Greetings friends! Tonight sitting by the tree I'm thinking of all of you - my family and friends here in PA and all of the cool couples, families, and seniors that I've had the pleasure to work with this year. I also want to say a special hello and happy holidays to those of you who are not close to home this year - HI BRENDA!!
(she's stationed overseas for another christmas)
Happy Christmas to all the couples who tied the knot this year -
Erica and Alex Deanna and Wayne Bethany and Ben Alli and Dave
Emily and Brian Tricia and Mike Nicole and Colby Katie and Oscar
Allison and AJ Lara and Brian Kristen and Mike
Gretchen and Patrick Amanda and Joe Stephanie and Ryan Cristi and David
Kaley and Derek Noel and Ben Seal and Rich Jana and Tyler
Carina and Dale Leslie and Brian Niki and Jay
I hope you have a wonderful first married Christmas!
And for my past couples who welcomed or are about to welcome their first baby this year -
Jaclyn and Dennis, Kari and Andrew, Minda and Brett, Donna and Mike, Stacey and Tim, Rebeccia and Ryan,
Natalie and Craig, and Bethany and Ben, congratulations and best wishes for your new miracle!
To the Myers, Duriancik, Briley, Meighan, Vigna, McDermott, Webster, Rosewicz, Emili, Lang, McCorkle, Dasta, Gonzalez, and Oxenreiter families - I wish you another year of smiles and happy milestones!
If I forgot or left anyone out, let me know !
Remember to give thanks for the people in your life and the moments you have with them.
From our house to yours, Merry Christmas :-)
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I'm a real tree snob.
I'll be the first to admit it. And by real, I mean a live christmas tree. No trees from a box for me. There's something about the smell and feel of a real live tree that means christmas to me. Having a living tree to decorate and celebrate has always made christmas extra special. Even when times were hard growing up, we always got a live tree and decorated it for christmas. I remember one year in high school taking my Dad's pick up truck and going to the only tree lot open at 10pm on Christmas Eve (in the Lackey's Dairy Queen parking lot in Apollo) and buying one of the 3 trees that were left because I was determined that we would have our tree for christmas. The christmas tree has always been the biggest and best part of christmas for us. When we were very little, my parents used to take us to a tree farm out in the sticks where we would spend hours walking the field and choosing the perfect one for Dad to cut down. That tree farm eventually closed and so for a few years we had to resort to tree lot trees.
Then we found the Flemings and their family tree farm near Shelocta, not far from where our childhood tree farm used to be. We were thrilled to be able to hunt for and cut our own tree again for the past few years. I even took Sean last year who was originally a non-believer of the live tree experience. Till he tried it, and he was hooked :-)
For our first tree on our first married christmas, in our first house - we waited all year to go back to Flemings :-)
A wooden sign marks the turn off the dirt road even though we had passed cars on their way home with trees tied to their roofs for miles.
They have tons of trees to choose from; douglas fir, scotch pine, blue spruce, frazier fir, but we always go to the same section of the farm where my favorite trees grow. We took the farm truck because this year our tree would be BIGGER!
When we turned down the familiar track by the pond, there was my Dad's truck (the same one I took to get our tree on christmas eve so many years ago) already there. He and my sister, Ashley were there to get a tree as well.
It was like old times, wandering around freezing our butts off, laughing, comparing needle color, looking for the right height, the straightest tree trunk, the tree's best side. It's good to know that in a year where so much has changed that some things remain sacredly the same.
Finally with the help of a tape measurer and lots of comparing, we found the perfect tree and Sean cut it off at the base.
Then we found one just a little shorter for the family and Dad cut it down as well.
For another year, the truck took home the tree.
One self timer photo off the hood of the truck of all of us.
At the Kool Kone (it used to be the Kool Kone years ago), Dad and Ashley turned off to go home and Sean and I turned right to go our seperate way to our house. It was a little sad because it meant that things have changed. But a lot of good things will always be the same. Sean squeezed my hand and I reassured myself that growing up is OK.
A last shot through the windshield on the way home with our tree, a beautiful sunset at the beginning of the christmas season.
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This is a really great wedding that I'm sad to say never got blogged from last year. Sitting here reliving it through the photos has been awesome! I loved the colors of this wedding from the start. Christa and Zach chose a peacock theme, and then followed up that good decision by picking all the best vendors in the area. Result? Grand slam wedding :-D
One of my favorite parts of my job is being there for the moments that make relationships, the emotional ones - happy or sad that bind together the fabric of a family or a friendship. Christa and her girls spent the morning of the wedding getting ready at the salon, her mom and her mother in law darting in and out - giant coffee travel cups in hand and all smiles.
This is Zach's mom giving Christa a happy good luck squish as they put the finishing touches on her hair. Linda was thrilled that she was about to gain a new daughter in law.
Mamosas at the salon - wedding morning ritual :-)
One of Christa's bridesmaids checking the skies before they helped her into her dress, the rain was not letting up.
When the moment came, the girls laced Christa up in the fanciest dress she'd ever worn in her life. In a few hours, her new last name would be Beebe. So she wore honey bees on her wedding shoes to celebrate.
Top left and right images by Anna.
The guys wore textured grey suits with black and lime green details.
Instead of the outdoor ceremony they had planned, Christa and Zach had to make the best of the bad weather and set up their ceremony indoors under the big chandelier in the middle of the barn. Christa's dad walked her through the open doors of the barn to the sound of a string quartet and falling rain. (The musicians were huddled under the stairs in the now close space among the guests.)
Their ceremony was simple and sweet.
Married among their family and friends in a barn lit softly by white lights while the storm blew outside.
Despite the bad weather, Christa and Zach were determined to take the horse and carriage ride they had planned. Linda (she owns the farm) carried the umbrella and Val (she keeps things running smoothly during weddings) wrapped the couple up in a blanket and they rode away through the rain. When they got back they wanted a photo with the horses - such troopers! - it was really coming down hard!
All of the floral arrangements for the wedding were really fantastic with a wild field picked look and peacock feather details.
We stayed on the porch for family and wedding party photos - they were a FUN group!!
Dj Rockin John getting everyone organized for their announcements into the reception.
Garda's restaurant provided the food including a totally awesome pasta station. Meanwhile Zach waited out the storm in the basement watching football.
At last our patience paid off and the rain stopped just before dark. Christa and Zach were game for anything and happily tromped through the wet grass for some photos in the field. The sky was dark with clouds and the daylight was fading fast. While we were out there, Christa almost walked into a huge grass spider (yellow argiope to be exact) so we took his picture too. Top right and bottom left images by Anna.
Image by Anna.
Some after-dark details of their reception. As a favor, guests received small beehive candles and bear jars of honey with their new married name Beebe on them as well as pillow mints.
This was the scene at the end of the night - everyone on the dancefloor bringing the hammer down to "Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi (also the theme song to Deadliest Catch). I love it when singing breaks out on the dancefloor ;-)
Christa and Zach just celebrated their first anniversary a few weeks back - I hope the first year was just as amazing as the wedding day!
Ceremony & Reception Location: Lingrow Farm
Hair and MakeUp: Fashions A Head
Floral Design: Leechburg Floral
Cake Designer: Debbie Sutara
Catering Services: Garda's Restaurant
Entertainment: Dj Rockin John
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So this is what december is supposed to look like - instead it's sunny, no snow, and 50 degrees. It's difficult to get into the christmas spirit. I feel like I'm running in a race and the deadline is rapidly approaching but there's no signs pointing to the end! What a year this has been and now there's only 30 days left of 2011.
I'll keep this short in the interest of getting back to work quickly.
Wish me luck guys, and thanks for hanging in there with me even when I can't get back to you right away. I'm thankful for all of my awesome friends, awesome clients, clients that become friends, and friends that become clients! I'm looking forward to catching up and being able to improve all of the services that we offer!
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