september life updates

I swear I keep blinking and suddenly another month has passed, or a season has gone by. As I was driving yesterday morning to a Nashville Wedding Planners Group meeting, I rolled the windows and sunroof down and turned on some Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffet. Wind tousled my hair, the warm sun shone down on me, and I breathed it all in -- "This is summer bliss, right here!" Thoughts of coconut water and crystal seas came to my mind. And then I remembered... it was the last day of summer. WHAT?

who says tennessee porches can't be beachy?

who says tennessee porches can't be beachy?

I kept complaining that I wasn't doing enough summery things the past couple of months. I wanted to go to the pool more often, make a batch of homemade ice cream, get outside and catch fireflies or something. Sit on the front porch more, anything! It irritated Drew whenever I'd say that, since he felt that we had a perfectly great summer and did plenty of fun things and I wasn't giving it enough credit. And perhaps we did. We did go on a wonderful vacation, see the ocean, go to the pool (once), made lots of key lime pies, and took a few walks. But it was REALLY hot. Too hot to go on walks most days. Too hot to sit out on the back deck or front porch for longer than a few minutes. Too hot to go to the zoo. You know, Tennessee really sucks that it gets so hot and humid (WITH NO OCEAN BREEZE) in the summers. You really have to be out on a body of water (read: boating) to fully enjoy it, I feel like.

At least fall means the weather is nice! It's still a little unbearably warm today, but there were a few morning hours of blissful 72 degrees. And more is coming. The evening temps are going to be dropping, daytime hours will be more comfortable. And hopefully it won't rain too much.

I'm going to be in denial that winter will soon follow. That's literally the worst part of fall.

For whatever reason, my summer got cram-packed-full with weddings and my fall ended up light and slow and peaceful work-wise. I am 100% happy with that, too. For the first time in 5 years, I'm getting to enjoy weekends in September and October! I am loving every minute with little Lilly Beth and she gets more fun with every passing month. She is such a giggly, sweet girl. She's super talkative, blows the funniest raspberries (especially when conversing with her father), and loves songs and even sings along with me on occasion. I am so grateful for this slower work season for ample family time.

LB at four months - such a sweet girl!

LB at four months - such a sweet girl!

I remember last year (in the midst of one of my most demanding Septembers ever) seeing houses near Cheekwood with haybales and pumpkins on their stately front porches. I thought to myself, "Huh! Must be fall soon, I guess." Now I am having the opportunity to buy mums and keep them alive and decorate my mantle with polka-dotted glittered gourds. To plan a zoo date with the little girl whose eyes light up when she sees new things. To bake an apple pie. To throw a baby shower for a close friend, for pleasure. To take barre classes and mama-baby yoga, and learn what it is to practice self care as a new mom. To actually go to church, and take walks and go on little day hikes enjoying the foliage.

There's a new season on its way! I can't drink a pumpkin spice latte like I'd like to (#diabeticprobs), but I'm taking advantage of this fall. Fall free of sorority recruitment, free of work-packed weekends, free of CPA studying and test dates. Free fall for me!

some fall-y inspiration for you -- via  amy nicole  &  le parfait

some fall-y inspiration for you -- via amy nicole & le parfait

If you need me, I'll be wearing ankle boots and orange scarves, cheering on Tennessee college football (from a distance -- I don't actually care about it enough to watch a game in person), lighting harvest-scented candles, dressing my baby in ridiculously cute Halloween outfits, and wrapping up 2015 wedding season in a beautiful slow-paced (but still efficient) manner. PS -- We already have several 2016 dates booked up and plans underway, so don't waste too much time if you need some assistance for your next-year wedding. :)

Happy fall, y'all!

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
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

inspired:: early fall

We may not be completely over summer just yet (I'm holding fast to my white jeans and beachy decor), but that doesn't mean we're not looking forward to fall, either! Fall evokes a sense of warmth, coziness, and beauty in nature. It can be conjured by a pumpkin latte or pumpkin-scented candle or the crackle of leaves underfoot. 

From Chelsey:  "The inspiration for this board is the time of early fall with its cooler nights and warmer colors. For this board however, I didn't jump straight into the typical colors of the season. I kept hints of oranges and reds, but incorporated a lot of darker green too. The barn scene has a lot of floral aspects that complement perfectly with the lights and draping from above. I also love the dress for the bride with the little cap sleeves and headband." 

Here's a subtle homage to the early fall we so adore.

Top left, clockwise:   suite ,  reception ,  cake ,  gown ,  rings .

Top left, clockwise:  suite, reception, cake, gown, rings.

wind-down & lessons learned in eleven months

I have been quite out of the loop here, haven't I? For my regular readers, please accept my apologies for being so MIA this fall! I definitely need to get into a better routine of writing on the reg!

Despite the appearance that I've gone MIA, I've actually been putting in a number of hours and days and weeks devoting to planning lovely brides' weddings, meeting with new and potential clients, and getting ready for the amazeballs year ahead of us. 2013 was quite the building year! Going from launching the official start of Kelly Dellinger Events to booking significantly more clients, learning the ins and outs of business operating, deciding whether or not I'm cut out for this whole entrepreneurship thing (turns out, I am!), debating about taking a full-time job outside of KDE (turns out, I won't!) … there have been ups and downs all over the place over the past calendar year. 

I believe in being transparent, hence me telling you all of these not-so-gung-ho bits about business ownership. It's hard, y'all! There were a LOT of days where I stomped my feet and asked God to PLEAAAAASE reveal His plan for me in this business, so I could know whether or not it was all for naught. He continued to tell me to be patient. Patience is not one of my amazingly strong virtues or spiritual gifts, lemme tell you. But it was my calling. Wait through the storm. You'll come out on the other end stronger. 

Do I feel like I've suddenly "made it" or found the ultimate source of business success? Um, no. But do I feel like I'm living in alignment with God's plan for my career right now? Yep. 2013 was for building. Setting a foundation. Working with a bunch of wonderful clients with gorgeous tastes, styles, preferences. Getting to know different personalities. Learning how to work in difficult situations. Continuing to build my personal event planning skills. Sharpening my styling abilities.

I've learned so much this year.  Basic business practices. How to literally pay business taxes (note: some government workers can seem really mean and condescending with new business owners). How to network. How to push through fear. 

I've drank so many cups of coffee and glasses of wine this year. (Don't worry, Mom, it was mostly coffee.)  I've cried so many tears. Sweated. Blown my nose. Nursed sore feet. 

Building years can be really rough. 

But has it been worth it? Oh, oh yes. For every few stress-induced heart palpitations there has been a sweet word from a client (or her previously temporarily-crazy mom). Or a late-night meeting where I leave and call my husband to tell him, "I really love my work!" There always seems to be a venti chai tea latte when I so desperately need it. Or a solid event assistant who is worth her weight in gold. I can be burnt out and feeling completely uninspired, and yet someone will come to me with a spark of an idea that we run away with (like unicorns under a rainbow of glitter sugar sprinkles into the sunset).

God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. Always. He is so faithful.

So I'm excited for 2014. I don't want to live in the future, so I won't get too far ahead of myself. But I'm excited. I'm going to do things smarter. I'm going to do more of the hard work that needs to be done. I'm going to be more trusting. And everything will be just fine. :)

My fall 2013 mantle -- complete with gourds aplenty, softly glowing candles and a couple of romantic touches. It may or may not have been replaced yesterday by a verrrrry early Christmas display.

My fall 2013 mantle -- complete with gourds aplenty, softly glowing candles and a couple of romantic touches. It may or may not have been replaced yesterday by a verrrrry early Christmas display.

it is officially fall in my book

Ok, so as much as I've moaned and groaned and stomped my feet about summer not being over with yet, I have to consider today the official start of fall in Kelly-land. Six years ago today I met my now-husband. It was the Tuesday night before classes started, I got separated from my orientation group during an evening ceremony, and a mutual friend had introduced us to one another earlier in the day. From the second we locked eyes, there was a mutual understanding of intrigue and imminent action. I sat by Drew on the brick courtyard by our college campus's carillon tower (under the guise of "I don't know anybody else here and I got separated from my group!"). Then, when the candlelight ceremony was over, he asked me to go for a walk around campus. Without hesitation I said something along the lines of, "Umm, yeah" or "Of course." And we walked and talked and I ignored whatever he was saying because all I could think was, "This is totally the person I'm going to marry." Isn't it fabulous when you're actually right about something like that?

Drew DID finally propose, as you all know. It just so happened to be in mid-NOVEMBER. Talk about a procrastinator;)

Drew DID finally propose, as you all know. It just so happened to be in mid-NOVEMBER. Talk about a procrastinator;)

I determined that fall started on August 21st two years ago, when I was anticipating a diamond ring and marriage proposal at any given moment of time. Drew had promised me we'd be engaged in the fall of 2011, so it worked in my favor to consider the end of August "fall." Sure enough, we didn't get engaged on our 4-year anniversary to my chagrin... but Drew did make me a fancy candlelit dinner, and I got to enjoy fall a little longer. The only thing was, I couldn't REALLY enjoy a season that I was wishing would hurry up and come and then hurry up and get engaged. Literally every single day I would wake up and think up opportunities for Drew to propose. I probably devised every plausible situation in existence. (Except for, you know, how he ACTUALLY proposed, since he surprised me SO well!)

It seems, unfortunately, that so many autumns are fleeting. I'm either wishing away the season so I can get what I want, or just wanting to survive another big "busy" time (wedding season in Tennessee, anyone?), or I just get caught up in the day-to-day and miss it all. I blink and the two weeks Tennessee has perfect weather are gone, gone, gone. Fall is short here. Back in 2007 I remember it staying hot for well through October. I was wearing shorts and sweating to death every day walking to classes my freshman year. In 2011 the weather was nice well into November, but I wished away any day that didn't get me to Point B. And then last year, Drew and I were in utter chaos mode, having just moved and graduated (in his case) and started a new career and dealing with a Jeep that kept breaking down and weddings every single weekend. Smack dab in the middle of all of that, I drove down to Atlanta and Making Things Happen changed my entire course of action career-wise. I spent a week away from Drew (our first apart since marriage) and celebrated my nephew's 5th birthday with my sister and her sweet family. I came back and made some life-altering strategic moves and then all of a sudden it was Christmas and we were chopping down trees and I was designing my website from Drew's family's chalet in the mountains on Christmas Eve. 

Last year's fall festival festivities:)

Last year's fall festival festivities:)

I really do love fall. I love comfortable weather where I can sit out on the patio and work and drink coffee (I'M DOING THIS RIGHT NOW AND IT'S AMAZING!) . I love wearing red lipstick and my classic Ralph Lauren jeans and equestrian boots. I love pumpkin spice lattes and red cups at Starbucks (because they come in November, which is still fall, mind you). I love love love love LOVE L-O-V-E LOOOOOOVE Thanksgiving. It might be my favorite holiday. (I love going to my sister's home, wherever that is at the time, and making Granny's stuffing recipe and roasting or deep-frying turkeys and sweet potato pies and having a zillion people over, including all of the soldiers in her husband's unit who don't have families to go home to, and staying up late laughing with Drew and Dani and Jason, and wearing festive Christmas attire as we get up at 3AM and go Black Friday shopping and drink Starbucks and get white chocolate milkshakes at Steak & Shake. I especially love Thanksgiving when Mom doesn't have to work, so she and Daddy can come too. I love having our whole family together. Last year since Drew and I went to Georgia by ourselves, we hosted a miniature Thanksgiving at our apartment for both sets of our families the Sunday prior. That was my favorite, too. Hosting parties is one of my FAVORITE ways to show love, and it was just glorious. Decorating our apartment with monogrammed pumpkins and steamed table linens and roasting our first turkey and everyone bringing something delicious and having more food than we could ever actually eat.... glorious. But I digress!) Other things I love about fall: going on walks, the changing colors of leaves -- especially out here in Belle Meade where trees are everywhere, turkey trots, camping, the bluest of blue skies, Halloween, carving pumpkins, making pumpkin flavored everything, going to fall festivals with the babies, SEC football...

Our Thanksgiving mantle last year!

Our Thanksgiving mantle last year!

I love wearing sweaters and boots to weddings. I love rich oranges and corals and deep crimsons. I love the weather at fall weddings. I love the skies at fall weddings. I love bundling up and seeing wedding guests snacking on s'mores. I love making hot cocoa on the stove and homemade whipped cream with sprinkles on top. Drew and I deeply considered getting married on either September 29th (I LOVE SEPTEMBER) or a weekend in November (especially if I'd worn this wedding dress). We never actually thought we'd have a summer wedding -- isn't that funny? Fall weddings are just so dreamy... no wonder it's the most popular wedding season in the South!

One goal: Revisit my Making Things Happen notebook. Redream on purpose. See what I've made happen in the past year!

One goal: Revisit my Making Things Happen notebook. Redream on purpose. See what I've made happen in the past year!

In order to reap the maximum out of this season, I want to be extremely intentional about how I'm spending my time. I don't want it to just zoom by or "just get over with." There are some trials ahead of us (namely, the CPA exam and doing a stellar job with teaching community classes) that can be tempting to view as a "just get through this" kind of deal. But I want to take everything as best I can, day by day, and not waste a minute of it. I want to spend as much time outside as I can. I want to drink as many pumpkin spiced lattes as I can (maybe this time when I make it from scratch I won't leave off the rubber sealant on our blender and scald my hand and ruin my outfit again right before church). I want to take walks as often as humanly possible. I want to thoroughly enjoy every second of our trip down to the deep Southeast. I want to decorate for the season EARLY (and not wait until the morning of our Thanksgiving party). I want to set ourselves up for success so that Christmas isn't rushed through and chaotic, too. I want to enjoy family as much as I can, drive with the sunroof open as much as I can. I want to take Christmas card pictures early and actually order them in time to send out before New Year's Eve. Living in the moment... I want to lie out at the pool a few last times before it's closed up for Labor Day, and locked up until the end of next May. I want to be an intentional mentor with the internship I'm offering. I want to stop the glorification of "busy." I want to have better adjectives to describe my monthly updates. I want to spend some time just BEING. As Dr. Skye told us Sunday, "We are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS." I want to read my bible and go to church and go back to our small group community and start singing in choir again. I want to make Sundays sacred again. I want to eat less sugar and drink less wine (and savor them more when I DO enjoy little luxuries). I want to refocus my business, plan a successful 2014 but not get caught up in too much of unnecessary details I tend to dwell on. I want to DO more than I just think about doing.

What do you want for this season ahead? September is upon us faster than you might think. Don't rush through these last weeks of summer, of course (LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT!), but be intentional with your time. You won't regret it. "If you live every single day as if it's your last, one day you'll be right." (Unknown)

Have thoughts, questions, input? Weigh in, lovelies!