The Navy Strikes Again

Thursday, April 30, 2009

While I have just had an internal argument with myself about posting this, I have decided to go ahead and do so as my original intent with this blog was to have a venue to express all of my feelings with this wedding planning process.

First, to all of my friends and family reading this who have committed to being at our wedding, have made travel plans, put down deposits, bought bridesmaids dresses, etc. I apologize for the manner in which you are first receiving this news, but I just found out less than an hour ago and am still trying to emotionally decide what to do with this.

Writing helps me figure these things out, so I promise that you will get a phone call tonight from us with further condolences to you, but I thank you in advance for your graciousness and understanding in granting me this one moment to be selfish and figure things out for me.

So here it is: the Navy has said No.

No to our wedding
No to our dreams and plans
No to the wedding dress I have bought, but not even been able to try on
No to allowing us to start in this career happy and settled
No to all of our feelings and
No to our pleading on behalf of us and our family and everyone's financial contributions

They have directed my husband to be to report to his ship, somewhere in the world, at the end of June. This of course, is before our date of July 17th.

My heart is on pause right now. I have cried more in the last hour than I have in the last few years combined. My head, though, I cannot stop my head. I have so many questions.

Why, when we asked specifically not to be assigned to a ship deploying so soon were we assigned to one that was deploying well before even graduation?
Why is this happening to us?
Why didn't I see this coming?
Why did I allow myself to believe that this would all work out so easily last week? The fall would not have been as far if I wouldn't have let myself be so high on the tentative good news
What do we do?
Do we push it up?
Do we wait until he returns in October?
Do we postpone the big wedding and secretly run to the courthouse?
Should we have been planning for that all along?

The one thing that I am not questioning is whether or not we will be married. We will. I am secure in that.
But when? and how?

I know that this may seem silly to some, but the fact is - these are my feelings. They don't need to make sense to anyone but me.

And I am feeling a lot. I feel like all of the time and effort that I have spent planning has been for naught. I feel like this is unfair, and I feel angry. And I wonder if this is a lesson from a greater power than me that I was putting too much emphasis on this one day, or a lesson for some other reason that I do not yet understand. And if this is a lesson about my priorities, or supposed to be, I feel indignant, and that this is so unfair.

This is US. This is not the millions of other couples out there who are not right for each other, or who will end up divorced in two years, this is him and me. The high school sweethearts. The people who have loved each other for so long, and believed in that love, and worked for that love, even when it has been hard, and are ready to pledge to continue doing that until we breathe our last breaths. Why? Why? WHY?

The problem is that I am an action person - I feel the need to do something about this. Sitting around being heartbroken is not my style. Life is tough - get a helmet right? I know that too.

Before the [still] future husband even left his lunch break and our crying session on the couch to go back to school I had already emailed our venue, our church and our photographer seeing what we can do about changing dates, moving deposits and what dates are available. But what else can I do?

There is literally nothing I can do right now. We need to make these decisions, we need to work together to figure out a plan. We will do so. Please believe that we are going to work on this and figure out a solution that we think will be in the best interest of us and all of the people that we love.

"They" say that the hardest job in the military is being a spouse to those in it. And I know, I know that this is just the beginning - but this is what hurts now. Not only do I have to say goodbye to all of the hours of planning that I have done, and to our beautiful summer evening wedding, but I also have to say goodbye to my fiance.

He will not be there with me as we transition into our new life in Norfolk.
He will not be there with me on the day that should have been the happiest day of our lives.
He will be gone.
He will be gone and I don't know what to do with that.

At the moment I am going to take a cue from one of my most beloved literary characters, Katie Scarlett O'Hara (Hamilton Kennedy Butler) and think about that tomorrow. Some may call that denial, I call it coping and compartmentalizing.

Thanks for listening. Or reading. Or whatever. (and for excusing any and all grammar mistakes)

Updates to come - eventually.


It's looking up

Thursday, April 23, 2009

As you may remember I have a teeny little problem with the ceilings at our venue - I hate them.

I mean, I don't just hate these particular ceilings, I hate drop ceilings in general. I am not discriminating against our specific venue's ceilings.

Anywho, I have been thinking and thinking and thinking about what to do to create these panels to hang from the ceiling.

Professional ceiling drapery? checked it - over 2 grand just to come out to our venue. Nope.

Gossamer? checked it - possible option, but we used it during sorority recruitment so much and I always said there would be no tulle or gossamer at my wedding, lest my guests or I think they were about to be serenaded and dirty rushed.

Raw fabric? checked it - heavy, lots of sewing, and effort and expensive and effort. I mean, I am trying to graduate here and that = papers galore.

What was I going to do?

A fortunate phone call from my mother came that day;

Mom: "I was thinking," she said, "Why don't we just buy curtains?"

Me: "Curtains, you say? hmmm. Wait! I JUST saw some awesome white curtains on a blog I stalk This Young House!!!!! Mom, you are a genius!"

Mom: "Blog? what is a blog? ohhhhh like that thingie you write...wah wah wah wah wah..."

Yes ladies and gentlemen {ha, jk, no guys read this blog}, we will be using these lovely curtains from Ikea.

At $9.99 for a pair of panels - 98.5" x 57" each.

Considering the size of each panel, and that a spot for a dowel is already sewn in on one end, and that Ikea is so awesome that they include iron-on hemming strips in all of their curtain packages for the other end, they are the answer of my dreams.
Ok, maybe not my dreams, but they are pretty darn close.

Whew. One ceiling issue solved. Now for the other.

Our Venue is laid out in 6 almost equal sections. Kind of like this:

Each section is divided out by a soffit and tables will be placed in the side sections, the bar has a lovely ceiling above it that doesn't call for any decorating.

Based on the design that the Women of the Moose {for serious} decorated with at Christmas time, each of these sections will be adorned with panels in a pattern much like this {I think}:

Of course the panels are white, not blue.

But, we don't know what to put in the center! I have thought about tons of those strands of flowers that you saw everywhere in weddings last year, or clusters of paper lanterns, or both, or even doing something only over the dance floor.

Le sigh. What to do, what to do. Any grand ideas out there?



wanna know a secret?

I know you do.

The J.Crew shipment came.

And while the shoes from the crew are lovely - the fiance thinks they look "too everyday" and likes the Kate Spades more.

{picture me here doing a quiet victory dance the second he turns his back, and again later in the wedding shoes!}

The choice is made.

Photos to come with my next pedicure.


Some craziness...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So there has been a sort of lack of "actual" posts lately - and for that I offer you this explanation.

Times have been a little tough around our household lately and I didn't want to address it until I had an answer, hence the 'surface-y' posts. You see, the FH is an officer in the Navy. Yup, the United States Navy.

While I graduate in approx. 16 days, he graduates at the end of the month from Supply School. And up until Friday we had little to no idea where he was going to be stationed, or when he had to report. And we have a wedding in three months. Getting an idea of where this is going?

{Some of you may think that we are crazy for even gambling and planning this wedding when we knew this would be up in the air, but if you are interested in that rationale, that is  enough fodder for an entire post on its own.}

After a very stressful weekend - knowing the ship - but not the ship schedule, we have finally reached a point where we can breathe a little sigh of relief.

We found out over the weekend that his ship is deploying this week. For 6 months.

At first, I was elated. Clearly, this meant that he would not have to report until well after our wedding.

But, that is not the case. Because he hasn't graduated, he doesn't need to go on deployment right now - but they won't hesitate in flying him out to meet the ship once he does.

Now I must admit we have some lovely people in our network of family and friends who have been helping us to figure this whole thing out and someone was able to reach out to the FH's future supervisor and ascertain some information faster than we would have been able to on our own. The result?

His new supervisor actually went through a similar situation when she was getting married last year, and is willing to do what she can to ensure the FH does not miss his own wedding {insert sigh of relief here}.

Now, this is not all peaches and cream, but we also know that we will make it work.

It seems as if the schedule will look like this: the FH will have to report to home port {Norfolk} in June to get some helicopter qualifications and things, get married July 17th, and then within days, maybe even the Monday after the wedding, he will be flown out to meet the ship somewhere in Africa and be gone until sometime in the fall.

This is clearly not the 'honeymoon' that we were hoping for, but it is definitely not the end of the world. We knew that the Navy would throw us hurdles in life and this just happens to be our first one. Worse things have happened. Of course all of this is still subject to change until he has written orders in hand, but we are pretty assured that this is going to be the reality.

We are trying to look at this in the best way possible and the silver lining is that we will get to have the wedding that the two of us want - and when he gets back we will go on a killer honeymoon. To be honest it kind of makes me feel a little like a WWII bride with my new husband flying off to serve his country, though he doesn't think that it is that exciting {haha}.

So that has been what is going on with me, and probably why my motivation has been a little lacking. But, from here on out, it is full steam ahead, so hop on board and get excited for all the news to come!


3 Months!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Exactly 3 months to the wedding!!!
I am hoping that this special day will send good luck our way, in terms of a big announcement from the Navy that we are getting today!


Guess what...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

...arrived today? I'll give you a hint.

They came with their very own bag that looks like this:

and they are cute. Very cute.

Reserving judgment until the J.Crew shipment comes in.


Giving In...

As previously mentioned my family has been having issues with purchasing gifts {or will...if they feel so inclined to, you know}.

So the FH and I gave in and headed over to set up another registry this weekend.

Our choice?

That's right folks, we gave in and headed to ' that french store' as my dad would say {pronounced tar-jay}.

We decided that it would be best to go ahead and set this up so that folks can head somewhere easily in town and pick up a gift. Unfortunately they only carry ONE appliance that is the same as the one that we registered for at Bed Bath & Beyond {le sigh} so for the most part it is all new stuff.

Our registry only has a total of like 45 items on it, because Target, while wonderful in almost every other aspect, has an awful return policy {as in you can't return anything, even for store credit, without a receipt...granted this is because people were screwing them over big time...but still}.

So we only registered for things that we knew that we wouldn't return if someone bought them for us, because most of the items are things we had been talking about buying ourselves. Fun things, such as: a fireproof safe, nicer sheets for the guest bed, and a cooler. Oh, and a small TV that the FH wants {he was having a rough day}.

While this doesn't give folks much wiggle room, it wouldn't be at all practical to register for more everyday dishes, as we already have some from Pottery Barn, and it also wouldn't be practical for us to register for things that we don't like as much as the stuff already on our list elsewhere.
We did, however, register for gift cards as well. Yay! We know that we will use those as we practically live in Target, even if we don't use them toward registry items {read: cleaning supplies, birthday cards and shampoo}.

I still think I am going to try and persuade my mom to be an advocate for Macy's with the family. There is one in the area, and it is only because people thing is is "la-ti-da" {to directly quote my mom...granted the other anchor stores in the mall are Sears, JCPenney's and Dick's Sporting Goods} that they won't buy anything from there. I would REALLY love for people in the area to at least give it a try. We split up all of our china into individual pieces, rather than sets, to make it a much more affordable purchase...but we will see. We also have some pretty affordable bowls and kitchen utensils there.

Who knew that registering would be so intense?


Pre Cana

Well, I promised a recap on Pre Cana, so here it is!

The fiance and I headed to Atlanta a few weeks ago to complete the course. Naturally, there was construction and traffic at 7:45 am on a Saturday {naturally.} so we were running a little late. We cut it close, but only ended up being about 5 minutes late to arrive at the Catholic Center...luckily another couple ran in right behind us, and the other future wife and I gave each other looks that said, "Thank goodness we are not the only ones late!"

We headed into a room that was filled with other couples at long rectangle tables, just in time to hear the introductions and say our first of many prayers throughout the day. {We later calculated just how much the Catholic Center made on the Pre Cana class that day at $110 per couple, but I digress.

Each couple was given a folder and pencils so that we could keep organized through our activities of the day. A deacon from Atlanta and a Catholic couple that had been married for 30 years and had 5 grown children were our primary facilitators for the morning. Coming from a student affairs profession and mindset I cringed a lot through the day during the moments where they would ask for participation and no one would volunteer, or there were activities that could have been done in a much better way.

First, as a group we set goals for our session {one couple's contribution "How to solve an argument" - really?}. Throughout the morning they would pretty much introduce us to a topic through role play or some other means and then have us turn and talk about it, or do a short activity, with our spouse...and then someone would be asked to share. All very routine, and I was at least glad that they didn't make us talk about it with any of the other couples {As we say in student affairs, it was all very "challenge by choice"}.

The topics ranged from household roles and responsibilities, to how many kids we wanted, communication and argument styles {which clearly should be retitled to the more appropriate conflict management and resolution}. The FH and I were of course willing to engage in these discussions, but have already had them many, many times. When you have been dating for almost nine years, and one spouse is being trained in a very counseling heavy field, these things come up. No new surprises, I am happy to report. It was kind of hilarious to overhear other couples in close range though; "FIVE kids?!?! You want to have FIVE KIDS?!"

Pretty soon we took a much needed lunch break off site, to any of the area restaurants {nope, that $110 did not include lunch}. After we headed back nice and sleepy from large lunches, they pulled out the big guns.

Natural Family Planning and Finances.

Our cute married couple and deacon left and they brought in an instructor in NFP. I thought that the information was great, and learning more about the process and procedure was super interesting, {much more scientific in approach than I had previously thought}but I just don't think it is for us. The men in the room, on the other hand, for the most part looked around at each other squirming in their seats when certain words were repeated over and over again.

The last woman was a CPA whose finance presentation really was great. She gave us great tips for laying out a family budget and saving for the future. She did bring in a whole part about tithing a third of our income, but other than that it was very straightforward and informative.

That was it.

Do either of us think that this was the greatest session ever? No. But, neither of us felt like it was a waste of time either. It was a good day for us to focus on the fact that we are getting married, and a lifelong relationship comes after the wedding, which is where - let's face it - a lot of our energy has been going lately.

All in all, it was a step in the right direction and a check in the box to get the necessities done.

Tonight we have our FOCCUS test and meeting with the Deacon here in Athens at St. Joeseph. We will let you know how it goes!


I have been productive...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

...and doing my part to stimulate the economy.

Saturday I bought:

20 of these
50 of these
{to be sprayed copper, of course}
and today I bought:
and these
and this
{possible Rehearsal dress!}


A Wedding Resolution

Saturday, April 11, 2009

{indulge the SGA geek in me}

, there are approximately 97 days until the wedding ceremony and reception; and

WHEREAS, the bride continues to look at wedding blogs and search for inspiration; and
WHEREAS, the bride is beginning to wake up in cold sweats from wedding nightmares of tasks uncompleted; and
WHEREAS, the bride needs to buckle down and actually make headway and decisions on the details and vendors for her wedding; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the bride will reign in her need to seek out inspiration from the internet; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the bride will make decisions and stick to them; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the bride will book her last few vendors; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the bride will complete her to do list including ordering her shoes and veils, printing and mailing invitations, ordering vases and lanterns, and any and all tasks that remain without losing her mind or driving her fiance crazy; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the bride will remember that this blessed event is about marrying the love of her life and celebrating that love with all of the people who love them...and will not come screeching to a halt if the '&' on the wedding invitations is flat printed, rather than hand embossed.


Some of our Favorites

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Here is a look at some of our favorite shots from our session with Alyssa that didn't make her sneak peek!



99 Red Balloons...

One for each day between now and our wedding!

That's right folks, we are under 100 days until tying the knot {someone hand me a paper bag to breathe into please}. I know that I promised you a recap of Pre Cana...and would have given it to you sooner, but a couple of huge class projects, and trying to figure out where the Navy will send us have put a kink in my schedule.

So for now, I will leave you with this...

Because we also got our photos back from Alyssa!



Saturday, April 4, 2009

We are headed to Atlanta this morning to participate in our Pre-Cana workshop...and swinging by Paper Source on the way home to pick up invitation pieces!

Details to come!


Your daily dose of cute

Friday, April 3, 2009

{here, via here


Bombarded by Photos

I got an email from Alyssa the other day saying that our DVD full of images is ready and on the way to us! As tired as I am of looking at photos of myself (I can only imagine what it will be like with the actual wedding photos) I am super excited and can't wait to share them with you all!

For now though I am going to share some shots of our wedding bands. (And no sadly, those are not our invitations they were laying on in the previous teaser our invitations haven't actually been printed yet...I'll get back to that later.) Anywho, I took these shots using the ever popular Anne Ruthmann tutorial and some time I had available to waste...not that I claim to be any good at this, but you know.






Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Since the semester is winding down I have TONS of work to do for school, as well as the wedding, so naturally I am going to take some of my precious time to blog. (procrastinator? who, me?)

In any case, we have made a couple wedding related purchases lately and got some GREAT deals! Woo! I couldn't wait to share.

First, this little lovely birdcage, from Hobby Lobby, bought at 50% off. This will be our card box at the wedding.

It is a sort of antiqued copper in the sense that it looks like it was copper but aged to green...naturally this is all faux, so I bought some copper acrylic paint to add to it and make it a little less aged...I will be sure to get you an after picture when I have had some time to actually do the project. {Ha!}

The next two purchases come from a relatively unexpected place - the Dollar Tree. Seriously.

I got these great Shepherd Hooks, which will be used to hang lanterns in a path down to the dock at the reception.

and - remember this picture?

from this post?

Well, ever since I saw this, I have been looking for candle holders like these ones, and guess what I found at the Dollar Tree?

Woo! They are not as wide as the ones from that picture, but still wide enough to hold some pearls and a white tea light candle, rather than a floating candle size like in the inspiration picture.

I was able to pick up a couple in the store here to make sure that I liked them, and then my mom walked into her DT and they had 100 available for purchase right then and we (she) bought them! I am pretty excited, though not really looking forward to peeling all those stickers off of the bottoms.

I am getting so excited!


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