I think the point of a blog is to maintain it – and to write from the heart. The moment you stop, and let life continue without updating your online journal, you realize that another 178 days have passed since you’ve updated. I started this blog for me. I wanted to take time out of my busy life to remember the process of our engagement and planning our wedding. I also named it generically “DevinandCourtney” for a reason. I wanted to ensure that if I liked blogging, my blog would follow our lives and we grow as a couple and eventually a family. It’s hard to really give a comprehensive update on the last few months. S0 I won’t. We live a very blessed life. We are happy, and healthy, and we have amazing friends and family. What more do you need? Not much. What I will say is that I intend on updating about DevinandCourtney often enough to keep friends and family updated on the ‘latest and greatest’. But in addition to that, I will post on our blog with things that inspire me. Or current events. Or about causes I support, or I’ll rant about something that pisses me off. Because at the very least, as I said. My blog is an online journal.

One confession: I have a secret desire to start a wedding related blog. I think I’ll start one. Stand by.

This is overdue.

Our wedding was better than I ever could have imagined. The two days leading up to the wedding were so much fun. Our families arrived from out of town, we decorated, we strung lights, we drank beer, it was really a great way to make everyone take a part in our backyard wedding.

Our wedding day started off rainy, soggy, dark. I sat in my parents bedroom getting my hair done, while watching sheets of water fall from the tent. As the morning continued my best friends and family arrived for hair/makeup, and the clouds floated away. The sky lightened and during the ceremony the sun came out. I feel like I should write down every detail from the wedding weekend, but I simply cannot put into words how happy those 4 days were. We were surrounded by the people we love the most, we got beautiful weather, we celebrated with a really wonderful reception with great food and beverages. The day after the wedding we woke up, headed back to mom and dad’s, drank MORE beer, opened presents under the tent, went to Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse for lunch with a party of 20 people, and ended the wedding weekend with a weenie roast, drum session, lighting morters, beer pong tournement, and my Dad pulling the kids behind the John Deer. It couldn’t have been better.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico was stunning. The resort we stayed at was incredible. We ate way too much, got sunburned and tan, relished in the feeling of contentment, saw some very cool Mayan ruins (Tulum, Coba), and had one of the most relaxing trips of our lives.  We miss it.

Here we are, 75 days of marriage and things aren’t much different from they were before. Devin wears a ring on his left finger (which brings me SO much joy), we like to be homebodys, and there is a deep sense of comfort, security, and love.

 

I feel like I’ve been taking crazy pills. I’m so distracted all the time and have so much on my mind that I’ve had some near misses – a week ago I pulled out of Kinkos after printing our menus and programs and was a hair away from a van hitting me. Today, while trying to add sugar to my oatmeal, I didn’t realize that I had already torn open the package, and poured sugar down my front. I can’t relax – not that I ever can usually, but more so now that my brain has thoughts of travel confirmations, tent diagrams, day of timing, photographer photo lists, ahhhhhhhhhh! I’m not stressed in the typical sense, I just have way to much on my mind. I’m happy, and excited, but overwhelmed. Everyday we have something wedding related to do. Yesterday was a meeting about flowers, today is finalizing our ceremony. Both Devin and I are feeling like our heads are spinning. I just want these details to be DONE so I can enjoy the last ummm 18 days until our wedding. The days are FLYING by. I’ve known this year would go quickly but it has gone QUICKLY. Being engaged has been so fun. We have so much to be thankful for and our wedding will be purely us. I can’t wait to have our family and friends in one place and we can’t wait to go to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

I just hope that I feel more grounded. I’m practicing hot yoga twice a week and that has been SO good for me. It makes me feel like I’m challenging my mind and body, and when I’m done I feel renewed. I was told Bikram hot yoga was either a love it or a hate it and I really love it. It has given me a great pre-wedding boost of a calorie burn, plus the benefits of knowing I am doing something really great for my soul.

Devin and I will be married in 18 days. Every morning I wake up and think “shit!”, like the wedding is barreling at me like a freight train that I am not prepared for. I want to be married. Devin is absolutely the love of my life. But Jesus, there is a ton that goes into planning a really great party to celebrate your marriage. I couldn’t do it without my groom (first and foremost) and my parents. They have been so supportive and amazing.

This weekend we finish yard work (it looks SO beautiful by the way), buy the last minute things, finish writing our day of timeline, email our caterer…and so many other things. Next week is final dress fitting and bachelor/bachelorette parties, and the following week is WEDDING WEEK.

shit!

I can’t believe it. Since our engagement I’ve anticipated my bridal shower. I’ve known it would be spectacular because two of my favorite women were going to throw if for me. Andrea and April blew my expectations out of the water. We sipped homemade mojitos, played awesome games, listened to my groom’s sweet responses to a questionnaire they asked him, opened thoughtful gifts and had an overall really great time. They decorated with panties – that each woman attending brought to represent me and our friendship and then wrote sweet things about memories of me, and why Devin and I are a perfect match. The day warmed my heart, and got me very excited for all that comes in the next few weeks prior to ‘I do’.

Here we are just about 6 weeks from the wedding and I’ve got a such a huge fire under my ass that everyone around me can feel the heat. Particularly Devin. I have almost all the little things started – with the assembling/crafting parties on the books to get them all done. I have images of dessert flags and ribbons dancing in my head. I presume this is normal for any bride about this time in the wedding planning process. Mom has been SO enthusiastic and helpful it makes everything feel so much more exciting. I’m feeling like a bride and I can’t wait to PARTY.

A huge shout out to Debbie Sturm and LaRae Ellingson for organizing/hosting our 4th of July bridal shower. It piggy-backed the annual Sturm, Johnson, Beasley, Ellingson/Monroe, Borrow, and many more…picnic and BBQ at the Edmonds City Park on the 4th of July. We played “Minute to Win It” games, gorged ourselves on really beautiful cupcakes, rice krispy treats, and of course BBQ style fare and it was wonderful. It was such a great way to start of the official bridal festivities. Of course, Debbie made us wear ‘Uncle Sam’ and ‘Lady Liberty’ outfits the whole time. I don’t know if you can tell from the photo, but she found a Lady Liberty Crown for me – and sewed a veil on it. Awesome :)

Yesterday would have been my grandparents 6oth wedding anniversary. Lois and Rodney are in my heart forever and I think of them every single day. Their friendship and marriage will forever be something that I’m proud of and I will model my marriage after theirs. God Bless them. During this wedding planning process, I wish they were here with us. I know they would be so happy and excited. I remember a really special voice mail that my Papa left me after meeting Devin in 2007 … He said that he really thought that Devin was a good man, and that he had character. He even said he was “a keeper”. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have a grandfather that was excited about the man I was dating. Thanks Papa for the approval. I’m so glad Devin got to meet you. I know Grandma would have loved him too.

We get married in 100 days. Oh my sweet holy moly.

Warm weather represents Spring, which means Summer is quickly behind it. As much as I can’t wait for our wedding, I also can’t wait for all the things that warm weather brings…like bbqing, chilled white wine, camping trips with friends and family, our new Necky kayak mom and dad are getting us for a wedding present(!), of course my bridal shower, and other wedding related festivities. This weekend we’re spending yet another full day up at the ‘farm’ working on the yard. Mom and dad have recently had a bunch of (some kind of fancy) dirt dumped in the spot in the pasture where the tent will go, so it will be level. In my minds eye, all I can imagine are people sitting around the tables at our reception wiggling around in their chairs because it isn’t level. Well we took care of that. Soon there will be grass growing, and no one would ever know that it was a lumpy bumpy pasture a couple months prior. Also, we have a TON of planting to do. Since we’ve cleared out a lot of the weeds, we now have lots of empty dirt spaces that need to be filled with lush colorful flowers and plants. This is no small task, but I’m really thankful that all this yard work will not only pay off for our wedding, but mom and dad will be able to enjoy it season after season.

All of the details of the wedding are slowly being ironed out. Just within the last month or so we’ve finalized the invitation wording, and sent out the proof. We found and bought the yellow ties for the groomsmen, I’ve collected things for bridesmaid-gifts, my dress is done being altered. Also, we went to visit my older brother Arin and his beautiful family in Fort Collins, CO just a couple weeks ago, and when we were there we found the CUTEST dresses for Riley and Regan and pants/vest/shirt outfit for Reid. And they were on sale!

In other VERY EXCITING NEWS, my dear Daddy RETIRED! Yup. Congratulations to him, we are SO proud of him and we are glad that he now has the time and freedom to do all the things that make him happy.

Next weekend we’re on Lopez Island in the San Juans. One of the most amazing places on the planet. In fact this time next week, we’ll we waking up in our tent at Spencer Spit State Park. The campsite is in the sand, on the beach, in view of the ferry, water, sailboats, mountains and islands in the San Juans. It is probably the most amazing campsite I’ve ever seen. It will be our first camping trip of the summer and I cannot wait. If only our kayak was here NOW. The weekend after that is Memorial Day, so we are going to be in the Methow Valley for our annual trip to Winthrop with my family and close family friends. Memorial Day weekend camping trip has ALWAYS marked the beginning of summer for me, it is camping season, the weather has changed and I’m ready for long weekends, and pink cheeks and shoulders from hours in the sun.

Can you even believe half of May is gone already? We are 113 days away from the wedding. Holy moly.

Last night while Dev and I were driving in the car, we were discussing our strategies for our finances, eating healthy, and working out – these are things we talk about often. And it keeps us in check. Thank goodness. During the drive Devin casually mentioned that he wants to start eating more organic foods (he has been reading Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”). This struck a chord in me. I grew up (and I’m so thankful for it now) with my mom and dad making dinner almost every night. We would sit down as a family at the dinner table and eat together. My parents were always very conscious of what we ate. Mom always bought granola and honey nut Cheerios over Lucky Charms and Captain Crunch. We would rarely have soda in the house and Adam and I would always have milk during dinner. I complained that she would buy the peanut butter that was all natural, just salt and peanuts, because you had to stir the oily contents of the jar before eating it. Having Jiff creamy peanut butter and Kraft Mac and Cheese were rare, and only eaten while at friend’s houses. As I said, now that I’m an adult, and have good eating habits (I try, I swear!) and I’m very, VERY thankful they instilled those healthy living habits in me.

Now back to Devin mentioning wanting to eat organic…this is important because most 28 year old, meat eating, beer drinking, outdoorsy men do not think about where their food comes from. But to ME, after growing up with parents shopping at Whole Foods and serving fresh veggies and organic meats for dinner every night, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I have met, and have agreed to marry a man that has the same small (but very important) values that I have. It brings me joy knowing that even down to the kind of produce we’re going to buy, and eventually feed our children…Devin and I agree. It is these things that over time will become things that we teach our kids. I know it seems silly, but lately I’ve been feeling very emotional and these moments are the ones that remind me of why I chose him and he chose me. These are the moments that are making me get SO excited for this wedding, and even more importantly, feel secure in my choice to be Devin’s wife.  I am so thankful for the life I have, and for the people who love me. I am so thankful and blessed to be marrying a man who shares so much of those core values that I do. So in response to Devin saying ‘Do you think we should start buying organic?’. I say, ‘I do’.

Sunday afternoon wedding prep – Mady, Mom, Dad, Devin and I

4 hours of hard labor – I mean gardening…

Sunburned, and sore.

But feeling your muscles on Monday morning and seeing a lot progress towards changing the house into a ‘venue’. Priceless :)

I’ve gotten to that point where I’m SO excited, and SO stressed. At any given time I have 10-15 things bouncing around in my brain pertaining to the wedding and my ‘to do’ list.  For instance, right now I need to: email our caterer with a list of questions and requests, choose which plants can be planted now-that will be blooming in September, order a guestbook (which I found, but they were all sold out), find a place to have our rehearsal dinner, find more linens for the tables because (of course) we didn’t get enough the first time, find (and find the money for) groomsmen gifts-bridesmaid gifts-parents gifts, buy 7 pairs of black vans for the groomsmen, find 6 yellow ties for the groomsmen, order our invitations…………………………

All in all we’re in business and right on track! My beautiful, wonderful, enthusiastic parents are all on board and have spent the last few weekends price comparing plates, napkins, and silverware as well as aerating the yard and prepping for some big gardening projects. Also mom is hounding me to rent a couple port-a-potties. Oddly enough this has not been one thing I’ve been excited to book! Ah, wedding planning is so glamorous.

WE BOOKED OUR HONEYMOON! Hooray! We’re going to Playa Del Carmen in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. This is our resort: http://www.secretsresorts.com/maroma/index.asp

We figured~ splurge a tad on this all inclusive (voted most romantic in that area on TripAdvisor.com) because we’re not the lavish resort kinda people :) Our honeymoon is going to be a Blue Mojito drinking, beach lounging, historical site visiting-good time. I can’t wait.

We’re at 164 days OR 5 months 10 days and about 5 hours! (There’s an app for that) :)

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