Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Of Pre-Wedding Festivities.....

As ya'll know (by my absence on here this fall) my life has been quite busy lately! 
Among other things, I have been loving every minute that I've gotten to spend w/ my cousin helping her get ready for her upcoming wedding!
In September, when my family was traveling through NY, my mom, sister, & I did an "around the clock" bridal shower for her. 
It was a very fun, unique type of shower (each guest was assigned a different time of day for which to bring a gift. A breakfast hour gift might be a waffle iron, work hour might be cleaning supplies, etc)
We had a time of blessing where guests could pray a prayer of blessing to bless her in her new future role as a wife.
Rebecca & her little cousins were the "gift-delivery" crew.
The end of October, Alli & I went out for a week to throw the bachelorette party & help w/ wedding preparations. 
We rented a yurt in the mountains and had a delightful weekend with the bride-to-be & the other bridesmaids. It was the same weekend as hurricane   which made for an unfortunate earlier-than-planned departure, but we were all safe and had a marvelous time so we were thankful for that!
Lots of yummy food was enjoyed...
....as well as a very fun & "special" shower

When we got back home (to Marissa's home) there was lots of work to be done. 
In the midst of it, we found moments to enjoy some special girl activities, such as doing these lovely {ahem} face masks. 
{Alli & Marissa will probably disown me forever for posting this picture =)}
We stripped leaves off of branches so the branches could be spray-painted white and used for the table centerpieces at the wedding
Marissa's favors are cute little bags of hot chocolate mix. Here Alli, Marissa, & my aunt Sarah worked on those.
Ready to head out for some bargain shopping at Salvation Army...
me, my cousin's wife, Patty,cousin Marissa, Alli, & cousin Lyndsi
Alli was in charge of the biscotti 
(which will be the delectable appetizers at the wedding)
There were many other projects which did not get documented by camera. I got to spend quite a bit of time packing up Marissa's personal possessions and all her dishes/shower gifts/etc/etc/etc. It's amazing how much we girls can accumulate over the years! =) 
I simply {LOVE} packing. 
(that is an understatement)
So it was totally right down my alley and I greatly enjoyed fitting as much as possible in a box, making sure everything breakable was wrapped well, figuring out the value of everything in the box, numbering & labeling each box, and then writting down in a notebook the number of each box, what was in each box, & what was the approx. value of each boxes contents. 
(oh the joys of transferring all your stuff to Canada!=))
A fun movie night w/ cousins & aunts

on our last day there we went to this delicious-sounding little cafe.
it was a simply exquisite place & the food was delectable.

Lynds & Alli
All of us..
My turkey & smoked gouda crepe
{to-die-for goodness}
Me with the beautiful girl who's been my "cousin/bestie" & partner in crime for as long as I can remember, and who is getting married in just 12 days and moving to the far-away region of Manitoba. I'm gonna miss her!
What wonderful memories were made in the midst of all our time spent there this fall.
I have decided that I could go into this wedding-planning business as a occupation. It is {most} enjoyable, and I just get to do the fun things, w/o the stress of being the bride! 
Anyway, thats a little update on my fall projects of "wedding work". 
I'm sewing Alli & I's dresses for the wedding and as normal I waited til the last minute. 
Just finished her's the other day, and now I'm working on mine. 
Hope to have it done by the big day. =)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


It all began.....almost exactly a year ago. 
I received a phone call from my cousin, Marissa, 
whom many of you have either met or heard about. 
As though it was yesterday, I remember walking around in the backyard listening to the following:
"So Chels...I just wanted you to know...theres really nothing to tell, but I wanted to tell you in case, well...someday there MIGHT be something to tell...I don't even know...maybe I'm just imaging it? But...I met this guy....this incredible guy....." etc etc. =)
She prayed about it...and cause I'm her bestie and we always pray for each other about "things", I prayed about it too.
Just under two months later...I was shopping in Iowa City with a group of friends when my phone rang. I answered and heard Marissa say 
"Chels, GUESS WHAT?!"
{whereupon I promptly screamed, left my cart and everything, & flew to the corner of the store to listen} 
She told me that he had called her dad, and a meeting with him & her parents was scheduled...
Two weeks later, the day before Christmas, I was at my grandmas house sitting with a group of my cousins when my brother brought the phone to me and said 
"Chels, its Marissa".
I instantly "knew", and gave something between a shriek & a cheer as I grabbed the phone and ran to an empty room...
 where she told me that she had just finished her first phone date with her new boyfriend!
And lastly....this summer in June, I was with my family at a church in southwest Iowa, preparing to give a concert.
{I had talked to Marissa the week before and she had told me that she was going to Canada to visit and that she thought that this might be 'the time", and besides, I'd been thinking that myself...so I had it in the back of my mind} 
Back to me...t was almost time to start our concert and I was finishing with setting up our product table when my phone rang. I didn't get to it in time and when I finally got there and checked I didn't recognize the number.
 I was pretty curious as to who would be calling me on a Sunday morning, so I called back. 
A guy answered, which just puzzled me more, so I said 
"Um..hello, this is Chels, and...I just received a call from this number?" 
Just then I heard a very familiar voice come over the line.
all she said was "Chels..." and then everything clicked and I knew.
Only this time I kind of overdid the screaming...thru the sanctuary....to the outdoors....where I heard her say the news I already knew...."we're engaged!"
Pretty sure that if I ever had any reputation of stableness/maturity/calmness...I ruined it that day.
What girl in her right mind would both run and yell in a church sanctuary?
yours truly...
{I can hear some of you chuckling at the thought that any of those adjectives would apply to me EVER}
oh well. maybe? =)
So  now here I am, posting about my dearly beloved bestie/cousin/kindred...
 and the man that has stolen her heart and is taking her to the faraway land of Manitoba, Canada.
{happy & sad sighs mixed together to make something in the middle-ish}
I could not be happier for them, truly, but its still just the feeling of life changing, and thinking of losing her, in a sense....that just at times makes me feel kind of achy.
Its lovely though-it really is.
the wedding is coming up in just two months and its going to be beautiful. 
More on that later...
Shooting their engagement photography session for them was such an honor & a joy.
I have decided that engagements are the best.
All that love there...they can't help BUT be photogenic.
With all that said, please enjoy the engagement photos of Marissa & Jon
Love you both! Can't wait for the 1st of December! =)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Congratulations, sister! I'm so proud of all you and all your hard work in graduating early. 
Love you!