Monday, December 7, 2015

08.29.15 - the wedding party

and there is our gorgeous wedding party. from the left to the right we have allyson, sean, danielle, drew, me, lee, taylor, jj, andy, and magan. 

shortly after our first look, we headed to the streets of the city for some gorgeous greenery and brick background for a couple group shots. for some reason,  i was so adamant about not having all of our wedding party photos to be onsite at the ceremony location, so walking around uptown was perfect. 

you know what's always cheesy about weddings? when the photographer asks to you do the "fake laughing." when you look at each other and flash your smile. then it actually does become funny because you realize what you're doing so you laugh harder. honestly though, those do make for some of the best photos. i'm a candid kinda girl and i wanted as many photos as possible that were "candid." i love moments captured when you don't even realize it.

i have pretty friends, right? and just check out this handsome picture of my groom.

and then it was hot. as much as i stressed about rain, i said i would take heat over a downpour and that's still true. however - it was a scorcher out there. you can only imagine after seeing how many layers of tulle were under my gown. who gets married outside in august? this fool apparently. 

after knocking out all our wedding party pictures, we made our way over to the AH house to snag a few bridal party pictures & all family shots prior to the ceremony.

that was another hot button of mine and one that we were able to do because we did the first look. i wanted to use the cocktail "hour" (which ended up only being like 40 minutes) for photos of just lee and i on the grounds of alexander homestead. 

our wedding was at 6pm - which was already later than i had originally wanted. our venue was pretty strict on that to adhere to their plan. i completely understand now because from a planning & time perspective, we had zero hiccups. ahhh all type A planners like me can breathe.

since it was at 6, i knew i didn't want to take the extra time to do photos after. that wouldn't put us getting introduced & dinner started until like after 8 pm! nope. i wanted plenty of time to dance. so knocking all of these out prior was one of the best wedding decisions we made.

i wouldn't change this for anything.

a big thank you to our wedding party who went above and beyond with all showers, stock the bar party, bachelorette/bachelor parties and all the other tiny details they did to make it special for us. we love you.

oh and i told you there would be nerf guns. walker wedding, party of lame-o's, your table is ready.

it may have been our wedding day, but we knew how to have some fun with it. we're all still 10 years old, right? 


coming soon: the ceremony.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

the easiest pumpkin muffins of all time.

i'm one of those people who get up 10 minutes after the alarm goes off. i would rather chew on broken glass sometimes than get up in the morning. lee, however, can handle it. 

i cannot lie. he gets up every morning with luna; which is around 15-20 minutes earlier than i get up, but i'm still so thankful for that. she's doing better about sleeping a little later, but even so .. as soon as she bops up, he gets up and feeds her. me on the other hand - i'm all groggy and have a death look on my face, i'm sure of it. sometimes lee even makes breakfast sandwiches for himself and one for me to take to work! 

i know - i hit the husband lottery. 

but for all the other times, i like to experiment with muffins for us to grab and go. and these are seriously the easiest 3 ingredient muffins that are ridiculously moist. they do not have egg or oil in case that's something you're trying to avoid.

check out my wine in the background all hiding. you know wine sipping & food making are my favorite things!

so let's be real - the batter is a little lumpy looking. and when you stir this, you think it's soooo thick and will be dry. just trust me. 

these things plop into the muffin pan and come out looking just as how you put them in, so don't be afraid to fill them up. i did about 3/4 of the way full and they rose a tiny bit. 

i honestly do not know what makes these so moist. my mom used applesauce in her cupcakes one and they turned out the exact same way. dare i say these were almost TOO moist? but hey, better than being dry as a brick. 

i'd make these babies again. happy pumpkin-ing. happy thanksgiving tomorrow!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

the day she became mrs. allyson brock.

one of my best friends, allyson, got married 51 days after i did, so we got to experience a lot of the wedding excitement, stress, planning, and craziness together. wasn't she beautiful? i cried. and then i cried. and then when she walked down the aisle, i cried some more. here's a few of her and her groom, chris.

ps: the bottom has a carolina panther's surprise.

aren't those huge balloons awesome?? i was in love with allyson's choice of her unique details for the big day. i'd like to share a few of my absolute favorite photos of her story book wedding - or... i mean her wedding hashtag - #astorybrockwedding.

and then they were married! i know if her ceremony was anything like mine (coming soon!), it flies by. you think you're in there for like 5 minutes and it's truly about 30 minutes or so. i love the way chris is looking at her here - you can tell his love.

the bridesmaids got to choose a gown of their choice in allyson's stunning color of champagne. champagne, ivory, and gold were her main colors - and i get all heart eyed emojis just thinking about that. plain and simple. it gets the job done!

and then we got to enjoy a delicious dinner under the twinkly lights. 

allyson had her guests grab their dinner inside and then were seated at a table outside under the stars. speeches were made, toasts were given. it was a truly a perfect night for them.

so what happens after dinner? party time.

myself plus the bridesmaids danced our butts off for her and chris - but honestly - that's a part of a bridesmaids' job. we danced to backstreet boys, garth brooks, and - of course - the titanic theme song. because when the bride tells you on the dance floor the song she wants to hear next... you make it happen.

it was a fairytale to watch someone who has the kindest heart marry the love of her life. i was so honored to be a part of it and be a tiny part in making things special for her, because i know she sure did for me during my wedding.

allyson - thank you for being my panthers girl, my fellow titanic obesssion, my burger king chicken tender and burger buyer, my taylor swift concert partner, my bff night turns into what happened (???) kinda girl, and everything else that makes you one of my best friends. here's to you and chris.



so now on to the panthers surprise. allyson loves the panthers. anyone who knows her knows that. she keeps up with a panthers twitter handle {@miss_purr} and tweets all her emotions and feelings. it's awesome.

so i wanted to do something special for her. 

i contacted the panthers. originally i wanted to surprise her with sir purr himself, but after talking with the team events person, i found out that he had an event on her wedding day of 10.17.15, so an appearance wasn't possible. 

so i wrote a poem.

ten days out from allyson's wedding i started texting her a mini poem every morning as a day countdown. i did this on purpose - so i was able to read her the poem i wrote to sir purr. it basically went to say that allyson was the biggest panther fan i'd ever known and it would be an honor if he could send me something to give to her on her big day to go along with my own wedding day gift. 

i had the panthers logo wood-burned into a sign for her, as you can see below, and whatever sir purr wanted to come up with would only accompany that.

so the poem below is a copy of what i sent in and i read it to allyson on her wedding day. her reaction was amazing. i was shaking as i read it to her. i have no idea why i was so nervous! i seriously read it to lee like at least 6 times the week of her wedding to make sure it sounded right. i was just excited to give her what i had kept a secret for a while. 

i suck at exciting secrets :)

sir purr and team mailed me a signed mini posted saying "congrats and best whiskers!" - and signed sir purr style. it truly made our bride happy and that was my #1 goal. thank you to sir purr and the panthers for making this special for her.

 all photos by julia of amore vita photography

and now, as previously mentioned earlier this week, our panthers are 10-0. i'd like to think it's only fitting that our #1 fan got married during this season.
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Monday, November 23, 2015

panthers, luna, and food. basically my life these days + an awesome coincidence.

ladies and gentlemen, our PANTHERS ARE 10-0!!!!!!!!! it's been an incredible season and although i didn't go to the game yesterday, i was still this ecstatic at home in my pajamas. i'm so ready for the boys to take on dallas for thanksgiving!!! 

so we didn't do anything this weekend. i had been sick all last week, so cozy weekend in was in store. drew brought over a horror themed video game - until dawn for ps4 - and we played that all friday night. i love videogames, and this game was a "butterfly effect" adventure game where every decision you make affects the future of the game. i need it buy it now. if lee ever bought me a ps4, we would probably never leave the house again between this game and grand theft auto. i've turned into a homebody like no other. 

and that mainly is due to this face. every time we think to go somewhere i'm all "hmm, but do we really need to leave luna?" i'm insane. but then i remember that when you're married and 27 - staying in is totally acceptable and i love it. lee's hoodie is way more comfortable that some dress anyway.
i saw this funny e-card the other day that said "everyone is over there having babies and i'm just over here like 'hey, here's 500 pictures of my dog.'"

yep. all my facebook & instagram friends know that all too well, but i'm 100% okay with that. so is luna. she's the baby of the house. and she knows it. just look at that winking face.

in other news, we did make our zucchini boats this past week except this time with ground beef. we sauteed some shaved brussels sprouts & peppers.... with bacon. ladies, if you want your man to eat brussels, just add bacon. 

i'm getting to the point where cooking is my therapy. if lee is like baby, let's just make grilled hot dogs tonight, i'm all omg! that's so boring!! have i mentioned i watch too much food network before? i think i have. ;)

and now for a coincidence. the photo at the top is from my wedding; the photo at the bottom is from allyson's wedding. 

allyson (blonde top left in my photo) was in my wedding and i was in hers. both of us did a first look with our bridesmaids and both were equally as emotional. but after reviewing these two first look photos, please check out taylor's reaction to seeing me and my reaction to seeing allyson. i'd say taylor and i are pretty in sync with how we react to emotional situatoins.

mind you - allyson's wedding & my wedding were 51 days apart.

ahhh weddings. emotional little suckers, aren't they? 

happy thanksgiving week!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

08.29.15 - the first look.

i could end the post right here and that would be enough. lee's face alone here speaks more about our first look than i could ever put into words. 

but before all that, let's get back to the story. after getting ready with the girls, we actually were running a little bit behind schedule. our first look was supposed to be around 1pm in fourth ward park in uptown charlotte. we were still in our suite when i looked at my phone which was screaming 1:20pm. 

let's go! let's go! let's go! those next ten minutes were kind of a blur. did i have my shoes on? where was my bouquet? is my flower crown pinned down right? did we have the guys boutonnieres? i had no clue. we ran down the hallway, and found out the guys had been waiting for 20+ minutes. as the elevator dinged, my maid of honor's sister and her husband stepped off onto our floor. 

morgan & caleb were the first ones to see me, other than the immediate bridal party & my mom. i actually still can see morgan's face when she saw me, to this day. it was one of those smile/sweet sad omg there you are/gonna tear up kind of faces. how lucky was i to have seen so many of those that day. we quickly hugged and jumped into the elevator while grabbing the nearest bellman to help us. 

i have no clue why all this was so stressful looking back on it all. i think that it was anticipation that lee was about to see me for the first time in t-minus 5 minutes or less. allyson some how made valet move out of the way so she could drive into the courtyard to pick me up. 

one thing i've learned during this wedding process is when you're the bride, no rules apply to you. no one is going to say no to a girl in a white gown.

we finally arrived in the fourth ward park and i walked up behind lee. i remember trembling as i walked up the brick path - seeing his back about 50 feet in front of me. my hands and my heart were shaking. i had dreamed of this moment for so long and here it was - happening right in front of me. i remember my voice, shaking, saying "hey lee. i'm here. are you ready to see your bride?" 

tears building behind my eyes as i can play this moment over and over in my head. "yes" he said as i heard him breathe out before he turned around. the tears hit him as they hit me. it was such an emotional moment. 

if you remember back when i was blogging over the summer, i had went back and forth on the first look. i went as far to write a post about why we were not doing a first look. i honestly don't remember if i posted it or not. regardless, my heart was torn. lee was so against it from the moment i initially mentioned it in conversation. 

no, a groom sees the bride for the first time as she comes down the aisle, he said. 

but for some reason, i couldn't shake the fact that a first look was something i thought would be good for us. 

looking back on it, i would NEVER change doing a first look for anything. the day after the wedding, lee looked at me and said "thank you for being so adamant about the first look. i am so glad we got to do that and have that moment together."  

and it also chilled us both out. so much anticipation was there awaiting to see each other for the first time, so it got those jitters out of the way. i can be way emotional at times and i did not want to ugly cry walking down the aisle. 

after seeing him, i was a different bride. i was ready to do the damn thing! i was ready to walk down the aisle and say i do. we then left uptown and headed over to our wedding venue to take a few more photos on site before the ceremony began. here are a few.

 coming soon: our formal wedding party photos. there may or may not be nerf guns present because we're cool like that.

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