Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter Blog family! We are looking forward to this next weekend (I am calling it the calm before the storm) and spending time with friends and family. I love Easter and how low key it is! I love the kid's reaction in the morning to their Easter basket and the eating portion of the day is always waaay more low key than say, Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Last year we were in Florida (just Dana, myself, and the kiddos) and we had a great time. I think in the future I would like to make that a "traditional" trip...I just love Easter morning on the beach, it brings back so many positive childhood memories! I hope we can create those same memories for our kids!

The Kiddos last year....They are getting so Big!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We have stakes!

Yes - we have the ground. It is all very exciting. We went out with our builder yesterday and placed the corner stakes to where the venue is going to be!! It felt so surreal thinking about seeing our dream actually on this piece of dirt.

Our builder measuring the set back. We were convinced that there was not a creek - but really, there is! That is partially due to the fact that we had no idea how far up our property went! 

Brad did lots of measuring, we did lots of standing until he told us to stand where we think our front step should be. So, we both, without hesitation, stood in the same spot and said here! 

Courtney waving from the future front step!
We staked it all and now we have to wait for environmental health to get out and stake off the gazillion septic fields we have - no seriously, we have 4! The boys are starting fence planning and going to start building soon. Can't believe it is starting...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Suggestions Appreciated!

Happy Monday! At least for most it is a short week given that Good Friday is this week...Yeah for a 3 day weekend! We don't have any events this weekend and it is literally the calm before the storm....We have planned a trip or have an event(s) for the next 5 weekends.

Dana and I took advantage of our free weekend this past week and had a business meeting over margaritas (yes these are productive...) and one of the biggest discussion points was hashing out the budget we have given ourselves for interior finishes. Let me tell you friends, it is tight! What we want does not come cheaply and in many situations we can not sacrifice the look of the venue for a break in price. We started with the non-negotiable item - the floors (those HAVE to be site finished wood floors) as there would never be a good time to change those out...given that we are going to be booked ALL the time :)

Things that can be changed without TOO much hassle would be ....vanities, mirrors, even door hardware. These are negotiable items....that's where you guys come in...any suggestions for where we can snag these up for a steal??? We know about the re-store..and believe me we will be haunting that place over the next few months, but it is hard to get a real uniform look there. Leave your suggestions in the comment section below....if you blogged about it, link it back! We would love to see/hear about your will just encourage us to keep looking!

Friday, March 22, 2013

And It Shall Be Called.....

So would think that with all of our plans: selling houses, building a cottage, building a venue, finding financing, etc....that the name would be the easiest part of the process....well you would be wrong! I think the problem is that there are "too many cooks in the kitchen." Dana and I might agree with a name and the the boys hate it...the boys might come up with a name and Dana and I don't like it...we come up with a great name but it is already taken...We have been tossing this around for about two years now! Well we have finally decided on a name....3 out of 4 REALLY like it! I think that is as close as we are going to without further ado.....the venue will hereby be called.....

The Bradford 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

So....How are the Husbands Doing??

Courtney: Well, we have a twice monthly talk-down-from-the -ledge discussion. But this is better than the every other day discussions we were having a few weeks ago. Mikhail REALLY loved our house (the one we just sold). We had plans to stay in there longer than we did and I think when we originally built it, he envisioned us raising our kids there. It was a real sticking point in our relationship when we bought the property and were getting ready to put the house on the market. He felt like I had abandoned our plans and jumped on a one-way trip with Dana instead! While it really didn't go down like that, and venue talk was always present in the past 8 years (8 years people....) I could understand how he felt.

       Since we have moved...he is all about the venue! I can see him getting genuinely excited and geared up for the next 6 months of work or so...he even said he wanted to spend next weekend organizing our rental so we can really focus on what we need to do with the venue. He even calls it by it's 90% sure name! All that to say Mikhail is doing pretty good right now with all things considered...ask me in a couple of weeks though....

Dana: Well..Hmm..Overall, Sam is doing fine. The biggest issue with him is just communication. Court and I have our own ideas in our head and even though we are on plan ZZ, we know what the current plan of action is. Well, not the same for the boys. I know they feel like the plans change every other day and it is because they do! We are finally on "THE PLAN" and Sam is still thinking that they will change in the future. Truth is, they may change slightly, but for now- this is it. He wants a weekly update/progress report so that he can stay in the loop. And I am totally on board with that - I just don't know how these conversations are going to go...

Option 1:

Sam: So what's going on with the venue?
Dana: We have no more weeds overtaking the property
Sam: Good. Want a beer?

OR..Option 2:

Sam: So what's going on with the venue?
Dana: We have concrete
Sam: What are you going to do with it?
Dana: Pour it
Sam: *Rolls his eyes* Yes, but where?
Dana: Where it was on the plans
Sam: The plans have changed since then
Dana: Not this part
Sam: How am I suppose to know?
Dana: Whatever- we have concrete, it is being poured tomorrow.
Sam: Good. What about....

And so begins a very long conversation with questions I don't really know the answer to. Which makes me defensive, Sam mad, and leaves me with this feeling that Sam does not want to be walking down this path. When in truth he just wants to know the answers! I can tell that this is going to be GREAT for our marriage :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Venue Update - The List!

I thought we would take a look back at what was going through our mind concerning this little project of ours last year. You can see a to-do list we made here ! I thought it would be fun to see how far (or not far) we have come and how the landscape has changed (not literally...figuratively of course!)

Last Year's List

1. Get Property Re-zoned       
2. Purchase rezoned Property  
3. Install a Deer Fence....this was mandated by the appearance commission          
4. Start Plantings....Very important to do this ASAP for the look we are going for
5. Court sells her house (We close this week so it is as good as done)
6. Purchase adjacent lot and get construction loan (Done in December - I forgot this was on the list...)
7. Build Cottages (yes we want to build them at the same time.....crazy I know....)
8. Dana sells her house (Closed Last week - yeah!)
9. Refinance Cottage on main venue property
10. Figure out how to finance the Venue (We have figured this out - conventional mortgages all around!)
11. Start Venue Construction
12. Have one kick-ass party (I know I just swore...but that is what it will be!)

Percentage Complete: 50% - Seems like so much less! 

This Year's List

1. Get FINAL plans from Engineer - you wouldn't think this needs a line item, but it is literally like pulling teeth!
2. Complete 1 Cottage - Change here - only doing one initially, Dana and Sam are moving over a garage...more on that I am sure!
3. Complete Garages - these are are permitted separately so can be moved into before the whole venue is done. 
4. Move in - Doesn't sound that exciting at the moment as I am right in the middle of it right now!
5. Install fence - it has moved from being a deer fence to a 8ft fence...project for the boys!
6. Start Plantings
7. Complete Venue
8. Get parking lot rezoned through the conditional use process (this is new due to the placement of the "parking lot")
9. Have one big Shebang! (We are calling it an open house!)

Well at least the list is shorter...seems like we have made some progress!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lauren and Django: Haw River Ballroom

I absolutely loved this couple! They were so sweet and genuine. We met them over coffee at Panera Bread and we clicked instantly. We were so happy that they chose us to be their day of coordinator!  They had fantastic style and I loved the feel they were going for. They had their ceremony and reception in Saxapahaw at the Haw river ballroom. It was the first time we had coordinated an event there. It was such a neat space and I could totally see why they chose this venue for their wedding. Enjoy the pictures!

My iphone pictures..
Ceremony site - so neat! I loved the mixture of chairs and benches

Close friends played the music - it has to be my favorite ceremony music to date!

All set-up and ready to party!

Love this space!

More pictures of the set-up

First dance

Love it when they are choreographed! 

So cute! 
 Professional if you couldn't tell :)

Cupcakes! Soooo yummy!!

Table "numbers" 

Orchids they rented - such a great idea!


The groom

Eveyone eating the yummy dinner

Such a sweet couple!

Outside the ballroom

Photography: Sean Meyers
Caterer: Saxapahaw General Store
Rentals: American Party Rentals
Florist: Tre Bella
Cupcakes: Main Street Cake Shoppe
Centerpieces: Orchid Gallery
Dress: Victorian Rose Bridal
Officiant: Rev. Robin Renteria

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still Moving!

Quick update on the  C and D situation...The C is still moving! We should be out completely by Sunday...I mean cleaned/moved/DONE! I then plan on doing only what I absolutely have to the following week....then I plan on being productive again.

Few Venue Updates:

1. We got the plan revisions! Yeah....still not 100% but pretty close!

2. We sign on the dotted line with a contractor tonight! We are working with Blue Line Construction and I have to tell you he is so great to work with...honest and on top of things...hasn't laughed at us yet!

3. Appraisal for the cottage loan has been that process is underway as well!

Eating our Elephant as our real estate agent said....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Moving + Kids = Comical Situations

So Courtney here with a moving update as we are right in the middle of it! We are feeling pretty good about the move and getting everything done before the 3/21 closing. Honestly (so far) it is not as stressful as I thought it would be...famous last words right? We started taking loads over last Thursday and Dana dropped my kids off at the house we are borrowing (that is what Mason calls it) while I moved some of the C and D stuff into the downstairs bedroom (I could write a whole post on how much stuff C and D has!)

First Mason had to go to the bathroom...which is when we realized that the water was not turned on. This is an easy problem to fix as Mason would actually prefer to go outside. About ten minutes later I realized I had not gone all day and I REALLY had to go! The conversation went something like this....

Me: I have to go to the bathroom too.

Mason: Oh....Do you have to go pee or poopy?

Me: Pee

Mason:  Well you can just go outside like me.

Me: Mommies can't do that sweetie.

Mason: Is that 'cause you have a "bagina" ?

Me: Yes

Mason: Well, How bad do you have to go??

Me: Pretty Bad....

Mason: Well we will just have to go to a neighbor then!

He starts marching, very resolutely toward the back door.

I love moments like this! First, Mason is really such a sweetie and has a very "problem solving" nature. Secondly, Kids have a way of providing a stress relief in an otherwise stressful situation. I know there will be many more stories like this derived from our move/build/moving again!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thoughts on the Kiddos Sharing a Room.

Dana: I am actually the most nervous about this! I like my sleep - I NEED my sleep and I am worried that this transition will leave me with lots of sleepless nights. Lets be honest - it will be me getting up in the middle of the night - not the hubs. I *think* we have a good plan in place for the kid rooms - but we will see how it works out. There really isn't anywhere else for them to go - so either they figure it out or I am moving to the main house!

Courtney:  Well seeing how my kids are on OPPOSITE sleep schedules (Nora goes to bed an hour and half before Mason and wakes up after Mason) it will be a bit of adjustment to say the least! I think it will be more ideal in the cottage than in the rental as the kids will be separated a bit because their beds will be built into the walls, but by that time they will be used to sleeping in the same we will never know! I know it is possible - I mean, Dana and I shared a room (a bed even ....that is another post entirely) for most of our young lives and it seemed to work out! I think the trick for us is to get Mason in bed without waking up Nora or let Nora stay up until Mason is ready for bed and try to put them all down together...I'm sure there will be an updated post to this one :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Venue Update!

Well no REAL news....but a few things on the horizon....

1. NO plans yet - Dana may have a coronary! That should be rectified by this Friday but we will see.....

2. Meeting with a new contractor on Thursday...we have a good feeling about this one!

3. Dana Closes Friday - Yeah - One down, one to go!

Hope you have a great Wednesday!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Peach and Mint Wedding Inspirations!

With all the moving/packing/apology posts we almost forgot what we do! Well we DO a lot, but I am talking about our actual profession...Wedding planning that is. Thought I would bring it back around and add a little wedding inspiration to this blog! We have a bride coming up (several actually) that is doing a peach/mint theme and we get to do the design! I thought I would share a bit of our Pinterest research here for you to enjoy!
tan bridesmaids' dresses and peach bouquets
Love this Bridesmaid's bouquet - So simple but elegant. 
Bridesmaid's gift?
Sooo pretty! Love the mint linen with the peach pillars!
Seriously Can't.Stand.It!

Mint and peach bouquet
Love the Peonies!

There you have it! A little Inspiration for you on and something pretty to ponder on this Tuesday!

Monday, March 4, 2013

One down..well almost...

We, Dana's family, have moved! It was a long and very exhausting weekend. The sad/annoying part is that we are still not 100% moved out. There are a few odds and ends, trips to the dump, and trips to storage that still need to happen - but for the most part, we are now all moved into our little 900 square foot apartment. It is nice and cozy to say the least and the kids are doing well adjusting to their new home. Major props to the hubs for all his hard work. He was popping Advil like candy - he moved the majority of everything himself. Mikhail helped him on Saturday with a trip to storage and I helped on the items that he couldn't carry himself - but he really did the bulk of the work. Every time I move I wish I had remembered moving from the last time. So, I am here to provide you with..

1. Pack a bag. If you are moving over a weekend like we did - pack a bag like you are going away for the weekend. Put 2-3 changes or clothes, PJ's, Shampoo, Conditioner, SOAP, deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste. We went a few days with out some of these items because they were in the bottom of a box or not moved over yet. Luckily - it was just the two of us..

2. Think about food! This may seem like a no brainer, but every day we were standing there staring at boxes with our tummies rumbling wondering how and when we were going to eat. It would have been helpful to have bottled waters, granola bars, and various other snacky foods to hold us over until we got some food. On that same note - try to stray from too many hamburgers/greasy food - nothing is worse than moving with a brick in your stomach.

3. Even if it seems silly- pack it! So we took the half and half approach. The great part about our move is that we were literally moving a half mile down the road. We took various trips that week before and started loading and setting up what we could without disrupting the house. I did not want the kids (mostly Ada) to see the house all taken down - I knew it would upset her. So, we packed everything going into storage in boxes and packed the apartment items either in a box, or it was just thrown into the car. Pack everything in a box - it seems silly, you are just going to unpack it - but nothing is more difficult (and tiring) then trying to carry a car full of pillows, linens, and various kid toys with out any sort of box/basket. You don't have to tape the boxes - in fact that is better, so that you can take empty boxes back and re-load them up! Courtney- hear me on this!! (Her last move - she literally threw things into a moving truck - no boxes. I mean, the table was set up with lamps on it - in the truck! It looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book)

4. Try to unpack as you go. Now, this is where some helping hands would have been nice. Since it was just us 2 for the majority of the move, we had to have all hands on deck at all times. It would have been nice to just have someone unpacking/organizing. Friday night and Saturday night, we would unpack what we brought over and load the empty boxes back in the car for the next day. It would have been much to overwhelming if we just unpacked all at once. Especially in a small space - we could hardly move at the end of each day without tripping over boxes. 

There you go, a few tips we learned this weekend! I am so glad to be almost done with this process. We have 3 days until the cleaner, and then it is closing day! Wahoo!!

Friday, March 1, 2013


Packing....That is what we are doing this weekend - DIY of course :)