Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh, Sleeper

Oh, mama...

Yesterday started out as a normal Tuesday. Joseph was off of work, running an errand for his grandma and buying my Christmas gift (yay!). I was at work, pushing papers and answering phone calls. During my break, I decided to start looking at options for Joseph's Christmas gift.

The thing about buying gifts for Joseph is that it should be very easy. He has many hobbies (beer, drums, reading, music, guns...the list goes on) but that very statement makes it so hard to buy for him because there is so much that I could buy for him.

While looking online, I looked up Wuhan 16" China Cymbals for his drum kit, ammo for his gun, "The Overton Window" by Glenn Beck....the list goes on. Then I got the bright idea to look up his favorite bands.

You see, when it comes to music our tastes are completely different. While I enjoy some older music (James Taylor and Michael Bolton...don't judge me) as well as country music, Joseph enjoys a completely different genre: metalcore which I lovingly call "rawr, rawr, rawr" music.

So while browsing on Oh, Sleeper's Web site, I saw that they were playing in Columbia! When you ask? That evening! How perfect! I was instantly giddy that I would be able to give Joseph something that I know he would love even though my ears may not enjoy it. I mean, the boy took me to an Edwin McCain show and didn't laugh at me when I was starstruck by the saxophonist, Craig Shields.  (I got his autograph...swoon!)

The experience was one that I will never forget, you see, I used to listen to "rawr, rawr, rawr" music when I was in high school and haven't been to a show since. Last night's show brought back so many memories, the nostalgia was incredibly thick. Being able to share in the experience with Joseph was so sweet and the joy that radiated from him last night gave me joy in return.

We were able to talk to some of the band members after the show and let me tell you...they are genuine. I told the lead singer that I was NOT a fan of their music but seeing them play has completely changed my mind. He was so gracious and laughed. The guitarist sat next to us at the bar and commented on Joseph's trench coat (aka The Cow). I told him not to encourage Joseph...I dislike The Cow. They are unphased by the thousands of people who follow their music, they are grateful for the fans but know that they are human and their God is the one who is great.

And the music? WOW! It was fast paced, get-on-your-feet-and-run-into-someone type music. The best of all? They gave credit where credit is due: to God.

Their lyrics are worshipful and powerful:

"From the armories the angels sing. You will see them end this suffering.
From the armories the angels sing. You will fear them when they lift their wings.
They will sing to a world reborn.
They will sing as I cut off your horns.
I'll cut off your horns"

From - The Finisher

Oh yes. That is Jesus telling the devil that He is going to cut off his horns. That is my Jesus :)

I find their symbol or logo very intriguing. It is a mutilated pentagram.


To explain the pentagram in relation to a goat, I will turn my blog over to Wikipedia. Don't hate.

"The Neopagan pentagram is generally displayed with one point up, partly because of the "inverted" goat's head pentagram's association with Satanism" (Wikipedia)

So the top two points of the pentagram symbolize the goat's horns.

As you can see,Oh Sleeper's logo is the "goat" without horns. Think on that for a minute.


Friday, December 10, 2010

On a new generation

My brother is having a baby.

Okay...well, his wife, Heather, is actually the one who will be doing all the work but nonetheless THEY are having a baby.

It is uncanny to think of my brother, the one that is only a year, two months and ten days older than me...the one who gave me nuggies and to this day pokes me relentlessly....the only brother I have....will be a father.

Heather, my sister-in-law, is now about 6 months along and last time I saw her she was getting the cutest round tummy! Drew is beaming and is terribly excited, though he tried to hide it.

That being said, it is hard living so far away. While two point five hours doesn't seem like a long way, when you have a nephew (yes, it's a boy!) on the way, it seems like millions of miles.

I know we will be there to enjoy him on special occasions but what about random afternoons?

I want to be close with them, to come over, babysit for mommy-daddy date night and most of all, to get experience for my own little one (which won't be for a while).

I don't know what it will look like to be an Aunt but I know I am excited and I can't wait to meet little Jackson!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's that time of year, Christmas Cards!

Well, honestly, I have never had "that time of year" where I sent out Christmas cards. I remember seeing my mother write and send out beautifully decorated cards feature Jesus in a manger or glittery cards with snowmen and poinsettia.

But I have never had to send out cards. The first cards I ever sent out were our wedding invitations!

So...since I have yet to send out thank you notes to those who attended, sent gifts, said prayers and made our wedding day the amazing day that it was, I figure why not send out Christmas cards at the same time?

I am in luck! is running a special promotion for bloggers that mention their favorite cards on their blog.

So here goes!

I love this black, white and red snowflake themed card. As most of you know, Joseph and I incorporated black and red into our wedding. We are both huge fans of the colors. (Or is black a shade? The debate continues...)

This is another one of my favorites! I love the bright color as well as the idea of having a "warm" holiday. Those of you who live in the South (yes...I capitalized South) know that we RARELY have a white, frigid, Christmas. I do love the detail of the snowflake design.

And here are a couple more of my favs...just because...

All photocards can be found here.

You can also view Christmas Calendars and other Christmas Gifts from SHUTTERFLY! Such a great company! (I have ordered from Shutterfly before...if you were at the wedding you saw our awesome guest book. Guess what? It was from Shutterfly!)

So which one will I chose? Hmmm...

Without photographs...

I feel as if I cannot post.

I feel as though my words are not worthy without the rectagular visions.

So until I find my camera adapter...

All you get are my words.

Friday, November 19, 2010

On being a princess...

There is a beauty and a mystery about being a princess. Some girls get to be homecoming queen or sweetheart princess (like my sister-in-law) and some girls get to be a full fledged princess, but they are few and far between. What does it mean to be a princess? Everyone knows the regular definition of princess: heir to the thrown or wife of a crowned prince.

I am going to make a bold statement: I am a princess. (See proof below).

No, I don't have a crown (though I do have a tiara that I wore to prom one year...and my bachelorette tiara...I guess that will work), I do not have a lavish ball gown (I have a wedding dress though...mmhmm) and I do not have a horse and carriage but rather a cat and a Suzuki Forenza.

But I do have a Dad that is THE King. The King of everything so that makes me a princess. While most Kings and Princes have a Kingdom that may span a continent, my King owns the world. How cool is that? He is a King of Kings (Daniel 2:47, 1 Timothy 6:13-15, Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:16).

Now that we have established that I am a princess, I would like to talk about a soon-to-be princess: Kate Middleton.

I cannot even begin to tell you how I excited I am that there will be a royal wedding. 1) Because I love weddings. 2) Because I like to see what other princesses are doing. 3) I love weddings.

 The feeling is borderline giddiness, to the point where whenever I see anything about the royal wedding I tear up. I believe the feelings stem from the childhood dream of becoming a princess. I would dare to say that every girl dreams about it, plays dress up and pretends that she is a princess. Miss Kate Middleton gets to live out that dream.


I cannot imagine her excitement at the prospect of being a princess, wearing a crown and marrying a prince. Wearing the late Princess Diana's sapphire bauble, she will attend teas and balls, charity events and travel the world. But most of all, she will be compared to the late Princess Diana.

How can she live up to the legacy of Princess Di? A commoner who became one of England's greatest icons through serving and loving the people of England and the world. It seems like only yesterday that dear princess was taken so tragically from the world.

I find it quite romantic and touching that Princess Di's ring is now gracing Kate's finger. I have heard many exclaim that she should not wear the ring because of family history. I have to say that I disagree. William and Kate have the opportunity to set a different kind of marriage in motion. They are not their parents, just like you and I are not ours. We have the opportunity to break any family cycles that are negative and unhealthy. We have the opportunity to change habits and start new traditions. I think it is unfair to put a stigma on a ring.



For the next year, we wait with bated breath for the next Princess to grace England. Will she live up to Di's legacy? Or will she make one of her own?

Either way, I cannot wait to see the dress, the flowers and the beautiful ceremony take place. be a princess.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Food: How do I love thee?

UPDATED 12/18/2010: Photographs added! Yay!

I have put off blogging as I have seemed to misplace the adapter that allows me to upload pictures from my camera to my computer. I love pictures. I love the feelings they evoke and the ability they have for the reader to "know" exactly what I am talking about.

However, this post won't have any pictures. I know. Sigh...

Food...How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

The food on our honeymoon was basic but delicious. The first night we had wedding leftovers. Joseph ate the wedding leftovers several times over the course of our honeymoon. I, however, opted out and had BLTs and other nom noms.

The first morning Joseph and I had to go to the grocery store to get supplies for the week. While driving there, we passed this little crepe place and we stopped. Why not? We were met by a Japanese woman, making crepes. Now I am no Anthropologist but I thought crepes came from France.  I decided to get a sweet crepe of maple syrup or sizzurup, strawberries and brown sugar. I cannot even begin to put into words the deliciousness that was in my mouth. Warm, sweet, craziness. Joseph got a savory crepe with ham, cheese and siracha. If you don't know what siracha is, I implore you to go to your closest Asian market and pick up a bottle of the red spicy stuff. It is so good. His crepe was great as well...but I was not inclined to share any more of my sweet crepe with him so I only had one bite of his crepe. We also ordered coffee, my cup was thick as the pot had not completed brewing...I didn't drink the coffee.

Over the next few days we had ribs on the barbie (we vacationed in Folly...not Austrailia but I like saying barbie with an Australian accent so go with it). We had garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli. We sure ate our share of broccoli. We had bacon wrapped shrimp as well.


We visited Folly Beach Brewing where the awesome owner/bartender chatted with us...well with Joseph and gave us a tour of the pub and brewery.

Some days for lunch we had grilled hotdogs with fries. For breakfast we alternated between cereal and bacon with eggs and grits.

We ate a lot of bacon that week. Exactly three packs. I am not ashamed.

While those were some great homemade meals we also ate out a few times.

Captain Speegs (our dear friend who is stationed in Charleston with the Navy) treated us to a meal in downtown Charleston. We went to a place called Aromas which serves Thai and Asian inspired cuisine. I wasn't adventurous getting Sesame chicken and I am so glad that I wasn't! It was the best sesame chicken I have ever had. Both Speegs and Joseph had a Pad Thai dish (which was also excellent as I stole some of Joseph's before he doused it in have to be quick with him). We then went to Kaminsky's. Kaminsky's should have a blog post by itself. One word: Desserts. If you want dessert in Charleston you have to go to Kaminsky's. Joseph promised me that he would help me eat the monstrous brownie with ice cream and chocolate syrup. He ate three bites and I ate the rest of it. Every single crumb. Again, I am not ashamed. Joseph prefers to drink his dessert so he got a beer. But Kaminsky's. Oh how I love thee.

Whew...that was a lot. I'm worn out thinking about all the food we consumed over the honeymoon. But there is one more night that I want to tell you about.

Surf Bar: Where I consumed the most amazing chicken sandwich ever and where I drank one too many tropical drinks. The bartender gave us free shots. The bar itself was filled with surf and beach memorabilia. The patrons had just got back from a long day of surfing. The feel of this bar was that of locals and love of the ocean. Just the place I wanted to be with my love, Joseph.

So that is the food. Whenever I find my head and my camera adapter I will post some amazing pictures of some amazing food.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

When thing's aren't perfect...

My rings are too big. My engagement ring likes to turn, my wedding band likes to loop-de-loop.

I can get it fixed and one day, I will. RIght now I like the reminder. I like the imperfection that sits on my finger.

It is like marriage. Marriage isn't always snug and secure. There are issues, twists and turns, loop-de-loops. It is okay.

Because like the ring, marriage is never-ending, there are no fractures in the perfect circle.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The One with the Honeymoon: Part I - The House

After saying hello to everyone at our reception, I was ready to jet. While I loved my friends and family I was ready to start our week-long, sun-fun filled honeymoon in Folly Beach.

Joseph and I had reserved a beautiful beach house right past the Washout on Folly.

Throughout our stay, Joseph and I enjoyed opening the windows to hear the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, drinking coffee on the deck while looking out at the waves and having home cooked dinner out on the deck.

The kitchen was quaint and had everything we needed to cook. The dining room table was made of wood and had the shabby-chic feel that a beach house should have.

The view from the deck and from the living room was incredible. It was such a blessing to be able to wake up every morning and see, smell and hear the ocean.

 The living room was nice and comfortable. We spent a lot of time reading on the couch and even got to watch Chuck (well kind of...the reception was horrible!) on Monday night.

While there, we ended up staying in two different rooms. The first room was just not comfortable, even though it was the prettiest. After the first night we decided to make this our dressing room and we slept in a different room.

It might have been the room that made it difficult to sleep or it could be that I am not used to having to share the bed with someone. Especially someone who may or may not snore. I was worried that I was taking up too much of the bed or that I was moving too much. Needlesstosay, I have gotten over it and now sleep like a baby.

While there were some flaws with the house (luke-warm showers and uneven floors to name a few), overall the house was clean, cozy and served it's purpose well.

Next up: The Food.

Monday, October 18, 2010


So many of the blogs I love to keep up are powered by Blogspot.

I am seriously considering switching over as Blogspot seems to be the "jam".

Anyone have any thoughts on Blogspot? Any thoughts on a seamless transition from one blog to another?

I would hate to lose the posts on this makes me sad just thinking about it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Settling In...

While I wait for the professional wedding pictures to come in (and while I wait to get my camera from my parents house so I can post pics of the honeymoon), I wanted to update you guys on life as a married woman.

Realizing that I am no longer an "Edwards" has thrown me for a loop. Half of the day I spend my time saying  and signing "Jessica Edwards" while the other half I remember that I am now "Jessica Ackerman".  I have practiced writing my name on paper just like a teenage, love-sick girl would do on her English notebook during 3rd period.

We have consolidated our possessions, well most of them at least. We have an extensive library that includes many classic literature books, books that are older than our grandparents, books for our childhood and randoms. The back hallway is our "library" with three tall black bookshelves and two small white bookshelves jammed packed with literature.

The kitchen was our first point of contention during our first day of home life. Joseph is used to having roommates, thus the house was put together in his fashion. Two cabinets full of beer glasses? Completely normal for a bachelor. Bur for a married couple? Not so much. It took him a minute to concede that we really did not need two full cabinets full of glassware. I will be honest. I might have pouted a little a lot.

After we got the beer glasses consolidated to two shelves in one cabinet, we were able to place our nice drinking glasses on one shelf in the same cabinet and move the dishes to the other cabinet which used to hold beer glasses.

We then made the top three cabinets our pantry and the bottom three cabinets storage for Tupperware (I still haven't figured out the best way of organizing seems impossible), bakeware and stock pots.

Now that things are organized in the room that we spend most of our time in (except the bedroom...hehe) the rest of the house seems to be falling into place.

Joseph has tackled both bathrooms, sheet-rocking behind the mirror, hanging mirrors, shelves and art, painting the walls and all around redesigning the bathrooms in a way that reflects a married couple instead of a bachelor.

It is encouraging to have a husband who is so great at home improvement. He takes our ideas and turns them into reality. Though we have a long list of things to accomplish, we have a lifetime to accomplish them.

Next up: House training an outside dog, re-grouting the kitchen floor, finishing Joseph's beer cellar, toe-molding the entire house and whatever else comes up!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wedding Blues

The wedding came and the wedding went. We spent hours with great friends and family. I saw the man of my dreams at the end of the aisle and I steadfastly walked toward him. We said our vows and exchanged rings. Washed each others feet and had a dear friend sing one of our favorite worship songs. We danced (a little), ate good food and wonderful cake. We battled a broken windshield and a mean dragon lady. We honeymooned and laid on the beach. Ate too much bacon and drank good beer.

There were so many great moments and memories with a  little bit of stress along the way but nothing that took away from the glory of the day. It has been almost two weeks since the wedding and I find myself with a case of the wedding blues.

I told myself that I would not come down with the blues but alas, here I am. I can barely look at my favorite wedding blog,, without having a pang of sadness. I never let on to how much I loved researching wedding related topics. Flowers, cakes, colors, photographers, traditions and creative ways to make the wedding our own.

I enjoyed coming up with fabulous ideas and seeing them, through friends and family, come to be.

Basically, I am sad that our day is over. That I no longer have an excuse to spend ten minutes at the magazine rack flipping through bridal magazines. I no longer have an excuse to spend hours looking for the perfect wedding cake design...because I have already found it and it was executed beautifully. I no longer have an excuse to look at wedding bouquets and centerpieces because I already compiled pages of photo inspiration and my friend and florist made that dream come true (actually...they were beyond my wildest dreams).

But despite the sadness that comes from the loss of a sort of bridal identity, there is joy. I married Joseph. We made wonderful memories with great people. We have household projects galore to accomplish and the adventure of merging two lives.

So while I will be trading in my bridal veil for a more Susie homemaker kerchief, I will fondly remember our wedding day and the happiness that it brought.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Paper Hearts

Over the weekend my mother and I have tackled another project:

Paper heart napkin rings and paper heart garland.

We took one of my mother's trashy romance novels (I knew they were good for something!) and traced hearts with a welder which burned the paper. In the end we were left with over 120 paper hearts.

My mom ended up doing most of them as the smell of the burning paper was unpleasant and thus made me feel unpleasant.


I haven't taken picture of the hearts but they are very similar to the hearts above.

The next step is to string the garland onto some twine that I purchased at Michaels. Hopefully they will look like this:


When I saw these little details I knew it would be worth the effort.

10 days.

10 days.

10 days until I marry the man Christ has chosen for me.

10 days until I don a beautiful ivory dress, veil and my grandmother’s pearls.

10 days until I will think of those that I wish, so badly, could be there to see me wed.

10 days until something will go wrong.

10 days until I realize that there is nothing I can do about things that go wrong.

10 days until my favorite girls walk before me, paving the way to my groom.

10 days until Joseph and I wash each other’s feet, beginning our lives together with an act of service.

10 days until we eat, drink and dance with those we could not imagine our lives without.

10 days until Joseph and I dance our first dance as husband and wife to a song that brings tears to my eyes.

10 days until my name become Jessica Meghan Edwards Ackerman.

10 days until we drive off into the sunset, on our way to Folly Beach for a week of relaxing and adaption.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Simple Things

I realized today that the simplest things about this wedding are making me so incredibly happy.

Today, I called the events coordinator at our reception venue. She asked me several questions about the number of people attending and what food we would like to have. The time of the reception and what color linens would I like, white or ivory?

White or ivory? I have a choice? When we first talked so many moons ago, she mentioned they only offered white linens. I wanted ivory but if all they had were white I wasn't going to complain (or dish out hundreds of dollars to get ivory linens). So this little question gave me so much joy.

Another simplicity that I take joy in, is marking off the days on my calendar. It is something so small that I love to do at the end of a long work day. Each day brings me closer to marrying my Joseph and that thought is euphoric.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flower Spill

Just because I can, I want to post photos of the flower inspiration I have been collecting.

Unfortunatly, I don't have the source information for most of these (I blog rule # 925: ALWAYS provide source information for pictures and/or quotes). I fail.

Oh so pretty. I will have a deep red bouquet while the bridesmaids will have cream/white. I am so happy with the work that my florist (and friend) has done thus far. She is creative, concerned and a great communicator.

Oh Sweet September.

The following post was started on September 1. I was slack and failed to post here it is.

It is hard to believe that it is September 1 and that it has been three weeks since my last post. It isn't that I haven't had anything to write about, I have lacked the time and motivation.

Will only 24 days remaining until Joseph and I commit ourselves to one another for the REST of our LIVES, I thought I would go over a few things that we have accomplished and a few things that need to get done.


INVITATIONS! I was convinced that these 5x7 pieces of paper with fancy writing were going to be the death of me. After my sister-of-honor designed them it was up to me to print them. However, my printing and sizing skills obviously aren't what they should be and what was first thought to be an easy endeavor ended in a horrible disaster. Luckily, Joseph came to the rescue and sent the invites to Professional Printers in Columbia. THEY. WERE. AMAZING. They were fast and efficient and the invites turned out more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

Cake: The cake has been chosen and ordered. Yum, yum. The cake topper and table decor has been decided upon and purchased so now we are just waiting on the day to arrive.

Flowers: The flowers have been chosen and ordered. I collaborated with my friend who will be doing the flowers and we came up with some amazing ideas!

Reception Decor: the books have been collected, the flower vessels obtained and table runners secured. We are ready to go. My mom has made some additional decor that looks beautiful!

Wedding party gifts: We have these under control. Some are beautiful, some are tasty, some are playful and all are perfect.


Rehearsal Dinner: We have picked a place and called them to reserve it. That's about it. Who knew you needed to send out rehearsal dinner invitations? Not me.

Cake stand: Since we didn't want to spend a fortune on an 18" cake stand that cost 1.2 million dollars, I decided to head on over to Lowe's and buy the supplies to make our own cake stand. The cost? Approximately $30.

Needs Serious Attention:

Favors: Okay. So we know what kind of favors we are going to offer at the reception, we have the supplies to assemble said favors. So what's the problem? Lack of motivation. My wedding planning motor has burned out. I am sure it will kick into high gear.

Decor: There are minor decor items that need to get done, however, if they do not get done it is not a big deal as these items are not necessary.

Programs: I have though about programs...and I have thought about programs and that is as far as I have gotten.

Music: Since we are throwing some tunes on a MAC computer and letting them roll, we have to first make a playlist. We have yet to do this. I suppose we somewhat have a playlist ready but it needs some attention.

Food: We have a few food items in mind, however, we have yet to nail them down. I should get with my caterer on this.

There are a ton of other things that I have left out whether they are on the "done list" or the "need-to-do list". With only three weeks remaining I am sure it will all get done.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pre-marital Couseling

Counseling has been the best decision that Joseph and I have made since we started dating. I have learned so much about myself (good and bad) and have gained necessary tools and principles to help make our marriage successful.

For example, I learned that I am a feeler while Joseph is a thinker. I make decisions based on my emotions and Joseph makes decisions based on pure logic. I am a Retriever-Beaver and Joseph is a Lion-Otter.

I learned that I am severely passive aggressive...

While Joseph is extremely assertive (with a little bit of aggression mixed in). While it is hard to kick old habits, I know that in order for Joseph and I to communicate effectively and avoid unnecessary conflict, I will have to mosey into the realm of being more assertive and less passive aggressive. I have successfully been assertive once and it felt amazing...for the seven or so times that I have been passive aggressive since then...well...I have no excuse. Sorry, Joseph! I am working on it.

We also got some scary statistics. 50% percent of first marriages end in divorce, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages. Many couples, when faced with hardships, now turn to the easy way out: divorce. Instead of praying and working through the issues, they sign a piece of paper. They think, "oh...I married the wrong person." FALSE! You did not marry the wrong person. You gave up on the right person. Now I know there are circumstances where divorce is necessary (abuse being one).

But I digress. The whole point is that you marry someone not just because you love them, but because God has intricately designed us to need a helpmate. He did not design us to be alone. Matthew 19:4-6 states: "He answered, 'Haven't you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.'" (The Message).


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If a Picture Paints a Thousand Words: Part II

I left you with a cliff hanger: a promise to post some of our fantabulous engagement photos.

The day started off without a hitch, it was warm (okay it was HOT...and muggy). We were a little late getting started, I forgot why but I am sure it involved me not being able to find the shoes that I had previously purchased just for this occasion. Or maybe it was because my hair didn't look quite right. Whatever the reason, our photographers, Elizabeth and Daniel, were flexible and gracious.

We got down to the river walk and started to take photos. Joseph and I were immediatly comfortable with the camera and with our photographers. Here are some of the amazing photos that we took at the riverwalk:


With a bit of complaining, "oh em gee, it is hot! I am sweating like a suckling pig."  We moved on to The Flying Saucer. While Joseph and I have little history as a couple here, we both have significant history as individuals. Joseph was one of the few and proud who drank his way to a gold plate that now graces the wall of the saucer. I, along with many grad-school buddies, frequented Pint Nite on Mondays after various classes. (No worries, we never skipped class...) Here is an awesome shot from the saucer:

Of course it looks like I am a lush. Why is my beer half empty (or is it half full?) and Joseph's is full? Think about it.

In the end, the day was long, hot and oh-so-much fun. I cannot rave about Elizabeth and Daniel enough. Elizabeth will be taking my bridal portraits soon and I cannot wait! Hopefully the day will be much cooler as a 35-pound dress will got hot in a quick minute!

Until next time I will leave you with this:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If a Picture Paints a Thousand Words...

I have been waiting, longing and anticipating to write this post. The truth that I love photography. I browsed photography Web sites for over two months looking for ideas, analyzing how much photographers go for these days and basically fawning over gorgeous photos.

One thing I quickly noticed is that it would be almost impossible to get a photographer for the wedding for under $1,000. And that was solely for wedding day coverage. I understand that most photographers are worth it. They put a ridiculous amount of creativity and effort into each photo, into editing and into making Bride & Co. happy.

Looking at our budget I knew that we wouldn't be able to afford the type of photographer I wanted. I always heard brides say, "prioritize what is most important to you. If it is food then spend a large portion of your budget on food. If it is flowers, spend a huge portion on flowers." Well, photography is the most important aspect of a wedding to me and with the prices I was seeing on the Web I knew that I would have to sacrifice the one thing that was truly important.

But it is amazing how God works. My friend Mary got married in May and throughout our conversations about wedding planning she mentioned how her awesomely-funny, amazingly-talented, magazine editor sister was wanting to get into wedding photography.

After a brief discussion with Joseph, we decided to go for it. We got an amazing deal of engagement photos, bridal portraits, rehearsal dinner photos and wedding day photos. I couldn't believe that our photographer was being so gracious.

While we were nervous at first, our first session with Beth and her husband Daniel proved to be a success. We were comfortable (though terribly hot).

Here is a little sneak peek of our engagement session:

Next up I will post a little bit more about our engagement photo shoot!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Yo-Yos Bachelorette Extravaganza

So who are the Yo-Yos? The Yo-Yos are a group of women ranging in age from 25 to....well...women don't ever tell their real age. We all met working for Title Examining companies. Through adventures at the courthouse and cocktails after work, we became a tight-knit group of women who learned from each other and most of all lifted each other up during hard times.

That being said, I have to say. These women know how to have a good time.

Exhibit A:

Some of the Yo-Yos, plus Vanessa, minus Mom, Edna, Phyllis

We started the night at Senior Frogs at Broadway at the Beach. There were tiaras, a few drinks, some sticker bestowing (more on that later) and just plain fun. After a few bites to eat we headed over to Crocodile Rocks which is a Dueling Piano Bar. SO. MUCH. FUN. The piano players are so talented. Who can resist belting out "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey? Not me.

Mom and I at Senior Frogs...notice the Good Girl side of the wand is showing.

Now for the story about the stickers. Yo-Yo Angie decided to get a plethora of Bachelorette paraphernalia. Including stickers to give out to people with: the Best set of pecks, hottest buns, sexiest jaw line, worst pick-up line, worst dancer and nicest eyes.

Exhibit B:

Needless-to-say my nicest buns sticker went to an old man, best pecks went to a random dude that was with a bachelor party. The rest of my stickers? Nicest eyes went to my sister Katelyn and the rest went to her boyfriend Travis.

I had such an amazing time with this group of women. Their strength and youthfulness never ceases to amaze me.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In the shower...! Not that shower. The bridal shower!

As I return from my little sabbatical from writing, I want to do a recap of my Myrtle Beach Bridal Shower. One Word: AMAZING!

I am so blessed to have so many good friends and family members, especially my mom, sister and sister-in-law, who planned the shower. There was food galore including my mom's famous cheese ball, pigs-in-a-blanket by Heather my SIL and my brother's famous salsa that Heather made per his careful phone instructions. There was also carrot cake. Nom, nom, nom.

The day went like this:

We (Vanessa, my Matron of Honor, and I) around 11. We scurried to get everything set up (i.e. yummy foodstuffs) and to finish making the favors (awesome ribbon cross bookmarks).

Guests started arriving around 1:50 and of course I was not dressed yet as I was being my usual Type-A self and trying to get everything set up along with my madre.

Once all the guests arrived we played an ice breaker game which consisted of splitting into four teams and  wrapping four guests in toilet paper and attempting to make them look like a bride. While I waited in Katelyn's room with her boyfriend, Travis, the guests got to work being designers ala Project Runway (without all the drama).

Yo-yo Angie, Aunt Roma, me, Mother of the Bride Beth and Sister/Maid of Honor Katelyn

I then got to choose a winner which was so hard. DRUM ROLL PLEASE

Aunt Roma! My grandmother made the bow on the right hand shoulder of the dress. It was so pretty!

Next we ate and drank punch (no, it wasn't spiked).

Then it was on to opening presents which was a game in itself. Katelyn contacted Joseph and asked him all sorts of questions about our relationship. "Where was our first kiss?", "What was the first meal Joseph cooked for you?", "What was the first movie you saw together?"

Each guest got a question and before I could open their gift I had to answer the question. If I got it right I got to open the gift. If I got it wrong, I had to pop a piece of bubble gum in my mouth. Let's just say I had a huge freaking wad of gum in my mouth.

My friends and family gave me so many amazing gifts. My favorites?

A hand crocheted garter and toss away garter that my mom made.
Several of my Grandmother's old cookbooks which she wrote "To Jessica, Love Grandma" in each one. How special???

There was also a bit of lingerie..."brown chicken brown cow" (say it really fast).

In addition, there were kitchen gadgets galore. A KAPOOSH...please click on the was awesome and provided at least 30 minutes of entertainment. Men will be so excited about this gift. (At least Travis, Katelyn's boyfriend was). There was a set of bakeware, a place setting of our beautiful china, table setting, our comforter set and to many things to name.

Overall, it was an amazing shower! Thanks again to Mom, Kate, Heather, Travis (for his excellent favor making skills) and all of the girls who attended.

Here is a picture of one of my flower girls and I in her flower girl dress. Isn't she pretty?

All pictures courtesy of my mom, Beth.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coming Clean...

I have to come clean. I started this blog for selfish reasons. I had a dream, the dream died and so I stopped writing.

My dream was to be a WeddingBee Blogger. What's that you ask? Only an amazing Web site that allows regular, everyday girls to write about their wedding planning experience. Each girl brings something different to the table whether they are DIY gurus, budget-savvy brides or simply too creative for their own good.


In order to be a bee. You have to blog. In order to be a blogger, you must be compelling, interesting, a decent writer and most of all creative. Each bee blogger has their own icon, some of my favorites are, "Miss. Pug", "Miss. Lobster", "Mrs. Cowboy Boots" (she got married so they changed her from a Miss. to a Mrs.)

After a bit of blogging (around 15 posts), I filled out the application to be a bee. There were questions like, "Please describe details of the wedding you are planning including religious ceremonies, cultural ceremonies, etc." which I answered,

"Joseph and I are not only in love with each other but with Christ. We are planning a spiritual ceremony that will include both secular and Christian music, a foot washing ceremony and maybe even a bit of praise and worship music. It is important to both of us that the Gospel is shared but in a non-threatening way as some of our guests are non-Christian. We want to have a ceremony that includes all the beautiful aspects of us but that will also embraces our guests.

Our wedding will have some DIY flair as well as semi-DIY touches (similar to a blogging version of the show "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee"…except it’s Semi-DIY with Jessica E.) There will be semi-DIY invites (with yours truly adding flourishes), hanging letters for the church and reception location doors, homemade wedding favors, homemade beer (oh yes…homemade beer. There will be documentation and free samples)."

I showed my personality, I was honest and I wasn't chosen to be a bee. When I received the rejection e-mail by heart sank. I wanted a cute icon...I was already set on being "Miss. Locket" or "Miss. Brooch"


Each time a new blogger is introduced, along with their cute icons, my heart hurts just a little.

But alas, I was not meant to be a bee.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Engaged x2

I have been waivering on writing this post as it can be a little touchy but I believe the issue to be more common than most of us think.

I was previously engaged. Before I met my wonderful Joseph, I had a lapse in judgement and became engaged to someone that I knew was not right for me.

"Why?" you ask? Honestly, I don't know. I do know that I felt like it was the right thing to do. I was 22 and felt like I was getting to the age where people get married and have children. I was behind and needed to catch up. I felt as if I was being pressured to get married.

Once the ring was on my finger everything felt wrong. The ring was a huge shackal pulling my heart and body down. A huge cloud hung over me and there was nothing I could do to shake it. I tried lying to myself, telling myself that I was trying to sabotage my happiness: that he was, in fact, the one for me. I tried rationalizing the situation in my head. That I would learn to be happy with him. I felt trapped, as if there were nothing I could do. I saw my life and how unhappy I would be.

Then, I got up the courage to break off the engagement. Everyone was furious. My family. His family. Him. Everyone except me. I felt free. I knew the instant I gave back the ring that it was the right decision and now, more than ever, I know that it is true.

So, now I am engaged again. How do I feel? Elated. Joyful. Grateful. This is how being engaged is supposed to feel. I am excited about marrying Joseph. There is a freedom and a certainty that I didn't expect to have. I was afraid that I would have the same "gloom and doom" feelings that I had when I was 22.



Since then, I always wondered how I would know who the right man was. Was it a feeling? A sign? All I knew is that I didn't, and wouldn't, go through another engagement break-up. It was too emotional, too scarring.

As friends told me over and over, you will just know. Things will fall into place. You will have a serenity and a peace. This is how it is supposed to be. When you wait on the one that God has hand picked you just know it's right.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Color Me Love

First, Happy Birthday to my Dad!

In a previous post, I wrote about my new-found love for pink. You would think I was a six-year-old girl playing with her Barbies because I loved pink so much. Blush pink with champagne, ballet pink with black: the combinations were endless and all more beautiful with the last.

But alas, I am writing to tell you that the love affair has ended. I found a new love: red.


I have always been fond of red, the color of love and passion, wine and cherries, my blackberry and favorite nail polish. (Also the color of blood but we won’t go there today). Most importantly, my fiancé loves red which is a bonus for his groomsmen as they will be donning red ties instead of pink. Not that I would put them in pink ties.

The red that will grace our day is Apple Red by David’s Bridal.


It is not quite burgundy but not bright red either. It is deep, it is beautiful and most of all it looks good on most skin colors. I am pretty sure I am going to start petitioning for red to be considered a neutral, like black or tan.

I was so afraid of committing to pink. Would I look back ten years down the road and regret it? Probably. Is red a safe choice? Yes. Which is perfectly fine by me.

Black (another favorite of Joseph's) will also be accompanying the apple red as well as ivory. Overall, the colors represent us as a couple. We are both drawn to them and will be using them in our decor for when we move in together.

Choosing the color scheme of the wedding was by far one of the most difficult tasks as there are so many beautiful pallets out there (not to mention the millions of inspiration boards that had me drooling!)

What scheme did you or are you going to use for your wedding? Was it a hard decision?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Short and satin

Going into the whole “I am the bride, I am going to design my wedding and it is going to be the best ever!” mode, I decided to not have a bridal party army.

You know what I am talking about, 3-10 girls dressed in the same color, same shoes, same hair style, same jewelry…okay you get the point.

For some brides, this is the dream they have been having since they were a little girl. Me? Not so much.

 When choosing bridesmaids dresses for my girls, I knew I had to pick a dress that would flatter an array of body types as not one of my girls is the same. There are tall girls, short girls, voluptuous girls, skinny girls, heavy chested girls and girls that might need a bit of padding (including myself).

I believe this dress would be called the miracle dress as it would fit everyone and make each girl look amazing. Alas, after searching high and low, internet and dress shop, I was unable to find this mythical dress.

That being said, I realized that each girl should be able to pick a dress that reflects her personality and style, that makes her feel good about herself (we all know that if you feel great in what you are wearing pictures turn out oh-so-nice), would fit into her budget and one that she will be able to wear again. We all have been stuck with bridesmaid’s dresses that will never again grace our body and shelling out big bucks for little wear time is never a nice pill to swallow.

After looking at several different options, David’s Bridal looked like the best option. Now, I know what you’re thinking: David’s Bridal…the big box bridal store. Before you go any further remember that there is a David’s Bridal in many large cities which is convenient for everyone.

I let the girls choose their own style of dress as long as it was apple red, satin and short. Here are their choices:


I is a lot but it lends to variety and most of all style.

Did you let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses? Was it beautiful or bust?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Warning: Serious Post Ahead!

From the beginning of our courting, Joseph and I knew we wanted to wash each other’s feet during our ceremony.

While communion or a sand ceremony would be more traditional, we wanted to do something that would represent self-sacrifice and the promise to serve one another. We have seen this done at one other wedding and it was so beautiful, meaningful and symbolic.


The greatest example of sacrifice is embodied in Christ through the crucifixion. Christ also portrayed self-sacrifice when washing the feet of His disciples,

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:12-17)

I have seen a few videos of brides kneeling down, washing the groom's feet. It can be a production of awkwardness as the bride has to de-sock and de-shoe the groom. Hassle? Yes. However, in light of what the act means, it is well worth the hassle and awkwardness.

I found the video below while searching for foot washing ceremonies on YouTube. When I clicked to watch I was taken aback at first by how eclectic the wedding was. Then I got to see the heart of this couple and the pure, unashamed love that they have for God.

I implore you to watch the whole video but to see just the foot washing ceremony you can start the video at 2:56.

I hope, that at our wedding, I will be as honest and pure as she is. The joy that radiates from the couple is indescribable and truly something to strive for.

I look forward to kneeling before Joseph, taking his feet in my hands before family and friends to show him my heart and my willingness to serve him as my husband and Christ as my Savior.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How do I love thee?

Joseph and I both have a Bachelor of Arts in English. We both enjoy literature even though our tastes are a little different. He likes Voltaire, I like Wordsworth. He likes C.S. Lewis, I like Frost.

Despite our differences in taste, there is a common point. No matter what kind of literature our favorites wrote, their literature was compiled in a book or several books.

So here is my next thought: incorporate books, quotes and other geekiness into the wedding.


Sorry for the oversized photo...but it's gorgeous, right? From the quote in the frame to the beautiful table numbers...makes me feel faint just thinking about it!

And look at this tablescape:


How can you not love the books under the flowers?

Our wedding has yet to have a theme. However, our theme may just become "much ado about literature".

Have you fallen in love with a particular theme? What was it about the theme that made you adore it so?

Look at this photograph...

I committed Bridal Sin # 256. I will divulge the sin in a minute.

But first, I must admit: I have a bittersweet relationship with photography.

Before Joseph and I became engaged I would tell everyone, "You have to pick what is most important to you and then don't skimp on that part of your wedding." Well for me it was photography but I quickly realized that my budget would not be able to support the photojournalistic type of photographer I wanted.
The photographer that I had been drooling over was Nathan Shafer out of Columbia, S.C. While most of his work is borderline creepy (in a terribly interesting, artistic way), his wedding photography is a different story.


Source of Above Photos 


But alas, Nathan Shafer no longer does weddings.

Then there was Wenzel Photography. Her work is amazing and she just started out!

So the search continued for a budget friendly photographer that would not fall short. Impossible right?

Well...kind of. I think this might be considered Bridal Sin # 256: Never use a photographer that has never shot a wedding.

It's true. I decided to go with a photographer who has never shot a wedding. She is editor of a magazine and often shoots and edits photos for the magazine. She shot an engagement session for her sister (who is one of my BMs) and it came out better than some professional e-sessions. She has the editing software and skills from being an editor so why not give her a chance? Afterall, we are already comfortable around her and aren't the photographs below amazing? They truly capture the couple's personalities.

Posted with Permission from Photography by ElizabethAnn

It is always hard getting your first gig and if I can help her out (and get a great deal in the process) then great. I trust her. I trust her creativity. I trust her eye.

Am I nervous? Yes. Do I feel as if it is the right think to do? Yes.

Have you ever taken risks on something that is so important to you? Do you regret it or would you do it again? What do you think of ElizabethAnn's photographs?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hello Zales, goodbye heirloom

There comes a time in every girls life where the man of her dreams asks her to marry him. For me that day was Christmas 2009. While I have written about the proposal on some level I feel as if I have not given that glorious day the attention it deserves.

So for your reading pleasure: The Day He Put A Ring On It (to the Tune of Single Ladies by Beyoncé)

I know, I know. You're thinking, "He proposed on Christmas? Doesn't that seem a little cliché?" Well...some would think so. But when you take into account that it was the perfect time (my family was in town, his family was in town, heck...I was in town).

My parents, sister and I traveled from Myrtle Beach, SC  to Columbia, SC early Christmas morning in pouring rain. We arrived at Joseph's house to a house full of chatter and excitement. There was electricity in the air.

After navigating a river that was once Joseph's front yard, I was whisked away into the dining room to open presents from his 10-member family (I know I am bad a math but yes there are 10 members - four sisters, three brothers and of course the parents.)

Joseph's gift was last and was the most difficult to open. The box was heavy and I had no idea what was actually inside. The last thing I thought it would be is an engagement ring.

Side Note: I had figured out that he was going to propose on New Year's. His friend, Speegs, accidentally let it slip one night. Joseph found out that I knew so he rearranged the cookie.

So there is this huge, heavy box in front of me and it is taped to pieces. Little do I know that Joseph (at this point) has the ring box in his hand, behind his back. For the life of me I couldn't open the box so he stuffs the ring box in his pocket and whips out his pocket knife (remember that this is the south and most boys carry pocket knives...regardless if they are from the country).  He cuts the box open and I find a stack of paper with a huge red bow wrapped around it.

I opened and read the letter. He then gets on one knee and I have no idea what he said and I don't even think I said yes as I was so shocked that the ring in the box was NOT yellow gold and was in fact NOT my grandma's ring but the ring of my dreams.

My mom got the figurine below to commemorate our engagement. I hung the ring on the guys hands, cute I know!

The happiest day of our lives....

so why are there tears?

So far, the wedding planning has gone off without a MAJOR hitch (minus the dilemma of my dress being a bit short...)

I have been happy as can be picking out colors, researching DIY projects and even gathering addresses for our guests. So why then do I feel so down on this lovely February morning?

I realized that the one man I want to be at the wedding will not be able to be there (which explains the sadness on Christmas day). My grandfather. While he and I had a love/bicker relationship (yes, yes we know. We were BOTH stubborn), we also had a wonderful grandpa/granddaughter relationship that was bathed in tradition, blackjack playing and coffee.

He and I would always play blackjack or UNO together while drinking unhealthy amounts of caffeine-ridden coffee. He would make silly Gomer-Pyle references and would say phrases that no one really understands or knows where they came from (ex. B double O, BOO y'all; Hello Wall") Yeah...I don't understand it either.

Since I can remember, which doesn't say much as I have a horrible memory, I have always shown my grandfather my new dresses. I would come home and immediately put it on so he could "ooh" and "ahh". The black dress I wore to his funeral was the last dress that I showed him before he passed away (which was a mere two weeks before I met Joseph). Tears well up just thinking that he will never see my wedding dress and it breaks my heart.

I know the saying that, "He will be watching from Heaven," but it doesn't make it any better. The fact is that he is not here to celebrate, to dance, to say his quirky sayings.

The only thing I can think to do is to come up with a beautiful DIY project in memory of him and our other loved ones who have passed.

What do you do when there is no remedy for the hurt that you feel? How do you deal with wedding-related emotional distress?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Carnation Carnage

I hate carnations...with a passion. I hate the way they smell, the way they look, the way they taste...well just kidding on the taste.

However, while casually browsing floral ideas on my lunch break ( wasn't my lunch break but I don't take smoke breaks so this was my smoke break) I found these lovelies:



Oh just one more....


Oh yes, please! Who knew that carnations could be so lovely, so uncharacteristic of themselves? After all when I think of carnations I think of:


While some would think this arrangement was the bees knees, it reminds me of a funeral which doesn't give me warm fuzzies but rather cold feet.

Do carnations sound good to you? Well they did for bloggers: Mrs. Jellyfish; Mrs. Flamingo (disclaimer: photo may make you swoon!); Mrs. Lime and again Mrs. Lime.

With all of the inspiration how could one not use the dreaded carnation? Afterall the caterpillar did grow up to be a beautiful butterfly!

Did you find beauty in something that you originally loathed? Have you considered using your least favorite flower as a focal point?