Monday, December 15, 2014
Now that I had picked my 6 ladies to stand by me, I started thinking of creative ways to ask them to be in our wedding. I spent hours on Pintrest...browsed stores for days...and then finally decided that I wanted to put together a "Bridesmaid Box". These boxes ended up more perfect than I imagined and they were full of special items for each of my ladies. This best advice I can give to others planning to make a box for your bridesmaid, is to make it personal. Buy items that are special to you and your girls! That will make it even more unique and special for them! First, I started with the boxes. I was planning to make them with a variety of pictures but found these at Michael's and decided that pre-made boxes would save me time and money in the long run. So glad I picked these. Next I started collecting supplies to go inside.
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 3:19 PM
As you probably know I have been a bridesmaid in eleven weddings. Those eleven days were eleven of the most special days of my life. There is nothing better than standing by your best friends as they vow their lives to their partners. A wedding means a lot to me in regards to the bonding of two people. However, it also means a lot in regards to the bonding experience you have with the women who are included in your wedding. So, naturally, when it came time to sit down and pick the lovely ladies who would be standing by my side as I marry Kevin, it was very important to me that I take into consideration all the lovely ladies that I know and call my best friends. I have been so blessed to have a large group of women who have been a part of of my becoming who I am. Now, for those of you haven't had to do this yet...narrowing down your closest friends to a select few is without a doubt one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. After much thought and prayer, I came down to choosing six lovely ladies who have been integral parts of who I am. Two of these women have known me my entire life and I am lucky enough to call my sisters. Two of these women are not only best friends to me, they are also my cousins. And then the other two of these women are without a doubt my very best friends. Collectively, they have inspired me, loved me, supported me, cried with me, and been there for all the important moments in my life. I am honored that they will stand beside me as I marry Kevin. Naturally, there are additional women who I would have loved to have standing by me as well. I am so blessed to have SO MANY amazing women in my life and over the years this is something that I have not taken for granted. I have been blessed with the ability to really connect with other people. And through my connections I have gained so much as result from the women in my life. I hope that as I marry Kevin, ALL the women who I am lucky enough to call my friends will know that I look up to every one of you. I admire some of you as strong, independent women and I pray that I will always know who I am and fight for what is right.I admire some of you as wives and pray that I can be a wife like you are. I admire some of you as mothers and I pray that I can love my future children in the ways that you love yours. I admire some of you as faithful servants and pray that I can show my love for God the way that you do. No matter which category you are in, please know that I look up to all of you and I am so thankful for the example you have set forward for me as a woman, a wife, a mother, and a friend.
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 2:27 PM
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
When Kevin and I sat down to start looking at potential dates for the wedding, it was immediately a puzzle that we would have to put together. Before Kevin proposed, I had always pictured a fall wedding. Since I was assuming he would propose in November, I was thinking that a year long engagement would be perfect ending in a November wedding. So, you can imagine the kink Kevin threw in my plans when he popped the question in August. Looking back now, I am SO glad that he didn't wait until November. I would have been impatiently waiting and honestly, was ready to marry him back in early Spring! So, the fun began of really considering how long we wanted our engagement to be and what would be the perfect day for the Gleason Wedding! November was over a year away and I just didn't want to wait that long. When we started RCIA classes at St. Mary's our teacher shared this quote with me...and it of course rang very true with us...
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 9:18 AM
Everyone has heard about "that moment" happening when a bride slips on that white wedding dress. Well, on October 25th, 2014, I had "that moment"! It was a day that I hadn't really pictured in my head. Throughout the entire wedding planning experience I have struggled with picturing myself. I could always picture Kevin, walking down the aisle to him, the hall, and my friends and family having an awesome time at our reception...but the one thing I couldn't see was me. That all changed, with my dress shopping day! It was hard to decide who to take with me on the dress shopping adventure. I wanted to take the whole crew of #LesleysLadies, but after reading a few blogs and thinking about it, I knew that due to space in the dressing rooms, I wanted to stick with the moms and my sisters! We have spent many weekends in a dressing room together over the years and they have never steered me wrong in regards to an honest opinion before, so why start now. I also was very excited that Kevin's mom got to join us for the weekend. Having two boys, I knew that this was a special day for her and who would know what Kevin would like better than his mom. So, to Houston to Houston we went. As I got ready I heard some racket going on in Lindsey's living room. As I walked out, I was surprised to see this waiting for me. My family always knows how to make little things into big moments with unforgettable memories. This day, was no exception.
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 8:25 AM
Welp, the countdown is officially begun. In 158 days I will become Mrs. Kevin Gleason. Crazy to think about how quickly the time will fly by. A little over 3 months has passed since we got engaged and I am feeling really good about the wedding planning and have been in awe of how nicely everything has come together so far. Maybe it is the experiences I have had being a bridesmaid 11 times or maybe my event planning experience at work, but I feel like I am rocking this whole "bride" thing. It didn't take long after the proposal for me to sit down and start making my lists. Anyone that knows me knows that I find a great deal of joy in excel spreadsheets and word document timelines. So...not long after the lists had been formed. We started the event planning with the Fall Bridal Show in College Station on September 21st! I wasn't sure what to expect but having been to the bridal show in Houston with Lacey when she got married I was ready to feel overwhelmed. As I started browsing the aisles of florists, rental places, caterers, and bakeries, I wasn't stressed at all. The opposite really, I was having FUN! The girls with me were so helpful and from that moment, I realized that what I had coming my way over the next 8+ months was going to be so wonderful. Having the wedding in Cameron, we didn't need a reception location or a caterer, but nevertheless, we had a ball eating free cupcakes and signing up for tons of free giveaways (which I didn't win). Overall, it was the perfect way to start out planning our special day with #LesleysLadies. Here are a few pictures form the Bridal Show...
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 8:08 AM
Monday, November 10, 2014
For those of you who know me well, you know that I love to reflect. This weekend will mark a full year since my first date with Mr. Gleason. We met back in August but for some odd reason it took that man a whole two months to finally make a date with me a priority. In his defense, October 2013 was a pretty crazy month for my family. At the beginning of the month my dad found out he had a blood clot in his leg which made some new challenges. At the end of October, our family had one of the worst weeks when we lost my aunt. All of these things resulted in Kevin and I having to reschedule our first date three times. I guess it true what they say, third time is a charm. When November 1st came along and I was supposed to go to dinner with Kevin, I honestly wasn't sure I wanted to. Not because I wasn't excited about getting to know him, but because it had been a pretty heavy week. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I needed dinner with someone who didn't know all the sadness we had been experiencing. On Friday night, November 1, 2014, I agreed to dinner with a man who I had no idea I would be engaged to a year later. I had been asking around for some suggestions for the perfect place for a dinner date. I asked around and did lots of research which led to choosing Napa Flats, a new place in town. After multiple outfit texts to Bethany, I found the perfect outfit and waited patiently. As soon as I opened the door and saw him, all the craziness went away and I just felt happy. Happy that we finally had a chance to do dinner and happy for the chance to get to know a really great guy. After an extended dinner that turned into an even longer conversation post-dinner, I was super surprised at just how interesting I found this man. He was smart, played guitar, knew some people I knew, paid for dinner, and made me smile. I had no idea at the end of the night just how much I needed all those things. The next day I got some free tickets to the A&M Football game and was surprised when I decided to invite Kevin to go with me. He agreed (which now might have been because he liked me and might have been because he liked Aggie Football, not sure which). Again, I was pleasantly surprised at just how warm he was and how happy he made me feel. Here is a picture of us at the game on our "second date"...
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 7:34 AM
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
On October 14, 2013 (1 year ago today) our family sat in the waiting room in a hospital in Katy, Texas. We were overjoyed and patiently waiting to meet a little boy. We knew he would make his arrival that day and prayed for a safe delivery for Lacey and a healthy Owen. At 1:17 pm, Owen Joseph Abraham was born. He was perfect and weighed 8 lbs, 11 oz, 21 inches long. From the moment I saw him, I knew what a little blessing he was. Although, I had not idea just how much joy he would bring us in the past year. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from his birthday.
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 8:30 AM
Monday, September 29, 2014
Kevin's dad sent us a link to a list of the marriage advice. Credit goes to http://davewillis.org/the-best-marriage-advice-ever/, I just copied it here to share with all of you. As Kevin and I prepare for marriage, I see a lot of value in this. I hope that is a great reminder for all of my married friends, and something to look forward to for all of my single friends. 1. Choose to love each other even in those moments when you struggle to like each other. Love is a commitment, not a feeling. 2. Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling and when possible, try to keep your phone off when you’re together with your spouse. 3. Make time together a priority. Budget for a consistent date night. Time is the “currency of relationships” so consistently invest time into your marriage. 4. Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage and remove yourself from people who may tempt you to compromise your character. 5. Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage. Share moments of joy, and even in the hard times, find reasons to laugh. 6. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a “winner” and a “loser.” You are partners in everything so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution. 7. Remember that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak. (This is one of the many wise nuggets from my amazing wife, Ashley!) 8. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom. It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it! 9. Remember that marriage isn’t 50-50, divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It’s not splitting everything in half, but both partners giving everything they’ve got! 10. Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else. 11. Learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is masterfully unique! 12. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage. 13. Never keep secrets from each other. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy. 14. Never lie to each other. Lies break trust and trust is the foundation of a strong marriage. 15. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” 16. When your husband/wife breaks your trust, give them your forgiveness instantly which will promote healing and create the opportunity for trust to be rebuilt. You should be quick to say, “I love you. I forgive you. Let’s move forward.” 17. Be patient with each other. Your spouse is always more important that your schedule. 18. Model the kind of marriage that will make your sons want to grow up to be good husbands and your daughters want to grow up to be good wives. 19. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/her biggest critic. Be the one who wipes away their tears, not the one who causes them. 20. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people or vent about them online. Protect your spouse at all times and in all places. 21. Always wear your wedding ring. It will remind you that you’re always connected to your spouse and it will remind the rest of the world that you’re off limits! 22. Connect into a community of faith. A good church can make a world of difference in your marriage and family. 23. Pray together. Every marriage is stronger with God in the middle of it. 24. When you have to choose between saying nothing or saying something mean to your spouse, say nothing every time! 25. Never consider divorce as an option. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other!
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 9:22 AM
Monday, September 22, 2014
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 12:05 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2014
For the month leading up to the proposal, I was hoping that Kevin was busy making some plans. We had talked about rings and the future and just how beautiful it would be when it finally would be a reality. Early on in our relationship I had told Kevin that we needed to date for at least 1 year. I had this crazy idea that I needed to experience every holiday with Kevin before he popped the question. That makes complete sense, right? We went on our first date November 1st, so I was just being patient until November came around. Luckily, Kevin viewed our meeting as the year mark. SO… on Saturday, August 23rd Kevin’s plan was set into motion. A couple months earlier Kevin suggested paying for his mom to get a mani/pedi for her birthday. I agreed and Kerri (Kevin’s Mom) sneakily suggested that we wait and go the weekend they came to Cameron for the Marak Picnic. Since we met at the picnic, I thought it would be neat for his parents to come to visit that weekend. That morning Kevin’s mom and I went to Temple to cash in on this mani/pedi followed by lunch with Kevin and his dad. Any opportunity for me to be a little spoiled in addition to his mom sounded like a great idea to me. The entire morning/early afternoon seemed completely normal and I literally had no hints that Kevin would be proposing hours later. In preparation for Kevin's parents being in town I also invited my sisters to join us for dinner at Oscar Store (one of our favorite places). I had been texting Lacey that week and she shared that they weren't planning on being in Cameron that weekend due to school starting on Monday. That afternoon as I was driving myself home from Temple I got a text from Lacey saying that they decided to come and were at Mom and Dad's. I immediately starting smiling thinking oh what a PERFECT DAY. I would get to see my nephews, have our families in one place, and then a it hit me. Family is in town, nails are done, dinner plans tonight….this was it! My stomach sank in excitement that this could be the day. However, after arriving at home, everything seemed normal, no one was excited, no one was dressed up, no one was acting weird. So naturally, I convinced myself that I had been making all of this up in my head. The week prior, I was cleaning Kevin's house in preparation for his parents coming into town. As he was outside I moved some stacks around to put them away. One of those stacks included 2 phone books (honestly Kevin Gleason, it is 2014, no one uses those things). As he came into the house he asked where I had moved his precious phone books. Curiously I inquired why it mattered and he shared with me that something very important was in there. He shared that he had been working on a letter that he wanted to give me. After PROMISING that I had not seen the letter he let it go. Well, on Saturday amongst our families Kevin told me that he had finished the letter. He said that he wanted me to read it and of course, Lesley was confused. “Can’t I read it later while we are alone?” "Why would I read a letter in the middle of a group of people?" Then all of a sudden, it hit me...this was IT. We went outside and read the letter (which was perfectly written and shared some of the sweetest words that have ever been written to me). As I finished the letter I prepared to see Kevin getting down on a knee, but he did not. No question was popped and we headed back into the house. Of course, at this point I am thinking, this was a trick. When we go back inside there will be fireworks, a waterfall, Aaron Watson, something? Again, everyone seemed normal and did not address us leaving for a good 30 minutes to go outside. As time passed I was starting to get antsy. We had a reservation (which was quickly approaching) and we were without a doubt going to be late. If you know anything about me, you know that I hate being late. All of a sudden Kerri mentioned that Kevin should “play that song for Lesley real quick.” Really? We don't have time for this!! And yet again, I finally had it figured out. Kevin would play a sweet song and then after get down on one knee and pop the question. I was so focused on that plan (the plan I knew was so Kevin) that meanwhile, he asked me to get him a guitar pick out of his case. Naturally, I leaned over, removed all the stuff in the guitar case (including a little brown box AKA THE RING!) and tossed it all to the side. My hair was in my face and it was kinda dark so I really couldn't see well but quickly determined that there was no guitar pick to be seen. As I looked up, I immediately saw Kevin, on one knee with the box I had just tossed aside in hand. I was in shock....surprised to say the least (although I was expecting it after the song). Kevin quickly asked me to marry him and of course I said yes. For all you women out there, you know that when you find the right one, all you can do is think of the engagement. How ill he do it? What will I be wearing? Will my hair be fixed? Will my nails be done? I was right there with you. And as he proposed I started thinking oh gosh, this is it. But all of a sudden a sense of peace came over me and realized that proposals are just a small part of a marriage. I was so honored to share in this moment with my parents, my sisters, brother in law, nephews, and Kevin's parents. But in all honesty, all that really mattered was that Kevin was the one asking me to be his wife. After I realized what just happen, our families prayed with us and we proceeded (as planned and LATE) to Oscar Store for dinner. Since the proposal we have been in a whirlwind of happiness. We have been SO overwhelmed by the amount of people extending their well wishes and prayers to us. I have always known what a fantastic support system I had, but getting engaged was a perfect reminder of the extent of friends and family we have behind us, rooting for us to be happy. So, here I am...ENGAGED. Be on the lookout for more blogs as I enter this fun time of being a bride. I know I will learn a lot and see a different side of weddings that I haven't seen before. So stay tuned for my journey to being Mrs. Gleason!
Posted by Lesley Vaculin at 10:35 AM