another week flown by

These past 2 weeks have flown by.  Like a skyrocket. Seriously.  As of Monday morning following Katie’s wedding, my unit was put on mandatory overtime because we have steadily had around 100 babies between my unit and the neonatal ICU upstairs.  So, as much as we hoped it wouldn’t happen, sure enough, mandatory overtime was started.  Last week I put in 56 hours at work.  I was absolutely dead by Sunday morning when I got home.  All I did last week it seems was work and sleep. 

This week hasn’t been quite so bad, since I’ve just worked my usual 3 nights.  It’s been busy with other things though, like trying to find renters for my house so that Greg and I will only be responsible for 1 mortgage payment when we’re married.  We keep having potential clients come see the house, and we’ve been really close to nailing something down and then things don’t work out.  We’re on our 3rd client so far, and she’ll be by to see the house this morning when I get home.  Hopefully “3rd time’s the charm” will work out for us this time.  Although, I will admit, it makes me a little sad thinking I may never live in “my” house again.  It’s just too small for me, the husband, and 3 dogs, but it’s such a perfect little starter home.  I’ve loved my last 2 years in it.  It’s the perfect little cottage home.  And as much as Greg keeps calling his house “our” home, I don’t think I will truly feel like we are in “our” home until we buy the next one together.  His house is a total “guy’s house” right now, and I’m not sure how much hard work and love I can put into to make it feel like “ours.”  But we’ll see.

In other news, my baby sister goes off to college in a week.  I can’t even grasp it right now.  I may have gotten a little emotional yesterday as I was wrapping her graduation gift and writing her card.  Auburn seems so far away.  That’s the good thing about Alabama.  It’s a quick 45 mins down the road.  And not that 2 hours is sooo faaaar, but I still hate thinking about how little I’m going to see her over the next few months.  She’s growing up, and I hope she loves her college experience.  But I also hope she doesn’t forget about us back home.

Speaking of home, I came to realize the other night how much of a homebody I am.  Not the kind that never wants to leave her house, and just decides to be a hermit all the time.  But in talking with a good friend this week and contemplating her goals in life and decisions for post grad school, I realized how much I love this city I call home.  I’ve lived in Birmingham since I was 5 years old, and although I probably won’t always live in Birmingham, it will always be home to me.  My mother was born and raised here, and my Nana lived in the same house from the time my mother was 3 months old until the day she died, at home, in the comfort of the people who loved her.  Nearly all my childhood memories took place here, from kindergarten through the day I received my degree in nursing….it was all here in Birmingham.  You would think I would be so sick of this place, ready to move away, go somewhere new, and just start fresh.  But I’m happy here because the people I care about most are all here.  Sure, I would love to travel across America and visit other cities.  My family went on LOTS of family vacations all over the US.  I’ve been to New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, Tenessee, Wyoming, Virginia, and Arizona….just to name a few.  Those cities were all great in their unique ways, but I can’t picture home being anywhere else.

Anyways, all that to say, some people want adventure. They want to try something new, start over and see where life takes them. I always assumed eventually I would move away, but I’m surprisingly content right where I am.  My family is here. And to me, that’s all that matters.

Katie and Chuck- the wedding day

**Warning: LOTS OF PHOTOS 🙂  Page may take a moment to load, but I promise, it’s worth it!**

Our Saturday morning began with most of us girls all waking up together in Katie’s townhome.  First on the list- hair appointments.  We all traveled down to this tiny little hole in the wall (seriously, y’all) place downtown in the Highlands area. I couldn’t even tell you the name of the place, and if I hadn’t followed my mom, I probably couldn’t even tell you how to get there! Anyways, Katie was up first. She had decided on a simple elegant up-do. 

 

2 of her bridesmaids were there to join us for the fun 🙂

Then next was mom, then Emily, then myself.  Like my look?  I opted for a curly side-ponytail. I think they are sweet but still elegant looking. And I was pleased with the result.

 By 3pm all the wedding party had arrived at Matthews Manor to begin getting ready.  Girls in one building, boys in another.  It was so fun being together with Katie’s closest friends, helping one another get ready while Katie soaked up every moment of excitement waiting till she could go see Chuck.

 Finally, it came time for their “first look.”  It was a special time between Katie and Chuck where they saw one another for the first time that day, in their wedding attire, sharing a few minutes of one-on-one time together.  Here’s a shot their photographers (shout-out to Gresham Photography-Simple Color!) snapped when Katie and Chuck first saw one another.  So sweet!

Once they visited for a bit, it was time to begin our wedding party photoshoot.  I was pleasantly surprised how quickly we got all the photographs taken!  The bridesmaids and groomsmen (along with the bride and groom) all went across the street to take some pictures out in the meadow (where Katie and Chuck were actually supposed to get married, until one of those crazy summer storms a few weeks ago blew over the giant 100 yr. old tree…yep).  The ceremony had to be relocated to the gazeebo instead (which was still a very beautiful setting!) 
Our adorable bride and groom

Chuck with his groomsmen and ushers
Katie with her bridesmaids
More pictures with all the family were taken in the reception hall. Then we had to head back to our private little rooms where we awaited for instructions on when to begin the ceremony.  We were so fortunate to go all day with not a drop of rain….until, however, it was time for the ceremony.  The ceremony was scheduled to start at 6:30pm.  Just after 6pm, a few clouds started rolling, but all the guests continued to be seated and the ceremony was set to begin. The grandmothers and mothers were seated, and about that time it began to sprinkle rain.  Not pouring, and not for long (maybe just a minute or two), but just enough that everyone had to get up from their seats and take cover under the pavilion.  We had to repeat this step twice actually, delaying for 10-15mins each time.  Luckily for us bridesmaids, we never got far enough into the processional to ever get wet  😉 And Katie never even made it out of the building.  Her and Greg just had to wait.  That’s right. Greg got to escort Katie to the end of the aisle, where she then walked herself down and met my mom at the end, who gave her away.  Despite the rain delays, Katie was actually very calm about it all.  She just sighed, and made a joke or two about it all, and then we just laughed it off and said “it’ll be fine.”  And it was. We eventually proceeded with the ceremony, it was beautiful, and Katie and Chuck were as happy as could be 🙂  Like I said before, there wasn’t much that could spoil their day.  They have been together for 8 years!!!  What’s a little rain, right?
The reception took place in a beautiful banquet hall.  It was so much fun getting to see and talk to all our friends and family that had come into town for the wedding!  Feel the Beat provided music, and they even did a special birthday shout-out to our good friend Renee!!

We danced, ate cake, and had a ton of fun in the photobooth.  I’ve never actually been to a wedding yet that uses these photobooths, but all the photographers are doing them now.  And I see why! It was SO MUCH FUN!!  Greg even commented, “we have this for our wedding, right?!”  I guess I better add a few extra pennies to the budget 😉

The whole day turned out wonderfully!  We all had a great time, and I can’t wait to get more pictures back from their photographers.  But, I’ll leave you with a few more fun pics to sum up the day!

 
Renee and Stephen, I LOVE this picture!! It cracks me up!
The whole gang!
**Professional photos courtesy of Brandon and Stacey of Gresham Photography**

Katie and Chuck wedding weekend- Part 1

Well, we did it. We got through a whole wedding weekend without any major disasters!  The weather was wonderful with the drop in temperatures Friday and Saturday. I don’t think it got hotter than 85 degrees all weekend, which was such a blessing.  The humidity was still a little rough, with the rain passing through here and there, but at least we weren’t getting scorched by the sun!  Friday morning we had Katie’s bridesmaids luncheon at the botanical garden’s cafe.  It was nice to have that time just with the girls, sipping on tea, eating a delicious brunch.  Chuck’s aunt and one of her church friends hosted the brunch, and they did a great job.

 Katie and her bridesmaids (minus Whitney…you were missed!)

After lunch, we had a few hours of downtime before heading over to the rehearsal out at Matthew’s Manor.  The rehearsal went well, with just a little bit of sprinkling rain.  Katie was so calm all weekend.  She and Chuck have waited a long time for this day to come.  There wasn’t much that could spoil their fun 🙂

The rehearsal dinner was at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.  The Abbey’s had it all decorated like a tailgate with Alabama football decor on the tables and we all ate BBQ.  Katie had a slideshow of pics of her and Chuck…and considering they have been together for 8 years, there were lots of funny older pictures from high school!  Katie also made a special slideshow in honor of our mom, and of course, put us all in tears with her beautiful speech.  We truly are blessed with a wonderful mother. She is the rock of our family, and I don’t know what we would do without her.  I hope she knows how much we love and appreciate her!

 

After the rehearsal dinner the guys all went out for a little bachelor celebration for Chuck, and the girls all headed over to Katie and Chuck’s town-home to spend the night together.  We stayed up way too late of course chatting as always.  But it was nice waking up the next morning all together and ready to begin the big day! 

Update: the pics are here! 🙂
Pictures would really make this post so much better!  But again, the pics are mostly on my mom or Katie’s camera (since they have the fancy shmancy one).  I really need to start claiming Greg’s fancy camera as half mine and use it more.  That’s what marriage is all about right? “What’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine…..the more we share, the more the sun will shine!”   hahaha, ok please tell me at least one person knows that lyric reference.  No?  It’s from a song in All Dogs Go to Heaven. Childhood classic.  lol.

Aaaaand with that, I’ll be back later with all the fun details of Katie and Chuck’s day! (and more pictures!)

mani/pedis and a DIY rehearsal bouquet

The wedding weekend festivities began today around 4pm with manicures and pedicures with my mom and sisters.  We just went to this little oriental place by TJMaxx in Hoover, and the ladies there were all so nice. In their sweet oriental English they were asking Katie about her wedding and they did GREAT work.  We got pampered and it was so nice. 

Katie (the bride) and Emily

Mom and I waiting our turn. And no, we did not opt for the waxing 😉

Afterwards we helped Katie with some last minute shopping and then she headed home to pack for the honeymoon.

Tonight, as part of my maid of honor duty, I had to figure out how to make a bow/ribbon rehearsal bouquet.  I’ve never made one of these before, and it was a little bit harder than I expected.  I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to actually assemble it.  I did some poking around on the internet and read a few tips, and just went from there.

In short, this is basically what I did.
Supplies:

  • ribbons and bows from various wedding showers
  • 2 paper plates (or 1 decently sturdy one)
  • scissors
  • duct tape (luckily mine was white)
  • a large safety pin

I started out by cutting a scalloped edge around the two paper plates, just to give them a more “elegant” appearance. Then I cut an “x” shape hole in the middle of the plates.  As you’ll see, Katie had a TON of purple satin ribbon, and not so many bows.  This is because they only registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond, who only uses….you guessed it, purple ribbon for gift wrapping.  So, to create a large bow effect, I took strands of purple ribbons cut roughly 10″ long and looped several of them in a circular shape to create the look of a large purple bow as my main background.  Here’s the final product so you can see what I mean…

The purple “bow” is just individual strands fastened together in the middle with a safety pin.  After that I added the large tulle bow and ran a loop through the center of the paper plate to create the handle in the back.  I secured it with duct tape just so it wouldn’t get pulled back through.

Then beyond that I just taped on some extra white and silver bows to fill in some gaps, and I tied the little flower detail to the center knot of ribbon.  Sorry that’s probably the worst explanation of how I did this, but I seriously was just winging it the whole time.  You really can’t mess this up. Just try to keep things centered when needed and balanced.  Oh, and I stapled some extra strands of ribbon and tulle to the bottom of the plate so that they hung down a bit at the bottom.  I was pleasantly surprised with how cute the final product turned out.  I might have given myself a little pat on the back  🙂  Hope the bride likes it!

Abbey wedding countdown

We are on the countdown to the first family wedding of the year.  Katie and Chuck are getting hitched on Saturday, and my week is packed full of stuff (not all wedding related, but packed nonetheless).  I’ll get off work this morning and maybe catch a few hours of Zzzs, and then I need to go buy shoes to go with my bridesmaids dress.  I just have to find some pump or strappy, nude or silver shoes. That can’t be hard, right?  I was thinking about wearing the shoes I have for my future sister-in-law’s wedding, but I would hate to get them dirty right before needing to wear them in her wedding. And although the color is nude, they have kinda a pink tone to them.  I love them. They are so cute.

On Thursday afternoon, my mom, Katie, Emily and I are going to get mani-pedis 🙂   That should be fun!  Then Friday morning begins all the wedding festivities.  The bridesmaids luncheon is at the Botanical Gardens, then rehearsal out at Matthew Manor Friday evening followed by the rehearsal dinner at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.  Greg hooked them up renting out the hall of fame since he was working there at the time Katie and Chuck were looking for venues.  Then Saturday is the big day!!  I’m really excited, and nervous at the same time.  The last time I was in a wedding I’m pretty sure I was 12.  So, I’m a little nervous about standing in front of all those people, and especially about making a speech at the rehearsal dinner.  I haven’t been officially asked to do that, but I think it’s pretty much expected.  Not that I wouldn’t do it, it just gives me butterflies even now thinking about standing up and talking into a microphone! haha
It’ll all be fun!  Annnnnd…..the exciting part is once we get through this weekend, I can focus 100% on our wedding planning!!  Well, maybe not 100%….we still have the whole housing/renting/moving situtaion to focus on too.  But, at least I can push forward and hopefully get some planning help from my mom now 🙂   So far all the planning has been done by myself or Greg.  I’ve felt bad asking my mom for help since Katie’s wedding has been 1st priority.  But, our turn is almost here!  I can’t wait  🙂

operation bathroom demo

Greg and I have been talking about some renovations we want to make in his house in the near future (some prior to getting hitched, some to work on after we’re both living together).  One of those was re-doing/fixing up both bathrooms in his house.  He has two full bathrooms…although I hate to call them fulls because they are the size of a tiny hall bath. But, nonetheless, they have all the amenities of a full bath.  They both need new sinks and toilets, and could probably use some tub resurfacing, along with a fresh coat of paint.  Well, about 2 weeks ago, Greg was in his bathroom and started pulling wallpaper off the wall.  Two weeks later….I get this picture sent to my phone.

This was a few days ago, on Friday.  That lovely floral wallpaper was under the top layer he started pulling off.  Lovely huh?  Can you imagine that covering the walls of this tiny little bathroom? It gives me a headache just thinking about it.  Another layer was lavender underneath, and that big hole above the sink had a medicine cabinet.

So of course on Saturday morning, we have to go pick out paint so he can get that done before installing a new sink and toilet.  Luckily I had been researching some bathroom renovations at work Wednesday and Thursday night, but I had no idea we were putting this all into action over the weekend. So, off to Lowe’s we went, and I decided to go with a simple neutral paint color (since I hadn’t really had THAT much time to think about it). It’s called Antique White by Olympic, and it’s one of those paint and primer in one kinds.  Although it’s called white, it’s actually a creamy tan color, and I thought with white trim and white sink and toilet it would look very clean and hopefully make the room seem bigger.

We priced out some sinks and toilets, but decided we wanted to check out the Habitat for Humanity store called ReStore in Irondale. Building contractors donate left over building supplies (including anything from flooring to windows, appliances, lighting, cabinets…they have quite a lot actually).  It’s all pretty cheap, but it’s hit or miss on what you’ll find.  Some stuff also gets donated from individuals doing home renovations, so not everything is new.  ANYWAYS, we decided to take the risk and go with a new toilet from ReStore, which only cost us $85.  I’m sure it’s not a high-efficiency water saver or anything, but for $85 it was worth a shot.  Lowe’s has some reasonably priced square pedestal sinks that I like, so we’ll probably go back there for that. And I would love to add some beadboard to the bathroom. I just love a good ole’ cottage home 🙂 But that will probably get added later.

So, as of Saturday evening we were down to the drywall. Greg re-spackled the walls (with some help from his good friend!), and the sink and toilet were completely removed.

On Sunday Greg sanded the walls and painted. It still ended up taking 2 coats of paint, so I can’t vouch if the paint-and-primer-in-one is a flop or not, but my guess is even if we had done primer, we probably would have done 2 coats of color too. Does anyone really just do one coat of paint?  Greg also got the new toilet installed.  Still no sink yet.  We realized the sqaure sinks at Lowe’s were too big, so although I would really love to find a square one, we may have to go round simply due to the oh. so. TINY. space! Then all that’s left is finding a medicine cabinet, and hanging all the hardware back on the walls.  I bought some oil rubbed bronze hardware, but I’m thinking the brushed nickle color scheme might look better.  Although Greg found a dark wood medicine cabinet he likes, so who knows…bronze may win after all.  I’ll be sure to update you on that big decision 😉  And final renovation photos will come soon!
Posted in DIY

Rewind…

Ok, so I got back from 4th of July weekend and went straight into my 3 nights in a row of work.  And then tonight was Greg’s sister and her fiance’s wedding shower. So, needless to say, I’m a little behind on posting some 4th of July pics.  So, let’s rewind a little bit and I’ll tell you all about it 🙂

We headed to the lake to stay at Greg’s parents house at Lake Oconee in GA. The whole Boggs clan was there for the weekend….kids and dogs too! We spent the weekend going to the club pool (which has a big slide that Evey LOVES!).  She started out riding down the slide with her floaties on sitting in someone’s lap, but after a few trips, she eventually was riding down by herself without floaties and someone would just catch her at the bottom. And, let me just tell you, even for me…that slide is FAST!  She loves it though. That’s all we did at the pool pretty much was rotate through taking her down the slide.

Here goes Evey and Bubba (aka: Greg)

 Evey (riding solo, but still with floaties) and her mama
 And then of course totally by herself, no floaties.  She’s not even 3 yrs. old yet! This girl is fearless.

When we weren’t on slide duty, the rest of us just hung out in the pool with little Bennett.  Surprisingly, the pool wasn’t too terribly crowded.

Here’s the rest of the Elkins crew (minus Evey, who guess what?…is on the slide)

We also spent a lot of time hanging out at the house, lounging around, eating good food, and watching fireworks (which shoot off from the Ritz Carlton on the lake, but we can see from the Boggs’ home back porch).  And you can’t celebrate 4th of July without eating ice cream at some point   🙂

 “You have some, Gigi?”  This girl loves some ice cream 🙂

It was a great holiday weekend.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend any of it with my family, but we’ve got Katie’s wedding weekend coming up, so there will be lots of family time in the near future!! I’m so excited!

brain overload

My brain has gone into overload lately with decisions and to-do lists….it just doesn’t shut off.  At any given moment, I’m either thinking about pertinent wedding plans that need to be made to meet certain deadlines, or about our whole housing situation…finding renters, making home improvements, dealing with refinancing options.  And if not those two things, it’s getting last minute things done for Katie’s wedding next week (like shoes to wear with my bridesmaids dress, jewelry, and seeing if there’s things she needs help with), and I still need to shop for a wedding gift for Greg’s sister’s wedding shower on Saturday.  And if THAT’s not enough, I’m way behind on laundry at my house!  haha. I think I’m down to 1 clean bra.  Is that too much information?

I literally have had something going on every night since we got back into town from the 4th, and will continue to have something every night until after Katie’s wedding next weekend. Whew. See why I’m going into overload?  I can’t determine which task takes priority, cause they all seem very important!

So, for my own sanity…I’m making a list.  My life doesn’t run smoothly without lists.  Organization keeps me sane 🙂  So, here’s my To-Do list for the next 10 days…

  • wedding gift for Callen
  • shoes/jewelry for Katie’s wedding
  • speak with caterer about OUR wedding budget
  • talk with mom about refinancing options and rental options
  • shop Lowe’s with Greg for bathroom paint, sink, and toilet options (that sounds fun, right?)
  • shop Old Navy and Three Sheets in Homewood (my Groupons are close to expiring!)
  • double dinner date Friday night with Greg’s buddy and his wife
  • Emily’s swim meet on Tuesday night
  • mani-pedi with mom, Emily and Katie Thurs. afternoon
  • Wedding weekend (July 15th & 16th) – bridesmaids luncheon, rehearsal dinner, WEDDING DAY!

wedding attire

I’m so so excited that we have finally picked out our bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen attire 🙂  I’ve basically known what I wanted for a while now, I’ve just been so busy with…well, life…that I haven’t really nailed down a choice until yesterday.  And I’m so tempted to show you the final decision, but I think I’ll just show you my inspiration.

weddingideas4

We are going with neutral attire for both the bridesmaids and groomsmen, and will use bright colorful flowers!  And, since it’s in the fall, the dresses will be floor length, but very light and flowy.  And no, we won’t have any trailers to stand in front of! haha. Although it does make for a cute pic in an interesting sort of way.

Here’s another look I’m going for. Kind of vintage, lots of lace, and again, the neutral bridesmaids dresses.  These dresses are actually a pale pink color, which ours are not, but I’m hoping to achieve that same streamline neutral color scheme.  And our flowers will be much more colorful… lots of deep reds, purples, pinks, and yellows.

And if anyone knows where I can find a bridal necklace like that, PLEASE NOTIFY ME IMMEDIATELY!  haha. I LOVE that necklace. It is so elegant and dainty 🙂

So there ya have it!  More wedding inspiration.  And we are 2 weeks away from Katie and Chuck’s wedding weekend, so it’s about to be full blown wedding time around here!  So much fun!!