Friday, August 29, 2014

The Most Perfect Day

I never believed them. They had it all wrong. It could never take so much effort, time or mental & physical attention. I could never be that person that got all consumed or lost focus. It would be different for me.

But it isn't. The reality is clear. I have now walked in their shoes.

I am a bride. An excited, exhausted, stressed out at times, grateful, tearful, pressured, and in love bride.

I have now lived the realities: the shopping, the planning, the meetings, the balancing of life and the worst that weddings bring out in families; the fun in being the center of attention, receiving gifts from UPS like every day is Christmas, the ups and downs, the beautiful parties, the financial stresses, and the unbearable excitement for the day just to arrive...

And three weeks from today I get to marry the love of my life. All the other "things" that I have been spending tireless nights planning and orchestrating won't matter in the end.  I can say that at times I have lost that focus and Andrew always seems to bring me back to Earth. At times I have let the little details that I LOVE putting together get in the way of the big picture…marrying my best friend on the most perfect day. The perfect day won't be because of the weather or the awesome caterer or the fact that people are taking a boat to our ceremony (well that just adds to the perfection for us!).

It will be the most perfect day simply because Andrew and I will be joining our hands and hearts in marriage and starting our life together as Mr. and Mrs. We will be surrounded by everyone we love and who loves us in return. That is what is most important to us.

And so I have three more weeks to say my given name, Miss Maria Burton Powell, with pride before I become Mrs. Maria Powell Coughlin; three more weeks to enjoy the craziness and varying emotions of it all; three more weeks to be spoiled, loved beyond belief and encouraged by so many friends and family; three more weeks to love Andrew as my boyfriend and fiancé before he becomes my husband; three more weeks to feel grateful beyond belief and humbled by everyone who is traveling near and so far to be with us on our most perfect day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cup 'a Tea

We all have that special warm liquid that lures us out of our cozy bed and invigorates us for a new day.

For me, that is tea.

Coffee makes me crazy. Even just one cup 'a joe. Literally…CRAZY…I am focused, giddy, engaged, and off in a million directions ready to conquer the world. Then the crash. Oh the crash…usually it involves droopy eyes, a form of hangry and some tears. Not my finest.

So for me, its a cup 'a tea in the morning and sometimes an ice tea in the afternoon.

Tea seems to solve every issue in this life - camomile for sickness, peppermint for after dinner, green tea for clean living, black tea for getting through the day, ginger tea for stomach aches, etc etc.

Recently I bought this sweet tea pot at our local coffee shop Coastal Roasters.  I alternate between my favorite Chai tea from Harney & Sons and Twinings Lady Gray tea.  I am pretty much obsessed with every tea Harney & Sons makes and their chic tea canisters and pretty tea satchels.

It's amazing how a cute tea pot and my favorite polka dot mug can get me excited for a new day.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Photo Book Challenge

I love photo books. I love that they tell a story..that they bring those digital files to life…that friends and family who visit our house can see the memories we've created.

I used to collect photo boxes, scrapbooks, and photo albums. I have hundreds of prints and negatives sitting in boxes or scrapbooks in my house, both in Virginia and Rhode Island. I used to print all my photos as soon as the last photo was snapped on a roll of film - I couldn't wait to get them back from Ritz Camera! There was something magical and exciting about opening up that envelope of photos - those glossy prints were a surprise and a fond memory of things of the past. They were tangible…they were real!

I miss those days. The days of taking film to a lab, waiting for the prints and filling an album, frame or scrapbook with beautiful memories. I guess that's where my love of photography all started...

We keep our memories stored on a hard drive now. Locked away for only our eyes to see. We take so many photos now that they aren't even special enough to print. I am the first to admit that I have over 1,000 photos stored on my iPhone - most of them are not worth printing, only sharing in a post on Instagram or Facebook.

Call me old fashioned, but this is disappointing…our memories are fleeting, destined to vanish into "the cloud" or a hard drive. It is my mission to change this. To change the way people share and store their photos - their precious memories!

I started with a photo book from my favorite company, MyPublisher, of our beautiful engagement photos. If those aren't worth printing, I don't know what is! I have used a few other companies - Snapfish, Shutterfly, etc. but what I love about MyPublisher is the ease of creating a book through their system, the constant sales (who doesn't love 50-75% off?!), and the quality of the album. They provide so many options - various cover styles & materials, glossy vs. matte, flat pages, cases etc.

I vowed this month to take the last few years of files and put them into albums - those memories are worth printing and we will cherish them as a family for years to come! I challenge you to do the same. 

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