29 July 2016

How Did We Get Here?

Holy cow bells.
We're getting married tomorrow.
I still cannot believe how fast time has gone by since Patrick got down on one knee and asked him to marry me. I was so sure back then that our engagement would last forever and that our wedding day would sloooowly approach. Um, false. But just in case y'all need a recap and a trip down memory lane today, here's how we got to our wedding week:

Don't mind me. I'll just be over here counting down the hours until I can leave work today and get this wedding weekend started! My maids of honor are arriving today with their parents and I get to give them a quick tour of my favorite parts of Columbia: my house, a brewery {River Rat!}, and a still-to-be-decided local restaurant.

Be sure that you're following along on insta & on snapchat {both @chessop} for all of the wedding weekend shenanigans :)

28 July 2016

The Legend of the Table

When I was younger {like 5 years old}, I used to hang out under the tables in our house a lot.

Specifically this table.

I would play with my dollhouse dolls under our dining room table {it's where they went "camping"} and from under our kitchen table, I would watch TV. I could lay underneath there, throw my feet up on the drawers of the built in desk where the TV sat, and watch whatever show was on. It used to drive my parents crazy because I would pull the drawers open with my feet and let them slam shut.

But it took them a little while to catch on to what was really happening under our kitchen table. I was learning how to write and how to spell names, and I took it upon myself to use a crayon to write everyone's names under the table where they typically sat.
There was Dad, Mom, Benjamin, Chesson, Gram {grandmother}, Grandaddy, and Kristin {babysitter}. I got into a fair amount of trouble once my parents discovered the underside of the table.

That kitchen table eventually ended up in the hands of an old neighbor when he went to college and was handed off to his older brother to use in his first house after that. The older brother then sold it to a local coffee shop... the owner was collecting old tables to make up an eclectic mix and she LOVED the names written underneath it.
The kitchen table has been long gone but the story of the names under the table still gets told from time to time.
When Patrick and I bought our house, we knew that we wanted a big farmhouse style table for our dining area and we knew that we wanted to build it together. As soon as we talked about building this table, I knew what I wanted our wedding guest book to be.

The underside of our new table.

That's right, y'all. We're asking all of our wedding guests to sign the underside of our hand built farmhouse table at our reception.

This has been our eleventh hour wedding project and so our table isn't 100% complete. However, if you ignore our insanely messy garage & the fact that the table legs are not attached, you get the general idea of what this table is going to look like after the fact.

I am 100% obsessed with it - Patrick worked so hard to make sure this turned out exactly like we were both picturing when we started this whole project.
And yes, I'll probably revert back to my five year old days and hang out under this table occasionally to remember all of the family and friends that came to celebrate our wedding day with us!

26 July 2016

To Have & To Read

Calling all readers!
I finally have a Kindle again {after misplacing my original one sometime over the last few months} and I am counting down the hours until I am relaxing in the sunshine in the Dominican with a book {Kindle?} in hand.
But here's where I need your help - what books should I add to my Kindle?
Obviously, the first book on that list is Harry Potter & the Cursed Child {pre-ordered on Amazon months ago} and these three:
First Comes Love Emily Griffin
The Nightingale Kristin Hannah
In Twenty Years Allison Winn Scotch
But after that, I'm out.
What should I be reading? Tell me your favorites!

25 July 2016

The Last Single Weekend

Can y'all believe it?
It's WEDDING WEEK. This time next week, I will be on my way to complete relaxation with my husband with this excellent view:

I'm not even sure that I believe it just yet. I still have no idea where April, May, June, and most of this month have gone {if you find those missing months, please return them back to me!} but I am so ready to get married on Saturday. I cannot wait to see all of our family and friends as they begin arriving to town on Thursday and I am PUMPED that we'll be on our way to the Dominican this time next week.
So how did I spend my last "single" weekend? It looked a little something like this:

A long, 4+ mile walk around my parents' neighborhood on Saturday morning with my mom.

A trip to Soda City Market.

A lot of work on our new farmhouse table.

A stop by Crouch Distilling for a tour and tasting {more on this later this week}.

And maybe an even quicker stop by Conquest Brewing {it was right next door to Crouch and technically it was a wedding errand!}

A little celebrating for my parent's 40th anniversary.

& by celebrating, I mean they came over to our house and helped work on my closet and organize the kitchen.

A finished closet!

Granted, that's only about a 1/3 of my clothes. It's a good thing that I get to take over the closet in our guest bedroom because going from a walk in closet to a 4" wide closet is pretty challenging.

And y'all, here we are. Wedding Week.

I've got a couple of posts scheduled for this week but I'll be taking alllllll of next week off {yay, honeymoon!} and will be back full time after the first week of August. Back to recipes, football fun, running, and probably still quite a bit of house things.

Oh, and I can imagine that there might be a post or two with wedding pictures ;)
On that note, happy Monday! Hope you're following along with all the wedding week shenanigans on instagram {@chessop} and snapchat {also @chessop}

22 July 2016

Forty Years

July 24th, 1976 was 40 years ago this weekend.
However you want to put it, 40 years is an exceptionally long amount of time. I've only been around for 28 years so I'm not even qualified to comprehend exactly how long forty years is.
Want to know who is qualified?
These two.

Because this Sunday is their 40th {!!!} wedding anniversary!
So cheers to them! Cheers to 40 years of marriage and many more years to come.

Mom & Dad: thanks for raising Benjamin and me in the best home I could have ever imagined living in. Y'all gave us everything we could have ever needed in life {and more} and you still do. You both set the perfect example for us to aspire to in our relationships and I hope that Patrick and I have what y'all have in 40 years.

I'm sorry for totally crashing your 40th wedding anniversary week with my wedding but I am so thankful for the reminder of what an awesome marriage is the week that I start my own journey!

19 July 2016

Savannah Brewery: Service Brewing

Ok, y'all know we love breweries {as if you couldn't tell from two back-to-back brewery posts} and you know that we love to try new ones out whenever we visit a new city.
But we hit a roadblock when we started searching for one to try out when we visited Savannah the other weekend.
Georgia apparently has some crazy ridiculous brewery laws and regulations. Basically that means that they make it hard to visit the breweries {the ones in Savannah were only open for 2 hours on Saturdays} and the brewery can't sell you beer. They can sell you a tour and give you drink tickets to go along with the tour. They're usually 6 6oz pours {like a flight of beer}. We figured we wouldn't be able to visit one while we were on our trip and we were kind of disappointed.
That was until Saturday afternoon rolled around and we had a couple of hours to kill and it was right around 2pm which was conveniently enough when Service Brewing was due to open. We hiked over there from River Street {hint: don't walk. Drive or call an Uber because it's not an easy walk in 100+ temps!} and got there right after they opened their doors up.
When you walk in, you have to choose what you're going to do for the day. The three options were:
My mom, Patrick, and I decided to Enlist.
I ended up trying 3 different beers: Rally Point Pilsner, Scouts Out Honey Saison, and the Gun Bunny Wit.
I loved the first two {especially the Scouts Out Honey Saison} but wasn't too big on the Gun Bunny Wit. There was something in this wit beer that I just didn't like... some extra spice or ingredient or something.
Overall, we really enjoyed this brewery! The staff there was so incredibly friendly and was more than willing to help us find beers on tap that we'd like the best. I just hope that we run into some of their beer in Columbia sometime soon because I'd love to have another Scouts Out Honey Saison!

18 July 2016

Charleston Breweries: Holy City & Palmetto & Revelry

Any excuse to visit a brewery, right?
When Patrick and I started off on our Charleston/Kiawah/Beaufort/Savannah trip the other weekend, we had every intention of popping into Westbrook Brewing in Charleston to pick up two very important things for our wedding. However, they closed at 7 and we didn't get out of Columbia until after 5:30. Womp womp.
That left us with some free time we hadn't planned on, so we resorted to our favorite activity to pass the time: spontaneous brewery pit stops!
First up was Holy City Brewing.

We've been here before {and loved it} so it was an easy decision to stop by here. Plus, we love their french fries and the fries alone are worth stopping for. Patrick and I grabbed a beer {Holy City Washout Wheat for the win}, dinner {chicken wings for him, pimento cheese burger for me, and a shared basket of fries}, and picked up something for our wedding.

If you're looking for a brewery with good food, look no further. You've gotta go to Holy City.
Next, we decided to head into downtown Charleston and check out Palmetto Brewing.

The beer I had {Palmetto Pilsner} was very good and we really enjoyed the building and outdoor areas at this brewery. However... we both felt that this had more of a "bar" feel than a brewery feel. It was crowded, there were not many places to sit, and it was so LOUD. I'm glad we went and crossed this one off our list but I'm not sure if we'll be back to this one.

We had a little bit more time to kill, so I google mapped where Revelry Brewing was. It was a two minute drive from Palmetto! We had to go, naturally.

Revelry Brewing was much more our type of brewery and we loved it from the minute we drove up to it. They have a good outdoor seating area, a huge open garage door on the side of the brewery, and part of their bar is made up of an old piano.
That's right.

A piano.

That was hands down my favorite part of the entire brewery. My beer {Gullah Cream Ale} was absolutely fantastic, too.

One week, five total breweries {including a trip to River Rat in Columbia & one down in Savannah}, and three more breweries crossed off our never ending bucket list. I think that counts as a successful week, right?

Check back tomorrow for our Savannah Brewery adventure!

15 July 2016

Laura & Stephen: A Southern Savannah Wedding

Savannah, and specifically the Lutheran Church of the Ascension, makes for a beautiful backdrop for a wedding.

The church is located in the heart of downtown Savannah right along one of the dozens of squares that pop up around town. It's an old, gorgeous, well known church in the city and it was the perfect spot for Laura & Stephen to get married this past weekend.

I'm not going to lie - Patrick and I shared a little freak out moment together once we sat down together in the church. That was the moment we realized that HOLY COW our wedding was in exactly three weeks and the next time we're in a church on a Saturday afternoon it will be for our wedding. Yup. Minor freak out. But it passed.
... until the music started and the doors opened for Laura to walk down the aisle with her dad. She walked down the aisle to the same song that I have selected for our wedding and cue the emotional waterworks.
Don't worry. We got it together by the time the end of the ceremony rolled around.

The square across the street made for the perfect location for an impromptu photo shoot with our families.

& then it was off to the reception!

I've said it once and I'll say it again: if you're getting married and you want a live band at your wedding, you need to get in touch with The Extraordinaires. They are amazing. They play the best music and keep you dancing all night long. We were all a hot mess by the end of the night after several hours of dancing.

The new Mr & Mrs:


Between the dancing and spending time with our friends and the sunglasses and sparklers, we had an absolute ball.

How could you not with crazy friends like this?

Some of us had too much fun being a ring bearer and dancing around the reception in cute suspenders:

Congratulations, Laura & Stephen!

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