Winter break loves

It feels like a long time since we’ve caught up!  I am at a point where I have so many things to write about at once, that nothing is taking shape.  Tricky, I know.

Instead of regaling you with twisted tales of the winter course load I’m currently in the midst of (hello, domestic violence and drug abuse), I will keep things upbeat!  Here are some of the most fabulous things I fell in love with over winter break:

1) Immersion blenders

I actually made soup specifically to test out the blender.  I don’t know when I’ve ever had that much fun in the kitchen.  A side note, this curry sweet potato soup is delicious.

2) Moonshiners

This is one of the most horrific shows on television, but I Can’t. Stop. Watching.  My eyes were glued to the tv for several hours while I watched the antics of Tickle and Popcorn (yes, those are their names) play out in backwoods Virginia.  Jonathan pointed out that they would probably increase profits astronomically if they legalized their business, branded it, and distributed it.  I’m not sure Tickle and Popcorn would ever come up with a solid business plan.

3) Hue Slippers

The image doesn't even come close to how adorable these are.

These were in my Christmas stocking and I haven’t taken them off since Christmas morning.  I plan on buying them in all colors.

4) Hanna

Uhm, this movie was AWESOME!  Child assassin, incredible soundtrack, great acting…what more could you ask for?  This is the best action movie I’ve seen in a while.

5) Wedding planning (the fun parts)

I will post the engagement pictures as soon as I get them in the mail, but for now, just know that we had THE BEST TIME posing for the camera.  I’m pretty sure we’re going to start part-time modeling for the photo frame insert pictures.

Also, taste-testing the catered meals is also a major highlight of getting married.  They practically had to roll us out of there.  Mmmm!

What have you recently fallen in love with?  What was your favorite holiday gift?

-Mads

p.s. I forgot to add Adele.  You probably already knew that I love her, but I really want to emphasize how incredible she is.  Seriously, I can’t stop listening to her music/singing in the shower.

Save the Dates and Wedding Sanity

Jonathan is a dude who happens to have really talented friends.  One of these talented friends, Trung, offered to take a few pictures of us on the beach for our “Save the Date” cards.  How awesome is that?

I’m learning about this stuff as I go along, but apparently Save the Dates go out 6-8 months before a wedding to alert people to the fact that you will be getting married.  I would normally ignore this particular bit of wedding advice, but it’s slightly more important when a solid chunk of our guests will have to make flight and hotel arrangements.

Anyway, Trung gave us the daunting task of smooching on the beach at sunset.  Here are some of the best snaps:

This pic had a long exposure time...meaning we held this smooch for a really long time in order to get the cool water effect. I love it.

This picture was a joke and entirely our idea, but I think it captures our personalities well.

 

 

We had such a blast taking these pictures.  Thank you, Trung!

Did you send out “Save the Dates”?  What’s the worst piece of wedding advice you promptly ignored? 

Other sources for sane weddings:

East Side Bride

A Practical Wedding

OffBeat Bride

-Mads

 

 

 

 

Wedding Bliss

My friends John and Bea got married this weekend!!!

I honestly don’t understand how people can hate weddings because I HAVE THE MOST FUN EVER at weddings!  It’s like prom on crack, plus love and lots more alcohol.  And at the end of the night you aren’t worried about being the next star of Teen Mom.  Not that I’m talking about myself, but I hear that happens a lot at prom.

Ok yes, maybe the unity candle, poor choice in prayer, and dry chicken aren’t your cup of tea, but doesn’t it make your heart melt to see two people completely and blissfully in love surrounded by friends and family?  Don’t you want to dance until your undies fall off (I hope somebody else saw that episode of Jersey Shore)?

I’m obviously in a love-filled daze and can’t seem to snap out of it.

While I try to fill my life with more cynical thoughts, here are some wedding snaps:

The Girls

(Yes, I repurposed a bridesmaid dress.  It doesn’t count if it’s a different group of friends, right?)

The baddest couple in town

The only picture of us from the entire night. How romantic. Jonathan looks like he is having a facial seizure and I look sweaty.

Do you love or hate weddings?  What’s the coolest thing you have ever seen at a wedding?

-Mads

p.s. The pictures are courtesy of my friends Kenny, John, and Jonathan, respectively.

What they don’t tell you about finding your wedding dress

Last weekend I went to shop for my wedding dress.  As a disclaimer to my post, I want you all to know that I hate shopping.  I really do.  I buy the majority of my goods online in order to avoid any mall situations and to be done with it.  I know it’s shocking, but it’s who I am.

That being said, I love the people I was with while shopping for my wedding dress and I love the dress itself.  BUT…the process was not the romantic cutesy stuff I was used to seeing on tv.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the top 5 things they don’t tell you about shopping for your wedding dress:

1) You don’t get champagne.  Maybe I went to a unique bridal salon, but I was expecting free champagne and instead came face to face with a “No Beverages” sign.  This was probably the biggest disappointment of the whole deal.

2) You don’t daintily step into each gown you try on.  For the majority of the time you will be sweating like a pig from shimmying your way into 100 pounds of fabric over and over again.  Then the consultant will pull you this way and that way trying to synch your fat into an hourglass shape and manhandling you with the “modesty panel”.

3) Your consultant won’t be Randy from “Say Yes to the Dress”.  My consultant decided that I *needed* a white gown, even though I repeatedly said I wanted my dress to be champagne.  After trying on 30 white gowns, I finally bought the ONLY one she brought me in champagne.

4)  You will be forced to try on things you hate.  I was expecting some of this, but I didn’t realize how violent the reaction between my body and chiffon would be.  I mean, I was stuck somewhere between looking like the ghost of Christmas past and toga party.  It was a lose-lose situation.

5)  Everybody will cry the “ohmygodthisisit” cry and you will not understand.  You will feel like, “Maybe I will never feel that about a dress.  Maybe I’m being too picky.  This really isn’t The One, is it?  Can I go home yet?  I am going to wear a pantsuit.  Seriously, why is everyone crying about this dress?”

And then…finally…when you think all hope is lost…you will find Your Dress.  The One.  The Ohmygodthisisit.  And your friends and family will agree with you because it will be the first time you have smiled all afternoon.  And you will sigh a sigh of immense relief because you know how beautiful you feel and how happy you are going to be on your wedding day.

What’s your dress shopping story?  Or, are you looking forward to or dreading dress hunting?

-Mads

Oh, so thaaat’s what being engaged feels like

It feels the same!  haha  I do feel very lucky though.  And a tad bit overwhelmed.  And a little shaky from excitement.  But overall, so very lucky to be marrying the man that makes me ridiculously happy.

How did he do it, you ask?

Well, Jonathan took me out to my favorite restaurant for a birthday dinner celebration last night.  I had a sneaking suspicion that he would propose during dinner (he put on his fancy pants…a sign something was amiss).  When he didn’t propose at dinner, I thought, “Nah.  He’ll do it some other time.”

And then we went home.

Later on he said, “I got you a birthday cake!”  He made me close my eyes to blow out the candle and make a wish.  When I opened my eyes there was a card on the cake that said, “Will you marry me?”  Then he got down on one knee and said some ushy gushy stuff that neither of us really remember because we were both a little nervous and a lot excited.

While he was proposing, he set the cake to the side and Josie saw a window of opportunity and attacked it!

Notice that hunk missing?

Thaaaanks, Josie.

So now we’re ENGAGED!

The end.

-Mads

p.s. There was no non-awkward way to end this post.  I hope “The end” took care of things and wrapped it up in a neat little package for you.

My Jonathan

I was going to write a long post with pictures and stories about Kat’s wedding reception, but I’m guessing you know how those go.  Plus, I’m sure she’ll post about it soon enough.

Instead, I would like to post my favorite picture from the night…

My Jonathan:

Photo courtesy of Kelly* at Two Minneapolitans

Love him.

-Mads

p.s. In case you wanted to see what he looks like when he isn’t making silly faces, I have included a second picture:

 

Jonathan's real face

With this ring, I thee wed…or something like that

My friend Kat recently got married in a traditional Jewish wedding.

Being my first Jewish wedding, I was really trying to absorb it all.  Each wedding guest had a program explaining various parts of the service, and the rabbi explained a few things too.

Things I learned…Jewishy things…hope I don’t screw this up…

Ketubah- It looks like a piece of art, but it’s also a marriage contract.  Kat and Marcus wrote one vow together and it is printed on the ketubah in English and Hebrew.  The star map of the night of their wedding is the base of the art.  Beautiful.

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Whalen Photography (linked)

Immediately preceding the ceremony in the chapel, they had a separate “signing of the ketubah” ceremony.  The family and bridal party were invited to witness the signing.  Then the rabbi asked both sets of parents to whisper words of wisdom and blessings to their kids; followed by Marcus and Kat whispering words of promise and love to each other.

The whole room Lost. It.

I was a freaking blubbering mess.  At this point, I was trying to be quiet enough with my sobbing so that other guests wouldn’t think I had emotional problems.  Ridiculous.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Whalen Photography (linked)

Luckily I got the tears out of the way before I had to walk down the aisle in front of 350 people.  …350 closest friends

It helped that I was mainly focused on my severe foot pain.  Have I mentioned I don’t really wear heels?

Chuppah- This is the canopy hanging over the bride and groom, which is supposed to represent a home built together.  I am fairly certain they had a chuppah in mind, but at the last minute changed to a quilt (gifted to the couple from an aunt).

Kat walked down the aisle to a magnificent version of Cannon in D.  Once again, I was lucky enough to get my teary-eyed blubbering out of the way during rehearsal.

She met her parents halfway down the aisle and then circled the chuppah 7 times.  7 is a very symbolic number in Judaism.  I would pretend to know exactly why the bride circles 7 times, but not even Google can give me a firm answer.

Short answer: she does it for a lot of reasons.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Whalen Photography (linked)

Sheva Brachot- This is basically the rabbi’s portion of the ceremony, as it is The Seven Blessings.  Again with the 7.  Kat and Marcus had a woman sing the blessings in Hebrew and it was really touching.  I don’t know what it is about praying/singing in Hebrew, but it is truly eerie, moving, and beautiful all at once.  Very cool.

“Mazel Tov!”- The guests shout this “good luck!” as Marcus smashes a glass with his foot.  I never knew, but breaking the glass symbolizes mourning the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, even in times of great joy.

Then they RAN back down the aisle!  I think that was more of a Kat thing than a tradition.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Whalen Photography (linked)

That was the ceremony.  Stay tuned for the reception.

In the meantime, here are some of my other favorite pictures from the big day:

This is our "Friends" shot. I bitched a lot about walking on the dock in heels, but this picture was worth it.

Seriously, how can you not adore this?

This bus ride was SO fun and the couple was so incredibly happy. Can't ask for more than that!

Have you ever been to a different style of wedding?  What was your favorite part?

-Mads