Mini Honeymoon...Vegas Baby!

I'm still playing catch-up on this blog but eventually I will get to present day! We refer to this as our "mini honeymoon" because it was only 3 days long because I had to get back to my little kindergarten darlings. Alan and I stayed at the Hotel Mar Monte where our reception was and it was so nice to not have to drive anywhere! It was right on the beach and we ordered room service for breakfast and ate it on the balcony with the incredible view. Plus, they never charged us for the room!

We, of course, took a little walk on the beach (and cue cheesy 80's music: "take my breath awaaaay..."). Then Alan wrangled the gorgeous hugeness that is my dress into the bag and soon we were on the road to Vegas!

We stayed at the Monte Carlo which was so fun! We used my credit card points to get the room so we figured we could pay a little extra to get the bigger room, hence Alan lounging around on the couch like he owns the place. We went to explore the casino downstairs and promptly lost $20 on Wheel of Fortune ("Alan, I swear my mom won like $800 on this!"), but it was still fun.

Of course we had to watch the water show in front of Bellagio! Then we wandered around inside and found this super fancy candy shop with an insane chocolate fountain thingy.We ate some delicious and tantalizing ice cream and were apparently so mesmerized by the flavor that we took no pictures.

We wandered down the Strip for awhile, just taking it all in. Vegas indeed has shady aspects (just avoid eye contact with the creepy people passing out wildly inappropriate flyers!), but the bright lights and "cha-ching!" sounds everywhere are fun--you can't deny it! Our favorite hotel was the Venetian (center picture). I loved the canals and chic shops everywhere. Not to mention the Venetian is where you can experience...

Dun dun duh duh dun! The incredible, mesmerizing, fantastic, dramatic, AMAZING Phantom of the Opera! I had been wanting to see this and I knew it was one of the few musicals Alan would enjoy (let's just say he's not exactly known to sing along with me to the many musical soundtracks I own; but, what female OR male can resist the dark mystery of THIS show?).  I have known the songs from this musical since birth, considering my dad sang "Music of the Night" daily in the car. Needless to say, Alan and I both LOVED it. The costumes and set were incredible. The chandelier even reassembled itself and the Phantom swung around on it, being his epic self (Alan would like to point out that we saw the Phantom sneaking up there). Andrew Lloyd Webber and Vegas cast, bravo!

You may wonder why I look less than excited in the picture on the right. Well that would be because our second and last day in Vegas I got food poisoning. From a McDonald's Sausage McMuffin. I was really sick, achy, weak, and nauseous ALL that day and night. Let's just say I got very acquainted with the locations of the bathrooms in various hotels and casinos around Vegas. And we had to sit on every bench and chair we saw because I couldn't walk for more than 5 minutes without feeling too weak or nauseous. What a great new wife I was! Alan was so sweet and understanding, of course. I was determined to have a good time still and I did! I still loved Phantom, even though I was exhausted, so that should tell you how great it was. 

All in all, our "mini honeymoon" was awesome! We'll definitely go back to Sin City soon ;). Soon I will post our "real honeymoon" pictures in 3 installments: Dublin, Paris, and London. Here's to many more adventures to come!


Our perfect day

I know this is about 5 months delayed, but it's the perfect way to start this blog! These are a few of my favorite pictures from our wedding day. Click here for lots more of our favorites!

I could go on for pages about how perfect January 2, 2010 was, but that might only be exciting for Alan and me. Maybe just me. Since most the people reading this blog were most likely there or have heard about it, I will just give our favorite moments from our day.

--The sealing ceremony. It was an incredible and completely indescribable experience. To have so many close family and friends there was such a blessing for us. I knew there was a reason we waited so long to get married! We had to wait until everyone else got married so they could be there.

--Alan would like to mention that one of his favorite moments was seeing me in my dress for the first time after the sealing, before we walked out of the temple together (awww!). He said, "Wow! You look amazing!" (amazed pause) "I didn't know there could be dresses like that!" Well done. Well done.

--The 3-hour (well, longer than that because of traffic) drive from the San Diego Temple to the reception at the beachside Hotel Mar Monte in Santa Barbara. It was so nice to be alone with my new husband after all the fun and crazy picture taking at the temple (by the amazing Tonya Joy Photography). I loved being able to talk to each other about the wonderful sealing we just had. Our sealing. It was all so unreal. P.S. We stopped at Taco Bell and I fashioned a crazy napkin bib for Alan to wear over his tux. Can you imagine mild sauce on his spotless white tie and vest? I changed out of my dress at the temple, of course. Riding in the car for over 3 hours in a corset? I don't think so.

--Stopping and taking pictures at the Ventura pier. Tonya brilliantly suggested that we stop at the Ventura pier because we might not have enough daylight to take pictures across from the Hotel Mar Monte, which was the original plan. We are so glad she did! It was so fun to walk along the beach and laugh together while Tonya and Gena worked their magic. There was the most perfect, golden, buttery lighting and we love every one of those pictures. We were so lucky to have Tonya and Gena there to share their talent and capture our memories for us. I also love that there were random people at the beach taking pictures of us!

--Walking into our reception. It was probably the only time in our lives when almost all the people who are important to us were in the same room. And they all came to celebrate us. I just felt so blessed all day because I couldn't believe all these people would do all this for us. My incredibly talented friend, Heidi Jimenez of Zenadia Design, did so much work to make our wedding full of style (including doing those gorgeous invitations by hand). The crystals, the cake, the centerpieces, the pictures on the wall, the candy! Everything was perfect! I know it sounds dramatic, but it was my dream reception and I felt like the luckiest princess in the world!

--Eating the delicious dinner at our own little "sweetheart table" (this is a favorite moment that Alan reminded me of). We did the sweetheart table because most of the people in the wedding party had families of their own and we didn't want to force them to sit with us instead of their families. It turned out to be awesome because we could still talk to people at tables next to us, but we had a chance to be alone a little and talk to each other and enjoy the amazing food together (wasn't that ranch dressing delectable?). And it made us feel like the queen and king because the chairs were so grand-looking. I would also like to mention that Alan pulled my chair out for me every time I sat down. He earned lots of points the first day of our married life!

--Dancing with my dad to Thank Heaven for Little Girls, which made my mom and all her sisters cry (sorry!). She used to sing it with her dad and I was glad my grandpa was remembered on mine and Alan's special day.

--Ryan's touching toast: "I'm just turning the house sound back on." Seriously though, he was an awesome DJ!

--Matt's joke of the day: "Getting married was the best decision I ever made. . . because it was the last decision I ever made!" Ba da ch! He was an awesome emcee. And apparently Ben was the unofficial videographer. I was all about assigning jobs to my brothers.

--Not having to drive anywhere at the end of a very long day. The Mar Monte Hotel is awesome. Enough said.

--Our last favorite moment sort of was all day long. Hugging, laughing with, celebrating with, dancing with, and talking with all our favorite people! They all made us who we are today and our wedding day wouldn't have been the same without them. Alan's family even came all the way from Cincinnati to be there, which meant so much to us.

Ok, so this turned out to be pretty long. Pretty much the entire day was our favorite! At the risk of sounding cheesy yet again, I am so lucky to be married to my best friend and I really love him more every day. Even if he leaves his clothes on the floor. And he loves me even though I love shopping a little too much. 

P.S. I promise the next posts will not be as cheesy or long! 


Test post

I was trying to see if my cute post titles and sidebar titles would work and they did! I will post a real post when it isn't 1 in the morning...a wedding post perhaps! Yes, it's been 5 months, but we didn't have a blog then, did we? 

P.S. how amazing was our cake?