The History of our Wedding – Group Shots

Zoo Wedding Recap :  wedding brown ch515 feather fern green hypericum berries lime publix recap wedding zoo 908171660 O32ng M

The wedding party at the church after the ceremony
Zoo Wedding Recap :  wedding brown ch515 feather fern green hypericum berries lime publix recap wedding zoo 908252170 MYyAx M

The wedding party at the zoo
Zoo Wedding Recap :  wedding brown ch515 feather fern green hypericum berries lime publix recap wedding zoo 917518919 DAwam L

One of our first wedding party pictures at the zoo
Zoo Wedding Recap :  wedding brown ch515 feather fern green hypericum berries lime publix recap wedding zoo 907942643 5rvqx M
One of our favorite pictures from the zoo!
These pictures were taken by Cathy Heinz Photography

I love and appreciated everyone from our wedding party for being there on our special day three years ago!  They are all our best friends and really put up with a lot on that terribly hot humid day!!

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Thank you J.

Thank you

1. For being by my side all week and never once complaining.

2. For supporting breastfeeding because you agree it’s what’s best buy for also standing by me the second I say it’s hurting.

3. For calling our daughter honey all day long

4. For perfecting the swaddle and the dirty diaper change

5. Just in general being the nest husband and father you can be.

What a great birthday!

As many of you know, I am not huge into birthday surprises but this year I was in the celebrating mood! I guess I kinda felt that this would be the last time I would celebrate my birthday and could be selfish about it before becoming a “mom”. Friends and family really overwhelmed me with love this weekend and it really made it special.

First of all, my family was on vacation but my parents and sister made sure to send me cards and even sent J and I a restaurant gift card for one more good date night before baby arrives!

That day at work, we had scheduled an office lunch and it kinda morphed into a birthday lunch. It was a very nice treat to get to relax for a bit with our team. We do work really hard and get to kick back every now and then but getting out of the office makes it more fun. Plus, they treated me including a nice big piece of chocolate cake as an afternoon treat.

When I got home from work J was so sweet and had the house clean and flowers and a card waiting for me. I think this is only the third time he has EVER bought me flowers so I was very touched. Money is tight right now saving for the baby (I had told him my breast pump could count as my birthday present) but he surprised me and took in all of our loose change and turned it into an iTunes gift card for me.

iTunes Gift Card

He used one of the CoinStar machines that doesn’t charge a fee if you turn the money into a gift card and it turns out we had over $60 in change! I am going to use the money to buy some new tunes for while we are in the hospital. Also, our roommate left me a a sweet card and a really cool gift!

It was really sweet. Then….

Just as we were sitting on the couch discussing what we were going for dinner, J’s parents walked in and surprised me! We got to go out to dinner with them! They dropped the two grandkids off so that made it extra special. It was such a nice time with them and really made my evening. After dinner we went to get their grandkids (J’s niece and nephew) and they surprised me with cupcakes and a balloon. I forgot how much kids love birthdays!

Like I said, it was a wonderful birthday surrounded by love!

First anniversary dinner

This weekend was our first anniversary and instead of going out to dinner we decided to make one of our favorite recipes. When I met J he didn’t even really like salmon but after trying this recipe he loves it! The different ingredients really help cover the fish tastes and goes well with lots of side dishes.

The marinade for the fish calls for 1.5 Tbs of honey, 1.5 Tbs of Dijon mustard (which normally I don’t like anything with mustard but you can’t taste it here), and 1 Tbs of balsamic vinegar. We also add salt pepper and garlic to taste but we add that stuff to everything. Cover the fish with marinade and bake or grill when you are ready between 350 and 400 degrees.

Here is a picture from the prep:

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Dinner came out really well.  We served it with brown rice and asparagus. We really enjoyed sitting out on the back patio and talking for a little while!

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Dinner was finished off with the amazing wedding cake!

Dancing at the Wedding

December 3 – Moment.

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

(Author: Ali Edwards)

I would have to say the moment this year was probably our wedding day. So much happened that day but it still has so many clear memories. I think one of the best parts of the day was dancing towards the end of the reception. The DJ was going strong with music that was pleasing all of the crowd. My friends and family were all out on the dance floor. It was hot, people were sweating but it all made it worth it.

Looking back on 2010

J and I were discussing the other weekend what in the heck we were going to accomplish in 2011. So much happened during late 2009-2010 that I’m not sure what else we need to do!

June 2009 – Got engaged
August 2009 – Find house we want to buy
October 2009 – Finally close on great first home
December 2009 – I finish my MBA
January 2010 – Now that all that other stuff is out of the way time to start wedding planning
March 2010 – Purchase first vehicle together
June 2010 – Wedding’
July – November 2010 – Finally settle into new home
December 2010 – First Christmas at home

I am going to try to participate in Reverb’s 2010 reflection challenge. Here is today’s prompt:

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

My one word for 2010 would have be Love. We were surrounded by so much love in 2010 it was amazing. I have never felt more supported by our friends and family.

Holiday Plans

I am so sad we won’t be hosting thanksgiving dinner at our house this year. We chose not to invite everyone over because 8 adults and 7 not so little kids would just be tight in our house. The kids need room to run around and activities to do. We just aren’t set up as a kid friendly house right now.

If I were to be able to host Thanksgiving, there is no doubt I would be using these bad boys. Printable thanksgiving party decor. The suite includes menu cards, kids stuff, place cards, etc. All in some great green and orange designs. I’m so sad.

However, this will be our first Christmas in our new house. We are thinking of hosting J’s family over for Christmas dinner and the family gift exchange. The kids always get enough gifts during the family gift exchange that it keeps them busy for a few hours. This would give us (ok really, me) the perfect opportunity to use some free printable Christmas decor!

I have already scouted out some of the great gift tags etc that West Elm has posted. Who knew they posted cool stuff like this on their website. I can’t wait to start planning a menu and everything else! Merry Christmas!

Our first Christmas cards as newlyweds!

This Christmas I am really looking forward to sending out our first set of newlywed Christmas cards.  My parents have always sent out Christmas cards and I would love to continue the tradition.  I also think it would be a great way to follow up with all the friends and family that traveled to our wedding.  We did not due pictures with our thank you cards since we didn’t want to wait too long to get them out so we figured this Christmas was a great opportunity to send out a wedding photo!

I was looking around at a couple of sites that offered these and there are a lot of cute options out there.  Unfortunately, due to our limited funds, I can’t spend too much on these because otherwise we wouldn’t have money to buy a Christmas tree!  After some research I decided Shutterfly.com offered the best options within our price range.

We will more than likely use one of the follow wedding pictures on the front of the card:

I want to include “Merry Christmas” if possible (I’m not a fan of Happy Holidays”). I also really would like to go with a lovely shade of green similar to the olive green we used in our wedding.  I haven’t totally decided between folded or flat. Here are my top three choices as of right now, they are all great!
This one is also available in red which might be very festive:

This one really matches the green flourish we used in our wedding theme but I’m not sure I love the wording.

Shutterfly Peace Love Holiday Card

I absolutely love the design of this card but we might have trouble cropping our pictures square to fit. This one also comes with great options for the inside!
Shutterfly Peace Love Holiday Card

Now I just have to decide and place my order.  I can’t wait to send these out this year!

By the way, Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow à http://bit.ly/sfly2010