August 29, 2014

our wedding: the first look.

 The day after we got engaged, I asked Peyton if we could elope...and he thought I was kidding.  I don't blame him, what woman normally asks for a man to for-go the beautiful wedding, the white dress, and all of the pomp and circumstance that goes with a wedding?  It's definitely not the norm, but is something that I was so passionate about.  

Peyton and I both work in an industry where people are constantly vying for our attention. We both work where people need us and we have a lot of knowledge that is valuable to others.  He runs conferences and leadership events, I know a little about everything in our company to be dangerous. People seek us out and we love being able to help those in need.

What I said above is what really made me consider eloping.  We tend to people all day long, so when it comes to "us", there is never time for just he and I.  I wanted to take our parents and siblings, the preacher man, and go get married by the pond where our engagement pictures were taken.  I wanted that intimate moment so badly...I wanted to focus on our marriage, not a wedding itself.  I already had a simple white J. Crew dress hanging in closet, some pretty jewels, and was ready to marry that boy any moment he was convinced that eloping was the best option too.  

After much discussion, we decided that we didn't want to regret not having our friends and family by our sides, so we decided to have a small wedding...which turned into 186 people.  

 I am so glad he convinced me to go ahead with a ceremony and reception. We have beautiful and holy memories from our ceremony, we had a great team of bridesmaids and groomsmen,  and we had a lot of fun celebrating with family and friends.  

After making the decision to not elope, I was still seeking that private moment between he and I, so we agreed on a first look.  We didn't do anything traditional about our wedding (no bouquet toss, no garter, no unity candle, no wedding favors), so why do the traditional first look down the aisle? We planned the first look with our photographer (her first!!) and it was one of the best decisions we made throughout the wedding planning process.
One of my favorite moments was between my dad and I before the first look.  He helped me get in the car and drove me across the street to where I was meeting Peyton.  My dad used to take me to school as a little girl, so I felt those memories flooding back. Even though we didn't talk much, it was so fun for my dad and I to have that moment together.  
I was so excited to see Peyton that I practically jogged my way over to him. Not seeing each other for 18 hours isn't fun, especially the night before you get married!  In the middle of my jog walk to Peyton, Tiffani stopped me and told me turn around.  It was seriously torture for both he and I. I was so ready to get my arms around him and to begin our life as one.  
Even though my dress wasn't a "surprise" when I walked down the aisle, it was still a special moment between he and I.  I knew that when I got down to the end of the aisle, my groom was going to be there waiting and in the end, that's all that mattered to me. I wanted to start a life with him, I wanted to be his wife, and nothing else at that time was on my mind. We still had "the moment" and I even got Peyton to shed a few tears. Come back next week to see how I got him to shed a few tears and get a look into our ceremony!

Did you do a first look? If so, why? If you stayed traditional...I would love to know why too!
All photos taken by the wonderful Tiffani Evans Photo!

August 27, 2014

our wedding: the groomsmen.

It's finally time for you to meet our groomsmen! This should be an interesting post because I met three of the six groomsmen the night before the wedding.  It took me no time to write about my bridesmaids because they are all of my best girlfriends...but my my impression of these groomsmen has the potential to be sweet and slightly funny, so get ready!
First and foremost...let me say that he has some of the BEST friends.  Such sweet sweet gentlemen.

Peyton's Best Man was his childhood (and still) best friend Bobby. I met Bobby five years ago when Peyton and I first met. The three of us went geocaching together and had so much fun getting to know each other.  Bobby and I got our fair share of poison ivy and shared many laughs at with Peyton. These two share such a serious friendship (as you can see below) and are truly best friends.  Bobby is married to a sweet girl named Sarah and I cannot wait to spend more time with them as a couple.  
Ohh Andy.  Where do I even begin with my new brother-in-law?  Andy has always been so sweet to me, but don't let that nice smile fool you. I have learned in these past few months that Andy is nothing more than a big kid with a big heart.  He is married to my wonderful sister-in-law and has two daughters that are just a couple years older than me. Andy always finds a way to pick on me...but what brother doesn't?!?
Which now leads me to my brother...this boy fit every single one of my bridesmaids in my parent's Toyota Prius and chauffeured them around the venue grounds.  He also took selfies with each bridesmaid, but none of the groomsmen. Hmmm...ladies, he's obviously single and on the market. If you want his number just let me know! (and I will send you an application)
I was able to meet Parker a couple of weeks before the wedding and I am so glad that I was able to.  Parker and his wife are currently living in Georgia and so kindly drove their way up here to be part of our big day.  Parker and Peyton were travel buddies when they were living in France.  Listening to their stories about riding camels, holding monkies, and getting lost in Europe scare and make me laugh all at the same time.  It's apparent that I can't leave these two alone without them getting into some sort of adventure.  
You know how a lot of people comment on the sweetness of southern gentlemen?  Even though Nico is from France, he could seriously pass as a southern gentleman. Nico and his wife were so willing to help us with everything. He and his wife are from California and flew all the way to North Carolina just for us. It was such a blessing to meet them and to have them in our lives. We can't wait to fly out and visit them!
This picture ranks close the top as one of my favorites from the entire wedding.  I just love how natural the relationship between Peyton and Dox is. I was able to meet Dox, his wife, and daughter the day before the wedding and everything that I had ever heard about them was so true.  Peyton and Dox met in SkillsUSA and have such a great "brotherly" relationship. Dox and his wife Emily are such great role models as to how love should be and it was just so special to watch them interact the day before we got married. This wonderful family traveled all the way from New York to celebrate our special day and I am so glad that they are now part of my life too!
Last but not least, is Peyton's friend CJ.  CJ wasn't one of our groomsmen, but he was one of our officiants!  CJ lives in Florida and has always been a great friend to Peyton.  Five years ago, Peyton and I picked CJ from the airport (he was a pilot at the time) and saw Zac Brown Band in concert.  So, I have been lucky enough to know this man for quite some time.  I am so glad that he was able to help officiate our was so special to have him here!
And that sums up our bridal party...

After being in a couple of weddings myself, I am so grateful for the people that chose to stand by our sides on our wedding day.  So much time, money, and effort went into being there for us and it really meant the world.  We only wish we could have spent some more time together!  
Up next...the First Look!

suits: Men's Wearhouse
photos by: Tiffani Evans Photo

August 26, 2014

my thoughts on one |1| month of marriage

Today's the day...the day I have been married to the love of my life for exactly one |1| month! Since one month is kind of a big deal, I thought I would take some time to recap our first month of marriage. I may start doing this every month...I may not. Who knows? BUT, I do think hitting the one month mark is something to celebrate...especially considering Kim Kardashian's marriage only lasted 72 days.  Heck, if anything, we are halfway there to beating a Kardashian record. Married life with this guy is definitely worth more than 72 days...he's stuck with me for way he's cutting out early. 

Y'all...marriage has been FUN! Every day I come home knowing that I get to love this boy for the rest of my life and nothing can put a bigger smile on my face than knowing that. We have experienced quite a bit together and I can't wait to start sharing more of it with y'all. I know we are newbies at this marriage thing and hard times will come...but soaking up these sweet moments together make each day of our marriage a little more meaningful than it was the day before. 

Here are some of my favorite moments:
+ Getting my last name changed to Holland!  Oh the joys of the DMV and Social Security office...but, I am officially a legal Holland!

+ We have been living out of five different places.  My apartment, our temporary rental home, his parents, and my parents, and an unfinished log home.  We sleep in the rental, but our stuff is everywhere else. It's a daily hunt to find the items we need on a daily basis. Mornings are interesting.

+ We went to our first wedding as a married couple! 

+ A late night grocery store run for cookie dough, ice cream, and chocolate milk because we only plan on living in "town" once.

+ Getting to the hospital at 5:45am  to wish my dad well into his knee replacement surgery.

+ Peyton cooking a DELICIOUS supper for us.

+ While dozing off, if he tries to talk to me, I will apparently talk about random things...particularly zoo animals.  Elephants in tap shoes and monkeys in the attic.  Trust me, he does an excellent job of taking care of me. 

+ My siblings frequently come to visit us...they must like their new brother or something (I like him too)

and last but not least...

Kara: (setting up 2 shampoos,  2 conditioners, deep conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, razors,  and loofahs on the bathtub ledge)

Peyton: What is this? Target?

Kara: It's what happens when you get married. You must have forgotten to read the fine print... 

How was your first month of marriage? 

August 25, 2014

our wedding: the bridesmaids

Our bridesmaids and groomsmen were seriously the best.  They traveled from near and far and were some of the best help we have ever had.  Peyton and I just wish that we could have spent more time with them!!  Since Peyton and I were only engaged two months and dated for about two months prior to getting engaged, we didn't know each other's friends that well. We each knew a handful of them from because we had known each other for five years, but as we grew and changed during those five years, so did our friends.
Bridesmaids with sunflowers

Without further ado, let me introduce to you the six bridesmaids that stood by my side!

My maid of honor was my sister Katherine.  Thank goodness the Lord blessed me with a sister, because I think if I would have had to choose a girlfriend to be my maid of honor, I would have had one.  Girls get jealous over that stuff...and let me tell you...I ain't got time for all that drama. My sister is still in high school, so this was the first wedding she stood up in.  She did an awesome job juggling maid of honor duties and musician duties (she plays violin and had her string quartet play for us!)
Katherine Miller
I knew my roommate Danielle had to be one of my bridesmaids. Danielle and I met teaching at St. Pauls High School in Robeson County and we clung to each other.  We talked every morning, brought each other breakfast and coffee, and eventually started spending time together outside of school.  At the time, we were both new to the area and didn't have any local friends.  After I accepted my position at Cheminova, she was offered a job to teach and coach in the area.  We decided to be roommates and it was one of the best years of my life. Words can't even describe how much I loved living with her and her sweet dog Tyson.  
Danielle Moore
Hannah and I have been best friends since we were little girls. She still lives in Michigan, so we only get to see each other maybe once a year.  We went to elementary and middle school together and spent every second we could together.  Remember those times when you would beg your momma to spend the night at you best friend's house several nights in a row? Yeaah...that was us.  We would spend so much time together that we would get sick of each other, yet, we were inseparable. She is definitely one of those gals where we can go months without talking and pick back up right where we left off.  I just love friends like that!
Hannah Goers
Genia started working at my family's feed store about two years ago, so naturally, we became close friends when we worked at the store together on Saturdays. The agriculture industry is mostly men, so it is extremely refreshing to find women that love it just as much as my mom, sister, and I do. When Peyton and I started dating, Genia always wanted the latest scoop. She looks a lot like my sister and I, so everyone always asks if we are siblings.  I would definitely claim her as a sister if I could!
Genia Plummer
Lauren and I met when we students at North Carolina State University.  Lauren had moved from Louisiana and was working on her Master's Degree while I was finishing my bachelor's. Someone in our department had asked me to show her around, so we became close friends and started going to football games, carpooling in the mornings, and walking together.  I helped introduce Lauren to her husband Alex and was lucky enough to be able to be a bridesmaid in her wedding!! Even though she lives in Louisiana, we still make time and keep up with each other through our blogs.  Check hers out here!
Lauren Edwards
Last but not least is one of my best friends, Olivia.  Olivia and I met in the FFA and continued our friendship in college.  We were both studied Agriculture Education and spent most of our time together.  She lived in the dorms that I was an RA in and was in most of my classes.  We probably ate way too many Starburst jelly beans, watched too much TV, and became pros at taking naps. Every year, I get a Christmas tree from her family's Christmas tree farm...and plan on taking Peyton this year to start our own family tradition!  You can read all about it here!
Olivia Watson

I am so blessed to have had these six wonderful girls stand by my side.  Each one of them has been by my side in good times and in bad, and has really proven to me what true friendship is. The night before the wedding, several of them came over and stayed the night.  We had so much fun watching Bridesmaids and chatting about life. The morning of the wedding, we sat around in our pajamas eating french toast and drinking coffee. Doing hair and makeup and watching them put on their dresses was so much fun. Definitely moments I will never forget!

Dresses: Ann Taylor
Photos: Tiffani Evans Photo

August 22, 2014

our wedding: her dress & his suit

Bride and Groom
It took me until after our wedding to fall in love with my wedding dress.


I know. But it's the truth. Picking out my wedding dress was not one of my favorite parts about wedding planning.  It was fun and I had a blast shopping with my mom and sister, but to me it was just a fancy, expensive dress....and let's be honest here, I am a jeans, t-shirt, and boots kind of girl. 

After trying on about six dresses, I found what I would call "the one".  The one I said "yes to the dress to" and quickly found a lady to begin the alterations process. It was pretty and I liked it, but I didn't love it. 

Until the day I married Peyton

...and man, that dress got a whole new meaning to it.  Before the wedding I was convinced I was just going to sell it afterwards, but now, I am not so sure about that. It's hanging up in our temporary home and every time I look at it, I get the biggest smile.  I married my husband in that dress.  What dress could ever be more special than that?
Bride with Sunflower Bouquet
I could write for days how handsome Peyton looked in his suit. I just love the way it all came together.  We chose a light gray three piece suit from Men's Wearhouse, a blue gingham shirt, and a royal blue tie.  The subtle touches of blue made his blue eyes and the yellow of his boutonniere pop. I am so jealous of how good this boy looks in blue...I seriously wish I could pull it off as well as he does.  
Blue Gingham Wedding
Last but not least, without even knowing, we each decided to go with brightly colored shoes. Peyton and I chose to do a first look (more of that coming soon) and when we saw each other, we both got excited that we had chosen fun shoes for our wedding day attire. I had chosen yellow heels and Peyton had chosen blue suede shoes.  It took forever for Peyton to find the perfect blue suede shoes for his size 15 feet, but I'd have to say, he knocked it out of the park. Blue suede shoes went perfectly with our wedding colors, but the meaning of them goes much deeper.  Peyton and I both love Elvis and listen to him on a daily a matter of fact, our first dance was "Can't Help Falling In Love" (kind of...more on that later) and our reception walk-in was "Burning Love". Wearing blue suede shoes on our wedding day while dancing to Elvis made it feel that more special. 

At the end of the evening, we were so happy with how everything just came together so seamlessly.  Our wedding attire definitely showcased our personalities and our love for a classic yet vintage look.  Stay tuned for our bridesmaids and groomsmen looks that made our day even better!
Blue Suede Shoes

*All photos were taken by the lovely Tiffani Evans Photo

August 21, 2014

dessert first please!

It's about time I post another accomplishment in my 101 in 1001 challenge.  Growing up, I was never allowed to eat dessert first, so as an adult, I have to admit that this happens more often than not. It's kind of fun being a rebel every once in a while.

Anyways, several months ago I traveled to Kansas City for a meeting with work and after a full day of travel and filling up on appetizers, I wasn't super hungry.  I decided that moment was the perfect moment to cross off another one of my goals!

So, I had a Salted Caramel Butterscotch Pudding before eating my salad! It was so incredibly delicious. 

Have you ever eaten dessert before your actual meal?

Another goal completed
59. Eat dessert first at a restaurant DONE! (5/5/14)

August 20, 2014

our wedding: the flowers.

Let me let you in on a little secret...

I never dreamed of having a wedding.

You heard it...the secret is out.  I never dreamed of getting married.  Don't believe me, just ask my best friend Hannah.  She'll tell you.  As a little girl I thought boys had cooties and I wanted nothing to do with them. All I wanted to do was become a veterinarian and take care of livestock.  It was simple and easy concept, and at that time, nothing was going to sway my mind.

As I got older, things started to change.  In college, I binge-watched Say Yes to the Dress and started pinning hundreds of wedding ideas to Pinterest. At some point in my high school/college career, I realized that I loved people, but more specifically, I really wanted to love one man and hoped he would love me back. I wanted a God-centered marriage...for me it was never about the wedding, it was what happened after.  

And that's when I met Peyton Holland.  The first true love of my life. If you are new here (or just want a refresher) and want to read all about this husband of mine...feel free to read herehere, and here. Peyton and I both love people and know lots of them, but for us, it was more important to focus on us and our marriage.  The rest of our lives wouldn't be about this big party we had to celebrate, but about the vows and the commitment we made to each other.  I firmly believe that's how we were both so calm throughout wedding planning process and the actual day.
|photo by Tiffani Evans Photo|
Anyways, our love is shared through a couple of different bonds.  
+ a hanging basket
+ our love for Career and Technical Education
+ and a sense of adventure

Once he proposed, I said yes, and the wedding planning began, there was one thing I knew I was sure of.  I wanted to do my own flowers.  

I was blessed enough to attend a high school that has a award winning horticulture program. As part of this program, my sister and I have had the opportunity to work with flowers and experiment with elements of floral design.  It is one of the most beautiful aspects of agriculture, so I knew that fresh flowers were a must for our wedding.

I chose four varieties of flowers to work with:
+ sunflowers
+ delphiniums
+ baby's breath
+ chrysanthemums (just for the boutonnieres'

Sunflowers just beamed with happiness, blue delphiniums made Peyton's blue eyes twinkle, and the baby's breath added a touch of elegant class. I only took the Friday off before the wedding, so my mom and sister helped me with the bouquets and boutonnieres' on Thursday evening. We all have experience working with flowers and love working together on them.

Here are the boutonnieres' (Peyton's on left, groomsmen on right). The bridesmaids' bouquets were simply five stems of sunflowers wrapped in burlap.  
|photo by Tiffani Evans Photo|
The one thing that I was most excited about was my bridal bouquet.  Most girls dream of their wedding dress, but for me it was my bouquet.  I knew what I wanted and had a very clear vision of it in my it took no time for me to make it.  I was going to follow suit with the bridesmaid bouquets and wrap mine in burlap, but then I found a piece of lace that just made it so feminine, classic, and unique.  I am still in love and wish I could have preserved the colors and scent of it forever. 

Our wedding flowers were just one way that our personalities were reflected on our beautiful day.  Happiness and joy radiated from both of our faces and the smiles of our families.  It just comes to show how a little color, a lot of love, and bundles of sunflowers can make any day, a brighter day...especially our wedding day! 
|photo by Tiffani Evans Photo|

August 4, 2014

Chatham Park.

About nine years ago, my parents packed our family up and we headed south.  At that time, our family was in shambles.  I was upset with my parents for moving me in high school and taking me away from some of my favorite things in Michigan: my church, my 4-H group, and the home that I grew up in. Our stuff was scattered everywhere and we were moving just in time for my siblings and I to start playing our respective fall sports. Things were still being resolved in Michigan, so my dad stayed there for a couple of my months and we were just living with my mom. Some of that time was tough...I was going through the typical teenage "why are my parents so weird" stage, and there were five of us and two dogs crammed into a 1000 sq. foot rental home.  

It was official. My parents had moved me to the smallest town possible.  My high school had 400 students total which was in the middle of the rural country surrounded by pastures.  I loved the country setting, but, I had to make friends with 400 people that had grown up together?! Really mom and dad? Thanks for setting me up for failure. It was hard at first and my family grew really close during that time.  We only had each other, so we did everything together.  We cleaned up the store and played tennis at the community park most nights.  We rode our bikes to the library and played games in the yard.  It was a lot of fun now that I look back on those times. School got much better as I got older...I fell in love with the FFA and played keeper on the school soccer team.  I had found my niche and began to love this little state that I had once hated.

So, that brings me to where I am today.  I currently work outside of Raleigh, the beautiful capital city of North Carolina.  I spent four years at North Carolina State University and loved every ounce of my time there.  I have lived close to everything, so you think I would have been happy. But every day I found myself living in Cary, I was yearning to be back in Chatham County; back to the small town I grew up in, a town that I now love and can't wait to raise my family in. I never thought I would want to come back to Chatham County, but I am happy here.  I love our feed store, I love the people, and I love the simplicity of it.  Small town grills, local farmers sitting on the park bench in town, and the beautiful rolling hills of this county. Something about it is just so serene and peaceful...I am so thankful that my husband wants to raise our family here too.

Something is changing about my small town though...

It's called Chatham Park
And each day I just see the little town that I love, a town that I want to raise my family in, disappearing. Chatham Park isn't just something small, it is going to take our little town of 4,000 people to over 60,000 people.  It is going to bring 22,000 new residences and 13 million square feet of developed space.  Now, the brains behind this operation is a good man.  Mr. Jim Goodnight, the CEO of SAS Institute helped develop Cary into what it is today and wants small town Chatham County the same way.

This is where my heart is torn. Mr. Goodnight is a classy man and he has done good things for Cary.  He brought successful people and a booming research industry to the triangle, but that isn't small town Chatham County. Each and every weekend people drive down from Cary to Pittsboro and fall in love with the town.  They love the simplicity of Chatham County, the beauty of it, and the old small-town southern charm.  People want their children to experience small town life, even if they choose to live in the big city. People want to walk historic down-towns, eat treats from the bakery, and drink milkshakes from the local soda shoppe.  There is a small town family atmosphere here, and people love that feeling.

We don't have a Target, a Walmart, or an area full of large department store shopping, but I am okay with that.  I love Target just as much as any girl out there, but I am okay driving 20-30 minutes to get there. Sometimes it isn't convenient, but most of the time all it takes is a little bit of planning to get what you need. We don't have the Longhorn Steakhouses or Applebees, but we have a local brewery and an awesome soda shoppe. Small town life is where my heart is and nothing is going to change that part about me.  

I'm in my young 20s and understand growth is going to happen.  I understand that the population of the world is increasing and they are going to need somewhere to live, but sometimes I wish it wasn't my town.  Let's leave it to the local farmers that help feed the world and to those who love small town life. I want people to experience the beauty of Chatham County, but unfortunately, a development like Chatham Park isn't going going to give that same feeling that I get each time I cross over into Chatham County.  A place that I call home.

August 2, 2014

we're back!

We are officially married and I am the newest Mrs. Holland on the block!  

It has been so fun changing my name, telling everyone about the honeymoon, and being hitched to this crazy man I call my husband. We have officially been married for a week and it has been the best week. I know we are freshly married, but man…life is just so fun with your best friend.

Our wedding was so beautiful and so sweet and I cannot wait to tell y'all about the best day of my life.  But, you will just have to wait for that…#sorrynotsorry

Lots of change has been happening around this little part of the web and there will probably be some more change happening in the next few months.  I hope to be able to spend a little more time in these parts once life gets a little more settled. Let me just tell you, there will be plenty of life lessons shared on this little blog. 

When I tell you that I married a southern man, I married a SOUTHERN man. I'm a wanna-be southern belle with midwestern roots. All I can say is…bless my little heart.  I have quite a bit of learning to do. I plan on sharing my successes, my failures, and the many laughs of this newly married life.

The biggest change is the domain name for this little space and across social media. You can now find my blog here:

Twitter: @mrskaraholland
Instagram: @mrskaraholland

And…to all of my blog friends with Bloglovin accounts.  Click the button below to re-follow me on Bloglovin!
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