Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

Within the past five years or so, when people I actually knew were getting hitched, one of the first questions after the engagement always seemed to be, "Who will photograph the wedding?"  Technically, my first project was to tackle was the venue, but only because I had a good idea of who would be our photographer, it was just a matter of booking.  I became familiar with Sarah Carter's work via some friends at work who were having their family shots done by her and my friend Danavee had her wedding shot by Sarah.  After showing her web site to Chris, my parents, and Chris' parents I had the go ahead and we had her booked!

We were fortunate enough to have our engagement pictures taken by Sarah and she did not disappoint.  It was great to become comfortable with how she worked.  While she banters back and forth with Whitney, Danavee, and myself via facebook, when it comes to picture time, she means business.  You could see her constantly looking around for perfect lighting and placement, trying new things, catching shots of us while we were just being casual, it was fun. 

I am very excited to see our photos from our wedding already.  If you are looking for a great photographer for your family, wedding, or if you just feel the need to see yourself on paper, I highly recommend Sarah Carter.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Venue

I have always dreamed of an outdoor wedding.  I love all the natural colors, I love the fact that the reception can be blanketed with candles and Christmas lights, I love how you can move around, I just love it.  My mother however, not so much.  I secretly think she dreaded the day of my proposal because it would inevitably bring to reality how much I wanted an outdoor wedding.  I was pleasantly surprised by how she handled it and not once did she try to throw out any alternative location which included roofs and central air.  So, the hunt was on for an outdoor venue as soon as we were engaged. 

I checked out a few locations, but nothing was giving me that "wow" factor.  We are blessed to have several family members and friends so some were too small.  Others didn't fit my mother's checklist (there MUST be a back up if it rains and preferred it to be an already established area, not one that we had to mold from the ground up).  I felt like I contacted every recent bride and asked questions and looked all over the Internet.  One night my mom kindly lured me back to look at a place I dismissed because I felt it was too fancy.  I am going for a simple, laid back wedding and when I first looked at this location, I wasn't too sure about it.  She booked an appointment and asked if I would look at it with an open mind, knowing we could create it to be whatever my heart desired.  Mom always knows best!  From the moment we drove up the drive, my heart was sold and I knew this was where we would say I do. 

For more pictures, search for Tuscan Hill on facebook!

Chris and I will be getting married at Tuscan Hill in Strafford, MO, right outside of Springfield.  It is beautiful.  It encompasses everything I had in mind and we both love it.  Ceremony will be in the front yard, followed by the reception in the back.  This summer, 2010, is the first wedding season of the property, so it is fun to see all the wonderful things the owner is learning and adding to the venue which we will be able to enjoy.  I couldn't be more excited.  I ask now that every one begin praying for no rain on June 18, 2011 (and a cool breeze would be nice as well).  It is going to be a blast!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Wedding Party

The Ladies

Katie Parrish
Matron of Honor
Katie is my wonderful, beautiful, delightful sister and, most importantly, my best friend. Growing up together we had occasions of screaming but trumped these with several occasions of laughter and joy. It wasn’t until she moved out and left for college that I realized the influence she had over my life and I am forever grateful. She has taught me so much through her words, but more so through her actions. She is an amazing role model for a Godly wife and mother.  Katie and her husband Brian are currently located out in east Tennessee with their sweet little girl Kharis (and a new addition will be joining in February!).  Katie is living her dream as a stay at home mom, which I love.  We are always excited to get texts with pictures of Kharis or stories of her newest adventures.  I love my big sister and thankful to have such an amazing matron of honor.

Wirth…. I mean Ashly
Ashly and I met our freshmen year of college, lived together our sophomore year, and ended up in the same appartment complex for a period of time after college. Our memories are numerous including, but not limited to, Taco Bell runs, TV date nights, random practical jokes, stupid alarm clocks, Oprah, and lots of laughs.  She has such a genuine, caring, encouraging, way about her that you love her instantly. I love the fact that we have the same name and were “Wirth” and “Arnold” throughout college to our friends (and always will be).

Amy Broadhurst
Amy was another BFF from my college days. We met when Amy was a freshman and I was a sophomore and this little spitfire fit right in with our group of friends and we were instantly blessed by her presence. Her laugh is contagious and her laid back, yet extremely organized, mannerisms make me love her oh so much. Even though she headed back to Kansas City after college and I stuck around in Springfield, we keep in contact regularly and don’t miss a beat when we see each other.  Her smarty pants ways landed her a degree in ocupational therapy and she currently practices in Kansas City.  I always love hearing about her cases and admire how well she is doing so quickly.  I love me some Amster, what can I say?

Danavee Long
Danavee, Danavee, Danavee, how can you not love someone with a name like Danavee?!  Danavee entered into my life on a very stressful day, my first job interview! Luckily I was hired (I am sure the fact that I had on a dress that she owned helped in the matter) and we were placed down the hallway from each other. She instantly took me under her wing and through her, I was able to meet a lot of wonderful friends.  My teaching career has been highlighted with randomness provided from my great friend; an email that made me throw a breakfast sandwich, the infamous rat, Mr. Scarecrow, screams down the hallway, and so much more.  If I ever need a pick me up or great stern advice she is a few steps away and I love her for this fact. She has encouraged and pushed me so much through my growing up years after college and I am so thankful she was placed in my life. She is one amazing lady.  Danavee, her husband  Kenny, and their dog Sir Chester live in Springfield in there newly remodeled bathroom and kitchen home. =)

Christa Rupar
My lovely friend Christa was placed into my life during grad school. We sat by each other in our first class and quickly began to cultivate a friendship that has grown ten fold in the past two years. She is beautiful inside and out and we often talk about convincing our husbands to place us in the same zip code for their own sanity purposes.  I have loved getting to know her husband, Ryan, as well.  It always tickles me that he cooks and serves us when I go up to visit and refers to us as the "bopsey twins" (whatever that means).  Christa is an amazing servant and her love for the Lord shines through everything she does and says. I love having such and amazing role model my age that is walking beside me through these big steps in life. Christa and Ryan currently live in Joplin, although I pray daily he will mover her closer, with their dear old Montana. 

Erin Boschen
I was blessed to meet Erin and her great group of friends while I was working in the high school department at our church and quickly latched onto her personality.  Along with her friends, we enjoyed several movie, TV, hang out nights at my house and it has been so much fun to hang out with such a fun, outgoing, loud, and blunt little Boschen.  I will always love the fact that I knew her before Chris and she was the one who felt we would be a good match.  With all that being said, I am so excited for Erin to be my little sister. I genuinely enjoy hanging out with and talking with her and she is an all around great young lady. Erin heads up to my alma mater, SBU, to play soccer this coming year.  I am excited to see what her future holds, she is pretty swell =)

The Gents

Jeff Boschen
Best Man

Jeff has been the best brother I’ve ever had…it also helps that he is the only brother I’ve ever had but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Jeff is a great friend and as we have both gotten older we have really enjoyed spending time with each other. Whether it’s tennis, board games, or Jeopardy we always have a great time competing with each other. He is literally the smartest person I have ever met and is currently working on a degree in chemistry at Truman State University, after which I’m sure he will go on to do great things. I’m really blessed to have Jeff as a brother and to have him be a part of our wedding.

Bryan Otradovec 
 Bryan and I have been friends since we were in the 2nd grade and I’m quite sure he hasn’t stopped talking since. Anytime I hear my phone ring, it’s a safe bet to put your money on Bryan. We grew up together through junior high and high school and have shared many great times together. Bryan has always been there for me when I needed him and has an easygoing attitude that allows him to strike up conversation with anyone he meets. Bryan has been married to his wife Shannon for 2 years now and they live in Springfield with their Siberian Husky, Mia.

Andrew Guthrie

Andrew and I became friends during my sophomore and his freshman year at Mizzou. We even decided that we could tolerate each other enough to be roommates together for the next two years. Andrew thinks he is never wrong and I think he is never right so as you can imagine our arguments never came to a quick end. Our friendship was very George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld, in that our meaningless conversations went on far too long and never ended with anything productive. We spent many weekends yelling our lungs out at basketball and football games only to recover during the week so we could do it all over again. Andrew has a great desire to serve the Lord in all that he does and is officially the second smartest person I know (sorry Jeff still has you beat). He has been one of my best friends for the last 7 years and I know we will continue to stay close. He is currently attending law school at Baylor University and will graduate in May of 2011 and will inevitably pursue a career that requires other people to listen to him talk.

Brandon Snider
Brandon and I go back to the days of little league baseball and Mighty Might football. Summer nights were spent at Earl Smith’s backyard baseball field doing hitting drills and being reminded continually not to sit down in the grass because it was swarming with crocodiles. All through elementary school, junior high, and high school Brandon and I have been close friends and spent tons of time together. I’ll still always wonder what part of his brain was not programmed right to make him an Atlanta Braves fan instead of a St. Louis Cardinals fan, but I’ve been able to look past that all these years. Brandon has always been a hard worker and I admire that quality in him. Brandon just recently graduate from the physician’s assistant graduate program at Missouri State and currently lives in Fort Gibson, OK with Allison his wife of 3 years and their Puggle, Gibbs.

Ryan Bandermann

BANDERMANN! If I had to describe Ryan it would be hardworking, dedicated, and trustworthy. Ryan and I started hanging out during my sophomore year at Mizzou and have been friends ever since. We spend lots of time on the Rec. football field and in the gym-playing pick up basketball games. Ryan was even there to listen to me scream in pain as I shredded my ACL during a flag football game and even helped work out the cramp that hurt surprisingly more than the tear did. Ryan was right there alongside Andrew and I during some exciting and frustrating Mizzou football and basketball games. Ryan graduated from Mizzou with a Masters in Physical Therapy and currently lives in Cape Girardeau, MO with his wife Whitney and their Boston Terrier, Kegan.

Jordan Jones
Jordan has been my roommate for the last 3 years as we both attended Optometry School in St. Louis. From the very beginning we have gotten along great and it has been great to have a close friend to get through all the tests, practicals, and boards over the past years. Fortunately we have had plenty of time for the finer things in life like long hot days out on the golf course. I would like to contend that when it comes to our golf games we are dead even but recent outcomes would suggest that I’ve fallen off pace a little but that is sure to turn around. Jordan is a blast to be around and has the kind of laugh that makes everyone around him laugh right along with him. He has a big heart and I know we will remain close friends throughout the years.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Will You Marry Me? Ummm... YEAH!

Isn't my fiance the cutest?

Pardon the nappy nails

There are two sides to every story and I always enjoy hearing them. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to give you a little insight to our proposal with a bird’s eye perspective and let you hear both ends.

He Said…

The ring was purchased two weeks before the proposal but stayed in his home at the jewelry store for safekeeping. When the ring was finally picked up 5 days before the big day a wave of panic swept over me…What if she doesn’t like it?!? What if everything I thought she said was completely opposite and I got her the ring of her nightmares? Quickly I calmed down and assured myself that she would love it. Amidst all the questioning from Ashley and the persistent prodding from her friends I was able to keep cool and not give away any secrets about the timeline I had in mind. I wanted it to be an absolute surprise and that made for a not so happy girlfriend.

I knew that Ashley wanted her sister to be in town when I proposed so I’ll place part of the blame on her for living so far away. As the day was soon approaching I tried to give Ashley a few hints throughout the week by reminding her of some firsts in our relationship, also making the suggestion that we go out to eat when I was home the coming weekend. I never thought it would be hard to convince her to let me take her on a nice date, but it was surprisingly hard to persuade her to go.

On the day of our date, I knew I had to convince Ashley to go back to her house after dinner instead of heading straight over to see her sister and niece. So, I purposely left my phone at her house, simple enough right? Well, after a great dinner, Ashley was not amused that I needed to go get my phone and that she had no ring on her finger yet. I could see it in her eyes, I had succeeded and she had no idea what was coming her way! Once we reached her house I had to practically carry her inside and offer her millions of dollars. Maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but you get the picture.

Once inside I set up camp while she ran back and got something from her room. When she walked back out I told her that I loved her, dropped down on one knee, said something that I can’t recall at all (nerves will do that), pulled out the ring and she said YES! I was also very lucky to be able to give Ashley my Grams’s wedding and engagement ring along with her own. We then headed off to my parent’s to “drop by real quick” before going to her parent’s house. Little did she know our family and some close friends were there to celebrate our engagement with us. It was a great end to an even better beginning.

She Said...

The weeks leading up to the proposal were filled with questioning from several friends and the general population: “Do you think a ring is coming soon?” “When do you think he will propose?” etc. etc. This heightened my level of alertness as well as questioning skills, much to Chris’ dismay. The week prior to the proposal was my spring break, so we talked on the phone a little more than usual. Every day during our conversations he would throw in a sweet little, “Remember when…” or “Wasn’t it fun when…” It was cute, sweet, and a little unlike Chris, but I didn’t think much of it. My sister was visiting this particular week and so we watched her favorite show pretty religiously, Say Yes to the Dress. Little did she know I would drive home crying my eyes out wondering if there was EVER going to be a time when I would be picking out my dress (I know, a little dramatic there, but seriously).

Chris threw out the idea of going out to eat that coming Saturday evening and making it a special dinner out. I assumed he was tired of riding my emotional roller coaster and decided to go above and beyond to tame my wild imagination and bide him some time before engagement talk infiltrated our conversation again. We agreed on a location and the “special date” was set.

We had a lovely dinner, until our plates were cleared and something triggered “marriage” conversation and I got a little teary eyed. We were getting ready to leave and he declared that we would need to swing back by my house before heading down to my parents to see my sister and niece. I argued this for a few minutes, but gave in. On the drive back to my house, my thoughts took control and I shed a few tears. I really don’t know why I was so wrapped up in all of this emotion.

We got to the house; I refused to go inside despite some polite coercing from Chris that finally led to him agreeing to spill the beans on what his Grandma had told him back in October. As the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat, so I begrudgingly headed inside. I went back to my room to set some stuff down, came back into the kitchen where Chris proceeded to give me a hug and pour out some sweet words, which was followed by getting down on one knee. I melted, of course, and screeched yes.

After hearing the “secret” which included him giving me her wedding band and engagement ring, we headed towards his parent’s house where cheese cake, family, and friends were waiting to celebrate with us. It was perfect and lovely.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Christmas Lights, Mickey D's, and Baby Jesus

The wonderful Katie holding Baby Jesus.
While all of these things appear to be quite random, to Chris and me they bring smiles and butterflies. These words are a brief description of our first date. After conversing for a few weeks via the all mighty facebook and a few face to face interactions, Chris asked me out on a date. I was already smitten, so of course I complied. We bounced back and forth some ideas of what we could do when I finally suggested grabbing some McDonald’s followed by looking at Christmas lights (I know, very romantical). I think he thought I was joking, but after realizing I was being completely honest, a date was set, an outfit was toiled over, and he picked me up for our very first date.

After hitting up some of the local hot spots for Christmas light viewing, we grabbed some McDonald’s and headed back to my house for our gourmet meal followed by some UNO. When the trash talking subsided, neither one of us were ready for the evening to end, so we brainstormed other possibilities for the evening. The idea of practical jokes immediately entered (I mean, why wouldn’t it?). So, we ventured out in hopes to find a lowly wise man that could be captured. After all, they really weren’t there at the birth of Christ. But then, we saw the perfect replacement, no pun intended, for our crime. Baby Jesus was laying there in His manger so we snagged Him and left him on the doormat of our pastor. It was great, we were even mentioned in the sermon the following Sunday.

It was perfect, and looking back, totally reflects who we are. We can be doing the most simplistic, nonextravagant event, but it really doesn’t matter because we truly enjoy each other’s company. I couldn’t ask for a better friend and knew after that first date, Baby Jesus had great plans for us.