New Life, New Job, New Blog

Image via here

Hi guys! Are you so digging the new look? I decided a while ago that after I finished the wedding recaps, I would update the blog. I was so sick of the dark colors, and I don't know if you ever noticed but there were these weird pictures of giraffes in the middle of the flowers. When first I installed the design template, I didn't notice them, and then when I did, they became all I noticed.

In addition to the new design, you'll notice some other new/different things around the blog. First up, I got rid of the twitter updates. They were making the page load drag, and frankly, I just don't twitter. Instead, I've included a "Popular Posts" section on the right.

There's also an "About Me" section now, and an entire page with links to the wedding recaps entitled (obviously) "Our Wedding." Both of these can be found underneath the title.

Finally, look at that title again. Since I am officially married now, I'm technically NOT "Not The Marrying Kind," so the"Not" is crossed out. I guess I finally proved my mother wrong, eh?

So yes, that's the blog, but what about me? Well, the apartment is 90% redecorated. I just have a couple of small projects left to do, so that's awesome. And (more importantly) I got a job. One day after my benefits and pay ended at my old job, I got a new one. Somebody up there cares, huh? It's very happy news. And the best part? It's at the place where I've been doing all these temp gigs for the past two years, which is awesome, because it's where I wanted to work from the beginning! I love the people I work with, and while what I'm doing is not 100% what I'd like to be doing, I think that will resolve itself in a year or so. I'm still in that yucky beginning phase of a job, though, where I'm stressed and things are hectic and crazy and unorganized, especially since I kind of got thrown into my position at the last minute. Nevertheless, the best part has to be that my commute has gone from 1-1.5 hours to 20-30 minutes, which means more time to live life! I used to have to take 2 buses and a train all the way to the south side, and now I'm two short bus rides away, and I almost never wait for either bus. It's so freaking awesome! I get home way earlier, I'm more energized, and most importantly, I'm happy. So, just like my wise grandmother used to say, in the end, it all worked out for the best.

But now that my life feels more organized, or like it's getting more organized, I have to say I'm so mad at myself for letting it get so out of control and chaotic and bad. There were a lot of factors that were out of my control (layoffs, family deaths, family medical drama, etc.), but there were things that I let slide because it felt easier to at the time, even though, in the end, it only made me more unhappy. One of those things was this blog. I love to write, and there was a time when this blog had decent, steadily increasing blog readership. Now I have a few people who have hung in there with me, which I appreciate soooo much, but I'd like to get it back to where it used to be. I was so disappointed with myself when I saw that last year I posted 80 times (and started the blog in April), and this year I've posted something like 12 times. That is just sad. The past 12 months have been some of the hardest of my life, but what made it harder was the fact that I let myself go so much. That has to change. So I'm making a vow to try to blog more beginning in the next month. It will still take me a while to get into a routine since I'm still finishing up the apartment, and getting used to my new job, but it's a goal, and that's what's important. I feel like by the end of this year, I will have a routine more down pat.

Lastly, this blog is probably going to switch gears a bit. I always envisioned that after I got married this blog would become more of a lifestyle blog, with nods to weddings. And that's pretty much what's going to happen. I've kind of OD'd on weddings. I couldn't even get it together to submit my wedding to more than two places. It's so...boring now. I wasn't bored by it three, even two months ago, but these days, I'm bored. So now the focus will be on the stuff of life: marriage, everyday life, clothes, homes, children, etc. with inspirational weddings thrown in every once in a while for good measure.

Speaking of...we hit our 6 month mark this week, and things are so much better. The house being clean and me getting a job have A LOT to do with that. Who knew it took so little to get a marriage going again?

Here's to the future, guys, and a beautiful new blog!


Wedding Recap: Reception

Sorry this last recap has taken me so long to post guys, but it's been a busy past couple of weeks, and on top of that, I've had some issues loading pictures to my blog. Anyway, here are the last of the wedding recaps. Enjoy!

As you know, we had Lovely cater our wedding. They prepared Coq au Riesling for our entree, which they served in individual cast iron crocks on top of our thrifted china. We didn't have a DJ or a band, but opted instead to create playlists for our iPod (really...didn't Apple pretty much neglect the need for a DJ at any wedding when they created the Genius playlists??). A.P. and I did a lot of debating over what song we should play for our first dance. Initially I wanted our song to be M. Ward's "To Go Home" (listen to it here...it will rock your world if you don't know it). When we first started dating we made each other mix CDs of our favorite music, and A.P. put that M. Ward song on my CD, and I fell in love. Plus, I loved the lyrics and felt they represented our feelings pretty accurately. Here's the thing, though, as you know, A.P. is not the strongest dancer, and while I'm not anywhere near professionally trained at all, I love to dance and can keep a beat. "To Go Home" is not a slow number, but rather a fast paced dance-y song that can be difficult to dance to if it's not your thing. Soooo...about three days before the wedding we decided we'd better choose a different song. We picked Little Joy's "Brand New Start," (listen to it here) which holds no personal significance for us, but which has a nice beat, is a lot slower, plus it has lyrics which seemed rather appropriate, and I love Little Joy. We didn't have a chance to take dance lessons or practice much, so the night before the wedding, A.P. and I danced to "Brand New Start" a million times in front of our friend, the Half-breed Swede, who gave us pointers. The result? A fairly seamless, simple dance routine that looked just fine even though we were both nervous as hell (after all, when have I ever had to dance in front of anyone, let alone EVERYONE?).

Other than that, the night saw us dancing, taking a ton of photobooth pictures with friends and family, drinking the insane amount of alcohol my brother bought (that's what happens when you put a bar owner in charge of your bar...everyone was sooooo drunk by the end of the night, everyone but us that is), and chatting with guests.

Enjoy some more of Theresa Scarbrough's lovely wedding photos! In addition, I've posted some of the better photobooth pictures. Our vendor Photobooth Express was awesome, and totally helpful in every way, shape and form!

See the look of joy on our faces? That's because we *just* got married!

It's the beautiful Brooke, one of the owners of Lovely

My mother designed both the program and menu on this antique double-sided chalkboard I bought off of eBay.
We now have the program side hanging in our living room.

Instead of table numbers, we named all our tables after skateboarding tricks, since A.P. used to be an amateur skateboarder.
After my mom saw this, she promptly asked me, "What kind of crazy names are those, anyway?"

It's me and my pops!

In lieu of a guestbook, I collected blank, vintage post cards of cities in Florida where A.P. had lived.
We then placed them on a vintage bamboo Florida tray, and after people signed them, they put them in this little mailbox A.P. constructed.
I bought the antique mailbox door off of eBay as an homage to my late grandmother, who was a U.S. Postmaster and actually had a post office in her house. So growing up, I would play and play and play in the post office. This was by far one of my favorite things in the wedding.

I took this vintage birdcage and lined it with some pretty craft paper as a catch all for people's cards.

Our photo display was housed in an antique armoire.
While some of the photos on display were framed, most of them were hung with gold paperclips on this pretty green yarn.
Interspersed between the photos were small paper hearts of various sizes, cut from floral craft paper we used throughout the wedding.

My bouquet was so beautiful and was such a steal! I have Lynn at Pollen Studios to thank for this beauty. We did the rest of the flowers ourselves, but this beauty was all Lynn!

The night before the wedding, my godmother/great aunt gave me this beautiful rosary to carry with my during the ceremony.
I wrapped it around my grandmother's vintage handkerchief. Something blue, something new!

A.P.'s father and stepmother

A.P.'s oldest brother gives a toast

My oldest brother gives a toast

B-Mac gives a toast (it made me cry)

My best friend from college gives a toast (this was the one that put me through hell before the wedding...but it all worked out in the end and she not only came, but gave a nice toast)

Another one of my three brothers gives a toast
Love this photobooth pic of B-Mac's six year old son and the giant Zuzu head (my cat)

I made a number of photobooth props including mustaches on sticks, and giant foamboard mounted photos of our pets. It was our little way of including our spoiled fur babies in our wedding.

A close up from our photobooth pictures of the past display. That's my mother when she was young on the left.
I love how she looks like she's shocked that A.P. and I are kissing in the picture on the right.

Our first dance

This is the look of shock on my face as I realize that miracles do occur. I looked over and I saw...

...My divorced, never talk to each other parents dancing!!

People lining up for the photobooth! So much fun!

Two of my friends sneaked some of the vintage salt and pepper shakers into the photobooth and did lewd things with them! Hilarious!

The beautiful dessert buffet

Our LOVELY cutting cake topped with the cake topper I made

Since we did not get to take pictures before the wedding because A.P. forgot his pants, we sneaked out of the reception, ran down the street to the Division El Stop, and took some breathtaking photos on the train platform, which was a big dream of mine. So while we didn't get our pre-wedding photos, we managed to at least do the train shots, which was awesome. Here are those photos, again all taken by Theresa Scarbrough.

Then it was back to the reception for some more mayhem.

I hope you guys have loved the wedding. Feel free to repost, with credit to Theresa and this blog, please.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to attempt to make some changes to the blog. We'll see how that goes, but please keep stopping by. I'm going to keep blogging, if you'll keep visiting. : O )
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