Surrounded By Little Girls

Today is my niece’s 1st birthday!  I remember getting the call that my sister-in-law was in labor and I hopped in the car and drove to Augusta, GA to be there for her birth.  P was unfortunately out of town but I got to be there.  I’ve never held an infant right after birth.  (Well, I might have held my little sister but since I was not quite 5 I do not remember.)  Elle was so tiny.  And now she is one year old – it is so hard to believe.  We will be going to Augusta tomorrow for her birthday party.

She is not the only little girl in my life these days, well, kind of.  My friend KL was the first to have a child a couple of years ago – she had a little girl.  And over the last several months it seems like all my married friends in Greenville are pregnant… and having little girls!  Of course, we are still waiting to discover the gender of the latest announcement (just last week).  I’m pulling for a boy just for some variety.  I know little girl clothes are super cute but for some reason I really love little boy clothes – especially when they’re like mini adult clothes.  Also, if we have a girl (not any time soon!) we will have plenty of hand-me-down options but if we have a boy… well, I’d hate for him to be put in pink.

I really am so excited for my friends.  They’ve all been married a little longer than us, are all a little older than us, so I don’t feel like we’re being left behind.  I am looking forward to getting some more experience with infants and learn more through my friends as they start their journey into motherhood.  And I’m glad to have multiple excuses to buy those cute little baby outfits when they’re on sale at Old Navy.  I’m also kind of jealous of how cute they are with their pregnant bellies.  They are totally the type that if you saw them from behind, you’d never know they were pregnant!  I hope that is me one day.

Babies, babies, everywhere.  We are in that time of life where we are almost done with the weddings (one more!) and moving onto the baby showers.  I look forward to when we are there ourselves but I do not feel rushed whatsoever.  Then this blog will move from house to marriage to baby carriage!

What about you?  Does seeing your friends pregnant make you want to be pregnant as well or are you good to wait?

Bridesmaid

This past weekend I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s wedding.  It was only the 2nd wedding I have ever been (except for one barely remembered flower girl occasion when I was much younger) and the first one since my own wedding.  I find that I had a very different perspective this time being in the background than I did two years ago.  The obvious reason is that I had just recently been a bride myself.  I knew what MP, now MW, was feeling.  I knew there was no telling her that something didn’t matter or wasn’t important because in that instance it absolutely was.  I knew that she was fretting over the small details so I just did my best to make sure they were taken care of.  And I felt their vows so much more than I ever had before.  M & K wrote their own and they were beautiful.  Their words, despite being personal to them, had so much more weight and significance.  I stood up there, beside my friend, amongst her closest and oldest friends, and teared up.  I felt so honored to be there as they committed their life together and remembered committing mine to P such a short time ago.  It was a beautiful reminder of how our marriage began and what it means and always will mean.  By the way, I have to mention that M’s new married name is the same as my maiden name – happy to pass on the torch just wish it meant we were really family.

MP was a stunning bride.  She is this tall, incredibly beautiful woman, and she just shone in her gown with joy – talk about an hourglass figure!  Our dresses were super cute, a lovely mint green that went with her mint and grey color combination.  She had so many cute little details – all of them Pinterested.  (Don’t you love that Facebook and Pinterest have becomes verbs as well as nouns?)  M has always, since college, wanted to get married in St. Augustine, FL, where she now lives, and she did.  She also always wanted to have cakes or cupcakes as her centerpieces and she did.  She built and then painted her own cupcake stands for her centerpieces – such a unique touch and from a practical standpoint great for the flower budget!  She also made mint and grey yarn balls attached to string that hung over the ceremony chairs and then became part of the decorations.  There were handmade signs, Etsy jewelry, framed invitations, and more.

DIY cupcake centerpiece

our wedding mobile!

My friends MD, EL, and myself helped run errands, decorate the venue (not me because I was getting dressed), and basically just tried to make ourselves accessible to the bride.  I think it all came together so well and I cannot wait to see the pictures!  I brought my nice DSLR camera but actually left my memory card at home and then forgot my camera charger plugged into M’s wall (where we stayed Thursday night).  So, there was no nice camera.  But, we had iPhones which worked great because they used a cool app that was like Instagram for weddings.  Basically WedPics allowed the guests to upload pictures directly to their specific wedding album.  I wish I had known about this for my wedding!

Another thing P & I didn’t do was a first look – taking photos together before the ceremony.  P did not want to and I absolutely don’t regret it but it was a really sweet moment for M&K.  M surprised K by waiting for him at the bottom of the elevator when he came downstairs with his groomsmen for photos.  I missed his face but I saw Meg’s tears and happiness when they were finally together.  I’m stoked to see those pictures!

First Look

I also have to make note of the inn where we stayed Friday and Saturday night, Bella Bay Inn.  It was a super cute 5 room inn that was next door to the venue.  The beds and rooms were large and comfortable and the building itself plus the interior walls and all the details were the perfect mint green!  I love how well that worked out completely unintentionally.

It was a wonderful weekend and I am so happy for my friends.  They were so cute together.  And it was great and fun to have time with some of my closest friends and continue some of our newly minted wedding traditions.

tradition: shots before the ceremony!

 

This Week

We are getting married this week.  Now that is a sentence I didn’t really ever think about saying and now that I am, it’s kind of hard to stop.  I’m ridiculously excited – I have a huge smile on my face.  I know I have actual work to do but it’s really hard to focus on anything else.  P and I had a very productive weekend and crossed most of the last minute stuff off of my list.  We went to Total Wine and bought our bottle of wine for the wine ceremony.  We bought a bottle of Four Sons Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2008, the year we met.  We walked out with another bottle of wine, a bottle of champagne (honeymoon!), and some pumpkin ale and pumpkin Woodchuck.  We drank the pumpkin ale/Woodchuck at a little neighborhood cookout last night.  It was great to meet some neighbors – everyone wanted to get a tour of the house.  (Wish I had anticipated this and cleaned!)  One of the old owners were also there – sold the house to the people we bought it from – and it was cool to hear them talk about the changes that have occurred over the years and get some history.

I’m getting off topic though – this post is about the week of our wedding!  I crafted all yesterday making some wedding favors, need to finish this week.  I feel like we got a lot done but there is still a list!

1- finish crafting favors
2- arrange transportation from museum to hotel!
3- get dress steamed (tomorrow!)
4- return extra tie to Macy’s and get ring cleaned at mall
5- first song!  make a decision
6- P needs to get groomsmen gifts
7- mani/pedi (Thursday)
8- finish making payments
9- finish gift bags (future MIL)
10- get house ready for guests

I think this is basically it… of course, every day something else occurs to me.  Like just now – we need to pack.  Pack for Friday night (spending it apart but who knows where), pack for Saturday/wedding day, and pack for the honeymoon.  Also, Friday we will have a reception centerpiece assembly line so I need to figure out how many lemons will fit into each of our vases and buy them.  I guess that makes the list about 15 items long but I like the #10 better.  Overall I feel pretty calm.  Now that this list is right in front of me I’m surprised at how long it still is but it’s all small stuff that I’d previously planned/thought of.  No surprises, yet.  Everyone keeps telling me I’m acting calm and they make jokes about me being a bridezilla because I clearly am not.  I’ve given up on trying to get P to do anything on my schedule – he’ll just be stuck with whatever he gets last minute.  I’m focusing on what I can control, which at this point, isn’t much.  But I feel good.  Happy.

Can’t wait for our friends and family to all be here!  The first few start to trickle in tomorrow, P’s parents.  I hope they’re ready to work!

How was the week before your wedding – were you calm or crazy stressed??

 

Bachelorette cont…

It has only taken me two weeks to get the final post up for my bachelorette.  You could say it’s been a crazy two weeks.  There’s been some drama, some stress, lots of fun, and some traveling.  But I guess I’ll focus on those later.  Today, the last day of my bachelorette party (#1).

After Saturday night, we were down to 4 ladies.  Our local friend, MD, had to fly out for a family emergency.  I was sad to see her leave but also knew she needed to go to be there for family.  I’m just glad she was able to be there for any length of time and she let us take over her apartment.  Not to mention let me bring the dog we were dog sitting, Sassy, and she was kind of a high maintenance pup even if she was cute.  Originally P was supposed to be home that weekend but he ended up traveling to the Outer Banks of NC for a quickly thrown together wedding.  Congrats to R&D!  And no, there was no scandal involved.

Anyway, we brought the dog but it was fine.  After we got MD out the door to the airport we decided to finally hit the yoga studio.  MP found Asheville Yoga Center and we thought there was a donation community class that day.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a donation class, it cost $16 which was a little expensive for me but it was an awesome class.  The class was very focused on positioning and the postures.  Myself and MP, who’s a trained yoga instructor, really enjoyed it.  We all felt great after.

Greenville Yoga Center

We wanted to get a quick lunch but tasty, like the lunch we had had before at Green Sage  I wanted to taste the flavors of Asheville, a city known for its local, organic, vegetarian and vegan friendly cuisine.  One of the women at the studio recommended Plant which was only a couple of blocks away.  We walked.  It was a really cute place with an impressive menu but it was not an impressive experience.  We waited an hour to get our food and the server  did not check on us or acknowledge that we were waiting the entire time.  I think the food was delicious for all of us but our irritation and starvation kind of overrode the communication to our taste buds.  It was one of those open kitchens where you see the food cooked and come out – we watched people who were seated after us eat and leave before we got our food.  And MP’s order wasn’t even correct.  I can handle the Asheville lackadaisical attitude to a certain degree but not for that long.

We walked back to the car in the rain and we were all a little cranky after the experience from our “short” lunch.  Our plan had been to go tubing down the Green River but after much discussion about the timing, the lack of knowing where to go since MD was gone, we decided to just go to the pool at MD’s apartment.  We were told we had to have a resident vouch for us for us to be there so we made friends with a guy sitting by himself.  He was nice and I tried to set him up with MD – it was kind of my task for the weekend.  In a funny, not obnoxious way…  I hope.

We decided to meet up with another old college friend who’s now living in Asheville at the Skybar.  Really cool place, kind of hard to find from Google Maps because it’s not really a place.  You take one of those older elevators that a guy is sitting on, opening and closing the door for everyone, up to this building’s fire escape.  And that is the bar, this fire escape.

Skybar or Sky Bar?

The atmosphere was really cool and the view was amazing especially since we were there at sunset.  A storm also rolled in as we watched minute by minute as it passed through the sky and over the mountains.

Sunset

I was a little disappointed with the drink – they infuse their own rum which sounded very interesting.  You could have the rum straight or they’d make a mojito out of it.  I love mojitos so I ordered the blackberry lime.  I was disappointed.  There was no mint, no fizz, no raw sugar, none of the stuff you expect from a good mojito.  But it was still a cool experience.  I’d just order a glass of wine next time.

My ladies!

After Skybar we went to Mela, an Indian restaurant, for dinner.  This is one recommendation the yoga studio did not mess up.  It was so good.  I would definitely go again, and the cocktail I had (which I cannot remember!  Lotus something I think) gives the Blood Orange Spice a run for its money.  Go there.  Order it.

This is a super long post so I’ll close it.  This was the best weekend of my life.  I am so grateful for my friends for giving me a weekend where I didn’t have to worry about money, about the wedding, about driving home, about anything.  (I’m a worrier.)  I had so much fun  - love these women.

Bachelorette didn’t really end there – I had another mini one last weekend with Phil’s cousins.  That’s another story.

 

 

 

Bachelorette – Asheville

My bachelorette party was this past Labor Day weekend – I want to go back and do it all over again.  We started Friday night at my house – was so excited to be able to show it off to all of them – and drove to Asheville Saturday morning.  The plan had been to catch a yoga class that morning but I think some of us had too much to drink Friday evening and were not up to yoga.  Probably not a good thing to be in downward dog when you have to puke.  Just sayin’.  We started with 11 Friday and moved on to Asheville with 6 (5 of which were my bridesmaids).  Would have been 7 but my 6th bachelorette broke her foot with some earlier shenanigans at another party the weekend prior.

I could go into every little detail of our weekend but most of it is only to be shared between those of us who were there, or were invited.  It’s private, you understand.  I would like to share about where we went in Asheville for anyone who might be planning a trip there.  It apparently was a pretty popular location for future brides – I took a picture with every one I came across throughout the night.  I was the only one not wearing white!  I went for sexy in red…

brides were out inn full force Saturday night!

I love Asheville.  I love it’s personality and character.  I love it’s attitude, not caring about what anybody thinks but absolutely caring for its local community and environment.  I love the food and the cocktail menus and that is really why I wanted to go there.  I wanted a foodie weekend and I got it.

The first place we went is the Battery Park Champagne Bar and Book Exchange – I’ve been wanting to go here for years.  Books and wine/champagne – two of my absolute favorite things.  We started our evening with bellinis for the group and its eclectic atmosphere.  This is a place you go to chill, maybe read, but mostly for the atmosphere.

Battery Park Champagne Bar & Book Exchange

my ladies! Bridal Party (-1)

From Battery Park we walked around a bit.  Tthere was supposed to be a festival (LAFF) but it was just getting warmed up when we arrived although the music was awesome.  I need to remember to find the album of the artist we heard, Paper Birds, was the album name but I cannot remember the artist.  We started to get a little hungry and debated one of the many food trucks around (love food trucks!) but instead went to Lab.  I’m not sure how to describe Lab – “Bar” would be the simplest term but it was more like a gastropub that was open to the outside.  They had a bar that went right up to the sidewalk and people would just stop and chat right at the window.  I wish I had made a list of all the cocktails I consumed over the weekend because the one (2) I had here were delicious.  We also shared some apps – I had a grilled flatbread which was delicious.  I admit to finishing the last three pieces in the car on the way home at about 2am while singing obnoxiously at the top of my lungs.  Lab was the perfect environment to start the night, crowded, open to outside, fun.  We even started my list of to-dos/tasks for the evening.  One, get marriage advice for someone at every location (which we accomplished) and two, get a picture with the man with the red, white, and blue beard.  Check and check.

Married for 42 years!

We had 8 o’clock reservations for Zambra’s, a restaurant I had gone to before and had the best cocktail ever – Blood Orange Spice.  When I gave my girls a list of what I wanted to do  over the weekend it included going to Battery Park, yoga, and this particular cocktail.  I’m glad we did dinner there as well because I love tapas, especially with a larger group of people.  We didn’t share as much as you would expect but we were all immensely satisfied with the meal.  There were 4 bachelorette parties there at the same time – it was pretty funny.  And the Blood Orange Spice absolutely lived up to my own hype and memories although it now has competition at the #1 spot from a drink I had on Sunday.  I would go back to Zambra’s every time I am there and I think my local friend, MD, would go with me.

After dinner, EL required a sports bar so that she could watch the end of the college games. At this point we were down to 5 because my sister drove back to Greensboro because of school obligations.  We found ourselves at Scully’s – now this was a bar.  And, this is also where the drinks started to hit us and the real fun began.  We realized here that not a single man had offered to buy any of us a drink so of course we made a very loud point to the male audience at the bar.  Low and behold, someone bought me a glass of white wine.  It wasn’t very good so I didn’t finish it but the point was made.  There were also some rather fun tasks given to me that I won’t share – this blog is PG rated, mostly.  But EL got her football in and the rest of us caught the dancing bug which led us to out last location of the night – Arcade.  Arcade has a cover charge (lame) and two floors of dancing.  Appropriately, the first song I heard was “Let’s Get Married” – which R&B artist is this?  It was awesome.  I haven’t danced like that since college and it was these same girls on the dance floor with me then.  Full circle.

and this sums up the night

The ladies plus 1 (?)

There was definitely a dance off at Arcade, like full on Step Up style but with all white people.  Hey, we were in Asheville.  Don’t worry we were not battling it out but we spent the rest of the time we were there on the dance floor, or the bar.  There may or may not have been shots taken but they weren’t by me.  It was the perfect way to end the night – dancing with your best girlfriends always is.

Thanks EL for driving us all home – we love you.  And putting up with our obnoxious singing/screaming, oh there’s video.  But man, that pizza was good.

Have you been to any great places in Asheville that we didn’t hit?  Tell me so I can go next time!

 

Bachelorette – Lingerie Party

This post is way overdue – so much has been happening the past couple of weeks!  My bachelorette party was Labor Day weekend.  It was seriously one of the best, if not the best, weekends of my life.  I’m hard pressed to think of one that compares, maybe the weekend P and I got engaged.  I’ll have to remember to share that story one day – it’s a good one.

My bachelorette weekend started at my house Friday evening.  Don’t forget Friday, August 31, was the day I said goodbye to my corporate job.  Don’t worry, I went to happy hour with my new business partner after dropping my things off at my new office.  Prosecco was the way to celebrate so I’m glad AM brought some over to my house Friday evening.  Thank you so much to LC for helping me clean my house!  I had to go pick up two of my friends who flew in from the airport – which was actually great because I got to surprise them! – and LC saved the day by finishing the house (making beds, mopping, etc.)  She drank an entire bottle of wine while working so I guess it wasn’t too bad.  Ha.  This was a huge help because I was feeling a little frantic – I cannot tell you how many times I was told to stop doing something because it was my party but at my house I will always feel like a host.  It is probably a good thing we left for the weekend so I didn’t have to feel like that.

Cook's for a future Cooke!

I had 11 women at my house Friday, one of which was me.  MD brought food, organic, all natural, deliciously tasty, food.  She also cooked.  Everyone else brought snacks and wine – we went through a lot of wine.

Sustenance.

These 10 women are my favorite in the entire world (missing a few who couldn’t make it) and I was thrilled to have them in one place.  I wish I could have designated an hour (or a whole day) just to chat and catch up with each of them but I will take them any way I can get them.  We noshed, grilled, ate, drank, and finally had a little lingerie party.  P was really sweet and told me before the weekend that he didn’t need lingerie, but he’s a man, and has a solid appreciation for it.  And I quite enjoy little nighties that are comfortable around the house and for sleep.

Presents! (who else loves the owl bag??)

 

Obligatory veil and tiara

I, of course, received the obligatory bridal veil and tiara (which would not stay on my head!) and a flashing, gaudy, plastic diamond ring which will eventually be handed down – I have someone in mind for next year… AS??  Also, MP got me a super cute yellow (yellow & silver wedding) BRIDE tank top which I rocked throughout the weekend.  Plus, a bunch of really cute nighties and panties, as expected.  My friends know me well and know what I will wear and what will just sit in a drawer.  Also, MH, used to be MC, gave me a delicious smelling candle… to set the mood.  Love creative gifts like this.  And speaking of creative, MD went a little wild with a package of perishable goodies that came with hand-written instructions.  Honey and whipped cream made the cut… I’ll let you fill in the blanks.  Needless to say, we all good and hard about that one.  You’ve got to have a least one crazy gift at a lingerie party, in my opinion.

BRIDE!

fun times

Although not all 10 ladies continued on with me through the rest of the weekend I am so glad they are were able to come for at least one night.  The local  ladies went home after presents, my Charlotte friends drove home the next afternoon, and the 5 of us left took off for Asheville, NC.  Talk of having more girls weekends and reunions took place and I can only hope that we make it actually happen – ladies??  Let’s make a plan!  Thanks to all of you for coming, bringing food and wine, your gifts, and your friendship.  I am so blessed to have amazing friends, amazing women in my life.  I love you all!

Don’t worry, there’s more to come!  We hit Asheville next… what, did you think I’d post naughty photos?  For P’s eyes only!

Elle Steals the Show

You would think that our shower last weekend would have been all about us – nope.  As soon as our five month old niece arrived at the party, we all knew who would be the center of attention.  Not that either of us care one bit.  Who could resist this face?

Baby Elle

Oh and don’t worry she’s cute from the front and the back – her bloomers matched her bib.  This little girl is the monogram princess.  She is also the light in her uncle’s (and mom and dad and grandma and great-grandma and everyone else at the party’s) eye.  Seriously, as soon as Elle got there, I didn’t see P without her in his arms – until the late night partying began that is!  They even dressed to match.

Twins!

Elle was so good all weekend.  She hung out with the big kids Saturday night, stayed away from home all weekend, and was just a doll.  Never cried, never fussed, just turned her little head all around trying to see everything that was going on.  We love her.  Our biological clocks are ticking.  P woke up Sunday morning, turned to me, rubbed my stomach and asked, “When are we going to have a baby?”  Of course, my heart fluttered but my stomach also lurched.  I love the idea, not sure how I feel about the reality quite yet.  Right now, I think I’ll enjoy loving on our niece who we can give back at the end of the night.

Elle with Daddy

Did I mention I’m babysitting 4 kids tonight?!  I may never want to children after this :)

 

I need to blog – Update

Basically I need to blog about the house.  So much has been happening, and not happening, and I have not kept the blog up to speed.  The last week has been a bit slow in noticeable progress.  One, P & I haven’t done many big projects in the house ourselves although he has continued to clear our yard and dead trees and debris.  I have done quite a bit of closet and bathroom organizing but it’s not something you can see when you walk through the house.  I have pictures of all these little projects plus crafty ones like spray painting mirrors and wine bottles on  my iPhone just waiting to be shared.  I just haven’t.

Then there are the workers.  The past couple of weeks their presence and work has been sporadic and inconsistent.  I’d be told something would be done Tuesday, come home Tuesday after work and see that nothing has been done.  Oh, Thursday you say?  Then come home Friday (a day later) to again, nothing.  It’s lead to some tense moments and conversation.  But finally, after being out of town for a shower this weekend, we came home to visible progress.  The exterior of the sunroom was finally painted.  The tile in the sunroom was finally installed.  It re-energized me last night to get some visible progress done of my own this week.  My hope is to get the rest of the upstairs painted and/or primed depending on what stage the walls are in now.  It’s also nice we have this weekend “off” – no plans, so I think it is possible.  Here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite for progress – hopefully there will be more to come!

Have you ever had a lull in a project that was hard to come out of?

The First Bridal Shower

My first of four showers was this past Saturday.  Officially, it was a Ladies Luncheon, no boys allowed.  It was fun to don one of my new little white dresses (one that I found at Ross for $10 and and was later complimented on four times by complete strangers in the mall), see friends and family, and open gifts.  I actually wore real, “grown-up” make-up and blow-dried my hair.  My friends know this is a rare occasion.  Showers are kind of strange, fun, but strange.  There were about 20 women there and I felt like every moment I had with each of them was rushed.  It lasted about two and half hours but I could have stayed for a few more hours just to spend time with everyone.  There were about three different groups of people there that attempted to mingle with each other and I felt like I had to be the glue between the all:  my mom’s family, my mom’s teacher friends, and some of my friends from Charlotte and the surrounding areas.  I don’t know if I succeeded or not.

My mother’s neighbor and good friend was the host and chose such a quaint little historical house in downtown Matthews, NC – The Reid House.  There were some really cute details, like hand painted walls that had little sequin accents.  She had it catered by the company that did her daughter’s wedding and the food could not have been more delicious and to my tastes.  My mom simply told her: fresh and no mayonnaise when asked what I liked to eat.  The stand-out, that everyone was talking about, was a watermelon salad.  I believe it had watermelon, feta, mint, olive oil, pine nuts, and a balsamic glaze.  I also really enjoyed a cous cous, shrimp, and mandarin orange salad.  I have no idea what was in it but it was surprisingly delicious.  I wish I had eaten more but I was too busy yapping away.

One thing to be really conscious of as a bride in this situation, or even at Christmas time if your family likes to watch as you open each gift, is your facial expression.  After unwrapping my first gift, the giver called me out, “I don’t see a smile.”  I was glad for the reminder but I also felt really bad, like I had not done by part to show gratitude.  It was actually a cool chop and scoop and I was  just picturing in my head how it was used.  I’m not a super smiley or excitable person so I definitely had to put effort into making sure everyone saw my excitement throughout the gift opening process.  To be honest, we got some great gifts and will be using them all.  Some of the highlights are an egg cooker for making hard boiled and poached eggs, a really nice meat carving board and platter, great serving and party ware, and crock pot tongs I’ve never seen before.  There were many others that I’m sure I just cannot remember right now.  I would literally pick up a card off a gift, open it, then forget what gift I took it from.  I was a bit spastic, not used to being the center of attention. There were also several gift cards which P and I used up on Sunday on things for the house.  Gift cards are always great, I know they’re not as fun to give, but they’re so useful.

I wish I had remembered my camera because the only ones we had were my iPhone (thanks L for working the phone!) and my mom’s point and shoot, which does not take the best photos.  Even if I technically cannot take my own photos I can at least provide a better tool (or sneak in a few!).  Here are a few of my favorites from the day.  We have a couples shower in a few weeks and I’m even more excited.  But I need to get this round of thank you cards out before they start piling up!

Wedding Showers

Three people have recently commented on the amount of showers I/we are having before our wedding.  We’re having four.  It does seem like a lot but I’m not particularly sure what is normal.  For us, four is perfect because it involves four completely different groups of people.  P’s family is in Virginia, mine is in Charlotte, NC, and then we both live here in Greenville, SC.  Two are ladies only and two are for couples.  My first shower, which I’m really excited about, is being thrown by a neighbor and good friend of my parents.  It is so very sweet that she is doing it for me considering I haven’t lived at home in eight years and don’t think I’ve seen her but a few times since I left.  It speaks to the friendship my parents have forged and what a generous lady she is.  My sister has also been life-long friends with her daughter who got married last year.  I joke that she got the wedding bug and I’m helping her out.  It is a ladies luncheon in Matthews, NC (where I’m from).  Of the twenty or so ladies that are attending it’s my Charlotte girlfriends, my mom’s friends, and my mom’s family.  P’s mom and grandmother were also planning to attend and then spend the weekend with us but they both had some health issues come up.  I’m disappointed because we were going to have my first dress fitting but their health comes first and we’ll see them next month.

The second shower is also in Charlotte but it is hosted by my dad’s side of the family and is a couple’s shower.  We’ve invited couples in Charlotte and also those within a day’s driving distance.  My dad’s family is flying in from New Orleans and DC.  Some of P’s family is also trying to come.  Even though it is also in the Charlotte area the guest list only overlaps with the first because of family and bridal party.

Then, there is a shower in Virginia hosted by P’s family.  I obviously don’t expect any of them to make the 5-6 hour drive to NC for a party so it makes total sense to have one up there.  I’m looking forward to spending time with the ladies of P’s family who I have come to really adore and enjoy over the last several years.  They’ve always made me feel like one of their own and it will finally almost be official.

Then… some great friends of ours here in Greenville are throwing us another couple’s shower for only Greenville people.  It makes sense since we live here and although all Greenville people were invited to the Charlotte ones (only 2 hours drive) we don’t expect people to travel.  This will also include some friends, specifically from work, that didn’t actually get invited to the wedding.  I know this something that can be awkward and frowned upon by some, but our wedding guest list is fairly small with family and only the closest of friends,. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to celebrate with and include other people.  I think people are cool about it and understand – we try to only be friends with people who are cool.

Basically, we are trying to include everyone somehow and have been really blessed to have people offer to throw parties for us.  With my first one tomorrow, I am thrilled to officially start celebrating our wedding and soon-to-be marriage with the ones we love.  It is starting to feel real!  And I’ve got thank you cards coming out of my ears in preparation and am working on some creative ways to thank the hosts.  (Brides, Michaels has lots of thank you card packs for $.50-$1.  The ones I bought are white and classic which are perfect for showers.)

How many showers do you think are normal?