80 Degrees and Snow

When I left school for spring break last week, I had the top down on the Jeep and 80 degree air coming in the windows.  Tomorrow when I go back to school, I will have to push the snow off my car roof and turn on the heat.  St. Louis…how I love it so much…weather is never predictable and always keeps me guessing.  This Sunday is supposed to be 80 degrees again so all we can do is sigh about the snow and know that BBQ weather will be here again shortly.  I have promised to keep my snow boots out this time because each time I put them away for winter (3 times now), we get more snow!  I will keep them out until Summer this time…just to be safe! 🙂

Our Wedding | Part 2

I’m taking the time to write about my wedding day as I remember it!  Here is part one if you need to catch up!

2:00

It’s time to meet Shawn, but first they need to get some shots of me, the bride.  I feel relieved things are mostly going as planned and we are on schedule.  The last thirty minutes were a whirlwind and I am ready to party.  I’m still trying to take everything in, just like everyone has reminded me all day long.  I’m really nervous to see Shawn, not to see him but I’m nervous I have not seen him yet.

Amy makes a toast right before I see him.  One of my favorite parts of my wedding day with all the girls:

2:15  A little behind schedule, I decide not to wear my veil because of the time.  Looking back, this is one thing I wish I did differently.  Look who is waiting at the bottom of the steps for me.  Ahhhh, it’s my handsome Shawn.  (SO glad I did the first look.  Really girls, this is the way to go.)  Shawn looks just as nervous as I do.  I keep thinking, “I hope I don’t fall, I hope I don’t fall…”.

Oohhh and I feel better seeing him. It’s still a little weird having the camera right there.

So the last two minutes I have no idea what came out of my mouth or what I said.  I am sooo nervous.  Luckily, for me, I my photographer tells me my first words were, “Don’t I look cute?”.  Are you kidding me, I said that?  Oh well, Shawn and I are both relieved the first look is over and we will be married soon.  We both need a little cocktail at this point.  Time for pictures of just us!

A bridesmaid brings down my veil….I love my veil.  It completes the dress and I feel even more like a bride again.  The weather has been terrible.  Between the major thunderstorm and tornado warning/watch/ and tornado TOUCHDOWNS (that I don’t know about yet), I am bummed we can’t do pictures outside.  My photographer tells me she has backup plans within the hotel.  I know inside pictures will do, I know.  I was just excited for outdoor pictures.  I am a photographer you know, pictures are the most important part about getting married!

It’s time for group shots and literally, the heavens open up and God is smiling down!   (Insert a big “Aaahhhhhhhhhhh” in here somewhere.) In DECEMBER, the weather turns to 70 degrees and sunny.  In December, in St. Louis, the weather turns to 70 degrees when it is time for group shots. (Again, insert a big AAaaahhhh.) The rain went away and literally, the heavens are smiling on us.  Here comes the bridal party…seriously one of the best bridal parties ever.  I feel really blessed to have such good girlfriends and blessed that Shawn has such good men in his life.  I have been around a lot of different bridal parties and this, for so many reasons, is one of the best….hands down.  I just love em.

I bought this beautiful coat for a WINTER wedding, well who knew spring was going to shine in winter and I wouldn’t really need it?  I even bought each of my bridesmaids their own coat so they wouldn’t be freezing for the pictures.  I had backup plans for the pictures too, like warming up in the limo, in the hotel, and taking warming breaks.  Yep, we didn’t need all that.  Best St. Louis December weather in history.I wanted each of my bridesmaids to wear their own black silk taffeta dress.  I wanted their own little personalities to shine with whatever they picked and whatever accessories they chose.  I think they did a great job.  I had a beautiful group of girls and they are each so important to me.  They are the best of the best…no questions about it.

I am having a great time.  I am with my soon to be husband and my best friends and family.  I’m not nervous anymore, except my stomach is telling me otherwise.  People slow down and honk as they pass us and some go through the turnabout more than once just to take a look at our awesome bridal party.  Girls at the Wildwood theatre are taking pictures of me with their cell phones.  I feel kind of weird being the center of attention, but I am soaking it all up, just like everyone is telling me.

Wait for it…wait for it….all of a sudden it starts to rain.  Not a lot…and it is the happy kind of rain.  The kind of rain that doesn’t mess up your hair it just leaves for awesome lighting and beautiful pictures.  See what I mean by the heavens shining through? 

Two seconds later and God gives us this…a bright blue sky.  I couldn’t make this stuff up.

One of my favorite pictures below.  I love it because I love Wildwood so much!  Scarlett and I literally walked past this thing being built every single day.  It makes me think of Scarlett, I kind of miss her.  I know that’s crazy to miss your dog on your wedding day but I did want her for a picture or two.  Oh well, I am having a blast and I just love this location, it just fits us so well.  I love the old time look of the photo and I know it will be a framer.

Portraits are now finished and it’s time to load everyone up in the limo and head to the church.  I know the church lady is waiting for us…my nerves start to kick in again.

To be continued…

Photography: My friend and photographer, Jessica at J.Grace Photography.

Hair: My wonderful hairstylist, Heather at Salon Escape.

Makeup:  The awesome and talented Emily at Delicately Bold.

Florist: The amazing and already booked for 2011, Tina at The Special Event Florist.

Veil:  My talented and crafty Aunt Kathy Strauch and Gail Kreienkamp

Dress: Demetrios

Hotel: Wildwood Hotel

Spring BBQs

Is it spring yet?  I’ve never been good about the actual day seasons start.  To me, it’s spring when I can open my windows at night and pull out the flip-flops.  So, for us, right now, it is spring.  We have always been into grilling but we had a really bad charcoal grill up until the wedding.  By bad I just mean that the charcoals were only a one time thing and they had to burn (slowly- not with actual fire coming out) all night because somehow air would get in the pit.  It was a waste of charcoal and a little bit of a safety concern. So, when our good friends gave us the grill we had been wanting we were so excited to use it!  (Thanks Hubbard and Short Family!)  We will put it to great use this spring/summer/ and fall.  We have already used it two nights in a row.  Who wants to come over for a BBQ?

It is also Spring Break for me and it could not have landed on a better week!  The weather is so nice and we have been outside more than inside these days.  The weather makes me want to go out and buy plants to have around the porch and get the hummingbird feeder out.  If I know one thing, it is St. Louis weather, and it will probably freeze again tomorrow or the next day…and then shoot right back up to the high 70s.  So, for obvious reasons, we won’t be breaking out the shovels any time soon.  I hope you have been enjoying this beautiful weather and doing whatever it is that you do when Spring starts to surface!

Our First Geocaching Adventure

When I first heard of “geocaching” from a teacher friend, I knew it would be something Shawn and I would want to try someday.  For those that don’t know what geocaching is, I would describe it as finding and “idol” in survivor or a secret treasure but with help from a GPS.  (We used our car GPS, but I think real serious people have amazing GPS systems.)  We love taking the dog and heading outside for a good walk.  During the weekdays we usually just go around our house because Wildwood offers some great paths that are within walking distance from the condo.  On weekends, we venture out further and like to explore places we have never been.  Now that the weather is finally getting nice enough to do this all again, we decided to see if there are any caches out by our house.  To our surprise these things are all over the place!

After reading about it but before trying it, I would describe it as something that a 70 year old or 7 year old would really enjoy.  After doing it for ourselves, while we admit to feeling a little dorky, we understand the fun of it and want to spread the word!  We found a new trail and had a fun time exploring the woods around it.

Here is our first adventure in pictures.  I won’t go into specifics on where it was in case you want to do it yourself.

This little thing turns all Beagle while on her nature walks…except for the howl.  Can’t you just see the Beagle in this picture?

After awhile of walking around, we found our first cache!  I think Shawn turned into a ten year old boy for a minute.  Just a minute though.

This was our first one so we really didn’t know what to expect or what to do.  It looks like in each of these things there is a log journal and random little things people leave in there.  The only thing we had was a plastic baggie so we left that.  I joke that next time I’m going to leave my business cards. 😉

Today we went for a long hike and tried to find another one.  We left without finding one but still had a great hike on a beautiful day!  We did find two stray dogs that we almost took home.

So the bottom line is: I think we might try to do this again, on a different trail.  I’m hoping I didn’t break any “rules” by posting this on a blog.  Is this thing a secret to outsiders?  Now some more questions I have for you:  Is this something you have heard of?  Something that you want to try?  Are you part of this almost secret world and enjoy doing this on the weekends?  Let me know!

Two Hanging Baskets

I have started to type and retype this post.  I have changed the subject of this post over a dozen times. My brain is fried.  It’s been one heck of  a week.  Tonight Shawn and I went running around the neighborhood.  We’ve been doing it a lot.  We dream of things.  I saw two flower baskets hanging from a neighbor’s porch…it reminded me spring is coming. Spring is coming and summer will follow.  Summer is when my teacher self will shut down for a few weeks *yeah, right!*, and I will be at the pool (reading about teaching and photography interchangeably because I won’t be able to help it).  I will shoot weddings, children, babies, I will take pictures with my camera for fun.  We will go to concerts, we will travel, we will explore the country, the back roads.  We will sit on patios with friends.  We will laugh, joke, and drink summer drinks.  The warm weather will be here every day.  There will be days so hot I will have to stay in the pool the whole time.  The sundress and flip flop outfit will be a necessity.

March is such a tease.