#1 The Path To A Wedding
In the morning, Marisa invited me, Sarah and Ellie to join her mom, sister, and grandma in her very own "say yes to the dress" adventure. It was sweet of her to invite all of us and we were so excited to share in such a special moment.
The whole group started the day with breakfast....nobody wanted to be hangry during such an important moment!...and then we all arrived at the dress shop to start the search. The store Marisa made the appointment at clearly adapted their own "say yes to the dress" flair to the popular tv show. The bridal section was huge...two of the three floors of the store...and we had our own private blinged out area filled with white and hot pink furniture. Marisa had a few ideas of what she was looking for, but has watched enough "Say Yes To The Dress" episodes to know that she should be open to trying different styles.
Marisa tried on about 10 dresses. They all looked beautiful on her, and with each dress you could see her narrowing down all the specific details until she got to "the one". The dress that Marisa chose was the last dress she tried on. She looked stunning-so classy and elegant. The salesperson helping us added a veil and handed her a bouquet and Marisa was all smiles as she said "yes!" to her dress!
I'm not sharing details because Marisa wants the dress to be a complete surprise for Jon, but let's just say that the open mind she had was important for her final decision because there were several elements to the dress that she chose that wasn't what she thought she wanted!
It was SO much fun to be a part of that special moment. It was a lot to take in- how beautiful Marisa looked, the joy and excitement of her mom, grandma, sisters and future sisters-in-law, all the beautiful dresses. So many thoughts were going through my head! It's just amazing that we are entering this season of life. That beautiful dress Marisa chose is for my son on the day she becomes his wife! It sounds like such a stupid sentiment when I write it out, but honestly it's just.so.mind.blowing!
The store had a fun picture wall which we took advantage of!
|The Happy Bride to Be|
|Marisa Having Fun|
|Marisa and her mom|
|Marisa and her grandma|
|Sisters and future Sisters in law having fun|
#2: The Path to (Another) Wedding
It was time to take some engagement pictures of Andrew and Liz for their save the date cards. We went to a nature reserve right in our town and I took about 350 pictures in multiple settings of the park. Andrew, to put it mildly, does not enjoy taking pictures. Or dressing up. So I knew the photo session would be somewhat tortuous for him. I think the photo session...and the haircut for Andrew and trip to the mall for a new dress for Liz and a new shirt for him the night before...proves that he truly loves her!
The photo session went better than I thought it would! Out of the 350 shots, Liz narrowed it down to 11 favorites that she emailed to her parents. I think she had a favorite in mind, but she wanted to sleep on it. Liz's dad is a graphic designer and is helping her create the cards. There were a lot of shots that weren't perfect for the cards, but were cute shots to save as memories of a special day. And there were plenty of shots with closed eyes and ridiculous faces that made us laugh...and made Liz delete very quickly! :)
Here are a few of my favorites...
|How Andrew really feels about pictures! lol|
|I love that they make each other laugh!|
|Andrew is smitten...|
|...and I think the feeling is mutual <3|
So much joy...and so much to process..all in one day!
Thanksgiving was SUCH a nice day with family. We started the day with Mass, watched a little of the Macy's day parade while I made some stuffing, then headed to my aunt's house with the chocolate chip cheesecake, apple pie and chocolate cookie dough brownies I had made the day before. It was great to see most of my extended family. The food was great and the company was even better! Luke and Kate had a great time playing with two of their cousins!
On the way home, we stopped by Jay's parents house to spend a little time with them.(and have a little more dessert!) Then we met up with my parents again at their house. It was a full day with family and great food!
|Jon and Marisa ran the Turkey Trot race Thanksgiving morning|
|Luke with his cousins, Ryan and Paul|
|Kate and Pa|
|Kate with my Uncle Jim and one of their two dogs who Kate spent much of the day loving on!|
|Everyone hard at work!|
|My cousin, Karen, her husband, Mike and their son, Paul|
#4: Black Friday
On Black Friday I always go shopping with my mom and sister. We do not head out until around 8am...so we aren't the hard core shoppers that end up on the news! We got some good deals and lots of names crossed off our list. Most importantly, it was a good opportunity for time shared together.
Every year I have a goal to finish my Christmas shopping before Advent starts. Usually I get pretty close. Well this year, I have broken all my previous records! Not only do I have 97% of my shopping done, I even have at least 2/3 of it wrapped! I have to go over my list one more time tonight, but other than a couple small things I plan to order on Amazon tonight and one store I need to go to tomorrow because my "Olympia Bucks" start on December 1st, I am pretty much done! I even have stocking stuffers wrapped!
It really helps that I LOVE to shop. And, since I haven't managed to grow a money tree in our backyard, I only get to shop in volume at Christmas. I love making lists and trying to figure out gifts people will love!
So, if anyone wants help, I would totally love to be a personal shopper! I think it would be my dream job!
#5: Pierogi Fest
This was the 11th annual pierogi fest! It started when Jay's Babi was still alive and feeling sad that she was forgetting her special family recipes. The weekend after Thanksgiving, Jay's mom brings over cabbage filling and Jay makes potato and cheese filling and pierogi dough. Most of the kids join in and they make dozens and dozens of pierogis. This year was a record! They made 28 dozen!!(We have bags in our freezer!)
|Love my mil's apron!|
|So nice to have 2 extra (almost) daughters join in!|
|Jay being silly|
|Jon looking devious!|
#6: Looks Like The Grinch Visited
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had our kitchen and living room ceilings redone. Our house was built in the 70's and had popcorn ceilings.(don't even get me started!) Since we got some new lighting in the spring, we had several holes in our ceiling. Plus, there were spots of our ceiling that were cracked and peeling. It was also in desperate need of painting.
I convinced Jay that it was time to replace them.(not an easy task for a man who doesn't like change!) My parents were very generous and helped us move ahead to get the last piece of our kitchen reno done.(Only took 5 years lol)
On Monday, we emptied our entire living room. It reminded me of the scene from the Grinch when he empties the Who's House! It was several days of chaos but I know it's going to be worth it! I love our flat ceilings!!
#7: No Signs of Christmas!
Since we had to empty our living room, all of our Christmas decorations are still put away. Jay has to paint the ceiling, but we have to let them dry all the way. I was hoping he could paint on Saturday, but they aren't dry yet. We aren't getting our tree until next weekend when Jon comes home from grad school because he still wants to be part of the tree picking/decorating process.(which makes me happy) But poor Jay will be painting ceilings after work this week so that we will be ready to decorate next Saturday! Until then, I need to wait (somewhat) patiently...but I'm anxious to get our holiday on!
Have a great week!