10. Days.

This may quite possibly be my last blog as Kari Neal. Who Knows! I might get a free second next week and decide to blog one more time before I run down the aisle. Yes. I said run.

I have weddingitis. If you were ever a senior in college or high school, you may be able to relate to what I'm feeling right now. It is quite similar to senioritis. I feel like I put so much work and preparation into the first five months of wedding planning. Now that I'm at the end, I'm just throwing stuff in there to make it look good. It reminds me of a few papers or presentations I worked on my senior year of college. At the beginning of the semester, the professor would plant the seeds in our minds for us to begin thinking about our final papers. I would research, prepare, and organize up until the very last few weeks. I eventually reached a point where I felt like I had poured everything into my paper and it was time to just throw in some "fluff". Graduation was in sight. I was tired of preparing and organizing. I was just ready to turn in my paper and graduate. I. was. D-O-N-E. I am throwing in wedding "fluff" at this point. I'm tired or preparing and organizing. I'm tired of having to do lists. I'm just ready to walk down the aisle and be married. I'm officially OVER wedding planning.

Oh. Another Thing....

If you have the pleasure of following me on Twitter, you may know I made a huge, drastic decision a few weeks ago. We (Trey and I) decided it would be best for me to resign from my job. In hindsight, I have horrible timing. In my flowers, rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns view of the world, I never imagined I would get the reaction (or lack thereof) I did. Needless to say, I originally planned for June 8 to be my last day. My employer clearly had another plan. So..... Next Wednesday, as I'm losing my mind two days before my wedding, I will also be fighting back tears as I pack up my office of almost four years. This is good. I just need to get over the shock of it happening quicker than I had originally planned.

So here goes nothin'. In a week I will be ironing my Nationwide Insurance shirt for the last time as I try to mark last minute items off of my wedding to do list.  That Jamaican vacation sounds better and better every single day!


Wedding To Do List: Done and Done....

We have 83 days and 4 hours until the BIG DAY....

Thanks to our hectic schedules, we have become the couple who fall off the face of the Earth on random weekends just so we can get things done. Shew. Yesterday began bright and early with a breakfast from Hardee's drive thru, a quick trip to Trey's work, and an hour drive to McMinnville. We finished the day with our engagement session at Arrington Vineyards, picking up shirts and ties from Men's Warehouse, and dinner at Bonefish.  This morning I woke up to go to Trey's so I could send him off on yet another work trip.  Oh and did I mention all 175 of our wedding invitations arrived yesterday? *sigh*... I almost feel like we are on the home stretch now.

We ventured to McMinnville yesterday morning to register at this amazing store-- Southern Traditions. I fell in love as soon as I walked through the door and saw the Vera Bradley display. Since Vera Bradley gifts aren't part of a bridal registry, I had to put off my Vera browsing until after we were finished though.

Words cannot even begin to express how awesome this store is. I wanted 1 of everything!  We managed to finally decide on some beautiful china, flatware, silver, and a few random fun serving pieces for the football parties we plan to have this year. It was so fun! I love how Trey has pretty much the same taste I do. We would be looking at some pieces, and he would say, "I like this one" or "I don't like that one". Luckily, the ones he liked were also the ones I liked. Registering for china was much easier than I had anticipated it would be since he DID offer input!

I was so nervous. I was so so so nervous. I had never done anything like this before. I was unsure of what to expect. I couldn't decide what to wear. My blow dryer overheated halfway through me blow drying my hair. I couldn't get my hair to curl the way I had wanted it to. My bangs were in my face. I couldn't get my makeup to cover up how badly my face has broken out this week.  It just seemed like I was doomed from the get-go.

Of course our engagement session HAD to take place at Arrington Vineyards. As soon as Stacy started snapping photos.... I was no longer nervous. It just seemed so natural. Trey was so calm and kept making me laugh. THIS WAS FUN!!!! Stacy is so creative and has such a good eye! She had a way of making us feel comfortable. I've never done well with the posed photos. I never knew what to do! Stacy didn't pose us thank goodness. We just acted the way we normally do and she snapped photos! It was great.

Trey also had a few tricks up his sleeve...
Our second location was on the side of the road near some train tracks.  Just as we finished taking some pics in front of this beautiful fence, the train came by. Stacy sent us out to take some pics in front of the train. We were literally in the middle of the road! Trey picked me up and swung me around. I think he tried to warn me before he picked me up, but I didn't hear him due to the sound of the train! I cannot wait to see how those pictures turned out!

In previous blogs, I have mentioned I am not scared one bit about getting married again. Even though we have only known each other for just over a year, and some may feel we are rushing this... when it is right, it is right! I know he will sit on the front porch with me in our rocking chairs when we are 95. I know he will take care of me when I'm sick. I know he will not go out and buy living room furniture without talking to me about it first. I know he will love me when I'm grey and wrinkly. I know no matter what, he will be with me until God calls one of us home. I KNOW with every ounce of my being that he will be beside me for the rest of my life. I know he is my best friend and I am his. So even though this may seem "thrown together" or "rushed", I feel like we have a better grip on what is going on than some people who may have dated 3+ years and were engaged for a year or more.  We have both been through what may resemble hell in previous relationships, so we know what is important and what is not. We both know what we have is what we each have waited on and prayed for our entire lives.

Yesterday, Stacy gave us a gift. She gave us an amazing book about the first year of marriage and how important that first year is. I have read books on marriage before, but this book brought tears to my eyes after reading just the first two chapters. I have no doubt in my mind the first year will be a huge adjustment for us. I know it will be hard at times. I know it isn't going to always be rainbows, sunshine, bouquets of roses, and happy days. It will be hard. However hard it may be, I know we can handle it... TOGETHER. This is no longer just about me. We are a team now. As cheesy as it may sound, it is true. In all honesty though, it really isn't just all about Kari & Trey. God put us together. Through Him we finally made it to this point in our lives and through Him we will live our lives, raise our little Bell babies, and live happily ever after. A good marriage is based on Him. Loving my husband is me loving God. Respecting my husband is me obeying God's commands.

After May 26th, we will be husband and wife. The wedding planning will be over, but the marriage planning has just begun. . .


Kari Bell. It has a nice ring to it....

Mission: Snatch Trey's Last Name.

Rachel Lowe said she is surprised I haven't blogged about my wedding planning, so here ya go! I'm blogging about wedding planning. If anyone has trouble sleeping at night, they can read my wedding planning blog and slip into dreamland in no time!

My wedding planning adventure is in full swing. We have a venue, a photographer, a bridal party, MY DRESS, a honeymoon destination, a plan, and 131 days. A month ago I was basking in the amazing thought of being Mrs. Trey Bell. I still am today, but the feeling is multiplied times 10. In 131 days the double doors of Fairlane will open. I will walk down the aisle to a man who is just as excited to marry me as I am to marry him. Tears will be shed. Big smiles will be present. I will finally know what it feels like to be loved by a husband.

Someone asked me today if I'm scared. Since I have been married before, and clearly that didn't go well at all... I guess the thought of getting married again should be a little scary. Honestly, there is not a single ounce of doubt or fear in me. I'm not scared because I know this is where God wants me to be. I know this is where I am meant to be.  For so many years I wondered what it felt like to be loved by someone as much I felt I loved them. Don't get me wrong, the love from Gavin is an amazing feeling, but everyone deserves to be loved by a partner in life. Everyone deserves to feel like they are good enough. So as far as being scared, I'm not. This is what I've always wanted. I have found my partner in life. I have found the man who has enough patience to deal with me on my bad days. He has a heart big enough to love me and Gavin. He appreciates the small things I do. He never lets a day go by without reminding me how much he loves me. He cares about me. He makes me laugh and lets me cry on his shoulder when I'm upset. He looks at our marriage as a "team effort". He understands I am not perfect. He is my best friend. As cheesy as it may sound... he is.  I feel complete.

Trey and I are blessed to have been part of a 14 week Love and Respect study at church before we got engaged. We were the only not engaged, unmarried couple in the class.  The class was amazing. Not only did we learn from the weekly videos, but we also learned from the couples in the class who have been married 20 - 30+ years. We learned how to talk through things without coming across as defensive. I learned that even though sitting in the machine shop might not sound like a ton of fun, it is time spent with Trey & that makes sitting in the machine shop worth every single second. I learned to be thankful. I learned that loving Trey is me loving God. We are commanded to love and respect our spouses. I learned that men and women are different when it comes to conflict resolution.


Let's be honest. 98% of women out there want to know about the dress. I found THE. DRESS this past weekend at an undisclosed store. After trying on 5 or 6 dresses... I stood in front of my mom, my aunt, my Granny Doris, Caity, and Rachel in a what was one of my favorite dresses, but I wasn't sure if it was THE. DRESS. Someone said, "Trey will cry"... Then, they put a veil on me. I had to bite my lip to try to hold back the overwhelming amount of emotion that hit me. I loved the dress. I loved the way it looked. I loved the little details of it. I knew this was the dress. This is the dress I wanted. This is the dress I will marry my best friend in.


Ah yes. The bridal party! I couldn't be more pleased/ excited about the ladies who will be standing beside me on the most important / memorable day of my life.

I have the friend who planted the seed in my head that Trey would be a great boyfriend. After witnessing the train wreck of December 2010 and a brief Alabama trip, she knew what I needed. I needed a GOOD GUY. She just so happened to have "this friend". I knew her friend from previous group shindigs, but I didn't really think her friend would be into me due to the fact I'm super girly and probably not his type. After a few of her organized double dates, I was convinced. She was right.

I have my childhood pal who has been there for every breakup, broken heart, and clumsy fall. She has always reminded me the rotten ones along the way were not good enough for me. She has offered to beat up a few too. She has made me laugh. She has made me cry. For 17 years we have been friends. We drift together and apart from time to time, but I always know she's there. No background story is required. She knows everything. 

I have the friend who is also joining the married club this year. Many double dates, four wheeler trips, lake adventures, and cheers on the side of mountains have been shared with her. I have known her almost as long as I have been dating Trey, and really my wedding day wouldn't be complete without her!

My flower girl is my soon-to-be niece. She personally requested to be the flower girl; however, I had already decided she would be part of the wedding. Her personality and girly-ness go well with the role, not to mention the fact she will be my niece! She has been a huge help with planning the wedding since she already has in mind how she plans to fix her hair, what color her dress should be, and what kind of shoes she would like to wear!

I have one more member of my bridal party, but she hasn't officially been asked, so my blog isn't really the place for her to find out! 

So here it is... the first installment of my wedding blog. I will try to keep future blogs shorter! ha.

Until next time...