Friday, May 29, 2009

Catching Up on Birthdays...Again

We've been celebrating birthdays around here like crazy lately. It seems like everyone I know (except Ryan) turns 30 this year. It's a very exciting time. Can't you tell?!

We celebrated Melissa's 30th birthday in the Redbird Club at a Cardinal's Game. And then we ended the night back at our house with snacks, Apples to Apples and birthday cake. It was a blast!



My 30th birthday was next. Ryan surprised me with a suite at the new Four Seasons downtown, a dinner at their finest steakhouse with all my closest friends, and a night of gambling at the casino. I didn't win a dime (as usual) but I had an amazing time.









Kirsten turned 30 in April. We all made the trip to Columbia to participate in one of our favorite college town activities - bar hopping! We began the night with a wonderful dinner at Bleu, then made our way over to Shiloh, then Quintin's, followed by table service at Room 38. Being downtown Columbia brought back a lot of memories from college. It was a really fun night.









And most recently, Ryan turned 29!! Such a young'en. We had so much fun last year at his Birthday Fiesta, that we decided to do it again! Margaritas, tacos and lots of chips and dips. Ole! Unfortunately I was really sick and was coughing so hard I threw my back out that afternoon, but still to have a great time.












Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Bridesmaids

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I have the most amazing bridesmaids in the world. They are all so beautiful and smart and caring. I truly am a lucky lucky bride. When selecting these lovely ladies to be my support through this wedding planning process, it was a really easy choice. These girls have been there with me through thick and thin. They are my rocks. I am incredibly honored not only to have them as bridesmaids, but as my friends.

Last summer, when we were putting together our wedding website, Ryan and I each took the time to write up a little something about everyone in our wedding party. We wanted them to know just how much they mean to us, and wanted to let everyone else get to know them a little. Here are the blubs I wrote for each of my girls. **And they all have great senses of humor, which is why funny/silly pictures were more appropriate than cutesy ones.


Kasey
Maid of Honor

Kasey and I have been best friends for nearly 14 years. With her Texas drawl and beautiful smile, she was an instant friend to me, as she is to nearly everyone she meets. We met in high school Spanish class and became friends (amigas) right away. We shared a love for adventure and road trips, whether it was going to a frat party in Columbia (we're going down!), a secret trip to Warrensburg, or just driving down every single gravel road in Pike County singing along to the radio. After high school we went our separate ways for college, but Kasey soon realized that she couldn't live without me, transferred to Mizzou, moved in with me and we got jobs at the same place. After graduation it was my turn to move away, until I realized how much I missed her and joined her in St. Louis. While most people would describe us as complete opposites, I feel like Kasey balances me in a way that no other friend ever has. No matter how many years pass or how much our lives change, we always seem to remain true to each other and be there through the most important times in each other's life. She is always patient with me; she always listens when I need her to; she always tells me the truth. I would not be the person that I am today without her in my life. Kasey, I am honored to have you, not only as my Maid of Honor, but as my best friend.


Kirsten

Kirsten and I were Alpha Delta Pi sorority sisters together in college. We were dorm neighbors our freshman year and together we braved the unknowns of going from a small town to a big school. We've gone through frat parties, homecomings, date nights, study sessions, spring breaks and countless football tailgates together. Senior year we were roommates and became inseparable. She is one of the most honest, witty, intelligent and fierce people I've ever met. Never afraid to try new things (like zip-lining in Cabo or rapping on stage in Memphis), Kirsten is the life of any party. She has a way of making me laugh that I can always count on - she is the reigning queen of stupid jokes (just ask her about the talking pie). She has also embraced my life and family as her own, practically adopting my little brother and keeping an eye on him through his college career at MU. She trusted me enough to take in and adopt her own child, Jigs, as my very own and favorite kitty in the world (who she visits all the time). And Kirsten's friendship knows no boundaries or distance; she has traveled thousands of miles over the last few years to make it to birthdays, trips and parties - I owe her SO much gas money. She is my partner in crime, my courage, my dancing pterodactyl, my sister.

Jacquie


Jacquie and I worked together in college and have been close friends (and even neighbors) for nearly ten years. Jac and I are both from small towns and crazy families, which means we really understand where the other is coming from. She's down to earth, responsible and practical, but she definitely has a wild side -- this girl is so much fun!! Friendly and outgoing, Jac is always up for anything, be it camping, golfing, bowling, shopping, or just a relaxing night at home cooking dinner. Together we have experienced a number of trips (Memphis, Texas, North Carolina), parties, Mardi Gras, late nights, long talks and adventures together. Jacquie is a great listener and always comes up with the best advice on any topic from boyfriends to birthday gifts. She also has a sense of humor that brings me to tears and can tell a joke like no one else (Emerson!) And on top of all that, Jacquie may just have the biggest heart of anyone I know. She is always thoughtful and considerate of everyone. She is compassionate, understanding and generous in ways that never cease to amaze me. I'm so grateful to have someone like Jacquie in my life, she is a true friend that I can always count on to be there and be wearing a smile.

Heather

Heather and I met completely by chance one night in college through a mutual friend. Two days later she was my new roommate and it didn't take much longer for her to become one of my best friends. She eased her way into my heart with a genuine smile, a compassionate demeanor and a squaky bird named Isabelle. Heather is one of the most adventurous and active people I know. Any given weekend you can find her sky diving, skiing, competing in a triathlon, surfing or traveling in some exotic location. When not doing that, she is usually with two of the cutest (and most spoiled) pups ever, Buckley and Cali. Like me, she is a passionate animal lover and has a has a serious weakness for anything with fur, feathers or scales. She is also incredibly creative - making everything from throw pillows, to pet clothes, to anatomically correct cakes! Heather is a complete sweetheart and always truly interested in your life and how you're doing. She is determined, competitive and always doing something fun. Never one to back down from anything exciting, I can always count on Heather to be there for any trip or activity, usually with decorations and the perfect outfit for the occasion. Being with Heather is always an adventure; she is funny, outgoing, goofy, constantly surprising me and always keeps me on my toes!

Iris

Iris and I immediately became friends while working together in Peoria. She was exactly the smart and spunky counterpart I needed there, and I was lucky enough to meet her on my first day on the job. Together we worked hard and played even harder, with late night after-work wine sessions which lead to an enormous amount of bonding and an incredibly memorable trip to Las Vegas. We both grew up in similar households, and shared a lot of the same ambitions and goals. So she always seemed to get where I was coming from and encouraged me to take the right steps to get where I wanted to go regarding law school and work. And I've always tried to encourage her dream of marrying rich and retiring before 30! Like me, she is a passionate reader and we share a love of books and a great story. She is hard-working, dedicated, intensely loyal and one hell of a shopper! Iris has charmed me with her signature sarcasm and calls things exactly as they are - she has never let me get away with anything! She has no problem telling me to shut up or stop whining or that those jeans just don't work with that top. :) I seriously love this girl -- everyone needs a friend just like Iris.

Christine

I am SO incredibly excited and proud to announce that soon Christine will be my future sister-in-law!! Never having a biological sister growing up, I can say that this is something I've been looking forward to for a long time...and I couldn't imagine anyone more perfect than Chris. We get along so well and I absolutely adore her. I'm also thrilled that over the course of the next year I have another friend planning a wedding to bounce ideas off of and talk to about wedding-related crap non-stop. Christine is organized, hilarious and has impeccable taste (of course, she picked a McCarty brother and helped me pick my wedding dress), so she's the perfect partner for the task. Christine is incredibly brilliant, determined, athletic, outgoing and competitive (in a fun kick-your-butt-in-a-board-game kind of way). She has the warmest laugh and a smile that could melt the polar caps. A New York native, she's a die-hard NY Giants fan, but we're all working on building up her Cardinals spirit, as well. She is opinionated and honest, never afraid to voice her thoughts and usually pretty persuasive on most topics. Not only do we share a love for brothers, we both love celebrity gossip, super high heels, board games, running, handbags, BCBG, great restaurants and wine. Best of all, we just seem to get each other and always have a great time together. No wonder we're destined to be sisters.

Aren't they the best?!

I asked them each individually to be my bridesmaids, and luckily they all said “Yes, of course.” And the next thing out of their mouth was, “What are we wearing?” So, on to the fashion part of this post.

I’m not a big fan of matchy-matchy maids all in a row that all look exactly the same. Since each girl has her own unique sense of style (and that’s one of the things I love most about them), I wanted to give all the bridesmaids an opportunity to choose their own dress. I thought about picking a designer and a shade of green and letting them each pick a dress in that shade and fabric. I’d seen this done a million times and it looked great. That way each girl can choose a shape/style that fits their body best.

And then I saw this picture:


That was it! That's the look I wanted. Pick one color and let them go. Mix-match colors would be perfect for our outdoor rustic wedding. I gave them free range to pick any dress they wanted, with a few guidelines (and ultimate veto power), that would help orchestrate the individually conclusive look we were going for. It would also allow their beautiful personalities to shine through and hopefully give them a dress they were comfortable in and might even wear again. My only real criteria was that each dress be a different (if possible) shade of green, none of them match, and be around knee length.

When I tell people this, everyone seems to be very skeptical about whether or not I can pull this look off. Luckily for me, this has really become a trend lately and I’ve been able to round up all kinds of photographic evidence that this idea just might work. Here are some of my favorites.


And here are the dresses my bridesmaids have picked out. I won’t tell you who picked which dress, you’ll have to wait until Jackson Hole to find out!!