Friday, July 6, 2012

Weddings as a Job

So, I haven't been broadcasting it because it wasn't official and it's still in the early phases, but I started my own event planning company. It's called Ready, Set, Happily Ever After Events. I got my first wedding clients last month and it's going very well. I recommended the venue they chose. We're setting up vendor meetings and talking about invitation design now. My business name as of Friday is officially recognized by the county as belonging to me. Now it was time to design a website, business cards, etc.

I knew I wanted it to be purple, fairy tale related and kind of different, but not exactly what my logo should be. I was image searching for inspiration and I found this:

Fairy Tale by Inessa Emilia

I knew I wanted something just like that. I even loved the colors. I couldn't get in touch with the photographer to get permission to use her image. It also just seemed simpler to take one of my own. I contacted the photographer who had taken my maternity photos because I knew she had done commercial photography.

Today, I took Riley and a bag full of tu-tus and tights to the studio. At first she was thrilled to put on dress up clothes, but when we started giving her direction and trying to double up tu-tus she wasn't pleased. It was a challenge, but still better than the newborn session where she peed all over me.

In the end we decided to go with a waist down shot of running legs. You know because of the "Ready, Set" part. The tu-tu, tights and wand for the "happily ever after." I should have it in a few days. I'm so excited!

Here are some behind the scenes shots.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Drinkin', Dancing & Speechifyin'

It was a wonderful wedding for so many reasons. I love the bride and groom very much and have for a long time so seeing them make it official with a weekend full of personal touches was...well, wonderful. They held their shindig outside of Boston in a picturesque spot surrounded by woods. It was a big white hostel with big hills to roll or run down.

About 30 of us including the bride and groom stayed on site. It was fun, like summer camp, but with grown ups. There were kids both Isaac and Riley's age there too. The morning of the wedding there was a big, big breakfast and then everyone pitched in setting things up. After breakfast they had lawn games and everyone had a chance to mingle.

The ceremony backdrop was breathtaking:

Instead of choosing two wedding colors they choose the whole rainbow. It was a colorful event in every sense of the word.

They wrote their own vows and bound themselves with brightly colored pieces of fabric that guests had written one word wishes for their marriage on. It was a brief and delightful ceremony.

Then it was off to the tent to party. We had a buffet of barbecue treats for dinner complete with cornbread and mac and cheese. At which which point as the bride and groom had so decreed there was much "drinkin', dancin' and speechifyin'".

It was an amazing night and quite a party. Everyone, especially the kids, cut a rug at every opportunity. They guests really celebrate(unlike the guests at our Wednesday night wedding would fled early) no one wanted it to end. Which is saying a lot because I was up at 5am that morning. Lovely, lovely wedding. Despite the challenges (ahem Riley & Isaac this glare is for you) it was a wonderful, memorable, fun wedding.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Here Comes The Bride

My wedding was over a month ago now, but apparently it's still on Riley's mind. She came out of her room and said "I'm a bride!". "Mommy, I say I DO!!" "Mommy you be a flower girl. I'll get you a baskick."

We'll be saving these pictures for her bridal shower some day. (:

Originally posted at: The Hedgehog Blog

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Professional Pictures

I made my photographer's blog this weekend. Lovely.

You can see all the pictures he posted at Jason Angelini Photography

Saturday, April 21, 2012

One Month Married

Remember when I posted that I ran around telling people I was getting married soon and nobody cared? Well, a month in, I found them: health insurance and car insurance. That's the sum total of who cares who cares (ex-significant others not withstanding). Life is largely the same. I've been sporting a shorter haircut post honeymoon which Mike surprisingly liked right away. I've yet to check off all my "it can wait until after the wedding" to dos. All of our wedding gifts (expect the frames because we're waiting for pictures) are in use. I did manage to finish my thank you cards even if it took an additional week to get the stamps to mail the last batch. I feel good about that. Today I even got my vendor reviews down to the final 3. As far as post wedding goals go I took a schedule for sewing classes, but haven't signed up yet. In a week or two I should be able to see my professional wedding pictures and video. I can't wait. The wedding is getting a little hazy.

I've yet to check the Mrs. box on a form or call Mike my husband to a stranger. I have gotten my first "just because" flowers as a married woman. Also with the recent news that Isaac's mother is expecting (number 7), I cling to my now legal stepmother status. Some more pictures have trickled in from friends and family which is super exciting. Including this proof that I wasn't exaggerating about packing up two carloads of stuff at the end of the night. After a month it's finally amusing what a disaster the end of the night was.

It's nice to have it over and done with. Except I'm not used to not having an unrelenting to do list and a pressing deadline. It can be down right disorienting after years of planning a single event. Overall I really enjoyed planning, but I'm glad it's over. Planning events is fun, but the added emotional intensity surrounding your own wedding makes it...well less fun. I want to help other people plan. I learned a lot from my experience and I think I'd be a huge help to other brides.

In the meantime I have the kids' birthday parties to start thinking about. They'll be 3 and 10 this year. Whoa. This is one of my favorite guest photos with Riley throwing the petals in great bursts. Flower fireworks. She did such a good job. Standing on the stool turned out great. We use it all the time now. Riley's uses it as a little desk or to climb into her highchair by herself. It really is pretty much back to normal around here, except I don't worry about ring checkers or dread explaining our relationship status to those I don't know very well. Now I can sum it up in one word, married. Anyone who probes deeper will surely be confused by us being together 5yrs and having a 9yr old and 2yr old having only just been married, ha, ha!.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Final Somethings

Old (something to connect you to your family): I carried my great grandma's hankerchief and Mike's grandma's handkerchief. I pinned them around the handle of my bouquet. I also had a picture of Mike's grandpa and grandma with me.
New (something to present your new life): My custom dress.
Borrowed (something borrowed from a happily married person so you can borrow their good fortune): Emerald earrings from my bridesmaid who has been happily married 25 years.
Blue: (married in blue always be true): My mother's sapphire pin she used as her something blue.
I skipped the sixpence.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Living Dolls

I made these to ask them to be my bridesmaids:

On the day of the wedding they took this:

They're so much prettier in 3-D. I love my bridesmaids! They all looked amazing on the day of. After all the dress drama and general stress I was elated by their loveliness.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bridal Portriat Session

These were taken in February after my hair trial, but I didn't wait to show the world my dress. Now that I'm married I wanted to share. (Photos by Lara Coughlin Photography)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Slide Show!

Here is our wedding slideshow. I worked really hard on it. It doesn't have any music because we decided to play it on a loop during the reception. I think it worked out well. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Do Me A Favor...Tag

I do not as of yet have pictures of them on the favors, but I really liked the tags. They were my last DIY for the wedding so they were kind of special. Their construction was simple, their content was the tricky part. Our favors were seedling trees. We got live oaks and purple orchid seedlings. Huge thank you to my mom for not only the use of her printer, but also helping put them together with me and my aunt. Mwah!

  • Construction Paper/Card Stock
  • Craft Cutter/Exact-o knife
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Printer/Neat Handwriting & Pretty Pens
  • Crop-a-dile
  • Ribbon
  • Embellishment Stickers

I knew I wanted a simple, large shape for the tags so I went with a pretty generic leaf shape. I used construction paper in different shades of green and my Silhouette to make those. After that step they sat untouched for weeks because A) I had no printer & B) I had no idea what to write on them.

It was tricky because there were two varieties of seedlings and I didn't know which tags would end up on which kind of tree. That meant two sets off plant care instructions on one tiny tag, ugh. In the end I put a link for each trees care on the back of the tags. I wrote the name of the trees in scroll-y pretty green font and then the link in something more straight forward hoping most guests would be able to read it. The problem was links are long.

I ended up folding the slips of paper I printed them on. I rounded the edges of the folded paper and added a green or purple jewel sticker as a kind of door knob. It was a trick I picked up at a scrapbooking party. I think it looked cute. Having a way to access plant information was kind of a no brainer, but what to write on the front took more thought.

I knew they needed to say our names and wedding date. "Thank You" would have been acceptable, but I made a thank you banner for the table they'd be sitting on. My florist suggested "Michael & Katie Sitting in a tree..." Which I thought was funny, but Mike did not. Plus the end kept stumping me. I searched for "love" "garden" quotes.

I read a few and then remembered the Elton John song I'd heard on Gnomeo and Juilet. The song as a whole was sad, but perhaps the refrain would do? It did. The fronts said [Our Names] on the first line, [Wedding Date] on the second and then
"Love builds a garden
Grew it from the ground up
Every inch of it was us
We pulled it all together
Hoping and believing
That love built this garden
For the two of us to dream in"
Appropriate to our relationship and our theme (and something a little different). It won.

Once both sides were printed and glued on (the back folded, corners rounded and jewel attached) I just punched holes and pulled some lavender ribbon through. I think they were pretty and they really popped against the burlap sacks we had around the seedlings.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bridesmaids Emergency Kits

As most of you remember I made my bridesmaids personalized tote bags with cute little mushroom tags on them. Inside the bags went their t-shirts, necklaces and emergency kits. I passed them out at the bachelorette party.

I assigned the kits to one of the girls, but ended up finding a bunch of stuff on a Target trip so we each contributed about half the contents. I think they came out great and they definitely got used. Yay!

I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to put the kits in. I'd already spent a decent amount and didn't want $25 dollar a piece make-up bags from Etsy (although there were super cute ones). I struck out looking for cool pencil cases. In the end I just got cute little birdie boxes from Target. They were larger than I intended, but we filled them. They weren't a perfect fit inside the bags, but I think they looked ok. My fondest hope is that the girls will find a spot on there desk or in their bathroom for them.

  • Deodorant (travel size)
  • Shout Stain Wipes
  • Nail File (full size)
  • Lotion
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Tampons & Pads
  • Lint Roller (full size): smaller probably would have fit better
  • Pill Case with Advil & Antihistamine
  • Make-up remover wipes
  • White & Clear nail polish
  • Tissues
  • Mentos mints
  • Sewing kits
  • Chocolates
  • Bandaids
  • Chapstick
  • Hairspray (travel size)
  • Q-tips

I did the list from memory, emails and pictures, but I'm pretty sure it's accurate. We were supposed to also have bobby pin matchbooks, but those never happened. I bought a bunch of bobbypins, but then forgot to bring them to the salon and then my maid of honor had to run out for more while I was getting my hair done. So, bobby pins in the kits is a good plan. Other than that I think they were perfect.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Play's The Thing

I wrote a pre-ceremony play. It was a fairy tale version of how Mike and I got together in the style of Midsummer Night's Dream. I thought it semed like a fun idea, but I was afriad that Mike would try to overcomplicate the production or our non-actor wedding party wouldn't want to do it. It was also a surprise to eveyone except the cast. It was super hard not to get excited and spill the beans.

In the end everyone did a wonderful job. I was beyond thrilled. I knew my lines, but it hardly mattered. I was getting married and my brain was buzzing so I could bearly remember my own name. The end got muddled because a cue was missed and my stool was in the wrong spot, but on the whole I give it two thumbs up.

So here for your reading pleasure is our play:


Narrator Enters Clears Throat Loudly

Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. It is my charge to narrate the tale which led to this exchange of vow. A quick bit of business first, belief in magic and fairies is not required but would greatly enhance your evening. Also, photography is encouraged and sincere applause is more than welcome. Now, we begin as is customary, at the beginning...(short pause Oberon and Titania enter) There once was a king and a queen. Their passionate love for one another caused storms aplenty as well as sweet breezes and flowers, they were fairies. Fairies' love runs deeper and lives longer than that of any mortal, frustrating as that may be.

Their love blossomed into a beautiful girl child. She had golden hair and emerald eyes. Her parents loved her intensely even when they railed at one another. During one severe disagreement, Oberon secretly gave her to a mortal family on Earth to spite his queen. You see, fairies are not born with wings.

Oberon mixed up a forgetting potion and gently administered it while Titania was asleep. Years passed as they are inclined to do.

Enter Puck, Oberon joins.

Oberon: Greetings mysterious servant mine. Whither dost thou wander?
Puck: (giving a short bow) Her majesty is plagued, your grace, with fitful dreams and bade me gather forget-me-nots. She will mix a memory potion and free the lost thought that haunts her sleep so.
Oberon: (fearful) Aye me... Imp. If such thought be found, I will be lost.
Puck: (delighting in the King's sudden panic as it's an opportunity for mischief) Sire?
Oberon: Do as the queen bids you, else she will sense something amiss. Report her reclaimed memories to me with haste.
Puck nods his understanding and exits with purpose.
Oberon exits.

Titania enters, applies a potion to her eyes and lays down to sleep.
Puck creeps in quietly.
Puck: Dream you, my lovely mistress?
Titania: (talking in her sleep) Aye, wanderer. Echoes of memories rain down upon me.
Puck: Be they pleasant or most foul, lady?
Titania: A chaos most daunting. Voices and songs.
Puck: Songs, highness?
Titania: I sung lullabies most sweet.
Puck: Sung to what manner of creature? Use fingers to make donkey ears
Titania: An enchanting babe with golden hair. A fairy?
Puck understands at once and crosses to Oberon who paces on the other side of the stage

Puck bows very low. He is abuzz to see what the king will do with his news
Oberon: Oberon reads Puck's expression She has remembered much...
Puck smiles
Oberon: Smile you on my misfortune, knave? What must we do to soothe her wrath when so much can not be undone.
Puck: Perhaps, sire, if the girl returned?
Oberon: She can not. I was foolish to make the deal I did, but once the bargain was made it could not be undone. Even upon the death of the human child I traded her for. Foolish was that contract. What woe will my queen wake to now?
Puck: Shall I spy upon your daughter now grown so you may comfort your queen with tales of her?
Oberon: Your scheme intrigues, but be she dead or downtrodden we are undone. Go you hence. Make your discoveries and report with haste. All must be discovered before my queen awakes.
Puck exits
Oberon paces
Puck returns
Oberon: Why so long gone my minion? Found you her in good health and high spirits, speak some comfort fool!
Puck: She is lovely, wise and kind.
Oberon: That is no news, sprite. How doth she?
Puck: Aye, lord there's the rub.
Oberon grabs Puck by the shirt and shakes him
Oberon: (threatening) If you have been up to your foolish tricks-
Puck: Not I sire! I merely did your bidding! All that is unwell is the doing of mortal folly, none of my own, great king.
Oberon releases Puck
Oberon: She knows not who she is?
Puck: No sire.
Oberon: Have neither she nor he followed the dreams?
Puck nods
Oberon: We will simply, unite them so she may return to us. Mortals are easily led.
Puck laughs mischievously
Oberon: (shoots Puck a warning glance) Do as I behest. If you botch or confuse your charge I shall smite you with twice the fury that my spiteful queen will do so unto me when she wakes.
All exit

Puck and Oberon Enter. (Titania no longer sleeps on stage)
Oberon: How now? Doth all go to plan?
Puck: They were many, many miles apart and preoccupied each with their own folly when I came upon them in their sleep. Each I commanded to listen to their dreams. Each woke and embarked on a journey to find the other. They are drawn one to another without my tricks.
Oberon: Where doth the young man?
Puck: Here comes he, great Oberon
Enter Mike and groomsman engaged in quiet conversation
Oberon: Is he...worthy?
Puck: An artist of fame in this land.
Oberon: And she?
Puck: Comes a great distance, sire.
Oberon: Fie! The queen will surely wake. Can mortals do nothing quickly?
Puck: No.

Mike and groomsman unaware they are being watched begin to speak in a normal volume
Mike: (defending himself) And I say it was more than a mere dream.
Petevolio: I merely suggest that your immediacy is unfounded. How can you know she is near? Or whether she lives at all?
Randalt: A hallucination, surely. A dream phantom, no more.
Mike: Much more. I'll not be dissuaded by you or any man.

Oberon: He speaks well, perhaps I'll not hate him as a son in law
Petevolio: Least we make merry at this folly of a celebration!
Randalt: A celebration of love before even an introduction
Mike: You jest, but you will see that all is more than well my friends
Petevolio: Let us go and crush a glass to our friends happy delusions
Randalt: There are less pleasant ways to pass the hours
The mortals exit

Katie and her bridesmaids enter
Puck: She comes!!

Dianamona: excitedly Is this the estate you so dreamt? Is it as the dream foretold?
Sandelia: It matters little now. We have arrived.
Katie: Have we? I don't feel weary though the journey was long.
Sandelia: Are you sure you are not unwell my lady? We left in such haste. I feared...illness
Dianamona: Aye, me. I am winded, but it's so romantic a task I need not rest
Katie: Our destination is here and...a ball is beginning
Sandelia: Should we just enter so? Taking no precautions? What if the fairies are having sport with us?
Dianamona: Then they shall have it! Let's be merry awhile.
Dianamona starts to walk on, but Sandelia stops her
Sandelia give them masks

Sandelia: I pray you ladies wear these awhile. If all is well you can cast them aside.
Katie: Onward, onward I am not driven all this way to be so still

Mike enters with groomsman behind guests
They seem in better spirits now that the party's started
Mike scans the wedding guests and doesn't see who he's looking for
Katie's bridesmaids surround her onstage

Puck: Our work is all but done.
Oberon: Aye, let's away before the queen wakes!
Puck and Oberon exit

Narrator enters
Bride, Groom etc exit
Narrator: I shall tell you, gentle folk, first and show you anon. Patience, as I unfold the ending joy of our tale. The king and servant returned as the queen began to stir.
Oberon, Puck and sleeping Titania have taken their places while he spoke Titania stirs, but doesn't wake yet
Puck and Oberon exchange glances
Through all that has come to pass Oberon loves his queen deeply. Looking upon her beautiful face melted all his fear away and he was left with only the desire to bring her peace about their child.
Titania wakes
Oberon helps her to her feet
Embracing her he gestures for Puck to leave
Puck leaves bowing
Oberon whispers in her ear
Titania's face reflects sadness, but not anger
Cast minus Puck resets
He leads her to the other side of the stage where it is as it was before
As for the fairy child and her separated love, they must of course unite under the watchful eyes of the rulers of the fairies.
Boys come forward
The girls part to reveal Katie
Mike sees her, knowing her even with the mask
He takes her hand and leads her to her stool
All is as it must be. Love prevails for fairy and mortal alike. Surmounting all distance and obstacles within and without. As true love must. So, in as a brief a tale as I could manage all is well. Things are and will be as happy (or not so) as love allows.

Call forth someone to unite these two with vows!

Aunt Nancy takes her place, nods to narrator
(Even briefer still those promises shall be, then all present rejoice and feast with me)
Katie turns her back to Mike
He removes her mask
She turns back, they smile
Wedding party takes their place
Send the ring bearer & flower girls across


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One Week of Marriage

Ok, time for some recaps. I remember having a nightmare the night before and waking up in a cold sweat about the gosh darn missing tie. It was 5am and I knew I had to go back to sleep, but now my stomach was churning. I sent a slue of texts and tried to go back to sleep. By 8am I was wide awake and there was a text that the tie had not been found. Now, I gave up sleeping anymore and checked emails to make sure I hadn't messed up the order. Guess what, I had. There are two things to be learned from my mistake: 1)Count them out before the day you intend to pass them out, just in case. 2) No one dies (or is any less married with the incorrect number of ties.

After way too many moments of worry my dad surrendered his tie to the groomsman who was lacking. Problem solved. I took the attitude that I'd screwed up early in the day and so now that part was done with. We also didn't end up with a unity ceremony due to technical problems with the glow liquid, again no one died (or is any less married).

The ceremony was beautiful electrons and neutrons, eternity, love, the symbolism of rings (which it took me two tries to get on the correct hand). There were sprinkles of rain during pictures and I couldn't remember any of my “must take shots” I was so amped up by the time Mike finally got there. Riley's flower crown fell back on her head and no one fixed it. I wish her hair was fixed for our family picture, but she was an AMAZING flower girl.

She walked around with her basket of petals for the 30min before the ceremony like she was transporting gold bars. Her counterpart put on her dress, but didn't want anything else to do with this flower girl business. It's good to have a spare. When it was her turn Riley walked right up and tossed her petals straight up in the air like bursting fireworks! It was wonderful. Our ring bearer was no slouch either.

We were announced into the reception and since I'd seen it the day before the room had transformed. Not only had the fabric covered those ugly frames it had also defused the light from the wall fixtures. It was so pretty. Our dinners were waiting for us. I hear the kids were fed first as I instructed and that they were happily occupied coloring until the dancing got underway. What a dance floor we had, full of gleeful pint sized party animals. I got several compliments on my play list too (I was so glad). As far as compliments go though the most buzz was over our beautiful and delicious cake. The kids were chanting "Cut the Cake" when we arrived, but we waited until dinner, toasts and first dance concluded. Riley kept asking if she could open the tiny door. Mint flavored white cake with chocolate ganache between the layers like a Milano cookie. It was so good. We didn't feed each other tiny bites we grabbed huge fistfuls.

Everyone seemed to have a great time. The toasts were wonderful. I felt so loved. One or two people told me they enjoyed the slide show too. I regret not just taking scissors to the too long lining on my dress after all it was my dress. The double sided tape lasted a few steps before I was catching my foot in it. The sneakers were the best idea ever. Also, it would have been smart to hand a few extra strips of stylist tape I had on the top of my dress to my bridesmaids. It would have held if I wasn't stepping in the dress.

My other hindsight flash of brilliance was this: I should have designated one single person to be the liaison between everyone else and the groom. Poor guy got multiple phone calls for every problem, question, etc all day. I wish it had occurred to me to instruct everyone to contact say his dad and let him decide when things warranted stressing Mike out.

In the last moments we went out to take a picture under the lit sign in front of Sunken Gardens and the sky opened up on us. I was worried because my photographer had a big metal pole out there too, good thing there wasn't lightening. It turned into a mini trash the dress session. It might even have resulted in cooler pictures. I found it refreshing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What I Left With

We woke up to the announcement that we were in port and we were welcome to leave the ship. It came a full 5min before the alarm we set the night before so we had our taste of the real world early in the day. We hustled to our last meal on the ship. It was the first time we had to wait more than two elevator lods to get up the whole trip, by the way. I was very grateful for breakfast because the last cruise we took they booted me out the door before I even had time to grab a banana. It was sad to say goodbye to our waiter friends, but we were ready to go home. I wanted to hug the kids.

Look, Mickey was sad to see us go. Getting off the boat was even smoother than getting on. We picked up our one suitcase in the orange Goofy section, waited in the customs line less than 5min and then made the 30 second walk to the car. I guess I'm always struck by how unceremoniously things end. We hit the road happy from a great vacation and ready to get back to the real world.

We bought an internet package on the ship before we even left port so we could check for wedding pictures. I think everyone heard I had a photographer and a videographer and left their cameras at home because there was very little photographic evidence of the big day. We wasted most of the internet package because we were so busy enjoying our vacation. That's how I know it was a real vacation, the rest of the world Facebook included vanished for 5 days.

Unlike the typical honeymooners we were rarely in the room. Time alone together to "date" and converse without watching the clock was what we needed to get while we had the chance. The ship was called the Disney Dream and I suppose I've always wished I could go back in time somehow and really date Mike, wish granted. What a wonderful insight into who we are and how we feell about each other when the unrelenting stresses and responsibilities are lifted. Now I know what it's like to really date Mike and our marriage will be better for it.

I remember seeing this sign on the drive home and thinking "Oh, Yeah, honeymoon's over." There will be no more double dinners and deserts and not nearly as much quality time where we're going. Goodbye honeymoon of a thousand dates, hello day to day responsibilities...

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Last Day of Honeymooning

We're back at Castaway Cay one more time before we head home. Intermittently, my brain starts to unravel at all the things waiting for me at home, but for the most part I'm still soaking up the vacation-y thing. The only things I knew for sure was A) I was not going to break my ice cream cone (or two) a day habit today and B) We were not going to miss our last chance to see the dirty puppets. They were both good calls. And yes that is Mike inspecting a shrimp creature made from a towel.

We bummed around most of the day. Souvenir shopping had become kind of a problem because we assumed on a Disney cruise that featured a pirate night we'd be able to get something with the kraken on it. Wrong. Not one piece of merchandise on the ship or island featured the mythical squid monster from the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. Grrr. Don't worry we found Isaac some cool stuff anyway, a real jellyfish encased in glass that glows in the dark and a puffer fish skeleton. Other than limited merchandise options I'm hard pressed to find anything to complain about.

So, we had a lovely last dinner and then scoped out a balcony overlooking Mickey's farewell show. We tried to get some descent pictures, but they didn't turn out so great. None the less we finally made it to the dirty puppets! Her name is Lynn Trefzger and her first puppet was a drunk camel. So funny. After that she brought out her old man who was celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary on the cruise. She found a couple in the audience married 45yrs and then asked if there were newly weds in the crowd. Both of us raised our hands with glee.

I laughed so hard I cried. We gave her a run for her money though no predictable responses from us. The elderly dummy started with "You're married since Wednesday? What the F*** you doing at a puppet show?". It was one of the most fun evenings I ever had. Mike wants to look up her touring schedule and try to see her again. It was worth the wait. I'm glad we saw it on the last night. When Lynn asked the married 45yrs couple to give us some advice the wife yelled "Katie, say yes to whatever Mike wants and then do whatever you want anyway!". It was an enlightening evening.

It'll be breakfast and then off the ship to drive home in the morning. I'm glad I packed throughout the day and no “evil Katie” appearances during the process. I will miss the cloud bed and the entire channel of classic Disney cartoons the most during my day to day routine.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Princess Day

This morning I had important business to attend to. Meeting some Disney princesses. I remeber sitting by myself on a little wooden bench in my wedding dress for the photographer to take pictures and thinking "oh, my gosh! I'm totally a Disney princess!" I set my alarm (generally a no-no on vacation), put on make-up and went down to get in line 30min prior to when they'd arrive. I was fourth in line behind three girls in Disney sanctioned princess dresses. After 10 more minutes went by the line was snaking it's way through half the length of the ship. The little girl behind me was 3yrs old. She had beautiful curly red hair and a pretty Tiana dress on. She and I chatted, her mom seemed more my speed the the snooty mommies in front of me. We were both hoping for Cinderella's appearance.

When the time came five photographers and their assistants lined the rug at the bottom of the grand staircase. Up until now I'd bumped into Goofy's son Max in the elevator and Donald Duck on the sun deck. They were very nice. Donald even kissed me. I'd seen Goofy, Mickey and Minnie from a distance, but I had not bothered to brave a line for a picture. A crew member came by and told me I could sit and he'd hold my place in line (I was on the crutches), but I was too excited.

It was the right call because with a flourish of trumpets they announced "A special royal gathering" and suddenly there were princesses waving from the top of the staircase and opposing balcony. It was Snow White, Belle, Cinderella, Tiana and Ariel. From the moment her feet bounded down the steps jumping the last two steps to land in her spot with a giggle I knew Snow White was going to be my favorite meeting of the day.

She was thrilled to see the "Just Married" button. She was just as sweet and sincere she is in the movie. I really enjoyed her.

Belle felt a little forced and awkward, but Riley is way into that movie so I bought that picture too.

Tiana was great, but our pictures together were only so-so. Cinderella seemed to be having an off day. I was so hoping for a good Cinderella picture so I could put a picture of me in my wedding dress next to a picture of Cinderella in her ball gown. Ariel however was lovely in every sense of the word.

The rest of the day was a blur compared to our princess encounter in the morning. However, we were first in line for breakfast for once on our trip. We decided to skip dinner in the dining room since it was formal night. We ate early and went to the Broadway style production in the the theater that night, Villains Tonight. We both really enjoyed it. We planned on finally catching the dirty puppets that night at 10:30, but ended up passing on it in favor of the hot tub and bed.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Priate Day, ARRRR!

Honeymoon day three! We awoke to Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. It was super exciting. We actually got so excited to get off the boat we had to get right back on for Mike to change shirts and me to apply sunscreen, oops. What's nice is that the private island days are set up for getting on and off all day. Just like the first stop, no tender boats required I just wheeled right off. Anyway, we skipped the tram and just walked to the beach on the second try which was much nicer. They even had complimentary beach wheelchairs available.

For my observant readers, yes that's the same dress from the first day in a different color. I love them (Yay, Old Navy!). I digress, we went down to the beach to rent snorkel gear. I hate the beach. I love to look at it from my balcony and maybe sit on it, but getting around in sand or the ocean blows. I just had my last surgery in November and I'm not entirely in a trusting relationship with my body as of yet. So, I was a bit nervous, but it was my honeymoon. Besides how hard can snorkeling be?

Another tip for couples doing the cruise honeymoon, ask how much things cost. It's so easy to hand over your room key without a second thought. We each got a mask, snorkel, bright yellow vest and flippers (which we ended up not using because I could not walk in them). It was $50 to borrow those for about 20min. Those 20min were not the proudest of my life either. The water was much colder than I expected so I was stiff as a board trying to get in deep enough to see stuff. Plus I had no idea how to cope with a fogged up mask or seawater in the snorkel.

I'm usually a tough cookie, but I'll admit whining and complaining for a good 5minutes. I gave it a shot, but I only saw sand, seaweed and rocks. I kept blowing air through my nose and breaking the seal on the mask and panicking when water started coming in. I really should have bought a reasonably priced mask at the store and practiced in the pool first (which is heated by the way). After awhile I told Mike I was sorry, but I wanted to go back to the beach. I was perfectly happy to sunbathe while he snorkeled, but he was done too. So, we went back to the boat. I felt bad. I told Mike I was sorry he hadn't married someone who could snorkel with him.

It didn't last long though you just can not be sad on Pirate night. When we got back to the room there was a letter and 2 Pirates of the Caribbean bandanas on the bed. The letter informed us there be a Pirate Mickey Party, Fireworks and Club pirate tonight. Dinner would also feature pirate menus. Neat. The bandanas was as far as our pirate-ness went, but there were tiny Caption Hooks all over the boat!

We also went to see John Carter in 3D. It was fun, but slow to get started. It ended abruptly because Disney had plans for sequels, but know what I do about how this on tanked at the box office I'm wondering if they will. After the movie we got a behind the scenes tour of the ship. We went out a crew members only door with an escort into some kind of frieght elevator and through the crew members quarters section. We got to go through two water tight doors that he had to get the captain’s permission to open too. It was almost cooler than the movie. This was also my turn to do the giant water slide, the Aqua Duck. It's a clear tube that winds around two decks and over the side of the ship. Mike tried it Friday and I just watched to make sure I wouldn't injury myself attempting it. There was no line today so we went on it together. It was really fun! We both smiled for the camera think that would be the quintessential honeymoon photo, but when we inquired she said the camera was broken and only the flash worked. Bummer.

Halfway through the honeymoon...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Yesterday's Bride, Today's Tourist

This morning we parked in the Bahamas. Nassau to be exact. It was strange to wake up a)After 10am b)After Mike c)Docked in the Bahamas and d) In the fluffy cloud they call a bed. Strange, but good. Except that by the time I was up and dressed breakfast was over on the boat. Wahhh! It worked out though we ate an awesome early lunch instead. It was just being set up so we got first pick at the carving station, score. My lunch also included a piece of pumpkin pie. If day of marriage includes sleeping in AND pie I'm all set. I ambitiously decided I wanted to take a walk in the Bahamas, do Disney Trivia at 2pm, the 6:15 ventriloquism show and some after dinner karaoke.

We did take a walk in the Bahamas. It was brief. It was overwhelming how many people were trying to get through the same tight spaces. It didn't leave a lot of maneuvering room for the wheelchair. Once we'd gone through the entrance we were besieged on all sides by people trying to sell us stuff. Again, overwhelming. We purchased a bottle of rum and headed back to the ship. Another tip to my future brides, don't forget to tell your debit/credit card institutions you will be out of the country or your cards will not work. Back on the boat an elderly woman noticed our "just married" buttons and nudged her husband. "Look, honey they're just married." He gave us a long silent look and then smiled and said in a voice I will never forget "behave yourselves." Awesome.

I did not end up at Disney Trivia, which is lucky for those kids because I would have kicked their butts. We did go to the show, but it was not the "adult version" we had been so excited for. It was the family version. It was very entertaining, but a bit like expecting Sprite and getting a sip of water. Apparently, dirty puppets happen on nights 4 & 5 late night. After the show we mixed some rum and Cokes and went to watch the sunset. Bahama rum is potent stuff! Whew. It was ok though because I wasn't responsible for children or driving home or getting up for work. Don't we look relaxed? That chair is basically like a tiny couch facing a view of the ocean (right next to the adults only hot tub). Because of the state of tension my muscles exist in constantly and my life long need for independence (any degree of relaxation and I have to use the wheelchair or not move) I'm a total amateur at relaxed. I'm using this trip to try and acquire that skill.

Dinner was overwhelming good yet again. Last night we dined in the Animator's Palatte which was all funny and cartoon. They even had an interactive experience with Crush that night. Today we dined in the Enchanted Garden. It's exactly what it sounds like. I enjoyed the mirror on the wall facing us for picture taking purposes. We were the only ones at our table again, sweet! Our waiters are awesome, for the second night in a row Mike doubled up on appetizers and entrees (they were that good).

It occurred to me tonight that yesterday (or the day before that) I was a bride and today I was just another married lady on a boat. Weird. It helped that we found this in our room after dinner.

The card said "Have a magical honeymoon". You got it Mickey!