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. :)


  1. Oh Tara - what a wonderful, wonderful story! I had no idea about this part of your life! Thanks for sharing, so touching!

  2. Thank you so much Sarah! I'm just so happy that I can share with all of you how special of a dad I have.