Monday, February 24, 2014

Heritage Garment Preservation blog feature

Read my wedding dress story on the Heritage Garment Preservation blog here.
Heritage Garment Preservation did a lovely blog feature on my wedding dress story! As I mentioned in my 2/22/14 post, I received my gown back from Heritage a couple weeks ago. I did an extensive amount of research on cleaning and preservation methods before deciding to use this company, and I am very happy with the results. I will be blogging about my experience with them soon. Stay tuned!

the Bride

The Fair Barn's cover photo

I was browsing Facebook this evening at my parents' kitchen table when I ventured over to The Fair Barn's page and look who I found on their cover photo! My mom was standing at the sink, and hears me say, "Oh. My. Gosh." and immediately asks what's wrong. "'s me." Haha. I love this photo by Brian Mullins Photography. Our friend Dan is grinning in the background as I am willing David with every ounce in my body to ignore everyone's chants to shove the cake in my face. (He's lucky he didn't.) :)

the Bride

Saturday, February 22, 2014

There's no place like home.

My gown arrived back from Heritage Garment Preservation a couple weeks ago. David and I currently live in a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse, so space is at a premium. Since I chose the Museum Method of preservation, the gown needs to be hung, so I knew I would need to make a trip back to my parents' house in Maryland where they have room to store it. 

I left right after work on Thursday night, bringing the two little dogs with me. I didn't even bother to pack, but instead brought heaps and heaps of laundry with me to wash and fold over the weekend. (In the process of transporting tons of clothes to my car, I cleared the floor of my closet and filled 2 large garbage bags full of clothes to donate. It is ridiculous how many pairs of jeans I own. When I get back to North Carolina, I swear I will continue the purging some point.

Today was pretty low-key. My mom was working, so I spent the day by the fire with the dogs, catching up on People, and washing/folding 3 loads of laundry. I also finally was able to open the huge box that contained my dress, and was incredibly pleased and impressed with what I received back from Heritage. (More about that in a future post.) I met my mom at Costco after she got off work and we bought lots of things that we both needed including paper products, snacks, and drinks. It is amazing what they sell in bulk! I haven't had the need to purchase a club membership but I imagine we will be doing so some time in the future when we have kids. 

It is really nice to be home and see my mom. I talk to both of my parents a few times a week, but I don't get to see them nearly as often as I'd like. It was also nice for me to bring Lamb back to see her. The past year, we have been dealing with a few health issues with Lamb. (More about that later.)

Today while making room in the closet, I found a few boxes containing some of my old dolls and toys. This inspired me to go on a hunt in search of two baby dolls I had growing up. I ended up finding a large bag full of old dolls and stuffed animals which prompted me to pull out my baby album. It is so neat seeing some of my old toys in pictures from when I was a baby, and then seeing them in person. Some of them are in such pristine condition, while others (like my doll Connie) endured a few unfortunate haircuts.

These are the dolls I was looking for: Timmy and Tommy, the twins. 

Top: My brother and I with our stuffed animal collection. My mom told me today that the green turtle on the right was purchased at a supermarket. Bottom: Noah poses with my childhood toys.

I am excited to spend more time with my mom tomorrow night when she gets home from work. I plan on asking her to tell me more stories about my childhood over homemade crab cakes. I leave you with one more photo of baby Dorothy. This one's a winner.

the Bride

When I texted this picture to David, his response was "Ha. Is that Diet Coke?" I think every baby should aspire to be like this. :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Guest Post on She is MORE: Why We Chose Not To Live Together Before Marriage

I am excited to share my first guest post with She is MORE! Started by Kristen Dalton Wolfe, a college friend and former Miss USA, She is MORE "is spreading a message that empowers young women to discover their invaluable self worth and to realize their biggest dream." I love the message and spiritual background behind her concept, and it is definitely a great resource for all women! 

the Bride

My husband, David, and I made the decision not to live together before getting married. Actually, we both made this decision on our own before we met even each other. Before we got married, people would often ask if we were living together. When I said no, they would ask if I was nervous about marrying someone before living with him. My answer was no.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Class is in session!

David and I have been taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (FPU) at a local Church for the past five weeks. For those who are wondering, FPU is a nine-week course that teaches "you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more" using "biblical, practical steps."

One of my biggest concerns before getting married was combining our finances (including debt and loans). I didn't even know where to begin. Luckily, we addressed some of these concerns during our pre-marital counseling sessions with our pastor/officiant, Jason. Both Jason and Priscilla, our wedding planner, as well as various friends, have recommended FPU, so David and I decided to sign up for a course at the start of the new year.

We are just over halfway through and already we have learned a lot. It hasn't been easy or pretty, and I don't necessarily agree with every single thing Dave teaches, but we have been following his guidelines such as the Seven Baby Steps, and by the end of the month, we will have completely paid off three credit cards from our Debt Snowball! Also, I cannot tell you how fantastic it feels to only be one week into February and to have already paid the majority of the month's bills, contributed to savings and retirement, and have money left over.

We actually registered for FPU on our wedding gift registry. I think it's definitely something worthwhile to register for as an engaged couple. One of the things I hear most often (when I recommend the course) is "We'd love to, but we can't afford it." This statement makes me sad, because I hear it from friends/couples who I know are struggling financially. Right now, the class costs $109 online. (There are also online and DVD packages available.) $109 may seem like a lot, but in the long run, it's really not. It is something you can easily save up for in a short amount of time just by eating out less, cutting back on Starbucks, and spending a few nights in. Some of the people in our class even obtained their class materials from Amazon or eBay. Basically, my stance is, if you are struggling financially with debt/loans, living paycheck to paycheck, or you just need help saving, you can't afford NOT to take FPU.

So that's where David and I have diligently been going every Monday night for the past five weeks. We have been good students, doing our homework and arriving to class on time. (I know. Me! On time!!)

I'd be interested to hear your experiences with FPU or any other financial management courses.

the Bride