Friday, June 28, 2013

Making My Own Wedding Album

The professionally made wedding album we received as a part of our wedding photography package was beautiful. It is a treasured item and something I like to look at often to remember that wonderful day. The only downside of the album is that it only contains 75 pictures from our wedding. 75 pictures out of the nearly 1500 that were taken that day. It was difficult to narrow it down and I had to cut out a lot of pictures that I would have loved to include.

Fast forward 5 years. I've gained some major skills in making photo books through Snapfish over the past half a decade. I create a Yearbook at the end of each year as well as other books to memorialize big vacations. Making a wedding album has always been a goal of mine but it seemed daunting but I'm happy to report that I completed this goal! This album contains 444 pictures throughout 110 pages of a 12x12 book.

The main difference between our professional album and this one (aside from the number of pictures) is that I was able to include pages and pages of pictures of our families and friends enjoying our reception. I believe that I included every single posed picture of couples and families. The photographers captured several complete tables of guests and I included all of those. And I even made a page of the pictures of me and Chris taking tequila shots with our friends.

Here are a few screenshots of the pages in the book. Photo books are pretty easy to make and the end product is worth the time and effort to make them. I also highly recommend Snapfish as they have great coupons, offer 10% cash back through Ebates and link directly to Facebook and Flick for picture uploading.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Affordable Fashion: Maxi Skirt and Colorful Tees

About a month ago, I was shopping around for a plain, black tee. No frills, no print. Just a regular black tee.

Mission impossible. Not only did Old Navy not have a black tee, they didn't have any plain t-shirts. What the heck!? I cruised over to Kohl's and managed to find this black tee for an excellent price.

And since I believe in the motto of "If you find something you like, buy it in every color," I did just that. Gray, white and sweetheart pink.

Today, I'm pairing that white t-shirt with this skirt from Old Navy. It is perfect for a hot summer day! My goal for the day is to not spill anything on this shirt but I think crisp white shirts are prone to get a drop of something on them. I hope to win that war!

Excuse the bad picture. It was taken with a self-timer and apparently, I was sleeping standing up.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I bet you didn't know....

1. I only have 7% hearing in my left ear. I believe it was during a camping trip before my senior year in high school that I suffered nerve damage that fizzled out my hearing. I didn't go in for a hearing test until the end of the school year and it was revealed that I had significant hearing loss. Because it is nerve damage, no hearing aide can help bring my sense of hearing back. Whenever I have any pain in my right ear, I immediately go to the doctor since I'm terrified of losing hearing in that ear.

2. For a short time in high school, eating chocolate gave me horrible migraines. I stopped eating it for over a year. It was depressing but I grew out of it. I've since determined that it was the caffeine I'm "allergic" to and can't have it in large amounts. I'm the person who orders a decaf mocha at Starbucks.

3. When I was 8 years old, we moved into a brand new house. We actually watched it be built! I lived there until I was 18 and went away to college. Less than a half mile around the corner, my husband lived in the exact same model house, from the age of 16 to 25. The only difference is that the houses are mirror images of each other. My dad still lives in the house and his parents still live in their house. The first time my husband went to my dad's house, he asked where the bathroom was. We all were aware of the fact that he lived in the exact same model so we laughed at him. Good times.

4. When I was in college, the residential association planned a field trip to see The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I, along with 2 friends, took the bus ride to Burbank and waited in line to see the show. I'm not a Leno fan so for me, it was just going to be a cool experience but my friend was a huge Leno fan and was really hoping she would get a chance to sit in the front section of the studio audience. Somehow, while walking into the studio, I was chosen to sit in that front section. She sat up in the back row of the upper seating area. I was even pulled on stage during the pre-show gab session and Jay Leno made a joke about me. Later on, he winked at me during a commercial break.

5. No less than 3 times, strangers have asked if me and my sister are twins. One time, a man actually assumed we were twins. He said  to us "I have a pair at home myself." HUH???

6. In first grade, while spinning on playground equipment after school, I fell and broke my arm. My dad drove like a mad man to the hospital and I had 3 casts over a period of time to heal it.

7. I turned down the offer to go on a blind date with my now husband several times before eventually giving in.

8. Before we met, my husband and I worked out at the same gym but at very different times of the day. It is funny to think we could have run into each other if I was the type to work out in the late evenings.

9. Both of my parents are in the Athletic Hall of Fame at their alma mater.

10. Living in a 3 story dorm in college provided a lot of funny memories but one of my favorite is when a few people took Ecstasy one night. Me and my roommate and some others were horrified and scared of the way these girls were acting so we locked ourselves in our room and didn't answer the door when they knocked. Then, someone pulled the fire alarm (which happened a lot) but we made the educated (?) decision to stay in our room to avoid having to see these high people. We watched from our window as they sat outside in the cold, acting a fool. Oh College....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Little River/Mendocino: A Weekend Away

On Friday morning, we packed up the car and drove 3+ hours to the Mendocino coast. It was our first time in this area of California and I hope it won't be our last. After a stop to get a donut for National Donut Day, we enjoyed the serene drive through parts of Wine Country I didn't even know existed!

We stayed at the Little River Inn in Little River, CA. This was a wonderful little hotel. The views were perfect, the food was good and the rooms were adorable. The company? Even better. I'm married to the most amazing man who makes me laugh and smile and gets me thoughtful (though not currently available) anniversary gifts. I have tons of pictures but just wanted to share these 3 from the weekend.

 Watching the sunset on our anniversary from two rocking chairs outside of our hotel room

 Point Cabrillo Light Station in Mendocino. It was a beautiful day to stand on the top and take in the views.

From our hotel room. We pretended we were in Hawaii but really, the Mendocino Coast is breathtaking.

Because my husband's love language is gift giving, I'm receiving 2 presents this year. The first arrived yesterday. I didn't know what to expect so when I opened the front door to take out the trash and saw a very large box leaning against the house, I was caught off guard.

It turns out that my husband really does listen when I talk about wanting (needing) to have a full length mirror in our room instead of the cheapie Target mirror that most college kids have leaning against a wall in the closet.
And this one even holds my necklaces! 

We had such a wonderful weekend. Despite fighting through an impending head cold all weekend (it showed up in full force Sunday morning before we left), we did just enough to have experienced the coast but not so much that we felt tired. We listened to the ocean, we walked to the edges of some cliffs, we climbed wet rocks to get to a secluded beach and we sat in the sand with the sun on our faces reflecting on 5 years of marriage.

Life. It is good.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five.....and other numbers


You have now known me as "Michelle YourLastName" longer than you knew me as "Michelle MaidenName."

In July/August, we will celebrate (okay, I will celebrate, you will roll your eyes) 9 years of being a couple.

In April, we reached the 7 year mark of living under the same roof.

Halloween will be the 4 year anniversary of moving into our first house together.

Since our wedding 5 years ago today, we have been to Hawaii 3 times.

We have celebrated numerous birthdays and watched our nieces grow from in utero to babies to toddlers to school-age girls. Their growth has provided us with a timeline to measure our relationship. It was just months into our dating that my sister became pregnant with Diana.

We have spent much of our marriage hoping and wishing for something that we haven't quite achieved.....yet. Through those trials, we have grown closer. And in those moments of trouble and doubt and fear, you were the person who provided me with the most comfort.

I thank God for you. For our marriage. For our relationship. For the love we share. I'm so glad that my life path intersected with yours and that our pairing led to love and to marriage.

You are the greatest gift I have been given and I love you and appreciate you more each and every day. May the next 5 years be as challenging as the last, for I know we can defeat any challenge we come long as we do it together.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Travel Withdrawls

If you have been a long time follower of this blog, you may have noticed that we enjoy traveling quite a bit. We may not have much variety in our destinations (Hawaii is kinda our spot) but we love jumping on a plane (okay, I love it. Chris hates flying) and jetting off to a new or favorite destination.

In 2008, we spent our honeymoon in Maui.  In 2009, our first wedding anniversary was spent at the House of the Mouse. In 2010, we traveled to Kona, Hawaii to see the Ironman. (All of my pictures from those posts are no longer stored in Blogger. Booo.) In 2011, we toured Washington D.C. and New York City. In 2012, we headed back over the Pacific Ocean to Kauai!

I'm kind of loving that we go to Hawaii on even years. Let's keep that going, huh!?

But this year, 2013, is a different kind of year. Since we are trying to save money for IVF, a big vacation isn't in the cards. The thought of not planning a big trip has me feeling a bit sad but I know it is for a good cause.

About a month ago, I decided that we deserve some sort of weekend trip away. With our anniversary falling on a Friday, I thought this would be the perfect time to head out of town, to a new place for a great weekend adventure. Turns out, I picked the perfect weekend because it will be over 100 degrees on Friday and Saturday at home while we will be on the coast, near the ocean and in 80 degree weather. The best part is that we can drive there so no airplanes, airports and security lines. I love California!

While this destination is no Hawaii or Europe (that was our plan for 2014 before we decided to do IVF), I'm so excited to visit a new place together for our 5th wedding anniversary. And I'm looking forward to sharing all about this place and our journey on the blog! Stay tuned....