Friday, December 30, 2005

Congratulations Mrs. Haggerty =)

I just finished my first complete wedding, and I left with a tear in my eye. There is something so absolutely unforgettable about seeing a bride, hours before she walks down the isle to say "I do". The glow in her face, the love in her eyes, and the excitement running throughout her body is a moment I am thankful I am able to share in. Regardless of what happens in the coming years, for that moment she is completely in love. I get to share in that moment. It's beautiful.

Kasey was one of our first brides here in the store. In fact, she came in weeks before we officially opened the doors, purchasing her dress long before we had any sort of inventory system established. But she found "the one", and we were thrilled for her!

As the months went on, we saw Kasey more and more as she purchased her bridesmaids dresses from us, and finally her tuxedos. From the fittings to the phone calls I was able to share in one of the most important times in her life. Throught these 8 months I was able to watch her grow into a wife. From seeing her moments after her engagment as a frazzled college kid, to seeing her moments before she walked down the isle as a mature, sophisticated woman. I was able to share in it all.

As I arrived at St. Charles church today at 2:00 pm I opened the door to see Kasey standing before me, in the veil she purchased from my shop, smiling so brilliantly. We hugged instantly, did a little "I'm getting married" dance, then proceeded into the back room to get her dressed. After 15 minutes, her dress was laced, the bridesmaids were dressed, and the tuxedos were delievered. My part in her wedding was over.

We hugged goodbye one last time and I said "Goodbye Mrs. Haggerty" to which she began to tear up saying "Thank you for everything you've done. You've made it all absolutely wonderful". I wished I could stay, as we were invited to the wedding/reception, but I had to get back to work.

I left the church, shared a tear myself, and drove back to the store. She looked so beautiful, and she was so in love.

My first wedding is complete. I can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas '05 Recap

I cannot believe that it's over. Christmas came and went faster than any year in the past and I fear that it's only going to gain momentum as the years progress. I cherish this season so much, and it's over faster than I know how to handle.

It was an eventful couple of days that's for sure. Erin and I started off the season with our traditional "Christmas Eve, Eve" in which we have a few drinks, exchange presents (she got me some really yummy smelling candles and a Starbucks gift card) and drive the streets of Candy Cane Lane. I look forward to it every year (although this was only our second year doing it). After our little Christmas tradition, we swooped by her apartment and picked up Dave, and headed out to Mantra for some drinks with the Bistro kids. It was a fun night, the music was lame, but I was entertained anyway. Dave, Erin, and I left around 1:30 to grab some late night/early morning breakfast and then I headed back to my apartment...only to be awoken at around 4:00 by a very drunk Nicky wanting to exchange Christmas gifts =)

Christmas Eve was spent at my Aunt Linda's house. It's my favorite night of the entire year. My mom and I showed up wearing our Santa Baby Christmas outfits, which were the hit of the evening that's for sure! The days festivities included pictures with my cousin's new baby, toe nail painting in my Aunt's heated floored bathroom, a tearful dinner, a cozy movie session to Charlie Christmas Christmas, a fabulous gift opening (my Uncle got me a Best Buy gift card and a slinky he he), and a loud obnoxious game of Scattegories.

Christmas Day we woke up to Santa's presents which included: new curtains for my apartment, bath stuff (a TON of it), a ton of gift certificates, a new digital camera, an I-Dog, Pajamas, a few DVD's, a book, a bunch of stuff from Sephora (my favorite store EVER), and a kick-ass bracelet/necklace thing. Oh and who could forget my ring from Tara!! After present opening we headed to my Aunt Miki's house for my Dad's side of the family Christmas.

It was a truly joyous holiday and I'm sad to see it go =( This week at the store will now be spent tearing down the Christmas decorations and prepping the store windows for New Years. *sigh* 362 days to go until next year!!!!

Happy Holidays All!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

So THIS is Christmas Season in the Bridal Industry

I always know that I've been slacking on my blog updates when I receive a little message in my email inbox saying "Time for an update", signed always with love by my dear friend Erin. It's nice to know someone's always around to keep you in line =)

Things have been extremely slow here at the store. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, the last thing on most bride's minds is not a wedding dress purchase. Unfortunatley for us, this means no business! In this period of customer drought, I have managed however, to keep myself busy as I have three shows to prepare for in January as well as a Fashion Team to keep motivated!

Our first Fashion Team agenda was to shoot a commercial to be aired at the Plaza Theatre here in Burlington, WI. I enlisted the help of Hair Works Salon here in Burlington to do the hair for our shoot and I was thrilled that they were willing to provide a free service, in exchange for a mention in our commercial. Thus at 3:00 on Thursday, 20 of my girls headed to the Salon for their Prom updos, and I met them at the WinTV Media station at 5:30 to go over wardrobe assignments.

The shoot went better than I could have expected! The girls were so excited to be helping out and the energy really was portrayed in the shots we got. I turned on some music to help keep the mood light and fresh and instructed the girls to just "have fun". The shots Jim got were great, and I'm excited to head back this week to oversee the editing process with him.

Oh! I just realized many of you may not know what my Fashion Team is! I sought after 25 girls from the local area high schools, to help me in a number of promotional activities for Christy's Bridal and our Prom lines. Activities they'll be helping me out with include advertisement, distribution, mailing lists, and of course...modeling. We meet about twice a month and discuss different marketing techniques as well as go over their required assignments for the month. So far it's been working out really well. The girls are great!

The rest of my weekend was pretty low key. Saturday Tara and I celebrated Christmas together by having dinner at Benihanas, and then a few drinks at The Pint in Milwaukee. It was a bust, as it most always is, so we opted for an evening back at my apartment.

And the work week returns but I'm already anxiously awaiting my three day weekend. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm a freak!

"Tara, we need to leave right now". That was how I responded last night to a few gun shot sounding noises in the distance, some flickering lights in the air, and the sound of planes flying overhead. Without a question asked, she obliged to my cry of distress and followed behind as I pulled her out of the apartment, still trying to put on her shoes.

Let me start at the beginning.

I am a chronic worrier. Most anybody that has followed my blog writings, or that knows me pretty well knows this sad fact. It's never really affected my day to day activities, aside from the occasional breakdown (please refer to my New York Post for an example of said breakdown), and has thankfully remained an inner struggle. Occasionally though, the inner struggle manifests itself in the form of irrationality, and those around me are just forced to go along with it. Such is the case, last night.

The night started out very chill and relaxed. After watching a bit of "Titanic" we decided to put the DVD on pause, and spend an hour or so catching up on our reading (I needed to finish reading "Wicked" and she had some class assignments to read). In the quiet and stillness of her apartment, I began to focus my attention on a strange sort of banging noise, coming from the woods behind her apartment. Knowing that the railroad tracks run right behind her apartment complex, I assumed the noise was from the train yard and ignored the interuption. As the banging continued however, I became increasingly curious as to what was making such a ruckus, and decided to investigate the situation further.

I opened the door to listen a bit closer, and was surprised to find that the noises were not coming from the train tracks, but from the distance and sounded more like gun fires, not train yard happenings. I called for Tara to come listen who simply told me to "Shut the door, you're letting all the heat out!", indicating my cue to stop being ridiculous, that there were no gun shots outside her apartment. I humored her for the time being, shut the door, and resumed my spot on the couch.

Worry, began to set in. I knew right away where this was going, and it was nowhere pleasant.

As the sounds outside her apartment rang in my ear, I found it harder and harder to concentrate on anything other than the gun shots (read: noises probably attributed to fireworks or something similar and very unthreating). I quickly threw my shoes back on, and headed for the porch only this time finding that the gun shots were accompanied by sounds of planes in the distance (note: she lives next to Midway Airport) and bright blinking lights across the horizon. My heart began to pound as I assured myself that we were in fact being attacked, and we needed to get out of there NOW!

I ran into the apartment, grabbed Tara, and we piled into the Cabby. Tara wondered where exactly I had planned for us to go, if in fact we were being attacked, but I figured anywhere was better than being in her apartment just waiting for them to blow up her building and kill us! I drove around Oak Creek for a few minutes to assess the situation and hopefully catch a glimpse of these enemy aircrafts that were trying to take over the city/THE UNITED STATES!!! (I wasn't lying when I said I am a chronic worrier). When it hit me that I had just freaked (like usual) over nothing, I looked over at Tara, smiled, and apologized for being such a freak. There was obviously NOTHING going on, and the city was safe.

She laughed and said "It's okay honey. Someday you'll probably save our lives because of it". She was such a trooper. Just following along behind me, being as supportive as she could be to a completely irrational woman. I bought her ice cream to apologize and she just quietly ate it, without ever making me feel stupid or making me feel as though I had inconvenienced her with my worries.

We arrived back at the apartment once I was sure that Oak Creek was not in fact under attack, and laughed a bit more about the entire situation. I'm a freak. I know this. At least people love me because of it =)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Looking back on 2005

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before? Graduated college, flew to New York by myself, moved to Milwaukee, and joined a book club

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year my resolutions were as follows: be honest with myself...YES!, Eat better...ABSOLUTLEY NOT, Drink More Water...NO!, Spend less time worrying about things I have no control over...HA HA HA NO! Okay so I didn't do too well last year. For next year I really want to focus on both my mental and physical health. I'm a true believer in the mind's power over the body. Healthy mind. Healthy body. This is what I'm going to strive for =)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Rosy had a baby boy and my step cousin Angela had a baby girl!

4. Did anyone close to you die? No but I did have to get rid of my piggies =(

5. What countries did you visit? I didn't leave the US at all this year =(

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? Emotional stability. This year was rough for me in terms of finding my place in this world. For some reason I have the misconception built into myself that I need to have my life planned out by the time I graduate.

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory? January 2nd

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I graduated college

9. What was your biggest failure? I was a little bummed out that I didn't get the job at Claire's.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No injuries, but I was sick a lot this year. Ugh I need to start eating better!

11. What was the best thing you bought? I honestly can't remember buying anything really spectacular this year?!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Tara's, she got two MASSIVE raises within a six month period AND went back for her MBA. And I'm going to go with Dave and Eric for finally popping the question as well =)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People annoyed me on occasion, but I wouldn't say anyone made me feel appalled or depressed.

14. Where did most of your money go? GAS and Jimmy Johns

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My 23rd birthday, our New York trip, dancing with the girls, finally hanging out with Nat, Tara moving to Milwaukee, Jamaica (although it never happened)

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2004? "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" only because every time I hear it now I think of Erin and I driving up to Minneapolis busting out fiddle moves down I-94.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: i. Happier or sadder? HAPPIER ii. Thinner or fatter? I think I'm thinner, that's what people tell me anyways. iii. Richer or poorer? richer, I was pretty broke around this time last year.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Cooked instead of eating out so much

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Drinking so much Diet Coke.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? Since my parents sold their house we'll have Christmas Eve with my mom's side at her sisters house (It's my favorite night of the year) and then Christmas Day we'll probably go to my dad's sister's house in Madison.

22. Did you fall in love in 2005? I made it known that I was in love this year yes.

23. How many one night stands in this last year? NONE!

24. What was your favorite TV program? I RARELY watched TV, but Tara got me hooked on her Queer as Folk DVD's and oh yeah, I liked Laguna Beach.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Nope

26. What was the best book you read? The Devil Wears Prada

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? I've never been good at that whole "musical discovery" thing. I'm pretty mainstream when it comes to my music

28. What did you want and get? A new IPod

29. What did you want and not get? A Seal Coat Himalyan Kitten

30. What was your favourite film of this year? War of the Worlds was GREAT!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 23 and the night before my birthday my parents, brother, and Erin came down to Chicago and we all went out to eat at "The Green Dolphin" then Erin and I went out dancing. It was a GREAT night! The next night Tara came down and she made me a cake, and sang happy birthday to me then we went out for Cajun at Heaven on 7. YUMMY! It was one of my best birthdays.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If I would have had a job right after graduation.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004? comfortable and coordinated

34. What kept you sane? Bubble baths, and the drives in the Cabby.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most? I'm not really into the whole celebrity idealist thing.

36. What political issue stirred you the most? I don't really follow politics, but I do remember getting riled up about the accusations regarding the Hurricane relief.

37. Who did you miss? EVERYONE

38. Who was the best new person you met? Emily and Nikki

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005: You cannot measure your own personal standards, against those of someone else.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Holy Jolly Christmas

This first weekend in December brought in many holiday festivities for both myself, my friends, and my family.

Thursday I enjoyed my day off at Mayfair Mall, with my Aunt Linda, Cousins Bridget and Carol, and of course my mom. We met up bright and early for breakfast at 9:00 and then Christmas shopped all morning and afternoon. We even took a detour break for a plop on Santa's lap, and lunch at Panera. YUMMY!

At 2:00 my mom and I left the Koshick girls to head to Brookfield for our facial appointments at Azana Salon and Spa. We LOVE a good facial (we're becoming quite the connoisseurs). The salon is actually really great and we were pleasantly surprised that such a great facial came at such a reasonable price! We'll definitley be back.

After our facials, my mom and I parted ways and I headed to Target to purchase a few last minute Christmas items: Christmas Tree, a few ornaments, and of course some wrapping paper. I was then off to my apartment to spend the evening decorating my tree and wrapping my newly purchased presents. Ryan came down and helped me "fluff" the branches of my artifical tree and Nikki and Adam came strolling in a few minutes later with plans to head to the Hi-Hat for a martini or 2 (who could pass up THAT invitation). I finished putting the finishing touches on my tree, then headed to meet up with them for a Martini which quickly turned into one martini, one lemon drop shot, and a bottle of Spotted Cow.

Strolling back to our apartment, Nikki and Karen helped me to decorate the tree (keep in mind, they're Jewish) while Adam showered, and within an hour we had the tree decorated and we were ready to head out again for the night.

I got up Friday with a bit of a hangover, but had to put on my "A-Game" quickly as there was much to do back in Burlington that day. It was December 2nd, the day of the Burlington Area Christmas Parade, and Christy's Bridal had float number 35 to assemble. My dad spent the morning drilling and hammering, while my mom and I dressed the manequins and fluffed the trees. We closed down the shop at 5:00, pre-partied in the salon with some champagne and hot cocoa and whiskey, then dressed and headed down to Kane street to line up.

It was REALLY cold outside but the adrenaline of the parade kept us all really warm (plus I'm sure the whisky helped). At 6:30 the parade began to move, Steve and I hopped onto the float while Patty and my mom walked (read: sprinted) alongside the float handing out candy to the little mittened hands along the parade route.

Steve and I danced the night away but unfortunatley half way through the parade we lost power, including our music. We improvised though, and laughed while we danced to nothing but the hoots and hollers from the crowd.
Saturday was a very much needed recovery day, as can be expected, I was CHILLED to the bone after being outside in the freezing cold in nothing but a wedding dress (and a few layers). Due to the snow I was stuck in Burlington, so I spent the evening watching Christmas movies with my mom, and relaxing in a hot, HOT bath.

Sunday came, and my parent's apartment was filled with people by 10:00. It was time for our anual Christmas cookie baking get together. The girls bake, while the kids decorate (I get to be included in the kids portion of the get together) and about 6 hours later I left with 4 plates full of FABULOUS cookies. I love cookie baking time =)

You'd think with a festive weekend such as mine I'd be a little burnt out on the holiday season but I'm most definitley not. The ground is white, the lights are bright, and music is still magnificent! I'm cheerful as ever and am looking forward to the coming weeks.

St. Nick comes tonight everyone! Horray! =)