You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2009.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind.  Last Tuesday, I started my student teaching at Irvington Community School in Mrs. Griffith’s kindergarten classroom.  I absolutely love my kids.  They are all so great and they make teaching fun!  Mrs. Griffith has allowed me to teach the reading portion of class last week, then this week I took over the duties of Calendar and Morning Meeting.  Next week and the following week, I will be instructing the math class!  I’m very excited to learn from Mrs. Griffith and become a better teachers because of her!!

On a NEW HOUSE note…we’re officially in the house!! 🙂  We started moving in last Wednesday after signing some papers with Rick and last week and this we have been slowly getting things situated.  Every day, I try to focus on one room to tackle.  So far, so good!  There are a few touch ups that Rick is working on, but hopefully next week everything will be squared away and we can focus on resting and relaxing in our new home!!  Dear Emily has been quite the trooper as well – she helped me move sod from one part of the backyard to the other – and we did it in one hour flat!!  I couldn’t believe it!!

As far as the wedding is concerned, we’re starting to get golf arrangements in order and those will be placed September 2nd.  Wendy is still working on information about a possible new venue and our engagement picture order will be placed on Monday evening.  After that, I think we’ll be all up to date and ready to head into the next month of to-do’s!!!

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With ten months to go, let’s look at what needs to be accomplished this month…

  • Start interviewing caterers.
    • I’m aware this has been on here for ages…and finally, we have made a decision!  Of course, The Old Course Hotel will be catering the reception in St. Andrews, but as for in the U.S., we have hired Pipers Catering.  So finally, after two months, CHECK!
  • Contact newspapers to announce your engagement.
    • Engagement photos have been taken, the field has been narrowed down, and once I get the proof book back from Melinda, I promise, we will announce our engagement.  This is something I have looked forward to for ages, so of course, there will be an announcement!
  • Decide on a caterer.  Hash out a rough price per head and begin working on a menu.
    • Check!  Caterer is decided, and since we’re just doing a buffet, it’ll be quite simple!  The price per head is dependent on what we have as the menu, and Neil and I have already narrowed down the field.
  • Sign your catering contract and send in a deposit.
    • Finito!  Mom took care of all of this for us, of course, Pipers didn’t require much…just notification that we’d be using them!! 🙂
  • Set up appointments with various florists to discuss options.
    • In Scotland, Wendy really only suggested one florist, Floristic Designs.  Lorna Campbell, the owner, is an award winning wedding and event florist, and Wendy has pretty much made it known that she can do anything!  Of course, she wants me to wait until we’re about three months out before I start deciding on actual arrangements – she’s afraid I’ll change my mind if I choose to quickly!!  (Good thinking, Wendy!!)  But in the meantime, check!!!
  • Decide on and meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony structure and any religious requirements (such as counseling).
    • Our officiant has been decided, the Reverend Peter Douglas will be presiding over our ceremony. Rev. Peter Douglas comes from The Church of Scotland and the views of The Church are quite similar to mine and Neil’s.  Once Neil has settled down in the new house, I am hoping to get both of us together to make a phone call to the Reverend so we can go through all the details.  As far as counseling is concerned, Neil and I have already made a decision that we will meet with our home Pastor, Pastor Marc Hayden, to do pre-marital counseling.  We both feel this is an important step to discuss with our Pastor some important things that we may never have thought about.  It will also be a chance for us to discuss our relationship with each other and our relationship with God.  But for now, we’ll leave this task on the to-do list.
  • Interview and get price lists from several wedding photographers and videographers.
    • Check and DOUBLE check!!  Several months ago, Neil and I made our decisions regarding the photographer and videographer.  Seeing that we already had to change the wedding date once, we wanted to make sure the things that could be booked majorly in advance were.  For photographer, we have the wonderful Fiona MacNeill and for videography (against Neil’s wishes…sorry, Dear!!) we have RPL Weddings.  I look at their websites almost daily, and I cannot wait until our wedding is feature on their site!!!
  • Book reception band or DJ, sign the contract, and send a deposit.
    • Fortunately for us, this one was easy!!  In Scotland, we were originally not going to have any dancing at all – just dinner and relaxing.  But the more we though about it, the more we decided we kind of wanted to have some dancing and fun.  Fortunately for us, it was a quick and easy decision – DJ Paul B!!  No, no, no, not the great DJ at the Pacers games, but my own and wonderful brother, Paul.  Neil and I have started putting together a playlist and Paul will add the songs to his iPod.  He’ll then be the one responsible to get the party going in Scotland!!!
  • Brides: narrow down your gown choices and make a final decision.
    • CHECK!!! As you well know, a few weeks ago, my mom and I headed to Sophia’s to pick up my wedding dress!!!  I can’t believe it’s already here!!  I absolutely love it and cannot wait until the veil gets here so I can complete the look!!!  Big smiles!!!  🙂
  • If you plan to use frequent flier miles to travel to your honeymoon destination, book your flight now.
    • Honeymoon destination?!  How about wedding destination!! My wonderful father has already started looking into booking the flights and once he has a more concrete answer on dates of arrivals/departures, as well as arrival and departure cities, we’ll have tickets in our hand!!  So excited!

So with 304 days to go, we have 31 checklist items completed…and only 184 to go!!!  I feel like we have already done so much, but I know this is still just the beginning!!

On another exciting note…Neil and I are closing on the house this week!!!  Can you believe it?!  Next week, at this time, he will be living in our new home – and I’ll be spending about 90% of the time there!!!!  Absolutely, positively the most exciting week until the week of June 6, 2010!!!

Now, I told you I had something fun and cute for today – and here it is!  My top ten reasons why I love Wendy McArthur (thus far…).

# 10…She knows her way (and some important people) around Scotland.

– She will go to the ends of the earth for us!  I swear, when we were first deciding on a venue, she had every part of Scotland divided up into areas so we could decide where we wanted to be, then what type of venue we wanted.  That, to me, is impressive!!  Imagine trying to navigate all of the U.S. like that?!  Good thing we have state lines to help us out!! 🙂  But not only does Wendy know Scotland, she knows people!!  I don’t know how many discounts and inside information I have been given simply because, “Oh, you work with Wendy?”  She’s like a Goddess over there!!

# 9…She was voted the best wedding coordinator in all of Scotland.

– Every year, the coveted VOWS Awards promote outstanding service by wedding industry suppliers.  Wendy has been nominated consistently over the past few years, and last year, she was the one to prevail above them all.  VOWS is a very prestigious organization that is sponsored by big names such as Hilton and the Sandals Resort.  Her ability to win shows her tremendous dedication to her brides and grooms.  When it came down to it, before I knew anything else, this answered my question, “Which coordinator should we go with?”  Wendy McArthur and Utopia-Scotland, hands down!

# 8…She uses pretty words that make me feel proper.

– I like reading her emails out loud with a little accent.  It makes me :)!  She uses words like perhaps, lovely, and while it may not exactly be pretty, rubbish!!  Such fun words that you just don’t hear in everyday American English!!

# 7…She has the most adorable little girl!!

– I would include a picture, but I’m sure that against some law somewhere!!  She’s absolutely adorable and I know Wendy will have trouble keeping the boys away as Taylor grows into a beautiful young lady!!

# 6…Even though she doesn’t believe it, she’s quite efficient!

– Wendy mentioned to me a couple weeks ago that she had five weddings in two weeks!!  I couldn’t handle the stress, not to mention she still had time to respond to my emails fairly quickly considering the vast time difference!

# 5…Speaking of emails, she always includes something personal.

– There’s something tremendously nice about the way Wendy emails.  Yes, she’s planning mine and Neil’s fairytale wedding, and of course she needs to be professional, but when we show up in Scotland next June, I want to feel like I actually know this mystery woman that I have been emailing with for the past 18 months…and I know I will!!  Whether it’s a quick tidbit about the weather, her weekend plans, or something fun about Taylor, I actually feel like I’m getting to know her as more than just our wedding coordinator, but as a true friend.

# 4…She “moves in such high circles”!

– She used this exact quote in one of her emails once and I smiled…Wendy is never afraid to admit that she’s kind of a big deal!!  She was the event manager at the Gleneagles Resort, a luxurious 5-star resort in Perthshire.  She also spent some time with the manager of The Old Course Hotel – at his house for a BBQ!!!!  Yes, she’s a high-roller!

# 3…She offers simple, affordable coordination.

– I know, this one is quite boring, but if you think about it, it really is amazing!  She doesn’t offer pre-arranged packages because weddings aren’t just pre-arranged (well, I guess some of them are…), but either way, there is no cookie cutter wedding.  Each is individual and different.  Being able to do whatever we want with the help and support of Wendy has been tremendous.  It’s nice to not have limitations!

# 2…She pretends my wedding is tomorrow…

– …even though we know that’s not true!!  The attention she gives me is amazing!!  I swear, if you read through our emails the past several months you would think our wedding is weeks away, not ten months!  The detailed information far surpasses anything I would have ever expected.  She truly is a blessing!

And the #1 reason I love Wendy McArthur, just take one look at this face…P8033543

This, my friends, is Pepper, Wendy’s newest addition to the family!!  Poor Taylor has been begging her for a puppy for ages, and Wendy finally folded!!  But how could you not when you see this face!?!

Wendy…only 306 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes, and 49 seconds until it’s all over with!!!!  🙂

So, I really wanted to wait on this post simply because I did not want to take away from my precious babies’ birthday!!  They were such good little pups, staying with mom the whole day!  I even took them to this adorable little bakery.  Raikkon got a new collar and they both got a puppy Rice Krispy Treat!!  Now, don’t worry – Kindiebelle is getting herself a new collar this weekend!!

Before we trotted over to the bakery, we made a stop into Melinda‘s studio.  She had our images ready for viewing and I was quite anxious to check them out.  Neil, of course, was still hard at work, but I managed to sneak in and Melinda and I narrowed the field down a bit.  There were so many wonderful images – and for the most part, I loved them all!!  Of course, there were a few – like the one where Neil looks like he’s yelling at me and where little Kindiebelle looks like she gained 10 lbs – that we opted not to include in the final proof book!!  Likely by next week, I’ll have the proof book in hand and ordering can begin!!  I cannot wait to show Neil all of our glamorous portraits…we really should be models, you know!!  Either way, they were wonderful, and after she crops and edits a few, I know they’ll be even better!!

Stay posted for tomorrow…I have a cute little entry that I’d love to share with you all!! 😉

Three years ago today, just outside metro Louisville, Kentucky, a brave mother gave birth to four little babies.  Not a week later, Neil and I visited Louisville to see the brand new gift from God.  Our hearts melted immediately, and not nine weeks later, we had a little boy and a little girl.  The greatest little boy and girl a parent could ask for.  And for the past three years, those two babies have grown into our strong and brave best friends.  We could not be more proud!!

Happy Birthday, our little Babies.  We have loved you yesterday, and we will love you today, tomorrow, until the end of time.  You have brought so much joy and excitement to our lives and we could not imagine a world without you two.  You are each others’ best friend, and the greatest friend to your Mom and Dad.  We love you!!

Kindiebelle at one week.

Kindiebelle at one week.

Kindiebelle at nine weeks.

Kindiebelle at nine weeks.

Raikkon at one week.

Raikkon at one week.

Raikkon at nine weeks.

Raikkon at nine weeks.

My babies at three years!!!

Our babies at three years!!!