Thursday, June 6, 2013

Your Presence Is Presents Enough..

Reflecting on yesterday, the 29th Anniversary of my birth, I wanna talk about Presents.. BUT not for meeee, that's a-WHOLE-notha topic!!! A pair of my good friends from church got married this last weekend. I was so excited to be able celebrate with them!! I got to participate in all sorts of wedding festivities, and it was SOOOOO AWESOME!!! My husband and I attended the Engagement Party.. I went to the Bridal Shower-which got me invited to the surprise Bachelorette Party the following week.. ANDthanks to my Mom being in town, we were able to stay at the Lodge where the reception was held-allowing us to party all night long, wake up to the sound of birds chirping (instead of a baby crying), and enjoy the 'send-off' brunch with the newlyweds & family the next morning. All this celebration allowed me to do one of my FAVORITE things! As I mentioned last week, (I feel) one of my areas of strength is Gift Giving:

The Blushing Bridal Shower

A dear friend and I decided to pool our money together and give a joint present for the shower. The invite said the following (the names have been changed to protect the innocent):
*Bride* and *Groom* will soon be married,
Over the threshold she'll be carried,
But before they settle into wedded bliss,
A honeymoon trip they will not miss,
As friends and family of the two,
Here is what you're invited to do,
Shower them with gifts for the trip, need suggestions?
Here's a tip; They will be traveling on their own
in Mexico, so maybe Lingerie, cash, or a card for the phone! 
Whatever you decide, we know will be perfect!

We decided to do a Mexico Gift Basket. But how to figure out what to put in it? Hmmm.. You guessed it! Of course I Googled "What to give someone who is traveling to mexico". A VERY successful search!!! First site that popped up: Top Ten Gift Ideas for Someone Traveling to Mexico - Yahoo!Voices
(Am I alone in seeing the irony of my Google search returning a Yahoo! link as the first option?)
P1. A map of Mexico(Free at AAA)  P2. Organic and biodegradable Sunscreen 
3. Rain of God, by Victor Villaseñor 4. A passport case in a bright color 
5. A Virgen of Guadaloupe Tshirt 6. A digital camera  P7. OFF Bug Spray 
8. An extra suitcase  P9. A guidebook for Mexico(Free at AAA)  
P10. A journal and a set of colored pens or pencils 
PPlus, we made an 'ATM' with the remaining CASH!
(Of course I forgot to take a picture AFTER I added #2 & #7!)

Go For a Bride With Me.. Wine Not?

Based on work and family, I didn't think I would be able to make it to the Bachelorette Party. But, Hunnie told me he would take care of the kids, I should have a good time with the girls, and 'made' me go. So thankful he did.. I had a BLAST! It had been quite a while since I have done ANYTHING like that. I enjoyed playing along with all the shenanigans the maide of honour had planned, and drinking my red wine through a straw! And, of course, I didn't come empty-handed. If you do a quick search on Pinterest for Bachelorette Party Survival Kit, you will find PLENTY of ideas. I looked thru a few and compiled this list. Quick trip to the local dollar store after work and VOILA!
(Yes, I forgot to include the shout wipes.. BUT one of the girls pointed out that the bucket could ALSO be used for 'nausea aftermath'!)

Set the Lovin to High:

The wedding was set in the country, nestled in the woods. The venue was rustic & nature-filled, decorations delicate & sweet, and cermony special & touching (a butterfly even fluttered through the guests as we witnessed them exchanging vows).. it was so perfectly THIS couple! Their wedding webiste had the following written under the 'Registry' section:

"What our hearts are really after. . . . is a HOME! We are so excited to start living our DREAM of having our own FARM and starting our own FAMILY. We are asking for your support andBLESSING as we prepare ourselves to begin this new chapter in our lives. Please visit our alternative to a traditional registry at 
The couple would humbly prefer to decline gifts of any sort. We have almost everything we need in this world to start building our life together through marriage. We have set up an additonal registry at Target and Macy’s to accommodate tradition."
I wanted to honor their wishes, but also wanted to give them something that was as unique and amazing as they are. The site they included is a place where you can contribute money and 'assign' it to a particular item in their Dream Home. It includes pictures of things they want, and a place where you can create your own. What a COOL idea! I however, like something I can put my hands on! So, I found this Wedding Jar idea, edited some of the wording, and put it inside an over-sized mason jar. Then I wrote a personalized note inside a cookbook, wrapped it in an apron, inserted wooden spoons, and wrapped it all up pretty-with a Neon Ribbon & Lace. I placed it all in a storage box that looks like vintage luggage, and topped it off with a FREE Printable Gift Tag. I must say, *TOOT TOOT* it came together pretty nice!
(No, I didn't take a picture of my awesome Cookbook/Apron wrapping job! Why would I think of that?)

So, I NEVER said I was a PERFECT giver.. I just said (I feel) it is one of my STRENGTHS! More than the gifts, I really enjoyed spending extra time with the Bride & Groom during all the events, and getting to know them, their families, and friends better. Hearing their vows, and what our Pastor had to say about marriage, made me take another look at how I treat my marriage. Do I try to push MY way? Do I put my husband's needs first? Depending on the day, the answer to BOTH of those can change. I want to focus on what marriage is meant to be, and put as much effort & thought into giving to Hunnie as I did on these gifts.