Sunday, August 31, 2014

Becky and Juan's Wedding

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet! Way back in June Becky and Juan got married! It was a lovely day and Maddie and Avonlea had the honor of being flower girls. I was a little nervous after their freak out at Justin and Elisabeth's wedding, but they did fine! No nerves at all. The wedding had so many special touches designed and crafted by Becky and it was a joy to see her marry the man she loves. Unfortunately Andy was unable to get off work, but the girls and I enjoyed the special day with family.
Since Andy wasn't home I raced around getting the girls ready. We had a bit of a drive (maybe about an hour and a half? I'm forgetting now). We caravaned with my parents but they needed to take their own car since they had another wedding to go to after Becky and Juan's! While I was dashing about Lucy was vying for my attention but I just couldn't give her much so she eventually settled down for a nap on the rug in my bedroom while I got ready.
This is right before the ceremony and I was glad spirits were up but I was still nervous they would get cold feet so I was handing out Twizzlers and other candy like there was no tomorrow. Fortunately the sugar crash didn't come until much later :) I kid, they actually held up well all day.

The rest of the pictures are out of order thanks to a Blogger glitch and I'm just too impatient to shuffle them around. But, I think they're pretty self-explanatory. The reception was at a lovely farm and the kids loved running around.

The girls carried these banners when they walked up the aisle.

Sisters (and mother of the bride)!

Baby Emilia has since been born and is perfect!

Poor Lulu was a bit under the weather but was a good sport nonetheless.

During the ceremony Juan's family in Colombia that wasn't able to make the trip watched via Skype and they also participated in the reception via Skype!



Carrie, who you see in many pictures, is Becky's best friend and was so great to all the kids, dancing and walking them around the farm.


Ten Year Anniversary!

On August 21st Andy and I celebrated our ten year anniversary. It has been a wonderful and abundantly blessed ten years. We are so fortunate to have three healthy and happy daughters, the love of friends and family and a home we adore. And it'd be easy to say that's the most important thing--love of family and friends, security and happiness. But it's not! Our richest blessing is the love of our Savior Jesus Christ and having him at the center of our marriage has been the most important thing. It informs all those other parts of our life and while we are grateful for the blessings I listed above, there is no guarantee that they will always be there but we know Christ will be.

Okay, okay, that got super serious. (But it's true!) We had an extremely special celebration of our anniversary--a long weekend in Bermuda. My parents watched the kids and we got 3 nights away on the island where we honeymooned. The hotel where we spent our honeymoon has since closed, but we stayed at The Reefs and LOVED it! I was extremely anxious about leaving the girls and flying somewhere without them but once we were on our way I was fine. I had some friends praying and I really believe God used this to remind me to trust Him and His plan--and as Andy reminded me I was safer flying than I was when we drive somewhere on a date night. (Intellectually I may know that but it just feels different...) And of course I totally trusted my parents with the girls and will be forever grateful that they gave us this opportunity to get away. All that to say, I had such a great time that I hope we don't wait another ten years to do it again! As Maddie called it, this was our "date vacation" and it was a perfect date!

Here we are in Bermuda--ten years ago!

I have a million pictures which I never expected. Without my girls to obsessively photograph I thought I'd barely take pictures but the scenery was so pretty and I felt like honeymooners--we were so happy to snap pictures of each other enjoying our trip! Unfortunately we only have a couple of us together (but let's be honest, what would we do with a million pictures of us anyway?!) So, here goes...another long picture post!

On the plane--first class! Andy asked if I enjoyed flying first class and my answer was yes, but honestly coach would have felt like first class because this is the first trip in 6 years where I haven't had someone on my lap! I carried on only a normal sized purse--no backpack or diaper back jammed with diapers, wipes, snacks, etc.
 As soon as we came out of the airport we began snapping pictures--you can barely make it out in these pictures but the airport is surrounded by Bermuda's beautiful teal ocean waters.

 The Reefs is a small hotel nestled into cliffs above the beach and water. The next few shots are looking down from the area up high where the lobby, lounge and one of the restaurants are situated. It's breathtaking.

The next several pictures are the view from our room and balcony. We were perched right above the water. 


We immediately raced down to the beach and I'm so glad we did because it was the only truly sunny day we had of our entire stay! We did have other time on the beach that was relaxing and pleasant to sit and chat or read, but nothing so bright and hot. (Don't worry! We still had a fantastic time! We knew weather in Bermuda can be iffy so we planned the trip with the priorities of eating out, walking around and taking in the sights and just spending time together. The weather cooperated enough that we were able to get around without any problem and get in plenty of sightseeing even if the skies were a bit overcast at times. And when it was really rainy, we found a place to eat or have drinks! Thanks to the weather I have a good five pounds to lose :)




The first night we went to a restaurant at the hotel (Coconuts) that is perched right over the beach and water. We actually ate there on our honeymoon! I felt really lucky that we made our reservation for that night because it was the only night that eating outside like that was really a possibility. The food was delicious and we lingered for a long time enjoying the view.

This was the view from our table! And I didn't bring a lens that zooms, only my prime lens, so the water was really that close!

And for good measure, here we are dining at this restaurant on our honeymoon:

The next day it poured rain while we ate breakfast, but became a rather lovely day with clouds moving in and out. We spent the day walking around Hamilton. I had read about an Indian restaurant that was supposed to be delicious so we skipped lunch to save room for an early dinner. We got there before it even opened and just hung out waiting. The reviews I read warned that it was in a not very safe section of Hamilton. It definitely was not a touristy area and when I asked one woman in the neighborhood for directions she gave me a once over and said "What are you doing on North Ave?!" (And then kindly gave helpful directions.) But we felt safe and it was well worth the trip. We spent two hours eating our favorite Indian dishes (of which we have several!) No pictures of that outing but I wanted to remember it because Andy and I enjoyed it so.

This is the view from the bus stop across the street. We mostly used buses and ferries which were way more affordable than cabs and a pleasant way to see the island.
Downtown Hamilton

On the ferry

We spent part of the day in the Dockyard area which we accessed by a ferry ride, about 20 minutes from Hamilton. It was cute although extremely touristy because the cruise ships dock there (two were docked). Part of it was unexpectedly pastoral, however.

The next several pictures are from when we went back to the hotel later. We enjoyed walking around, relaxing and later went to the bar for drinks and dessert.


The next day was really rainy! We had a leisurely breakfast, watched a movie and then headed back into Hamilton for afternoon tea at the Fairmont Princess. The skies and sea were beautiful, even when threatening. This was the view on the short walk to breakfast.

Below is a public bus--aren't they pleasant with the pink and blue?

We LOVED our tea time. Andy is a lover of tea time thanks to his English heritage. And I love relaxing and eating so count me in! It was a pretty setting and such a great time to talk without interruption. It was actually quite cozy with the rain pouring down outside and wind blowing. There was even thunder and lightening! According to the NYT this is one of the top ten teas in the world. Seems a bit over the top, but who am I to argue with the NYT? (I have squabbled with them on occasion, but the tea was fantastic.)

This may not seem like a tremendous amount of food but it was actually quite a bit. We were stuffed by the time we were done. And I'm sure we felt even more full thanks to the FOUR pots of tea we drank! It was all delicious. I'm generally more into hearty food, but I have to say, this was all so tasty.

Back at The Reefs the sun peeked out again so we went back down to the beach to relax and read.



We were too full for a big dinner so we headed back to the bar for drinks and something light. Well, as you can see below we clearly over-ordered...and then overate!

Then we walked around the property a bit, enjoying the lighthouse and lit gardens.


And then it was time for a dark n' stormy in the room! We actually didn't drink much of them, too sweet and frankly we were just too stuffed after 3 days of heavy eating.
On our way out we asked a bellman to take our picture since we barely had any together.
On the way home--we sent the girls this picture (and many others throughout the week). I'm so grateful for a lovely week with Andy. I love him so much! I was sad to leave but once we were on our way I was SO excited to see our girls again!