Posts filed under ‘Family’

Pretzel’s Big Day O’ Showers: Part I

Delta made me feel right at home!

Greetings from 10,000 feet! Mr Pretzel and I are on a red-eye to the Midwest and I was pleasantly surprised that our plane has wi-fi. The first thing out of my mouth “ohh! I can catch up on blogging!”

We’re headed to Fort Wayne Indiana for Mr Pretzel’s brother/best man’s wedding to Bridesmaid S and I realized that just a month ago we were on a similar flight headed to what I affectionately call “Pretzel’s Big Day O’ Showers”.  Two separate showers thrown in one day became  a whirlwind of matching faces and names, bridal games, and all around exhausting fun.

First, I never even considered that Mr P’s family would want to throw me a shower, since we live 2,000 miles away. Second, not only did they want to shower me, they wanted two showers because, well let’s face it his family is HUGE and both sides of the family will not fit in any one house.  We settled on two showers in one day because of my vacation situation.

Last Month: Knitting and Beer

Last month I started our trip doing two things I love, Knitting and drinking yummy beer. I took a brief brake from my self induced knitting moratorium to knit Bridesmaid/FSIL M a baby hat and booties set. This trip we stopped at IKEA before heading to the airport to pick up glass jars for rehearsal dinner centerpieces (a Mr Pretzel project) and fabric for our Photobooth.

This Month: Ikea Glass Jars and Fabric

My first shower started bright and early at 10 am.  This shower was hosted by aunts from his father’s side.  I have to note that his dad is one of eleven children Oh MY!  I loved having a brunch shower and nom, nom, nommed on yummy breakfast scrambles.

Me and my shower hostesses.  (I am wearing the sash that Mr P made his brother wear the night before for FBIL Pretzel a bachelor party).

One thing that I had planned to do was bring name tags.  I have only met Mr Pretzel’s extended family at large events like his Sister’s wedding and Christmas (where there was a very large gathering) and I have to admit that I was getting my family members confused. I forgot the name tags, oh well!  Hopefully there won’t be a pop quiz *pretzel looks sheepish*.

I was pretty geeked out about those bag clips. But more important, check out that rockin’ headband made by the talented Mrs Star!

Bridesmaid S was a super trooper and took diligent notes for me at both showers.

I have to say that I appreciated that the shower hostesses reminded guests that we would be traveling by airplane. I had nightmares about having to ship gifts back to Washington, but they were for not- we were able to pack everything in the extra suitcase that we brought.

I had such a great time, but my absolute-hands-down-favorite part of the shower was talking with Mr Pretzel’s Grandma (the one who birthed all 11 children- talk about super trooper!).  The two times that I have met his Grandma I haven’t gotten to talk with her much.  She and I ended up chatting at length about our mutual love of  The Mentalist and NCIS (and our agreement that NCIS Los Angeles is sub par).  Apparently Grandma is a Simon Baker fan (I mean really, can you blame her).


Mr Pretzel had no idea that she watched these shows and he can’t wait to talk with his Grandma more about it this weekend. At the end of the shower she gave me a huge hug, held my hands and with moist eyes told me how happy she is that Mr Pretzel found such a wonderful woman to marry.  I’m getting choked up just writing it as Mr Pretzel did when I told him about it later.  I can’t wait to see her this weekend.

Whew!  We went back home to catch our breath before heading out to the next shower.

Coming up: We get retro!

May 14, 2010 at 1:31 am Leave a comment

Lesson Learned: MOB Dress Redux

Sometimes I get ahead of myself and leave the people I love behind.  When there is a long list of things to be done and I see an opportunity to check something off the list I do it.  Last fall, just a month after getting engaged I saw a great MOB suit on sale.

Knowing that my Mom was conscious about money I snatched it up for her and was proud of myself for finding a great deal.  She seemed to like the suit enough, it was a great color for her and had a fun ruffle detail. It looked like something that my Mom would wear.  She told me she loved it and with some alterations it would work. I checked off the box “MOB dress” and moved on.

As I’ve shared my struggle to make sure I am engaging my Mom in the wedding details many of you  have suggested going shopping for the MOB dress.  With the suit already purchased I dismissed this as unnecessary.

I shouldn’t have.

At the urging of my Aunt S and Uncle C (Aunt S is an avid reader of my wedding blogging) I realized that my Mom might want something more special than the suit I had already purchased and that the journey to find her dress was as much or more important than the dress itself.  It took a very kind letter from my Aunt and Uncle to get through to me and I am glad that they took the time.  I would love to tell you about our day, but I can’t do better than my Mom’s own words, as written in a  letter to her brother and sister-in-law, with photos from the day sprinkled in.

The day had everything in it; laughter, giggles, much love and bonding, changing minds and perceptions, coming out of shells- for me- Pretzel doesn’t need one, drama and resolution, a delightful lunch, and oh yes, shopping for moderately high-heel shoes.

@ Nordstroms

We started out at the flagship Nordstrom’s in Seattle. I had picked out some styles online only to get there to find out they do not have the same buyers in the store so nothing I had picked out was there. So we made a decision to “wing it”- Imagine that, two over planners winiging it!

We tried on everything, sheaths, prints, low necks, high necks, lots of bling, elegant, sophisticated, charming, tight fitting (oh my) and one loose fitting.  Matron of Honor Tig, in Colorado, was participating as Miss Pretzel would take pictures in the dressing room and email them to Tig and we took her comments under consideration. We laughed and giggled as the personality of each dress was taken into consideration!  I liked one that was silver and very elegant, but they had a point that it looked too much like a mother of the groom dress.

So I came out of my shell and selected two others that looked really nice, Tig and Pretzel liked one I picked out- it is really cute and the color is very flattering.

@ Nordstroms
@ Nordstroms (THE dress is size too small)
@ Macy’s

After putting them on hold we were off to Talbot and Macy’s just to be sure… We were sure in a short period of time! I selected the fuchsia one from Nordstrom, but I needed in a different size that they had at the store near where we live.
Nine West “Dive In” Pump Nordstrom Exclusive

We checked out the shoes at Nordstrom’s and found a pair of high (for me!) heels that are really cute, gray to go with the fuchsia dress! They are really nice!!! So we picked up a take out lunch at Nordstroms and ate on the way to the other store.

On the way, Pretzel received an exasperating call from MOH Tig- David’s Bridal had messed up Tig’s dress order for the second time and there was not enough time to order a new one. Pretzel had me lane diving across three lanes into the David’s Bridal parking lot, as we were just passing by one.

Have you ever seen a ticked off Pretzel? I did, but she got the Assistant Manger on the case and they are going to break policy of never rushing an order, to get the right size, style, and color for Tig here the week before the wedding so MOH Tig can be in Seattle early to get the rush alterations. I am praying all to be coordinated and arrive on time!!

Then we drove over to Nordstrom’s and picked up the dress, a bra, and spanx. We had the dressed pinned for alterations all without breaking stride in our fun. This day was a gift from God! I really can’t believe we got all that accomplished and managed to keep our girl-like fun time.

It just is such an overwhelming relief to me to know that I can have such a nice dress for her wedding, but more importantly for being able to spend the day sharing in the details of the wedding.  It was important for both of us – we are similar in many ways yet so different  and i respect her differences and she doe likewise.

~ Mamma Pretzel
My Mom’s letter thanking my Aunt and Uncle for encouraging both of us to go shopping for a different dress really touched me. It humbled me and made me realize that sometimes I get caught up in getting stuff done that I miss opportunities to build memories and have fun.  I wish I had a video to show you the hilarity that ensued in the dressing rooms and the fits of giggles into which we would periodically collapse.

I’m happy to show you my Mom, in her bright and fun dress, perfect for our summer wedding.

Hot Mamma Pretzel, no?

What did you “check off the list” too early in the planning process, only to go back and redo it later?

April 28, 2010 at 7:38 am 1 comment

Pretzel and Mom Day O’ Fun

You guys are the best! When I expressed my concerns about getting my Mom more involving and connected to the wedding planning you came through with lots of ideas.  amariem25 and others suggested veil or shoe shopping.  My mom’s ears had perked up at discussion of veils so i decided to pounce on this glimmer of interest and see if she would like to go shopping.  Veil shopping started what became my favorite day to date for wedding planning.  Let’s begin Pretzel and Mom’s day o’ fun.

Before we even set off for shopping some fun began. I like to call it the great veil war of 2010, Mr Pretzel vs Momma Pretzel.  You know how your vision can be upset by the introduction of a new item or idea? Well, in the weeks following up to our shopping excursion, I was kicking around the idea of a short double blusher veil instead of the birdcage veil that had been my vision from the start.  Mr Pretzel and Momma Pretzel took opposite sides and I was completely undecided.  He loves the birdcage and she loves the double blusher.   We had our work cut out for us when we set out for our local wedding dress boutique.

I made a “bee” line for the veils and armed Momma Pretzel with my digital camera.  Murphy stepped in as Momma Pretzel turned on the camera to snap the first picture. Gahhh! The batteries died.  My camera eats batteries like nobody’s business.  I fiddled with the settings, turning off the LCD preview and gave the camera back to mom.  If she snapped a photo super quick and then turned off the camera we might be able to capture the veils.  At this point we are giggling hysterically; half from the veils themselves, and half from the deer in headlights look I kept making waiting for the pictures to be taken.

The “Astronaut Veil”

I do not approve of  this “does this count as a veil it is so tiny” veil

The “poof” that would not stay down

Our stomachs hurt from the laughing when i tried on the much-anticipated short double blusher veil.  It had a very vintage look and I was excited to see it. Momma P was very hopeful as I put it on…

..and then all I could say was “first communion” which sent us into another fit of giggles. Momma P loved the detailing and thought it was still a contender.  That is until we tried on the medium length birdcage veil.

Cue music, lights, and ethereal music.  Momma P and I both loved this look.  She had crossed over to the birdcage camp but the $150 price tag wasn’t winning either of us over.  We decided to check out David’s Bridal and picked up some batteries for my now-dead camera.  I’m not sure how I convinced her to do it, but we picked out some bridesmaid dresses to try on for the heck of it. Momma P wouldn’t let me take her photo but I gotta tell you she has a cute figure and was totally rocking a cocktail dress.  Our shopping day came to a close when we spotted a medium length birdcage veil attached to a headband. Yes a headband- genius!  I didn’t buy it, but I took note of its construction to recreate on my own for a fraction of the price.

I love the flower and feathers. Momma P thought it was pretty snazzy too. We returned home where Mom asked me to teach her to make flowers for my bridesmaid bouquets.  We had some adult beverages and made flowers- a combination that could be disastrous if not closely supervised.

I knew the day was an utter success when I caught my mom reading one of my wedding magazines from cover to cover.  She had excitement in her voice as she told me ideas from articles.  This is my favorite wedding planning moment thus far.  We have more Pretzel and Mom Days O’ fun planned and I can’t thank you enough for all the wonderful ideas.  Pulling her into wedding planning wasn’t hard once I made the time and devoted a day to spending wedding time with Mom.

What has been your favorite moment in wedding planning?

March 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm Leave a comment

For the Love of Moms Part Two: Momma Pretzel

Had I been planning our wedding ten years ago when I was in my early 20’s this post would be very different.   Let’s just say that the planning process would have been painful, with a fair amount of demand making from both sides, unsolicited advice and more than likely yelling and tears.  Thankfully Mr Pretzel and I are getting married now and not then.

In the past 6 years I have cultivated a very special relationship with my Mom.  It started when she became my roommate. Yes you read that correctly. My Mom moved from the east coast and into my guest bedroom.  We learned a lot about each other and have developed a mutual respect outside of our mother daughter relationship. She’s probably been the best roommate I’ve ever had and I will be a little sad when I move into Mr Pretzel and my townhouse this summer.

Let me tell you a little about Momma Pretzel. She and I look an awful lot alike (you don’t say Pretzel) but we’re very different personalities.  I take after my Dad and can be quite the talker/social butterfly. Momma P is more contemplative and does best in small groups or a one on one social situation. She is extremely grounded spiritually and is my rock when it comes to prayer. Momma P sometimes raises an eyebrow to my off the wall ideas and isn’t afraid to tell me I’m nutty.

I have to admit, when we started to plan the wedding I expect to hear a lot of “But you can’t wear colored shoes” or “Beer is not a theme for a wedding”.  I waited for these comments, and waited, and waited.  They never came.  Now I secretly believe that she might be thinking those things, but she hasn’t ever voiced those thoughts to me.  Instead, Momma P has focused her attention on the marriage, not the wedding.  I know that she is supporting us through prayer and that she will continue to do so after we are married.  I am glad that she gets a kick out of our crazy ideas and supports us, beer theme and all.

When my parents got married, my grandmother was all about the wedding planning.  Grandma and Grandpa were expert party throwers and they planned a great affair while my Mom was away at school.  I hadn’t realized how little say my Mom had in her wedding until she and I talked about it at the dinner table a couple weeks ago.  Perhaps this is why she is very hands off with our wedding.

When it comes to my Mom, I have one main regret.  My ‘unconventional ways’ and DIY drive has thus far cut her out of the planning process.  It hasn’t felt like she is really excited about any aspect of the wedding and I think I am mostly to blame. There was no wedding dress shopping trip to kick off the traditional mother and daughter bridal bonding.  When I was thinking about finding a vintage dress I mentioned the possibility of a vintage dress shopping excursion and Mom’s ears perked up.  The shopping trip never happened and I could tell she was disappointed.  If Mr Pretzel were a less involved groom I think I would be leaning on my Mom more for advice and opinions. There are days when I feel like I’m full steam ahead with wedding planning and I left my Mom back at the station on the platform.

Insert sadface.

I think I need to take her up on her offers to help me make paper and fabric flowers or plan a special Mom/Pretzel shopping excursion.

Do you regret leaving someone out of the planning process? Any ideas how I can make Momma P feel more involved?

March 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm 1 comment

For the Love of Moms Part One: FMIL Pretzel


Some of us bond tightly with our moms while others battle.  Wedding planning can bring out the beauty or the beast of this relationship.  I’ve been reflecting lately on the Moms in our lives and I wanted to share with you the beautiful differences.   Let me start by telling you a little bit about Mr Pretzel’s mom.

When we first started dating I had trouble getting a real sense for what Mr Pretzel’s parents and siblings were like.   Finally he told me that he didn’t know how to describe his family so I would have to ask questions.  “Ohhhh I love this game” I said and began to ask A TON of questions.  From his answers to my rapid fire questions I learned that FMIL Pretzel is very loving and supportive, crafty, and doesn’t like citrus flavored treats.   Did you miss that… I said she is crafty!

I was so happy to learn that she and I have something in common.  When I finally met my future mother in law I immediately loved her.  She is fun and easy-going with a giant heart.  She sends us cards and candy on all of the holidays and always signs them mamammmma which brings a huge smile to my face.

I also learned that she loved weddings!  Cue heavenly music… Mr Pretzel’s baby sister (Bridesmaid M) was recently engaged the first time I met his family. We all watched 27 Dresses together and FMIL Pretzel and M talked a lot about dresses and reception themes.  Since marriage hadn’t started to creep into my brain yet, I kinda chalked it up as silly wedding stuff.

Photo by Kristin Acosta

M was in her last semesters of college, so FMIL Pretzel stepped up and really did a lot to plan M’s wedding.  She researched wedding trends and spent a lot of time on the Knot and Weddingbee. Yes- I hadn’t even discovered the Bee yet and my future mother-in-law was already a Bee veteran!  She took a floral design class and made all of the centerpieces for the reception and the church decorations.  I learned that she did several full table mock ups to show M the different options that she had.  She stalked Michaels, Joann’s, and Hobby Lobby getting the best deals on DIY materials.   In a nut shell- she loves weddings/wedding planning and is a super DIY/bargain hunter. Ummm yeah- this is all icing on the cake.

FMIL Pretzel wasn’t sure how much of our wedding planning fun she would get in on- being the mother of the groom.  I think I would be a fool not to engage her in the process and bounce ideas off of her.  We asked her to help us plan the hometown reception- which lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. When we were home over Christmas she and I talked wedding stuff non-stop.  She invited me to bring wedding craft projects and I didn’t hesitate. Remember the mock-up of our centerpieces?  We did that together.

I love that she reads my blog and sends me coupons to Joann’s and Michaels. We live ¾ of a country from them and yet we are forming a really nice relationship through the process of planning a wedding.

In what ways have you enjoyed involving your FMIL in the planning of your wedding?

February 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm 1 comment

Three Weddings and a Baby

This year, for the first time, I flew to Fort Wayne Indiana to spend a white Christmas with Mr Pretzel’s large family.  When I say large I mean YUUUUGE!  His immediate family is his parents and three siblings but his dad is one of eleven and his mom is one of four. On average each of his aunts/uncles has 3-4 children (and a few grandbabies!) and most of this extended family lives in Fort Wayne.  This was the second time I was meeting many of his aunts and uncles and I was making mental notes left and right to learn all the names (even though I saw only a portion of his Dad’s family).

Mr Pretzel is the oldest of four.  After him is Groomsman Trumpet- aptly named because he plays the trumpet in the Army band. Then there are the twins- Groomsman M and Bridesmaid M.  Everyone was home for the holidays and we had a blast. My future in-laws are wonderful people. The 2009-2010 year is one of exponential expansion for their immediate family.

From July 2009 to July 2010 they will have three weddings and a baby
. No really- I’m not joking. Here is the breakdown:

Mr Pretzel’s little sister/Bridesmaid M, was married this past July.

Two preceding images  by Kristin Acosta

His little brother/Best Man, M, and Bridesmaid S are getting married May 15, 2010.

Best Man M and Bridesmaid S- Personal Photo

Mr Pretzel and I are getting married July 2010.

Baby sister/Bridesmaid M and her husband are expecting a baby boy in early May 2010.

Photo courtesy of Bridesmaid M

Whew! I am tired just thinking about it! FMIL and FFIL Pretzel are surprisingly calm.  The first order of business when we arrived in Fort Wayne?  Schedule a bachelor party, four bridal showers and two baby showers.

Did I mention that Mr Pretzel is the best man for his brother’s wedding?  In April we are going to fly back to Fort Wayne so Mr Pretzel can host his brother’s bachelor party and I am going to have back to back (2 in one day) bridal showers with both sides of his family.  There are so many of them they won’t fit in one house- so each side of his family hosts a shower- that is two showers per event.  It wasn’t an easy task scheduling Bridesmaid S’s showers, my showers, and his sister’s baby showers- we wanted to be sure that the events weren’t too close together to overshadow any of the other events.

It’s an exciting year and we are blessed to share all of these milestones with each other. It also helps to give perspective. Sure, we’re excited about our wedding- but we are equally excited for his brother’s wedding and his sister’s baby.

Are there any other big events surrounding your wedding? How do you keep balance?

January 4, 2010 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

Dressing Mama P

At the end of the summer, Macy’s put their summer dresses on sale.  I was thinking of Mama Pretzel when I spotted an aqua three piece silk suit.  I snatched it up thinking that it would make a great MOB dress, especially since it was a dressier version of a suits that Mama P likes to wear.  Our wedding isn’t going to be a dressy affair so finding a MOB dress that fits that vibe is challenging.

It needs a little altering but it’s definitely a contender.  Mama P thought the aqua shell that went under the jacket was a little bit “too much” so we replaced it with an off white shell.  She also has some reservations about the fabric weight being a touch heavy for a July wedding.  I will let the photos speak for themselves

We would shorten the skirt a little

The sleeves would also need to altered.

How darn cute is the ruffle?  *sigh*

But there is no alternations needed on the price tag!  What a steal!

I am not sure Mama P is sold on this dress- but we have it as an option.  How long did your Mom search for a MOB dress?  Did she go through more than one until she found “the one?”

December 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

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