New York- Part 2

Walking through the snow-kissed streets of Brooklyn with Andrew was a dream. We no longer felt like tourists, but a happy couple, walking hand in hand in a place that felt like home.  We traversed the streets, enjoying all the nooks and crannies our new favorite borough had to offer. Our time in Brooklyn ended with lunch at what was acclaimed by our ferry guide to be the best pizza in Brooklyn- Juliana’s. The pizza was absolutely delicious- a soft and chewy New York pizza with lots of fresh mozzarella, thin slices of prosciutto, and crowned with arugula.

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With full bellies and happy hearts we made our way back to the city. An exciting evening awaited us!

After getting all dolled up, we headed to the Theatre District to meet some family members for dinner. The restaurant was in an old brownstone- it was too cute! Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name. Anyone who knows me well knows how incredible my dad’s cooking is, especially Italian, so I am a tough critic when it comes to Italian food. This place was good, but haha apparently not the best since I can’t remember the name :D. However, it was at this restaurant that Andrew discovered his love of Prosecco!

After dinner we were off to one of the most anticipated parts of our trip, the Lion King! My parents purchased the tickets for us for Christmas and we had been counting down the days. The singing, dancing, costumes, sets, everything was fabulous! We were especially amused by the Lion King themed sippy cups which we were provided to enjoy our wine and cocktails. We were truly blown away! We had high expectations, but they were far-surpassed. We very highly recommend the Lion King to anyone interested in seeing a Broadway show!

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On Sunday morning we made our way to another highly anticipated landmark- St. Patrick Cathedral. I have always dreamed of attending mass at this cathedral and coincidentally we were married at St. Patrick Cathedral in Fort Worth. The expansive scale of the cathedral and the Neo-Gothic style are jaw dropping, as are the details.

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We spent the remainder of the morning walking across town and stopping in any cutesy shops along the way as we anticipated the arrival of our friend Kevin from Long Island. We stopped in the West Elm by Central Park and discovered that they promote local artists. We purchased a print by, Claudia Pearson, of adorable brownstones in a blue and green color scale.

After a delicious lunch from a local deli, we took a long walk back through the park to meet Kevin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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The Met is possibly the largest museum that any of us have seen- we spent 3 or 4 hours enjoying the exhibits and I don’t think we even covered half of the museum. The museum has been beautifully curated though and they have art from every culture and time period- we even saw Paul Revere’s spurs.

I wish we could have spent the entirety of every day taking in the city, but when Monday came I was off to training for work.

The majority of our excursions during the work week involve yummy dinner locales. Here is a list of some of our favorites:

  • Penelope’s– another wonderful recommendation from Andrew’s sister, Lindsay! The hummus, the warm brie and green apple sandwich, and sweet peas mac and cheese were delicious- the perfect blend of gourmet and home cooking!
  • Lombardi’s in Little Italy is the first pizzeria in America and was definitely our favorite of the trip! After dinner head next door for fabulous cannoli and tiramisu.

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We did however find that the absolute, best cannoli can be found at Caffe Palermo on Mulberry Street- we would have taken them home with us, but we would have eaten them all on the plane!

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While in Little Italy we stumbled upon a shop with all-original photographs by New York artists- the prints were on phone cases, canvases, wood, you name it! Andrew also found the perfect little driver’s hat that he had been searching for in Texas and New York.

Wendesday night we were lucky enough to see Kevin again at the Brooklyn Nets game! We are now fans of the Brooklyn Nets- we even have shirts to prove it :). Unfortunately, the Nets lost but we had a wonderful time with Kevin and seeing a game at the Barclays Center was really neat! The stadium is unlike any stadium I have even seen- it is so sleek and modern- the hallways almost seem more like a hotel than stadium tunnels. Barclays Center even has a Shake Shack across the street :).

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Our last night in New York was spent enjoying time with family over an Italian dinner at another quaint restaurant in the Theatre District. We thoroughly enjoyed catching up with many family members and our trip couldn’t have ended with a better evening. Well- there was actually one more stop after dinner which was pretty wonderful. We took the Subway, one last time, to highly touted Gramercy Tavern in the Flatiron District. The décor and vibes of Gramercy Tavern are mesmerizing- you have to see it to believe it. We definitely felt like we were hanging out with the swankiest and trendiest of the district- the hot chocolate martinis sure didn’t hurt either!

Just like that- we woke up and it was Friday. After a morning of training, we made our way to Eataly for one final and delicious meal, strolled the streets a little longer, and then dragged our feet to the taxi that would take us to the airport.

New York you are truly spectacular! We will be back so very soon and perhaps even permanently one day! The 9 days we spent in the city are days we will never, ever forget.

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If you have any New York stories, we would love to hear!

Love,

AH

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Our Wedding Highlight

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I truly have so much to be thankful for this year- marriage, a new puppy, a wonderful family and friends, a Lord who loves us, the list can go on and on 🙂

We were surprised over the Thanksgiving holiday with one additional gift to be thankful for- our wedding highlight! We are beyond grateful for the amazing team at Turquoise Video.

Here is the short version of our wedding highlight! We hope y’all enjoy reliving our special day as much as we do.

Love,

AH

Grapevine’s Annual Grapefest

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Grapevine’s Annual Grapefest with two of my favorite people- the handsome hubs and my sweet best friend and maid of honor, Sarah.

I am so thankful Sarah came to North Texas for the weekend! We have been sharing some of life’s best memories together for ten years (I can’t believe it has been that long!) and this weekend was no different.

From what I gather, the annual festival is a celebration of our quaint community, the beauty of the changing seasons, and an opportunity to rejoice in and enjoy what Grapevine is best known for- wine!

Andrew and I have dreamed of frequenting this festival since we moved to town a few months ago. Per usual, my optimism was high and I had grand expectations for this day!

Let me just say, that we were not disappointed.

From the moment we walked in and smelled the smelly smell smell of funnel cakes we knew it was going to be a good day.

Funnel cakes and wine- life was complete.

Main Street Grapevine was lined with wine and craft beer booths, carnival rides, local vendors and craftsmen, and funnel cakes (as well as other yummy snacks) :D.

As expected in our little town, the volunteers were as sweet as could be and we were efficiently ushered through the gates thanks to our electronic tickets.

Within a few minutes we were on a mission to find the divine nectar which we all adore.

We were momentarily distracted when we saw the sign for grape stomping. Sarah and I quickly jumped at this opportunity and Team Raisin Makers was soon signed up for battle.

We then returned to our search for wine. We purchased some tickets which allow festival goers to buy wine, beer, food, and funnel cakes. However, we decided it was in our best interest to start at the Italian Wine Experience.

The Italian Wine Experience was nothing less than divine ;).  For just $14 each we were given a commemorative wine glass and a card with a variety of Italian wines and their descriptions. We were directed to pick 6 wines from the list for tastings and much to our elation, we received a full glass on the last tasting! The selection was wonderful. Sarah recently returned from a trip to Italy so she enjoyed having the opportunity to embrace those distinct blends and Andrew and I enjoyed trying new varieties.

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After the wine experience, we used our coupons to fuel up for the grape stomp with none other than wine.

We scouted out the grape stomp competition and crafted our strategy while sipping on our glasses.

The day flew by and as soon as we knew it Team Raisin Makers was called to their posts!

With our grand cheering section of 1, Andrew, we stomped like we were the biggest hot shots in the festival! I stomped my half first, then Sarah went behind and pushed all of our juice through the hole in the barrel and into the glass I was holding.

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Being the intense competitors we are- we were giddy with excitement as they called out the results. It was close… but we lost by a few ounces.

We are proud to say that although we may not have won the coveted foot-shaped trophy we still came in second and we had a blast doing it. And after all that stomping we treated ourselves to a funnel cake- duh!

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We are proud of second place and wine-stained smiles

Scratch that off of our bucket list.

We finished the day cheering our horned frogs to victory at a burger joint on Main Street. It truly doesn’t get much better than that 🙂

Grapefest was everything I hoped it would be and more. If you have the opportunity to go next year I would highly recommend it! Let us know and we will grape stomp against you 😀

Have any of y’all ever been to Grapefest? What was your favorite part?

Happy weekend! I will be rooting my Texans to a 3 and 0 start!

Love,

AH

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Ellie got to have a special treat this weekend as well- her favorite puppacino from Starbucks.!

Ellie’s Adventure at the Emergency Hospital

I’m a little behind on posts and I apologize- this week has been a complete whirlwind. About a week and a half ago our little bear became suddenly ill. Initially she was simply disinterested in her favorite salmon and sweet potato kibble, but as the week progressed her lack of appetite turned into constant vomiting (too much information I know- sorry!). Ellie has a history of stomach issues due to her love of chewing on kennels and her associated separation anxiety so we played the vomiting off as another one of Ellie’s episodes.

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After a night filled with sickness and a morning of the like we knew this wasn’t one of Ellie’s typical “bad belly days.”

Fortunately, Andrew was off from work so he immediately rushed her to the Petsmart vet.

After running a series of tests, the vet believed Ellie might have pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis has no distinct cause and it can progress very quickly. The vet suggested we take Ellie to the emergency hospital as soon as possible.

So off we went- two adults twisted in a tangle of nerves and one sick pooch who was still giving lovies and acting as though nothing could slow her down.

After Ellie greeted the friendly emergency hospital staff with nothing other than smooches, we were ushered into a room where poor Ellie proceeded to get sick many more times. Symptoms were discussed and preliminary tests performed when the doctor informed us that if Ellie did have pancreatitis, her abdomen would be excruciatingly sore, which it was not- she happily rolled over for everyone to pet her. He also informed us that her x-rays did not indicate any kind of foreign object; however, he did note that not all foreign objects appear on x-rays. The probability that a foreign object was causing Ellie’s illness was high and we came to a fork in the road.

We could take Ellie home and hope and pray that home treatment would heal her or we could leave Ellie at the emergency hospital where she would have liquids pumped in to try and pass the foreign object while further tests were run. Neither solution was guaranteed to work, but a choice had to be made.

Deep down both Andrew and I knew what needed to be done and after the doctor confirmed the route he would take if his dog was in Ellie’s situation our decision was made.

Despite our nerves and apprehensiveness to leave our puppy in such a vulnerable condition, we knew it was the right decision and that she was in good hands.

We were assured that we could call and check on her as much as we wanted- it was even encouraged! They would only be calling us if treatment needed to take a different path or if something was wrong. We crossed our fingers that we would not hear from them, gave Ellie lovies, and left for a long weekend much different than planned.

We called multiple times within the first afternoon and evening- we couldn’t help but worry. Around midnight the first night Ellie was in the hospital my phone rang and it immediately registered with me that that something must be wrong.

A linear obstruction was found in Ellie’s intestine and the only option to save her was surgery. In order to excavate the obstruction they would have to cut into her intestine.

A few sleepless and prayer-filled hours later we received another phone call. Ellie’s surgery was a success. The obstruction was found. The culprit was none other than rope toys and plastic, presumably from the 3 kennels our little menace has chewed through.

With lots of fluids, rest, and lovies Ellie was going to be okay. She had to remain in the hospital for three more days to ensure there were no complications and that she regained her appetite. This experience put a strain on our family in so many ways- all of the past exams, presentations, and bills don’t even compare to the worry and stress we experienced during this weekend. We were unable to visit Ellie until her last night for fear of her anxiety causing issues when we left again. When we did see her it was quite the reunion. Even with a cone of shame, tubes, and a belly full of sutures Ellie managed to wag her bum 🙂

Ellie is a fighter and we knew with every ounce of our hearts she would pull through, but that did little to calm our minds during this trial.

This could have happened to any dog. Truthfully, this could happen to Ellie again. I didn’t write this post to incite sympathy- Ellie certainly does not want that unless it involves wet dog food- she sure loves that stuff. Some good belly pats and a spot on the sofa make her happy as can be.

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I wrote this post to serve as a precautionary warning. Please please please watch what your furry friends do with their toys. We never thought Ellie ingested any of her toys. We simply thought she tore them apart and left piles of fuzz for us to collect.  I would never wish this experience upon anyone. It is so upsetting to see your little puppy so helpless and in so much pain.

Two weeks later, Ellie’s 18 sutures will soon be removed and it will be as though this never happened. Ellie is healed and happier than ever, but we will never forget this weekend. Ellie’s toys have been thrown away- other than her nyla bone and rawhide bones. The day she looked in her toy bin to discover only bandanas our hearts broke. As difficult as it is to not give Ellie everything she wants, we never want her to experience that pain again.

Our bear is an angel and we are so thankful she is still spoiling us with her love here on earth. Here’s to many more years of Ellie’s maniacal endeavors.

Have y’all ever had similar experiences with your pooches?

Love,

AH

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What I’ve Learned in our First Two Months of Marriage

Marriage has been everything I hoped it would be and so much more. There is nothing quite like waking up next to your best friend and knowing that at the end of a long day he will be right there to greet you with the biggest, warmest bear hug.

It hasn’t been all puppies and gummy bears, but we knew that going into it. What it has been is an adventure- a constant lesson in patience, trust, camaraderie, and earnest, unyielding, beautiful love.

Like most things in life, the downs make the ups that much more amazing. I am extremely grateful that in two months we have only experienced one down- about a month after the wedding we encountered a tremendous setback with the furriest and cuddliest member of our family. Thank goodness everything has taken a turn for the better and our little family unit couldn’t be happier. Our setback with Ellie resulted in the most stressful and upsetting night and day which Andrew and I have endured as a couple, but through this experience we learned a few things- we are definitely stronger together, destruction and upset bellies are only temporary, and love (even be it with a four-legged friend) can overcome even the most challenging obstacles.

Most of our days have truly been filled with happiness. I know it is cheesy- of course they have been because we’re newlyweds, right?? But, there is no reason to be unhappy when you get to share life with your favorite person 🙂

A few other fun tidbits I have learned are:

  • Accidentally shedding my pieces of my hair on the sink and bathroom floor are a no-no.
  • Andrew is very particular about me using his t-shirts as “sleep shirts”- even though I have told him he can wear my shirts (which would be far too small for him) – to this he of course had a clever response that his shirts don’t fit me either (they are far too big)… I was left speechless.
  • When men are hungry… they are hungry.
  • Beer and baseball seem to wash the worries of the day away.
  • Even though the trash can is two feet from the bar, it appears to be a stretch for the Mr. to properly dispose of garbage.
  • Wakeup alarms are extra frustrating when you are snuggling with a big bear and a little bear.
  • Homemade chocolate chip cookies taste better when made together.
  • Andrew is secretly a mixologist- boy oh boy can he whip up some tasty drinks.
  • No matter how unglamorous it may be, takeout, sweatpants, a glass of wine, and watching a movie on the sofa will always be the best date night.
  • Each day is a series of precious memories which I hope are etched in my mind forever.

Reflecting on the past two months it is clear that we have A LOT of learning to do- we’re not quite marriage pros.

The amount of love I felt standing at the altar two months ago seemed unsurmountable, but I have found the truth is that each and every day I fall more in love with Andrew.

I’m so very thankful we get to do life together forever.

What are some funny or special things you have learned from your significant other?

Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

Love,

AH

Here is our most recent family photo 🙂

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Our Wedding

Here it is! I couldn’t be more excited for this first post! It only seems fitting for the first post on Home, Heart, and Harris to be about the greatest and most special day of my life- our wedding. Leading up to the big day, people repeatedly told me that “the wedding would be a blur” and “to soak in every last moment and detail because you won’t remember anything.” Unfortunately, our big day came and went and these warnings were proven true. Lucky for us, our photographer, Tracy Autem, took absolutely stunning photographs capturing the emotions and excitement of our wedding day.

The preparation leading up to a wedding is par-none and our planning experience was no exception. After eighteen months of planning together, with family, and with the most extraordinary team of professionals we executed our dream celebration- a day of pure bliss- an absolute fairy tale.

Our ceremony was held at St. Patrick Cathedral in downtown Fort Worth. The first time I walked into St. Patrick’s I was taken-aback by the sheer beauty of the cathedral and I knew there was no other place I would rather celebrate the spiritual covenant of marriage. The vibrant stained glass featuring our Savior upon the cross and the immense vaulted ceilings are truly breathtaking. We were even lucky enough to have  Theo, one of Andrew’s groomsmen, sing a beautiful rendition of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring as the mothers and grandmothers were escorted down the aisle. So many special moments stand out in my mind from our ceremony- Andrew’s reaction when I walked down the aisle, our handwritten vows, and a surprise kiss when I arrived at the altar are just a few.Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography 2014Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography 2014Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography 2014Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography 2014

Our wedding party was comprised of truly remarkable friends- the kind you know without a doubt you will have forever. The bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids looked stunning in mint gowns by Donna Morgan and the groomsmen charmed the crowd in gray, Calvin Klein tuxes.

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As for the reception- we wanted the affair to be whimsical with the perfect amount of vintage touches- think Secret Garden. Lush florals of peonies, roses, dusty miller, succulents- the whole gamut- amidst classic antiques and rich gold accents. Our color palette incorporated soft hues of pink and peach, the signature vintage color- mint, gold, and pops of yellow (Andrew’s favorite color 🙂 ).

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Andrew and I both have very laid back personalities and styles and we really wanted our reception to emit those vibes, but most importantly we wanted it to be quite the party. The City Club of Fort Worth was our dream venue- featuring gorgeous antique chandeliers and a panoramic view of the city- City Club aided in the development of our vintage theme while providing somewhat of a blank canvas for us to build upon.

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The tables were dressed in ivory linens with contrasting, white lace overlays. Antique birdcages in gold and deep browns bursting with fresh blooms and succulents and embellished with halos of garden roses covered select table tops. Other table tops were adorned with crystal vases overflowing with the aforementioned flowers or eclectic clusters of petite vases and gold mercury glass filled with the like. Moss table numbers provided guests with unexpected, yet romantic direction to their seat.

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Our love of sweets was definitely  not overlooked. A candy bar draped with a “Love is Sweet” banner and featuring all of our favorite treats from M&Ms and Bunch-a-Crunch to Reese’s and miniature cupcakes was both aesthetic and delicious! Andrew’s charming style was reflected in the groom’s cake- a replica of the yellow and white seersucker bow-tie he wore for the wedding. The bridal cake was a four-tier masterpiece- Creme de la Creme makes the most delicious cakes in a wide variety of flavors. Upon departure guests were asked to take a package of cookies from a bakery near and dear to our hearts- Sweet Sammie’s.

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As mentioned, Andrew and I sought for the evening to be a true celebration and that it was. Guests danced the night away to entertainment provided by William Ryan of It’s Your Night Entertainment– from old school hip-hop to present day hits, William knew just how to keep the party going. We will forever be grateful to our friend Brett for performing our first dance and reflection dance songs to Ben Rector’s Forever like That and Dave Barnes’ Love will be Enough for Us respectively. These special moments will forever be ingrained in our minds. The celebration came to an end as we exited the City Club to a shower of ivory rose petals.

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In perfect, vintage style we left sitting atop the seats of a Cadillac Eldorado, complete with a “just married” sign. We are still dumbfounded by the outpouring of love we  received on our special day and the pure  beauty and mystery of marriage. Here’s to the lifelong celebration that lay ahead!

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Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography 2014

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What are the design elements of your dream wedding? I would love to hear your ideas!

Love,

AH

Mom, Dad, and Ms. Harris- thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It was perfect!!

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Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography 2014

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Thank you again to our incredible team of vendors- we couldn’t have done it without you!