Franklin Rehearsal Dinner….Aloha!

Well, it’s finally happened!  I’ve kept my word, and the pictures I said I was going to share with you have finally come!

This past week and weekend we have been very busy bees!  Tuesday night, Steve went out with Rustin and his friends for a bachelor night full of……..well…..whatever it is that bachelors do….minus the strippers.  All I know for sure is that Rustin most likely did not remember the entire evening.  Or probably most of the entire week, for that matter.  He had a “bachelor week”, and much to my delight, Steve only participated in that one evening instead of the entire week of bachelor madness.

So, getting back to the rehearsal dinner, which took place Friday, May 27th.  It was Hawaiian themed, and the first things I noticed when we got there were these awesome centerpieces.  Live fish!  Now, granted, this type of goldfish usually don’t last more than a month or so before they die, but when I was little, I remember keeping one alive for at LEAST a year.  I know.  Impressive.

Here’s Jen, one of the 3 bridesmaids.  Doesn’t she have beautiful, blue eyes?  They draw you in!

Steve was in the wedding too.  One of Rustin’s 5 groomsmen.  Isn’t it usually the bride who ends up having a hard time narrowing down who the bridesmaids are gonna be, and eventually ends up with more attendants than the groom?  Well not this time apparently.  He’s got beautiful, blue eyes too. 🙂  Please, Lord, let our children get his eye color, but my 20/20 vision!  That would be awesome!  Thanks for listening!

Here’s where the ceremony took place.  Ceremony and reception were held in the lovely backyard of Rustin’s parents, Eric and Wendie.

Look at that happy groom!  But then again, he is always cracking jokes, so this is nothing new.

Back up, sista!  Rustin can never be serious…….as I mentioned in my toast at the wedding. 🙂

Can you guess what Rustin is doing here?

How about now?

That’s right.  He’s dancing down the aisle.

We all danced down the aisle.

Shake that booty, Steve!

Yes, even I got in on the dancing action!  Hey, it’s what they wanted, so I obliged!  Note: There will be no dancing down the aisle at my wedding!

Elizabeth didn’t dance.  She’s the bride.  She can do whatever she wants!

So we ran through the ceremony only one time, I believe, and we didn’t really even go through the whole thing.  We just practiced where we’d stand and when Elizabeth would hand me her bouquet, etc.

Then we practiced walking out.  I didn’t get to walk out with Steve, unfortunately.  And it made it a little awkward, because on the day of the wedding, I was wearing 4 inch heels, so I was significantly taller than Eli, the best man.

Here’s the beautiful bride, Elizabeth, with Krista, another bridesmaid.

Bride and maid of honor.  In about 40 days, those rolls will be reversed! 🙂

The bride with all her bridesmaids.

Then, of course, Steve being the class clown that he is had to come and jump into our picture.

Then one by one, each bridesmaid’s hubby came and took a picture with us girls.

Can you guess which man belongs with which lady?

Ah yes, the Dr. Evil shot.  Don’t ask me why we did this pose.

Rustin had handed out some victory cigars.  Victory for what?  I’m not sure.  Getting through the rehearsal?  His last day as a single man?

Yes, you’re all very cool.  But I don’t think you’ll make it into the mafia.

See that pool in the background?  Just keep that in mind for a future post. 🙂

Best Friends Forever!!!  I can’t believe I’ve only known Elizabeth for a year, and already we are so close.  I feel like I’ve known her my whole life!

Love you, girlfriend!  <3

Elizabeth’s Bridal Shower

So the reason I have neglected my beloved blog this past week is because I’ve been super busy preparing for Elizabeth’s bridal shower.  This was the first shower I had ever hosted, and I wanted it to be perfect!  I spent 3 days making and decorating sugar cookies, cleaning, and baking cakes and cake pops.  And let me tell you, cleaning up after 2 Saint Bernards and 3 cats is no easy task.  The cats are actually pretty easy to clean up after.  They just leave cat hair that can easily be wiped or vacuumed up.  The dogs, however, manage to fling their drool all over the house, including the walls, ceiling, floor, couch, doors, windows, counter, bed…..I think you get the point.  But let me tell you, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are AMAZING!!!  I don’t know how they do it, but they get even the toughest drool spots clean.  I think I’m going to need to buy them in bulk.

I set up the tables and chairs in our living room, which fortunately, after almost a year of living here, we still haven’t put any furniture in.  So set up was easy since I didn’t have to move any furniture out to make room for the tables.

We had exactly enough chairs for everyone, which was incredible since I only got a few RSVPs.  Having enough places for people to sit was one of my main stresses before the shower.

Here’s the food table.  Fortunately the other 2 bridesmaids were wonderful enough to bring the food dishes, and I only had to worry about the dessert.  That took so much stress off me.  So thank you Jen and Krista!

Elizabeth and I went to Kroger about an hour before the shower was supposed to start and bought some flowers to put on the tables.  And instead of buying perfectly fresh roses for $20, I found some that were a couple days old on sale for $4.99 and $7.99.  I also bought some candles and put them in gift bags for each lady to take home with them.

Here everyone is hanging out in the kitchen before we ate lunch.

Elizabeth sneaking a cookie before lunch. 🙂

Here’s the view from our cat walk above the living room.

Wedding themed sugar cookies that I made.

The dessert section!  Strawberry cake, cake pops, and sugar cookies.

Here’s what the inside of the cake looked like.  I added a white cake layer in between the 2 strawberry layers just to make things interesting.

Such a pretty lady.  She’s going to make a beautiful bride!

We started by eating the lovely lunch that Jen and Krista (seated) provided.

Elizabeth is telling a story, that I can’t remember…..

But I remember that it was funny, because Jenni and Cheryl are laughing.

Then we played a game where I asked questions about Elizabeth and Rustin and whoever got the most answers right got a prize.

Then we played a game where each team wrapped a girl (Elizabeth and Rustin’s little sister, Sam) in toilet paper.  And whoever looked the most like a bride won a prize.

It was a close one, but Sam ended up winning.

Elizabeth enjoyed the cake pops. 🙂

Present time!!!

This bag had a TON of tissue paper in it, so luckily when she tossed it in the air I had my camera pointed right at her and captured the moment. 🙂

This was a hilarious moment!  This gift was from Lindsey, who apparently didn’t have many greeting cards at home….

So she gave Elizabeth a “thank you” card…..

…and wrote “Thank you for getting married and inviting me to your shower.”  She said the only other card she had was a sympathy card.  We were cracking up so much we needed lotion.  Bahaha!!!  I know, I should have been a comedian.

She loved her new Keurig coffee maker!  It’s great!  I have one!

Cheryl, our Sunday School teacher’s wife and the leader of our weekly Bible study gave a wonderful devotional on how to be a godly wife.

Afterward, she gave Elizabeth this beautiful painting she did titled “The Art of Marriage” listing all her talking points from the devotional.  What a wonderful gift!

Bride and maid of honor!

We had pins with our titles on them.  When she hosts my bridal shower in a couple months, we’ll switch pins.  🙂

Here’s the whole gang!  We had a great time, and now I can go back to relaxing!

The Smoke House Rehab (Part 2)

It’s been a LONG weekend of rehabbing the Smoke House, but we are finally making some great progress!  Rustin & Elizabeth helped us ALOT on Friday and Saturday, and then Steve and I worked by ourselves on Sunday.  We were able to clean most of the kitchen, rip out all the carpets, and clean all the bathrooms.  (Steve generously assigned the bathroom cleaning project to me).  The bedrooms, hallway, and living room are ready to have their baseboards cleaned, and then all that’s left is to paint and put down new carpeting.  We’re still contemplating if we want to leave the vinyl floors in the bathroom or replace them with tile.  The vinyl doesn’t look too bad, but we’ll probably end up replacing it with tile so that it matches the entryway and kitchen.  Might as well make everything the same, right?

The kitchen has been an adventure.  Elizabeth and I spent the entire day on Saturday cleaning the cabinets and counters.  And what a task that was!  But the difference is amazing!!  Just look for yourself!

They look like brand new cabinets!  And when we add the new hardware, the transformation will be complete.

Here’s a before and after of the drawers in the kitchen.  I’m still surprised at how clean we were able to get them.  Bleach mixed in water is clearly our friend!

The fridge still needs to be cleaned out, and let me tell you, I am NOT looking forward to it.  And yes, I know it’ll be me that has the lovely task of cleaning this beast because there is no way Steve will come near it.  Did I mention that he found a vial of blood in the freezer?  Yah, talk about gagging!

Here’s another look at the nasty cabinets.

Here’s a nice butt shot of Steve scraping the carpet staples off the sub-floor in the master bedroom.

Here’s that awesome shot again of the clean freezer and dirty fridge.  The whole outside of the fridge is clean now.  I just have the dreaded inside left to do.

Here’s the hallway leading from the entryway to the bedrooms and guest bathroom.  The sub-floor is now completely cleared of all the carpet debris and thoroughly vacuumed, as are all the bedrooms.  I didn’t take any pictures today with all the blue carpet cushion stuff gone and all the rooms vacuumed, so just pretend that it is. 🙂

Bedroom #1

Bedroom #2

Master Bedroom.  Those wooden carpet tacking strips are gone now.

Living room.  All the trash and wooden strips are gone, and it’s ready to be painted!  We’re going to sand down the fireplace and paint it white.  It used to be white, but now has a yellow tinge from all the cigarette smoke.  Pretty much every wooden surface in the house has a yellow tinge.

I can’t believe how far we’ve progressed after only 3 days!  Here’s what we have left to do:

  • Wash baseboards and crown molding and paint white
  • Paint walls
  • Sand and paint fireplace
  • Finish cleaning kitchen
  • Rip up vinyl floors in kitchen and bathrooms and replace with tile
  • Install hardwood floors in living room and hallway
  • Install new carpet in bedrooms
  • Hire an HVAC guy to come and assess the AC/Heater and clean out all the ducts
  • Hire tree removal service to cut down 2 VERY large evergreen trees in the backyard that serve no purpose.
  • Redo the front porch (it’s sinking)
  • Replace all hardware and light fixtures
  • Mow yard and clean up the landscaping
  • Pressure wash all the siding on the outside of the house
  • Pressure wash deck, and seal

It seems like a long list, but really I think we’re in the home stretch.  We’ll probably only be working on it for a few more weekends.  At least I hope!  If any of you have done remodeling or rehabbing projects and have any tips or advice, we’d really appreciate it!