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Archive for April, 2010

Hey Gang! Sorry for the ominous title, but this Wedding Wednesday post isn’t as bad as you think it is. Although if you ask Savannah it probably is. You see, Sunday afternoon, Savannah came down with what appears to be a pinched sciatic nerve. And as the afternoon turned to night, Savannah was confined to the bed. She wasn’t able to walk or even lay down comfortably. And since a doctor visit Monday morning, she hasn’t got any better. But we have an appointment to see an orthopedist tomorrow, and we are hopeful they will be able to help.

Anyway, the whole point of this blog is “For better or for worse.” Savannah has been completely incapacitated all week. About the only thing she can do is go to the bathroom, and even that leaves her shot for about 20 minutes. But as bad as it has been for Savannah, I have been meeting the challenge with great skill and my typical awesomeness. 🙂 I have been Savannah’s nurse, and as sad as I am that Savannah is in so much pain, it warms my heart that I am able to show the woman I love that I am there for her, for better or for worse or for pinched sciatic nerves.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers and hope for a speedy recovery.

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So far in April:

  • The first weekend of the month included celebrations for our 6-month anniversary (yes, half a year already!), my 26th birthday and Easter. (My birthday just happened to fall on Easter this year.) It was a busy weekend! We did all of this while finally finishing up our fabulous thank you cards, trying to get our house cleaned up, getting Ryan packed for his first business trip of the month and handling some bad news we got from the vet about LuLu. Definitely busy and a little stressful. But we also had some much-needed family time, with our own happy little family and with our extended families.
  • Ryan spent the first full week of the month on an audit in West Virginia. He was gone again this week on a couple audits in Kentucky. LuLu and I are definitely excited to have him home today. (She’s just so nervous when he’s gone that she barks and growls at every little noise, and then I get scared that she’s barking at an intruder and then I have to turn on every light in the house and make sure no one else is in there…but that’s a story for another day.)
  • The second weekend in April meant more celebrations for us. Our friends John and Anelle came up from Tallahassee so we could all celebrate our birthdays together. Anelle’s birthday is the week before mine, and John’s birthday is the week after mine. The last time we saw the Kerskis, we were all in Africa together. So it was definitely time for a reunion! That weekend was also the weekend of my birthday EGGstravaganza, which included Arthur egg rolls and an egg hunt. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate!

  • As Ryan so cleverly stated, last week I became Mrs. Arthur, and he became Mr. Banks. I finally officially changed my name at the social security office. I even received my new fancy schmancy social security card to prove it. (This one even has my middle name on. My first one just had my middle initial, although my mom says she is pretty sure everyone else’s has their full middle name. Is this true? If so, maybe I just now changed my middle name officially from “N.” to “Nicole.”) Ryan auditioned for “Father of the Bride” at Franklin’s Pull-Tight Theatre, and we found out a few days later that he got the part of the father of the bride. He will be Mr. Banks himself! (Stanley Banks in the play, although you may remember him as George Banks from the movie.) We’re so excited about his return to the stage and his debut into community theater!

Hope you have had a great month so far! Can you believe we only have one week of April left? Time flies when you’re having fun!

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It’s not that we forgot about Wedding Wednesday this week, it’s just that we haven’t really had any time to write. In fact, Ryan is gone on a business trip for the second time this month…he’s only been home for one week in April so far. But we’ve been making the most of the weekends and the time we do get to have together this month.

Here’s what’s going on in our world wedding-wise: we met with a couple of our wedding vendors over the past week. Yes, it has been six months since we got married, and we’re still hanging out with our vendors. (Insert lesson here on the importance of picking vendors you mesh well with.) We had actually been trying to schedule a time with Jonathon and Sharon of Jonathon Campbell Photography for quite a while, but one of us kept having something come up. On Thursday, our worlds finally aligned, and we met them for dinner at Taco Mamacita (yum!) and then walked over to Studio Wed (a one-stop wedding shop in Edgehill) to discuss our wedding album and see what Jonathon had put together so far. We had such a great time laughing and hanging out that I didn’t even notice it was almost midnight until we got in the car to go home! Can’t wait to see the finished product! From what we’ve seen, it’s going to be fabulous! On a side note, the Studio Wed space seems like a fun place to start the wedding planning process, and at least three of our vendors are associated with the space, so they definitely know how to pick ’em. 🙂

On Sunday we met Eugene and Heather Brown of 2Duce2 Videography to get some more wedding DVDs. We didn’t have very long to chat, but we did get to see their new space and catch up for minute. We’re excited to pass out the wedding DVDs. We just realized that there are still close family members and friends (even members of the wedding party) who haven’t got to see it yet! It might be time for a movie night!

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Happy Wedding Wednesday! This week we’re going all the way back to 2008 to talk about how we picked out our rings.

When I was in college, half of the girls I lived with got engaged and they had all these wedding magazines everywhere and every time I would look through them, I would see this ring that I thought was so beautiful, which was weird for me because I wasn’t one of those girls who had all the details of their wedding planned out or anything. Like, I always thought I would never really be that picky about that stuff or anything. But every time I saw that ring I just felt like I had to have it, and I would tear out the ad. I even gave it to my ex-boyfriend when we were going to go ring shopping (but we broke up the Wednesday before the weekend when we were supposed to go). So this time around when Ryan and I started talking rings, I saw some other ads and looked at some online, but nothing really appealed to me. And all I could think about was how I really loved that one ring way back then, and I would probably love it now more than anything else I was seeing. The only problem was, I couldn’t find a copy of the ad, and that was like 6 years ago. So I searched my mom’s house looking for it and went through tons of my old college papers…but nothing…

And then I started to worry that I would never find a ring that I really liked and so then I would never be able to get married, because who could live the rest of their life with a ring on their finger that they hated? What kind of statement would that make about the marriage they were in? I just couldn’t live like that. (Yes, I can be a little dramatic.)

So there I was, about to give up hope and I’m talking to God about it and I’m telling him how distraught I am and how much I wish I could just remember the name of the designer who made that ring, and when I got up, it just came to me—Verragio. So I went straight to the computer and Googled it, and within minutes, I had found the exact ring! Here is a link to the specific design on Verragio’s website.

So Ryan found some places in Nashville that carried Verragio and then found a store in Green Hills that has the exact ring—Genesis Diamonds. I went and tried it on the following Saturday, and there were none in the store that I liked nearly as much as that one. It had been calling my name for years! And Ryan agreed that it was the perfect one for me.

One of the things I love the most about this particular setting is that you can see the entire diamond–nothing is hidden.

Ryan later returned to Genesis without me to pick out the diamond that would be made into my very own version of the ring I loved so much. Even though I knew the setting, I didn’t lay eyes on my ring until the day that he surprised me with a proposal.

As for our experience with Genesis, we loved working with them and would definitely recommend them. They never seemed pushy at all, and they gave us (at least in our opinion) a great deal. My ring appraised for twice as much as they charged us. We also bought my wedding band from them, and probably would have bought Ryan’s band from them as well if they offered engraving on Tungsten bands. We’ll talk more about Ryan’s band and our engravings later.

I’ll leave you with this image by the fabulous Serah of Zoey Lee Photography (it’s the closest thing I have to a close up of the ring).

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Happy Wedding Wednesday! Well there is always two sides to every story, so here is part two of our Engagement Story as told by the groom.

From Ryan’s Point-of-View

Back in March…

Savannah has made some of the most beautiful scrapbooks I have ever seen. However, she has never really made one for herself. So when I first got the ring, I knew that I was going to make her a scrapbook. But, I wanted to keep her in the dark, so for months and months I had been asking her for ideas for our proposal story, or if she knew of any good proposal ideas. I was playing dumb and like I had no proposal lined up almost all the way up to October. I am very transparent and like to have completely open communication with Savannah, so trying to keep our proposal story a secret was the hardest thing I think I have ever had to do. Even harder than Belmont’s MBA Program! I can’t count how many times I wanted to tell her a story about my adventures in scrap booking, Like how it was so hard for me to find stickers and doo-dads at Michael’s, or that day I drove to two Michael’s, a Jo-Ann’s and Target all on my lunch break. Especially when she called me during all of that and asked me where I was.

Now this was the first scrapbook I ever made. So it was quite the process. Our friend, Kelly Jennette, helped get me started, as she is also quite the scrapbooker. Savannah and I are huge fans of music, and so I wanted the scrapbook to be focused on music. I decided to gather up some album covers of some of Savannah and I’s favorite artists. Since I spend most of my time with Savannah, I had to convert my office at work into a scrapbooking lair complete with store room and large assembly area. During my lunch breaks I would pull out my bags of stuff and begin assembling. Cutting and glueing and assembling as many pages as I could in an hour. However, I was in the last few semesters of Belmont’s MBA program, so homework often took the place of scrapbooking. It took some time, but I finally, after six months and completing my MBA, I got the book assembled.

Location, Location, Location

Now the proposal location was always the easy decision maker. Sad to say, in all of my years living in Nashville, I had never actually made it to Centennial Park, or if I did, I didn’t remember it. Savannah LOVES Centennial Park, so throughout our relationship, it became a frequented stop on our adventures. So naturally, we would have to get engaged there.

Two summers ago, while amidst the tribulations of Belmont’s MBA program, Savannah asked if I wanted to do my homework outside at Centennial Park. I decided that homework would be completed in a much easier faster in a more positive environment, so I decided to take her up on her offer. When we arrived we laid a blanket down under the tree in front of the main entrance to the Parthenon and began to read. I thought to myself as Savannah’s head lay on my lap, that she was the woman I was going to marry, and that this tree would serve as the proposal site.

Mother, Sisters and Friends! Oh My!

Savannah had told me that she would love to have some of the people closest to her there right after the big proposal, and me being the gentleman that likes to make sure Savannah gets what she wants, I collaborated a day for five of the closest women in her life to be present when I popped the big question. But I wanted this part to be a surprise. So again, I had to implore more secrecy.

I am horrible at directions. I mean HORRIBLE. I often over complicate things, and hate getting lost, so when I give people directions I make sure they have 15 landmarks, repeat directions several times and basically inadvertently send people on a mission to get lost. So to help with issue of being directionally challenged, I utilized my skills in Microsoft Paintbrush to draw a color map of where I would be parking, proposing to Savannah and where everyone should park and hide the day of the questioning. Here’s the map I made!

Even with all of my careful planning there was a snag in my plan. I didn’t realize the day I had planned to be our Engagement Day would be the same day as a concert being held in the park. So the parking lot where I originally planned on parking was full. Frantically, but calmly externally, I made my way to the second parking lot, which was where I told everyone else to park. Luckily, there was enough activity around the park to keep Savannah distracted from recognizing anyone’s car.

The Speech

Thankfully, Savannah didn’t notice anyone’s car and was still completely unsuspecting of what was going on. We made our way to the tree and we went through the scrap book together. When she made it to the last page, she found a suede bag. It was now time for the big speech.

I am very laid back and love for life to unfurl. But this was a pretty important speech I was about to make, so I worked on it a bit before the day. But sitting there looking into those big blue eyes made me forget every word of it. And to this day Savannah and I can’t remember what I said. The more important part of the story was that Savannah had already answered as soon as I got down on one knee and starting talking. Her smile went from ear to ear and her head starting nodding yes with every passing word of my oration. After about 15 seconds, Savannah’s patience was beginning to wear, and she leaned into me as if to say, “Just ask me already, will ya?!” I did, and her answer confirmed what her body language was already telling me. She wanted to marry me and be my best friend forever.

Bring on The Noise!

Once we had our little moment, horn blowers and yells of excitement came echoing across the park. Savannah’s mother, sister and friends came running down to join in our celebration. It was a truly wonderful day and will be etched in my mind forever. I am just so excited that I get to be married to my best friend and new partner in crime.

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We have decided that the first Friday of every month will be First Friday. These will be stories of our firsts! First date, first concert, first random break dancing stories. You get the idea. So what better first would there be to start us off than our First Date!

Ryan and I actually were officially dating before we ever officially went on a date. We hung out a lot at our respective houses or with a group of friends, but had not been anywhere special with just the two of us. Most of our weekends were packed with social events, so it was hard to fit in time for just the two of us. One night in late March, we decided that it was about time to officially go on a date. We had to pick a week night since all of our weekends were full, and we didn’t have time to do much, so we decided to just go out for dinner. I let Ryan pick the place, and he chose J. Alexander’s.

A couple of my hometown friends ended up having a baby that day, so I went to visit them with my friend and bridesmaid Livi right after work. (Baby Peyton was such a cutie and is now a big sister to 1 ½ other girls! Time flies!) Ryan picked me up from the hospital, and we went over to the J. Alexander’s on West End. We had a great time at dinner (J. Alexander’s is always a good choice), and I even met one of Ryan’s high school friends who was working there at the time. It was getting pretty late, and we both had to work the next day, so we started to wrap up the evening when I realized—I didn’t have my purse! And my car keys were in my purse, so I couldn’t go anywhere!

Let me take a moment to point out that if you read our Love Story, you will notice some irony here. One of the first times Ryan and I ever hung out, I left my car keys in his car and had to stop by his house later to pick them up. Now, on our first official date, I left my car keys in someone else’s car. It seemed like a common theme in those early days of our relationship.

Livi lives in Nashville, and my car was at her house. So under normal circumstances, Ryan could have just dropped me off at her place, and I could have gotten my purse and car keys and car all at the same place. Unfortunately, Livi was house sitting for her cousin in Fairview that night, so my car keys were in her car in Fairview (which was like a 40 minute drive from Livi’s house). So Ryan had to drive me all the way out to Fairview to get my car keys and then all the way back to Livi’s place in Nashville to get my car. We actually hung out with Livi for a bit before heading back, so it ended up being a much later night than either of us expected. But we had a great time and got some great one-on-one time on the ride out to Fairview and back. In fact, most people complain because dinner and a movie doesn’t seem like the best way to get to know someone (during dinner you have food in your mouth and you don’t talk during a movie). So having dinner and a road trip on our first date was perfect. Besides, I love road trips!

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I was raised in the Episcopal Church (Many Episcopals joke that the Episcopal Church is Catholic Lite). I went to Sunday school when I was young and I was an acolyte (altar boy to the non-Episcopals) from middle school to high school. I was always very spiritual, but as I grew older I began using the old euphemism “I’m spiritual, but not very religious.” I stopped going to church regularly, and my relationship with God really took a back seat.

Well I decided recently, that if I was going to be the spiritual foundation of my new family with Savannah, I was going to have to bring God to the front of the car and eventually drive (which is hard for me to do since I am a bit of a control freak, but I am working to that end). Even though I had religious influence in my life, I had never read the Bible. I don’t know if it was too daunting of a task, or if i was just lazy or if after reading the first few lines I realized I had no clue what I was reading, but I have never read the Bible from cover to cover.

Well, 39 days ago, to be exact, I started reading. Genesis Chapter 1…”In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” And for 39 days I have read two or three chapters a day. For anyone who hasn’t read the Bible, or those who wanted to read the Bible and have had the same trouble as me, what has really helped me is a website call YouVersion.com. They have numerous translations to pick from (I have been reading the New American Standard Version) so if you prefer the traditional King James, or want something a little more in your vernacular, or if you want to read it in Arabic, they have a version for you.

Really the best parts about YouVersion is 1) they have a bunch of reading plans to choose from. I have a little OCD so I picked the Canonical Plan which goes from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, straight through from cover to cover. (Today I am on Leviticus 24.) They even have an iPod/iPhone App so you can read on the road.

So this being Easter week, Savannah and I went to church on Sunday to get the Holy Week going. During the sermon, our preacher, Dean Barham, referred to a chapter in Exodus, and for the first time in my life, I knew what the speaker was referring to. It was an amazing feeling, and I felt so proud of myself!

So if you are thinking about reading the Bible, you should definitely check out YouVersion.com. And feel free to tell either one of us how you’re doing. Sometimes it helps to be held accountable by someone else. 🙂

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