Sweets & Treats Gallery

Monday, July 30, 2012

let me introduce you...

This is Penny.
Penny is my "dog"hter. 
Every day she is a gift to my soul.
 In our house, we love animals.
When people ask what kind of dog Penny is, we say, and rather matter-of-factually, she is half Golden Retriever and half human.
It makes people smile.
Penny will be three years old in three short weeks.
Yes, we celebrate her birthday. Every year. 

Penny likes to go!
Have leash, will travel.
She likes the beach the best.  But any water excursions will do.
She knows lots of tricks.
20 different commands.
She is smart.
 Sometimes she likes to bum around.
And sometimes she's melancholy, like her Momma.
But mostly, she loves her family, dinner time, Frisbee with Grandpa, snuggles with Momma, extra special treats from Grammy, and being Velcro Dog to her Daddy!
Sometimes when she's scared of storms, she crawls in my lap... all 68 pounds of her.  And she won't let go until the storm passes. I'm not joking.  She hangs on for dear life.
I'd be lying if I said I minded.
Anyway, sometimes you just need your Momma.
I can relate.
Nap time.
The dog days of summer...
The dog whisper would be so angry. 
She sleeps in our bed and like a human (on her back, legs in the air).
She snuggles Daddy at night and Momma in the morning.  
She keeps me warm in the winter and too warm in the summer.  But I cannot resist that little sleeping beauty.  
She is amazing and I love her.
Penny is a pirate.
She love to steal dirty laundry, remotes, phones... and tease you just until you wanna chase her.  Works every time when we bribe her for a trade. Treats for remotes.
I gave up aggravation long ago!
She is very tolerant of me and photos.
 And also kisses.

Penny is wonderful!
She is always down for the cause and up for a good time.
Sisters got soul!
And she saved my life.  She brought me back!
She made J & I a family.
She made our humble house a into palatial home.
She is our whole world and we are the luckiest humans to be her parents!
Hugs, Squeezes & Wet Noses,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

a book for sweet ella jean...

This is Ella Jean.  She is perfect.  Really perfect.  And really beautiful!  And has been since she the minute she was born.  
Ella is the daughter of one of my girlfriends, Sarah.  Sarah is on my list of my most favorite people.  She is smart and pretty and witty.  And she’s a good listener and a great friend who’s always willing to let me vent frustrations, talk me through my sorrows and/or celebrate my joys.  Now, she is a mother. And all those things that make her a wonderful friend will also make her an amazing mommy!
I love seeing my friends become parents to human babies (I do consider myself a mommy to Miss Penelope the wonder dog!).  When, on a whim, I asked Sar if she was pregnant in a late afternoon phone conversation last fall, I was trying to be provocative and funny, I guess.  But she said, “YES!”  I wasn’t exactly expecting her to say she was in fact expecting.  I hollered with joy.  And then, I cried.  
Sarah and her hubby Phrai are approaching their 5 year anniversary this fall.  They’ve been together since our freshman year of college.  Eleven years.  I appreciate their relationship because it is real. They don’t put on airs as individuals, or as a couple.  And they really, really, really love each other and work hard for their continually evolving relationship.  They are a beacon!
They’ve only been parents to Ella for just over two months.  Already I can’t remember what it was like before she was in their world.  I haven’t met Ella yet.   I ask a lot of questions. They send a lot of pictures. Sometimes I can hear her little noises in the background of phone calls.  It never feels like enough.  I want to be Aunt Lindsay... but Ella doesn’t know me yet.
When thinking about ways I can be present in her life from one point five hours by plane and twelve hours by car, I thought about my interests/talents. 
I love cute baby clothes.  I mailed that in a care package early in Sar’s pregnancy.
I love the "baby smell." I sent all my favorite Burt’s Bees baby products in that care package. 
I love children’s books.  I mailed a few of those for her shower, with elephants, of course!
And after she was born (and I sobbed uncontrollably reading the brand new Poppa’s proud text announcing his sweet baby girl), I was aching to meet her...  So I went to what I know best, making something crafty to express my joy.  I made them a scrapbook of their pregnancy, the recent purchase of their home and the birth of sweet Ella Jean.  I was bursting at the seams to tell Sar all about what I was working on.  I did pretty good keeping that secret until I sent her a sneak peek picture of one of the pages.  And finally 23 days after Ella came into this world, I finished the book. What a feeling of accomplishment!
It was either $15 to mail the book with delivery in 5-7 days or $23 for 2-3 day delivery.  I chose the 5-7 option, although it was a painful wait... but I knew it was on it’s way!!!  It was a week before I heard anything from Sar.  And on July 9, I got an amazing text from her:
“Ahhhhhh!!!!  YOU!!!  There are no words! I’m crying – it’s beautiful!  Thank you doesn’t begin to cut it! I love you! Thank you!!!”
My heart overflowed. I had found a special, personal way to tell them how much I love them and how excited I was for their newest adventure.  And how much I love Ella already!  And they enthusiastically consented to me sharing the pages of their scrapbook on my blog, so here were go!

The first page & "E" is for Ella!

A pocket for the sonogram and a pocket of journaling
tags for them to fill out together!

She looked so great her whole pregnancy!

Amazingly, they bought their house in her last trimester... and
had to move.  I don't know how she did it.  She is amazing!

I left spots for them to fill in their memories!

BUMP!  Sar said she felt huge, but she was all baby & so cute!

Shopping for baby essentials two
weeks before her due date.
I picked untraditional colors, but had to include pops of pink too!  Love how this turned out with all the trinkets and flowers.  Busy, but so fun! And of course left a place for the shower invite and a list of the guests.

The big day!

Ella's first breath & meeting her parents.

Sar & Phrai love elephants, and so do I!
Made sure elephants made it into the book!

More elephants, more pink & bows!  Isn't Ella precious!??

Some pages were per-done and just needed embellishing.
I kept it simple here.

Family is everything!

Proud Poppa & Ella laughing!

Look at those sweet cheeks!

To Ella Jean; With Love, Aunt Lindsay
It is hard to be so far from someone I love so much in such a time of change.   I know that Ella Jean will know me and I will know her!  And I’m not really worried about it.  I do wish I could stop by after work to say hi or meet them at the park for a walk.  Or better yet, bring cupcakes and Starbucks over for an afternoon visit with Sar.  But what this distance has given me is something even more precious: gratitude.  I am grateful beyond words for the closeness of this friendship, Sar’s candidness about the ins and outs of pregnancy and breast feeding, and the initial feelings of being overwelmed when becoming a mother.  I appreciate her willingness to pick up the phone to chat for even just five minutes because it’s almost time to feed Ella, but she wants to say hi.  I’m grateful that she shares little stories about Ella, and pictures too. And ultimately, I am the most grateful that she is so humbly wonderful at being a friend!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

it's all in the details...

Oh details!  I'm a detail person. I notice things. I notice little, insignificant things. That usually works in my favor, except when I see movies. I always figure out the plot 10 minutes in.

When I was still just a “twenty-something” dating J, weddings moved me beyond words. To tears, actually. And often. I knew what that moment, that commitment meant to me. And I knew that I would not take those vows unless I meant them. The kiss. The dance. The cake cutting. Her dress. The colors. The 100+ guests all in attendance just for “us.” And allllll those details!!  It is an unbelievably joyous thing. Magical, really!

J & I dated for over five years before making such a leap. I'm glad we leaped. When we got married, I bathed in the glorious plethora of details (and was often overwhelmed by them all too). My mom and I, loving party planning and crafting and pretty things, were put on this Earth to plan just such an event. It was exciting!

Almost three years later, all those details I fussed and focused on are distant and fuzzy. It's not that they don't matter. It's quite the opposite, actually. They mattered a heap! All those little details made up one of the best days of our lives... and kicked off the adventure of a lifetime too: our marriage!

Since then, attending weddings is an odd thing. Once you're married, and have been in the trenches, it's easy to see that the wedding really is just a day. A great day. But just a day. And kicking off your marriage in style, showing your guests who you are through the details is fun.  And now, I realize maybe I shouldn't have taken it all so seriosuly. Or been so stressed. And it's easier to enjoy someone else's wedding when you've been in their shoes and can appreciate the journey.

J & I appreciate all those details couples do to honor their guests and show their personal flair. And we talk about our wedding. How important it was for us to covet our families and friend.  Our people are our greatest treasures, and we worked hard to honor and appreciate every guest!  And we talk about what that day meant to us then, and still means to us now. We remember how some of our people put us first, made memories along side us... and others disappointed us and/or hurt us so deeply that our relationships with them changed indefinitely (side note: weddings, deaths and birthin' a baby really shows people's true colors, right!?!?). We talk about how grateful we are to have married each other, even when it's not perfect or easy. And we talk about the ceremony, the couple, the weather, and the wine. We talk about the food. And we always discuss the cake!  That's a biggy!  And we discuss allllll those details...!

On Saturday we attended a wedding in San Luis Obispo for a childhood friend, Bonnie. Every time I'm invited to a wedding nowadays, I feel overwhelmed with honor to have been considered important enough to celebrate the couple on their big day.  If you've been married, you know how tough making (and cutting) a guest list can be... And I was thrilled to have made the cut!  ;)

Bonnie was always that girl. You know, beautiful, smart, creative and athletic. Perfect. And yet grounded, kind, and sincere. She has an infectious smile and a cozy hug that lets you know you are important to her.

I met Beau while visiting Bon, and a few other high school friends, at Cal Poly during freshman year of college. Bon and Beau weren't dating then. But I remember thinking that Beau was handsome and sweet. And he has a great sense of humor and charisma.  Please like to be around Beau.

When they started dating after years of robust friendship, I think everyone had a collective sigh of relief. Finally! They are a match made in heaven. Equally awesome and totally deserving of the other!

As the big day approached, I remember thinking that I knew almost nothing about their plans for the wedding. That's usually the sort of thing I hound brides about because I love details and crafting and stuff. All I knew from inquiries early on in their engagement was that there would be succulents, rich shades of yellow and grey and candles on the tables. I also knew that Bonnie's momma, Mrs. Peterson, who was my Home EC teacher in middle school, was as equally creative as Bonnie, and that the day was sure to be perfect! And it was perfect!!

When the shuttle dropped us off at Tiber Ranch and we rounded the corner this is what we saw:
Gift & Card Table
Cards Here
Chalkboards Galore!
Framed Family Wedding Photos

Guest Book Table; More Vintage Influences
Polaroid Photo Guest Book... But the Camera Was Missing...
Programs & Wedding Mad Libs
Touches of Modern & Vintage, Like a Ladder with
Mason Jars for Water & Lemonade
Jars, Burlap, Stripped Straws & More!
Various Colored Poms!
The Bar & Plenty to Drink!
Pick A Seat, Not A Side
Seating Cards with Old Pix of Guests & the Bride or Groom...
PLUS a Hand Written Note of Love and Appreciation and
Table #; A Very Classy, Thoughtful Touch!
Kick Off Your Heels!
The Evening Cooled Off Nicely & The Blankets
Were One More Well Thoughtful Touch!
Table Settings with Succulent Centerpieces Grown By the Bride's Momma
Hometown Table... All Guests from Bon's Hometown!
Loved The Colors & Textures & Layers
Throughout Their Wedding
Head Table!
Burlap Banner: Mr. & Mrs.!
Cake Table
Bon's Momma Made The Cakes... Carrot!  Sooo Yummy!
And then, the ceremony started.  This alter was made by Bonnie's step father, Ralph, who is such a nice person!  And look at that beautiful view:
The Stage Is Set
And here comes the lovely, lovely bride and her father...
Here She Comes...
Let's just be real.  I always cry when I see the bride.  It is an emotional moment.  But the groomie had already been moved to tears as he lovingly bear hugged every single attendant as they reached the alter.  And I was pretty much crying with him from the start.  So when I saw Bon, I wasn't just crying, I was a hot, hot mess.  Sniffles. Snot. Running mascara... She was stunning!

The ceremony was deeply personal to the couple and their families.  There were many moments that moved me to an even weeper mess.  Out of respect for the sacredness of those moments and to the couple, I'll leave it at that.  Let me just reiterate, everyone near by was sobbing... with joy!

And then, Beau got to kiss his bride!
You May Kiss The Bride!
Stealing Another Kiss
Over The Moon to Be Married!
They were so adorable and so happy!  I snuggled up close to my honey, even though it was hot, and gave him a little smoochy too!

While the lovely newlyweds were taking photos, so were we!
Coco, Lizzy, Lindsay & Amers
Amers & Lindsay
Mrs. Peterson, The World's Sweetest Person, EVER! And one of my favorite humans!
Lizzy & Josh
Chris & Amy
Jason, Corey & Bump
And enjoying appetizers and cool beverages.
Lizzy Eating Apps!
Coco & Bump Enjoying Lemonade
And after a tasty dinner, served family style, and very touching speeches (which moved me to hot-mess-ness, again), it was time to dance the night away, beginning with the father/daughter dances, the mother/son dance and the couples first dance.
Bon & Her Dad
Bon & Her Step Dad
Beau & His Momma
The Beautiful Newlyweds
J & I danced, danced, danced and had sooo much fun!  And upon returning to our hotel room in the wee hours of the morning, we had another chat about the evening, about the beautiful couple and all those pretty, thoughtful details... and about our memories from our own wedding too.  Magic!  Pure magic! What a perfect wedding and a perfect weekend!

Also, let me just say that I fully acknowledge the condition of my photos.  These were taken with a 5 year old point and shoot that has been dropped at least once a year.  I am actively dreaming about a nicer camera.  Like the philosophy of The Secret, I'm floating it out there.  Maybe Nikon will magically send me a camera on trade for a lengthy review here on my blog.  Stranger things have happened.  Anyway, thanks for reading and enduring my okayish photos. ;)

Sweet Bean
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