This stuff’s made in New York City…

New York City?? 🙂 Wait, don’t stop reading! I’m done with the cheesy 90’s references. For now.

NYC 15Okay, so this might be a little picture overload (surprise, surprise), but I can’t help but share our time spent in “The Big Apple” visiting friends and attending one of the most beautiful weddings.

First off, fall in New York is by far the best time to be there. The weather was gorgeous. Perfect for a little brunch (caramelized apple buttermilk pancakes anyone?) and shopping.

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 ^^This is Jeff’s “are you seriously taking photos right now while I try to figure out where we’re going?” look.^^

Hundred Acres NYC^^Yep, that food was as good as it looks. I would definitely recommend Hundred Acres for anyone visiting NYC.^^

Our lovely friends Charley and Megan, who you may remember, took us to some great resteraunts, including the one mentioned above. It was there that we also got the chance to catch up with a few other college friends who I just adore, and don’t get to see nearly enough.

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After lots of food and a stroll through SOHO, Jeff and I headed to the wedding of our friends Jay and Kate. Let me tell you, this wedding was just amazing, and so fun too!

Jay and Kate Wedding

Not only did they get married in a church that faced Central Park, but the food, dancing and atmosphere definitely made this night sepectacular. Congrats Jay and Kate and thanks for inviting us to your special day!

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^^My boss John and I’s poor attempt at a picture with the handsome groom.^^

And lastly, lord knows I couldn’t leave NYC without meeting up with these ladies.

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I interned with these lovely gals when I first moved to Washington, well expect for Bailey (blonde on the left), but we all feel like she did. Then they all moved to New York and left me sad and alone in D.C. I’m still waiting for them to change their minds and move back. Any day now. 🙂

Okay, so I think I got through it all. It was a short – less than 48-hour trip – but we managed to pack in plenty of fun. Until next time New York!

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My short trip home in a long list…

but, let me see how fast I can run through all that happened in the three days I was in Missouri last weekend. It started with a double date sans Jeff (uhh?), then onto a wedding, bridal shower + cooking class, and ended with a dinner with old neighbors and friends.

1. Double Date

But how did you go on a date without Jeff? I didn’t really. I kind of just tagged along on my little sister’s double date with her boyfriend, and their two friends. I wouldn’t say she was thrilled to have me there and she only allowed me one photo.

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I think her exact quote after I took this photo was, “okay you can go now, you’re embarrassing me.” Nothing like that to make you feel less cool.

2. Mike and Sarah’s Wedding

The main reason for my visit (not that the other events weren’t just as important!) was a wedding of a friend and sorority sister from college. It was so fun to see friends I haven’t seen in years! Years! If I have one complaint about living so far from home it’s that I don’t get to see the people I love nearly enough.

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Mike and Sarah’s beautiful wedding was held at Californos in Westport. It exuded everything adorable about the couple and I loved it, including the gnome cake topper. The bride loves gnomes!

I also got to reunite with my two former roommates, Emma and Jill, who I spent two years with living in our small room in our sorority house. It’s amazing we still love each other. 😉 Emma also showed off her lovely dancing skills (B/W photo above) at the reception.

3. Future Cousin’s Bridal Shower

Sweet Ali is joining our family next month and I loved I was in town to join in on the cooking class at Bella Napoli in Brookside. If anyone needs a cooking class it’s me. Aside from celebrating the bride, I learned butter makes everything better (of course) and I ate some fabulous chicken marsala.

Ali's Bridal Shower

4. Dinner with the Ole’ Neighborhood

Last, but certainly not least, we had a little mom and daughter dinner on The Plaza with gals I grew up with.

Kansas City 1 Dinner with Neighbors

While we were missing a few, it was wonderful to get together with these ladies. Many of my childhood memories involve these women.

Okay, if you’ve made it through this whole post and you’re still reading, I’m working on some sort of prize to give you.

Such a lovely fall weekend in Missouri. As always, thanks for letting me share!

P.S. I also snuck away for a few hours to snap some engagement photos of a dear friend, but you may remember that post from a few days ago, here.

Engagement photos (oh, they’re not ours)…

but they are those of my beautiful friend and her sweet fiance.

Kathryn and Nate, who are also getting married next fall, bravely trusted me to snap a few photos before they make it official!

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I have to admit I’ve never had the honor of taking engagement photos before, so for all you skilled photographers out there don’t judge me too much! I’m learning as I go.

Kathryn was one of the first great friends I made when I first moved to D.C. (back in our lowly intern days) and now somewhat ironically, she’s moved to Kansas City, while I’m still in our Nation’s Capital. I won’t say I didn’t cry a lot when she moved away. 😦

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Seriously, could they be any cuter?

Last weekend while I was home in Missouri (more on that later), Kathryn, Nate and I headed down to both Westport, a neighborhood close to where they live, and the Liberty Memorial to capture a few (poor Nate) images of their relationship. Luckily they’re so cute and in love that my job was pretty easy.

Engagement Photos

I mean come on, aren’t they adorable? I’m so excited for them and can’t wait for their big day to arrive.

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Also, that ring. Good job Nate!

I love that I got to be a small part of this happy time in their lives, and that they let me share it with all of you! Wish them luck as they head into this next chapter of their relationship.

Celebrating our engagement…

wait, another party?? We’re pretty lucky over here to have some great friends who went above and beyond to throw us a slightly more formal (and way less humid) engagement party. I was less surprised for this one. 🙂

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Two of my co-workers – who surprisingly aren’t too sick of me to still want to hangout on the weekends – graciously offered to host us and our friends to celebrate our impending nuptials, and share in this exciting time in our lives.

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These hosts. Love them so.

I honestly didn’t snap too many photos, (okay, well less than normal) but as part of our ongoing “Going to the Chapel” scrapbook on this little blog, here are a few photos of the evening.

Engagement Party

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Who needs a party when you have cupcakes and macaroons from The Sweet Lobby?? I was tempted to just take them and run.

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Yep, this guy’s my boss. He’s pretty serious all the time.

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I’ll leave you with this photo, because I’m still not sure what’s going on.

Thank you again to everyone who came out for the little shindig. We had so much fun and we’re thankful for all the love and support we’ve received these past few weeks, it just makes us even more excited for the big day.

P.S. As of today, the kitchen countertops are actually underway! Pictures coming later this week.

 

We’re taking this roadshow to the chapel…

aka we’re getting hitched!!

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This past Friday, Jeff really surprised me on date night and you know, proposed. No biggie really. 😉

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Loved that a few of my friends dragged me to get my nails done a few days before. Smart thinking!

Not only did he pop the question, but he went above and beyond with the help of some of our best friends. It was perfect. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Engagement 1

Without boring you with too many details, I thought I’d share the quick(est) story of our engagement.

It started out as a date night with dinner at a favorite local restaurant. Jeff told me ahead of time that since I complain (only occasionally) he doesn’t plan enough dates in advance this date was his opportunity put it all together without my help. I tried my best to play it cool all week, but I was skeptical anything was being planned. Little did I know what was yet to come.

I’ll be honest, Jeff had been acting a little nervous and weird, both before and during dinner, so I’d be lying if I said I didn’t suspect something. In fact, during dinner I think I asked Jeff no less than ten times if he was feeling okay. He was sweating a lot! Poor guy.

So as we left the restaurant to head home (though he hadn’t admitted yet that’s where he was taking me) Jeff made me slip on a blindfold. I got pretty nervous and excited at that point! As we parked at our house, (by that point I’d figured out where we were and Jeff confirmed) he led me out of the car and down the stairs to our patio.

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As Jeff opened the fence and we stood on our patio, he took a few seconds and then told me to take off my blindfold, and when I did, there he was on one knee, ring box open, and all of our friends snapping photos in the background! I was shocked. I screamed and then stared at him in disbelief. I may or may not have dove for the ring too. 🙂

Proposal

After proposing and me answering “yes, of course!” all of our wonderful friends cheered and popped open the champagne.

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Little did I know that Jeff had coordinated this proposal with our friend Grace (the one that just had a baby) a few weeks ago, so she could help plan and decorate. Let me tell you, she did a great job. The patio had lights, balloons, paper flowers, and pictures of us on clothespins everywhere. It was so romantic and thoughtful.

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Not to mention that the same group of friends we’d just hung out at the lake with the weekend before knew the whole time we were there and didn’t slip any details. Also, they all were able to make it to the celebration and it meant so much to us.

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It really was such a shock to learn how many people were in on the secret for over a week!

Thank you to all of our friends and family for their love, support and well-wishes this past weekend. It truly meant a lot.

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Had to make all the phone calls to family telling them the good news!

And at the risk of sounding super cheesy, a huge thank you to Jeff for making the evening perfect. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world!

Engagement 2

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Next up, just a little wedding planning and home remodeling. But that’s nothing, right?

It’s just like that movie “Couples Retreat”…

except, minus the tropical location and the whole talking about our feelings part. But hey, Lake Anna is not a bad substitute for meeting up with great friends, enjoying the sun, and drinking a few adult beverages (just a few).

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What, you don’t have a wine koozie? You should probably get one.

So in this small world we live in, my best friend from high school, who also lives in D.C., happens to date Casey (pictured above) who’s good friend from high school Brandon, is one of Jeff’s good friends from college. Still following me? Basically, we have a little circle of friends from several walks of life, and having all that in common we decided to turn this get together into an annual thing! Second annual, to be exact.

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Seriously, how cute are these ladies? My high school friend Amanda on my left, and Brandon’s sweet wife Lee on my right.

We met up at Jeff’s parents house on Lake Anna for the weekend and spent lots of time on the water,

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They’re basically Simba and Nala.

CR 2013 9CR 2013 10indulging in great food and drinks,

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Nothing like making a good S'more!

Nothing like making a good S’more!

and of course spoiling the dogs, Piper and Cosmo, and Amanda’s collie Wynter.

CR 2013 4Oh and because we’re all getting old, there was a nap or two in there.

CR 2013 5Love spending our summer with great friends, but it wouldn’t hurt if time slowed down a little bit. Now, it looks like it’s back to more home repairs. I’ll clue you in on a little project we’re working on later this week!

Our friends had a baby…

as in the friends that let me snap those cute photos of their last days as a family of two. Well…now they’re a little family of three, and Miss Adeline couldn’t be a cuter addition.

Adeline

Jeff and I were lucky enough to visit Addie when she was less than 24 hours old! She is so tiny and sweet that I thought about just borrowing her for a few days. 😉

Grace in the Hospital

^^Also, can you believe Grace just had Adeline like 18 hours before this photo was taken?^^

I’ve never had a child, but I’m guessing I won’t look as good as Grace did a day later.

These two are some of the first of our close friends to have a baby, and it was just amazing to see them beaming over the birth of their beautiful daughter. We can’t wait to watch Miss Addie grow, but hopefully not to quick!

Our friends are having a baby…

and we couldn’t be more excited for them!

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There are times when I still can’t believe we’ve reached that age in our lives where we could possibly be responsible for another human life, but based on my Facebook feed it’s happening. 🙂

If anyone’s ready for the responsibility it’s our sweet friends Ben and Grace who are due to welcome their first little one – a girl – in a matter of weeks. And before the big day arrives they asked if I would snap a few last photos of them as a family of two. I was honored to help, but it’s pretty easy when Grace is such a cute little pregnant women.

With their permission (of course), I wanted to share a sampling of this adorable couple before they become parents for the first time!

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They’re adorable, aren’t they? Send all your positive thoughts their way. We all can’t wait to meet their little daughter soon!

P.S. a big thanks to my talented photographer/cousin over at Nicole Clifford Photography for giving me a few pointers before the photo shoot. If you’re looking for a photographer in the Kansas City area you should look her up!

I can’t believe it but…

moving day has come and gone!

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There have been plenty of moments over the past few days where I’ve just looked at Jeff in amazement and said, “did that really just happen? Are you sure we actually live together now? He usually just nods hoping I’ll get over this amazement phase fairly quickly. (He’s starting to realize what he got himself into. ;))

This is Jeff's "stop taking photos and get back to work" look. What can I say? I'm one lucky gal.

That’s Jeff’s “stop taking photos and get back to work” look. What can I say? I’m one lucky gal.

I feel like we’ve been talking about and planning for this date for months (I might’ve complained about the packing part for just as long) but, the day came and went without a hitch. Mostly thanks to our wonderful friends who gave up a Saturday morning to come help us out.

Moving Day 5

Having moved to D.C. almost four years ago with a few suitcases – slowly buying furniture along the way – I thankfully didn’t have too much move. That being said, it’s amazing how when you start to pack you find more things than you ever thought you had. I swear stuff was just appearing out of thin air.

Moving Day 4

Proof I didn’t take photos the whole time.

Nevertheless, after three carloads, five movers (aka friends), three stops at Goodwill, and one Bed Bath & Beyond and Target run later we’re pretty much settled.

Another huge thanks to our moving crew. We couldn’t have done it without you! (maybe we could have, but it would have taken a lot longer and probably inspired a few arguments. :))

Moving Day 2

Never hurts to have beer around. Especially when it’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

P.S. Don’t worry the house updates won’t be stopping anytime soon! We have a lot more work to do, but were mapping out a plan to tackle projects one day (or weekend) at a time. Wish us luck. We hope you’ll keep following along!