The Never-Ending To-Do List

People often ask me if I'm ready for the wedding. My response is always that I am ready to be married, but I am not ready for the wedding itself.

There is just SO MUCH TO DO. Some people will probably tell me that I need to delegate things, but everything left on the list really has to be done by either the groom or the bride. And since the groom is suffering through 12-hour work days, it is mostly all up to me. Brandon's job is to worry about paying for the whole chibang while I need to make sure all the details get done.
My customized Martha Stewart checklist tells me that I have 43 out of 99 tasks left. There are still major aspects of the wedding that are left and when you look at it all together, it becomes entirely overwhelming.

1) My dress still needs to be taken back into David's Bridal to be altered.

2) Brandon's wedding band needs to be selected, engraved, and purchased.

3) We still have no officiant. Apparently it isn't as easy as Joey made it seem when he married Chandler and Monica.

4) The bridesmaids still do not have a dress to wear. I am so close to saying, "Screw it! Wear whatever you want. Just make sure you're wearing red and have black shoes." Groomzilla would definitely veto that.

5) The cake has not been ordered yet.

6) We have not finalized honeymoon plans. Brandon will only be home for about 5 days after the wedding before he starts Ranger school, limiting us to the area. We're also struggling with having enough money to have a nice honeymoon.

7) Bridal party and parent gifts are not purchased.

8) Rehearsal dinner plans are not finalized either.

Again, these are the big things that are not completed. Imagine all of the little details that didn't make it on the list.
Gross, right? Combined with the mounds of school work that has already been assigned, it makes me want to just curl up next to this man and sleep my troubles away.
Left: Brandon with Kayla, the dog I cheated on Bella with for a week.
Right: A trip to Sonic in Columbus, GA

A Time Consuming Alternative

The Nixon Library's garden is already beautiful enough without any extra decorations. Even so, I wanted to have something line the aisles to make it pop.

Our original plan was to use paper lanterns, but I could not find any that were the right size or color.

I now thoroughly regret not looking harder because I stupidly took on a new task: tissue pomander balls.

The blogger who maintains Vintage Glam has a wonderful tutorial to how she created her ceremony decorations. Her gorgeous yellow pomander balls look absolutely amazing in the pictures to the left.

After seeing these photos I decided that I needed them. Again, stupid.

The materials for this project are inexpensive:
Tissue paper: $1.79 for a pack of 20 sheets, which makes 40 flowers
4" Styrofoam ball: $1.74 after 50% off coupon
Wire: $1.75
Ribbon: $0.69 on clearance

I followed the tutorial pretty closely, but had to adjust a few things.

In order to attach the ribbon, I first tied off the ends of the ribbon into a knot. Next, I twisted a piece of wire around the knot.
Instead of using a 5" ball, I used a 4" ball. I had first attempted it with the larger size, but the result was a massive pomander. My final pomander is still bigger than I want, but I refuse to take another one apart and try again.
I attached about 30 paper flowers instead of the estimated 20 in the tutorial, which will mean that I need to fold even more flowers. This is not a task I am happy about since it took me more than 12 hours to cut, fold, and fluff 160 tissue flowers.
Here is my final result. The first picture is so that you can compare the size of the styrofoam ball to the full pomander. Can you see why I would underestimate the amount of flowers needed and the size of the pomander?
Bella decided that she wasn't getting enough attention so she barged into the picture. I'm going to try to make it a little fuller and I think it will look better.
All this work better be worth it!

Birdie Escorts

Edit: View final results here

Escort cards are typically placed on a table before the entrance to the reception site. Each card has the name of a guest and their table number written on them. This allows guests to find their seats easily in the East Room because they need only to find their table number instead of looking at each place card for their name.

Our guests will be asked to pick up their own bird and "fly" to their bird house.

Materials: heavy cardstock for birds, thick paper for template (I used a file folder), pencil for tracing, scissors, adhesive, gold pen

Total cost of project: $1

Step 1: Create your template. The head and tail should line up to the the edge of the paper. The bottom of the bird should be straight so that the bird will be able to stand up on its own.

Step 2: Fold cardstock. Like a regular place card, the bird has two flaps. Because of this, you must make sure that you have allotted enough room on both flaps to fit your bird template.

Step 3: Take your template and line the head and tail to a fold. Trace with pencil.

Step 4: Cut out your bird. Keep the piece cut from the top. Use it for the wings.

Step 5 (not yet completed): Write guest's name on one wing. Write table number on other wing. I plan on only writing the first name or nickname of guests since there is not much room. We have a small enough wedding to do so.
Step 6: Attach wings.

Sorry if the directions are unclear, but I'm sure you are clever enough to figure it out as it is pretty self-explanatory.
What do you think?


A Confession

Do you remember my post in May about being pathetically tall and flabby? I told myself I would kick it into gear. It is about four months later, and I have yet to follow my own advice. My proof: the love handles that have taken over my waist, the lack of triceps or biceps, and the fact I'm most likely sucking in my stomach when this picture was taken.

My sneakers have been used maybe six times since May, and I did a total of two weeks of Pilates sessions in my room.

Currently, I have cheese puffs to my right, Peanut M&Ms to my left, and an empty glass of apple juice behind me. A seemingly horrible combination, I know, but when eaten separately, it is munchies bliss.

When I was a child, these things were never permitted in the house. But now that I am an adult and have full access to junk food, I just can't seem to get enough.

I wish working out was something that I enjoyed as much as doing crafts, but I hate the pain and the smells and I also find it all incredibly boring . Also, now that I know that my wedding gown is fully adjustable whether or not I lose or gain weight, I have lost even more urge to head to the gym.

It doesn't help that Brandon is so good at telling me that I am beautiful and still checks me out, even after five years together (boy, am I lucky). He makes me feel like I don't have to change a thing, although I know that he wishes I took better care of myself.

My only drive now is pure guilt. I want to look my best for Brandon, and I want to be healthy so that we can live long lives together.

While I have come to accept that I will never get myself to work out daily, there are some effortless things that I can continue to do in hopes of losing those extra five to eight pounds:

-Buy groceries that are low-fat, sugar-free, light, low in calories, etc.
-Drink more water
-Eat more fiber. I started taking Benefiber on Monday, and I have already dropped two pounds.
-I signed up for a strength training class two times a week at Fullerton. If anything will get me to work out, it is the pressure of maintaining a high GPA.
-Realize that I don't have to clean my plate, even if it is so good.


An Army Wife Preview

On December 27th, I will become an Army wife. With a swift tap on the bum by a sabre, I will be welcomed into the Army.

My opinions on marrying into the military have changed ever since Brandon and I started talking about our long future together. I specifically remember not understanding why anyone would want to have that lifestyle since it is such a difficult one full of sacrifices.

While I admire all military spouses and their families, I found it hard to believe that they could be completely happy. Holding a successful career would be near impossible since the Army life requires moving every three to five years. Your own goals are put on the backburner as the Army always comes first. They have to be prepared to raise kids on their own for numerous months while their spouse is deployed. And, of course, the worst of it all is consistently worrying about their safety.

But then I fell in love with a soldier, and all of it seemed to be worth it. When you love someone as much as I love Brandon, you are willing to give it all up in order to pursue your own version of "happily ever after."

I had a taste of what it would be like to live in a military town and wait for my man in ACUs to come home when I stayed in Columbus, Georgia for a week. Admittedly, I was bored out of my mind during the day. Brandon would leave at 4:30am for work and not come home until about 5pm. Five hours later, it was time for bed in order to rest up for yet another long day.

Those five hours that we were awake together each night were happy, and far too short. I loved watching him get ready for work, and I stole kisses from him because I didn't want him to leave. But I even more enjoyed greeting him when he came home with even more kisses and giant bear hugs.

We will lead an incredibly joyous life if all of our hellos and goodbyes stay this way.

There is also a great community of people. Brandon's fellow soldiers, while sometimes crude and brutally honest, are all full of heart. They take care of each other, and that is something I am more than excited to be part of.
We both have a lot to learn about military life, but it is a journey that we will embark on together.


A Typical Night

What does a soon-to-be bride do on a free night? She works on all the little details for the wedding, of course!

I wanted to try to incorporate pictures of Bella for our table numbers like the one pictured to the left (Source), but Groomzilla vetoed that one. Plus, our dog is not the most photogenic of mammals. She mostly looks like a crazed Bellatron.

I wanted something creative that would fit along with our love birds theme. I decided to use little wooden birdhouses I found at Joann's for $1 each for our table numbers (with Groomzilla's approval), and little birdies for escort cards.

I have not painted the numbers on the side of the roofs yet, but I think they will turn out good. Although they are definitely flawed and took hours to finish, they will serve their purpose.

I am staying with Brandon in Columbus, Georgia for a week starting Saturday. While he is at work, I will be sitting at the house alone with no one but his new dog (yes, he's cheating on Bella) for hours.

To fill my time, I will be working on several projects. Hopefully I don't make a mess because that is what tends to happen whenever I work on anything.

I will work on thank you cards, escort cards, menus, programs and tissue pomander balls.


Ring Bowls

Etsy is a website for crafty artists to showcase their handmade work. Here is where I found numerous ring bowls that I would love to use. Too bad Brandon and I decided not to have a flower girl or ring bearer.

I think having one of these bowls would serve well for picture opportunities, and would be perfect for my bedside table to hold my rings while I sleep. But since we have no more money to spend on unnecessary things, I will be left to admire these beauties through my blog.

Dear Martha, (Part 2)

You screwed me over. I purchased your doily lace edge punch in order to make belly bands for our invitations. Then it broke after 13 bands. So I made a trip back to Michael's to buy another. That one broke too.

How do you expect me to make beautiful creations when you sell me shoddy products? Now, I can't finish my envelope label wraps or work on placecards.

Here is a project that did work out. I always knew that instead of a gust book, I wanted guests to leave us wishes. I stamped the word on red cardstock using an acrylic block and clear letter stamps I found for a dollar at Target. After the wedding, these cards will be attached to a scrapbook next to photos of our guests. I actually like that they are imperfect.

And here are some flowers I made with some white glue, scissors, and pink crepe paper (two rolls for $1). I am considering making boutonnieres and corsages for our VIP guests myself if I can work it out with the florist. I think it would be a sweet memento since they take a lot of effort (about 20 min. per flower) and will last forever.