Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jane & Preston: Bridals

Here are some of my favorites from Jane and Preston's bridal shoot. These photos were taken at Temple Square in Salt Lake City the Saturday before their wedding day. Feeling that this time would allow for a not-so-stressful, time-crunched wedding day. Have some framed photos to display at the reception.

Don't you think these two make a handsome couple? Striking is the word. So in love and happy. So very happy.

You should have seen all the tourists smiling and admiring them. Crowds of people passing through the plaza on their way to a nearby concert. Some even stopping to snap a few photos of the happy couple.

Never forgetting the sweet Asian mother and daughter who quietly approached Jane. Wondering if the little girl could pose for a picture with this real life princess. And the unforgettable look of surprise and delight on both of their faces when Jane started speaking Chinese to them. That touching moment making the evening all the more special and memorable.

Thanks to our talented photographer Alicia of Gray Wren PhotographyI can't wait to share their wonderful wedding day with you. I'll do that as soon as we receive the edited images of the day.

xo until then.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

this is now

In less than twenty-four hours, my daughter Jane will be a bride.

My emotions are at the surface. I'm busy. Wedding planning has been the main focus of my summer. I never ended up planting a garden this year. Probably the first time in over twenty years. Lots of reasons why, but it honestly felt like a relief to let it go.

Yes, I've had a lot of things on my mind. Many, many details needing to be remembered, errands to run, tasks to cross of my to-do list, phone calls to make, all this added to daily life here at home.

It may appear that I'm kind of crazy-busy, but I really don't feel all that stressed. (I'm kind of amazed and suprised at myself.) Trying to do one thing at a time, taking one day at a time, maintaining a sense of balance. Although I've been feeling the effects of sleep deprivation-- some insomnia and waking between 3-5 am every morning; reminding myself to do this or that, wondering if I have enough food or too much, hoping if people will come to the reception, thoughts of what I need to do for our upcoming vacation... But despite the physical and emotional exhaustion, I have been really trying to implement some self-care practices that have really brought me calm, clarity, and a feeling of ease.

For the last six weeks, I've committed every day to writing three pages in a spiral bound notebook. Inspired by the book The Artist's Way, I have found this practice so grounding and meditative. A practical way to "brain dump" all of the thoughts, desires, gratitudes, and deepest feelings of my heart and mind. A process that has given me so much clarity about my life.

My meditation practice has deepened this summer. I'm devoted to it. I love that time of stillness. I need it. Most mornings, I run. Evening walks are special, too.

I just feel so good.

The wedding is almost here. The day we've dreamed of for so many years is becoming a reality. We joined (and met for the first time) Preston's family for dinner last Friday. Bridals were taken on Saturday (can't wait to share some of those with you here. Soon!) Jane took me on a tour of their new little student housing apartment a few weeks ago, and I cried.

My brother Andrew (a professional event planner) has been my right hand man. I don't think I could have done this without him. Jane, Andrew, and I did a big shopping trip yesterday (3 carts full!) Some church friends will gather tomorrow afternoon before the reception to cut fruit and then help serve in the kitchen at the reception venue. He's setting a lot of things up tomorrow, and will soon be here to help me make a huge batch of hummus and tomato bruschetta. My brother-in-law is coming tonight to help cut the cheeses, and I know, will add a much needed "comic relief" to the night-before-the-wedding vibe here.

I'm just feeling so grateful right now. Feeling so blessed and supported. Hoping everything will go seamlessly tomorrow. That I'll try to savor every moment. And most of all, that Jane and Preston will feel joy.

I just had to take this time to blog and express all these feelings. I don't want to forget.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

a bridal shower for jane

Our families came together today 
in honor of Jane's upcoming marriage to Preston.
Greta graciously hosted this momentous gathering, 
and it was just so perfect. 
All the thoughtful and beautiful details made it so very special and memorable. 
Jane showered with love and support. 
Truly a celebration, 
and my mother-heart is full. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

introducing eliza's summer creations... and a new little love

I just have to share all the good things Eliza has been creating and loving this summer.

Besides teaching her twice-weekly neighborhood art classes, she's been:
:: raising a little succulent/cactus garden (purchased bit by bit, along with some Mom $ from cleaning a grody fridge)
:: caring for two new hermit crabs
:: learning the art of macrame
:: painting, drawing, and designing her heart out. (Not pictured are a pair of white Keds she painted/embellished for a teacher at her school. On seeing them for the first time, this woman couldn't contain her joy and amazement with a couple of emphatic and enthusiastic, "SHUT UP!!!"s. (I just smiled...)
:: having a drawing displayed at the Utah Art Festival and being accepted to participate in a local craft show in the fall.
:: Today, she brought home a sweet little bunny (one of her friend Emily's new rabbit babies) to join her beloved Mr. Rochester. She's taking her time to come up with the perfect name for him. Isn't he darling?

Life is good in Eliza's world.

P.S. You can keep up with all the things she's creating here:
(Etsy shop coming soon!)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

happy fourth!

Happy Fourth of July! Independence Day here in America. A day to honor our freedoms, our heritage, our heroes, the beauty of our land and our people. A day of tradition, of cherished memories, of family, of what it means to be a citizen of this grand nation. 

You know, it was so nice this morning to sit down to journal and meditate; enjoying a few quiet moments before all the hub-bub and feel-- if only a heart-felt wish-- a sense of unity throughout our diverse and vast country on this day. 

With the pervasive divisiveness, disagreement, hatred, turmoil, and strife, I said a quiet prayer, exhaled a deep breath of gratitude for a day that has the potential and hopeful intention for all of us to come together into a collective, united whole. Friends, neighbors, and families-- the family that is these United States of America-- joining hands together from sea to shining sea in understanding, peace, and good-will.

Remembering the Fourth of Julys of my past. The excitement of home town parades, wearing the red, white, and blue, hanging the flag on the front porch, picnics in a park with my family, firework booms filling the night sky... 

One of my favorite and most cherished days of the year.