Chosing you from all the world to be mine…

….Cue the first few notes of the hymn “Be Thou My Vision.”

A quick glance at dad, and it’s time to go.  I can no longer hear the music.  I don’t even hear my footsteps on the grass, or the door shut behind us as we begin our trek down that grassy aisle.  I see blurs of faces, and feel the joy and excitement more than I ever could have imagined.  “Breathe” I suddenly hear lowly in my right ear.  “I am breathing” I joyously respond.  I still can’t hear the music.  I believe someone could shoot a cannon just to my left and I wouldn’t know it went off.  For that matter, I could be surrounded by a marching band, and their drum line and I STILL wouldn’t hear anything.  All I can hear are the beats of my heart as the blood rushes through my body and I somehow continue to float down the aisle toward Dave.  I literally don’t remember telling my feet to move, it’s as if they want to be standing where my heart and head long to be even before I realize I’m making my way there.

I can see him.  Through the blur of my joyous tears I can see my love wiping his own as I make my way down the aisle.

And then, I’m there, my dad is giving me a hug and kiss on the cheek.  Now, he’s shaking Dave’s hand, and as he places my hand into Dave’s I realize – we’ve made it.  We are here.  This is happening.  And all I want to do is hug him and kiss him, so I go in for the kiss, and quickly my beloved reminds me that it’s not time yet – that has to wait. 

I know that Sue has started to talk, but I am still having trouble registering what is being said.  We’ve gone over every word of this ceremony 100 times.  Dave and I wrote it ourselves, I should know it like the back of my hand, but I am lost.  Lost in Dave’s eyes, in the excitement and enormity of what it is this day truly means.  Dave must be feeling it too – he’s just said “I do” before she was ready for him.  Whew – at least it’s not just me. 

And now, we’re exchanging our rings – the outward symbol of this internal commitment.  “I chose you from all the world, to be my husband” wow, my husband.  Lord, I never thought I’d be here.  Thank You!

Finally!  I can kiss him!  Oh, he dipped me!  Did I just rip my dress?  No, I didn’t.  Man, I’m glad I didn’t actually rip my dress.  Mr. and Mrs. Dave Lemieux!  EEPS!  That’s us!  And it is done, I can breathe and we can party! 

I cannot believe it’s been a year.  I remember these details like it was yesterday – which is ironic, because if you had asked me the day after the wedding what I remembered, I couldn’t remember a single thing!  Our wedding day was one of the best days of my life.  I have literally never felt more fortunate to have so many friends and family in one place.  I’ve heard it said before, and it is the truth – You can FEEL the love surrounding you that day.  The energy of the day is filled with anticipation and joy.  Love and laughter.  And it is amazing.

But what comes next?  Well, for Dave and me, it was a life filled with change.  There have been changes good and changes bad.  We’ve experienced life to its fullest.  We’ve lost a family member, prayed one through a cancer scare, and watched one experience her own wedding.  We’ve purchased a house, and started to make it our home.  We’ve had to learn how to fully communicate with each other.  How to compromise even more.  How to show love and be loved.

If this year has shown me how Dave and I will fare in our futures, I see nothing but positives.  As everyone will tell you, the first year of marriage can be tough, exceptionally tough.  There is a lot of adjusting.  A lot of learning to compromise and live with another human being.  Learning their quirks, and their intricacies.  We’ve been through our share of hurdles.  The stress of purchasing a house caused us to fight over things that would have typically gone unnoticed.  There was learning required, how to keep the connection with each other, and a focus on the relationship, when there are such time-consuming and life encompassing activities going on.  This delicate balance is known to most entering a marriage, but still a lesson to be learned and a skill to be advanced.

All of that said if there is one thing that this past year taught me the most, it is that I truly am blessed.  It is truly a blessing to be surrounded by friends and family who want nothing more than to see Dave and I succeed in this marriage journey.  Who will use their prayers and positive thoughts to send encouragement and accountability our way.  Mostly, I’m one of the luckiest girls in the world to be able to go to bed with, and wake up next to the one person in the world who will ALWAYS bring a smile to my face.  Who will make me laugh, even if I’m throw-the-dish mad (not that I’ve ever actually thrown a dish, I like ours too much, it’d piss me off more to break one).

Dave – I could not imagine a more perfect fit for me.  You put up with all of my crazy, and love me through it.  You are a constant reminder to me of what unconditional love really means.  I couldn’t be more thankful for you and for what you bring and add to our lives.  I love you.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary!  Here’s to many many more.  I’m so lucky I get to walk hand in hand with you through the rest of our lives.

**All photos by the extremely talented Kristin Korpos.

Leap of Faith

This post has been on my mind a lot lately.  And while we’re in the middle of the renovations stories on the house, and telling you all about the move in process, my heart and mind have been in a spot of considering our future.  What will it look like in five years?  What will I be doing?

If you know me, and chances are if you’re reading this blog, you probably do – as I have yet to reach stardom in the blogosphere. ..I digress.  If you know me, chances are you know that I work as a project coordinator at a respectable company based out of a foreign country.  I like the people I work with.  I like the knowledge base of my job…but I’m not cut out for office work.  Sitting at a computer all day, in my cubicle, and having to do paperwork, well, it’s just not my thing.  If I’m being honest, it’s like smelling the shoes of an Olympic runner, right after their big race – not appealing.

About 7 years ago, just before I moved from TN I had started to day dream with two girlfriends a Wedding Planning Business.  We each had our strengths in the industry and thought we might be able to make a successful go at it…  But I had to go and throw a wrench in the plans and move away.  Not that I would take back my move, it has after all led to more developed relationships with my siblings and parents in New England, and of course to my amazing husband and friends.  But nothing has really ever made me forget about the plans for the business that we could have had.  And what it might be like now after 7 years of build up if we had just done it then.

Plus, who wouldn’t want a fanny pack like this??

Because I know all of my lovely readers are genius (I mean, after all, you’re reading this blog, and that alone is a smart decision) you’ve probably figured out where this is going.  I’ve decided to follow my heart and my passion.  God gave me a gift of organization for a reason, and I’m going to start to use it.  I’m going to be a wedding planner.  It might take me a few years to get there.  I’ll have to start out part time for sure – after all, as Dave likes to say, our good looks and charm only get us so far – and we have a mortgage to pay!

So, now I’m off to google “how to write a business plan.”  Anyone out there know how to help me out on this – business major I was not!  Please, please, please…..pretty please?! 

Anyone else out there taking a leap of faith and following their dreams?

One Month

Whew. *wipes perspiration off brow* 

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. 

That has been my mantra for the past month.  It has been exactly a month since we signed the life altering all important papers to become homeowners, and what a whirlwind of a month it has been.  Don’t worry – for all of my 3 readers – I know you’ve been waiting to see the inside of the house, post renovations.  And they are coming.  I made sure that Dave and I took as many in progress and completed shots as possible.  But, between the late nights, fast food, spousal arguments (just keeping it real), stress of things not going according to plan, and my oh so graceful monsterly way of accepting said change.  There has just been very little time left for blogging.  I suppose I could have made it a priority during late night hours, but my head, stomach and body demanded sleep.  So….stay tuned, for lots of detail, finished by a final tour of our new (to us) recently renovated home!

And cause you can’t have a blog post without a picture…here’s a sneak peak for you.

Wanna Tour?

So what does it look like?

Upon our acquisition of the keys to our new house Dave and I had many items that needed to hit the “to-do list” cut floor.  We were ready to start making this new house, our home.  As many homeowners will tell you, this can be accomplished through large or small changes.  Elements that “make it yours.”

Before I go any further, I should take you on a virtual tour of the home.  As I’ve only shared the external pictures with you to date.

Welcome to our home.

When you first walk into the front door you have the living room on your left:

And the dining room on your right:

We’ve had questions as to why we decided to make the living room the smaller of the two rooms.  One answer could be, we like a cozy room where we can snuggle on the couch and not feel like we’re open to the world.  Another could be that we have looked into and decided to purchase a rather large dining room set that will need the bigger room.

To tie into the larger table, we are also expanding the space a little.  See that far wall with the long mirror on it?  We’re knocking that sucker right out.  Well, kinda.  Because that is a load bearing wall of the house, and we are trying to do our projects in the most fiscally responsible way we know how, we’ve decided to just open it up a bit, and take as much out as we can.

Behind the wall with a mirror is the kitchen.

This is the spot of our biggest “make it yours” project, and the are we are choosing to use our 203K loan money on.  A complete kitchen overhaul.  I can hear it now, some of you are reading this saying “but WHY??  Those cabinets are gorgeous.”  Others are saying “hmm, what exactly are you going to do?”  And others yet are saying “Please Brittney, don’t leave us in suspense.  Tell us NOW!”  ok….maybe I’m only hearing that other statement in my head, but I’m gonna act like that’s what you all said and lay it out for you now.

Cherry wood = beautiful, but not for us.  We liked the cabinets.  And honestly, had the kitchen had a better layout, we probably would have stuck with them.  But I would have painted them (GASP – PAINT THE WOOD?! Yes, yes I would have painted that wood) white.  I L-O-V-E me some white cabinets.  It took me a little bit to get the mister on board, but the more he saw them, the more he liked them.  And I didn’t even have to completely talk him into it.

Anyways, enough about the kitchen – there will be plenty more of that to come.  As you make your way out of the kitchen and down the hall, you will find the one and only bathroom in the house as it stands currently.

The couple who owned the house before us were elderly, so the bathroom is equipped with a handy dandy handicap shower.  Seat and all.  The bathroom is in definite need of an update, but it will have to wait until our finances allow – or we’ve both experienced enough bruises from the protruding vanity to throw our hands and the air and yell “THAT’S ENOUGH!”  Either way, some day this bathroom will get an overhaul.  One of the best aspects of this bathroom is the gianormous closet.  It allows for there to not be too much of a need for an oversized vanity with lots of counter space, and to hopefully someday allow for the laundry shoot I’m drooling over in my imagination currently.

This is just one side of the closet. The other side houses the chimney for the furnace and is just as big.

When you exit the bathroom and go to the right, you will find the Master bedroom.

I cannot wait to throw the purple paint we’ve picked out for this room onto the walls and white onto all that wood trim.  That along with a closet overhaul should really help to make this bedroom go from drab to shab.  If you watch HGTV you should know that reference.  I really think the paint, the closet, and getting our own furniture and curtains up will really help to make this room feel like home.

Now, lets make our way up the stairs.  Don’t let that dark caverness feel scare you, soon enough that paneling will be a light airy gray and you won’t feel like you’re climbing into the unknown.

At the top of the stairs there are a couple of large-ish closets waiting for you in the hallway, that will be the same light gray as the stairway and have pops of all white trim.

At the top of the stairs

2nd closet in the small hallway

If after walking up the stairs if you took a left you would find yourself in the craft room/office space.

We absolutely cannot wait to see my sewing machine and Dave’s desk hanging out together in their own room.

And across the hall you will find the guest bedroom.

We’ve decided to go with a very neutral “coffee with extra cream” color knows as Richmond Bisque by Benjamin Moore.  We’re hoping it will be neutral enough to go with whatever bedspread we decide to throw on the bed at any point-in-time.

And that completes our virtual tour of our new house.  We’re still trying to figure out a couple of things, like where the liter box for the cats will live, and how big of a dog we can really fit into this new home of ours (as you know from this post I’d really love a GIANT dog).  But for the most part, we’re more than ready to start the demo and really get to making this house a home.

Any of you out there in the middle of making your house a home?  What do you think that really entails anyway?  Is it about getting your own style in there or creating a space you feel like you could show off in a magazine?  For me, I’d say it’s a little bit of both.

We’re Home Owners!!!

Please bear with me for a minute while I catch my breath.  I’m still in shock that we’ve done it.  The adventure that we started just 5 months ago has ended, and we have a wonderful new house to show for it.

…..

Ok, I’m better now, let’s get down to business!

We’re excited to start signing the paperwork!

There were times in this process where 5 months literally felt like 5 years.  And there were other times where it felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day.

After some back and forth emails with our mortgage lenders asking for this or that and with deadlines that felt almost unattainable to ensure that we stayed on track for our closing we were crossing our fingers and hoping that we had done enough.  Thank goodness with the help of some incredibly dedicated people, we finally got there.

There were TONS of papers to sign, as anyone who has closed or refinanced a house will tell you.  I knew it would be a lot, but it seemed to just keep piling up.

This is only half of the pile….oy vey!

And on May 29 we were able to sign our closing documents and became the proud owners of our little New England Cape here in MA.  I don’t think the husband could have asked for a better present for his May 28th birthday.  I mean….I know the Fossil watch I gave him is probably a close second – but, you know. 😉  As my aunt Sheila said to Dave:  “You got a really big gift this year! May you have many years of happiness mowing and sawing and hammering and painting and cleaning and cooking and mowing and sawing and hammering and painting and cleaning and cooking and mowing and well you get the idea!”  We’re ready for it Aunt Sheila, we’re ready!!

We Lemieux’s are SO excited!  We’ve already started the renovations we have planned, so stay tuned of all the projects we have up our sleeves!  (and of course, these will FINALLY include the interior pictures!)

Thankful Thursday

  1. The excitement and love that surrounds a wedding.
  2. Summer like weather.
  3. That we are on track for a close date on the house 5/29/12!!
  4. One of my best friends got the all clear from the doctor.
  5. A husband who supports me unconditionally.

Today’s Theme Song:

Doesn’t that song just make you want to join the games?!

Where have YOU been?

I know, I know, I’ve been a little MIA recently.  And I’m sorry.

Things around here have been crazy, and I just haven’t found the time to sit down and blog about it all.  My youngest sister is getting married this weekend, my husband is turning 36 with a celebratory BBQ and day in Boston, and we are closing on our new house!!

So – as if that sentence didn’t sum it all up well enough for you, I’ll go into detail about some of it.  After all, you read a blog for the words and the pictures right?  Well, I’ve been doing several projects for all of these events and I’m ready to give you some previews!

Project 1: Ribbon Bouquet

Ooooh….Ribbons!!

In case you are completely out of the loop when it comes to weddings, it is typical that the bride will carry a bouquet of ribbons at her rehearsal to be the fill in for the flowers she will actually be carrying on the day of.

This bouquet was made from all of the ribbons collected at my sister’s bridal shower.  I had so much fun deciding how to organize the bouquet and making it look like a cascading bouquet for my sister to carry at her rehearsal.

Even the handle was made from ribbons.

Getting this sucker to not be too heavy to stay together was another trick all on its own.  I ended up using a combination of Modge Podge (FYI this can be used in lue of Elmer’s glue) and hot glue.  After only a few burned fingers and maybe some under the breath cursing, we were up one ribbon bouquet.  I just hope Ronni loves it too.

Project 2:  Cupcake Tower

Can’t wait to use it!

Pinterest idea put into full effect.  I have always adored kitchen gadgets and serving assistants.  I love a good cake stand, and am smitten with appetizer servers.  I know, just call me lame or cool – whatever floats your boat.

Dave’s birthday falls on Memorial Day weekend and I have decided that we will have an annual BBQ to celebrate the holiday and the birth of my handsome hubby.  Last year was our first year, and I took notes.  I believe every year for the next few will be learning experiences.  What I still need to add to my serving dish arsenal and what foods people really like or don’t like during the actual event.

This year I decided to make cupcakes, but I couldn’t just let them sit on the table all awkward like.  They needed a home, and a tower to be the royalty they deserve to be.  So, off to the Dollar General I went.  Five dollars later I was walking out of the store with all the pieces I needed to create said tower for the Guiness and Bailey’s Cupcakes I will be making for the party.

The process was pretty easy.  Big plate, Modge Podge + Hot glue, and candle stick, repeat.  I chose to use a large round plate, slightly smaller square plate, and smaller round plate to create my tiers.  The stands in the middle are just glass candle sick holders.  After gluing the plates to the candle sticks I have allowed them to cure for a few days.  I can report that at this point (3 days in) the glue is still curing but the plates are firmly stuck.  My hope is to allow them to completely set as of Saturday so that I can wash each plate of the tower and use it on Sunday.  I’ll keep you posted.

Project 3:  Yarn Letter Wreath for Front Door

Maybe it’s because it’s new, or maybe it’s because I’m crazy – but I cannot get enough of the letter L.  Now that it solidifies our family unit, I want nothing more than to have the first letter of our last name anywhere and everywhere I can put it.  So naturally one of the first projects I decided to undertake for the new house was a project I had seen on Pinterest.

I have a TON of things pinned on my “House…Please?!?!” board, most of which require us actually being IN the house to accomplish.  But this yarn wreath could hang on the door of our apartment until we were in the house.  And my hands needed the project.  So off to Michael’s we traipsed and I picked up a cardboard L.  I went with the largest one they had, which is retrospect is probably a little large to sit on the front door, but I’m a little large for life, so I’m ok with it.

I have been a bad blogger up to now, and have not taken a single “in progress” shot of any of my projects.  I promise once we get into the house, I’ll be better about it.  And there will be no shortage of projects.  But for now, you’ll just have to go with the words, and the after pic posted above.

This letter took quite a bit more time to finish than I thought it would.  There was quite a bit of wrapping and unwrapping to figure out the best way to get all of the surface area covered.  Dave and I picked a neutral color for the letter, but in retrospect I would have picked this and a colored yarn and made the letter stripped with yarn.  Oh well, you know the cliché – “hindsight is 20/20.”

Once I had finished wrapping the letter with yarn, burning my hands a few times with the hot glue I used to secure the yarn in place, and making the L look like I wanted, I decided it was too plain for my liking.  So what’s a girl to do?  Well, she buys ribbon of course and makes flowers!

I had no clue what kind of flowers I’d be able to create, or even how to do it.  But a google search later and I had a few different types I thought I and my ribbon size could handle.  I went with three different flowers to add a little dimension, but with them all being the same color, they still play nicely together.  I then used some of the same ribbon I used for the flowers to create a little hanging loop for the top of the letter.  At first I thought it would drive me and my type A tendencies crazy that the letter didn’t lay straight, but now, I kinda love the charming lean of the L.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to recently.  What about you?  Up to any Pintererst to reality projects?  How about crafting in general?  Looking forward to a crazy week/weekend that you know will wear you out but be so wonderful it’s worth it like me?