Friday, June 29, 2012

And I'm Back!

I have certainly neglected my blog and updating all of you on the happenings of our life for far too long!  I credit this long overdue update to Clare, who told me that our fresh start in San Diego is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start on the blog and I couldn't agree more.

Mike and I are adjusting to life in San Diego the best we know how.  I was unprepared for how huge of a life change this would be; it's been so exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  And if moving isn't enough for us, we're also trying to catch up on all of the wedding planning we missed out on in the past couple of months.  It's crazy how fast September is coming!! At this point we're just trying to refocus our efforts as a team and start knocking some wedding to-dos off the list.

And at this point I truly need to thank all of our family friends for your love, support, help, and guidance through all of this.  With out you guys, I'd be an even bigger mess than I already am! :)

Here's some photos to catch you up on our past month!

We said our goodbyes...

We practiced our corn hole game for the wedding...

We had our first Cali visitor! Love you Clare!!

We've explored Julian and eaten yummy pie, twice! :)

Their Strawberry-Rhubarb is to die for too! :)

We've been to our first fair together and eaten the greasiest food of my life!

I can still taste the salt from this beer-battered bacon wrapped hot dog, yikes!
(And the bandage was just from a little accident I had with a box cutter, not as severe as it looks!)

I turned another year older!

We celebrated with a yummy dinner at Stone Brewery.

I've seen some of the most beautiful flowers and even went to the Little Italy Farmer's Market.  All thanks to Karen, our second California visitor!

We've even taken in a rock show!

 As you can tell, we've been as busy as ever and we're just trying to find ways to make San Diego feel like home.  I promise to be a more dedicated blogger, especially as we're getting closer to the wedding...there are just so many exciting things going on this year!!

So much to love to all of you!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Seventeen Years

On November 28, 1994 my dad legally adopted my sister and I.  My mom, dad, sister, and myself went to the City of Flagstaff Court House and made it official.  We spent the day celebrating, playing games, and there was a great party for us at my Grandma Geri and Grandpa Dennis' home.  You've all heard me talk about how much my mom means to me and how she still impacts my life today, but I have yet to tell you what an amazing father I have.  So to mark seventeen years with the best father a girl could ask for, I give you this blog post of bragging and a very small glimpse down memory lane.

I always tell people that my mom was my best friend and for the last few years I've had the honor of telling people that my dad is my best friend.  I truly mean this from the bottom of my heart.  He has had just as much of an impact on who I am today as my mom did.  He is the person I call when I need advice or to have life put back into perspective, the person I can joke and laugh with, the person I can confide in, the person who calls me out when I need it, the person who pushes me to be better and do better and who will catch me if I fall short, and he's a great shopping partner.  For all these reasons and many more, I am so happy that he is the man I get to call "dad."

My dad has taught me a lot, he even taught me how to shoot a bow.

I recently had the amazing experience of shopping for my wedding dress, that alone is an experience of a life time, but I had the extra addition of shopping with my dad.  I have to tell you, this guy has an eye for fashion and wedding dress shopping was no exception!  I did a ton of research before our shopping trip so I could make appointments at the boutiques that had the most potential for finding a dress.  The first place we went to was Destiny's Bride (I know, cheesy name) and this place was beautiful!!  The bridal consultant was so sweet and she really paid attention to what I was looking for and loved.  My dad pulled a dress that was totally different from what I ever imagined wearing and I was pretty leery of his taste until I got the dress on. Turns out I loved the shape of the dress and what it did for my figure, so it was a great start for dad.

We had so much fun!!

It also turns out that we're pretty efficient at shopping, we clocked our dress shopping at the first boutique in just 45 minutes!  Needless to say, we had plenty of time before our next appointment so the obvious thing for us to do was head to Salty Senoritas for a margarita. :)  Our next stop was Demetrios.  In the spirit of honesty, I'm shocked that this place was even across the street from Scottsdale Fashion Square.  While my bridal consultant was a nice girl, I didn't really enjoy myself or the dresses.  My dad and I found the place exhausting and quite frankly the quality of the dresses just weren't there.  We did however find a completely different style of dress that made us excited.  We were done at that place in under forty minutes, so we decided to break for lunch before our next boutique (this was the one I was most excited for).

Our next stop was Mariee and I can't say enough good things about it.  It's owned and run by this adorable English couple and Carrie was my bridal consultant.  This place is absolutely gorgeous inside, Carrie starts off by walking you through the various designers, telling you about them, the time frame for receiving your dress, and the price point for that particular designer.  After she is finished she gives you six blue clips and you walk around clipping the dresses you would like to try on.  She only brings in one dress at a time and she joins you in the dressing room to help you in and out of the dresses (something that neither of the other places did) and I was glad that she wasn't the least bit bashful when it came to this.  I felt like I was having the dress experience that every girl is suppose to have; I wasn't rushed, there weren't tons of other girls, it was an incredibly special experience.  We tried on several dresses and narrowed it down to two.  My dad played his cards well with the last two, one was my pick the other his.  He had me try mine on for a second time first and I was still in love with it and then I tried his on for a second time last and I saw what he was seeing.  It was the perfect combination of the two dress styles we loved from earlier in the day and it was incredible what it did for my figure!  All I can say is that it's completely surreal when you pick your dress.  I felt like I was watching myself from across the room when I said, "Yes!"  Actually, I think my exact wording was, "Cool, " I know, not cool at all.  But like I said, you have no idea what that feeling of picking a dress is like until you do it or what your reaction will be!  So I found my dress and even though I had told dad months ago that I wanted to pay for my dress, he insisted.  Let's just say we had a very special moment when we finally found the dress and we were more than ready for a drink and food!  My only teaser for the dress is the designer, Martina Liana, you can see which dress I picked at our wedding.

Our celebratory drinks!

The next day we met my best friend and Maid of Honor, Julia for breakfast at The Farm at South Mountain to eat at the Morning Glory Cafe.  This place is amazing and a hidden gem!  After some light shopping it was time to end one amazing weekend.

At The Farm at South Mountain with dad.

And my best, Julia.

Dad, I can't thank you enough for this experience and I am so completely honored that I got to experience this with you.  Thank you for making my life what it is today and for shaping me into the woman I am today. I love you so much and I look forward to the next 17 years!
In honor of finding my dress and sharing this experience with all of you, here's a photo of the four of us on the day my parent's were married. :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Day to Be Thankful For

The Year of the "Kids" is what I'm calling this Thanksgiving, it was the first one I've celebrated without parents and I think we held our own!  This year it was just Mike, Mark, Rachel, and myself (Rachel did invite a couple of her friends over, which was great because we had a ton of food and we were more than happy to share!).  Mike and I made breakfast for the four of us and we have a new favorite breakfast recipe.
We started off by cooking the bacon.

 We chopped up some broccoli and mushrooms and put them in the bottom of the muffin tin.                                   

 And then we got the mimosas flowing!


Then we cut up the bacon and added it to the muffin tin.

Then we topped it off with a mixture of eggs, sharp cheddar, milk, and baking soda.

 Our finished product!!  They were so good!

Breakfast tradition.

Breakfast table.

Pumpkin Pie.

Abby hardly moved from her spot on the couch while we were hard at work!

Mark working on the turkey.

Love this picture of Mark!

Stuffing time!

Sage sausage, super important!

Me in all of my stuffing glory!

Mike was in charge of corn thing.

Coors Light in honor of my dad who couldn't join us this year.

The wine stash.

Jeep transportation for food between ovens.

Turkey, turkey, turkey.

They guys did a great job!

Mark carving it up good!

How cute are they?!

Corn thing.

Sweet potatoes.

Finished product of stuffing.


Not our best, but it was a good laugh!

Much better!

We had such a great time together and it made me that much more excited for Christmas and having a full house of the people that we love!  Can't wait to have you all in Flagstaff for another year together!