The Year of 3

Today Mumbles and I celebrate our third wedding anniversary! I don’t know if we still qualify as newlyweds but the joy, bliss, love and happiness in our partnership astonishes me in the new ways it continues to grow.

“He is more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine our the same.” –Emily Brontë

We’ve been together nine years now and in this third year of our marriage we will become a family of three (humans…Baxter makes four). We have so much to be grateful for, especially our family and friends who constantly fill us with laughter, support, encouragement and inspiration. Thank you.

Cheers to three years, Mumbles, and to many, many more!

wedding party



[photo: Brandon Kidd Photography]


The Bachelor Recap After the Final Rose – Sean


It’s not five seconds after Sean sits down to talk with Chris Harrison that the women in the live audience are shouting “take off your shirt!”

When Chris keeps telling Sean what it was like to watch the proposal or see him say goodbye to Lindsay, I just wish Sean would say “I know, dude, I was there. I lived it.” But, he’s not that cool and he doesn’t. He just nods. And it’s lame.

Lindsay comes out rocking a white dress like any scorned ex-girlfriend would do at her ex-boyfriend’s engagement party on national television. And the dress is totally killer. And I was really hoping Possessionista had a link to where to buy it. And she did. Yay! But it’s $341. Boo. Looking all lovely, Lindsay just wants to know what happened and Sean still doesn’t have much to tell her aside from the fact that he’s in love with Catherine and he wants to spend his life with her.

Lindsay is poised and happy for Sean and thankful for her experience and what Sean has taught her and shown her about herself and about love. Lindsay says her faith is really what pulled her through. And I love that Chris Harrison points out how much America appreciated when Lindsay peeled off her heels so she could storm off after Sean broke up with her. That was awesome.

Catherine comes out flaunting her rock (which is hard not to do, I’d imagine. It’s big.) Odd that Lindsay wore white but Catherine is wearing black (maybe it’s navy?)…either way, diamonds win every time.

It’s no surprise that Sean and Catherine haven’t set a wedding date yet, but it’s also no surprise that ABC will be broadcasting their wedding soon. But perhaps a little unexpected since Ashley & JP’s wedding didn’t get great ratings. But maybe because this one is fresher and people are more interested since it sounds like it’ll be happening soon. So stay tuned for that.

The Next Bachelorette — Desiree

This summer Desiree is going to be the lucky lady handing out roses to gentleman suitors and going on extravagant dates. See you then for more recaps!

The Bachelor Recap – The Final Rose, Season 17 – Sean

Bachelor Sean Final Rose Proposal

In order to make this season of the Bachelor “historic” the most exciting thing they could think to do is make the finale a whole three hours. Whoa.

Sean’s family meets him in Thailand to help him make his big decision, and instead of making him take his shirt off, women are swooning over the big bear hug Sean gives his niece and nephew upon seeing them arrive. A collective “awwww” was heard all across America.

Mom is apprehensive as Sean admits that he’s got strong feelings for both women, and Sean’s hope is that his family will provide some clarity.

Catherine Meets Sean’s Family

Catherine arrives and is very nervous because she knows how important Sean’s family is to him and how important family is to her. Pretty much, if today goes bad, she’s screwed. And she knows it.

“I played football in sixth grade. All boys and me; I was the only girl…And then I broke my arm…so I went onto cheerleading. And I got hurt way more.” – Catherine, winning dad over.

Mom asks Catherine flat out if it’s love and Catherine shares her side of their love story and what she’s most proud of: how good she feels about herself when she’s with him. Mom is pleased. And relieved.

“I am consumed by him. Very much so.” — Catherine, explaining her love for Sean to his dad.

“How do you know for sure that you really are in love before you get married?” — Sean’s dad with the tough questions.

Her response: “For me, it’s just been being my complete self and giving myself to him, and him to me. I know we’ll experience hardships…but I’m a fighter.”

“If it’s you that Sean ends up marrying, you will never have a bigger fan than me. And that’s the truth. Okay? I’ll love you like my daughter. And there’s gonna be no holding that back. And I’ll support you.” — Sean’s dad saying the sweetest thing that’s ever been said on this show. Ever.

Sean says he can see himself marrying Catherine. Buuuut…he can also see himself marrying Lindsay.

Lindsay Meet’s Sean’s Family

It seems to be going swimmingly with the fam — everyone is all smiles and giggles.

Again, Sean’s dad asks: “how do you know that you’re truly in love for life before you get married?”

Her response: “I just know. I want to hang out with him. I want to hang out with him for the rest of my life. He challenges me. He gets me. He is so supportive. He makes me feel beautiful. He is everything I’ve been looking for and more.”

More hard questions from dad, like this one: “What does a married couple do in a situation where one’s got their mind made up and the other one says ‘I don’t know’?”

Lindsay’s answer: “Well, marriage is compromise. You have to work with each other. It’s a lot of prayer, communication, and trying to figure out where we can meet in the middle.”

Dad’s retort: “Would you talk to my wife?!” Ha! Funny guy!

“When Sean was born, we began on that day praying for his wife. And so we prayed every day for her. Wherever she was. And you know, sometimes you wonder when you look in someone’s eyes – like yours – you wonder is that the one I’ve been praying for all these years? And if it is, I couldn’t be more happy. I just want you to know that.” — Sean’s dad. Sweetest thing ever said on this show #2. Wow. This guy is smooth.

Lindsay scores points with mom talking about her values and how important family is to her. Mom loves her.

“I think Lindsay is a perfect fit for me. And I’m glad that my family got to see how much she loves me. Lindsay makes me feel loved, and that’s such an incredible feeling.” – Sean

Family Matters

“It’s a win-win. They’re both very special. They’ll fit right in. We like ’em both.” — the collective family opinion.

Talking with mom, Sean — in a very respectful way — tells mom that he needs her support more than he needs her opinion. She cries a bit, worried about how big of a deal a proposal should be in his life. Mom believes that if he doesn’t know by now, he shouldn’t propose to either one.

Sean’s family leaves after being absolutely no help to him for they, too, love both Lindsay and Catherine. Well, it was worth a shot.

Lindsay’s Last Date

The couple takes a raft ride down the brown river and it all seems very rural minus the champagne. Sean and Lindsay act goofy and make out a lot. I don’t think we’ve ever seen this serious side Lindsay swears they have. I see the goofy. I see the sucking face. A lot.

“I can picture you being a hot old chick.” — Sean to Lindsay.

Lindsay is overwhelmed and excited and scared by how much she loves Sean and how close she is to getting everything she’s ever wanted in life. I’m a bit worried for her as well. She’s got a 50/50 chance at getting what she wants. But, she seems like the kind of gal that would be okay if this didn’t work out for her. Like she wouldn’t need to ask Chris Harrison for a reference to that therapist Brad was toting around his whole season. But, if she decided to go off the deep end a bit, she can swim around there with AshLee, who would be happy to have some company for a while.

Sean tells Lindsay not to be nervous, trying to reassure her, which seems nice but if she’s not the one in the end, well, it’s this sorta stuff that’s going to haunt her.

Lindsay has made three paper lanterns for them to light and release into the sky — Love, Happiness, and Family — the three things she says she and Sean need in their relationship to last forever. And at this moment, Sean says he thinks Lindsay is the girl for him. (But then, there’s always tomorrow!)

Catherine’s Last Date

Seans says he’s looking for a sign that Catherine is the one. I think the fact that she got the purple memo is a good one. Also, the first thing she gushes to Sean about is the fact that she got to touch an elephant walking around the resort the day before. And Sean can hardly contain his excitement to reveal that they’ll be riding an elephant that day. So cool! I want one. [Side note: I read an article where Chris Harrison said “elephants are the new helicopters. helicopters are so last season.” Ha! That’s about the funniest thing he’s ever said. Ever.]

The end of their elephant ride puts them atop a tall treehouse type structure where the conversation seems to be a little more serious than it was with Lindsay. Catherine confides that she’s been trying not to think too much about the future so as not to have her hopes crushed, however, she feels she’s in a good place and that she should be excited about those things. Confidence is good. Sean doesn’t seem to have it, so maybe that’s what he’s looking for in one of the girls.

Quite confidently, Catherine tells Sean that the only way she can see this story ending is with her accepting his proposal. Catherine follows Sean out crying after he leaves because she needs to be reassured but he’s clearly not going to give her what she needs. Frustrating.

It looks like she gave him a gift, but we don’t get to see what it was. A scrapbook? A collection of poems? All of their love notes?

The Man With the Rings

My favorite man from The Bachelor arrives: Neil Lane. The guy that shows up with diamonds is always going to be the best guy in my book. Neil shows Sean some fancy schmancy diamond engagement rings for the girl he says he woke up that morning and realized he couldn’t live without. It appears Sean chooses a cushion cut with micro-pave sides — what Neil calls “very romantic and classically made.” Good choice. They should really make that segment longer. Cut out the studio audience and show us more engagement rings!

Before the Proposal/Break-Up

Sean is emotional telling us how happy he is he took a leap of faith and decided to go through everything he’s been through to get here. He’s excited and ready to start his life with the woman he loves. And he’s crying a lot.

Lindsay is also happy and excited about how much her life is going to change, whereas Catherine’s mood seems a bit more somber — she’s crying because of how intense the unknown is right now.

Lindsay can’t imagine her life without Sean and she hopes her intuition is right. Catherine is confused and unsure if she’s ready.

[Side note: I’m not going to talk about the live show parts of the episode — so lame, right? And not sure why Lesley, Sarah, AshLee and Jackie were brought back, except maybe to throw people off the scent of the new Bachelorette. Hmmmm…]

Sean says he has absolutely no reason to be breaking up with the girl he’s saying goodbye to…and the girl that steps out of the limo is Lindsay. Poor girl has no clue what’s coming; she thinks she’s getting a really fancy ring, when instead she’s getting an empty goodbye. I guess it doesn’t matter who shows up in a wedding dress, it really only matters who ends up in one.

Lindsay’s Goodbye

Sean: “You have been such a surprise. I didn’t see our relationship coming…I didn’t know the depth I would find. Every time I’m with you, I’m so amazed. I’m amazed by your strength, your courage, your love, your generosity. You…you blow me away. You really do. Um…” (and now she knows) “…Lindsay, this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do. I want to give you my heart so bad. But my heart is leading me somewhere else, and as of yesterday, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve been so confused. I’ve been searching for clarity, and praying for clarity, and I think I’ve finally gotten it. Now I have to say goodbye to you. And, it’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do because I know how incredible you are.”

And that’s where he should have ended his speech and said goodbye. But he didn’t. He continued with this:

Sean: “And, I love you. That’s the hardest part. I love you. I know I do. I’m sorry.”

Lindsay: “It’s okay. Please, just don’t. It’s okay.”

Sean: “I think it’s important that you to know how hard this is for me because you’ve supported me from the very beginning…”

Lindsay: “Stop. Just, no, stop. Just leave. It’s okay. Was it me?”

Sean: “What I can promise you is: it’s not you. And, when it comes down to it, I just…I can’t think of one thing you don’t possess that I don’t need in a wife. I’m so sorry.”

Lindsay: “Oh my gosh. Okay, well, I’m going to go. Because this is just really painful. This is my nightmare. I really didn’t see this coming so um, I’m happy for you. I’m happy that you found love but I honestly can’t imagine my life without you and that’s something that um, I’m going to have to figure out.”

And I love that Lindsay takes off her heels so she can walk out faster. Smart move.

Sean: “Lindsay, I just want you to know how much you mean to me and I feel so blessed to have gotten to know you. Sorry.”

Lindsay: “Good luck.”

Lindsay’s car ride is a rough one. It’s true it’s not fair.

Catherine’s Letter

After Sean says a tearful goodbye to Lindsay, Chris delivers a letter from Catherine. Well, I guess it’s only fitting as she’s been giving him little love notes all season long. Adorable.

The Proposal

Sean: “This has been such a crazy journey and there have been so many unexpected, wonderful moments with you. I knew from the very beginning that you were someone I wanted to be around I just had no idea that my feelings were going to turn into what they’ve turned into. You never cease to amaze me. You never do. I think the world of you and I miss you. Every time we have to say goodbye I miss you. I don’t want to have to say goodbye to you anymore. Catherine, I want to spend the rest of my life telling you I love you and making you feel like the most special, beautiful woman in the world. (On one knee) Catherine, will you marry me?”

“Yes!” she gasps!

“I love you so much,” he whispers in her ear as they hug.

Catherine: “Oh my gosh this is so…oh my gosh…is this for real?”

Sean: “I love you so much. I do. I’m going to tell you every day. I promise you that.”

And then I just love when she says “I’m so addicted to you.” How darling. And with that, Sean gives Catherine the final rose. And they ride off into the sunset. On an elephant.

The Bachelorette Wedding: Ashley H. & JP

Dont forget to tune in to ABC on Sunday night to relive the romance and the wedding of Ashley-the-dentist and JP.  I’m sure there will be lots to gush over and make fun of (probably in equal amounts) and I’ll look forward to hearing about your favorite moments!

Here’s more info.

Ashley & JP's Wedding, The Bachelorette --

P.S. Who’s getting excited for Bachelor Sean in January!?

First Dance Songs

this is what our summer looked like!

Mumbles and I just finished one heck of a wedding season. We will forevermore dub 2012 as “The Year of the Wedding” because we had seven — yes, seven! — weddings to attend in the span of five months, plus one that we couldn’t attend because it fell on the same day as another. Not to mention bridal showers, baby showers, graduations, and the whole moving to Virginia thing. Dr. T (Mumbles’s sister) and the Deputy were married earlier this year (see her “Love Birds” Bridal Shower), along with childhood friends, a former coworker/friend from college, a business partner, two sorority sisters (one who married one of Mumbles’s fraternity brothers and the other a rockstar, like I always knew she would), and a friend that Mumbles plays softball with married the sister of one of his fraternity brothers who used to date a former co-worker of mine (whew!). Our summer was jam-packed with love and marriage, and every ceremony was a happy flashback to our own wedding day, giving us time to reflect on our life together and how thankful we are for the growth and experiences we’ve shared since saying “I do.”

Our first dance as husband and wife
(photo by Brandon Kidd Photography)

Aside from watching the groom as he sees his bride walking down the aisle, my absolute favorite part of any wedding is hearing what the newlyweds selected as their first dance song. When choosing a song, you’re looking for something sweet yet significant, it needs to communicate your love and devotion to each other, spur a collective sigh from all your guests and it should probably shoot not to offend anyone. It’s a big deal. Picking just one song is made even harder if you don’t particularly have a song to call your own (go ahead, right now just take a moment to picture Dermot Mulroney softly singing “The Way You Look Tonight” in your ear…I’ll wait while you enjoy that.). You’re welcome. Back with me? Great.

I obsessed for hours on end, poring over options to ensure just the right music was playing at all the important moments of my big day, willfully guiding how I wanted to feel and how I wanted guests to feel. (Kinda like music in movies will tell you when to shut your eyes because something scary is going to happen. Yeah, like that but romantic and lovely and happy. Not scary.) From the processional (“Happy as the Sun” by Tyrone Wells), the song I walked down the aisle to (“Lullaby” by the Dixie Chicks), the recessional that celebrated our first kiss as Mr. & Mrs. (“This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole), our entrance into the reception to get the celebration started (“I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas), and the cake cutting (“Sugar So Sweet” by Tyrone Wells)…all of these songs elicit nostalgia and happy memories for me. Gosh, even some of the songs I almost picked get me a little gushy when I hear them, sometimes announcing to Mumbles “this is the song we almost played while our moms were seated!” like he cares at all. I know I’m not alone in the whole nostalgia thing because I asked some friends if they would share their first dance songs and got a lot of responses that said things like “oh, I love our song!” or “how special” and a lot of exclamation points and smiley faces accompanied them so I know I was on to something.

So here they are, some of the first dance songs chosen by some of my favorite people (myself included):

  • Mumbles and I swayed and looked into each other’s eyes all dreamy like while Brad Paisley crooned “Then.”
  • Mumbles’ brother and his wife danced to “She’s Everything” by Brad Paisley (what can we say? that guy knows how to make a lady swoon!)
  • Dr. T (formerly Merrett) and the Deputy chose one of my almost selections: “Feels like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk (you’d recognize it if you’ve ever seen How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days).
  • Our good friends from college, Brent & Amanda (whom we affectionately refer to as “Cappy” and “Panda” — hey, we like nicknames around here) danced in the grass surrounded by their bridal party to “Pistol” by Dustin Kensrue. Dancing in the grass was so intimate and romantic, it just makes me sigh seeing the photo I took from that day. Just lovely.

  • Back when I officially became BFOTB (though I’ve recently been promoted to BFOTBM: Best Friend of the Baby Mama), my BFOTB (she’s still mine…I’ll longingly wish to forever be a bride!) and her hubby have great taste and chose “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys. Good one, friend.
  • Kacee (of Kacee Geoffroy Hair + Makeup…maybe you know her? You should. She is simply fabulous and has done hair and makeup at half of these weddings I’m referring to — mine included! — and you should check out her blog for product recommendations, makeup & hair tips, and more) and her stud of a husband went classic country with Alan Jackson’s “Like Red on a Rose.”
  • Mumbles’s cousin Ryan & his wife Page took to the dance floor with “Never Love You Enough” by Brian McComas. Page is my favorite friend-turned-family-by-marriage and you’ll adore her just as much as I do if you read her blog, Page on Paper, which chronicles her adventures through moving from SoCal to SF and now to Arizona plus home and crafty goodness we all love. Also, I should note that it was my job during their ceremony to press the play button for Adele’s version of “To Make You Feel My Love” (Perfection! This song is good no matter who sings it!).
  • Our friends Ashley & Anthony chose a song that suits their beach-chic lifestyle: the “Better Together” remix by Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga. Makes me smile and relax every time I hear it!
  • Elissa & Bobby (Bobby performed our wedding ceremony!) also had a song that really suited them in “Me and You” by Kenny Chesney. Love it.
  • My gold friend Mel (we bonded over our Girl Scout adventures when we met in sorority because we’re dorky like that but come on, sorority life is pretty much an extension of Girl Scouts…matching outfits, volunteering, fun outings…anyhoo…she’s skinnybmel and I’m Stick Girl JAM…it works!) and her husband Kelcey are big music buffs (Kelcey is in the band The Local Natives. Word to the wise: buy everything they’ve ever done. You’ll love it. Promise.) so take note of their song “I’d Have You Anytime” by George Harrison which played during the #melceylove extravaganza that was the wedding they won from YEAH!weddings. True story.
  • I was a little flower girl when my sister Diane danced to “Just As Long As I Have You” by Don Williams…with puffy sleeves, big fabulous hair and all. (Sorry sister, couldn’t help it!)
  • Some of you may know my friend Matt from his site the Princeples of Dating. Matt and his new bride Nicole took their first spin on the dance floor to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz and also had a choreographed dance planned to “You” by Chris Young.

My friends on Facebook chimed in with great ones including some of my almosts and some I had fun looking up and listening to such as “Someone Like You” by Van Morrison (one of my all-time faves!), “Everything” by Michael Buble (super fun and sweet), “True Companion” by Marc Cohn, “Forever” by Ben Harper, the duet “Lucky” by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat, and “Stars Would Fall” by Monk and Neagle (had to look it up but I love it now!).

Sometimes I hear Joshua Radin’s “Lovely Tonight” and wish we would’ve chosen that one. I love it so much it almost makes me sad that I can’t hear it and think “this is our song!” but since Mumbles and I don’t officially have a song, this might just be one of those things where I can announce “this is our song!” whenever it comes on and he’ll be none the wiser. Or I’ll simply close my eyes and image Dermot Mulroney singing softly…okay…yeah, I’m back. Joshua Radin performed “Today” for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi at their wedding reception because, you know, celebrities are lucky like that. Also a stellar song for your wedding day. (On a side note: my brother and Mumbles did sneakily call Tyrone Wells to try to arrange for him to surprise me at our wedding with a few songs, but alas, it didn’t work out.)

I don’t know of anyone shopping for a song right now, but my pick of the moment would be “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes…I melt a little every time I hear it.

What was your first dance song or what song would you choose today?