Thursday, July 28, 2011

Builder of Bookshelves

You may remember when I proclaimed that the way to my heart is via beautiful pieces of furniture. The truth is it's only when my hubby builds pieces of furniture. I just love that we work through the organization need that we have, look at different designs, and then BAM. Hubby builds it.

Our most recent need was a bookshelf. He built this in one day, with wood that he had in his shop, that we got for free (thank you God for providing us with free wood!)

I love it so much. I just stare at it. I love it for many reasons, the first being that Hubby made it with his hands. The second being that it's white. I love white. I love that it stores all her toys and books - literally all of them! Every single thing on those shelves were in my living room, all around, in baskets on the floor. I love the space we have now.

Guess who else loves it?
I brought her over to show her around. I showed her how to take a book out, how to slide the bins out, and how to put things away. Isn't it funny that you even have to show a toddler how to use a bookshelf? But how would she know otherwise? She caught on quickly, as you can see.

I don't know who loves our new bookshelf more - me or this happy little baby!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I interrupt this wedding update to talk about a new development in our house. Reilly has discovered the word "Ew". Now, this could be an obnoxious trait, if she were to pick up her food and say "ew" and then throw it or something. But no. Reilly says "ew" completely appropriately - and I can't understand it.

Let me give you an example.

The other day, we were at our photographer friend's studio, reviewing pictures she had taken. We were sitting on the couch, and Reilly was standing in front of us by a coffee table. Then Brett put his sneaker up on the coffee table. And instantly, Reilly touched his sneaker, and said as loud and clear as can be, "EWW!".

That was the first time she ever said "Ew". And she hasn't stopped.

Here are some other instances in which she has volunteered her opinion of "Ew", without any prompting whatsoever.

-She took a tissue out of the bathroom garbage, held it up, and said Ew.
-She pointed to a crumb on the floor - Ew.
-She took a piece of grass out of her little pool, said Ew, and the threw it out of the pool.
-She picked up a dirty diaper, held it up to me, Ew.
-She had her foot near her face while I was changing her, pretended to smell it, Ew. (I found out she pretty much thinks everything about feet are gross.)
-We brought her into our bed in the morning, she pointed to the deodorant on Hubby underarm, Ew.

Literally everything gross, she addresses. And this morning, I said the Hubby "Can you kill that bug? It's on the ceiling above Reilly." And Hubby responded, "She doesn't seem to mind too much." (As she was CHOWING on her watermelon.) So he actually forgot to kill it (a moth), and then a little while later I hear Reilly saying "Ew" over and over. And turned to look at her and said, "What's ew?" And she point to the bug on the ceiling. Her skinny little arm, and her tiny little finger pointing to the bug: "EWWWW!"

Besides the fact that her tiny voice is so funny proclaiming everything as "ew", I continue to be amazed at how she is aware of so many gross things. All I know is, she is definitely her mama's daughter.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Big Morning!

Finally, the big morning came! The ceremony didn't start till 3, so we had a lot of time before - and a lot to do! Of course, we did not see the groom. But we had correspondents going back and forth (his parents, groomsmen, Hubby, etc.) to make sure he was well fed and taken care of. Sidenote: I feed very bad for grooms on the wedding day. I would go stir-crazy. Seeing as men can get dressed and dashing in 36 seconds, (in my husband's case, that includes his lightening shower) I imagine that there is lots of sitting. And waiting. And anticipating.

We, on the other hand, had PLENTY to do. First off, we had our hair and makeup team arrive at our house at 7 am. Then we had hair being done for five of us girls, with the rest of the bridal party meeting at our house by 1. Not to mention the flowers being delivered, the photographer arriving to set up, and one very curious 1 year old who we carried around at arms length so she didn't grab for our "pre-tee" hair and jewelry.

Oh, and did I mention that we didn't sleep? Nope, not a wink. Well some of us did, I imagine. But I can only speak for myself and the bride. We shared a queen bed, you see, in our old room. Kind of how we shared the room all our lives, except this time we were in the same bed, and there was a toddler at our feet in a Pack and Play (A lot can change in 3 short years!). So we didn't get to bed until midnight. Then, at about 3, I was wide awake. Looking up at the ceiling, thinking, unable to sleep, trying not to wake the baby or the bride.

And then I heard a small sound. A movement sound - but the kind that an awake person makes, not an asleep person. But how do I check if Sissy is awake? I don't want to speak too loudly - what if she's NOT awake, and then I wake her?! And then she can't sleep and it's my fault? So I settled on whispering. The tiniest whisper beyond all whispers.

Are you awake?

I barely spoke. Even if she were awake, the chance of her hearing me were slim. Then I heard her respond.


And that was the end of our sleeping. I'm still not sure how we functioned the following day.

But she did manage to look ravishing early the next morning!

Mama getting her hair all done!

OH, I forgot to mention our hair team duo. Mariann has done our hair since birth, for every occasion, no exception. She will be giving Reilly her first cut as well. And lucky for us, her extremely talented daughter Nikki is just as gifted as she is in all things hair.

But that's no all - Mariann should be a bridal consultant party planning hair dresser. She recommended all of our shower venues for bridal and baby for sister and I, she found Sister's shoes - she solves all our wedding dilemmas. And with Nikki giving us expert fake eyelashes, they were fun people to have around that morning.

Here are my shoes, and the bride's shoes!

Strolling around the pool, doing a last break-in and scuff-up.

Doing her MIL's eye liner - she was cool as a cucumber!


This is when we first put the feather in her hair. I use the term "we" loosely here. I did not help. But we were all very excited about the outcome.

Pretty feathers!!
Then we got started on makeup.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day. Such excitement!
Stones on her veil were stunning!

And then we got the tiniest flower girl dressed!

I embellished her headband -adding extra tulle, and of course, a feather. See it sticking up the top? Could you just DIE?

And that was our morning of preparation - and the last picture that I took that day. The rest of the pictures I share will be of other guests, since I was too busying MOH-ing and dancing! More to come, and the dress reveal. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Night Before The Day

This was the night before the BIG day!! We were all jittery, excited, got all dressed up, and headed to the rehearsal and dinner that followed.

Look how gorgeous these two crazy kids look!

Eggplant was the theme of the evening, as it was the color of the wedding as well!

Our family outside of the church, all excited!

These are the parents of the groom, and the wonderful hosts of the rehearsal dinner. It was at a beautiful venue, which was actually where my bridal shower was held. It was gorgeous, we had the whole upstairs, and the food and ambiance was just perfect.

The linens were eggplant. And they doubled as bibs.

Reilly ate cheese, and said "Cheese!" at the same time! She had a grand time, saying "Hieee!" to anyone and everyone who came in her vicinity. Or if they were across the room, she would just yell until they saw her.

The host of the evening (FIL) gave a beautiful speech, which made everyone laugh and cry as every perfect speech does.

Here is sissy at the crying part. And of course, Reilly had to put her two cents in. It went something like this:

[this is at the most emotional point of his speech]
FIL: I have a quote to share from Homer...not Homer Simpson..
(everyone laughs)
FIL: "He said, Marriage is like a golden band...."

It really did happen just like that. The room of 50 people was completely silent, except for Reilly fake-laughing hysterically, because she apparently thought that's what you did when someone paused during a story. I'm obsessed with her.

Then the groom and bridey said a few words..

And groom got a little chokey, which made us all get a little chokey.

Can you feel the emotion surrounding this weekend?? It was palpable everywhere we went!

Then Sissy said a few sweet words, and gave out amazing gifts for the bridal party!

And after being up hours (HOURS) passed her bedtime, Reilly never stopped smiling once. Or giggling. Or laughing. Or eating. Or making everyone else laugh.

She partied like it was 1999. Little did she know, she had such a big day ahead of being a beautiful flower girl!
Then she snuggled with Daddy (in her flashed Eggplant PGs), and said "night-night" (aye-aye).

I whispered in Reilly's ear when we got home, that she was such a good girl the whole day and night. But I did tell her, as good a she was, that she couldn't steal the show the next day, that it was Auntie Mimi's turn to be the princess. She agreed, that she would be teeny princess for the day, and let Mimi and Uncle E be the stars.

And we all crashed, and tried to get any sleep we could muster, in preparation for what was to come the next day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Preparing for The Big Day

Here are a few glimpses of what our preparations were like for the big day! It was day after day of fun and excitement.

On Wednesday, myself, the groom's sister Alissa, and the Bridey all had dress fittings. Alissa and I were pretty much picking ours up, and Bridey had her very last fitting. I was so excited, because I hadn't seen it on her since the day we picked it out.

Mama of the Bride and my little flower girl came along too. It went great, and we all went home with dresses in tow. No one besides us had ever seen her in the dress, or knew what it looked like. I thought that was such an amazing surprise for everyone, especially because she looked so breathtaking in it!

On the way home from the dress shop, babygirl fell asleep in the car. Needing her to sleep as much as possible in the busy days leading up to the wedding day, we opened up the doors to the car, and had some wine on the front lawn while she napped.

SIL, Bride, MIL (these are terms my sister uses, they crack me up)
Just the girls and our wine!

Bridey relaxing, while the boys get their tuxes and pick up dinner.

OH! Flower girl is awake!
Then her adorable students came by and gave her a bride and groom Build-A-Bear! How cute are they!! They were 2 of about 20 students who came to the church.

They next day was mani-pedi day! We brought pink champagne of course!

The beautiful bride, cool as a cucumber!

Until, that is, we decided to have an epic waxing incident. Let me just say this. There was screaming. There was yelling. We were all in the room.

There may have been some vomiting.

And there was definitely champagne.

Here is the bride afterward, recounting the details of her triumph.

The bridey made up a detailed itinerary of what needed to get done and when - which actually was very beneficial, no matter how many jokes she may have endured. Every morning we would wake up and say, "I have to run to CVS. Do I have to be anywhere this morning? Okay, I don't have anything till 12, I have time then. Who wants Dunkin?"

We had days full of fun, a little relaxation, lots of celebrating, lots of joy, and lots of emotion. More on the rehearsal to come!

Love & Celebrations,
Dirt Road Mama

Monday, July 11, 2011

Love is in the Air!

I am going to be a mess at my sister's wedding. I know this. It will be the happiest day, and I am beyond excited. But I have a strong fear, that I will be mess. If you asked me a few weeks ago if I would be emotional at her wedding, I would say "Nah, we're going to be so excited, it's going to be the best time!"

But then, we all went to my cousin Amanda's wedding. Sister and I were bridesmaids, as she and her sister are bridesmaids in my sister's wedding. Did that make any sense? They got engaged 1 day apart, and married just a few weeks apart. They planned pretty much side-by-side, trading notes and consulting each other. It has been such a fun time.

And then came her beautiful wedding day. And as soon as I saw her, and my aunt and uncle, I was overcome with emotion. In their house, right next to where we were standing, were baby pictures of all of us. Not to mention, the babies in those pictures all seemed to be my little Reilly looking back at me. I saw my beautiful cousin, who I have grown up next to, preparing to get married. And then I looked at my aunt and uncle and thought, "She's their Reilly." She's their first babygirl. The one that made them parents. The whole day was a beautiful combination of these thoughts, and the immense happiness that I felt for my cousin and her new hubby.

It's true that when you become a parent, you become a giant mess of sentimental emotion. That should be a catchphrase that parents-to-be hear as a warning. Kind of like "Oh, get ready to never sleep again." It should be, "Oh, get ready to be a complete blubbering mess at even mildly sentimental situations." But I guess that comes with the territory.

How gorgeous is this couple? I love you guys so much. Thank you for making me cry so much. :)

The whole bridal party! I can't wait to wear that dress again!

Sister and I with our Uncle. My mama's brother - can't you tell?

Their whole beautiful family. Zan, you are personally responsible for helping me hold it together when it's my sissy's turn!

And my hubby. Doing his patented dance which is hilarious and usually gets stares, especially when his brother-in-laws join in. That's my brother in the purple - we get really excited when he breaks this move out. It's kind of legendary.

The whole night, emotional beginning to beautiful end, was just perfect. The best kinds of weddings, I think, are the perfect combination of tears and laughter. Of dancing and conversation. But mostly, so centered around the love of God, that you can't help but feel it around you the whole day. See it in the bride and groom's faces, hear it in their vows, and be reminded of your own wedding day.

This was the best kind of wedding.

Love & Marriage,

Dirt Road Mama