Thursday, December 29, 2011

Belize Navidad

We got back a few days ago from a Christmas trip to Belize. Surprisingly, this trip was actually a tad more eventful than the typical Ryan family beach vacay.

First let me paint a picture of what is the standard for our family - how many books can one back in the suitcase without exceeding the luggage weight limit? What movies can we bring that all members of the family would actually agree on watching together? How early do we need to get up in order to ensure prime spots for our lounge chairs? More books. Reading in the sun. Rain is not allowed. Clouds are tolerated, but only for brief spats. Bocce Ball constitutes about all the physical exertion any of us can handle.  Except for this one time when we decided to hula-hoop. With arms inside the hoop. Naturally.

To continue, the SPF 15 sunscreen bottle usually is empty by day four, so we resort to wearing SPF 8. The inevitable morning question: Will you put sunscreen on my back? Chris finished all of his books so it's time to steal his sister's reading.  Whose doing the dishes? Everyone flees the kitchen. Oh my gosh, there is another family trying to stay on the beach longer than us in the late afternoon sun....yea right, they can't win. Dips in the pool are a rare occurrence for my dad, and I've yet to see the day when he has voluntarily gotten in the ocean past his ankles. One time he did venture in, and he ended up passed out on the beach with an oxygen mask strapped to his face, along with his best friend, Frank. Mind you, they both were wearing matching Big Dog swimsuits at the time.

Well, this year we ventured just a touch on the adventurous side, and thanks to the addition of my hubby, Chris finally had a partner in crime with whom he could do boy things:

1) Fishing on the dock EVERY night we were there for the massive tarpon that swim under the lights. Each night, I waited expectantly for the boys to come in with at least 5 massive fish. The only thing that actually woke me once was the smell of hot oil at 12:30am when they decided to eat, right then and there, the one successful catch. It was about 6 inches long and maybe about 12 ounces heavy. They said it was the best fish they've ever tasted. Michael did catch a barracuda later in the week, but we didn't know that you could eat them so he threw it back. Darn.
2) Daredevil Chris and Sensible Michael kayaked to the reef one day. The reef is about three quarters of a mile offshore, and the waves break on it because it is so shallow. Because there is coral. Naturally. But Daredevil Chris heeds not the waves, and of course flips over his kayak. On coral. Scratch. Cut. Gash. Sensible Michael observes the whole thing, retrieves the wayward kayak and helps Chris back on. Without him, Chris would have been up a creek, so to speak.

Chris says "to the reef!"

Notice Michael -- water bottle, wearing a shirt to avoid sunburn, and a lifejacket. Notice Chris -- none of the above, and certainly not wasting any time to take a picture.

3) Snorkeling. Mom and I would go with Chris when he snorkeled, but after about 20 minutes, I usually have breathed in enough salt water for the year. So Chris used to be the lone ranger. Not so anymore. Michael is a fish out of water. Seriously. He did this on our honeymoon too, and apparently he did this as a boy in his backyard pool -- he lays on top of the water and doesn't move. For hours. No lie. Even Chris came back to the boat before Michael this time.

Here are my boys, two of my most favorite men in the whole world:

I can assure you that Chris doesn't normally look weird; it's just a regular occurrence in any picture he's in.

***Side note on snorkeling: it would have helped me to know that I was jumping into stingray-infested water. It is one thing to know what you are getting yourself into, but it's a whole new ball game to have no clue that giant, winged, menacing creatures are flying through the water just inches from your bare skin. No sir-ee, I was out of that water faster than you can say lickity-split.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Upper Twenties

Oh my gosh. It has happened. I am 26 years old. Officially in my upper twenties. Holy cow. Hold the phone. OH MY. Name this movie:

Hold it, hold it. What is this? Are you trying to trick me? Where's the sports? [suspiciously] Is this a kissing book? 

Wait, just wait. 

Well, when does it get good? 

Keep your shirt on, and let me read. 

C'est la vie.

My man and I went to Acqua al 2 for by birthday dinner on Tuesday thanks to the Dewey's and the West's wedding gift! Michael has been to the original restaurant in Florence, so it was fun to get to re-live the blueberry steak experience with him... only maybe it was better now because Acqua al 2 is in Eastern Market, one of our favorite parts of DC -- the city we together call home! Come visit :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DC of Late

Things we've been up to:
1) Every Christmas, Mt. Vernon opens up for night tours. We went a few weeks ago and had a ball. Literally, a ball. We learned how to dance like in Pride and Prejudice! I've always known I channeled Elizabeth Bennett, and Michael loved the movie when he watched it with me. We also met Mrs. Washington... she was so jolly, just sitting in her parlor waiting for the hubs to come home. Obviously, she was an actress, but seriously, she fit the part to a T. I wanted to give this lady a big squeeze and invite her over for some hot apple cider and Christmas caroling. Pictures are not allowed inside Mt. Vernon, but she was very plump, had poofy white hair, rosy cheeks, a beautiful gown, and basically looked like the female version of Santa Claus.

Fact: George Washington was fascinated with exotic animals! I never knew this, but apparently George would bring animals to his home to entertain his guests and grandchildren.

Aladdin, a camel.
2) The other night, Sarah and Steve came over for dinner and then we walked to Serendipity for dessert. Serendipity 3 recently opened on M Street, and while it's not quite as charming as the two in NYC, the sundaes were great. And HUGE. In fact, Michael actually felt sick from too much sugar.

Maybe that is why we decided to take a 6 mile walk the next day.

3) No lie! I charted our walk on We walked to meet friends for brunch, and since the weather outside was frightful delightful, we just kept walking. We ended up on Theodore Roosevelt Island to say hi to Teddy himself. Speak softly and carry a big stick.
Key Bridge from Georgetown to Rosslyn
3) Speaking of the Key Bridge, we also had my work Christmas party last Friday night at the American History Musuem. Did you know the Star Spangled Banner was penned by Francis Scott Key during the war of 1812, not the Revolutionary War? My history major self was appalled at how unaware I was. I thought Key wrote the song while seeing the flag flying high over Ft. Sumter, but how on earth would that make sense as Ft. Sumter was were the Civil War began. And how on earth would the Revolutionary War make sense as the flag didn't even exist then. Ahhhhhhhhh. Triple fail.

4) Look who came to town! I started with a picture of some Powells, and I'll end with a picture of some Powells. Your Powells.
When Abigail and I first moved to DC in February 2009, the first restaurant we went to with Mrs. Powell, and really the only restaurant that I knew of, was Cafe Milano. And here we are again, almost three years later, still in DC! Amazing. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

Did you know that ornaments are expensive? Oh. But of course you knew. I was late on that bandwagon. I have gone to Bed Bath and Beyond, Ross, Ace Hardware, and the grocery store, and all of these places have ornaments. The problem is that they are either quite pricey or just plain UGLY. I wish I had taken a picture of some of the things I saw. Two words come to mind: cheese and ball. Wait, make it three words: cheese, ball, and 1972. This is probably my fault - I must not be going to the right stores.

I did find one place where I really loved the ornaments: Sur La Table. And it seems they are having a sale right now! Holy cow, I just may have to splurge and get a little copper teapot right this minute. And definitely the red cheese grater. But still, unless I bought 20 of them, our little Christmas tree from upstate New York would still be a bit sparse. So, what to do?

Solutions come in all shapes and sizes, and tonight, they came in the shapes of cranberries and popcorn.

Here's our tiny tree. We love her.

And the tree skirt? Here's the story behind that gem: Abigail (MOH in my wedding) and I were at her family's ranch in Walnut Springs, Texas during one of my many visits to their ranch during our high school years. There was a house on their property that had been abandoned since 1993 (we know this because we found magazines, Christmas cards and coins in the house, and the latest date we found was 1993... we were detectives, you see.) The house was and is called Tara -- like Scarlett O'Hara's plantation from Gone with the Wind -- and the name was certainly fitting for this home: huge, white, ominous, solemn, maybe haunted -- not from ghosts of the Civil War like the fictional Tara, but from what felt like an erie, hurried abandonment. The house had been utterly untouched for 10 years, but it felt like someone was going to open the door at any moment and brush his teeth, take a shower, and cook a meal. There was dental floss in the bathroom drawer, clothes in the closets, sheets on the beds, and logs in the fireplace. Yet everything was OLD. Ten years is quite a while for things to go untouched. Naturally, Abigail and I were enthralled.

While walking through the upstairs, I happened to open a hall closet and discover two beautifully patched, bright and bold-colored, twin-sized quilts. Oh wow. Oh the colors! Abs look at this! I gawked and squawked and ooooed and ahhhed. Something about patchwork quilts get to me -- the colors, the patterns, the oldness, the effort it takes to make them --  and that was the first time I realized I love quilts. I now have 4 of them in my apartment, which is a lot considering the limited space we have.

I didn't really think too much about those quilts after that. Several months later, it was my birthday and Abigail came over with a birthday present. Oooo! A present. I opened it up and lo and behold, she had remembered how much I loved those quilts and had gotten one of them dry-cleaned (probably twice because those quilts were dirrrty) and wrapped it up for me. What a gift I will always treasure from a dear friend. And will also use as a darn-good Christmas tree skirt.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Night Stroll

A few weeks back, DC was nothing but leaves and colors. One of my favorite things about living where we do is that the grocery store is two blocks away. I LOVE walking with my reusable grocery bags up the hill past the library and back down Wisconsin Avenue to the Social Safeway. Yes, it's really called that. Apparently all of the DC Safeway stores have names. Thus far, I only know of two: Social Safeway and the Soviet Safeway in Dupont, called such because its shelves are almost never fully stocked as Dupont is one of the busiest areas in the city.

Anyway, here is some color from our street that I snapped on one of my grocery trips:

In keeping with the subject of walking, Michael and I often take walks after dinner. It gets us out of the apartment, gives Michael a nice study break, and helps our digestion. Win win win. We took the camera the other night and although I wish we could boast some photography know-how, we have none. We did have some fun with the night setting though.

Normal camera setting:

Night setting:

Ooooo spooky                

Suddenly the Harry Potter theme song has popped into my head.

Shoot. I think I must go now and read HP. I'm in the middle of book 4, re-reading them all of course. I was one of those Potter diehards who went to the midnight book releases at Barnes and Noble every time a new book came out. My brother read them too -- one time he even tore my book in half because I wasn't reading fast enough on our beach vacation. Unbelievable. 

I didn't plan on writing about Harry Potter at all yet somehow I've done it. And just watched one of my favorite YouTube videos. Oh good grief.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Firecracker Life

Marriage has certainly calmed my life down. Going from 8 roomies, to 6, to 4, and finally to one hubby can either make a girl go crazy, or can take the crazy out of a girl. For me, it's thankfully been the latter. Not that I was crazy before I was married. I was just busy. Non-stop. Go go go. Traveling, running, eating chips for dinner, calling, making plans, buying flights, sleep here, sleep there, watching the Kardashains with my roomies (I miss this,) driving, working, planning a wedding, preparing your heart, loving every minute, excited for it to be over.

Summer turns to fall and then I write poetry:

Bright light burning until it goes dark
Stars left in the midst of the fairy lights
Green grass smells like summer rain but
no rain fell

Green grass, green tree changes
into orange.
Indian summer or Indian paintbrush?
The night swallows the day as I sit and
The clouds roll in like frothy milk.

They cover us warm.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Great Read

I am re-reading books that I read several years ago and am as completely taken with them as I was the first time I read them.  This can only mean one of two things: either I just loved the stories so much that I want to immerse myself in them once more, or - and this is more likely -  I'm turning into an old woman and can't remember the plot so have to therefore re-read the whole book.

I just did this with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I read it maybe two summers ago and was so intrigued by the story. It not only sheds light on the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II, but it makes you fall in love with each character as you come to know his or her voice. The whole story is told via a series of written letters, all fictional, but all accurate in how they depict the way the Islanders lived and supported each other during the occupation. And, this book is so funny. Laugh out loud funny. Always a plus.

Here are some of my favorite passages: 

"I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, someone I can't be silent with." 

"Doodlebug... That was the name coined by the ministry of Information; it was meant to sound less terrifying than "Hitlers' V-1 Rockets" or "pilotless bombs." We were all used to bombing raids at night and the sights that followed, but these were unlike any bombs we had seen before. They came in the daytime, and they came so fast there was no time for an air-raid siren or to take cover. You could see them; they looked like slim, black, slanted pencils and made a dull, spastic sound above you - like a motor-car running out of petrol. As long as you could hear them coughing and putt-putting, you were safe. You could think "Thank God, it's going past me." But when their noise stopped, it meant there was only thirty seconds before it plummeted. So you listened for them. Listened hard for the sound of their motors cutting out." 

"Do you know what sentence of [Shakespeare's] I admire the most? It is 'The bright day is done, and we are for the dark.' I wish I'd known those words on the day I watched those German troops land, plane-load after plane-load of them - and come off ships down in the harbor! All I could think of was damn them, damn them, over and over. If I could have thought the words 'the bright day is done and we are for the dark,' I'd have been consoled somehow and ready to go out and contend with circumstance - instead of my heart sinking to my shoes." 

"Your questions regarding that gentleman are very delicate, very subtle, very much like being smacked in the head with a mallet. Am I in love with him? What kind of question is that? It's a tuba among the flutes, and I expect better of you. The first rule of snooping is to come at it sideways - when you began writing me dizzy letters about Alexander, I didn't ask if you were in love with him, I asked what his favorite animal was. And your answer told me everything I needed to know about him -  how many men would admit that they loved ducks?" 

"Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person's name suddenly pops up everywhere you go? My friend Sophie calls it coincidence, and Mr. Simpless, my parson friend, calls it Grace. He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and 'fruitfulness' is drawn in." 

Ps. Tell me if you have read any amazing books recently! I love recommendations. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Joy Deux

Two years ago, I asked friends to tell me what brings them joy, and I posted their answers here.  I loved hearing their replies so much that I asked them again last week. Here are some of the things they said:

Cute babies.*
Mikey and Granty

5:25pm on Friday!


Being able to really encourage my friends. 

The feeling after a good workout. 

The way my dad loves my mom. 

Purring kitties, hot apple cider, cashmere blankets, a beautiful crisp day, and my burly bearded happy man. 
Wilson and Lucinda

Sleeping next to you :) 

Walking Buster along the water with Thomas, being able to see the mountains and breathe in the salty air, and feeling thankful for everything we have been given. 

The chatter of little ones babbling in the back of your car. 

When Jimmy wakes up and scoots closer.** 

It felt pretty great when - in college - I sat in the audience and experienced the audience experience the play I'd written. So - I really like it when people are kinda mesmerized or transported or deeply engaged by something I've been integral in creating.  I'm not sure if that's joy.  It's definitely a deep satisfaction.  But it has a kind of lightness and elation to it - so I guess it is joy.

Buying people gifts I know they will love. 

Sunset in Virgin Gorda

Every fall I search for the perfect "fall leaf" to tape into my journal. The search brings me joy. Reminds me of growth and newness through change...for trees and people.


Getting lost in music.*** 

Having my marine safe and home. 

Cowboy boots! Driving with the windows down and heat on my feet! Working with kids! Anything turquoise! Fellowship! 

Cowboy boots


People. People that God brings in and out of my live give me immeasurable joy. 

Weekends with my husband, and decorating for Christmas! 

People stopping me to ask for directions, and me giving them proper directions, and them being really grateful.**** 

Sunlight pouring through an autumn leaf casting a red shadow my way. 

My hubby!!!!!!!

Going to a church service at Advent. For so long I thought I would have to leave and never get to be back in the most beautiful dilapitaded sancutary sweating--both during the summer and winter--with people who have become family and listening to old hymns and contemporary songs all sung to the tune of a few guitars, a cello, and a violinist. I think I cry almost evey Sunday out of the joy and peace I get by being there. There is something special about finding a place that really feels like home, when you're surrounded by a bigger place that really doesn't feel like home (referencing both DC (at times) and this world (almost all the time)). 

Sitting on the beach with my feet in the water, reading a book next to my mom.*****

*I agree about cute babies. But tonight at Safeway, I saw the most obnoxious 4 year-old girl in the checkout line. She didn't listen to her mom who told her to stop playing with the curled cord that goes across the aisle when the line is closed, and ended up getting her hair wrapped around it in the most haphazard way that only a screaming little punk could do. Birth control at its finest. 
**I think this is my favorite answer ever. 
***mmmmmm music. I have been listening to a Joshua Radin/Gungor mix on Pandora lately. And switching it up with some Pretty Lights. Finding the right song is pure joy. Try this. or this. or this
****One time in Argentina, an Argentine woman stopped me to ask for directions. I will never forget that moment and what it felt like: I was mistaken for an Argentine Portena (score 1,) I answered in near fluent Spanish (score 2,) and I actually knew how to direct the woman through the busy streets of Buenos Aires (score 3.) It was one of those epic life moments when you know it doesn't get better than that.... only to find out that it does.
*****Sitting on the beach with my feet in the water, reading a book next to my mom. I couldn't agree more. Next to my dad too. 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First Things First

There's been a lot of firsts around here lately....

Like the first time we have ever used our KitchenAid to make pasta. Let me tell you what, it was divine. And we went healthy. I know what you're thinking: "How is pasta healthy??" Oh hush now. It was whole wheat. Nothing in it but flour and egg. Claire and Billy Jones and the Clifts need a major shout out right about now: Thank you for our wonderful, red KitchenAid. It brings with it much joy and just knowing that it's from Claire, Billy, and fam makes it that much sweeter.

....Like the first time Michael and I have celebrated Halloween and carved a pumpkin together! Michael carved a pumpkin! Look at that intensity. We weren't sure if we should put our little jack-o-lantern outside for fear of attracting costumed kiddies to our door because...... we forgot to buy Halloween candy. I know, I know -- you're wondering if we're even American. We just didn't get to it. After much consternation, we resolved to pass out granola bars (Nature Valley of course) should we hear a knock at our door. Luckily, our upstairs neighbors dutifully manned their candy basket. No little munchkins actually braved our doorway only to give us a look of dejection when we handed them granola bars instead of Reese's Pieces. We'll be better prepared next year. After all, who wants to be the crazy health-nuts who pass out granola bars on Halloween??

Our pumpkin had hearts. You know you've married the right man when it was his idea to do hearts, not mine.

Of course with the first pumpkin carving comes the first pumpkin seeds! I wasn't actually quite sure how to roast pumpkin seeds, but I knew who would. None another than my own sweet mama, Barbie Ryan. I quickly called her up and followed her instructions which ended up making the best pumpkin seeds I've ever had! No lie. So good that I had to write it down so I wouldn't forget it. I'll share the recipe:

....Like the first time I have EVER IN MY LIFE successfully made an omelette!!!!

It was so good that I was already half-way done before I realized that this was too good to be true and I just had to take a picture. My success story begins with my hubby. Michael has been making omelettes since he could practically walk, so for him, flipping semi-cooked eggs, onions, ham, and cheese in a skillet and having it actually land in the same spot is like second nature. For yours truly here, I have had some catastrophic results in my attempts. However, I am a student of observation. After 4 months of marriage and watching Michael's technique (gently lifting the sides of the omelette with a spatula so that the non-congealed part of the egg could run to the edges, then shaking the pan back and forth to make sure no part of the omelette was still stuck to the skillet, then flipping the omelette upside down with a mere flick of his wrists and catching it back in the skillet, then adding cheese on top right before folding the omelette onto a plate,) I decided to try it out. Lo and behold, it worked!  Will wonders never cease. Whoever said you can't teach an old dog new tricks was wrong.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sunset Hills

It sounds like a ballad, or maybe a quirky romantic getaway spot, but no, Sunset Hills is a vineyard in Purcellville, VA where mis amigas y yo spent our Saturday afternoon. "Turning sunshine into wine" is their motto. Oh. Stop. That's got my name all over it. Ok, cut the cheesiness, I mean it when I say that this vineyard is one of the best I've been to outside of Charlottesville (I am biased - everything is better in Charlottesville.) I can't attest to the actual quality of the wine as I was the DD (yea yea yea, I was the DD, so? We are responsible. Plus, wine seems to take a long time to exit my system, and I was still feeling weird from my chardonnay matched with the best salad ever from the night before,) but las chicas seemed to think it was tres bon.

Mmmmm it seems my DC besties all have blonde hair.  At least I have my brown-haired college loves, thank goodness for them:

I digress. 

It was a great afternoon followed by a great night -- we watched Bridesmaids. There are certainly some parts that could have been left out, but there are also some seriously great scenes from that movie. What we all noticed about the film is that it touched on real life themes that often run rampant among us women. Examples: A girl thinking she isn't worthy of a decent man who respects her (LOVED the love story with the Scottish cop) so she runs to the sleezebally, porsche-driving, skummy guy. Ughh I hated that guy. Or the need (yes, it is a need) to be able to talk something out with a girlfriend, no matter what the situation. Or the illusion of happiness and having it all together when really the pretty girl is terribly lonely. Or being so down on yourself that you end up getting your life knocked back into you by your overweight, pearl-wearing, top security clearance, dog-stealing friend (Megan - most memorable character award, by far.) Bridesmaids was an example of why we girls need each other. And being with my sweet friends all day long only affirmed that, big time. It was a good day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shake it

Just a regular morning. 
 Doing zumba.
with the Whites!!!
...on the eve of Molly's wedding..... naturally. duh. 

That's right -- we did zumba at 10am on Friday morning under the tent in Molly's driveway before heading to the bridesmaids luncheon. So fun. I can't really say that I know how to move my body, but Tilly certainly does. She's in green. Pretty sure her face is even doing that pucker lip thing. Dang. 

Molly White is now Molly Webb. Molly White Webb. Cute. No, beautiful! Because Molly was so beautiful! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Buon giorno

Epic happenings around the Catalino household today. Over a year and a half ago, I was with my parents in St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore when I came across a little store that sold posters. Naturally, I went straight for the "travel" section, and started thumbing through the prints.
I found these:

and this:

Italia! I picked up these posters before I had even met Michael, my Italian hubby. Well, these prints have been sitting frameless in a plastic bag ever since I bought them. I lack certain motivation at times most of the time for errand-running or shopping or any sort of household arranging, so it took me all of 18 months to actually go out and find frames. Which I did yesterday!

After a brunch at The Diner this morning, we came back and hung the posters in our bedroom.

One small step for a normal homemaker, one giant leap for Carey Beth. Celebrate the victory!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Still of the Morning

This morning, I was sitting at my kitchen* table about to start work when I found myself struck by the morning light coming in through the drawn blinds. Warm light bathing the table, my computer, my skin, the candlesticks left out from dinner.

Small wonder.

I remember coming back to UVA after seven months in Argentina and seeing everything with such wonder. I had a renewed spirit inside of me and new eyes through which I could see the world. Nowadays, I do still try to see the goodness in small things, and often succeed, but sometimes the worries and seemingly mundane things of life keep me from always keeping this awestruck mindset.

Patrick Lafferty is a pastor at PCPC in Dallas, my home church where I grew up. He writes weekly devotionals called "Every Thought Captive" and they are SO GOOD. Talk about someone who is a seriously gifted communicator and knows his vocabulary. Well today, I got the weekly email (you can sign up to receive them) and was blown away. He basically wrote my thoughts way better than I ever could.

"...The righteous life, the full life, and the joyful life are but synonyms for each other... Common to them all is how each is dependent on and evidenced by gratitude. Gratitude for the enduring realities that ground us, and the fleeting incursions of laughter and wonder that buoy us—for things seen with our eyes, and things seen only with the heart illumined by the grace of the Lord. Abiding joy—itself a mark of real righteousness and true fullness—depends mightily upon abundant thanks... [Let us] widen our gaze to gain eternal perspective and slow our pace that we might not miss the unexpected graces in our very midst."

Unexpected graces in our very midst. Even coffee in matching mugs from Eastern Market is an unexpected grace and a true delight to me.

What a reminder this daily devo is for me today. To have an attitude of gratitude is one step closer to taking hold of the life that is truly life.

*"Kitchen" is a stretch. We have a kitchen, breakfast room, study, and den. Add the laundry room, bedroom, and bathroom and we have a seven room casa! Yet somehow all these rooms fit in our two-room, basement apartment. Will wonders never cease.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Flowers + Love

I LOVED the bouquets at my wedding. Seriously. Loved. Them. Hence why they are now the header photo to this blog. My friend Tilly said that if there were ever a bundle of flowers to describe Carey Beth, it would be the ones I had. Well hey! That worked out well. The bouquets were designed by Jacquelyn Collmus in Charlottesville. She is the The flowers were the one wedding detail that I was picky about -- I wanted every color under the rainbow except for blues or purples. I didn't see the flowers before the wedding (or anything for that matter... for example, the cake... I loved the cake!) and I didn't even know that my bouquet wasn't made with all white flowers. I loved these big balls of color. Oh happy day.