99 days.

That’s right. In 99 days, I will officially be Mrs. Malek. Crazy right? It seems like such a short time ago that Matt asked me to be his wife and we kicked off this adventure.

Since 8/10/12 (best engagement date ever, btw) there have been registry debacles, ribbons and declarations that we must “DO COOL STUFF.” And now we only have 99 days… which I imagine will fly by just as quickly as those legendary 99 beer bottles fell off of the wall.

Between now and the wedding there is sure to be more venue magic and chatter about gifts, but the thing I’m most excited about is the continued process of getting to know my amazing soon-to-be-husband. We are in the midst of For Better and For Ever marriage prep and it’s been enlightening, to say the least! But that is what all of this is about, right? The actual forever.

It’s not about flowers or photos or pins on Pinterest. It’s about joining two lives. It’s about making Matt my reason to be (even more officially than he already is). It’s about becoming man and wife. It’s about that forever.

And there are about 99 MILLION reasons why this excites me.

Holy moly. We’re getting married y’all.


a thousand words.

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say.

While I understand that this saying actually derives it’s meaning from the value of data visualization versus a super long explanation (aka “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”) and NOT cheesy exclamations of love, it comes to mind when I look at our engagement photos.

Because there are so, so many THOUSANDS of things I wish I could say to this man every single day and feel like you can see it in every single one of these photos…

I love you. You are my best friend. You make me laugh. On that note, thank you for laughing with me. Thank you for not ever judging me. Thank you for letting me cry sometimes and be goofy others. Do you have any idea how handsome you are? Or how smart you are? Or how much you amaze me every day? Every. Single. DAY? You are a blessing and the greatest gift and just a little bit weird, sometimes. I like the way your ears are shaped and I like the way your hand feels in mine. It makes me smile when you call me in the morning right after you leave for work. I love you. Did I tell you that yet? I do. I love that way you love my mother and my sister. I love the way you love your family. I love the way you love me. You make me feel safe. You make me feel like it’s okay to be who I am, even when I don’t know exactly who that is all of the time. You are the meaning in my day. You are awesome. You are my favorite person in the whole wide world and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life knowing you. I love you. I love knowing you. You are my very best thing. 

And now… I get to spend the rest of my life saying these things. And I’m so blessed that I have these photos to help me remember. Thanks Holly. You rock.

Everyone needs a juicer.

Today, we are working on our wedding registry.

We are only one hour in, but I’ve already learned a few important lessons…

  1. The internet is totally overwhelming.
  2. Macy’s sells things I didn’t even know we needed.
  3. Matt is hilarious and has strong opinions about towels.
  4. Did I mention that there are things I’m supposed to register for that I don’t understand at all??
  5. Matt really dislikes red towels.
  6. We need a juicer.
  7. And an Empire Red KitchenAid mixer.
  8. Matt thinks the “pebble gray” towels are the best.

To make a long story short, we haven’t made a huge dent in our registry BUT we are having a lot of fun.

Which is what all of this should be about.

Grandpa’s Little Girls.

Growing up in the McDonald family meant growing up with girls. I’m sure the men in our lives felt like they couldn’t turn around without stepping on one of us. After all, girl cousins are known to travel in a herd.

But our McDonald men did an excellent job of handling it.

Cousin Rusty was always ready to carry one (or two) of us from place to place on his back. Uncle George brought us home books to read and Uncle Glenn taught us how to ride horses. My dad took us frog hunting on stormy nights… And Grandpa McDonald sang us the very best songs.

Whenever they visited Texas from Virginia, we would take Grandma and Grandpa on a trip to Lakewood Elementary for show-and-tell. With a single strum of his guitar (and a handful of baked goods from Grandma), an entire kindergarten class would go still. That big voice would sing through classics like “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and the “The Cat Came Back,” while his wife beamed proudly from his side.

Now matter how old we got, he always had room for his girls in his lap and in his heart.

And whenever he left a venue (be it one of our homes, or a packed elementary school class), Grandpa would always lead the group in singing our favorite songs “So Long…”

I’ve sung this song, but I’ll sing it again,
Of the place that I lived on the wild windy plains,
In the month called April, county called Gray,
And here’s what all of the people there say:

So long, it’s been good to know yuh;
So long, it’s been good to know yuh;
So long, it’s been good to know yuh.
This dusty old dust is a-gettin’ my home,
And I got to be driftin’ along.

Now. We are all grown up and we are getting ready to travel to Virginia to say goodbye to our Grandpa for the last time. But we will always be Grandpa’s Little Girls. And we will always remember his songs.

So Long, Grandpa McDonald. We love you.



Finding Joy

One of the greatest lessons my mother has taught me is to always find joy in the little things. I will admit that as I’ve gotten older (and life has gotten busier) I sometimes forget.

In the midst of rushing to the gym, checking out this or that bridesmaid dress, booking that next meeting; I sometimes have to force myself to remember. But then…

I met Santa Claus tonight.

One of the projects my agency has been working over the past several months is a holiday event for a client. Leading up to an event, it can be easy to get caught up in the details of it all and forget the larger reason why you’re there.

Tonight was our first run through, and with tiny white lights twinkling in the dark and a very authentic Father Christmas in attendance to talk logistics… I remembered. The reason I settled on public relations as a profession is because I absolutely love people. And people are truly the heart of great PR.

On Saturday, an audience full of people will gather at Memorial City Mall to see the new holiday lights illuminate for the first time. They will listen to amazing music, dance with reindeer and meet Santa. My hope is that we will be able to bring them great joy.

Just like I felt tonight… when I met Santa.