Wedding Wednesday with Sarah

So, it turns out I don't have time to write on my own blog, but I whipped up a little guest post for my friend Sarah today.

OK, I actually whipped it up over the weekend, when I had time. AND I blogged on Sunday!

So here's your fix of Brenda for the day. Just not here. :)


Sunday Afternoon

Ah, Sunday afternoon. The last fleeting moments before the weekend is over and it's back to real life for the week.

After a particularly frustrating week that was mostly spent in the car, getting lost from point A to point B, and failed car inspections (perhaps we're due for a blog post on that one), I was quite honestly craving a weekend of zero social contact, lots of cuddling, and frozen pizza.

Turns out it was actually our most social weekend since we've been here, and it turns out that it was truly what I needed. Between dinner with the siblings-in-law on Friday, football/shopping with friends on Saturday afternoon (football for Ian and Matt, shopping for me and Erin--I know, you're shocked), and a campfire reunion with an old acquaintance/recent blogging friend (the beautiful Amanda, you know you want to check her out).

And here we are on Sunday, memories of the weekend still fresh and while the prospect of another week of early rising is daunting, Sunday afternoons are one of my most anticipated parts of the weekend. Growing up, Sundays meant church in the morning, brunch afterwards (either out or at home!), and a day of Mom's sewing machine whirring, Dad's radios buzzing, a fresh pot of coffee brewing, and lots of lazing. It is, after all, the day of rest.

Ian and I have fallen into our own Sunday routine, and it doesn't look too far off from what I've been used to my whole life, give or take the addition of football in the background-- an uncommon occurrence in the Saylor household.

We go to church and then we cook brunch.

We enjoy an afternoon cup 'o joe.

By golly, there's even time to photograph the wildlife in our backyard.

Speaking of wildlife, would you believe me if I told you, that within 30 seconds of each other, I saw a fox and a buck in the yard on Wednesday morning? No? Well, I did.

Don't you see, it's very exciting around here!

So exciting, that I don't know which item on my To-Do list to tackle next--catch up on all the shows I missed last week? Paint my nails? Call a friend?

Oh, Sunday.


Wearing the Wedding to Work

Well hello!

I guess it has kind of been awhile, hasn't it? Last time we spoke, I was getting over a batch of crummy cookies. I guess it wasn't really very nice to leave you off like that for almost a whole week after that epic tale--whatever became of the cookies? Did she die from sugar overdose? Where is Brenda?

Don't you worry my friends--other than a few minor instances of getting lost in back country VA, I am safe and sound and finding that life is suddenly showing a lot of similarity to all the things I've heard my parents always lament about life in the workforce; "There is just not enough time in the day!". "I don't feel like cooking dinner--let's just have pizza!" "Our house is a mess!" "9:30: time for bed!". 

Am I becoming a boring adult?

If nothing else, I will say that working has turned me into a much more fashionable adult! I cannot tell a lie--one of the biggest perks of getting a job was getting to wear nice clothes! Especially pencil skirts. I have a little bit of an obsession with pencil skirts, which unfortunately aren't really that versatile out of the workplace setting.

Luckily, after investing in a couple of said skirts, finding a working wardrobe really has not been as daunting as I was anticipating. Basically, with the right accessories and shoes, a good portion of the shirts I already own (mostly from thrift and vintage shops....cha ching!) have translated well into office wear. 

To name a few examples...

Cute bright blouses (that have been in my closet for years and have always narrowly escaped the Goodwill pile--see, I knew I was saving them for something!)

Pearls. So many pearls. I kind of wear them every day.

And flower brooches. Vintage, obviously.

Vintage brooches are absolutely my favorite accessory for several reasons. First, who doesn't love a fabulous pop of color? (If you don't--you're boring.) These have been amazing ways to spruce up my plain-jane solid color blouses. 

I also love these because they hold a special meaning to me. You might remembering that throughout the wedding planning, I was teetering on the fence of whether or not I wanted to embark on creating an all-brooch bouquet. As I debated, friends and family started being on the lookout for additions to my collection--the pretty yellow one was bought by my friend Shannon and the one below was a find from my mom--but by the time the wedding got close, I just really didn't have quite enough to make a substantial bouquet. I let it crush me for maybe five minutes, but the day we went for our appointment with the florist, he suggested something crazy--why not combine them with real flowers and have both?

He worked his magic and created the most fantastic and unique bouquet sprinkled with red roses, gerbera daisies, and vintage brooches.

Meagan Jepson Photography

Meagan Jepson Photography

Meagan Jepson Photography

Even though the real flowers have long since faded, I still have tangible reminders of that special part of our wedding that I can wear anytime I want. It's pretty neat.


Crummy Cookies

I sat here in front of my computer this afternoon, with PSU football blaring in the background, trying to figure out what to write about today.

Little did I know there was a blog post baking in my oven.

This morning we awake to a crisp Fall morning--overcast and chilly with a bite in the air. To Ian, this means football. To me, this means pumpkin spice, baking, cute clothes, and no more frizz. 

So today, as in true Fall afternoon fashion, I decided to bake some soft, no molasses ginger cookies. Not ginger snaps--something light and airy. Now typically, when it comes to cookies with me, I tend to lean towards no chocolate=no good. I need my chunks! But the thought of gingery spicy aroma wafting throughout the apartment was enough to entice me into whipping these up. 

As I baked, measured, and mixed, Penn State was not doing well and the husband was getting irate.

Cookies will cheer him up!

As they baked, I sat on the couch with some homemade guacamole (yes, I was feeling ambitious today!) and watched Penn State win. Not by much, but they won! Happy days are here again, right?

Ah, not so much. 

Ian was grumbling about the inept team, because apparently this was not a game that should have been so close. "But they won!", I said. I guess I will just never understand.

Suddenly, the oven beeped and I pulled out the sheets where the larger-than-expected cookies were almost dripping off the sides. The recipe said to let them cool on the rack for five minutes. 

Five minutes later, it was time to scoop 'em off on to the cooling racks. Except they were stuck to the cookie sheet. STUCK. 

I tried to be careful. I tried to ease the spatula underneath and slide it off. But soon, when I found that I was simply going to have to pry them off, I found that they really weren't done cooking and then things just got messy.

Some of them stayed in tact enough to go cool on the rack, and I managed to scrape one off to try and one to lift Ian's spirits. 

As I continued to scrape, I found myself getting as irate as Ian was during that game. Several expletives were uttered as I scraped and scraped and scraped, and soon, very maturely slammed the cookie sheet down and walked away saying "I know what I'm blogging about today".

"But they taste good!", Ian said.

"It doesn't matter! They look like shit!"

OK. I'm seeing some similarities here. It was a frustrating football game. It all turned out fine, but the way it got there was no good. I used up the rest of our butter making these cookies that ended up in one messy, crummy mass. Yeah, they taste fine, but that's not the point!

Yes, today was actually a marriage counseling activity. Seeing things from each other's perspective and understanding each others feelings, even when they might not make sense. 

Lesson learned: when life gets crummy, have your cookies a la mode.


Friday Movie: The Story of Us

During the months leading up to our wedding, while I was scouring antique shops, stalking wedding blogs, and making crafts, Ian was working on a special project of his own--a movie that we showed during our cocktail hour that was all about us and how we met.

This was something that Ian had been talking about doing before we were even engaged, and as you have seen, once Ian begins a project he sees it through to the very end. Here's the finished product; he did an amazing job, and come to think of it, I don't think I've ever told the blogging world our story of how we met. So here you go. :)


Something Old, Borrowed, New and Blue: The Wedding Accessories

Finding the perfect wedding day accessories was one of the hardest parts, mostly because I already had an idea in my head of what I wanted them to be: vintage, a little bit of red, pearl-y, and fabulous. 

Since everyone knows that thrift shopping is not easy when you go in with a pre-determined idea, this meant that all the way up until the week of the wedding, I was still buying and gathering this stuff. But I think everything turned out to be the perfect accessory to fit in with the theme.

Something Old and Something Blue:

I found this amazing 1950s purse at the Sledworks Antique Mall in Duncannon, PA for only ten dollars. The blue garter came from Joanne Fabrics.

Something New:

The shoes. Eeeep, I love these shoes. I would wear them every day if I could. They were absolutely the perfect thing I had in mind for my perfect wedding shoes--red, peep toe, and a little hint of a heel so I wouldn't tower over my man. Other than the dress, these were one of the bigger wedding splurges. (Zappos.com)

I also went through about three pearl necklaces until I decided on this multi-strand number from Kohl's. 

Something Borrowed:

And the pearl earrings were borrowed from my godmother, Aunt Peg.

The best part is that now I have all these mementos of our wedding that I can wear and be reminded of that fabulous day!

Especially those red shoes. I think I'll just wear those every day.

*Photos by Meagan Jepson Photography


Let the Routines Begin!

As of Monday, The Funky Junkie is a working woman!

Which means more money for the newlyweds, no more cabin fever for Bren, and wearing pretty clothes every day.

It also means no more afternoons drinking wine and reading trashy books, no more having all day to plan what's for dinner, and not nearly as much time for blogging. Because by the time we are both home, eat dinner, and clean up, it's almost time for bed. 

Life just got a whole lot different. But hasn't that been the theme for the past few months around here? If anything, it's finally time to settle into a routine. Wake up at six, enjoy coffee and cereal together before heading off for work, coming home and cooking dinner together, and unwinding with a beer and some Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. 

In other news, I have a feeling the crock pot will become a good friend of ours. I always anticipated that I wouldn't feel like cooking after working all day. Heck, a lot of the time I didn't feel like cooking after a very strenuous day of What Not to Wear reruns. But tonight, needing to use up the vegetables in our refrigerator--specifically, zucchini and eggplant--I had a stroke of genius. What if I sauteed that stuff with tomato sauce and threw it on pasta? Yes, very original. I googled "recipes with eggplant and zucchini" and it turns out that it's a spitting image of ratatouille. Kind of. It's like I came up with it. 

Ian whipped up a salad, and we both agreed that it was probably the most colorful meal ever.


Welcome to Our New Home!

I've been so used to saying that every time we have guests over to our real new home, so naturally I thought I would carry the sentiment over to my blogging life as well.

Last weekend, we had the pleasure of welcoming my family from Pennsylvania into our new home. Considering the most amount I've gone without seeing them probably has never exceeded two weeks or so,  it was absolutely wonderful to finally see them after two months.

On Saturday afternoon, while the men watched football, the ladies ventured downtown and to the mall for long overdue shopping. I introduced them to some of my favorite thrift shops that I've found, and I had a moment of retail serendipity.

A few weeks ago when I was exploring the downtown Fairfax area, I happened to stumble upon The Factory, a new store that specializes in printed tees and vintage clothes. With no spending money in my pocket, going to these kind of places 'just to look' is the worst form of torture. I pulled out a 1960's era dress from the rack that had a fabulous kitchsy print--kind of like something you might find on an apron-- and an adorable length. I quickly stuck it back on the hanger and tried to put it out of my mind.

And I did, until we sauntered back into the shop last weekend. With a little bit 'o money courtesy of my mommy,  I thought to myself, if it's still here I'll get it. So imagine my excitement when I saw it poking out of the dresses, and upon further inspection, was cheaper than it was last time! It was clearly meant to be. So it came home with me, and this morning the weather finally cooperated for some photos.

Have you ever had one of those meant-to-be purchases that just seemed to come from a divine intervention?

Or maybe it's just that nobody else saw potential for a short dress splashed with flowers and primary colors. Oh well. Their loss.


Wedding Flashback: From His Standpoint


For today's (or tonight's) post--yes you get two in one day today!--in honor of celebrating two months of being married, I asked Ian to do a little recap of the wedding day from his point of view. Because Ian is the kind of person who gets a job done once he starts it, he spent a good portion of his day off today coming up with what you're about to read. I hope you have a box of tissues handy...


I awoke this morning to the deafening silence of a power outage. Our bedroom fan had come to a standstill, which was enough to rouse me from my slumber. I stumbled through our lower level apartment, habitually clicking light switches—forgetting each time that they wouldn’t respond without electricity. There was no doubt in my mind that this was due to the deluge that put us to sleep just hours beforehand. This was simply the next event in a 24-hour series of something we refer to as—meep.

If you listen to Brenda and I have a conversation, you might not understand us. We tend to speak in a language that only we understand, and ‘meep’ is one of those words you might overhear us say. She introduced me to the word around the time we started dating and I am not too sure that it has a clear definition. The best way I can describe it is like this: We haven’t seen blue sky for days. Meep. A river of water was running through our back yard. Meep. Our refrigerator has leaked a brownish water since we moved in and now there is a giant stain in the carpet. Meep. My XBOX 360 overheated and kicked the bucket so I can’t play football video games during football season. Meep. Oh, and my 1996 Chevy Blazer wouldn’t start yesterday after replacing the fuel pump a little more than two months ago for $800. Meep.

As I rubbed my sleepy eyes at 5:45 am, with Brenda still in bed, it felt like I was awakening from the dream that was our wedding, just two months ago to the day. It was a time where meep was absent from our vocabulary and still doesn’t feel real.

Saturday morning the day of the wedding, July 9, 2011, was a beautiful morning. The sky was deep blue and a few fluffy clouds drifted toward the horizon. No one was in my family’s house, so I laid my tuxedo out on the couch and sat back in a reclining chair as if to wait there, motionless until it was time to make our way to the church. 

But my dad flung the front door open, dressed in an old tee-shirt and sweatpants, dripping with paint, and yelled, “Today’s the wedding, are you ready?”

I responded, “I sure am.”

“Great, then can you come help me hang some window screens at the rental property next door?”

My dad owns the house next door and the tenants decided to move out the weekend of our wedding, so he was preparing it for the next couple that would move in. We didn’t talk too much as we hung the screens. It was kind of this quiet recognition that this was the last time my dad would be able to ask his son to help him with a menial task around the house. It was the last time that I would sleep in their home as a child—although I was already an adult. Something about marriage makes people seem more grown up.

 After hanging the screens next door, my family prepared for the wedding. I looked at myself in the mirror with my black tuxedo, purple tie, and blue eyes and could only imagine what Brenda looked like as she also peered into her mirror at the Saylor household.

*All photos by Meagan Jepson Photography*

My family drove to the church together and I sat in the back of the car on the driver’s side. This was the same seat I had occupied all through my childhood. I stared out the window at all the State College landmarks passing my window. The drive was taking a long time and I think my dad was driving slower than he usually does. When we got to the church, I raced to the library to find my groomsmen waiting. It was so great seeing those guys. They had given a lot to be with me that day, including traveling long distances: Paul S. came from Colorado, Paul H. from Vermont, Ben from Michigan, Angad and Steven from Virginia, and Nate, Joe, John, and JJ from good ole’ Pennsylvania. They came from different times and places in my life and it was surreal seeing them all together. 

I anxiously waited in the library for the moment the pastors, Jonathan Weibel and Anne Ard, would call me up to the front of the church. I opened a letter that was handed to me from Brenda and read the greatest messages ever written for me. She wrote the letter during FISH years ago at the Presbyterian church addressed to, “My Future Husband.” She wrote the letter in the very library I was reading it, before she even knew who I was. I would tell you what the letter said, but that’s between her and I.

An eternity later, the pastors pulled us away from the church library and directed us toward the front of the church. As I was getting used to doing, we waited behind the big wooden doors to the sanctuary and You Are My Sunshine played lightly in the background. I peaked through the door and watched our mothers light the candles Brenda and I would use for the Unity Candle. Then it happened.

Ann Ard directed us, “Here we go!”

 The heavy door creaked open and I headed for center stage. My nine groomsmen streamed behind me and stretched from the oaken door to the center aisle. This is where everything gets a little blurry. Waiting was becoming an aversive activity. I just wanted to see my bride. I tapped my foot on the floor in anticipation and kept my gaze focused on the doorway in the back. One by one, the bridesmaids traversed the long stretch of aisle from the back of the sanctuary to the front. Each bridesmaid displayed a different emotional reaction to her good friend’s wedding day. Of course, I gave my sister a high-five. Courtney Kolesar couldn’t even look at me, for I knew the moment she did, she would burst into tears. Hannah was happy, yet all business; She wanted to make sure she got that strut down the aisle just perfect. Lastly, the Maid of Honor, Brenda’s own kid sister Emily, walked elegantly toward me. I knew I would be taking her sister from her, but I smiled back at her as if to say, “But you have two of us now.” 

Finally. Finally. My heart jumped when I heard Here, There, and Everywhere begin to play because I knew that was Brenda’s cue.

To my unanticipated horror, everyone stood up. I knew that was going to happen, but I didn’t realize it was going to block my view of the doorway. I heard sobs and gasps as Brenda entered the sanctuary—the sound of loving friends and family realizing this girl had become a woman—but she remained out of my view. It was as if everyone was stealing the beauty of my Bride for themselves. I was about to take off running down the aisle so that I could see her for myself, when she finally turned the corner with Mr. Saylor’s arm through hers.

Everyone else disappeared in a white fog. Now it was just her. And me. And (barely) the pastors who would marry us. This is the moment that the rest of the day began to fly by. She joined me in the front and we couldn’t stop looking at each other. I can’t even begin to describe how I felt that day. There was a cocktail of emotion, with something like love, excitement, passion, happiness, joy, fulfillment, and so much more. Jonathan and Ann’s words sounded like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoons, so much so that I wasn’t sure I would be able to properly repeat back my part of the vows.

The moment I said “I do” felt like a long time coming. Although Brenda and I had only known each other for three and a half years, it seemed like we were lifelong friends. Destiny is not something I ever adhered to, but this moment had to be. God created us for each other. To love and to cherish, til’ death do us part. I can’t imagine a lifetime without Brenda, nor do I want to. She is the most blessed gift to grace my presence and I am fulfilled to know that I will spend a lifetime with her.

Listening to the church bells proclaim our marriage, leaving the church in a vintage car, taking photographs downtown, and partying at the reception was like watching a movie in fast-forward. I am glad to have the pictures that Meagan Jepson took, because the day went by so quickly. Brenda and I kept reminding each other to stop and soak it in. I have vivid memories of certain parts, such as riding in the back of the old Avanti with Andy Colwell chauffeuring. I can still see Brenda’s gorgeous face as we slowly spun during the first dance and her contagious laugh during the bride and groom toast. I remember jumping with excitement as Emily Saylor caught the bouquet, which must have been a nightmare for Mr. Saylor. It’s the little moments like these that help me realize that it was real. From the handmade decorations, to the custom wedding cake, the dream was so vivid that it had to be real.

 As I laid in bed with Brenda last night, in the real world with broken electronics, bad weather, and dysfunctional vehicles, we looked into each other’s eyes. She knew what I was thinking and simply said, “meep.” As per usual, I repeated “meep” back. But I had to continue.

“Brenda, I am so glad that it is you who I get to spend a meep day with. I would not want to spend a meep day with anyone else.”

Meep days are not so bad when I get to spend them with the one I love.

Happy 2-month Anniversary, Love! 

Wedding Flashback: Gettin' Pretty

**Warning: Lots of photos today!

Exactly two months ago at this time, I was headed to Bliss Salon in Lemont, PA with the gals to get pretty for the day's events.

We arrived to receive the princess treatment--champagne, strawberries, coffee, donuts...they really took care of us.

After the hair was in place, we headed back to my house as the other gals and their moms started arriving and breakfast casseroles were coming out of the oven.
It was all so surreal. Here we were, like it could have been any other Saturday morning, eating brunch and talking about our usual things. Except our hair looked really nice. And there were flowers all over the place.

Because not everyone had read the article in that morning's paper yet, Katy (whose mom wrote it!) read it aloud for everyone as we finished up our food. Pretty soon, everyone was in tears.

And then the photographer arrived! It was time to get busy.

(And the quality of photos from here on out are way, way better-- they are all by Meagan Jepson Photography.) 

First, the makeup, done by lovely bridesmaid Shannon.

Everything was almost in place. The living room had turned into a sea of purple-clad babes.
I looked up at all of them and they looked back at me and I think I started crying again, because that's when it all hit me: I was getting married.

We assembled in the yard for some photos.

And even though he had kind of snuck a peek inside, we recreated my dad seeing me for the first time outside on the deck.

At this point, there were still no butterflies or nervousness--just the most intense excitement I have ever felt to get the church and see Ian already! I knew that the next three hours were going to be the longest of my life...
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