Tuesday, June 23, 2015

He comes home today!

Remember that time I told you all that we were dropping off our sweet Hudson for boarding school for 2 weeks. Well, I'm happy to report that we survived without him. Well, we're almost there at least. 

I am more than ready for that little guy to come home. While I've definitely enjoyed not having much of any responsibility, being able to come and go as I please and heading to the beach with no guilt - I'm very much looking forward to cuddles, dog park visits and walks!

I'm also happy to report Hudson has been doing so fantastic at "summer camp" as my mom lovingly refers to it. We've gotten a handful of videos and what kind of "blogger" would I be if I didn't share those with you all?

The first evening, after we dropped him off, we got a cute picture of him letting us know he arrived safely in Hampton Roads.

I was loving how much his tail was obviously wagging in said picture. He is such a happy guy!

Then, the dreaded wait for the next update. I kept saying, because I'm so Type A, if someone just told me "you won't hear from us for 3 days", I would have been ok. However, I had zero clue how soon/often we would get updates, so I was very impatient.

On Thursday evening, we got a quick update that he was doing great and very exhausted each evening, but had found a friend. 


Then, on Friday, we got our first training update. #proudmom


Side note: I had multiple friends comment on this video asking "he couldn't do that before?". Hudson could sit, if he wanted to, but staying was a challenge. Also, this is more than just sitting/staying. If you notice, the trainer said "place" and Hudson went to where she pointed and then stayed. By the time he comes home tomorrow, we'll be able to point to any spot (even so much as a 3" wide trailer hitch), say place and he'll go to it and sit down. 

The next update came on Monday afternoon mere seconds after I texted JC from Chicago saying "ok, I'm ready for a Hudson update ASAP". 

The picture is of him "placing" and then going down. 

The video is of him walking (look how close he is and how much slack is still on the leash!!) and then sitting until she said "break" which means he can go. I never thought I'd see the day Hudson was a good walker.


Thank goodness I was traveling in Chicago for work last week because it helped so much when it came to waiting for updates. I wouldn't have time to think about it until our day was over and we were driving back into the city for the night. But by Thursday, I was anxious again. 

Thursday afternoon, we were sitting on the tarmac 45 minutes late for departure and I decided to take my phone off airplane mode since we weren't moving. I'm so happy I did! I got a video update not long after and it was the best one yet! I'm completely obsessed with how happy he clearly is with learning. 


You can't really tell in the video, but his trainer made sure to point out that he's walking without a leash now (!!!). Also, we're disregarding the fact that she had to say "down" 3x. I'm 100% confident we'll only need to say it once, after he's completely done with training ;)

After I replied, commenting on how proud we were of him, his trainer said he'd have him placing/down 100 yards away by the next day! #insane

I didn't expect to get another video for a few days, but much to my surprise we got another update on Friday afternoon. This time, Hudson had learned "touch". 


We haven't received another update since then. I texted the trainer Sunday afternoon because JC wanted to see if he could get a t-shirt and I hoped my text would prompt a new update. No such luck. But that's ok because HE COMES HOME TODAY. 

I cannot wait to see all he's learned, learn how to maintain his training ourselves and then cuddle him all.day.long. on Wednesday. Because duh, I took the day off. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#bestdayever0927: reception.

Look guys, I kept my promise and I'm back this week to share more about our reception. Thank you SO much to all you kind souls who complimented our wedding last week! I truly put my whole heart into every last detail, so I greatly appreciate your kind words.

Anyways, so where were we? Oh yes, JC & I got some alone time in the reception space before the guests were allowed in. Our venue had these awesome curtains that divided up the indoor cocktail hour space and the main reception space. I said from the very beginning that I didn't want those curtains opened so much as an inch until it was time for the reception to begin. I had a process in my mind of how people were going to see each phase of the wedding and thankfully it worked out exactly as planned.

But let me back track. I think I've mentioned a couple times in the pre-wedding posts how unhappy I was with our caterer and if this is repetitive for some of you, just skip right over it!

We left our first tasting with them very unhappy. While the food was delicious, it couldn't have been farther from what we asked for. They gave us acorn squash and filet (along with other stuff), when we said we were hoping to try a more southern style menu - fried chicken, BBQ, etc. Not to mention, the coordinator for our caterer said "I don't eat fried chicken because it's so bad for you" mere seconds after we told her that was a must have for our menu. She just rubbed me the wrong way and the entire time it seemed more like she cared about making a sale than anything else.

We left there with absolutely zero intentions of using The Local as our caterer. I was so annoyed, I think you could have told me the food would have been free and I wouldn't have caved. We tried another caterer and while I loved them and wished we could have worked with them, I didn't like their food one bit. And when you're planning a wedding that's 2+ hours from home, you get tired of making that long/boring drive to/from only to be disappointed. So we ended up back at The Local, only after they agreed to allow us a second tasting of the food that would be on our menu.

Fast forward to the month before our wedding, at our final walk-through and first, the catering coordinator is like 45 minutes late (you guys know how much I hate this) and when she does finally arrive, she is SO unprepared. We'd ask her a question about a decision we'd made 8 months prior and she would say "Oh, I'm not sure, I don't have your files, I'll have to get back to you". Ummm why are you even here?

So needless to say, I didn't go into the wedding too optimistic about her abilities, but I knew my wedding planner would make sure they were on their game and at the very least, I knew the food would amazing.

Fast forward again to 6:05 on 9/27/14 and I'm talking to my wedding planner, asking her why we haven't started letting the guests into the reception space. She tried to beat around the bush for a second, but then finally came clean - the caterer didn't put the white wine on ice ahead of time, so all the white wine I wanted preset at the tables wasn't ready to come out yet. Me, being the prompt person that I am, told her it wasn't a big deal at this point, I'd rather get things started! So that we did. But of course, I was once again annoyed with this freaking lady!

We then had the introductions of the parents/bridal party/us. JC was dead set on the Chicago Bulls theme song and JC wasn't dead set on much for the wedding, so I obliged (I'm such a good wife ;)).

This only really makes sense, if you know the guy in the picture is a cop. He's pretending she's handcuffed.

My MOH kicked off the evening with a sweet speech, followed by JC's dad and then a family friend did the blessing.


Although I didn't love our caterer too much, I will say, I loved that they offered to make our plates and bring them to us. This allowed JC and I speak with the majority of our guests prior to eating, so we only had few hellos/thank you for comings once we were done. 

Once we sat down to eat, our disappointment arose once again. Ever since the very first tasting, JC and I raved about the macaroni & cheese. It was hands down the best macaroni & cheese I've ever eaten and I've eaten a lot of it. Not to mention, I had been eating clean on/off for 9 months. I was more than ready for a big heaping pile of delicious carbs! Well, come wedding day, and it was totally not the same. It had very little flavor, very little cheese and was basically just a pile of elbow noodles. I don't recall if we discussed it during our meal, but it was definitely a topic of conversation in the days following. The green beans were also awful, after 2 different tastings and me stressing "southern, like with bacon or ham hocks". Instead they tasted like they were soaked in a vat of vinegar for 3 weeks and I HATE vinegar. But the chicken, potatoes and brisket were good, so at least they got something right? Also, no one else seemed to notice the macaroni issue because no one else was expecting anything (win?).

Once we finished eating, we were able to get the rest of our hellos/thank yous out of the way, so we had the rest of the night to truly enjoy ourselves and not worry about anyone feeling like we weren't happy/appreciate that they came.

Once dinner was over, it was time for our first dance which meant that as soon as the music started, JC was no where to be found. A couple minutes later he came strolling out of the bathroom with no care in the world. Helloooooo.

So we danced...to "I don't dance" by Lee Brice. Fun fact: JC said for the first 3.5 years of our relationship that he would NEVER get married. He also only dances when he's really in the mood aka a couple beers/drinks down the hatch. His best man texted me when I was in NYC last year, saying this song should definitely be our song. I listened to it and it couldn't have been more perfect. I say the first verse is all about JC and the second is all about me. We were both sold from that moment on.

My dad and I danced to "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts. I told him from the get go that he could pick the song (although I would need to have final approval) and on our way home from that same NYC trip, we started listening to songs in the car and my dad teared up during this one and said "that's it". I was tearing up too, so I had no complaints. Another fun fact: my dad was also no where to be found when the father/daughter song started. What was with these guys?!

JC & his mom's dance wasn't so easy. She kept saying he could pick it and he kept saying she could pick it. Finally, I emailed her and told her she needed to take the reigns because JC wasn't going to. She sent back suggestions and of course JC knocked every single one of them, so I told him he had to come up with alternatives. He couldn't just go back to her with a big fat no. They finally settled on "The dance" by Garth Brooks and I thought it was perfect and his mom was ready and waiting when their song started. Leave it to the women....

The rest of the night was basically a huge blur. We danced, we drank, JC and I snuck out for some nighttime pictures and we seriously had the best night of our lives.

We did the traditional things like garter/bouquet tosses and cake cutting.

JC's grandpa kept us laughing all night long.

When they announced our cake cutting, we walked back to the dessert table and eventually someone said "why isn't anyone over here?" and I said "I never see anyone cut their cake at weddings, so I can't complain". So we went to it and for some reason JC gave me more control over the knife than he had, so I cut the tiniest piece of cake ever. JC even commented on it in the midst of cutting. Oops?

There is only one thing I'd change about that night and it's that it lasted 5 hours longer. I remember at one point, I looked at my MOH's husband and asked him what time it was and he said "I don't want to tell you, you'll be sad" and then he told me it was like 9:45 or something. Whatever time he told me, I remember saying, "oh! that's it?! we've got plenty more time!".


Sign made by JC's extremely creative Aunt!
And then...it was over.

Thankfully, the majority of the bridal party was staying at the house on site, so we all got to go back and hang out some more. I'm not entirely sure what time we went to sleep finally, but I'm pretty sure it was well into the wee hours of the morning considering the wedding wasn't even over until 11.

We woke up the next morning early, as we had to head to the airport for our honeymoon, and one of the first things JC said to me when we woke up was "I hope yesterday was everything you ever dreamed it would be.". It absolutely was and then some. And I have so many people to thank for that, but most importantly, my AH-mazing parents.

There is no doubt in mind that we wouldn't have been able to even consider a wedding like we had, without them. Heck, we probably would have had to elope or go to the courthouse without their help. I'm forever grateful that I'm an only child ;)

Ummm, I just blogged about the end of the wedding. I can't be done blogging about the wedding, can I?! Did I miss anything? Anything you're just dying to know about my planning process or our big day? Any ideas on how I can continue blogging about our wedding for the rest of my life? HELP!

*all pictures courtesy of Ward Photography