Friday, July 29, 2011

Blogging on the Wedding Day Seems a Bit Wrong, Right?

I am getting married today to the most wonderful person in the world. Funny that I'm blogging, right? I've been up since sunrise, have had two wonderful meals at great Louisville restaurants, a great hand massage and hair styling at Joseph's, and am now at a friend's house while my bridesmaids are flitting about getting pretty. No one will let me lift a finger, carry a thing, open a door, or answer a phone call. It's both wonderful and annoying at the same time.

It's more wonderful than annoying, of course, as any one event -- say a tablecloth crisis -- could send me into a fit of tears. Isn't it funny how the thing that sends you over the edge isn't usually the thing that actually matters to you? It's just that proverbial straw on the camel's back. My friends are doing an amazing job of keeping my back straw-free today.

Still, I needed a minute of alone time. No one is getting on my nerves or anything, but I just realize that starting in about an hour, it's going to be go-go-go-go-go. I have a grand piano at my disposal right now, but it's writing that is calming me.

And that's why I'm blogging on my wedding day.

A few folks to thank: Masterson's Catering, especially Sueanna Masterson, who has made the food so easy, and who worked with us calmly and willingly (and never laughed at us).
Adrienne & Co for doing the same. See other blog for that story!
Nervous Melvin & the Mistakes for being the best party band in town. (And to answer the most popular question: what band? what band? what band? Go with the band that EVERYONE WILL LIKE!)
Ann Rowan James Designs ... you need a florist? Call her. She made our bouquets from locally-grown organic flowers ... that she picked right out of my garden. And she didn't laugh at me for making that request.

Of course, our families and friends have been amazing, and I don't want to go naming them in my public blog. The rehearsal dinner looked like it was professionally catered by the best company in down, but David's family did it all themselves. Unbelievable.

Anyway ... off to spend the rest of the evening with my family and my new family. Thanks to all the support, comments, and love.

My plan is to take next week off from blogging -- honeymoon and all -- and try to actually be on vacation. Of course, that was my plan for today, and it turns out that this blog saves my sanity a bit. Thankfully, so does FWT, so I might not need the blog after all.

And, actually, that grand piano is calling my name right now.

Much love,
Brigid

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wedding Eve.

Can i have a bye from blogging today? I'm writing letters, and tying gift bags, and running stupid errands. Oh, and I got a massage too. Off to check into a hotel ... and rehearse for the big show tomorrow. Love y'all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Music stuff! On TV This Morning.

Hi folks. If you're in the Louisville area, here are two assignments: Watch me on TV this morning, sometime between 10-11, on WBKI, The CW. http://wbki.tv/morning_show.php I'll be singing, and playing the saw, and talking about some stuff, and telling you some secrets I've been withholding. Oooooh ... tempting.

Just a quick blog this morn' because I woke up at 7am instead of 6am as planned (see how hard we musicians work??!)... I'll write more later because, well, I have more to say.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Funny AutoCorrect and Probably TMI.

I tried really hard to celebrate my birthday yesterday and to not think about the wedding. It wasn't very successful. Apparently, there are still a thousand little tiny details that must be taken care of that only I know the answers to. So I fielded phone calls during my birthday dinner and worried that I wouldn't have enough time to do things before the in-laws arrived.

All birthday was not lost, however. My parents got me a delivious vegan chocolate cake from Whole Foods and delivered it around lunch time. Later that evening, when FWT and I were heading home after birthday dinner, I typed out a text to them: "heading home for cake, want to meet us there?" AutoCorrect then changed it to "heading home fornicate, want to meet us there?" Thankfully, I caught it before it became necessary to take a photo and send to DamnYouAutoCorrect.com. My parents would have been more than confused, especially because our wedding is not until Friday.

Speaking of such things, I hope that FWT's Father has had a talk with him about that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Rather a Big Week.

Perhaps this week, I'll do a repeat of "Things I've Never Done Before" (see archived blogs from the week of my 30th birthday, in which I shot a gun, saw "Cats," and swashbuckled). More likely, however, I will be swamped with wedding details. What was I thinking when I agreed to get married four days after my birthday?



Maybe it was: Now, for every single anniversary, you must take me to Paris if you try to pull one of those, "This is both your birthday AND anniversary gift." I finally understand how my Dad feels, having been born December 30. All you poor December babies!

Truthfully, though, I don't really mind. I wish I didn't have a crap ton of work to do today (how is it that small weddings are STILL detail-overload?), but the whole getting-FWT-for-keeps at the end of the week is surely worth it. And really, the only reason we chose this date is because it's the only date the band was available. Priorities, right?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I love Surprises! Sometimes...

Normally, I don't like surprises. I like surprises when I don't know they are coming, but if you tell me, "I have a surprise for you next week," you have sufficiently driven me mad. But I got a great surprise recently.

FWT had me clear Friday, July 21, for "special birthday celebrations and surprises" with just us. I figured he was just making sure I got some good birthday time in because my actual birthday week is being overshadowed by the wedding this year. (Yes, I am forever entwining birthday/anniversary in a way that will ensure FWT must take me to Paris every year to celebrate.)

So Thursday night, I finally decided to take an hour for myself before FWT took me out to dinner. I was just enjoying the sunlight on my deck, with a glass of wine, and a little Hemingway (I know, sounds pretentious, but it's what I was in the mood for), when there on the deck appears LYZZ.

Lyzz is my Maid of Honor who is from Austin, Texas (yes, I know, I have a bizarre attraction to Texans), had been plotting with FWT to fly in and surprise me with a visit -- just a week before the wedding. She was here for barely 24 hours, but it was perfect.

We did that little girl squeal and hugged for a long time. Perfect surprise. She and I did girly things on Friday and relaxed. FWT was going to join us for lunch, but he ended up feeling sick and stayed home. Still, I took most of the day off from wedding planning, and had just a great time with Lyzz ... getting a massage, going swimming, and learning a lot about breast milk, which I now have in my freezer because Lyzzie is a new mother. (Do you think I could make vegan White Russians with it?)

It was perfect that she came in. I imagine when she comes back on Thursday for wedding festivities, my mind will be so clouded with with wedding, family, or Xanax that we won't actually get to spend any good time together.

Now ... more surprises, please!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Let Me Eat Cake! or The 2nd-Best Part of Wedding Planning

Newleyweds will tell you that one of the best parts of planning your wedding is choosing your cake-baker. David and I heard stories of tastings and flavors and bizarre bakers, but all of those stories ended with hours and hours of eating cake. I mean, eating cake ... what else should a princess do with her time? Other than ride ponies and cut off heads? I was very much looking forward to it.

Except that we fell in love with the cakes from the FIRST BAKER we tried. We could have lied to other people, or even lied to ourselves, saying that we needed to have a larger sample size to make a statistically good choice. But that sample cake we went home with -- featuring six different flavors all patched together and iced beautifully -- didn't last the day between me, David, and my dad (sorry, Mom).

Unfortunately for us, Adrienne & Co. in Jeffersonville -- a local, family-owned small business -- not only makes amazing cakes, but Adrienne and her husband and her staff are incredibly nice ... and thoughtful ... and creative ... and understanding/caring/patient/helpful to those who are bad with decisions.

After a great consultation with Adrienne herself (in which she actually listened to DAVID and what he had to say, rather than pointing every question towards the bride), we had made our decision. We went with bite-size cupcakes because we wanted lots of flavors (and didn't want to pay that absurd "cake-cutting fee" that most caterers -- not bakers -- charge), and cupcakes are yummy.



Adrienne didn't balk when we explained we wanted the icing to be the natural colors, rather than using chemical dyes, and she said she'd decorate the display with ribbons and such to make them match the theme. Nor did she judge us when we explained we are looking to err on the side of too few cupcakes. Our ultimate goal -- other than marrying each other -- is to have a party with as little waste as possible. (Oddly, we may end up with way-too-few cupcakes because people are suddenly RSPVing weeks after we've given a head count to the caterers. Come on, people!)

I feel a little guilty wasting her talent on just a bunch of little cupcakes though. I swiped some photos from the Adrienne & Co Website of some of her creations, most of which would make the Food Network swoon. I should really have commissioned a To-Scale Cake Replica of Michaelangelo's David as a Groom's Cake. Maybe I'll start a Kickstarter campaign for that...

Anyway, enjoy her creations, but whatever you do, do NOT take my advice on this. Visit Adrienne's LAST on your list because you will hire them, and then have no reason to go around the city sampling free cake from every bakery. If you want to browse the hundreds of photos of amazing cakes, here's the link.

By the way, they also serve lunch -- Italian-themed. It's enough to make me cross the bridge, and if you know me, THAT is saying a lot.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Growing My Own Wedding Flowers

In case you don't have reason enough to think me crazy, here's one more. I am growing my own wedding flowers. I know, I know, there are so many variables that could go wrong here, causing floodgates of tears to open. But I don't think like that. I've got a yard full of glorious zinnias, and they are going to make a gorgeous bouquet.

In our first meeting with a potential florist, we learned that most wedding flowers are imported. That's not surprising, but what IS surprising is that they usually come from far away places like Ecuador. Those kind of oil miles are NOT in our environmental budget, even if they are cheaper to buy than the ones from the Farmer's Market (ridiculous, right?). Suffice it to say, we opted to keep it local -- like our front yard.

I don't mean to brag, but I can grow some stuff. Houseplants aren't really my thing, but my garden is out of control. My neighbors can attest to this -- at least to the out-of-control part. I don't believe in regular weeding, having found that the watermelons and tomatoes are hardy enough to fight off the Creeping Jenny without my help. Occasionally, I'll pull out those annoying grass-type weeds to make it look nicer, but that's only when I'm avoiding bookkeeping.

Another crazy thing that's not really so crazy? It's all organic. I'm sure that some of the next-door-neighbor's fertilizers creep through my soil, but I try not to think about that, mostly hoping that the wall of concrete between our lawns prevents too much icky chemical seepage. To his credit, his lawn is absolutely gorgeous and perfect. My lawn is mostly mint. And now zinnias.

Still, I'm pretty happy with the results. I grew all but one of the flowers from seed. A panic attack lead me to buy a pot of zinnias just in case, but I never should have doubted myself. See for yourselves. (And sorry, I was having a little fun with the Hipstamatic.)




Point of information: I do have a florist doing the arranging and stuff. But she is so awesome and wise-to-the-environmental-freaks-like-me that she didn't balk at using my flowers. She also said she had no problem buying from the Farmer's Market if my garden failed at the last minute or she needed more. Yay for vendors who understand Green greenery. Message me for her info if you're looking for someone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On going insane.

I'm going to continue my daily blogging, even though I'm still all goey from reading FWT's blog post over on LouisvilleKY.com. I've been a self-employed artist for almost ten years now, but yesterday was one of the first days I've had to sit down and plan my day hour-by-hour. On some level, that's probably part of the reason only a few thousand of you own my albums, and not a few million. Still, I'm happy in my ability to write a song and have people come out to hear me perform it -- in several different countries.

The past few weeks, however, I've had no time for art. Other than playing scales to calm my nerves (scales are my yoga), I haven't played the piano in weeks. There have just been so many little things to do, and when I work from home, all I see is that giant To Do List.

It's a bit more involved than just The Wedding. That announcement will be made at another time, but we've got some things going on that are really shaking up our current place in time/mind/house.

Still, this time I've carved out for at least a daily blog -- and I try my best for at least an hour of other writing -- has kept me mostly sane. I don't know what people do to keep themselves from going mad when they aren't writers. Is that what therapists and prescriptions are for?

Guest Blogger: Advanced Wedding Lessons – Survival of the Fittest

Today's Guest Blogger is none other than FWT, who will soon be known as HWT. Tt will stand for Husband-Without-a-Truck, however, because we have decided to sell the truck. But that's another blog...

by FWT:
***Cheesy Love Alert*** Also, no good jokes.


As we head into the final few days before the big day, I feel like I’m learning stuff so fast that I can begin to teach some advanced classes. There have been so many lessons in the last few days that I’m keeping them for the book we write. So I’ll share the number one. I’m pretty sure this will hold on as the most important thing planning a wedding can teach you.

Planning a wedding is like Navy SEAL training. Leaving aside the sleep deprivation for now, I always understood things like Navy SEAL training as a series of ridiculous circumstances that you may never encounter that help prepare you for the ones you will. Well, that is what wedding planning is.

When you plan your wedding you have to deal with the most ludicrous situations that you will ever see – you will make life and death decisions concerning your 3rd Aunt once removed on your mother’s side (who not only have you not met, you’ve never met anyone who’s met her), you will tackle and sit on a person who has yet to RSVP until they decide on steak or chicken, and you will deal with stress levels that would put The Duke in a pickle.

Some folks can hack it, some can’t – Survival of the Fittest!

What have I learned form all this self-imposed insanity you ask? I’ve learned that this is the point. This is a test. If you can’t handle this easy stuff, there is no way you are ready to spend the rest of your life with this person. We’re all worked up about a party for something that could have happened last week in the Judge’s living room for all anyone knows. If we can’t get through this, how are we ever going to be able to not go bankrupt, handle bailing our kid out of jail, or not kill each other in the nursing home?

It’s also important how you handle it. If we don’t treat each other will love and respect no matter how much we want to stick out or tongues at one another, how will we plan our future or have anything to talk about at that same nursing home?

The planning of your wedding is literally the final examination of whether or not you should spend the rest of your life with this person.

As I sit here jamming to Carole King, I remember the night last week when I learned this valuable lesson. I was standing in our kitchen looking through the doorway at Brigid in our dining room. We were at threat level Orange on the frustration level. Things had gone quiet. It was one of those moments where you know that the next thing to happen will be bad.

Right before she walked away, I saw in Brigid’s eyes (behind the bloodlust) that we had passed the test. Suddenly, all that mattered was that overwhelming look of love. All the anger, the irritation, the pressure, didn’t stack up to a hill of beans compared to how much she loved me. And I knew it. I felt it. Once I thought about that, I realized that I felt exactly the same way. Take that, test! We rock! Team married!

In that moment, I knew that without a doubt I was intended to spend the rest of my life with this person. She is perfect. She understands me in a way that allows her to know the exact moment to walk away, and I know her enough to come back at the perfect time with a kiss. This is how we will work out problems for the rest of our lives – together. I can’t wait.

I’m sure that I’ll have many more difficult moments than that, but my goal is to always use those moments as a reminder of our love – not a frustration. I’m sure some of you marriage veterans out there are laughing at my naïveté, but I challenge you to think about it. What has made it work this last 10, 25, or 50 years? Isn’t it that, through it all, you always remembered that you loved one another more than anything else?

Like I said, Advanced Lessons.

In a few days, I get to promise that I will love her always. I get to do it in front of tons of people who love and support us. The test will finally be over. Now we’ll get to navigate all the real parts of this life…together.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Obsession with Accessories ... Vintage Jewels and Recycling.

It's funny, but the one traditional thing I've had trouble with finding for the wedding is "Something New." Borrowed, blue, and old, is no problem for an environmentally-obsessed budget bride, but new? Almost impossible. In that spirit/quest, last week's Diamond blog was meant to be a blog about my favorite local jewelry-maker, but, as with everything I begin, it diverged. Today I shall remain on task.

I am not great with accessories. I've got eight holes pierced in my ears, but I wear earrings about thrice a year. Still, I admire and appreciate my well-accessorized friends, both for their flair and for their ability/patience to put it all together. I know what I like, but I never think to don it.

The wedding, of course, is a place where I should probably put some thought into my jewels. Since I doubt that Merkley-Kendrick will be volunteering their diamonds again (hint, hint?), I've been left to my own devices. Thankfully, they include good friends who are much better at this type of thing than I am.

I don't know what jewels I'll be wearing in next week's wedding (omg next week eeeeeeek!), but I do know what jewels YOU should be wearing in YOUR wedding. Or your prom. Or your lunch date. Or to work.

Sabrina and Kathi are two sisters who grew up being crafty with their artistic mother, and who have recently started their own jewelry business in honor of those long-ago days. The tagline for Bling Around Rosies (their mother was Rosie) is "one-of-a-kind upcycled vintage jewelry," which pretty much sums up why I just adore their creations.

By now, you know my obsession with all things vintage, up-cycled, and re-purposed, and Bling Around Rosies combines all those things into absolutely gorgeous jewelry. You can visit their Etsy shop to view/purchase their latest creations, great for occasions ranging from Derby to the office to your wedding.

Last time I visited with Sabrina, she was working on adding several new pieces to their Bridal Line (having had a great Derby with their Derby line -- how perfect is that?), each in varying degrees of formality. She also mentioned that she could take a family brooch or something similarly sentimental and create a one-of-a-kind necklace with the perfect touch of family history and modern style.



I just love them. Here are some of my favorites, but if you're looking for a way to support local, independent artists, buy yourself a gift, and accessorize well, then I would absolutely recommend Bling Around Rosies.*





*In the spirit of disclosure and of blogger ethics, Sabrina is a friend of mine, but I'm not getting any freebies for bragging about her.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dusting and Smiling.

When my mind fills with stress and my stomach churns with anxiety, there are only a few things that help me maintain a small level of sanity. Prescription pills aside, I am left with either 1) playing scales on a piano and 2) domestic projects. Seeing as time is my enemy, and scales are not on TheKnot.com's To Do List, our house is now rather clean.



Clearly, I'd prefer to play my piano than to dust it. This week, however, the dust-free, clutter-free, beautiful living room where my piano currently resides feels pretty good.

I am not good at playing housekeeper. It takes me ten times as long as it took the guy we hired several weeks ago, and I whined a lot more. But somehow this time as I swept the floor, shelved our library books, and dusted framed photos, it made me strangely happy.

FWT and I made a choice to actively enjoy every minute of this chaos. Even today, as we raced between designing wedding programs and picking up our rings, we paused to smile and think about why we are running a thousand errands. It's nice to reflect, and it's nice to have someone who reminds you to stop and hold his hand.

Ok... blog ending before I get all gooey and sentimental. I'll save stuff that for later.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Too Old for Midnight Movies, I Suppose.

I once camped out all night for tickets to The Cure's Halloween show at Irving Plaza. By morning, our lives had been threatened with big knives by scalpers (I managed to smile and bribe the scalpers to stay behind us in line with my delicious Royal Canadian Uncle-Buck Size Pancakes, which were bigger than their knives, but that's another story), but that night we learned life lessons about camaraderie, New York sidewalks, and the best rule: No Save-sies.

I'm not saying you can't save a seat at a movie for your friend who has to run to the bathroom, or for one person who is running late, or another person who went to get popcorn. But those kiddos at the midnight Harry Potter Premiere last night ruined our evening by draping their Hogwarts capes and scarves over entire rows and saying, "These are saved."

At one point, theater officials came in and asked everyone to move to the center of the aisles to show available seating. Someone then cast the Imperius Curse upon the poor man and he zombie-walked out of the theater, defeated.

After waiting around for 45 minutes, and with still another 40 before the movie was supposed to start, we took our popcorn and left. Eventually, we found a manager, who was actually really kind, offering us a refund or reserved seating at another show another day. Good customer service like that means the difference between an infuriating and public angry blog, or just a silly one that reveals perhaps I should leave the midnight Harry Potters to the folks who remembered to bring their wands.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Re-run: Intermission & Bastille Day!

Happy Bastille Day! Because I am currently slashing a Giant To Do List, and because I would rather spend time with my mother than writing about her, I am going to link you to a previous Mom's Birthday Blog.

http://brigidkaelin.blogspot.com/2009/07/intermission.html


It usually makes her cry.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Diamonds are a Girl's Guilty Pleasure

The night I met FWT, I was wearing about eighty-thousand dollars worth of diamonds. It was the 2006 Best of Louisville Awards Show, complete with a red-carpet arrival and an array of Louisville celebrities. My friend Tim Krekel and I were there to perform a song together, as well as to say, "And the award goes to..." several times. It was my one and only brush with the kind of celebrity where jewelry stores call you a week in advance to ask what you plan on wearing to the event.

This wedding is probably the only time in my life where I will know what I'm wearing more than an hour before the main event, and I remember just laughing and telling the nice woman from Merkley Kendrick Jewelers in Louisville, "I have no idea." She then explained that she was bejeweling the female awards presenters (I don't think she actually said the word "bejeweling," but I just love that word), and she needed to know what style accessories would complement my gown.

Because borrowing jewels is something I thought only Nicole Kidman got to do, I tried to help out. "It'll probably be something either vintage or simple and classic," if that helps. No, I didn't know a color or neckline ... no, I didn't know a fabric ...

The woman was probably frustrated with me, but she didn't show it. Instead she just said, "Diamonds, I think." That sounded find with me, and I moved on with my life.

I didn't think much about it the rest of the week, but I did manage to borrow a dress from a friend. Lacey, vintage-looking, and bright white, it fit beautifully. When I showed up to the Best of Louisville Awards that night, the jewelers smiled and adorned me with earrings, bracelets, rings, and a Harry-Winston-Eat-Your-Heart-Out diamond necklace.

Now I love sparkly things as much as any princess, but I'd never actually really worn diamonds before. I admit to having that feeling that advertisers want you to have. I just felt pretty ... like a princess, I suppose. So all night long I flitted and fleeted around the party talking to everyone I knew and most people I didn't. Actually, that sounds like what I do even without the jewels, but I did feel extra sparkly that night.

At the end of the evening, when I went to return the jewels, I asked the woman there how much they would cost to purchase. As I turned around and lifted my hair so she could remove the necklace, she told me the retail price of each piece I was wearing. I I turned around quickly. "Um, do you mind if I wear them for just ten minutes more?" She grinned back and said it wasn't a problem.

Then I flitted and fleeted for about five minutes before I got freaked out that I might lose them. Good thing I asked about value at the end of the night.

Hmmm ... I didn't really tell you how I met FWT, did I? This blog's long enough for today. But let's just say it involved friends, the room stopping for a minute (at least for us anyway), a truck, two and a half years, and ... cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fingerless Gloves vs. Speedos.


The annual Brigid Kaelin Band Summer Show at Lakeside went fabulously well, if I do say so myself. It was hot as can be, which is so much better than outdoor winter events. When given the option, I generally prefer Speedos to fingerless gloves.

The boys in the band didn't man up this time though, and I was the only one smart enough to wear a swimsuit. Intermission featured a Diving Boards Spectacular between me and FWT. Imagine synchronized back flips between two young lovers ... are you sick in your mouth yet? The only thing better would have been if Steve Cooley and Peter Searcy had flowered swim caps and a little synchronized swimming routine set to some yodeling. Now try to get that image out of your head. You're welcome!

It was a good time. I'm thinking about having Adult Diving Team practice tonight. My back flip was successful, but not pretty.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wedding Dress Talk.



I haven't been hounded like Princess Kate, but I've gotten more than a few inquiries about my wedding dress. It's not surprising, considering what a fashion icon I am. I mean, wear do you think Taylor Swift got the idea of a dress and cowboy boots? (See picture: I am two, clearly ahead of my time.) And still, I've not once been nominated for the Best Dressed Awards in Louisville. Do old t-shirts and thrift store jeans count for nothing? I do believe Chanel would approve.

I could have gone couture for the wedding. My future mother-in-law offered to make me a dress, even a replica of Princess Kate's if I wanted. Being unable to make a decision, I had to decline the fabulous offer, not wanting her to have to deal with me changing my mind eight thousand times. Not a good way to start off that relationship.

At one of those BridalWarStores, I was tempted by a fabulous ballgown (with pockets!) that would have perfect for riding off into the sunset on a white unicorn with my prince (We have had trouble locating a unicorn rental company, but I'm persistent). FWT and I have been adamant about keeping this whole soiree environmentally responsible, but I was starting to get annoyed that my sanctimonious morals were getting in the way of My Perfect Wedding™. In the end, though, it just didn't seem right to drop that much money on something I'll wear for about three hours -- not to mention all the oil miles and child labor (adult fingers can't do that kind of lace detail!). I left the store empty-handed, giving myself 24 hours to find something used.*

Somehow, I did.

At one point, I had five wedding dresses hanging in my closet, thanks to my dear friends who are either 1) not sentimental at all about their gowns or 2) overly sentimental and would love to see it worn by a friend. A bridesmaid and I had a fun night of margaritas and dress-up a few months ago, but none of the dresses really fit me right. The one that did fit just didn't make sense in a Kentucky July.

Less than 24 hours after finding that new dress in the store, I tried on one last used dress. It was perfect -- simple, classic, fits just right, and belongs to my oldest friend. Well, technically, she's younger than I am, and I go out drinking with her parents more than I do with her. Still, she's great, and I think it's wonderfully sentimental to be wearing her dress, especially since her wedding was the most memorable wedding I've ever attended. (The band was -- I kid you not -- The Rolling Stones. I don't think that will ever be topped.)

So, yes, I'm pretty thrilled with my recycled, meaningful, pretty, couture gown. It's been worn before, and it has the only tiniest of light stains here and there that are really only visible to me in certain angles and sunlight. I thought about having it cleaned first, but after learning that cleaning a wedding dress is hundreds of dollars, I decided to save the money and clean it after my wedding. Y'all won't notice.

Besides, once you see FWT in a tuxedo, you'll be wondering why you cared about what I was wearing at all.


*Again, I'm not judging you for your gorgeous new gown ... I just have that whole Catholic/Jewish guilt factor tormenting me daily.

** Louisville folks, check out A Class Act on Breckenridge Lane, near Nanz & Kraft. The owner is incredibly helpful, and they have a huge selection of wedding gowns in all sizes and styles. Bridesmaids and prom stuff too. If you've got a gown taking up space in your closet, take it there. I tried on a ton of gowns there. I didn't find the perfect one for my event, but I'd recommend that place to any environmentally-obsessed (or budget) bride.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hen Party, Louisville style.

When David and I hopped a flight from Glasgow to Belfast last year, we noticed the rest of the plane was filled with groups of women. They were distinctly defined groups, separated by their different t-shirts. Some t-shirts were black tanks with sparkly silver lettering that read "Jane's Hen Party 2011." Others were pink tees saying "Belfast Hen Party for the Ross Sisters!" The girls were also all doing shots of something blue and giggling wildly before noon. "Hen Parties" are bachelorette parties done up right. And by right, I mean extravagant, crazy, and taken very seriously.

Were I in Scotland now, or were I in a sorority back in the day, I may have been forced to hire a pink Stretch-U-V and wear a Scavenger Hunt T-shirt. Thankfully, neither of those things happened, and my wonderful girlfriends rallied in a much more sedate manner.

I didn't think I even wanted a Bachelorette Party. Then I just assumed -- in an Eeyore sort of way -- that no one would really be up for planning a night that didn't involve fruity shots or lewd party favors. When David's buddies decided they were whisking him to Nashville for the entire weekend for a Bachelor Party, I got a little sad, thinking I would just stay home alone cleaning out the basement all weekend. See, Eeyore, right?

My ladies rallied at the last minute, though, and put together a really nice evening. Would you believe it if I told you last night's Bachelorette Party consisted of watermelon, croquet (I was red, duh), chocolate fondue, frozen drinking chocolate, cakes, and lots of Live Tweeting (hashtag #brigidfest or #bachelorettepartyquotes)? We drank some martinis, and we laughed a LOT.

Also, I won croquet, with my never-fail strategy of placing yourself in last place, only to hit every other ball on your way down the homestretch, gaining two extra hits with each strike. They didn't know what hit them.

That, or they let me win. I have such good friends!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Bride's Nightmare, and other plays.

You may know about the classic actor's nightmare, in which just about anyone who's ever been in a play will dream that they suddenly have to perform in that play again, despite having forgotten every line, entrance, and costume change. I have it more than you imagine, and it's always about theatre, never about music. This past week, however, the wedding nightmares have begun.

It started with a dramatic "Graduate"-style scene, except reversed. David is, shall we say, popular with the ladies. That's being subtle, really. He's not a tramp or anything -- not even close -- but I've made a few enemies out there by sweeping him off his feet and making an honest man out of him. And so, in this nightmare, a bunch of ladies do the whole disturb-the-church-by-knocking-and-screaming-through-a-pane-of-glass routine. Girls, let me tell you now: It doesn't work, not even in the nightmare. Besides, we're not getting married in a church, so you'll have to learn how to climb trees if you want to create a scene. (By the way, just try it. It'll make a good story for our grandkids.)

Last night I had more stressful dreams than that. More stressful than a bunch of crazies interrupting the ceremony, and trying to steal the love of my life, you say? I'm embarrassed to say that in this dream, I cared -- and cared a lot -- about flowers and decorations.* My bouquet showed up, entirely made of white calla lillies. It was beautiful, but it wasn't what we'd talked about. In reality, should that happen, I don't think I'd care one way or another. But in last night's dream, I was in tears. Then something happened with my dress, and then suddenly Rudy from the Cosby Show was late in giving me a ride to the ceremony. It became complicated.

The worst thing about nightmares is waking up and feeling like you didn't get any sleep at all. The best thing about them is waking up.

Anyway, we've got three weeks to go. All the little things are falling into place, bit by bit. You know how I just adore details.

Read something even funnier on David's blog: http://louisvilleky.com/2011/07/bachelor-party-extravaganza/


* I do care about these things in real life, and I want them to be pretty. We all know, however, that visual design is not my strongest talent. I like pretty flowers, but I don't know how to arrange them. That equals stress to me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Honeymoon plans revealed!


Where are we going on our honeymoon, you ask? Answer: We don't know. Isn't it grand? My second favorite part about that answer is be able to check off the boxes on TheKnot that have anything to do with planning your honeymoon and remove them from our ginormous To Do List. My favorite part about it is that I get to have yet another adventure with my favorite person.

About six months into our dating, we decided one Wednesday evening that we would really prefer to be in Paris that weekend. It's not unlike me to make such grandiose statements, and it's not unlike FWT to think that's a grand idea. That's one thing I adore about him -- he never dismisses me as "Crazy Ol' Brigid." It turned out that the Paris flights were full, but 24 hours later, FWT and I were on a plane to Amsterdam. We arrived there Friday morning and were home by dinnertime on Sunday. And we didn't tell anyone where we were going.

Thus, it seems appropriate that we do the same thing for our honeymoon. Last week we went to the library and got travel books to pretty much every place that sounded interesting. We aren't getting our hearts set on anything. Our passports are valid, and our minds are open. I only have one rule: we aren't going anywhere that requires immunizations.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Relaxing with a bad novel, poolside, mojito optional.

If you know me at all, you know the most difficult thing for me to do is to sit still. It's never caused me any problems, at least not with grades or work. The problem comes with my inability to relax when I need it most. This past weekend, I did my best to sit in a chaise lounge, poolside, and read.

It's a rough life, I know, to be housesitting in a gorgeous home in Prospect, a home complete with a beautiful pool, sliding board, and palm tree. (Yes, a palm tree!) Still, when I showed up, I was a big ball of stress, listing problem after problem, frustrated about RSVPs, frustrated about people not responding, frustrated about people responding with children or people who weren't originally invited (how do you explain that without sounding like a jerk?!), people breaking promises, homes in disrepair, wanting to take a honeymoon, but being completely out of money. There I go again listing not even half of the stresses, and I can feel my blood pressure rise.

The point is that I really tried my best this weekend to not think about any of those things. It's an impossible task -- to keep your mind off something particular -- but it's made easier with books.

So I lounged poolside, sipped a mojito, and read four books between Friday morning and Sunday evening. They weren't Russian novels or anything, so don't be too impressed. Two were terrible chick-lit (not romance, but not very deep), one a memoir, and another "Ask the Pilot," a book designed to help me with my newly-acquired fear of flying, but which really just gave me solid reason to be afraid. Still, 1300 pages (I keep track obsessively on GoodReads in a fiercely competitive battle with my dad) in a weekend felt good, something I haven't done in ages. I even made time for plenty of nachos, mojito refills, swimming, and a couple of movies.

My mind was assuaged only slightly, but it was enough to make me feel excited rather than stressed about all that I have to do. I love being busy, and, though I would prefer to be busy making records and touring and singing, I am trying to remember to be happy for an even better reason: that I get to marry David.

The wedding is only the tiniest bit of the stress, believe it or not, but I'm reminding myself that this is a really happy and fun time. He is amazing at keeping me calm, even when he's got similar anxiety over that silly party we're throwing. Everyone keeps reminding us the reason for the party, and I am trying to do the same thing. It's an adventurous time, and if he and I love nothing else, we love adventure. And the library.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How does so much dust collect under the bed?

Confession: prior to houseguests coming over for Derby, we hired a housecleaner. It finally occurred to me at some point over the past year that THAT is why everyone else's house is so much tidier and everyone's baseboards gleam brighter. Few people volunteer the information, but most of you seem to have someone who comes through a couple of times a month and cleans the house. So after years of crying and trying and wasting valuable writing time with a duster, we hired a professional.

He was here for over eight hours, and the house was sparkling when he left. It made me realize that our place -- though because of its age will never quite have the clean, crisp lines that new homes have -- can actually be clean sometimes.

Now it's been two months since he came, and I miss him desperately. The dust wins. This morning I just about cried while looking under our bed for a library book and seeing the bunnies who have revived their former home there. How does that happen anyway?

I guarantee you if I ever even had eight straight hours to focus on cleaning the house, I wouldn't get even half of it done. I'd start organizing books, or making a Goodwill pile, or whining that something needs fixing, and eventually end up with more tears and half-clean dining room. Not a good use of my day. And so ... I'm calling in the professionals again.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Readers from Round-the-World ... who are you??!

I normally don't pay much mind to my blog stats on here. It's a nice way to get distracted from the point of the blog, which for me is to entertain you and write the crazy out of my head. But today I clicked over, and I noticed that I've got a bunch of regular readers from the following countries: United Kingdom (not so surprising, considering I've toured there often!), but also, Germany, Australia, Ukraine, Canada, China, France, India, Denmark, and Iran.

I can tell where you're reading, but it's not as creepy as it seems. I don't know who you are or anything. Still, I'm curious, and I'd love to come play a show in any or all of those places -- perhaps a little house concert organized by a gracious reader? Worth a shot. Send me a message here, my secret readers from afar ... or an email brigid(at)brigidkaelin(dot)com ... or a FB message ...

Curiosity is torture!

More blogs this week. I'm getting up early the rest of the week to conquer my massive To Do List.

Fixing things and gardening.

Wee Angus running through Dages Paint! Have y'all ever flipped a house before? I am sort of doing that, except that it's a renta...