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.

oh, hey there june! {also known as life updates | may 2014}

Haiii there June!

June is a month of potential. Of clarity. Of continued progress. It's awesome.

I won't tell you how busy May was because you can figure that on your own. 

However, I will say this happened:

And this.

And a lot of this!

As well as a few of days of this:


And some peeking around at this.

And a whooooole lotta eating this.

And it was glor-i-ous! Wedding chaos, a spontaneous trip to the beach (and serpentarium and strawberry field and five islands and my sister's house), beaucoups of shrimp & grits / lowcountry boil / pico de gallo & guacamole, and overall Southern splendor. Dreamy May. 

Now it's June!

I'm attempting to start blogging more frequently. I tragically have a zillion weddings I haven't blogged. I always said I wouldn't be "those planners" who waited a year plus to blog the weddings they just got finished executing, but here I am, eating my words.

I'll get caught up, promise!!


June Goals:

1 | Catch up on blogging KDE weddings from 2013 & 2014.

2 | Meet my best friend's baby! (He still hasn't actually come yet, but he'll be coming at LEAST by tomorrow!)

3 | Make some more progress on summer/fall weddings. More marathon planning sessions, summer-style?

4 | Work out some details for a fun shoot coming up this summer! Woo hoo!

Vision for June: Calm. Peace. A little hustle but not too much bustle. Some yoga, some learning. A really lovely wedding. Some step-ups for next year planning. A new client or two? Finally finishing up some office things and perhaps a little shoot to celebrate? Keeping our home clean. Finding some clarity in life plans and God's plan for us. Following grace. Staying in the present moment rather than only living for tomorrow. Give me a couple of outdoor dinners under the string lights and a few waterfront afternoons and I'm an exceptionally happy girl.


life updates | april 2014

Welp, April? You've come and gone. Yet again. And what a bizarre month you've been! Doctors appointments, friends and family visiting from out of town, one wedding, the conclusion of my spring internship, getting a terribly annoying lingering cold... April has thrown me off my normal routine. Time to recalibrate.

Next month is going to be a wedding whirlwind of sorts. I have THREE couples getting married. One of which is my darling brother-in-law and his fiancé of a billion years, Jenn! (Drew and I will both be IN their wedding, in addition to me directing it from my vantage point.) On top of that? Drew & I get to be wedding plain ol' ATTENDEES this upcoming weekend for one of his dear fraternity brothers' big day. I am so immensely excited to get to dress up, watch a sweet couple get married (rather than hustling around behind the scenes during the actual ceremony), and get to dance and play during the reception! Can't wait!

Besides all of the nuptial madness, my best friend is having a BABY (fingers crossed - she could hold off until June) this month. Drew will take another portion of the CPA exam after Memorial Day, and we may just take a mini jaunt to celebrate the wrap-up of May weddings and exam insanity that last week.

Taken from the photo booth at Lauren & David's affair Apr. 12!

Taken from the photo booth at Lauren & David's affair Apr. 12!

self care  |  I've successfully been drinking less coffee. However, I still need to cut back even more. I need more water, more yoga, and more vegetables, but besides that, I'm good on sleep and taking adequate breaks. I'm ready to get over this stupid spring cold! Coughing is my least favorite thing to do.

home environment  |  I've been going crazy on clutter here. I've taken so many bags of things to Goodwill -- paring down clothes, kitchen goods, everything. Time to keep on trimming down the excess. How did we accumulate so much clutter?!!?

relationship  |   Drew is working out of town a lot lately, so I'm trying to use my time while he's gone for seeing people who are in town, tidying/organizing the house/recuperating from being sick (BOO), and going to yoga.

friends & fam  |   We've seen a good deal of family this past month, with out-of-towners visiting middle Tennessee, and a couple of friendly gatherings. 

career  |  BUSY.

fun & rec  |  I feel fine in this department. I've taken off a good amount of time to see people the past couple of weeks and feel off my game and out of my routine. Wanting a bit of stability to get me going now.

cause or purpose  |   My intention the past couple of days has been "Recover." In the past it has been things like "Survive" -- sometimes you just have to keep on going, keep on moving, make it through this little life drizzle. My never-ending coughing bouts have been an annoying drizzle over the past week, so I'm ready to recover fully and be back ready to swing at May.

Got the sweetest thank-you note + homemade cookies from past October bride, Ginger!

Got the sweetest thank-you note + homemade cookies from past October bride, Ginger!

Oh, May. I hope you don't fly by too fast. I want to be friends. Let's be cordial, eh? No major storms ahead? Just some smooth sailing, ease of foot. A tidy and inspiring home with little to knock me off my path? Some organized time to be in the office at maximum productivity? Dedicated times to practice yoga, live in peace, learn to meditate fully. Five minutes a day for now, ten minutes later. Maybe a couple of daily session of Tracey Anderson's arm sculpting workout so I feel extra-confident in Jenn's wedding (and my strapless bridesmaid dress) at the end of the month? Lots of water drinking, healthy food eating. Less ice cream and cookies, more salad and smoothies. (I know it doesn't sound fun, but it's so important about increasing quality of life.) I really do want to live in a way that is high-quality. High standard of living. Finding peace and joy in the everyday, the simple, the lovely. Low stress, just taking charge of my responsibilities and doing them with grace and poise. That's what I want for May. And then perhaps a well-deserved tiny break, perhaps to see some body of water. Or even a couple of pool afternoons. This is my vision. Now, onto crafting a reality that makes it so...

life updates | february 2014

This year, I tell you what. This year has been no joke. February always flies by because it's the shortest. It's been short, yes, but also jam-packed-full of business. Bookings. Industry events and meetings. Progress. Streamlining. Legitimizing. Narrowing focus.

It's been over a month in Suite 445; it's hard to imagine that just 6 or 7 weeks ago it was an ugly pea-green color and dark and drab and void of any kind of Kellification. Now it's pink and light and colorful and bright and lovely and smells like cotton candy and is oh-so-cozy. There are things on the walls! As I mentioned last month, the KDE HQ is a work in progress and will be designed/updated in phases. This month brought a few more art pieces, a little more tropical influence (JUST WAIT UNTIL IT'S DONE! HOORAY!), and more settling in.

This month has been substantially better for me in terms of taking care of myself, my body, my mind. I've been to considerably more yoga classes this month than I have in the past six months (and that's despite the studio flooding last week and being temporarily closed for business!). I have drunk so much water. Less espresso. I'm not doing that fab on the eating-healthy front, but there's progress and I'm only going for progress, not perfection. I don't feel nearly as much like I'm drowning in my own life. I got TOO busy last month and the beginning of this month. Since last week, I've cut some hard things out and narrowed my focus on the things that matter most, and it's paid off. I'm still a little anxious adjusting to all of these life and business transitions, but it's so much better. So much better. 

I'm working through Cathy Olson's Design Life Project (for the second time -- started it last fall!) and the Pretty Perfect Process to improve my business operations and scheduling.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.08.11 PM.png


I am NOT taking on any styled shoot projects currently. My sanity can't take it, unfortunately. Nor can my workload for paying planning clients. It's a good problem to have!

I am, however, considering options for a summer 2014 intern. The application is live on my Careers page. I plan to start seriously reviewing those and interviewing candidates by the end of March/early April. We're also taking on a limited number of rotating paid event assistants to help on event dates. Candidates MUST be professional, dependable, personable, adept at problem-solving and taking direction, and authentically represent the Kelly Dellinger Events brand. (Email me if you're interested in joining the team!)

**Also on the agenda for me/KDE upcoming in the immediate future:  I'm taking a week (Monday, March 3 - Monday, March 10) to refresh and recharge for the upcoming wedding season while enjoying the gorgeousness of the Savannah, Georgia lowcountry. I will have extremely limited access to email and phone during that week but all emails/calls will be answered starting Tuesday, March 11. I plan to detach my iPhone from my hand, turn off all notifications, and practice being present during my weeklong visit with family.**

We had our Fahrenheit Yoga Studio staff photo shoot a couple of weekends ago! Love  TaraSierra 's work - she also does wedding photography!

We had our Fahrenheit Yoga Studio staff photo shoot a couple of weekends ago! Love TaraSierra's work - she also does wedding photography!

Here's the standard:

self care  |  Yoga and water have been good to me. Caffeine and social media have not. Working on changing up the proportions of time I spend doing each.

home environment  |  I've been significantly better about keeping a calm home environment, but there is room to grow. We have more organizational systems to implement and routines to get into before it's totally a haven in the non-working hours.

relationship  |   Drew has been going full-force into CPA studying this month. He's hitting it hard, which is good for getting it over with but also difficult, since it's pretty all-encompassing with his time. Prayers are still appreciated for him as he conquers this uphill battle and struggles to find calm/sanity/respite from time to time. I also need prayers to be a better helper for him instead of totally work-centric, since we are a team and I have to pull my weight. Evenly yoked, y'all. Yoga threads its way through so much of my life!

friends & fam  |   This month has been much better on the friends front -- calling faraway friends more frequently, seeing people on weekends or the occasional hiking date. It is good for my soul!

career  |  Taken. Off. My plate is full, indeed, in the very best way. 

fun & rec  |  This month has had less TV and more actual real-life activities. Seeing people. Going to yoga. Being social. Being physically active. It's marvelous. Looking forward to a FUN week in Savannah sight-seeing and squeezing my nephews/niece!

cause or purpose  |   I've felt more of a connection to this lately, especially in light of the yoga studio flooding. It refreshes your perspective on what an impact yoga has on its practitioners (myself included!) and makes me take it less lightly. I see more of the impact my wedding business has as my personal ministry, too. I LOVE WHAT I DO!!!!!

sneak peek of the KDE HQ, currently as-is!

sneak peek of the KDE HQ, currently as-is!

In the spirit of envisioning how I'd like my next month to be.... I envision March as my running start. I have a lot of "marathon planning dates" scheduled with clients' spring break availability. I'm planning on getting a lot of stuff done, checked off the overarching to-do list, and creating a lot of sighs of relief for my sweet couples. I'm excited to start the month off in a relaxing and inspiring environment, weaned away from devices, and then recharged for this crazy-awesome season ahead. I'd like to do a better job of cooking for Drew throughout the week, attending church consistently, keep up our Saturday date night ashtanga yoga rituals, and staying true to my abilities and limitations. Less fear, more trust. Less anxiety, more joy.


kelly dellinger lifestyle :: making the most of the holidays

2013 has been my year to slow down {somewhat} and try reeeeeally hard to get a grip on what's going on, day to day. The past two years in my life were so chaotic and crazy, between desperately wanting to get engaged (and looking for my Drew on bended knee at any possible opportunity) to GETTING engaged and planning the wedding of MY dreams, and then settling into married life and figuring out how to "do life" as a fully-fledged married adult with a home and two cats, and then planning the launch of this fabulous enterprise.

The past two Christmases flew by insanely fast. The last one, particularly, just went in a blur and was over like the blink of an eye. It snuck up on us. We didn't get our tree until mid-December, then almost as soon as we had hung up our ornaments and the stockings we recently ordered from etsy, we headed off to east Tennessee to spend the week of Christmas. Because married Christmases are crazy and now involve a whole lot of travel (since I have family in Savannah, Georgia, Drew has family in East Tennessee, and we're obviously in Nashville).

We decided this year that we were not going to let "busy" derail our enjoyment of the holiday season. Drew has to travel several weeks in November and December, so he'll be gone for a good chunk of the season. But we refused to let that put a damper on our holidays!!!! Instead, we decided to... Start early. Get organized. and Be Intentional.

One of our "Start Early" campaigns was buying a fake tree (sad day!) and decorating it the second weekend in November to maximize the time we get to enjoy it. Isn't it stunning?!

One of our "Start Early" campaigns was buying a fake tree (sad day!) and decorating it the second weekend in November to maximize the time we get to enjoy it. Isn't it stunning?!

Our first order of business was starting early. If we're gone for two solid weeks in November and December and Drew's traveling for work for 4 weeks additionally, that only leaves us with a couple of rushed weekends and not a whole lot of free time to sit around the house drinking hot cocoa and watching Rudolph. Instead of feeling pressured to keep the holidays segregated to not "cheat the system," we're bunking tradition and spreading out the season to span a longer period of time of enjoyment! Part of the joy of being married is getting to set your own NEW rules and traditions! We decorated our Christmas tree and set up everything in our apartment for December holidays last weekend. We watched Frosty the Snowman while Drew made homemade biscuits, listened to Duck the Halls, and started our Christmas shopping early. I've already got a handful of presents wrapped carefully underneath our tree, and it feels glorious. PLUS I got to visit Christmas Village with my wonderful mom last week and got a couple of fun things to make our home a little more festive, too:)

In order to get organized, one thing I've tried to implement this year is a Holiday Binder. It's not some fancy product I'm trying to sell (although that would be absolutely legit). It's really just a 1.5" pretty patterned binder I got from Target that I am slowing but surely procuring recipes, bucket lists, gift lists, addresses, and other goodies into in order to keep up with everything and not be all over the place.

Our last (and most important) holiday pillar was to be intentional with our time, attention, and efforts. Ain't nobody got time for "busy." We are paring down our holiday calendars to focus on what matters, planning out meals and presents in advance (to avoid last-minute unnecessary splurges or wasting hours trying to find a recipe for that party in two hours), and putting more emphasis on the MEANING of the season:  celebrating Christ's coming to earth for our incredible salvation.


Celebratorily yours,