Becca’s Getting Married (Beginning to Plan)

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I’m a plan-a-holic. I have my birthday parties planned months in advance, i plan my week by making lists and keeping an agenda, if I’m going on a trip i plan what to do and where to go. Something in having a plan (should we all take a shot every time i say plan?) is oddly a lot of fun to me. I like to take a second to dream and think about what lays ahead in order to make the most out of time. So I’m sure you can guess putting together a wedding has been a blast! I wanted to talk a bit about the (very) early planning stages. What i’ve loved, what i’ve hated and my advice so far, a couple of months in.(We’re at 7 shots, now if you’re keeping count. I hope you’re all good and drunk by the end of your read lol)


The Bad

I’ll start off with the bad, just to get it out of the way. The worst thing in these early stages, has been coming up with a budget. It’s awkward to talk to our families about how much money they can give us, it’s upsetting to have to whittle down the guest list because we can’t afford to invite everyone we want to, its stressful thinking about how many thousands of dollars we’ll be spending on one damn day. It’s all just kind of awful really and there’s not too much else to say about it. I want to be real with you guys, and with the blog, and I’ll be real by saying that budgeting has been my main and only source of stress and upset-ness so far. In fact, i had my first wedding related cry about the budget the other night. (which, lol, i cry about 20 times a day so it wasn’t even a big deal.)


The Good

Once you come to terms with the budget, the fun begins!

The most exciting part of the early stages has been deciding on our wedding parties. Planning on how i’ll ask my future bridesmaids to actually be my bridesmaids is exciting and getting to look up ideas for the bridal shower and the bachelorette is so much fun! I know i have an awesome group of girls and Ryan has some great guys on his side as well, and i can’t wait until we get to make the wedding party “official!” I’m waiting until the engagement party in March to “pop the question” to them, because one of the girls lives hours away and that’s the next time i’ll be seeing everyone together. (Though i may have already drunkenly asked her over Snapchat on new Years Eve, but we’ll pretend that didn’t happen…) I have a whole plan of how i’m going to ask the girls and you can expect a post all about it in the future!


My Tips

I wanted to speak on the resources that I’ve been using to help plan the wedding.

  • First off, screw any bridal magazine. I was excited to get to subscribe to one for the duration of the engagement, but when i picked up a copy of Brides magazine i noticed it was almost totally advertisements. Sure, there’s pretty ads for dresses and shoes, but a bunch of ads is just not helpful when trying to make real decisions. So if you’re getting married, don’t bother with magazines.
  • The next thing i tried was a wedding planning app, and unfortunately it also wasn’t helpful. I found that it wasn’t personalized at all. It had lots of pages and categories that didn’t matter to me and I found a lot of it to be useless.
  • So, that brings me to my most helpful piece of wedding planning info: make a wedding planning book or binder. This is exactly what it sounds like – a binder or a notebook filled with different lists, print outs, scratch pads and spaces to brain storm and keep organized. This way you can keep things totally personalized. I made some of my own print outs and found some templates online and it really has been an organization game changer! So go the old fashioned route with paper and pencil.

 

All in all, so far its been pretty fun! With the budgeting out of the way and some fun events ahead, i’m very excited to be moving forward!

  • xo, becca

 

Becca’s Getting Married! (The Proposal)

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I’m one of those girls who has been thinking and dreaming of her wedding since she was very young. One of my best friends Kristin often recalls the wedding planning scrap book i made when i was in the 8th grade. It was filled with black and white print outs of flower arrangements, jewellery, brides maid dress sketches, venue ideas – it was all there in detail! I spent my high school years watching Say Yes to the Dress and i even completed my college education for Fashion Industry Business with being a wedding dress consultant in mind! I have been obsessed with weddings for my whole life.

And now… it’s my turn!

So the proposal story goes…

Ryan and I had been talking about getting engaged for a very long time, so I knew a proposal was coming soon – but he still totally surprised me! This Christmas I had decided that I was going to ask him for earrings as my gift. We ventured off to the jewellery store one night to scout out possible earring options and while we were waiting to be helped by the jeweller I noticed a beautiful case of engagement rings right in front of us, staring me down. We couldn’t help it and we tried on every ring in the case. (Side note – now that I’ve actually tried on rings I recommend everyone who is getting engaged or married do this. It was SO much fun slipping dainty little circles of gold and diamonds on and off. Seriously, GO and do this!) After finding a few perfect rings (and leaving it to Ryan to decide which of the bunch he would eventually buy for me) the jeweller mentioned that it takes about 3 weeks to order a ring. This is key to my surprised reaction to Ryan’s proposal. In that moment, in my mind, any proposal that could possibly be happening wouldn’t be going down for at lest three weeks. But it turns out Ryan ended up going back to the store a few days later and buying the basic sized ring that they had in stock. It was slightly too small for me (and getting it sized is what would have taken the 3 weeks) but it was just big enough to slip on my finger and get to show off for a few weeks before we send it back to be resized!

On December 23rd Ryan told me he was going to make me a winter wonderland in the basement. Both of us hadn’t been feeling very Christmassy this year because we were moving and renovating all through the holiday season so far, so he wanted to decorate the basement to feel extra festive for me. We had a cozy and romantic couple of hours driving around town to look at Christmas lights and when we got back home he ran down stairs to decorate! It’s so funny to me now, I had no clue he was going to propose to me that night. I actually remember sitting upstairs while he decorated and thinking “too bad it takes three weeks to order a ring because tonight would be the perfect night to propose!” Soon he was finished with the basement and he brought me to the doorway to enter the “winter wonderland.” I opened the basement door and there was white Christmas lights and red ribbon leading down the stairs, with sparkly decorations all over the place. On the wall across from the door way was a hand written sign that said “October 2013 we started talking to each other…” When I started to walk down the stairs our song started playing. I followed the red ribbon down the stairs and through the basement. Every few steps was another hand written note marking another important moment in our relationship (our first date, moving in together etc) and at the end of the ribbon was my stocking. I reached in and grabbed a ring box. When I opened it I realized it was empty and when I turned around Ryan was on one knee with the ring in his hand. He said the most beautiful and romantic words and I completely fell apart. He proposed marriage to me. I said yes. And I ugly cried for the next few hours! LOL

As soon as our song started playing I knew that it was going to be an engagement proposal. The first thing that popped into my mind was “Oh my gosh. This is actually happening.” And the next thing that popped into my mind was literally nothing. After I realized what was happening my mind was clear and weightless as I walked through the basement and took it all in.

We spend the rest of the night and the following few days telling family and friends and living in newly engaged bliss! And let me just say, getting to tell people we were close to was SO much fun! It touched my heart that a lot of my close friends cried when I told them and we felt so much love from everyone.

Now that it’s over a week later, and all of our family and friends know, we have really had time to process what actually happened. We went out and bought a wedding planning binder, a guide to wedding planning book and we’ve even done smaller things like making our first draft guest list and deciding on our wedding party.

Thinking about exciting things like the engagement party, cake tastings and getting to ask my friends to be my brides maids has been so much fun! The more intimidating things like the Jack and Jill, the ceremony, and the price tag has been a bit more stressful. But all in all I really can’t wait to celebrate with those I love and of course, to throw the biggest and best party any of us have ever been to!

were-engaged

Many, many more wedding posts to follow! 😉

  • xo, becca.

Couples Holiday Traditions

Ryan and I have spent four Christmases together so far, and as the years have gone on we’ve started to develop our own holiday traditions, separate from our childhood and family ones. I think it’s important to a relationship to have something special that you two do together to celebrate the season. We’re a young couple, so we don’t have an overwhelming amount of Christmas traditions yet, but the ones we’ve developed are very meaningful to me.

I want to share a few of our traditions with you guys and hopefully I can give you some inspiration!

 

Party time!

One of the most exciting traditions we’ve begun is to host a Christmas party with all of our friends. We’ve done it three years in a row and by now it’s something I’ll always make time for and really look forward to. Each year has differed a bit. The first year we did a traditional, sit down, pot luck style dinner, the second year we did a less formal horderves dinner in which Ryan and I cooked all of the food, and this year we’re hosting a more casual everyone bring any random dish of your choice type of deal. Though the food plans have always differed, one things is for sure, there will always be a big party with drinks, music and games after dinner!

 

Tree Ornaments

Our next tradition is one that I think a lot of people have. Each year we buy each other one Christmas tree ornament. It’ll be really special to look back in ten years when we see our tree and have 20 ornaments total from each other reflecting our relationship.

 

Shopping

This one seems a bit silly and trivial, but we always put a day or two aside to embrace holiday consumerism and go shopping together. Both for Christmas decorations and for gifts for friends and family. We make a day of it by going to Starbucks and getting warm holiday drinks, taking our time strolling around the isles of glitter and Christmas cheer and playing Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album in the car between stores. It’s such a fun day and it’s grown into a really fond holiday memory for us! Though it seems like a meaningless activity, it’s become a way for us to stop and take time to spend the day together during this busy and hectic season.

 

Advent Calendar

Every year we’ve gotten a chocolate advent calendar. This’s one traditions that is spilled over from childhood, but this year we decided to make it a bit more personal and cutesy-romantic. Ryan came up with the idea of getting one of those reusable advent calendars that you keep each year and fill with your own chocolate. We’re going to put a special treat in each compartment for each other and take turns opening the advent calendar doors. I thought it was such a sweet and fun idea (and slightly out of the usual for him to come up with something so cute and romantic…haha!)

 

So there are our main couples Christmas traditions! Laying it all out in detail has made me feel so festive and excited for the next few days! Hopefully reading about them has done the same for you.

  • xo, becca.

 

One

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At 7:46 yesterday, we were headed to German dance, with our daughter. At 7:46 last year we were headed to the hospital, ready to meet our baby squidly. It didn’t go unnoticed, and it was a weird feeling; to so strongly have a sense of time passing.

She woke up at 00:01 and I went in to rock her back to sleep. I held her until 14 after, the minute she was born. I sang her happy birthday, and brought her to her Daddy to get a birthday kiss. I placed her back to sleep, snuck out of her room, and bawled my eyes out. Which of course woke her up completely, so I played with her a bit to soothe her. After all, it is her birthday. It was hearing her giggle, and then snuggle up to me with a book that put me at ease. She was doing okay. I was doing okay. We made it a whole year! We are raising a happy, loving, spunky, little human.

Happy Birthday Squidly. Mammi loves you.


This was written two days before my daughter’s actual birthday, when she officially turned 52 weeks. The above was written today, the day my daughter officially turned one year old. 

Okay, deep breath. You can do this.

52 Weeks. 364 Days Old. My daughter is one. year. old.

Cue tears. Let’s try again.

Even those numbers are correct as I’m writing this, she’s not OFFICIALLY one year old until her birthday. I have two more days. For now. I will revel in her being my almost one year old. I can do this.

Deep breath.

People ask me, bluntly, often rudely, how it happened, and do I regret it? As if somehow it was even remotely possible to regret this amazing, sweet, mischievous, incredibly happy, bundle of joy that has entered my life. Plus, if it were, would I admit it to you, rude acquaintance? No. And no, I do not regret anything. I never will.

People ask me about how it was to have an accidental pregnancy. A friend who knows the situation well retorted once with “It was a spontaneous decision, not a planned accident.” I didn’t slip and fall on a banana peel, and we knew that if we moved forward I was almost certain to get pregnant. It was a year earlier than we planned. We changed the plan. Not an accident. So I don’t know how it feels to have an accidental pregnancy. Moving on.

I lived separate from A for the first 5 months of my pregnancy. It was interesting, it was tough, and it probably wasn’t the smartest decision for either of us. But it was the best decision for all of the people we shared homes with. It meant I wasn’t alone when he worked an 80 hour week. We didn’t get to figure out what it was like to live as a couple just as us. Maybe that would have made it easier, or maybe the change would have been even harder. It was what we did, and it worked out. We lived together eventually. We bought a house together, recently. We share a house. We are building our home.

My pregnancy itself wasn’t that difficult. I had another, still non-diagnosed, issue. It’s what allowed me to find out I was pregnant before 4 weeks. It’s also what stopped me from working enough to get mat. leave, and made it so I spontaneously couldn’t walk at times. I had a few breakdowns. I felt alone, as a young mother, but not a teen, I feel massively left out. My sister is 9 years older than me, and so her group of friends (some of whom were my “big sisters” growing up), mostly have and were having small children. That was a saving grace. One of the midwives on my “team” was out to get me. She called a social worker on me for missing 2 appointments (I take a bus. It is hard to catch a bus while pregnant.) That does not mean I will be an unfit mother. I didn’t look pregnant for a long time and that bummed me out. I was happy to be pregnant. Proud of the journey I was on. I wore belts just to make my bump stand out. At 7 months I could still hide my belly with ease. There’s a lot more on my pregnancy, but that’s not what this post was going to be about.



Birth.

This is it’s own thing. It’s own long, emotional post. But:

Best day, worst 3 days.

Stupid midwives, worse nurse.

She looked up at me with the biggest navy blue eyes, moved her head right to my breast, and we were one again. I was a mother. The indescribable moment had arrived. I can’t describe it either. I was never the same again.


Looking Back

First 3 months – I remember nothing. Cluster-feeding. Never sleeping. Constant worry and fear. Content. Thankful for family and for freezer meals. No newborn clothes, but she was a newborn size, which suprised everyone. I took a picture everyday. I only left her for Star Wars. Of course I did.

I do remember the first time she wanted something. Not just eat/sleep/poo/repeat. She wanted a toy. She grabbed for it, a giraffe we named Polka. I thought – WOW – this is a human. This is a human with wants not just needs. A brain, and a heart. I created a human. I cried. I’ll never get rid of that giraffe.

4 months. She sings to Adele. I sing to her. Sitting up and big smiles. My big girl. 99% & 95.  Still and forever sleeping on my shoulder. A slightly flat head and a very full tummy.

6 months. A big change in personality. It’s here, and we can feel her spirit. She’s got it. So happy, all the time. We’re never not thankful for that. A first tooth, carrots and more carrots, swimming and Sudbury.

9 months. More teeth, more milestones. More food. I feel like I’m trying to pause everything so we can move and then life can continue. It doesn’t work like that. She just keeps growing. I start hobbies so I can remember what it feels like to be an adult again. To be by myself. In a large group of supportive, amazing, tough women. More on that eventually.

10 months. The last picture in the old house (for her month by month). Sad we had to leave on such a sour note. Wondering how she’ll adjust. She was just fine. There’s infinite room for her now. A whole house to explore. She regressed a bit in her amazing eating habits. These next teeth are taking a LONG time to surface. We try pouches, and she’s hooked. At least it’s nutrition.

11 months. Trying not to co-sleep. She’s in a crib for naps, and as much of the night as we can. Making her stand up by herself (she’s known how for months but is stubborn and won’t. In making her stand by herself I realize – she also knows how to walk. How did she hide that!?)

She can walk. She eats real food, and prefers a regular cup to anything “sippy”, but in a pinch she’ll steal your water bottle. Cookies are her best friend. She nods her head no! and then does whatever naughty thing you told her not to. But then she smiles, and laughs, and your heart is melted. She is smart. Too smart sometimes. She can WALK UP TO ME. She demands things. She will push you out of the way to see what you’re doing. She must be involved in every conversation. She always wants to share whatever she can hold. But she always wants you to share too. She tries to dress herself. She helps dress herself quite well. She LOVES books. She loves Daddy best. She loves me too. She cries when Omi (my mom) hangs up the phone. She is becoming a little person and I don’t know what to do with myself.

I have a one year old. In her, I can see my whole family. I see the smug faces of my brother, the unimpressed looks of my sister, the bounce in her step of my mom. She has the little crooked charm that belongs to her Daddy and his brother. The golden curls soon to straighten that we all share. She is so us. Our third little fire sign. Our little archer. Our Squidly.

I love her so much it legitimately takes my breath away. When she sleeps in my arms, the world stops just for a moment; When she nuzzles me, grabs hold of my legs and looks up to smile, when she runs away from her pants, when she holds up her books for me to read when she holds her hand out to offer whatever she has to you. My heart slows. Time feels as if it is standing still and I try my best to breathe it in.

It’s true that they grow up too fast. But each new stage holds something amazing and sweet. I lost her baby grunts and gurgles, but I gained some personality.

I’m a not-so-new first time mom. I have a one year old. Well, okay then.

  • xo, Kris

Christmas Playlist

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Holiday music really becomes a play list of memories rather then just songs. Old fashioned carols remind me of decorating the Christmas tree with my family. Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album reminds me of Ryan and I driving to and from family members houses on Christmas day. Michael Buble’s Christmas album reminds me of celebrating with friends in high school. Music is memories and holiday songs always feel so warm and fuzzy.

I’m really excited to share some of my favorites songs and carols with you guys! Hopefully the warm memories come flooding back!

  • B

 

  1. Michael Buble – Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)  I think it’s safe to say that Michael Buble is the King of Christmas. This is probably my favorite song from his holiday album.
  2. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped in Red. If Buble is the King of Christmas then Kelly has to be dubbed Queen. Her song Wrapped in Red is so romantic!
  3. Kelly Clarkson – White Christmas. White Christmas is one my my favorite Christmas songs in general and Kelly does it so well! (I’m sorry to include two Kelly songs, but it was already a struggle for me to narrow it down to just two. That entire album deserves its own playlist!)
  4. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You. I mean, does this even need explaining?
  5. Lea Michelle – O Holy Night. Lea’s rendition of O Holy Night is stunningly beautiful. The girl can sing and she shows it off better then ever for this song. It always gives me chills!
  6. Judy Garland – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The song is from a 1944 movie musical called Meet Me In St.Louis and it’s not even a holiday movie. The tune comes in for the brief part of the story that takes part during Christmas. It has gone on to become a classic carol – it wasn’t even from a Christmas movie! I just find that so impressive, it deserves a shout out! Not to mention it’s a beautiful song.
  • xo, Becca

Winter Playlist

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Winter is coming!

Even though it’s not technically winter till December 22nd, here in Canada I can realistically tell you that winter can start as early as October (although we were blessed with a very mild November! People wore shorts the first two weeks!)  we have hit snow, and it isn’t even December 1st yet.

In order to get you in a snowy spirit, I thought I’d share 10 winter songs! I’ll be playing these at my daughters Winter One-derland birthday – and although some have a Christmas feel to them, they are mostly centered around cold weather

In the list is one of my absolute favourite songs for this time of year, “My Boots” by Lights. Growing up near Toronto she knows full well that half of our year is snow covered, and wanted to make a “winter anthem” to go along with allllll those summer anthems out there. How awesome is that? Plus, it’s a super catchy song. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Winter Wonderland – Ella Fitzgerald
  2. My Boots – Lights
  3. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Dean Martin
  4. Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
  5. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Buddy Clark And Dinah Shore
  6. White Winter Hymnal – Pentatonix (Fleet Foxes Cover)
  7. Frosty the Snowman
  8. A Marshmellow World – Bing Crosby
  9. Winter Song – Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson
  10. Sweater Weather – Max & Alyson Stoner (The Neighbourhood Cover)
  • xo, Kris

In Anticipation of Making a Home…

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Ryan and I starting dating three years ago this November. Though our relationship has always been happy and full of love and support, we have been through some crazy stuff together… specifically related to our living situations. We’ve had awful roommates, we’ve moved house together four times in three years and we’ve endured some stressful environments. Though our relationship has always been solid, our living situation has always been up in the air.

I moved away for college at 18 years old. Since that day in 2012 I feel like I left home and never found a new one. Bouncing between houses and dealing with difficult roommates can be emotionally draining. (Though don’t get me wrong, I’ve had tons of roommates that I love and have cemented lifelong friendships with!) But when you don’t have any feeling of home, a warm place to call your own, it can make getting through life difficult.

So, with great excitement I can finally say… I have a home. Ryan and I are officially home owners and are getting ready to move into our own house next month! This means so much to me because of all we’ve been through. I am so excited to have our own space, it already feels like home to me and we haven’t even moved in yet! I can’t wait to decorate a house and make it feel like us. I can’t wait to have a living room that I can invite friends and family to. I can’t wait to host parties and entertain at holidays. But I also can’t wait to curl up on the couch alone and feel totally comfortable for the first time in four years. This house means so much to me for so many reasons. Reasons that have so much more meaning than just the material worth of being “a home owner.”

So let me tell you about the house. It’s a bit of a fixer upper… The floors and the basement need a little bit of work and the kitchen is going to be gutted, we’re starting from scratch in there. To some people this may sound like a night mare, but to me this is exciting! The house also has three bedrooms, which means that Ryan and I each get an office. This is another dream of mine, my Pinterest is flowing with ideas! As you may know, my career goals lay in interior décor and design, so Ryan and I getting to redo an entire kitchen and design our own office spaces is such an exciting prospect to me! It’s been all I’ve thought about and researched since we found out that we got the house!

I wanted to tell you guys these details about the house because I want you to be in the loop for some of my future blog articles. I’m going to do before, during and after posts about the redecorating process and kitchen reno. These may be the most exciting posts that I have ever had the idea for, I’m so looking forward to writing and posting them!

So, after those four years of “homelessness,” (but not literally, I’m very fortunate to always have had a roof over my head!) I’m so excited to settle into our own space and make ourselves a home.

Ps, thanks in advance to all of the friends and family who are going to help with renos and painting. You’re the best… I will pay in pizza.

  • xo, becca