Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reverb 10


Prompt: Photo - a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.


This is one of my favorites photos anyone has taken of me. It was taken by Cristina Wisner of Wisner Photo. We were in the Japanese Gardens of the Fort Worth Botanical Garden doing my bridal portraits (hence the veil and wedding gown). My mom and sister were standing off to my right and Cristina was perched on a bench looking down at me with her camera. Cristina was giving me some direction and my mom made a random (probably inappropriate) remark. This laugh was the result.

I think this photo reveals a lot about me at this time in my life. I was very happy that day. I was in a gorgeous garden surrounded by amazing people I loved (including the photographer!) and I was so excited to be The Bride. Happiness, joy, and excitement radiate from my face in this photo. I think this photo captures who I am in that I feel very blessed and joyful. I feel grateful to love and be loved. I am happy to be who I am, where I am, when I am.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Christmas in a Nutshell


Season's greetings! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

I'm exhausted from my Christmas break, frankly. Waaaaay too much eating, drinking and driving. Um, wait...not drinking and driving in consecutive order. We traveled at lot. That's all I meant. Oh nevermind.

Anyway, I am almost certain I gained at least five pounds. I was officially a Christmas Piggy. I refuse to step on the scale, however. It will only depress me and I'm too tired to be depressed. But I'm pretty sure I need to buy these pants:


Lobster and I traveled to the Austin area to spend Christmas with his family for a couple of days and then we went to San Marcos to celebrate with my parents and sister and her fiance. My mom and sister and I hit up some of the after-Christmas sales but we were apparently too late to score any of the big deals. Boo.


We were disappointed because we usually find great deals every year. But for whatever reason, his year was different. Then again, everything about this Christmas was different for us.

This was the first Christmas that my sister and I did not spend at our parents house. It was very...strange. Both of us were a little bummed out on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning but we were trying to be big girls about it. It's not that we didn't want to spend Christmas with our significant others and their families, it's just that we both desperately missed our family Christmas traditions and just simply being with our parents on that special day.

For as long as I can remember, every Christmas Eve my family would go to the candlelight Christmas service and then go drive around local neighborhoods oohing and aaahing over the Christmas lights. Then we would come home and my sister and I would watch Christmas movies or listen to Christmas music while wrapping gifts. We would create a barrier of sofa cushions so that neither of us could see the others' stack of gifts to wrap but still be in the same room together. We'd label all the gifts as being from someone very random and silly like Rudolph or the Abominable Snowman. We would laugh like lunatics and throw rolls of wrapping paper, bows and tape at each other. In the years that my sister and I were old enough to drink, we'd get drunk on what we called "Christmas Cocktails" which usually involved vodka and whatever fruit juice we could find in the house. Last year, we got so silly that we gave up on seriously trying to wrap presents and we just put bows all over every square inch of the gifts. On Christmas morning, we would crack up just looking at the strangely wrapped gifts while our parents wondered if we were still drunk.

On Christmas morning my parents would wake up and start a fire in the fireplace even if it wasn't cold outside. They'd put on Christmas music and my mom would bake something gooey and yummy for breakfast like cinnamon buns or monkey bread. We'd brew coffee and sit around eating gooey goodness and slowly open presents. After all the presents were opened, we'd get a good laugh out of the cats playing in the empty boxes and piles of wrapping paper. We'd all start playing with our new toys and mom would start making Christmas dinner, creating wonderful smells in the kitchen that would permeate the entire house. Usually one of us would have gotten a new DVD of a just released movie and we'd pop that in while we lazed on the couch. Later, we'd have an amazing dinner and then slip into our "fat pants" and laze on the couch some more.

For my family, this is what Christmas was all about. Being together, laughing, repeating the same traditions we'd do every year but without ever losing the joy of it. This year, though, both Cupcake and I put aside those traditions and were welcomed into other homes to experience other ways of celebrating Christmas. And while our significant others' families had their own wonderful way of doing Christmas, it wasn't "our" way and so it was hard.

Different is hard. Change is hard. Growing up is hard.

But as we discussed all of these things when we got together this weekend, Cupcake and I determined that although it is difficult to give up our family Christmases, instead of being bummed about it and focusing on the strangeness of it we should instead focus on creating our own little traditions in our new little families. Lobster and I need to create special Christmas memories of our very own just as Cupcake and Happypants need to find their own way of doing things. Of course, our parents will still be involved in Christmas, but in a different way than before. And when we have kids, it will all change again. But instead of being upset by the changes, we need to embrace them and make them special.

Change is hard. But without change, life would be boring. Without change, we would never grow or experience new things. I know all this, but it's easier said than done, I think.

Nevertheless, I am now on a mission to create special Christmas traditions for Lobster and I! What are some of your Christmas traditions with your spouse or family? Do you have any words of wisdom to share on how to create new family traditions for a newlywed couple? I'm all ears!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hallelujah!


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6.

Merry Christmas, from our house to yours.

Love, The Lobsters

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Big Winner!

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you all to help me decide which bedding to buy for our bedroom. Thank you all for the helpful responses! It took a few days for me to decide and I think I made the right choice:


Option 1 was the big winner! Lobster thought it was one of the least girly ones (although he made sure to note that none of them were as manly as he wanted) and I really liked its antique-y look. So I ordered it online a couple of weeks ago and wasn't expecting it to arrive until after the new year. But I guess Pottery Barn got a new shipment in and they were able to send it early! It's a Christmas MIRACLE! Okay, not really. But I was like a kid at Christmas when it got here!




Anyhoo, I ordered the duvet cover and three euro shams. They are very well made and the color is lovely.


I love, love, LOVE this pillow I found at the Pottery Barn Outlet. I love the burlap look and the message. My room IS my place of retreat. Perfect.


I also love the monogrammed pillow shams Lobster and I got from our wedding registry (Restoration Hardware). Love!


And in a purely random coincidence, I had just recently purchased this sorta matching bed for Killian. Doesn't he look cozy? Awww.

So thanks for all your input, guys! You're the bestest!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One Fine Day: Prologue

I promised a while back that I would share with you some photos from the wedding as soon as I got my hands on them. Well, today is that day. Here is the beginning of my wedding story...

The morning had been a whirlwind of activity with me running around the city picking up my dress, getting my make-up done and transporting things to the church. I had done most of my emotional I'm-happy-but-kind-of-freaking-out crying in the car on the way to get my dress. I had about thirty cups of coffee to give me the energy I needed after a week of non-sleeping. Around one o'clock my mom met me in my room with some chicken salad (of which I had one bite) and some much needed water. We loaded up her car with my dress, the flowers and all the random things a bride needs on the big day. Finally, it was time to start getting ready.


As I arrived to the church, I was very calm and I remained so throughout the getting ready process. Everyone kept asking me if I was okay because I seemed eerily chill about everything. I think because I had planned the day to the last detail and everything was going according to schedule, I felt very peaceful. Sometimes it pays to be an obsessive planner!

As the bridesmaids started having their hair done, I just relaxed and chatted with my favorite girls.



Meanwhile, the boys were in the room down the hall watching Lobster pace back and forth.



After a while, it was my turn to get my hair done. My wonderful stylist had come all the way to the church for me so I wouldn't have to drive 45 minutes to her salon on my wedding day. I've been going to see her since I was 18 and I wouldn't have trusted anyone else on that day.




With my hair up and looking very bridal, my stylist added the finishing touch: my birdcage veil.



It had taken us several attempts to perfect how the veil was supposed to be placed and we were old pros by this point! Within seconds I had gone from "girl with a pretty updo" to "bride."

As I was getting my hair put up, my future mother-in-law came in and handed me a letter.


It was dated August 2008. She explained that, for whatever reason, just after Lobster and I started dating, she wrote Lobster a short note and mailed it to herself to be opened on the day of his wedding.


In a nutshell, the letter stated that I was the woman Lobster was going to marry. I am not one to be easily surprised, but I was a bit shocked to read that!


It was a very cool surprise for my wedding day.



With the rest of the girls getting ready (and helping the flower girl get ready), it was time to put on my dress.



As I stepped in, I realized just how momentous an occasion this was. This was the dress that I would wear for one day of my life. It was the dress my husband-to-be would see as I walked down the aisle prepared to promise myself to him. It was the dress in which I would dance with my father on one of the most special days of my life. As I stepped into my dress I felt for the first time like a real bride. I was no longer just chatting with my girls while everyone got prettified. I was no longer the bride-to-be. For this one day, I was The Bride. In this moment, my heart started pounding.



It took all my girls and my mom to strap me in.



My beautiful mother helped me put on my jewelry and my little sister helped me put my garters on.



Oh, and my shoes! I love my shoes!


I was all ready and it was time to make the short (long!) walk to the chapel. I met my dad in the hallway and he gingerly kissed my cheek. It was all we could do to keep it together.

Outside it was crisp and the sun was shining down. It was the most beautiful weather; exactly what I had hoped and prayed for. The bridal party and I waited outside the wood doors of the chapel and I watched as the most important people of my life entered those doors ahead of me. It was as if I were watching all these people step ahead of me from one chapter of my life into the next as they smiled joyfully at me, wishing me the best. Finally, it was just me and my dad. Again, we struggled to hold ourselves together but managed to put our game faces on just in time.


There was a pause. I heard the music inside the chapel change. They were playing my song and it was time for me to go. I waited and watched, ready for the doors to open so that I could take my first step into my new life. It was time...I was ready...


To be continued...

(Most photos taken by the amazing Cristina Wisner of Wisner Photo.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bathroom Re-Do...Much Better

A long, long time ago, I showed you all the horrendous color of my bathroom when Lobster and I moved into our new house. Remember this?


Yeah, it was frightening to walk in there first thing in the morning. Anyhoo, we quickly bought a few gallons of peaceful, calming, non-seizure-inducing blue-gray paint and got it on those walls as quickly as possible. Observe:


Ahhhh. Makes you want to lay in the tub under a couple inches of bubbles, no? Well, since then I've been playing with ways of organizing my little vanity area you see there in the picture. My main pain was that I had no good place to put jewelry, specifically necklaces, that wasn't a hassle to get to. Plus, I wanted that area to look pretty.

So this weekend I went to a local antique store and I think I came up with a solution. I've been leaning toward a slight shabby chic look, almost French country style, for my bathroom. So I found a vintage silver tray and an ornate, white-washed empty frame and thought to myself, "This could work." And this is what I did:





What do you think? I added the little white hooks to the frame myself. And I buffed the snot out of the vintage tray because it was almost black with tarnish. I think it turned out pretty good. Oh, and do you see the pretty little bird thingy?




Isn't that precious? I found that at the antique store too and I fell in love! I have no idea what it's really for, but I'm using it for my rings. It's iron and very heavy and I think it's charming.

Oh, and look at the great monogrammed towels Lobster and I got for our wedding!






I just love monogrammed stuff!

Anyway, I still have work to do to make the room exactly how I want it, but I think I'm off to a pretty good start!

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