Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Inside Out

Hello Blog world! I am finally updated after unplugging for a week at the beach! It was a great time to get away and just relax. The best part: there was no internet! Which meant I couldn't really work. It was glorious! We got back and launched straight into The Darling Wedding Workshop which I will be posting more about soon! It was exhausting and so hot, but totally worth it!

I used to have a personal blog, but between the kiddos, life, work, and maybe just sheer laziness, I stopped blogging. Which means that every now and again the business blog gets personal. Today is another one - so you have been warned!

Sam and I celebrated our 9th anniversary on the first of July. Wahoo! Here we are so young and so oblivious:

Anyways - we decided to keep it low key this year. We are planning a big trip next year, so we thought a family celebration would be fun. Tuesday is $5 movies in Cary, so we decided to get some Chick-Fil-A and go take the kiddos to see Inside Out.

A little side note here- I screen most things the kiddos watch mostly because Ada is really sensitive to what she sees. When she was a baby - about 12 months old, we were watching Super Why and there was a show about Baby Joy (I think??) crying and as Ada watched, she too had tears rolling down her cheek. As he learned how to cheer up his sister, she smiled, clapped, and breathed a big sigh of relief. She is an emotional kid and empathetic to the core. I read some reviews on it and it seemed fine. 

Ada was so excited to go to the movies. It is normally a treat and it was "super dark" so she felt like a big kid. The movie is super cute and it has a great message. But it was emotional. It had some pretty sad moments in it and at times Ada was about to lose it. Sam noticed it first and grabbed her hand, and then I held her hand. She made it through the movie, but just lost it in the car. I mean big sobbing tears. She was pretty tired, but her heart just could not handle all the emotions of the movie.

We tucked her in and talked a little about it, but told her we would talk more in the morning. She was too tired to have any kind of productive conversation. The next day she woke up and was still a little somber, but inquisitive. We talked about the movie, the sad parts, and she asked lots of questions - "Why do people watch sad movies?" "Why did Sadness turn all her memories blue" "Why did anger give her that bad idea?" We talked about it all and it seemed to put her at ease. She decided she was too little for that movie and maybe when she was six she could watch it again. 

Well Tuesday came around (a week later) and while we were eating dinner, a whole new slew of questions came. The neat thing was that it was something she had been thinking on for a while. She asked very good questions about memories and why we forget things (like Bing Bong fading), imaginary friends, and how emotions can control our actions. 

We are sitting there, eating, and she just nonchalantly says - "I think fear controls a lot of my actions." I just looked at her, and I could not believe this came out of a five year old. I asked her to elaborate why she thinks that.

"Well, I am afraid of Liam messing up my pictures, or Henry ruining the tower I just built. Have you seen Liam with paper? He just balls it up! He takes it and crinkles it!" 

Valid fears of a five year old. We talked about not letting fear control us. We talked about how hard and scary it is to make new friends, but she does every where she goes. Or how hard it is to tell the truth, or do the right thing. So even though she is afraid of someone messing up her stuff, she really has the power to let joy, or forgiveness, or grace, or love control her. 

I asked her what controls Daddy. "Joy! He loves to make us laugh - and it makes him laugh." 

What controls Mommy? "I don't know. Stress? Like that time you forgot all the cards with the names and Daddy had to get them to you and he said you were really stressed. You stress about making everything perfect for the bride because they want it beautiful. You have an important job to help the brides. But that is why I don't want to be a wedding planner - it is too stressed."

I just didn't even know what to say. She is right. Stress does control a lot of my life. It has grown exponentially in the last year with The Bradford and Bushel and Peck. It is...overwhelming at times. I always think - do the kids notice? Henry doesn't - but my empathetic little girl does. She can read every emotion on my face and she is not afraid to call me out on it.

"Are you mad mommy?"
"Are you sad mommy?"
"Do you feel REALLY tired? You look REALLY tired."
"Are you just frustrated mommy?"
"Are you stressed?" 

This isn't a new realization. I know it has been a stressful year. This past Spring was a doozy. I seriously was about to lose it the end of June. I was just on the verge that last week. It was all I could do to keep it together and just finish out the season. I did. It was perfect and gorgeous.  

This job is a roller coaster. There are nights you don't sleep because something is tugging at your mind - did that florist get the extra table? Are the escort cards done? Did you get that other linen? I balance so.many.weddings that I am always fearful of forgetting something. It is hard to turn it off. I don't shut my computer off at the end of the day and just relax - there is an e-mail, a text, or a call I have to answer. The hard part about it all is that I really love what I do. I love my clients, I love the creative freedom. I feel charged and energized after meetings. I love my team. I love my colleagues. We have the best time at weddings. I love my job. Truly. 

Even though all these things are true-  what do I tell my baby girl who thinks that stress is the sole control of my life? I do love my job - but maybe it is time to scale it back. At the end of this year I (me personally - not including Courtney, Becca, or Bradford weddings) will have been in charge of over 28 weddings. I have assisted on an additional 20 more. That is a lot of weddings! And through the eyes of my 5 year old- it is too "stressed." So what do I do?

I have made a commitment to spend more time with my family and change my work schedule so I can be home most afternoons when Ada is out of school. I really had a hard conversation with the team about time versus money and how to assess what our time is really worth even if that means booking less clients. It is scary, but so necessary, not just for me, but for C and D, and for our clients! This is something that has been brewing for awhile, and we have made some tweaks, and feel pretty confident that this is the route we need to go. Being stretched so thin only makes my job harder, and I lose a part of the client experience that I love so much. No matter the amount of money I bring in, it just isn't worth it if I can't connect with my client, or feel like I gave 150% on that event. 

So I looked at Ada and told her. "You are probably right, but I am working on it."

"It's ok mommy! You are doing a really good job even with all the stressed."

And that my friends is all I needed to hear. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Soiree: Recap!

A HUGE thank you to all of you friends + family who came out to our Summer Soiree last week in support of InterAct.  We were able to raise hundreds of dollars to aid such a reputable and local nonprofit.  We truly believe in ALL of the efforts done by InterAct to aid women (and their families) who are victims of domestic abuse.

Thank you to our incredible sponsored vendors who really made the night a success!





















Photography: Crafted Focus
Catering: Fig & Honey 
Craft beer: BruePrint
Cupcakes: Ashley Cakes
Ice Cream Sundae Bar: The Freezing Pointe
Vintage furniture & accessories: GreenHouse Picker Sisters
Color jewelry Bar: Kendra Scott 
Calligraphy: All She Wrote Notes
Photo Booth: SnapIt Photo Booth
Live Band: Barbour & Hinton
Team Attire: Frill Clothing


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer Soiree Vendor Spotlight: Crafted Focus & Snap It Photo Booth

One more day! We can't wait to celebrate with our friends and raise loads of money for InterAct tomorrow night! It's not too late to RSVP!  Please remember we'll be accepting donations at the door in lieu of admission.  Make sure to check out that list here.

Final round of our vendor spotlight blogs today is featuring:

Adam of Crafted Focus will be capturing the memories of the evening!  Make sure to get your picture snapped by him tomorrow night!


We'll have a fun photo booth brought to you by SNAP IT photo booth!



Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Soiree Vendor Spotlight: Freezing Pointe, Ashley Cakes, Fig & Honey, BruePrint

Hello friends!  Hoping each of you had a wonderful 4th of July celebration!!!!

We are celebrating because THIS week is our Summer Soiree Party at the Bradford! It is a FREE event, but make sure that you and your guests RSVP at this link!

Today's vendor spotlights are AWESOME.  We love these guys:


Ashley and Josh of Ashley Cakes make about the prettiest cakes in the Triangle!! Sample some of their delicious cupcakes!

Fig and Honey will be providing some delicious appetizers for our event.  You DO NOT want to miss these yummy southern apps!



Enjoy a fresh, cold local brew from Apex's own BruePrint brewery! You'll also see a brewery tour and growler fill gift card in our silent auction!  

The Freezing Pointe will showcase their fabulous ice cream sundae bar at the Soiree.  Their homemade ice cream recipes are to DIE for!

Can't wait to see you all there!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Soiree Vendor Spotlight: Pine State Flowers, Green House Picker Sisters, All She Wrote Notes!

Happy Monday Friends!

Today's features are some fabulous ones! Meet some of our favorite vendors who will be present at our Summer Soiree....before we start - have YOU RSVP'd on Eventbrite?  Make sure you do ASAP!


Greenhouse Picker Sisters, Holly and Amanda are wonderful! They have such a unique eye for design, and will be providing the design/set up for the Soiree!  These sisters are third generation pickers!  They'll also be providing some sweet giveaways to a silent auction bidder!


Maghon from All She Wrote Notes, the Triangle's funnest calligrapher, will be on site to do some simple handwriting tutorials!  Don't miss it!  


You'll see some gorgeous garden party floral design done by the one and only Maggie of Pine State Flowers.  We LOVE her work - she grows her own flowers and most of her work captures local North Carolina beauty!





Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Soiree Vendor Spotlight: Frill Clothing & Kendra Scott Jewelry!

Hello friends! Happy (HOT) Summer Monday!

We had a wonderful wedding weekend with two very large weddings - full of beautiful designs and sweet families.  We can't wait to share those photos with you soon!  We are getting SO excited about our Summer Soiree coming up in just 3 short weeks!  Make sure you have reserved your ticket for this event!  Admission is free, we are simply asking you to bring an item or two to donate to Interact (see list of needed items on Eventbrite when you go to RSVP).

For the next few weeks, I'll be highlighting some of our sponsoring vendors for this event so that you can get to know them!  Today's highlight includes: Frill Clothing and Kendra Scott Jewelry!

Meet Kate and Sharon, owners of Frill Clothing.  They are fabulous ladies, and have created an awesome clothing line targeted towards sororities and wedding parties!  We are thrilled to be wearing Frill dresses for the event, and you'll see some of their accessories show up in our silent auction!


Kate & Sharon on Shark Tank earlier this year!


We love Frill's simple style - perfect for engagement shoots and bridal parties!
Kendra Scott will be hosting a color bar at the Soiree!  If you haven't heard of Kendra Scott jewelry, be prepared to fall in LOVE with it!  This timeless line is perfect for bridal parties!  Feel free to shop online here, but make sure you come and check out some of the gorgeous pieces on display at the color bar at the Soiree.  They'll be auctioning off some pieces in the silent auction as well!






Friday, June 12, 2015

I can't even complain

Hello Blog world. I know that I have been totally MIA for a few weeks - but I can't even begin to explain how busy we are. I know wedding planning comes in waves - I tell my clients this! But yet, I still am not even prepared for the waves! I can't say that it has slowed down - I just have, well temporarily.

Let me back it up.

Last weekend one of our own got married!

Aren't they just the cutest?!?
Kelsy and Jason were instrumental in helping getting this beast called The Bradford finished. Naturally, they chose The Bradford to have their wedding and we got to attend - well after a little bit of coordinating and flower making. The night before we were getting all the tables and rentals for Sunday's event all nice and tucked away and Court and I were moving a particularly heavy table when it fell..on my toe. Not a big deal..usually..but this time it hit in the sweet spot. I stood there for a minute and maybe said a few choice words thinking I could just walk it off. I couldn't.

The next day I hobbled along, With lots of Ibuprofen I made it through the day, and the next day as we had another wedding here on Sunday. By Monday the swelling was down and I realized it wasn't broken, just nice and purple, but I could walk on it with minimal pain.

Then Wednesday. Sam and I have been putting in a retaining wall to prevent our back porch from flooding and as all home projects go - it was taking forever, and we were at a stand still. I decided to be pro active and start back filling with some gravel. As I was carrying a bucket of gravel, I literally tripped over my own two feet and fell. On the way down I felt my ankle - which I sprained about 100 times as a teenager - roll. Kicker is - this is the OTHER foot. I literally cried. Not just because it hurt but because - seriously?!?! This is NOT the time to have a hurt ankle. We went inside and it was already swollen. I was grounded. Literally.

Last night I couldn't really sleep, and I just wanted to throw myself a pity party. I was reeling about all the things I had to do, All the weddings I had to have a functional ankle on. And it made me mad. I started going through the next 5 weeks and all that we had to do and I thought about our Summer Soiree. 

I thought about the meeting with the ladies of Interact and all my anger and frustration melted. I can't even complain. My life may take a pause for a few days. Maybe I have to work from my couch, Maybe it will take a little bit longer to walk somewhere, and maybe I can't be on my feet for 8 hours straight. But I can't even complain. There are women who are on their feet for over 8 hours a day and are in pain every second physically and emotionally. There are women who can't just pause for a few days, or work from a couch - but rather they have to keep on moving when their life is falling apart.

Interact is there for these families and women. They are the ones that help put their lives back together. They are such a huge part of our community and such an important part of so many people's lives. Instead of sitting in my anger, I counted my blessings.

Y'all - this party means so much to us. It is not just a publicity thing, but really something that we believe in! Interact is a place where women find solace, safety, a clean bed, clothes, a place for their kids to be safe, a place to tell their story in a safe place, a place where they can go and rest. They not only are there for domestic violence victims for women, but men, rape victims, and children. They are an organization that takes the ugly of this world and helps wash it away. So - please support this group. If you can't come to the party, go to the their thrift store, volunteer, drop off a bag of toiletries from the dollar store, or start pledging to give a monetary donation.

Some of us will never experience what these people experience who walk through Interact's doors. Some of us have. Some of us will. It is sobering, heartbreaking, and our brutal reality. If we don't step up to help - who will?

RSVP here

Hope to see you all there at what is to be a great night celebrating this organization and giving them a little bit of help in this upcoming year.

~Dana