Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Three Years Down for the Colas!

Three years ago today marked a day I will always remember as the day my best friend and I celebrated our love in front of our friends and family.

And this year, just like on our one-year and two-year anniversaries, I went back and looked through all of our wedding photos. Fondly remembering the joy and excitement we felt on that whirlwind day, and paying so much less attention to all of the little details that meant so much to me a the time. Because as the years have passed, my favorite photos are now the ones that catch my new husband looking at me with pure happiness and love on his face.

So this year, to all of the brides of the hive with upcoming weddings, I leave this excerpt of advice from our wedding ceremony:

Let your love be stronger than your anger.
Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend than to break.
Look for the best in your beloved rather than the worst.
Confide in your partner and ask for help when you need it.
Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship.
Give your spouse the same courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends.
Say “I love you” every day.

Lots of bee love,
Mrs. Cola

To see more of the “Alfresco Romance Under the Redwoods” Cola wedding, check out her wedding recaps from the beginning, or catch up with her post-wedding adventures.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mrs. Cola's Reflections on Marriage After 2 Years

I was going to write this deep, meaningful post on what marriage is like after two years. I even put off writing this post until I had the time to devote to it (our 2 year anniversary was actually last week). But now that I finally am able to sit down and reflect on the past two years, only one thing sums it all up:

Being married to my best friend is totally amazing!

So deep, I know! But really, that does sum things up, at least in my mind.

I know most of you reading this weren't around when I was blogging about our wedding, which took place in June 2010.  But I'm here to tell you, amidst the wedding planning drama you may be experiencing, that things only get better. Last year when I popped in and gave an update on our first year of marriage, I said that the best part about marriage was togetherness. And it still is, but the more time passes, the more it becomes about the future.

Last year, on our one year anniversary, I relished looking back on our wedding photos. And I did it again this year, but it was a quicker look, only a small reminder of what happened on our beautiful wedding day. And I found myself gravitating toward the photos of us, instead of all the little details we slaved over.

These days, the further we get from that all-encompassing wedding stage in our lives, the more and more we find ourselves looking toward our future. We can now see past just one day in our lives, past our wedding day. Which was a day I wouldn't trade for anything. But now it's so much easier to let our imaginations run wild with all the things we can do with our lives. It's whatever we choose to make of it, and we've got at least another 50 years together to look forward to, instead of just the one day we chose to start our forever.

What I'm trying to say to those of you still looking forward to your wedding day is, try to look past the wedding too. I know how much over thinking and stressing happens when planning a wedding. And I know this is probably the last thing I'd want to hear at the time, but I'm gonna say it anyway. Enjoy the ride. The wedding is just the starting point, not some end-all, be-all day in your life that everything in the world hinges upon. If you can, let go a little. If you can't, at least take a few minutes to relax with a glass of wine with your partner, and instead of going over guest lists, chat about something fun to look forward to after the wedding. Because there really is life after the wedding. And it's only going to get better and better with time!

Ok, so now that those reflections on marriage are out of the way, let me give you all a little update on what's been going on in the Cola household since my update a year ago, when I shared that we'd uprooted our lives and moved from California to North Carolina.

Well lets just say that moving our lives was totally worth it. In March we became first time homeowners, which with our desire to put 20% down, wouldn't have happened in San Francisco for at least another decade.

Personal photos

It's a fixer upper house, but it's all ours!

And now that's pretty much what we're obsessed with, making this house a home. We've only lived here a couple of months, but we've been knee deep in taking out kitchen cabinets and room-dividing railings, removing dirty pink carpet in the pantry (say it with me, ewww!), doing lots of painting, removing popcorn ceilings and we just recently finished building our anniversary present to ourselves, a fire pit terrace. Fire is the new 2 year anniversary gift, or didn't you hear? ;)

Personal photos

I could update you on our travels or other adventures since I last posted a year ago, but really, all that matters now is that we're HOMEOWNERS! :) Yes, we are 100% in love with our new house. And yes, in true Cola fashion, we're DIY'ing every little home project we can (which you can read more about at The Handcrafted Life if you're interested in keeping up with what we're up to).

Last year I ended my anniversary post with an excerpt from the vows I wrote for our wedding day. This year, I think it's fitting to leave you with this bit from our ceremony, which we pieced together bit by bit from inspiration all over the web.

"Love is a friendship that has caught fire.
It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.
It is loyalty through good and bad.
It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weakness.
Love is content with the present.
It hopes for the future and it doesn’t brood over the past.
It is the day-in and day-out chronicle of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories and working toward common goals.
If you have love in your life it can make up for a great many things you lack.
If you do not have love in your life, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.
So search for love.
Share it. But most of all… ENJOY IT."

Cheers to many more years of happiness! And congratulations to everyone on their upcoming weddings!

To see all of the "Alfresco Romance Under the Redwoods" Cola wedding recaps, see below:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Post-Wedding Project: Displaying Our Guestbook Wishing Stones

Yesterday, when sharing the shadow boxes I made to display some of our wedding mementos, I mentioned that I'd had to dig through a bunch of boxes to find the mementos.

I wasn't kidding. Dig I did, and I thoroughly messed up the area outside the closet of my home office/craft room/guest bedroom.

(Why yes, that IS my wedding dress, still hanging in the closet, untouched and not yet cleaned or sold!)

I'm still holding onto a LOT of our wedding stuff, over a year later. Paper lanterns, photobooth props, framed signage, more leftover paper than I know what to do with, and these:

The wishing stones our guests signed at our wedding!

Ages ago, I wrote a post about our wishing stone guestbook. Basically, we were looking for something fun and non-traditional for our guestbook, and so we asked our guests to sign a wishing stone, and leave us with their "words of wit, wisdom, or well wishes."

It was a big hit, and everyone enjoyed leaving us a little message at our guestbook table at our wedding.

(Above four photos by Shoot Me Now Photography)

And now that I found our signed wishing stones again, I decided to finally follow through with my plans for displaying them in our home.

I found this old vase in storage that would be perfect:

(Please excuse the mess on my craft table. It's a big improvement over the days when I'd cover our coffee table with craft supplies though--these days I have my own room I can make messes in, and it doesn't get in Mr. Cola's way!)

I went through all of our wishing stones, and separated out the, uh, more interesting stones.

Then I started layering the "good" stones around the outside of my vase, saving the interesting stones for filler in the center of the vase, where they wouldn't be visible.

I filled the vase almost all the way to the top this way. Here you can see some of the sweet messages people left us, which I made sure were facing out so we could read them through the glass.

Next, I carefully fished out the top few center stones that were holding the rocks up against the sides of the vase, and quickly inserted some decorative dried greenery to fill the space.

I spread out the stems, and then tucked a few more rocks in the top to hold everything in place, and I was done. One guestbook-displaying home accent all ready to go!

Now it's living in the corner of our entry foyer in our house. Another little reminder of our wedding day that makes me smile every time I walk up or down our stairs!

Will you be having a more traditional or non-traditional guestbook? And do you have plans to display your guestbook after your wedding?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weddingbee: Snapshot Sundays

Mr. and Mrs. Cola

City: Woodside, CA (San Francisco Bay area)
Venue: The Mountain Terrace
Wedding Date: June 12, 2010
Bridal Gown Designer: Sophia Tolli "Alexandria" in Spun Gold

Florist: All arrangements were done my my mother, aunt and I
Photographer: Shoot Me Now Photography, Pacifica, CA
Music: Ceremony acoustic guitar played by a friend, reception iPod/laptop music monitored by friends  
Transportation: Peninsula Tour (Guest Charter Bus), Limo Bee (Bride and Groom's Limo)
Stationery: All paper products purchased from LCI Paper and Paper and More (DIY)
Cupcakes: Sibby's Cupcakery, San Mateo, CA
Catering: Venue catered (The Mountain Terrace)
Coordination: Sara Gorski
Hair and Makeup: Aimee Lam, San Francisco Bay area
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Calvin Klein, from Nordstrom
Spouse’s attire: Charcoal grey suit, from Sears
Menswear: Charcoal grey suits, from Sears
Honeymoon: Kauai Love Shack, Kauai (private house rental) and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Ohau    Favors: Choice of cookies from the San Francisco Cookie Company, white cheddar popcorn from Thatcher’s Gourmet Popcorn, or Ghiradelli Chocolate Squares

Color Scheme and Theme: Alfresco Romance Under the Redwoods, featuring lavender, sage, butter cream and chocolate.


{All photos by Shoot Me Now Photography}

Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite wedding photos with you one more time! It was so nice to have an excuse to look through them again, since a little over a year after our wedding, I definitely don't spend hours drooling over our photos like I did right after we got them back from our photographer. ;)

I had so much fun looking back at the details from our wedding, I think I'm finally inspired now to do something with all of our leftover paper from making our invitations. I think I just realized how much I miss crafting with paper! To check out some more of my DIY wedding paper projects, or any additional details from our wedding, feel free to check out my Weddingbee Wiki and all of my archives, or you can find me these days over here.

And you can see the rest of the Snapshot Sundays posts here.