Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mine at Last: Their Little Girl

We're a team and I was so touched by the many ways that my parents were involved in my marriage preparation. From wise counsel to financial support, they gave of themselves in every way.  I certainly don't want to make anyone feel badly if they don't have this relationship with their parents, but I do want to appreciate our special relationship and give them a small nod.  As I've become more cognizant of the wide spectrum of parental relationships, I've become more and more grateful for my parents.

I particularly loved dancing with my Dad at the recption. It was a small tribute to the deepness of our relationship.

My Dad researched Father/Daughter dances for the better part of a month.  He wanted to hit just the right tone and feature just the right lyrics.  With a little input from me, we finally decided on Steve Kirwan's My Little Girl.  It's not too mainstream, but it's known in some Christian circles.  The lyrics are:

From the moment I first held you
And rocked you to sleep
In my heart I knew
A child is never yours to keep
I knew one day you'd learn to fly
But I never dreamed what I'd feel inside

As I dance the last dance
With my little girl
And the first with the woman
Who's found her place in the world
I see the woman in you
But for my whole life through
You'll always be my little girl

You wrapped me 'round your finger
Your smile made me melt
I wished so many times
I would've told you what I felt
From your first steps
to sweet sixteen
The rush of memories
feels like a dream

Somewhere about half way through the dance, I was singing along with the band and mouthing the words to my Dad when I realized that they were playing the wrong song.  They ended up playing Tim McGraw's My Little Girl.  Serendipitously, my Dad and I had originally liked Tim McGraw's song, but we chose not to go with it due to the one line that says the man in his daughter's life "won't be good enough."  My family loves Mr. Palindrome and didn't want in any way to come across as though they didn't approve.   Mr. Palindrome didn't notice the line and I'm just glad we knew the mistaken song and felt a connection to it!

Also, my mom's presence despite health concerns meant the world to me. I think one of the main reasons she was able to participate is because of the joy pumping through her heart.
She looked killer to boot.  We found the jacket and skirt at Macy's back in October and although at first she wasn't 100% sold, everyone was so complimentary about the avant garde qualities of the jacket that she for sure it was the right choice for the wedding.

Not only was my mom present throughout the ceremony, but she helped shut down the reception as one of the last dancers on the floor.

I wasn't sure how being married would effect my relationship with them.  Before, I talked with them almost everyday, mulling life questions, asking advice, sharing my life.  I was a little worried that everything would change.  To be truthful, it has changed a little bit.  I still talk with them frequently, but Mr. Palindrome and I have been building our relationship as well.  Now that I live with Mr. Palindrome, I have instant access to his thoughts and life, whereas even when we were engaged, I would probably talk to my parents first on my way home from work and then to Mr. Palindrome later before bed.  Part of it is a larger "leave and cleave" kind of phenomenon of starting our own family.  Despite the changes, I still have a strong and vibrant tie with my parents.  I'm still their little girl.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mine at Last: A Holiday Wedding

Whelp, we got our pro pics back and now is as good a time as ever to kick off the Palindrome recaps!  I had been planning on methodically recapping in chronological order, but I've had a change of heart.   My post-wedding self pretty much delights in doing anything except  wedding related tasks (napping, scouring decorative blogs, craigslisting, watching HGTV, baking, reading, running), so I'm tricking myself into the recappage.  I told myself that I would only have to write what I wanted.  I spun the wheel of topics round in my head and today we landed on the subject of holiday hub bub and the wedding.

Honestly, we didn't think that much about choosing a holiday weekend for our wedding.  After deciding that it would drive me insane to plan a wedding in less than 6 months, get married, finish my graduate school degree, go to my brother's graduation, buy a house, and move all in the same month, we began considering fall and winter date alternatives.  Mr. Palindrome started school in August and there was a very small window of opportunity to schedule the wedding and take a honeymoon in between semesters (more on that story later!).  New Year's Eve it was then.  We went to a NYE wedding a few years ago and thought it was the most brilliant thing ever - Great party, free booze, NYE with friends! 
SIL Palindrome/Palindromaid J and Mr. Palindrome
 Until we found out that New Year's Eve weddings are actually a little bit more expensive to plan in our neck of the woods.  Turns out, lots of people like to party that night and it drives prices up (Econ. 101 - Supply and Demand).  Alrighty, no problemo, let's slide that date to the right, bada bing, bada boom, January 2nd it was.  Everybody gets January 1st off, so that worked out nicely for those traveling.  Prices have gone back down, and we started scoring some serious off season deals.  Done and done. 

Oh, and it helped that January 2nd was the 1 year anniversary of our engagement.  AND, the date is a palindrome.  This fact pleased my geekery to the nth degree.  01-02-2010.  Yeah, there were a few of us who figured that out!  Anypalindrome, having your wedding over a holiday has some pros and cons. 
 Palindroman Z and I take pictures of each other taking pictures.
The Pros
1. We were able to spend NYE with a lot of our bridal party.  We started the night at a German beer garden and ended it at an Irish pub. That's what I call a good night.
2. Most people had Friday off which allowed out of town guests more flexibility in travel plans.
3. January is the least popular month to get married, so we worked the supply and demand angle to our advantage.
4. Holiday sales helped us stretch the budget.
5. The church was decorated for Christmas already!
6. It felt like a holiday celebrating us, complete with 3 days of feasting and partying!
SIL Palindrome/Palindromaid J and Palindromaid A making noise
The Cons
1. People have already spent a lot of money around the holidays for traveling, feasting, and gift giving.  A wedding on top of it all could be a budget buster.
2. The holidays are exhausting and we had both a move and wedding on top of it.
3. Some restaurants and vendors were closed on New Year's day which made the rehearsal dinner and deliveries more challenging.
4. It was a long 3 days brimming with activities and little time for sleep.
Palindroman J and his girlfriend/our friend R
The topic is debated ad nauseum about whether or not it's a good idea to schedule weddings over holiday weekends.  Despite the cons on our list, it was worth it to us.  Yes, we were tired and I said that I would never schedule another wedding right after Christmas again, but we had a New Year's to remember!
Mr. and Mrs. Palindrome when they were still the future Mr. Palindrome and Palindrome Bride!

PS - The recap theme of "Mine at Last" is a tribute to our relationship that endured long distance to the max (20,000 leagues under the sea to be exact) and our first dance to Etta James' classic ballad.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's gonna be EPIC!

Palindromaid S sent me this fun Save-the-Date video - if you need a break from tying hundreds of mini ribbons, or licking invitation envelopes, or banging your head against the wall after finishing the guest list, check it out!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Toasty Tootsies

Mr. Palindrome never quite remembers our family name for toes.  Totsies, footsies, toesies . . . no, no Mr. Palindrome, TOOTSIES! 

Anytoes, my tootsies have been keeping toasty recently thanks to my very thoughtful Palindromaid of Honor.  E sent me home from the wedding with a relaxation kit full of bath goodies, an eye mask and these darling slippers.

I'm not sure how she pulled it off, but she found slippers that commemorated my Weddingbee moniker!  Look closely at the tag: Lambie!

I died from the cuteness, especially the sweet eyelashes, the serene smile, and the pink bow!

I wear them pretty much every day, all day, as I started working from home when I moved to Durham.  Not only are they functional, but they remind to blog and they remind me of my great friendship with E.  She held my hand when I was freaked out about being late for formal photos.  She held my dress up when I had to go to the bathroom.  If that's not friendship, I don't know what is.  Thanks my dear!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Finds - Kraft and Aqua

This week I was inspired by the flowing calligraphy on the bottom right.  As I pulled together more kraft paper items, I was drawn to complimenting accents in blue.  It made me want to line those beautiful envelopes with funky aqua paper, enclose those note cards, tie the aqua bows, and maybe even print the CD covers with aqua ink. 


Clockwise from Top L:
The French Nest Co - Paris Flea Market Bags
Bumble Designs - Monogrammed CD Holders
primele - Contemporary Calligraphy
Earmark - Damask Flats

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Story of the Failed Chalkboards

Lesson Learned #392: Some DIY attempts will not work out the way you want.  Stop the madness and move on.

I had this vision in my head for a menu chalkboard and a small chalkboard for our fauxto booth.  The menu board was elegant and would lend an air of vintage French bistro (I just made that up.  I just thought it'd look cool.)  The mini chalkboard for the fauxto booth would ensure that hilarity ensued and we'd have all sorts of clever sayings documented for the ages.  In my head, it looked like exhibit A and B as seen below:

I decided to make my own chalkboard menu from a framed print I got at a thrift store for $5.  Just spray paint the frame and paint on the chalkboard paint - that was the plan.  It turned out looking alright.  I also ordered liquid chalk pens to make the writing smooth and clean.  I wrote a test menu and tried to erase.  It looked like it was going swimmingly.  Until 3 days later when I tried to erase the test menu to write the real menu.  The test menu wasn't budging.  I tried water.  I tried elbow grease.  I tried smearing regular chalk over the entire board.  See the pathetic excuse for a chalkboard in exhibit C:

Screw it! I threw up my hands in defeat.  I was 10 days away from the wedding and I decided that I would just buy a darn chalkboard and gussy it up with some hand painted stenciling around the edges.  I went to no less than 10 stores looking for a chalkboard.  Turns out that the white board is king and the chalkboard has been banished from the land.  I FINALLY found one at a Teacher's supply store and after searching through stacks of green chalkboards, I dug up a black one.  Woohoo!  I took that bad boy home and got to work writing the menu.  But I goofed and I needed to erase.  AGAIN, the chalkboard would not erase.  I wasn't using permanent chalk.  I was using good old crayola white chalk - with a big picture of it writing on chalkboards for pete's sake!   See the second non-erasing chalkboard I was gipped into buying in exhibit D:

Lastly, I tried to buy a small chalkboard for the fauxto booth.  I found a rinky dink one at JoAnn's that I thought I could bring back to life with a coat of paint and maybe some other embellishments.  This chalkboard had the EXACT OPPOSITE problem.  Chalk just would not show up at all.  It wouldn't stick to the board.  See the chalkboard that killed my will to live in exhibit E:

Even writing this now, my heart rate is climbing and I'm feeling flushed.  Days before the wedding, I was ready to cry.  This should have been simple!  I should have been able to handle this simple DIY project!  The God-forsaken chalk boards taunted me in their state of hot messiness!  I was failing as a bride!


Yeah, I thought that.  "I'm a failure of a DIY bride," crossed my mind.  That was a wake up call to me.  Step away from the chalkboards.  Ditch the idea.  See the irrationality of continuing in this vein.  In all of my cold sweat glory, I screamed, "STOP THE MADNESS!" and I walked away from the chalkboards. 

Turns out, people loved the food even if they never looked at the paper menus I created at the last minute for each table.  Oh, and the fauxto booth? Those are some of my favorite pics from the night, all without a chalkboard in sight.

Have you ever felt like a failure at a wedding project? Are there any projects that you need to put the kabosh on?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

MiniMoon for VA Lovers

The only downside of a minimoon is painfully obvious, it's mini.  Though I love many a mini thing - travel size toiletries, personal sized airplane food, bite size snacks, doll houses, baby clothes, etc - I definitely wished our minimoon could have been extended to a full one month honeymoon.  Ah, to be in the olden days where a month was the norm (without the hunting/gathering and other such worries that came along with it)!

Since Virginia is for Lovers, we decided to extend our stay past the wedding weekend.  I knew that I wanted to explore more of Charlottesville with Mr. Palindrome ever since visiting the town for a girls weekend wine tasting trip.  Much like the Sprinkles, we opted for a B&B in Charlottesville.  I couldn't convince Mr. Palindrome about the pig sanctuary though (gah, I love animals and really, really wanted to pet those pigs!), so we booked two nights at the Dinsmore House Inn. 

The Inn is situated of of Main St. where it turns into University, right near the UVA campus.  When booking, I liked the fact that the house had some historical significance with ties to Monticello.  We were supposed to stay in the lovely Virginia Room, but upon arrival we were upgraded to the Dinsmore Room.
Check out the beautiful four post bed and the fireplace!  It was the perfect respite after spending the previous week on a combination of air mattresses, couch pillows, and various other hotel rooms.  Breakfast was definitely a highlight of the trip for me - breakfast is my favorite meal and such a treat to have someone else making it!

Leave it to us to get married and minimoon during the worst cold snap of the season.  We only ventured from our cozy room  one afternoon with the intention of wine tasting. We decided to check out the Jefferson Vineyards and potentially walk around Monticello since Mr. Palindrome hadn't seen it before.

The wine was tasty (our favorites were the 2008 Viognier and the 2006 Meritage) and our wine flight attendent (is that a title?) was helpful with descriptions and dinner recommendations.    Even after a little wine, as soon as the cold air hit us walking to the car, we knew we wouldn't enjoy more exposure to the elements at Monticello so we decided to head to another winery, the Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyards.

The wine was fine, but the most memorable part was the open/airy tasting room.  (Actually, the most memorable thing was the inn keeper giving us the sordid backstory of affairs, Parisian feather girls, and divorce settlements.) We called it a day and headed back to the Dinsmore after an admittedly pathetic attempt to "do something."  But it was our minimoon and all we really wanted was a nap in our toasty room!  This is also the attitude that led us to having no pictures of ourselves on the minimoon.  Neither of us could bear smiling for the camera anymore, so we ditched our point and shoot in favor of another nap.  We were much more exhausted than we thought and ended up spending most of the 48 hours in various stages of unconsciousness.  It was perfect.

Do you have any low key minimoon destinations to share?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Huh. Now what?

Lesson Learned #647:  Prior to the wedding, calculate how much cargo space all of your decorations, centerpieces, crafting supplies, and estimated wedding gifts will require. 

So remember how my little studio was stuffed with wedding junk?  Remember how I moved the week before the wedding?  Remember how much stuff I made for the wedding?  Yeah, I would have done well to really account for all that stuff.  Unfortunately, on the Sunday after the wedding we were left to figure out how we were going to load everything into our Xterra which was already full of stuff leftover from my apartment.  *Side Note: Notice my liberal use of the term "our."  That's the kind of stuff you can really throw around once you're married.  What's yours is mine and what's mine is yours, baby! End Side Note.*

AnyXterra, here's a snapshot of what we needed to get from point A (the hotel) to point B (our house), via point C (our minimoon destination):

However luckily or unluckily we considered it at the time, we had a lot of fresh experience with moving.  My move to Durham, the week before the wedding, marked our 4th move this year.  After surveying the volume of stuff, we cried "Uncle!" and ran to our home away from home, Uhaul.  I believe they said, "Why hello, Jason!" when Mr. Palindrome walked in.  He expertly rented a trailer and we made quick work loading our bell hop carts.  We meandered our way to our minimoon destination at a cool 55 mph, singing King of the Road and reading wedding cards. 

As they say, these things come in threes.  Our first Uhaul trailer moved me from Norfolk to Durham, our second Uhaul trailer moved our wedding stuff to Durham, and then we rented a third Uhaul trailer this past weekend to move a dining room set we found on Craigslist.  Mr. Palindrome can turn those bad boys on a dime now.  We're so efficient, we're toying with the idea of opening our own moving business.

JK, Mr. Palindrome.  Calm down.

Did you have to get creative in hauling wedding supplies?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Being Mrs. Palindrome

I think that before the wedding day, I thought that I would magically feel married once we said our vows.  I felt that maybe I was just suited to be a Mrs. and it would be lovely, natural transition.  A week later, I still feel remarkably like myself.  I'm wearing an extra ring, I look at the pictures, and I know that I am married.  Despite this, I'm still just me. 

I asked Mr. Palindrome how long he thought it would take us to get used to living together.  In my head, I was estimating about 6 months.  "On the order of years," he replied.  I think he's right.  To feel married, to feel as one, to have it all sink in and experience the implications of joining two lives - yes, I think that will take more than half a year.

I've ridden dozens of emotions through the process of getting married.  Sadness to leave my home, happiness to see dear friends, calmness to say my vows, peacefulness to wake the next morning beside my husband, weirdness to realize I have a new life.  I'm letting it all wash over me.

Though I've set a pensive mood for this post, it really hasn't been a week full of philosophizing , chewing pencil ends, and staring out the window.  I saved those moments for the several car trips and the hours of unpacking.  The rest of the time, I've been filled with warmth through reminiscing about the many sweet times of the wedding weekend.  To give you a taste, I want to show you what is probably my favorite moment of the evening, the moment I knew that my new name came with a very special privelege:

Mr. Palindrome looks like a kid on Christmas morning (errr during Hanukkah), his hands clasped and eyes lit up.  I'm oscillating between sheer joy and sheer terror as I laugh until my stomach hurts and my knuckles go white from grasping the chair.  Oh yes, I may philosophize and I may still feel like me, but gosh, I love being a 'stein!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Finds - MiniMooning Winter Style

The tulle has gathered dust, the glasses are packed away, wrapping lays on the floor, but I'm still basking in my honeymoon glow.  My thoughts are cluttered like every room in my house and as much as I need to organize physically, I'm also still mentally processing the happenings of our wedding week.  I will be gathering thoughts and pictures and whatnot for recaps, but for my first day back at blogging after the wedding, I'm going to ease into it with a Friday Finds.  These are items I wish I had the forethought to buy for a cute mini moon outfit.  You see, there was a teensy cold snap and I could have used about 10 extra layers.


Clockwise from Left:
Bayan Hippo: Burgandy Canvas Purse
Natalya's Studio: Coffee/Tea Cup Cozy

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Marriage

Holy New Year Wedding Madness, Batman!  It's the day before my wedding.  The only things I need to do today are get my nails done and attend the rehearsal/dinner.  Last week, I was dreading the whole ordeal.  I was convinced that I had created the Frankenstein of weddings and that it had turned against me.  I was sick and tired of anything wedding related.  On Monday morning, the stressful haze began to clear. I woke up and smiled because I knew that I would be seeing the future Mr. Palindrome (after a 21 day hiatus filled with finals and holiday travel).  On Tuesday, we completed our 4th move of the year together (2 for him and 2 for me).  On Wednesday, we transferred all the wedding items to my planner, Ms. P.  Yesterday, we rang in the new year with members of our wedding party at the Bier Garden.  Good beer + good German food = good times had by all.

Today, I woke up and smiled again.  The joy that everyone had predicted would ensue after last week's shenanigans has filled my soul.  My wedding week mantra has been, "At the end of the aisle, our marriage begins." I'm ready to enter into the mysterious relationship of joining two into one.  Today, I'm excited.  And happy.  And at peace.

I'm going to try to refrain from yearbook-esque exclamations (Can you believe it? What a ride! You're the best!) and instead leave you with a little wedding day treat.  My ridiculously talented videographer (technically, my marriage documentarian!) shot a save the date shortie.  I don't think that I've ever told you the story of how we met.  Let us tell you now, in our own words.  (Special shout out to Mrs. Apple Cider for the music suggestion!)

Jason + Melinda // Save the Date from Mark Mroz on Vimeo.

Filmed and edited by Mark Mroz of Goodrich Creative.

Happy New Year dear friends!