Monday, January 16, 2012

Our Love Story pt 5

When you find the person you are going to marry and you are in love, the wedding cannot come soon enough! That's how it felt for us. It was December and April 9th seemed so far away. Joey was like "why couldn't we have planned the wedding for January?". Again, I'd remind him that he was the one who suggested waiting 3-4 years… 

January up until the wedding day was packed full of wedding planning. We had a $10,000 budget to work with and we were so careful with how we spent it that it ended up covering the whole wedding plus our honeymoon! My mom kept a list of everything we were spending and she would deduct it from the original budget. We put the most money towards what we really wanted for our wedding- the beautiful church and the reception food were two of our top priorities. We knew that we wanted a really good, out of this world, homemade full Italian meal for our reception.. and we got just that! A friend of ours owns an Italian restaurant and she did an amazing job on the food for our reception. People are still talking about that meal! We also knew that we wanted a church wedding. The church where we got married was just absolutely gorgeous!

We saved money by - 1. Having a lot of friends help out
                                   2. Decorating everything ourselves (also buying/making all of the decorations)
                                   3. We ordered our flowers in bulk and had some friends arrange them
                                   4. Having family members do the music
                                   5. We shopped a ton at Hobby Lobby and used their 40 % off coupon frequently
                                   6. We used fancy paper plates, silverware and cups as opposed to real dishes
                                   7. My bridesmaids made their dresses. They cost about $40 total. ( we didn't pay for that, but it saved them money!)

I found my dress at a local bridal store on the clearance rack for $400. It was big and needed a lot of alterations, but it came out beautifully!

The dress before alterations. It was strapless, so they were working on figuring out the straps.

All of my girl cousins came to see the dress.

My mom and I

My grandma and I

Planning a wedding can be stressful at times. I was so in love that sometimes, I just didn't want to work on the wedding plans, or I just didn't know what to do next. That's where my mom was a big help. She and I are both list makers. She would write out a list of things that needed to be accomplished and we would do them together, checking it off the list as we completed tasks.

At other times, wedding planning can be a lot of fun! I loved looking at wedding blogs for ideas. Picking out colors was something I really enjoyed.

The only place I didn't put as much money toward was the photographs. I wish I would've gotten a more professional photographer. The photographs were just unprofessional and the photographer didn't even take the time to edit them! It was a nightmare. I ended up editing all of my own wedding photos! It took weeks. I still haven't put them in an album.. :(

We had a day to decorate the church and the reception room. The church was so beautiful, that it didn't need much decorating. The reception room, however, was our church's gym. We had so many friends come and help. It turned out so beautiful!

The church


We made the paper cones at the end of each pew and stuck a fake hydrangea in each one.

My boquet

Reception tables

I will post about the wedding day next!

On a side note, I am now 15 weeks pregnant!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Our Love Story Pt 4

One of my readers was asking to hear more on the subject of courtship. I will write about it at the end of this post.

Now onto part 4.. The engagement ~

Every night throughout September and October was spent with Joey. Eating my mom's wonderful meals (incidentally, her recipes are so awesome that she started a blog -, watching movies, long night discussions.. Just getting to know each other better.  The more time we spent together, the more we knew that there was no way we could wait for 3 or 4 years ;) Joey would tease me and say that we should just go elope. I would remind him that he was the one who said 3 or 4 years.. At that point, we were planning a wedding. I had gone out with my mom to look at engagement rings. When I finally found the one I wanted, we went back to the store with my dad and Joey. I showed him a case of rings and asked him to choose the one that he thought I liked best. He got it right.

the ring

He picked up the ring later on. It was the end of October going into November. I knew that he had the ring, I just didn't know when he was planning to propose. It was a cold, rainy day on November 4th. I had walked over to the neighbor's house to borrow something. When I walked back through the door, Joey looked at me with a smile and said "come with me". We went upstairs. He handed me a large gift. I kind of had a hunch and asked if it was a deceiving gift.. I opened the package and inside of it was another wrapped package, a little smaller than the first. I opened that package and again a smaller package inside. This continued for about 3-4 more packages until I reached the last one. It was a wrapped ring box. He took it from me, got down on one knee, told me he loved me and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes! We later learned that my great grandfather had proposed to my great grandmother in the same exact way!

Minutes after the proposal.

I used this photo as a reference to draw our wedding invitation.

We were planning our wedding for either April or August. We initially went with August, but my mom suggested going with April. I asked her if we could plan a wedding in just 5 months? She said of course. She was my official wedding planner and helped me with everything. We found a church and called to see what days they had available for April. Only one- April 9th. We booked it. April 9th is also my grandparents anniversary. We share a special day with them :) We started pre-marital counseling in December with our pastor, Mike Bullmore. Those next 5 months were busy days..

I'll post about the wedding planning/wedding in the next post. Now onto more about courtship ~

Here is an excerpt from an article by Tom Brown.

"Joshua Harris wrote a book with a provocative title, "I’ve kissed dating goodbye." You need to kiss dating goodbye. I believe that dating is the world’s way to find a spouse. Many might be wondering, If I don’t date, how am I going to find a spouse?

You should find a spouse through courting. Courtship is more of a scriptural way to meet a prospective spouse than dating. What is the difference between dating and courting? Let me say first of all: Don’t get hung up on terms. It is possible to use the word date but not necessarily have the same understanding as my definition. I am giving you my definition of dating. If you say you date but don’t do what I define dating as being, then I feel you are practicing courting, although you might still use the term dating.

My definition of dating is that it is a modern game where intimacy is practiced before commitment. It often involves romantic talk, holding hands, kissing, making out, and oftentimes sex. Commitment never proceeds intimacy. The word date comes from the word mate. It doesn’t sound good to tell someone you are mating with Mr. X. You prefer to use the word dating. It sounds so much better, but in reality, dating and mating are sometimes the same. I looked up the word date in my encyclopedia and it said, "see Sex and Teenage." Even my encyclopedia agrees with my definition.

Courtship is the time-honored and successful practice of learning about someone enough to know whether or not the two is compatible for marriage. It often involves friendship, discussing each individual’s future plans, knowing the parents if they’re alive, and praying privately for God’s will in the matter. After deciding it is God’s will to get married, the couple prays together and then go to their parents to seek their blessings and finally to the pastor to seek his approval. After engaged the couple still avoids intimacy until marriage. Commitment comes before intimacy."

My parents have always been a big part of my life. My dad was my protector and provider up until he handed me over at the altar. We had boundaries in our courtship, and my parents were there to make sure that we stayed within those boundaries. They were never controlling. They gave us space and allowed us to be alone at certain times because they trusted us. 

Both of my parents dated when they were growing up. They didn't know any other way to do it. They also witnessed friends dating and breaking up. They saw the hurts, broken hearts and disappointments in dating. So when we were young and they learned about courtship, they advised us to do it that way as opposed to dating. They told us that they had wished that their first kiss would have been on their wedding day. Now, I'm not saying that kissing before you are married is wrong, it just makes things harder.. and if you are dating around, you have probably kissed quite a few people. Joey and I saved our first kiss for the wedding day. It was hard, but I wanted it to be a testimony of God's goodness. I had waited for my husband and I was pure at that altar.

Some people aren't as blessed. Their parents may not be involved in their lives as mine are, but they can still practice courtship. They can still set boundaries and stick to them. They can also seek guidance and advice from married couples that they know and trust.

There is so much to be said about courtship.. I've read quite a few books on the subject. Here are a few of my favorites-

1. Emotional Purity by Heather Patenaude (this is for the girls)

2. Preparing to be His Helpmeet by Debbie Pearl (also for the girls)

3. I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris (I don't know that I've read this one, but I've heard good things about it)

You can also google "courtship" to look for some articles or extra resources. 

I hope this helps to give you a closer look at courtship. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our Love Story Pt 3

Before I begin where I left off in part 2, let me give you a little background of how I was raised.

My parents brought my brothers and I up on the idea of courtship. We were taught not to "date" (date as in the way the world does "dating" - going from person to person with no commitment). We never had boyfriends/girlfriends growing up because we were taught to wait for the right one… and the right one would come along in God's timing and we wouldn't start courting until we were of an age to get married. I am so glad to have been brought up this way. In courtship, the intention is marriage. I'm not saying that courtships always work out 100%, but in courtship there are boundaries set up for the protection of both people. The world's way of dating as I see it is going from person to person with no real commitment. There are generally no real boundaries and people end up getting hurt or getting a broken heart. This is especially true for girls. If a guy is playing around with her emotions and they end up breaking up, she will feel hurt and exposed. There is more to be said about courtship, but I wanted to get the general idea across that in courtship, there is commitment with the intention of marriage- no playing around.

So being raised that way, I had never dated, had a boyfriend, kissed a boy etc. I was emotionally pure, saving everything for my future husband. No regrets, no baggage to bring into a marriage. Besides the fact that I wasn't very interested in guys growing up and getting married was one of my biggest fears :) So I didn't think that I would meet my future husband that Summer of 2010 after my mom told me that God would bring the right person at the right time, but He did.. and I'm so glad He did!

Back to the story- Joey was coming over to declare his intentions..

On September 20th 2010, Joseph Farruggio told me that his intentions were to marry me. I made it very clear that I wouldn't be fooling around.. That my intentions were to marry him as well. So, on the day we started courting, we both had the understanding that marriage was in our future. I can't explain the feeling.. but I just knew that he was the one. He knew the moment he first saw me. Joey told me that we could take it slow.. maybe 3 or 4 years (well, that didn't happen). I said I was ok with that (what was I thinking?).

A few days later, with my parents permission, he took me on my first "date". I was so nervous and excited. I got all dressed up, did my hair and makeup and added some jewelry and perfume. This would be my first time out to dinner alone with a guy.. and not just any guy.. my future husband!

Me and my dad

My mom and I

Joey arrived, nicely dressed with flowers in hand, that "dreamy-eyed" look on his face. He took me to dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant. We had a wonderful time.

the "dreamy-eyed" look.

Our first "date"

my mom and Joey

getting the Italian treatment from my dad and Nick.

The following days and weeks were spent almost every night at my house. Staying up until midnight having deep, intellectual as well as casual talks with my mom. My dad couldn't make it 'til midnight- he was so tired ;) These days and weeks were also spent getting to know the families on both sides. 

I will end it here. The next part will be about our engagement ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our Love Story Pt 2

Here is part 2.. Continuing where I left of- the party…

This was no ordinary party. It was a Nacho party! We made nachos and watched Nacho Libre. Anyway, before the party started, I found myself getting a little nervous.. This was the first time Joey was coming over and my parents hadn't met him yet. He, along with another girl, were the last people to walk in the door (in fact, Joey has always walked right in. I don't believe he has ever knocked). As soon as he walked in, my mom knew that he was smitten. He could not take his eyes off of me! As we gathered to watch the movie, he glanced in my direction to see if there was room to sit by me, but there was none. It was almost an awkward pause to look in my direction before he found a seat on the opposite side of the room. The rest of the night was spent watching the movie, eating more nachos, eating gelato and just hanging around. He was the last to leave.. He acted as if he didn't want to leave. We talked about maybe making cannoli sometime (we both love all things Italian). As soon as he walked out the door my mom cornered me and said "He likes you. He couldn't take his eyes off of you all night. I think he is cute." She asked me what I thought, and truly, I didn't know what to think. I liked him, but I was the type to not let on.

Our next meeting would once again be on the frisbee field. I dropped my brother off to play. I had to run to the store to get some lettuce for dinner . My grandparents were coming over that night, so I wasn't going to play frisbee. I went and bought the lettuce, and out of overwhelming curiosity, I drove back to the frisbee field to see if Joey was there. He wasn't, but I got out of the car and watched the game for a bit anyway. I walked back to my car (secretly a little disappointed) and was just getting in, when Joey pulled up next to me and got out (he thought I was just getting there). We walked back to the frisbee field and discussed a day to make cannoli. We set up the date and I left, glad to have seen him.

CANNOLI DAY- My mom is a great cook. Since Joey was planning to come and make cannoli, she invited him for dinner as well (she wanted to scope him out some more). He came for his first dinner at our house and fell in love with the food as well as the rest of my family. He later told me that he just felt so comfortable around all of us that night. After dinner, we prepared the cannoli. Both of our minds were out of focus, and I ended up messing up the mixture. We tried it anyway, pouring the soupy filling into the shells. It was a mess, but we had fun.

After cannoli making, we gathered in the living room to play music. Joey on the guitar and me on the piano. We flipped through my Frank Sinatra music book and tried some of those, and then Joey tried to teach me a little bit of "Stairway to Heaven" :) He left late that night and was leaving the next day for a week in Georgia. My mom and I had some more talks that week. I told her I was interested, but wasn't sure if he was. She told me she could clearly see that he was :)

While he was away in Georgia, he would chat with me on Facebook. I was thinking "you are on vacation and you are talking to me on Facebook?". He was chatting with me on the very day he got home. My mom saw us chatting and just out of curiosity she said "ask him if he wants to come for dinner". I was like "he just got home!". She said to try it anyway, so I did and he jumped at the chance. I don't know that he even went to his house first- he came straight over and stayed for dinner and a long while afterwards. I do believe he has been here for dinner every night since. 

That weekend, my parents, Joey and I went out for coffee. We talked about our families, and just got to know each other a little better. That night, my mom was chatting until almost 2 in the morning with him! She interrogated him with every question she could think of and finally she straight out asked him "are you interested in my daughter?" He said "Yes I am". She then told him that he needed to let me know that and to state to me what his intentions were..  He said he would come over and tell me the next day.

I will end part 2 here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Our Love Story Pt 1

I've never written our love story down, so I thought that now would be a good time. I hope you enjoy reading it. This is from my perspective.

Spring 2010… It was family time and I was sitting in the living room with my mom, dad and two younger brothers. My mom was telling us that she couldn't wait for us to get married and have children someday. My 19 year old brother, Anthony, said that he wasn't looking around until he was 20 +. He would just see the girl across the room and he would know. My 17 year old brother, Nick, said he couldn't wait to get married and that for his honeymoon, he and his wife were going to ride a motorcycle around the country (he's always been the clown of the family). Then it was my turn.. I said that I never thought I was going to get married. I told my mom that no one out there was like me. Besides the fact that getting married was one of my biggest fears (mainly because I never wanted to grow up). I had prayed about a husband a couple of times.. Not as diligently as I should have. I even threw in a few detailed wishes in my prayers like "I hope he will be Italian and have blue eyes.." That, of course, was the least important part of the prayer. My mom told me that God would bring the right person at the right time.. Little did I know it would be that very Summer!

My brothers, Anthony and Nick

My awesome parents.

July/August 2010… Summer was in full swing and so was Ultimate Frisbee. There was a large gathering of kids who played at a local park every Summer. My first game of 2010 - I was on my brother, Nick's team and he and another kid collided right in front of me. He landed on the ground in pain, his knee cap was not where it should've been. Long story short, we had to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital. He dislocated his knee cap and was supposed to not play any sports for 6 weeks. Well, that didn't stop my brother. He wanted to play the very next week!  My mom, of course was not going to let him play, but she let him go and watch.. under my supervision :) I made sure that he stayed on the sidelines.. By week 2-3, he was back on the field playing. 

Nick in the hospital

Nick's knee..

During one of those frisbee games, I noticed a young man with bright, sparkling blue eyes. I didn't know who he was but from the talk on the field I had heard he was Italian. My brother knew him (he knew everyone there). It was just a glance and I didn't think anything of it. Little did I know that that very young man had fallen in love with me at first glance and was asking about me.  Then it happened. We were on the same team for one game. That night, we, along with the rest of the people who were on that team, were tagged in a facebook post. We began talking and found we had similar interests. He asked me if I wanted to "hang out". I didn't just "hang out" alone with a guy. I didn't know what to say. I ended up having a party at my house with a bunch of friends and decided that it would be a good idea to invite him to "hang out" in a group gathering..

I'll end it here and start off with the party in my next post.

Ultimate Frisbee

Joey- the guy with the blue eyes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

14 Weeks and 9 Months

I started my second trimester on Sunday! I am now 14 weeks pregnant and beginning to feel a little bit better.

I had my 2nd appointment and the dr. says everything looks great! I am hoping to find out the gender of the baby the week of my birthday (March 6th). I am enjoying these week by week pictures. I will put them in an album someday.

Today is my 9th month anniversary. I was married exactly 9 months ago! I can't believe how the time has flown. I am so in love with my husband :) He is a gift from God.

Monday, January 2, 2012

13 weeks

I transitioned to 13 weeks on New Year's Day! I decided to take my weekly picture after dinner this time. During the day, my stomach is relatively flat, but after dinner it pops out!

Happy New Year everyone!