Friday, April 23, 2010


The last few weeks have been a flurry of activity. Thankfully I was prepared for the business, so it didn't entirely bowl me over. Yet, I haven't gotten much in the way of sleep the last few weeks. Ah, well. It does make the waiting somewhat easier. Emphasis on the Somewhat. :P

The first thing I did was track down a wedding checklist. I was so turned around the first few days I knew I'd need a bit more help. The Wedding Wire has a good sample, and is fully customizable. According to the checklist, here are some of the things I've gotten done the past few weeks:

Decide on the budget
Choose flowers from
Choose a color scheme for your big day. Collect ideas and determine an overall theme/style you want for the event.
Determine a timeframe for your wedding date. Narrow down your wedding date to a few weekends that don't conflict with other family events.
Choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Invite them to be in your wedding party.
Book your photographer.
Book your ceremony musician.

I still have a list of things to do--purchase the remainder of the bridesmaid dress fabric, and the dye. I need to find the official wedding location--which will determine the official wedding date. We need to make an official guest list--which can't be determined until the location is determined (regardless of the size of the venue we'll be able to fill it). So yes, it's a busy time. But that's a nice thing. :)

In a look back on the previous months, here's a couple projects I've been working on:

Designing a dress pattern.And no, that isn't my dress. But it IS pretty, no?


Starting a mockup (yep! Tammy and the bachelor is playing in the background! Nothing like a sappy movie to get the romantic juices flowing ;) )

Monday, April 5, 2010

An Unusual Holiday, part 2

[Edited to add pictures]

"Don't worry, we're going to get some time alone together today. Even if we have to duck behind some bushes somewhere and just disappear." Sitting on the bench at the front entrance of the botanic gardens, I remembered Richard's hopeful prediction and accompanying grin. I knew he couldn't possibly want that more than I did, but as I surveyed the group of people I was pretty doubtful about logistics. My birthday party had ended not long ago, and both Richard's family and my family had caravaned to the botanical gardens for a picture shoot. Our families aren't small, and all told we had nearly two dozen people. The likelihood of having any private moments together was pretty slim. I made up my mind not to be upset if it didn't work out.

My family

Much to my surprise, after about an hour of mad picture snapping Richard told me we were going to go on a walk. Again, I was skeptical. His family isn't fond of courting couples being alone. In fact, to my knowledge they had only allowed it twice--both during his sister's courtship. The first time was when his now brother-in-law proposed. The second was just before the wedding. But, Richard was quite determined, and though puzzled, I wasn't inclined to argue.

Richard lead me to a smaller separate garden then steered me down a shaded path off to the side. I'd gotten a bit ahead of him when he called my name. Turning around I saw him leaning down to pick up a piece of paper off to the side of the path. I hadn't noticed it when we passed. Holding it up Richard announced, "This is your birthday present. I wrote you a long letter, and the five parts are hidden around the garden. Here's the first part."

Delighted, I grabbed the first part, unfolded it, and immediately began to read.

"Oh, no!" Richard objected, laughing at my enthusiasm, "You can't read them until you have all of them--then I want to sit down somewhere so I can watch you."

"Awww--well, then you'd better hurry up!" I said, darting off in the direction he'd indicated the next part of the letter was.

Suddenly the mysterious walk made sense. I'd known things were pretty tight; Richard's car, bought a mere 6 weeks ago, had broken down three times in the past 7 days--and that wasn't even counting repairs in the other 5 weeks. The diamond necklace had startled me until he explained it had been purchased before the car troubles.  My man loves giving gifts, so instead of purchasing something else he'd chosen to do something much more valuable to me--give the gift of his time in writing a wonderfully long letter and then presenting it in such a creative way. I was glad his family had been understanding about the idea.

I don't know how long I was looking for the remaining letter parts. I do know that the uncomfortably tall (but adorable) dress shoes were quickly abandoned in my quest, and the next while was filled with love, laughter, and intense searching. I do believe Richard had as much fun in watching me search as I had in the triumph of discovery . The first part I've already mentioned.

The second was hidden by some monkey statues (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil).

The third was on a ledge above a door  in a little Japanese house on the water.

The fourth was tucked in the railing around a large pagoda in the middle of the garden.

On the fifth one Richard pointed me toward a shady trail through some tall bamboo. When we got there he confessed that he'd have to hide the last part of the letter--he'd only finished it that morning. I spun around and closed my eyes like he said (well, they were mostly closed. I didn't think he'd mind me looking at the bamboo).

After what seemed like a VERY LONG TIME (but probably wasn't long at all) he told me he was done. I turned, eager to find the final part, but instead I found Richard, kneeling across from me and holding a ring.

 Richard tells me the look of shock on my face was priceless. I don't know. I couldn't see it. I do know that about a million thoughts rushed through my mind at an astonishingly slow rate (anyone who's been startled should know what I mean by that). They started with, "What does he think he's doing? Doesn't he know he can't do that yet? What about all the things that had to happen first? and where'd he get that ring anyway?" and continued on to, "Well, should I make him get up? Wait... he just asked me to marry him... I think he's serious!!"

All things considered, I wouldn't have minded seeing the look on my face. I think it would have been pretty comical. In the end I weathered the shock and, of course, said yes.


An unusual holiday indeed, Part 1

 My Easter Dress

 It was Resurrection Sunday and church had just finished. Much to my delight I'd managed to stay awake the entire service--despite having my bestest girl friend over the evening before. We'd stayed up till an unmentionable hour curling hair, doing nails, and in general "prettifying" whilst talking about our respective men. In all our prettifying we must have forgotten about that one ingrediant known as "beauty rest," because we certainly didn't get much. Despite difficulty in getting up, I'd not only stayed awake the entire morning but also paid pretty good attention. Now church had let out and my Man suggested we take a walk around the church.

The day was not only special because its beauty and the fact that we were celebrating our Saviors resurrection, but also because it was my birthday. It doesn't happen often that the two dates coincide, and I'd been pretty excited about it happening this year. On top of that, my man had informed me earlier in the week that he was making a very special birthday present for me. Several nights we'd parted earlier than our habit so he could continue work on said present. When he invited me on the walk I eagerly accepted, and not just because I love walking with him (though I do, immensely). I also absolutely adore presents--particularly ones that are well thought out and take several days to make--and I knew that was what this walk was for.

My expectation did not go unfulfilled. Part way around the church we stopped, and my man pulled a little pouch out of his pocket. "Happy birthday, Baby."

Inside the pouch I discovered a beautiful diamond heart pendant. I admired it a few minutes, and then quickly removed the necklace I was wearing and clasped the new one around my neck.

"I know it isn't the diamond you were hoping for..." Richard's voice was apologetic, "but I hope it'll do until I can give you the other one." I assured him that I was perfectly satisfied with the gift, and added, tongue in cheek, that he'd never hear a word of complaint from me about any gift of diamonds he choose to give me.

Content though I was, there was one thing I wasn't satisfied with. "Wait--but you didn't make this." I asked as we continued our lap around the church, "So there are two gifts? What about the one you made? Do I get that one now?"


"Hey! But I thought you said I get that one now! You are giving it to me TODAY, right? It's my birthday, you know. You have to give it to me on my birthday."

"You'll get it today."

"But when?"


"Why later?" (as you can see, I'm a rather inquisitive person. Particularly when it comes to presents. Most particularly when it comes to surprise presents from my man that I know he's been working on for some time.)

"I can't give it to you now."

"Why not?

Richard just grinned at me. He loves dodging those questions just as much as I love asking them. Finally I had to acquiesce. Pry though I might, I couldn't get any further information about the mysterious handmade gift.

Continue reading for:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My garden!

Back in January I got quite a bit of money in graduation presents. It was seriously amazing, I didn't actually realize that people gave money to graduates--at least, not anything different than a birthday present or something. I don't recall many monetary presents when I graduated high school. Most of the money elected to save as I have some rather large upcoming expenses in the (hopefully) near future. But there was one luxury I afforded myself from the graduation presents: