Wedding Wednesday: Rehearsal/Dinner

I'm slowly but surely getting all of the pictures and videos from our wedding and rehearsal and the dinner together. Luckily, a trip to PA lent itself to a lot of pictures and videos from the rehearsal so that's what I'm gonna share with you all today!
After getting our nails done and having lunch with my girls, we headed back to the hotel to check in and then get ready for the rehearsal and the dinner.

Having the rehearsal at the church REALLY made it all feel real to me (although, to be honest, there's an element of it all being surreal, even when you're walking down the aisle).
My dad looked extra sharp in his new suit:

We ran through the ceremony, and our niece Amanda practiced singing her song. And then I proceeded to bawl my eyes out. She just stood up there, singing her little heart out, and laughing at me while I cried haha.
My love :)
My ladies :)
The guys, with one stand-in girlfriend as a groomsman 
They had a bit of an interesting time figuring out how to lock arms  
The flower girls definitely had a good time :)
After the rehearsal, we all loaded up into our cars to head to dinner at Clyde's. Silly me was getting into the car, and trying not to show my lady parts...add in a car that's parked on a slant...and you get a crushed hand in the door. Luckily it wasn't my left hand, and someone had a drink in the car with ice that I shoved my hand into. The swelling went down and the bruise wasn't too noticeable. Phew! (Something always HAS to go wrong, doesn't it?)

The room we had reserved at Clyde's was perfect! We had time to mingle and talk with our wedding party, family and friends and the appetizers were super yummy! 
We sat down to eat dinner, and soon after that, the speeches started.

MG got up and thanked our family and friends for coming, and then thanked me for all of the planning and work I'd done to make it all happen (his words, not mine). And then said how we had talked and thought it was crazy that this is the one time in our lives that all of our friends and family will be in one place. It'll probably never happen again. And there's something really special about that.
Then MG's sisters got up to start their speech. They had arranged for each member of our families to share a word of wisdom from Winnie the Pooh. Cue: me crying again.

MG and I handed out our bridal party gifts, which everyone seemed to love, and we all eventually made our way back to the hotel. It was supposed to be a kinda low-key night at the hotel bar with the friends and family who were already in town, but turned into a party in MG's hotel room lol.
yes, I made this face a lot before the shame in my game :)
My girlfriends and I stayed for a little while and then made our way back up to my hotel room so that we could get some rest before the big day!
("some rest" ended up being me sleeping until 5am and then being WIDE awake)

I think my next post is gonna fast forward to the ceremony because I just can't wait much longer to share it :)

New Home, New Ideas....

Since tomorrow is Closing Day on our new home (altho we won't be moving in for another month), I've obviously been pinning my little heart away with all kinds of ideas of things for the new house.

Much like a wedding, things that look easy, cheap and DIY turn out to be hard, expensive and you need a handyman. But, for now I can dream and at least get some ideas in hand for some of the things we'd like to do/change/upgrade once we move into our new home.
For instance....
A cute table for the entry way. Maybe not quite this rustic (or this neon green), but something small-ish and serves the purpose of decoration and function when you walk in:

Although I know we won't have a front loader washer (heard nightmares about moldy mildew smells), we would definitely have space in our laundry room to do something like this. Maybe with washer and dryer to one side, and a "table" or surface on the other to fold clothes, etc. And lots of shelves and places to hang things. This is a definite:

 I love the colors in this bathroom...and how it works so well with light or dark wood. I would definitely consider doing a color like this in the guest bathroom (and probably some other rooms in the house as well since it's a great neutral color)

 This one is more on the "wishful thinking" and "maybe someday" list. Since most of our projects will be what we NEED, not what we WANT, a coffee "bar" is probably on the low end of the list, but I still think it would be cute to have in the house:

We have enough space for a guest room (that would have it's own full bathroom), and I'm definitely looking at ideas for that. We'll probably get an IKEA bedframe (once we get an extra mattress) and put together a cozy place for our guests to sleep. I love the bedspread in this photo:

 Once we get our guest room and guest bathroom set up, I'd LOVE to do something like this so that whenever we have people come over, they have everything that they might need, right at their fingertips:

 I'd prefer a lighter wall color, but I LOVE the rug in this room and am definitely going to be looking for something like this for either our bedroom, living room, or maybe even both!

 And, of course, a pretty gallery wall to display some of our favorite pictures, in general, and from the wedding. We received a super thoughtful gift from MG's brother-in-law's sister where she framed our invitation in a frame that matched the colors in our invitation. I can't wait to display that, along with the wine cork monogram letters that my best friend made for my bridal shower. This would be the perfect spot!

There you have it! Just a few of the things that I hope to get done in our new home. If you look at my Pinterest board "For the Home" (where all of these pics/pins were from) you'll see a TON more of my ideas and wishful thoughts :)

I'm sure I'll have even more when we go on our walk-through of the house today, before we close TOMORROW! Eeeep!

Weekend Recap

It's been a whirlwind of a weekend (with two more just like it in the upcoming weeks), but it was full of family, fun and celebrations, so it was well worth it!

Friday after work MG and I waited until traffic died down to make the drive up to Philly. Our niece's communion was Saturday morning, so we were up bright and early to get ready to see the little nugget take her first communion.

The weather was nice and Jill (my nugget) looked absolutely precious in her Communion dress and veil. I could have eaten her up!
After the ceremony, when she came out of the church and saw me, she ran up to me and jumped into my arms. Talk about making my heart feel so full!

Later in the afternoon, my sister-in-law (Jill's mom) had a party for Jill and our other niece, Alyssa, for their communions. They had been re-doing parts of their house, and this was the first time I'd gotten to see it all together--it looked great! My sister-in-law even matched her decor! lol 

Lots of friends and family came by for the festivities. It was great to see them all--we got lots of comments and compliments about how much fun people had had at our wedding, which was really nice to hear since it was an amazing day for us, we were glad that everyone else enjoyed it all as well :) It was really cute to hear Jill talk to Alyssa (whose communion is next weekend) about what communion tasted like ("a little like a potato chip, but not as crunchy" lol)

We also had the DVD my photographer sent of the "highlight" photos from the wedding day, set to the music from our first dance song, so we got to watch that with the family, too, along with some photos and videos that MG's dad had taken during the ceremony and rehearsal. It was enough to make me tear up watching it all over again :)

The party went until about 10:30 at night and by that point I was pretty tired so MG and I said our good byes and headed back to his parents' place. I quickly made my way up to bed and crashed for the night.

After having breakfast with MG's parents, and some puppy snuggles, we packed our car up with things that the family has been holding onto for us for our new house (so lucky!) and hit the road around noon.   
P.S. before we left, I took a pic of the centerpieces from our wedding. Two weeks later, they still look AWESOME!
Thankfully traffic was kind and we made it back in good time. 
Did some errands and then met up with my coworkers who are renting our place and got the lease signed!

This week is another busy one since MG and I are CLOSING ON THE HOUSE on Wednesday!!!! I can't believe we are going to be home owners of our first house together, and as a married couple! 
In the meantime, I have to get some work done to make sure I keep my job so we can afford our mortgage haha.
Catch ya tomorrow, loves!
Don't forget to link up with these lovely ladies:
Mingle 240

5 on Friday

It's FRIDAY! Even though this was a short work week for me (in terms of work days), it has been a long one trying to recover from everything post wedding/honeymoon.

Let's get to some 5 though, shall we?

{1}- Exhausted
Like I just mentioned, coming back from a vacation is rough. Coming back from a honeymoon that was insanely amazing and absolutely perfect and relaxing is even harder.
this pretty much sums up the honeymoon/vacation :)
 I know I won't get much sympathy since I was in paradise for a week, but I think everyone can relate to the post-vacation blues.
Especially when you come back to TONS of stuff going on at work, on top of....

{2}-Closing on the House
Next Wednesday MG and I close on our new home! It's incredibly exciting (and a little scary too), but we have been busy busy busy since getting back with trying to get last minute paperwork and finances in line. Luckily after Wednesday things should hopefully slow down a bit!

{3}-Nieces' Communions
MG and I are continuing our non-stop, go-go-go trend with a trip to PA this weekend for our two nieces' communions. One of them is actually on Saturday morning (and another one next weekend), but there's a party for both girls Saturday afternoon. It'll be so fun to see the family, celebrate the girls, and also re-hash all of the wedding fun, too. And, the girls are officially my nieces now (they even call me "Aunt Jenn"...swoon!), which is just that much more special to me :)

{4}-Wedding Pics
Our wedding photos are already done and being sent to us (hopefully we will get them today or in the mail tomorrow). I've already been perusing them and I there are some really great shots! I can't wait to share them with you all. In the meantime, the ones that have been posted to Facebook have been a good source to hold me over until the professional ones get in. Here's a sneak peak of two from facebook that I just love:
{5}-Outpouring of Love
I know I've said this before, but I really mean it: MG and I are blessed. As expected, on our wedding day we were showered with love and support by almost everyone who was in attendance. I can't tell you the amount of people who came up to us, or told our parents, that they can truly tell how happy we are together just by looking at us. I've had comments like that from my long-time friends, too--ones who have seen the heartache I've experienced in the past, and just how different things have been ever since I met MG. It's heart-warming to know that it's obvious to others when we're together, how we feel about each other.
We also couldn't believe how generous some of our family and friends were with their gifts, cards from the wedding and comments the following morning, too. I actually cried on the drive from the hotel back to our condo because I was so overwhelmed by how amazing our family and friends are, and just how lucky we are to have them, and each other, in our lives.  I even get a little teary-eyed thinking about it now...

So, on that super sappy note, I'll wish you a happy Friday and a fantastic weekend!
Catch ya on Monday, lovies!

Book Review: Must Love Otters

Since I was on my honeymoon, I had LOTS of time spent in, what MG and I call, "travel purgatory"....and around the pool relaxing to get my read on.
I finished 2 books on the honeymoon and started a third.
This was another one of my "cheap" finds on Amazon (only $2.99 for the Kindle) and thought it sounded like a nice, easy, fluffy read, which is exactly what I needed after wedding planning and post-wedding exhaustion!

Here's the Amazon synopsis:
"Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site."

I liked this book for an easy-read, although it took me a lot longer to get through it than I'd originally thought. There were some things I didn't love about the book...mainly how it started. I did NOT like how the main character was portrayed. I didn't like her or connect with her. I kind of thought she was a B.

Once it gets to the part of the book where she gets to the Spa, I liked reading the book much better (it took about 20% into the book to get there). Once I got there, I enjoyed reading it a bit more and reading how the story and different relationships unfolded.
Given, there are things that I felt were a little unrealistic, but....I was entertained enough to keep reading, and it was the mindless type of read that I needed.

I'd say this is a good pool/beach read for sure. If you're looking for something more serious/realistic, this book isn't for you.

Check back for a review of the other book I zipped through on the honeymoon, and in the meantime, check out my Book Reviews tab for other books you might be interested in!

Pre-Wedding Activities

I'm back from the honeymoon and easing myself back into real life and blogging.
Since I don't have my photos from the wedding or honeymoon organized, I thought I'd post about the events/activities leading up to the wedding.

On Thursday, MG and I both finished up our last days of work, and his family started making their way down to Virginia.

By Thursday around 5:30, MG's parents, and one sister (and her family) had made it down, along with MG's uncle and aunt from Maine. We headed to the hotel to meet up with them and to go out to dinner for our niece's 8th birthday (my nugget).

We went to Maggianos for dinner and had a delicious meal where I reminded myself that I had to fit into a dress in 2 days, so I tried not to overindulge :)

We celebrated this little nugget:

And then the waiters we had were nice enough to bring MG and I champagne with sparklers to celebrate our upcoming nuptials:
It was a super fun night! After dinner we headed back to the hotel to say good bye to everyone, but little did we know that we would run into MG's other sister and family arriving, along with a few other friends from out of town.

What was supposed to be a quick drop off, turned into a mini reunion in the hotel lobby :)

After a bit, MG and I headed home to get some rest for our Friday activities.

During the day, the guys went to play golf at Top Golf before getting ready for the rehearsal dinner. The girls and I went to get our nails done at a nail salon and then had lunch together. The nieces all got their nails done, too:

I got a french manicure (shellac) on my hands and a pretty purple color on my toes. The nails actually lasted all the way through our entire honeymoon, which I was super pleased about :)

It was surreal getting our nails done for the wedding day, knowing it was coming only a day later. 
Yes, I took this pic at the nail salon lol
Luckily, too, the weather was absolutely gorgeous and I knew we were going to be in store for a beautiful wedding weekend :)

I'll recap the rehearsal dinner and all of the other fun wedding stuff in another post!
Happy Hump Day!

I'm baaaack!

Somehow, some way....I'm back!

MG and I made it back into DC last night around 11pm...needless to say that after 12+ hours of travel, and being away from paradise, we are pretty tired this morning.

But, we are coming back to our daily lives as a husband and a wife, and that's pretty cool. Not to mention all of the awesome wedding and honeymoon photos and stories that we have to share. I'm hoping those will help keep me going through the day today.

Since we got back late last night I haven't had a chance to get a legit post together, so for now, this post and a picture of our amazing honeymoon resort will have to do.

Don't mind me while I pretend that that is the view I'm looking at out of my window, rather than the view of the inside of my office! :)

Be back tomorrow hopefully with some fun posts!

Also, BIG shout out to the AWESOME ladies who guest posted for me while I was gone--I loved reading your posts! Thanks for keeping my little blog nice and cozy over here for me :)

And Trishy-poo, thank you for the sweetest post ever about the wedding day yesterday.  I'm SO glad that you were a part of it all! Love you!!

I'm off to try and get re-acquainted with the real world.... :)

Guest Post {Tales from Trish}: 4.21.14

Hey Gals!

I'm Patricia from Tales from Trish  and while Jenn is coming back to reality after an AWESOME wedding and an incredible honeymoon - I'm here to share with you some pics from the 4.12.14 nuptials and par-tay.

First - I have to say this (and I know everyone says/thinks this but since it's coming from me it's really true): Jenn made THE MOST beautiful bride.  She looked absolutely gorgeous - the hair, the make-up, the dress = perfection!
First we started with the wedding rehearsal and dinner. Great mingling time to meet the groomsmen, family, bridesmaids and friends.
The bride even showed up in a cute white dress as practice (while 4 out of 5 of the bridemaids randomly (and unplanned) showed up in black. weird right?! LOL).
The Bride & I.

Bride & Dad - Love this pic! Mr. Bride's Dad looks so handsome!
The after rehearsal - after dinner - Bud Light shot! Mr & Mrs sure know how to party!
In case anyone gets confused - THIS is the bride :)
The excitement was terrific! It all felt so much more real when Jenn stepped in and zipped up her dress:

 I didn't get too many shots at the church (because I was busy being a bridesmaid in all) but I did get to snap this one:

The weather was PERFECT. The sun was shining, bird singing and overall a very happy weather day!

My favorite part of the whole thing: CAKE!

After the ceremony and after the cocktail hour (which the bride and groom was awesome enough to have a little cocktail hour set up for the bridal party since we missed a lot of it taking photos) there was lots of eating (the steak was so good), lots of wine drinking, lots of laughing, dancing, photo boothing and just overall fun. I'm STILL sore and my feet STILL hurt but it's so worth it!
3/5 bridesmaids

One last image to leave you with today - True Love:

Congrats to the beautiful couple!
Up next: some beautiful blue eyed babies! Woot!