Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Say YES to MY Dress

It was a crazy weekend. It started with E and I going to a cool event Friday night called Art. Sole. Life. Saturday morning I got up as usual to go downtown to the courthouse to volunteer with Sister to Sister. I get there and the room is not split in two. I see the girls are trying to move the partion and I start to help. Well one of them was off the track and it feel on my foot! *sigh* HURT LIKE FOR REAL!!! So now I'm hobbling along and looking crazy! I go home and put ice on it and keep it elevated, but in the back of my mine I know that I have to go to this Bridal Gown Blow Out Sale on Sunday! I just HAVE TO!

Well Sunday I get up and it's still a little swollen but ain't NOTHING keeping me from this sale. My girls AKA Team GREEN meet me there and we are ready to roll!

They had the madness well managed and long story short... I FOUND MY DRESS!!! And to make it even more PERFECT it was exactly a month to the date that I got engaged. I don't even feel like I'm moving quick like that, but obviously I am! LOL!! LOVES IT!!

I can't believe I've already found my dress!

Let's keep this ball going!!! :)


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Flexibility is KEY...

During this whole process, I am having to constantly remind myself that the ONLY idea that I can actually 'marry myself' to is the fact that I am getting married to Mr. RoBo.  All of the other ideas, events, centerpieces, activities, relationship dynamics with others, etc. are free to change, but my focus has to remain on what the MAIN theme of this whole thing.  The commitment that we are making to God concerning our union as husband and wife. 

When I first started planning, I NEEDED to get married in an amphitheatre.  I tore the Internet UP looking for one that was within an hour distance from the Metro area, that could accomodate our guests and was affordable.  Try as I might, I just could not locate it.  But, I was able to fall in love with another place.  It isn't the amphitheatre that I envisioned, but at the end of the day, if I had to come down some stairs, it could prove disastrous, so maybe it is for the best.

The other day, I was extremely down.  It felt like everything was going wrong.  Folks are having to drop out of the wedding like flies (all good reasons, but not what I envisioned at any count).  Family doesn't seem to be cooperating with making arrangements to come to the wedding, despite all of my efforts to make it as easy as possible for them.  Pre-marital counseling is SOoooo... mentally draining.  I had scheduled a meeting with all of my pals to go over the wedding plans with them, sharing my vision for the day with all of the photos and samples of what I wanted for the wedding day.  I stayed up for days putting it all together into a nice presentation for everyone to see.  I put in captions to share what was an idea, what was already purchased... etc.  I was impressed, I really enjoyed making it as well as the end product.  It bought a tear to my eye watching it all.  Then, the thank you video that I had at the end would not upload properly and that was the beginning of a downhill journey.  The computer wouldn't connect to the TV, so we had to watch it all in groups on laptops.  And, after a few days of no sleep making sure that I got out my vision, no one seemed to 'get it' at all.  I was nearly pushed clean and clear OFF THE EDGE!  I'm being told in one ear - this is YOUR day (Ugh.. I HATE that), but several of my ideas being shot down as infeasible when they are still in the infancy planning stage.  But, can I let that get me down?  Nope, gotta dust it off and try it again. 

From the start, the ONE thing that I knew was my colors - green & blue.  Since it is nearly time for a remodel in the house, I figured that I could use some of the decorations to change up the house which is in a blue & green theme.  Sweet.  Shortly thereafter, I came up with a peacock theme, perfect.  The venue is lovely for the most part except that their linens do not drop all the way to the floor (and anything else is simply unsuitable in my opinion) and the chairs are an eggplant.  So, after reaching the end of the Internet and not finding a price that I was willing to pay for chair covers... (why can't I find any for like .50?), I looked deep into the eye of the peacock to see that there is purple in there, so I can just throw a hint of purple in the decorations and the chairs do not stick out as much as I once thought that they would!  YAY...  another problem solved!

So, as I go about this, I have resigned myself to recall that the only plan that I am interested in going right is that we are going to be together at the end of the day, all else is free to fall as it may!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I'm not set on really ANYTHING yet. But one must have is lots candles every where!! I just really see TONS of candles and something super romantic. I'm on a mad search for inspiration for centerpieces. Who would have thought this would be so difficult. are some ideas.

What do you think??


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Online (NOT SO GOOD) Finds

So I was soooooooooooooo geeked when I saw these bubbles on THEKNOT for $4.99. I'm thinking this is a STEAL. I'll get to packs and for $10 I'm DONE. This is perfect for the send off after the reception.

Well I go to check out and BAM...........$11 for shipping???


Why would I pay more for shipping then the items themself??

UGHHHHHHHH! Now I'm upset because I have to let this crazy deal go. *SIGH*

Anyone have any ways to get around that???

Just venting...


Thursday, October 7, 2010


Called me obsessed. I do not care!! I feel like this is a MUST!!!!!!!! I'm so in love with monograms!!! I HAVE to have one. I really want to get put onto a rubber stamp that I can use for mulitple projects.

Have any of you tried to DIY? If so, any suggestions of where I should start? Know anyone that could do a monogram and then put on a rubberstamp?

I've heard that power point and photoshop and the first stops. I'm going to try it and see what I can come up with.

ANY ideas or resources are greatly appreciated!!!

In the meantime...what do you think of the one I've posted??


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who Gives This Woman...

Today marks the two year anniversary of the phone call that marked the moment that my entire life changed.  I had just spent the weekend enjoying the festivities of a dear pals wedding, I had spent a lazy Sunday at the dudes house and at some point, I was on the phone with my oldest brother who was in bliss, his RedSkins were on the television.  We laughed and joked, I think that they were actually playing the Steelers that day, who happened to be our father's favorite team.  I planned on phoning him that day, we had not talked for months for reasons that will be mentioned later, but I got distracted, side-tracked, or it just fell from my memory and I never made the phone call. 

But, all of that was on Sunday, we are on Monday now.  I went to work, then headed over the The D as the Singles Ministry was having one of their initial First Monday's and I was pretty excited about it.  I walked in and surprised myself by sitting towards the back of the room instead of being my typical sociable self and mingling with the people.  There were ice-breakers, praise and worship, then the speaker for the evening got on stage.  All of a sudden, my cell phone rings (and rarely does it ring).  It was my sister in law.  After getting over the initial shock that the phone actually rang while I was in the church (cell phone reception was typically horrible), I ran out the back door to take the phone call, she doesn't typically phone at that hour.  I nearly knew that something had to be the matter.  I don't recall exactly how she presented the situation to me, but the story was about my father.  He had a medical emergency of some nature and it was not looking good, he was hanging on by a string.  The message that I was being given at that moment was that it was in my best interest to get to VA, where he was in the intensive care unit immediately.  I rushed back to get my belongings, I was rubbing my eyes so hard, I lost my contact, so even though I was in no condition to drive mentally, it was a certainty that I was not physically going to be able to do it either.  A friend drove me home where I was able to just sit, pray, think, make phone calls, pray some more, and deal with the reality of this situation.

My father was married, but he and his wife were seperated.  He had done quite a bit to violate her trust (and some other things to).  He has struggled with drug use and criminal behavior for my entire life.  At the time of his passing, he was living with his brother and his wife in their home and decided to go to visit a friend that lived close-by.  I suppose that this was a pretty normal occurence for them, he might pay his pal a visit in the middle of the day.  I wonder what the conversation went like in his mind when he decided to grab his belongings and go to his friends home.  He was there for a while, then excused himself to go to the bathroom.  His friend just nodded his approval and continued about his day, nothing unusual about a friend asking to use the bathroom, right?  His friend heard a thud.  Then, he heard something fall.  He rushed to the bathroom to find that my father was passed out on the floor, something was wrong, 911 was called.  The paramedics rushed to his aid and took him to the university hospital.  Everyone who could worked on him to the best of their ability, but he was still in a vegetative state.  They were able to put him onto a ventillator to sustain his breathing.  I arrived a day later to see the situation for myself. 

When I was initially told the story, the predicted outcome was certain, he's gone.  But, shortly thereafter, I spoke with a few other folks who told me that it wasn't that bad, I could probably expect him to be up and running in a week.  All of us were called into a room with doctors.  Though there were several of them, there is one in particular who had a distinct accent who was the only person in that entire room who had the courage to be direct with me.  The readers digest condensed version... it was the drugs that did it to him.  He took the hit that was the one that took him out and his body just could not handle it.  When he hit the floor, his brain swole and it would not constrict, he was not coming back.  At this point, it was up to us as a family to make the decision to allow him to go, the machinery was doing all of the work for him at this point.

Now, imagine having to make a decision such as this when just a few days before, your biggest issue was 'am I going to call to speak to him because he gets on my nerves because he keeps on doing crazy stuff and I am not going to show support in him doing these things any longer'.  I was frustrated because he kept doing things to land himself in jail and I hated the fact that I had to go through the humiliation of being patted down and stripped when I would go to see him.  While secretly wishing that he would just go ahead and stay in jail, that is when I knew where he was.  Now, all I can think is if the whole situation would have played out differently had I made that phone call.  What if that point when I phoned would have been the time that he was about to go to make his purchase for his next hit, but he got distracted while talking to me and never went to go to purchase it?  Then, on the other hand, I get mad at the police for not holding him for longer for his last infraction.  Annoyed with a family member who a reason to press charges against him, but dropped them later so he would be free.  Ticked with his wife for not reporting what she knew him to have done which also would have put him in a 'safer' place. 

But, this is not the time for that, this is the time to listen to God and ask what he would have you to do at a time such as this.  I know that I have asked God a LOT over the years, but I must say that had to have been the biggest request that I have ever made of him.  To provide me the sound mind to find the forgiveness in my heart to not release him from that physical body, but from all of the years of unmet expectations that I have experienced from our relationship. 

This whole prospect of preparing to get married has been difficult for me.  To recall how proud my friends father and grandfather were to do her wedding the week before my life changed, to recall how another friends father was bursting with pride as he gave his youngest daughter away just under a year ago, when I noticed the care in which the father of this weekends bride took to stop midway down the aisle to adjust her veil, to see my bridal warrior pal's father to be so excited and involved in the process of her wedding... and know that it will not be me.  Yes, there are other men in my life, as a matter of fact, my oldest and youngest brother are going to give me away as they have been the father figures in my life, but there is just something about having the one who actually assisted in your creation walking you down the aisle, standing before God and the man that you will create your own family with and become the father of your children to answer the quesiton... Who gives this woman?

Ms. Robo

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How Does The Family Usually Act?

Okay so I'm the only child AND the only grandchild on my father's side. So why I thought my family would be anything less than flying on Cloud nine??? I don't know!!! This journey is going to be OFF DA CHAIN!! I can already tell.

My dad has already booked my makeup for my engagement party. HUH?? I mean can I get some makeup for the engagement PICTURES?? Oh but wait...can I maybe pick out the makeup artist myself?? Naw...that's asking too much! LOL!!!!!!! Either way the person looks like they do AMAZING work, so I'm really excited.

We talked over the budget with my father. I went in bracing myself for the let down. DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN DONE ADDED STUFF? Told me my numbers were TOO LOW? Was that realistic? Had I done my research? WHAT??? ME?? DCSquared?? Oh no he didn't! LOL I was in SHOCK! The shock QUICKLY turned to confusion, which quickly turned back into SHOCK. And that's where I stay now, with things added on my budget that I swore I could do without!

My Aunt called me fives times the day after I got engaged asking if we were talking "wedding stuff" LOL It's hilarious. Their excitement has me even more excited! I LOVE IT! did your family react?


Monday, October 4, 2010

A Debtless Wedding

Based on what they say, the 'average' wedding in my area of the country is between $18,114 and $30,190.  This is not including an engagement ring or the honeymoon.  The median income per household member in that same area of the country is $40,645-52,352.  This means that folks are spending a great deal of cash on a day that they have set aside on the calendar to marry.  Whether these funds are coming from family support, savings, a couples sacrifice, or lottery winnings - I can think of quite a few things to use my hard-earned money on that is not making the pockets of those who are in the wedding-pimping service industry rich.

I think that Deal may be my middle name (no affiliation to Nathan), so my wheels are constantly spinning on how I can save more than a few bucks.  What are a few of the things that are going to be easy cost cutters in order to cut down the bottom line of this affair?  If you start out with creative ideas about how you can honestly save cash, then you will go into your planning sessions with realistic ideas.  If you go ahead and plan to spend top dollar on every line item, it will be a lot harder to talk yourself out of having the vendor that you just fell in L-O-V-E with at the Bridal Show and can't imagine your day without it/them/those!
In my case, I am coming up with some creative ideas for decor, there will be no flowers.  Instead, I will have peacock feathers, but they are much cheaper and not based on season.  I have also made plans to have the ceremony and reception in the same area.  Not only does that cut down on a desire for formal transportation and traffic woes, but it also will mean that we do not have to deal with staff at two seperate locations, decorations are easily transferrable, and the cost is streamlined.  I am not afraid of a hot glue gun, paper-cutter, or a craft store, so creating my own invitations and announcements will be a cinch.  Mr. RoBo is actually entirely too excited about making his own programs and invites, so someone may need to calm him down a little.  We have also come up with a pretty funky idea for what we will call a Picture Bar that will serve as a station for guests to share their photos almost instantly and allow those guests who would normally put those annoying cardboard box cameras in the middle of a shot do not have digital cameras to have access to the same photos as the rest of the group.

I really enjoy the idea of having a pretty large wedding.  Several people warn that if you increase the number of guests, then you increase your costs.  But, being the business student that I am, I have noticed that the economies of scale will tip in your favor at a certain point.  When you look at the basic line items of a budget, there are several costs that are set, regardless of how many guests you have, as long as you plan to have an event: photo/ video, attire, decor, music, ceremony and reception rental, wedding rings, transportation/ hotels.  The increase comes perhaps in the size of the ceremony and reception rental, and the food costs.  With that being the case, we have found quite a few caterers that offer their food at extremely reasonable costs.  Their price cost for the more expensive meals are cheaper than the lowest cost that many other 'Name Brand' caters charge, you know the ones who are at every Bridal Show and on the 'preferred vendors' list of your swankier venues?  And, I have found that their food actually has flavor, imagine that at a wedding...

Of course, we'll be back with plenty of other cost-saving tips, perhaps through in some specifics.  But, keep in mind that I can't share my details until I have a contract... Can't have anyone stealing my dates for my financially peaceful vendors!

Ms. RoBo

First Things First...

Right after getting engaged, my first order of business was to find someone to help to make sure that we were on the same page.  While many that I come across are focused on activities that create a wedding, I am far more concerned with ensuring that we are embarking upon a successful marriage.  About a year ago, when Eric and I first started the task to consider taking our relationship to the next level, we went to about 6 different book stores in search of a few books to add to our collection in order to prepare for marriage consideration.  We were sorely disappointed that all of the stores had shelves and shelves that discussed all of the fallout from a divorce - what to do with your dog if you divorce, how many days you should allow the kids to mourn, how to start dating again after a divorce, how to keep your spouse if they decide to ask for a divorce, how to get along with your parents when they knew that your divorced spouse was not the one and you married them anyway, the list could go on and on.  But none of the stores had much of  anything in-house to share with us any wisdom that would prepare for a successful marriage.  When I realized this error, a lady in a certain place that has the initials B&N was CERTAIN that I could not be correct, so she pointed out the marriage preparation books to me - umm... Ma'am... that is WEDDING PREPARATION.  We're talking about the relationship, not the day here.  Oh...  Well, you have to pre-order those books.

Pre-order.  Could that be a part of the problem of where so many of us are in the situation that we are in now?  We are deciding to pre-order the marriage, but getting the wedding off of the shelf.  Let me explain.  If you have no idea if your intended future spouse has goals that are directly in line with yours, you are pre-ordering.  You have no idea what that is going to look like once you have committed to take it to have and to hold, for richer or poorer... from this day forth.  Yes, you certainly will have a lifetime to get to know one another.  But, would it not be such a sweeter lifetime if you both have an assurance other than the fact that you like the way that they comb their hair that you'd like to spend your lifetime together?

So, what do you do in those cases?  We were able to find a few (and I mean a few) books that talked about relationships that we combed through together.  5 Love Languages, Boundaries, Before you Say I Do, a few books of random questions to answer.  After we were actually engaged, we started going to couples counseling with a Christian Counselor.  She did a personality profile that scared the heck out of both of us.  We've gotten pretty set in some of our ways over our time of singleness and have a lot of adjustment to make to allow room for someone else in our lives.  Then, we started going to a group counseling session at our church that has opened up even more doors.  Whereas we felt like we were the only nuts in our couples counseling, we are able to see that we are not alone when we get around a group.  Not one day is ever dull in peeling back more and more layers. 

I've never been married before, so I really do not know how this whole thing goes.  I've seen very few successful marriages in living color, so I am starting out even a little more behind the 8 ball.  But, the effort that I put forth to make this successful will not be short-changed by my lack of effort.  Short of determining that I believe in God, it is one of the few other things in my life that is my very own decision that is irreversible.  When we got engaged, I was not proposed to have a wedding with someone, but I was asked to marry someone.  So, excuse me if every single plan that is leading up to this wedding is not perfectly in line and organized on someone else's time schedule, but I'm preparing for a marriage of a lifetime, not just a wedding for a day...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Where Do You Even Start??

How do you even begin the process of planning a wedding? I have several friends and associates that are married or planning, so they were MORE than happy to help in the process. #1 being of course SHIX!!!

I will suggest the FIRST thing is find you a great checklist. There are TONS of wedding sites out there...

Get Married
The Knot
Wedding Bee
Wedding By Color
Wedding Channel
Wedding Wire

Have I missed any?

Go to one of those sites and print off their check list. You wouldn't believe the things that are needed IMMEDIATELY after you are engaged. The question most asked right after "Congratulations" is When Is the Date? Can we enjoy just being engaged for a while? It doesn't matter that we knew the date even before we were engaged. You don't want to forget some of the small things like the ring bearer's pillow now WOULD YOU? :)


Friday, October 1, 2010

DCSquared's Proposal

E and I have been together for 3 1/2 years. We've discussed marriage on several occasions and were even in pre-marital class. So I knew the proposal was coming. WHEN?? I had no clue. But coming?? It better had been. Naw that was very BRIDEZILLA-ish, huh??? LOL

So on September 24, 2010, he told me that we were going to eat with some of his friends that were in town from Memphis for a conference. They were staying at the W hotel downtown. He even said they wanted to discuss opportunities about moving to Atlanta. He also said we had to get dressed up! I'm like WHAT??? NO JEANS!!!!!!! So I was NOT happy!!!

That same day the Groupon for the day was for Spice Market. That's the restaurant at the W and the place we were headed. So I'm like send this to your friend, since he got us out here GETTING DRESSED UP! HMMPH! I mean I was sooooooooo stank y'all! :( SMH lol

We get there and he asked for reservations under his FAKE friend's name, Rob Brown! lol We sit in the lounge and wait for them. He ordered some Riesling for us. AGAIN...stank attitude. I'm like so you just going to order for me??? What if I wanted something else?? PLUS he told me to sit across from him and NOT next to him!! By now the attitude is RISING!! The waitress comes out with the wine and another lady is behind her with the ring on the tray. She puts it on the table and I'm in SHOCK!!!

I can't remember exactly what he said but I know it was beautiful! He had told me that his friend Rob's wife's name was Destiny. So he said his friend wasn't here but that destiny was here with us. Then he asked me to marry him and of course I said YES! Actually I said OF COURSE. He told me the next day that I never said YES! SOOOOO I said YES...AGAIN! :) SMH lol

Then we go to get ready to sit down and I'm like is that my MOMMA!!! So of course everyone yelled SURPRISE!! LOL!! And then all I saw were my friends with their cameras! HAHAHA!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!! :)

The best day EVER!!!!!!!


And then we were RoBo...

I got engaged on July 6, 2010 to a man that I had known for nearly 7 years, shown interest in for 6, dated consistently for over 3, and had discussed the eventual possibility of marriage with for at least 1.75.  So, while it was a surprise proposal, it was not by any stretch of the imagination a ‘surprise’ that I was going to be getting married.  As a matter of fact, because of my basic need to be prepared for everything that is coming along, I had mentally planned the whole darn affair, save for the details such as a specific date and location shortly after I knew that there were going to be pending nuptials.  But, after he asked me in a room full of some of our closest friends, his family members, a bunch of strangers that he declared a part of the fold, AND my shock that this dude figured out a way to make me plan the proposal since we were at his birthday celebration, all of my carefully laid plans and thoughts flew out of the window.  I really wish that I had asked a pal or two to go chasing them out of Antico Pizza shop since I had taken such time and care to arrange those solidly laid plans (with a little of his input and a whole lot of input from some of my cohorts), but I was rendered speechless. 

Wow…  Save for the first few months of thinking that he was annoying after we first met at the home of some pals who happened to be his co-workers, I’d been digging this guy for a long while.  After years of getting to know his quirks, hang-ups, desires, gifts, and mannerisms – I was confirmed in my love for him.  After knowing how much he cared for others, his love for the Lord, and ability to nicely put me in my place when I so desperately needed it – I knew that we could build a future together.  So, why… how… could his officially asking me to marry him lead me to a point where I have completely turned my mind into some sort of mush, just trying to fathom it all?  I’ve never been a supporter of any outside influence that alters my mind, but this high is pretty nice.  I rather like it here and think that I will stay awhile. 

Now, do not get me wrong… from time to time, folks try to blow my high.  Most of them do not mean to do it, but I still keep in mind that I know what it is:

-Less than 3 minutes after the man put the ring on my finger (and it was obvious to ALL that I had no clue that he was doing it considering the way that I was in a back corner choking down a slice of pizza when he called me to join him as he addressed the crowd), someone asked me when the wedding was.  Wha?  I have no clue, in case you didn’t notice, we haven’t had the opportunity to discuss those matters yet.  Slow your roll, let me take it all in...

-Between he and I, I’m sure that we get at least 3 folks per week who just KNOW that they are being invited to the wedding, though they were not aware that we were engaged prior to the moment that one of us JUST informed you.  If you don’t know by now… then chances are that the litmus test is telling me that you are not on the list.  Sorry.

-Though the day was magical and the newness will hopefully never wear off, life does go on.  Other bonds have to be created, unions formed, families molded… so other folks are also going to get engaged to be married!  Just as I am sure that those persons in my life are happy for me, I am also happy for them.  While Bridal Wars was a cute concept for a movie, I really hope that is no one’s reality.  There are 365.25 days in a year, while there are billions of people who populate the Earth.  Besides, it would be selfish of me to expect for someone to honor any day other than the month of February as my very own, wouldn't it?

-We are not open to discuss when anyone can expect children from our union.  DISCLAIMER: Unless you are going to regularly contribute to the diaper, babysitting, and/ or college fund, then I am SURE that you can wait to hear the news the good old fashioned way… ON FACEBOOK!  We'll set up a college fund shortly after the wedding to get a head start.
The Proposal