Sunday, January 11, 2009

In the Course of a Year

On this day, one year ago, Mr. Magnolia and I said “I do” in front of 185 of our closest friends and family.

Tonight, we will celebrate with just our pup, Knowshon, and the bottle of Dom Perignon that Mr. Mags’ aunt gave us as a wedding gift. What a year it has been.


It’s inevitable that as you prepare to get married and begin your wedded life, you’ll hear people say that the first year of marriage is the most difficult. In our case, I’m going to have to agree wholeheartedly, but not for the reasons you might think.

I think in a lot of instances, a relationship can go through a tremendous amount of strain in the first year due to financial issues, family problems, and just general disagreements about how you both move forward with your everyday lives. Even if a couple lives together before tying the knot, it seems to me that making the relationship legal can add a level of complexity that puts you in a pressure cooker. For me personally, it was quite an adjustment to shift my thinking from “me” to “we” – it’s something that I continue to work on every day, because I can think of nothing that I want more than to ensure that my relationship with Mr. Mags lasts forever.

That’s not what I wanted to write about, though. Mr. Mags and I have had quite a first year, but I truly think that our relationship has been the easiest part. Life is going to continue to throw us curveballs, but given what we’ve tackled this year alone, I know that we’ll be able to get through it all together.

We’ve dealt with some serious health problems in our immediate families, particularly involving an issue this past spring with Mr. Mags’ dad, and then my mom’s diagnosis of breast cancer this summer.

Thankfully, they’re both doing very well. My mom had a lumpectomy in August, and she completed seven weeks of radiation right before Thanksgiving. She's now cancer-free!

At the end of September, I lost my job. It was unexpected and fairly upsetting, but I was hopeful that I’d find something even better. As of today, I’m still job hunting. I do have a few prospects – I have a lot of contacts in my field, and I’ve been interviewing regularly, but so far nothing has stuck.

Regardless, we have had fun! We spent a week this summer at the beach…

We cheered our beloved Georgia Bulldogs to another ten-win season…

And we spoiled Knowshon rotten at every opportunity.

Finally, we sent 2008 out in style, happy to see a crazy year go and looking forward to the wonderful things that 2009 would bring…

…but whatever it does bring, we’ll face it together. Yes, it was a tough year, but I am thankful every day for the amazing man that I married. Mr. Mags, I love you. Happy Anniversary.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Save the Date, Spanx-Style

Atlanta resident (and undergarment savior to ladies everywhere) Sara Blakely is getting married! Per an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning, the Spanx founder is engaged to be married to Jesse Itzler, co-founder of Marquis Jets (and former rapper). The pair have rented out an entire resort in Boca Grande, FL for their October wedding, which I'm sure will be no small affair!

Stationery absolutely helps to set the tone for your wedding, and given that Save the Dates are generally the first formal contact that you have with your guests - how do we feel about this amazing creation?

I apologize for the poor quality of this picture - I snagged it off the AJC website, and I assume that this is a scanned version of the original!

The front of this 12-page bound booklet features sheet music for the song, "At Last" and an original image of the couple on a bicycle. Look closely, and you'll see - the bride's rockin' some Spanx under her gown, of course!

I can only assume that the wealth of information available within this Save the Date includes much of the same info that other brides might include as invitation enclosures, or even on a wedding website: travel and lodging information, how to keep yourself busy while visiting Boca Grande, a schedule of events, etc.

The only clue we're given to the contents, however, is this nugget from Blakely herself: "A friend just called me to say, 'Your save the date card is a little like reading The Catcher in the Rye!"

So, WB readers...what do you think? Is a 12-page booklet just a bit over-the-top for a Save the Date, or is it the perfect way to kick off what will surely be an extravagant affair to celebrate the union between two extremely successful people?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An Alaskan Engagement

We've been best friends since we were fifteen. And just in case anyone out there is counting, that's almost half of our lives.

In high school, we'd show up for first period in the same outfit. She'd look at me and say, "I knew you were going to wear that."

We lived together all through college...and we not only survived, we're still as close as ever.

She's the most inadvertently funny person I know. She has a great sense of humor, but most of the time she's making people laugh without actually meaning to.

She used to have a dog named Taco and a bird named Potato. I don't know why that's important, but it always cracked me up, and as far as I'm concerned, it speaks volumes about her completely original personality and spirit.

She's amazingly kind, and exceedingly thoughtful.

When I married Mr. Magnolia in January, she was my Maid of Honor. That day, I gained a sister-in-law, and I couldn't be happier about that. But the thing is, I already kind of had a sister, albeit not a biological one. She knows me better than just about anyone else out there, and her happiness is incredibly important to me.

Last week, I got the most exciting phone call ever. While on vacation in Alaska for her boyfriend's birthday, he got down on one knee and gave her this:

If you look closely, you'll see a fleur-de-lis on the side of the setting. They live in New Orleans, and he had this ring specially designed for her in honor of their city.

And now I get to be Matron of Honor, and I can't wait to use this time to celebrate my best friend, my constant cheerleader, my partner in crime - sometimes literally ;). She deserves every bit of happiness available to her, and I know that her fiance is her perfect match. I'm so, so happy for them.

And as an added bonus, once next May rolls around and they say their "I dos," we'll have the same married last name. Sisters, essentially - we're marrying (or have married!) boys with the same last name. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Magnolia Wedding, Part 13: These are the Moments

Like just about every other bride out there, I have to say that our wedding went by way too quickly. However, one decision we made, which I can honestly say that we never regretted, was not to hire a videographer. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I truly felt that if our photographer did a good job "capturing moments," that we wouldn't need a video to remember the evening - or even to see the things that we weren't able to witness.

After seeing our pictures, I feel that we made the right decision for us. Some of my favorite moments, as captured by the fabulous 35 Atlanta, are below:

The dancing was out of control...

My aunt's boyfriend put our votives to good use during our band's rendition of "Ring of Fire," by Johnny Cash.

...the hugs were plentiful...

...the laughter was infectious...

...and sometimes the groom just looked like he was ready to hit the road!

This, my dear Bee Friends, is my adorable Mother in Law, giving the middle finger to one of our good friends. And the man looking down at her with the faintly disapproving grimace? He's a preacher. Yeah, I know. :)

At the end of the night, the room with the buffet finally cleared out, and I spotted the oyster shooters that I was so excited about. Luckily, they were still cold because the caterers had been refreshing them all night. I literally dashed over the table and grabbed a shot, prepared to wolf it down, when I heard, "Wait! Stop! Turn around!"

(Thanks Ray, for grabbing this picture. It's one of my favorites!)

Like I said, our decision not to hire a videographer was one that worked out really well for us, but it may not have for many other brides. Even more so than most of our portraits, I truly believe that these pictures are the ones that I will cherish years from now. What do you guys think? Is still photography enough?

All photos by 35 Atlanta.

Magnolia Wedding, Part 12: To The Magnolias!

Immediately after our first dance, we rushed to the foyer for our toast/cake cutting. The only toast on our agenda was by Mr. Mags' brother, his Best Man.

Basically, his toast was all about how he knew that I was the one for Mr. Mags when I stepped up and took care of him after he had about twelve too many drinks at a UGA football tailgate. I gave up our tickets and took Mr. Mags back to his brother's house, where I promptly ordered pizza and brought him cold washcloths in the bathroom. True love, y'all...true love.

And then we sliced into our amazing cake!

No smashing for us!

All photos by 35 Atlanta.

Magnolia Wedding, Part 11: Dance With Me

Hey hey! The Magnolias are here!

Y'all. We weren't introduced at our reception until after 10:00 pm. It was so late, and we truly had no idea. I felt really bad - we actually missed people who had to get home to their babysitters - yikes.

(I love that Mr. Magnolia looks so surprised here, like "Hey! What's everyone doing here?!?"

Our amazing band, Kingsized, learned both our first dance song, God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, and our Father-Daughter dance song. We selected God Only Knows for a few reasons:

1. We love the tv show Big Love, and it's the theme song.
2. The night we got engaged, we heard that song no less than five times on an ebay commercial.
3. Well, it's just a really sweet song.

Mr. Magnolia truly hates any form of attention, so he was dreading the first dance with every fiber of his being. Therefore, we opted for the "middle school stand and sway" rather than take dance lessons and actually prepare something.

But then! That crafty guy, he surprised me with a dip!

My dad and I danced to Little Miss Magic by Jimmy Buffett. My dad, a stoic, conservative businessman, has been a Parrothead for as long as I can remember. Jimmy Buffett has a daughter who's exactly one month older than me, and he wrote Little Miss Magic for her when she was a baby. My dad used to sing it to me when I was a little girl, so it was a foregone conclusion that this would be our song.

...while my mom sang along. "Your mother is the only other woman for me...little miss magic, what you gonna be?"

Clearly, something was funny...

...and also, very emotional.

All photos by 35 Atlanta.