Thursday, June 26, 2014

10 years & counting...

I am so happy to announce that our Shabby Vintage anniversary ceremony and photo shoot went off with out a hitch. Our memories are beautiful due in large part to our photographer and the scenes created by the picturesque vista, that we have the privilege of calling home.

Now, I must say, that being in photography my self and having spent the last 4 years making memories for others, I was quite picky, not to mention anxious about what I wanted to convey and present for such an important event.

We had to do the shoot a little ahead of our actual anniversary due to other obligations and events so the date to get it done was super important. Then there was all the planning that went into creating just the right atmosphere and mood that would capture the fantasy of a ten year anniversary. All year long I gathered and planned...accumulating all the components for our ten year ceremony. The theme was a Shabby Chic, Fantasy with a little bit of Nashville country. The result was sheer perfection.

I organized, then set up for the event. I put everything in just its proper place and I finished decorating, paying attention to every detail. I was praying too. AND I was fretting all the while as ominous clouds threatened to tear it all asunder. We even moved the shoot up 4 hours in hopes of beating the rain. Amidst the threat of rain and my anxiety, with cool and calm our photographer arrived EARLY ready to make it happen.

As the "groom"  and I added our finishing touches, she utilized empty time by snapping candids of the "flower girls" and when we were finally ready, she hit the ground running...

Though I had a very specific vision in mind, I am grateful she was able to climb right into my brain, be my hands and execute her craft just the way I would have if I had been photographing my own self. At the end of the ceremony and shoot, I sat back satisfied and plump with fulfillment and contentment that this day was indelibly captured on film and in our hearts and minds...

Below is just a peek at our 10 year anniversary shoot (in random order). There were over 600 pictures...but I'm sure you get the point...

Thanks to Tabitha Thorman for her patience, skill and expertise (as well as her pleasant spirit) in creating a precious anniversary shoot we will not soon forget :). 

Looking at the past and the present...

The flower girls

In Nashville, brides wear cowboy boots

"Why you tryin' to take my knife, man? This cake is good!"

Watch that hand...the children are watching :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Count down...from Dubai to Brazil

Let the count down begin! The new year always holds new adventures and exciting possibilities for our family, especially because our favorite oldest daughter was born just two months into the new year.
Therefore things always start off with a bang.

This year the 6 year old traveler wants to return to her roots and go back to Kiawah Island for her 7th birthday (where she spent her fifth birthday). She loved the luxury, the food, the beach. Now she wants to indulge in the spa and the new shopping centers they have added since we lasted visited. What she does not know is while there she will get to enjoy the Pirate and the Princess by Disney (shhh, it's a surprise). A show she has been dying to go to for nearly six months. We will cap it all off with a visit to her Mimi's house. Oh what fun!

But this year is a highly anticipated year for more reasons than just the fact that the 6 year old traveler will be turning 7 in style. This year also marks our ten year wedding anniversary. Now, because I love to celebrate, I have foreshadowed the coming of  this day (in various posts) for quite sometime. We talked about our ten year dating anniversary, our ten year engagement anniversary and our 7 year wedding anniversary (completion and fulfillment). Yet, all the prior conversations were always just a practice run, warming me up for the event I have been planning since my new husband and I left our reception at the iconic Charlotte Motor Speedway on the night of June 27th, 2004.

I knew then that I would have to find some way to re-capture at least a snippet of the bliss we felt on that precious day. And ever since that moment I have planned and wondered how we would make our ten year anniversary special. Would we renew our vows? Would we jump out of plane? Would we have another child? What on earth could we do that would be as special as the day he sang to me, "The Closer I get to You" with over 250 guests gazing on at us teary eyed at the spectacle of new love...

I finally came to the conclusion that we could do nothing more special. We could never re-capture that moment nor did we need to. It was ever seared into our hearts and minds. And the fact that we love each other much more now than on that special day is really all the celebration we really need.

With that said, being who we are, we could not let the day pass with just dinner and flowers. So we decided that we would do something special after all. We were going to spend our anniversary doing one of our favorite hobbies-traveling. We recently decided that we would pick up our journey in South America (making this our 4th continent. We plan to see all 7 before we die). It had always been our plan to go to Brazil and see the Christ, but we modified those plans to go to Dubai and Abu Dhabi instead (2013). We are glad we made the detour because it was our most decadent trip to date. However, now it is time to realize our dream of standing at the foot of Christ the Redeemer. We may even commemorate the event by exchanging our vows again at Christ's feet. What better way to begin the next decade of our lives together?

Once we reach our anniversary a few months later one more huge milestone awaits - I turn 35. Surprisingly I am not at all depressed about it, although when I was 16, I remember trying to imagine what 35 would be like and could not even fathom it. I never thought that approaching 35 I would be this young or this smart or this full of life.

So once again the count down begins. This just may be the most special count down yet. Follow us as we live life to the fullest and make dreams come true...Brazil here we come!

Stay tuned for count down to the dress on!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer of Wonder

Discovering life through the eyes of a child is a feeling unlike any other. Smart phones, tablets and fast paced, ever changing technology often thrusts our grown up worlds into such a whirl wind that we forget that we should slow down and smell the roses. For some of us, we have forgotten what being a kid feels like. We have forgotten that in the midst of practices and recitals, academics and sports, kids need to have a chance to be kids (before it’s too late). We ought to let the little ones set the pace sometimes. Let them wander aimlessly through the Target without hurrying them along and shooing their little hands off every toy they pick up. Let them play in the mud and dance in the rain (at least once) so that they can say that they have. Those wide eyes looking at you now, will be wearing eyeliner before you know it and those sweet soft lips will be doused with gloss and you will wonder where the time went.

The simplest things inspire awe and evoke wonder in a child. If you are not careful some of that innocence and wonder just may rub off on you. This summer it rubbed off on me. Summer of 2013 has been deemed the “Summer of Wonder” seen through the eyes of my children. I must admit that although I have seen a lot of this vast world I can honestly say that seeing just a little bit of it with them was just as spectacular.

The four year old traveler has become the six year old traveler and she has shared her love for going places (any where will do) with her little sissy. This summer they studied Spanish and actually retained a word or two, they traveled to the Smokies (Gatlinburg) to see the sharks and dinosaurs and Dolly and the Titanic. They began the arduous process of learning to swim and found that the water was fun. They rode bikes and played at the park. The fair was fun too. They rocketed to outer space (at the Science Museum). The youngest one turned 4 like a super star, as only a rock star of her caliber could. And they rediscovered taekwondo; Jeda earned an orange belt. It was quite a full summer for a six and four year old yet they never quit. They kept wanting to play. And you know what? I let them play. They played until their little hearts were content (and very tired).  Why? Because as I watched their sweet little faces light up with glee at the tiniest little things, my mind quickly fast forwarded to the day they would be done playing and would be waving good bye to me as I dropped them off on the steps of the university.

There may never be another summer quite so precious in their lives, but my husband and I have vowed to make each one here after as precious as possible. In that way, we can give a gift that lives forever.  What’s that gift? Memories. Childhood is fleeting but memories never die. Maybe one day when my girls are grown with children of their own they will play with their little ones. Maybe they will remember that at least for a few moments in life they had not a care in the world. Maybe they will think back to a time of innocence and freedom and be better for the time they spent just being children.

One very intriguing place!

Ripley's Aquarium

The Aquarium's Dinosaur Exhibit

More from Believe it or Not

Jxia thought she should make herself apart of the exhibit. (World's Largest Rubber Ball)

Ripley's knows he is the KING!

Sho nuff knee slapping at the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show (no utensils required).

This is how my family plays golf ;-)


What could be more fun than playing in the rain?


Jeda at the Adventure Science Center (learning to space walk).

Rock Star Birthday 

Jedason graduates to her orange belt, thank you Sinsee.

Black belt attitude!

Ms. Etsy and the daring new swimmers.

Ms. Etsy said "jump"!
Note: Unfortunately could not find the photos from the Titanic, but if I do I will certainly add...but believe me it was awesome!