Archive for November, 2009

Thanksgiving was this past week and Brandon and I were so happy to celebrate our second Thanksgiving together (in the same state/country).  We took a few moments to think back on where our relationship began and where we are now. We feel so blessed to be together and although times have not been super easy as of late we are so thankful for the support of our friends and family. We are also incredibly thankful for having found each other and for every milestone we have encountered as of late. We ate a ton of food at Aunt Jeanne’s and had an awesome time shopping on Black Friday. We both love the chaos!

The clock is ticking away and the passing of November means that Brandon and I have about 10 months until the planned date. 2010 will be a big year for us for so many different reasons and the list of “to do’s” is getting longer, however, 2010 is also a big year in that it will mark 10 years since my father passed away.  In fact, Thanksgiving Day 2009 marks nine years since we said goodbye.

Since we began planning the wedding we knew it was important to honor loved ones in the wedding. We have both lost important people and feel that honoring them in some way during our wedding is important.

These are the ideas we have so far.

1)      We are dancing to a song by my dad’s favorite band, The Eagles.

2)      We will have pictures of both of our parents (and grandparents if they exist) at the reception.

3)      I have also thought of incorporating my dad’s ring in my ceremony or bouquet.

4)      I also love the idea of memorial candles and memorial bouquets placed at the ceremony and reception.

This is a really good summary of some of the ideas I have thought about.


Regardless, I have every confidence that our loved ones will be with us on this incredibly special day in a positive, subtle way. I have struggled with the loss of my dad for many years and his absence will not be lost on me, but I know that he would want me to embrace this celebration.

I also know that he will be there to watch his little girl walk down the aisle and marry the kind of man he always hoped she would find.


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Hey everyone!  Brandon here.

Shannon’s been blogging more than me lately and wanted me to contribute – so here it is.

First of all, I felt like our engagement party was a big hit.  In the weeks leading up to the party, I was a little concerned about the amount of space in our apartment.  We were expecting somewhere between 20 and 30 people, so you can imagine why this was a concern.

LUCKILY, the weather cooperated and it was beautiful outside.  I think the day of our party it got into the mid-70s which allowed us to open up the doors and host people inside as well as outside.  It worked out quite well, if I do say so myself.

What did we eat?  Well, we decided given the fall-like weather and the fact that we’d be hosting a lot of people, a chili-bar seemed appropriate.  I made three types of chili: One Classic, One Spicy Deluxe, and one Black Bean Vegetarian.  I also made some pumpkin scones, which turned out pretty good (I think if I make them again they will be better next time).

It was great to get together with everyone and socialize again.  Shannon and I’s schedules conflict so often, we very rarely get to hang out together with out friends.  It was also great to have her family in – and have them meet my family.  After all, they’re going to be related through Shannon and myself for the rest of our lives, they should at least meet before we’re saying, “I do,” right?  So we just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out and made our party a success.  To Shannon’s Arizona friends: Sorry you couldn’t be here!  You were missed!

In addition, Shannon and I’s fund raising campaign is going great.  If anyone wants to donate some cash to our wedding fund, let me know. Paypal: brandon.curtis.cox@gmail.com Kthanksbye.


Also, more exciting news!  We got all of our engagement photos back.  Jamie Clayton (http://www.jamieclayton.com/index2.php) did a tremendous job.  His combination of artistic abilities and his personality really came through in the photos.  I’m sure we’ll be posting some of those online soon – but you’ll just have to wait until we have the time!


Anywho, I think that is all for now.  Much love!

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My dress. THE DRESS. The wedding dress of my dreams is currently sitting in my closet. In fact, it has been there since the beginning of September.

I couldn’t be more thrilled with it. I knew it was the one as soon as I tried it on. My sister was in from Ohio for Labor Day weekend so I decided that then was a great time to go shopping. I was so excited as both she and Maggie would be accompanying me for this adventure. This was my first attempt. I was a little apprehensive. I was also scared that I wouldn’t be able to find something in my budget that was beautiful.

I learned shortly before going that the wedding industry is comparable to that of buying a used car. So I prepared myself mentally. I wanted to make sure I stuck to my budget and got the dress I wanted. I was going to get talked into buying just any dress. I was ready to do battle. The first store we went to required those skills. It wasn’t a comfortable situation. It was a small store which I liked but I soon realized they were wanting to sell me a dress and weren’t really good at listening to what I needed or wanted. I must have said a hundred times, “I don’t want to wear a tiara. That’s not my style.” Also, most of the dresses in which to try on were sizes 6. I guess it is not polite to reveal your size online but I AM NOT A SIZE 6. One dress wouldn’t even fit over my hips. EEK! However, I learned some things about what I liked and what I didn’t. I surprised myself a little. I also learned what looked good on my figure.

My second stop was at Cherished Memories in Mt. Juliet which has sadly went out of business. I didn’t really expect to find anything here because the only dresses they had were off the rack sales since they were going out of business. O-M-G! I was wrong. I saw the two tone beauty hanging on the rack and it instantly caught my eye. Checking the price tag I realized it was right inside my budget because of the red tag sale.

It was the first one I tried on and as soon as I saw myself in the mirror I was in love. When I went out to visit Maggie and Tonya I couldn’t stop smiling and within a few second I found myself tearing up. I felt beautiful and wonderful in this dress. I debated and debated in the mirror. I didn’t want to take it off. It was the near perfect size right off the rack! After trying on two other dresses in the store I walked back out to the car in a daze. I realized I had been sweating because I was so emotional! I wanted that dress. But could I buy the fifth dress at the second store on my first trip out? The thought made me anxious. But forcing me to make my decision was the fact that the dress might not be there much longer and if it weren’t on clearance I could not afford it.

After that dress moment I decided to follow through with my original plans and we headed out to David’s Bridal. I tried on several dresses all of which were beautiful. Each dress had something special and something I appreciated but I couldn’t get that same feeling from any of these dresses. Those dresses didn’t make me feel like I was floating.

I left the last store feeling like I had to make a decision. The good thing was I had Sunday and Monday to do it. I called friends and family and sought the opinion of many. After hashing out the positives and negatives, I went for it. I called Tuesday morning and put it on hold. By Tuesday evening before my shift at the Gap I was the proud new owner of the most beautiful (not to mention expensive) piece of fabric I had every laid eyes on.

I can’t wait until Brandon sees me on our wedding day. I have a whole year left to imagine the moment. It’s going to be amazing. Until then it will sit in my closet. Don’t peek!

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We are back!

Okay folks….much apologies for getting off track with our blog. We know we broke the number one cardinal rule of blogging. We gotta keep up with it. But things have been super crazy on the Brandon and Shannon front.  Too crazy, in fact, to go into much detail…but suffice it to say that Brandon and I are learning early in our relationship the importance of communication and openness.

I like lists. I make them all of the time. Almost everyday. I have a wedding notebook and a wedding binder. My wedding notebook is where I jot down ideas as they come to me. I have about forty ever changing lists.

This is our list from things we have been trying to remember in the past two months.

1)      Family is important. Friends too!

2)      Unconditional love is sometimes hard to come by but always worth the sacrifice.

3)      Sometimes the only thing you can do is take it one day a time.

4)      Everyone is in recovery.

5)      When you don’t feel like smiling, a dog is a perfect remedy. (Shout out to Miss Betty Dog!)

6)      Time is usually more important than money.

7)      Be thankful.

8)      Let someone know when you are having a bad day. Especially if that someone lives with you and wants to marry you.

9)      Find your joy.

10)   The wedding is simultaneously most important and least important.

11)   Learn from mistakes. Both your own and the people around you.

12)   Celebrate each moment.

13)   Share. Good. Bad. Everything.

14)   Make goals together. Revisit them every few weeks.

15)   Even soul connecting love needs to be nurtured.

Thanks to everyone who is supporting us during this time. We seem to be getting back on track with wedding plans. There has been some progress. More updates to come.

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