Presence.

presence [prez-uh ns]
noun

  1. the state or fact of being present, as with others or in place
  2. attendance or company:
    Your presence is requested. 
  3. immediate vicinity; proximity:
    in the presence of witnesses.
  4. the ability to project a sense of ease, poise, or self-assurance, especially the quality or manner of a person’s bearing bearing before an audience:
    The speaker had a good deal of stage presence. 

(Definition pulled from dictionary.com)

Right around Christmas time, my friend Alexis posed a challenge to our group of friends. Instead of choosing a cliche New Year’s Resolution, she asked each of us to choose a word to live by in 2018. She listed out a few options that her family members had already chosen, and I was immediately hooked on the challenge. I will say it was difficult to come up with a word as good as some of the others because they had some really great ones: creative, courage, ambition, awareness, etc. So I hmmmed and haaaaed for days until i cam up with my own. For my 2018 word, I chose presence.

First, the obvious reason. My goal this year is to be present int he moment. Far too often social media, future obligations and work can distract us from fully embracing and enjoying the present. I pride myself on being a multi-tasking master, but last year I often found myself answering work emails mid conversation with my husband or using mealtime to make “To Do Lists” for the day. And the time suck of social media…that’s a whole other post.

This year, I have challenged myself to be present in conversation, take in the sounds and smells of my surroundings and enjoying each moment of life, even the small moments that might not be life-altering but oh, so enjoyable. This has become especially important with Parker, who I have been warned by parents, will be grown up before I can blink my eyes.

So, I turned off my work email notifications. Yes, it’s important to be accessible to be successful, but now I decide when that time is. I’ve learned to pose questions differently. For example, instead of asking my husband the typical, “How was work today?,” I ask him, “What was the best part of your day?” It sparks more in-depth conversation and allows for a story versus a one-word answer. And I’ve committed to being present at as many life events, celebrations and gatherings as my schedule allows for. Even with a little one, I know the importance of not missing out on those moments and the ability to see friends and family who live far. So yes, we trekked all the way to Wisconsin with a 6-week old baby, and next weekend I will be attending a second baby shower for a dear friend. Why? Because those moments bring me happiness.

Secondly,  I challenged myself to create more of a presence on this blog. I committed myself to writing more frequently and to expand my content. Hens, why I decided to write not only about events and celebrations but to also bring in personal experiences and stories and share those with all of you.

And lastly, I decided to focus on No. 4 in the definition of presence: the ability to project a sense of ease, poise, or self-assurance, especially the quality or manner of a person’s bearing bearing before an audience. I am typically a very social person and tend to excel at my job, which is most frequently in front of large crowds. But I do have a secret fear of public speaking and having the attention fully on myself. It’s something I have slowly gotten over after years of practice. The fear began in high school when I had to take a public speaking class and stood dumb-founded in front of 30-some-odd judgey high schoolers when I forgot my memorized speech. I literally just stood there staring at the back wall. At that age, it was traumatizing. Not only do I want to continue to become a better public speaker, but I also want poised to be a characteristic people think of when they think of me.

So, here I am starting off the year on the right foot aiming to accomplish these goals and using “presence” as my motivation for 2018. I have to give a big shout out to Alexis for this beautiful challenge. And now I challenge you. What’s your 2018 word?

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Let’s Try This Out

I knew this time would come. In fact, when I was naming the blog and brainstorming ideas, I wanted a name that was fun and attributed itself to event planning but was also flexible enough to include other content (shout out to Brenda for being the creative behind the title!) As you can see, the blog has a fresh, updated look and that’s because I’ve decided to expand Kristi Uncorked.

I’ve recently returned to work after maternity leave and am still immersed in the event planning world, but there’s a number of reasons I’ve decided to expand the topics beyond celebrations. First and foremost, I started this blog as a fun outlet that allowed me to consistently keep writing (I had a void in my life for this after leaving the magazine publishing industry). Secondly, I have consistently found myself reading the blogs and following along with the lives of women I don’t even know. Years ago, that would have sounded completely creepy, but blogging and the digital world allows for people to interact, relate and share stories or ideas even though you’ve never actually met (although I’ve been following some of these people long enough to feel like I live down the street from them). Especially with a new baby, I have researched and read more blogs than ever about dos and don’ts of motherhood, easy tips and tricks for mom life, etc. As I grow, learn and transition from life season to life season, I feel I have knowledge to share from my experiences that can benefit others. It might not necessarily be professional advice, but it’s real and true.

So with all that being said, I am so excited for this new transition! I will still very much focus on events, weddings and celebrations, but you will see a lot more personal posts and updates. As I sit here writing this, Parker (our newest addition to the family) snoozes beside me, and I can’t help but be excited to show her all the possibilities in this world. You can truly have a fulfilling life as a working mom with a fabulous social life, a welcoming home, philanthropic experiences, new adventures and still find time for yourself. You just have to want it.

Who knows if readers will continue to follow me or not, but I am excited to see where this takes us. As always, if there’s ever anything you want to know, need advice on or are just curious about, don’t be afraid to ask!

Instagram: @kristi_uncorked

XOXO, Kristi

Celebrate The Little Things

On Kristi Uncorked, we tend to celebrate the BIG THINGS in life: marriages, the birth of new babies, showers, retirements and countless other milestones. Today, I wanted to send a little reminder to all the readers to enjoy the little things as they come too.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s so easy to overlook the small accomplishments and forget to take in the slow beauty of our world. So whether you’ve checked a huge project off your list at the office, or maybe it’s a reunion between you and a friend you haven’t seen in a while, take the time to savor those moments.

An easy way to celebrate is with food or a few cocktails, of course. My personal favorite is a bowl of chips and queso and a frozen margarita (can I get an Amen?), or simply a glass of champagne on the couch at home after a long, successful day. Or maybe a frozen concrete from Andy’s? Yeah, that works too!

But don’t forget about other ways to reward yourself. If you’re watching the calories a bit or trying to be conscious of a healthier lifestyle, maybe rewarding yourself with treats isn’t the best idea. I love Megan Seales’ idea that she has. Megan is an online health and fitness coach, who runs her own company called Meg Moves. The other day she posted about rewarding herself with new workout gear because who doesn’t love a new pair or Nike kicks or a trendy new sports bra?

And to wrap up this short and sweet blog post, I wanted to leave you all with one thing: regardless of your age, how you feel, etc., please do not brush aside celebrating your birthday! My friend Beth and I were just talking about our favorite quote yesterday. It was one I had originally heard from the talented Jill Orr, “Do not regret growing older; it is a privilege denied to many.”

And with that, Happy Friday everyone!

Long Lost Blogger

Yes, I have become the blogger I promised I wouldn’t be who fell off the face of the Earth. Some of you may know but others of you may not that the reason blogging has taken a back burner is because Ryan and I have some very exciting news! We are expecting our first baby this November!

We shared the news with our families over Easter weekend and on social media two weeks later. The catch is I am just now finally getting around to blogging about it…sorry guys.

We are over the moon excited for our new bundle of joy! I will be 19 weeks tomorrow (almost 4 months for all of you non-baby people). That always drove me nuts that people having babies measured everything in weeks when I used to to not be able to easily comprehend that. It was similar to military time; I could compute it but would rather they just said it in standard time. Now I totally get the week thing with babies. If you ever have one, you will understand!

Of course we will be throwing a gender reveal party, which will happen in two weeks. Yes, that means I will have an envelope disclosing the gender of our baby at my house for 5 full days before we get to find out, but sharing that moment with family and friends will totally make it worth it! Ryan thinks it’s a bit over the top to throw a gender reveal party, but I quickly reminded him who he was married to 🙂

Now my nights have consisted of putting together registry lists, researching the latest and greatest baby products and pouring over mommy blogs. Hens the lack of blogging. But on top of that all, we are in the thick of wedding season, so I have tons of new content coming your way over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for the next post!

Here’s a little peek at the bump progress (10-18 weeks!)

Family Traditions

Cute selfie, huh? I know I’ve talked a lot on the blog about how classic wedding traditions are going away, but there are so many other fun traditions that still hold true. With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to share one of my family traditions that I look forward to each year.

Lots of families have Christmas traditions, but one activity that has held true at the McCann household is New Year’s fondue. I know…totally random. I’m not even quite sure how this started. I remember doing this all the way back to when my sisters and I were young. Especially now that we are older, my sister working in retail and Ryan and I living 8 hours from my mom’s house, Thanksgiving and Christmastime become incredibly hectic.

But New Year’s has always been a time that all of us are available to get together, and we look forward to starting out the new year with each other. We’ve even grown it to include other family and friends. Lots of the time we will have new guests who have never tried fondue. It’s fun to be able to teach them how and finish out the night with a few games and cocktails.

Share with me your family traditions! I would love to hear from you all!

Cheers to a 2017 that outdoes 2016 (although that’s going to be pretty hard…)

#rupthereitis #mcruprecht

I wasn’t really sure if I was going to put together this blog or not. To me, I feel like I have talked A LOT about my own wedding this year, and I felt weird posting about it again on my blog. But after sharing some of our wedding pictures on Facebook, I had a number of people asking me when I would write a blog post about it, so here it is, folks! A little insight into my very own wedding day….

details_159It is a little weird when you look at all of our wedding photos. It really is a classic wedding: black suits, a white dress, classic lines and color scheme….The funny part is I really don’t consider my style to be classic. In fact, the lack of color at our wedding was a surprise to a number of guests. I’m the girl that used to wear neon colors before neon colors came back in style and who normally thinks black is boring.

There were a few things I wanted to make sure our wedding day reflected: a beautiful marriage and a timeless look. I feel like we did a pretty good job achieving that.

The Squad
Yes, I know. We had a huge bridal party. End of story.

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They do say it takes a village…..

The Reception Venue
I am actually kind of surprised that we ended up having our reception at the Millbottom. When we first started planning, my original idea was to have a church ceremony just as we did with a reception following at a vintage barn. As much as I love vintage barns, I am glad we ended up at the Millbottom. Part of me was afraid it was a fad that would come and go before our wedding took place (keep in mind we were engaged for 15 months) and the other part of me was stressed about the logistics of a barn wedding when I couldn’t be in charge. There, I admit it. Overall, we were super pleased with how everything turned out.

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The Church
When a Catholic boy meets a Catholic girl and you get married in Jefferson City, you have a traditional Catholic church ceremony!

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details_192The Food
Even though I would love to consider myself a foodie, I am not adventurous when it comes to this department. I am more of chicken fingers and cheese and crackers kind of girl than a sushi and sharing plates-type person. When we started planning our wedding, there were few things Ryan really had his mind set on. And food was one of them. He wanted to eat fried chicken at his wedding. You can’t argue with that! We enlisted the help of Argyle Catering, who cooks delicious homestyle food and instead of a fancy plated meal that matched the elegance of our wedding, I ate fried chicken and mashed potatoes in my wedding dress. No regrets there.

reception_036The Cake
One thing Ryan and I both agreed on is that we aren’t huge fans of cake. I’m not keen on frosting, and he’s not too keen on sweets. So, we opted for a small wedding cake to keep the tradition of the cake cutting as well as a spread of bite-sized desserts, which our guests devoured. Hats of Becky, the talent behind Sugartree Cupcakery and one of the reasons why guests left the reception uncomfortably full.

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The Bar
We had guests who traveled far and wide to help us celebrate our big day. In my eyes, when your guests are making that big of an effort to be at your special day, spending money on your event and traveling, you want to make sure they have a good time. And an open bar definitely helps.

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reception_253The Music
As much as I would have LOVED a live band, it really wasn’t in our budget. And I was sure I wanted to add as many details as possible when it came to the little things on our wedding day, and I wasn’t willing to give a lot of those things up for the price tag of a live band. So, we went with the DJ route and hired Complete Wedding + Events. I did have to put in a special request for Blaz’ Barton, one of my favorite Complete DJs. Although he is now focusing more on managing the operation-side of the business, I was able to strong arm him into DJing our wedding, and we could not have been more pleased with our decision. The dance floor was hopping the entire night!

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12391209_10153405880705914_1699672745575187282_nThe Photos
I met D. Squared while working on a wedding in September of 2014. Not only were they a joy to work with, but I instantly fell in love with their photography style and how they incorporate fun lighting techniques. We loved their idea for our holiday engagement session where we were able to incorporate engagement photos, Save the Dates and Christmas cards into one. And we adored having them be part of our wedding day. All I can say after we got our photos back is WOW.


The Flowers
I have to admit I had a pretty great connection when it came to the floral department. A family friend of the Ruprecht’s used to work for Busch’s Florist in Jefferson City, and he not only created all of the flower arrangements, but he also played the piano at our ceremony and helped coordinate the day. I know…talent. Mike Bruns was the brains behind our gorgeous florals, and I was absolutely in love. To be honest, I had little knowledge about flowers before starting this whole wedding planning process. I had seen hundreds of them at work, but with a brown thumb, I never paid much attention to the specifics. However, I had the coolest opportunity that I wish more brides were privied to. I was able to personally go to Baisch & Skinner, a flower wholesaler in St. Louis, and handpick all my flowers. It was amazing! And even though I didn’t see any of my flowers until I was getting out of the limo at the church, I was obsessed with them all.

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The Little Touches
As an event planner, there were a few little things that I knew I had to have at our wedding even from the very beginning. Calligraphy place cards was one of them. I am so mezmorized by the art of calligraphy (definitely wanting to check it off my bucket list and learn how to do calligraphy), and I think it’s such a beautiful element to add to an event. Thanks to Syd Stansberry from Inkling, I had some seriously gorgeous escort cards and menus.

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The Wow Factor
I wish I could take credit for this, but I really do have to hand it to Ryan. He was the brains behind the wow factor. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a huge fan of frosting, so cake just isn’t my thing. But I am, on the other had, obsessed with ice cream. So while at a festival where he ran into the Eagle Scoop ice cream truck, Ryan had the genius idea of hiring Jason Holbrook to come and serve our guests Central Dairy Ice Cream, a Jefferson City classic.

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There’s a million things I could say about our big day, my experience as a bride and how lucky we felt all day long. But I think everyone who was there celebrating with us could agree that the energy you felt in the room that evening is the energy that powers our relationship. It’s love, commitment, a support system, a little bit of fun and a whole lot of faith. I can’t wait to see what our future holds together.

 

bridegroom_028Vendor Shout Outs:
Hair & Makeup: Blanc Studio in Columbia, MO
Dress: Bliss Bridal in Brookfield, WI
Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson
Bride’s Jewelry: Express
Bridesmaid’s Jewelry: J. Crew Outlet
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Buchroeder’s Jewelers
Bridesmaid Dresses: Individually selected from a variety of stores
Groom & Groomsmen Suits: J. Crew Outlet
Church: St. Peter Catholic Church
Ceremony Music: Michael Bruns, Julia Cowley, Ashley Edelbrock & 3 String Players from the University of Missouri School of Music
Reception Venue: The Millbottom
Invitations: The Ink Cafe
DJ: Complete Wedding + Events
Caterer: Argyle Catering
Cake/Desserts: Sugartree Cupcakery
Calligraphy: Inkling
Photography: D-Squared Designs
Florist: Michael Bruns
Rentals: A-1 Part & Events
Lighting: Reinhardt Circle
Ice Cream Truck: Eagle Scoop

 

The Infamous Question

As I kicked up my feet tonight after a 14 hour day, I started reflecting a bit. And as I poured myself a bowl of cereal and a cocktail (I swear I don’t eat like a college kid when my husband is home), I started thinking more about my job in general.

Almost every event I work, I get asked, “How do you work such long days?” or “How do you just never seem to stop moving?” or my favorite, “Why do you work so hard?” I used to always respond so simply: “I hope on my wedding day, I have a me.” And that was true. All the energy I put into each wedding and event was because I knew that on my wedding day, I wanted someone to work just as hard on my big day.

But now that our big day has come and gone, nothing has changed. I still buzz around work exactly as I have done before. I still have a stash of flats under my desk for those unexpected busy days. And I will do anything to see a genuine smile. To be fair, I feel like I always go above and beyond. Well, now why? What’s my reasoning for not accepting good but always striving for great?

I think what it comes down to are two simple things. First and foremost, I’m real. When a guest tears up during a speech, I tear up right along with them. And when something is not going as planned, I want to make sure I pull out every trick in the book to make sure it’s taken care of. And secondly, I think this world is really lacking a little bit of love. Now more than ever, I feel like more people need to respect and take care of other people. Now don’t worry; I’m not going to go into some political rant (unless it’s promoting this awesome video by Kid President).

Our world lacks humility. Everyone always puts number one first. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place for putting yourselves before others, but I feel it happens all too often now. People are too worried about what’s best for them. All I’m saying is if people spent a little more time making sure other people are comfortable and taken care of, it would help everyone out.

I did have the tiniest bit of hope when I was on my way home tonight. I swung by the grocery store since I haven’t been shopping all week (like I said, my husband has been out of town). When I pulled into my parking spot, I turned to grab my purse, and I witnessed a young man running around the car to open the door for his girlfriend. Ahh chivalry isn’t dead!

So I am going to leave you with this: If we all just gave a little bit of effort to focus on others’ happiness instead of our own, the world would be a better place.

Nighty night!