Friday, March 29, 2013

Well Earned Soul

"But in the meantime we've got it hard 
Second floor living without a yard 
It may be years until the day 
My dreams will match up with my pay" 

-Mushaboom (Feist)

Occasionally I write bad poetry. 

That is not to say the rest of the time I write good poetry. I just don't write the rest of the time. 

But usually when I'm writing poetry it's an attempt to capture the purest feeling that I am feeling at that moment and bottle it up and show it to other people and hope that little bit of feeling looks familiar to them. 

Like they have a bottle in their pocket with the same feeling. 

I think this is how a lot of artists feel (far be it from me to use that word to describe myself). And occasionally I'll be listening to another artist's words and they'll jump out of the pages and speak to me. So clearly, so precisely  I have to pull out my own little bottle of feelings and compare because that person must have stolen mine. 

"But I went to Walden Pond a year ago, just to see and feel the place, just to walk alone around the water, and they've made a suburb out of it. It hurts to hear the traffic rolling in through the trees...and I wonder if Walden exists anymore. I am not talking about the real Walden...I am talking about the earth God meant to speak before we finished His sentence." - Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts) 

Sometimes I don't like feeling things, especially when I feel like I can't communicate them into words for the people around me. It feels like I'm stuck behind a black curtain holding out my bottle of feelings for nobody in particular. 

But sometimes, somebody will reach back blindly, holding their little bottle of feelings out to me, and I remember that we're, none of us, alone. 

“Sometimes you’re 23 and standing in the kitchen of your house making breakfast and brewing coffee and listening to music that for some reason is really getting to your heart. You’re just standing there thinking about going to work and picking up your dry cleaning. And also more exciting things like books you’re reading and trips you plan on taking and relationships that are springing into existence. Or fading from your memory, which is far less exciting. And suddenly you just don’t feel at home in your skin or in your house and you just want home but “Mom’s” probably wouldn’t feel like home anymore either. There used to be the comfort of a number in your phone and ears that listened everyday and arms that were never for anyone else. But just to calm you down when you started feeling trapped in a five-minute period where nostalgia is too much and thoughts of this person you are feel foreign. When you realize that you’ll never be this young again but this is the first time you’ve ever been this old. When you can’t remember how you got from sixteen to here and all the same feel like sixteen is just as much of a stranger to you now. The song is over. The coffee’s done. You’re going to breathe in and out. You’re going to be fine in about five minutes.”

I'm curious, are there any artists that make you feel this way?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wedding Wonderment: The Reception Look

I would have been lost the day of the wedding without our fantastic florist and decorators at Blue Bouquet. If you are looking for an incredible florist look no further  They are one of the best in the city.

The thing I loved most about Blue Bouquet is they encouraged me to be as involved or as removed as I wanted to be from the design process. The things I wanted to be picky about (like the overabundance of pumpkins) they let me be picky about, but the things I didn't care about as much (types of flowers in the decor) they just went with something that would look good with the overall look. 

Isaac and I went hunting and found some vintage comic books to use in the decor to give it a fun flair and we even found a wedding one from Superman. So cute. The burlap was plentiful and mason jars were everywhere (all things I had requested in our consultation). It was so rustic and beautiful. And look at it lit up at night!

Their team spent so much time hanging string bulb from the rafters of the outdoor location to achieve this look. It was so worth it don't you think? A perfect soft glow. 

The desert table was a joint effort (and one of my favorite things of the day). I made the cinder blocks painted different colors (thank you pinterest), my Aunt loaned me the smaller of the tree stump cupcake holders, I bought the large cupcake holder and the cake topper via etsy from some fabulous sellers, the amazing Melissa Hill made my cupcakes and small cake for the top as a wedding present, and Blue Bouquet brought in the large apothecary jars and set the whole thing up. 

The cake was incredible. I found the cake holder on Tex and Paula's shop on etsy. They do amazing work. The wood was all untreated and smelled amazing. They had it to us just in time for the big day. The cake topper actually has a fun story behind it. I was browsing Offbeat Bride (a fantastic website for unique ideas) and they featured a wedding with this cake topper. I fell in love and commented asking where the bride had gotten it and she offered to make me one! Gasp! Her etsy shop is amazing, and I'm sure if you wanted a cake topper that was similar she'd be more than willing to make another. 

While Blue Bouquet did most of our decor, my mom's friend set up the front drive for us with the sign made by another of my mom's friends reading "Eat, Drink, and Be Married." It set the mood as people came in the front. 

Last was our incredible "guest book." I had the idea to imitate the up house with the thumb prints being the balloons but I'm no artist so I took my idea to one of my bridesmaids moms, Anna Poindexter, and she painted this for us. It now hangs in our bedroom as a reminder of all the people who love us and shared our day with us. 

Whew! That was quite the post. Here are the vendors:

Decor and Floral: Blue Bouquet
Cupcakes: Melissa Hill
Cake Stand: Tex and Paula
Cake Topper: Amanda Kaliski Alvarez

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

No question

Tig Notaro. Enough said. It's so incredibly worth the listen. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 26

1) This. Just. Yes.

2) SNL this week. Do yourself a favor and go watch. Such a hysterical opening. 

3) Better Homes and Gardens website. Specifically this article on Cottage Kitchens. 
As you can tell, things are a little tight right now in the Snail house so I redecorate my house in pinterest. 

4) The smell of fresh laundry

5) I have no idea why this is as funny as it is. 

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

If I live the life I've been given, I won't be scared to die

"And now I spend my days in search of a woman we called purpose
And if I ever pass back through her town I'll stay"
- The Avett Brothers 

My brother has some of the best taste in music of anyone I've met. He was the person that bought me my first Jack Johnson, Sufjan Stevens, and Fleet Foxes CD (yes this was when it was still CDs). 

Among many things, something I miss most is riding in his car and grabbing his I-pod to see who in the world possesses the beautiful voice that was coming from his speakers. 

I'm not sad. I keep telling myself that and I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's true, but my thoughts make it seem like I am. I'm... dissatisfied. Almost worse really. I don't feel sad but I want more. I want to feel the wonderful of my life more. 

I suppose that comes down to wanting more stuff too, which really won't help anything so it makes me feel dumb to want more. Yes, I want stuff, but not the stuff you might think.

I want a backyard with a garden and a tea set, welcoming friends to come and sit and rest and stay. I want a view of the mountains and hiking trails in my backyard. I want to be modivated to exercise and eat well and I want to grow my own food. I want to travel and meet people and raise babies to children and children to adults and live in the city and live in the country and live without electricity and sew my own dresses that are beautiful. 

I want to live, not the life I've been given, but the life I'm creating in my head. 

But that's not the life I'm given now. We don't have the money to move to Colorado and travel to New York and buy a house with a big backyard. We have enough to buy groceries and dog food. That's the life I've been given now, and I want to start living it before it goes away. I need to start living it before it goes away. 

Am I alone in this? Or is this a human emotion, to want a life that's so much bigger than the one you've been given for the time being. What do you think?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Wedding Wonderment: The Wedding Party

When it came time to choose our wedding party it wasn't very hard. Every single person in our wedding party has had a significant impact on one, if not both, of our lives. Many of these friends (siblings of course being longer) had been in our lives for over 10 years. 

After Isaac and I had our first look we got together with everyone to take pictures and goof off for about an hour before the guests started to arrive. I didn't know it at the time, but this was about the only time that whole day I got to spend with these important people and it was so sweet and fun. 

We even had a few visitors as were were taking shots sneak in with us. 

We decided we wanted to keep the dress pretty casual and cheep. Some of our wedding party was traveling in from out of town and we wanted to keep any cost we could down. I knew I wanted our colors to be bright and fun without overpowering everything and looking like a circus. I went to a fabric store and picked out fabric that was in the colors I wanted. Then I just sent the swatches to all my bridesmaids and they picked a dress in that color. I didn't like the idea of having all my bridesmaids in the same dress. I wanted to be able to see their personalities come out when I looked back on our wedding photos 20 years later. They all looked so beautiful.

 The guys all went out and got the same pair of pants (JC Penny) and just paired it with a white shirt and shoes they already had. I ordered the suspenders and bow ties together so they would all look the same. Don't they look handsome?

My favorite pictures were what we captured on the old couch we brought in for the wedding. This couch, fondly called the pit, had been in my family for 30+ years. My mom has pictures of all of us kids crawling, laying, wrestling, and playing on this couch. 

And most of our wedding party had partied on the couch on one night or another, watching movies or playing games in high school. 

It was perfect that it's last hurrah was with people that loved it dearly. 

Also, I can't get over how cute our two little flower girls and ring bearer were. Instead of throwing flowers, they carried a sign that said "Here comes the bride." Got the "aw" factor up for sure. 

Vendors featured:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Reconcile Yourself

I'm not sure why reconciliation has been on my heart so much lately. Probably cause I'm reading so much darn Donald Miller. But I think people forget how important reconciliation can be. In the bible, Jesus talks about it in the same breath as hate and murder, saying even as someone is dragging you to the jailer to reconcile yourself to him.


I think in America there is a mentality of "screw them." If someone has a problem with you, screw them. You don't care about their opinion anyway. And yes, God's opinion is the ultimate opinion, your worth comes from him, but doesn't that then free us up to reconcile ourselves to others without feeling like we're doing it so everyone will like us? Rather the motivation comes from following the only one who does matter. 

I don't know, I guess I just feel convicted. And that's good, and hurts. But maybe they're growing pains. Who knows. 

And it makes me thankful for the times I have reconciled myself to others. 

Because if I hadn't, I would be without a source of very good things indeed. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wedding Wonderment: First Look and the Dress

I've always been the nervous type and I knew my wedding day would be no exception, so I asked Mr. Snail early on if we could have a "first look" rather than waiting till I walked down the aisle to see each other. 

It ended up working out perfectly and I highly recommend it to all my friends who are getting married. It felt so much more intimate and it really capture the moment. I love the look on his face. 

It also gave me the freedom to cry and get all my emotions out (ok, not all, I still cried like a baby during our vows) before I greeted people. I had been so nervous the whole day but after that, having Mr. Snail with me calmed me down. It felt real. And it felt natural. I feel like part of the wedding day jitters have to do with not being able to be with the most important person before you make the most important decision.

It felt perfect. And it ended up being some of our favorite pictures as well. 

The dress is usually my favorite part of any wedding. I used to work at a bridal store and it cannot be expressed how much a dress can transform a girl. So when it was time for my beautiful dress I skipped back to my stomping grounds of Amore Bridal and Tuxedo

There are a few things I always told my brides when they were shopping with me: 
1) Know how to dress your body type
2) Just about anything can be altered, changed, or added to. Love the dress but want some straps? Done. Need a little more coverage up top or want a deeper sweetheart? Done. 
3) Any dress can be made into a corset back and you should do it. A corset allows you to gain or loose as much as 5-10 pounds (depending on how tall you are) before the wedding. And it makes you look skinny to boot. 

I knew with my big bust and hour glass shape I needed something that covered, had no waist line and fitted through my hips. This particular cut hides some areas that jiggles and gave me a teeny tiny waist.  

 I'm not a big sparkle girl so the muted beading and ruching was all the detail I needed. And the pop of tulle underneath gave it just a touch of whimsy and magic that I wanted. 

Amore really is one of the best places in Kansas City to shop for a wedding dress (or a Bridesmaid Dress or tuxedo for that matter) and I'm not just saying that because I worked there. They have an in-house seamstresses to take care of any alterations and they are fabulous. On my dress they added fabric to the top, put a corset in the back, and put in bustles (I think about 14). They really know their stuff and have a great selection. My dress was designed by Allure Bridals but they offer dresses by over 10 other beautiful and affordable designers.

Featured Vendors:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Music: Dane Davenport

I love knowing talented people. 

You may recognize Dane from my Wedding Wonderment series, him being the best man in the snail wedding and all, but I really feel that this hugely important person deserves his own blog post. And I think you'll agree. 

Dane has always been on the outskirts of my life (I like to tell people that I've known him longer than Mr Snail to make myself seem more important) but in the last year he's grown from casual-person-status to friend and with that comes lovely new talks of Peter Pan and the under-appreciation of Elizabethtown and children's literature. 

But one thing I truly love about this new relationship is the beautiful music it's brought to my life. Dane is an incredibly talented musician (seriously, his lyrics makes me obsessively listen to his songs so I learn them all) and I wanted to share all the goodness with you people. So...

Time Flies - Dane Davenport

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 25

(in particular his blog)
I heard about Blue like Jazz forever ago, but my mentor from high school suggested a more recent book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. His honest and unique approach to writing and the Christian walk has been such a burst of inspiration for me. 

"The brief was to portray Disney princesses enjoying a little tea party but they all had to be portrayed the same age as their respective movies (for example: Snow White would be 75 years old, Aurora 53, Belle 21, Rapunzel 2, etc)."

Kansas City, in general, is a pretty awesome place for kids, but Crown Center is so wonderful. So many free exhibits not to mention shopping and fun restaurants. It's a favorite of my three-year-old. This one was "Funville: What do you want to be when you grow up?"

4) This cover of "I Will Wait" by Mumford&Sons sung by Daniel Ma, Ariel Frey, and my talented sister, Emily Cole

I've been reading it with my 7 year old and it's taking me back to the days of playing "pioneer women" in my backyard. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wedding Wonderment: Guys and the Ceremony Site/Details

When the guys were all set to start getting ready, Adam (one of our photographers) left his wife Wendy with the girls and zoomed midtown to the apartment that would soon hold both Mr. and Mrs. Snail. 
When I looked through the pictures the first time with Mr. Snail I teared up a bit having our little home in the background. 

It makes me wonder if Mr. Snail felt the same way looking at the pictures of my girls and I getting ready, like peaking into the others world. Both my bridesmaids and his groomsmen had been part of our lives for so long (I've known our best man longer than Mr. Snail) that their personalities were so apparent, doncha think?

Believe it or not, when we were first talking about guys gear, Mr. Snail was always pushing for more formal. I liked the idea of the guys keeping pretty casual and we eventually reached the compromise that we used. No suit rental, just ordered all the suspenders and bow ties offline and the guys got their own shirts and pants. We both were really happy with the effect and that way Mr. Snail didn't get too hot with a suit jacket. And let's not forget the epic boutonnieres that our fabulous florist, Blue Bouquet (more on them later), made for us. Superheros for everyone!
When we finally arrived at the venue, Faulkner's Ranch, I was completely floored. When we first toured the little pumpkin farm in Raytown, I was unsure. I had to book a venue with just mom and dad for help because Mr. Snail was in Virginia at the time. We really wanted a vintage and natural feel for our wedding, and while Faulkner's had the outdoor appeal, it also felt a little too "ranchy." I asked our fabulous coordinator Christine if we could play down the country and play up the vintage and together, with help from Blue Bouquet, they really came through.
Our ceremony took place by the small pond they have on the property in a large field. I asked Mr. Snail if we could have lots of pumpkins (no surprise there) and he obliged, stopping me at ordering a semi load of pumpkins (sadly, I'm being serious, there was talk of a semi load at one point.) Blue Bouquet started by lining the whole walkway with pumpkins and mixed traditional chairs with hay bale seating to give it a more casual feel. 
Easily my favorite part of the entire decor was the arbor we were married under. I had a very specific idea of what I wanted and Mr. Snail pretty much gave me free reign. I showed Blue Bouquet a picture of an arbor and they pretty  much made an exact replica for our wedding. I loved the effect of candles mixed with wildflowers. Everything about that arbor screamed fairytale to me. 

Vendors featured: 

Next installment: First Look and the Bridal Look