Saturday, October 13, 2012


I leave myself signed into blogger at all times, so it was odd this morning to have to actually select 'sign in' before I could write a new post. Clicking on that link though allowed me a chance to bounce around my blogger dashboard a bit, which is something I never do.
Silly me, I thought that unless a post is old,  comments were being automatically applied to posts. Apparently I've had all this love being shared in the form of comments over the last couple of months that I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT! GUH!
My frustration is short lived though because AWWW, YOU GUYS! You're all so darn sweet!
Now I can go into writing about our wedding (ya, that happened) thinking about all you lovely people that will actually read what I have to say! Love!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I should probably add a few pictures...

I've been too lazy to add any pictures to my computer over the last month so my recent posts have been a little boring. Hopefully, these will help:
In August we visited a local experimental farm and learned much about local agriculture. Either that or we just went in some bouncy castles, ate some tasty treats, checked out the tractors and such and took a hay ride. 
Jay and I had simultaneous Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. This is one of my bridesmaids who accompanied me to dinner before the festivities.
Things got considerably more interesting from there. Most of the other pictures that ended up on my phone are not appropriate for this site. This lovely gentleman is one of Jason's groomsmen.
This Groom was from another bachelor party happening that night. St. John's has a very small street that has the world's record for the most bars. The street becomes pedestrian only at night and is basically one large party! I hope his wedding was at least a few days after this. That's permanent marker all over his face.
We hiked with a visiting friend.
Bought wedding clothes.
Owen and I hung out a lot while the other boys were at school. This was a walk around downtown St. John's. That's signal hill in the background (which is where our reception will take place).
Jay and I attended an 80s themed birthday party.
We spent the evening at the beach with our church for the annual corn boil.
We visited the geo centre (the site of our reception) to check out some of the exhibits.
We visited another local farm.
Micah started at a new school (sorry for the blur). 
First day of school.
We took Owen to a local fire station during a special 'doors open' day. 
He was quite the super star.
We went out for wings (twice!).
Leslie visited us and did a little damage to our swing set.
Jay and I got our marriage licence

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The story behind our honeymoon

I dont know if I ever pictured my wedding growing up. I was never the type of girl to play dress up or with barbies, preferring to run around outside with my brothers instead.

Even when I was engaged to The Ex, I didn't give the wedding that much thought. I looked for ways to have a fairly cheap celebration and planned a low key affair of only a couple thousand. In the end it didn't happen and we separated before anything was ever really in place.

This time, I had bought all the invitation supplies before many of our friends even knew we were engaged. I dove head first into the planning and have since spent a full nine months on the details. My parents are helping with the cost and so we have more options, but there's more to the differences.

Jason and I have had to deal with comments about the size of and hoopla surrounding our wedding day from both family and friends. Our decisions have been questioned time and again, mostly because of money (though culture does come into play as well). Why are we having a big wedding (there's only 97 people!)? Why not just h'ordeurves? Why pay for a venue with a bar instead of a hall where you can bring your own alcohol? Why a plated meal? Why a DJ? Why formal invitations? Are chair covers necessary? Why are we renting tuxes?

It's been difficult but the bottom line is this:

Jason and I have never done or planned anything simply the way we wanted it. We've always compromised because of finances, our social position, the kids, life. We make choices every day based on the baggage we carry around from our pasts. Of course, everyone does this. Im not saying that others dont  have issues that affect their choices, that would be absurd. Instead, Im saying that perhaps because I was a single, high school drop out, teen mom, I made choices that a married, financially secure, mature 30 something mother wouldn't.

Maybe I can explain a little further.

In the data from the professional research I do, women who are struggling financially or socially sometimes over compensate by spending more money on things like clothing or shoes for their children simply to avoid further attention. If they're already being judged because of X then they will do whatever they can to avoid being judged because of Y, when X and Y tend to go together. Make sense?

So with that logic, Jason and I are working hard to have the wedding we want and aren't willing to compromise because weddings like ours aren't for people like us. We're starting our married life together by claiming our positions in this world. We do not want to live in the shadow of our pasts simply because culture says we should. We are jumping head first into this life and have thankfully learned a few things from our pasts to help us make our dreams a reality.

This starts with the wedding but will continue long after.

One way this is happening is that Jason and I are honeymooning in Rome next month. We're taking a week to connect as a couple because we think it's important. We met when I had four children and have had to work around the kids to have any sort of relationship, so this week of just the two of us will be a first. We're also the first people I know to take a honeymoon.

Now I have to be honest here and say that our honeymoon isnt being paid for completely by us. Not even half of it is. My brother is gifting us with the flights and my parents have gifted us with our hotel. We found both through selloffvacations for a good deal and are beyond thankful for the help. We set up a honeyfund registry instead of a regular one so that loved ones can choose fun activities for us to do as opposed to gifting us with a better toaster. Everything we do there will be paid for by us, unless people gift us with certain opportunities. Either way, we're prepared and super excited.

Never have Jason or I dreamed that we'd have this big, somewhat expensive wedding and a honeymoon in Rome but are beyond thrilled to be starting our lives together this way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Eighteen Days

Im getting married in 18 days. That's nuts. Every morning I click on theknot, even though there's nothing new to see or keep track of anymore, just to see the number. I know before hand how many days are left but I still cant help looking it up, like maybe Im just dreaming or something.

Im feeling rambly.

I haven't blogged in forever and have no excuse. Im not even doing anything with my days. But whatevs.

The kids started school a couple of weeks ago and have already had a day off because of Leslie. I never really know what to call that storm. It was a hurricane, it was a tropical storm, by the time it was over us it was a post tropical storm with hurricane level 1 winds. Either way, the schools shut down and our swing set blew over onto our shed.

Anywho, the kids all seem to be doing well. Owen is bored out of his mind being at home all day with me and can't wait for school next year. James and Noah both say they have the best teachers in the world. They are now the only two at their school and it's the cutest thing to watch them disappear into the school doors together or come to the car holding hands.

Micah started at a junior high this year though he's only in grade six. All french immersion students in our city must go to this school for this one grade because of space issues. It's rather a hassle, given the traffic nonsense surrounding the school. Thankfully, he walks to his old school in the afternoons so that I can pick them all up in the same spot. Academically, I have no idea whats going on as he no longer uses an agenda and curriculum night isnt until next week. He started with a tutor over the summer and is continuing with that every week though, so I have some confidence the year wont be a waste!

Next year he'd like to transfer to the junior high in our neighbourhood but they only offer a late immersion program for students who have had english instruction up through elementary school. I worry that the program will be that much less challenging that he'll get bored and do even worse. On the other hand, he is struggling with the french at this level and Im not entirely sure he'll be at grade level by the end of the year anyway. Decisions, decisions!

One thing is for sure though; next summer will include a trip to St. Pierre to boost all the boys' french skills. It is a tiny island just off the coast of Newfoundland that is actually a part of France. There's a ferry we can take over but it's pedestrian only so exploring the island may be a bit difficult, as public transportation isnt that great. How cool is it though that we have a piece of Europe practically at our doorstep?

Other than school, we're not doing much, The wedding is taking a lot of our funds and mental energy so we're waiting until that's over to get back into the normal routines. Taekwondo and swimming lessons, mainly. Micah is into BMX now though as his sport of choice and though it's expensive, it's definitely less so than hockey and less of a time commitment from us so we're happy to support it. He goes off to the skate park a couple of times each week and when the winter comes, we'll be driving him to the indoor skate park in St. John's.

And that's us in a nutshell..

Monday, June 25, 2012

An explanation

Readers, let me explain.

Many months ago, I happened upon a wedding website in which women from around North America blogged about their wedding journey. I was instantly hooked and learned more from that one site, than anywhere else combined.

Honestly, I'll probably continue to read there long after my own wedding.

Having maintained a blog myself for nearly four years, I naturally thought about writing for this site as a regular blogger bee (<-- hint as to what site I am referring). So, after a few months, I felt confident enough to apply. I went through the application, made sure to write almost solely about my wedding here at A Girl and Her Blog, and waited. Much to my surprise, I waited only a couple of weeks, for an email to come through.

The quick turn around time should have warned me though, as I opened that email to find a rejection letter.

Fortunately, I wasn't as bummed as I thought I would be. I read through the standard letter and moved on with my day.

Maybe a week later, I had convinced myself that I should try again. But try as I might, I did not want to continue to post about my wedding. I worried that those few readers who have stuck with me over the years would be bored to tears if I continued to write such things.

And so, I didn't.

I wrote posts, but didn't publish them.

I continued to cross projects and items off my to-do list, all the while taking pictures like a good little blogger.

I allowed myself to stay absent from my blog for over a month, simply because of a silly notion that Id somehow annoy me readers. WTH? I've blogged about a range of topics, from my post-partum depression and experience of homelessness to being a single mother to craft projects with my kids. I've posted recipes and diy projects and I've been nothing but honest for these past four years.

So why stop now?

Over these next few weeks, you will indeed find posts about my wedding, along with a few others. I sincerely hope you enjoy them and that when this is all said and done, you'll move with me to whatever I find to blog about then.

This is a personal blog and as such will go through many periods and stages, just as I will. Readers will come and go, finding posts to relate to and others, not so much. In the end, Ill have kept a journal (something I've never been good at) and made a few friends along the way. What more could a girl really ask for?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our Wedding: Dress Shopping

First, let me preface by saying that Im a bad blogger and have zero photographic evidence of my dress shopping experience. I know! You'd think I'd have learned by now. But alas, I have not and silly internet not-quite-right photos will have to do.

If you will remember, I showed you this dress in my original teaser post awhile back:

I love the flowy, empire waist but not the sweetheart neckline or the odd straps. This dress was close, but not quite right.  Besides those particular items, I knew I wanted white and the dress had to come with some form of strap, though I couldn't decide which I preferred most. Jason doesn't much care what I chose for my dress, he just didn't want it to be strapless.

So while my mom was in town for her only visit before the wedding, we scheduled a day to go out dress shopping. I was to find my wedding dress and she, her MOTB dress. We had Owen with us and I had to pick James up at lunch time from school, so we were on a tight schedule. The day however didn't feel rushed at all. We headed straight to the mall to first grab a coffee and breakfast and then hit the dollar store to load up on toys to keep Owen busy while we shopped. Can't recommend this enough for anyone who finds themselves shopping with a preschooler!

The next step was actually a store within the mall itself. I know it's a little odd to pick a wedding dress out at the mall, but that's just how I roll. Or something.

I had found my bridesmaid's dresses here for 85% off and had browsed the wedding gowns a few times so I knew what I was in for. Immediately I picked up a flowy, empire waisted gown in what I thought was my size. Before heading to the dressing room with it, I agreed with my mom that I should at least bring one other dress in with me. So I grabbed another in a similar size that I really couldn't even tell you about.

I tried on the non-memorable one first because I knew I wouldn't like it as much. Even when I came out and showed my mom it was obvious that it just wasn't for me. So back in I went to try on the one I had originally intended to try.

It was a little like the dresses below in that it had a sweetheart neckline (not something I wanted), empire waist, flowy soft material, and a single flower strap. The bust of the first picture is very similar as well.  

                              Source                                                                                                                                                       Source

As soon as I saw it on I knew it was the dress.

Now Im not the type to worry too much about what I wear. Im equally comfortable in public wearing sweats as I am in a summer dress or business slacks. Im also a bigger girl who accepts her body and figure for what they are. I dress to flatter but don't worry too much about 'hiding.'

All of this to say that I knew I wasn't going to be too picky when it came to dress shopping. I knew I didn't want to spend very much (Im talking under $400) either. So to find a dress that I absolutely loved, not only at the first store but as the first dress I picked up with a price tag under budget? I was pretty excited. Because I bought it in a regular store I was also able to take it home right away, adding it to the ever growing closet of wedding clothing.

My mom unfortunately wasn't as lucky in finding her dress and will have to  find something when she comes in for the wedding. Here's to her having as much luck as I did!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Wedding: Real or Fake?

Sometimes I feel like I can't write fast enough when it comes to wedding posts. In my daily life wedding planning only accounts for such a small portion, yet I find myself thinking about it so much. Blogging kinda lets me get it out a little without driving Jason insane or doing projects too early.

Today, for some unknown reason, Im thinking about flowers. Or more specifically, our lack of flowers. We have a limited budget, and flowers just seem really ridiculous to me. Why would I pay so much for something that Ill be stuck with at the end of the night and that will die before we're back from our honeymoon? I don't enjoy them all that much (unless they're lovingly presented as a gift) and then there's the allergies to think of.

All in all, we've decided flowers are just not worth it for us. Instead, we're going with candles, vases, fake petals, and the like for our centrepieces. My ladies will be sporting fake bouquets I scored on sale at Michaels and the men will most likely skip the bouts. I don't love the look of any particular flower enough to try to make them or buy real ones.

The one area Ill actually include flowers will be for my bouquet. Im a little torn though in that Id love to be able to keep my flowers and dried ones just aren't pretty. Unfortunately, I can't really think of a way around it.

My bouquet situation is a little unique in that I will be creating it as I walk down the aisle. The children in the wedding party (my four boys as well as my two nieces) and my three nephews will line up along the aisle, right before I come down, each with a flower. As I pass, Ill collect each of them and then tie them into a bouquet when I get to the platform at the front. My MOH will have ribbon tucked into her bouquet to help with the tying, so Im hoping it'll all work.

At this point, I don't really know what kind of flowers Ill use or if Ill go with all one kind or mix it up. The flowers themselves will have to be hearty enough to last the handling from young children and also pretty enough to stand alone in a bouquet without any added greenery or other extras. Real flowers being handed to me by children just seems so innocent and precious that I don't want to ruin that with fake flowers. Is that weird?

What would you use? Should I go with fake flowers anyway or stick with the real ones?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our Wedding: My Shower

I've got a couple minutes before I have to pick up Micah from a birthday party so I thought Id share a few teasers from my shower. All pictures are by my friend Sherrie.

My gorgeous cherry blossom cake! It was lemon and vanilla and disappeared within a couple days. Mmmm!

Maid of Honor M, myself and Bridesmaid P

Me with friends from church

My mom and I

My great-aunt (pseudo-grandma) and I

And MOH M and I at the end of the night. She organized the whole thing and I was beyond happy with how it all turned out.

Tomorrow is mothers day so Im anticipating a large portion of 'me-time' in which to write in more detail (and drink a margarita or two)!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Our Wedding: Themes

Whatta ya say to a few pictures of a little wedding item we received this week?

Jason is exceedingly happy to have these babies in his possession:

Superman Cufflinks

And though I doubt it's still necessary, Im going to come out and actually tell you the themes for the wedding. Im not exactly jumping up and down about it, but Im happy all the same. It's awesome to see your groom excited about many of the little details that brides are known to go crazy for.
So without further ado, we'll be having a SUPERHERO themed wedding! Yes, you read that right.

Jason and his groomsmen have all been assigned a superhero from DC comics and will be dressing accordingly. They'll still each be wearing a tux but underneath they'll be sporting a tshirt a la their superhero logo. We're also getting each of them matching DC shoes/rings/shot glasses in their assigned character. Instead of a bride and groom signature drink, we'll have drinks named after each of the heros to accompany a fantastic, surprise, late night snack.

On top of all of that, we're incorporating a lot of the culture from our province, Newfoundland. I don't think I've ever come out and said that's where I actually live, but there ya have it. Im not originally from here but Jason is and we have a number of guests coming from away. As an island that sits quite a distance from the rest of the country, there are a lot of unique traditions and cultures that have survived here. We want our guests to have the full Newfoundland experience, so we're incorporating it wherever we can, without going overboard (the superheros do that all on their own).

Ill save the specifics of the Newfoundland traditions and touches for another post though. In the mean time, have you ever attended a themed wedding? Would you consider it for yourself or are you more of the traditional type?

Monday, May 7, 2012


The past month has seen a number of exciting gifts around here. Not the least of these were all the wonderful items I received for my bridal shower on Friday, but that's a post for another day.

After picking up a few gifts for three of my brothers' kids birthdays, one of the kids was invited to a classmate's party. So I had a little wrapping night: 

Noah and I share April as our birthday month so my parents suprised me with these flowers/chocolates/balloon when I came home from running errands one day. It was left by a delivery guy, as my parents live thousands of kilometers away from me; so thoughtful of them.

But this post is about a different gift. One that I had asked for one day while browsing some flyers that had shown up in my mailbox. All I had said to Jason was "I really like this, can you make it?"

And he totally did! It's a new kitchen table and Im so happy with it!

First Owen helped Daddy clean and move the old table:

Then they got to work putting the legs on, this time with Jamie's help too:

And voila, my pretty new kitchen table!

Of course Owen had to try it out right away.

This gift wasn't intended as my birthday gift, but given our recent luck concerning vehicle repairs ($2000+) and our upcoming wedding, I think this counts :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gardening in Hopes of Spring

About a month ago I was anxious for spring to show up in our cold, wintery climate and decided to get a start on our garden. Last year, I waited way too long and paid the price with an unproductive garden.

We don't necessarily plant food for any reason other than the experience. I want my guys to enjoy the satisfaction of sitting down to a meal that they helped create from seed. So, this year we started our seeds indoors in these large $7 tubs. This particular day we were planting cucumbers.

We added the dirt, then placed a seed or two in each pod, followed by more of the dirty stuff. We watered generously and added the lid. Within a week they looked like this:

And unfortunately, that's where they ended. We had a few really nice days and because the plants were growing out of their container, we decided to place them outside in the direct sunlight. Which would have been a great idea if we hadn't forgotten them out there for an entire night.

So we started again and now have a different container with the beginnings of watermelon and pumpkin. We'll have to replant the cucumber as no amount of TLC has been able to bring them back.

Do you plant directly in the ground or start your seeds indoors? Does your location/climate influence your decision? 

Going Professional

I mentioned yesterday that I hired a professional photographer to shoot Noah's birthday.

The reasons for this are many, but I'll focus on two.

First, there were so many moments during the party that as a host, I would have missed.

Like this one:

Or this:

 More than that though, it took the stress off of me. Hosting a party, especially for kids can be a difficult endeavour. Add in the desire to actually visit with your guests, trouble shoot AND take great pictures and you're in for it, big time!
Hiring a photographer that I trusted, allowed me to do what I needed to do without even thinking about the pictures.

She was also fantastic at just capturing the kids being together. This is James and his cousin Jaylen just playing around on the couch. I have no idea when this was or the context for it, but I would certainly have missed it had I been trying to get pictures all day.

The second reason is more specific to me. I've had many a comment lately regarding my parties and going professional with them. Last week I finally decided to take the plunge and begin an event planning business with a focus on children's events. When I was planning Noah's pizza party, I had begun thinking about this and decided that given my main reason for wanting a professional photographer, coupled with the possibility of needing good pictures in the future, I couldn't go wrong.  Thankfully I was right and some of these pictures will end up on my website in the near future.