she’s leaving home, bye bye

Yes, I’m leaving Chicago, my home for the past 7 years. In fact, I’m leaving Illinois, my home for twenty-some years. We are packing up and moving to Austin. As in Texas. As in a completely different state. In the south. Where they speak with southern accents and have warm winters. I will miss Chicago and my friends, family, and coworkers here. But, I can honestly say I won’t miss Chicago winters.

What prompted our move was that Drew accepted a job transfer with his company, KPMG. We discussed it and it sounded like a great opportunity and an exciting adventure to pick up and move. That meant I was on the job hunt.

I’m leaving my beloved Discover after 7 years. I’ll miss the work and the people and the culture of Discover. I really enjoyed what I did there. I still remember that fateful day in college when I took a quick walk through the job fair and saw that Discover was hiring web developer interns. I had already found an internship in Seattle, but I thought I’d take one last look. So glad I did – I was invited to headquarters for interviews, was offered the internship, and went on to have the best summer ever. It didn’t even feel like work.

I hoped that I could find another job that I liked as much. Leaving is harder than I imagined, but I’m taking with me a lot of memories, some awesome ninja web skills, and lots of friendships. You never know when you’ll run into people again. Since I’ll be living in a tech hub, I’m bound to run into someone at a conference or festival.

I’m leaving behind a lot of family and friends, but that just means I have plenty of reasons to come back to Chi-town to visit. And now they all have somewhere to visit during those harsh winters!

Drew’s been in Austin since early March and already started his new job. He moved into our apartment with just an air mattress and a few other things. I told him he couldn’t do anything fun until I got there. So I’m left to pack up the condo, which I’ve spent the last few weeks doing. The moving company comes in on Saturday, then I’m outta here. It’s a 2-day drive down and luckily I have family conveniently located halfway down in Memphis, so I can crash at my uncle’s house. Then I’ll be hightailing it to Austin to finally see my hubby after a month!

After I settle in, I’ll start my new job at Dell and start becoming a Texan. Which should be easy because I’ve seen a lot of Friday Night Lights episodes. I’ll let you know if I run into Sandra Bullock or Lance Armstrong. I suppose I need to get me some cowboy boots?

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “She’s Leaving Home” by The Beatles

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you’re just a product of loveliness

As my sister’s Matron of Honor, I had the wonderful privilege of planning her bridal shower. Luckily, I could assume I would be her Matron of Honor before she even asked because the minute I found out that BK popped the big question, I immediately started plans for the shower. I just couldn’t help myself.

The idea for a theme came to me instantly and it was perfect. When you have a perfect theme in mind, it’s hard not to get too themey, so hopefully I didn’t go overboard.

The shower was in Brooklyn, where ALL of their wedding planning has been based. Her bridesmaid Jess graciously hosted us at her home and it was the perfect setting. I think all the girls enjoyed themselves, and I know Lisa did. But I don’t know if they had as much fun attending as I had planning the whole thing!

My planning all started with the theme: Pride and Prejudice

This theme was perfect in multiple ways. The book is Lisa’s favorite and is published by Penguin – her employer since she’s lived in New York. Lisa’s always loved books and works with them everyday, so why not have a book theme? PLUS Jane Austen is classic feminine, romantic literature, and you gotta have LOVE center stage when it comes to weddings. Pride and Prejudice is beautiful, yet smart—just like my sister.

First, I started with designing and mailing the invitations.

Lisa's Bridal Shower

I also had a little fun in Photoshop turning a picture of Lisa into a Jane Austen book cover. It provided for a few good laughs at the shower.

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Here are some of the details of the decor and gifts. (Etsy was very helpful in this department.)

The letterpress card I gave Lisa (from Pearl & Marmalade):

Lisa's Bridal Shower

A Christmas ornament to adorn her gift (from Brookish Handmade Goods):

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Another card that all the girls signed as a guestbook (A Jane Austen quote AND bunting!) from A Darling Day:

Lisa's Bridal Shower

And as part of the centerpiece, a framed print of a Pride and Prejudice quote (also from Brookish):

Lisa's Bridal Shower

I printed a bunch of pictures of Lisa and BK, mixed in some pictures from the movie and some quotes from the book, and strung them on a clothesline across Jess’s fireplace and above her sofa.

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

My mom took care of the food and put together a lovely spread of roasted shrimp, bruschetta, arugula salad, fruit salad, and two types of quiches.

Lisa's Bridal Shower

The gorgeous coconut cake was courtesy of Katie, one of Lisa’s bridesmaids and long-time friend.

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

After mingling and eating, it was time for a game! I put together a little quiz about Lisa with some movie quotes mixed in for fun. The movie quotes ended up being a bit harder than I thought!

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Katie was the winner of the prize – a copy of Pride and Prejudice, a mug bearing a P&P quote (from Caffe Tempo), and some English tea.

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Then it was time for some gifts!

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

As Lisa opened each gift, her friend would ask her a question that BK had to answer and she had to guess what BK’s answer was. Some were quite funny.

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Part of my gift to Lisa was a personalized copy of Pride and Prejudice. Penguin.com lets you upload a picture and customize a note to be added inside the front cover of some of their classic books.

Lisa's Bridal Shower

We ended the day with Katie’s coconut cake and a group shot.

Lisa's Bridal Shower

Lisa's Bridal Shower

I had so much fun putting everything together and spending the day with Lisa and her friends. It was a quick trip to New York, but I’ll be back again in a few weeks for Lisa’s bachelorette party, and then a few weeks after that for the wedding! It’s coming fast!

See the rest of my pictures from the shower on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson