Wedding Part 1

For the pre-wedding party we cooked dutch oven potatoes and grilled chicken over at Andy’s brothers house. Andy’s dad gave a nice speech and we all just chilled. It was a fun, relaxing way for everyone to get to know each other. I really wanted to do something laid back because I knew that the next day was going to be very busy.

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We chose to have the wedding and reception at Andy’s parents home. It was the perfect setting for the garden wedding that we wanted.

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Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

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Want to see some decor details? I DIY-ed pretty much everything and I’m very happy with the way it all turned out.

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tissue paper poofs leading up the driveway
Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

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fabric bunting
Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

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the “book” table- we had recipe cards for our guests to fill out with their recipe for a happy marriage instead of a book. program fans had a wedding crossword puzzle on one side to keep our guests entertained while they waited for the ceremony to start.
Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

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the clothesline provided a perfect place to hang out engagement photos
Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

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I had fun decorate clothespins to hang the photos up with.
Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

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I put together a very simple photo booth for our guests to take silly pictures at. I sent their photos back to them with a thank you note. I’ll show you some of those pictures in a future post. They turned out really cute.
Photos taken by Opiefoto ©

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We had wedding pie instead of cake. I’m not a big fan of cake.
Photos taken by Opiefoto ©

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I decorated hanging mason jars for my florist to fill with flowers. We hung them on the chairs heading down the aisle.
Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

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Flowers included white peonies, blue bachelor buttons, green mint, blue thistles, and white daisies.
Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

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The centerpieces on the tables at the reception.
Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

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Arbor made by Andy and his dad that we got married in front of. I hung more tissue paper poof garland from it to pretty it up.
Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

The food:

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Fresh fruit, dutch oven cobbler, vanilla ice cream, sandwich rolls.

Photo taken by Opiefoto ©

Pictures of the ceremony and reception to come next time I post.

xoxo-Kimberly


Honeymoon-The Last Days

Seattle

Seattle was so much fun. I loved the city. We spent about two and a half days there before flying home. It was really great to have that time to unwind from being on the cruise a little bit. I was still feeling “swayish” but Andy was fine.

Getting off the ship:

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We had time to do so much in Seattle but we almost could have spent a whole week there and had plenty to do. I honestly can’t remember what we did which days so I’ll just put it all here in no particular order.

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We walked around the Public Market watching the vendors throw fish and tasting chocolate pasta.

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We took the Seattle Underground tour which was very entertaining and interesting. I highly recommend it for first time visitors to the city.

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We went to the top of the Space Needle and saw Mt. Ranier!

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We took a Duck Tour on an “amphibious” vessel that had wheels but could go in the water too.

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We also went to the zoo!

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And saw penguins!

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And silly little meerkats and lots more animals.

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We even went to the University of Washington and took a tour of the campus. I wanted to go there because I’m considering their Masters of Library Science program. I fell in love with their campus.

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This is their library.

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I may or may not have started crying when I saw it. We also got to meet with the head of the library science department and she gave us a lot of good info on the MLIS.

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Lastly we went to the Seattle Art Museum.

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I actually did start crying when we walked in and I saw this Minoan pottery. What can I say? I’m an art history nerd.

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But seriously, it would move you too if you knew the history behind each piece. I was in complete awe!

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And that, my friends, concludes the guided tour of our honeymoon!! It was amazing in every way. Thanks for being patient with me while I get it all documented here. I hope to share some wedding pictures in the next couple of days and then we’ll be back to regular posting.

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xoxo-Kimberly

Honeymoon-Day 7

Victoria, Canada

They don’t give you a lot of time in Victoria but we still booked a shore excursion to see the famous Buchart Gardens. I was really excited about this as I’d heard how cool it was. However, due to really bad weather the night before, we arrived in Victoria two hours late. Initially we were supposed to dock in Victoria from 7:00 PM to midnight but we didn’t actually arrive in port until 9 PM. This was disappointing but understandable.

The weather the night before had the boat rocking so much that it woke me up several times. I laid in bed part of the night just listening to the sound of the waves crashing up against the side of the boat. It was a little frightening but neither of us got sea sick and still managed to get a decent nights sleep.

We had also been delayed half an hour in Ketchikan when a passenger that had a medical emergency had to be taken off the boat on a stretcher. We then had to wait for his entire family to disembark with all their luggage from the ship. It was a little sad pulling away from the dock watching this guy get put in an ambulance. We never did find out what happened but I felt bad that the people didn’t get to finish their cruise. So anyway, our trip to Buchart was canceled and our money refunded.

Because we weren’t arriving in Victoria until later that night, we did some fun things on the ship during the day. We decided it might be fun to take a towel folding class and learn how to fold some of the towel animals that had been left in out room all week long.After the towel folding class we stayed to watch a married couples game. They asked for the newest married couple in the room to stand up. Five other couples had been married on the same day that we had and were also on their honeymoon. It turned out that we were the newliest married but we opted not to get up on stage and totally embarrass ourselves. Instead, we watched the others and got a good laugh.

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Later in the day the ship celebrated the 4th of July with a dance party. The big band played and the singers sang. Andy and I sampled the signature 4th of July cocktail.

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It warmed up quite a bit that afternoon and we were actually able to lay out on the deck in our swimming suits for awhile. One last whale swam along side the ship while we were out there.

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It was late and dark by the time we got in to Victoria, but we still opted to get off the ship anyway. We took a cab into town with another couple and just walked around taking a few quick pictures of the city. It’s a beautiful place, by the way. I really would have loved to spend the day there.  The shops were closing just as we got there so we didn’t stay out long. Here’s the few pictures we did end up getting of Victoria.

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The Parliament Building:

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The Empress Hotel:

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Back at the ship:

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It was sad waking up the next morning realizing that our cruise was over. I was so glad that our honeymoon wasn’t over yet though! We still had a couple days to play in Seattle.

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Honeymoon-Days 5 and 6

Day 5: Juneau

Whale Watching, Salmon Bake, Chilkoot Mine & Waterfall

We had so much fun in Juneau.

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We opted to take a whale watching excursion. For about the first hour out on sea we really didn’t see much of anything. I was starting to get disappointed and although the tour promised full refunds if no whales were sighted, I just wanted too see one! The captain decided to take us out of his normal range and that’s when we saw them. Killer whales. And not just a couple of them but three or four families of them- swimming all around our boat. It was amazing! I could have watched them all day. From that point on we continued to see orca whales throughout the tour. I also caught a quick glimpse of some sea otters but they dipped beneath the waves before I could snap a picture. Toward the end of our tour we came upon some sea lions playing king of the mountain and we also saw a couple more bald eagles.

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When we got back to port, it was about lunch time. Our bus driver took us over to our next destination- a genuine Alaskan salmon bake. I’d been looking forward to this ever since the day we decided to come to Alaska. I love salmon and it was as yummy as I had imagined it would be.

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After lunch we went to check out the Chilkoot mine and waterfall. Everything in Alaska is so lush and green. It’s a really beautiful place.

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We were completely exhausted at the end of the day. And of course, here’s the towel animal that our room steward made for us. It was one of my favorites.

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Day 6: Ketchikan

We decided not to sign up for any shore excursions in Ketchikan and just explore the place on our own. I had my heart set on a hike through the Tongass Rainforest but it happened to be pouring rain that day. Rather than spend the day up to our knees in mud, we decided to put on our ponchos and see what else we could find in town. We ended up walking to a museum full of totem poles. It was pretty cool. I couldn’t believe how tall some of them were. Of course, most of them were really worn down, which is one of the reasons they are now in the museum. We only looked around in Ketchikan for about a half day before we headed back to the ship.

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We had lunch in the dining room when we got back on the ship. It was so amazing. Also, it was my first time trying caviar!

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The singers and dancers put on their last show that night. It was a tribute to New Orleans. Even though we weren’t supposed to take pictures of the shows, we snuck a couple quick ones.

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It was a a fun couple of days and kind of sad because we realized our cruise was almost over!

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Honeymoon-Day 4

Skagway, Alaska

Time there: 7am to 9 pm
Shore Excursions:   White Pass & Yukon Route Train Ride, Dog Sledding
His Highlights: Trains and bears and huskies, oh my! and tasty donuts with my bride =)
Her Highlights:   Seeing bears up close  in their natural habitat, free sugar donuts, playing with Alaskan Husky puppies

This was our first port so we were pretty excited to get off the ship and really see Alaska.
Getting off the ship and waiting on the pier to go on our shore excursion:

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We loved Skagway. We chose to start our day off with a train ride. The train traveled along the trail that was used for gold prospectors making their way to the Yukon. The scenery and view from the train was amazing. Of course, the ride was narrated with stories of the gold rush, the building of the railway and the history of the area. Along the way we saw 3 brown bears and 1 black bear and a couple of bald eagles.

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The snow blower that clears the train tracks every year:

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After our train ride a bus picked us up to take us to our Dog Sledding Adventure. We stopped at some scenic spots along the way.

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When we got to the mushing camp, they fed us a lunch of BBQ chicken, cole slaw, potatoes, and sugar donuts. It was delicious! After we stuffed ourselves with as many donuts as we could handle, we looked around in a little museum and gift shop they had. We had about a half an hour to kill before it was our turn to go for a dog sled ride. While you’re waiting, you are allowed to go in the puppy pens and play with the little guys. They were adorable! The guide told us that they start training them to pull a sled at 6 months old.

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The dog sled ride was really fun. The guide explained that these dogs run in the Iditarod and during the summer they give rides to tourists as a way to stay in shape. Because there is no snow, they pull the tourists on large “dune buggy” type cars. The cars aren’t motorized at all. The dogs do all the work. Pulling this heavy load gets them in shape so when they are pulling sleds in the snow, they can travel for longer distances before needing to rest.

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Sled dog teams consist of four positions: Lead dogs that set the pace of the team, swing dogs that take the commands to turn the sled, team dogs that provide the horsepower, and wheel dogs which are usually the strongest dogs on the team and placed the closest to the sled.

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During the winter, sled dogs wear booties on their feet to protect them from sharp ice as they run. Sometimes it can get minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit so in the 58 degree weather we were experiencing, the dogs were actually feeling really hot. This is the reason for the kiddie pools half way through the trail. The dogs get to have a quick break and cool off in the cold water.

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The dog sledding was so much fun. I was amazed at how athletic these dogs were. They were pure muscle. After getting back to Skagway we decided to walk around the town a bit. We bought kettle corn and fudge and then made our way over to the Red Onion Saloon.

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The Red Onion Saloon was built in 1887 and was the towns bar and brothel. We took a 15 minute tour of the building. The guide told us how the brothel worked and the history of the business through a really funny narration. She took us to the upper floor where the bedrooms were and showed us the holes in the floor where the girls would put their coin earnings in. The coins would then slide down a pipe and to the bartender to be split up at the end of the night. It was pretty interesting.

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At the end of the day we headed back to the ship for dinner. Here’s our crab towel animal that we found in our room when we got back:

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Skagway was a fun way to kick off the ports. We really liked it there and looked forward to exploring Juneau the next day.

xoxo-Kimberly

Honeymoon-Day 3

Tracy Arm Fjord

Fjord- a long, narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs: usually formed by glacial erosion.

Glacier- a slowly moving mass of ice originating from an accumulation of snow. It can either spread out from a central mass or descend from a high valley.

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On the third day we sailed down the Tracy Arm Fjord. We traveled really slowly. It was so calm and peaceful and there wasn’t much movement on the water either. It was absolutely one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen.

I thought the misty look of everything, and the tranquil feeling of this place made it feel like you were the first person to ever have traveled there.

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There were little waterfalls like this one trickling down all over the mountain sides.

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Isn’t the blue color of the ice, pretty? There were chunks of ice floating everywhere in the water.

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It was chilly enough for jackets most of the cruise, but it’s Alaska! What can you expect? As you can see, I didn’t expect it to be that cold and ended up having to buy another jacket from the gift shop on board.

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I took more pictures of the deck while we were out there enjoying the scenery.

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Mini golf course- It continues around to the other side of the boat too.

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The Captain made an announcement that another ship was coming down the passage and we needed to turn around and head out to make room for them. It was a Disney cruise ship!

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They seemed to be going the same route as us because we saw them in every port we went to after that. In fact, some of the folks on that ship came on shore excursions with us. We saw several other cruise ships while at port, one night we were sandwiched between a Royal Caribbean ship and two Celebrity ships!

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When we got to the end of the Fjord, we saw the glacier. (It’s that gigantic hunk of ice that has formed in between the mountains. It was so incredible, it took my breath away. This picture doesn’t even do it justice. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

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 We also saw orca (killer) whales swimming around our cruise ship. It was seriously so cool. There were so many of them.

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I don’t know if you can see it, but there are two bald eagles perched on the top of that ice chunk. They flew away just after we took the picture.

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Later that night we played a game of bingo after dinner.

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Here’s our towel animal that our steward put in our room. It’s a moose!

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And here he is having his bedtime snack of cookies and hot chocolate.

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I also forgot to post a couple of pictures from the night we were at sea (day 2.)

It was formal night! We didn’t go super formal but we did dress up.

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After dinner we attended the Comedy Hypnosis Show. It was hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing.

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Day 4 was our first day at port-Skagway!! I’ll show you those photos in the next post.

xoxo-Kimberly

Honeymoon-Days 1 & 2

SEATTLE & A DAY AT SEA

BTW- I’m starting with the honeymoon because I still don’t have all the wedding pictures that I want to share with you. When I get all those in, then I’ll do some more posting on all the wedding hooplah. In the meantime, get ready for a series of image heavy posts that may make you want to pack your bags and move to Alaska. Just sayin’- cause it was awesome.

Okay, so for those of you who don’t know- we took a Carnival cruise to Alaska sailing out of Seattle. If you have never done this- or went on any cruise at all- you must. They are for everyone and so much fun!! Also, cruises aren’t just about eating. That seems to be a common misconception. We went to shows, played trivia games, learned how to fold towel animals (silly but fun!),  and even took a partner dance class while on the ship. You can go shopping, get a massage, take aerobics classes and a ton more. Our boat even had basketball courts, mini golf course, and an arcade. Plus, there are the ports and shore excursions!! Cruises are the bomb diggity. So ya’ll ready for some pics? Let’s go.

We boarded the ship around noon and set off to find some lunch. Let’s be real- food is a major part of the cruise (but not all) because it’s all inclusive and available 24/7. We ate such an amazing array of foods that I can’t even begin to share with you the joy I felt every single day.

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Boarding the ship- that’s our ship in the background. It’s huge! There were over 1000 crew members plus around 3000 cruisers on board.

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On the deck of the ship, waiting to set sail!

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Seattle sky line from the ship

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Deck of the ship with swimming pool and hot tub. It was actually warm enough to put on our suits and lay out there on our last day.

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Our ship had a pool slide.

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One of the glass walled elevators. Our ship had sets of elevators at the front, mid ship and rear.

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Some of the interior of the ship- This is the hallway surrounding the theatre, Pharoah’s Palace. We saw shows in that theatre every night although photography wasn’t allowed. They were one of our favorite parts of the cruise- dancers and singers who’s shows ranged from a tribute to Mardi Gras to Fosse style shows. Very fun to watch!

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Andy on one of the grand staircases

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“Fashion Boulevard” The shops in the middle of the ship that sold everything from high end jewelry and liquor to little souvenirs.

And finally, our stateroom. We got a balcony and I’m glad that we did. It was nice to sit out there and watch the waves searching for wildlife.

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The first day was essentially spent exploring the ship. It was so big and it took us awhile to get our bearings. That night we went to dinner in the dining room. Our waiter Wayan was so nice and would bring us anything we wanted to try. Later we attended the Welcome Aboard Show. I wish we could have got some decent pictures of these shows because they were so awesome. But photography wasn’t allowed. We had some rough nights weather wise and we were both amazed to see those dancers in high heels totally unaffected by the rocking of the ship.

Anyway, it was a fun first day. Can’t wait to show you the rest. The next day was our first day at Sea. We spent the day attending some of the activities on the ship, and generally just being newlyweds :) No pictures from that day but there are some great pictures of the Tracy Arm Fjord on Day 3. Stay tuned!

xoxo-Kimberly

Hello there!!

Well, we’re back!! Seriously, this has been the best two weeks ever. The wedding was absolutely perfect and the honeymoon was amazing (we went on an Alaskan cruise!) I really just wanted to pop in and share this photo of us on our wedding day.

It was taken by Chauntelle Janzer of OpieFoto. It’s the teaser photo that she sent us until she gets the rest of them put together.  Opie was awesome and I can’t wait to see the other photos she took of our wedding. We also did a ‘day after’ photo shoot with her at Wheeler Farm just before leaving on our honeymoon so I am way excited to those pictures as well.

Anyway, I have loads of pictures to share and lots of stories to tell, so I promise to get back on tomorrow and get you all up to speed. For now, we have piles of laundry to do, sacks of groceries to put away, a yard that desperately needs mowing and a house that is begging to be cleaned. I’ll be back after we can get everything back in order. What a crazy and fun two weeks it has been!

xoxo-Kimberly