Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I love to watch the geese fly by - there were a few flocks joining up into one big V formation when I snapped these :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

our fancy chicken visitor

Now I *really* want to have some chickens of my own :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

sandhill cranes

I wish the picture would have turned out better, but it's difficult to take photos through your windshield!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My first iris!

My mom let me dig up a few of her extra iris last year. Like so many of my perennials, I moved them in early spring so I didn't get any blooms. This year the fans are loaded with buds, and yesterday the first flower opened!

So pardon me while I revel in iris bliss for a moment :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fez is back

And this is why I need a new camera with a better zoom. I love photographing our neighborhood visitors.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Big Thaw

Last week the backyard looked like the photo on the left. Turns out that March, when Jami's breaking out with a serious case of Spring Fever, is one of the snowiest months here. Welcome to Minnesota!

Don't get me wrong, I love snow, but come on, it's MARCH! I'm ready to get my hands dirty again, I'm ready to go on walks that don't involve slipping on ice, I'm ready to bask in the sun.

Six months of snow is enough for me, which is why I'm happy to report that there's now a small pond in my driveway as demonstrated on the right.

Bring on the Big Thaw, I'm ready for this:

Monday, February 9, 2009

we are ON for Vegas!

I am so incredibly psyched - we are *so* heading to Vegas for the wedding!

It's bizarre that we've come full-circle: I originally thought of Vegas, but then I second guessed myself thinking that I'd want to choose every little detail; however, I am *so* not a bridezilla! I'm actually quite indecisive, and it would be much less stress for me to pick a package and show up. the most important thing is to enjoy our time with friends and family and celebrate. There is no way I'd be able to relax if we had the wedding at our place. I spazzed last year when we hosted my fiance's parents!

We're still going with Labor Day weekend so now I just need to choose a package. So far Mandalay Bay looks great - I love the outdoor Valley of the Falls location.

I'm currently doing research on the various hotels and chapels. Any advice or tips? I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

(change of) wedding plans?

The following is a copy of the email I just sent to my future MIL and my parents:

Hi Sue!

How was your Super Bowl party? I hope you got to enjoy it after work. Even though the Cards didn't win I bet it was a lot of fun :)

I'm actually writing to let you know that we are seriously considering having the wedding in Las Vegas. As you know, I don't really enjoy making a lot of decisions, and I have been pretty stressed out the past few months trying to hammer out the details...I talked to my mom yesterday and she could tell how overwhelmed/stressed/confused I am about orchestrating the whole wedding-at-home thing. She mentioned Vegas and I admitted that it sounds pretty tempting.

We initially thought that having the wedding at home would be less stressful, but I don't think me, Patrick, or my mom realized all of the details that would be involved: having a tent put up in case of rain & for shade (at least $1000); renting chairs/tables/dishes; powering lights/music; keeping food & drinks hot/cold; BATHROOMS (could our septic handle it?); parking; transporting guests; hiring a photographer (coverage starts at $1200! and many of the good photographers are already booked for the date we chose); etc, etc.

We are thinking of having the wedding in Vegas, honeymooning (NOT in Vegas), and then later on having a really big fun *casual* backyard potluck party in MN.

We don't want to have a hokey Vegas wedding, but there are some really nice, elegant packages that some hotels offer that include all/most of the details: ceremony, photographer, flowers, planner, etc for a reasonable price. Paris, Caesars, TI, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and even the Venetian have packages that look pretty good. I originally shied away from Vegas because I thought I wanted to choose everything myself, but I am so indecisive! This way everything would be taken care of and we could focus on having fun and celebrating and enjoying the moment which is really what it's all about anyway.

I've been getting sucked into what a wedding is "supposed" to be, and the truth is Patrick and I are not a traditional couple. I tried on all of the fluffy dresses that look amazing when you're standing in front of a 3-way mirror on a pedestal in a bridal shop, but I've realized that isn't really ME, you know? When I tried on the big fluffy dress I bought on eBay at home, I realized how very silly it all is. I realized it's much more important for me to be comfortable than to look like a fairytale princess all dolled up in itchy lace and heavy satin.

I don't want to be running around at home for weeks before the wedding, or even the day of the wedding stressed about details. I want to celebrate and enjoy and relax with family instead of orchestrating this, that and the other :) I want to make this fun for everyone!

What do you think??? I am looking for feedback - pros and cons I may not have thought of. We will have to make the choice VERY soon in order to book everything, but please don't mention this to anyone (besides Joe, of course) until we make a decision.

I am copying this email to my parents to let them know what we're thinking.
I am working the evening shift today, but I will call you tomorrow to chat.
We love you very much!
Jami (& Patrick too)
(P.S. Jim, seems like I'm finally considering being practical, lol!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

mailbox mania!

I found a photo from J Crew of the Vivian! I love the clean, simple line of it, and I can always add a sash for color...I'm a bit worried that it won't flatter my figure, but we won't know until I try it on :)

I'm also excited to learn that the dress doesn't require a special bra. says that my dress was in St Paul yesterday...maybe there will be a package on the front doorstep when I get home from work!

I am still considering crawling into bed and reading Eclipse when I get home, though, and then taking a nap...Mmmm, naps!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wedding dress central...

So, I am on the hunt for my perfect wedding dress, and it's more of a challenge than I thought it would be.

I'm not the girl who had envisioned her wedding day for years on end. When Patrick proposed I had no idea what kind of wedding I wanted at all. We thought about going to Vegas, St. Johns' Chapel in the woods, my parents' we've settled on having both the ceremony and the reception here at our house. We have a very large, level backyard. I would have loved to hold everything at my parents' house - they live on 40 acres in the country, but they also live on a hillside - there is no big level spot to put up a tent/canopy. Plus this way we're inspired (pressured) to landscape!

Now that I know I'm having a backyard/garden ceremony I'm more certain of the type of dress I want to wear. I'm still set on finding a bargain, though.

I started out looking at pictures of gowns online. I originally liked a couple of designs from David's Bridal, but the first place I tried on gowns was the Bridal Boutique in downtown Saint Cloud.
I fell in love with the first dress I tried on:

It's a Jasmine F912 - a light taffeta fabric, ivory, delicate beading, bridal buttons. I felt elegant and glamorous and lovely in this dress.

However, it has a very long train - Tiffany length. I recently discovered it can be special ordered without the train, but orders take at least 12 weeks.

Not to mention it also comes with a $711 dollar price tag.

Now I've been comparing all of the other dresses to this first dress :/

A recently married friend/coworker has been very helpful with the dress search, and she agreed to go to David's Bridal in Maple Grove. I tried on the dresses I first looked at online:

I loved this taffeta trumpet online, but it wasn't the dress when I tried it on.
Same with this dress - gorgeous on the model, but the halter neckline doesn't work for me.

I did try on a couple of styles that I liked ok, but they just weren't right.

After we went to David's I ended up bidding on a dress on ebay: a satin v-neck Jasmine gown supposedly in my size with a lace bodice. The dress (with alteration) will fit, but it is itchy and very heavy. Even though the dress is very pretty, it's not *my* dress. Plus, since I will be outside all day I would prefer to be comfortable.

I went to Carrie Johnson Bridal last Friday. Carrie was great and her gowns are lovely - many one of a kind, designer dresses to choose from! I fell in love with this dress (right) until I realized how very itchy the lace is. :/

I also tried on another Jasmine gown - it was the type of taffeta that I really like but it was sort of a mermaid style dress and I didn't like the way it hugged my hips. I missed getting a style number, but there is a pic on Carrie's website. It's so funny that I started out so against strapless styles, but they've really been growing on me.

The dress on the left is from Carrie's, too. It isn't the most fabulous photo, and the gown doesn't fit extremely well, but it's very important for a different reason - I fell in love with the way the fabric felt! It's a silk charmeuse, and it's gloriously light and comfortable while still looking quite elegant. This sounds really cheesy, but this dress has given me permission to look at simpler designs. I want to be comfortable and enjoy the day more than I want to indulge in a fairy-tale wedding gown.

This has turned out like babbblebabblebabble, but I've been wanting to document the hunt. I just won an auction for a J Crew Vivian gown on eBay, so the mailbox anticipation is in full swing :) I also have my eye on a Jessica McClintock dress which is similar to the halter style on the left, but it's strapless. I may schedule an appointment to check out the Bridal Boutique again since I have a promo offer from the wedding expo - it's just fun to look. The more I search the less frustrated I am - I'm enjoying the process (finally!)

Oh, and if you have any wedding dress shopping hints/tips/advice, please let me know! I'm especially interested in hearing about other brides' experiences with the Vivian - is it light or heavy? I'm so anxious to try it on :)