thanksgiving

Somehow it's already November 21st and the Friday before Thanksgiving! Even in the slower weeks (PRAISE YOU, JESUS, FOR SLOW WEEKS!) time seems to be allusive. We're gearing up for a week OFF from work (hello, vacation!), off from email, off from blogging, off from meetings and phone calls and thinking about weddings. All of this will start with a packed Saturday of meetings, of course... but so so worth it.

Here's what's on tap:  Saturday work-week wrap up. Sunday hosting our third annual Dellinger family Thanksgiving. Monday travel to Savannah for a week of family and lots of delicious cooking. (We're totally going to hit up Ken's Seafood Shack for some bulk Savannah shrimp, too. Can. Not. Wait.)

little bit of holiday inspiration for our thanksgiving table!

little bit of holiday inspiration for our thanksgiving table!

As always, there's a laundry list of things to do in the couple of days before we host our families over at our new house and leave for vacay. Here's a peek into my Thanksgiving prep schedule:

  • Steam new curtains & iron the linens/napkins
  • Prep a sweet potato pie, freeze the extra filling (to be toted with us Monday on our merry way)
  • Grocery shop for Sunday's meal
  • Sweep, vacuum, Swiffer the hardwoods to a pretty sheen
  • Bring in extra table/seating for surplus guests
  • Final touches of Thanksgiving-mas decorations (why, yes, we did already put up our tree -- we are waiting, however, to hang up lights and garland outside. and the dining room is strictly Thanksgiving-themed!)
  • Clean downstairs bathroom
  • Sweep the porch, sidewalk, and back deck
  • Water the plants
  • Iron the cat's neck ribbons and tie into double-knotted bows (why, yes, I am that crazy cat lady)
  • Drew: Organize kitchen
  • Drew: Mow lawn
  • Charge phones and camera battery
  • Pack for Savannah trip (a mixture of warm and cool-weather attire, rain gear, lots of lounge clothes, fur-lined slippers, tennis shoes for walking the JF Gregory Park trail, yoga clothes & travel mat, hot rollers for holiday bounce, and cozy socks, among other things)

october life updates

For whatever reason, I skipped over my August & September life updates. (Life is crazy, y'all.) I promise they were all over the place, I was definitely lamenting the end of summer and how fast time flies (as per usual), and they were great but I'm glad it's now and not then anymore. 25 has proven to be one of my favorite years thus far. Lots of learning hard lessons (yes, already - just two to three months in), but finding lots of joy and surprise and dealing as best as possible with transition. Isn't change hard for everyone? Even those of us who love it. Who crave it. Drew and I were having Coronas on an outdoor patio overlooking the Atlantic and the ridiculously gorgeous dolphin-filled Shem Creek area the afternoon before my birthday, discussing how we felt like life was about to take some crazy turn. Like God had been preparing us for whatever was coming next - the process of ascending a roller coaster's incline... steady, slow, anticipatory, even terrifying, but definitely exciting. And then, sure enough, fall hit us like a ton of bricks.

I had never really ridden a roller coaster before our vacation in August, but now that I can say I've been to Six Flags and gone on several of them (including the massive one called Goliath - the biggest in the park in ATL), I definitely see the parallels in real life. Even my reactions. The first one we rode (the Batman), I was so nervous I could throw up, waiting in line. And then throughout the whole thing I clenched my eyes shut and prayed that it would be over as soon as possible (thirty more seconds, thirty more seconds and it's over...), practicing my Pranayama breathing as my body got tossed about and slammed against the sides of my seat. I was just about sure I'd pass out once it finally stopped - felt pale as a ghost and all kinds of lightheaded. But then Drew really wanted to ride the Superman, so I decided to be a good sport and deal with it. And it turned out to be really fun, I kept my eyes open, and trusted that if God's plan was for me to die on a dumb rollercoaster in Georgia (and it probably wasn't), then so be it.

My much-improved roller coaster attitude after riding Goliath!

My much-improved roller coaster attitude after riding Goliath!

There's not much control you can personally have when you're physically riding on a roller coaster. You have to rely on the engineers that created the machine, the sturdiness of the vessels holding you in, the people operating the ride and how well they strap you in, and that's pretty much it. When you're being flown across acres of theme park, dangling from a padded chair, you can't do anything to save yourself. You can close your eyes, you can hold your breath, you can grip as tightly as humanly possible onto the handles, and pray, but considering the POWER of the machines you're dealing with, you're really out of your own control. Why people thrive on that kind of thing? I still don't get it. But maybe it's a little freeing. I even threw my hands up and laughed out loud for my husband's sake - he wanted me to enjoy roller coasters so much. He'd dreamt about that experience and wanted to share something he loved so much with me. So I gave it a go. And it was fine. I obviously didn't die. I walked out in one piece, richer with life experience. And then I got to enjoy the rest of our vacation in my favorite coastal spots, relaxing in MY own particular way.

All this is to say, this fall has been a lot like riding a roller coaster. Scary, exciting, eventful, new, adventurous, and a lot out of my control. Sometimes I react well to the changes, throwing up my hands and getting over myself, giving in to the experience at hand. And sometimes I react horribly. Stressed, anxious, feeling powerless and helpless, quick to anger or blame or a host of other negative emotions. I am continuing to learn how to be a good wife, good business owner, good adult, productive citizen of the world I live in. And it is a PROCESS. But that makes me feel like I'm on track. We knew something was coming that fateful afternoon, toasting to a new year of life, up for the challenges ahead. And indeed, so much has come. Is coming. Will come.

The fab KDE team at our biggest wedding of the year, this September!

The fab KDE team at our biggest wedding of the year, this September!

I am begrudgingly still throwing up my hands, giving up control to the Lord. Even when things aren't how I expect. (When are they ever???) Even when I want to just grip as tightly as possible to my handlebars and wish away the difficulty of the present moment. We are living in Tennessee for a while longer. There are changes coming to my business structure and the KDE team. Life is increasingly DIFFERENT. All growth. All transition. All for a better good in the future. All in God's plan, and not Kelly's. And praise Him for that - He's much better of a planner than I am.

But maybe the question is - ummm, how long is this roller coaster going to last? At least I knew on Batman that it was only a 45-second ride. I'm going to usurp my inner control freak and deal with the fact that I don't know. And just trust. And breathe. October. Ohhhh, October.

One of my favorite moments this past month: going to the fall festival with family, as per tradition. Poppy (our niece) was cracking us up with her bluegrass music dancing!

One of my favorite moments this past month: going to the fall festival with family, as per tradition. Poppy (our niece) was cracking us up with her bluegrass music dancing!

So, anyhoo -- since October has finally reached its decline, let's talk about vision for November.

November, my favorite month. Perhaps a period of at least pumping the brakes on this crazy roller coaster of a fall. My final fall wedding. My final voyage of the year (YAY for a travel-filled year! It makes my heart so happy). A full week of family and feasting and decompressing as we breathe in salty ocean air. (I can smell it now!) I'm seeking more life-giving consumption and practices. More church. More breathing deeply. Courage to let go. Beginnings and continuing of planning for the future, as the future is rapidly upon us. Less survival mode, more thriving. More organized schedule. More physical activity. More celebrating the little things. More bubble baths in my new garden tub. More walks around the neighborhood. More making this house our home. Hanging things on the walls. Decorating for Christmas early. More intentional relationships. More self-care. More patience, more Bible. More Jesus.

featured:: coastal bride "sailboat elopement inspiration"

We couldn't be more tickled to be featured on Coastal Bride today for our sailboat editorial shoot with Ian Riley last August! This was one of my most favorite shoots to plan and design of all time -- not to mention, sailing and styling pretty things in the sunshine is definitely my favorite way to spend the workday!

You may recognize a face or two, as well. Our own Associate Planner, Katie, starred as our Bride (along with her real-life boyfriend James as the groom)!

See more at Coastal Bride!

   

 

 

october and part of why november is my favorite

In the words of Charlie Brown - good grief! Fall has been a doozy in these parts, hence the somewhat radio silence for the past several weeks/months. 

Alex & Sarah's wedding, September 2014

Alex & Sarah's wedding, September 2014

Fall means 6 fabulous weddings. We started with a beautiful church wedding in town, then made our way to gorgeously mountainous Chattanooga, then did back-to-back Cheekwood affairs (both with a little sprinkling of good luck rain showers), survived a ridiculously pretty Sunday plantation wedding, and have yet to finish the final event of the season in Belle Meade and Houston Station. We have enjoyed beautiful fall foliage, some stunning chapel settings, and lots of happy tears and beaucoups of love throughout every occasion. My right-hand lady this fall has been our KDE intern, Chelsey! She has been here for every wedding this season (including the overnight stay in East Tennessee) and has proved to be absolutely indispensable. Our associate planner, Katie, has also been a pivotal part of our team -- starting with her very first independent KDE wedding on Labor Day weekend! We're excited to unroll a few new things to help you get to know the KDE team a little better and preview what's to come for 2015 weddings!!! November's already filling up fast with visits from out-of-town clients and planning meetings for the 2015 season - hooray!

Lauren & Rob's wedding | Father-Daughter Dance, October 2014

Lauren & Rob's wedding | Father-Daughter Dance, October 2014

Personally, my husband & I just moved into a HOUSE (!!!), are planning one more trip to the lowcountry as per our annual Thanksgiving tradition, and have been enjoying family visits as they have arisen throughout the fall. I tell you what -- I am looking so forward to walks along the live oaks and Spanish moss-hanging trees spotting alligators, cornhole championship games, ridiculous amounts of food (turkey and stuffing and sweet potato pie, oh my!), and a week Drew doesn't have to worry about studying for the CPA exam! (Maybe I'll even get a chance to sneak a peek at the beach while we're in Savannah!) For whatever reason, my brain has automatically skipped through Halloween and switched onto excitement for Thanksgiving and Christmas since September, so I'm trying not to fight it too much but to stay in the present moment at the same time. (Pumpkin spice lattes and costumes just aren't as exciting for me. Although I do enjoy them and look forward to passing out candy on Halloween... Oh, fall and your intricacies!)

our new digs! yes, it is in nashville. yes, we are both happy and sad it's not charleston. yes, our next one will most likely be in SC, though!

our new digs! yes, it is in nashville. yes, we are both happy and sad it's not charleston. yes, our next one will most likely be in SC, though!

Maybe it's just that November's my favorite month. Or maybe that October is a little overrated socially (I love Anne of Green Gables just as much as the next girl, but I refuse to share that Octoberphile quote). Maybe September and October just fly by too fast. (HOW IS IT ALREADY THREE WEEKS THROUGH THIS MONTH?) Maybe there's a sense of accomplishment when all of the 2014 weddings have been completed and everyone is happily married and honeymooning in bliss. Whatever it is, I'm jumping up and down in my heart thinking about November and maybe you're doing the same. :)

Lauryn & Derek, October 2014. Bridal Portraits by the fabulous Morgan Trinker. If I can have just an ounce of Lauryn's style, I will be set for life! Can't handle her fierceness!!

Lauryn & Derek, October 2014. Bridal Portraits by the fabulous Morgan Trinker. If I can have just an ounce of Lauryn's style, I will be set for life! Can't handle her fierceness!!

Also - my sister re-introduced me to salted caramel mochas at Starbucks and they really kick PSLs in the rear. If you're starting to get sick of the saccharinely sweet PSL... do yourself a favor and get a salted mocha. Just the thought of it makes me want to don my red lipstick and celebrate our proposaversary!!!!!!!!!!

Sending you all love and peace, since that's what I need to cultivate in my own life right now!

fall, y'all!

Between the cooler evenings, pumpkin flavor popping up everywhere, and full-throttle wedding season, there can only be one explanation:  it's fall, y'all! I feel like in the recent past, it has always taken seemingly forever for the leaves to start changing color and legitimate autumn weather to arrive. This year, however, it's been relatively cool several weeks this and last month (enough to break out my sweater and boots on a couple of occasions!) and a look out our living room window shows some turning leaves. It may not be Halloween quite yet or anything, but we're getting into the true "it's not summer anymore" season!

I've gotten my share of chances to mourn my favorite season (farewell, darling hot weather and frequent beach days!), so I'm embracing this new time with open arms. Let's bring it, tall patterned socks and Frye boots! Where on earth did I hide our monogrammed white pumpkin?

I'm also feeling fall in the kitchen nowadays. On my roster of recipes to try:  pumpkin french toast bake, pumpkin bark, a homemade pumpkin frappuccino, pumpkin scones...

I should probably break out my favorite orange pashmina scarf (I used to wear it nonstop in college autumns), too. And plan out whatever the heck I'm going to potentially dress up as for Halloween. I tend to pick easy-way-out costumes, like a cat or ballerina or werewolf (headbands / hair changes / made-up noses for the win!). But maybe this year I'll be something legit?

a favorite fall illustration by rifle paper co!

a favorite fall illustration by rifle paper co!

Here's my fall bucket list (bold is complete, italics are in progress):

Go to an outdoor concert {needtobreathe Sept. 13 - PHENOM.}
Go to a pumpkin patch with my niece & nephews
Successfully execute 5 stunning weddings {4 of 5 down - 1 to go!}
Make an apple pie
Dress up in costume for something
Make a homemade pumpkin spice coffee drink
Attend a bonfire
Make or obtain a corn hole set for our home
Bake a sweet potato pie
Wear red lipstick
Drink apple cider
Hang something fall on our front door
Host pre-Thanksgiving at our place
Celebrate Thanksgiving in Savannah
Roast a s'more (or eat one Drew's made me!)
Make buffalo chicken something
Watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" with Drew
Decorate a beautiful fall mantle

quiet

Hustle, hustle, hustle. September's feeling just as crazy as May did this spring. New bookings, planning for spring 2015 weddings, finalizing details and timelines and confirmations for fall 2014 weddings. These five fall weddings are going to send 2014 out with a bang! I have an amazing team of 4 event assistants to make sure everything goes out without a hitch, but in the meantime that means I'm up to my neck in preparations and managing people.

Despite the hustle, there's so much excitement and happiness and overall joy permeating the air. I'm taking deep breaths, honoring sacred weekend time off from work (since it is LIM.I.TED.), and then getting back to the bustle day after day. Hence the quietness over in these here parts.

We're still inspired. We still can't WAIT to share some of the perfect recent weddings lining our portfolio. And we can't wait to show off some of the fabulous work we're doing behind the scenes right now.