Jul 25, 2013

Engagement Photos Round 1

I am clearly more behind than I thought since these photos were taken by my lovely friend Morgan at the end of May! Better late than never though right?

I say these are round one of our engagement photos because I have a couple more ideas involving a beach at sunset and some old buildings downtown. Fortunately Ben is on board:)

Back to these photos. Morgan is a great photographer and our dear friend, so I was so thrilled she was willing to snap a few photos for us. I seriously love what she captured (and thank her for being patient since I took awhile to warm up!

So here they are:

 This one is going out with our wedding invitations.

I still cannot figure out what I want to do with these- an online photo book? Print them and slip them into a 4x6 album? Collage frame? Likely one of the first two options, maybe I'll ask Ben which he'd like better.

I cannot wait to execute the other engagement sessions I have in my head. I cannot believe we'll only be engaged for two more months! I cannot wait to get married.

Morgan, seriously. Thank you!

Sunday, July 14th- My Bridal Shower!

Sunday, July 14th my sister Laura (and maid of honour), threw me a Bridal Shower! This one was attended by my bridal party and closest friends and cousins who could make it. (My Mom is throwing me a second shower in late August!)
It was a little surreal.
I spent the first half of the party trying to take it all in, while thinking "is this all really for me?!"

The shower was, in my opinion, perfect. When I arrived everyone was already there. ( I was instructed to come half an hour after the party started since I'm usually early for everything- and they knew I would likely show up before the other guests- ha!) It was truly wonderful to enter my sisters home and see so many people I love together in one room.

Once I was settled in my chair, I started to notice all of the little details-first the black and white photos my friends Jessica compiled of Ben and I over the years (favourite surprise- the photos now hang in our bedroom).

I didn't get a shot of them hanging at the shower, but you get the idea here:)

 Then I looked up and saw black and white tissue flowers hanging from the ceiling.

I stand corrected. You can see the photos hanging in the back.

I spotted a punch bowl filled with fancy lemonade, my favourite drink. I found the food table filled with some of my favourite treats assembled, and the gifts were all wrapped in black and white.

Cannot forget the guestbook journal my sister circulated that everyone signed. It contains many sweet messages that I will treasure always.

The shower was black and white themed as I've mentioned before, so all of the guests wore black and white also. Everyone looked beautiful!

Only missing one of Ben's cousins in this photo- she was taking the picture.

 I had found a gorgeous dress on sale at Suzy Shier ($20!). I was so excited to wear it that I was dressed and ready to go at 11 am- the shower started at 2pm....

After a few shower games (including "How well do you know the Bride", which I always enjoy), I opened my gifts. We got some really nice things off of our registry, and two of our friends gifted us a "romantic bath" basket. It came complete with bubble bath and salts, rose petals, candles, a bottle of champagne, flip flops and a gorgeous satin robe for me. Loved it! I am so grateful to everyone just for being there, and overwhelmed by their generosity! I am also a huge lover of cards and plan on making all wedding related cards into a small book. (My sister's card even made me cry!)

My sister. My maid of honour.

Because my friends know me so well, next was a photo session. I've always said that my two priorities for our wedding day are 1) Actually getting married and 2) Photos. I am so in love with photography and capturing everyday moments.

But I'm rambling here.

After taking a few group shots of everyone in attendance and some of just me and each guest, my bridesmaids and I got together and hilarity ensued.

Recreating the post from the movie "Bridesmaids" (think we nailed it;) This is my favourite.

My shower was filled with friends, family, food, photos and laughter- my favourite things. I had an absolute blast! Thank you so much to everyone who came (and to the few that could not, you were missed!) To my maid of honour Laura,  who hosted and to my friends and bridesmaids Brittany, Jessica and Morgan who helped throw the shower: I am SO grateful for everything you did to make this day special, you all mean so much to me. I am so lucky to have so much love in
my life.

Jul 15, 2013

Hello Monday

This photo was taken by my lovely friend Morgan. She took quite a few engagement shots for us back in May, I will post them soon- I hope! This one is going out with the invitations:)

Hello to still feeling giddy and so loved after my wonderful bridal shower yesterday (post coming soon!)

Hello to extremely hot temperatures this week (but so far no humidity- yay!)

Hello to spending lot's of time playing in the shade and at the wading pool (at work:)

Hello to buying new wedding invitations- our old DIY ones got ruined when they stuck together and the paint peeled off, boo!

Hello to an upcoming weekend getaway in Montreal to celebrate our friend Casey's birthday!

Hello to planning to watch "The Hunger Games" outside at Westboro Beach Friday night- hooray for "Movies after dark"!

And finally, hello to getting our apartment clean and organized (for now).

Hello Monday- I'm looking forward to a new week, but still missing the weekend a little bit- it was a good one!

I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Wedding Update

Note: I wrote this last Wednesday and forgot to post- which is why some of the dates might not make sense ie. my wedding shower already happened. I wanted to keep this the way it was written.

My wedding day is coming up fast! We chose Sunday, September 29th as our date. ( I always wanted a fall wedding.)

Everything has been falling into place since that decision.

Our closest friends and siblings are in our wedding party. The bridesmaids dresses were chosen and purchased within four days of us getting engaged! We found a gorgeous venue in early May and had booked it near the end of the month.We chose the food, I'm DIY-ing the decor, my bouquets will be composed of mainly babies breath mixed with flowers from my Mother's garden. We also asked my friend Morgan's Dad (and my former pastor) to officiate our ceremony and he
happily agreed. This meant a lot to us as I have known him for a long time (since I was 12!) and he has gotten to know Ben and I as a couple over the years. Really awesome in my opinion. Morgan's children Paul and Jill will also be our ring bearer and flower girl- a no-brainer, we love those kids! All of this came together in May.

June was a combination of making large and small things happen. Ben's uncle generously offered us his services as our DJ. My cousin Meaghan (who thankfully arrived back in Ottawa from London at the beginning of June!) is making our cake. Ben and I bought our rings. My Mom and I bought a pattern for my dress and we found some gorgeous lace for it a few weeks ago!

 She has been working on the dress since and I am so excited to see it come together. And to wear it :)
We also figured out what we will be giving to our groomsmen/bridesmaids as a thank you.

All of this is amazing. I have to say though, the hugest help to me was the night a few of my bridesmaids and cousin Meaghan helped me with the invitations. We were able to use a large office at my friends work (and their paper cutter which was fantastic). I had found this idea on
Pinterest and wanted to re-create it for my wedding using different shades of blue. (Our colours are Teal and Silver.) So while listening to music and sharing a lot of girl talk, we spent the night cutting and painting around 70 invitations! I love how they turned out. HUGE thank you to Laura, Meaghan, Brittany and Jessica for helping me!! (The invitations have been the most daunting wedding task, for me.)

 Laura and I.

That pretty much catches us up until now! I am getting  the invitations ready to be mailed out (organizing addresses is daunting task #2), and anticipating my first bridal shower this Sunday! My Mom and sister (and maid of honour) are throwing me two separate showers with different groups of people- so fun! Laura's is black and white themed (my favourite!) and I found a gorgeous dress to wear last Thursday. Still in a haze of utter disbelief that this is really happening.

I am feeling good about how thing's are progressing. So far neither of us have felt too stressed out about this wedding.Though we did learn (like so many who have been married before us), that EVERYONE has and will give you their opinion about it. Doesn't bother me anymore. Ben and I have known what we wanted for this day for a long time (hence all the quick decision making- having a short engagement helps with that too.) What matters most to both of us is saying our
vows to each other and getting married (followed by having great photos- Rachael, and good food- Ben). The rest will surely be amazing and fun, but not the end of the world if something goes wrong.

I will try to keep updating as the summer progresses.

I. am. loving. this.

Jul 10, 2013

Ben's Birthday (and Life Via Instagram)

Immediately following Canada Day was Ben's 27th birthday (July 2nd). Ben isn't as enthusiastic about birthdays as I am, but I still insist that we make it special. We both had to work that day, so we only had the evening together. On my way home from work I picked up his favourite Chinese food (Lemon chicken and egg rolls from Golden Palace) and we enjoyed it while watching old "How I Met Your Mother" episodes. (We adore that show). Then Ben went to watch a show of his that I don't like, while I cleaned and made his cake. I felt kind of bad, thought I should have done more to celebrate him. But when we went to bed that night (with happy tummies full of Chinese food and chocolate cake) he kept thanking me, saying the day was perfect. Evidently good food and allowing him some time to enjoy his current favourite show made him feel more special than a planned night out or party. So I think that will be a continuing birthday tradition for him.

We did go out the following Friday to celebrate Ben and my brother Taylor (they share a birthday).   They both requested Edoko- where we went for my birthday this year. Once again, amazing food! We had a really great time with our siblings and my cousin. The evening ended with everyone back at our apartment and we wound up watching one of the worst movies ever (Tiny Furniture, in case you are wondering- it was picked out of curiosity...never again).

 The birthday boys

To Ben: I am so incredibly lucky to be able to celebrate you, year after year. You are honestly my favourite person on this earth.  I cannot wait for many more birthdays with you as your WIFE! I love you.

To Taylor: My one and only brother. The best brother a girl could ask for. Thank you for being there for me when I need you- you may be my little brother by birth, but you love and protect me like a big brother. I am so grateful for you.

Jul 9, 2013

Canada Day 2013

Little behind here, and I know I said I would catch up on June first- and I will, but this is where I want to start. (Warning, picture overload to follow!)

So Canada Day was last Monday, July 1st. I have to say that at first, I really did not want to do much of anything that day. As I've mentioned before we have had pretty packed schedules over here the last couple of months, so I was happy to take my day off and spend it at home. However, I was eventually persuaded to go out and had a great time! Ben and I spent the morning in down town Ottawa with my cousin and sister. We walked through the market over to Parliament Hill. Along the way we watched a few street performances and snagged some chip wagon food. It was nice, and I'm very glad we made it a quick visit, because it was so hot and I cannot stand how crowded down town gets on Canada Day.

This photo taken by my cousin Meaghan.

This photo taken by my cousin Meaghan.

After a couple of hours of that (and just before my crowd rage got too strong...) we boarded a double decker bus to Kanata to enjoy the fair. We met up with our friend Eveline on the way, and then got to meet up with Morgan and Dan and their family also! We had so much fun.

Oh, and I also got to ride the carousel for the first time! (Yes, I am 26 and had never ridden a carousel until that day)

Having some quality time with Paul and Jill was really great:)

This photo taken by my lovely friend Morgan.

After watching Paul go on several rides Ben and I went on the Ferris wheel. In years past I have loved them (and there's always that scene from "The Notebook" that romanticizes them). That was not the case this year. As I've gotten older my fear of heights has increased. I cannot say that I cared for those moments on the Ferris Wheel where it would stop to let people off- and we were left at the top. Particularly since the seat has a tendency to swing back and forth. Oh and in this case my back was not properly supported. I was clinging to the bar for dear life. All the while Ben laughed- thanks Ben!

These last two gems came from Ben's phone (taken by my sister). Oh my goodness they are my favourite!

Once that was over- and I vowed to never go on a damn Ferris Wheel again, my brother Taylor met up with us and we went across the street for dinner at Swiss Chalet. The food was amazing and it was fun to hang out as a group (sadly Morgan, Dan and the kids had to go).

Ben and I went home after that because we were tired (and realizing how old we were that we didn't want to stay out for the 10pm fireworks!) Fortunately, I was lucky enough to view them from my window while cozy in bed in my pyjamas. With my fiancé by my side. Definitely a good day. I'm glad that I did not miss out by staying home.