Tuesday, September 30, 2014

the first days of engagement

The world of a post-engaged couple is a world that nobody understands unless you've been through it.

Do you have a date set? 

Those six little words that are seemingly harmless and excitement filled are also inevitable words that immediately transition you from a post-engagement bliss into action-oriented list making mania (or was that just me?).

Thursday, September 25, 2014

my ring story

It has been established, that given our story and how quickly things progressed for Mr. Narwhal and I in the beginning, we knew pretty early on that this was the real deal. I mean, the morning after our first kiss he sent me the following image and I just about died.

collective awwww // Quote via Pamela Ann - Scornfully Yours

Real deal. Yup.

I had known for awhile that I wasn't a diamond girl. Influenced by movies like Blood Diamond, and a generally clutzy girl, I didn't feel comfortable with a large investment on my finger, the sentimental value was already enough of a pressure for me. I just knew I wanted something different.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

our proposal

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for proposal stories. There is something so special about a man asking you to be his forever. Today, I'd like to share our proposal story.

The waiting period of our relationship made me feel slightly crazy at times. It felt like it was never going to happen, even though I knew it was coming. I definitely had waiting fever, it started a year before our proposal when Mr. Narwhal asked what I wanted my ring to look like. Near the end, the clues and hints started to come together and I began feeling really close to the proposal. I was definitely analyzing Mr. Narwhal's every move.

A few days before our proposal Mr. Narwhal informed me that he had to wait another week to put some money into our joint account and I was on high alert. The next morning he went into town to get a shirt for a wedding reception that evening and when I offered to go with him, he said he was going to go alone. When he was gone for hours, I became suspicious, but he acted so normal when he got home I just kept talking myself down thinking I was being crazy.

Later in the day he nonchalantly asked if we wanted to go hang out at my family cabin the next day (which would be Sunday). Our family cabin is a special place to me, and in our relationship. We had one of our most important talks before our relationship began there, and spent a ton of time there in the beginning of our relationship. I thought it might be happening, but it was supposed to be hot and we usually like to be adventurous on weekends, so it wasn't out of the ordinary (again, talking myself down).

He then pulled a swift one on me by totally Chandlering up the situation when we were discussing all of the recent engagements and made it seem like we definitely wouldn't be getting married the next summer. It totally worked because I was off his trail.

On Sunday morning we woke up and went out for breakfast with my dad and then just the two of us headed to the cabin. I was kind of convinced at this point that it wasn’t going to happen, and so I was pretty calm and relaxed.

When we got to the cabin he put on some music (my favourite artist Trevor Hall which Mr. Narwhal gets big points for) and after letting Nelson swim for awhile he suggested we lay on a blanket on the grass in the sunshine (something we love to do).

personal photo // at the cabin 

Now for a little backstory: 

When we first met, he used to write me poems all the time. They were the sweetest little rhymes that would make my heart explode! Words of affirmation are my love language, so poems make this hopeless romantics oh so happy.

For my previous birthday all I wanted was a poem*.  He ended up writing me a poem in my birthday card, which was more humorous than the poems I was used to. In the following months, I kept asking for a new poem, something really romantic. Many months went by with no poem, and he kept saying that maybe it was because my next poem would be extra special.

So as I was getting comfortable on the blanket, he told me he had written me a poem the other night. He came and sat with me while I read it. At this point I definitely knew it was happening! Once I got to the word ring in the poem, I looked up. Mr. Narwhal was crying and asked me to marry him. I think that moment might be the best moment of my entire life.

I remember thinking "Why am I not crying?" so I don’t really remember what I said (something along the lines of yes/of course I love you). He handed me the box with my beautiful ring and we were officially engaged! The amount of work he put into the making of the ring amazes me (which I will share the details on in my next post).

After sharing that moment, I finally finished reading the poem (since I had looked up in the final lines). I was definitely in some sort of excited shock, I couldn't believe it actually happened!  We also realized later that it was exactly two years to the day that we had our important talk at the cabin before we started dating.

personal photos // post-engagement photos 
Every time I think about our proposal story my heart explodes. I framed the poem and our photo the next day to go in our bedroom. I love to be reminded continually about the beginning of our engagement and that amazing day.

Did you know your proposal was coming?

*He also got me Kings of Leon tickets, which was an amazing concert!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

the planner in me

It often feels like Mr. Narwhal and I share the same brain. While we have our own interests, we do have a lot of things in common, and often find ourselves saying things like "I was just thinking that!" or writing the same answers when playing games.

One of the things about Mr. Narwhal and I that we don't share in common? Our sentiments on planning ahead. He has a go with the flow attitude about life, and I like to make lists, spend money on Erin Condren planners and yes, create a secret wedding Pinterest account three months after we started dating.

Pinterest changed the waiting game // some e-card

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

our story

Two things you should know about us when it comes to storytelling. First, I love telling stories and I tend to go off on a lot of tangents... but I always get back to my point. How I manage to always circle back is quite bewildering to a lot of people. Secondly, we have rule in our house: if you start telling a story, you’re not allowed to back out. There are no never minds in this house. So, you're kind of stuck with me now!

Since this is the beginning of our wedding story, I naturally wanted to start it at the beginning of us. The start of our relationship was a magical time for us, but it was also pretty stressful. The TLDR version of how we met is simply through friends, but there are a few details that are worth noting. The beginning sets the foundation of your relationship, and while those few details aren't ideal, they make up our story.

When I met Mr. Narwhal in the summer of 2012, I was in the process of moving home to Muskoka after living in Ottawa for seven years. I had just been on a Europe trip (seven countries in three weeks) with one of my best friends (and bridesmaids) Click and was ready to move home for the best summer ever. BM Click was also moving home after being on exchange in Europe for law school. The plan for summer was sunshine, dock days and a lot of fun.

Eurotrip 2012: Berlin
personal photo // Eastside Gallery Berlin
Being from a small town, you generally know everyone your age. At one point or another in high school, you probably shared a class, or shared friends. Even if you're not friends, you're either an acquaintance or know of each other.

Click and I had been best friends for 13 years (15 now!); however, we always hung out with different circles. She went to a different university, whereas my other best friend L and I went to university together. One of Click's best friends and roomies from their university days together was around for one of the dock days that first weekend. We weren't close ourselves, but knew each other well enough through Click and other friends. Click always talked so highly of her friend’s boyfriend, who was away camping that weekend. I knew who he was, but had never really met him since he wasn't from our town.

The next weekend Click's friends from law school were visiting. I had been in Ottawa earlier that week and had plans to go to a concert on the Friday night (City and Colour for the curious). When the tickets fell through I decided to go home early and party with Click and her visiting friends instead. On the Friday night, I briefly met her friends boyfriend in the mix. They were in an argument, and I vividly remember noticing how upset he was.

The next morning we all were ready for a day in the sun on the dock. We went to the grocery store for snacks, and on the way we picked up her friends boyfriend (she was working). I had never really talked to him before and since I had just moved home and he was such great friends with Click we got to talking and really hit it off. I specifically asked him at one point, "How haven't we been friends? Let's be friends."

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 12.59.31 PM
personal photo // our first photo from the first Saturday

And, an instant friendship was born. The two of us spent most of that Saturday together chatting, we just felt drawn to each other. We already felt like we had known each other for years. Later that night he told me about his doubts with his girlfriend and that things weren't going well, most notably, that she was moving overseas at the end of the summer.

Somehow that night in the shuffle of all of the people Click, Mr. Narwhal and I ended up falling asleep in the same bed. Click in the middle of us, Mr. Narwhal on one side and me on the other. In the morning when I woke up I rolled over and saw that he was also awake. We locked eyes and smiled at each other, and I remember thinking to myself, "Uh oh." 

Before we all went home that Sunday morning Mr. Narwhal and I added each other to BBM (the good old Blackberry days). I texted L that afternoon and told her I was in trouble. I had met a boy unlike any guy I'd ever met before and he had a girlfriend.

Over the next week, Mr. Narwhal and I messaged each other back and forth a lot. It was magnetic. As we got to know one another things started to feel a little crazy. The conversations consisted of far too many "No way! Me too!"'s to keep track of. We kept saying "This is crazy! This is nuts!" and somewhere along the way it became "Coconuts."

As the first month of summer progressed, we all spent a lot of time together. I went from trying to force myself to swallow my feelings for the guy with the girlfriend to knowing he was the guy I was going to marry.

personal photo // weekend two - me, Click and Mr. Narwhal

I just knew in my gut that he was the one and about three weeks after we met I opened the can of worms. I had to know if I was crazy and feeling this one-sided or if he was feeling it too. Everything had been friendly between us; however, I just knew I had to say something. It was stressful feeling this way about someone in a relationship, since I so wasn't that girl to break up a relationship. The feelings were nothing I had ever experienced before.  His response was that we were definitely riding in the same boat.

After we established that our friendship had more meaning, something had to change before it got into the territory of being disrespectful and wrong. While Mr. Narwhal had certainly developed some sort of feelings for me along the way, he respectfully kept space to sort out his own breakup and figure out what those feelings meant to him. Meeting wasn't something we planned, and he had to figure out what to do about his relationship. She was moving overseas at the end of summer, and he was supposed to move over there in the winter. He was filled with doubts about moving when we met and as soon as he admitted he didn't want to move, things started to unravel. It became clear to them both that they wanted very different things. So, a little over a month after we met, Mr. Narwhal mutually ended things with his girlfriend. 

By the end of August 2012, we were inseparable. At the end of February 2013, we moved into together. In May 2013, we brought our puppy Nelson home and in December 2013 we purchased our first home. Things initially moved pretty quickly, but from that first smile on that Sunday morning, we knew.

Gratuitous Nelson puppy photos // personal photos 

 Did you have a less than typical start to your relationship?

Monday, September 8, 2014

prelude - unicorn of the sea

Well, hey there!

I couldn't be more excited to be writing my first official post for Weddingbee (What!?)! Like many bees before me, I fall into the long-time reader category. We're talking long before Mr. Narwhal was in the picture, so naturally, this moment right here is pretty epic in my little world!

Before I get started on our journey towards our wedding day I will start with a little bit about us and where we're heading... a prelude of sorts.

Miss Narwhal here reporting for duty from cold and wintery Muskoka! Known for it's beautiful summers and the influx of tourists escaping to their cottages in the warmer months, we can be found hanging out in the woods year-round. I'm a local that left to the capital city in Ottawa for seven years, returning only to fall in love and move home (more on that soon).  Mr. Narwhal is originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario and ventured his way into the area in his late teens, leaving for awhile and coming back to call it home around five years ago.

hi friends! // personal photo

I'm a mix between someone who loves and appreciates the outdoors and someone that certainly enjoys my time curled up on the couch in front of a fire binge-watching Netflix shows (anyone else super excited and watching Friends like crazy right now?). Speaking of Friends, I consider myself to be a mix between a Phoebe and a Monica. I am a bit of a free-spirit with a passion for positivity and gratitude. I have seven journals (and counting) filled with gratitude statements. On the other hand I am a list-maker, planner and a bit of a control-freak. Yes, both a free-spirit and control-freak. I'm a special breed.

one of my latest tattoos // personal photo
I work from home, having recently started my own consulting business. My days involve a lot of emails, Word documents and Goto Meeting. Sometimes I get to travel for work (it used to be a lot), and this includes an upcoming trip to the Arctic in February! Without having some long-time connection to any of the monikers, I decided to pick the narwhal! Found in Northern Canada and being the unicorn of the sea, I figured it probably was the perfect choice for me!

via Cute Narwhals Tumblr

Mr. Narwhal is my bearded gentleman that I am incredibly blessed to have the honour of marrying this upcoming August. He's obsessed with the outdoors, spending most of his workday outside. He has a passion for music, and knows every single lyric to any song he's ever heard. He's a busy body that rarely sits down. In the winter he spends a lot of his time coaching hockey to kids or reading about hockey scores. In the summer, you'll find him outside until it's dark - either in the garden, or working around the house.

probably checking hockey scores // personal photo

Together we have created a pretty great life. We live on two acres in our modest home surrounded by the forest with our dork of a dog Nelson and our sassy cat Vada. We have way too many conversations for our pets (please tell me we're not the only ones!). I cook and he does the dishes. I listen to the music and he listens to the lyrics. We have most of the same answers when we play Scattergories and well, we're madly in love!

yes, this photo is 100% legit // personal photo

I hope my blogging journey on the bee will share both a mix of a window into our unique lives together and the lessons we have learned along the way while planning our wedding day! 

Speaking of the wedding, we're planning our outdoor August wedding in our backyard forest. Picture the sun setting and candles lit along the wandering paths that lead to the ceremony spot. There are lots of personal touches everywhere that represent us perfectly (by the time we get there, you'll know us well enough to see) and we're surrounded by our most favourite people in the world. The ceremony starts as my dad walks me down the aisle to meet Mr. Narwhal in front of an old log cabin, where we share our personally written vows. Once we are finally announced as husband and wife, we roll straight into our reception. The drinks are flowing, appetizers are being passed around all night and the band is playing all of our favourite songs. Without revealing all the fun surprises I have in store, that's the day in a nutshell!

is it summer yet? // personal photo

I can hardly wait to share the rest with you all!