Monday, January 30, 2012

Rediscovering "US"

****sappy alert****
Well, and some funny parts too.
Matthew and I had a really, really good time at our marriage retreat this weekend.
We've both been super stressed lately with everything:
hour-long commutes from work; busy work schedules;
we ONLY see eachother on the weekends (we are living at home with our own parents)
AND I'm off in lala-land aka wedding-planning world (which the male species really does not comprehend)
ect., ect., ect.

Anyone who says planning a wedding is just the best time in their life is maybe fibbing a bit, because really it's actually a very tense time as well. Yes, yes. It is a very exciting time in life, but there are some major changes taking place, and some major stressors and it really requires a little bit of.. extra determination if you will.

Honestly our communication really hasn't been up to snuff lately. There just isn't a lot of time to talk.
Well we put a big change to that this weekend and I'm so, so glad.

We went to Engaged Encounter, a retreat for engaged couples, which was required (no we did not just seek this out for fun, although it turned out to be awesome) by our Deacon. Two wonderful couples told us about the happiest, and most *challenging* moments in their marriage.

The tagline was "A Wedding is a Day..A Marriage is a Lifetime"
They opened the retreat with this line:

"Gentlemen, she wants to talk to you as much as you want to have sex with her,
that's how important talking is."

They had all kinds of great one-liners coming out of this 75 year-old-couple.
They were hilarious. and Honest. And focused on great communication, and making a 'decision to love,' every single day.

The structure was as follows: The featured couples would share their own experience about a certain topic, ie. finances, intimacy, or family-planning and then each of you had to write out answers to a series of questions pertaining to that topic. Then discuss your answers privately with just each other. There were some heavy topics nonetheless.

We had to talk to eachother about tough things, like in-laws, how we want to raise our children, what elements from our family traditions we want to keep for our own future family, and really which ones we would like to toss. Our own family! on May 19, 2012 we have our own family! We don't even have to have a kid, and we still are a family! ahhhh.

Well, I loved everything about it, but what I found most inspirational is the male from the younger couple had a long line of family history ending in divorce, like myself.

It's my biggest fear, and honestly until I met Matt, who kept telling me over and over "yes it can work, people do make it, It's a choice," I honestly had a lot of doubt that I myself would marry.
It was really comforting to see this. It helps me so much to see a child of divorce (our divorce rates are much higher) that can say

"to hell with those statistics, I'm going to make my marriage work"

and NO, I'm not married yet, I can only hope to get to where these couples have been.
I don't have a clue what marriage is like.
But I do feel inspired, refreshed and closer we've felt in a long time. I feel grounded again. It's not just about the wedding. Yes, I want to have a beautiful wedding, but what happens after that is 1000 x's more important.

oh and we ate really, awful cafeteria food. for every. single. meal. lol.
and met some cool couples too!

here are some pics If I haven't bored you to death and you are still reading:

Our Certificate of completion:

Another certificate which gives us a discount on our marriage license from the State of Texas. Woo hoo! Saving money!

A candle they gave us; we decided to keep it for very special times.

and I couldn't help taking this pic... pretty much because it said Madonna. lol.
always and forever a pop music junkie. :)

Has anybody else been to a great retreat?
If you are looking for one I strongly recommend this one!

and that was a lot, BUT that's all folks!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Need some camping tips!

I really can't help but sing the Friday song, every. single. Friday.
Thank you Rebecca Black.

OK so crisis averted, I think we have a game plan. 
I'm teaming up with Mrs. Peters again to help me design my Save the Date, 
she also helped me ask my sister to be my matron of honor, and you can read about it here.

I have some other big vendor decisons to make, and I really think I just need to pull the trigger and stop worrying about it. I realize I talk on and on about the wedding,
BUT I really should be focusing on Matthew and I.

Which is what we are going to do this weekend!

We are camping out for a marriage prep retreat, and this girl CAN NOT camp!! Wish me luck guys!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Save the date crisis and a lil' glitter for ya!

Hey Ladies (read in monotone voice)
So, I am having a little save-the-date crisis
BUT behold, every crisis has a solution
My solution? Um.. go to bed.

These are the cutest save-the-dates I've ever seen, but I really don't have the time..
this weekend we will be at our marriage preparation retreat.. 
and I really should have gotten them in the mail, say, um yesterday as a matter of fact. FML.

BUT. I did paint my nails. So here they are:

I've really been nit picking to find the subtle glitter french.. and I finally found the perfect combo:

 Here are my colors:
{essie: ballet slippers}
{essie: shine of the times}

and my fave at home nail care product:

who needs a nail salon when you have this stuff :) ?? taking over the world one clean cuticle at a time!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Engagement Pictures: Part 2

Just popping in real quick to share my favorite picture from our engagement session with Ree:

Picking a save the date picture is hard! I think my eyes popped out of my head last night staring at them all.

She should have a few more at her blog sometime today!

UPDATE: Here are some more photos.

We took our pictures at Deborah's Garden and around Beachtown condos in Galveston, TX.



Monday, January 23, 2012

The Cutest Elopement Ever

This weekend was crazy one in Galveston, TX, but I'm really trying to not make this blog my 13th running wedding to-do list, well not for every post at least hehe. So I wanna talk about eloping. I've blogged about it a few times, here and here, and I can't help but revisit the carefree, spontaneous way to tie the knot. 

See Alysha, an old college friend and her absolutely adorable elopement in her now husband's backyard, err technically her backyard too..errr..omg THEIR backyard:

Her facebook album was titled "do you want to get married tomorrow"
 I think on a cuteness scale of 1-10 this gets an 11.
{Her BFF Robyn bought the bouquet }

And here is another, Mr. and Mrs. Rainwaters:
{Their pups Ivy (left) and Tex (right)}

Doesn't this just pull at your heartstrings? One day, and boom. It was done. It's so refreshing to see so little fuss.  To see a couple who just wants to share the moment with very few people, and have it all to themselves.

 Wedding planning is the most stressful thing I've ever done in my life, and  every bride I discuss this with says the same thing... sooo why do we all do it? Hmm. Its kind of a mystery to me. I literally feel like a crazy person at times. Where has my laid back personality gone? LOL.

Well, obviously I'm not eloping, I'm getting married here, but I did consider it extensively. And
 honestly I think a lot of brides do. But really, Congrats to Alysha and Matt for taking the plunge!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trend Report: Color Blocking

So I spent a gazillion hours at the mall last week, shopping til' I was dropping for some engagement picture outfits. And the trend this upcoming spring season is

Color blocking. 

  apparently lime green and reddish coral are really in right now, also crop shirts
which fit me like a trash bag. yikes. I won't be participating
in that one. Have fun ladies.

Also, see the 'power skirt'

The fashionable ladies at Dillard's were pushing this one hard.

I'm really loving the trends, but not for our engagement pics. I finally said whatever just buy something, bought a a bunch of crap and raced outta there.

oh and see my glitter tip nails! I finally found a glitter option that I think works for me. Hip, Hip, Hooray!

In unrelated news, I think the theme of the past couple days has been overwhelmed. I'm overwhelmed by this blog, work, wedding, life. Just everything. I'm trying real hard to keep my cool on the outside, while my thoughts are pretty much racing 100 mph on the inside. Must. Slow. Down.

My day got a little better today, but the next two weekends will be wedding packed again. I wish I could drop my perfectionism but I just can't.

Hopefully I can get all the big stuff decided and relax a little in a few weeks. SIGH.

good night moon.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Engagement Pictures: Part 1

I should be inputting addresses into excel, but I just gotta blog about all the activity this weekend.

I had my first wedding cake and florist consultations, which i'll blog about later but most importantly - we took our engagement pictures yesterday! *lets out big sigh*

OH em GEE I want to see our pictures so badly! Ree took our pictures this weekend, and we just started talking about it less than a week ago, and put the whole shoot together rather last minute. I was researching locations, props and outfits like a maniac, and  feeling tense until we wrapped up the pictures.

Of course,  I couldn't find anything I was really looking for - but here are some of the things I did end up buying for our beach shoot:

We also took pictures in a quirky, urban garden. Here is a random picture I found of it online:

Then I turned around and returned everything I bought in my mad dash:

I can't wait to see the final product. I have something out of the box planned for our save the dates, and I  hope I can make it happen this weekend.

Today we then retreated to eating lots of  food.  I pretty much lured Matt into beginning the registry process with a lunch at Fogo de Chao - and it worked! Yea girls, guys and a beef buffet go really well together. We had a gift card from the holidays so everyone was happy, My wedding brain, Matt's wallet, and both of our tummies!

This place puts you in a food coma. I'm pretty much still full and its dinner time. Then we started registering. Ha!  Key word here is start. We are moving quick people. Matthew just loves me right now lol.

Since I spent so much time at the mall this week, I plan to write up a trend report for the coming season. Yup, spring clothes are out in January.

OH and I plan to sign up (or at least learn more about) the yeast free diet with beautiful mess, sign up too!

and that's all for now !

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

 YUP. just had my first teary-eyed bride session. I started looking at invitation wording for our wedding invitations, and as a child of divorced parents, the formal wording can be rather, well, complicated?

I mean look at this hot mess:

Mr. and Mrs. Marcus R. Hernandez
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of his daughter
Tess Marie Hernandez
daughter of Ms. Ciria Ridolfi
to Matthew David Cook
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Cook
Saturday, the nineteenth of May
two thousand and twelve
at five o’clock  in the afternoon

Who comes up with this stuff???

Whats really funny is, I was intially cracking up about it, then suddenly started bawling.

I was on the phone with Matthew and I think he was caught a little off guard. lol. sorry babe.

But on to the weekend! We are taking our official engagement pictures with his sister again, who just launched her photography business. You can check her out here.

I'm so excited but am going to be one busy girl trying to find all our props and some snazzy outfits.

Have a good weekend everyone!!!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Feeling the Classic Nails right now

They say everyone has a 'nervous tick,' and mine is definitely biting my nails. It seems that I may have finally (knock on wood) kicked the habit.  I really made an effort to stop because I didn't have the 30-40 bucks a month to shell out to my nail lady. As a way to hold myself accountable, I'd like share nail pics:

I went on a darker, trendier nail color binge this December:

(Left: Essie Midnight Cami
Right: Essie School of Hard Knocks)

 but am back to my good ol' faithful light pink almost white.
(Essie: Ballet Slippers)

I just can't seem to get the glitter thing to work for me. I love it on others.
But really, I love the classic light colored nails. It's so fresh and easy! exactly what I need in my life right now.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weekend Recap

 I had another uber busy weekend, but first things first, isn't this the most awesome wedding cake ever?

Well if you're a Starbucks addict like me, it really is! I wasn't making my routine trips to Starbucks last week and my coworker said, "yea, you seem a bit sullen. maybe you shouldn't skip Starbucks."

So I found this cake at the Houston Bridal Extravaganza where I met wedding vendors for every possible thing a bride could imagine. It was cray cray. Here's some pics of me getting airbrushed by my make up vendor! Yup, I signed my first contract!!
Then I rushed over to meet matt to watch the Texan's first playoff game ever and they spanked the Bengals.
It was so awesome, the city was so happy. Sure is nice to have a winning team to root for!
and we topped the weekend off with a Texan's inspired birthday party. My nephew got a whole Texans bed spread and a Texans cake. It was super cute.
And then I went to bridal boot camp! Which I am going to guest blog about at Kristen's

Hope everyone had a good weekend!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tunnel Vision

Right now I can not do, see, or think about anything but the wedding. My neurosis is on level 11 on a scale of 1-10, but not in a bad way, just in a I am determined to kick your butt way. I’m knocking out to–do lists like crazy, working out like crazy, saving money like crazy, GIRRLS we are getting quraazzy up in here!!

My little brain is just so tired. I'm falling alseep as I type this.

Not to mention my new commute is pretty damn long now that I am staying with the rents out in the burbs, and I miss Matthew like crazy. We are about 40 miles away from eachother right now. Reminds me of our previous long distance love, which is another story for another time. 

 Oh Matthew how I Iove thee. No that is not Matt, he's much cuter ;)

I have made a few important decisions in wedding land, like a bridesmaids dress!! Well, pshh, I didnt really decide I just gave my girls a few choices and said pick whatcha like gurrlfrann.

AND my wifey agreed suprise me for my bachelorette party. Hells to the yes, no planning for Moi!!! Take me wherever your little heart desires! 

 Mr. Wonderful agreed to the same thing for our honeymoon! I'm all about this suprise action. Heck I'd have a suprise wedding if it was practical (YES I REALLY CONSIDERED THIS).

I can not wait to get to the airport to find out where we are headed. 
maybe its here:
ahh I can't wait I love suprises!!!
and that's all for now!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Years Day - It's not too late to get off the couch

Happy New Year's to everyone, and it's not too late to write your resolutions down! JUST do it. Without self improvement life becomes stagnant. OK OK enough of the soap box. 

 a short NYE recap:

1. I hung out with my Jenn, asked her to be a bridesmaid by placing one of these cupcakes in her freezer. I literally waited ALL DAY for her find it!! 

Here is a way retro pic of us (oh how I miss my college body):
It was HILAR when she finally did find it. She looked in the freezer twice before she saw it, and I was pretty much on pins and needles the whole time. 

When she saw it she did a double take, then said 'what. what is that??' Of course we were having cocktails and playing with Connor (her 2-year-old) along the way!

2. We headed over to Kristen's Party, where I stayed up til midnight, 
kissed my boo and then took my tush to bed!! 

Yup, I was boring, but my sister is coming to Houston tomorrow to wedding plan so I needed to take it easy. No two-day recovery for moi!!


Noww off to finish our move and wedding plan all day tomorrow before heading back to work! 

Here are some of my resolutions:
  1. communicate better and more effectively
  2. lose ten pounds and body fat and stay that way. Even AFTER the wedding.
  3. Plan the wedding of my dreams, in my budget, and without turning into a stress monster!
  4. stop thinking of my to - list, and just start doing it!! (NIKE)
  5. Improve my blog!
So much wedding stuff do! I set a date (intentionally) not too far away. I really couldn't set a date and wait a whole year.. I am too much of thinker, so I needed a quick and limited time to plan. 

and that's all for now! 

- Tessa

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