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September means new beginnings

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There has been a lot of change in my life lately. All good change, but still scary. Today is my last day at my job I have been coming to for over three years. Monday I go to the job I have been working towards for almost five years. It is very nerve-wracking, but it is right.

Taking some inspiration from my Tumblr today!

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Honeymoon

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Anthony and I went  on our Honeymoon over two weeks in August and it was amazing.

We flew to San Francisco for one night, then to Maui for five nights and back to San Francisco for three nights.

The first night in the Bay Area, Anthony and I stayed with Stu and Leslie in Los Gatos. We had dinner at a delicious wine bar and gorged on charcuterie and cheese and red wine. We walked back to their house with gelato in hand. Not bad for a Monday.

Over the six days and five nights in Maui, we explored the island coast to coast.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa. It was so beautiful. Our room was on a corner so we had ocean views facing west and north. The pool was amazing, the beach perfect, and they had lots of great restaurants on site and an amazing spa. It was in walking distance to Whalers Village, and “the best beach in america”.

Here is a short description of our days in Maui

Day one: Arrive early in the morning to Maui. Upgrade rental car to Jeep. Drive to hotel. Wader resort. Lunch at poolside restaurant Umalu for pork cheese fries and hawaii lunch plates. Couples massage at the spa. Walk on the beach. Dinner at Japengo, (sushi) with the absolute best table in the place, out on the patio with unrestricted views to the sunset!

Day two: Wake up at 2am (8am est), drive to Haleakala national park to watch the sunrise from the summit. Absolutely gorgeous. Wide awake at 7am we headed to the Road to Hana and were on it before the traffic. Drove all the way to the Black Sand Beach, dropping off at waterfalls and hikes. Headed back and had shaved ice and banana bread at Halfway to Hana. Took an afternoon nap. Had dinner during sunset at Mala, by far my favorite restaurant in Maui!

Day three: Finally had breakfast at hour hotel, at the Swan Court. It was included in our package, and is a delicious buffet. Went just north of our hotel to the Black Rock beach – the best in America. Shopped around Whalers Village, including my favorite Roxy store. Hit up the ABC store for ‘provisions’ for the ‘hurricane’. Had an afternoon at the hotel pool. Since everything shut down that afternoon we had room service and watched movies, the perfect night in. The hurricane hit the big island and broke up before getting to Maui. It was downgraded to a tropical storm, which hit us at 4am.

Day four: Filled up for breakfast, walked to Kaanapali and back. Had happy hour at the Hula Grill. Laid on the beach, Anthony jumped off Black Rock. Watched the sunset. Our travel agent sent us a bottle of champagne to our room to celebrate the Honeymoon, and surviving the hurricane!

Day five: Surf lessons, which was so much fun. Walked around Lahaina, shopped, went to two house museums (of course), and had lunch at the Cool Cat Cafe. Went back to the hotel to change for hiking. Discovered the north west side of the island with tide pools, ‘dragons teeth’ and a blowhole. That evening we went to the Luau at our hotel! Unlimited drinks, amazing food, dessert bar, and of course the show.

Day six: Last day in Hawaii. Pool for the morning, packed up and drove south to all of the south west beaches. Lunch at a pie shop! Drove north to Ioa State Park. Then to Piai and the Fish Market for dinner – such a bizarre town! Headed to the airport for a red eye to SFO!

In SF for the four days we were there we had breakfast at Dotties True Blue Cafe, shopped around Union Square, ate a burrito in the mission, went to Chrissy Field, ate more In N Out, had a Ghirardelli’s sweet treat, Miller’s East Coast deli for breakfast and lunch at Burma Superstar! Each night we were able to see friends. The first night at the FC Cats of the west soccer game, the second at Steph’s parents house for a backyard bbq and the last night Steph, Dave, Anthony and I went to the Tonga Room and to Stone’s Throw for dinner. Plus perhaps a few bars…all on a normal for a Wednesday night!

I dare to say our honeymoon was perfect.

Wedding Photos

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My absolutely amazing photographers who surpassed all expectations (and believe me as a fake photographer and devour-er of wedding blogs has high expectations), surprised us when they delivered all our wedding photos back to us, edited, beautiful, in less than a week. I was able to relive the wedding, fresh in my memory. It would be impossible for me to choose and post a few photos here, so instead I send you to their blog.

Enjoy!

Wedding Day – July 26, 2014

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My and Anthony’s wedding day was the best day of my life. After months of planning, all the small details and organization, money and time spent all paid off. It may be cliche, but it is true! I loved every minute of the wedding and really made an effort to be present and soak in every moment. I was so happy to see so many people I loved, and was taken aback that they were all there for us. It was an overwhelming day and filled with so much love, I could not ask for anything more.

The morning started out a bit hairy. I woke up (not bright) and early. It was raining, and raining hard. From the 10 day forecast on it said that it was going to rain at some points during the week and weekend but never once did it say it was going to rain on Saturday. I had a brief moment to myself to freak out, then calm down before the day started. At 8am I had my first knock at the door and it was both Courtney and Thea, the hair stylist for the day. I stayed in bed and my PJs for awhile while breakfast was delivered and more people arrived. The morning was spent with bridesmaids in hair and make up chairs. Tilly came and hung out for awhile, and received lots of presents for being the best flower girl ever! My photographers arrived, and I asked them if they thought it was going to rain all day and they said no. It was the first time I believed it, since I know they watch the radar and wouldn’t lie to me to make me feel better!

Ian delivered my gift from Anthony, a new Marc Jacob’s watch! Tilly loved it, and asked to try it on and then told me that my prince (which she called Anthony Prince Tony the whole weekend), told her that she could have my watch. She is so cute she almost got away with it! I had my gift sent up to him, personalized cleats. What else? We had lunch delivered and it was my time for hair and make up! Both ladies were incredible and made everyone look amazing. I gave the bridesmaids their gifts, a personalized hanger with their name as well as a Kate Spade clutch to use for the night. It was finally time for the bridesmaids to put on their dresses and head out for the venue.

Side note – I made a “wedding document” that consisted of all the Google docs I had created for the wedding that included everything from the detailed day of timeline to seating chart to bus list. I also had a giant day of emergency kit, which we actually broke into more than I expected! You can never be too prepared.

We arrived to the venue as early as we were allowed so we could take as many pictures as possible before the wedding. I got into my dress, and we had our getting ready shots. Kacey started crying the second I stepped into my dress and didn’t stop until the next day! Having known her since we were 8 years old, I can imagine it is so emotional and I don’t know how I am going to handle myself at her wedding next month. Brittany was solid in helping me with all the details from doing my bustle to handing out tips and making sure I was okay. Steph was a ton of fun and kept me feeling light and happy. Courtney, where would I be without her? I didn’t have to worry because she was there doing it for me. I did a first look with my dad. He had no idea what my dress looked like so that was a lot of fun. Then it was time for the real first look! There Anthony was, standing with his back to me as I headed out to see each other for the first time on our wedding day. Everything felt perfect. We took pictures together, pictures with our wedding party and then had time to relax in the bridal room while the venue and vendors made everything perfect. 

Finally it was time for the ceremony. I heard the music for the bridal party walking out and watched them leave one by one. I waited in the back with my dad and as Anna told us to take our time and cherish those moments, and we did. The music changed to my Debussy, and we walked out together. I saw everyone stand, and saw Alex and Steph Thiel and Julia and Jeffrey standing so tall. My dad shook Anthony’s hand, gave me a kiss on the cheek and handed me off.

The ceremony was perfect. Leslie did such an incredible job, and it was special having her up there – someone who has known us through our whole relationship and watched it grow. Thomas did our reading, which was perfect since I consider him equally my and Anthony’s friend. And of course you want your one friend with an accent doing your reading! Courtney sang and Ian played the guitar to Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love. That was the moment I lost it. I had it altogether and hadn’t gotten too emotional, but the second they started and I could see my families face in the front row watching them, that was it. I have some nice ugly crying pictures! I took a deep breath, got my handkerchief out of my pocket (yes my dress had pockets!), and got myself back together. 

Our unity section was a hand ceremony. Leslie asked us to hold hands and told us about what our hands will go through in our lives. From wiping away tears, holding children, giving support, it was beautiful. Leslie gave the marriage address and we exchanged our own written vows and then traditional vows where we said I Do. Our written vows we had not shared with each other before, but Leslie had read. They ended up working out perfectly and mixing so well. I think it gave everyone a chance to hear how much we love each other. With that it was the exchange of rings! Where I had a minor speech slip up which made both Anthony and Leslie laugh at me!  “I give you this uh-ring”. A moment to remember! With that, the ceremony was over! We had our first kiss as a married couple and walked up the aisle to I Wish They All Could Be California Girls, which was so much fun! I turned to the crowd and everyone was waving their ribbon wands. It was such a sight to behold! I was overcome with happiness as we walked up the aisle through the ribbons and onward.

The cocktail hour took place on the lawn while we did family formal photographs. We finished early and could join the crowd. Everything looked beautiful. The lawn games of bocce and the corn hole were being used. People were enjoying the many drinks we had, which included Bud Light, Franzenkaner, and Heavy Seas IPA. We had Chardonay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. We also had Pimm’s Cup as the specialty cocktail to go along with the London theme, and Kevin was amazing in providing Mead! It was Martha Washington’s recipe and perfect for a summer day. 

Dinner was next and we were introduced under the tent as Mr and Mrs Anthony Kellaher! Food was fantastic, though I wasn’t even hungry I ate. I think I was just too excited. My father’s toast was touching. I didn’t care how long it was, I could have sat there and listened to him talk all day. My sister’s speech was amazing and touching. Then the best men, Stu and Andy had an equally hilarious and sweet toast. It is fun to have people say nice things about you all day! We snuck away for a bit to take a few more pictures and had time to talk to some of the tables. 

Then it was time for the first dance. This was the part I was most nervous about – second to reading my vows. Anthony and I cut down a lot from our classes (as our teacher was insane), but we threw in a few turns and cuddle moves. It was a lot of fun. Next was my dance with my dad, which was choreographed from walk out to final bow. We did a fox trot with a small swing section in the middle. He has been working for a couple months on it with my mom, I learned it less than two days earlier. I think in the end we got all the moves, there was one part I blanked and had to let him lead me to the next step. Those two dances were my favorite parts of the night, if I could repeat just those few minutes I would! I think my dad and I surprised people with our dance. I know he did an incredible job, and my parents have found a new hobby! They continue to take class even now that the wedding is over.

Then the dance floor opened up. And it was wild! The DJ is incredible and kept everyone dancing all night long. As our photographers said, they had never seen anything like it. Not just the number of people dancing, but the amount of good dancers on the floor. From my actual dancer friends like Alex, Brittany and Kacey to my dance party friends like Erin and Julia to the crazy antics of Kevin, Jeff and Emmett to the perimeter dancers like Dan C and James U. At one point I looked over and Dave was jumping rope with his tie! There was double dutch and a high kick competition and the night ended with a big circle around us, finished off by a round of high fives and a lot of bows. We were all sweaty, happy and not wanting the night to end. I have never had so much fun in my life. It didn’t hurt either that the playlist was all my favorite songs from a Kesha medley to Britney, Justin, and some old hits like Valerie! 

We all left the venue and met back up at the hotel bar. From there, Kevin’s room. Anthony and I stayed up with some of the final people until 3am. We didn’t want the night to end, clearly! 

Sunday, we had breakfast in the hotel restaurant so people could drop in and say goodbye on their way out of town. 

It was an incredible night. The best ever in my life. I love everyone who came, who was involved and helped and gave their support to the two of us. It wouldn’t have been the same without each and every one of them! 

All You Need is Love!

Leading up to the Wedding, and Rehearsal

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The final few days leading up to the wedding were great. I didn’t have a ton to do so I was able to enjoy spending time with Ian, as well as hanging out with Brittany and family.

Wednesday, I had my hair fixed – it wasn’t quite right from my earlier appointment. I swear it wasn’t a bridezilla moment, the hair stylist just didn’t put toner on and the color wasn’t blending.

Thursday, I packed up the car with Ian and we went to pick up my dress from the bridal salon. And then onto Annapolis to check into the hotel. We got there earlier than the rest of my family who was arriving in from CA, so we walked around downtown and got some ice cream. We had dinner at the hotel, and a few more friends arrived! It was so fun hanging out with Mary, Josh, Tilly, Courtney, Kacey and Jordan, Ian and Anthony. It was just like when we were kids, but now with our spouses!

Friends after all these years

Friends after all these years

Friday, my family plus the Pendleton’s had breakfast at Miss Shirley’s Cafe. Then my mom and Aunt Erica took me and Kacey to pick up Steph from the bus stop in Baltimore. Together we went to the jewelers to have my rings cleaned and ready for the big day. We also picked up snacks and drinks at Target. Then everyone got ready for the rehearsal.

The rehearsal went really well. We started out by standing in a circle and all introducing ourselves and everyone told us briefly how they knew us. It was wild to see all these important people standing together in once place. It was then that I knew it was real!

The rehearsal dinner was held at Carroll’s Creek in Annapolis. Cocktail hour was out on the dock and the dinner was held in a room with big windows facing the water and the sunset. The food was amazing, and we were surprised with cake pops that were designed with logos from the FC Cats, Anaheim Ducks, and Arsenal.

Afterwards, we met up with friends that were in town early. Again, so amazing seeing so many people from different parts of our lives in one room. I reluctantly went to bed before midnight to get my beauty rest. It was hard to fall asleep because I was so excited.

Rehearsal Group

Rehearsal Group

The last few days

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It has been a busy and exciting last few days.

Saturday I got my hair cut and colored. Then Anthony, Courtney, Ian and I went to the flower farm to look at what will be used for filler flowers. I love going there, mostly because there are always kittens! This time there were three who were so cute! I will have to keep going back after the wedding to visit.We had lunch at Fat Boys Crab Shack, which is super delicious. Afterwards, we drove around Annapolis to check out the free parking situation for everyone coming to the wedding and went to Toys R Us for Rhett’s birthday presents. It is amazing how many toys there are.  Then we all went over to Crofton to hang out with Rhett and have dinner together.

Sunday, Anthony and I went to the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale. I did serious serious damage there and could have kept going. I bought two pairs of boots, a suit, work pants, work blouses, a skirt, jeans, and a couple sweaters. I spent the afternoon wrapping more gifts, and finishing packing. For dinner, Anthony and I took Ian to Bistro Bohem. It is the only Czech restaurant in DC and Ian talked to the waitress in Czech. I didn’t understand a word (except dekuji!), but the food was delicious.

Monday, I had physical therapy and everything is getting a lot better. I bought a foam roller for my IT band and it is helping a lot. I took Ian to one of his meetings at Big Bear Cafe. Anthony and I went to pick up his wedding suit from the tailor! Ian, Anthony and I then went out to Crofton to swim and eat by the pool for Rhett’s birthday, and have cake and presents at the house. All of his toys are so cool! Being 5 is awesome.

Today I am working from home because my wedding necklace is arriving in the mail from Alex! I preordered lunch for me and the bridesmaids Saturday, and confirmed with a few more vendors. My list has now shrunk to just three items which includes picking up my wedding dress on Thursday.

Brittany arrives tonight with her family! I cannot wait to see little Chloe who turns 1 years old today!!!

Czech Food!

Czech Food!

 

One Week!

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In just one week from today, Anthony and I will be in Annapolis getting ready for our rehearsal dinner. I still can’t quite believe it is happening, even after 14 months of being engaged. Ian is already in town, which makes everything seem more real. I am very excited, more excited than nervous at this point. People have been asking if I am nervous for months now and I’m really not. I don’t know if that is because I am (overly) prepared, or that I’m just thrilled to finally get married to my best friend. I’ve been trying to not talk about the wedding to friends and family too much. I constantly read about how brides should think about others and be sure to ask how things are going in others lives before you launch into a boring talk on trying to figure out the perfect math for the number of slices of cake. But with one week left I plan to soak it up and talk it out! Because in just a week and a day I won’t have that option anymore.

Being a “hurry up and wait” kind of a person, I have already packed, wrapped gifts and contacted all the vendors for a final check in. All I have left to do is pick up the dress and drive to the hotel…which unfortunately I can’t do yet. Or I could….sitting in a hotel for a week does sound nice.

With Ian in town we have gone to Nando’s Peri Peri, in the pouring rain on Tuesday, BBQ’d in my backyard on Wednesday, and went to District of Pi last night. Tonight we are going to the Nats game where I plan to introduce him to either Shake Shack or the delicious Hard Times chili nachos! The rest of my family arrives next Thursday and will be here for a week!

I am hoping that I can soak everything up, take everything in, relax, have a great time and not have that “it all passed by in a blur” type of wedding day. I know once it comes it will go quicker than I want to, but I’m going to try my best to hold it all in for as long as possible.

That being said, I made a “Wedding Document” which is 16 pages long. It encompasses everything from my Google Docs I’ve been creating. It has the timeline, the photographers timeline, contact sheet for vendors and wedding party to name a few. It also has the seating chart, bus list and basically everything you could need. I printed off five copies and put them in to notebooks, I sent one to my day of planner and then to my mom and aunt. My aunt’s response was, “I love love love this, I am highlighting my parts” and my mom’s response was “OMG”. (Guess who I am more like?). On my daily phone call with my mom that night when I asked her what she thought of my document she said. I just want to you breathe, relax and know that if not everything goes exactly according to your document it will be okay. Things will work out, you’ve done all you can. And with her saying that, I am truly starting to believe it. I’ve made all the decisions I made, and I have to trust that they are all the right decisions and they will work out just fine.

I’ll let you know if they do in a couple weeks.

 

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