Tuesday, February 21, 2012

overlook trail

can you tell we love this walk?  only, it was even better on this evening because dada came along.  everything's better with the dada.  

my two favorite girls.
 love the cotton candy-colored wispy clouds

 that's some deep snow.

 moose poop is great for kicking.

 dada, i wanna be up dere!

we had to.
i swoon.
 yay!  new wood stove for the cabin!  
i'm excited.
the hulk is excited.
(and check out his super-sweet danskos!)

back post #4

november 2011

i had the alterations for my gown today.  would you like to know how long it takes to pin, cut (and pin again) a HUNDRED yards of tulle?  three hours.  whew.

once she finished trimming (when i initially saw her break out those scissors, i just about had a conniption!) and pinning, i had to do the walk.  yep, in front of all the mirrors, and worse, in front of all those people.  it was saturday, for goodness sakes.  i couldn't have planned this better?!  couldn't have scheduled a mid-week, middle of the day, alteration?!  crumb.  it's no wonder ben and i weren't more traditional - there's no way i could walk down an aisle with hundreds of eyes on me.  there were about 10-15 people out in the mirrored area, but my focus had to be on my dress; if it dragged, was it still too long, were my toes stepping on it, etc.  a few more pins, and we were good to go.     

lynn and i were giddy with excitement.  it will be weeks before i see my dress again.  but oh!  it will be months before i can wear it again!  it's weird though.  i get so excited about this wedding planning, but then i push away my excitement with feelings that this is all so unnecessary.

i keep reminding myself:  i wore slacks.  my parents didn't see us say our vows.  my brother wasn't there.  no one gave me away.

it's still months away, but i can hardly wait to marry ben all over again.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

back post #3

october 2011

after thinking about the first gown i ever tried on, i did the unthinkable.  i went on ebay and searched for 2001-2002 vera wang bridal gowns.  does it shock you that my search results yielded a big, stinkin' zero?!  so i changed my search to vera wang wedding.  voila!  i was bombarded with pages and pages of gowns.  none of which were my love from so long ago, but it lead me to several girls selling their vera wang dresses that they had bought from, where, you might wonder???  

"yooou'll love davids bridaaal" 

can't you just hear that jingle?!

of all places.  so i journeyed on over to their site, and sure enough, 19 gorgeous vera wang bridal gowns.  i'm still shocked.  i guess it's kind of like missoni releasing a line to target, right?!  it didn't matter.  i spotted a dress that could be IT.  at least, it looked very similar to the one from so many years ago.

the night before my appointment, a sweet lady called to give me a tip.  create an account on the website, and then in the store, they can pull up the dresses i like and go from there.  perfect.  i stayed up until 1 a.m.  besides all the veras that i was in love with, i looked at every dress on their site.  sometimes twice.  all in all, i ended up with 13 dresses that i was able to cut down to 9.

when i arrived at the store, they pulled up my account, grabbed 8 dresses (1 was not available) and showed me to my corner of the store.  i was SO relieved that there was no one else trying on dresses.  i really am not a fan of a crowd.  (and both times at the wedding shoppe, i had to "show off" in the mirror with 5+ spectators.)  some people would eat that up, but i'd rather try to hide behind the clear plastic bags.  

so with a corner to myself, i was surrounded by mirrors and a thousand annies - if you looked waaay far back in them.  as i was slipping into my favorite one, i wasn't getting too excited because i knew how my last love affair with a picture went.  but alas, ahhh!  ohmygoodness, this may be it.  i tried on the size that came off the rack, and it was a little big.  i thought the skirt could be bigger too.  (do you see a theme here?  ben would say, go big or go home, but funny enough, when he browsed, for a half-second, he wanted more of a sheath dress.  ok, never mind, babe!  i don't want your opinion!)  

i had a really good feeling that this was as close as possible to the first dress and the first feeling.  to appease myself, i tried on all 8 dresses.  the one that had me wavering was another organza beauty.  although, i could have swore it was a cotton-linen blend because it was sooo soft and comfy!  it was a dropped waist with a floral applique here and here and there.  pretty.  simple.  flowy.  total beach dress.  practical.  a fraction of the price.  but as i'm talking and thinking out loud, the sweet consultant was like, ok, no no no, practical and simple are not what you are going for!  and she was totally right.  so with that, i was back to the first one.  she grabbed the sample off the mannequin, exchanged my slip for one with the most crinoline and...

DONE.  my search is over.  i've had the man for almost 9 years, and now, i have the perfect dress for me.        

Sunday, February 19, 2012

back post #2

august 2011

after trying on certain styles and shapes and really wanting to try on a dress before i committed to ordering it, i got on the ball.  knowing i would be in mn in less than a week, i thought, hey, maybe this dress is somewhere there, so i could try it on...  i called up the wedding shoppe on grand avenue in st. paul to see if maybe, just maybe, they had the dress from the catalogue.  sure enough, i'm in luck!  this dress is so beautiful.  dropped waist, layers upon layers of curled organza, a slight train... oh, forgetaboutit, here:


fast forward a week and a half...

i'm so in love with everything about this dress - except - (and this is a big one) how it looked on me!  i can't believe i'm gonna say this, but i was very, very underwhelmed.  it just hung on me.  i was obviously trying on a sample that had been used and abused.  the corset loops were ripped off here and there, so the lady couldn't get it tight enough on me.  the skirt wasn't nearly as full as i imagined it or thought it would be, like in the picture.  so overall, i was totally let down and confused.  here, i had been obsessing over this dress, peeking at it on a weekly basis (for months), sent the link to my moms and a few girlfriends, and now, i was on the hunt again.  wedding shoppe 2 annie 0

see, way back in the day, close to 10 years ago now, i was engaged to a schlub.  hindsight, i was WAY more excited about the ring and the thought of a dress than i was about anything else.  first of many blazing red flags.  but anyway, i had tried on a dress at the wedding shoppe.  from whatever my descriptions about what i wanted to look like were, the lady pulled some dresses and away went my ordinary, boring clothes.  

the first dress i tried on was a stunner.  vera wang.  tulle.  lots of tulle.  simple sparkle and champagne satin.  the one.  this dress was it.  i don't even remember if i tried on any more.  i really can't remember.  but i do remember how i felt and how my mom looked at me.  how the tears streamed down my face.  i felt radiant and weightless, despite the extremely full slip with extra extra EXTRA crinoline.  my mom paid for the dress on the spot, and within the week, i was single.  so goodbye to the dress but hello to a better me, a better life.

maybe the organza dress was fine, but i didn't get THAT feeling.  i wasn't overjoyed and giddy.  i was frustrated and let down.  i guess i need to have that feeling again.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

back post #1

july 2011

i tried on wedding dresses today.  odd?  odd that i've been married nearly 5 years and find myself stepping into yards and yards of fabric?  not really.  i mean, ben and i got married in slacks.  me in taupe and him in black.  he wore a black button down shirt that showcased his bulk in a way that still makes me giddy.  i wore a creamy lace top with a camisole underneath.  short sleeve.  i wore pearls in my ears and around my wrist.  i wore my most favorite boots, beige numbers with a sexy 3.5 inch heel.  and best of all, i brought along our 6 week embryo.  

we found out we were expecting, and within a 10-day period, were wed.  my parents were absent. ben's mother and sister were in attendance, along with my two aunts and my uncle.  my girlfriend sarah snapped a dozen pictures.  my mother surprised me with a phone-ordered bouquet that my aunt brought with her.  it really was special.  

i'll never forget the feeling i had as ben and i made our way into anchorage on that afternoon.  i looked over at him as we were driving through eagle river, and thought, i'm gonna marry that man in an hour.  ha!  i may have squealed.  we were in love.  and yet, i can't believe i thought i knew what love was because i love him, like, a thousand times more than i did all those years ago.  he's given me the best gifts in the whole wide world; our jack and our dylan.  we've built a house and made it a home.  

so why did i try on wedding dresses today? because we are about to do things right.  we're renewing our vows on our 5th wedding anniversary.  me in a dress, i'm thinking ball gown, go-for-it, princess (oh, i cringe at that word) but it's true.  ben and jack in matching beachy-linen attire.  my father to match them as well, since he's actually giving me away.  ourdreamsarecomingtrue!  

i tried on a few mermaid cuts.  dropped waist, full skirt.  i saw a picture in a catalogue that i think may be the one.  actually, no, i already have THE ONE, his name is benji, but i'm looking for the dress that brings tears to my eyes.  
it's such an odd feeling and my mind is constantly battling my heart.  

this is totally ridiculous and selfish, but yet, we kinda deserve this.  

we both want to renew our vows.  i want the dress and pictures.  he wants me to have that moment.  and, my father has never let him forget that he didn't get to walk his daughter down the aisle.  i know that's important to both the men in my life.

vow renewal.  all our family on the beach.  our two kids present and dressed up.  
maui, here we come.  march can't come soon enough!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

v-day at home

my poor husband.  he just can't keep up with me.  one week i'm like, hey - change the toilet paper roll! the next week, i'm scolding him for throwing them away.  i'm sure he thinks i've lost my mind completely.  really though, i was hoarding toilet paper rolls for art projects.  (there's always a method to my madness.  always... kinda...)  i saw on the glorious and wonderful pinterest that taking a toilet paper or paper towel roll, you could bend it just so to create a heart.  a  stamp, no less.  genius.  so we did just that.    

 super excited until i took it away to snap a picture.  
mean mama.
 oh, now she's worried about mess on her hands.  
she can squish her yogurt between all ten fingers,
 but a few droplets of red paint
 and all of a sudden, production is at a standstill.  

we then moved onto watercolor paints...

 dyl's technique is fast and nasty...

 and jb takes his sweet time.

then, it was onto making cards for dada.  dylan is completely captivated by poofs.  i think i mentioned this back in my post from our flight to mn.  i don't know what it is about them, but she's in love.  POOOOF! she exclaims when she finds one in a hiding place.  

so we took a pipe cleaner and bent it into a heart shape, then filled in the space with poofs of different sizes and colors.  by default, i was in charge of the glue gun, the kids were in charge of placement.  once the project was all dry, i scribbled a little valentine's day message to dada and jack signed his name.  

 this cracks me up.  
notice jack...
 and notice the copy-cat.
another card we did; jb's hands

window markers!!!  while i love the concept, i'm really not all that excited about these [messy] things.  they're a total pain to clean up.  and, they never quite "dry" so if you rub up against them, you get a blue ass.  or if you're lucky, all 5 colors redyellowbluegreenblack all up on you.

however, the kids loved them.  jack even went as far as to draw a mustache on dylan.  she happily obliged and stood there for it.  promise.  i think i will implement this activity next time my windows are filthy and need a good washing anyway.
mama, dat's kinda like a big beanstalk, huh?!

 a mustachioed duey

super fun valentine's day with my super fun little people.  i was even surprised in the evening with hand delivered flowers.  as nice as it is having them dropped off at the door, it's always better to have that special person accompany the bouquet {with a smooch}.  plus, the ringing doorbell always makes me nervous!  i'm totally blessed and totally thankful.

flowers from THE man.

winter at the zoo

i can't explain my daughter's actions.  no, scratch that.  i can't explain my children's actions.  there are times when they amaze me with their growth and "maturity" and then there are times when i wonder who's children are these?!  dylan can ham it up for the camera, and then, like the photo above and many, many others, lose it completely.  i dunno.  i guess we slowed her down with the photo op.  jb wanted a picture up on the snow, in front of the sign, so that's what we did.  whatev.  she was quickly over it.  thank goodness.    

the kids love the seals.  it's always our first stop.  jb gabbed about them from the backseat, most of the way into town.  and how great that one of the seals was so into having company.  that chubby seal visited with us the entire time, very curious as to who this little human clad in purple could be.  on our way out, we had to swing by one more time to say goodbye and wouldn't you know it - chubbster seal came right back to the glass, happy to see my sweet daughter's face.

we brought the sled along, but dylan was happy to walk.  we must have journeyed half way around the zoo before she just fell into the sled as jack was pulling it.  i was sure i'd have to pull the sled, but jack exclaimed, no, mama, i can do it myself.  of course he can.  it still amazes me that he's 4.  it shouldn't.  i know what year it is.  but damn.  time sure does fly when you're raising hellions children.  

 mama, stop talkin.  dat bear is sweepin.  

to view the trumpeter swans, there's a fun bridge to scamper across.  normally, the swans are in the middle of the pond, but since it's mostly covered in snow, they were right next to the railing.  dylan was poking her arm through the slats and one of the swans kept waddling closer and closer.  eeek!  we had to pull back and give them some room.  but oh, they're so beautiful, so graceful.  


 can you see how much she loves her big bro? 
 she cracks me up.

the snow is impressive.  this pathway of the zoo normally widens to about 40 feet, but there was so much snow piled up that the path was about half of that.  jack wanted to climb up every snow bank and take a picture.  there were some banks that i couldn't lift him up on because of their height.  just crazy how much snow has blanketed us this year. 

30-some degrees, happy bubbas and happy mama!  just a perfect day for the zoo.  these kids so needed this jaunt in the fresh air.  thank you, God.