Saturday, March 31, 2012

almost to the aisle.

Below are some snapshots from the few hours before our wedding.  I'm already excited to post pictures of our ceremony.  I recently (and by recently, I mean like an hour ago) finished a series I've been reading for years, and it culminates in the main character's wedding.  I found myself tearing up as the author wrote about the proposal, the shopping for the wedding dress, the rehearsal, and of course the wedding. It reminded me just how beautiful and unique that season of life is, and I can't wait to reminisce about our ceremony.

I didn't do bridal portraits, so I asked my photographer if we could find time before the ceremony to make sure we were able to get some good shots of me in my dress.  Here are a few favorites :)

The brick church building and this archway was the perfect back drop!

Seriously loved these shoes and how they looked in pictures!

I love his natural smile here!

Sassy bridal party!

SO thankful for who these women have been in my life- on my wedding day and every day before and since!

Good-looking groomsmen and hubby!

From right to left- Seth, one of Cori's closest friends at VT, Adam, his best friend since childhood- also his best man!, Casey, his brother, and obvi- Cori himself

Other moments to remember from before the ceremony: reading the letters Cori and I had written for each other. Having girlfriends come in to freak out with me for a few minutes before the wedding actually began.  Being calm the whole day and then getting really nervous right before walking down the aisle- not about marriage, but about being in front of so many people.  I had to laugh, because I was nervous and I LOVE being the center of attention.  My thought was- how do shy people have wedding ceremonies?!  My bridesmaids and Dad were great with me though, and I'll always remember how Laura tried to calm me down.  I had shared that a few months before the wedding I had written myself a letter reminding myself about how much I love Cori.  That might seem crazy to some to have to do, but I have some anxiety issues and a friend suggested I have a plan in case I started to freak out.  Anyway, as we're walking toward the sanctuary, moments before I walk down the aisle, Laura starts writing me a letter out loud.  "Dear Rebecca, this is going to be amazing..."  My dad also has a special memory of soothing me in those moments.  (And for the record, the moment I saw Cori, all nervousness melted away and you couldn't wipe the ridiculous grin off my face.)

Friday, March 30, 2012

the moments before

Humor me here.  I know you might not be interested in seeing pictures of me putting on a dress, but that's what you're getting today!

Ashland First Baptist Church, where we got married

My wedding shoes and bouquet!  Even though you couldn't see my shoes under my dress, they made for fun pictures.

the sanctuary and my dress

Okay, I LOVE this picture because I feel like everything about it is so the man I fell in love with.  Cori, being a boy- meaning he didn't have to get his hair and make-up done- had some extra time before our ceremony.  So no big deal, here he is, just a couple hours before he walks down the aisle, playing the piano in cargo shorts and a white undershirt.

Sweet Laura- roommate, bridesmaid... and a HUGE help!  Laura is a photographer so she knows what to expect with weddings- she even had her own little emergency preparation kit.  She also did my make-up, a job she didn't know she'd be doing but did wonderfully!

mother of the bride :)


This is one of my favorite little details!  My friend Jenny had her initials-to-be stitched into her wedding dress as her something blue.  I LOVED the idea and a sweet friend from church embroidered this for us.
Next up- a few pre-wedding pictures of me in my dress, Cori with his groomsmen and me with my bridesmaids!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Slowly but surely, I'm making my way through reminiscing about that wonderful day (exactly) 9 months ago...

Our wedding wasn't until 5, and I was super thankful to not have to get up ridiculously early to start getting ready.  I purposely set my alarm a little bit earlier than I needed so that I could get up and have a few quiet moments with Jesus before the craziness of the day began.  I'll be honest, this is the sort of thing that I often plan to do but don't follow through on, and I will always be thankful that I actually did that morning.  We- meaning me, my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, and two of my bridesmaids, were at my parents house, so I crept out to the back porch with my journal for 30 minutes.  It was a very sweet time of recognizing that what I was about to do was a picture of what I will again someday- as part of the body of Christ, I will unite with Jesus in heaven forever.  I reflected on my engagement and how I'd be a mess and Cori- my sweet, steady, Cori- would be patient and love me anyway.  It struck me that this time on Earth is like my engagement to the Lord, and He is patient and forgiving, just as my earthly fiancee had modeled over the last 6 months.  

After time with the Lord, I crawled in bed with still-sleeping Katherine and Laura, for a few girly, giggly moments of, "I'm getting married!!"  Then, it was off to my mom's salon where we were getting our hair done.

bride and maid of honor- pretty curls!

Kimmy!  Kim is one of my very best friends (we lived together for almost 5 years!) and got into Virginia on Saturday morning after taking a red-eye from  L.A. where she interned for the summer.  I was SO happy to finally have her there!

So yeah... I definitely ate Chick-Fil-A on my wedding day.  I'm kind of obsessed with it, and since we needed to eat SOMETHING before the ceremony, I requested a party platter.  :)  Katherine's sweet mom picked it up for us.  Katherine and I in particular love Chick-Fil-A party platters, going back to our graduation party. 

me and my bridesmaids :)
After that, it was off to the church to get ready.  It's getting late and I need some down-time before another busy work week kicks off, so I'll have to post those pictures later.  The good news is, from here on out, all pictures I post will be those taken by our wonderful photographer, Rebekah Hoyt. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

9 months ago...

Last night as Cori and I enjoyed a yummy dinner at the Front Porch, I randomly commented about how much I loved our rehearsal dinner.  Back in July, I blogged about the weeks before our weddingthe precious time I got with girlfriends before our wedding, and our rehearsal, but never got around to blogging about the rehearsal dinner- or the wedding, for that matter.  Oops!

Anyway, I figured since tomorrow is our 9 month anniversary, now is the perfect time to catch up a bit.  Even if no one reads this, I'll have it recorded for me. :)

Cori's parents, Bruce and Tara, hosted our rehearsal dinner at Mimi's.  It was the perfect space- a big room with a rustic look, decorated by Tara with pictures of Cori and I from our childhoods.  Considering our actual wedding had 150 guests, our rehearsal dinner was fairly large with 50 people.  Bruce and Tara were so kind to accommodate all the people we wanted to include and we were able to invite family, everyone that was involved in our wedding, out of town guests, Cori's closest Tech friends, and some very kind friends who had cared for us well in this season, like my maid of honor's parents and our friend Katie's parents who were hosting pretty much all of our NOLA friends at our house.  It was beautiful- this room was packed full of people who loved us and invested so much in our lives and our wedding.

By far, my favorite part of the evening was the toasts.  We had set up that only our maid of honor and best man would toast us at the actual wedding, but wanted to open up the floor at our rehearsal dinner for anyone who had something to share.  I should have blogged this months ago when I remembered better, but here are some highlights:

*Bruce, of course, as the host, welcomed everyone.  He and Tara have always been so welcoming to me joining the family and I love when he tells me that he didn't gain a daughter-in-law, he gained a daughter.

*My sweet friend Lisa- who was once my youth group leader and has known me since I was an awkward, insecure teenager- shared how much she'd loved seeing me turn into an adult.

*One of my roommates (and bridesmaids!) Laura, shared with Cori tips on living with me.  One of them was that I'd want to borrow his shoes... unfortunately for me, Cori and I don't have the same shoe size like Laura and I. ;)

*My brother talked about the time Cori and I were in Virginia and he was summoned home to meet 'the boyfriend.'  He also said how proud he was of me.

*My friends Jenny and Lori- who have known me pretty much forever- shared their excitement and Lori read part of an email I sent the girls back when Cori and I had only been dating for 3 months.  I definitely referenced visions of me walking down the aisle and said, "I think this kid wants to marry me."  Haha, that made for a funny conversation afterwards because I don't think Cori had realized quite how quickly I fell for him.

There were more that I just can't remember- for instance, I know our friend Katie gave a hilarious toast, but I can't for the life of me remember it.  If I had known how precious this time was going to be, I would have asked someone to record it.  Regardless of what I remember, I will always treasure those moments in my heart.

Now, to leave you with some pictures....

my sweet father-in-law

Amy, Laura, Katherine, and Caitlyn- some of my sweetest girlfriends! 

one last night as my fiancee :)

my parents, my brother Matt, and his girlfriend Tori

Clarke, Jenny, and Lori.  Crazy to realize that for our group of girlfriends, our last rehearsal dinner (and wedding) together was 2 years prior for Clarke and Jenny!

Hopefully I'll keep updating and share some of my favorite memories and pictures from our actual wedding day. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

brought to you by the letter B.

As I've reflected on my weekend, I realized something: all the highlights started with the letter B.  The early childhood education teacher in me kind of really loves that.

Cori and I have gotten such joy out of my new bike.  [He's had one for years and I've just never been able to accompany him.]  On Friday after work, we biked around our neighborhood, enjoying the cool of the evening and soaking up the uniqueness of where we live.  I don't know if I've said it before, but I absolutely love the part of Tampa we live in.  In a lot of ways, it reminds me of New Orleans with its atypical architecture and 'small town in the midst of a big town' feel.  We rode by houses, the river, and Hillsborough High School, which is this massively beautiful brick structure.  I prayed about the future and for once let myself get excited instead of just scared about the possibilities in front of us.  Saturday morning we were off again, this time in search of a farmer's market (no luck there- maybe it's just one Saturday a month?) and checking out a couple cute little stores.

Breakfast for Dinner
I was so excited to make this recipe for Applesauce Pancakes... and it was an utter fail.  No idea what went wrong, but they tasted like baking soda, through and through.  Thankfully I made eggs, hash browns, and bacon as sides while Cori took charge of the pancakes, so dinner wasn't a complete fail.

Cori and I were both exhausted after a long week.  Cori was out of town from Sunday to Wednesday, and I'll be honest- I didn't sleep well with him gone.  I'm a self-admitted scaredy-cat and I slept with the lights on, not fully relaxed, anxious that someone was going to break in.  Then on Thursday night I had some drama with my car getting towed [that's a story for another day!], so by Friday, Cori and I were ready to crash.  We were asleep before 11 and slept until almost 10, and it was BEAUTIFUL!

I'm obsessed with the beach.  There, I said it.  I LOVE living close to the beach and was so thankful for the opportunity to go and spend an hour and a half  just relaxing.  And... it doesn't hurt that I got a little overzealous in buying bikinis for our honeymoon and am loving every opportunity to wear them again!

Burger 21
Cori and I had heard about how yummy Burger 21 was, so we decided to check it out.  The consensus?  Definitely yummy- especially my chocolate peanut butter milkshake!- but our lives weren't changed.  Cori's thought was that 5 Guys is still his favorite burger joint.  Don't get me wrong- we'd go there again, we just didn't leave gushing like we did when we went to Ella's.  

Slow down, now.  No Pflugradt babies are coming any time soon.  But we did have the joy of working with the babies in the nursery at church.  I loved watching Cori play with the little ones- he even changed his very first diaper!  It was a poopy one, too, so he definitely got fully initiated.  One thing I love about the nursery at our church is that they make a point to have a Bible story and prayer time with all the age groups, even the littlest ones.  Cori and I prayed for each child, asking Jesus to bless their parents as they raised them and to one day bring each baby into a relationship with Him.  Beautiful!

Other than that, our weekend was full of reading [books! another b!], grocery shopping and randoms around the house.  Cori has become a mini-electrician this weekend and even now is in the attic, trying to rewire our fans and light switches.


Monday, March 12, 2012

beach love.

March has arrived, and with it, the impending promise that winter is gone for good and spring and summer are just around the corner.  Cori and I spent our first few months here trying to adjust to the transitions and soak up marriage and only made it to the beach once, but I promised myself that once it got warm again (not that it ever got too cold this winter!) I would be at the beach every chance I got.

Well, yesterday I found myself with a free afternoon and decided to take advantage of it.  Since it was just me, I didn't want to go far, so I found a little beach less than 10 minutes from where I was running errands- probably 20 minutes from my house.  It was small and a bit crowded, but this Virginia girl was just amazed that the BEACH could be so close.  I spent 2 hours there, reading, journaling, and listening to music.  The perfect Sunday afternoon!

Oh beach, I love you so!

Not my best self-portrait, but you get the picture :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

happy randoms.

1. Made some yummy meals in the past week: my dear friend Lori's chicken pot pie, spaghetti carbonara being our 2 faves.

2. Been enjoying these verses- Philippians 1:21 and Hebrews 11:1- and have been trying to use to help me better understand them.  My church is big into going back to the original Greek to get a more accurate grasp of what they means, and this website definitely helps with that!

3.  Got Girl Scout cookies today!  Wahooo!  Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Samoas, and Savannah Smiles.  Yum.

4. Yesterday, Cori and I went to a birthday party for our 7 year old neighbor.  The theme was zombies, and the highlight was that Nick, the dad, cut and connected PVC pipe into guns so that the kids (and the adults... I'd be lying if I didn't say that Cori got pretty into it) could shoot each other with marshmellows.  The good news is, if a zombie apocalypse ever comes, we know how to defend ourselves. ;)

5. Watched the Switch with Cori last night.  We rented it while we were dating, and when I saw it at the library this week, I knew I had to grab it.  Seriously, I love love love LOVE this movie!

6. Taxes are complete!  My sweet husband went to H.R. Block to do them since this was such a confusing year for us- filing jointly, but for the first half of the year we were single; I've had 2 different jobs, Cori has student loans... blech.  But it's over, and next year shouldn't be nearly so complicated.

7. Definitely enjoying my new bike.  Yesterday Cori and I played a game where he had to find me as I rode around our neighborhood.  Things we learned?  First, we're waaaay cool to play such an awesome game.  Second, we had a blast so I don't really care that we're dorks. :)  Third, I hope I'm never stalked in real life- there was just a hit of eery, riding around, trying not to be found.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


After our busy weekend celebrating Cori's birthday, and a long week at school, I was beyond ready for Friday to be here.  There are weeks that are chill and while the weekend is always a welcome visitor, it isn't necessary.  And then there are weeks where you are just so stinkin' grateful that the weekend came and wonder why it didn't a few days earlier.

We had a pretty wonderful weekend.  One of my college roommates, Rachel Bishop, tagged along with her husband for a medical conference in St. Pete, right outside Tampa.  I hadn't seen Rachel since my wedding and hadn't seen Steven since a crazy trip to Charlottesville the BFF and I made during my 'hurrication' about 4 years ago... but that's another story.  Somehow we didn't get any pictures, but we had a great time together.  Steven and Cori, both science-minded, got along well, and Rachel and I were thrilled to catch up with each other.  The 4 of us went to dinner on Friday, then Saturday, while Steven was getting all doctor-educated, went and hung out with Rachel.  We grabbed lunch with Steven during his break and then walked around the bay, soaking up the sun (GORGEOUS weekend here!) and tried not to get blown away.

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing at home with Cori: naps, reading, the Wii, church, grocery shopping, catching up on the Office and 30 Rock... it was lovely.

I'll leave you with a picture of my two favorites doing what they do best- namely, being adorable.

It was so cute how Willow just snuggled up on Cori's chest as he was playing Zelda.  Love it! :)