July 27, 2012


I'm in the midst of what we call "christening week" in my job as Special Event coordinator for a military shipbuilder. SO I have to confess, this blog post was written a few days ago and scheduled to post today. I didn't want to miss my usual monthly countdown, but also didn't want to force myself to have to write a blog post during one of the craziest weeks of my job.

Mr. Groom had a sort of pre-bachelor party this weekend, complete with a deep sea fishing trip with 4 of his 'besties' followed by a night of debauchery on Bourbon Street. I wonder how many nights like that it will take to make those boys realize they aren't 21 anymore? ;) I got to hang with them for a little while Sunday morning before everyone took off, as I was coming into town for "christening week."

I'm writing this post in absolute shock that the wedding is just three short months away. At times I ask myself if planning a wedding in just eight months was the smartest thing to do... But when I step back and consider that the alternative - I think even one day later would have been too much time to wait. Mr. Groom and I are so ready to start our lives together and our wedding day, Day 1, can't come soon enough.

July 24, 2012

Here they are... the flower girls!

Ladies and gentlemen, it's now time for me to introduce to you the cutest members of the bridal party (no offense, bridesmaids)... The flower girls! I started out wedding planning saying that I wouldn't have any miniature members of the bridal party, but then quickly decided it would simply be incomplete without a few extra little girls. Since the bridesmaids received a special packet asking them to participate, I thought it only appropriate that the little girls get something too.

Special book

Sweet illustrations
The poem I found online and thought was great
Special flower girl package!
Without further ado, meet Emma and Isabella!

Miss Emma Lynn Grace Ederer is 4 years old and is anxiously awaiting her 5th birthday in January. She enjoys playing with her classmates in her Pre-K class at a local Catholic school. Emma loves to play with her dog, Anna, the sweetest Pit Bull you'd ever meet. Miss Emma just became a big sister and thinks it's so fun now to play with Baby Claire. She also loves reading, putting together puzzles, playing "dress up" and like most coast girls, she LOVES swimming and going out on the boat. You can bet Emma will make a happy plate if you're serving fried fish, cheese pizza, fruit snacks or chicken. No surprise here, her favorite colors are purple and pink! She can't wait until the wedding because she is so excited about wearing a pretty dress and "high heels."
Emma being silly pretending she's Minnie Mouse;
Kris, Heather, Emma and Baby Claire at Claire's Baptism;
Beautiful Emma during her photo shoot :)
Emma's mommy, Heather and I are first cousins, so I definitely wanted to include her in our big day. Emma is the daughter of Kris and Heather Ederer, and I was honored to be a bridesmaid in their wedding back in April of 2010. 

The other half of my flower girl duo is Miss Isabella Grace Burks. She, too, is 4 years old, and will blow out her candles in November. She is also in Pre-K class at a local school. Isabella has a cat, named Madison, who is actually older than she is, Madison the Cat is 11 years old! Isabella loves to sing and dance and takes both ballet and tumbling classes. A very girly girl, she also loves to play "dress up" and try on Mommy's heels and carry a purse. Every now and then, Isabella can be caught playing cars with her big brother Dawson, though. Of course her favorite color is pink and she loves sausage pizza. Isabella is most excited about being in the wedding because she can't wait to wear a fancy dress!

Bella posing before her dance recital this summer;
Charlie, Donna, Dawson, and Isabella arriving at Disney World earlier this year;
Bella meets Beauty and the Beast's Belle :)
A special family connection ties Isabella to me. A very long time ago, in the early 60s, my mom and Aunt Debbie were flower girls for their Aunt 'Net's wedding. Aunt 'Net's daughter Donna, then was my mom's flower girl in my parents' wedding. I, then, was the 'guest-book girl' for Donna's wedding. Now, guess what? Isabella is the daughter of Donna and her husband Charlie. Although Aunt 'Net left us far too soon after a battle with cancer, we know she'll be smiling down on all these special girls on October 27.

Isabella was so excited when she got her Flower Girl present she couldn't stop giggling and demanded that her mommy, Donna, read it right away! She was so touched by being asked to be flower girl that she even decided to give her brother, Dawson a job at the wedding. Since the last wedding they attended had bubbles, she deemed Dawson to be the Bubble Boy. Although we're not planning on having bubbles, we'll have to find something very special for Dawson to do. :)

It definitely seems as though I picked the right two little ladies to stand by my side - they both love playing dress up and can't wait to wear the fancy dress! That's kind of the way I feel about the wedding day, too!

Leave a comment telling me how memorable the addition of a flower girl or ring bearer made your wedding! Or just leave some sugar for Emma or Isabella. :)

July 19, 2012

1oo DAYS!

This will be a brief post because there is SO much going on in my life right now. Between wedding plans, MARRIAGE plans, work events on the horizon, personal health issues, and going out of town all next week for a major work event = my brain is feeling like scrambled eggs. But totally not in the way like those "this is your brain on drugs" commercials.

Anyway - I felt like a milestone day like today couldn't go unnoticed. Today marks the last triple digit day left until I am Mrs. Kevin Kowalewski. I'm so ready for marriage, the wedding just needs a little more tweaking til it's done. :)

As promised, I'm closing now, but just know, there's some VERY EXCITING NEWS that I can't wait to be able to tell everyone!

July 15, 2012

Til Death Brew us Part: Groom as Guest Blogger

Kevin with his two kegs of beer for July 4th
I mentioned in my previous post that I'd be welcoming a Mystery Guest blogger. I had no idea he was so on top of his writing! Without further ado, meet my handsome groom, Kevin! He surprised me with this one, he's a better writer than either of us gives him credit for.

While I'm off in quilting and wedding planning land, this is where Kevin is, brewing beer! He brewed two batches this summer and I was surprised by how good it was!

My lady followers, feel free to read on, but this post is definitely for the boys!

Homemade brewstands.

Guest blog from Kevin:

For the wedding at Cana, Jesus turned water into wine. For our wedding I am turning water into beer. I have been an avid fan of home brewing since I first turned 21. I take a lot of pride in my beer, just as much now as I did back then then.

That first batch of beer has a special place in my memory, and has left a lasting taste on my palate. I started out making 5 gallon batches of beer in a bucket out of canned liquid malt extract. I made that first batch by the book, Charlie Papazian’s The Joy of Homebrewing

I was attempting to make an India Pale Ale for my first beer. 

It is a beer drinker’s beer.

Heavy on the hops. 

Heavy on the malt. 

Heavy on the alcohol kick. 

I carefully measured out and combined my ingredients into a boiling hot wort. Diligently adding hops to the boil at prescribed times to ensure the proper flavor was achieved. I took my temperature and hydrometer readings carefully and after cooling the wort from the boil, I let the mixture ferment for two weeks.

After two weeks I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer as it was finally time to open the fermenting bucket and see what my wort had turned into. BEER! I open that bucket and smelled the magical aroma of Pacific Northwest hops. I had created beer. Now it was just a matter of getting the beer out of the five gallon bucket and into a manageable container.

My first attempt at bottling beer proved to be dangerous. To carbonate the beer, you transfer the beer out of the fermentation bucket into the bottles, and add a little bit of corn sugar. As the beer carbonated up over the next few weeks, it became apparent that I used too much sugar due to bottles spontaneously exploding. It was a HUGE mess.

In the middle of the night, one of these bottle bombs would go off, and everyone in the household would wake up scared shitless. This fact made it necessary to start drinking the beer, and fast.

The first sip I took of my first beer. It brought back the memory of my first sip of beer as a kid. 

PID electronics
There are no words to describe how that beer tasted, the anticipation of the first taste far surpassed the actual taste .

It had the aroma of 50 dandelions coupled with the sweetness of an unripened persimmon and the refreshing finish of mouthwash. One drink of this stuff and 3 days later my breath was still kicking.

Over time, my techniques, equipment, and ingredients improved. I went from using malt extract out of a can, to whole malts, and from a handheld dial thermometer, to PID temperature control. 

My beer has slowly graduated into a very drinkable form.

The question is what style of beer should I make to commemorate the big day?

This summer's brew. Foaming nicely.

Mid-month update: July

I've always heard people say how things just begin to fall in place with wedding planning. I always thought they were liars. Or just extremely lucky. I think we are finally getting to that phase of our planning. Sheesh, we're almost 3 months out, THANK GOD things are finally getting right.

We've finally got our caterer nailed down. After much deliberation between two of them, I've decided to go with Broome's Catering out of Ocean Springs. I won't mention the other contender, but we basically are going with Broome's because of their amazing prices and the ease of communication with the owner, Buddy. He's extremely easy to work with and totally willing to compromise when it comes to menu changes or substitutions. I will admit I did have some initial hesitation going with them, the pictures on their website aren't too impressive. But they were at the Premier Bridal Show today in Biloxi and the presentation was much better, which is more along the lines of what you'll see on October 27. :) I snapped a few quick pics of them in action.
Fruit, cheese, and veggie trays. YUM!

Close-up of the cheese and veggie trays.

Some of the awesome seafood options. CRAB DIP, come to mama!

The carving station.
We accomplished a biggie today, as a matter of fact. My main goal in going to the Premier Bridal Show today was to catch up with the wonderful Susie Davis at A Plan to Remember. Worries about day-of activities have been driving me crazy and causing #momzilla and me to battle nearly every day (sometimes multiple times per day). Yep. That's right, folks, I'll cut to the chase: We hired a wedding coordinator! That sound? Oh, that was the 15 monkeys falling off my back.

Now don't y'all worry, though, I'm still doing the pre-planning stuff. You'll still be getting my updates about the mundane activities of my last 3 months as a Humphrey.

But Susie is going to save the day, she'll come in for the rehearsal and day-of the wedding. In a way, she gets to play devil's advocate. :) She gets to be bossy mean give directions to my family and friends when it would be inappropriate for me to do so... You know... Like when it's time to walk down the aisle and dad has his boutonniere on the wrong side of his tux coat.

Anyway - That's all I've got for tonight.

Tell me what kind of posts you'd like to see, followers!

Upcoming posts:
- St. Louis engagement party recap
- Flower girls announced!
- Honeymoon101
- Mystery Guest Blogger

July 11, 2012

It's here!

Well the Southern Proper Monograms wooden cut-out I've been rattling on about has finally arrived! I love how it turned out, and although I'd originally had plans to paint it, I'm really digging the natural finish.

But my plans for this bad boy are for it to go forth and multiply! This crafty lady is about to get crazy with some posterboard and trace some duplicates to put all over the place at the wedding reception. Why? Well I'm not sure. But why not? :)

I want to know what my other crafty friends would do to something like this? I LOVE comments and hearing from y'all so bring. it. on.

July 9, 2012

Consider us branded!

Like any good communications professional, I am absolutely determined to brand our wedding. As with our events, I wanted a unifying element to plaster on anything I can get my hands on; a logo, if you will, to let people know they're viewing an official Sheila-Kevin wedding document. :)

I got this bright idea to ask my Matron of Honor to help me bring my ideas to life. Convenient that she's a graphic artist beginning her own free lance biz, huh? 

The shape of the outline of the monogram is the same shape you might recognize from our Save the Dates (if you received one, of course). The color of the logo is made to match the bridesmaid. The letters of the monogram itself, well, that's a funny story. I was tossing around quite a few fonts on my screen. Sending them back and forth to Laura to see what she thought. After sending Laura an email with this font and a couple others, I came upon Southern Proper Monograms. In a mouseclick that seemed like destiny, I discovered that this company only sells two different fonts of their large wooden cut-out monograms... A loopy, fancy schmancy font, and this one! I knew then that it was fate that I'd already found this font earlier and sent it to Laura. Before she even had a chance to look at the other fonts, I'd ordered the wooden cut-out and replied to my own previous email letting her know of my selection.

There will be a few other variations of the logo, one featuring the date, another in a different color, etc. But the concept will remain the same. 

I hope you like it!

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