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Today was an absolutely amazing day!

On Monday, I called Sophia‘s to schedule an appointment with Laurel, my consultant, for the official first fitting.  I was so giddy all morning while I was getting ready.  Doing everything I could to try to make myself look at least 1/2 way bride-ready!!  I met my mom at the store and we rode together over to Sophia’s.  As soon as I walked in, Laurel greeted us – she already had my dress ready for me!!  I quickly flitted to the back and began dressing myself as much as I could.  Laurel came to help and as soon as I walked out, I saw tears in my mother’s eyes!  I, on the other hand did not cry, I could not stop dancing around!!  I was just like a little girl!!  It’s absolutely perfect, you have no idea!  It was a little big and I kept having to pull it up, but that’s a good thing!!!  That means my 2-a-day workouts have been paying off!!  🙂  I will, however, wait until about March before I get it altered.  No need to jump the gun!!  So Mom and I walked out with a beautiful gown, and now it’s hiding, ever so secretly, somewhere in the Arnold household!!  I absolutely cannot wait until the day when I walk down the aisle – in that exact dress – to marry the man of my dreams.

So of course, for today to be absolutely amazing, more than just one thing had to happen, right?  Well, it did.  I received an email from Melinda today!!  She apologized up and down for taking a while (I really hadn’t noticed!!), but said that our photos would be ready to view on Saturday!!  Of course, Neil and I will be gone all weekend, but I am so happy that they are ready!!  I’ve been anxiously awaiting the final result and I know they’ll turn out stunning!!  Now I just have to keep my mind off them until next week! 😦

And on a final note, I found it to be journal-worthy that I, Amanda Arnold, Procrastinator and Non-Studier of the Year 22 years running, is a 4.0 Masters Student at Marian!!!  🙂  Thank you, thank you very much!!

P.S. I know many of you who follow may not agree, but I am totally happy with Jillian’s decision!!  Ed is such a charmer and it’s quite clear that they are (truly) in love!! 😉


So today, I received a phone call that I absolutely was not expecting!!  While hastily working on some finishing touches for Miss Emily‘s bridal shower tomorrow, my phone notified me it had a voicemail…which was odd since it didn’t even ring!!  Anyway, I wasn’t in any hurry to get to the message, so I just finished up my current project and in fact, almost forgot about the message.  A few minutes later, I noticed my phone was still lighting up with the message indicator so I decided to check the message.  I was a little worried because I didn’t recognize the phone number from my little message operator, and quite frankly, I don’t like getting calls from people I don’t know!!  Either way, this is what I heard:

“Hi Amanda!  This is Laurel from Sophia’s Bridal, I’m just calling to let you know that we received your bridal gown today.  So, um, if you’d like to call and schedule an appointment to come try it on, that would be great!  Thanks so much, bye!”

So after listening to the message a couple times, because I absolutely could not believe it…I ran upstairs screaming to my mom!!  I was not expecting my gown to be in until at least October!!  Ooh, it’s all so real now!!  Engagement pictures are done, my dress is in…I just can’t believe it!!  Now all I have to do is head into Sophia’s to try that baby on!! 🙂

And for an update on La Casa de Barnes…


…yes!  That is a house that totally looks move-in-able!!!

P.S. Can’t wait for this amazing bridal shower tomorrow!!  So much hard work has gone into it but I know it will pay off in the end!!!

P.P.S. 319 days, 23 hours, 54 minutes, 51 seconds until our wedding!! 🙂

So, I can’t lie.  I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time…

Today was mine and Neil’s engagement photo session!!!

While I know that Neil was just going along with the whole thing to make me happy, I think he was secretly enjoying himself…but I must admit, we’re kind of awkward!!  We’re not good at the “act natural” thing because we were definitely not natural but any stretch of the imagination!!  Hopefully, Melinda was able to get some good shots, regardless of our extreme awkwardness!!

We started the day off at the Canal, where we were greeted about half way through with some rather large raindrops.  Fortunately, they weren’t serious and just wanted to tease us a bit.  After about an hour, we headed over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for some more casual shots.  We tried to get some great shots with Kindiebelle and Raikkon, and while Raikkon was graciously cooperating, Kindie was quite the opposite!!  Poor girl was having a cow all day!!  Either way, I think we still got some great shots with them – and by ourselves as well.  I cannot wait to meet with Melinda to see the finished product in a couple weeks!!

Of course, Neil and I aren’t finished with our photo sessions quite yet…with our photographer in Scotland, we get another engagement session, then of course the wedding day.  I’d say we better brush up on our modeling skills!!

325 days, 23 hours, 44 minutes, and 44 seconds…but who’s counting?! 🙂

So, I know in previous posts that I’ve mentioned that nothing has been planned for the at-home reception.  Well, we can now officially say that is no longer the case!!!

Yesterday, my gracious mother booked Pipers to cater our reception.  They were the mysterious “partially decided” caterer that I mentioned last Friday…and now it’s official!!  Neil was pretty indifferent about who our caterer was, but when it came to deciding what will be served, he definitely had an opinion!!  I went through the list of foods with him last night and we did our first run of what we want and what we don’t.  We’ll make more of a final decision when we can actually attend a tasting…of which I am very excited about!!

My mother used Pipers in January 2008 when Floors To Go opened the doors to their brand new showroom.  The food was absolutely fantastic and we can’t wait to have them for our reception!!  We’re especially looking forward to the chocolate fountains they offer!!!  🙂

Yes, slowly but surely, our wedding is approaching, and with our wedding hitting the negative 11 month mark, I finally have something to talk about!!  Of course, The Knot is keeping us on track…so without further ado, here we are:

  • Start interviewing caterers.
    • Yes, I know this was on here last month, but I can now say that a caterer for the open-house reception has partially been decided.  Now, it’s just a matter of finalizing the details and making payments.
  • Contact newspapers to announce your engagement.
    • Well, engagement photos have been scheduled for next Saturday, the 18th!!  And once we have those back, our announcement will be in the newspaper!!
  • Decide on a caterer.  Hash out a rough price per head and begin working on a menu.
    • As mentioned, I think we’ve decided on a caterer, but as far as getting prices and menu…we’ll put that on the back burner for now!!
  • Choose a color scheme, if you so desire, taking into account the decor of the rooms/areas you have reserved for your ceremony and reception.
    • Check!!  But let me tell you this, absolutely…positively…never in a million years did I think I would have BLUE as a wedding color.  In fact, blue was the last color I would’ve ever had…but, because I love Neil so much, I folded and BLUE and WHITE have become our colors…and I’ll be honest, it’s growing on me.  He specifically wanted blue and white because that’s the Scottish flag colors, which I think is pretty cool.  Of course, we’ve altered it a bit and it’s more of a “cornflower blue” than a “navy” or “royal” blue.  Either way, I love it!! 🙂
  • Brides: Begin looking at pictures of wedding dresses online and in magazines.
    • Wow, am I way ahead of schedule on this!!  I started looking at wedding dresses way back in December when we got engaged.  Emily gave me a hard time because when I showed her the dresses I liked, there was no rhyme or reason for any of them!!  There were a million different styles, but I decided that I didn’t want to limit myself at all!!!
  • Brides: When you’ve found some gowns you like, head out to the stores to try them on.
    • Funny story about this…we went to Nancy’s Bridal Boutique up in Castleton on May 9th to look at dresses.  I had printouts with pictures, designers, and style numbers on every page.  I handed them to the associate and told her which dresses I wanted to look at and she looked up at me and said, “Wow!  Are you Type-A or what?”  So yes, I’m a little organized for our wedding…sue me!!!  Either way, we headed to several stores and I have found the dress!!!
  • Start investigating any ethnic customs or cultural traditions you might want to incorporate into your ceremony or reception.
    • This was huge for Neil and I.  We definitely wanted to incorporate some Scottish traditions into the wedding and we will definitely have this with the Bagpipers, but we’ll also have a few more things, which will remain a secret, that will be incorporated into the wedding!!  You’ll just have to wait and see!! 🙂
  • Finalize the guest list.
    • Half-check!!  Since we have such a long time, we’re still slowly adding people to the list…and since our open-house reception is more low-key, we feel we can afford to continually add to the reception list.  But as far as the actual ceremony, we have TWENTY-FOUR people confirmed!!!
  • Sign your caterer contract and send in a deposit.
    • And for the third time, aside from Scotland, catering has only somewhat been decided.  I will definitely keep you posted!!
  • Start auditioning reception bands or DJs.
    • Well, for the open-house reception, we will likely not have a band or DJ, but rather soft music in the background.  But…in Scotland, we have decided to incorporate dancing, which means we’ll need some sort of DJ!!  Neil and I have solicited the help of my lovely brother-in-law and DJ Paul B will be providing the music for our reception overseas.  Neil and I have been slowly compiling a list of songs we would like played at our ceremony, so not only did we save money by allowing Paul the excitement of being DJ for his favorite sister, but we’re also able to choose our playlist!! 🙂
  • If you’ve chosen an outdoor ceremony or reception site, look into tent and lighting rentals.
    • We are having an outdoor ceremony, but there will be not tent or light aside from the natural light, also known as the sun.  For the open-house reception, we will eventually be looking into tents, but it is all going to depend on how our backyard ends up looking!!!

So we don’t have too much to do this month, as most of it is already completed, but I know as we continue on, things will get more hectic and months will be more packed…so perhaps I should cherish this month.  And Neil would like me to mention that he has never and will never read this engagement journal.  Thanks, Dude…I love you, too!!

Just to keep you all updated…

Our House!!!

A Scottish Blessing

A thousand welcomes to you with your marriage. May you be healthy all your days. May you be blessed with long life and peace, may you grow old with goodness, and with riches.