Posts filed under ‘Family’

Twisted Together: The Dads Speak

After our first dance our DOC immediately handed Mr P and I pints of beer so we could settle in for speeches from the dads.  Best DOC ever!  *All photos by Amore Studios unless otherwise noted.

The dads were all that was keeping us from yummy food so we were appreciative that their speeches were heartfelt and brief.

FIL Pretzel had a lot of practice.  Three  out of four of his children got married in the 2009/2010 year and Mr P and I were the last.  The advice he shared with us was solid and tear inducing.

Papa Pretzel is my rock and my best friend.  I was nervous that his speech would have me a blubbering mess.  After some words of congratulations and welcoming Mr Pretzel to the family my dad did something so thoughtful.  He read a poem from his baby sister.  My Aunt M couldn’t make it out to Seattle for the wedding (she did party her butt off with us last November at our hometown reception though) and she sent my dad with a poem.

2 hearts now joined as one
my wish for you is simple
may your lives be filled with peace, happiness and fun

always respect each others’ feelings and agree to disagree
always cherish your time together but keep you own identity
always remember why you fell in love

there will be good times and bad
always be honest with each other
and never go to bed mad

just a simple bit of loving advicegiven to you from me
now these families gathered here can happily add
Mr. and Mrs. Pretzel to their family tree

God bless you both and

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

Papa Pretzel’s speech might not have been long, but it was really special to have my Aunt’s words with us.

Did the Dad’s keep it short and sweet at your wedding?

Need to catch up on the Twisted Together, aka Pretzel recaps?

Wedding Week

Getting Ready

The Ceremony


The Reception

June 16, 2011 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

The “meat” of it

Our wedding planning was relatively drama free.  The one bit of pre-wedding drama that we encountered had to do whether or not my brother would wear a tie while escorting my mom down the aisle.  Admittedly it was a silly fight to pick, there were tears shed and feelings bruised but in the end this silly bit of drama uncovered something that stopped me dead in my tracks.


My brother felt that our wedding was superficial, that I was only concerned about the aesthetics and the details.  When he told me this, tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn’t wrap my head around how he could have this perception.  Then he told me, “well its all you blog about and all you talk about”.   (He doesn’t read my blog mind you, but his wife, my MOH does and keeps him up to date)

Ah-ha! It all made sense. IF you are looking at our wedding through the lense of what I write about on Weddingbee then yes, you might deduce (as my brother did) that I overly concerned with the superficial elements of a wedding.  I became aware that my blogging had focused very much on the details and all the trappings of the wedding but not on the personal journey that Mr Pretzel and I were on to prepare for our marriage.  On top of it, a little nagging voice asked “do people really care about this stuff?”  I notice that when people ask about the wedding, I gravitate to the material stuff (the dress, the venue, etc) because I don’t want to bore them with the heavier, deeper stuff.

I guess it boils down to the fact that the meaty stuff- the really, really, good stuff- well it was just too personal to write about while we were in the midst of it.  I planned out whole posts to write about how we as a couple prepared for the sacrament of marriage, the blessing that was our engaged encounter, and how we crafted our ceremony to reflect us as a couple and our love of our faith.  But when my fingers hit the keyboard I had a block.

These things were my favorite parts of wedding preparation and planning and I could not write about them.  To write about them would take a lot of time and careful consideration and to be honest, with all other wedding tasks on our plates I didn’t feel I could do any of them justice.  “After the wedding I’ll write these posts” I kept telling myself.  Well, it’s almost two months after the wedding and it is time.

In the next few posts I’ll share with you the “meat” of the Pretzel wedding, how we got to the alter. I’m grateful that my brother raised these concerns, because it aired misconceptions that he had and gave me an opportunity to let him see more of our wedding preparation from an insider’s view.  It also made me realize that people who love you don’t really care about the details and material stuff, it’s the meaty stuff they want to hear about.

Are there parts of your planning that you find it hard to share with others?  Why?

Oh and if you are wondering about the tie- he didn’t wear one but looked great in a tuxedo shirt- a classic example of me being wrong.

Image courtesy of MOH Tig

August 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

Playing Housewife Pt 3: Funny Face

After playing some bridal shower games it was time to get down to business and the part of the shower I was dreading the most.  This whole getting married business had helped me discover something about myself that I hadn’t learned in 32 years of life…

…I hate opening gifts in front of large groups.

Hate, hate, hate.  My whole life I only ever opened gifts with friends or a very small group of friends (5 people tops).  I was quite surprised at the discomfort I felt at my first two showers.  I think in the past I might have felt mild discomfort about having people focus attention on me while I opened a gift. Maybe. But usually it was done and over with in just a matter of minutes, everyone’s attention would move to someone/something else.  But bridal showers with Mr P’s large family- most of whom I didn’t know well- that was another matter.  I was the main attraction, everyone’s eye on me waiting for my reaction, this was something new and different.  I didn’t like it.  I loved the shower and love his family, but the people watching me open gifts – me no likey.

When Mr Pretzel asked me how I liked my showers, I told him I loved them but please don’t make me do the morning after gift opening with friends and family thing at the wedding.  He laughed at me and said OK.  My Seattle shower was much smaller but I still was nervous about the gifts.  I have to say it wasn’t too bad.  Once we got started I channeled any nervous energy I had into some of the most ridiculous facial expressions that I can produce.

You don’t believe me? I have proof.

Exhibits A & B

Exhibits C & D

Exhibits E & F

I am sure most of these faces came out of sheer excitement.  I get very expressive when I get excited so I was sure to make note NOT to make any too many of these faces on our wedding day.  My fingers are crossed that our photos aren’t too overrun with my “happy” faces.

Just a couple gifts in I found the perfect distraction.  My Aunt S’s gift was very special and garnished everyone’s attention.  So some background: I’m the oldest granddaughter so all my aunts got to “practice” on me before having their own kids.  My aunt S has a son, and I think I am the daughter she never had.  I lived with her and my uncle one summer and babysat my cousin.  That summer she took me shopping to buy my first bikini.  I was 14 at the time and it was a big deal for both of us.  She wanted to carry on tradition and buy me some lingerie (and ironically lingerie from my aunt didn’t skeeve me out the way lingerie from my mom did) and she wanted to stay with the 1950’s vintage housewife theme.  She picked out a flouncy little number that looked straight out of Grease and it was perfect.

I had just realized that it is missing a couple pieces, two pieces to be exact.  You see that under wire?  Well there is nothing attached to it- it’s a bra minus the fabric.  Nobody else saw the missing pieces until I put a hand through each hole to demonstrate… and we all fell apart giggling like school girls.

The matching panties have a little heart shaped window.  I love the look on Bridesmaid H’s face here as she tries to envision the whole thing.

I loved that my Aunt picked this out for me. I probably wouldn’t have picked it out myself, but I must admit after trying it on its my favorite lingerie now.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for 1950’s styled stuff.

All the giggling really helped me enjoy the gift opening more.  Note to self, smaller groups, and lots of giggles.

Are you self conscious about opening gifts in front of others?  What tactics can you suggest?

Want to catch up?

Pt 1: The Details

Pt 2: Game Time

August 10, 2010 at 11:15 pm Leave a comment

Playing Housewife Pt 2: Game Time

Bridesmaid H and Momma P made sure our bellies were full of brunch ‘n’ punch before they busted out the shower games.  I have to admit, my experience with shower games is pretty limited.  For some reason I am usually unable to attend the bridal shower and I just send a gift with my well wishes.  My Fort Wayne showers featured pen and paper games focused on getting to know me better… the first game Bridesmaid H introduced involved another kind of paper.


Toilet Paper!

Fun Pretzel Fact: after grad school I worked for a major US producer of toilet paper, or as they call it in the industry- “bath tissue”  I even worked at a TP manufacturing facility which is where I met Bridesmaid H – perhaps that is what inspired her to put this game on the agenda.

I wasn’t too sure how I felt about this game at first. I had heard about it and I had an overall negative impression of the game- something akin to torture. But Bridesmaid H had such enthusiasm I set my skepticism aside. She divided us into teams. Team P would decorate me (oh joy!) and Team S would decorate my friend S.

My fears about the game were assuaged. There was so much giggling and everyone got very serious about their designs.

Team P created a short (SHORT!) dress for me, complete with a bodice wrapped Thai style. W showed us how Thai wedding dresses have a sash.

S’s dress was very indie bride with a hippie headband, short train and bustle… OMG look at the bustle! S had fun, she’s just rockin’ her model fierce face here… I promise… really she did.

In the end, it was decided that my dress wouldn’t be church appropriate with its Las Vegas length hemline. Team S’s design took the prize.

I think Bridesmaid H got her inspiration from the toiletry aisle at the drug store.  The main ingredient in the next game? Two large bags of these:


H was really excited about this next game, declaring it the” BEST bridal shower game ever”!  Is there such a thing?  Yes, yes there is…  I agree with H now- best shower game ever!

Here is the premise.  You fill a bowl with cotton balls. Place it on a surface in front of the victim *errr I mean participant* with a second empty bowl next to it.  Blindfold the victim and let her feel where the bowls are placed.  Then hand her a kitchen spoon (the flatter the better).  The objective: using only the spoon transfer as many cotton balls from bowl A to bowl B.

Where is the sport you might ask… what isn’t apparent is that because the cotton balls are so light it is virtually impossible to feel when you have a cotton ball on your spoon. See the bottom photo below. I totally think that i have a cotton ball on my spoon but I don’t.

Since I was the first to go I went with the general scoop and transfer method… Which yielded a whooping 5 cotton balls in bowl B.  Pretzel FAIL!

As each guest took a turn the technique morphed a little as everyone learned from the people who went before. Momma Pretzel ended up with the most cotton balls on the floor- hands down!  These photos capture perfectly the fun that everyone had.

By the time W went she had come up with a game plan, shovel in the general direction of Bowl B.  It worked! Bowl B ended up on the floor but didn’t lose any cotton balls.

W for the WIN!   S and W each got aprons from Porches Place. S for being a good sport in the TP game and W for dominating the cotton ball game.

The two games were perfect. We had one game that everyone was familiar with and one that was completely new to everyone. It was a good  way to get everyone mingling together and a good transition to opening gifts.  Gifts? Did I say gifts?  How many faces can Pretzel make while opening gifts?  The answer coming up next.

Need to catch up?

August 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Playing Housewife Pt 1: The Details

Two weeks before our wedding Mr Pretzel and I did something we don’t normally do, we took a break from wedding planning. Mr Pretzel went to Vegas for his bachelor party and I had a girls weekend with a Bridal Shower.

My MOH lives in Denver and wasn’t able to make the trip to Seattle (understandably) so she delegated my Seattle shower to the very willing Bridesmaid H.  Momma Pretzel wasn’t going to let Bridesmaid H do all the work herself (H was planning a June Vegas wedding) so together H and Momma Pretzel threw me a glorious shower.

My amazing hostesses!
I may have *ahem* helped plan my own shower. *pretzel looks guilty*  Ok, I flat out set the theme for the thing if you couldn’t tell from the above photo. I gave my Mom and Bridesmaid H one phrase to work with: Vintage Housewife.  Working with that information the two of them started to scheme and plan.

In May, my family and friends received an invite for a vintage housewife themed bridal shower.
“What you might ask is a 1950’s themed bridal shower?

Well Miss Pretzel has a soft spot in her heart for 1950s housewives- yes you read that right, vintage housewives.  Since she’s about to become a wife we thought it fitting to throw a shower fit for a 1950’s domestic goddess.  It’s no secret that Mr Pretzel is the master baker in the house, but picture Miss P taking cupcakes out of the oven in a twirly skirt, high heels, apron, and don’t forget the pearls.  Bust out your favorite apron and heels, and be ready to sip on cocktails (non-alcoholic available) and feast on a yummy brunch while we shower Miss Pretzel with love and advice (baking advice much appreciated!).

If you need some more images to visualize vintage housewives check these out:”

Images sources from top left to bottom right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
This shower very special to me for one reason,  it was with “my people”.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Mr Pretzel’s family and appreciate the two showers that they threw for me but it really doesn’t take the place of being showered by my friends and family.  Most of my family is far away (Maine, Michigan, and Colorado) and it felt really important to have a shower in Seattle, with my mom and my friends.

The shower was held at the house I shared with my Mom. It started at 10 AM and included a yummy brunch. I dusted off my engagement photo dress for the occasion and tried to help my Mom in the kitchen but was kicked out.

Momma P and I got matching Aprons from Porches Place for the occasion. H’s apron is also from Porches Place.

Bridesmaid H and Momma P went with a Tiffany blue and white theme.

What would a vintage housewife be without her wine glass?
These 1950s looking brides and grooms topped yummy cupcakes (frosted with a Pretzel family recipe).

Quintessential 1950’s party beverage? Punch!
Momma P was very proud of the heart shaped ice cubes (with fruit!)

yummm cheese!
Any excuse to wear these heels!
H and Momma P borrowed my mini’s for decoration.
The guest list was a mash-up of friends from different areas of Mr P and my life in Seattle.

R is married to a work friend of ours, H and I worked together at a former job. A and P are knitting friends.

C (who graciously took all the photos for my shower) is married to a work friend of mine (but doesn’t know R).

You might recognize W in the upper left as my glasses rockin’ bridol. CH and S are co-workers.

It was amazing how well everyone meshed together.
Next up, the dreaded bridal shower games. Stay tuned!

July 28, 2010 at 11:49 pm Leave a comment

Pretzel’s Big Day O’ Showers: Part II

Whew! After my brunch shower with Mr P’s dad’s family I had a brief rest before going to my second shower of the day, a 1950’s themed shower with his Mom’s family.

Notice Bridesmaid M’s adorable pregnant belly! Amazingly she is 8 months pregnant in this photo.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous for this shower.  A few weeks earlier Mr P was opening mail and asked me a funny question. “Can I say that the first thing that attracted me to you was your boobs?”  The first thing out of my mouth was “NO!” followed by, “Why do you ask?”  He told me his aunt sent him a list of questions for him to answer before my shower.  I thought it over and told him to answer honestly.  So, I was walking into this shower knowing that there would be a shower game where Mr Pretzel may or may not have answered “her boobs”.

So, I tried to relax as I caught up with bridesmaid R and her sister CJ who had made the trip to Fort Wayne from Indianapolis.  Game time began and the first question out of the gate was “What would Mr P say first attracted him to you?”  I weighed my options and answered “my boobs”.  Everyone, including his Grandma had a good chuckle.

*WRONG*  Mr Pretzel actually answered that the first thing that attracted him to me was “the way I dressed and how I remembered things about him after only meeting him a few times”.

Waaaa Waaaa Waaaaaa.

Well played Mr P, well-played.   Never fear I embarrassed myself a couple more times during that game.  I had to fess up that Mr P calls me “Firstname-T-Rex” because I don’t chew my food so well- a fact he found out when I threw up in front of him… good times.  Despite my embarrassing admissions during the game I absolutely loved it.  Mr Pretzel’s aunt had found out all sorts of info about me such as my favorite candy (sour patch kids) and my least favorite (chocolate).  Questions right, I got rewards, questions wrong I got “penalties”.

I scored 6 boxes of these babies! Whooo Hoo!

I got a question wrong and got this- for my honey-do list.

As a result of my “boob” answer I got this movie… apparently Mr P and I have a lot to learn 🙂

When I correctly answered the location of our first date (a pizza joint/bar) we got this awesome pizza paddle.

I got a question wrong and I got this cute dish towel and scrubber for all the dishes I am going to have to do.

A lot of the gifts tied into the questions. It was so well thought out and really reflected an understanding of both myself and Mr Pretzel.  I loved this game.

In addition to the game, Matt’s Aunt had all the guests write advice for the bride on note cards.

The responses were very touching and Mr P and I want to figure out something to do with them.  Any ideas?

When the weekend was all said and done I was overwhelmed with the love from Mr Pretzel’s family.  While we walked away with a hefty stack of gift cards (we had to fly remember?) we were also blessed to receive some items off of our registry.

Some of our fiesta ware and bright table linens

And Bridesmaid R came through with a beautiful bride robe.  I can’t wait to wear this while getting ready on our wedding day.

This shower was an absolute blast. The theme was well executed.  I didn’t even care that I had perhaps embarrassed myself in front of his family. I was me and they got to know me (and my sense of humor) a little better. I never expected his family to throw me showers, but I am glad that they did. It helped me get to know them better and vice versa.

Any ideas what we can do with the marriage advice Mr P’s family so graciously documented on index cards? Were you faced with comical questions during a shower game?

May 31, 2010 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment

The Terrible Twos

Two as in under two months to go until the Pretzels wed!  Much like a toddler, I went from a happy, low(er) stress, wedding planning Pretzel to an easily irritated, stressed out Pretzel knot almost exactly at the two month mark.  *insert sad face*


I’ve dubbed the two month mark the terrible twos.  Exactly at the two month mark I had a calendar reminder for us to apply for our marriage license.  In Washington you need to get your license between 60 and 4 days before the wedding (yes there is a 4 day waiting period to get married).  This milestone made the wedding seem so close and our to do list seem so long. Despite my best intentions the control freak side of my personality made a big appearance.


It didn’t help that the invitations weren’t done yet, that work was chaotic, or that we had a whirlwind weekend trip to Indiana smack dab in the middle.  I was out of sorts, picking fights over small insignificant details, stressing that there wasn’t enough time in the day.  Problems seemed larger than they were and I found myself frequently frustrated.   Poor Mr Pretzel, his steady and supportive reassurances that “It will all be ok” couldn’t reassure me.  I.was.stressed.  At one point when I was worked up about something completely silly he wrapped his arms around me  immobilizing me, suppressed the urge to laugh, and repeated over and over that it will be ok. Finally I relented.

He was right,  after two weeks, the terrible twos have passed.

Some things that have helped me get through this spell.

Get something done- anything!


The biggest stress reliever was getting our 150 hand made invites out the door. (post coming soon about our labor of love) But Mr Pretzel was also great about helping me tackle other wedding tasks to help cut down the big list.  Mr P also insisted that we track progress towards completion on our giant to-do-list to make us see movement even if the item wasn’t 100% complete yet.

Focus on someone other than you or your fiance

Meeting the new addition to the family

On our trip to Indiana two weeks ago we got to meet Mr Pretzel’s new nephew and celebrate when his youngest brother (Mr P’s best man) got married to Bridesmaid S.  Just Sunday we celebrated with Weddingbee reader TPHoliday and her groom at their couture fairytale wedding. In less than two weeks we will celebrate Bridesmaid H’s Las Vegas wedding.  All of this celebrating is a lifesaver.  It was wonderful to no think about our wedding but to focus all of our love and attention on another bride and groom.   Not to mention that holding a baby does wonders for your stress levels.

Be Patient

Not only did I need Mr Pretzel’s patience, but I also needed my own.  I was aware that I was out of sorts and the more I tried to not be the more I was.  Make sense? Yeah it makes no sense to me either.  But I found when i was patient with myself things worked themselves out.

PS… I would be  a total fail blogger if I didn’t share some photos from the two wonderful weddings that we attended.

May 15th Fort Wayne IN

Best Man M and Pretzel Bridesmaid S’s wedding

M&S drove away in S’s dad’s Model A

S’s ribbon wands were a hit!

The Pretzel’s clean up pretty good

May 23rd Seattle WA

Weddingbee reader and friend  TPHoliday was a vision in her unique silver gown

The Pretzels looking more relaxed with the terrible twos behind them

I was completely unprepared for the terrible twos, it was an emotional roller coaster that I didn’t expect.  I’m very thankful that Mr Pretzel helped me keep perspective and that I was able to focus on other people.  Was there a time-frame when your stress increased significantly? one month, two months, six months?  How did you get through that time?

May 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

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