And we’re off!!!!

Posted by Carly Morgan

It’s 7:12 PM. We leave for the airport at 5AM tomorrow morning and as I sit here there is laundry being done, bags being packed, last minute items being bought (thank you, Kyle), and programs shooting out of my new Epson printer at an incredible speed. There are so many last minute things that I can’t wait to share with you, but as it is I will just say this:

Dear everyone who will read this,

Thank you so much! The last year has been completely nuts, but the feedback, kind words, and constant support that I’ve gotten here has definitely made the process easier and a lot more fun. I can’t even believe that the year passed so quickly! I’m so excited to see Kyle at the other end of the aisle and nearly as excited to come back and tell you about it!

I’ll be blogging from my phone (woohoo!) the whole time we’re down there, so there will probably be a ton of action on here. I’ll make sure to get at least a couple of pictures on our big day…yay, wedding!

With so much love,
Carly

How to Make a Centerpiece on $20 or Less

Posted by Carly Morgan

Hope your holidays were lovely…

Ours was spent partially in the dark. We lost power on Christmas day from 4PM to around 8 or 9, so we opened presents with flashlights held in our teeth and about a thousand candles lit. It made for a memorable holiday, but unfortunately a whole bunch of our gifts needed power. (We’re a DVD and video game kind of family.) Plus, our Christmas dinner went from ribs to cold salami and cream cheese. Mmmmm.

The morning after Christmas, my mother and I embarked on The Great Hunt for Cheap Centerpieces. We hadn’t really been impressed with any of the ads, so we decided to open Target at 7AM. A blizzard had hit the night before so we had to make our way through huge drifts of snow to get to the car. I know it’s been said before, but Utah has the greatest snow in the world. Bright white, fluffy, and perfect for snowmen.

We made it to Target around 7:30. Normally we’re there for the store openings on the morning after xmas, but there was drama involving an iced-over truck and my mother throwing her purse into the outside garbage can. It didn’t really matter, as it turns out. The blizzard (or the economy) kept everyone from coming out to shop. Target had about 4 people in it. The sales were incredibly lame. 50% off of Christmas decor, which is the same sale that has been going on all week. Their Christmas decor wasn’t even that great.

The only thing that I found at Target was some mirror chargers. I need seven centerpieces so I got 5 round mirror chargers and 2 square mirror chargers. After all was said and done they were $7 a piece.

CENTERPIECE ITEM 1: Mirror charger for $7 a piece.

After Target we had breakfast and then we headed over to JoAnn’s. Their Christmas stuff was on sale, but they didn’t have anything that was really jumping out at me. I did get a bunch of wooden heart ornaments for 30 cents but I don’t know what I’m going to do with them…definitely nothing with the centerpieces. However, I did get some little silver mirrored cones with picture frame clips at the top to hold the table numbers and I found out that the value candles were 30% off so I got some party candles and some votives.

CENTERPIECE ITEM 2: Mirrored table number holders for $1.50 a piece.
CENTERPIECE ITEM 3: Candles for 5/$1.

So now we had mirrors, mirrored table number holders, and some candles. Plus, I have those blue and clear gem confetti things at home, so I pretty much had a flat, shiny centerpiece. But all of the wedding reception articles say that you need three things for a good centerpiece: width, texture, and height. I really only had width with the mirrors and all. We looked around at fake flowers and vases, etc., but everything was either really tacky or really hard to transport or just not speaking to me. So, we hit one more store – the ever productive T.J. Maxx.

T.J. Maxx is one of those places that’s either horrible or really awesome. I’d give it a 3 to 1. 3 times horrible, 1 time awesome. My mom would probably give it an 8 to 1, but she’s a pessimist. When we got there we found out that the Christmas stuff was all 50% off of the lowest ticketed price. However, most of the stuff was Santas and Silver Bells and all that other stuff that you really can’t pretend is a reasonable wedding centerpiece. And then I saw them…

My mom hated them. HATED them. And I have to admit, that when I first grabbed them I showed them to her and then we had a good laugh. But when I flipped them over and realized that they were only $5 a piece…and that there were seven of them…I mean, I’m sorry…

And that’s how I went home with 7 Dr. Seuss trees.

CENTERPIECE ITEM 4: Dr. Seuss trees for $5 a piece.

Total centerpiece cost (including diamond confetti): $17 a table.

So, what do you think? (you have to imagine the confetti since it’s home in Ohio)

with the table number

Epic Bachelorette Party Post

Posted by Carly Morgan

So, since we last talked, two things happened. Or rather, one thing didn’t happen but should’ve and then another happened hardcore. The first is that I canceled my haircut when I woke up feeling sick and indecisive. So, here I am with split ends and more time to make that ever important highlighting decision. The second is that my bachelorette party was last night. Booyah.

I’ll admit it, I’m not a huge fan of bachelorette parties. Most of my friends didn’t really have them when I lived in Utah and the few that did totally ran with that whole “last night as a single girl thing.” Personally, I don’t think an impending marriage is any reason to hang out in trashy bars and have strangers lick things off of you, but apparently I just didn’t get it.

Anyway, I was understandably nervous about the whole bachelorette party idea. I actually didn’t even want to have one originally, but I was talked into it (or overruled, depending on how you look at it) and so, last night, I was at the mercy of Neaner and her party scheming…

…and it was seriously the most fun I’ve had…maybe ever.

It started when Drew picked me up and drove me over to Neaner’s apartment. The guest list turned out to include my five absolute favorite people from law school…

Kristen, Nate, Emily, Janean, and Drew

…and they had gone all out. They decorated the apartment in our wedding colors:

And Kristen made me the world’s greatest bachelorette party cake, complete with Officer Johnson, male stripper:

(this is what it actually looked like when I saw it. I love the lighting effects madly.)

I also got a sash and a veil. I’m actually not sure who made the sash…I think Neaner made it, but Nate was unreasonably excited about it for some reason.

(Drew checking out Nate’s man stubble)

Janean made all sorts of treats and yummies, which is impressive because she’s not that in to cooking. I was worried that everyone was going to push carbs on me, but they’d provided shrimp and raw vegetables in support of me not being a wedding day blimp. Everyone also helped out by taking care of the pizza rolls for me, so I wouldn’t be tempted. Thanks, guys!

After we snacked and chatted and drank for a while, Kristen gave me an early wedding present, which she wrapped up in custom gift wrap featuring our engagement picture!

She’d gotten us Apples to Apples! Anyone who knows us knows that we’re big time into board games and party games, so I was really excited. We broke it out immediately…

Throughout all of this, drinks were being served. I was actually doing ok even past my ninth shot of JD, but then Neaner gave me and the boys a Tequila shot…

…and that was the beginning of the downward spiral…

…which involved lots of hugging and playing with huge balloons…

…until we went out into the world to share the madness…


(I’m so much cooler when I’m on the south side of 20 cocktails, don’t you think?)

And then, somewhere through the haze, Emily grabbed me and announced that she was dealing with a wardrobe malfunction. She told me that she ripped her jeans, but when she turned around I realized that she really needed to have said “I was wearing jeans and now I’m pretty much not.” Her brand new Banana Republic jeans completely failed her.

So that pretty much wrapped up our evening out, which was good because they had to pour me into the car as it was and my feet/legs are killing me this morning. I also have a mysterious scratch on my chin and Kristen had a raised bruise on her hand this morning, so who knows what might have happened to us if Emily’s pants hadn’t decided to try to leave on their own.

We went back to Neaner’s and watched Grease for a while in our PJs, but around 3 AM we were realizing that we might have outgrown the party-all-night phase of life.

This morning brought one of my favorite party weekend traditions: Sunday morning breakfasts at the diner. I even let myself have carbs (an english muffin!) so I’m pretty much in deficit as far as being a good dieter for the week, but it was so worth it.

Thanks to everyone who came out…I had an amazing time. Love you guys!!

Our Hamster is Sick

Posted by Carly Morgan

Good news: We reached our required number of rooms for our wedding. As part of our contract, we are required to have at least 25 rooms booked on Disney property for ourselves and our guests. I was a little worried about hitting that number, but at last count we had 80 rooms and not all of our wedding party has booked yet. Woohoo! We’ll probably end up around 90…assuming that people get on the ball and book their rooms. Disney is releasing our unbooked this Sunday, so hopefully people grab them before they are gone.

Bad news: Our hamster is really sick. It’s frustrating to have a sick hamster because people assume that it will just die because that’s what hamsters do, but Kyle and I have been nursing it for the last two days, taking shifts to make sure that we get her pedialyte and baby food. I even had to help her poop a couple of times (don’t ask). At the moment I have her on hamster web cam so I can watch her from work. Send pixie dust!

Here’s Beenie crawlin’ around…

How Kyle Proposed

Posted by Carly Morgan

This is a great story.

Last night, Kyle came home from work right as I was finishing my workout and he reminded me that we had a standing date to go see the Zoolights, which is the Christmas lights up at the Columbus zoo. Last night was the special members’ preview night and since we’re zoo members we’d gotten a postcard about it. I was NOT feeling it, though, because it’s been incredibly cold here and I was already exhausted from working out, so I sat down and made Kyle go get Subway for dinner.

When he got back he just kept pushing the Zoolights thing and I was really starting to get annoyed. It’s true that we go every year, but they’re going to be up until after the new year and I was sooooo not in the mood to walk around in the cold. I can’t say no to that cute face, though, so after a while we got all bundled up and headed to the zoo. We knew we were only going to have about an hour at the zoo when we got there, but he was just so excited…

I was actually in a good mood by the time we got there. Kyle let me change his radio station from talk radio to Delilah and her non-stop Christmas music, so I had caught the holiday bug. There are some people out there who are hostile about the fact that they’re playing Christmas music already. To you, I say “pttttthhhhhh” because we had a lovely time singing Oh Holy Night at the top of our lungs as we drove through the snow.

Now, to appreciate the next bit of this story, I’m afraid I’m going to have to pull you back into a flashback, nineties style…(imagine the picture fading…the music swelling…suddenly Carly steps onto the screen with crimped hair and legwarmers…):

March 2004
We’re in Kyle’s car, on the way to the zoo. It’s the same car he had when we were in WDW on the college program and I positively love being in it. I try to check my hair in the side mirror for the hundredth time without being too obvious. My first-vacation-to-Ohio wardrobe consists mainly of workout pants, t-shirts, and ponytail holders because I was under the impression that Kyle and I were going to hang out at the dorm, watch movies, and complain about our love lives. Instead, when I got off the plane, he was waiting for me and I realized that he was much cuter now than I remembered. Much cuter. Much Much cuter. And now I’m stuck in Ohio with a sub-par wardrobe and absolutely no hair products.

As we drive along through the foreign streets of a place called Dublin, Ohio, Kyle is rambling on and on about a movie idea he’s come up with. It’s the first time that we’ve really been alone since I got into town the day before, as we’d spent all of yesterday hanging out with Kyle’s fun roommates. At some point during the last 16 hours it had occurred to me that I was in trouble. Kyle was way too cute and we have a whole week ahead of us. At some point, we are going to have to traverse the territory of are-we-more-than-just-friends and it had been years and years since I’d attempted that one. As he talks and talks, I’m imagining possible conversation starters in my head…

Kyle, you know how sometimes you remember someone as being not cute but then they’re really hot when they pick you up from the airport?
Kyle, you know how my type of guy is basically everything that you are?
Kyle, you know how I’m not listening to a word you’re saying?

As we turn into the zoo parking lot, I start to panic. I literally have no idea what he’s been rambling on about for the last half hour and there was no way I’m going to survive three hours of walking around the zoo, thinking about how cute he is and stressing about whether or not it would be ok to hold his hand. Plus, my preoccupation is making me a really interesting visitor…I think during the last thirty minutes I’ve given him two grunts, a series of noncommittal shrugs, and a full out “Oh, that’s nice.”

We park and he turns to me. I really have no idea where I pull out the courage for this next move, but if I’m never brave about anything for the rest of my life than this moment is still worth it. I kiss him. Just lean over and kiss him like it’s one of those things that happens every day. When I stop kissing him, I open my eyes to see that he has the biggest grin on his face. We both get out of the car, grinning like idiots, and when I look at him over the roof of the convertible I actually think, ‘You don’t even know, but I am so going to marry you.’

And that’s when we realize that Kyle has just locked the keys in the car with the engine still running.

Yes, the whole locked car engine running thing is sort of my fault, which Kyle unchivalrously pointed out about one minute after it happened. It also sort of killed the mood and we did in fact spend the next three hours trying to gauge whether or not it was ok to hold hands. In one memorable moment, Kyle actually attempted to put his arm around me, but in true Carly fashion I turned my head at the last second and got a finger in my eye.

All of this was far behind us as we pulled into the parking lot last night. The lot is crowded with cars and parents leaving the zoo with their frozen children. Still, as we pull into the parking spot, I can’t help but tease him a little. “Ok, this time, turn the car off, put the keys in your pocket and then get out.” He ignores me (like he always does when I make this joke) and just smiles. I give him a quick kiss and try to get out, but he grabs my sleeve.
“I love you.”
“Yep, love you too.” Again, I try to get out. Again, I am grabbed.
“I love you more.”
“Ok, for real, get out of the car. It’s 30 degrees outside and I didn’t get bundled up so we could hang out in the parking lot.” I manage to make it out of the car this time. Kyle also gets out and shuts the door…with the engine still running.
“Are you being serious? The car is still on. Seriously, what is wrong with you when it comes to this parking lot?”
“Come here.”
“Kyle, I’m f#^@ing freezing and if I don’t see some lights in the next ten seconds, I’m going to flip out.”

In response, he just stands there smiling at me and I stomp around to the other side of the car, assuming he’s going to show me the rust spots on the side of the driver’s door for about the eight hundreth time (he’s been bugging me for a new car for months). Instead, when I walk around, he holds out a giant ball with little legs.

It’s Rhino, the hamster from Bolt (new Disney movie), and I love him madly. We have a hamster so everything I’ve seen from the movie just delights me. I’m instantly non-irritated and take the stuffed animal, cuddling his little circular body. I’m just about to say thank you, when Kyle does something totally unexpected.

He drops to one knee.

As other zoo members walk around us and murmer to each other, Kyle Morgan holds out a small stuffed Mickey Mouse and says, “Will you marry me?” I’m so completely shocked that it just adds to the delight. Of course, this is the third proposal. The first was quiet and romantic, but rather spur of the moment. The second was silly and fun, on the steps of a Cincinnati restaurant after we’d finally gotten my ring. But this last one, with Kyle holding out a Mickey in the same place we stood four years earlier, is perfect.

And then it gets better. I notice that Mickey has something stuck to his nose. At first I think it’s something the price tag used to be attached to, but as I look closer, I realize that it’s a Mickey Mouse ring. Just to keep you in the loop, I’m afraid I need to do another flashback…

January 2005
We’re in WDW and we’re not dating but I love him madly. For this reason, my heart jumps up into my throat when Kyle casually asks me which of the rings that I’m browsing is the one he should get me when he proposes. He’s teasing me, of course, but it’s one of those teasing moments that you positively live for when you’re crazy in love with your best friend. I put on my fake-serious face and scour the racks for the perfect ring. It’s small, silver, and has a single crystal Mickey on it. I hand it to him and tell him he might as well just buy it now, to save time. I admit that I’m honestly just a bit disappointed when he laughs and puts it back…

I had no idea he remembered that moment. I didn’t even remember it until I saw the ring. But there it was, stuck on Mickey’s nose and just the ring I’d wanted him to propose with. Like I said, completely perfect.

And, for your viewing pleasure, some loveliness from the rest of our cozy, hot cocoa-ed night…


The cutest boy in the world.

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