Summertime in Paris

Our summer has been full of wonderful visitors! I wish I would have and time to document everything, but here’s a quick recap.

#1: Jon & Elise

Jon and Elise were our first visitors to arrive and stayed with us for two weeks in mid-May. I was a little nervous about having so many people in our little place, but really, it worked out perfectly. They explored the city during the day while James and I worked, and then we met back up at the apt for dinner and to share stories about our day.

#2: Mom & Dad

My parents actually arrived in the middle of Jon & Elise’s stay, but because they had planned a bus tour of northern France they were only in the city a couple of days before they left. They absolutely loved the tour they took and were able to stay a few extra days with us in Paris at the end.

#3 Kim & family

Kim and her family spent about 4 days in Paris before they moved on to Brussels and Amsterdam. It was SO fun to see her and wander around the city, just like old times!

#4 Feess Family

James’ parents and sister arrived in late June for their European vacation. Paris was their first stop and they stayed not too far from us in a super nice apartment. James and I both had to work a bunch when they were here, but we still managed to have a couple days off to spend with them. After their week in Paris we all headed to Lucerne, Switzerland (post coming soon)!

#5 Shawn

Arriving in mid-July, Shawn was our last guest of the summer. He was basically on his own when it came to sight seeing because of James’ busy schedule and me working on my master’s portfolio. Even so, we all were able to watch the Tour de France!

We were super sad to see everyone go, but since it looks like we’ll be here through January, we hope to get some more visitors!

Bonne année 2012!

Happy New Year!!

Erica visited us from Madrid this weekend! We haven’t seen her since the wedding, so it was really great to catch up. NYE we had dinner with friends we know from UW (and their friends from England) at a delicious Thai place just off of Place Gambetta. Then we headed to the Sacré Coeur to ring in the New Year.

Once again: no official/huge fireworks. We always hope we’re going to be wrong, but Paris only does a big show on Bastille Day (and fireworks to celebrate the grape harvest in the fall). We had a fantastic time nonetheless, drank a lot of champagne, and found a fun bar in Montmartre.

Here’s to an amazing 2012!!

Wedding Post #6: Pre-wedding Events

And the wedding posts keep coming…:) This will probably be the last one for a while since my internship starts on Thursday and I need to start doing schoolwork again (lame!). I still hope to share some of the things we made/designed someday.

On to our pre-wedding events! I’m lucky to have SO many caring people in my life. We had quite the number of pre-wedding events (maybe this should’ve been my first post?) and each of them were super fun.

Bridal Shower:

James’s mom’s friends threw me a bridal shower in the spring. What was the theme? France, of course! I absolutely LOVED it! The food was fabulous and the game was really fun as well. I was super nervous for basically the whole shower (why?!), but I enjoyed every minute of it. I think I should’ve worn the dress they made, no?

yummy food!

team veil and bouquet

team bodice

team skirt

what a lovely creation!

the hostesses

Bachelorette Party:
Kim, my MOH, planned a fantastic girl’s night out! Since the majority of us do not live in KC, Kim had quite the limitations to work with! We started off with drinks and appetizers at The Drop (one of my favorite places!) and then went back to Kim’s for snacks and games. I had SO much fun hanging out with everyone, laughing, and sharing stories. They created a recipe book for me and a “Wedding Day Wishes” book. SO sweet! I could never thank Kim (and her mom!) enough for hosting all of us at their house, basically letting us take over for the entire weekend. It was absolutely perfect. 🙂

at The Drop

back at Kim's house!

post recipe book creation

Bridesmaid Luncheon:

My aunts who live in Texas and southeast Missouri hosted a lovely Bridesmaid Luncheon for us the day before the wedding. Not familiar with the Bridesmaid Luncheon? It’s basically a fancy(ish) lunch that gives the ladies on both sides of the family and a chance to meet and get to know each other. There are no presents, no games. Just a nice leisurely lunch for the ladies. My aunts did an amazing job planning the luncheon from afar and decided on having it at the delicious Californos in Westport. The food was super yummy and a nice way to spend more time with the ladies of the fam.

with my mom and aunts

bridesmaids!

Rehearsal Dinner:

Our rehearsal dinner was at Smokehouse BBQ, hosted by James’s parents and planned by his mom. The restaurant choice was really perfect, I mean, who doesn’t love KC bbq?! We had a private room and cocktails to start off with, followed by dinner and fabulous desserts (yummy coconut macaroons!). James’s dad gave a really sweet speech and then proceed to give the floor to our bridal party. I can say almost certainly that they weren’t expecting it, I know I wasn’t! Everyone told heartfelt, funny stories, which made for a lovely pre-wedding evening.

the guys with their gifts

the girls with their gifts

Staebel fam

Feess fam

Next up: Our first days in Paris!

Wedding Post #1: Attire

My first post of a wedding mini-series: what we wore!

Groom, Groomsmen, Dads:
Everyone assumes black, but James wanted something different. I must say, I LOVE the grey! To me it looks classy and summery. Nice pick boys! 🙂 We decided to keep the vest/tie combo simple, sticking with grey for the groomsmen and ivory for James.

Our Dads stuck with the more traditional black tux, but kept the grey vest/tie to coordinate.

Bridesmaids:
During Kim’s (my MOH) trip to Springfield last summer, we did a marathon of bridesmaid dress trying-on. She was such a sport! And tried on no fewer than 15 dresses. I had a one-shoulder in mind and when she tried on this Mori Lee number, we knew it was the one. At this point I was also fairly set on our colors being coral and mint green, so we were in luck that it came in the right color! My mom worked her magic and made them knee-length.

MOB/MOG:
These proved to be the hardest to find. There really is a fine line between old lady and bridesmaid when it comes to MOB/MOG dresses. Our moms managed to find their dresses a couple months before the wedding and coordinated them beautifully. Very lovely!

MOB

MOG

Flower Girls and Ring Bearer:
My mom had her heart set on making Gracie’s dress, so we found a similar style through Jordan Fashion’s line of flower girl dresses for Sydney (who lives about 3 hrs away from my mom). They look remarkable the same and exactly what I imagined! Soo cute!

Max, our ring bearer, was a mini-version of James!

My dress:
I started looking for my dress way back in my Cambrai life. I knew I wanted something in lace and a more fitted silhouette (us petite girls drown in ball gowns…trust me). The dress I decided on was the second dress I tried on, I just loved it! Strapless dresses have rarely been super comfortable or stationary for extended periods of time (I tend to do the “pull up” routine), so I was also in love with the lacey straps. We put a trumpet slip underneath and voila! my dress was complete. 🙂

Doner Divas Reunion: Mad-City

This past weekend my two BFFs visited Madison! We try to visit each other once a year since we’ve all be moving different places recently (our last reunion was in Boulder, CO). I was so excited when Southwest Airlines had a sale earlier in the summer and they decided to plan a visit! Our social group here really just consists of the people in my grad program, so it was nice to have some friends from home to explore the city with.

The only slight bummer about the weekend was the weather: cold, rainy, cloudy. Ick. But they were troopers and we walked around campus, by the lake, and up State Street to the Capitol. Saturday night we tried to go to James and mine’s latest find, a bar named Genna’s, but it was super packed and there was no place for us to sit, so we went to Brocach, an Irish pub on the square, instead. It was so much fun to catch up on their lives and to be around people who really know you. And of course family-style dinners!

Sunday we went to the art museum on campus (which turned out to be..umm…intersting) and then to a fantastic little cafe called Daisy’s Cafe and Cupcakery. It was SO cute and the food was fantastic! They have all sorts of cupcake flavors and their food is creative as well. I had the chicken and gorgonzola meatloaf and a chocolate cupcake with blueberry icing. YUM! I swear I saw a cupcake with bacon on it though! I’ll be taking my mom here when she visits for sure.

Kim and Abby left super early Monday morning. Sad face. I miss having close friends around. Did I already say that? Our next reunion will be for the wedding in June!