me, rachel
I haven't been using this blog in over a year, and sometime during that break I started a new one. I noticed that several of you are still "following" this blog, even though I'm not updating it. If you like the Cuteness Chronicle, you'll definitively like Rachel Playing House!
me, rachel

I'm home! It's wonderful. I love my family oh so much! And I miss them when I'm away at school. I was convinced that when all my homework was over and done with, I'd have tons more time, more than I'd know what to do with, in fact!

False. I do not have any more time. However, I'm not sure where it disappeared to.

Probably the same place my other sock went. Home is like that.

I got home May 1st and started work on May 3rd. I figured that after 5, I would be free to focus on all the wedding-related tasks that are vying for my attention. Instead, I come home tired, and just want to chill with the rest of my family. Unfortunately, chilling with the fam in front of an NCIS turns into an NCIS marathon...and next thing you know it's 11:00 and Dave's calling. And I accomplished nothing. Except 3 rows on my super cute lace knit hat.

Basically I've accomplished nothing.

Now I've been home for 3 weeks. I got our invitations sent out the first week. Actually, there was a minor fiasco that went along with invitation sending, wanna hear it? I knew you did!

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I designed our invitations myself. In case you missed them, here's a link to the post about the invitations and RSVP's, and here's the thank you cards.

Naturally, if I'm going to put that much work into my stationary, I'm not going to neglect the packaging! I planned on designing a cute envelope design when I got home and printing all the addresses on in a super-cute font to match the invites.

Unfortunately, when I got home, my computer crashed 3 or 4 times, and in the process of being fixed, became a vegetable (the operating system was removed, and the new one didn't work. Thankfully, it works now!). So, I lost my precious Adobe programs and had to design my envelopes in Microsoft Word. Not exactly the best graphics program.

When I finally got the graphics arranged in a passable manner, I tried to print our addresses. Unfortunately, I forgot that our printer is possessed by a paper-eating demon, which proceeded to eat several of my envelopes. By now it's about 11:30 pm, the day after I wanted them sent out.

I had just resigned myself to handwriting all 130+ addresses by myself, when dad saw me and felt sorry for me. So, he volunteered to print them at work for me the following day. I set up the documents as best as I could at that late hour, and sent them with him.

The next day, I received several calls from my family, trying to reach me. I finally call my dad back, and he explains to me that he didn't realize that the proper font wasn't installed before he started printing. He had printed about half the envelopes in some large, sans-serif font. Did I want him to continue?

I took a few cleansing breaths, and explained how to download the proper font, so that at least some of my envelopes could be saved. But, as was the habit of this particular project, it didn't work. His computer wouldn't let him unzip the file, so we were stuck with the large Ariel-style font. I told him to go ahead and print them.

So, at this point, we had 6 envelopes printed in the right font, about 20 that I had handwritten, and about 100 printed with this alien font. Mom and I stuffed and stamped them, and we sent them out the next day on our way to Virginia for my cousin's wedding.

After a whirlwind 3-day trip to Virginia (an 11 hour drive, one way), we came home, and I went back to work. The first few days, I was so beat after work that I couldn't do much more than sit on my bum when I got home. I slowly started recovering, and started realizing that I was getting married in 5 weeks, and still had more tasks to do than I could imagine.

That weekend, my Dad's side of the family threw me a bridal shower! It was lots of fun. My grandmas from both sides came, as well as all my aunts on that side, and most of my female cousins. The house was all decorated in pink and green (the colors of our  wedding!), right down to the ham salad sandwiches! I tell you what, when my Aunt Mary Jane throws a party, she throws it right!

Thankfully, they didn't deliberately try to embarrass me. However, the second game we played, "Bridal Jenga," got a little embarrassing. A lot embarrassing. They-talked-about-sex-in-front-of-my-grandmas embarrassing. Apparently the game, which was a regular Jenga game with questions written on about half the blocks, was made by one of my cousins for a bridal shower for a college friend a number of years ago. Some of these questions would have been awkward in that setting, but not the end of the world. However, when your grandma pulls the block that says, "Name two places (outside the bedroom) that you would like to have sex," and you and your grandma both are supposed to answer it...yikes!

I plead the fifth.

Overall, it was really fun! Showers are, by nature, rather awkward, what with getting all those gifts and such, but I had fun. And it was nice to see so much of the family again. I've missed a lot of family events being off at school.

That night (Saturday), Dave came up to visit with Wes and his new bride, Shele. They were up for around 24 hours, to visit their grandparents who are home from the mission field for about a month. I spent all day Sunday with Dave, and got home late that night. Monday I was back at work.

Weekends here are NOT relaxing. Just saying.

This week, I decided that doing wedding planning in the evenings wasn't going to work, so I told my boss that I needed Friday's off, starting immediately. I worked Monday through Wednesday this week, then stayed home sick/played hooky with my bestest buddy yesterday. (I was actually sick, she played hooky. And we ate mint oreos and watched the best movie ever made: Anne of Green Gables).

Today I contacted several people in an attempt to chase down information I need for planning this big shindig we have coming up in less than a month.

Oh yeah, did I mention that? This week Wednesday was the one-month mark. Freak out time!! Ahh!! So much to do, and no time to do it!!

So, right now my biggest things to tackle are the cake (with me being out of the state for school, the cake got overlooked until it was too late and all the bakers in the area are booked full for June, so we're gonna make it ourselves), flowers (we're making our own bouquets using silk flowers, but I haven't decided yet what they should look like), ceremony decorations (which, by the way, I could still use suggestions for!), ceremony music, reception layout/decor, makeup, photography, music, hairstylists, shoes (which I don't have yet! eep!), and probably about 100 other things that I'm forgetting.

Oy vey. Buckle up kids, this should be fun!

And to think, at the end of this, I'll be a wife. That totally hasn't sunk in yet. Not sure it will for another year or so. That's about when I'll wake up when I finally get the chance to stop.
me, rachel
Wow! What a month! I've been so busy with school, and Cedars (the campus newspaper, of which I am the visual editor) and wedding planning that I haven't had time to keep you updated on what I've been busy doing! Honestly, I don't have time to be writing this now, but sometimes I like to pretend that I have time. It keeps me sane. Ish.

So, in the past several weeks, so much has happened! While I haven't had a lot of time to devote to wedding planning specifically, things have happened. I guess I'll start at the beginning!

Sunday April 11: Lingerie Shower

I feel so scandalous saying "lingerie" on the internet for the whole world to see! But hey, it was a fun party! The girls in my unit decided a while back that they wanted to do something for me, and this seemed to be the favorite option. So, I provided them with sizes of...*ahem*...well sizes they needed to purchase gifts, and a guest list! Obviously all the girls in my unit were invited, as well as Julie, my RA from last year (who, fun fact, also grew up with Dave!). I also asked that Dave's sisters (in law) were invited, as well as my two best friends from back home (who are in the wedding party).

Almost everybody came! There were a few girls in my unit who couldn't make it, and Emily and Holly (besties from  home) couldn't make the trip. But all the sisters came!

Now, I know that with a lingerie shower nobody is really interested in the guest list. You all really only want to know one thing. And instead of telling you, I'll show you!

THE FOOD!!! Wait, you thought I was going to show you something else? I honestly can't imagine what that would be...

Yes, we had tea! Three types. In the first, epically graphic, teapot: White Tea, Island Mango and Peach. The violet pot held Holiday Spice Blend tea (which seriously tastes like Christmas in a cup. No joke!). And the leopard print pot held Tanganda, a favorite of anyone from Zimbabwe (as Dave's family, and Julie, are)!

We also had finger foods like strawberries and cheese. It was quite delicious. If I wasn't so embarrassed and focused on keeping my elbows pinned to my side so the wet circles under my arms wouldn't show, I would have eaten more!

After we had food they had me tell our story! So I went on an on unintelligibly about back seats and long crushes and hopeless flirting and long distance. Thankfully, I think most of them had heard our story before, because otherwise it wouldn't have made much sense.

(Disclaimer: the back seat thing? Totally not how it sounds. We met in the back of a van. Um well that doesn't sound right either. How about we just say it was youth group thing and totally innocent and leave it at that.)

Then, Becca, my RA, had this game planned. She had asked Dave a bunch of questions beforehand about me/us/our relationship, then asked me the same questions right there in front of everybody! The goal was to see how well our answers matched up. For the most part, they did! There was one pretty bad question, tho.

"What is the most embarrassing thing Rachel has ever done in front of you?" This question scared the bejebers outa me! Not because I had done anything particularly embarrassing...but because I was terrified that I had done something embarrassing and forgotten about it, and he was about to reveal it to all my friends! Thankfully, his answer was something I had done that embarrassed him, not me, so I didn't mind at all!!

After the newlywed game (soon-to-be-wed game?), the girls couldn't wait anymore. They wanted me to open my presents! Now, let me just tell you something. It's very awkward to go to a party where the entire point is to give me presents. When I do get presents, I'm used to it being like Christmas, where everyone gets presents. At this shower, there were enough bags stacked up on the table to be Christmas, but they were all for me! It was really weird.

See? That's a lot of bags! I started opening them up, and got more embarrassed than I was before. Remember when I was just eating cheese cubes and digging my elbows into my side to keep my wet circles from showing? Yeah, these "unmentionables" are a tad more embarrassing than cheese cubes! As I tried to gracefully pull the delicate underthings out of their striped bags, I looked far less than delicate. But since nobody was looking at me, they'll never know!

Except I'm posting it on the internet.

And even those of you who weren't present know now.

Oh well. Moving on to bigger, more humorous problems. Every time I picked up something with straps of any kind, I got it tangled up! I literally had trouble figuring out which end was up on many different strappy numbers, and my roommate had to sort them out for me. My roommate. Had to show me. Which end. Goes up. Among other things. I think they should have come with instructions, personally.

Now, I can imagine what you're thinking. I'd be thinking the same thing if I were in your shoes. You want to see something that I got! Well, I suppose I can let you see just one.

What? you thought you'd see something exciting? Well let me tell you something: that flower is a blessing! You don't really want to know. Trust me. You don't.

Now the only problem is figuring out how to send thank you notes for these particular gifts. What am I supposed to write? "Dear Friend, I'd like to mention my thanks for the unmentionables. They will be greatly enjoyed. Love, Me." Awkward!! Oh, and to make it better? The adorable thank you cards I designed (and just got back, yay!) are postcards, so my awkward thanks can be read by every postman from here to kingdom come! Oh well. What's a girl to do?
me, rachel

Time. Now there's something I could use more of! Right up there with dresses and chocolate. There are so many things that demand my time: classes, work, more work, homework, eating, wedding planning, fiance', and sleep, to name a few. I've come to the conclusion that something's gotta go. I wish it could be classes, or at the very least work, but if I quit the work, I'd have to quit the classes...which would in turn leave me without an education and working a fast food counter for the rest of my life.

"Would you like fries with that?"

Yeah. So I've decided sleep's gotta go. And I'll keep thinking that until I fall asleep. Then I'll pick something else to ignore.

But, as much as I'm sure you all care about my busy/crazy/hectic/insane schedule, that's not the time I want to talk about. I'd like to talk about wedding time.

Yesterday, Dave and I were looking at vows (which we REALLY need to figure out!), and what all we want to go into our ceremony. As I said in the previous post, I haven't spent much time thinking about the ceremony, because the reception and other over-all concerns have been filling my wedding-plate. While we were discussing this, we realized that we didn't really know what all was supposed to go into a ceremony! We know we don't want it to be too short (march in, I do, I do, big smooch, march out) but we don't want it to be too long either (mosey in, special music, special reading, more music, congregational sing, pastor's five point applicational sermon followed by an alter call, more special music, hand-written vows, traditional vows, big smooch, hug every guest on the way out).

All that to say, we don't know what to incorperate into our own ceremony! We like the idea of traditional vows, and don't feel the need to share personal vows with all our guests. However, we haven't looked at any music at all (processional through recessional), much less special music. We also haven't discussed if we want any Bible or poetry readings, or what we want our officiant to speak on in his charge to the couple.

I do believe we will encorperate the unity candle ceremony, but beyond that (and the traditional vows, the particulars of which we have not yet decided on), we don't really know what we're doing.

Do you have an example ceremony timeline from your wedding? We're looking for the ceremony to be 30ish minutes long, but we're open to any suggestions that will help us out!

Besides the ceremony, I also need to come up with a timeline for the reception, as well as a pre-wedding timeline (for the day of) so that I know we can get all the girls' hair done, get some lunch, take the pictures, set up the reception, etc. all before the ceremony. Hopefully we can do that without getting up before the sun. I am not a morning person.

I have no idea how long it will take to get our hair done, I suppose the first step would be to talk to Michele, as well as find at least one more hairdresser to help us out and figure out how long it takes to do five girls' hair.

Then I also have to talk to the photographer and find out how much time he anticipates needing. We'll have to decide where to take the pictures, and set aside enough time for that.

I'm positive I'm forgetting something. Maybe a lot of somethings. Help? What else goes into a pre-wedding timeline?

The reception timeline will be easier, because Dave DJ's wedding (and birthday parties, and powerlifting, and life) in his free time, and has helped design timelines for receptions for other brides.

But I still need your help! I really need ideas for the ceremony, because I'm totally stumped on that. I can still use design and decorating ideas, too! Plus, if you have any idea what I could be forgetting for the morning of the wedding, let me know!! It would be so helpful!
me, rachel
This weekend, we went to the church where we will be having our ceremony. It is Dave's church (mine used to be a school, and isn't built very well for weddings!) back home. We signed the contract (finally), and looked at the sanctuary, the other rooms we'll be using, and the decorations they have available. This was the first time my mom's really been there, so it was really good for her to see everything. I had no idea what all they had available, and thankfully they do lots of weddings, and have lots of decorations that we can use for free! However, I've hardly spent any time thinking about the ceremony, because the reception takes so much more effort (it's a shame, because really, while the reception is longer, the ceremony is more important!).

So, basically, I need your help! This is the sanctuary:

It's currently decorated for Easter. The whole stage will be cleared off for us, meaning the chairs, the modesty rail, the communion table, etc.

These are some of the decorations availiable:
They have flowers in every imaginable color that we can decorate the stage with, as well as pew bows and holders, tulle, white Christmas lights, and so much more I don't even remember. However, I think this is my favorite part:

Actually, my favorite part would be those rectangular beams lying on the floor there between the pillars. Those make a frame that can go over the pillars. As all my favorite ceremony pictures have been of Jewish weddings and their huppas, or canopies, I love this idea!

Here are some of the ideas I have:
This is a huppa. Yes, we are Christian, but there is nothing that says I can't borrow the lovely idea of a canopy for my own wedding! Symbolically, it stands for the home that the couple will build together.

I'm trying to decide if I want to use the basic white puffy pew bows that the church has, or if I want to come up with something of my own. Ideas?

OK, now I need help! Even with these few ideas, I have no idea what to do! I've spent little time dwelling on the decor of the ceremony, and many of the inspiration pictures I have are of outdoor weddings! What have you seen done that worked well? What did you do? What do you think I should try? I could really use the advice!
me, rachel
Just thought I'd give you a little taste of what's inspiring me for my wedding! I wish I could tell you where all of these pictures came from, but since I've been collecting them from blogs, Google images, and wedding planning websites for the past year, I have no clue!

Cute picnic food! (Left to Right) Very adorable way to serve drinks! LOVE the boxed lunches! I may look into seeing what we can do in this area, as it is so darn cute! The ice cream and fruit sandwitches look soo yummy! I showed you this cake before, and it is just so summery; it is, after all, strawberry shortcake! This jar is the cutest way to serve lemonade; I'd love to do pink lemonade with pieces of real strawberries (instead of the lemons)...a favorite of mine, and very yummy! These lolli-pops and rock candy favors are just too cute! Watermelon and ice cream are absolute MUSTS for picnic anything :-)

Picnic design ideas! (Left to Right) LOVE LOVE LOVE this; I don't know that it will work practically, but I love the look of picnic blankets on the ground! Bocce ball is just one idea we have of fun picnic games. These hay bales and quilts would make for a fun lounge area to rest tired dancing feet! Wildflowers are a perfect fit! lately, I have loved the idea of mix-matched china...maybe not for eating off of, but as serving dishes? adorable. These wooden signs could totally be used everywhere! Since our ceremony location is only 2 miles from our reception location, they could even point the way! Mason jars are adorable, and I totally want to use them to decorate the reception! And this photobooth...adorable! Daddy's gonna help me build one!

I spend way too much time collecting photos that inspire me, hopefully this little taste will inspire you, too!
me, rachel
So, lately I've been wondering what do do about my hair. Not so much about how to cut it, thought that's been on my mind lately too...but I mean how to wear my hair on my wedding day. Like everything else that is a part of this wedding, I have collected a folder full of pictoral inspriation! I start by collecting any and all pictures I like, whether they are possible or not. Then I can go through them again and find the ones that are easilly used, and the ones that can be altered to fit my event.

In the hair category, however, I'm pretty much stumped. See, I love my hair, I really do, but I wish that it was naturally curly, or at the very least could hold a curl. Because of this wish, all my favorite pictures seem to be ones like this one:

This is by far my favorite picture in my folder. However, my very straight smooth hair couldn't do this if you begged. Trust me, I've tried begging. However, I can adapt this! I looked at it and said, "what do I like most about this picture?" Besides the obvious love of the loose curls and the textured style, I realized I LOVED the flowers! So then I found options like this one:

Now this one would work in my hair! It is much more like my texture. Oh, a note about flowers: I'd be wearing them for the reception. I have veils for the ceremony :-)

That isn't my favorite style. I'm not entirely sure what I want, to be honest. I have lots of pictures of smooth buns, but those seem so...boring to me. I guess I want my hair to be elegant and beautiful, I'd love for it to be curly (for just once in my life!), but I also want it to be "me."

These are the things that I do know about what I want:

1) I want my hair up. I wear my hair down everyday, so wearing it straight, for me, is not special. If I had it down, I'd want it to be curly, but I'd be surprised if my hair would hold a curl (when worn down) for the length of the ceremony, let alone the entire reception!

2) Related to 1, I don't want it completely plastered with hair spray. The only times I have ever had semi-successfull curls were times that my hair was so stiff with hairspray that it was crunchy. Ew! Not beautiful bride!

3) While I want it up, I don't want it WAY up. I want my hair on the back of my head or the nape of my neck. I don't want it to add any height to my already 5'7"-before-'my-3-inch-heels self!

4) I'd love curls of some sort, although this is not as necessary as the other three. Curls are romantic, and to me, they are special! I know all the girls with curly hair who read this wouldn't agree with me, but when my hair is curled, it's a special ocasion. If I want to be pretty (and I do, it is my wedding, after all!), one of my first thoughts is of beautiful curls!

So, I don't think that's too picky...actually it must not be because I still have no idea what to do with my hair! I really need your help! I'd like to decide on this detail before too long because Michele, the amazing girl who married Dave's brother Wes 2 weeks ago, has agreed to do my hair for me, and I'd like to talk to her about it before school is done and I go back home! Plus, having time for a trial run would be nice, if she's ok with that.

Any ideas on my hair delimma? I'd love your help!