Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grandma Hilda

Also, my Grandma (Mom's mom) suffered a major heart attack early Sunday morning. Luckily my uncle and aunt live near and were able to call an ambulance. She made it to the hospital and they did angioplasty and put in a stint.

She was released from the hospital Tuesday evening, and is recovering at home. My mom said she is doing well. She is 89 and is an amazing woman. Please keep her in your thoughts. I am so glad she is doing much better now.

Planning galore

While I don't want to divulge too many of our wedding ideas and plans, I will say that I am very excited about the color scheme we have chosen.

There are no pinks, reds, or purples involved, and the colors we chose are very earthy. Since most of you know me pretty well, you won't be surprised to learn there is blue involved.

I'm not really girly so pinks are out, plus Josh is colorblind and most pink colors look like a pea soup green to him (ew).

Our wedding photographers are SO nice. They are the same photographers that took photos for Vanessa & Vin's wedding. They thanked us for choosing them to share in our special day and today we received these:



I've decided to at least let everyone know more about our venue, as it is SO beautiful and we are so excited about it. I have found some photos that show how we would like it to look, so we'll post those next.

Josh is pretty set on the idea of Hawaii for our honeymoon, while I'm still considering St. Lucia, Costa Rica, and Belize as well. Once we settle on a place, we'll have to do more research into resorts and things to do. We already came up with a "savings plan" of our own, so come June 2010 we will be all set to celebrate our new marriage on some tropical island! :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

the fun trip

A few honeymoon ideas we've thrown around...

- Ireland

- Alaskan cruise
- Mediterranean Cruise
- Hawaiian/Tahitian Cruise

- Hawaii (at least Maui and Kauai, maybe the big island if we have time)
- Costa Rica
- Puerto Rico
- St. Lucia (most likely an all-inclusive)
- Jamaica (same as above)
- New Zealand (probably won't have enough time off for this)
- South Africa (beach for a few days, safari for a few days)


We're skipping Mexico and some other Caribbean islands because we've been there before, so they'll be options for later.

Josh jokingly suggested renting an RV and driving around the US to all of the National Parks, mostly in the Northwest. I, personally, think we should save this for another time. Driving ourselves seems stressful and that is not my idea of fun for a honeymoon. :)

Ireland


Alaska


Hawaii (Kauai specifically)


St. Lucia


Costa Rica


South Africa


Still need help and suggestions! And to save money, or we won't be going anywhere at all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just kidding, just kidding.

In the previous post I wrote that we wanted honeymoon suggestions but that we weren't thinking about doing the island thing. We still would like suggestions, but we talked it over and are thinking we *should* maybe do somewhere tropical that has guaranteed good weather for our honeymoon.

Alaska won't be horribly cold in June, but might not be as pleasant for us as, say, St. Lucia or Hawaii. Ireland won't be cold, either, but it rains quite a bit there. Josh thinks we should wait until our one year anniversary for Ireland or Alaska, and go somewhere warm where we're sure the elements won't be a factor in how much fun we have.

So, there are no limits to suggestions now!!

In other news, we're both very happy we've decided upon an outdoor wedding versus the hotel ballroom wedding we had thought we were going to do when we first got engaged. Outdoor, garden wedding seems a bit more "us".

The rose arbor at our venue


The house on our wedding venue's property

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mark your calendars...

We have officially set a wedding date! We will be getting married on Saturday May 29, 2010 in Alexandria Virginia.

It's official now because we have a wedding venue (which is to be announced at a later date 'cause we want to keep things a surprise).

We've also booked our wedding photographers, which is exciting because they are *so* good. They actually photographed Vanessa and Vinny's wedding and their prints came out amazing.

Josh is looking into honeymoons and his parents are researching places for a rehearsal dinner. His mom, April, helped us by scouting out venues in person after we had found them online. It's so nice to still have someone in northern Virginia to help us out!

We haven't booked any other vendors yet, but are throwing around the idea of having a wedding planner in order to relieve me of lots of planning while I'm in school full-time.

Any honeymoon suggestions are welcome! We are probably not going to go the island route, mostly because Josh can't swim so that takes away quite a few activities, especially since we'll want to be together at all times. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Seems so soon, but...

We've picked a date in May 2010, but it won't be officially announced until we secure a venue! I know it seems like a long time away, but with my full-time school schedule and my work, plus Josh putting in the hours he is now, we definitely need some time to plan (and not be stressed about it!).

And what's another year of waiting, we've been dating this long anyway, right? ;)

I'm so excited, I have some great ideas for our wedding. We've also picked wedding colors, which will remain a secret..so it's a start. Josh is surprisingly into helping with everything, it's so great!

Josh's mom, April, scouted out a venue for us today and we're eagerly awaiting photos. We've decided we will most likely have our wedding in the Virginia/DC area unless something changes in the next few months.

It's where we both grew up, where we hung out our first summer dating (and the next summers during VT breaks), and where a lot of Josh's family still lives. We both still have friends in that area. My family is pretty much spread out all over the US, so we needed to find some central area. I hope everyone we love can make it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Denver Visit

This past week we were in Denver with our nephew Leo Adams. He turned one month old on the 12th! He is getting so big and growing so fast, it's so neat to see his development. He is very aware now, and learning how to smile and laugh. He's adorable! Josh and I were both lucky enough to get to take a few days off of work to visit him.

I took a million photos of the little guy so I've decided to split them up into two different slide shows. We had so much fun in Denver, it even snowed on Monday which I enjoyed.

Vanessa and Vinny are already great parents!

Monday, January 12, 2009

...and now we have to think about the wedding!

I'm excited to start wedding planning, but also kind of nervous and feeling a bit overwhelmed. I've bought several wedding magazines and signed up for a few different websites to read over messageboards and articles about the planning process.

Josh has already been really helpful, which definitely gives me some relief that the two of us will be planning together.

It probably won't be until 2010 since I'm in school full-time and working part-time, including summers. Josh is busy at work with his new staff attorney position, so he'll most likely be putting in more hours in the next few months as well.

Everyone has lots of advice and opinions, but the best advice so far is to just make ourselves happy because there are so many people who are going to want to give their input. I hope I start to feel more sure of everything because planning a big party could really be exciting! :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Proposal Story Part II

For about a month, Josh had been asking every weekend if I’d like to go up to Flagstaff or Sedona, or anywhere up North to take the dogs to play in the snow. Maya, who is 10 and grew up in Virginia, loves the snow and thinks she’s a puppy again as soon as her paw hits the snow. Ollie, who is purely an Arizona dog and is only 3, had never stepped [paw] in the snow so Josh thought it might be fun to introduce him to it.

There was never really a good time in December to go up North, as my nephew was born on a Friday so naturally we flew up to Denver for the weekend to meet him and congratulate Vanessa and Vinny. The next weekend was a work party, and the following weekend we would be in Virginia visiting the Reilly’s following Christmas.

Much to my surprise, Josh designed, ordered, and picked up the ring in the months of November/beginning of December. He had planned on proposing on one of the trips up North, but when those didn’t work out, he decided he’d take me out in Old Town Alexandria when we were back in Virginia after Christmas. He says he didn’t want to propose on Christmas or New Year’s because it would be too expected and not as much of a surprise as it was.

The night of December 26th, we got dressed up to go out to dinner and Josh decided he would propose to me after dinner at the docks where we used to feed the ducks our first summer dating. As we were walking out the door, a bunch of Josh’s friends from high school waltzed in the door ready to hang out. April and I had planned a “surprise” belated birthday party for Josh on this night and invited all of his friends, because obviously we didn’t know his intentions for the evening. He’s a GREAT secret keeper!

Luckily he was never too disappointed and knew he’d have plenty of opportunities, which I am thankful for, because otherwise I’d have lots of guilt about never being able to plan to go out somewhere together. The element of surprise (for both of us, really) made the actual engagement night even more special that both of us were *so* excited and elated to finally be “taking the plunge” (or beginning the planning to) after 5 and ½ years of dating.

Here are some photos of us from over the years:

One of the first photos of us, taken in Old Town Alexandria, June 2003


May 2005, Virginia Tech Graduation


May 2005, Graduation dinner


Jeep Tour on St. Lucia, some time between 2004 - 2006


Carmel, CA


San Francisco, CA


Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, March 2008


David and Erika's wedding, June 2007


Rocky Point, Mexico - May/June 2008



Carnival Cruise, 2008


New Year's Eve 2007, Tempe Improv


January 4th, 2009.. the morning after he popped the question! :)


edit: oops, got some of the timeline a little out of order..

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How it happened

January 3rd, 2009. Josh and I drove up to Flagstaff from Phoenix with the dogs in tow. We left at 12:30 and arrived around 3 pm, just in time to check into our hotel. We quickly changed into our “snow clothes” and headed out in search of a park with lots of open space and snow for the dogs to romp in. We found some empty baseball fields with a large, vacant fenced dog park across the street. The dogs had a great time jumping and running in both areas. Ollie acted as if he had always been around snow and loved every second of it. Maya was excited to play in the stuff she had missed so much, and for just a second I’m pretty sure I saw her as a puppy again. We took lots of photos, enjoyed the crisp weather, our dogs excitement, and our time together in the quiet beauty of the fields.

Afterwards we drove to downtown Flagstaff where there are lots of cute boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, vintage hotels, and Mom & Pop stores. We parked and took the dogs on about an hour long walk, browsing store windows and checking out menus for dinner later that night. When we finally settled on a menu and the dogs were exhausted from their snow treks, we headed back to the hotel to get ready and get the dogs settled in.

The day had been perfect, and I was tired, and for a second considered suggesting ordering a pizza in the hotel. My better judgment told me to go out and enjoy the night in the town we love so much (maybe because it reminds us a bit of Blacksburg?). The day had been so good and I didn’t want it to end so we drove to the restaurant, sans dogs of course.

We arrived at Mountain Oasis on Aspen Avenue in downtown Flagstaff at about 7:30 pm and were seated in the bar area before our table was ready. We browsed the wine selection and each ordered wine, sat together and talked for awhile. Looking back, it’s funny that our conversation lead us to talking about our future (not marriage, just our future in general) because I obviously didn’t know what Josh had in store for the night.

Once we were seated, we ordered salads that were amazing. Fresh mixed greens- sesame tahini dressing for Josh and red pepper/basil vinaigrette for me. The restaurant was quaint, with exposed brick walls on both sides, a large glass door and windows in the entire front, and tables spaced far enough apart that it felt private and cozy. The entrance had a pretty fountain that made a quiet rushing noise and helped to keep the setting intimate. Each table had a small lantern with a candle, so mostly the light inside came from candlelight. There were also small, indoor trees that separated the different areas, with white lights in each tree helping to also dimly light the place. We both thought our entrees were amazing, and ended up sharing them with each other, not leaving enough room for dessert.

After our waitress had brought the check, Josh cleared his throat and told me that “this is a special place”. I agreed, looking around and thinking how cute the restaurant was. He said it again, making sure I was paying attention, and then said, “because this is where we got engaged”. I saw something glisten inside his clasped hands, and then he showed me the ring. I immediately froze, thinking it seemed so surreal, and I think I just said “No!” a couple of times. Not no, as in I didn’t want him to propose, just no as in I couldn’t believe it was actually happening! He asked if I would marry him, and of course I said yes with some tears. It was a really awesome end to the day, and although we were in a room full of other tables, it just felt like us and our moment.

Here is Mountain Oasis, where it happened (taken the next morning):




Monday, January 5, 2009

We're getting married!!

After 5 and 1/2 years of dating, Josh proposed on the night of Saturday January 3rd, 2009 in Flagstaff, Arizona!

And I, of course, accepted! We are both so so excited and feel so lucky to not only get to be with each other for the rest of our lives, but also because we will both be gaining so many amazing, loving new family members.

The day and night of the 3rd were so much fun and just perfect. Josh had the ring for one or two months before he finally felt like it was the right "time" to propose, after several of his other proposal plans fell through. The ring is gorgeous and was designed by Josh. It's perfect!

I cannot wait to post the whole proposal story soon, and will also post lots of photos.

2009 started out in such an exciting way! The past two months have just been a whirlwind of magical moments, starting with the birth of our nephew Leo Adams Badolato on December 12th 2008 and ending with our engagement.

Josh and I are so excited to begin our next life step together! <3