Monday, December 27, 2010

Bueller? Bueller?

Yes, I know, I haven't blogged in awhile. Things have been CRAZY!!!

So, here I am, catching you up on things that have happened. (And sadly, some of this goes all the way back to November! Yes, I have still have Thanksgiving posts to make!)

Since I've moved to NOLA a few years ago, our little group has formed some wonderful traditions that make the holiday season the holiday season. Each year we jump start Christmas with a little bit of Christmas tree shopping. We always go Christmas tree shopping on the night before Thanksgiving. It's Mr. B, myself, L&L, and Lindsay's Mom & Uncle. It's been a wonderful tradition that we enjoy and make a point of going to each year. Like I said, it jump starts the Christmas Season!

Unfortunately, this year was different, with Lindsay's mom and Uncle not being there. But, still, we looked over the trees and brought one home with us! It was fun! Here's a few pictures of the trip!!

Opening the first tree of the Year!!
(Mr. B is the orange in the background!)

After much searching, we found the right tree!
 We opened several trees that night and this one is the one we decided was the right tree for our first Christmas as a married couple!! We opened 2 that had MAJOR balding issues. The first we named Archibald, the second, Baldie. For us, if we name a tree, it's not a good sign for that tree!

I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your tree down!

L&L, Baby B and their tree!
 After you pick a tree in the Garden Department of Home Depot, you take it to the side of the building and they cut the end of the trunk off and the bottom branches so that it can go into your Christmas tree stand. We traditionally take a picture while waiting in this line. You get a chance to see our trees on the carts. This is always a fun time!
Waiting to get the tree trimmed.
This year, Christmas tree shopping was different. Like I said, Lindsay's mom and uncle weren't there and that  made things different. It was sad not to have them there as it made our little party just seem incomplete. But, there was "good" different too. It was very exciting picking our FIRST Christmas tree as a married couple. It's amazing how much better life is since "I do." It's unbelievable how things are just better. It doesn't feel like much has changed, but at the same time, everything is so wonderfully better. I LOVE it. It was great to go Christmas tree shopping. Also, it's great to have pictures of Lindsay with the baby bump. I'm SO happy for them and can't wait to meet my niece or nephew in February!!

So, here's to extending the Christmas Season just a bit via a few more blogging posts and to a Happy New Year, in case I don't get back here before then!

<3
Mrs. B

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Little About Our Journey (And a BIG Life Lesson)

I have imagined being married for a long time. Mr. B and I have been together for 5 years and were engaged for 4 years before we got married. There were many things we needed to learn before getting married and while waiting wasn't fun, sometimes, you have to wait.

Excuse me while I step on my soap box real quick. (Steps up.) Ok. There are 2 questions you should never, under any circumstances ask couples. 1) When are you getting married? 2) When are you having children? Why? You might ask. Simple, YOU never know the background story. A couple may need to wait to get married, or they might be having trouble getting pregnant. Either way, you can stir up some hard emotions. A word to the wise (and unwise), find another way to make conversation and mind your own business. It's happy news and they'll tell you when you need to know.

For probably 2 years of the 4 years Mr. B and I were engaged, the most heart-wrenching question I was EVER asked was "when are you to getting married?" We wanted desperately to get married. I dreamed of setting up our home, cooking dinner for him as my husband, setting up a registry, planning a wedding. I wondered how life would be when we could, and should, have sex. When we no longer had to consider how things would look, or what would cause a temptation that might be too hard to resist. More than anything, I looked forward to sleeping next to him at night and waking up next to him in the morning. I wanted to be married more than anything in the world. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

But, the timing wasn't right. And people, trying to make conversation or out of curiosity, would always ask us, when? It hurt, it was  struggle some days for us not to run off and elope. Only faith in God kept us from getting married. We knew the timing wasn't right. And, it hurt. Sometimes I couldn't watch "Say Yes to the Dress" or "27 Dresses" or anything with a wedding dress in it. It broke my heart. I wanted to be picking a dress, I wanted to be planning a wedding. And yet, I knew it wasn't right yet. And, it's too personal to tell someone else.

(Steps off soap box)

But, the beauty of the whole thing comes now. Now, I get the question, "how's married life?" and I can't help but grin ear to ear and show all of my excitement. I waited SO long and when it happened the time was RIGHT. So, when they ask, I can answer wholeheartedly. It means so much more. I can see him sleeping next to me as I write this post and tears come to my eyes. This is the husband I waited for, the husband I have sacrificed for, the husband who I love more than my own happiness. I understand the vows I took November 14, 2010 more than so many, I already gave so much to get there. And I appreciate what I have so much for it.

Today was my sister-in-law's baby shower and as part of the day, several people I only see on occasions such as these were offering me congratulations on getting married. It was amazing. I loved getting to answer the question, how's married life. Here's my answer:

After 3 weeks of marriage, it still kind of feels like a big slumber party. Much hasn't changed, he just sleeps here now. It's weird, in a good way! I'm loving it!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our First Dinner Guests & A New, COMFY Mattress!

On Monday we had our first dinner guests, Mr B's brother & sister-in-law! As frequently happens, the evening wasn't planned to include dinner, but ended up that way. It started out as a mattress swap. Mr. B and I got a bedroom set and a mattress from Mr B's Nanny. We're really happy with the furniture but the mattress was just a bit too firm for our taste. So, after just a week worth of bad sleep Mr. B and I decided to exchange the mattress for his old one. This was something as we had to move a king sized mattress upstairs!


Mr. B's brother & the Taco-ed Mattress


The Taco-ed Mattress continues it Upstairs Climb!


Mr. B pushes the Taco-ed Mattress up the stairs! Yay for Comfy-ness!!

 After all of this hard work Mr. B and I still needed to eat dinner and in true fashion as occurs with L&L when we hang out, the four of us ended up eating dinner together. It was nothing fancy, just red beans & rice with sausage, but it was still our first dinner guests. When we finished eating I decided we needed to photograph the occasion! Here's what followed!

Here's L&L (Mr. B's brother & Sister-in-Law)

Photo Op 1: Not quite right - Mr. B is cutting himself out of the photo!

Photo Op 2: Still not quite right - Mr. B cut himself FURTHER out of the picture!

Photo Op 3: We could have stopped here BUT, we're all looking up - A LOT.

Photo Op 4: This is our next try, instead of Mr. B Holding the Camera, we set it on the table.
We didn't like this because we had the opposite problem of the last picture - we're all looking down!

Photo Op 5: Almost there! This is being taken with the phone sitting in the cabinets.
BUT! it's a little dark. Therefore, we decided to try ONE MORE TIME!


Photo Op 6: We're finally there...to an acceptable picture!
To Avoid the darkness, we turned off the light behind and used a flashlight for additional light!
Also, until I uploaded the photo here, I didn't realize there was ring from the flashlight making things a little odd!

The photo op had me in stitches...for something I thought would be so easy, well, it was quite an ordeal, but the experience was great and the company even better. Right after this, L&L went home and Mr. B and I cleaned up. It was a great end to the night and a nice change. Mr. B & I have ate spur-of-the moment dinners at L&L's so many times we've all lost count and it was nice to finally have them eat at OUR place! It really helped me feel a little more married!

Stay tuned, folks. We've got a couple of more experiences to relay. Such as Christmas Tree Shopping, Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping!!


<3 Mrs. B


P.S.  Yes, Mr. B & his brother are wearing different clothes from moving the mattress and after dinner. No, they didn't change. The first set of pictures is from when we moved the original mattress in but, I didn't get pictures of the mattress exchange...but really, the only thing that changed was the clothes - the new mattress was moved via taco-ing and pushing it upstairs!

P.P.S. You can see my sister-in-law sporting her baby bump - my FIRST OFFICIAL neice or nephew!! I am SOOOO excited!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our First "Real" Dinner at Home

The first couple of days of marriage were quite surreal. We were staying in a nice hotel, eating breakfast from room service (if you can ever justify the expense, do. It is WONDERFUL!) and hadn't really been home to eat there. This week has been very exciting. Mr. B and I have been adjusting to living with each other and figuring out what our routine will be as a married couple.

We have so far found that Mr. B is more of a morning person than I am. (Really that is no surprise. I have to fight the tendency to stay up until the wee hours of the morning and sleep through the day.) So, Mr. B is the official coffee maker of our new duo. He also tends to make breakfast. I, on the other hand like to cook to relax and tend to make dinner after work. The exception is pizza. He is, by far, better at making pizza.

So, although our first meal at the house was nothing extraordinary, it was still our first, so I set up the entire place settings and took a picture of our meal. It was just a Stouffers Lasagna and garlic bread but, it was still our first meal as husband and wife in OUR apartment.

Our china pattern is the Noritake Java Graphite. And, my kitchen as you will see in a post to come is accented in red! I love it! Since I was teenager I always imagined a red kitchen. I'm not sure why, but I did. So, it's strange to see after all of these years, that's what I have.

So, first, enjoy a picture of what room service brought us:
Egg Sandwiches with bacon.
Coffee, tea, and orange juice.











And next up is our first dinner at home:
Lasagna and Garlic Bread


















And finally, Mr. B bringing me breakfast in bed this morning! (Almost as good as room service!)


















And what he brought:
(This is a standard breakfast for us, coffee and Owens breakfast burritos! - And a Nutrigrain bar for Mr. B)


















Well, there you go. There's all of the good food we've enjoyed so far!

The New Mrs. B!!!

Well, on Sunday Mr. B and I tied the knot!! It was by far the best day of my life!

We planned our wedding over 6 months and to see the outcome was just wonderful. It was amazing to see the things we had worked so hard on come together. Mr. B & I have wonderful friends and family who really helped our wedding be better than I planned. Everyone did so much for us and I could never thank them enough! We were on a super budget, but I don't think anyone really could tell. The room was gorgeous, the food delicious, and a great time was had by all! And, best of all, I'm now Mrs. B!!

So...here I am in my dress:

Note: I made all of the bouquets with carnations. They looked gorgeous, not to mention, carnations do well when not in water. (And they work great on a budget!)













Here's Mr. B!

To add a little pizzaz to our wedding and to fulfill a dream of Mr. B's we had the guys wear the James Bond tux! (The groomsmen wore light pink vests and long ties to tie in with the color scheme.)













The whole wedding party:
I loved how this turned out!! So classic, but the pink adds such a pop!!









The Cake:



The cake was super delicious. It was standard wedding cake, with lemon and pineapple filling. It was from Haydel's and I enjoyed 2 slices at the wedding!










A fun picture to close out the post with:
















Now, I must get back to being Mrs. B!!!





<3 Mrs. B






*Photos courtesy of Conrad Pramono.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Aunt Betty

For 23 years my name has been Mary Beth. It's very nice, I know.  And, it has served me well. But, for years I have dreamed of going by something else. I can't say why. It' s just always been a dream of mine. For awhile I thought of going by Liz, but as I started seriously considering it this past year, I just wasn't quite happy with it. And that's when I thought of the name Betty. When you say Betty, people think of Betty Grable, Bette Davis and other gorgeous, classic women. I was hooked! Even when Mr. B said all he could think of was Ugly Betty, I knew I had found the name I wanted. And the timing couldn't have been more perfect!

See, as the soon to be Mrs. B, I have found myself becoming an Aunt. First Mr. B's best friends have 2 kids, so through them I have gained the title of "Aunt" unofficially. And second, and most excitingly, Mr. B's brother & his wife (we'll call them L&L) are pregnant with Baby B (they aren't finding out if it's a boy or girl and we all call it Baby B...their last name, and Mr.B's, obviously, starts with a "B"), which will be my first official neice or nephew.

I have found that Mary Beth is just hard for kids to pronounce. Too many syllables, and none of them are easy. They stumble all over it. But, Aunt Betty is going to be just a bit easier.

This past weekend has been very exciting. Mr. B's best friends are in town for the wedding with their 2 kids and for the first time, I've gotten to hear Aunt Betty in action. Mr. B's friends will tell their kids "Tell Uncle Gene & Aunt Betty good night." or they'll tell them "Say Hi to Aunt Betty." It has been quite an experience. I can't wait for wedding planning to be over so that I can focus just a little bit more attention on being Aunt Betty!!


<3 The Soon-to-Be Mrs. B

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wedding Planning Fun!!

So, today marks the 1 week point until our wedding!! I can't believe in 7 short days I'm going to be Mrs. B!!!! (A whole page of exclamation points wouldn't show my excitement so I'll stop here!)

My big goal for this weekend was to get all of the different timelines, duties & expectations for everyone written down so that my big day runs with some ease. Let me tell you any other brides-to-be, this is crazy work. It's enough work to make any bride INSANE! You think I'm kidding. When else must you coordinate family & friends to such an extreme. Hair appointments and pictures can drive a person to the fine line that can be called insanity. For any of you who are trying to get started, I'll add my timeline/schedule below. This was set for a 1:00 PM wedding with the ceremony and reception occuring in the same hall. Good luck in planning out the minute details for your own wedding and know that when you finish, you will feel VERY accomplished!!

I guess I should say that this previous week has been entirely stress-filled. I was trying to take on too many tasks and fact is, I don't have the time. Yesterday the first of our out-of-town guests began arriving with more arriving on Wednesday and the final ones arriving on Saturday. I am having a full house of friends staying at mine & Mr. B's humble abode and so, I have the additional stress of ensuring that my house properly suited for guests on top of the standard stress! Understand, I happily take on this stress. It is making it financially easier for several of my friends to come to my wedding and wouldn't trade their presence at my wedding for anything. So, I try to take the stress in stride (and by knowing that Mr. B and I are getting massages on the day after our wedding!)

Well, below is the most all-encompassing timeline I created. I broke this down for each of my bridesmaids & the groom, groomsmen and other involved as appropriate. Also, note that I did not have a caterer and our bakery was unavailable to deliver the cake so we have some additional things added for our circumstances. Please, edit as appropriate!!

<3
The Soon-to-be Mrs. B!


Timeline:
5:00 AM    Girls meet at L&L's to get ready.
10:30 AM   Guys leave to go to location.
10:45 AM   Food, Cake, Decorations to location.
11:00 AM   Girls leave to go to location.
           Guys begin pictures.
           Location is available.
           Food, Cake, Decorations arrive.
11:15 AM   Betty puts on her dress at the location.
11:30 AM   Girls – final touch-ups for pictures.
11:45 AM   Girls begin pictures.
           Guys hangout and relax.
12:30 PM   Girls finish pictures.
           Girls hangout, relax, final touch-ups.
           Hall is finished being decorated.
12:45 PM   Places!!!
           Girls – back room/kitchen area.
           Guys – bathroom area.
           Band begins playing for ceremony.
1:00 PM    Ceremony Starts.
1:30 PM    Ceremony finishes.
1:35 PM    Band begins playing reception music.
1:45 PM    Reception Starts.
           Guest can begin eating & mingling.
           Formal pictures begin.
           No rain: Outside by chapel.
           Rain: Inside along side wall.
2:30 PM    Announce Mr. & Mrs. B
2:35 PM    First Dance – Audrey
2:40 PM    Father/Daughter Dance – Cinderella
2:45 PM    Mother/Son Dance –
2:50 PM    Cake Pulls
3:00 PM    Cut the Cake.
3:05 PM    Bride & Groom eat lunch.
           Best Man’s toast.
3:10 PM    Maid of Honor’s toast.
3:15 PM    Bride & Groom mingle.
3:45 PM    Bouquet Toss
3:50 PM    Garter Toss
3:55 PM    Announce After Party.
4:00PM     Reception ends.
           Bride & Groom Leave.
4:05 PM    Bride & Groom come back.
           Clean up begins.
5:00 PM    Rental of Hall is up.
           Clean up must be finished.
           After party - all invited!

I'm Getting Married!!

I am about to start the most exciting journey of my life. I'M MARRYING THE LOVE OF MY LIFE!!!!!

Here's a little about us:

I'm 23, and madly in love with Mr. B. I am so excited that in 8 days I will be getting married and will be spending the rest of my life with him. I'm looking forward to us setting upour home together over the next few months and settling into our new normal. I love to bake. I can't wait to settle down some and start baking again. It is the most relaxing thing I do. Once I'm back on the cooking bandwagon, I'll let you know. I have a cooking blog too, but it's a little neglected right now! My dream is to be a cake baker/decorator. I don't want to be the next Cake Boss or anything. But, I could potentially see myself creating delicious works of art as a potential career. Most importantly though, I'm looking forward to being Mr. B's wife. I know that starting on Nov. 14th I will start the toughest job of my life, BUT - and it truly is a big "but" - I know that it has the potential to be the most rewarding thing I'll ever do. We're both willing to work hard, so I know it's going to be rewarding. Fact is, we've worked hard to get to this point and it has been rewarding so far!

Now, a short little blurb about Mr. B. He's 31. He loves me like crazy. He's the most even-tempered person I've ever met. He challenges me to become a better person. He has his masters in history and analyzes everything. Lucky for me, he loves to travel and we've already started working on planning our first road trip as a married couple. He loves seeing stadiums. We always try to stop by any that we might be driving past. He's also interested in seeing colleges and universities. So, if we're passing those we try to stop by as well. He collects pint glasses from all of the places he goes, and we've got quite a collection. He's very unselfish and treats me wonderful and is going to make a FABULOUS husband.

So, in 8 days, we'll become husband and wife. Everything is changing. It's exciting, a little scary, but worth every effort it's ever going take. I can't wait...it's going to be an exciting journey!!!
 
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