Sunday, September 15, 2013

All the things that did not suck about our wedding.

On this day, one year ago, I married the most wonderful, incredible, amazing man.  We have had an amazing year, full of adventures.  Leading up to the day, people warn you: it will be stressful and it will go by so fast but you will have so much fun.  In my experience, it wasn’t all that stressful, it went by in an insanely fast blur and I had way more fun than I anticipated.  I wanted to compile this list to help me remember all of my favorite details about our wedding—because the details are already a little hazy and it’s only been a year.  So here goes!

things that didn't suck about our wedding

1.  The title pays homage to my father.  I love the man dearly.  One of his favorite mottos for the day was: “This does not suck”.  He’s a funny guy, so rather than saying, “This is great,” of course he has to come up with something more sarcastic.  My dad had some reservations about the wedding.  He was slightly upset that I didn’t choose to get married in a Catholic church and I think he didn’t quite understand why until the day of the wedding.  After the ceremony, I remember him saying something around the lines of he understood why I chose to get married where I did, and that everything was perfect.  Just to make sure he didn’t get too cliché, he finished with a, “This definitely does not suck.”  Best. Day. Ever.


2. Making our own invitations and save the dates.  We saved tons of money designing our own.  I was super lucky to have wonderful friends who came over to help me assemble said invitations.  Way cheaper and way more “us”.

3.  Speaking of invitations, we did mad lib RSVPs and I do not regret it at all.  Read more and see photos here.

4. DIY wedding favors. I bought chapstick on wholesale online and designed different labels. We even had extras and it’s never a bad thing to have extra chapstick! I made the labels in Publisher and purchased the label paper through the wholesale chapstick people. They were really easy to print out and stick on! A super cheap, fun, personalized wedding favor. They came out to less than 75 cents each. Looking for similar products online, the cheapest I could find was $1.25.

5.    My brother officiated our wedding.  He even got ordained online and everything!  I knew I wanted someone important to me to marry us.  And it felt fake just picking some professional minister.  So I had my brother do it.  He didn’t believe me at all when I first asked.  When he eventually realized how serious I was, I think he thought I was crazy.  And then he came around to the idea, embraced it, and gave himself the title “spiritual advisor”.  He did a great job.

6.  Using a familiar photographer.  We used AK Photo (I highly recommend Andrew.  He is amazing.) for our engagement photos (read more here) and I am so glad we used him for the wedding.  He worked so hard and it was an extremely long day.  I would highly recommend him to anyone in the Denver metro area.  The photos speak for themselves.  He is completely able to capture wonderful moments…

7.  Speaking of some of photos, this picture is on my top five favorites list.  I loved this picture.  My parents and grandparents all got married in September.  I bought these numbers at Michaels.  They represent the number of years they have been married.

8.  Austin and I wanted an alternative to the whole sand/candle/knot ceremony.  I did tons and tons and tons of googling and finally stumbled upon a Letter Box ceremony.  Basically, during the wedding ceremony, you put a letter in the box for your hubby/wifester to read on your next anniversary.  The box stays in a prominent spot in your home and an each anniversary, you read last years letter.  I am so excited to read the letter Austin wrote to me before our wedding.  I am excited to read mine too, because I can’t really remember what I wrote!  I’m excited to have this box as a reminder and testament to our love over the years.  I love that it was an alternative to a unity candle that we can build and add to every year.

9.  A tequila bar!!  Ok, so I don’t get to claim ownership of this idea.  This was actually 100% my dad’s doing.  He loves parties and he loves fun and I think the tequila bar was his first idea after he heard Austin and I were engaged.  My mom, the practical one, about had a heart attack.  A tequila bar?  Plus open bar?  My dad wouldn’t have it any other way.  So yes, we had a tequila bar, dedicated solely to tequila shots.  It was a big hit.

10. DIY centerpieces.  My dad is way over the top, but my mom is completely down to earth.  When we were looking at wedding flower prices, we about died.  She and my uncle are in the business of flipping houses.  They had recently purchased a property with an adjoining empty lot.  When I decided I wanted to grow our own centerpieces, they completely jumped on board and let me use a good portion of their plot and dedicated it to dahlias.  I helped plant, but they did all of the hard work.  Over the duration of the summer, we got to watch our wedding dahlias bloom!  It was so exciting—and extremely stressful to my mom who was constantly worried about weather.  The day before the wedding, a ton of friends and family came over to help assemble our centerpieces.  I also recruited a ton of family to help collect Patron bottle (I don’t’ know why, I love them) to serve as the flower vases.  They were a big hit at the wedding (even making it to facebook, haha). 
601410_10100181093100192_365927581_n    10286_10100201973705292_1007465268_n    centerpieces

11.  Asking my extremely talented friend Michelle to make our cake topper.

12.  Doing a Toast and a Roast.  We had my maid of honor do a more traditional “toast” and Austin had a handful of friends do a quick “roast”.  It was seriously so funny.  I loved it. 

13.  PHOTOBOOTH!  I know these are all the rage right now.  I loved, loved, loved our photobooth pictures.  They turned out amazing.  My talented friend Michelle (see #11) also helped me with the photo booth props.  (read more here)

14.  Getting married in the fall. What’s not to love about the spectacular colors?  Love, love, love.  It is definitely my favorite of all seasons.


15.  Getting marred in the mountains.  Who could ask for a more serene place?  I’m blessed that my family owns a bit of property with some stunning scenery.  And we were further blessed with PERFECT fall weather. 

16.  Having the reception at a hotel.  We had nice little perks (i.e. free snacks from the wedding planner!) and with a tequila bar, there really isn’t a safer option…

17.  The dress.  I fell in the love with the dress in a magazine.  And after some research, we found that the closest place to find said dress was in WYOMING.  First time ever Wyoming has beat out Colorado for sure.  Lucky for me, I have awesome friends willing to make the drive with me to try it on, fall in love and buy!
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18.  My aunt’s hat.  My Aunt was the kind of person that you just instantly fell in love with her upon meeting her.  She passed away several years ago due to cancer.  When her husband called to ask if I wanted her wedding dress, of course I said yes.  Even better, she had this amazing, vintage-ish pill box hat.  Of course it had some pretty intense, dated poof to it.  With a few adjustments, it was perfect.  And I loved having a piece of her with my on my day. 
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19.  Having a private ceremony.  I was super anxious about the idea of a huge wedding ceremony.  It just doesn’t fit mine nor Austin’s personality.  So after much debate (and a few hurt feelings…but they got over it), we decided on a private ceremony.  Plus, logistically, getting everyone to the mountains would have been insane.  Plus Austin and I have big families.  So even if we invited “just family” we were looking at about 130 people.  The land in the mountains is not quite equipped for that many people, that much parking, we’d have to bring in 100s of chairs, etc.  Due to the small number of people, we were able to all drive up in a big bus and it was actually a lot of fun.
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20.  Getting ready in a Conex Box.  My uncle and mom even went up the day before and outfitted it with Christmas lights and blankets for a backdrop.  You’d never know, right?  

21.  Getting to drive around in this bad boy.  The joys of a mountain wedding!
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22.  We got married in the place Austin also proposed.  Almost exactly one year after he proposed, too!  I love this place.  I wish I could share it with everyone.  It’s so ridiculously beautiful.  Although there are coyotes that may try to trick your dog into chasing them, but that’s another story. 

23.  Our guestbooks that also double as decoration. (read more here)  They are currently all hanging in a hallway in our house.  It’s a daily reminder of who celebrated with us!311441_10100224819716702_881547433_n

24.  Being surrounded by some amazing friends and family.  Tequila bar + music = dancing at it’s finest.

25.  Having everyone sign our marriage license.  It’s legal in the state of Colorado, but I would check before you do this.  We had everyone who was at the ceremony sign the license.  In Colorado, you can sign in the margins, on the sides, etc, just not in the top right corner.  Again, I urge you to check before you do this!  Not sure if it’s legal everywhere!!

  26.  And finally…Getting to marry this handsome stud.  I’m one lucky lady!

xxoo. maggie.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adventures in Teaching Kindergarten.


I knew, from a very young age, that I wanted to be a teacher.  It’s more than a job, it’s a calling.  I’ve taught fifth grade, pre-k, first grade and kindergarten.  Teaching, especially in the primary grades, is unlike anything else.  I spend my whole day surrounded by five and six (and sometimes seven) year olds.  They somehow are equipped with all the skills to push every single button you have, test every ounce of your patience, and bring you to the verge of tears of frustration.  But they also have brilliant minds, enormous amounts of creativity and big hearts.  I love my job.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.  All teachers develop different coping skills to manage going an entire work day with maybe ten minutes of adult interaction.  My favorite coping mechanism is documenting the craziness that comes hand in hand with five year olds to share with my friends. 

So here they are.  Some of my favorite Kindergarten moments from my class last year. 



Student handed this paper to me just like this and asked, “Guess what it is….?”
”No, it’s a tree!”


“Bad people should have to wear evil hats, so kids know not to talk to them.”
Adorable.  Seriously.  Bad people should have to wear evil hats.



For Mother’s Day, I surveyed the kids and wrote down their responses.  Because what mom wouldn’t love to know that she’s really good at putting on movies?  And she’s super special because she let’s her kid eat!  And she’s clearly a really good cook.



Student: I made you a picture! We are ninjas. Those are evil snowman ninjas. They are the worst. We are winning. Don't worry.


It was Valentine’s day and I had car duty (you help kids get in and out of cars and into the gym before school starts).  I saw one of my kinders having a heated argument with mom.  He clearly did not want to get out of the car.  Eventually his older brother convinced him.  When they got out of the car, big brother handed my kinder a flower.  This kinder would not even look me in the face, he was so embarrassed.  This is how our interaction went…

Are those for me…?  They’re beautiful!
He heaved a heavy sigh, shoving the flowers in my general direction, still not looking at me.  “I wanted to get you ninja turtle chocolate, but my mom said you would like this better.”


Student: Look, Mrs. T!  I made a turkey.  He has a word bubble.  Guess what he is saying?
Uhhh…I have no idea, what is he saying?
Student: Gobble, gobble, silly!  See!  (He points to both of the word bubbles, as if I am the craziest teacher ever).
Oh yeah, kid, you’re right.  I’m the silly one. 


Student: I drew you a picture.  This is you, because you are tall.  This is me, because I am small.  And I have blue hair
(No, student does not have blue hair in real life)


Sometimes the best moments don’t come with pictures.  They come via words. 

Kindergarten parent affirmation that I chose the correct career path…



Sometimes crazy things happen in other classes and you have to cover for other teachers so they can deal with the craziness.  One day I had to spend a few minutes in the Pre-K classroom.  I just had to supervise them for five minutes while they played at centers.  That’s all it took to overhear this gem.



Sometimes Kindergarten thought processes are difficult to follow.  Case in point:
Kindergarten activity for Veterans Day. Our conversation went something like this...



These types of statements happen frequently…



And finally…




But my all time favorite quotes occurred when the local fire department came to talk to the kids about fire safety.  Because, of course when you want your students to be on their absolute best behavior, students act like a special kind of crazy.  The firefighters had me dress in all their gear to teach the students about their equipment, so first this happened…



And then, this happened…



And with that, I’m excited for a new year, new kids and new reasons to love my job.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

guestbooks minus the book part.

guest books

I loved planning a wedding.  There were stressful moments, but overall, it was just a lot of fun.  I wanted to make it as DIY-y as possible.  And I’m not a big fan of guestbooks.  Does anyone actually ever read those more than once (or even once, for that matter…)?  I spent a ton of time searching for unconventional guestbook ideas.  Luckily for me, I had two lovely cousins host a bridal shower and they opted for a craftier version.

I hear they got the idea from a Martha Stewart magazine.  They had all the guests sign vintage-y plates with a special sharpie.  The best part is—it’s super cheap!  They got the plates at Goodwill for dollars a piece.  And they make unique decorations!




And for the wedding, I made guestbooks using canvas and paint!  We didn’t really have a wedding theme, but the ceremony took place in the mountains and our invites included trees, so that’s what made me to decide to go with a tree them.  Just drew the outline of several trees and a leaf with a pencil and painted!  Pretty easy.  If you’re not comfortable with free handing, you could easily do this with a projector and trace the image.  We had about 220 guests, so I spent a lot of time debating how many to use.  Four seemed to be fine, although I think three would have sufficed!


Love that one of the guests drew a tree on the tree. 


I intend to paint the sides.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it at the time.  It’s on the to-do list.


Picture from the big day!  Courtesy of AK Photo.

I also loooved my friend Genevieve’s guest book.  They had an Up! inspired wedding.



Here were some of my favorites and inspiration when I was searching for options…

Free Printable Here.


For purchase here!


For purchase here!


For purchase here!

I’m all for guestbooks that do more than sit on a shelf, never to be seen! Good luck finding the right guestbook for your big day!

Places we seek inspiration.

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