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Archive for March, 2010

Happy Wedding Wednesday, Everyone! So we posted our love story on the blog a while back, seems like it is about time to talk about our proposal. Here is a copy from our wedding website!

Engagement Story – From Savannah’s Point of View

It was the middle of October, and Ryan had been telling me all week that he really wanted to take our new puppy LuLu to Centennial Park before the weather started getting colder. For those of you who aren’t from around here, Centennial Park is a fantastic place downtown that has a lake and gardens and a full-size replica of the Parthenon. He emailed me one day at work and told me that he decided we should make the coming Sunday, October 19, the day we take her since it would get cold around the end of October. He decided we would go to church, grab lunch and then head out afterwards. It sounded like a great plan to me, and I was excited to let LuLu explore the park, so I readily agreed to his plan.

Sunday came around and everything was working according to plan. We went to church together and on our way back, Ryan asked if I wanted to do Mexican for lunch since he had really been craving it lately. Mexican food is my favorite, so of course I said yes, and we went to one of our favorite places U.S. Border Cantina. For some reason, my food wasn’t as good as it normally was, so Ryan, being the chivalrous man that he is offered to switch plates with me. (Isn’t he a sweetheart? He is always doing sweet things like that for me.)

After lunch, we drove down the road to the townhouse to get LuLu. Ryan thought it would be a good idea to let our food digest for a little while before going to the park, and since I was in the middle of reading the “Twilight” series, I jumped at the opportunity to sit on the couch and read a few chapters. Ryan casually looks up at the clock and says, “It’s 1:15 now. I think we should give ourselves 30 minutes and then leave at 1:45.” So we sat together on the couch reading for about 30 minutes until Ryan looks up at the clock and says we should get our stuff together and head out before we have wasted too much of the daylight. I was wearing my favorite pair of jeans and my favorite purple shirt at the time, but ran upstairs to change since I wanted to wear that outfit to the concert we were going to that evening and didn’t want to get it sweaty at the park. Ryan tried to convince me that I wouldn’t get sweaty and that I should just go in what I had on, but I’m pretty stubborn, and not wanting to give anything away, he didn’t really press the matter much. So I throw on a t-shirt and a ratty pair of jeans and we head out the door. Only Ryan realizes that we don’t have a blanket to sit on, so he runs upstairs and grabs a quilt—a big full-size comforter-type quilt that is ridiculously huge for an outing at the park. I make fun of him for a second, but he says it is the only thing he could find, and we are already heading out the door, so I decided not to go look for another blanket.

I called my friend Livi on the way to see if she was interested in a park outing since she loves Centennial Park, but she said she was hanging out with this guy Jake who she had just met.

It was a very nice day, so Centennial Park was pretty busy. We drove around looking for a parking place and could only find one in the parking lot next to the Parthenon. I grabbed LuLu and our bag of books and goodies, while Ryan was on comforter-carrying duty. This was one of the funniest parts of the day, and I wish that I had a camcorder for this part of the story because I don’t think I can accurately describe how silly Ryan looked at this point. Apparently, he had something stuffed in the middle of the quilt, but I didn’t know this at the moment. So, he is carrying the comforter quilt gently like a baby. This is a huge quilt, mind you, and there he is walking across the park daintily carrying this huge quilt like a woman would carry a baby. I let him walk ahead of me, looking around to see if anyone else is getting as much humor from the situation as I was, but no one else seems to notice. By this time, more and more distance is coming between us because I am trying to figure out what he is doing and why he is being so weird about it. Ryan is always making me laugh, so I figure he is just trying to embarrass me. At one point, I call out to him and ask why he doesn’t carry the quilt under his arm like most men carry things, but after trying to do that for one second, the object starts to slip, so he was back to holding it like a baby again.

We walked over to a huge tree that sits directly in front of the Parthenon. A great place for a good book on a summer afternoon. Ryan starts to lay the blanket down, and then I realize that we came to the park to just sit under a tree, but we had LuLu with us and she was supposed to have time to explore the park. So I asked Ryan if we were going to take LuLu on a walk because “we could have sit under a tree with her at the townhouse.” He just smiled at me and said, “She’ll love this, trust me.” So he laid the blanket out underneath the tree and began to unfold it, I finally notice the object that he has hidden in it and his weirdness suddenly made sense. The object was a scrapbook, and when Ryan saw my eyes land on it, he said, “I have a present for you. I made you something.” My only response at this point is, “I love presents!” When we first started dating, I had told Ryan that he would have to give me a million presents before I would marry him. So I’m used to him buying or making me little things here and there, and I didn’t think too much into it at the moment.

I sat down beside Ryan on the blanket with LuLu in my lap, and he opened the scrapbook and started to tell me about each page. He used covers of some of our favorite albums/musicians, and each page of the scrapbook is a replica of the album cover, with plenty of room left for me to add pictures of us. Since Ryan and I love music, especially going to a live show, I can’t imagine a better layout for a scrapbook of our pictures. Ryan told me that since I am always making scrapbooks for other people and never make any for myself, he wanted to make one that I could keep. Then he flipped through the pages telling me why each album means something to us—Elvis Presley because of the time we went to Graceland together, Diana Krall because of the time we saw her at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Mat Kearney because of the time we saw him at Rites of Spring on Vanderbilt’s campus—each page had meaning to us. On the last page of the album, Ryan had written quotes from some of our favorite love songs. He told me that they couldn’t even begin to describe the way he feels about me. As he starts to give me his speech, I notice the little suede pouch that is tied to the middle ring of the scrapbook and I feel it and know what is inside. Except I wasn’t expecting it! I had no clue! Surely I would have had a clue! So I say (with a goofy I-can’t-stop-smiling grin across my face), “Is this real? Or is this a joke?”

Ryan took the ring out of the pouch and continues with his speech, proclaiming his love for me, I’m sure. Neither of us really remembers what he said, although we know it tied in music and the great times we always seem to have together. The part we do remember is when he finally got to the point and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes!

We stand up to hug, and I hear party horns in the background. Ryan had invited my mom and sisters and two of my best friends (Livi and Kelly) to be there! Livi wasn’t with Jake after all! Apparently, they had all been watching from the steps of the Parthenon the entire time, and I never even knew they were up there. They even said that I looked in their direction several times and never noticed them. Kelly had invited her friend Christie to come so she could get some pictures without us knowing it since we had never seen her before. Christie was standing in front of us the whole time, and I just thought she was trying to get a good picture of the Parthenon! They put a cardboard king crown on Ryan and a plastic queen crown on me, and we took lots of pictures. We toasted with Mello Yellow in some teal plastic margarita glass that my mom brought because she couldn’t find plastic champagne glasses and she figured Mellow Yellow would be close enough to champagne without having to buy us an alcoholic beverage. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time, and I said over a dozen times, “I really had no idea!” After a brief photo session, I texted and called the rest of my family to spread the happy news, and we met Ryan’s family (parents, sister and niece) at P.F. Chang’s to share our excitement. Then we headed downtown for a Ray LaMontagne concert at the Ryman…a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Ryan is usually so transparent that I know when he is up to something. Prior to the proposal, he had asked both of my parents permission to marry me, and they aren’t very good at keeping secrets, so they both let the information leak…and we had picked out the engagement ring together anyway, so I knew a proposal was in my future… but he had been working on the scrapbook for half a year without my knowing it! And he had the whole thing planned for weeks, with his family and my family and Kelly and Livi knowing about it the entire time. He had even sent the surprise guests a map with the location circled and had pointed out where they should park and the tree we would be under and everything! I had been telling everyone that I would know when Ryan was about to propose, but he did such a great job that I never had a clue! It was so perfect!

I’ll never forget that day when he proposed to me under that tree. And this fall, we will form yet another unforgettable memory when I marry my best friend under a tree at the Historic Two Rivers Mansion in Nashville.

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Before any of you starting thinking baby, not quite yet. For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you already know that as of last Saturday, Savannah and I are now the proud owners of an upright piano. But did you know the whole story?

I have been playing the piano since I was in the first grade! And I hadn’t counted until today, but that means I have been playing piano for almost 21 years. As long as I have been alive, my parents had owned a baby grand piano, but they also had a small upright piano as well. This was the piano I practiced on. The baby grand was way too nice to have a six year old play Chopsticks on.

Now as a student, I was never much into learning classical music. I tried Moonlight Sonata, but that was as far as my classical education got. I wanted to play jazz and pop and modern and anything else but classical! So it was fitting that my parents only let me play on the upright. I mean how many movies have you seen where the jazz pianist plays on a baby grand? Don’t get me wrong though. I do love to go pound out a tune on the baby G, but it represented classical music, which was not what I wanted to play.

So years ago, my parents decided to do an upgrade and get a nicer baby grand piano. They decided to get a Chickering, which is a very good piano manufacturer (actually they are manufactured by Baldwin, but Baldwin owns the Chickering name). To pay for it though, they traded in the old baby grand piano AND the upright piano (apparently my parents were having a two-for-one sale on pianos). Ever since, I have enjoyed playing on the new Chickering, but I felt like something was missing. I felt like I wasn’t totally myself.

Well, about two weeks ago, Savannah and I were jokingly talking about getting a piano. Well, she found a GREAT deal on Craigslist for an antique upright piano. There was no brand name listed or age. I initially thought it was going to be a joke. I have played some pretty uncared for pianos in my day, and I figured this would have been another one for the mix. The only catch to the deal was the piano was in Santa Fe (pronounced Santa Fee), TN, about an hour south of Nashville. We decided it was too good of a deal not to investigate, so after work last Tuesday, I headed to Santa Fe.

Well, I walked up to the house and the owner showed me the piano. Guess what…it was BEAUTIFUL! A full size mahogany colored upright piano! The thing is a beast! I would later find out from the movers that it weighs 800 lbs! I asked the owner if he minded if I played it, and he told me to do whatever I needed to do to feel comfortable buying the piano. So I sat down to play a little tune, and guess what is staring back at me. The gold Chickering logo…right there. My parents replaced my old upright with a Chickering. I thought it only proper for me to have a matching piano. Savannah told me that if it was a great deal, then to go ahead and buy it. So I did.

And now we are now the proud owners of our first piano.

Once we got it home, Savannah started to do some research. Based of the information she found, and the serial number inside the piano, the antique upright piano we bought was well past the 40 year old mark that makes antiques antiques. No friends, this piano was built around 1890! This piano has lived through the industrial revolution, two world wars, the Great Depression, the Cold War, the fall of Communism in Russia, the invention of the computer, the domination of the Internet, and the rise of Google! This piano has seen man land on the moon for goodness sake!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my distinguished pleasure to introduce to you, the 800 lb, 120-year-old, Chickering born, full-size upright piano. Please put your hands together for Mo!

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Wedding Wednesday!

It’s Wedding Wednesday! We decided that we needed a little structure to our blog since we kept trying to decide if we should do more recaps of the wedding or just talk about things going on in our daily lives…well we came up with the perfect solution—Wedding Wednesday! On Wednesdays, this will be the place to be for some ideas and inspiration from our wedding, and maybe even weddings in general if we decide to go that route. (I do love weddings, and we know some great vendors!)

Today’s Wedding Wednesday is going to be short and sweet. This week Louise, The (fabulous) Thirty-Something Bride, is featuring our engagement session and wedding on her blog. She picked some great pictures, and we’re having fun reliving our amazing day all over again by reading her blog.

Check out Part 1 of the wedding here.

And the recap of the engagement session here.

And feel free to leave some blog love!

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Happy March!

Happy 5-month anniversary to us! (last week)

Happy almost Daylight Saving Time! (An extra hour of sunlight! Woohoo!)

Happy almost Spring! (less than two weeks away now!)

So many happy things to look forward to this month, and the sunshine just makes it all that much more enjoyable. It’s supposed to reach 66 degrees today in Nashville, and that makes this Monday much more bearable than any Monday so far this year.

Haven’t updated the blog in a while…mainly because Ryan and I have just been trying to stay well. He had to take a couple sick days in February (sinus stuff), and I had to take a couple sick days in February (migraine and a 24-hour stomach bug). And then last week, Ryan missed almost three full days of work with a flu scare. Thankfully, he’s feeling almost back to himself again after a round of antibiotics. We went to a grill out and game night in White Bluff on February 26, and out of like 11 guests who were at the Griffins’ house that night, 7 of them ended up sick with cold/flu symptoms—Ryan included. A couple of the girls were diagnosed with the flu—one of those also has bronchitis and sinusitis. Another girl was diagnosed with tonsillitis. Ryan and our friend Livi were only diagnosed with sinusitis, and I was a little skeptical since that is not contagious but they all ended up with the same symptoms. I guess it doesn’t really matter because both of them were prescribed antibiotics and seem to be doing much better.

Now to just stay well and enjoy this nice weather!

Our 5-month anniversary was on March 3. Ryan was pretty puny that night, so we stayed in and I tried to help him keep his fever down (he had a fever for 4 days in a row!). We did open our 5-month anniversary present from my mom—a date night! She got us a Regal Cinemas gift card.

We’re getting pretty close to celebrating our 6-month mark. Can you believe it’s been half a year already?!?! Time flies when you’re having fun.

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