The Road Trips Reach 1 Year

Third Time Wife

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the Road Trips said I do!

The Road Trips, November 2, 2013 | photo via Pink Shutterbug Photography

The Road Trips, November 2, 2013 | photos via Pink Shutterbug Photography

If I had to sum up our first year of marriage in one word, that word would be “home.”

That might sound strange since we’d lived together for several years before getting married, but about 6 weeks after getting home from the honeymoon we put in an offer on a house and have been obsessed with it ever since. We’d been looking forward to relaxing after the wedding and holidays were over, just getting back into the groove of the day-to-day. Instead, we spent the next 10 months like this:

Sometimes you just have to take a chance on something--be it love or a handyman special home! Our "Gingerbread Dollhouse" pre-renovations.

Sometimes you just have to take a chance on something–be it love or a handyman special home! Our “Gingerbread Dollhouse” the day we first saw it in person.

  • Christmas through mid-April: trying to close on the house
  • mid-April through mid-July: required renovations to the house
  • July: moving (it took an entire month of weekends to fully move out of the rental and into the “Dollhouse”)
  • August through October: “triage” and unpacking

While it’s been absolutely exhausting at times and frustrating at others, the simple fact of the matter is that it only happened because we were together. I know I’d never take on a house that had been subject to so much neglect (or, as they say in real estate, “deferred maintenance”) if I didn’t have the very handy Mr. Road Trip by my side.

But a house is just a building until you make it a home. When we were living together pre-wedding it was in rentals, and the lack of permanence was looked at–maybe not by us on the day-to-day, but definitely by others–as more than just our living situation. Having a wedding, becoming husband and wife, reassures the people around us that we’re solid, that they know what to expect. Similar to the way your neighbors look at you when you buy a house instead of a renting one.

Even though the last several months have been trying, those tests have shown us just how much we can make it through (just in case we had any doubts). Dealing with banks, insurance agencies, and contractors on top of moving across state lines while trying to keep everything else on track was not what we’d planned for this first year, to say the least. But it showed us our best way of working together to solve a problem (or three) and we’ve built memories along the way. We see this house as our forever home, just the way we see forever in each other.

a pre-dinner selfie | Road Trips 2014

a pre-dinner selfie | Road Trips 2014

We keep anniversaries low-key in the Road Trip household, exchanging cards and simple gifts. Those of you who were here for the planning posts may recall that I refused to “restart the clock” on our relationship, and we were married on 6th dating anniversary. So this year was a combo of 1st and 7th anniversaries (for the curious, the 7th anniversary gifts are copper or desk sets). We went out to a fabulous dinner at a local restaurant on Saturday night and then spent our actual anniversary night dining in.

I am always grateful for a husband who enjoys cooking as much as I do!

I am always grateful for a husband who enjoys cooking as much as I do!

Since we had a brunch reception last year and need few excuses to have breakfast for dinner on any given night, we’ve decided to start a new tradition of having something brunchy for supper on our anniversary. It’s was Roadie’s turn to cook last week, so he made steak and eggs: grilled, bacon-wrapped filet mignon with Eggs Florentine. His plans for Mimosas were almost thwarted by Georgia’s no-booze sales on Sundays rule, but for the fact that I had several bottles of Champagne at home. Always prepared isn’t just for scouting!

What are we looking forward to in Year 2? I’d love to say relaxation but we know better! We’ll actually start the room-by-room renovation of our home in a few months (all of which you can follow on my blog,, keep working our day jobs, and I hope to finish my second book at some point in 2015. Maybe we’ll even get an honest-to-goodness, non-working vacation in there somewhere!

Anyone else go for the low-key anniversary their first (or seventh) year?

(This post was shared with, hence the self-referencing and nick-names–it’s a Bee thing!)

What Do Dirty Dishes Have to Do With Love?

Third Time Wife
Image via | contributed by poison_yvi

Image via | contributed by poison_yvi

I hate doing the dishes.

More specifically, I hate loading the dishwasher. While I’m certainly capable of doing it and did it for  years when I lived on my own, there’s just something about loading the dishwasher that I loathe. Momma would say that it’s no surprise–I wasn’t the neatest, most organized kid growing up, but I definitely was the one most likely to snap if the kitchen was a mess in the house I shared with 3 other girls right after graduation.

No one was more surprised than I, let me tell you.

So when Todd and I first moved in together, we’d discussed certain chores (mostly laundry, we’re strictly a do-your-own household) but I don’t remember discussing dish duty. We traded off weeks to cook (we still do) but whereas the usual beat would be one person cooks, the other cleans, Todd adopted dish duty 99% of the time. And I thank him for it frequently, because he’s saving me from something a detest and, to me, that’s love.

In Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, this pinpoints at least one of my love languages as Acts of Service. If you’ve never read the book (I remember receiving a copy of it as a wedding gift the first time I got married back in ’95), it’s an interesting treatise on different ways we perceive love all with the end goal of making individuals more aware of what they see or hear as love so that they can then communicate those needs to their partner. It’s good stuff.

And even though I read this book years ago and knew on some level what I needed, I wasn’t always good at asking for those needs to be met.

For instance, I remember a particular row with my 2nd husband over groceries. Well, it was more than that, but the grocery shopping was a catalyst that day.

See, his son (who lived with us every other week) had decided to go vegetarian. Seeing as how I’d done similar back in high school (and combined with my culinary training) I was gung-ho to support him and make sure we met his needs while still also meeting the needs of his decidedly carnivorous father. Unfortunately, stepson’s idea of a meal was French bread, Buffalo Chick’n nuggets, and Monster energy drink. I had several objections to a) him subsisting on those items (regardless of how much kale he claimed to consume from the food truck at lunch) and b) the general principle of teenagers consuming energy drinks, so I flat-out refused to buy them in the requested quantities (or at all in the case of the energy drink) and explained to his father exactly why.

Instead, I planned meals in components, like the night I made spaghetti, the sauce, and the seasoned meat separately so each person could add what they did and did not want. Stepson opted not to come to the table. Now, he wasn’t rude or obnoxious about it, he was fairly polite saying ‘no thanks’ over the din of the music through the closed door to his bedroom, but it certainly didn’t show respect or appreciation for my efforts. And we just won’t go into the not-so-easy-to-find-12-years-ago Tofurky incident.

The aforementioned argument was on who did what around the house, and how much each of us (the husband and I) contributed monetarily. Yeah, it was one of those “discussions.” Since I do better on paper with facts at hand, I listed everything out, comparing our salaries as well (he made a third more than I did, but I matched his amount for the household expenses) and included grocery shopping in my contribution totals saying something like ‘and I get the things you like at the store.’ His response: That’s your job!

No. No it wasn’t. Especially when even he didn’t come home for dinner most nights for the last year we were together.

My stance on the subject is best summed up in this quote from Mary Gauthier, heard on Fresh Air weekend but originally aired in her June 24, 2014, interview with Terry Gross:

Playing music and cooking for people are two very tangible ways of showing love.

Amen to that.

Grocery shopping and planning menus is a chore for some, it’s an act of loving service for others, myself included. Planning favorite meals or picking up a favorite snack or cereal when something more utilitarian would do or it could easily be skipped: they are love notes from me to whomever I’m cooking for. It might sound a bit Stepford wife of me, but it’s what I do. It’s the same thing that drives me to volunteer to help this group or that group even when I’m putting my own projects aside (aka Helium Hand or Helper Monkey-ism), because I love, respect, and/or appreciate the group and want to show it in my “native” love language. It’s also why I seldom feel a true need to pull the ‘fend for yourself’ card when it’s my week to cook.

I used to see Quality Time as a key love language along with Words of Affirmation. As I’ve gotten more self-confident, though, they aren’t as important (though Quality Time is still a biggie, it’s just truly quality and not quantity). Back when I was confused about my self-worth, I spoke love to others by almost strictly Physical Touch, thinking that’s what I had to do–again, I’ve since learned that, while important, it’s not the language I need to be speaking exclusively, and certainly not in the way I used to think. About the only one of the love languages I never really keyed into was Receiving Gifts. Not that I don’t love presents, but the gifts language often involves money and growing up without a lot of that around made both giving and receiving such gifts awkward and uncomfortable. Though I enjoy giving gifts to others, they come from the Acts of Service part of me being primarily handmade or diy.

So when I found myself doing the dishes the other night–half because it was time to cook supper and we were out of plates, having not moved over the rest of the kitchen supplies, and half because Todd was exhausted and having a rough week so hadn’t gotten to them in a couple of nights–I didn’t feel all martyr-ish about it. (That, of course, is not Acts of Service if you’re going to complain about how put-upon you are, that’s a passive-aggressive way of asking for Words of Affirmation in my mind.) I was happy to do them, even though it was hand-washing because we didn’t have a working dishwasher and it meant delaying supper a bit, too. I was happy because it was a way I could show Todd that I appreciated what he did for me around the house, the time he frees up by doing the dishes being time I can spend on my projects or nothing at all if I so choose.

Todd had never heard of The 5 Love Languages before that night, when I brought them up after supper. We’d never had a need to discuss them as, in the 6 1/2 years we’ve been together, we’ve been lucky enough to speak the same love languages often enough without prompting.

There’s a quiz going around about rating the awesomeness of your husband/wife over on Brainfall. I took the rate your wife side, trying to guess Todd’s answers, and scored myself an 80%. When I took the rate your husband side of the quiz, I scored Todd a 93%, and I felt that was fair and I often consider Todd an excellent husband and myself a somewhat selfish wife. When I sent the link to Todd, though, he scored me a 94 while only scoring himself a 73 when he tried to guess my answers.

I suppose the lesson is that we both do our best but see room for improvement, while our partner sees near perfection. So much better than the other way around, right?

I’ll continue to be grateful when Todd does the dishes, or cooks dinner on “his” weeks, or kills a bug that dares enter our home. What’s more, I’ll continue to tell him how grateful I am so that he knows I see what he’s doing. Whether it’s dishes or cuddles, it all boils down to the same definition of love in our language.

Off on Our Next Adventure!

Third Time Wife

Well, Hive, the time has come for Roadie and I to offer one last wave from the rear view mirror as we head down the road to see what’s around the next bend in the road!

Just over a year ago (I don’t think I will ever forget, especially considering I got a speeding ticket the next morning when I was paying more attention to mentally composing my intro post than my speedometer–oops!) I was announced as Miss Road Trip and just under 6 months ago, Roadie and I were married in our intimate outdoor ceremony at Honey Lake Plantation.

It has been an honor and a privilege to share our wedding with the members of the Hive. I thank each and every one of you who have left comments on my posts–seriously, it was always a thrill to see the notifications in my Inbox–and for the encouragement and occasional commiseration they held. I hope that my posts were informative and encouraging in turn–if even one person found one of them useful I’ll consider my time here well-spent.

Special thanks go out to my fellow Honeymoon Generation blogging Bees–I’ve enjoyed sharing this journey with each of you and value the friendships we’ve built over the last year and then some. If anyone is on the fence about applying to blog for Weddingbee, I say do because you just never know what will come of it!

Life has stayed very much the same for we Road Trips since the wedding–there have been little shifts that are hard to pinpoint but you still notice, and I fully admit that being able to call Roadie my husband still gives me a little thrill. But big changes are now on the horizon!



After several months and 7.5# of paperwork (unfortunately not an exaggeration), we just recently closed on a 1910 Folk Victorian that’s a bit of a fixer-upper but perfect for us, just over the FL/GA border. We’ve spent the last two weekends taking care of some odds and ends around the house before the roofers get started (poor thing was a bit neglected when we found her, but we’ll soon fix that) and are looking forward to restoring and renovating our Pink Gingerbread Dollhouse for the foreseeable future!

Of course I’ll be blogging the process, along with various other facets of living a creative life, over on, in case anyone wants to follow along and virtually peek in the windows.

Wishing you creative days and wonderful weddings!


Mrs. Road Trip

Highway to Happiness: Final Wedding Budget

Wedding Recaps

We started out with a working budget of $5,800. That number was based on what we expected to save each month for the 2+ years we were actively planning the wedding. I’d set up a spreadsheet to track both the savings as well as any spending and it worked fairly well for 90% of our engagement. I’m sure you can empathize with the mad dash that happens just before the wedding and the habit of throwing cash (and the occasional bit of plastic) at anything that pops up.

Long story short, this post is the first time I’m looking at what out final expenses totaled!

Images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

Images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

Attire $635

My dresses and accessories came to $480 thanks to needing no alterations and shopping smart. Choosing both dresses were simple compared to picking a bracelet–I think I bought a total of five, but only included the once I actually wore in the total.

Roadie’s suit rental and tie came to $155


Rings $276

Roadie’s tungsten carbide ring ($53) came from Amazon because, like many a Bee before me, we saw no reason to spend six times as much to buy it in a jewelry store. My wedding band ($223) didn’t come from the wedding section of Marks & Morgan, but the fashion jewelry cases; it also happens to be sterling silver, which is much more my daily wear speed.


Decorations $609

We diy-ed the vast majority of the decor for our wedding, so this total includes the linens I purchased for the reception ($98–about half of what the rentals would have cost), as well as the craft supplies we combined with the stuff we already had around the house. Hoarding craft supplies has never been so helpful and I wouldn’t have the first clue about how much of “in stock” value all of that came to.

Beverages $612

We brought in our own wines and signature cocktail fixings. It was easier to buy full cases so that total could really be cut in half since we have about half of it left for at-home consumption. The beer service was comped by the venue in light of the mishaps on the day.


Venue & Catering $3297

Venue rental for the ceremony and reception space ran $1545
AV services (iPod dock, outdoor speakers, etc.) ran $289

Cocktail Hour Food & Beverage for 27 $330
Reception Food & Beverage for 25 $625

Lodging $508

Desserts $154

The four dozen cupcakes from Lucy & Leo’s came to $102, the rest is the ingredients for the desserts I made.

Favors $104

Another point for the edible favors–not a single one of our chocolate bundles were left behind!

Photographer $384

This included and engagement session as well as 8 hours of coverage and 2 shooters on the day (including a $25 mileage fee). It resulted in 1400 digital images (including both sessions) with reprint rights.

The Legal Bits $170

Our marriage license was $93.50 and the event insurance was $76.50. The insurance was a condition of our original contract but the new DoC didn’t know anything about it. Still, an ounce of prevention and all that, right?

Rehearsal Dinner $230

Dinner for 12 at a Mexican restaurant was one of our better food-related decisions (right after our cupcakes). Even with a very generous tip it was still less than we’d expected!


Stationery $150

Postage was probably the largest purchase when it came to our paper goods at $80. We spent $20 on our Save the Date cards, and the rest went to envelopes. Everything else I already owned and since I’d replaced my inkjet printer earlier in the year (with an Epson WorkForce 7510) I was able to do everything else purely diy.

Miscellaneous $279

Ceremony glassware for unity ceremony $78
Pre-Wedding Pampering $90
iTunes downloads for ceremony/reception music $44
Emergency Kit supplies $67

Grand Total $6900

So, about $1100 over the planned budget which doesn’t seem so bad (we’re just going to ignore the fact that it’s a 19% increase in reality). The extra grand didn’t cause any undue financial hardships and we have no regrets about where our money went. I suppose that’s all you can hope for when it comes to a wedding budget, so in that respect I think we did quite well.


The Road Trip Wedding Recaps:

Highway to Happiness: Vendor Reviews

Wedding Recaps

While I’ve already shared my thoughts on the venue, we do have a couple more vendors that certainly deserve a shout-out.

Pink Shutterbug Photography: Recommend

On either side of the fountain during our engagement session and wedding. | Images by Pink Shutterbug Photography

On either side of the fountain during our engagement session and wedding. | Images by Pink Shutterbug Photography

We searched high and low for a photographer that fit both our (admittedly small) budget and uncomplicated style. Thankfully we found Kara to fit the bill and she did a fabulous job for us. What made her practically perfect for us was that she specializes in family portraits, doing only a handful of weddings each year to “keep it fun,” she says. Because of this she can keep her package prices low and keep her deadlines. And speaking of deadlines, even though ours was the first of the 3 (I believe) wedding she did last year, all in the month of November, we received a generous preview album in time to order Christmas cards and the discs of the images right at 2 months after the wedding. We enjoyed working with Kara and would not hesitate to call on her again if we ever decide to couples portraits again.

Lucy & Leo’s Cupcakery: Recommend

Anyone else hungry, now?

Anyone else hungry, now?

They’re a bit of an institution around these parts, but it’s still worth saying that we (and our guests) enjoyed their cupcakes immensely! One of the few bakeries around that offer gluten-free cupcakes (and the only one, I believe, that has an actual storefront), they go above and beyond making their gluten-free cupcakes in almost all of their regular flavors–not just one or two. The ultimate test, of course, was that our guests didn’t even realize they were gluten-free, they were that tasty! They routinely sell-out when they bring their camper to events, and are the kind of shop that closes each day when the last cupcake sells, often shortly after 5pm (just in case anyone in the Tallahassee area wants to give them a try), and while they don’t make gluten-free flavors every day, they do take special orders for everyday celebrations–not just weddings.


The Road Trip Wedding Recaps: