Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Married Blog

I did it!!

I made a new married blog!!

Be sure and add it to your blog reader or whatever that thing is!!

Home With The Homans

I have even updated it with the first blog about our first two days of honeymoon bliss!

I am still working on that whole import/export blog the wedding posts will remain here until I can pick and choose!

New Blog

I have really been contemplating starting a new "married" blog.

The blog name of this current one is WhitneyAliceHall and I am no longer a Hall (well, legally I am because no one will send us our marriage license so I can go get anything changed yet...but you know what I mean).

But the thought of leaving this blog behind irks me. I am not a different person, I just have a different last name. Blah. I am sure I will do it at some point today. There is so much I want/need to blog about (the honeymoon, putting up our christmas tree-yes, we did it October 31st, etc etc) that doesn't fall under the single person blog anymore.

Just hold tight. Im sure a change is coming....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Day Has Come....continued

Picture Time!!!

After Brad and I walked out of the chapel together. It was time to gather together the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, house party, flower girls, ring bearer, parents, sister, grandparents to start taking pictures.

We did the typical formal photos. Me with my dad, with my mom, with both, with my grandma, Brad with his parents, add his sister, etc etc etc. It was fun, and we got some great formal shots, but formal is not really US.

After pictures with everyone were done, Brad and I headed outside with our two photographers to take some pictures of just us two. We got to walk, hold hands, kiss. He dipped me, I sat on his lap, he spun me around. We just got to play together like we always do, just this time we had two photographers snapping our every move and we were in formal clothing! Those are the pictures I cherish the most! I can't wait to get them printed out and frame them!!

After pictures of Brad and I were done. We said goodbye and went our separate ways until 5 pm. I was in the brides room (obviously) with my mom, Brad's mom, my grandma's, bridesmaids, and flower girls. Since I was so calm, and seriously having an out of body experience, I dont remember if it was hectic, or busy. I was just a fly on the wall, or so it felt. I know Kirby touched up my lipstick one last time. People were taking pictures around me, and with me.

I got out my "statements" (Brad and I did the traditional vows, but we had also decided to write statements to one another). I read through my statements to myself. Not trying to memorize them, but trying to make myself more comfortable with them. I can write about Brad all day long, and about why I love him, but getting up on the stage and reading them out loud is a totally different ball game! These were the words I was going to say to my future husband. These were the promises I was going to make to him. These were important words.

Finally, it was time. The moms and grandmas disappeared out of the room, as well as the bridesmaids and flower girls. I was in there for a split second before my daddy joined me. I had already seen him, but he looked so handsome in his tux. All I could do was smile. He smiled back. I dont think either of us cried at that moment....but we were both touched by what a special moment it was.

I tried to frantically search for some lip gloss (like that mattered right before I was about to get married). All my daddy had on him was his Vaseline. It worked like a charm. I applied it.  I checked my teeth to make sure I had no lipstick on them...and we were out the door.

On our way to the doors of the chapel, we were talking. I could tell Dad was nervous. We ran in to one of his very good friends, Charles Cella. Mr. Cella owns Oaklawn and his lives in St. Louis, MO. He has Parkinson's that is not very good to him, but he had flown to Little Rock that morning for my wedding and went straight to the airport after the wedding so he could fly back home. What amazing friends my dad has!

We were both shocked to see him, because we knew he was not doing well. As he passed us he said "I wouldn't miss this for the world, I gave away my little girl, and this is an emotional day." What a great man he is.

We headed to the doors of the chapel. There are two sets of doors. One set leads into the chapel, the other set (only a few feet away from the first set) divides those doors from the rest of the church (which is huge and has many sections). The outer set was open, so the only thing between us and the guests was one set of doors. Dad and I stood there for a few minutes, talking to the Ushers (who were supposed to open the doors when they heard the music), and the wedding coordinator. The wedding coordinator reminded the ushers to be listening for the music. I thought I heard it, but wasnt going to say anything. My jobs were done! I was there to enjoy! The ushers started to listen, heard the music, and opened the doors.

Side note (which I found out later): The ushers had indeed not been listening, and while Dad and I were standing out there waiting on the music to start and the doors to open....our music had already started to play and had run through once already. When Brad told me this, I asked him if he was nervous that I wasnt coming. He said he could see me moving through the crack in the doors, so he was calm, but he was sure that everyone else in the audience had had a moment of panic on his behalf. LOL

The doors opened, and dad and I started down the aisle. I had always envisioned that I would smile at a few people and my eyes would be locked on Brad for the rest of the trip down. That is not how it happened at all. I had a hold of my dad's arm, trying to keep him from running down the aisle, and I spent my whole trip down the aisle looking at both sides of me. Looking at people, smiling, acknowledging. I didnt realize how far we had made it down the aisle until we were at the end. I dont even remember who I I remember feeling bad that I didnt look at Brad the whole way down. (I confessed this to him later, and he said he didnt even notice).

Brad took his place by dad's side. Robert Lewis said some words, Dad gave me a kiss, gave Brad a hug, and took his seat. Brad moved in beside me. The rest of the ceremony is kinda a blur. I remember being really happy. Smiling the whole time. I kept wanting to steal kisses from Brad (but couldn't, we weren't officially married yet). I rubbed his back a few times. I definitely cried and sniffled during my statements.  We held hands.

Andrea Dean sang and played piano. It was beautiful. That was when we did the unity candle. I was afraid wax from my candle was going to drip on my dress. I was also afraid that I or Brad would blow out the main candle that we had just lit when we were blowing out our small candles. Neither of my fears happened. Whew!

At one point, after the ceremony, and the unity candle, I looked at Brad and said "We are married" to which  our pastor replied "Not yet, not until I say so". HAHA. I was just so ready to be his wife I guess.

The pastor prayed. He pronounced us husband and wife. We kissed and then we headed down the aisle hand in hand.

At the end of the aisle were four members of the Air Force Saber Team. They had their swords up. As we walked through them, the last two put their swords down in front of us so we couldnt walk any further. I looked up at the man to my right (David Smith, a man in Brad's unit) and he said "Welcome to the Air Force Family" I, of course, said "Thank you!". Then someone behind us said "You are supposed to kiss".  So we did!

The swords in front of us went up, and then one of them popped me on the behind as we walked out of the church. SO FUN!!!

Brad and I went to a back hallway with our family to hide so the guests would head straight to the reception. We took some family pictures with extended/out of town family while the ushers, house party, groomsmen and bridesmaids cleaned up the chapel.

It was time to head to the reception. We were married!!! As we headed out to the limo, I realized I didnt have my purse, and/or my keys...and my dad needed my keys so he could drive my car to his house and then get picked up by his town car. There was a slight moment of panic...but all was resolved. The car the purse was in had not left the parking lot yet! They swung by the limo, I grabbed my lip gloss, razorback sticker for my cheek and my keys to give my dad.

Brad and I piled into the limo and headed to the reception! I have always wondered what a couple who is alone for the first time say to each other right after they get married...and I finally got to find out. We literally looked at each other and couldnt believe that it was finally here and over. WE WERE MARRIED!!

We talked about the ceremony, funny things that had happened, and just enjoyed being alone and being married. When we got to the reception site, our driver immediately took us to the upper level where we met our photographer to take some more pictures of Brad and I. I had applied my razorback sticker to my cheek already, so those were in the pictures too!

Side Note: Every Saturday of football season, if the Hogs are playing, I am wearing the Razorback on my cheek. It is not negotiable. So it only seemed appropriate that I have it on my face for our reception. The Hogs played Auburn earlier in the day, and even though they didnt win, that didnt mean I wasnt a Hog fan. So on the sticker went!!!

Our photographer snapped some really awesome pictures of us with an amazing back drop of the sun setting. She is so wonderful! We also were met at the top  by the High Profile Editor. We had been chosen for the Featured Wedding so she was there to get some party pics of us and our wedding party. This was a dream come true so I was super excited!!!

After our photos, we headed back to the limo. The photographer jumped in with us so she could get some limo shots. It was so funny. It was so dark in there, so couldnt see what she was doing, but she ended up getting some really great photos!

We were met at the door by the girl who had helped me with the reception. She whisked us away into a back room where they took our drink order and brought us a plate of food to share from our buffet. I really like how they did this. This way, we could have a chance to eat before we went into the reception and had no other chances until it was 10 pm and time to get in the limo and go to the hotel room. We picked at our food, but neither of us were very hungry. We were too excited to see everyone and enjoy the party we had been planning for 13 months!

Then it was time to walk in as husband and wife!!! They brought us out of the back room and introduced us! People were lined up and were cheering for us! It was a neat feeling. The first people we saw were my bridesmaids and four other girls that I had picked to do something special before we cut the cake! We walked into the reception hall and went immediately to the cake. The 12 girls who I had chosen were instructed to surround the cake and pick one ribbon that was coming out from the bottom of the cake.

I had planned a charm pull!!! Traditionally, only single/unmarried girls are supposed to pull the charms. But it was MY wedding and I wanted the people who were either involved in the wedding or had helped me out TREMENDOUSLY to feel special, so I picked my 8 bridesmaids and Brad's sister Angela, Cassie Howell, Sherri Hawley and Kirby Crone.
Each girl picked a ribbon, not knowing what charm was attached. On the count of three, they all pulled at their ribbon to see what they got. I had to lick the icing off of Cara Beth's b/c she is gluten intolerant. Then they all told me what they got and I told them what the charm meant. The one I remember the most is Jessica Doose. She pulled the stork charm...which means that she will be the next to have a baby. What is so great about the whole thing is that she had just had her son toward the end of July, making him only 3 months old!! It was GREAT!
This was me pointing at Jessie when she announced her charm!

After the charm pull, Brad and I cut our cake (promising each other we would not cram cake in the other's face) and did our toast. The toasting flutes I had purchased and had gotten the base engraved with our names and our wedding date. Hopefully we will be toasting to another happy year of marriage with these glasses year after year!!

After cake cutting and was time to mix and mingle for a few minutes.That is where Brad and I got separated. I hugged so many people....and I was so thankful for every single one of them for being there. I was so touched that people would give up their nights to celebrate Brad and I. So sweet. I really didnt make it but 5 feet in either direction because I got stopped every few inches by someone. Such a blessing!

After that, it was time for my daddy and I to dance. Like I mentioned in a previous blog. Our song had been picked out by Brad. He was the best one to do it. No one else knows my dad and I's relationship better and he knew I wouldnt be able to make it through a song to listen to it because I would be crying so hard. It was perfect.

Dad and I talked, laughed, and cried. Typical of dad and I. There are some great shots of me hugging him, of us cracking each other up, and just enjoying the moment we had both  been looking forward to and somewhat dreading for my whole life!! It was perfect! After the song, he walked me over to Brad, hugged Brad again and then passed me off to my husband.

Then Brad and I danced. It was also perfect. (Have I mentioned the whole day was perfect?). We held each other, and just basked in the moment of our first dance. We cant wait to see the video.

Then it was his turn to dance with his mom. She is the sweetest human I know and she looked just like a little porcelain doll the whole night. Their dance was so sweet and I know that they both loved every minute of it!!

After the dances, the dance floor was opened up and the party started. We did the cupid shuffle, we did the chair dance (I will explain this later), Brad and I danced to "Down" by J Sean (this song has reminded me of him from the first time I heard it) and we just had fun. If you wanted to see me, I was on the dance floor. It was a blast.

During the bouquet toss, the single girls lined up to try to catch my bouquet. I of course did a "false toss" for the photographer and then it was time. I THREW the bouquet so hard and so far that none of the girls even had a chance. It flew so far that BRAD was the one who caught my flowers. BRAD! The next thing I knew, as I turned around to see who caught it, my husband came shooting through the girls with his hands up in the air and my flowers in one hand. It was hilarious!!! We hugged and laughed and then I got the flowers back to try again.

I tossed them a second time, a little easier this time, and my dear friend Amanda caught them. I love this girl. She and I became good friends at OBU, and although we have lost touch over the years, we know we are still here for each other. She came all the way from Texas for our wedding, and I just think that was the sweetest thing! I am so glad she caught my flowers! I hope they bring her luck!!!

Then it was the garter toss! I sat in the chair, threw my leg in the air and waited for Brad to take the garter off. He removed it gracefully and then tossed it. Ethan, our ring bearer, caught the garter! It was too perfect!

After the flowers and the garter were was time to dance again. I will explain what the chair dance is. It started back in high school. My best friends in high school and I loved dances, and we were more interested in dancing with each other than our dates. One of our good guy friends (who is still a good friend of ours) was my date to all of the dances. So, occasionally we would sit him in a chair and dance around him.

When Trisha got married, we made it a point to put Patrick in a chair and all dance around him. When Amy got married, we put G in a chair and danced around him. So when Ashley came up to me asking me if it was time to do the chair dance....I was so excited!!! I grabbed the chair and moved it to the center of the dance floor while Trisha went and got Brad and Ashley went and requested the song. We sat Brad in the chair and when the song started, we started dancing around him. It was great! It was me, Trisha, Ashley, Leah and Amy....then all of my college friends and bridesmaids joined in as it became a HUGE circle of girls dancing around my husband!! It was hilarious! I loved every minute of it (and I am sure Brad did too).

Also, at some point during the end of the night, the DJ played "Dirty Pop" by *NSYNC. (This was a requested by me song). I know the whole dance, so naturally, I started doing the whole dance, complete with the part when they get on the my wedding dress. Needless to say, by the time Dirty Pop was over, I had broken my bustle and my train had fallen. I really didnt care at that point, but they tried to pin the dress back up so it wouldnt get in my way. A few minutes later, the pin broke and I decided to just drape my train over my i look like I am wearing a toga in a few of the pictures from the end of the night!!!
ALSO, at another point in the evening (its all kind of a blur of what order it all happened in) my dad got out on the dance floor in the middle of all my friends and started dancing and they were all dancing with him and around him. He had an absolute blast that night and you could tell! He was on cloud nine!!!

Cara Beth, Jessica, Andrea, and Alicia requested that the DJ play "Three Days" by Pat Green. We love Pat Green and go to see him whenever we can. We stood in the middle of the dance floor, all hugged each other and sang at the top of our lungs!

We also had a money dance. The DJ called Chris Johnson and Kirby (soon to be Johnson on March 26th) up to the dance floor to be our cashiers. During this dance, people could give our cashiers money to dance with us. This was so helpful  because it gave us some cash to be able to use on the honeymoon!! So, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED US OUT A LITTLE BIT THAT NIGHT! At one point during the money dance, I looked over and saw Brad on two knees dancing with our flower girls!!! He is such a sweet man! I love him so much! Some of his groomsmen paid to dance with him, some of my bridesmaids and friends paid to dance with me. Kellee, the girl I work with who has been a saving grace, paid to dance with me as well. It was a fun way to get to spend a  little bit of time with people and make some moolah!
On his knees dancing with a flower girl

All in all it was an AMAZING evening and I had so much fun!!! Here is a picture of my high school best friends and I....the second picture is very typical of us! We had a great high school group and its so fun to get back together and just be goofy!!

At the end of the was time to close up shop and head to the hotel! We hugged our parents goodbye, I hugged a few of my friends goodbye and we headed to the limo! Not before walking through a line of people armed with flower petals
Side Note: That morning I realized I didnt have any flower petals to be thrown. I had called Fresh Market and they had already thrown out their old flowers. I was scheduled to be headed somewhere the morning of the wedding, so I asked my dad if he would just go and buy some roses and I would get them de-petaled. He agreed and headed to Fresh Market to buy my flowers. Next thing I know, he calls me and tells me that he will go ahead and take all of the petals off because he doesnt want me to worry about a thing that day. How sweet! So he bought the flowers and de-petaled them. What a sweet daddy!

So we headed down the stairs and into the limo, being pelted with rose petals! It was so much fun!
Petal shower!!!

Here we are in the limo, getting ready to leave!!

Once in the limo....we noticed four or five boxes sitting on one of the seats. The reception site had boxed up food from our buffet so we could take it to the hotel and eat it if we were hungry! How fabulous are they?!!?

When we got to the hotel room, we changed out of our wedding clothes and chowed down on our cake and pie (we served pumpkin and pecan pie as well as cake)....we didnt eat much of our other food...only the desert! It was awesome!

It was the most perfect day EVER and the most beautiful wedding! I am so blessed with amazing true friends and wonderful family and an AMAZING husband! He is so good to me and I dont know what I did to deserve him and his unconditional love!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Day Has Come

The day Brad and I had waited for for over 13 months was here! October 16th, 2010.

I woke up early that morning, thankful I didnt feel TOO exhausted having not slept as many hours as one would deem necessary to make it through such an important day. I was excited, but not nervous (but the more and more people asked me throughout the day if I was nervous, it made me nervous that I wasnt).

I showered and got ready. Put on my white sweatpants and my white hoodie sweatshirt that I had embroidered with "Mrs. Homan" on it, and headed downstairs to see my daddy. He and I had big plans that morning. We were headed to eat at Ozark Mountain Smokehouse. Some of the best breakfast food in town!

Before we got in the car, I had something I wanted to give him, and I knew that if I gave it to him at the restaurant he would cry...and it isnt nice to make men cry in public, especially on their daughter's wedding day.

I gave him a picture frame (without a picture in it) that said "My First Love. Father of the Bride". Yes, he cried. And I have already picked out the perfect picture from the wedding day that will go in it!

We headed to eat. It was so packed when we got there, but we found a booth and took a seat. He and I took a few minutes to look over the menu, placed our order and then just started talking. I am so lucky to have such an easy relationship with my dad. It isnt always rainbows and butterflies, but he is such an amazing dad, it makes up for it!

We talked, we laughed, we teared up a little bit, and then he or I would crack a joke to change the subject and stop the tears. It was a wonderful meal with a wonderful man on a wonderful day!

After breakfast, he drove me around while I ran some last minute errands (Walgreens, bank, etc) and cracked jokes about being my driver/chauffeur. After we got home, I realized that for the first time in 13 months, I had nothing to do. No checklists to go over, no phone calls to make, no payments to mail in, no Funkins to carve or anything to paint...NOTHING. So that is what I did...NOTHING! I laid in my bed for about 15 minutes and just collected my thoughts. It was great.

I then got myself up, made sure I had everything I needed for the wedding day (shoes-check!, veil-check!, overnight bag-check!) and I headed to meet my mom and our out of town family for lunch. We were originally going to eat at MiMi's Cafe, but they were PACKED due to the Race for the Cure, so we ended up at Applebees (Ironically, this is my LEAST favorite restaurant, but it was the only place reasonably priced that was near the church).

Lunch was mediocre, but time with my family who I never get to see was amazing! My uncle, his girlfriend and his youngest son (all from Kentucky), my cousin Jason and his girlfriend (from Virginia), and my cousin Laura, her baby Amanda and my Aunt Linda (from California) all came in early to the wedding. Later that day, my great aunt and cousins (from Kansas) and my aunt and her husband and son (from Oklahoma) drove in for the wedding so they couldnt make it for lunch.
After lunch, we all headed to the church. My mom, Grammy and myself so we could start getting ready, and the rest of the family followed so they could know how to get to the church later for the wedding. I carried a few more things in to the brides room and just about the time I was washing my morning makeup off of my face so my wedding makeup could be done....Kirby and Jessica arrived! They were life savers!

Kirby did my makeup for the wedding, as well as my mom's and my mother-in-laws. Jessica did my wedding hair and helped my mom with hers! Like I said....LIFE SAVERS!!! They both did AMAZING jobs!

Wedding hair and makeup began and then slowly my bridesmaids began to arrive. Trisha and Ashley got there first and brought me some sugar cookies. Some were shaped like pumpkins and two were shaped like Razorbacks!!! They also brought me a cup that said "Bride" on it and had already filled it with champagne. They are so sweet!

Then Steph got there, followed by Andrea and Lish, then Jessie and Cara Beth. Hey Hey, the gangs all here! (My great grandmother used to say that).

I dont have many specific details about that getting ready part of the day. I sat in a chair, Jessica did my hair, then I moved to a different chair and Kirby did my makeup. There were people moving all around me, touching up makeup, tying sashes on dresses, talking to me and to each other, taking pictures with one another, etc. At one point I know we tried to listen to the Razorback game (kick off was at 2:30) but it had a lot of static in the radio, so we turned that off.

I remember feeling very Zen. Like it was an out of body experience. I wasnt nervous or anxious. I was calm and happy. The happiest I have felt in a long time. All of my hard work had paid off and it was THE DAY Brad and I had waited for.

I remember the girls helping my mom get in to her dress and then it was time for me to get in mine. Brad and I had alone time at 2:45. This allowed us to see each other and share that special moment with just the two of us. It really took away the nervousness of the actual ceremony and allowed me to really relax and just take it all in. We were in this together!!!

After mom was in her dress, she helped me get mine on. Zipped me up and hooked all of my buttons with the elastic loops. I had worn that dress dozens of other times for fittings and such....but this time was different. I felt beautiful and special and like a princess who had finally been rescued by her prince. I felt like that dress was made for ME, designed with ME in mind (although it wasnt)...but it just felt perfect on me. I think I saw myself in Brad's eyes.

I hoped he saw what I saw. I was on my way to see my future husband for the first time in my wedding dress!

I put on my shoes, opted to not carry my flowers, grabbed some tissue, and met my handsome daddy in the hallway. He was going to walk me in to the chapel and give me a kiss at the end of the aisle and leave. I was still calm.

They opened the doors, we walked in, Dad gave me a kiss and then disappeared. It was Brad and myself (and our photographer and videographer). I could tell he was excited and anxious by the way he was standing and shaking his legs. His back was to me and he was at the front of the church. I walked down the aisle. I started to tear up. Getting excited but nervous. What if he didnt like my dress? (silly thought, I know).

I came to the end of the aisle and he slowly turned around to face me. We both teared up. He told me I looked beautiful, I told him he looked handsome. We just looked at each other, smiled, whispered, held hands, laughed, gave little kisses. It was very special and it was very us. The photographer and videographer disappeared after a few minutes, leaving us by ourselves.

I did a spin for him in my dress, made him do a spin for me in his pinstripe tux. I asked him how his golf game went that morning (he and some groomsmen had played golf together). He said they didnt keep score (which means they either were all terrible, or some were terrible and no one wanted to find out who). He asked how breakfast and lunch were with my family. We just chatted and caught up on our days.

We exchanged gifts on the alter. He got me a bible with my new name on it. I love it!!!! I got him a carry case for his cigars. On the front it says "My Husband, My Hero, My Best Friend. October 16, 2010". We spent a few more moments together and then walked out of the chapel, hand in hand.

It was picture time!!!

This will be continued on a later date...its almost time for me to get off work!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wedded Bliss (and the days leading up to it)

It has been entirely too long since I blogged....but I have been so so so busy with wedding planning that I didn't have a free moment to write down my thoughts...much less make it through a complete one!

Now the wedding is over and it was the most perfect wedding Ive ever been to (isn't every bride supposed to think that about their own wedding?), i wanted to blog about the experience so i can come back to read about it later.

Wednesday before the wedding, my Grammy came to work with me. I ended up testing her hearing and getting her the best hearing aids money can buy! I was super excited. It was also the day my flowers I ordered from Sam's came in to work. I spent much of the morning making bridesmaids bouquets, mother of the bride and groom clutches and the flowers the grandmothers carried. Yes, I made all of the bouquets by myself!

I spent the Thursday before the wedding running around like a crazy lady getting errands done...picking up programs, packing boxes to go to the church, burning cds, buying usher's gifts, buying Brad's gift, pedicure, bikini name it, I was doing it....and loving every minute!
Brad was such a life saver that night....when i was sitting in the floor of our apartment, frantically wrapping wedding party gifts and having an emotional breakdown because it wasnt going to all get done...he was searching for the perfect song for he and I to dance to, and my dad and I to dance to.....what an amazing man I married.

He made the best selections and if I could figure out how to play them on here, I would. He chose "Beautiful" by Jim Brickman (sung by Wayne Brady) for he and I to dance to and he chose "I'll Always Be Your Baby" by Natalie Grant for my daddy and I to dance to.
On Friday morning, I woke up, got ready and remembered to look for my passport...WHICH WAS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!! i had another emotional breakdown while I tore apart my room and dad's living room. I called Brad, sobbing, and told him to have fun in St. Lucia, because I wasnt going to be able to go. The exact words of "I guess we will just have to go to Branson for our honeymoon" came out of my mouth. We love Branson, and actually have plans to go in the next few weeks....but after planning to go to St. Lucia, Branson is kinda a let down. (I found the passport later, in a random bag, at Brad's apartment)....crisis averted.

After the passport fiasco, Brad and I headed to the courthouse to get our marriage license. Talk about waiting until the last minute! We had no other time though! We both work and the courthouse wasnt open when we get off Friday before the wedding was our only option. On our way there, we stopped by the Community Bakery downtown to pay for the pumpkin and pecan pies that were to be at the reception and to get a quick bite to eat....notice I said quick. Community Bakery had other plans. We ordered our food and waited, and waited and waited...people who ordered after us got food...not us. Then they came up to us (almost 45 minutes later) and asked us what we ordered. SERIOUSLY?!?! Then when we told them, they said they were out of half of the stuff we had asked for....needless to say, we were NOT happy with them and/or nice to them about it.

We headed to the courthouse, still hungry and feeling like an hour of our precious time was stolen from us....but we were still so excited because we were headed to get our MARRIAGE LICENSE. We filled out the appropriate paperwork, cracked jokes with some of the other couples doing the same, and then had the clerk take our picture with our unsigned marriage license. So cheesy but we love it!

After the courthouse, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Back Yard Burgers and headed to Conway to pick up our rental stuff from A Southern Tradition. We loaded up in record time, called Trisha and Rosie (Brad's mom) and told them to head to the church for decorating!!

On Friday, I also got to spend time with my best friends from high school Trisha (who is a blog stalker) and Ashley! They helped me and Brad decorate the church, along with Brad's parents, Brad's aunt and uncle from Texas, and my newest AMAZING friend Kirby (she was such a support system and life saver during the wedding planning). The menfolk (Brad, Brad's dad, Uncle Bob, and Jeremy-Ashley's boyfriend) carried all of the boxes in with the help of some of us girls (Me, Rosie, Aunt Betsy, Kirby, and Ashley). My mom and Grammy were there and they did a great job of helping too!

We got it all moved in and started to unpack and arrange. Aunt Betsy was such a help! She is an interior designer, so she made it so easy! Trisha, Ashley and Kirby helped set up the picture/guestbook table and opened all of the colors and coloring books I got for any kids that came to the wedding! They were such a help too!!! Trisha's mom (Peggy) and Ashley's mom (Frenchie) also came up to the church to help/hang out. It all went so smoothly!

After decorating was over, I showed Trisha, Ashley, Peggy and Frenchie where the bride's room was....and that is when Trisha and Ashley surprised me with a fun gift. Ashley had made me a bag that has Razorback stuff on one side and says "Mrs. Homan" on the other! Inside they had put a cute white bikini that says "wifey" on the butt (I wore it on the honeymoon), some peacock flip flops, some cute white Bride panties and a white hoodie sweatshirt that Trisha had made that said "Mrs. Homan" on the back and had a peacock feather on the front!

Due to the passport fiasco earlier in the day, I was running a little bit behind schedule, so Trisha and Ashley took all of my stuff (pictures, toasting flutes, cake serving stuff, etc etc) to the reception site for me! Such lifesavers AGAIN! It was so sweet of them to take some extra time to go and do that for me so Brad and I could leave and get ready for the rehearsal and dinner!

Rehearsal: Was so much fun! I wanted to make our ceremony very personal and show our guests who we are as individuals, and most importantly as a couple. We love each other deeply, but we never take each other too seriously. Since Brad is in the Air Force...I edited the Top Gun Theme Song so it could play when he, the groomsmen and the pastor walked out! It was a hit and so perfect. (During the actual wedding ceremony, the groomsmen actually walked out with Aviators on...I had no idea they were going to do that...and I love that they did!)

I had already burned all of the music selections for the ceremony onto a cd and had given it to the church a few days prior. I was torn about what the bridesmaids should walk down to. Either an instrumental song or "Wave on Wave" by Pat Green. My first choice was the instrumental, but at the last minute, I made the choice to go with Pat. I love Pat, (some of the bridesmaids and I have been to see Pat a thousand times) that is not a secret...and Wave on Wave has always made me think of Brad. "You know I always had you baby, just waiting for you to find what you were looking for" I went with my gut and it was AWESOME!!
All of our wedding song selections were so us and so personal and I hope our guests got that feeling too!

My dad kept teasing me about how he did a test run down the aisle and counted how many steps he would have to take from the back of the church to the front...he was so nervous!!! He did great (all three times I made him practice). We walked down to Christmas Canon by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I edited out the beginning when they sing "Merry Christmas" over and over.

Back in June, I went to New Orleans with Leah and Trisha to stay with Ashley and spend the weekend together. It was great! We hung out, talked, ate, drank, went on a vampire tour, etc. At one point in the weekend, they through a mini-shower for me! Leah got me a gift card to Victoria's Secret and Trisha and Ashley gave me a pair of high heels. These werent just any high heels. They had enhanced these heels themselves for ME. They had put glitter on them and attached peacock feathers to make them as fabulous as myself and my wedding! They were a little big, so we knew I couldnt wear them the whole day of the wedding....but I promised to wear them at some point!

Well, I had done a trial run with my dad down the aisle once already and we were going to run through the rehearsal one more time. I did a quick costume change and switched from my black and gold wedges to my white heels with glitter and peacock feathers that Trisha and  Ashley had made for me! I was so excited to finally get to wear them, and so touched that they would think so far in advance to make me wedding shoes in JUNE!!!

The rehearsal went well. No one really seemed to pay attention except for Brad and I and a few of the bridesmaids that had jobs....but I didnt really expect anyone to. It can get pretty boring when your job is to walk down the aisle and stand there. I hope they all had fun though!

Then it was time for dinner!!! Last November, I drove myself crazy trying to locate as many Funkins as I could so I could carve them and use them as centerpieces at the rehearsal dinner. After I bought them all, I realized how hard it was gonna be and got distracted. When I started my new job in Conway, the office manager, Kellee, was asking me about the wedding and I showed her the one Funkin I had done. She loved it and wanted to help me. So, Kellee and I carved Funkins for the next 7 months so they could all be done for the rehearsal dinner.

Brad and I gave the Funkins to Rosie (his mom) and Aunt Betsy earlier in the day so they could take them to Trio's (the rehearsal dinner site) and decorate with them. They did an AMAZING job!!

The food at the rehearsal dinner was AMAZING too! Rosie did a GREAT job planning that meal! I am not sure what exactly was on the menu...but it all tasted amazing! After we all ate...we watched a slide show that Brad's dad had made for us! It was so good! I, of course, cried like a baby. Chuck and Rosie (Brad's parents) and my dad and my mom all said a few words. Jordan and Stephanie Verdell (the couple who introduced us) also made a very sweet speech. The whole night was perfect!!!

After the slideshow/speeches we passed out gifts. The groomsmen's gifts hadn't arrived yet through the mail, so I printed out pictures of what they were getting and wrapped those (it was a lot lighter and easier to carry than all of their fire pits/grills or fishing rod bags we got them).

I also got to FINALLY give my bridesmaids their gifts. I had been working on these gifts for almost 2 months. The unmarried girls got wine glasses that I had painted with their names on one side and their favorite sports team on the other...and the married ones got serving platters that I had painted with their last names on them. (and yes, they are dishwasher safe and food safe). I also got them a string of pearls to wear on the wedding day. I didn't take pictures of them all, so I had to steal a picture from Cara Beth's facebook and the second picture I took with my phone.
After gifts were opened...or maybe it was as gifts were being opened....Andrea managed to set fire to her tissue paper by throwing it onto a candle. There was a tiny moment of panic...but fire was extinguished and the night went on beautifully!

After the rehearsal dinner...Brad and I helped to clean up the site a little bit and then we headed to Cajun's to hang out with some friends. Backstory- July 2007 my friend Trisha (who has already been mentioned) was the first to get married out of all of our high school friends. Her rehearsal dinner was at Cajuns. Her wedding weekend also happened to be the same weekend as our Ashley's bday. So we could have separate celebrations of Trisha's wedding and Ashley's bday we set up a gathering on the deck of Cajun's with our high school friends for Ashley's bday party. It was so much fun!
Fast forward to October 2008. Another high school friend, Amy, was getting married. I am not sure where her rehearsal dinner was, but Brad and I got invited to a gathering on the deck at Cajun's so we could all hang out with my high school friends and Amy's fiance and friends. We had a great time.
So it only seemed appropriate to send out an invite to my wedding party and high school friends to hang out on the deck at Cajun's after our rehearsal dinner.
There was a small group of us, but I wouldnt have wanted it any other way!!! It was great to relax, catch up, and remember how goofy and fun we still are when we all get together!! Amy, her husband G, Ashley, Jeremy, Trisha, her husband Patrick, Jonathan, and one of Brad's groomsmen Brett came!
Amy's husband bought me a shot of Patron to celebrate! I am not a shot taker at all...but I was a team player!

After that, Brad and I headed to our separate homes so we could get a little bit of sleep before our big day!!!
I will try and blog about the actual wedding day tomorrow...hopefully!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Whew! Mission: Accomplished

As you very well know, I got engaged this past Semptember....and I have really been thinking hard about who I wanted to be in my bridal party...and I finally decided!!!

Ive known for a while, even before we were engaged, that I wanted to ask my bridesmaids in a special way, I just couldnt figure out how. A few weeks ago, I finally decided how I was going to do it, and I set my plan in motion.

I was going to make Christmas Ornaments that said "Will you be a bridesmaid 10-16-2010?"

My roomate in Memphis and I headed out to Michael's to buy the materials and we had a blast. Picking out glass ornaments, the right paint colors and trying to find the best way to write the words.

I painted 8 glass balls a 14k gold color and picked out a red paint pen to write with. I ended up not liking the paint pen because it was too red, almost pink, so I headed to Michaels in LR to find the perfect red. I found it, but the problem was, it wasnt a paint pen, it was a little bottle of red, so I bought a variety pack of paint brushes and headed home.

The brushes ended up not worked well at all, so i found an old skinny crayola marker and dipped the felt tip into the paint and blotted the paint over the letters to make it stand out. I think it ended up looking pretty grand, if I say so myself!

I worked on ornaments for a little over 2 weeks, and had it planned out in my head who I would ask when. I knew I was going to ask Stephanie first for a few reasons, one being that I wouldnt see her until after Christmas unless we saw eachother one night for dinner and two, she is the reason Brad and I are together.

I made 8 bridesmaids ornaments and one best man ornament so Brad could give his best friend Jordan one when I gave Stephanie (his wife) hers at dinner one night.. They both said yes, and my plan was starting to work out well.

Next, I wrapped up two of the ornaments in bubble wrap and shipped them off to Trisha in Pennsylvania and Ashley in New Orleans. Trisha and Ashley are two of my best friends from High School. Trisha got hers within a few days, and Ashley didnt get hers until a week later! Oh well, they both got them, loved them and they said yes!!!

The last part of Mission:Bridesmaid was our friend Christmas party on December 18th. My friends and I get together every year for a girl party and have a potluck and just spend some time together. I knew this would be the ONLY time we would all be together, so I was so excited to finally ask them all!!! I wrapped each of thiers in a box and had a card on the top of each box with thier name and the card had a personal message to each one of them.

When I got there, I put the presents under the tree and assured them that I did NOT buy them anything, I made them something! Dinner wasnt quite ready yet, so we decided to do presents. I passed out the gifts and told them all that there were a few rules; 1) They had to open the presents all at the same time and 2) they couldnt read the card until AFTER they opened the stomach was in knots.

They opened thier gifts and they all said YES!!! WHEW! Mission: Accomplished.

Here is a picture of the ornament I made...

YEA!!! My wedding is starting to come together and I cant wait until all of my plans are final and I can just relax with my fiance and with my bridesmaids and have a BLAST!!

The bridesmaids are:
Cara Beth Walker Buie
Jessie Watts Doose
Jessica Arthur
Alicia Slover
Andrea Dean
Ashley Kessler
Trisha Noble Hagge
Stephanie Henry Verdell

WOO HOO!!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A November to Remember

Well, for those of you who know me, you know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Holiday Season....Halloween, My Birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas....anything that allows me to be around my friends and most importantly my family!!!

November has been pretty productive so far...and that is what I am going to write about!!

On the cusp of November, on October 30th, Bradley and I attended a Pumpkin Carving party at the Buie's...although no one ended up carving anything, we all did end up relaxing and sitting on their amazing front porch just talking (and reminiscing about our trip to Florida)

October 31st, Bradley and I went down to Hot Springs, AR to see my mom for her bday (which is November 1st)....and then after dinner with my mom, Brad and I headed to Magic Screams for Halloween. That was fun, we didnt ride anything, but it was fun to walk around, hear the scary music through the speakers and see all the little kids in costumes. We even waited in line for a "Haunted" House....not worth it!

November 8th is my birthday, and that is a day I am always excited about!!! This year, I wasnt so excited because Brad had drill all weekend, my mom was out of town, my dad was out of town, and it just wasnt a good weekend to celebrate with everyone...BUT after Brad got of work, we got ready and went to eat for my birthday at YaYa's (im not sure if that is the correct spelling)...It was pretty good, although I think they Calamari made me really sick...That sunday my dad and I went to eat at Dixie Cafe for my bday and then went to visit my grandma and aunt like we usually do on Sundays...

The following Friday, I spent the day with one of my great friends, Sara Jane. We ate at Larry's Pizza and went to Holiday fun to see her and get caught up on life. That night, Brad and I, Alicia, Jessica, Ethan, Cara Beth, Brent, Stephanie and Jordan went to eat at P.F. Changs for my birthday and then we went BOWLING!!! I had an absolute blast and I really appreciate everyone for coming!!!! It was Ethan's first time to bowl and it was so fun to watch him try to figure it out.

That Saturday morning, I got up, got dressed and met my mom, Stephanie and Courtney at David's Bridal for a day of WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING!!! We started at David's at 10 am...tried on several dresses until 11:30 and then jumped in the car, grabbed food and headed to Brinkley, AR to Low's Bridal. I found a few dresses I liked at David's and a few I liked at Low's, and I had a BLAST trying on all those different dresses and trying to picture myself walking down the aisle in each one of them. I didn't find one that I just knew was "IT" so I am hoping to go dress shopping again in a few weeks. Brad knew I would be EXHAUSTED by the time I got home, so when I got to his apartment, he has some candles lit, two pink roses, dinner in the oven and he had poured me a glass of wine!!!! What a sweet man he is!

On Thursday, the 19th, as soon as Brad got off work, we headed to Branson, MO for a much needed, 4 day weekend!!! When we got there, we checked in to our one bedroom CABIN and headed out to find some food. We ate at a restaurant right off the strip called Charlies, it was alright! Friday morning, we got up and headed out shopping. Our plan was to drive down the main strip and stop at any stores we thought looked fun, and then end up at the Branson Landing. There were a few stores we stopped at, but didnt buy anything. I did see a real life Reindeer and wouldve taken a picture, but they were charging $5 for a cell phone picture...RIP OFF!!!

The Landing was AWESOME and we had so much fun! Brad even said he has never had so much fun shopping, but I think it was because they had a few "man stores" that he enjoyed going in to. We started at Bass Pro Shop then went to the As-Seen-On-TV store, the Budweiser store, the Lids store, along with several other girly stores that I found a few things for myself and for Christmas presents!!! We ate dinner on the patio of Cantina Laredo so we could watch the fire and light show at the fountain. It was AWESOME. It was a little chilly out, so we were the only ones on the patio...but we felt like we were VIP. We had two heaters on either side of us and a front row seat for the light show. It was so nice to just sit with Brad, have a nice meal, talk for hours and feel special.

On our way back to the cabin, we stopped at the Tanger outlet, found some deals we just couldnt pass up, so decided to get up and go back on Saturday morning, and we did!!!

Saturday we hit up the Tanger outlet and then headed to Silver Dollar City. We had a BLAST. I rode some rides (Brad doesnt ride rides), ate too much, saw a few shows, watched the Christmas parade, enjoyed the singing Christmas tree (well, the lights flash to the songs) and we went down in the Marvel Cave. If you dont know much about it, then you should google or wikipedia it! We went 550 feet down into the cave and got to see lots of natural formations, waterfalls, and BATS! If you havent been to the cave at Silver Dollar City...I recommend it.

This coming Thursday is THANKSGIVING!!! We will spend the day with his parents and grandparents and then go to my gmas that night for some more food! Friday morning, we are headed to Hot Springs to have another Thanksgiving lunch with my mom and Bob. We will be STUFFED but so happy! Saturday we are planning on decorating Brad's apartment for Christmas, so that means I get to drag out all my boxes of Christmas decorations, heat up the Apple cider, turn on some football, and GO TO TOWN DECORATING!!! WHOOP WHOOP!

Here is my apartment last for sure going to miss my fireplace, but we will make it work!!!

So, I hope everyone has an AMAZING Thanksgiving!!!