Tuesday, November 30

My choice

So I am just going to put it all out there… I mean, you are going to find out one way or another. Actually I just told Nater last night but it's really my choice now isn't it? Are you wondering what I'm talking about? Lemme back up. If you fell off the planet for a few days: I'm engaged to the spectacular Nater. Yep, sure am and now that we are engaged we are thinking about getting married. Go figure. Wait, wait, wait… Lemme go back a little bit more. I was raised Lutheran and Nater was born a Jew. This has never been an issue - obviously. On our first date, we discussed religion (yes, very taboo) and I told him this really funny thing about myself; I've always believed I'd marry a Jew one day. No joke. I even told my ex that I was confused why we were together because I always thought I'd marry a Jewish guy. I couldn't even tell you why I thought this. I've never even dated a Jewish dude before the Tot so why would I think I'd marry one? Beats me. Surprisingly he didn't think I was a whackjob and now guess what? I'm marrying a Jew, my Jew. :)

So what does this mean? Well, I'm planning to convert to Judaism. (How very Charlotte of me, huh?) Not only do I want to because I respect and cherish the Jewish traditions but also there will be a time when Nater and I will have children and I want my children to be Jewish. You must read this post on the Wedding Bee because like the author Hot Cocoa, it wasn't a nagging mother-in-law (Nater's mom embraced me from the start and never asked if I was going to convert which I very much appreciated) but more for the fact that Judaism has played a very important role in the Tot's life. And like Hot Cocoa's husband, Nater met some of his closest friends in Hebrew school, at Jewish summer camp, and traveling to Israel. I want our kids to experience those wonderful things just as much as he does.

I'm not saying this decision was easy nor will the conversion process be but I know it's right for me. Nathan has been nothing but supportive and is going to help me in whatever way he can. That's why I love him. Well, one of the many reasons I love him I guess.

Of course with my whole family being "non-Jews" we will have spoiled children who get to enjoy both Hanukkah and Christmas.
I bring this up now as I am looking forward to incorporating some wonderful Jewish traditions into our wedding (the chuppah, breaking the glass, dancing the Horah etc) so there will be talk of this (and probably stuff about my conversion too) on the bliggity-blog from time-to-time. Take it or leave it.

I leave you with some beautiful moments captured at some fantastic Jewish weddings:

Mazel Tov. 

Party time

Does anyone need a date to any holiday parties? I found some very sweet dresses that make me want to plan my very own holiday shindig just so I'll have an extra excuse to buy one of these pretties. Hehe...

A big bow and shimmer? Yes, please.

Saturday, November 27

Wedding palette

Just *thinkin* A LOT and enjoying the wedding eye-candy by the fab Jasmine Star

Love the deep purple.

Maybe I'll get to see a tear or two from the tot?

Pom Pom heaven.
Fringe-y goodness.

Friday, November 26

Blubbering mess

It's Friday morning after Thanksgiving and since Nater had to work I have just been lounging - catching up on Glee, perusing the interweb, and bawling my eyes out! I am seriously on emotional overdrive and can't seem to put the brakes on whatsoever. 
The waterworks began with Glee. Damn that show. Thanks Kurt's dad and Finn's mom for getting engaged AND married in the same episode. Stellar. Then I came across Em's blog (thank you Facebook) with the sweet story about her recent engagement. I couldn't be more happy for them both. Nater and I actually found out about Kevin's plan to propose when we called with our exciting news last weekend but hearing the details really is the icing on the cake! Of course then after reading and using a whole box of kleenex; I look down at my finger with my blinger and my eyes well right back up. Damn. With so much love going around I am worried I'll literally combust.
Celebrating with friends on Wednesday (Thx Sharon for the iPhone pic!).

Wednesday, November 24

Mr & Mrs

Little Lady's Kristin showed me these and I think they'd be a perfect gift for a newly-engaged couple... *Hint, Hint*

Find them here.

Monday, November 22


Okay, enough screaming… I'M ENGAGED!!!!
Shut the front door.
Girl, I know.
Our first pic as an engaged couple. Love.

It happened Saturday morning and I couldn't have been more surprised. Sneaky bastard. Though I couldn't have imagined it any other way… I think I'll let him tell you the story… Without further ado my fiance the Tot:

Over a month ago, Bunny and I went to look at rings.  At first when I looked for rings, I shopped by myself and found a few, but found the task to be a bit stressful.  Then some friends told me that it would be more beneficial to bring Ashley along for the search.  At first I was hesitant, but that feeling soon subsided when I saw her excitement each time she tried on a different ring.  We visited four or five jewelers looking for a winner.  There was one, in particular, that Ashley seemed to like more than others.  At Tivol, we found it – halo, round-cut diamond, antique crown look, with the “upside down Eiffel Tower” band.  This was for sure the one, but I had to determine when would be the right time.

Still reading?  You can always skip a few paragraphs if you just want the proposal….

I began discussing logistics with the jeweler but still hadn’t fully committed to the ring.  Funny thing, during a discussion, the jeweler mentioned that since Ashley had seen the ring, she would now be expecting it by the end of the year.  I joked that she was wrong and said we could get engaged later in 2011.  A few weeks passed, and I dropped talks about it, but every once in a while, Bunz would make comments about a ring.  Once I came home with chocolates – “I have a surprise for you,” I said - only to hear her asking if it was a ring!  Um…yeah…..the joke was on me, she was ready.

The order was placed and I was told it would take 3-4 weeks.  Since this was to be stealth, nobody could know.  This meant a few fibs so that she wouldn’t find out what I was up to.  I even faked a Friday night meeting that caused Ashley and me to be late to Chuck’s birthday dinner.  So I waited and waited. 

Still reading……thanks for listening to me babble.

Finally, it was the fourth week and no ring.  I called the jeweler and was told it would be there by Saturday at 9am.  We had planned to visit Chuck’s family and Bunny’s dad, Tom (and fam), in Iowa, but we were to leave early in the morning.  It was time for one more little fibster.  I told her that I had some work to do early in the morning and we would need to leave a bit later.  She wasn’t too happy.

Ok, if you are looking for “The Proposal”, you’re here!  See below.

I left to pick up the ring-a-ding and then came back home.  To my luck, Ashley was in the shower.  I knocked on the door to make sure she knew I had returned.  Then, having no real plan, I improvised.  Nobody tells you how it feels to propose and nobody can explain the feelings because there are so many – confident, yet a bit scared, happy, excited, pumped, weird…..etc….you get the point.  So I assumed the position in front of the bathroom door, on bended knee and waited.  It seemed like a freak’n eternity before the doorknob started to turn.  Bunz opened it and…….ok, here is where the question is asked, “Was she naked?”.  Just for fun, you make up whatever dress you want, but if you are a parent reading this one, she was wearing a robe.  Anyway she came out of the shower, looked at me as if to say, “What the hell are you doing down there?  I’m confused.”  But then, she noticed the ring, screamed, cried, and ran back into the bathroom.  When she calmed down to sniffles, I told her the gushy stuff (you probably don’t want to hear) and then she asked for me to put it on her finger.  It fit, we drank some champagne, and the rest is history.  Oh, and I think she said yes.

Yes, in true Nater fashion I was shocked and in awe of it all. Best gift EVER.

No dates, no talk of weddings (okay, maybe just a little bit ), we'll get to that later. But in the meantime I think I'll be posting a ton more about weddings. Don't worry if you hate wedding-talk there'll still be fashion and photography posts to ogle too.

The future Mrs. Nater-tot

Thursday, November 18

West Elm + St. Jude's

West Elm has great home furnishings we all know that but, what I am especially loving right now are these lovely knick-knacks. Not only are they snazzy and sure to brighten any room but $5 of the purchase goes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Enough said. As you can imagine I have my eye on the bunny.

Wednesday, November 17

Currently Diggin'

Rodrigo y Gabriela

All the media attention on the engagement/planning/wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Who wouldn't want to marry a prince? Say Cheese.
White Russians - Yeah, they got a lot of glory in the movie The Big Lebowski (fantastic movie btw) but my love comes from the fact they are freakin delicious.
2 part Vodka
1 part coffee liqueur (I like Kahlua)
1 part Half & Half (I substitute milk)
Pour vodka and coffee liqueur over ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass. Fill with half & half and serve.
Speaking of… I think I'll have a nightcap. 

Fall walkin'.

Nater and I went for a nice walk on Saturday afternoon and we snapped some pics before I had to go shoot Francie & Luke. Just thought I'd share cause I know how much you like looking at pictures. 
Right?… I can't hear you….. That's what I thought. Get ready for your eyeballs to be dazzled with a whole lotta fall.

Beautiful day for a fall walk.

He likes to take pictures too and makes me love him so :)

(Do you see the lady waiting at the stop sign with her dogs? Cute.)

Nater took the camera for a bit… Fall leaves.

I like this pic he took. It's got a very calming feeling… :)

Check out my (very messy) attempt at the fishtail braid.

Purrrrty leafffs. 

I looooooooovvvvveee fall and you are very welcome.

Francie & Luke

This brother and sister duo were a hoot and a half! Luke was startled by Nater (go figure) while Francie bounced from here to there in a matter of seconds.
I couldn't agree more when my dear friend Kate told me I captured their "spirits" in these pics.

There were very few and far between with them both together as Francie loves to move but there were plenty of beautiful moments to make up for that a little bit!

I absolutely love this one! Aww...

Her red bows and red lips. Precious.

Nater suggested we take some pics on the steps and I couldn't be more glad he did... I knew I kept him around for something! Ha.

Enjoying the fall leaves!

How cute are Luke's socks!

She plopped herself down in front of me and struck this pose! Perfect.

Big blue eyes and a smile. Looooove.

Big thanks to Sarah and Josh for letting me capture the spirit of their beautiful blessings. xo

Tuesday, November 16

Shoe clips

I think shoe clips are pretty rad and am surprised I don't have more in my arsenal of accessories. My grandma gave me some lovely ones but most recently I've found a few that would be so nice in sprucing up some of my old pumps and flats up with that I thought I'd share.

ban.do just added shoe clips!

Absolutely Audrey the shoe clip mecca