Monday, July 25, 2011

{ Life } Warrior Dash

This weekend, Carl and I took on the Warrior Dash at Afton Alps.

What is the Warrior Dash, you might ask? Their website describes it as:
...the ultimate event for thrill-seeking athletes. This 5k race is held on the most demanding and unique terrain from around the world. Participants will take on intense obstacles, and celebrate their feat with music, beer, and muddy shorts! The Craziest Frickin' Day Of Your Life!
Having never run... ever, this was going to be a crazy day for me. Carl did a great job of motivating me for the four months before the run. He encouraged me at the gym, he inspired me to push harder... And I was running an 11 minute mile by the day of the event!]

Unfortunately, the Warrior Dash started out straight up a hill. NO THANK YOU. That set the tone for a walk-jog for me the rest of the way. Just as I was ready to run again, there was another hill or another obstacle. Thankfully, I met a lovely lady who kept me company on our walk-jog.

Carl wanted to hang back with me to encourage me and make sure I was okay at first. After we stood and watched the finish line for awhile and watched all the people do the plunge, fire jump and mud crawl, he was too excited. While the idea of running the whole course together was fun and enticing, I didn't want to hold him back, so I was glad to hear he was going to give it his all and run ahead. I think I would have killed myself trying to speed up for him.

Along the way, I ran in to a man and woman who were really encouraging each other. She even used his shirt to wipe her sweaty face! I smiled and said 'now THAT'S a good friend!', and with a big smile, he replied 'no, that's 31 years of a great marriage.' That was really sweet... and as I jogged by I said 'that's exactly what I'm shooting for!'

The end of the race felt soooo good. I couldn't wait to get into the cold mud pit and crawl my way to the finish. Other than getting mud in my eye, it was awesome! Carl spotted me and yelled my name. He had a huge smile on his face and seeing him made me super excited to move faster so I could give him a big, muddy hug.

A turkey leg and a beer later, we were ready to head home. Carl ran the course in 43 minutes. I managed to get out of there in an hour and three minutes... I was hoping for under an hour. Oh well! Motivation for next year!

It was a great way to spend a Sunday together. We relaxed all night at home with delicious fish tacos and Food Network. These are the best days, ever.

Monday, July 18, 2011

{ Inspiration } The Planning Begins

It has officially begun!

This weekend, I started creating my planning checklists. It still doesn’t feel real… but I feel like I am getting somewhere, at least. I’m so afraid of running out of time, and we don’t even have an official date set! How can I run out of time if the timeline hasn’t even been defined?!

As Carl would say, ‘your Type-A is showing’.

I spent the morning on Sunday copying lists into my own formats from one of the wedding guides my mom bought me. After I finish those, I will start to create the ‘interview questionnaires’ for any vendor selection we might have to do (like music, venue, reception…) I honestly don’t know how my event-planning co-workers do it! How do they remember all these details and pull off the events they do so flawlessly?!

I also started to practice fabric roses. I want to make my bouquets for my bridesmaid (and for me!), and first thing I have to do is prove to myself that I can make each of the styles of flower I want to make. Then, I have to make each one. About 1,000 times. Yikes. I will hopefully have a back-up plan in case I go a little crazy while making all of these flowers!

I also found my dress this weekend… But more on that EXCITING detail, later!

What DIY projects are you planning for your wedding?
PS: I'm in love with this quick tutorial! Rock n Roll Bride: Fabric Flower Bouquet Tutorial

Friday, July 15, 2011

{ In Love } The Proposal

I think that it finally hit me today… Holy crap. I’m engaged! Carl and I are going to get married! I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. How did I get to be so lucky?

Before the craziness of planning sets in, I want to write about the proposal. I don’t want to forget any detail of it, since it was really perfect.

Friday, July 8th, was Carl and my one year anniversary. We had been planning to go out to a fancy dinner and splurge a little bit to celebrate. We talked about where we wanted to go and came up with two plans, one indoor (in case of a freak rainstorm) and one outdoor (because summers in Minnesota are wonderful!). As our anniversary got closer, weather looked in our favor, so we went with our outdoor option: W.A. Frost & Company in Saint Paul. W.A. Frost has the number one rated outdoor patio, and for good reason. Neither of us had ever been there before, so walking into the backyard for the first time was really breathtaking. It’s a brick patio that is tiered in places, full of trees, artsy bird houses and hanging string lights all over. It was simply beautiful.

Our waitress seated us and we began to peruse the menu together. Carl had been a little more quite than usual on the drive over to the restaurant, so I tried to engage him a bit in discussing the menu (a subject that always works, since he is a foodie and has culinary training). I asked him about what wines we would order, what entrée looked best… We agreed very quickly on the Pork Belly Strudel for an appetizer (I know! It sounds awful… but it was more like a wanton and it was DELCIOUS). I picked a sauvignon blanc, he picked a Riesling. After talking over a few selections on the menu, we agreed to get the two that stood out most both to us and we’d steal bites from each other.

We made small talk, drank our wine, ate our appetizer, and enjoyed the evening until our entrées arrived. Carl had grilled all-natural dry aged top sirloin broccoli-cheddar gratin, roasted shishito peppers, garden chive oil, black pepper agrodolce. I had Moroccan spiced Iowa lamb chops medjool date and pistachio fregula, rapini, house made merguez sausage, dill-yogurt sauce. (No I didn’t remember all of that… I copied it off of their website!) When our plates came out, we were both very happy. Our food was amazing! We shared, we stole extra bites, we nom’ed our food and savored each little bit.

Then it happened. To be honest… I can’t tell you what I said, or what happened just before hand. It’s a total black out in my brain… I remember saying that it was crazy to think we had been together for a year already… As we had been talking, he was really fidgety, something that struck me as odd.  He set his knife and fork down, took his napkin from his lap and just sat back.

“Do you think you want to be with me forever?” He said.

This is when my brain pretty much shut down. I remember laughing a little and saying “Of course!” But when he got up and came to my side of the table, my heart was already in my throat. I was already shaking when he got down on one knee, little white box in hand, and opened the case.

By the time he said “Will you marry me?” I was already screaming “YES!”

Ok. That’s a lie.

I was screaming yes on the inside, because back in the real world, I was speechless. I couldn’t do anything other than kiss him. A lot. Like… a lot. Like Grandma would have been disgusted had she seen me make out with my man like that in public.

After what felt like a year, but also like a millisecond, I gasped out “of course!” or maybe it was “yes” or “certainly” or… Knowing me “d’uh!” I really can’t remember. I can remember that I was shaking so hard that I could barely hold my wine glass without sloshing its remains onto the table.

As I sit here thinking about it again… I’m shaking all over with a HUGE smile plastered on my face. And yes… there might be a few tears welled up… But I’m just a sentimental kind of gal.

I don’t know when… but Carl made it back to his side of the table. I had the box in hand and I was just staring at the ring. I was laughing out of sheer joy, tears finally started to prick at my eyes, and did I mention… I was shaking.

I can’t describe much more from dinner. We finished our meals (or, I tried… I was so giddy I could barely muster keeping food down!), the restaurant sent us champagne on the house and we laughed and smiled and talked while I made the slow journey from somewhere 1000 feet in the air back into my body. Through out dessert, I randomly kept bursting into tears and having laughing fits. My cheeks have never hurt so bad!

Before we left, the table next to us sent over champagne. We went over to toast with them and thank them. One of the gals said “we saw crying and a box… so we didn’t think it was a break up!” The kindness of strangers is so amazing, sometimes.

As we stood to leave, the tables around us all applauded. I don’t think I have ever had a more memorable dining experience in my life.

In the car, I sent a photo of the ring to my best friend (and MOH!), Chrissy. She responded with squeals of delight and excitement. The whole ride home I was so anxious to see my mom and dad and tell them all about it. At dinner, Carl had told me that everyone in my family knew , so they were just as excited for me to come home.

I came home, hugged my mom like crazy (and we both started to cry!) and hugged my dad. They were so incredibly cute and had gone out to buy a Dairy Queen ice cream cake to celebrate. It was so nice to have that moment with my family… My brother and his girlfriend even came over to celebrate and enjoy.

I really don’t think I’ve come down yet… and I hope I never do. I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with Carl. I can’t imagine anyone else in the world more perfect for me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

{ In Love } The Ring

Maybe I'll start with a picture of the ring before I go into how we met and the proposal story...
He did a fabulous job! It fits me and my personality perfectly.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

{ In Love } Engaged!

Well, I guess the purpose of this blog is to track all of the wedding ideas and other adventures that occur while planning Carl and my wedding. I'm thrilled to get started, but already feeling overwhelmed! Bare with me as I struggle to get going!