Posts Tagged 'Love'

What type of wedding venue is right for you?

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For the past several weekends, my fiance and I ventured around my hometown in Delaware in search of the perfect place to have our wedding reception.

If anything, I’ve come out of this experience with one strong bit of advice for brides-to-be around the globe: it’s important to choose a place that represents the couple — not a place that the parents insist upon booking because they like it.

As it turns out, the place my well-meaning mother thought was me, was my definition of “a nursing home with motel 6 paintings.” Pretty strong words I know (When that happened, I coined myself “Bridezilla” — oh the horror!), but I honestly couldn’t picture us getting married there. In total, we visited four very different venues, which may seem like too few, but it was all we truly needed to make a decision. Without further ado, here’s the breakdown of each type of venue:

The Club House
“Old Elegance”

This place was the very first place we visited. I initially thought I had no real preference of a wedding venue, but when I saw this place, I quickly learned that this was not the one for us. This particular venue helped me to realize that I wanted a large open space where guests could walk around and mingle, not a series of small rooms that would force guests in a confined area with no where to move. Appearance-wise, it was an old and rustic building nestled in a quaint part of town, which sounds nice, but after surveying the age of the building, we realized that there were no elevators, proving to be an accessible nightmare to our older guests in attendance. In addition, the carpets, drapery, and furniture were very dated and simply not what a modern couple would like. As mentioned, it is “old elegance.” Right for someone else, but for us, we knew we had to move on.

The Ritzy Hotel
“Upscale Fabulousity”

This was the second place we visited, and was the opposite of the first place in every way imaginable. With gold-embossed high-vaulted ceilings and crystal chandeliers, this venue was definitely as classy as they come. With every “ooh” and “ahh” we encountered, it simply just didn’t feel like us. We are not showy, over-the-top type people, so having a wedding reception here would have made us feel out of our element. Not to mention, our guests probably would have “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” more over the decor of the actual place than the event itself. Not worth competing with, especially since we plan to have a wedding that incorporates small and personalized details that represent us or those close to us.

The Country Club
“Full of Character”

After striking out with the first two, we really didn’t know what to expect, except that this next place had to fall somewhere between the two extremes. And you know what? It sure did. When we walked into the country club, we just felt something click. The main room was a large and spacious ballroom with a balcony along one wall, appropriate for throwing a bridal bouquet. The opposite wall was lined with french doors that opened into a fully glass enclosed atrium with hanging crystal chandeliers. The curtains were very modern and overall, it was absolutely exquisite. We truly thought this was it, but …no.

The Golf Course
“The One”

We ended up choosing the last place we had visited, which was my father’s pick all along. We had initally scratched it off the list after we heard that it had a $26,000 minimum. But, with golf course views, a water fountain, floor-to-ceiling windows, and one of the state’s best chefs, this was truly the one for us. What really got us, was that we were able to get it for a fraction of the price because we chose a Sunday. Sunday of Columbus Day weekend to be exact. That way most of our guests still have Monday off and out-of-town guests won’t have to take Friday off for the rehearsal dinner. Most of all, this was the one where we saw ourselves and our guests enjoying their evening the most.

Inspired by Despair, Husband Launches Website to Encourage Hope

Darren LeBlanc & his 2 year-old daughter Olivia

Darren LeBlanc & his 2 year-old daughter Olivia

Are you or someone you know affected by an illness?

A short while ago, I wrote a post about the Heartwarming Story of Misty LeBlanc, a DivineCaroline.com award-winning blog written by Darren LeBlanc. For those of you who don’t know, Darren kept a blog to keep family and friends apprised of his wife, Misty’s, battle with cancer. As time went on, he attracted more and more followers, but just when Misty’s prognosis was starting to look better in the Fall of 2008, she took a turn for the worse. She left behind a greiving family: a precious 2 year-old daughter and a husband unsure how to keep her memory alive. Despite Misty’s passing, Darren continues to tell his family’s story:

“Hey, I’m Darren. I recently lost my wife Misty to brain cancer. The journey has been life changing for me, my family and for many of the thousands of daily readers of this site. Today, I’m living in Long Branch NJ with my daughter and doing my best to capture here the story that God is still writing. Whether or not you believe in God, I hope that you join the family here as we all struggle with understanding what faith really is and whether or not God is still relevant in 2009.”

You would think he’d stop there. However, a mere eight months after her passing, Darren has turned around and launched Anthem of Hope, an organization dedicated to bringing hope and courage to those affected by illness. In their mission, they state:

“We believe faith is the key component in the transformation from despair to hope; the movement from a dark place to one of joy. Our goal is to support patients, family and friends by creating resources to facilitate the growth of faith and hope in the midst of trials.”

I commend Darren on using his story to help start an organization that provides the necessary tools to those in emotional and spiritual need during a time of illness. To check out his website, visit http://www.AnthemOfHope.com.

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Anthem of Hope Website

Update: Darren’s story has been picked up by several local papers, as featured in this article: “In dark time, husband finds the ‘availability of hope.”

Every day is Valentine’s Day, right?

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With the creation of this Hallmark holiday, our American culture has generally come to terms that it’s important to celebrate this holiday with or without a loved one. Preferably with, right? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the ultimate Valentine’s Day includes the following:

  • Romantic candlelit dinner that consists of your sweetie’s favorite entree and side dishes.
  • Sweet and savory heart-shaped dessert.
  • A dozen long-stemmed red roses.
  • Box of rich dark chocolates.
  • Hallmark card filled with heartfelt words about your relationship.
  • A romantic comedy and/or some type of fun, spontaneous activity.

Well, despite having the love of my life, this year, the two of us have decided not to partake in any of these activities. It’s a concept I haven’t considered before until now, but I think it’s worth a shot. After a long discussion last night about the significance of the holiday, it makes sense that a couple’s love should be celebrated all year long. I suppose I’m a little bummed that we won’t be doing anything on February 14th, but I am willing to compromise. His argument is that Valentine’s Day forces pressure on the man to drop a good chunk of his paycheck on marked-up presents and a full-course meal out at a fancy restaurant. My argument is, why not take the time to be extra romantic? It’s fun to look forward to something out of the ordinary. I think it’s the spice of life. His take? It’s a pseudo-love holiday. It imposes the unreal on the real.

Want to show your love? Act on it when it’s least expected. Not when society tells you to do so.

What’s your take on Valentine’s Day? Love it or hate it? Or, are you like me, where you could go either way?

Just one of those days

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You ever have one of those days where it seems like everything is going wrong?

The downfall of my day started after work. I volunteer at a homeless shelter and am responsible for running several after-school programs for elementary-high schoolers. I’ll tell you, some of these kids have an attitude that I would never wish upon anyone. I feel for these kids, but they act out of rebellion and it’s absolutely uncalled for. Because of their behavior, they have driven out volunteers and even the lead program coordinator. Anyway, the second hour of my program, I had a rough time trying to keep the teens under control. I left feeling flustered, but kept my spirits up knowing that I was about to hit the gym with my beloved Marcus (we motivate each other, which makes it enjoyable to work out).

I picked up Marcus and we hit the road. He started to explain to me that he was frustrated with the Internet speed at my apartment. Just before I had picked him up, he was working on a time-sensitive issue for work and couldn’t seem to get the job done quick enough. The Internet was apparently going at an all-time slow speed due to the fact that I had downgraded to save a buck. Deep inside I felt kind of guilty that my decision made him feel this way, but I wasn’t letting it get to me. Or was I? Little did I know…

Continue reading ‘Just one of those days’

Relationships: How do you show your love?

060214_animal_loveWith our one year anniversary coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot. For those who don’t know, Marcus and I have been dating since December 2007. I couldn’t ask for more in a sweet, devoted, and handsome gentleman. He makes me feel even more beautiful than I already feel. He listens to all the good and bad things that I tell him. He supports me in all of my activities; such as book club, volunteering, web design, scrapbooking, and my obsession with Jon & Kate + 8.

The two of us are very giving people, which can pose problems at time. We are so concentrated on making the other person feel “whole.” You could say “whole” represents who we are, what we like, and what we don’t like. It’s a sense of respect, I suppose. What I’m getting at is this morning I woke up feeling the urge to do something nice for Marcus. It got me thinking about ways I show my love. I also started wondering about how others show their love to the important people in their lives.

Sure, physical affection is a great way to show love, but it doesn’t quite capture the essence of love. Love to me is respect, appreciation, loyalty, attraction, and being open encapsulated in one. At the root of this is communication. Communication is so critical in our relationships. Not only do our love lives rely on open communication, but so do all other aspects of our lives.

But, back to what got me writing this post in the first place. The ways I show my love to Marcus:

  • Cooking romantic dinners at home
  • Picking up things at the grocery store that he would like
  • My gentle touch
  • Head, back, and foot massages
  • Listening
  • Kisses on his back during the middle off the night
  • Silence with eye contact
  • The sign-language “I love you”

Continue reading ‘Relationships: How do you show your love?’

Apple Picking + Pumpkin Carving = Fall

I am so excited about Fall being here. 🙂 I even had an Octoberfest party at my place last weekend to celebrate the cooler season, which I love. It makes me happy when I see the trees filled with vibrant orange and red leaves. I also love it when I have the chance to drink apple cider. It’s one of those seasonal treats that I always look forward to, like eggnog. I also welcome the opportunity to carve pumpkins, which I’ll admit, I haven’t always gotten around to. Who says pumpkin carving is for kids? I don’t know what I’d do if I lived in an area that didn’t have seasons. Knowing how I am, I like change and having four seasons makes life that much better. I would get tired of living in an area that has pretty consistent year-round temperatures.

Also, with this being Fall 2008, it marks the one year anniversary for me and Marcus. Our relationship began last year as Fall was ending and Winter was just starting up. It’s been the best year of my life and the most stable one by far. I have never felt so confident about where the future is headed. Having a stable job, a stable relationship, and a stable income to support a roof over my head are all things I cherrish about my life.

Pleasant Surprise!

I came home from work today to find that Marcus had cleaned and dried my dirty dishes for me this morning. I love that we balance the chores. What a sweetheart. For all you single ladies and gents, love is out there! It will come sooner rather than later, perhaps when you least expect it 😉 Keep your head up high! You are beautiful, intelligent, and sexy. Broadcast it to the world. Nothing is more desirable than a confident chick. Hm, random thought. Does chick come across as derogatory to women? How do you personally feel about it?

That reminds me, I highly recommend “The 10 Women You’ll Be Before You’re 35.” It’s a great book that covers all the phases of a woman’s life. The single gal, the chamelon chick, the health guru, the worker bee — whatever the phase, the book covers it. It’s witty and inspirational. Check it out!



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