Monday, December 21, 2009

If I was a flower growing wild and free all I'd want is for you to be my sweet honey bee...

It's now less than 7 months till the big day! Save the dates have gone out, a wedding website created , and a caterer hired. Now there are table linens to pick out, a ceremony to plan, lots of decorative lights to research and purchase, planning of logistics (parking is number one right now) and formal invites to create. The fun stuff!

In the meantime, I've finished up my first semester at school, and it's been a whirlwind of a good/challenging/fun time. Trey is newly employed in downtown Seattle, and loving it. As my childhood neighbor put it we're "disgustingly happy." As the holidays approach, we are just both so grateful to be employed, let alone at places we love, for family in good health and spirit, and for the way things in our life have just started to come together. We are just very lucky, and happy to be soaking up all the good vibes as long as they last. I hope anyone reading this has a very merry holiday! See you in 2010!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Engagement Photos!

Two weeks ago, Trey and I ventured North to where it all began. Well, that's not exactly true. It all began in Tacoma, but it grew in Bellingham. A friend of ours happens to be a great photographer, and got some great shots of us goofing around at Hovander Park. We were blessed with great fall weather, crisp and clear. Combined with great talent behind the lens, and our natural silliness and lets just admit it, our cuteness, we had a great time and are very pleased with the results! Here are a few of our favs:

Special thanks to Selena Smith, at Blue Moon Photography for the amazing shots! More here.

Swing sets, swing dancing, skipping amongst pumpkins and barns and flower - it was totally cheesy and wonderful. I love photography, and really value having some photos of us looking like ourselves and not all done up in wedding garb. It's really the beginning of becoming a family to me. I remember getting dressed up to take photos at Sears with the family, and this to me is one step toward realizing marriage isn't just simply about love. It's a love that goes deeper than that, so much so you want to be family, there for each other through thick and thin. No matter what happens. While taking the photos alone was fun, seeing them and imagining a house full of the photos that will happen throughout our lifetime I began to see how the symbolism of it all is powerful and good. I usually am pretty non-traditional, and don't always see the value in going through the motions of tradition (i.e. not walking at my graduation from WWU). But this was good, out of the box for us, and made us feel just a little closer in a way I hadn't considered before.

Now that we have some great photos, I'll begin the process of designing our save the date cards. July 17th, 2010 - be on the lookout! If you haven't filled out our survey in the previous post, please make sure to do so!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Address Collection

Most weddings require extensive use of the US postal system. Ours is, of course, no exception.
Please help us make sure we get all those nested envelopes to where they belong.
Just fill out this little form (link) and we'll add you to our address book.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dirt & Sawdust

Then & Now

As most who know me are probably aware, I've been unemployed for a little over a month now (my contract ended, that's just how things go at Microsoft). It kinda sucks, but it couldn't have come at a more fortuitous time really. I have been using my newfound free time to get the yard at Jenni's mother's place ready for the wedding and things are looking quite good if I do say so myself.

I started my hiatus back in August with some construction work (hammers and saws and such). I love building things, so this was easily the most enjoyable part of the house preparation. I got to drill things and saw things (first time using a circular saw extensively) and route thing (first time ever with a router, very useful tool) and do all sorts of other manly activities. It's a very nice feeling to have all of your pieces of lumber fit together nicely after all of the measuring and cutting and drilling.

So, on to specifics. I started by building some 'T's that have been placed at top of gardened area of the lawn to provide a platform for some climing flowers to grow. We're going to span the gaps between them with wire and hopefully end up with a little knee high barrier of flowers. I removed the ramp leading up to the front porch and patched the gap left in the railing by said removal. I also finished the railing for the deck in the back of the house and added a gate leading out to the yard. My latest work was to replace some warped and rotted boards on the deck. Once they've been stained they should blend right in.

New gate and railing (I built the two short segments next to the gate)

There hadn't been much activity on the yard since we seeded back in June, so the grass had taken hold pretty well by August and we were able to start getting the hill all planted. Well, really, the ladies (Jenni, Terry, & Darcy) did all of the plant selection and most of the planting. Meanwhile I did manly things like move dirt and build stairs out of rairoad ties. I am exceptionally happy with how all of the stairs turned out

Stairs in the upper-right, "T" in the upper-left.

The last thing to do for the year was to clean up the mess we'd made and lay down some bark to prevent weeds until next spring. There was a fair amount of damage (and indentation) to the upper lawn from so many loads of dirt, sand, and gravel so Terry ordered a dumptruck full of topsoil to smooth it out. Now, we've re-seeded the upper lawn and done another round of seeding to the lower lawn, there's not much more to do but wait and see how it's looking next Spring. All of the plants are doing well and the grass is filling out nicely, so I expect a lush lawn and beautiful flowers for the big day next July! :D

Not bad for a bunch of ametuers. Cheers to my dad for osmosizing knowledge of power tools into me somehow as a youth. And jeers to the internet for having too damned many ways of seeding a lawn.

Monday, September 14, 2009

September Already?!

My, it's been awhile, hasn't it?

The past month and half has been a blur of beginning a new job (Jenni) and going on hiatus (Trey). A blessing in disguise, Trey's break from Microsoft has allowed him to bring the yard up to snuff, and help out Jenni's mom around the house. Trey should be posting lawn details soon...

In the limited downtime that is slowly increasing in my life, the crafty side has come out. We decided to go with handmade invitations a long time ago, and recently ordered a few handmade rubber stamps from TerBerCo over at Etsy. The theme for the reception is latin inspired fun times. Basically colorful, playful, flowery, full of life and joy. So with that in mind, our invites will feature dahlias and love birds. The creative process is just beginning, with the ordering of stamps and a fun Japanese invention called a Gocco. This portable printing press allows the user to make multiple prints from one silkscreen making it much easier to print 100 near-perfect (i.e. no stamp smudged) images. A little pricey ($120), the cost was justified for us because of the hours of amusement and crafting that it will bring Jenni those weeks when she is on call (such as Thanksgiving) before and after we say our vows. We'll see how the process goes once we can figure out how to use the machine!

When we last updated, I was just looking for a dress. Found it! A simple number from Davids, only $150, it's a cream colored version of a bridesmaid dress. Comfortable jersey, simple, and inexpensive (!). Trying on dresses on the hottest day in July, I realized comfort means immensely more to me than style, and anything requiring a corset or containing taffeta was out. I also could not justify spending the same amount on our honeymoon on a dress I will only wear once. I don't care who says you can alter it to wear again, I have never heard of someone I know actually doing that. After seeing my mom's lacy, beaded 1979 relic in it's blue plastic bag, so sad and shoved behind clothes that no longer fit, I just couldn't lay down that kind of money in good conscience.

So wedding dress, check! Wedding invites, in progress (and months early). Engagement photos scheduled for the first week of October up in Bellingham. The next item on the wedding to do list is the CATERER! We've decided to look for a caterer for the main dishes of the night, and do all appetizers and side dishes ourselves. Looking for ways to cut costs, be realistic to the space were utilizing, and having decent food, we're modeling our food after abackyardwedding (the same place we got the idea for tables of pie instead of a traditional wedding cake). So for any readers out there, any good caterers in the south sound? Folks you know who are starting a catering business? Someone who can prepare the food off site? I'm hoping to have someone by the end of the year, and the weeks keep flying by!

Look forward to a post from Trey about the lawn... he's done some amazing work!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The move south went very smoothly. I never thought that hiring movers could be such an extraordinary help to both the physically moving of items, but also the mental stress. Trey wasn't even there on moving day - I had it all under control with my two friends whose name escapes me. They liked hip-hop and dreads, so we got along swimmingly! Photos of the new place here.

Now we are all settled into our new abode, adjusting to late dinners (with Trey's near 3 hour commute - one way), and no more late classes. I've come to enjoy the walk to the Tuesday market on 6th, this week featured the first tomatoes and I decided to try out my "garden level" location with a basil plant. So far, it was a wise decision.

On the wedding front, things are plodding along. We decided on a honeymoon location in Cabo, at my mom's timeshare. (For pics of another couple's honeymoon at that exact location, click here) We got a great deal - only $600 for the week in a one-bedroom, including kitchen, unit that will look out over the Pacific. There was some deal going on, an "Vacation Stimulus" package that really helped. With the $200 credit on my Amex (because I have the travel rewards), were looking at less than $60 a day. I'd rather spend my pennies on a vacation than a wedding dress any day!

Speaking of, the ladies (Mom, sis, and I) are going dress shopping Sunday. My attitude is to just get it done with. I'd like something white, fun, and cheap. So we'll see what David's has to offer - I wasn't that impressed when I went with a friend, but I also can't pass up ridiculous markdowns as it's the end of wedding dress season.

So that's what's been going on! Last weekend we had an official graduation/engagement party, and it was so nice to see friends and family from both sides come together and mark this transition in our lives. Things are going very well, and I can't believe how fast time is flying! I know July 17th, 2010 will be here before we know it!

Grandma gives Trey the third degree

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Trey and I have lived in Seattle for the past two years, and my, it's been fun! There are several things we did here - long walks around Green Lake, walks around Seward Park, Mama's Mexican Kitchen, Pike's Place, the picnic at Golden Gardens, and I've spent a fair amount of time at Leschi grabbing iced tea with Denise. And there are all the things we never got around to - the Seattle Public Library, the SAM, and the Triple Door. Alas, we are moving south tomorrow, and I'm realizing these lovely attractions won't be a 10 minute bus ride away any more! As much as I'll miss many parts of Seattle, I am glad to be moving somewhere a little less crowded, a little less noisy, and a little more affordable. Therese something about the business of the city (and especially where we live) that makes me a little anxious - as if resting is not possible and I should always be on the go. It's been a wonderful two years living in the city I have always loved, and yet I keep inching back toward home, and toward my roots and it just feels very natural. Maybe I'm growing up after all!

Tomorrow evening we'll be unpacking my new home in Tacoma, in a lovely "garden level" (read basement) bungalow on a college campus. I think living on campus will be interesting for Trey, yet I think it will be a lot of fun. It doesn't hurt the campus is gorgeous, and my commute to work will be one flight of stairs. It really is a great location, close to shops and eateries, farmer's markets, and of course Target! Then there is the 15 minute commute to my mom's place, which will make for some easier lawn maintenance.

Speaking of the lawn, we were down last week to mow the grass - it was over 6 inches tall! There were some spots where the grass hadn't taken in as well as in others, but overall we were very pleased with ourselves. I have always loved the idea of gardening, and have had a few successes, but I've never taken on something of this magnitude. I'm hoping by the time of our wedding, I might be able to call myself a green thumb.

Pictures to follow once we're all settled - plus a post from Trey on making the aisle/path from the house to the ceremony area. au revoir, ma belle ville!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Hello there! If you've stumbled upon this blog, it is likely that you are friends with Jenni or Trey, looking for an update on their life. This blog will be used to update folks on what's going on in J&T's life, starting with chronicling the process of planning an at-home wedding on a budget - details on how we did it and advice we have. This blog has been inspired from abackyardwedding, a fellow blogspotter, and much of our planning has been inspired from this resource. For our guests wondering for the vibe we are going for - there it is!

As of this writing, the plan is to have the wedding at Jenni's mom's place in Gig Harbor, WA. The location is in need of major landscaping. So far we've been able to hire Mark from Earthcrafters who pulled out some stumps and ferns, and leveled the lower yard. Mark did an excellent job, and was able to get us dirt on a budget. The cost of landscaping was very reasonable, and was taken care of by Jenni's mom, which helped substantially in our budget. If you have a backyard, however, that doesn't need this overhaul, these costs would not be incurred for your wedding. In the pic you can see the size of our space, really it's two levels. The lower level was a mass of weeds, old gardens, ferns, stumps, trees, salal, blackberry bushes, you name it! We tore down a fence to get the bobcat down there, but as you can see the result is an amazing blank canvas for creative lanscaping.

The next step was to plant some grass. After researching several different methods of planting grass, Trey just went for it. We bought some seed (specially blended for shady yards), limestone, and a seed spreader. We rented a rototiller to get the dirt loose. The majority of the work was getting the rocks out of the yard. We were blessed with perfect planting weather - rainy for a week then a solid month of sunshine, 70-80 degree days. Very rare here in Washington in May. That's where we are at now!

Thanks for stopping by, Trey and Jenni (mostly Jenni) will keep everyone posted on the happenings.