January 31, 2013


Sometimes I just want to pause life. Say hold up, wait a minute. I want to sit down and enjoy this first month as newlyweds. To have more time for the gym, grocery store shopping, my business, our dogs and family. But apparently that's not how life works, there is no magic slow down button. I have so many emotions right now about being married, all of them positive, but it's slightly overwhelming. When I think about all the things Rob promised to me January 12th, I'm overwhelmed. Overwhelmed that the one person I love more than anything feels the exact same way about me. 

As I'm looking through all of our amazing wedding photos, I have moments where it doesn't even feel real. I got married in Italy... not even really sure how I managed to pull that off. I laugh so much with Rob and I never want us to stop laughing. I never want to fall into marriage stereotypes or fall victim to others expectations for us. With Rob it's been different from the beginning, he was this intangible crush, off limits, and now he is my husband. I fall asleep next to him every night and wake up to him every morning. When I write it all down it makes me drooling over a pair of Lululemon tights seem so silly. I've got what I've wanted most in life, a partner. 

After the wedding we all went to this amazing restaurant to eat. There was a toast made by Rob's dad, 'to whoever wins the first fight' ... I laughed at the time, because in my mind I'm thinking 'I'll always win'. A week later my mom jokingly asked who won and I remember thinking neither of us. Our one argument ended with us both apologizing for being jerks and I don't even remember how it started. Funny really. I want those kinds of arguments to be our only arguments. For times to stay simple and our biggest problems are motivating each other to go to the gym. I've got 11 more months to enjoy Rob being at home with me before deployment. In a way it seems like forever and in others it feels like he leaves tomorrow. Life is so good and I need to remember that. 

January 30, 2013

Views from My Desk // no. 2

A day late but still on track. Since last post I've had a little photoshoot, new supplies come in and some organization take place. All good over here in the studio and very inspiring.
Hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday!

January 25, 2013

2013 Calendar

One day when I was reading my hero, Elise Joy,'s blog I came across this!! Which then led me to this website. Now I'm usually one to take on a digital project, I don't even even have Photoshop anymore, but this was just too good to pass up. I quickly purchased the digital template from Paislee Press and then edited it with Pixelmator.

I wanted it for my office so I added Indie & Chic products as well as everyday photos as well. I think only a few are actually from Instagram, but I love the effect they all have as a whole. I then bought a frame at Target, actually a 16x20 floating frame. Printing was done by Persnickty Prints, I love love love this company, also found through Elise Joy.

And there you have it. I pretty personal 2013 calendar, after 2013 I plan to cut the calendar up and use it for a r+s mini book featuring the monthly blog posts I do. Double the use!

Digital Template - Lilypad for Paislee Press // Printed with Persnickty Prints // Edited with Pixelmator // Frame from Target

January 22, 2013

Views from My Desk // no. 1

New feature every Tuesday, views from my desk. Reminds me of the project Kara Haupt inspired me to do back in 2010. 

As you can see the studio is still being put together, but I'm loving this space. I can't wait till it's fully functioning. I've got a few of my favorite wedding cards out to frame and lots of tools present as I hang things on the walls. The last photo is a custom order I finally completed, I made an extra because I loved the headband so much. I'm hoping to release 20 or so one of kind headbands in February. I love how each one becomes its own design, no matter if I use the exact same flowers. I love being able to mix colors and textures, floral bouquet headbands are just my favorite. The End.

January 17, 2013

Mr. & Mrs.

The wedding was beyond perfect, I couldn't have imagined it going better. My mom spent the night before with me, it was a very special time with my mom. I woke up that morning at 5:45am to start doing my hair. The morning was so surreal, Rob's mom came in to see me and give me a handkerchief from her mother. It was very touching and I ended up wrapping it around my bouquet. Rob's sister Amelia came in to take photos of me putting the dress on and it started hitting me what was about to happen. I desperately wanted to see Rob, but we agreed to wait until I was walking down the aisle.

The only interaction we had before the service was exchange notes in a doorway at the palace. We couldn't see each other at all, but we stood there reading our notes. It was a moment I'm very glad we have and I cried a lot. On the way to the church in Pisa, Rob wore a pillowcase so he couldn't see me. I'm pretty sure the town thought we were kidnaping someone. Once we arrived at the church I was beyond words. I hadn't seen the church in person and it was more than I could have dreamed. I couldn't believe I was about to get married there.

I waited at the end of the aisle with my mom. I remember her asking me if I was sure and that we could get away if I wasn't sure (I know she was just being a good mom). I replied, 'no I really like Rob' which made her laugh. I've never doubted that I was supposed to marry Rob. Once the music started I got pretty emotional, seeing Rob smiling at the end of that aisle was the sweetest. My mom handed me off and then the service was turned over to the Mayor of Pisa. He spoke in Italian and then our translator would recite the words in English. The Italian wedding articles hinted to equality and responsibility in the marriage, very different from a religious service. After we were officially pronounced Man and Wife, Rob's brother in law, Jason, came up and did our religious vows. Reciting those words back while looking in to Rob's eyes was my favorite moment of the wedding. We then got to kiss for a 2nd time and then the music started! We walked out to Signed, Sealed, Delivered, which was amazing.

We left the church and headed over to the leaning tower of Pisa, it was my first time seeing it and I was impressed. We ended up being the main tourist attraction there, and so many tourists kept taking photos of us or with us. I can't wait to see how those photos turned out!! After we all took a few hours to rest and then Amelia took some more photos of us in our Hotel, Palazzio Tucchi. I'm in love with all the photos I've seen so far, she makes me look as good as I felt that day.

That night we all met for a wedding dinner at Ostrella Barrella in Lucca. They had made us a wedding cake and we even took photos with the whole restaurant staff, I can't wait to send them the photo. I'm hoping when Rob and I go back one day our photo will be on their wall. The dinner was amazing. We laughed and took a few dozen polaroids. I'm loving being sisters with a photo junkie. During the dinner the whole restuarant started chanting something in Italian and then we stood up and every one clapped. It was pretty amazing. I want to freeze the dinner in time.

After dinner we went out for one last photo shoot with Amelia and Jason. We had been drinking so it was pretty hilarious. Amelia's husband Jason became assistant, fog machine and photoshoot DJ. We had a blast and it was great view into the rest of our lives with those two!! I have no idea how Amelia got anything done during that hour, because she was the only one being serious. She probably wanted to kill us all, but she is magician behind the camera. I was pretty speechless when I saw what she captured. I'll be her biggest fan until the end of time, both on the sister end and the photographer end.

And that my friends was our wedding day. More than any girl can hope for and I'm so happy to be a part of a new family. I'm a very lucky girl.

Please be sure to check out Amelia's company Bound By and let her know how awesome she is!

January 12, 2013

I'm Married!!!

We were married at 10am in Italy, so that's about 3a.m. central time. I'll post details of the day as soon as I can! **Top is from our engagement shoot and bottom is from yesterday walking in Lucca.**

January 11, 2013

An Italian Wedding // The Church & The City

Photo from Distinctive Italian Weddings

Originally, I had picked Lucca, Italy for the wedding. However, after talking with our Italian wedding planner, using a church there wasn't going to be an option (Rob & I aren't Catholic). The other option was to use a wedding hall in Lucca, but the more I looked at photos from other brides the more I wanted another option. Wedding halls in Lucca are beautiful, that wasn't the issue, but you had to sit down in chairs during the wedding. Plus, there was no aisle you could be walked down.

So after many e-mails back and forth we found an old abbey in Pisa, Italy. Just 15 miles from Lucca. The abbey or church San Zeno was perfect for our needs. We still would have to have a civil union performed by the Mayor, but we could add out own religious vows. We also had an aisle to walk down and could play our own music. I was sold.

January 10, 2013

An Italian Wedding // New Plans

So originally we wanted the whole wedding to be a surprise, but the moment that ring went on my finger everyone wanted details (read our engagement story here). When? Where? How soon? Church? Small? Big? Not to mention all the opinions and advice I got. It was so hard to basically lie to people's faces about not knowing about a date or our plans. I think both families didn't think about that beforehand and it started wearing on us. We made a group decision that people needed to be told about Italy and that Friday night became the last of my sanity.

Engagement parties were planned. A shower. So many people were so happy and excited for us, I'm so glad I was able to change gears and not miss those three months. I put an announcement in the paper, Rob and I registered at a few stores and then the weeks went by like normal. I remember it wasn't until the week before December that it all started to hit me. I was getting married... to Rob! The final dress fitting was what really made it all real. I had my whole ensemble put together and my hands were shaking so badly. I was getting nervous, happy nerves. I finally felt like a bride.

January 9, 2013

An Italian Wedding // The Dress

My first dress appointment came 10 days after the whole wedding was decided. I had no engagement ring and no one in town could know what was going on. Rob and I both have families that everyone knows, so this was a pretty hard secret to keep.

Our first stop was a boutique called The Carriage House. The shop is a small little house that was converted into a dress store, and I've driven past it for over a decade. They always have the most amazing dresses in the window. Mom and I snuck into the shop praying no one saw us and I was so nervous I thought I was going to faint. Here I was trying on wedding dresses!!!

We could only choose from a fraction of the dresses because of our 4 month time frame. So we walked through the shop pulling dresses I thought I might like. The first one I tried on was absolutely perfection. I was pretty sure it was the one.
first dress - didn't make the cut
 We tried on two other that I absolutely hated. Then I asked if there were any other dresses in the same style as the first. My fourth dress took my breath away. It was everything I was envisioning for a winter Italian wedding and the sash they paired with it was so me I could't even believe it. Right there we purchased it and toasted with champagne.
the "something blue" sash (dress not mine)
One dress shop. Four dresses. And then we were done with the dress drama. Getting a dress from a local shop was really special, even more special was that my best friend Vicki had gotten her dress there too. So I knew that would be something we could share for the rest of forever.... but I couldn't tell her just yet.

Dress // Alyne   Sash // Augusta Jones "Something Blue" sash 

January 8, 2013

The Italian Wedding // Planning

Photography by Bound By
The next few days after we decided to go through with the Italian wedding were crazy. I was overwhelmed, I was excited, I wanted to tell everyone and I also wanted to get my ring so that people might not be so surprised.

Mom and I went to the bookstore one night and researched elopements/destination weddings. We decided that there would only be parents and siblings at the wedding. We planned to mail announcements the day we left for Italy, so that people would find out about it as it was actually happening. We came up with telling people that a wedding was planned for Fall 2013, but we weren't sure of the dates.

We also contacted my mom's Italian teacher, Andrea to meet with us and discuss the legal aspects of getting married in Italy. I spent countless hours on pinterest looking up winter weddings and figuring out what kind of dresses I liked. Everything still seemed so overwhelming and I wanted to get my dress nailed down as soon as possible. That next week I decided not to go back to my gulf job and stay in town to work on wedding planning. I made 3 appointments with local bridal shops, things were starting to fall in place.

January 7, 2013

An Italian Wedding // How It Started

all photography by Bound-By
The whole concept for an Italian wedding came to be through a typical Rob and Samantha conversation. We were sitting in my room and he was explaining to me about how he wanted us to get married sooner than later because of his deployment. At that moment I had no desire to get married until  Fall 2013. I think I jokingly said well we can't get married until February anyways unless we go join my mom in Italy.

Ya see, my mom had been planning a month long trip to Italy for her 60th birthday. She had told Rob he was NOT allowed to propose while she was gone, let alone go down to the courthouse and get married. After I made the joke about getting married in Italy, we both just laughed and brushed it off. He knew I wasn't too serious.

A few days later we went to look at engagement rings. We were trying to use an old aquamarine stone from my grandmother instead of a typical diamond. The moment that ring went on to my finger I wanted to marry him right then. It was the most surreal moment, I actually teared up. Now granted he hadn't asked the question, but I was 100% certain Rob was the one and only.

After trying on rings we went by my mom's shop. I actually was kinda nervous to tell her about us trying on rings, but I was also so excited I finally couldn't hold back. As she was looking at horrible quality phone pictures I mentioned the Italian wedding comment. My mom looked up at me and went "that would be perfect". It was really shocking to hear my mom agree to this crazy idea and then it didn't feel so crazy. We stood in the shop for the next hour talking about how we could get everything together to pull this off.

And then all of a sudden I was set to get married in Italy, January 12th, 2013. And it was all a huge secret.

January 3, 2013

An Italian Wedding // Heading Off to Italy

As I type this, it's the night before I leave for Italy. The last few days have been hard. We both worked up until leaving and I think that added a lot of stress. Rob & I are both sick, yep, haha. I think mine is just stressed induced and then I probably gave it to Rob. As I sit here and think about the fact that I just packed our bags to leave for our wedding I am in awe. In awe of how life works, and how when you least expect something it comes and knocks you off the path you were so determined to be on. Earlier in the year I wrote a post about being single, and little did I know how true those words would become.

Rob has turned my whole world around. I don't see anything the same way. I've never made decisions around another person or factored anyone into my future. It feels good. I trust my dreams, secrets and faults with him. He is the person I hoped I would find, but I wasn't sure existed. And as cheesy as it all sounds, it's my cheese, that I've never had before. I'm soaking up every ounce of love I feel in this relationship.  I've been expecting to have cold feet or second guess myself, but I haven't, not once.

I'm hoping I can push away all my anxiety about our legal appointments/ the laid back Italian wedding planners and enjoy the next 12 days with Rob and our families. As my mom said today, 'this is the biggest adventure of your life'. I need to enjoy the moment and take in the process. Let go of all the stress I'm feeling. Thanks for your sweet tweets this week, I apologize for the whining.

This whole week there will be posts about how the wedding came together! I hopefully can get a photo posted of the wedding during the honeymoon. No promises.