Thursday, June 29, 2017

How to have a wedding for $5,000 or less

When Joey and I got engaged, we knew one thing for sure: we didn't want to spend a ton of money. We wanted this to be special, but more like a party than a wedding. With some thriftiness, a lot of work from us and some family members, and not caring too much about being fancy, we were able to have a wedding for 150 people that cost us just around $5,000. Here's how:

The bride:
My dress came from David's Bridal. It was on the final sale clearance rack. Cost: $500
Veil: Bridal Exchange (a consignment shop) Cost: $80
Shoes: My shoes were a pair of black flats I had purchased from somewhere like Walmart about 2 years ago so they were old and broken in. I bought some Modge Podge and glitter from Amazon and then finished them off with a clear coat of Modge Podge Finishing Spray. Final cost: $20
Flowers: All of our flowers came from the Dollar store except for the Tiffany blue ones. We could only find those at Hobby Lobby. My grandmother did all our flowers with the help of a florist. I think all around they cost about $100 (this includes the flowers for centerpieces. I also purchased these at the Dollar Store).

Bridesmaids:
My bridesmaids all ordered their dresses from Amazon. We found some beautiful lace dresses for around $70. The exact item we ordered is no longer listed but I did find a similar gown here:
https://www.amazon.com/Miusol-Womens-Casual-Sleeveless-Vintage/dp/B00ZWSEGFK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498575405&sr=8-1&keywords=bridesmaid%2Bdress&th=1

Again, those are Dollar Store flowers. Not too shabby!

Flower Girls:
We hit the jackpot with custom made flower girl dresses on Etsy. Guess how much they cost?!?!?
Guess!

.... $40. And they were SO CUTE.
Joey's mom bought the girls' shoes so I honestly forget how much they were but they were some super cute sandals from Penny's that were on sale. The baskets and flower petals I purchased on Amazon. Cost: $15.



Groomsmen:
Joey got a great deal on his tux! I think he paid like, $10? This was at Louie's Tux Shop. My brother got also his Tux from Louie's. So did all the Groomsmen (that's why he got the deal) Everyone spent just under $150. Shoes were purchased through an awesome friend so we got brand new Converses at a discount. I bought my brother's pair so I could steal them after the wedding MWAHAHAHA.
Look at those shoes!


The Ceremony:
Our venue was the History Center in Downtown Fort Wayne. I cannot overstate how amazing this place is. The guy in charge of reservations (Steve) was SO accommodating and friendly. He basically told us we had the whole day even though we only had the place booked for about 4 hours. Cost: $400
They provided chairs which we chose not to rent covers for because ain't nobody got money fo' dat. The room was beautiful to begin with so we didn't feel the need to add much. I did decide to purchase an arch for us because I felt like we need something to focus the room. I looked online and found wedding rental websites where they had some tacky-ass arches for upwards of $200. Nope! I turned to Amazon again and purchased a white arch, three different slips of gauze in our colors, and a rope of LED lights. Joey went out and purchased some more flowers (which he literally duct taped hahaha). Final cost: around $35
We also had a small table with a picture of my grandfather on it. The table was borrowed from a friend.



The Reception
Our venue for the reception was amazing as well. We had it in the Tiger Room at CS3 aka Calhoun Street Soups, Salads, and Spirits. It only cost us $350 and that included the price of the bartender! It was for at least 5 hours but they basically said we could stay until their bar shut down. This price included the bartender fee and table cloths. The catering cost us about $1000. This was food for 150 people including appetizers
Our centerpieces were liquor bottles that we have been saving over the last few years. Thanks to me being a crazy lady we started saving them before I even moved in! I straight up told him "We need to save these for our wedding." I guess it speaks to our relationship that neither of us questioned the fact that we were both getting married someday. 
Centerpiece and wedding favor

Our wedding favors came from Amazon. They were skeleton key bottle openers. Cost: $40 for keys and $10 for the tags.

Our wedding cake came from a local bakery called Sweets So Geek. It was a Game of Thrones themed cake with dragon eggs on top. Cost: $160
We also had cupcakes that were from another local bakery but I don't know the cost because they were a wedding gift from one of my besties <3

Everything else:
Our officiant was Joey's sister. She got certified for the ceremony online. Our close friend Ramon ran the sound at the ceremony. A longtime friend from home was our photographer. I cannot overstate how amazing she was (look at the pictures!). Cost: $1000
If you want to check out her website go to https://www.alexwrightphotography.com/
Our DJ was a good friend, Crystal. She. was. AWESOME. She helped us run the reception as far as timing everything because we had no idea what we were doing. The music was amazing and she was a great personality to have running the show! Cost: $600

All in all, we were very lucky. Joey's mom, my grandmother, and a dear friend helped alleviate some of our costs because they knew we were doing this thing on our own. With some thrift and not caring too much we pulled off (in my humble opinion) a pretty awesome wedding!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Endometriosis/PCOS

Infertility issues seem to be things that are always happening to someone else. That is, until they happen to you. I had never even considered what it would be like to not have a child whenever I wanted considering the fact that at 19 I got pregnant after missing my pill once.

While I don't have a tumor (yay), I do have several blood filled cysts on my ovaries that grow, disappear, and then grow back. I also have some serious scarring on my uterus. My OB told me that within the next year my chances of becoming pregnant are going to shrink. For now, I will be taking Low Low Estra, which will stop/lighten my periods and hopefully minimize the damage while I step back and consider my options. I'll also be taking my results for a second opinion with my regular doctor, but as of right now I have limited choices for any future child bearing.

Honestly, I feel like crap right now. I have been tired from working two jobs and on top of that I have serious pain and hormonal issues because of my endometriosis. I have been struggling with weight gain and skin problems since it all started, and I don't know what my next step is.

As of right now, I'm trying to take it one step at a time. Joey has been a huge help, and as usual I don't know what I would do without him. We are going to see what my doctor says and how everything looks in March when I return to my OB. I'm hoping that somewhere in the next few years I have a tiny bundle of joy to look forward to, but I at least for now have a solid support system and a good friend that has been in my shoes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

So I have this bum ovary...

Warning: I'm gonna talk about my cycle a bunch so if you're a dude and don't want to read about my period, stop here.

I haven't had a period since late May/Early June. I honestly thought that I was pregnant or that my body was just tired of me being on the pill after 7 years but I started having a ton of pelvic pain and finally landed in the emergency room on August 5th. They informed me that I had ruptured a cyst and that there was a mass of them on my right ovary. They suggested I see my primary care physician ASAP.

Last week I went to my doctor. She informed me that I do in fact have some cysts. She also informed me that I have a fairly large tumor on my ovary. I'm assuming it's benign, because so far no one's dropping the C word. I've had a ton of lab work done, and they plan to send it off a biopsy after my surgery. Usually they do that first but either way it needs to go so I'll know more after the surgery.

Right now my biggest concern is how this tumor has been affecting me. Not only have I stopped ovulating, but I've gained 15 pounds out of nowhere. I was a size 7 last year. I'm a size 11/13 right now.

NOT. COOL.

I see my obstetrician on Friday and I'm hoping to schedule my surgery for as soon as possible after that.
My biggest hope is that I start ovulating again. I'm terrified I'm going to lose my ovary, but I do have another. I'm just hoping my cycle gets back to normal because I'm sure everyone reads this knows how baby crazy I am. The good news is that baby #2 isn't even being considered for a few more years so I have plenty of time to get everything back to normal.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Purple hair, don't care.

Most of you probably know that I took the plunge and went from my signature red hair to purple (and then purple and magenta). I have only been wearing this new 'do for a couple weeks and it's already starting a strain on me. 

I've always gotten a little negative attention as a woman and a mother, but most of those came from my tattoos. I was outright called a slut at the local YMCA pool in front of my then three year old daughter. To be honest, I'm not sure if it was because I was the only parent there in a two-piece or that combined with the 5 or 6 tattoos I had visible at the time. At Sophie's ballet class I was wearing a maxi dress and both my shoulder tattoos were visible. Not only did I get numerous dirty looks, I had a woman actually pull her daughter away from me and then proceed to glare at me for the duration of the class.

Now that my hair is purple I have been called an attention whore, I've been followed around Barnes and Noble and then subsequently searched as I tried to leave, and I had a man assault me at the library. The library incident was the worst as the man followed me all the way to the back of the reference section and then he proceeded to grab me and say "Mmmm" before I could away. When I found security and they escorted him away I was told that maybe I should consider my appearance next time. I was wearing a work tank top and shorts at the time, so I'm not sure what part of my appearance he thought was to blame. 

While I have gotten an overwhelming positive response from friends and strangers alike (Shout out to Katie Sturgill for working her magic), my hair is bringing me a shocking amount of negative... crap. I can't think of what else to call it. I shouldn't be surprised but I am always shocked at the attention and reproach that my appearance brings. The worst is that most of it from women, the overwhelming number of those are other mothers. They stare at me and my daughter as if they would snatch her away if they could. Clearly all this bright hair and ink means I am in no way capable of being a good mother. I mean I must have spent my morning doing something heinous rather than cooking my baby a pancake breakfast and making sure we cuddle in our pajamas as long as possible before starting her home pre-schooling lesson for the day. Right? 

I suppose all I can do is keep being a positive influence on my daughter and maybe those that we encounter that think I must be a terrible person will see how much I love her and how hard I try and maybe they will learn a lesson or two about shallow judgment and manners. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekend update

We had a super busy weekend this week. We had a rough week previously with Sophie because she hadn't seen her dad in five days and was being very mean towards Joey and I. She wanted nothing to do with us. She only spent two days with her dad before I picked her up on Friday and I was honestly dreading it. But when I got her she was super sweet, and remained that way most of the weekend.

Saturday we woke up early (even Joey!) and had pancakes and bacon. We had planned on seeing our friends at Buskerfest but it was cancelled due to the super storm that damaged most of the town. Instead we opted for a family movie date to see Inside Out. Sophie and I LOVED it and cried like babies. So good. And after my recent love affair with The Office I was delighted when Joey told me that Phyllis was the voice of Sadness.

Sunday consisted off and eggs and toast breakfast and then heading to Fox Island for some water fun. It was so beautiful. Sunny and 75. The water wasn't too cold for swimming and Sophie got to break out her sand toys. Besides the trek through standing water and being attacked by mosquitoes on our way back to the car it was a great trip. We stopped at Scotty's Brewhouse on the way home for lunch (Sophie LOVED IT) and then grabbed some coffee and headed home to watch a couple episodes of Scrubs before we hit up the park. Sadly it was flooded but Rose had a great time and we got to walk around the rose gardens and admire the flowers. Rose loves the rose gardens... HA! I'll shut up now..

Anyway, it was a pretty good weekend minus some minor grumpy moments from the krakken. I'm looking forward to even more fun this weekend at home in West Virginia. Can't wait for my mom to pick us up!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Weekend Update


Herro! I haven't done a weekend update in forever so I just thought that I would share!

Friday I picked up Sophie after work and we headed home for dinner. She pestered me about s'mores for a few minutes before giving up and watching some PBS until it was time to eat. Saturday morning we woke up and had some eggs and toast for breakfast. The only positive side to Joey sleeping in on the weekends is that Sophie and I get a little girl time. She's finally eating lately and that morning she had three pieces of toast, two eggs, two gogurts, and an apple. She was still asking for more when I drug her upstairs to get ready for the day.

Once we decided Joey had had enough sleep I told Sophie she could play in her room as loud as she wanted while I did my makeup. ;P Joey had to run to the mall to get fitted for a tux for a friends wedding. Sophie LOVES the mall. The mall means books, cake pops at starbucks, Chik-fil-A, and "escavators". She also loves the little rides throughout but I think she's getting a bit big for those.
She loves the simulated "coaster" ride at the mall. 

Robbie had Sophie Sunday, so we ended out the day with some laziness on the couch watching Paddinton Bear. I was hoping for a zoo trip or maybe a trip to Fox Island but the weather just wasn't cooperating. There also might have been some twerking at one point while Joey played guitar, but I'm not going to confirm or deny that. I'm trying to convince her that ballerina dancing is best.

Sophie and Joey cuddles might be my favorite ever. 


Thursday, May 28, 2015

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Lately I've been struggling with the fact that I have been in college for 3 years now and I feel like I am going nowhere. I originally started out with high hopes of a Master's in medical technology so that I could go on and work in the field I'm most passionate-- biology and genetics. However I had to quickly make a decision. Could I handle the next 6 years working and going to school full time, only seeing Sophie for about 2 hours a day? The answer was no. Maybe if I was a 'normal' parent but at that time there were weeks when I only had her 2 days in a row. There was no way I was going to spend 4 hours a week with my child. I had to pick something else and fast. So here I am, 3 years later, about to graduate with my CMA. My big dreams of being a research scientist quickly faded into that of a medical assistant.

Let me be clear, I'm not bitter. I don't resent Sophie or feel that she has taken anything away from me. Rather, everything I do is for her. Even if I one day have some medical job that I hate it will be well worth it to know that I haven't missed out on these precious early years with her.

Right now I'm debating on whether I even want a CMA job. I have a great job here at the daycare and the best part about this place (other than my boss being my best friend) is that I have room for personal growth. I have the time (most days) to put some thought and effort into other projects if I feel the need to. I think for the next few months I'm going to put my precious free time into taking some writing courses and pursuing another dream of mine. I have wanted to be an author since I was young and have been writing short stories and poems for years. I think it's time to try and make that dream into a reality. I want to feel like I've done SOMETHING with my life and made some type of mark on this world, and I just feel like nothing I do as a medical assistant is really going to fulfill that urge.

I'll definitely still finish out my schooling, but after that I'm not really sure what's going to happen. In the meantime, I think leaving the job that has had my back for the last four years any time in the foreseeable future would be a huge mistake. Look at these cute faces. I just love them.