A Wine-derful Bachelorette Affair

Monday, May 26, 2014
Last weekend we celebrated my final weeks as a single gal in style with a little wine and painting.
This is something I have been wanting to do for quite some time, and I was beyond excited when I saw a stylin' little "vino" themed invite arrive in my mailbox.
If you've never done something like this, there are several of these little gems sprinkled throughout most urban areas. The one my maids decided upon was called Bottle and Bottega

My lovely ladies provided the wine (and lots of it) and they provide the rest!

Once we filled our glasses and had a few appetizers, it was time to start the art. Our wonderful instructor showed us step-by-step how to channel our inner van Goghs.

A whole piece finished in 2 hours or less. And let's be honest, while I must admit my friends are incredibly talented, I had no idea we would all be able to create the caliber of work that I would have no shame hanging on my wall!

Lovely all around.

I would highly recommend this type of intimate gathering for a bacherlorette who isn't up for the typical out all night soiree. It was a perfect evening for me to spend quality time with the amazing women in my life chatting, wining and dining.

Here are 10 other ideas that may be great for a bachelorette hoping for something a little different than the norm:

1. Take part in a cooking class together as a group (and indulge after!)
2. Go wine tasting/to a vineyard together for an afternoon of sippin' and sun
3. Attend a baseball game or sporting event and cheer on the bride's favorite team
4. Go on a weekend getaway at a cabin (be sure to bring your favorite chick flicks and slippers)
5. Venture out on a scavenger hunt around the city
6. Run a 5k or other race together (and of course coordinate your outfits)
7. Have a spa and pampering day together (what girl doesn't love this)
8. Invite everyone over to someone's place for a game night (bring the bride's favorites)
9. Host a Pinterest "DIY" night (everyone picks a project and brings the necessary items to create it)
10. Hit up an amusement park together for a day of fun-filled aventure


For my mom...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

As I was trying to work through how to put into words just how very special my dear mother is to me, I was reminded of a poem I had written for her somewhere around the age of 18 as I was embarking on my journey of more or less becoming a "grown-up", independent young woman myself. I took the time to reread the words I had written for my mom nearly a decade ago and was struck by how much they still ring true, many of them even more so now that I have grown older and my respect and love for her have developed that much further.

I thought I'd share the poem with you today, (keep in mind I was 18 when I wrote it - although I think it would have made Dr. Seuss proud), because I hope it will serve as a reminder not only for my mother and myself, but for all mothers and daughters out there of not only how special the relationship between a mother and daughter is, but also how selfless moms truly are in fostering our growth as people each and every step of the way.

For my mom...
A mother and a daughter have a very special bond,
and I feel blessed to say that ours goes above and beyond.

I know I always remind you of all the stupid little things you do, 
but please never forget that I remember all the good ones too.

Your advice and influence over the years has shaped who I have grown to be,
from a little girl threw tantrums to a responsible and mature young lady.

Thank you for always calming me down when I can't figure out what to do. 
The one I rely on to tell me it will be okay and everything will work out is you.

Anytime we spend together is of precious value to me,
from vacations, to shopping, to decorating a Christmas tree.

We have so many memories - the good and the bad,
from laughing so hard our stomachs hurt, to comforting each other when we are sad.

You are my idol, you are who I aspire to be, 
and I hope I can be to my children what you are to me.

I am proud of you for all that you do, 
from working, to going back to school, and being a mom too.

To me you are wonder woman and the worlds greatest mom all in one,
your powers endless, your work never done.

Thank you for your love and support over all of these years,
from the nitty gritty like wiping my bottom, to the important things like wiping my tears.

I hope that our relationship will continue to grow and flourish with age,
for in the book of life we've just begun our page.

I love you mom and feel beyond blessed that God chose you to be mine.
Happy Mother's Day 2014.


On Making Joint Decisions

Thursday, May 8, 2014

So, this last week we decided to get new car.
I hightlight we, because over the past few weeks throughout the process of making the decision, while it was one initiated by my fianc√©, it was one that we ultimately had to come to an agreement on together.

It is an interesting transition from being a "single" couple to being an engaged/married couple as decisions that were once yours (even though your may have elicited the other's input), were yours alone. Now, those big decisions must be made by you both.

I have learned a lot about myself already in this process of "making joint decisions" thus far. If I am going to be honest, and my fiancé will probably tell you the same, I am that girl that likes to take control - aka I have a tendency to want to be the one to make the decision for us.
Not only this, but I like the outcome to be the one that I desire.

This is something I'm working on.

I understand as this was all great and good when I was living life as a single chickadee, now I have to take this whole other person I love's thoughts and feelings about a topic into serious consideration as they hold the same value as my own.

Enter the car example.

My first thoughts were absolutely, no way. Ry's current car was not very old, worked fine, had sufficient space and it was automatic, which meant I was capable of driving it.

That being said, while extremely hard for me, I took a step back from my "you've got to be kidding" attitude, and we worked at making a mutual decision as a couple where both sides had value.

While this is something that every couple has to continue to work on and work through, there were some things that I found truly helpful is making this big decision together.

1. Listening. Sometimes we headstrong folk like myself can be so quick to share our thoughts, that we don't take the time to show our loved one the same consideration in taking a moment to listen to what they have to say.

2. Be open to both sides. While my immediate reaction may have been "no sirree". I fought this urge, and strived to be open to hearing what he had to say.

3. Share your side, but avoid criticizing the other. Trust me, I had plenty of reasons ready to share with Ry as to why this car did not see like most practical idea. However, when he shared his side, while I may not have agreed 100%, I worked hard not to criticize his thoughts and feelings.

4. Take some think time. We did not make this decision is one sitting. It was a process and involved multiple discussions. We both needed time to process the points that the other brought to the table before we came back together to discuss again.

5. Pray about it. We strive to keep God at the heart of our relationship. He should be at the heart of our decisions as well.

6. Think about how the decision will affect your relationship. Is it something that will create more harmony and draw you closer together as a couple?

7. Embrace one another's values. Sometimes the best choice may not be the one you may have made on your own, and that's okay. Sometimes we must make a decision because we know deep down it is something that would mean a great deal to our spouse or significant other.

In the end, after going through these different steps, we decided that Ry should get that new car that he was so keen on having. When I took the time to listen to what he had to say without shutting the thought down from the get go, I could see that not only was this something that was really important to him, but that he had thought a great deal about. Is it a decision that I would have made on my own? Probably wouldn't have even been a thought on my radar. But I could see that this was something that was going to make my man extremely happy. And I knew that in showing him that I trust him and embrace his thoughts and values, it will only work to strengthen our relationship in the long run.

I mean, he does look pretty studly next to his new set of wheels, right?
That smile makes it all worth it.
Now I just have to learn how to drive stick.