Jonathan . Mallory . Duke . Calvin

Its our life, and we love it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wedding Week: The Ceremony

We knew we wanted a few things when we started planning our wedding ceremony. We knew we wanted it outside, we wanted J's dad to officiate, and we knew we wanted to write our own vows. Other than that, and other than J wanting to walk away to the Star Wars Theme song, we had very little we needed. Just the two of us, vowing to be together for the rest of forever. That is all we needed.

We were a little nervous planning an outside ceremony in Michigan in July, fearing 110% humidity with a heat index of 105. Or worse, rain. Well, after arriving in Michigan mere days before the big day, the second nightmare seemed a bit more likely. It was a cold and wet summer for Michigan, and we started to worry that our guests would get rained on or would freeze.

We had nothing to worry about.

The clouds were in and out all day, but as J puts it "As soon as my bride walked out of the barn, the clouds parted and the sun shone down on the whole ceremony." It was perfect. 70 degrees and sunny.

My family (new and old) proceeded me down the isle. As Cannon in D started, down the isle went my groom and his groomsmen. As the nerves were building, my girls went out the door. Finally, it was my turn. I took my brothers arm, took a deep breath, and walked out to my future.

I wish I could remember more of the ceremony, but all I can remember is a feeling. I remember this elation of happiness. It was joy, peace, love, and puppies all in one. We had some laughing and some crying. J's sister Rebecca read an untitled piece from an unknown author, reminding us to remember the feelings we had that day, and to call upon them when we faced trouble. And we have.

Some moments were excitement beyond belief.

Others were more touching than I could have imagined.

More often than not, it was just the two of us (or so it felt).

And it all finished with a kiss.

A better day than even I could have planned.

And yes, we did our recessional to Star Wars.

Now, it was time to party. Tomorrow: the reception.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wedding Week: The Party

What would our wedding be without a great group of people standing up there with me? Actually, the more I think about it, the stranger it is. Think about it. This is the most special day of your life up until this point. You're becoming a partnership, a team, a wife/husband. The day is all about you and your new spouse, but for some reason, we can't stand up there alone. Instead we have 8 other people standing around us, while we let all our other guests sit down. Mean? Huh.

As strange as it is, I don't think I could have picked a better group to stand up there with us.

Lets start with the girls.

I have a few very special girls who I would have loved to have up there with me, but I knew I had to draw the line somewhere. 27 Dresses, anyone? Luckily for me, I had 4 built in bridesmaids. Four best friends. Four girls who used to dress up, taking turns being the bride. So it was pretty obvious who I would choose.

First up to the plate was my best friend. My sister. My maid of honor. Anastasia. I really couldn't have asked for a better fill in the blank. She was great the whole time. From "Yes, I will" to "I do" this girl was my cheerleader and my lion tamer. She held my flowers, and swung my whip. She made our day special, from start to finish.

Next up is Michelle. She has been my cousin and a friend, all my life. We spent endless nights talking about what our life would be like when "we grew up." It was only fitting to have her by my side when I took that first step to "growing up."

Next girl in line is Joslyn. Michelle's twin, she has been here since the beginning. I don't think anyone could have been more excited (aside from myself and possibly J) about this wedding. You wouldn't know it during the process, but on that day, she was radiant. It was great being around that.

Finally, we have Emily. Beautiful Emily is yet another cousin, the younger sister of Joslyn and Michelle. Annoying as she was growing up, she has been a great friend. A little ditzy plus a lot of love are what make Emily so special. I couldn't imagine my day without her up there.

Oh, and can't forget Shaye. J's second cousin made the best flower girl I could ask for. Miniature me in her love of weddings, dresses, fancy shoes, flowers, dirt, chasing boys, bugs, scowls, and magic wands. She was perfect.

Now for the boys.

Justin is J's main man. His brother. His best friend. His best man. They have too so much fun together. And its not always mature fun. Okay, who are we kidding, its never mature fun. But the day wouldn't have been the same without him up there with us. And he even got his suit.

Next comes the second best man. Yes, there were two best men. Two manly speeches. But J made sure they knew the order of their importance. That's just how sweet he is. Matt was J's college roommate, and although they live states away from each other, they're just as close as ever.

The next guy in line is Nathan, J's cousin. He's also dating my sister (thanks to our wedding). This guy is great. One of the most fun people to be around. J was so excited to have him as part of our wedding party, and to be frank, so was I.

Finally, we have Matt (number 2). Another college roommate, another different state resident, another very close friend. He's a goofball, and made it his mission to make sure J enjoyed every minute of the weekend. We were so glad he was there.

So there you have it. Our wedding party. Like I said, there are many more special people both of us would have liked to ask to stand up there with us, but 4 was the magic number. Besides, someone had to use the chairs we rented.

Coming up tomorrow, our ceremony!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wedding Week: The Proposal

With the first year of marriage (almost) behind us, I decided it would be fun to blog about our wedding this week. Look forward to the wedding party, the ceremony, the reception, and the honeymoon... but up first is: THE PROPOSAL.

First, let me start with a little back story. Anyone who knows me, knows my love for Disney (Thanks Grandma Mary!). I've loved all things Disney since before I was born. I went to D. World when I was 10 and got to sit on the throne next to Cinderella, highlight of my life, until now.

Fast forward to 2007. Jon and I started dating and it was not long before my love realized that he was second to Walt. Sure, J was happy to humor me by watching Cinderella with his 7 year old sister and I, but he was not into the Disney scene enough to take me back to the most magical place on earth. I assumed it was out of jealousy of my love for the mouse. J very firmly told me we were not going to Disney World until we had kids who could enjoy it.

Fast forward again, this time to January 30, 2009. I was under the impression we were going to Denver for my birthday, to eat at my favorite restaurant, stay at our favorite hotel, and maybe even visit the zoo. Little did I know, those were not the plans.

On the way down, I was allowed to open one gift. Inside was my camera. Not a new camera, the same camera I'd had for 2 years. Huh. Cheapo. But then, my little sneaky boyfriend told me to look at the first picture.

What? The next picture told me we were going to lunch at my favorite restaurant the day before my birthday. I didn't know what my bf was doing. Didn't he know that no restaurant would top this tomorrow? I wanted to come here, because it's my favorite restaurant. Good luck tomorrow, Mister.

After lunch, I followed a scavenger hunt of sorts which eventually told me J could not get reservations at "Our Hotel." (Uhh...) In fact, he could not get reservations at any hotel in Denver, or Colorado. (Okay, then where are you taking me? Nebraska?) Just as I read this last photo, our car swerved (was that a deer?) and pulled into the Denver International Airport. What?!

In an airport bar, I got to read this:

(I cried) And in case its still not clear to you, my little Prince Charming was taking me to the most magical place on earth for my birthday -- LONG before we have kids to enjoy it. So we hopped a plane to Orlando, rented a Minnie Van, got to the hotel REALLY late, slept five hours, and woke up with more excitement coursing through our my veins than Carrie Bradshaw at a Manolo sample sale.

I got my "It's my Birthday" pin at the gates, and of course the first thing we did was get our ears.

Then we rode Dumbo and visited the castle. And got lunch and met up with Snow White.

And of course, we rode the teacups, visited Minnie & Mickey, ate dinner, and made a wish in Snow Whites well.

After stopping by Cinderella's house, we settled in for the evening parade. We sat at the very edge of the sidewalk, surrounded by little girls in princess dresses, and little boys with Cars t-shirts. We were having the best time of our life.

After the parade was over (thankfully it was over, Peter Pan played a trick on us and Maleficent got really mad at us), we went to stand in line to get our picture taken (again) in front of Cinderella's castle. And it wasn't even my idea.

Well, funnily enough, we were next in line when the photographers camera broke. Yep. Broke. To me, it wasn't a big deal. We already had our picture in front of the castle. Sure it wasn't at night, but it was fine! J freaked. Pacing. Worrying. Basically being 100% NOT J.

It was all for nothing, however, because it took about 3 minutes for our photographer to fix her camera. I was all set for the picture, but here J is, talking to me. C'mon, doesn't he see the line of 50 people waiting for their turn? As I try to grab his arm to pull him to face the camera, this happens:

Yes. That is what I should have said. But nothing would come out. So I nodded. And my fiance should have put the ring on my finger, but he didn't. So I held the box. The box with the sparkly, sparkly ring in it. (I later told my fiance I couldn't see the ring at first. Due to the tears in my eyes all I could see was sparkles.) And then... the fireworks. And the cheering (the whole park was watching us get engaged, as we were standing right where the fireworks show was going to be).

Pretty awesome, huh? Yeah... I think I'll keep him.

Tomorrow we'll meet our wedding party.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How Should I Dresser?

We have a dresser that we found on the side of the road. We gave her a home.

It was supposed to be a temporary fix until we had the budget to adopt a new dresser from the store. It's been 11 months and this little lady has made her presence known. I've warmed to her. I actually want to keep her.

You see, she is real, solid wood. Not that stupid particle board they sell at the store. That stuff will fall apart the first time we move it. And we'll be moving a lot. And, she has good bones. Sure, she might have a huge gash out of the top of her, and her pulls might be a little outdated, but really, who are we to judge? Which one of us can say we don't have scars? Which one of us can say we don't still have that dress from 1999 hanging in our closet, just in case?

So instead of replacing her, I'm giving her a facelift. Dollin' her up a bit. But that is why I need your help. I cannot decide on the color! You see, I'm going to have to use a little too much wood filler to stain her a "wood" color, plus I feel like painting her will bring her into this century. But I can't decide. Red, yellow, gold? What about silver, white, or gray? I can't decide.

She lives in our bedroom, which to be honest, doesn't have much design to it anyway. The only thing I have to take into consideration is that my duvet has to stay.

So what do you think? Is red too Americana? Is yellow too University of Michigan? Is gold too "Mallory, stop with the gold already?" These are some of my favorite finishes:

And there are so many more that I love. Help! Whats your favorite color for dressers? What about this dresser? Is red too USA! or is it okay? What about yellow? Too mustard-y? What do you think we should do?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Key.

Well, I know this has been done. Over and over again. But honestly, when I thought of this, I thought I was so creative and smart, because I had never seen anything like this before. And then I stumbled upon it here. And here. And so many other places it made me feel like I was the one to discover the Olsen twins-- in 2002. It's everywhere.

But, that does not make me love it any less. I figure, we will be moving a lot. A whole lot. And this is a fun way to remember each house we've called home. So without further adieu (is that the right word??) here is my key art:

It was a very simple project which took me all of 10 minutes, 8 of which were deciding which of the two frames I had to use. All I used was a frame (with a little room between the glass and the "picture"), a small bit of card stock, a pen, a hot glue gun, and one of our keys (I'll have to make another copy asap, so J can still get into our house... just kidding, it was our "Oops, we're locked out" key. So lets not get locked out). Easy Peasy.

Anyone else have cool ways to remember your home? We're all about keeping the military life simple around here, but I just can't help but feel a little giddy when I think about the giant collection of key art we will have when we finally settle in one place. What do you think, an easy enough project for you?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Babies Galore!

I've been very busy making babies the past few weeks.

Now, kindly please get your mind out of the gutter of Babies 'R Us, and into the doll making scene. I've featured these cutie pie little dolls before, and I've been at it again. I got the pattern from Bit of Whimsy (I cannot take credit for that, unfortunately, but check this girl out, because she has some really cool patterns) and I have to rave about how easy it is. So easy.

I had my first custom doll order from a girl named Roxi. You see, she was turning six years old and requested a doll with purple hair, blue eyes, and a pink and purple dress. I was up to the challenge. Here is a picture of Jon, Roxi, Roxi's brother Gib, and I after the adoption.

And of course, you remember Jo. That sweet little girl just had her first birthday, and I decided it was high time she owned a doll (instead of the million trucks, tractors, cars, and airplanes she borrows from her brother). Here we are on my last day of work.

And if you want a close up (of Jo's baby, I was sure I took a picture of Roxi's baby too, but I can't find it. Oh well.):

So there you have it! I really like these dolls, and they are so easy to make. Except for stuffing the arms. That is not fun. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Stay-cation!

Well, it is official. I am a lady of leisure. I have begun my "stay-cation," or a vacation, where I stay home. And I've got to admit, its pretty sweet. You may be thinking "How could a vacation at home be all that great?" Well it is. Possibly because I live in the greatest place ever. Possibly because I get to spend all my time with the greatest husband ever. Possibly because I get to do whatever I want.

I give you permission to be jealous.

I've only been on my "stay-cation" two days, but I've already taken full advantage of those two days of doing whatever I want.

I've gone to the drive in to see Toy Story 3 with my wonderful husband.

I've gone shopping/thrifting. (But I'm not going to show you a picture from that, because you'll see what I got in a later post.)

I've gone for a hike to go fishing. (Oh, and in this picture, Duke is in time out because he couldn't stay out of the water.)

I've gone for multiple walks with two of my favorite boys.

I've napped without feeling guilty. (You don't need to see that.)

I've started training for the Detroit Marathon. (And stretched while my favorite puppy was just dying to cuddle.)

I've gone on my first long ride with my new bike (and forgot my camera).

I've spent lots of time with this guy right here:

And I've completely organized the house, so it will be so much easier to pack when its time for that. (I am not going to include pictures of that, because I am a little depressed about the lack of decor our house has going on right now. Ah, the joys of moving with the military.)

All in all, I would say it has been a successful first two days of my "stay-cation," what do you think? I have lots of projects and mini-trips planned to fully enjoy my last month in Colorado. Any advice? Anything we should make a point to do before we leave and start the chaotic military lifestyle? I'd love to hear what you want to see pictures of!
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