Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wedding Bales: Special Cargo

I have been putting off my recaps for a while for a few different reasons. One of them being what you will read below. I apologize for my absence but hope you can understand why it took me so long to finally get started actually writing them.

Mr. Farmer and I picked up the Barn children the Thursday before the wedding. We decided that we wanted some family time to take advantage of the hotel we were staying at before all the wedding festivities started. The Hotel Metroplis, featuring an indoor water park, Go-Kart track, laser tag, batting cages, arcade and rock climbing? Oh hell yeah, we were going to live it up! We also wanted to take our time getting to Wisconsin. It was a 4.5 hour trip for us, so we wanted to make sure we had the time to stop for plenty of potty breaks and to stretch our legs.

It certainly wouldn't be a Barn trip without a few selfies from stepdaughter K. 

Before checking into our hotel, we made a quick pit stop at the other hotel in our block to drop off some "Welcome" letters. I spent the days leading up to the wedding crafting some thank you/welcome letters that our guests would receive upon check-in. It was also the perfect excuse to use up some of the leftover crafting materials, but more importantly I wanted our guests to know just how much we appreciated their attendance. We finally checked into our hotel about 15 minutes later and immediately the children wanted to head to the water park. We didn't have a schedule to keep so to the water park we went.

We made use of the water park for about 30 minutes before everyone, mainly stepson R, decided it was time to get some dinner and to clean up (hanger - serious ailment I tell you). It was at about this time that I received a phone call that shook my whole wedding weekend. Mama Barn had called to tell me that my uncle had just passed away. He suffered a massive heart attack just 2 days before and he lost his battle.

Mr. Farmer immediately took the Barn children and left for dinner when I received the phone call (so I could have some privacy) and after I "thought" I had composed myself enough I went to join them, only to lose it again at the table. I excused myself and spent some time alone in our hotel room trying to process my emotions. The huge sense of guilt I had was overwhelming. Aunt D had instructed Mama Barn NOT to tell me about anything because she was afraid it would ruin our wedding. Mama Barn knowing me a little better told me anyway, and I am glad she did, however it didn't change how guilty I felt about the whole thing. Uncle R and Aunt D were in my hometown, having traveled from Colorado, when Uncle R had his heart attack. They were there because of the wedding and knowing that was really difficult for me to process.

After composing myself for the final time I put on the best face I could and joined everyone for dinner. The children knowing how upset I was did everything they could to console me. When a 9 year old slips his hand into yours and says, "It's OK he is in God's arms now" and a 12 year old wipes away your tears, there is nothing one can do but smile and be thankful for the gift of life, love and family.

Both children held my hands as we walked to the arcade and seeing how excited they were to be there made my grief a little easier to bear.

Mr. Farmer did everything he could to help me process all of the emotions I felt that day and I cannot thank him enough. I don't know if I could have been able to cope without him at my side.

I am so grateful to these three for being the perfect positive distraction that evening. I was able to put on a brave face and enjoy the rest of the evening playing with the kids, knowing that my uncle would want me to enjoy this time in my life. I didn't want to disappoint the children who had been looking forward to this, so I did the best I could to maintain my normal bubbly mood.

How could I not enjoy the time spent with these three? It really was just what I needed.

Some of our bridal party made the trip early as well and we spent the remainder of the evening greeting them and taking turns racing on the Go-Kart track.

The attendant who was running the track was nice enough to let these two have a little battle of the siblings and it was hysterical watching them fly by each other. He got quite the work out with our group as I don't recall a single match that someone from the Barn crew wasn't racing on the track. The attendant even had an "adults only" race where we were able to go faster than the normal pace. Seeing a bunch of adults racing around a Go-Kart track was certainly memorable to say the least - it was quite the competition.

We ended the evening cheering on stepson R as he made his way up the rock climbing wall, pleading for just five more minutes. Everyone had a GREAT time playing in the arcade and it certainly lightened my somber mood to see family and friends together enjoying themselves so much. I mean, isn't that exactly what we spent all this time planning for - to have friends and family together for an incredibly joyous event? It really changed the way I looked at the remainder of our wedding weekend.

What did you do leading up to the wedding day? Did anyone else have to battle a death in the family just days before your wedding? How did you handle it?

**all photos personal

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Bees Life: Barn Edition

Hive before I get started with my wedding recaps I wanted to tackle a post that was so incredibly helpful to me when I wanted to become a Bee. 
On Blogging
I have never blogged before I started here at Weddingbee, imagine that?! I think we can all agree that's pretty clear. I am sure that I have made a few professional writers cringe. I know I am not the strongest writer nor the best blogger and I am A-OK with that. It's who I am. Despite not being the best I really enjoy doing it and have considered keeping up a family blog afterwards to keep my family in the loop with things going on just the next state over. 

How I Found Weddingbee
Wasting time over my lunch hour.

Photo via Imgarcade

I found Weddingbee via the classified section first. I was checking something out and then eventually moved over to the boards and fell head first into the craziness. Here were all these people experiencing the same feelings as me. I wasn't alone and spent a lot of time reading what other people had to say and any and all advice they could give. I finally found the blog after a few weeks and at first I just didn't get it. A bunch of people calling themselves funny names. That is until I read a few posts. After that I was instantly hooked and devoured any and all posts that I could. I went back and read some of the archives and it only solidified my guilty pleasure. I immediately became enamored with how real these women were and I knew I just HAD to be one of them. 

The Application Process

I saw A Bees Life from Mrs. Panda and immediately went to writing my application and blog. I wrote the recommended posts, submitted my application and hoped for the best. I continued writing though because I decided that no matter what, I was going to document this amazing experience (wishful thinking). Sadly a week later I received a message that I had been rejected. Go figure! Afterwards I became immediately discouraged, stopped writing completely and forgot all about Weddingbee. Well I tried to....

I told Mr. Farmer what I had been doing and he was the one who encouraged me to try it again. I reached out to a select few bloggers who gave some of the most incredible advice and encouragement. I revamped my blog and sent my application again. I waited and waited half expecting another rejection email. Thankfully the Bees are so amazing and a special little bee let me know that she had taken a look at my blog and that I shouldn't be so worried - things were looking good. A day later I received my email that I was accepted! 
Why Mrs. Barn?

Pretty simple really, because Milk Cow was already taken. As soon as the Farm generation was announced I was even more excited to be a part of the community, I mean it's perfect. We live on a farm and Mr. Farmer is a farmer. I knew that Milk Cow was the one I had my heart set on (Wisconsin pride) but sadly after I was rejected I had to wait the 4 weeks in order to reapply and the moniker was selected before I got a chance to resubmit. I saw the Barn and since my name starts with a "B" my new last name begins with a "B" and Mr. Farmer and I constantly say Team B, I knew it was perfect. The barn reminds me of us and our home.  

Photo personal - One of the many Barns the Barns own
Being a Bee Blogger

Being a Bee is absolutely incredible! I have formed friendships that have extended beyond a website about Weddings. The entire community is full of wonderful people all who just want to help. It hasn't always been the easiest for me because well, I am NOT the greatest writer. My wedding wasn't the prettiest, it wasn't the most original, it wasn't very inspired and therefore kind of hard to write about. I've actually been putting it off. So why even bother becoming a blogger for a blog about weddings? 

Because my wedding and my journey was real. I am a real person with real faults and real feelings and that's why I wanted to blog for Weddingbee. My wedding was real, not some staged photo shoot. Every success and every failure. It was real. Not every wedding needs to be the O-M-G most perfect day ever. Granted I gave it my best shot, which I failed at quite frequently, but I became a Bee because I wanted to show people that it's OK to have what you want and that it's OK to not be the most original. Your wedding is yours, and therefore should be what YOU want it to be. If you want every trendy thing out there, go for it. My wedding was more than just one day full of pretty things or my attempt at original ideas. It really was about joining together as a family and the love for each other. You will see that as I begin my recaps I assure you. 

There were times that being a Bee was really difficult. It's hard to put yourself out there and keep writing. People can be so insanely cruel and love to poke fun at those who actually put themselves out there. I can't tell you how many times people have written/said awful things to/about me. Most of the time I had to hear about it from other people, which only made it worse, but those few messages sent directly to me? Mortifying. I knew that I was taking a risk by putting my story out there for all to see but if it helped even just one person, then it was a success and to those who mocked, oh well. Say what you will. It's not like I don't already know. 

The Bee community is one that I will forever be indebted too. It goes far deeper than I ever imagined and I am so thankful that I was selected to be one of the Bees whose journey gets featured. The bond I have formed with this group of people is pretty incredible and that right there negates any of the brief negativity that I experienced. 
Advice for Applicants

1. Be you. I know it's a lot easier said than done. I am not naturally a writer, as you can clearly tell. I was told "find your voice". Oh okay because I know what my voice sounds like. Riiiiiiiggghhhhttt. It took a while but once I started writing it clicked. It just made sense to me and I totally understood what all the Bees were talking about. I try to write like I am having a conversation with someone or like I am writing an email (to a friend of course).

2. Have a point. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I received was to have a reason for your post. Why is far more interesting than what you did. The what is better left to the recap posts after you have already shared the why. I try to have a point for every post that goes up. Why did I want to write that post? Why did I make that decision? If the answer was simply because "that's what I did" then that particular post wouldn't go live and I would go through and re-edit it until I had a point.

3. Pictures, pictures, pictures. It's hard to look at a blog post if it's all just text. I like the visual effect pictures have and I try to use them to help breakup all the paragraphs. I never allow a post to go up without a picture, even if it's a silly photo of myself! Or a Princess Jasmine cat riding a magic carpet.....

Image via Buzzfeed - YouTube

4. Just write.  Sometimes it is as simple as writing a few thoughts and then letting it sit for a day or two and coming back to it. Once I did that, I could adjust, reword and rework the whole post. It was a lot easier to edit something knowing that I already started a post, and honestly it was a lot easier to do #1 once I already had some content.

5. Have fun. This is an incredible experience in your life. I have really enjoyed every high and low that I have felt along the way. I tried to put as much emotion into my posts as I could but for the most part I was just having fun. Enjoy it all.

If you are thinking about becoming a Bee I would highly encourage you to just do it. If I can do it, you sure can! For anyone who is considering it, I would more than happily take a peek at your blog.

Good luck! I promise recaps next!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wedding Bales: Let's Get This Party Started

The week leading up to the wedding was pretty crazy. I sent Mr. Farmer away to enjoy the 2014 All-Star game, get out of my hair so that I could finish up some last minute DIY. Thankfully he returned just in time to help get everything packed up and ready to go. Being apart probably wouldn't work for everyone but it worked for us.

All photos personal
Mr. Farmer and GM JBoy

While he was off enjoying some time with GM JBoy and GM R, I was at home crafting/putting together all those last minute projects that I told myself, "Oh I have plenty of time to complete". I didn't realize just how much I had left to the last minute forgotten until I started running through the packing list in my head.

It was a serious setup. Side story time. You see that beautiful chair right? Duh. Anyways, Mrs. Barn made the mistake of wearing a racer back tank top to stepdaughter K's softball tournament just 10 days before the wedding. Sadly, I did not plan accordingly and got VERY sun burnt. This was my desperate attempt to even out my heinous tan lines. I did whatever I could outside rocking a bandeau top (thankfully we don't really have neighbors). Back to your regularly scheduled blog post....

Thankfully bridesmaid K and best man N were available to lend an extra hand. We went through every glue stick, tube of glue, tape or anything sticky we had available to finish everything. I didn't realize that I would even need an extra hand but poor best man N found himself working with a hole punch and cutting loads of twine just days before our departure. Don't show up to my house days before the wedding and expect to watch your girlfriend and the bride craft - not going to happen buddy. I'll put you to work. Just saying.

Our poor home was totally taken over by wedding supplies & gifts (more on that later)

Despite the craziness, there was something so surreal and exciting about getting all of those things ready to haul to Wisconsin. I couldn't have been more excited and am almost certain that I didn't eat more than 1,000 calories/day leading up to d-day. Do yourself and favor and eat. I know it's hard but just do it. You will thank me later. 

I did take a break during my crafting spree to enjoy a special little package sent by Mrs. Pyramid. 

My bees arrived!!
A very stressed Mrs. Barn - apologies

She sent a lovely card with a beautiful message that has since been stored away somewhere safe.With the bees finally in my possession it was time to pack everything up and get on our merry way.

What did you spend the final days doing? Were you finishing up crafting? Did you and your intended spend it apart like we did?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Wedding That Never Was: Barn Edition

So while I am awaiting on the last of the photos to roll in I figured I would take the time to do something a little fun. Miss. Hen talked about the "Wedding That Almost Was" and now that I am on the other side I thought it would be fun to let you in on a little secret. The wedding we had was not the wedding I wanted.

Meme creator via Frabz

Craziness, I know!

The wedding that I always dreamed of was thrown out the window the minute I met Mr. Farmer. Why? Well because he is Mr. Farmer and his occupation is, well a farmer. You see the wedding I always dreamed of was a beautiful autumn wedding. If you recall in my previous post I briefly mentioned the harvest season. Well if you were following along (and heck yeah you should have been) you know that harvest season is pretty much the busiest time of the year for any member of the farming community. Since all of his friends and family are farmers, fall was an entire season not available. In fact the reason we were married in July was because of his crazy farming schedule (it was the only month we had a choice of).

So what would have the Barn wedding looked like? Let's play!

The Barn wedding below would have been done on an unlimited budget and obviously weather would not have been an issue. It would be at my in-laws on their big beautiful lawn under a gorgeous giant tent. Very similar to this, ok pretty much exactly like this:

Photo via Top Wedding Sites Tent Lakes Region Tent Rentals

 Christmas lights would have been draped everywhere I could put them. Light would have played a big part in the minimal decor I would have. To decorate the inside of the tent I would have large lighted trees all over the place:

Photo via Uniquely Yours Wedding Designs ;  Let Me Wow You ; Weddingbee via Bee Miss. Bloom

Autumn in Minnesota means the start of shorter days so the more lights the better. I would have tried to incorporate wheat where I could as a design element - hello I am marrying a farmer after all. Something like this would do:

Photo via Martha Stewart

My dress would have had sleeves and been much simpler than what I originally chose. I would imagine something pretty like this:

Photo via Maggie Sottero

The color palette chosen would have incorporated a lot of neutrals:

Photo via Design Seeds

Add a little champagne/gold and perfection. Fall is such a beautiful time of the year that I don't think I would have had much decor, although I can imagine something like this:

 Photo via The Knot Nina Sutherland Photography; Photo via The Knot Sarah Ainsworth Photography

 I've always dreamed of having a big budget that I could spend on having so many amazing pieces however now that I am on the other side, that's what picking a good venue is for. You shouldn't need a whole bunch of decorations to make your wedding beautiful, use what is already there.

There are still some decisions that would have made the cut but the entire feeling of the wedding would have been shifted from a fun bright summer wedding to a rustic warm autumn affair. However, at the end of the day it would still be our wedding and I would still be married to my best friend surrounded by all the people we love most. His family becoming mine and my family becoming his - our family becoming one and that is something that no one or anything could change.

A wedding is simply that, a wedding. No matter all the beautiful things that are associated with such a historical event, the marriage is where the true beauty lies.

Was the wedding you had the wedding you wanted? What would you have changed?