If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.

~ Lewis Caroll

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Once in a Lifetime

As previously posted, I had a day of wedding dress shopping this past Saturday. It began well enough, but I quickly became discouraged at the first couple of shops. I didn't like anything they brought me to try on. Nothing was "the one" and I began to think that maybe "the one" is an 'old bride's tale.' I mean, will I really feel special when I put on a certain dress? Can I not imagine getting married in anything else but this special dress? I truly thought I would have to settle for an ok only wedding gown. However, I still had one place left to shop. I had been there previously on my own and loved everything I tried on. If I had to buy a dress, it would probably come from this one store. We ventured to our last destination of the day.

I worked with the same bridal consultant as before (p.s. Pam, you're fabulous!). We pulled the "yes" dresses from my last visit so my mom could see them, and I also walked around pointing out other dresses I'd like to try on. They once again had a trunk show, so I looked through the brand-new, never-tried-on dresses. One in particular caught my eye. It was the most beautiful dress I've ever seen. I pointed it to Momma, and told her even though it wasn't remotely close to the style I was looking for that I thought I wanted to try it on. She just smiled and told me I would probably fall in love with it.

As usual, Momma was right. The instant I put it on, it just felt right. It fit like a glove and made me feel like the most beautiful, perfect bride in the whole world! All of the cheezy cliches can be applied to that moment. It's not at all the style I thought I wanted. But it's not too "bridey" either. It has so many unique elements that I've never seen before on a wedding dress. I was the first person to try it on, and am the only person in Tennessee to own that dress. The price was even under my maximum budget. Who could ask for more? I'm so glad my mother loves it as much as I do. She can't imagine me in another dress, so I know it's the right choice. I'm positive I'll feel the same way about it in eight months.

I know it's just a dress, but I really feel that it represents so much more. When you feel this good about something, it's got to mean you've made the right choice. That applies to the person you've chosen and been chosen by.

I want to post a picture of the dress, but I can't in case Matthew remembers that I have this blog and chooses to look at it. But, I'll post a picture of the hairpiece I've picked out. It's handmade with Swarovski crytals and the flower mimics the detail on my dress. Think of it as a little sneak peek. If you are truly curious, I have tons of pictures of the dress that I look at daily until my dress comes in.

After the wedding, I'll probably wear my dress to clean the house, shop for groceries, etc. I'm determined to find some occasion that I can re-wear the fabulousness that is "the dress!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Favorite Traditions . . .

Tomorrow I will partake of my favorite holiday tradition! Let me rephrase that, ONE of my favorite holiday traditions. I don't think I could possibly choose.

Momma is making the drive up tomorrow through the cold and sleet (the cold has already arrived and the sleet is on its way) to visit me in Nashville for the weekend. I'm mostly excited because it means I don't have to drive, but also because I love having her come spend a little time in "my world." I hope to be a perfect hostess, so I'm going to buy a pack of Diet Coke on my lunch break. I'm even scrubbing the tub and (gasp!) mopping tonight after work. Matthew will be away on a boys-only excursion this weekend, so it will be just the girls. Momma and I have a jam packed weekend that will hopefully result in some fabulous photos for me to post in my next blog entry.

As for the tradition . . . NUTCRACKER time! I fell in love with this ballet as a little girl and a little ballerina. I've never tired of seeing the story danced on stage by the talented dancers over the years. I admire the effort it takes to put on such a spectacular show. There is just something magical about the performance. While I love all ballet, this one in particular holds a special place. It is the quintessential holiday experience. This will be my first time to see the Nashville Ballet perform and my first time to see a show at the Tennesseee Performing Arts Center (TPAC). I'm quite excited to take my mother to our annual mother-daughter outing. The performance is at 7 p.m., so I'm looking for a great place to go afterward for a light bite and maybe a cocktail. But we can't stay out too late because Saturday will be spent . . .

DRESS SHOPPING! Wedding dress shopping, that is. Once again (and hopefully for the last time), I will be donning white gowns (and ivory, diamond white, white with ivory overlay, etc.). This time we'll remember to take some pictures. I can't believe I have zero pictures of me in a wedding dress. Especially since they all look fabulous (hey, it's my wedding, I can be a little vain). We have three appointments throughout the day, and hopefully we'll be able to squeeze in a nice lunch somewhere. The last place is where I went a few weeks ago to try on dresses alone. I picked out half a dozen or more to try on again when Momma is here to see them. I think "the dress" may be among them, but I'm going to look at the other two stores first. Matthew and I decided to have as casual a wedding as possible, but keep it classic. However, all the dresses I love are a little fancier than I originally had hoped to purchase. However, I've been told that it's our wedding and we can wear what we want, regardless of the rest of the theme/style/tone. I hope that's true and nobody will gossip negatively behind my back. I'm sure they will, but once again--it's my wedding! I think the wedding dress should stand on its own and not cater to the whims of the rest of the decorations. It will all come together beautifully! If we can only pick a venue!

So that's my weekend. A tradition and a once-in-a-lifetime shopping trip. I can't think of a better way to spend time with the greatest mother in the world.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tis the Season to be Thankful

I think I've finally recovered from my Thanksgiving weekend. It was unusually busy and hectic for me. This Thanksgiving was extra special . . . I celebrated with my soon to be in-laws in addition to my usual family festivities. I'm so thankful that I have such a large family now! In years past, I've spent the holidays with just my mom. Those are some of the best memories I have; however, I've always hoped for a big family of my own. The noise, chaos, and fun that go along with a "Griswold" style holiday is something that I've always prayed to have. Now I believe I got my wish. Robert, the greatest step-father in the world, has been a part of our family traditions for a few years now, and I'm so happy to have him. My step-brother and his wife gave me a niece eighteen months ago. And now I have a fiance and future in-laws to include in the mix. I dream of the day when we own our own beautiful, old (but remodeled) home with room for the entire family. I'll invite everyone up for a long Thanksgiving weekend. Football out in the yard, cooking good smelling food all day, and sipping cocktails by the fire chatting about our lives . . . that's what Thanksgiving and the holidays are all about. Remember who and what you have in your life and be thankful. It could all be gone in an instant.

On a lighter note, my apartment is getting more and more festive! Matthew says it's "too Christmasy," but I don't think that can be possible. My little tree is precious, and I even have stockings for Santa to fill (but not too much, since he'll visit me again in Jacksonville). We even have lights outside. I wanted pretty twinkly lights, but Matthew requested the old-fashioned tacky giant colored bulbs, circa 1982. They, in their special way, are fabulous, too. I'm goingt to spruce it up out there a bit and enter our patio in the apartment complex decoration contest. Can't wait to win!

In a couple of weeks, I'll be continuing one of my favorite holiday traditions--seeing the Nutcracker ballet. Momma is coming to visit and we'll be doing it together, like always. The Nashville Ballet and Nashville Symphony are performing the classic, and I know it will be beautiful and inspiring as always. We'll also be going to look at wedding dresses, so hopefully I'll have that to blog about later!

Happy Holidays to All!