Monday, October 29, 2012

5 Days...

In 5 days (from this very second) I will be walking down the aisle to the man of my dreams and my best friend in the whole world - Aaron Kiva Mertz.

In 5 days I will be promising to love him for the rest of my life and stand beside him forever.

In 5 days I will be his wife. I will be his partner. I will care more about someone else than I will myself.

In 5 days I will embark on the crazy adventure of marriage. I know it will be challenging, difficult, amazing, joyful, filled with excitement and hope and wonder. And I will be doing it all with the most amazing man I have ever met and will ever meet.

In 5 days I will dance with at our reception. The moment I have always dreamed about! We will be surrounded by family and friends and loved ones who will continue to support us throughout our entire marriage.

In 5 days I will leave my wedding, with my HUSBAND! We will run through a line of sparklers to our get away car. We will drive to one of the most beautiful resort hotels I have ever known and take a big sign of relief that the wedding planning is over and the rest of our lives have begun.

In 5 days I will move into Phoenix to live with the person I will always live with for forever!

In 5 days I will be Mrs. Mertz!

Can you tell I'm excited?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bridal Showers!!!

Oh my gosh!!! It is actually happening!! The official wedding festivities have begun and therefore, it is getting more and more real and more and more exciting!!

I will admit the wedding planning has grown stale and become an obligation more than anything to get excited about. Having 4 stores to stop at on my way home from work, only to not accomplish a single thing at any of the stores is more frustrating than I could handle there for a week or two. I never actually reached the point in every brides wedding planning process where you contemplate the merits of an elopement, but I did feel heavy feelings of regret for not spending the money (which I don't even have) to have someone do all the wedding planning for me. However, just as everything was becoming stressful and bleak, the bridal showers began!!!!

I was the girl that dreams about details of her wedding - from the centerpieces to the shoes to the music playing as I danced with my father to the first kiss with my new husband! But, I was NOT the girl who really thought about my bridal shower! I love bridal showers as much as the next wedding-obsessed girl, but I knew that the bridal shower was for someone else to plan, and I had too much mental space dedicated to floral bouquets. So when it came time to planning my bridal showers, I was so incredibly thankful for my amazing bridesmaids, beautiful mother-in-law, and spectacular mom who happily offered to throw showers for me!!! I trusted these women so much and was so thankful that they had a vision for those beautiful parties celebrating Aaron and I. I was also so thankful that I was free from having to think one minute about a bridal shower and focus all my attention on my DIY wedding :)

I am one incredibly blessed and honored woman!!!

First up was my large bridal shower! I invited mostly woman near my own age - married, single, and from all groups in my life. It was so much fun having those women all around me! Each of them I love and cherish so much! It was held at SunUp Brewery in Phoenix. I know what you are thinking - a bridal shower in a bar?? How classy of you Miranda... But seriously this place is so cool! They have a private banquet room with red brick walls, no neon beer signs, and big windows with just a really cool urban vibe. I loved it! My guests had delicious desserts to eat and were able to order ciders, beer, and wine if they wanted.

I have been to literally hundreds of bridal showers! Not even kidding :) So when I walked into mine, it was this overwhelming realization that after all the waiting, it was finally my turn! It was finally my shower!! One of my good friend's asked me if it was hard for me to believe that it was really my shower, and I just wanted to cry at how excited I was!

My beautiful, wonderful, uniquely gifted, and precious bridesmaids did all the planning and worked together to create a lovely evening.
My beautiful bridesmaids!! (Left to right: Nicole, Elisabeth, Jeannette, Me, Kendra, and Ashley)

There was no strict agenda, which was awesome because it gave everyone an opportunity to hang out and spend time talking with each other. It also gave me the chance to make my way around the room and talk to as many people as I could.
Me and the moms! (Aaron's mom Laurie, Me, My mom Linda)
I get to do life with these amazing group of women! (Left to Right: Jeannette, Heidi, Nicole, Me, Tara, Meredith, Kelsie, and Jessica)
The whole night was free of agenda and a chance for me to mingle with my friends and open gifts! These women were so generous with helping Aaron and I supply our home and marriage with such fun things :)
Such a daze of excitement, overwhelming love, and celebration!

The next bridal shower was just for family! Laurie (Aaron's mom) was so amazing at planning a beautiful brunch shower in her home. I was so honored to have a group of women around me who had so greatly affected Aaron and my life.
Delicious food!
 Each guest brought a recipe to share with me and my mom gave me the precious recipe box to hold them all in that she opened at her bridal shower 33 years ago.
Nicole made me a shadow box for Aaron and I to drop the tokens of our first year into. Shawn (my brother) drilled a slit at the top for easy access to drop in movie ticket stubs, plane ticket stubs, Disneyland ticket stubs, and other articles from our first year as husband and wife! Such an amazing gift :)
I was given an array of heirloom gifts of glassware, blankets, and a handmade afgan from my Mamaw. Laurie gave me a family cookbook spanning generations of Aaron's family.

Emolyn was my special helper! I was so glad to have her there :)
My niece Emolyn was able to come and she was so excited to be at a real ladies shower! She also made a friend in Aaron's cousin Katie's daughter Tessa. They played princesses together on the floor while I opened all my gifts.
My Aunt Etna came to represent her family :) We missed Anya and Myra for sure!

Me and Mamaw with my dad. I was SO grateful Mamaw got to come.

My sister-in-law Nicole, Emolyn, and I
It was so much fun to have family around me celebrating Aaron and I during this time!! I can't believe how blessed I am by my family and future family!

One more shower to go, which will be held a week before the wedding and has been organized by my mom to be a prayer shower. I am so excited for this shower and to have the week before my wedding start off with prayer and affirmation from some wonderful older women and friends! This last month before the wedding will be such a time of celebration!

Just 3 more weeks to go!!!!!

P.S. My bachelorette party is this weekend and it is entirely a surprise! I have no idea what is planned, but I know I have amazing woman planning all the fun and festivities, so I have NO DOUBT it'll be a blast! I will post on that soon :)