Can you smell the grills, taste the bourbon, feel that chill in the air? Can you hear that noise? ARE YOU READY?
Well, I reckon that’s about enough for today! Ya’ll enjoy Labor Day.
See you in Blacksburg!
Can you smell the grills, taste the bourbon, feel that chill in the air? Can you hear that noise? ARE YOU READY?
Well, I reckon that’s about enough for today! Ya’ll enjoy Labor Day.
See you in Blacksburg!
This week is a pretty special week for a pretty special girl in my life. It’s hard to call her only my cousin because over the past 18 years she has proven to be much more. The first person I ever remember loving (real love, and not just I’m supposed to love them) – was Kiersten. She was a tiny little blonde haired baby with a fierce attitude and she followed me around like I was the queen of all queens. I am 10 years older and therefore she came into my life as I was turning into a bratty little preteen and while not all of the times we spent playing in the hallway at Sweet Aunt Rose’s house were either of our favorite times, our relationship over the past 18 years is something I cherish every single day.
I remember her squeaky little voice cursing at the stubborn dog. All the Halloweens we had to turn her into the scariest creature in the neighborhood (even though as I am finding out all over again, it’s pretty impossible to turn a 2 foot blonde baby into any sort of “scary”). All the Christmas’s we spent in the dollar store with our “millions” and the hours we spent wrapping presents. All the bedtimes, she cuddled beside me to sweetly fall asleep and then 25 minutes later I’d get a right hook to the jaw. Or the bed becoming a teepee as her butt managed to be higher in the air than she was tall. As she grew, I watched her graduate from preschool in her cap and gown which looked even cuter over the short hair she managed to give herself a few months prior. I was there when she had her first cheerleading competition and her forward roll needed some work. I watched her through her awkward stages of finding herself and her friends. Listened to her stumble through school issues like mean girls and gross boys. I remember her first boyfriend. I was there when she nailed her first back handspring!!! I spent countless dollars and trips and miles and GLITTER on every cheer competition I could make. I watched her pitch softballs; I watched her drive away in her FIRST OF MANY cars. I held her hand as our favorite lady passed away. (Or she held mine, we can’t be sure). I yelled at her for being a teenager time and time again. I listened to her vent over parental issues and boys more times than I can count. I watched her walk across the stage and receive her diploma. And as she has grown, I have managed to love her even more through all of this.
At my wedding, she gave me away but that was nothing compared to what she has given me over the span of her life. She taught me in so many ways, how to be a mother to my own little blonde haired baby with a fierce attitude. How to be a friend. How to be MYSELF. She was the first person to show me that real love is unconditional regardless of time away, fights, or TEENAGERS!
As we say goodbye to her and send her off on her next journey I have seen a lot of tears. A lot of reservation from people in our family and even from herself about sending her off alone. But the only thing I feel is overwhelming pride. I couldn’t be more proud of her as she heads off to Radford to become a student and a College Cheerleader that can not only NAIL a back TUCK but can also handle her studies. I feel confident that she can take care of herself without any of her cushions to fall back on. I feel happy that she made this decision to go to college and happy she decided to do it away, on her own. So I have one of the biggest smiles this side of the Mississippi and I can’t find a single tear to shed.
Kiersten – to say I am proud would be an understatement. You have quite possibly defied physics and made me something more than proud. You are a beautiful, but humble girl. You are strong and resourceful. You are caring and anyone that comes into your path can see that you radiate positivity. You will not only flourish in school but in all the things you do in life because you are also SMART! Go away, be free. But please never forget to Be Bold and Be BRAVE!
I LOVE YOU!
After 88 blissful days of marriage we are headed off to the West Coast for some “Cali-fornahhh Love” as my favorite Rapper T-Pac would say. Or in English – OUR HONEYMOON! I’m a little nervous about returning because of that dreadful declaration that most married couples use; you may have heard it. “The honeymoon is over”. Well I thought that I would put in writing the 88 things I have loved about our marriage so far just in case said declaration is true, maybe I can refer back here to remind myself of what it was like pre-honeymoon.
Happy Monday Ya’ll! Last week was a doozy. I don’t think I sat down a second of it!
This weekend was certainly one for the books. We kicked off a little early with a surprise lunch with my favorite munchkin on Friday at noon. A few of my coworkers and I decided that since it was Friday, the end of the month and the most gorgeous day, we could also splurge and have a bottle of wine. I mean come on; the three of us were SHARING. The food was better than it’s been in years, who knows; it could be that Greek food always tastes better when it’s not sweltering hot!
Saturday morning we woke in a tailspin. Tights, ruffles, rosy red cheeks and day full of dancing. I have to have a mommy moment here, excuse me.
We started dance classes back in October of last year. I remember signing Ella up for classes at The Dance Company, searching for tiny pink body suits and the most adorable ballet shoes. On our first Thursday, Ella was very excited to wear her “bathing suit” and well, when I put on the tutu, I think her heart skipped a beat. My girl loves anything fancy for sure! We showed up at dance classes weekly and the majority of the time Ella spent making faces in the big mirror, flapping around aimlessly and having the time of her life. I am not sure one would consider any of the events that happened in that room, “dancing”. Nonetheless, she loved it and looked forward to Thursday every week. This weekend was the Grand Finale, or as us Dance Moms call it, RECITAL WEEKEND! All of Ella’s biggest fans attended the show and my little munchkin definitely performed. She did the entire routine like she had been practicing for months, all the while I was in the audience sobbing all over myself and our guests. It was certainly a proud mommy moment to watch my sweet girl perform something she worked at for months. Her Daddy rushed over to the stage to get her and afterwards we celebrated her big success with cake pops, flowers and lots of big hugs!
After all the fuss calmed down and I had a second to think about what was next, my heart literally did a double take as I realized I TOTALLY FORGOT to do a chore for a friends “Stock the Bar Party”. Myself and the other bridesmaids thought it would be incredibly cute to put together a basket of wine to enjoy for all the “firsts” they have to look forward to in their long and happy marriage. First house, first baby, first anniversary and so on. My portion was the glasses. Fast forward through the crazy week and 3 hours before the party, here I am with NO GLASSES! WHOOPSIE!
I put on my thinking cap and realized I had all the makings for a perfect pair of Wine Glasses. With a little help and inspiration from the almighty Pinterest, I was able to pull off these little beauties. I drew myself a little stencil and traced through the glass with a Sharpie paint marker.
Then I added a couple of cute tags and some ribbon.
After giving the glasses a good hour to dry we were on our way to the party, glasses in tow. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and socializing with our great friends! We can’t wait to see them tie the knot and look forward to hearing about all the memories as they share their “Firsts” together!
Sunday, myself and the hubs decided to indulge in Broad Apetite, which was amazing and magical and completely ridiculous! We are so lucky to live in a city where the food options are ENDLESS and delightful. After $40 bucks, a few great beers and way too many calories to count we closed off the weekend in a food coma!
I think I still need to sleep, or better yet, exercise!!!!
Most of Memorial Day was spent inside for me. Oh don’t be sorry for me at all, I was completely OK with this decision as I was hosting my own private party unpacking all our wedding gifts! It’s sort of like Christmas, but way BETTER because everything is MONOGRAMMED! (Insert giddy girl giggle HERE) Not to mention, this sweet girl had all the fun she could stand at the river two days in a row.
When we moved into our house, I thought, no way we will ever fill this cabinet space. Turns out, all you need is a good reason for a registry and your cabinets will be bursting at the seams. If you want to toast a bagel, make a panini, slow cook enough food for a week, slice, dice, brew, grind, juice or mix, I have a thing for that. If you want to make sushi, or pie, or cupcake lollipops, or plain cupcakes, or cookies cut into basically any shape, I have a thing for that. If you want to cook on a flat top, an outdoor grill, a smoker, an indoor grill, a real oven, a convection oven, I also have a thing for that. And please don’t fret; I have a plate or a platter to serve basically any item in any circumstance near or far and a carrying case too. The carrying case may or may not be monogrammed, I can neither confirm nor deny this. See what I mean, Christmas all over again. SO. MUCH. FUN!
Now, for the grand finale, the moment you have all been waiting for, well mainly just ME. But you get it.
I have had my eyes on the BEAUTIFUL Benchwright Dining table for YEARS! YEARSSSSSSSSSSSSS! It’s in every pottery barn catalog since I can remember and I always prayed it would one day find itself in my home! Now, I know, I know, I’m supposed to find an old picnic table at the dumpster and refinish into something similar to this, but this one time, I went the short cut way! It’s my wedding for goodness sake; I’m allowed this one splurge! OH. MY. GOD. So worth ruining my reputation for!!!!!!!! LOOK AT IT! (This is not my house; this is the pottery barn catalog)
Bride advice alert: if you register for furniture from pottery barn and have your guests give you gift cards, you get 10% off after your wedding. So that’s exactly what we did, but let’s be honest, we have the most AMAZING family and friends, however, we do not have TABLE & CHAIRS amazing friends, which I am totally OK with because I found these beauties from Target.
At a fraction of the cost (by fraction, I really mean I got 6 chairs for the price of 1), I couldn’t be more excited for these things to deliver! I will update when everything is settled in its place right in the heart of our home!
To everyone that gave us these amazing gifts, please know that for the rest of our lives we will cherish them, make memories using them, and while we are so blessed to have these amazing material items, we will never take for granted the best thing of all and that’s just having you all in our lives. We love you so very much.
Now excuse me, I need to go do a good deed for someone because I’m feeling a little too spoiled. Does anyone want me to cook them dinner????
Well, I relaxed for a whole week y’all.
Saturday morning I woke up with a vengeance. 8:30am I tied up my running shoes and headed out for a morning jog. I started thinking about what in the world I would do with my time now that I don’t have to worry about table decor, floral arrangements or caterer conference calls. I can only contain my craft hobby so long before it gets the best of me.
Turns out, Husband (see how I changed him over, it’s weird to call him Husband, but I LOVE it) and I just had our 1 year warranty fixes on our house. Can you believe it’s been a year??? Ugh, me either! That means that we are free to paint and hang all the pretty things currently residing in the parking space of our garage!
I headed off to Home Depot and Target. At target I found some really nice shelving units by Threshold. Set me back about $40. Not to shabby. Next Home Depot for paint and supplies. I wasn’t sure about exact color and the paint wall can be intimidating even if you just want white!!! Behr had a sale so I decided to stick with that. 30 minutes later I picked my lucky color. Regatta Bay blue. BOOM. $60 worth of paint, brushes, tape and normal paint junk I was ready to start my Saturday project.
We had a black mirror hanging out in the garage. Turns out I had a ton of white paint as well so I decided to give it a quick face lift.
Next on to painting. The Behr paint had primer in it as well so I only needed to do 1 coat. #winning
I waited about 45 minutes for the paint to semi dry and then proceeded on to hang the decor.
It only took me about 6 consecutive hours to complete the entire project and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Sunday I spent most of the day on the couch…plotting my next project of course!!!! 😁
See you soon! Xoxo
Every girl dreams of her wedding. No matter who you are, old or young, you dream of your wedding day. The flowers, the décor, your dress, your hair, your best friend’s dresses. You wait around for years, decades even, for the right person. And then…all of a sudden it happens. It starts, and I can only hope that every person’s journey is much like mine. It was a dream, a real life fairy tale that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It, honest to god, felt like we rode off into the sunset and I am not sure I will touch the ground from floating EVER again.
From the day Will proposed, I planned, I plotted, I pinned my little heart out. I take pride in the fact that every piece of this wedding came from a place of love. The invitations were created and cut individually. I spent days getting them exactly right. The place settings were from wine corks that Will and I or our family and friends shared. (Who knows what memories came out of those bottles). The tables décor was handmade by either myself or friends. Each thank you note was hand cut, our table names were bars from the city we lived for years. I wanted each part of it to remind us of our past, to help our guest feel a part of our life and be able to share in our genuinely happy future.
After months of preparations my sweet little family started our trip down south to our favorite place, Charleston, South Carolina. Once we pulled out of the driveway, I said “This is it; this is where I let it go. This is when I let it happen, things will go wrong, things will be different but as long as we return together holding hands the way we are now, well then…I succeeded in something and that is all that matters to me”. I truly did. If I give any bride to be advice, it’s this. At some point you have to let go and enjoy yourself. You worked too hard to sweat the small stuff because at the end of the day you are marrying the man of your dreams, who cares about anything else.
So it started…
Tuesday we ran around the city dropping off gifts to our hotel guests, we made a pit stop at the Charleston County Probate Court and got ourselves a little marriage certificate. We giggled and tried our hardest to make the clerk feel uncomfortable. Turns out she is pretty used to happy couple’s affection but that didn’t rain on our parade. We left and had a MAGICAL lunch with our favorite cousins at Poogan’s Porch! They serve homemade biscuits and butter as a starter and I quickly decided that I belong in this place. Don’t forget our munchkin; she was off enjoying herself playing around with her favorite people, MEME and friends.
Wednesday we checked into a fabulous house in Wild Dunes. I quickly arranged bouquets and floral arrangements myself. (Note to all future brides – it is NOT that hard to tie ribbon around flowers, DO IT YOURSELF). We setup for the rehearsal and before I knew it our families and friends were all surrounding us. The night was filled with love and laughter, great food, LOTS of drinks and a few happy tears. We closed off with a few party goers in the pool. Will and I may or may not have been one of those party goers.
Thursday was the big day. I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to face the day. It was lovely to spend time with all my favorite girls. Our stylist (Paper Dolls – http://www.mycharlestonweddinghair.com/)managed to achieve pure excellence on my hair and makeup. My girls all looked completely adorable in the oxford shirts I monogrammed for them to wear while getting fancy. The guys were on time, dressed and absolutely the most handsome bunch of men I have ever laid eyes on. AND DEAR SWEET JESUS, Ella in her Jason Wu Dress and boots was something to talk about. Sally Harland was turning heads left and right and taking full advantage of her new haircut. J
Stop right there – Will and I exchanged gifts while we were getting ready and boy did I not realize how much this would mean to me. I worked pretty hard on a boudoir shoot and book for him. Although, I have to admit that other than a few sexy pictures and a night of editing, I hadn’t given this gift a lot of thought. When I was handed his gift, I knew immediately it would be jewelry from our favorite local shop. In true TERRI form, I ripped open the package to find the most STUNNING solitaire pearl necklace I have ever seen. To call it timeless would be an understatement. It’s the most amazing jewel I have ever seen. I was completely in awe when my 9 crazy bridesmaids reminded me it might me nice of me to read the card…oh yea…. About that…
“Your presence comforts me, I promise to always take care of you….” are just a few of the words he wrote. In that moment I was absolutely sure not only would my marriage last, but it would be a happy one. I am so grateful for not only him, but for our daughter. He has helped me to accomplish every dream I ever had, the most important being a family of my own.
Around 4pm an old volkswagon bus showed up at our door step. Don’t worry, it was painted in our wedding color scheme which was just some shear stroke of luck. Our entire bridal party climbed on board and we made our way to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/). This place, my god, this place is just something from a dream. Its feels like something from a movie as soon as you turn past the gate. Winding dirt roads with scattered wildlife and the most gorgeous plants and trees you could imagine. My bridesmaids and I headed off to a suite to get dressed while the guys hit up the cocktail bar. Who would have thought….
It wasn’t until I slipped into my dress that my emotions became raw. I was nervous, anxious, happy, and a tiny bit overwhelmed. It’s here, it’s happening, this is it. We decided to do a first look because I felt that he and I should share that moment rather than with the awkwardness of 75 people staring us down to see the reaction. Seeing him there, holding his hand, made all the emotion go away. The only one I can accurately remember from that moment forward would be UTTER HAPPINESS!!!
Our ceremony was impeccable with our sweet Officiant (Christy Loftin) slowing drawing out vows in only a way a true southern belle can do. I heard a rumor that when we kissed a crane actually flew out of the trees across the sky. I AM NOT MAKING THAT UP!!! Our first dance was a moment I will never forget. Our gorgeous munchkin walking up to her Daddy asking to dance with us. And then dinner….jesus. CRU catering(http://www.crucatering.com/), it was unbelievable. SERIOUSLY, UNFREAKINGBELIEVABLE! The mac and cheese will be something we will devour each and every time we come back to Charleston. Instead of cake we had cobbler. Blackberry cobbler and don’t forget the ice cream. Our guest witnessed my Maid of Honor deliver the most epic speech of all time. She covered everything from A-Z (literally). Of course we cried a few happy tears from the other speeches delivered from our closest friends and family. Our DJ, Bill West (East Coast Entertainment) kicked off the night in the most perfect way. Myself and my oldest friends literally screaming to my favorite song “Friends in Low Place by Garth Brooks”. I don’t think a single person sat down for the rest of the night, at least I know we didn’t.
In closing, it wasn’t a dream come true. It was BETTER! A line from one of my favorite chick flicks… “What do you do when all your dreams have come true?”
Well, I say.
Thank you Jeanne Mitchum (Riverland Photography – http://riverlandstudios.com/) for capturing this day in a way I feel like I am reliving each time I flip through these pictures.