Tag Archives: marry

instasurprise!: a getaway surprise weekend to telluride + dunton hot springs, co

{the view flying up over the san juans}

Even though our anniversary technically happened a week ago, I’ve never been one  to try and rush through life’s little celebrations, and I was giddy with excitement after being instructed by James to pack a bag for a ‘surprise weekend getaway’ to fete our one-whole-year milestone together.  Since no man in his right mind would tell a girl to pack ‘a bag’ without first mentioning that aforementioned bag must conform to the airlines current draconian space and size rules, I assumed that we would be packing up and heading somewhere close; perhaps to a nearby mountain town, or even (excitedly) back to Aspen, where we celebrated our ‘minimoon’ exactly one year ago.  So you can imagine my surprise when we turned off I-70 and hurtled towards Denver International Airport; not only was I mentally tallying through the narrow scope of places where I would need a ‘swimsuit, a pair of shorts, a down jacket, and comfy shoes,’ but also having visions of the TSA agents tossing my most definitely over-three-ounce bottles of perfume and tinted moisturizer.  (Isn’t that just the worst?)

James hurriedly whispered a few words to the agent before I reached the podium, and wearing a huge grin on his face, he watched as she handed me a boarding pass with the code TEX emblazoned on the front.  Telluride.  My favorite place in Colorado, and, quite possibly, on the planet.  (I first fell in love here.)  He told me that even though I knew where we were going, I didn’t quite yet know — and that was the truth.  After landing on a precariously balanced mountaintop landing strip we strolled through the idyllic town and had lunch – but that was it.  Back into the car we went, and drove through meandering miles of golden aspen trees and dirt roads until we hit a little town called Dunton.

We almost breezed right past the tiny old mining town, but instead jerked off the dirt road and down a barely manicured path.  As we pulled into what had looked like a desolate group of old Western shacks, I realized that we were, in fact, somewhere very special.  An old ghost town that has been purchased and renovated into a luxury ‘camp’ complete with it’s own natural hot springs, Dunton  Hot Springs is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.  We spent two nights and three full days basking in the warm morning sunshine, soaking in the mineral laden tubs, reading books in a fire-light library, and gathering round the dinner table with new friends.  It was an incredible experience at a Colorado resort that I cannot stress how much I recommend – and I’ve got plenty of photos and notes to share with you later.  For now, here are a few glimpses into what was definitely one of my most memorable weekends in Colorado, to date.

{the landing strip at telluride airport – perched on a cliff}

{the best surprise boarding pass}

{laces for the road}

{back in my favorite place, gazing east towards bridal veil falls in telluride}

{stopping in for a quick pint of hoppy suds at a friends brewery}

{arriving at dunton hot springs}

{a true ghost town}

{but wait! there’s more…}


a fun surprise, for a friday: our wedding featured on the cover of washingtonian bride & groom magazine!

When I got an email yesterday from my wedding photographer saying that she had a surprise for me, I had zero idea of what to expect.  Katie Merkle, who is the fabulously talented photographer behind Merkle Photography,  then sent me back an email with a picture labeled “from the editor’s desk” – with the above picture attached, of James and I on the cover of the Washingtonian Brides & Grooms Magazine!

She also let me know that our wedding was featured today on my favorite wedding blog, Style Me Pretty – you can see the whole post with pictures (and an extended photo gallery) here!

Katie had posted a link with pictures of our day after the wedding back in October 2011, and these two things (coincidentally on the same day!) were such a fun surprise to bring us back to all of the happiness we had that day together and with our friends and families, just over eight months ago.

A perfect way to kick off the weekend, I think!

a little place called aspen: a mini-moon of the greatest proportions

{maroon bell lake, aspen, co}

Lately we have had a lot going on; 2011 may very well go down in the history of my admittedly short twenty-eight years as being the most eventful of the whole lot.  Throughout the many exhilarating ups and the few and very far and between downs, I have emerged a married woman, with a new husband, in a new time zone, with a new puppy, and a fresh outlook.

With everything that we have had going on, we decided that pushing our proper honeymoon off just a little bit sounded *so* much nicer than scrambling to coordinate hotels and flights (hard), securing visas and getting the necessary preventative shots (harder), and finding someone willing to wrangle a four-month-old pug puppy with a penchant for shredding toilet paper and nipping at ankles for upwards of fourteen days (hardest).

For the moment and in lieu of a real honeymoon, James surprised me early on the Friday morning after our wedding with a “mini-moon” – a deliriously wonderful weekend getaway to Aspen.  We stayed at the most amazing hotel, indulged in a couple of serious massages, drank lots of bubbles and good red, saw the coolest concert at the coolest venue, and ate to our hearts content.  It was perfect – the most ideal weekend to get out of town and have a few moments to ourselves sans laundry or any other usual responsibilities.

This Fall brings all of the ups, downs, ins, outs, heres, and theres back to one cohesive place where we can sew up the lumpy unexpected package of our year and turn it into something more familiar and worn.  Here are some snaps from our amazing weekend; I am really looking forward to a proper ‘honeymoon’ in the new year, but this surprise weekend away was the most perfect ending to an utterly sensational wedding weekend.

We arrived in Aspen – and it was SNOWING! It truly felt like a season-time-warp to leave sixty-degrees in Boulder and then drive up into the mountains to see Winter’s first tiny twinkling flakes falling all around.

{snow clinging to a tree just outside our hotel}

{the most lovely place to crash}

{not totally sold on the flakes}

{driving out to maroon lake, despite the foliage-hiding snow}

{the most breathtaking vista, maroon lake & the maroon bells}

{gorgeous fall foliage ablaze}

{the namesake, a fallen golden aspen leaf}

{lots of them, actually}

{decisions, decisions….at aspen brewery}

{i went with ‘this season’s blonde’…..}

{unsurprisingly.  and it was delish!}

{hard to go wrong here. a great meal of delicious miso cod & spicy rock shrimp}

{crushing snow underfoot was so thrilling in october – a preview of whats to come!}

{crisp & cool}

{THE coolest concert venue.  bar none.}

{thankfully, it’s heated up – nice & toasty}

{i know its terrible for the trees, but the romantic in me loves this}

{only in colorado.}

{great tunes :: mayer hawthorne opens for chromeo at belly up}

{fireside sips}

{tres chic: snappy new threads for the noodle}

{the most perfect familiar lunch after a late night}

{yes, please.}

{snoozing on the ride home after a most perfect forty-eight hours}


THE weekend to remember: parties, promises, & a new last name

I had been told by one of my best friends that ‘it’ would become ‘real’ when just my dad and I were left, arms linked and taking careful breaths, our eyes focused forward on the expectant crowd of close family, dear friends, and long-held loved ones.  After a year of much ado, suddenly, it was upon me: my bridesmaids had walked down the aisle to take their practiced places next to the arbor, my brothers had escorted my lovely Mother to her place one seat over in the front row, and the flower girl had just strewn the last pale pink petal  in the aisle that had been measured out and created just for us.

It was exactly there I felt that moment, as my Dad and I stood alone waiting to walk forward towards this neatly seated mass of people.  When the music resounding from a groomsman’s guitar paused just so before shifting into the appropriately titled lullaby ‘Happy Child,’ the world around me spiraled to a halt.  I was happy – so very happy – and until this moment by many standards I was still a child; a young girl standing on the brink of the ultimate commitment, with her Father by her immediate side and the man she loved waiting on the proverbial ‘other’.  The entire previous year of planning, thinking, deciding, un-deciding, and deciding again came to a quiet standstill, and for that one specific moment in my life there was the ultimate silence; that very moment where it all became real.

The feeling of having two-hundred-and-six sets of your most adored and cared for eyes locked upon you is not to be underestimated – it is exhilarating and wonderful and terrifying all at once.  As I hugged my Dad and took my place across from James I remembered that at the root of it all – at the base of this entire process – it was really just he and I there, one-on-one, and the butterflies dissolved into an energizing warmth that can only be described as the best feeling in the world.

We wrote our own vows, and I couldn’t have been happier with that decision.  Our ceremony was short, yet very meaningful to us both, and I think set the tone wonderfully for the evening.  The entire weekend was absolutely perfect; we battled back and forth with the forecast, but ultimately staved off actual raindrops until everyone was dancing the night away under the tent, champagne and cocktails in hand.  The speeches were so touching and heartfelt, and reinforced just how lucky I am to be joining such a dynamic and loving family.  Though I don’t have any professional shots of the weekend yet to share, I have a few small snippets of what was the most memorable, marvelous, and insanely fun weekend of my entire life.

I am one lucky, lucky girl.

{the menu for our beautiful bridal luncheon – i had the quiche!}

{gifts i set out for each girl – earrings to wear on the big day}

{raspberry napoleans – the perfect light dessert when you have a dress to fit into}

{delight in the details}

{the lovely ladies on the balcony of our bed & breakfast}

{a glimpse of the house & steps at the rehearsal}

{a heart shaped garden, where under an arbor we would exchange our vows}

{holding a ribbon bouquet for the rehearsal}

{practice makes perfect}

{in good company, before the rehearsal dinner}

{so ready to kick off the weekend!}

just eleven days: some bits of my weekend(s) & snippets of late

I’ve admittedly been quite distracted as of late, and for good reason – James and I will be tying the proverbial ‘knot’ in eleven days, and I am learning all too well just exactly what that phrase ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ pertains to in nuptial-land. (And in case you were wondering, exactly nothing feels like ‘small stuff’ at this point!)  The theme of our last few weeks has been details, details, DETAILS and most of my mornings have been filled with last minute changes of plate shapes (from square to round) and nerve-wracking final dress fittings (note to self: never eat a full order of pork and chive dumplings before having anything fitted.  EVER.).  Though I have been doing loads of cooking (and pug chasing), the actual processes of uploading, editing, and writing have fallen just a wee bit to the wayside.  You understand.

It’s a very funny thing, how the passage of time and anticipation play off of each other.  A year ago when we were engaged, ‘October first’ felt a lifetime away – and in many ways, it has been just that.  In navigating all of the life changing events that have hurtled our way in the past twelve months we have suddenly been presented with hot wings on Sundays and squash elbowing out the peaches at the farmers market – Fall is here.  Without much ado the months we luxuriated in counting down have suddenly become days, and as it always happens with anything you hold in anticipation, suddenly, it is time.  So now, with the Fall of two-thousand-and-eleven, my future Falls will not just be punctuated with the advent of pumpkin spiced lattes and brussels sprouts, but also with a wedding anniversary.  (Insert massive grin here).

Though I have been quiet I have been busier than ever, and within and around all of the planning I have managed to get my Fall off to a very pleasant start.  Here are a few bits and pieces of what I have been up to…

{enjoying some local brews at a festival at boulder beer}

{a local bead shop, where i picked out some gorgeous beads to craft into a necklace}

{a bit of sparkle is so fun – i’ll be doing this all fall in all colors.  inspired by emily}

{cornbread made in antique molds that my sweet parents sourced & gifted to me}

{dahlias to brighten up our kitchen for a dinner party with friends}

{red rocks, where we have already managed to see three concerts since moving to boulder}

{i tried, and i think succeeded, to eat my weight in heirlooms}

{cheerful straws to stick in everything}

{the first time i have seen hops in person – they are so floral & fragrant}

{an indulgent yet simple dinner-for-one – grass-fed filet & grilled vegetables}

{with good food and great beer, i can hardly complain its football season}

{bbq pork to celebrate the last days of summer}

{impromptu sunday night nectarine galette}

I am so sad to see the Summer slip away, but I am bursting at the seams to see what this wonderful Fall has in store.



and the planning begins: who, what, when, where, how?

The enormity of what actually goes into planning a wedding doesn’t hit you right away.  Instead, you’ve only probably thought about the essentials – what shape dress you like (trumpet! princess!), your favorite flowers (peonies! sweet peas!), or maybe an appetizer that you DEFINITELY want to serve at cocktail hour (mini crab cakes! caviar blinis!)…..you know — only the really important stuff.

But as soon as “YES!” slips through your lips and into the atmosphere – its game on.  All of the sudden amongst the myriad of congratulatory phone calls and pastel envelopes in the mailbox there are questions.  And, well – after a few weeks…..people want answers.  And understandably so!  Rome wasn’t built in a day after all, and once the buzzy-ness begins to wane to it’s time to get down to business.

First things first: set a date.  And preferably one that allows you to book all the necessary accoutrement whilst still (relatively) retaining your sanity.  Since James popped the question in October, we thought that October 1, 2011 suited us quite nicely.  It’s far enough away that I still have a great deal of flexibility when booking vendors (photographer, band, caterer) but still close enough that I don’t think our engagement will feel like its dragging out.

Ten, one, eleven. I like it.

{But Wait! There’s More…}

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

Ahhh, the engagement.

It is such a whirlwind! One moment there you are, just yourself, the prefix-to-a-friend part of a serious relationship nonetheless, but just yourself….and then all of the sudden with a four word question and a one word answer – it’s really that serious.

You’re no longer a girlfriend – you are a Fiancé.  All of the sudden everyone’s eyes immediately dart down to your newly adorned left hand, and they realize that you really aren’t going anywhere – it’s really that serious.

The funny thing is – I don’t feel so serious! I almost feel as if we are doing something wrong when people ask how engaged life is treating me – we’re exactly the same as we were.  Excited definitely, but serious and grown-up – not a chance.

And thankfully, I know that won’t change.

Keever Vineyards, Napa, CA

{But Wait! There’s More…}