Tuesday, December 31, 2013

welp, that was a doozey of a year

2013 was a beautiful balance between all the great stuff that makes this life so wonderful with all the terrible, no-good-stuff that comes with it.

whoooooooooooooooooosh...it knocks the wind out of me when i think about everything that happened.

and tears brim my eyes because i know there was absolutely, positively no way that i could have gone through any of it, had patricio not offered his arm and helped keep me steady, never wavering in his love and devotion to not only me, but my parents and my brothers.


you make me so grateful that marriage exists, patrick. 

farewell 2013. you came too fast, but i'm glad you're not sticking around. (that's what she said?) 

i have a lot to do in my last year of being a 20-something so 2014 take your sweet time rolling on through. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

merry christmas!

cheers to yet another beautiful christmas season.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

celebratory season

i've spent the last few days repeating myself over and over "how is christmas next week?!" but it is next week. exactly one week from today is christmas day and 2013 is coming to a close and it's just so crazy...this time of year plows through like a freight train. here for a second, and then gone. 

i digress. today is december 18th. since i was five, i've loved december 18th because it meant the lewis family officially kicked off their celebratory season. the three of us have our birthdays within three weeks of each other. december 18th kicked off three solid weeks of presents, and parties, and cake, and delicious food, and then more presents, more parties, more cake, and more delicious food. don't forget about christmas! and new years! and throw in the fact that we would travel across the country every other year to celebrate christmas in new mexico. wrapped presents and all! the amount of patience, and coordination, and work that went into making not only each christmas but each birthday SPECIAL....and it all literally happening at once...geez, my parents are amazing people. 

and then i met pat, and december 18th became even more special, because it's HIS birthday. and so now the lewis family has one more reason to celebrate december 18th-january 9th because we have not three, but four birthdays! 

happy birthday, daniel and patricio! 

daniel, you completed the five of us - the icing on the cake, as you like to call yourself. i am so so proud to be your big sister.

and pat you are where my new family begins. i am so very lucky that i get to do life with you.

so, here's to you both. 
you're loved and celebrated, not only on december 18th, but every darn day of the year.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

what he wore


patrick was not super involved in the planning of our wedding. and i mean that in the BEST possible way. he helped me whenever i asked, gave his opinion on things that mattered to him, but for the most part it was "you like it? and your parents are okay with it? okay it looks great to me." he was the ideal groom...but there was one thing he was very particular about and that's all things having to do with his attire.

he said from the very beginning that he would not be wearing a tuxedo. and that was just fine by me. if you went to our wedding you can kind of see how a tuxedo would have looked a tad bit out of place.


he chose a grey suit early on, which made my decision about the bridesmaid dresses even easier. he chose the "fitzgerald" suit from brooks brothers. they were amazingly helpful in placing orders to dozens of stores across the country so that our groomsmen's suits could be pieced together.


contrary to what my father says (he still turns beat red whenever we bring up the fact that last christmas he asked everyone "who wears bowties besides a clown?!" and pat solemnly said "i do.") bow ties are the bees knees! and patrick heckel is a man who can pull them off flawlessly.


navy was the obvious choice, and as an ode to his unwavering love for his wife....he went with polka dots. we bought all the ties from the tie bar  and gifted the groomsmen theirs.

much like his decision to not wear a tux, he was also dead set against a very feminine boutonniere. when we sat down with our florist for the first time and the subject of his boutonniere came up he immediately said "no, no, no, no" when we started to flip through a book of flowers. he wanted something simple. something masculine. with some green. and silver brunia was just what he was looking for.


last little deets..
shoes are cole haan via nordstrom. 
belt is from childhood (probs made it in boys scouts to be honest, he loves that thing and i fear the day the leather finally gives). 
and bless his heart, he wore his watch. i gave it to him as a birthday gift a few years ago, and when i saw it on his wrist at the altar i found something so sweet about it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

the loveliest lovely.

last week i was mortified when i went to parallel park and....well i had forgotten how to do it! 

in my frustration (and a tad bit of embarrassment) i thought to myself: "i used to be so good at this!" and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. 

i don't live in chicago anymore.
and i just got so very sad. 

the city that played host to so many firsts for us, will not be the city that we grow roots in. 
it won't be the birthplace of our babes.
it will be a place we always visit, but never stay. 

i know that we made the right choice moving to florida.
our priorities have shifted.
stuff that wasn't important to us when we were 22-28 years old is tremendously important to us now.
and there are a million and one things i don't miss about chicago.
but there are a million and one things that i do miss. 

i think this sums it up best: 

"Yet once you've come to be part of this particular patch , you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real."

Chicago: City on the Make, Nelson Algren

by the way, if you live in chicago, i KNOW you've either seen a couple get in a throw down screaming fight over parallel parking or you have been one half of said couple. very early on in our relationship, pat had the utter audacity to tell me that i wasn't "doing it right" and our perfectly lovely day went to hell in a hand basket in a matter of ten seconds as we both left the car screaming "YOU DO IT THEN!"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

for the nuggets.

pat has three nieces and a nephew that we a-d-o-r-e. 

pat's actually the godfather for 75% of that generation of heckels, which cracks me up because this is the same man who yells the most obscene things to any team playing the packers, but whatever. father of my children, love of my life, etc. etc. etc. 

 we are crazy about those little ones, but i'm not an idiot. i know how difficult (and expensive!) it can be to travel with little ones, especially for something like a wedding which for all purposes is something that only adults are interested in. and so i absolutely understood if our nieces and nephew would have stayed home and been taken care of by their other set of grandparents. we would have missed them dearly, but pat and i agreed...whatever was decided, we would understand. 

thankfully they did attend! and i got to put together special "kid favors" for them. 

i used the same kraft boxes that were used for the welcome boxes at the hotel

the kids had the same tulle ribbon that the adult favors were tied in, but i didn't take a picture of them! darn it. 

i printed activity books onto card stock. the template was very easy (i just had to download it) and super cute! it included a cake for them to "decorate" and a picture of a bride and groom to color in. 

i also ordered some goodies from my favorite store and yours, oriental trading company!

it was really easy, took almost no time at all, and added a whopping $30 to our wedding budget. 

money well spent i say. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

freak flag

much like the man repeller there are few things i love more than a good maniac. and not a light stuff on fire - danger to society - heath ledger as the joker kind of maniac (although, 1. my sorority sisters and i did light a fire at passdowns and 2. moment of silence for heath ledger) but someone who lets their freak flag fly. just lets it all out. someone who is on a 10 when everyone around them is on a 3 or 4. 

it can be kristin wiig doing her thang on snl

or it can be a preschooler, who just brings it. 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

the details.


when we got engaged, patricio and i sat down and came up with a list of things that were important to us. this was hands down the best advice we received during the entire process - thank you sara nutt! i blogged about it here.

while this planning process was a long ride - i am very proud to say that we held true to those five things.

but what wasn't on the list was my determination to have cohesiveness with all of the things. i have been to many many weddings, and the ones that i remember the best are the ones that paid attention to the details. i wanted every single thing that guests received or saw to not be a surprise, but more of a "oh yes, this looks like that other thing i saw over there..."

for us, it was our invitation set that led the way. that navy script, the gilded gold edge, they were so elegant and effortless i wanted all of the things that came after to feel the same way. the first step was easy: we decided to incorporate the exact same script into our table numbers, favor cards, wedding programs, and menus.

all of our "signage" was a labor of love. patricio and i spent a few saturdays looking for frames at thrift stores. we found a handful and pat was able to repaint the actual frame gold and use chalkboard paint on the glass. my dear, sweet, wonderful, and incredibly talented childhood best friend used her skills (and handwriting i've been envious of since the 6th grade) and wrote everything by hand. i can't thank her enough, it turned out beautifully.

and as someone who has taken great pride in being "aml" i wanted to incorporate the newest addition to my name. because after all, this is going to be on my gravestone!

photos (minus the favor card) are courtesy of our lovely, talented, and insanely patient photographer - mrs. katelyn james

Thursday, October 17, 2013

calling all brides! or lovers of milk glass!

we are selling some of our wedding stuff! 

here's what we can part with:

wooden boxes! and hobnail milk glass vases!

 wooden boxes are $6 a piece

photo c/o katelyn james

image c/o bhldn

large vase - $10
medium size vase - $6
votive size (comes in 2 different designs) - $3

glass milk bottles!

(not the doughnuts - sorry, those got eaten rather quickly)

$1 a piece

email me at lewisheckelwedding at gmail dot com
if you are interested in purchasing anything!
and we can figure out shipping costs later.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

rain is good luck on your wedding day.

october 12, 2013 will not be remembered for being a beautiful fall day.

but i'll always remember it as the perfect day. 

125 of the most special people in the world traveled through rain, and flight delays, and terrible traffic to get to us.
patrick heckel, in a navy polka-dot bow-tie, literally took my breath away.
and i cried tears of joy when i heard beyonce on the dance floor.

to quote one of my lovely cousins,
"it might be damp outside, but there is nothing but love in this room."

and won't we be so lucky if all our days are like that?
when stuff you can't control doesn't work in your favor.
whether it's in a parking lot and someone steals your space.
or it rains on your wedding day.
instead of being disappointed or upset, you make every effort to surround yourself with love.

because i can tell you what.
it's a hell of a lot more fun to be clutching the hand of your husband,
as you both scream "kris kross will make ya jump jump"
than it is to be upset about silly rain.

i'll try and recap the day in the next few weeks as we settle into newlywed life.

i'm still gushing over the pictures that katelyn james has posted.

but for now...

i'm the luckiest girl in the world. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

virginia or bust.

we're off to virginia tomorrow...
because you know, we get married next weekend! 

i just can't wait to squeeze and kiss 125 of my favorite faces.

one of those belonging to my husband. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

thirty five years.

happy 35th anniversary to the most wonderful couple i know.

nuggets in their natural habitat...eating ice cream.

thank you for never once glossing over the reality that a wonderful marriage, like most things in life, doesn't come easy.
for raising your three children with the hopes that they would be able to grow their roots independently, that they would see the world, and that they would never be fearful of the unknown.
and for giving me the best advice i have ever received.
"you have to forgive your spouse for their humanness" 

i love you mom & dad!

ross and daniel - if you are reading this, it's mom and dad's anniversary. call them.

Monday, September 30, 2013

a little adoption day celebration.

two years ago, pat and i drove to lincoln park in completely foul moods and returned home with our lovebug, polly.

and because i am up to my eyeballs in crafts and little projects, i figured we could use what we had to celebrate our second anniversary of being a family of three.

i made a puppy friendly cupcake, stolen from vega's momma
i used agave instead of honey and while i cannot speak for the frosting (peanut allergy - party of 1), the actual cupcake was pretty good. polly devoured it. 

the geronimo balloon was a practice wedding craft i wanted to try out before the big day.

i stole the idea from my beloved, bhldn but instead of paying $180, i spent about $7 total on the balloon and the helium. i had the ribbon on hand, and made the garland out of tissue paper. 

she is just too cute. 
we love that you are ours.

Friday, September 20, 2013

the importance of alone.

he's the best.
have a gorgeous weekend.

in case you live under a rock - everything's amazing and nobody is happy.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

project 2,996

for the fourth year in a row, i will spend this day thinking of mrs. diana snyder and her family.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Aloha, eh?

Here's a (not so fun) fact about me and my guy. We have never taken a vacation together. Now that isn't to say we haven't traveled. We have happily boarded planes to celebrate every single wedding/shower/bachelorette/baptism/etc we have attended either together or separately. But a stretch of days to ourselves? It hasn't happened in 54 long months. 

So we were over the moon excited about planning our honeymoon. We have both traveled pretty extensively all over the world but to be able to take a trip together?!? It was overwhelming. At first we wanted to go to Europe; specifically Italy. Then maybe Hawaii. We couldn't justify the price and the travel time so we started to look at the Caribbean. And before I knew it Costa Rica was our honeymoon destination. And before we hit the confirm button on our 7-day stay at the Four Seasons we looked at each other and asked "are we sure?" and Pat was the first to say "I don't want to sit on a beach for 7 days."

We live in the sunshine state and we aren't tan. We never go to the beach. We love the water but cities are what make our feet dance. We love the restaurants and the shows and city blocks. We love exploring the different pockets that cities have to offer. A concrete jungle over a white sand beach? Yes please. 

We said in unison that the Pacific Northwest was our destination of choice.
And so we are going to


And as luck has it, our beloved Blackhawks are playing the Canucks when we plan to be there. 
And John Legend will be in town.
And there are many, many restaurants I am already drooling over.

It will be rainy and it will be cold (45 degrees) but we fell in love in a tundra place....
Snuggled up. Down coats. Boots. Scarves. 

I think we'll be just fine on our very first vacation as mr. and mrs. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the booze

i've tried to cross my t's and dot my i's over the last year, and now that we are getting down to the nitty gritty i am stuck on a few things that MAYBE we should have figured out already.

like what beer to serve. 

we've got three beers down...but need help with a fourth. do we go with something that is an old favorite of ours (rolling rock for me, miller high life for him) or something generic like a bud light (we both hate it). or maybe something that is brewed here in the sunshine state and we've both taken a liking to. 

help us out! 

ps - yes beer is actually brewed in other places besides chicago, the 5% of me that is a hipster/beer loving snob was as surprised as the next gal. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

it's on.

364 days ago pat asked me a very important question.

and in exactly 61 days i get to say yes all over again.

"love one another, but make not a bond of love. let it be a moving sea between the shores of your souls."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

the sweetest spot.

chicago has a lot of sweet spots. 
but my absolute favorite is buckingham fountain. 

to one side you're face to face with the skyscrapers that make up the chicago skyline.
and you feel outrageously small.
taking up such a small bit of space in the midwest's largest city.
and to the other side you see lake michigan as it stretches all the way to indiana. 

and that's it. 
there's no slow break. 
it's like the city comes to an abrupt stop. 
and the fountain is it's last little hurrah. 

one very hot summer evening, when "anna and pat" was about 4 months young, we were wandering around downtown and like everyone who comes across buckingham fountain, we stopped dead in our tracks to stare in awe.
i remember saying, "i want engagement pictures here." 

and four years later, almost to the day, the universe made that little wish come true. 

so much has happened in those years. but maybe the most important thing, the thing i want to hold onto, the thing that i hope is always true, is the fact that with each passing day i like pat more and more. i love him from the ends of my curls to the tips of my toes. he's my partner for life. and while my heart will forever beat to his, we don't have a story that begins with, "we always knew..."

we have a story that started in like. and crawled towards love.

but oh, did i enjoy the time we took moving from like to love.

enjoy our photos!

pat asked me out on our very first date just steps away.

pat's favorite
the same necklace i wore the day we got engaged.

the last one of the evening. 

all photos are due to our lovely and talented photographer, katelyn james