Wednesday, April 28, 2010

we were only waiting for this moment to arrive...

~the beatles

Thursday we woke up, and the fabulous Jennifer came over with some Sonic to help us make our gift bags for the hotel folk. This took quite a bit longer than anticipated, BUT it was worth it! And it meant I got to make use of the stamp I'd had custom-made! (again)

we took them to the front desk and literally had to shoo away the "older" people who were there for some type of a convention. they were like vultures! they were all wondering if the bags were for them, ha!

but, I can't really blame them. I mean, these look pretty darn cute, right?

next up was meet the pastor. which we did. though we got our times mixed and were an HOUR late because I thought we were meeting at 230. oopsie. in my defense, I was precisely on time for what I thought was our 230 appointment! :)

and then...let's's a little fuzzy what happened from like 3 to 6...I think we did some unloading and unpacking and organizing. maybe? and welcoming of some of my favorite people to my favorite place (I heart Tulsa, have I mentioned that?).

and after that there was dinner with the Frys/McCormicks (during which I had to open a "family tradition" gift involving feather, leather and lace. including a RIDING CROP and SPURS. no joke. hilarious and embarrassing, for sure. ha!) it was REALLY good to see everyone!

and and and--it all just kind of worked out. because at one point we were supposed to be in three places simultaneously--a dinner with my Jackson cousins and my Granny, the Fry/McCormick dinner AND at a dinner with our friends who had come into town. But you know what? It all just worked out. We got to spend time with our friends later, and it turned out the Jacksons didn't even get in until 9 so there wasn't a dinner at all. yay!

we returned to the hotel and proceeded to drink beer from our teenytiny fridge* and craft. mary alise was my HERO and made me finish all of the coasters/placecards before I could go to bed. we made little hanging balls with ribbons from the flowers for the garden stakes. we made strands of tissue paper flowers. and we drank lots of beer. and it was FUN!

* about the teenytiny fridge...long story short, there was a place for fridge but no fridge in it. matt's parents had a fridge, but we figured they had elite points or something. but EVERYONE ELSE had a fridge, it seemed, but us. friends. family. etc. so, I went to the front desk, and they said they'd gladly bring one to our room for $40 a day. I said "really? really? I don't mean to be rude, but I'm the BRIDE and we brought all these people here and we are having our brunch here and everybody else gets a stinkin' fridge for free and you want me to PAY? that's not very cool." The night manager immediately said "you hemorrhage money when you get married--bring her one for free."

and they did.

which was nice.

but this fridge was about the size of...of...hmm....well...let's just say it was about as big as a 12 pack of beer bottles. but would only fit 5.5 of them. yeehaw. anyway. that was strike one for the hotel. the others involved ants and the hospitality room they promised me. and their "free internet" in the lobby. the hilton at 81st and lewis in tulsa definitely stuck out!

there will be tables and chairs, there'll be pony rides and dancing bears, there'll even be a band.

~andrew bird

that's kind of how I felt about our wedding--there will be this and this and that and these and this other neato thing oh AND this. and it made me happy :)

so, this is all the beforehand stuff--once we got to oklahoma, anyway. I got there Tuesday night, Matt arrived Wednesday morning. and then it was go type.

item #1-get marriage license. for $5 and 20 minutes of our time. the lady who helped us was not the brightest crayon in the box, and definitely tested our patience, but in the end, we were official. I might've had a little panic attack when the lady asked me to sign my "name to be known as" (Rich@rdson-Fry? Rich@rdson Fry? still can't decide) anyway.

oh and I had my very own Garden State moment--we are walking into the building and I see this guy in a Sherriff's department uniform, and I thiiiiink it's my brother's friend Billy. I think. But he has this mustache, and he's a freaking COP, and I'm just not so sure. Turns out it was!

How did I find out? Oh, yeah, I just said "Billy!: outloud to no one in particular, just to see if he's respond. Ha!

after that was all over, and we had our license in hand (and a hilarious how-to-stay-married magazine from the state of oklahoma that they would NOT let us give back to them) came

item #2-eat at big al's. gosh I love that place. we got food from there for the bridesfolk on our wedding day, too!

next up, item #3-get some vintage plates and cups. some little, some big. we first went to the animal aid thrift store next to big al's. bought two items and rolled. we decided, on a whim, to go check out the little antique mall just down 15th...and that was AWESOME.

we found all of the little cups we needed, this really cute set of pink hazel atlas crinoline dishes and assorted little plates. Matt talked me out of buying the whole set of the pink dishes--they wouldn't fit in my china cabinet, you see. and I don't need them. And thought $40 for the set was a steal (7 dinner plates, 8 salad, 6 cups and saucers, 6 bowls) I just didn't need it.

So we went to pay and the lady (who remembered to say "best wishes!" to me and "congratulations!" to matt) was ringing us up, and I grabbed one of the dishes and asked what the name of that type of dish was--and long story short, she offered the whole set to us for $20 and Matt pulled out cash on the spot. We used some of them for our wedding cupcake stands (see below) and I kept the rest! Win-win! And, now both my mother and Renee have their very own adorable pink cupcake stand and so do I! (or in Renee's case, cake stand!)

(photo by Nicole!)

after that it was smooooooth sailing as far as getting our errands done. apertures in tulsa printed our pictures. hobby lobby on harvard happened to have two 8x10 mats that were pre-cut, one in yellow, one in green, that happened to perfectly go with the two photos we selected to give to our parents.

(photos by onelove!)

we figured out the alcohol, made arrangements for this, that and the other, and felt like we accomplished a million things :)

and in the late afternoon Rosemary and George arrived, safe and sound, carrying all of our wedding goodies! and everything happened to make it all in one piece! and dinner with our two families went just splendidly!

Later that evening Jennifer went with me to take things out to our florist (i.e. paper flowers, more paper flowers, vintage tins and still more paper flowers) and collected the lanterns she loaned us. Matt went and bought goodies for us to use in the hotel bags.

I have to say, Wednesday went quite well :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

my answer to the question "what person, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with?"

In the buckle o' the Bible belt Oklahoma, my answer to this question would get alarmed looks. Because my answer to this question is NOT "Jesus."

Instead, the answer is as follows:

I'd like to meet Marie Curie. And be able to speak French. (or, I suppose, Polish. but my answer is usually French)

I'd want to tell her how she is an inspiration to me. How she began paving the way for female scientists. And how fantastic that is, especially now. :)'s not quite the same thing, but I DID get to have my picture taken with her yesterday. see?

and I also got a kickin' reaction-to-the-sun rash alllll over from the whopping 20 minutes I spent in direct sun or shade. yeehaw.

if I had to do it all over again...

our wedding that is...

well, if I had to do it all over again, I definitely would-I'll say that for sure! our wedding was stressful sometimes, due mostly to family and trying to share all the info with so many people, but overall was pretty cool as a cucumber. or, if you're matt, cool as the other side of the pillow. :)

things I learned and would like to impart to other people. and/or, things I would like to vent about.

1. the contingency plan

I had always said "oh, and if it rains, we will just get married in the barn." Um, yes, that was a brilliant idea. The problem was that getting married in the barn meant we needed to figure out about where to place the decorations, and what to do about pictures during the happy hour, and where things would need to move, and what to do with the chairs, blahblahblah.

So, since it rained on April 17th, we had to use said contingency plan. If it hadn't rained, then my dear friends and family who were helping us set up knew exactly where things went and how they were supposed to go there. It would've been eaaaaaasy. And having all the people there to help and do things was my way of avoiding having to have a day-of wedding coordinator since Matt DID NOT WANT ONE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!!!! (I did, very much so. But it kind of came down to me just not wanting to argue about it anymore. le sigh.)

However. Since we did not have a wedding coordinator, the whole using the contingency plan thing really threw us for a loop. It resulted in my friend Syd's mom stepping in as my other mom and letting everyone know this would be their last chance to ask me questions and that I had to go, right then, to eat and get all gussied up. It also resulted in my not being able to handle sentences that began with my name--because I'd been hearing "Carrie--where should..." and "Carrie--what do you think about..." alllll morning. They'd been asking me because they love me and wanted everything to be as perfect as possible, and wanted me to be happy. Everyone had the very best intentions ever!! And I really appreciate their help. But, I really did go into question-overload mode. It was kind of rough, I'm not gonna lie.

ps: this was also not helped by damn ABCO and their lack of communication which resulted in a pajama-clad Carrie throwing on clothes in the AM and rushing over to the barn because the delivery people didn't know where to put things despite previous conversations where we had hashed everything out.

So anyway, point 1)--have a full contingency plan, not just an idea of one.

2. the guests. (or lack thereof.)

I am very grateful that we had many, many of our loved ones with us that Saturday. We had people from all over the place, and I will tell you how fantastic that was in my not-so-annoyed post. :) But MAN was I annoyed about this--so...I had approximately 10 people show up for just the ceremony or not show up at all. People who had RSVP'd. One was sick. Two left their two kids at home (who were supposed to attend) and then went home right after. So that's four people total I expected that didn't stay, in that family alone. Etc.

And it's not that I am mad that they left--people have sh*t to do, I am glad they could be there at all! What I'm bummed about is that 10 people = two table rentals, two tablecloth rentals, sixteen chair rentals plus food, cupcakes and alcohol and other things like napkins, silverware, floral arrangements, etc. And for the record, these 10 people were approximately 10% of our overall attendance--so it kind of made a huge impact.

It's not that we minded paying for these things--our guests were exactly that, OUR GUESTS, and it was very important to Matt and me that our guests be well fed and that we have plenty of drinks. Which we did!! But it was frustrating that we paid for things that did not get used. And that potentially some of the people could've told us in advance.

Because it's not just a waste of money. It's a waste of resources. (wasted food, wasted cupcakes, wasted keg beer, PLUS the waste from transporting those tables and chairs and all) It might sound to you like I'm going over the top here, but since we were trying to have the most eco-friendly wedding possible--well--it was a shame that all those things went to waste. As did hundreds of dollars. Which is par for the course for weddings--people show up that didn't rsvp, people don't show up that did. But it was just a shame that we didn't know beforehand.

So, how would I have fixed it? I would've added a nice little line to our online rsvp--"number of guests for dinner." I think it would've re-iterated the point that we were buying food for every person who said they would be there. Not that it would've necessarily changed the end result--but at least then it would've been totally transparent.

3. Don't take people at their word.

It pains me to say this, but it really rings true. Y'see, I had two people promise me things/ agree to things--heck they even OFFERED them without me asking, if we're getting technical here-- and then back out at the last minute. (And if you saw on Facebook, I'm not talking about the hair lady we initially had)

Not only was that frustrating, it was just plain inconsiderate. I had agreements via email with both people, but neither of them held to it. And since in one case it was something-for-something, and in the other it was a throw-in freebie, I really can't make that big of a fuss because it's not like I was actually out money or anything. It was just an unfortunate stress, particularly the day before and day of our wedding. So that's something I would want to remember too.

all this said...

if my three biggest stresses from our wedding were that it rained and we had to change some stuff, some people didn't make good on their promises, and that we wasted money and resources on guests who for whatever reason couldn't stay for dinner & drinks? well, I still count that as a win :)

up soon--all the GOOD things!! I can't wait to tell y'all about these--some of them are pretty neato. :D I am glad to have the not-so-good off my chest so I can get to the good stuff!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

oh, the poor customer service people...

now, let me say that I realize that I am the exception and not the rule, but hear me out...

I just got an email from a custom-tshirt printing place that said "Don't Forget Mom Richardson this Mother's Day."

and guess what? I haven't had a Mom Richardson since I was 5.

I previously got an email from them encouraging me to make a tshirt for the Richardson Thanksgiving. Folks, I've been the only Richardson since 1999.

Are they going to encourage me to buy Dad Richardson a shirt at father's day? um, yeah, deceased.

I have a friend who has two moms. There are people out there with two dads. Or no mom. And though lots of families can safely be referred to by their last name, there are also many, many families who cannot be grouped as, say, "The Smiths." Half siblings, step-siblings, grandparents or siblings serving as parents, adoptions, etc. you get the idea.

I get that they are betting on the fact that if my last name is Richardson--whether I am male or female, married or not--that my mom or my spouse's mom probably has the last name Richardson. Statistically that used to be a safe bet. But now? Mmmmm...not so much.

um, so, yeah. since this was the 5th email I'd gotten from them in the past year that said something about "Richardson" that didn't exist, I called and talked to a nice customer service person. who, after I very kindly told him why I was calling, was actually quite distressed that none of the marketing people were available, because he just kept saying "you are VERY right" and "those are valid points--I can't believe we haven't gotten called about this before--or sued." I told him I wasn't angry or anything, but that I wanted to point it out because eventually they were likely to run into someone who WOULD get angry.

and because it was exclusionary. which is kiiiiiind of something I loathe.

I am so becoming my mother.

Also? Fun fact. I have placed three orders from this company. Two for a team called Toxic Waste and one for a team called Toxic Threat. And I've heard nada about either of THOSE teams. Nope. Just about my last name and the family members they assume I have. Ha!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

you should probably go wash your hands before you read this.

because otherwise you will probably want to do so when you're done.

so, you guys know about BPA, right? also known as bisphenol A? not stuff you want to ingest, for sure. I mean, it's around, you kind of can't eliminate all exposure unless you're extremely careful, but overall...definitely something you want to avoid. particularly if you have little kiddos. we adults don't need to be so worried about it, but it can be pretty awful for the wee ones.

go read more about it here if you don't know about it...

and then? then check out this article. BPA on receipt paper? You have GOT to me kidding me. I mean, seriously? We've been making such a fuss about heating our rubbermaid containers, and it's on receipts? Which we get ALL the TIME? In quantities that are measured in MILLIGRAMS per receipt?? Grody.

and as a double whammy--we are cutting down trees, processing them, bleaching the hell out of that paper pulp, creating a lot of waste in the way we cut them, coating them with all sorts of chemicals (including the BPA) and then putting them all over our hands?

I am going to have to think about this and read more, but I had to share. I thought I was done, but then read about this on my blog reader, and shudder...

eco friendly earth day tip #3--use less receipts. the trees of the world AND the developing brains of children will thank you.

"all the riches, baby, don't bring what your love can bring..."

~gwen stefani

man, I haven't listened to that in but today? today it's on my playlist. courtesy of renee. :)

so, another thing I wanted to talk to you about today was the reusable bag. I use them. constantly. Christmas 2007 Renee gave me a baggu. I had no idea those things existed, but I would try to either use as few bags as possible, bring a tote bag or go without a bag entirely.

Doing that was a help.
Using a reusable bag all the time was fantastic!

I have tried a bunch of brands--baggu, envirosax, skeeda, the lowes foods insulated one, the kroger wine bottle bag, and various ones that clip, fold and the like. string bags, produce bags, the gamut.

the important thing is that they all WORK.

I like my baggus when I have a smaller purse or we're putting them in Matt's pocket. Or when I'm carrying a lot of things because I think they are easiest when you have to carry multiple bags at a time.

(photo from baggu's website)

I like my envirosax because they are PRETTY! and I like to have them in my purse if I'm carrying a bigger one because they seem to be less confusing to cashiers (with my baggu they seem confused by the little pouch when I throw it in the bottom of the bag.

(photo from envirosax website)

I like my skeeda when I'm carrying something heavy, or that I'm going to need to be able to access. They make great car bags, too! and though I have not yet done so, you can have them monogrammed!

(photo from skeeda website)

and, in honor of earth day, you can get some pretty awesome deals...

like at baggu, if you enter the code "earth10" you get free shipping!

and if you go to you can get a free bag by entering the code EDAYFREE.

and at skeeda, by making a purchase you get a free one of their olive bags--no coupon required! so though I own the "eggshell" and "peony," today I ordered the "tangerine" too--and I will be giving away my free one! yay for GIVEAWAYS!

to have a chance to win, comment on this blog with something you are doing (or did) for earth day/month. you have until April 30th to comment! you can comment as many times as you like, but each comment must be about something different you did! :)

ps: now slim shady is playing. seriously, gwen stefani, the hand jive song from grease, now slim shady. I love this playlist!

happy earth day!

you might see a slew of posts from me today--we shall see. I am entering Maria's contest (you should too!) but I also have been saving up a lot of posts, too!

so, not to sound all high and mighty (I'm not, pinkie swear!) but I feel like I'm pretty well informed about all things environmental. I read, I learn, I'm an environmental engineer for a living. It's not often that someone can tell me about an idea or concept that's totally new to me unless it's, well, totally new to everyone.

that said: for our wedding we registered for this book. In the PREFACE--yes, within the first like 3 pages of the book--it made me aware of something I had never considered. you ready for it?

well, you might've heard me (or someone else) tell you the importance of eating local. carbon emissions, local economy and whatnot.

and then that is always quickly followed with the suggestion of eating organic. local first, then organic. there's like a 90% chance your local food is essentially organic anyway (and by that I mean they only use pesticides if their crops are actually threatened--and even then it's generally one that is natural or less scary for people. but I digress.)

so, new factoid I had never considered:

cook your food as quickly as possible.


okay, let's say you have two recipes--both call for identical ingredients. chicken, some veggies, some seasoning, a little bit of oil. something like that. one requires 10 minutes to cook. one requires 45 minutes to cook. perhaps it's the difference between a sauteed dish and a baked dish.

well, guess what? that extra 35 minutes of energy required to cook meal #2? yep--not as eco friendly.

now, take this with a grain of salt. obviously if it's winter and you're using the oven and you leave it open afterward to release the heat into your house and warm it up, you're re-purposing that energy and then it's not the same thing. but it's just something to keep in mind!

that's earth day tip #1. I'm hoping to get to share more with you today, we'll see how it goes :D

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

such a tease...

I know, I know...

but...Matt and I are MARRIED!

it rained pretty much all day on our wedding BUT it SO perfect, and we even got to take a few outside pictures in the spitting o' the sky, and the pastor was awesome, and Matt laughed in the way that is my very very favorite, and everything came together, and I looked quite dashing if I do say so myself, and we did not run out of beer, and per usual (ask any of our friends) Matt and I closed down the party. :)

Nicole and Becki did INCREDIBLE jobs and I can't wait to see all the rest of their images. Someone said it looked like a magazine it was so well put together. My cousin Kim, who is a well-seasoned event planner, was hugely impressed by all of the detail for our weddings, everyone pitched in and I have never felt so loved in my entire life.

and my being stressed only manifested itself in needing quiet and a lack of compliments, so considering bridal tales I've heard, I feel like I did a pretty good job.

there will be a bajillion pictures to share soon, but here is our favorite one we've seen thus far, taken by nicole :)

and one of the barn during our ceremony--also by nicole.

and now, it is nap time. saturday night we slept ~7 hours. sunday we cleaned and returned borrowed items all day, and only got ~5.5 hours of sleep, plus naps on the plane. and last night I slept for TWELVE hours. and I'm about to take a nap. and then I plan on going to bed early :) I am definitely playing catch-up, and I am pleased as punch about having the opportunity!

more wedding deets to follow...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

"getting so much [closer] all the time--it's getting [closer] all the time..."

~the beatles

which is appropriate because a) I love them
b) we are playing some beatles during our ceremony
c) my friend ariel had her baby and they named their son jude!

so. I am in the "home stretch" as they say. And if I have one more male make a joke about how girls get so caught up in such and such I will probably grab my craft scissors and GIVE them that bad haircut I always wish on jerky people. Yeesh!

we had a really awesome Easter--we spent it at Christy's house again! Yummy food and splendid company--win-win. And no tattoo this year BUT I'm pretty sure I'll be holding Jen to it next year and we'll both go get one on good friday!

and ranunculus are in SEASON! I bought them at the farmer's market for the first time this year on saturday. I cannot WAIT to see how fantastic they look at my wedding. Jan is going to do amazing things!

oh and I have decided something--I have had like eight people ask me "so, who is your wedding designer" or "who planned your wedding" or "who is responsible for the whole look of your wedding--who did you hire?" And I have decided the answer to that question is as follows:


I am my own wedding designer. And my own wedding planner. And I am responsible for the look of my wedding! My florist absolutely gets 110% of the credit for all of the floral elements, of course, but I selected the ranunuculus, and I found the tablecloths, and I made the little touches that I'm not supposed to tell you about yet but just you wait--they're gonna rock your socks! :) I cannot freaking wait to show you pictures!

anyhoo. I apologize for the rant. But it's kind of the same kind of thing where, say, a person thinks that it's the camera that takes the nice photograph, not the user. It's like giving Photoshop or Lightroom full credit for the designer's work. Or saying that Picasso only painted so well due to his medium and supplies. Hogwash!

following up on my rant-y-ness are these beauties. something about this picture makes me want to print it huge on canvas and hang it up in my house. I'll put more up on my photography blog and site because I'm just LOVING the ranunculus this year. I am going to enjoy them for as long as I possibly can :)

oh yeah, and speaking of weddings--I booked two more this week! I am kind of loving how they are all spread out for hte most part, too!

I now have
one in april, the week after my wedding
two in june
none in july--but it's honeymoon time, so that works out perfectly!
one in august
two in september
and a billion in october. okay, no, three in october. and my 30th bday. and I'm second-shooting for Nicole.

yikeies. but overall, quite pleased! I am now at nine for the year plus second-shooting, so I'll take it!

and, one final question about that dang guest book: would it be so horrible if I just didn't have one? I haven't asked Matt this question, so I don't know if he has strong feelings about not having one at all...but I'm kind of thinking about just not doing it. We will see. Ladies who have been married--will I totally regret this some day? let me know, okay?

more soon (hopefully!)
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