wedding video: ceremony & reception

they did it again, the guys at monachetti have blown me away with another video-- this time, its our ceremony and reception. take a look below!

Van and Eric (Ceremony and Reception) from Monachetti on Vimeo.


girl's best friend

nope, not diamonds-- dogs! my beagle, indy, is sleeping right next to me as i type this, and i could not be anymore happy or thankful for it.

last week, on a whim, eric and i decided to head to indiana to celebrate thanksgiving. our friend was driving to chicago for the holiday, and didn't want to drive alone so we decided to get dropped off by him. it was nice to see family and friends, but what was intended to be a pleasant long weekend turned out to be a nightmare.

on friday, we returned to eric's mom's house to a shaky indy. she was uncontrollably shaking, but still looking us in the eyes, so eric picked her up and we took her to noah's animal hospital, the brandywine location. while being checked out, indy went into a seizure, but the doctors had taken xrays and suspected that it was overeating. they tried to give her hydrogen peroxide to force her to vomit, but that didn't happen so they pumped some charcoal substance into her system to try to cancel out any toxins she may have ingested. she came out on a leash walking pretty happily, so we thought that was the end of our situation. eric decided to get a pet friendly hotel to give indy a quiet night's rest, and this is where things just got worse.

indy was shaking again and we were trying to get her to relax, walk it off, lay in her bed, and none of that was happening. luckily, noah's at brandywine gave us pamphlets to their 24 hour emergency location and i was dialing there number as indy went into another seizure. and a split second later, in eric's arms, indy froze up, her heart stopped beating, and all i remember at that point was both eric and i screaming. i ran out to get the car, eric ran out with indy, i moved over to the passenger seat and held indy as eric hopped into the driver side and drove what turned out to be the most horrific and yet important drive of our lives. on the way there, indy was in an uncontrollable seizure. two more times on that ride, her heart stopped beating but eric reacted quickly and breathed into her face, and i just hugged her tightly asking her to hold on. 25 miles and 25 minutes later, we got to noah's 24 hour emergency center and handed indy to them. their first statement was that indy's heart was again in arrest. but they came out shortly after to tell us they were able to revive her. before we left that night, we went to see indy who was still shaking a lot, but was given ivs to regulate her.

just as we got to the hotel room, dr. thellman called me to tell me that indy's temperature was dangerously low and that we should come back to visit her because it would be unlikely that she would survive the night. we drove back, and just as we petted her, and sat in the waiting room, her temperature began to slowly rise. we stayed in that waiting room until the last few readings read a consistent 97 degrees, which was when things started looking more hopeful. that night, i called the hospital every hour and come morning, she was at 99 degrees (it is regular for dogs to be between 100-102). shortly after, dr. thellman called us again to inform us that indy had vomited quite a bit, and that our next action was to perform surgery. her stomach had been cleared of foreign bodies, but her intestines appeared to be clogged still. we met with dr, kalt, who informed us that the surgery would be very high risk, especially for a dog in indy's condition, but without the surgery her chances of living were nonexistent. so we found ourselves again, highly stressed and worried in the candle scented waiting room. one hour later, the doctor came out with a smile, and it just felt so much better. he informed us that indy's surgery went as well as it could, her vitals were strong throughout the entire surgery, and that we have 'one lucky puppy'. and from there on, it was back to regulating her temperature and seeing if she was able to eat and drink again.

to make an already long story a little shorter, we are now back in virginia, all three of us... indy is on the road to recovery. we have a little bit of a ways to go, but i am not complaining one bit. i am so grateful that somebody was looking down on our little angel puppy. she really is a miracle. i'm thankful that eric and i were able to react and work as an unstoppable team in a time of crisis, i'm thankful that my family and friends all showed so much support for us and concern for indy, i am thankful for the dedicated crew at noah's animal hospital-- all of which contributed to my little family being together again at home.


wedding video: preparation

the wonderful team at monachetti provided eric and i with our wedding videography (they did the wedding video for lisa loeb). they are a great group of guys and presented us with the first part of our wedding video. it was released on weddingchannel.com, and here is the full version that was posted on monachetti' blog. it seriously took my breath away! i cannot wait to see the rest of the video! so if any of you happened to stumble on my site and are planning your wedding, i highly recommend monachetti! you will not be disappointed!


ahoy, mate!

eric and i just came back from our honeymoon last night. for 9 nights, we were aboard the grandeur of the seas destined to stop at four eastern caribbean islands. this was my very first cruise, so i really wasn't sure what to expect. upon arriving to the port, i was simply amazed by the cruise ship, which i later overheard people say was not one of the bigger ships.

upon arriving to our stateroom, we received a pleasant surprise from eric's mom. she sent us red velvet cupcakes, which was just the kickoff to our next few days in the all-you-can-eat wonderland:

we spent the first two days at sea before we arrived in san juan, puerto rico. it was actually really nice to explore the boat, and have absolutely nothing to do. you can imagine how relaxing it was. in san juan, we visited the two old fortifications and roamed the downtown area:

our next stop was st. thomas. st thomas had tons of excursions to offer, but eric and i decided to just be beach bums and hang out at megan's bay, rated one of national geographics top ten most beautiful beaches.

the next stop was semana, dominican republic. eric and i had vacationed at an all inclusive resort in punta cana before, and after this stop, we decided the DR was not for us. it is a beautiful island, but we've had our fix of it.

the last day was without a doubt the best beach weather ever. we stopped at labadee, haiti and this was my favorite stop. we rented beach mats and laid out in the warm water, enjoyed the sun in the clear blue sky, and drank the local drink of the day. i was very relaxing and a great final stop:

i wouldn't be me if i didn't take a moment to comment on the lovely towel animals that were put at the end of our beds each night. ive seen towel animals before, but they got real creative on some nights, putting my sunglasses on the animals, and even hanging a towel-folded monkey from the ceiling:

it was a very relaxing few days, but we are definitely happy to have our feet on land and be home, sweet home!


think of the happiest things

... its the same as having wings! eric and i spent the night before halloween with some friends at the national zoo. they hosted an event called "night of the living zoo" and it was a lot of fun. we entered a costume contest with chris and jenna, and lost to a group that dressed up like characters from 'where the wild things are'. that movie just came out and frankly, their costumes were amazing, but hey, second place? i'll take it!

hope you all had a great (and safe) halloween!


1 month-iversary

my sweet husband sent me this little bouquet of flowers with the disclaimer "i know you don't like carnations, but this didn't come in any other flowers":

how sweet is that? and zero calories!


sewing project #1

okay so i worked on these yesterday and today... they really didn't turn out that great, and only look good in a blurry photo... so here is that blurry photo:

just in case you still need an explanation, these are bibs for my niece, nephew, and their buddy jaxton. they're really rather goofy looking, but hey, you have to start somewhere, right? be on the look out for more random sewing products from yours truly!


sew awesome!

as the high that comes immediately after the wedding starts to come down, i find that i end up having way too much time on my hands. i know the whole wedding was planned for us (thanks again amy, jacalyn, and lindsay) but there were times when my email inbox was overflowing, all the phones were off the hook, and i was about ready to pull out my hair. so now while eric is chugging away at the pto working hard i have a lot of free time and so i decided i needed a hobby. normally i would bake, but with eric not being home as often, i didnt want to end up having to eat all the sweets that come from the oven by myself, so i ruled that out. with halloween around the corner, i got into a crafy mood, and decided that sewing was what i wanted to pick up. i used to play around with my mom's sewing machine fairly often... and i know chi hai has embarrassing photos of me playing designer with some scarves, so i thought it only appropriate. i am currently working on a project for three of the cutest infants in southern california and i would post photos of my project, but i'm really uncertain where this is going at this point. hopefully i will be able to have a post about the end results! wish me luck!


eat, drink, be married!

i cannot believe we are where we're at now. the wedding is over, and although it was about two weeks ago, i remember it as if it happened last night. that was, without a doubt, the best night of my life! it was amazing to have all our friends and family in our neck of the woods and just have a grand time. of course having 5 star vendors helped make the event spectacular, but at the end of the day, those vendors went home, and it truly was our 5 star loved ones that brought the party. i wish i had words to describe the feelings i get when i think about our wedding. whatever the feeling is, i hope every couple feels this same way about their wedding and about marriage. it is simply amazing. i will try and do a full day recap when i get the photos back from our photographer.

so here we are, beginning our new life together! i'm excited about everything the future holds for us, and am making an effort to write about every significant milestone along the journey. so please bear with me!


behind the scenes

it has been a very long time since i've written anything here. at first i was worried about making information public before i was allowed to, but with the wedding about a month away, i think everything is known now. eric and i have been sent to new york a few times to take care of planning. i will do my best to update with all the little details, but its hard to get into blogging about things twice. yup, i blog for us weekly. they post my events on their website as if things happened weeks apart, when in reality, most everything happened within a span of 2 days. its crazy how fast this wedding is being thrown together, but its all been very fun and with the wedding coming up so soon, its so exciting to almost be there and see everything come together!


really? us???

well you read about the contest in a previous post... now read about the winners... US!

it was incredible! us weekly and weddingchannel.com sent us to new york, telling us that they were doing last minute decision making and needed to interview all the finalists! turns out, they sent us up there to tell us that we've won the contest!! i cannot put into words how amazing this experience has been so far and we've just begun! the last 48 hours of our lives has been just insane and out of this world, and we are so grateful for all of it!

we couldn't have done it without the support of our friends and family. and a HUGE shoutout to soldier's angels who blogged about us as soon as they heard a military couple was in the running. 

please follow our story on usmagazine.com


Répondez s'il vous plaît

i just got home from work and a huge box was waiting for me infront of the door. i opened up the box, and ta-da... my invitations have arrived! 

here's a little teaser:

these could not be more perfect! they're nothing too fancy, but simple and clean and i absolutely love them.  

i actually ordered these babies online. the original design comes with a brown ribbon, but my lovely invitation consultant, lisa, allowed me to change the color to match the color scheme of the wedding. she has been a dream to work with! i went through several stages of changing colors and designs, and she never once got impatient with me. she always provided me with detailed answers and amazingly quick! i highly recommend anyone to work with her. feel free to contact me for her info if you see anything on the website that you like. i will be happy to share her information and you will be happy to work with her, i promise!

wedding planning gets so much more fun when things start really happening! be on the lookout for one of these to be showing up in your mailboxes in the near future!


yes we can!

a few weeks ago, i was feeling silly and bored and decided to answer a few questions and entered a "win your dream wedding" contest sponsered by US Weekly and the weddingchannel.com. i really didn't think much of it, until a few days later when i got an email telling me that they were considering eric and i as top 10 finalists in the contest. i corresponded back and forth with them, sent them more photos of eric and i and today, they launched the site with yours truly among the top 10:


to vote, click on "vote for us" at the page above or go to:

and check our names, and hit the "submit final vote" button at the bottom. although voting is not the only thing that determines the winner, i'm sure it plays a big part in the final decision.

haha this is all very fun!


blessing in disguise

so last week i wrote about the situation with our photographer. i immediately met with a new batch of photographers knowing that with a wedding 6 months away, its likely that a lot of photographers are already booked for our wedding date. this time, i came around with a lot more experience, i knew where to look, what we were looking for, and had a clear number as far as a budget goes. 

the search lead me to joe and katye brier of the happy couple wedding photography. they themselves are a happy couple, married and shooting wedding photos together. most brides will talk about the moment they find "the one" when talking about their wedding dress. well, i had this moment with my photographers. they were so easy to talk to, i explained to them what i was looking for in wedding photography and they just lit up and were so eager to work with me. they're friendly, down to earth people which is a bonus on top of the fact that they are both extremely talented photographers. i am very excited about this!


hair part two

well, the boys are out playing a soccer game today, and i have the house all to myself. that meant i had time to work on my wedding hair again! i stopped by michaels on my way home from the gym (so yes, this time around, i am again in my gym clothing) and picked up some silk gardenias just to get an idea of what kind of hair accessory i may want for the big day. the result? a side low do with the flower positioned in two different places. i tried to put more volume in the hairdo than i was able to do last time and i think im starting to get an idea of the style i want on the wedding day. 

flower high on the my left side:
and flower on the lower right side:

i pulled out some of the hair in front to frame my face in the second photo. i think i like that, and i also think the low do needs to stick out more from the front, if that makes any sense. 

please offer me your thoughts and opinions!


first wedding snafu

well, just when i thought we were moving forward and fast, we took two steps back today. i got in contact with our photographer because i noticed he hadn't deposited our check to hold our wedding date. turns out him and his wife have been experiencing a rush of things and they are likely to move to florida, and will not be in the dc metro area in october. we decided that it was probably best not to enter contract, and so here we are... without a photographer. this drives me nuts.

i've spent the majority of my day looking into more photographers. there are so many photographers in this area it is ridiculous. but at least i feel comfortable knowing that there are a lot of people who will be capable of doing a great job.

and so, the search continues...


dressed to impress

i'm really excited to say that the bridesmaids dresses have been ordered! i decided early in the wedding planning process that i liked the idea of having each bridesmaid pick their own bridesmaid dress as long as the dresses are the same color and fabric. after having done some research, i found that alfred angelo had a great variety of dresses. the bm dresses will all be in the expresso brown color, and any dress with a sash or accent will have that be in the claret red color.

i have have 4 beautiful and oh-so-stylish bridesmaids, who all within days tried on the dresses they liked and gave me their sizes so promptly! thanks, ladies! chi hai and bao actually emailed me pictures of themselves in the dresses and i cannot tell you how much that excited me! they looked great!

here are the dress selections made:

bao's dress

chi hai's dress

linh's dress

kha tu's dress

we will soon be dressing the fellas! don't you guys worry!


stop and smell the roses

over the past weekend, i went to see two florists eager to find out what options are available now that we've changed the color scheme. after meeting with them both, we are choosing royal floral designs as our flower vendor. joy is the name of the owner, and she was very sweet, talked me through the entire consultation, keeping our budget in mind but also keeping my vision in mind. i am very excited about the plans that we made!


say cheeeeese!

one more check on the wedding checklist. we have booked our photographer! 

check him out at www.mattveldhuis.com and be on the lookout for upcoming engagement photos!


please raise your glass

i thought these were beautiful and wanted to make a note of them just in case i forgot in the future. i'm always so paranoid about forgetting little details such as toasting flutes. i was thinking that pearl details would make such a cute accent to the fall color scheme of our wedding, but i was also thinking that you can hardly tell that those are little pearls in the flute stems. 

mental note van: google- pearl toasting flutes.

color scheme change

if you followed my blog from the very beginning, you will recall that i once said the only thing we knew for sure was that our color scheme would be chocolate brown and tiffany's blue. well, even that wasn't for sure. i had once asked eric what his thoughts were about chocolate brown and red, and he was content with blue so we left it at that. 

anyway, a few weekends ago, we went to look at tuxedos, and well, we weren't pleased with the brown or blue vest/tie selection. i also ordered swatches of colors for the bridesmaids dresses, and held the tiffany's box against it, and there was no clear match there either. 

so, three nights ago, we were getting ready for bed when eric said "hey babe? ... do you still like brown and red?" that was like music to my ears and then things just started to click! i've been more into wedding planning now than i've ever been. its not that i didnt enjoy the chocolate brown and blue. i still think thats a lovely combination, but i felt so limited as far as decoration and details goes. but i now feel like the color scheme would go great with the wedding being in the fall. i already have an idea of what i want the flowers to look like, so here's hoping i can turn an idea into a beautiful wedding!

for now, enjoy some photos of flowers that i really like:


hairy situation

...okay, not really. things are going pretty smoothly, i'd say. we're getting ready to finalize decisions on a photographer and a florist, and i foresee a cake tasting in our near future.

however, last night i was watching american idol and although i did not vote for her, i thought megan joy's hair was really cute. so i came home from the gym and was about to hop in the shower when i thought "hey, lets do a hair trial." i have secret dreams to do special occasion hair on weekends, but those dreams are somewhat unrealistic. 

so anyway, here is the end product after 15 mins of teasing, hairspraying, and flat ironing. i'd like to reiterate once again that i just came home from the gym, so perhaps it might look better if i had fresh make up and wasn't wearing my sweaty bob seger tshirt.

i'm not really sure if i like the hair just yet, so expect many more posts like this to come. only next time, i'll try not experimenting post-working-out. one thing i did make a decision on though-- i definitely do not want to be doing my wedding hair by myself.

what do you think?


get with the program

oh man... i've really been digging deep into this wedding planning and yet i don't have much to show for it. it seems as though i've seen every wedding dress on the internet and tried on half a million of them in the dc metro area... although i may not have made any decisions, i'm starting to get a better idea as to what i like so i guess that's okay. 

i've been doing a lot of web browsing on details for the wedding and i came across these wedding programs that a bride made herself. I love that they're pocket sized and fold out to have enough room for all the important information. now all i need is for a dozen of my family and friends to fly out and help me assemble them! haha

that's really all we've got going on lately. tomorrow, eric and i are going to fort belvoir to attend a wedding menu dinner tasting. i will do my best to take photos and write reviews, and hopefully we'll make a decision on what our menu will be! every decision we make puts us closer to a planned wedding, which makes me excited!!


still kickin'

well there have not been many updates to blog about. eric has secured fort belvoir's chapel for our ceremony. i met with a florist, which was interesting because i really don't know a lot about flowers so while she was asking me what i liked, the best i could answer was 'i dont know.' 

tomorrow is valentine's day! hope everyone has a weekend filled with love!



i have spent the last few days in california spending time with my niece and nephew, and i cannot get enough of these two! they are so fun and i know it sounds weird to say this about newborn babies, but they have such clear personalities and i am having the time of my life getting to know them both. 

aidan is our nice little guy. he has the biggest eyes and is always looking around and getting to know his surroundings. brooke is the little princess. she is so delicate and yet so sassy but so fun too. i love my niece and nephew!

its never too soon to brainwash the kids:

big yawn from brooke on the changing table:

aidan in the boppy. i love this photo of him!

i am going to be in california for another few days and then its time to say bye bye to the babies for now. i cant imagine how big they'll be the next time i get to see them!


hey mister dj!

first of all, i had to let it be known that i am blogging from an airplane! im flying via virgin america, on my way to california to meet my nephew and niece! it just so happens that the plane i am on has wifi, how amazing is that?! 

well i could probably write a whole blog on the plane experience alone, but this entry is about our disc jockey. we sent in the contract for a dj from jk music productions, recommended to us by the officer's club. 

i love that every decision we make puts us one step closer to a completely planned wedding. i was talking to a friend the other day and he said "you're getting married in 9 months" and i realized... thats not so far away!

next stop... meeting with florists and everyone's favorite... cake tasting!


so many dresses, so little time

eric and i came to indiana to pick up his precious jeep. while we were here, andrea and zack were also in town and andrea and FMIL were sweet enough to take me around indiana to several bridal shops to try on wedding dresses. most brides have problems finding "the one." i, on the other hand, found several ones that i really love!

here's a photo of me going through the bridal gowns and andrea eyeballing the tiffany's blue flower girl dress:

drowning in a sea of dresses:

i'm hoping to have time while in california to try on some more and get some opinions from my mom and sisters. it is a little silly how many dresses i genuinely love! but at least i know that i will be happy with a selection when the time to make a choice comes.

i'd love your help in picking out my dress! unless your name is eric oberly, please click the following link and let me know if you see anything that you love or hate:

pictures of dresses i liked