31 July 2012

Nothing is better than being near water. The Outer Banks is a beautiful place to be and it was definitely a nice spot to relax after planning a wedding. The sunsets are pink, the ocean is rolling, and you can take long walks on the beach headed to nowhere.

Duck and a New Family

30 July 2012

The Outer Banks is Noah's preferred vacation spot. His family always comes together and spends a week bonding, playing, and swimming. I love being around such a big and positive family. We have been in Duck every year that I've gone on the trip too. As husband and wife we were greeted as newly weds (and I loved every minute of it!).

Noah's family has treated me as one of their own since I was a junior in high school when I met them at the Thanksgiving dinner in 2005. I remember his grandma Hilda told me that if he ever tried to "get on top" to slap him. Hah! Now, seven years later I wear her ring on my finger and I share her last name.

We're home(ish) and living without ann address for now but I'll start catching up on the wedding, vacation, and honey moon this week while we're out apartment hunting. It's been a great month!


23 July 2012

{A Graveyard off Meeting Street}

We are getting our hearts' desires in Charleston. After arriving at one o'clock yesterday we checked into our hotel, right off King Street, got a frappuccino at the Starbucks downstairs, and walked a few blocks to explore the area. I have already had a couple of "lifetime favorites" while here and there are a few experiences that I can now cross off my list of Aspirations. We've been dining out, sleeping in, and saddling up for the long haul (hello apartment shopping!). Right now I couldn't be happier!


22 July 2012

Noah and I enjoyed a beautiful week on a family vacation but are now on to our official honeymoon in Charleston SC. We literally just arrived at the hotel. I'm popping this post in real quick while Noah has a shave in our hotel room. You know what's great about our hotel? 1. We're on King Street. 2. There is a Starbucks directly next to our lobby. I can't wait to get out and explore over the next couple of days. You can check me out on instagram to see some of the photos from our trip so far!

Yeah, it's a beautiful life.

Thanks for all the well wishes! I'll be back to regular posting later this week but I will sporadically be leaving pictures on occasion. XOXO.

Wedding Photos

19 July 2012

If you're up for some wedding photos, I'll be posting a few here but you can always check out our photographer's album. We asked Aaron Riddle to take photos for our wedding and he did a marvelous job! We really couldn't be more pleased!

You can view the online album here by using the password "smoothjazz". If you're interested in browsing a few select photos check out Aaron's blog here.

Soaking It In

16 July 2012

We're relaxing at the beach after a stressful week and a joyous Saturday. I can hardly believe we got married on Saturday! Time has a weird way of distorting events that are fun for you... I'm still so happy we could see all of our family and friends in one place, together for this special day. Posting may be sporadic while we're in our honeymoon phase! Hope you're having a wonderful week and lots of fresh new starts. 

We're Married!

Wedding Countdown: 1

12 July 2012

{My mom's veil}

The future: Lifetimes are being planned.

We both have jobs, we're looking at townhouses and apartments in two cities that are commutable for both of us, and we're about to truly start our lives together. Tomorrow is our wedding and the start of our 'new' lives. 

Wedding Countdown: 2


The present: Wedding plans are taking over my life!

On Tuesday of this week I went in for a trial run on my hair. What does every girl do after just getting her hair done? Go kayaking of course! Realistically, I needed to get outside and relax and I figured that if the hair could withstand kayaking on a lake in 90 degree heat then it could probably take standing still at an outdoor wedding. Fair enough right?

Beyond kayaking, this week we have written so many checks and talked to so many people that things are actually feeling real! The wedding is two days away and I can hardly believe I'll soon be a Mrs.! 

Today we're doing final arrangements on tables, booking hotel rooms, and scouting out gluten free cupcakes for my gluten intolerant friends as well as alpenglow for the younger guests during the toasts. 

You could definitely say I'm stressed out... but want to hear some good news? Last night Noah found out that he was offered a music job! We both have teaching jobs now, just in the knick of time before the wedding! 

Reason to Smile: Noah has a job and we're two days out from our big day!

Wedding Countdown: 3

11 July 2012


The Past: We grew up together. 

As high school sweethearts we transitioned together from school kids to school teachers and I feel blessed to have had Noah by my side for these seven years. 

I know that we can deal with changes that come through life and meet them head on.  There are a lot of life experiences yet to come, but with our history I know that we can stand side by side and tackle anything. It's not always easy... but it usually is.


10 July 2012

Today, beyond hair appointments and paying florists, Noah and I are taking time to go kayaking and swimming and get outdoors. I've found that nothing frees me up from my own self more than getting outside and taking in all the beauty that surrounds me.

Reasons to Smile: It's a big, beautiful world out there.

Wedding Woes

09 July 2012

In the blogger world where weddings are always such a big event I often feel like I don't fit in. Now, let me preemptively say that I am more excited than you could know to be married, but not quite as excited about the wedding. I one hundred percent want to spend my life with Noah, I just don't think this one day is more than just an arbitrary day we picked on the calendar.

We're truly less than one week away now from the Event. I feel that I have more resentment about it than anything else at this point. I hope I'm not the only girl to feel this way about the "big day". I get multiple calls and texts a day asking whether I've done this or paid for that and I. am. tired. Honestly, picking colors for ribbons and linens?

It's bumming me out that everyone chatters away about how it's the best day of your life, and maybe it will be (ask me this Saturday), but no one talks enough about how much of a headache weddings are. All of your time, energy, thought processes, and especially your money starts drifting away to things you don't really care about. Of course, this is not true for every couple out there, in fact I have yet to meet a couple in my real, day-to-day life that agrees with me, but I am counting down the days til I'm married and the wedding is done with.

A couple-friend of ours got married earlier this summer and asked Noah and me if we thought it would be different once we were married. Noah and I looked at each other sort of squinty eyed and both answered "no" at the same time. Things will be changing for us soon: living on our own for the first time and starting careers, but inherently in the relationship will things change because our labels do? No.

I'm ready to be a wife, I'm ready to commit, and I'm ready to be done with questions about the wedding. There I said it. Cat's out of the bag. I'm a wedding-planner-hater.

*I'll do a post later this week about what I really am looking forward to about marriage - there's quite the list. I just needed to vent a little about weddings for today. Thanks, for waiting while I ranted.


06 July 2012

Last night we played games with friends including Harry Potter Clue, Scattegories, Squiggle, and BS. Then we walked back upstairs to our apartment (oh the joys of living right near friends!) and Noah's brother was there! We had no clue he was coming over. It's nice to spend all this time with friends. I'm trying to lots of friends in these last few weeks before marriage because we'll be on a nearly month-long vacation soon (with two separate beaches and honeymoon). After we get back from the last trip I need to start my orientation days!

Lets see, what am I smiling about?
  • Saw lots of friends at the bachelorette party
  • Have had three separate friendates (aka friend dates) this week
  • I'm hanging out with a great girlfriend tomorrow
  • Friends are texting and calling, offering help with all things wedding-related
My suggestion to you this weekend is to make plans with a friend. Have a game night, watch a movie, or go swimming. Get out and make sure you have some laughs this weekend!

Reason to Smile: We're full throttle in summer now and I couldn't be happier about it.

Catching Up

05 July 2012

{by lake house, the morning after the bachelorette}

It's about 10am, I'm behind in scheduling blog posts... and it's time to catch up. But I'm sitting, drinking coffee, and thinking about those milk dates I mentioned before. The milk currently in my fridge will expire on August 11 and I'm moving out (for the most part) on Sunday. THIS SUNDAY. After three years living in this apartment it still hasn't hit me that I won't be here in a matter of days. Maybe I can convince Noah to stay in the lake house for the next week? I could wake up to that view every day before I get married!

{July 4th, in DC}

Well, time is marching forward. Beyond moving out, we're getting married in nine days. We met with our minister yesterday and I ended up driving in DC for the first time! We've been in DC multiple times before (1, 2, 3) but luckily my man always drives. I don't do stress well in driving situations. I become a kind of yeller and my body stiffens in this anxious position. Haha. Well, I did it because our GPS took us off the beltway and right into downtown... on the fourth of july. Hello GPS, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?! I actually feel really lucky because traffic wasn't bad (for DC) and eventually after navigating many turns that were blocked off for the holiday we finally made it out by the Nationals Stadium and back onto 395. Whew. It was an adventure though and thank goodness Noah knows how to deal with a stressed out me. There's nothing to test a relationship like a stressful driving situation!

Plus yesterday was probably the most useful counseling session yet. I've heard mixed reviews about marriage counseling. Some people find it very helpful, but so far I can't say I agree too much. I think there are some good questions and beliefs brought up although Noah and I have talked about all of them already. I think it has the potential to help you grow but that hopefully you've talked about most of the topics before you're getting married! If I thought it were possible I'd say it just made me even more sure that I am with the right man for me.

Reason to Smile: I'm nine days I'm marrying my best friend, I conquered DC while driving, and I have a nice cup of coffee (with my beloved creamer) beside me.

Happy 4th

04 July 2012

Noah and I are driving to Washington DC, not for the fireworks, but to see our minister. Keep your fingers crossed that traffic will be relatively light! We're open to come back and do some of the downtown activities in the evening. 

For my American friends, do you have any plans? Are you watching fireworks? Hosting a cookout? Or relaxing with friends today? 


03 July 2012

Nothing is better than being able to get up and slowly appreciate the world before starting the day. I hope that come August I will still remember this feeling. Waking up, making a pot of coffee, and taking a peek outside to enjoy the morning breezes and sunlight are always good choices for starting the day off on the right foot as opposed to scrambling around, picking out dress clothes, and grabbing lesson plans. When we start looking at places to live for the fall I certainly think an outdoor area will be on my list. As long as it's big enough for a little table and a single chair it will be fine by me.

Reason to Smile: Sometimes it's nice to slow down and take in the moments and peace around you before the day begins.

Harry Potter Bachelorette

02 July 2012

On Saturday night I walked into the lake house to see a bunch of my girl friends. My bridesmaids had set up a Harry Potter themed bachelorette party!

You may know that I'm a Harry Potter fanatic (instances 1, 2, 3, and 4), which means I really enjoyed the details of the evening. There were amazing decorations around the lake house appropriately aligned with house colors, golden snitches were on the table, along with Howlers all around.

Everyone brought some food to share and we chatted, played a Harry Potter/wedding edition of Things (created by my sister), and watched some videos about HP. Then my friends wrote Owl Mail to me with advice and words of love written on them, which were then compiled into a scrapbook by Meredith and we finished the night by watching Prisoner of Azkaban.

I can't imagine a better bachelorette party for me. Truly, to have friends who are willing to geek out with you and support you... it's just incredible. I'm lucky to have the bridesmaids and friends that I do.

PS - You can expect a Part II sometime with more pictures and details of decorations. :)
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