30 September 2014

Weekend Re-cap ~

Happy Aloha Monday!

Hope you all had a great weekend.

Mine flew by and was jam-packed. Saturday, I attended the Joint Spouse Conference at MCBH (Marine Corps Base Hawaii.) 


The JSC was an opportunity for 300 military spouses to get together and participate in different workshops. The four that I chose were Elegant Appetizers (a cooking demo), Wine & Food Pairing, Stand-up Paddleboarding, and Mai Tais & Monet (a painting class.) They also provided breakfast, lunch, and a cocktail hour. It was a blast :)

Sunday, I got to attend the Wings over the Pacific Air Show at Hickam AF Base. It was amazing to finally get to see the Blue Angels fly.

video


This weekend really had me thinking a lot about living in Hawaii as a military spouse. I was telling one of my girlfriends last night that living here is unlike anywhere else I have ever lived in so many ways and I don't think it will ever compare to anywhere else that we live in the future.

That might sound like an obvious observation, but what I'm referring to is probably different from what your first thought might be. 

Living in Hawaii as a military spouse, in my opinion, is a completely difference experience than living here as a civilian. I'm sure other spouses who have lived here would agree that there is a very large military presence on the island. If you were to visit Oahu on vacation, you may not notice is as much, but since we arrived five months ago, I have noticed it tremendously. There are some days when I feel like the whole island is just all military.

All branches of the military have a presence here on Oahu. There is the Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe Bay, Schofield Barracks (Army), Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (Navy and Air Force), and even the Coast Guard has a small installation at Barber's Point.

Even though we don't live on base, I feel like I spend a lot of my time on a base, somewhere. Whether it's renting stand-up paddleboards at the Marina on Kaneohe Bay, having dinner with friends at Sam Choy's on Hickam Harbor, or shopping at the commissary on Schofield. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind it. In fact, it's a good feeling and a it's safe feeling.

I think living in Hawaii is a very unique opportunity as a military spouse in that I have the opportunity to connect with spouses with all different kinds of military backgrounds. I also feel completely immersed in the culture, more-so than I probably ever will be again; and that, is what I mean about it being a completely different experience.

What has been your experience living in or near a military installation? Have you ever lived in Hawaii?

24 September 2014

Our Wedding, Part 1 - Bridal Portraits

Hi friends!
Thank you all for the warm welcome, it's good to be back in the blogosphere. I know a lot of you have continued to follow me on Instagram and even Facebook and that has been awesome. I'm so glad that I have had the opportunity to meet such amazing ladies through blogging.

Since it's been a while, I decided to share some details about our wedding, starting with my bridal portraits. 

I know that bridal portraits are typically a southern tradition and although I am not originally from the South, I was determined to do it right and have them done. 

We had the same photographer do everything from my bridal portraits to engagement photos (which I've already shared) to our wedding and reception. I couldn't be happier with all of their hard work and how everything turned out.

Now that the big day has passed, I can finally share my photos with the world. 


Here are some of my faves!





And..last, but not least, the photo that was on display at our reception.



All photos are by Aaron & Jillian Photography (formerly Aaron Nicholas Photography.)
Location: Old Wide Awake Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina
Dress: Austin by Watters
Jewelry: Nicole Miller via Rent the Runway
Veil: Mini Tulle Birdcage Veil by Tessa Kim
Shoes: Something Bleu via BHLDN


Thank y'all for stopping by!

22 September 2014

A New Start.

From the blog previously known as 
Honor, Courage, Commitment...

Hey y'all!

So I've been thinking for a long time about how I need to get my blog back up and running, but I've been struggling because I didn't know where to start. This year has been so crazy and busy and there is just so much to catch up on. I finally decided tonight though, that I just need to bite the bullet and dive right in.

One of the first things that you may notice, is my new blog layout and name. Thank you to 17th Avenue Designs for the super cute design! As for the name, I decided to change it because Shaun and I finally moved to the beautiful State of Hawaii and it only seemed appropriate for this new chapter in our lives. All I need now is to add my new 'about me' image, which will be coming soon!


Here is a quick little timeline to get you all caught up to speed --


April 13, 2014 - We tied the knot in Charleston, SC with all of our closest family and friends! It was a day that I will never forget.



April 24, 2014 - Shaun and I hopped on a plane and flew to Hawaii to start this new chapter.


May 2-11, 2014 - We honeymooned on the North Shore of Oahu and in Maui.


June 18, 2014 - We closed on our first home.



September 16, 2014 - Shaun got promoted to Chief Petty Officer.




Present - Getting settled and living it up in our new home.



There ya go. See, I wasn't kidding when I said it's been a crazy year! It may already be September, but we still have many more things to look forward to this year and I promise to keep my blog up to speed.

Hope everyone has been doing well! I need to spend some time catching up on everyone elses' lives now!

27 February 2014

Our Engagement Photo Session ~

A couple weeks ago, Shaun and I had the pleasure of working with our wedding photographers on our engagement photo session. We had a great time and I couldn't be more excited to work with them not once, but twice more on my bridal shoot and the actual wedding.

As I mentioned, Aaron Nicholas Photography, is our photographer and they are a husband and wife team (Aaron & Jill.) I couldn't be happier with choosing them and if you are getting married in the Charleston area, I highly recommend them!

Here is a look at some of my favorites!












You can see the whole album, in it's entirety... HERE.

ps - Just realized that there are an awful lot of 'kissing' shots..oops!


25 February 2014

Wedding Planning Update!

Hi friends! Yes, I know it has been a long time once again, but this wedding planning thing is no joke. Have I mentioned that I spend pretty much every free moment [at work] online whether it's creating the photo book for our guest book, searching for the perfect bridesmaids gifts, or shopping for shower & rehearsal dinner outfits?

On top of that, we have received our official paper orders to Hawaii AND have been pre-approved for a VA loan! We have been in contact with a realtor on Oahu and have also been busy reviewing the listings that she sends us each day. Craziness!

Luckily, there is quite a bit that I have been able to get done lately and I have updated my list below accordingly.

Months Four, Five, and Six....


Arrange for Families to Meet
Hire a wedding planner
Book Photographer - Aaron Nicholas Photography
Book Videographer - Dreampop Media
Book Officiant - Seacoast Church
Book reception DJ - Creative Sound
Purchase wedding dress
Choose bridesmaids dresses
Order flower girl's dresses
Book caterer - Cru Catering
Book florist - So Gorgeous Florals
Set-up wedding website
Choose groomsmen's attire
Place suit orders
Compile guest list 
Send save-the-dates
Order invitations
Choose wedding party
Book hotel room blocks
Get engagement ring appraised & insured
Book honeymoon - Figure that out once we get to Hawaii.

Three months....

Proof Invitations
Help mom with ordering bridal shower invitations
Set-up registries - Macy's, Pottery Barn, Kohl's
Book location for rehearsal dinner
Schedule food tasting
Schedule walk-through of ceremony/ reception sites
Hire ceremony musicians
Choose cake maker - Publix
Order veil and/or headpiece
Book day-of coordinator
Shop for wedding bands
Buy wedding bands
Choose rentals (glassware, dinnerware, linens, etc.)
Engagement photos
Compile list for showers
Meet with officiant to plan ceremony
Shop for bride/ groom rehearsal outfits
Shop for shower/ bachelorette dresses
First dress fitting
Buy shower hostess gifts
DIY rehearsal/welcome reception invitations
Pre-marital counseling - In process

Two months....

Stuff and mail invitations
Book hotel room for wedding night
Hire hair & makeup person - Ash & Co.
Buy gifts for wedding party
Research marriage license requirements
Buy undergarments, shoes, jewelry
Compile ceremony/ reception music
Draft schedule of events for wedding weekend
Order monogrammed cocktail napkins
Bridal portraits/ hair & makeup trial - March 3!
Bridal shower - March 9!
Book transportation from reception to hotel

4-6 weeks....

Gifts for out-of-town guests? koozies? (southern state of mind)
Create final schedule of events for all vendors
Final dress fitting - March 1!
DIY photo guestbook - process
Print programs/ menus?
Meet with photographer/ list of must-do photos
Meet with videographer/ list of must-do shots
Bachelorette party/ Girls' weekend - March 28-30!
DIY signs for reserved seating & seat yourself
DIY monograms for front door of venue
DIY signs for Rte 162 & Trexler Ave. DIY table signage (menu, etc.) 
Frame bridal portrait
Order sparklers for send off
Rehearsal dinner groom's cake
Final vendor payments
Music selections to band and ceremony artist
Order thank you notes

Last two weeks...

Thank you dinner @ Halls w/ parents & siblings
Manicures/ pedicures
Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner/ welcome reception
Organize tip envelopes for vendors
Get dress steamed
Walk down the aisle & say, "I do!" 



I'd like to think that I'm sticking to the schedule pretty well. Shaun still has to pick out suits for himself and the groomsmen. Hopefully we'll get that done soon.

Other than that, invitations are out, my dress is almost done at the seamstress and I'm really looking forward to my hair & makeup trial and bridal shoot next Monday! 

I think the next big thing is going to be buying our wedding bands. We know which ones we want, it's just a matter of going out and getting them.

Hope you all are doing well! More wedding updates soon!


27 January 2014

Our Photographer: Aaron Nicholas Photography

Happy Monday morning y'all!

I hope you all had a great weekend. Shaun and I attended the big annual Oyster Festival here in Charleston over the weekend while his family was in town. We had a blast per usual and still got home early enough to order in for dinner with some sweet friends and taste some wedding cake samples!

Today, I would like to introduce you to our fabulous wedding photographers, Jill and her partner-in-crime, Aaron (her husband!)

{used with permission}

 I had come across a few other photographers in the area that I had really liked, who didn't end up working out. I was a little bummed, but when I found Aaron Nicholas Photography, I knew they were the ones.

I've had a blast getting to know Jill over the past month or so and am really looking forward to having both her and Aaron do our engagement photos and my bridal shoot. I know that working with them prior to the wedding is going to make the actual day so much better.

Can't wait to share our photos with you!

In the meantime, check out some of the amazing work these two have done in the past.

Aaron Nicholas Photography 


Enjoy!



16 January 2014

I know I haven't given my blog a whole lot of love lately....

but, I did today! I designed and put up a new header along with fixing the menu tabs, which was a long time coming.

I've come a long way since the last time I posted about our wedding. I've crossed a lot more off the list since December 16 (we are on the 'Short Engagement' timeline lol!)


Months Four, Five, and Six....

Arrange for Families to Meet
Hire a wedding planner
Book Photographer - Aaron Nicholas Photography
Book Videographer - Dreampop Media
Book Officiant - Seacoast Church
Book reception DJ - Creative Sound
Purchase wedding dress
Choose bridesmaids dresses
Order flower girl's dresses
Book caterer - Cru Catering
Book florist - So Gorgeous Florals
Set-up wedding website
Choose groomsmen's attire
Place suit orders
Compile guest list 
Send save-the-dates
Order invitations - Working on that now
Choose wedding party
Book hotel room blocks
Get engagement ring appraised & insured
Book honeymoon - 3-4 year "honeymoon" to Hawaii ;)

Three months....


Proof Invitations
Help mom with ordering bridal shower invitations
Set-up registries - Macy's, Pottery Barn, Kohl's
Book location for rehearsal dinner
Schedule food tasting
Schedule walk-through of ceremony/ reception sites
Hire ceremony musicians
Choose cake maker
Order veil and/or headpiece
Book day-of coordinator
Shop for wedding bands
Choose rentals (glassware, dinnerware, linens, etc.)
Engagement photos
Compile list for showers
Meet with officiant to plan ceremony
Shop for bride/ groom rehearsal outfits
Shop for shower/ bachelorette dresses
First dress fitting
Buy shower hostess gifts
DIY rehearsal/welcome reception invitations
Pre-marital counseling - In process

Two months....

Stuff and mail invitations
Book hotel room for wedding night
Hire hair & makeup person - Ash & Co.
Buy gifts for wedding party
Research marriage license requirements
Buy undergarments, shoes, jewelry
Compile ceremony/ reception music
Draft schedule of events for wedding weekend
Order monogrammed cocktail napkins
Bridal portraits/ hair & makeup trial
Bridal shower - March 9!
Book transportation from reception to hotel


4-6 weeks....

Gifts for out-of-town guests? koozies? (southern state of mind)
Create final schedule of events for all vendors
Final dress fitting
DIY photo guestbook
Print programs/ menus?
Meet with photographer/ list of must-do photos
Meet with videographer/ list of must-do shots
Bachelorette party/ Girls' weekend!
DIY signs for reserved seating & seat yourself

DIY monograms for front door of venue

DIY signs for Rte 162 & Trexler Ave.
DIY table signage (menu, etc.) 
Frame bridal portrait
Order sparklers for send off
Rehearsal dinner groom's cake
Final vendor payments
Music selections to band and ceremony artist
Order thank you notes
Last two weeks...


Thank you dinner @ Halls w/ parents & siblings
Manicures/ pedicures
Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner/ welcome reception
Organize tip envelopes for vendors
Get dress steamed

Walk down the aisle & say, "I do!" 


Okay, maybe I lied. It feels like I got a lot done, but according to this list, I still have a LOT to do. There are many things in the works right now so hopefully I'll be able to check off a few more in the next week or so :)

I'll fill y'all in on more soon!





16 December 2013

Christmas Wish List ~

It's that time of year when I start daydreaming about all the fun things that I would like from Santa.

Usually, I have things in mind like scarves, boots, cozy sweaters, etc., but with our impending move to Hawaii in just a few months, there really isn't any point in asking for all of those things.

Instead, I've added some items to my list that are fun year-round and things that I will really be able to use in our new local.



It's all pretty self-explantatory. I would also love some new yoga gear form Lululemon and anything off our registries at Macy's, Pottery Barn, or Kohl's :)


What's on your Christmas list this year???

11 December 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaids Dresses!

After looking at a LOT of different inspiration photos, I knew that I wanted to use blush pink and ivory as the two main colors for our wedding theme. Little did I know that it would make finding the perfect bridesmaids dresses a very stressful process!

Turns out every designer has their own version of "blush" and finding one that was perfect was a harder decision than I thought it would be. 

I also wanted to take the price into consideration because several of my bridesmaids are traveling from out-of-state so that was another challenge that I had to contend with.

I had many favorites, but when I saw this dress, I knew it was the one.

Mori Lee, style #682 in Ivory Lace and Blush Chiffon


Now, apparently no pictures exist of this dress in the exact colors that I'm using so the above photo is the exact style, but think Ivory lace. The photo of the dress below is the exact colors.



Can't wait to see this beautiful dress on all my girls!

10 December 2013

A Small Dose of Reality...

Last Friday, Shaun and I attended a commissioning ceremony for a good friend of ours. He was picked up for the Navy LDO program and will be leaving in just about a week for officer training. Once his training is complete, he and his wife will be moving to Guam where he will carry out his next sea tour.


This was the first commissioning ceremony that I had ever been to and it was surprisingly very emotional! This is a HUGE step in Jeremy's career and a huge step for both him and his wife as a married couple.

While Shaun will not be receiving a commission just yet, this will be us in a matter of months when we leave for Hawaii. I am so happy for our friends, but I will miss them so much!

Toward the end of the ceremony, it really started to hit me that we will have to say, "see you soon" to all of the wonderful friends that we've made here in Charleston. While I am excited for a new adventure, it is going to be very hard to leave after three years.

On the other hand, we are moving to Hawaii, unbelievable! I guess I will just have to hope and pray that lots of friends and family come to visit us there.


 
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