Friday, October 4, 2013

7QT - Recap of the EPIC summer of 2013 part 1

 I present to you part 1 of a series of blog posts about what we did this summer! 
And it truly was an unforgettable summer for us! 
Wedding planning, bridal shower, our banquet hall burning down, marriage prep, 
getting married, and honeymooning. 
Next week I will post part 2 of our EPIC summer 2013 recap!

Thanks to Jen at for hosting!

#1 Wedding Planning, Wedding Planning, Wedding Planning 

I'm proud to say that I planned this whole, huge, polish wedding almost all by myself, with very little help from anyone but my husband! And I liked it that way - I wanted to indulge in the planning as much as I could because, as they say, you only get to do it ONCE and you're done. I had a very nice wedding planning experience...although most of it coincided with endless exams and projects and pharmacy school...but as soon as I ended school in may, I went into full wedding planning mode. I was also working my full-time pharmacy summer internship so my days consisted of working, wedding planning, and collapsing into my bed at night. And even though I had a master "Wedding Planning Checklist" (see pic below), all summer long, I kept repeating to myself: "Why is it that every time I cross one thing off this list I seem to add 4-5 more?" There are so many little and big things we missed on our planning list that came up later...but everything ended up being taken care of and the wedding day went perfectly smooth (and we got LOTS of complements on everything!). I am also proud to say that my husband was very much involved in the planning process this summer! I was very pleased that this wedding planning was actually bringing us closer together. Greg helped me out every chance he had and we took care of as many things together as we could. There were some things that we had to "divide and conquer" as well, but we both took care of our own mini to-do lists as well. Overall, I had a very positive experience planning this wedding and I already miss the wedding day! 2 years of planning and this ONE DAY flew by so quickly we could not believe it was over when as collapsed onto our bed that night! Since we were always in the middle of attention, being pulled to the left and right by guests, photographers, videographers...we barely had time to notice how all the details played we can't wait to get our wedding video and watch it together and actually see how it all went / looked from an outside perspective. I'll probably watch the video a 100 times when we get it - I still can't get over the fact that I'm married to my soul mate. Every time I realize it, I have an "O My God" moment and I smile to myself like an idiot haha :-)

My lovely wedding planning station. 
Right above, on the whiteboard, is my official wedding planning checklist.
Shower Favors: Shower gel with label: "from my shower to yours!" 
Purple shower sponge to go with it.
On the right side are the gifts for my bridemaids/groomsmen.    

This is after my trial make-up session for the wedding.
 Our Invitations. I got them fairly cheap at I didn't see a point in spending $2-3 per invitation when I could have a nice one for half that. (I had 40% coupons too)

This was unplanned!!!!Picture of the banquet hall we had booked 2 years in advance...just 3 months before the wedding. Completely destroyed. No big deal, just had to plan out the reception all over again in 3 months haha. Ahhh, at least we made some memories!

#2 Marriage Prep & Learning NFP

We took our pre-cana classes at St. Daniel the Prophet church in Chicago. We got married in our home parish in the suburbs but our parish does not have a pre-cana program in place so they referred us to St. Dan's. We had a wonderful experience with our pre-cana instructor Olga as well as Fr. Slavek. We read articles, we played games, we discussed what's important to each of us, and we were introduced to Natural Family Planning. I'm glad that NFP was emphasized and not just kind of brushed off. I did let the instructor know that I was self-studying NFP since we weren't able to take any classes together do to our opposing schedules and she seemed pleasantly surprised that I'm so well informed about it and that I'm doing it just out of my own will. She has told us about her experiences (she's a professional marriage counselor as well) of some of the couples she has met, and so often, people just laugh in her face when natural contraception is mentioned. Couples think they know better and that the Catholic Church needs to either get with the times or stay out of the bedroom. So sad. We had our first pre-cana class right after I successfully introduced NFP to my then-fiance, so it was perfect timing! He had the chance to not only hear it from me but from other people as well. I explained to him our church teaching, all of the benefits of NFP, and all of the problems with artificial contraception. And I think the Holy Spirit was working in both of us (enlightening me with wisdom and courage to speak, and Greg with understanding) at that time, because the much dreaded conversation went very smoothly and my husband believed everything I told him about NFP and was very accepting of using it. Thank the Lord oh my soul for this miracle!!! Now that I think about it, this was a  summer of miracles for me! So many answered prayers, it just wows me every time I reflect on it.

I read the following books thus far about Catholic teaching on love, marriage, and NFP. I didn't read them all over this summer, some of them are pretty intense. Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) was especially packed with complex but beautiful theology and truth.
I read them in this order:
For NFP, I used

From Dr. Greg Popcak's book Holy Sex mentioned above.

Again, from Dr. Popcak's book Holy Sex

#3 Engagement photo shoot downtown Chicago

 Props to our photographer:
And to beautiful sunny / windy weather in the beautiful windy city.

#4 Got showered with our bridal shower!!!

Had some fun against my then hubby-to-be in a "cooking competition." 
It was designed on purpose so that I would lose and he would win...
which is supposed to mean that he's a better cook and thus will cook 
for me all my life. I'll take that haha!

#5 We planted something (tomatoes) together for the first time!


 #6 Lots of cookouts:

Homemade delicious steaks, juicy burgers, and garden salads!!!

#7 We went fishing together on a Friday night, but all we got was a new friend. This frog just wouldn't leave me! :-)

I think the poor thing was scared of the 4th of July fireworks shooting everywhere. It stayed by me the whole evening. Or maybe it just felt sorry that we couldn't catch any fish!

Have a Blessed Weekend!
Mrs. Agnes

P.S. Part 2 will be up in next week's quick takes! 
P.S.S More wedding pictures coming up. Meanwhile, see this post for the ones we already have!


  1. My husband an I read Christopher West's "Good News About Sex and Marriage" when we were preparing to be married. We found that book to be extremely helpful and inspiring.

  2. I agree Judy...all of Christopher Wests books I have ready were super inspiring and eye-opening to the truth!