Tag Archive | Dad

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Ride the Elevators of Anxiety

Before we get to the elevators, let me back up a bit…

Immediately following the luncheon, the bridal party and I left to get our nails done at Livvy Nails and Spa in Lakeville, MN.  I had picked this salon on a previous planning trip and they were ready for us when we arrived (although there was some miscommunication on when exactly that time would be).  Some of us got regular manis, some got gel manis, and some of us went for both a gel mani AND a pedi (like me!).

I was happy as any nail snob could be and since I asked you all for an opinion on my polish colors, it’s only fair that I tell you what I picked!  I went with Essie’s dark purple “damsel in a dress” on my toes and bridal white in gel on my hands!  I also brought Essie’s lavender  “go ginza” as option for the girls’ and most of them did choose either the dark purple or the lavender to compliment their dresses.

Personal photos/Collage by Mrs. Sword

Personal photos/Collage by Mrs. Sword

We ended up leaving the nail salon in shifts as people were finishing up because it was time to check into the hotel rooms and get organized for the rehearsal.  I was in the last car load, being that my appointment was one of the longer ones, and I was starting to get a bit anxious on the drive to Embassy Suites.

My biggest concern was making sure we had the right people in the right hotel rooms near each other.  I wanted the girl’s getting ready room (where I was sleeping Friday night) to be directly next to my parent’s room so I could get my dress on with only Mom Sword and Sister/MOH Big Eyes in the room. I wanted it to be a private moment and I didn’t want clothing and makeup supplies in the shots.  Mrs. Sword Wedding Tip:  Keep an area clear in your room to get into your dress OR go somewhere else entirely.  It’s amazing how calming it was to step into my dress one hotel room over from where the getting ready commotion was taking place.

The problem was I wanted to be next to my parent’s room and my parent’s wanted to be next to my grandparent’s room and everyone in the family was checking in at different times.  Oh and to complicate things further, the girl’s getting ready room had to be on a different floor than the guy’s getting ready room.  Due to all this and who knows what else, my poor father had to transport my heavy, ruffled wedding gown to a grand total of FIVE hotel rooms before it could be officially hung up.

The funniest part was (and I heard this later on) that Mr. Sword was sitting at the hotel bar chatting with his groomsmen and buddies who had just arrived that Friday afternoon.  And since my dress had been steamed our alterations friend L suggested we don’t cover it again so it was imperative that Mr. Sword look away every time my Dad went huffing and puffing across the lobby.

Photo by FIL Sword

Photo by FIL Sword

Poor Dad Sword, I wish there was some way we could have prevented this, but the truth is with hotels there is no guarantee of early check in, or which rooms you’ll get, or who you’ll be next to, you just have to wait until the day of and hope they are accommodating.  And thankfully Embassy Suites Bloomington WAS very accommodating to us!

To make matters worse, the elevators at our hotel were awful.  This is truly my only complaint about this Embassy Suites, but it’s a big one! Update and improve your elevators people!  The elevators are actually quite beautiful, they are clear glass, and centrally located in the hotel, but slow.as.hell.  I wish I could say this was the last time they were problem but alas it is not, and you’ll just have to wait for a later recap to find out more!  😉

Photo by Aunt K

Photo by Aunt K

Dad Sword wasn’t the only one running laps and waiting on the elevators, I too had to run around and finalize details with Mom Sword, Pastor P, and Mr. Sword!  Then a little before 7 PM our amazing videographers arrived to start taping the family and friend interviews to put in our wedding video so we had to get them to a secluded room and make sure people knew where to go.  And yes I did take the stairs when I could but we’re talking 8 floors here and all while wearing heels and carrying things!

Apparently there were other issues surfacing as well, like the stickers we had bought last-minute to label who had a vegetarian or a kid’s meal on the escort card swords were not stickers at all but jewels with no adhesive so a few ladies had to run out and buy glue.

There was also a mad scramble to get the keyboard, amp, and music stands set up for the rehearsal later that evening.  Luckily I knew nothing of these issues (I love my family and friends) and my biggest focus when I got back to the hotel was squeezing into my fancy rehearsal dress which I first talked about HERE.

I blame 40% of my stress level on being a bride the day before her wedding and the other 60% on those damn elevators!

Looking back now, it’s a big joke in our family, the worst part of the Sword wedding were the elevators from 1970, HAHA, and in retrospect, who really cares?  I can TOTALLY laugh about it now.  🙂

Sword Wedding footer FINAL

Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!


Pick Your Battles (even the silly ones)

You can’t get upset about everything.  It will make you crazy.  But sometimes things are worth fighting for, and if you’re like me, you’ll pick the most random, unimportant, and silly battle of the bunch.

Hive, I freaked out about the color of paper.  See, we are framing our signature drink info and a few quotes/e-pics to be placed around the reception room.  One day while we were in Minnesota and I was having my hair/makeup trial with Laura, Mr. Sword was given the job of printing the quotes onto paper and putting them into frames.  (Shout-out to Mrs. Treasure for letting us re-use some of the black frames from her wedding!  Yay Chicago bees!)

The odd thing about the battle I picked is that there are other aspects of the wedding that are turning out a bit differently than I had anticipated, but I’m letting those things go.  The guestbook, the favors, and the bagpipe tunes are not entirely perfect and I’m OK with that!  We’re doing an amazing job planning this wedding and our day will be wonderful no matter what happens.  But as a writer, and a lover of words, I just wanted our framed love quotes and drink menus TO BE PERFECT.

So I threw a fit about the paper color because when I asked for ivory Mr. Sword and Dad Sword came back from Kinkos with this weird buttercup/pastel yellow.  It was terrible.  It just wouldn’t do.  And no amount of words would make me see otherwise.  “There is no yellow at our wedding!”  I exclaimed, frustrated that no one else could see the difference as well as I could.  They all started laughing at me and then I started laughing at me and it became clear I’d lost it over the dumbest thing on earth.

A few days later, Mr. Sword, myself, and Mom Sword went looking for the perfect ivory paper at Archiver’s.  It soon became apparent that there are about 30 shades of white and off-white paper but nothing that seemed to match the ivory matte in the frames.  Some looked too gray, some looked to white, and some looked too yellow.

Christmas 2012Wedding 306

And that’s how we ended up with lavender. Ivory be damned!

Christmas 2012Wedding 308

Mr. Sword eventually printed on the lavender paper and the cut it down to size using a paper-cutter.

Christmas 2012Wedding 363

This is the finished product, didn’t he do a great job?

Christmas 2012Wedding 371

As soon as all the papers were in the frames I was convinced I’d chosen the wrong quotes.  Clearly, I over-cared about this project just a little.  We’re letting it sit for now.  And in the end we’ll be married, so who really cares?   🙂

Everyone has a battle worth picking.  Even if it doesn’t make sense to others.

In case you are as enamored with quotes as I am, here are some of the ones we chose to display at our reception.  Steal away!

“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live a day without you.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Some Things Go Together by Charlotte Zolotow
Pigeons with park
Stars with dark
Sand with sea
and you with me.
… Hats with heads
Pillows with beds
Sky with blue
and me with you.

“A person doesn’t have to be perfect to be exactly what you need.”
J.D. from Scrubs

And from one of my favorite movies… Ever After

Danielle: A bird may love a fish, signore, but where will they live?
Leonardo Da Vinci: Then I shall have to make you wings.

(all photos personal)

What was the stupidest battle you picked?  Or what project do you over-care about?  Who else is putting love quotes around their reception?

Suit shopping with my Dad- it took all of 10 minutes

Dad Sword never wears a suit.  Never.  His dressy look includes black jeans and a button-up shirt.  He hates the feel of ties around his neck and if he could he’d spend the rest of his days sitting on the couch with his laptop, watching a sports game on TV, or camping in the great outdoors.

Case in point.

BUT Dad Sword has a wedding to attend next March (an important one), and then he has ANOTHER wedding to attend next June (equally important).  With two daughters engaged it seemed like the perfect time for Dad Sword to purchase a suit.  Mom Sword thought so too, and on our second wedding planning trip to Minnesota we took an evening to go to Kohl’s (PS I love Kohl’s) to look at suits.  We found him a jacket, the matching pants, and a belt, and with my Mom Sword’s coupons and the additional percentage off for using the Kohl’s card, it was A STEAL.  I think we ended up buying the second outfit he tried on, hence the 10 minute shopping time.

Outwardly Dad Sword grumbled but secretly he was happy as a clam.  Both of my parents are beyond excited for both sets of upcoming nuptials and it was great to see him step out of his comfort zone a bit.  The one thing Dad Sword said (after asking that it be a quick shopping trip), was to wonder whether or not he could pull off a pinstripe suit.

What is this?  A request?  An opinion?  We were not expecting this, but we were excited that he had put in some thought into it and went in search of a nice looking pinstripe suit.  While my wedding is on the semi-formal sides of things, Sister/MOH Big Eyes’ wedding is more on the more dressy casual end of the spectrum, but in the end we both wanted Dad Sword in a suit at our weddings and the man wasn’t going to buy two (obviously), so he’ll be wearing the same suit at both of our weddings.  No.big.deal.   Maybe he’ll even get a third time out of it if it still fits it by the time our little brother aka “The Glue” gets married.


Much better.

After we found one we all liked, I decided I had to see how we’d look together walking down the aisle.  I’m going to be keeping entirely with tradition and have Dad Sword walk me down the aisle on the day of my wedding.  People have asked if Mom Sword will be joining us, but I’ve said no, it’s just for me and him.  It’s something I’ve been excited to do with Dad Sword since I was little and I get to do plenty of special things with Mom Sword.  Plus I don’t want to be crowded walking down the aisle in my dress, plus I’m a big klutz and the more feet nearby the more likely I am to trip, and PLUS I don’t need any reasoning behind my decision!

Sometimes I feel like it’s becoming too “conservative” and/or “boring” to have just one person walk you down the aisle, let alone to have it be your father when so many brides are thinking outside the box by having their brothers, their moms, or even themselves do the honors!  And hey, more power to them.  Everyone should do what is special to them.  I am incredibly blessed to have a great relationship with my father and when I walk down the aisle on my wedding day, there’s only one person’s arm I want to be on.

Umm yea…

OK wait,  NEVER MIND, can I get a sub??  Anyone?  Oh well, I guess I’m stuck with him.  🙂


Finally we had to see it all come together with the pants.

So handsome.

(all photos personal)

Does anyone else have a Dad who prefers sports and the outdoors to fine and fancy things?  Who is walking YOU down the aisle?

Following up!

Since I’d made a list of goals and “wish list” goals before leaving for our big planning trip, I’d thought it’d be fun to go through them and see how much I got accomplished.  I have to say that while the trip was overall really good and productive, it was also a bit stressful and a little too fast-paced at times.  If at all possible, I DO NOT recommend cramming in as much stuff as we did, unless of course you have to!!  I’ve also added a list of things that were accomplished that I didn’t even plan for!!  🙂

Mean, lean, list-checking-off machines!

Lean, mean, list-checking-off machines!

Goals for Minnesota Trip #2:

  • choose our photographer- CHECK!
  • choose our videographer- CHECK!
  • complete cake testing- CHECK!
  • solidify signature drink- CHECK!
  • take our Pastor out to dinner and discuss the ceremony- CHECK!
  • select and buy a wedding dress- CHECK!
  • hire a bagpiper- CHECK!
  • eat at one or two of the restaurants we are considering for our OOTG rehearsal dinner-CHECK!
I have to toot my own horn for just a second here because I’m super impressed with Mr. Scottish and myself for somehow accomplishing all the major things we set out to do while in Minnesota.  I will be doing individual updates on everything (complete with photos) so I won’t go into details now, but it’s worth noting that I’m also thrilled that no one canceled on us the entire week.  Let me repeat that, aside from one or two rescheduled appointments, EVERY SINGLE VENDOR was where they said they would be when they said they would be there.  And most people commented on how ahead of the game we were with our appointments.  WIN WIN.
Let’s see how we did with our “wish list” goals!

“Wish List” for Minnesota Trip #2:

  • hire a Ceilidh band- CHECK!
  • choose a gown for my bridesmaids- CHECK!
  • brainstorm venue options with Sister/MOH Big Eyes for her wedding- CHECK!  (well we saw Sister Big Eyes’ venue, but it had already been chosen)
  • get The Glue fitted for his kilt rental- CHECK!
  • clean and consolidate the one closet of my stuff still left at my parent’s house- nope
  • work on centerpieces- CHECK!
  • plan my next wedding planning trip to MN- CHECK!
  • visit with friends and family- CHECK! 
  • hit up Sam’s Club- nope, but my Mom went, does that count?
  • order our STD’s (photos pending)- CHECK!

It feels so good to see that most of these items can be checked off the list as well!  I had no idea how much we actually accomplished until I did this (it all felt sort of muddled in my brain after five days of non-stop moving).  Now let’s see what else we got done that I would consider an “extra.”
  • buy Dad a new suit from Kohl’s
  • show Auntie B and BM L Dawg our venue for the first time
  • buy supplies to make cutesy girl-type cards for ???? (can’t reveal that info at this time)
  • take Mom around Bed, Bath, and Beyond to show her what we’ve registered for
  • try on summer dresses for Sister/MOH Big Eyes’ wedding
  • help my Mom buy her dress for Sister/MOH Big Eyes’ wedding
  • buy my bridal corset bra
  • find a headpiece for bridal outfit (a gift from Auntie B, more details on that to come)
(all photos personal)

WOW.  I can’t wait to get started on all the updates!  Does anyone else use wedding check lists?  Are you ahead of the game or are you using a more relaxed timeline?

Church, Frolfing, and Grilling

By the end of our whirlwind wedding planning weekend, both Mr. Scottish and I were ready to relax and focus on something else, luckily we weren’t leaving for Chicago until later that evening so we were able to spend Mother’s Day with my Mom.  Note: Mother’s Day in the UK is on a different date than the one in the US.  Pro: Both of our moms get their own special day.  Con: We have two different days to remember!  Win win: I plan on celebrating BOTH once I’m a mother.  🙂

My Mom wanted to do three things on her day, 1) She wanted all of us attend church with her, 2) She wanted us all to hang out and do something fun together as a family, and 3) She wanted all of US to be in charge of lunch (for once!).  Number 1 was successful and that morning we filled up almost a full row at my home church.  Number 2 was almost fully successful, but since Sister Big Eyes had a lot of grad school homework to finish and my Dad recently had foot surgery, only four of us made it out for frolfing.  Frolfing is also known as frisbee golfing (get it?) and it’s awesome.  See below.

Me and my brother (The Glue)

Mr. Scottish and I

My mommy and me!!

Good form Mom!

Mr. Scottish burns easily and he forgot sunscreen!

Finally number 3 was a slight fail due to my Dad (sorry Dad, throwing you under the bus here), because he forgot to tell me that I was in charge of dessert for the big meal!  Sister knew she was doing the veggies, The Glue knew he was supposed to be grilling, Dad knew he had to buy everything and be in charge, he just isn’t very good at the latter part of it, but no one told me what I was supposed to do!  After a quick verbal lashing at my father browsing of the internet we magically whipped up some strawberry shortcake for dessert.  Saved!

After opening gifts, it was time to head to the airport. The weekend went by in a flash, but it was truly wonderful.  And it wasn’t too hard to say goodbye because I knew I’d be back in June for a FULL WEEK of wedding planning.  If you thought I fit a lot into this weekend, then you ain’t seen nothing yet!  I’ll probably be able to get 15 posts out of that week… gotta love long-distance planning!  Plus, since Sister/MOH Big Eyes is beginning to plan her wedding so I imagine the week will get even busier.

So busy in fact that I actually blocked in time for Mr. Scottish to play video games and drink beer while we’re there because while he is awesome with wedding planning and happens to be a very helpful groom-to-be, he is a male and I know he can only take so much!  It’s like drinking kool-aid with not enough water.  YIKES.

And that’s how our Minnesota Wedding Planning Trip #1 went down.

Anyone else in an LDR with their wedding?  How do you plan your visits?

(all photos personal)

Party time!

I’m so pretty

So, the reception was awesome.  Here is a photo of my food, I forgot to take a “before” picture- oops!

It was good and it was chicken, confirming that everyone likes chicken.  Check!

Instead of cake they had a Coldstone Creamery sundae bar… very yummy, but I do love a good wedding cake.  The fam and I had a great time just hanging out together, making fun of each other, laughing, and talking “wedding.”

The Glue (not the biggest fan of talking “wedding”)

Dad and I

And of course there was dancing!!  The dance floor was a bit scarce at times because they had a beautiful outdoor patio that a lot of guests were taking advantage of, but I had  a wonderful dancing with my Mom and Sister, and who knew The Glue could dance like he can?  I guess a semester in Venezuela teaches you a lot…

Mom and Son

Sister and Brother

Mr. Scottish dancing with his FMIL (hard to see but how cute is that!)

Sister/MOH Big Eyes had a very special moment when a family friend told the DJ it was her birthday and dedicated a song to her.  She and her boyfriend, now fiancé, (more on that later), got to have a special dance all alone on the floor, it was so sweet!

Sister and my FBIL

All in all it was a great evening!  I just love weddings!  (duh!)  🙂  Have you always loved going to weddings or are you much more interested in them when you’re in the midst of planning?

(all photos personal)

Next up, we end the weekend celebrating Mother’s Day with frolfing and grilling!

Murder Mystery Dinner with the Fam

My family and I are HUGE dorks.  And I mean that in the best way possible, because we have so.much.fun together!  And by family I mean immediate and extended, my mom’s side of the family is all really close and relatively small so we get together frequently.  But some of the things we do are a bit unconventional.

We sing, like all the time. We sing in church once a year at my Grandparent’s UCC congregation in North Dakota.  We are sort of famous there, singing the same two songs yearly.  I mean, people stay in Bismarck over the holiday just to hear us sing! We always leaving singing messages of “Happy Birthday” on our family member’s special days. We make up new lyrics to the song, “Dear Abbey,” for all special events, including birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, etc.  And my siblings and I have formed a small band.  My brother, aka “The Glue,” likes to pretend he’s not in it, but he’s our guitarist.  Sister Big Eyes and I are the singers and we harmonize pretty well being sisters and all.  Our group is called BME (beginning, middle, and end).  L Dawg has already requested that BME sing at her wedding. Truth.

We play games, like all the time.   We are hard-core card gamers!  We love card games especially, but also play group games, board games, darts, air hockey, and even poker (with fake money).  On more than one occasions, we have hosted our own family Talent Show.  Yes.  Wow.

We eat a lot of junk food.  Eating crappy food when you’re on a vacation is the way to go!  We even had family shirts made that say, “Food, family, and… FOOD!”  Ain’t no shame in our game.  🙂  We used to have this huge bowl of candy out at Easter and one year the parents decided it should go away, and I’d by lying if I said there wasn’t an official protest.

So, when my Mom suggested we celebrate Big Eyes and The Glue ‘s May birthdays with a Murder Mystery Dinner, naturally I thought it was a great idea.  Mr. Scottish, Sister’s BF, and L Dawg were invited as well and of course we were all encouraged to dress the part!  Here is the proof:

The Glue with Mr. Scottish- beer buddies

L Dawg, The Glue, Mr. Scottish, and me

Mom, Dad, Sister, and Sister’s BF

junk food!

Dad and Sister- check out those eyes! 🙂


While this isn’t directly related to wedding planning and A Highland Fairy Tale, it is related to marriage.  This is Mr. Scottish’s future family, and guess what?  He doesn’t sing, rarely eats junk food, and gets nervous when being put on the spot during games, especially Murder Mystery games where he has to pretend to be another character.  But surprisingly, I’m convinced most of my family like him better than they like me.  (Princess-haters.)

Regardless, this was a wonderful evening and reminds me how much I love my family!!

(All photos personal)