosting flavor. Six weeks before our wedding date, I had a dress and a groom. That’s it. Not one invitation, brides maid, or place card… we didn’t even have a location! I was so stressed out at the thought of planning an event for 75+ people to come see my dress and my groom, that I was paralyzed with anxiety.

So we pulled the plug.

We invited our parents, grandparents, and a few lifelong friends to the mountains for three days where we ate, and hiked, and talked, and exchanged memories. By the morning of day three, we had drank in our loved ones so much that when it was time for us to take our vows, it was as if we were the only two people on the mountain– full and present, relaxed and undistracted, and not the least bit “blurry”. My only regret is that we didn’t pull the plug sooner!

What part of your wedding is the most memorable?

{Image via Nate & Jaclyn}

Gatsby-Inspired

the-great-gatsby-wedding-2

What are you doing this weekend? I’ve convinced a friend to go see The Great Gatsby with me on Saturday night while Clark hosts a Sci-fi movie marathon at the house. Did you read that book in high school? I read it in the 9th grade, and it was the first time I had ever heard of the phrases, “old money” and “new money”. My family didn’t have any money– old, new, or gently used, so it was a feast for my adolescent imagination– the parties, the mansions, the romance, the Eggs…”the green light that burns all night at the end of your dock”.

Sigh.

I am eager to see Hollywood’s adaptation of this literary classic story of America’s coming of age. I’m not exactly keeping with the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, but perhaps I can sneak some chips and salsa into the theater.

Have a great weekend!

PS. Would you ever consider a Gatsby-inspired wedding?

{Image via Carla ten Eyke}

To the Bride and Groom

Words of Wisdom cards{Words of Wisdom Cards by BHLDN}

‘Tis the season to have weddings on the brain. Any occasion for me to get dressed up and eat cake– sign me up! I popped into Anthropologie yesterday where I scored on a Tracy Reese dress that was sitting all along on the clearance rack just begging for someone to taking her home. Now all it needs is accessories which according to Olympia Dukakis is the only ability that separates us from the animals. Who couldn’t agree?

I stumbled on these Words of Wisdom cards today and it got me thinking of some of the marital advice Clark and I received prior to our nuptials. The most colorful advice we heard was, “Fight naked. It is harder to stay mad at your spouse when you are both standing there in the buff”.

Again, who couldn’t agree?

What’s the most memorable piece of marital advice you have ever heard?

Date Basket

This clever idea has been making the rounds on Pinterest, but every since I saw these pre-planned {and pre-paid} monthly date envelopes, I’ve been coming up with ideas to make my own. Shannon Brown made these as a Christmas gift for her husband, but how cool would it be as an anniversary or a wedding gift? Each month of the year would have a different theme and a different adventure for the special couple. It would certainly take thought, originality, and quite a bit of planning, but it would surely be a gift they wouldn’t forget. And, if you’re a really good friend, you could slip a “free childcare” coupon into each envelope for couples with small children. Oh, please won’t you be my really good friend?

Pillow Talk

I can’t decide if these Customizable His and Hers Lyric Pillows by Three Yellow Finches are really nerdy or if this needs to be my next “just-because-I-love-you” gift to Clark. Being married to a songwriter has its definite perks. Over the years, Clark has poured his heart and soul into a few tunes inspired by moi. In fact, I walked down the aisle to the very song that he wrote to propose! Sigh. I’d say at the very least that ought to end up on a pillow.

More tea party updates tomorrow!

Wedding Hair

Last February during my Valentine’s Day Julie & Julia Party, two of our dear friends got engaged…. right in my dining room! I’ve never been up that close to a proposal besides my own. Tomorrow is their wedding day, and Clark and I are performing the music for the ceremony. The wedding is outdoors, which means that while the bride and groom and the bridal party are tucked cozily beneath the shade, Clark and I will be baking in our little patch of sun-scorched concrete where the musicians are positioned to play. Such is life. But before I beat the heat by singing in my bathing suit, I thought I might try a few new updos. Here are a few of my favorites.

The Chestnut bun{image via Joanna Goddard}

The Noble Hair Knot

{image via Schwarzkopf}

The Side Chignon

{image via Martha Stewart Weddings}

This picuture makes me want to run out and test my luck as a redhead.

The Romantic Twist

{image via Refinery 29}

You all have such great taste. Which style would you choose? Speaking of choosing…. you all voted for your favorite font for Amelia’s 1st birthday party invitation. Pea njh Whimsy takes the cake! Thanks for your input everyone.

You can click on any of the above images to get the hair style tutorial for each updo. If my hair turns out ok tomorrow, I’ll take pictures and post on Monday. Wish me luck!

Asian Inspired

Every couple of months or so, I get bit with the travel bug. This week, I’m absolutely itching to have my passport stamped in some exotic destination. However, here I sit in an Americanized version of a French cafe painfully aware that my now expired passport is safely tucked away in a file box somewhere. Sigh. It doesn’t help that I’m reliving my experience in Seoul, Korea at The Sound of Center City blog. There’s got to be a name for feeling homesick for a place that is not your home. Somebody help me out here… anybody.

I can remember the first thing I saw upon arriving in Seoul that turned me into a typical American tourist {shamelessly staring while fishing thru my messenger bag for a camera, a phone, anything that would allow me to capture the moment}. A wedding was being held at the hotel where we stayed and, oh my goodness. I don’t know if they were bridesmaids or just attendees, but they were breath taking… like little China dolls.

Ok.. the image is terrible, but a 15 hour flight combined with a moderate sense of discretion and I was lucky to get the back of their heads.

Here are few more pictures of these traditional Korean dresses {obviously not taken by myself}.

 {image via White Carpet}

This is a more traditional Korean wedding gown. The bright colors, the full skirts….. absolutely stunning!

Here’s a more modern take on the hanbok.

 {image via 1stweddingphotography.com}

{image via Drama Beans}

I would no doubt look a little out of place if I showed up at the next church pot luck wearing one of these babies. But a girl can dream, right?

좋은 하루 되세요 everyone! {Have a good day}

Cherry on Top

Who isn’t a bit starry eyed over this morning’s royal wedding? I’ll admit, I was so excited about it that I even dreamt about it last night. The little girl in me is swooning over Kate’s stunning dress {that and the fact that she married a prince}. Did you notice the wedding hats? How could you not? I have to say it… the daughters of Prince Andrew take the cake among Phillip Treacy’s royal wedding hats.

{image via Washington Post}

I wasn’t willing to wake up at 4am to watch the wedding live over tea and crumpets {like some people I know}, however, we did celebrate in our own special way…

Hail to the queen!

Wine Cork Place Card Holders

I am up to my eyeballs in wine corks today. I can’t wait to show you what’s cooking. In the meantime, I stumbled across these darling place card holders.

Image via Lovely Wedding Details

These could also be used for holding photos, menu cards, and table numbers at dinner parties or wedding showers. The possibilities are endless!

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