Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tyler and Christi Get Married!

On Sunday night, my dear friend, Christi, married the love of her life, Tyler. I met Christi about 18 months ago, when I took a chance of going to a new hair stylist at Bello. Honestly, I scheduled the appointment with her, sight unseen, based on the fact that she was available, and because she was new, her prices were reduced. =) Oh my, it's just proof that it's these little things that most people wouldn't consider God being part of in terms of seemingly insignificant details....He totally is!

Because Christi had shared with me about being new to town and wanting to meet more Christians, I went out on a limb again and asked her to join our emerging women's group last year. I was shocked when she said "yes", because she knew no one but me....but then again, it was a very eclectic group with many of the members in the same boat.

Over the year we were all together, we heard about Tyler as a wonderful boyfriend, prayed for Christi's patience and perspective as she awaited the "hoped for" proposal, and rejoiced with her when it happened. How incredible to finally arrive at this day and be there to support her. The wedding was SO AMAZING. It was beautiful in its simplicity, Christi largely let God's creation speak for itself in terms of decoration, and boy did it shine!

This was at the entrance gate to the winery where the wedding took place:

Upon arrival, Heather and Elaina were waiting for us - and sat next to us during the ceremony. Kaela was VERY busy serving as the wedding photographer! Way to go Kaela. John assisted as best as he could taking shots from different angles to supply as many images for Tyler and Christi as possible to preserve these precious memories forever.

This little guy is Christi's nephew - A-DOR-A-BLE!!!

Tyler, awaiting his beautiful bride:

Look at the pride in that Dad's face:

The embrace Christi's dad gave to Tyler was one of the most impacting points of the evening for me. He'd been virtually adopted into their family as they had all recently moved up to Oregon from California. Oh how I pray that we will have the same confidence and love in the man Mikayla chooses as is evidenced here.

The ceremony was sweet and poignant and not very long....perfect!

Me, Heather, and Elaina - we kind of clung together through the event, rejoicing over this priceless day for Christi

Yup, our kiddos were invited too. Kaela took a special picture of Mikayla and Christi together, I'll add that when she's finished putting the album together.

At one point, I had the girls pose around this light pole. Heather leaned out, and we all loved the effect - so we had her pose again on her own for John's camera..... She's so photogenic!


Wedding Favors: (I'm pretty sure I'll put this image up on Pinterest!)

I tried not to put any of the "pose" pictures up to give the credit to Kaela that she deserves for orchestrating it all - but I couldn't help putting this one up that she had staged and I took from a distance.

Christi running out to the field to pose with us, her "Tuesday Night Ladies"....

Another set-up shot for Kaela that I took from a distance....love the sun shining on the hills in the background:

Love this napkin, and in the next photo - what the flowers were sitting in....fresh blueberries. Shhhh, don't tell anyone, but after dinner we poured the water out and ate them! (Her dad suggested it!)

The setting for the ceremony/reception is just so breathtaking...

Not pictured (yet) was the food - hands down the best meal I've ever had at a wedding. I know everyone's taste is different....but this one nailed it as far as my opinion goes! After dinner, Kaela got a chance to breathe (by the time we left, she'd been there for 12 hours!), and pose for a picture and be on the other end for a change.

After this picture was taken, our family took to the dance floor - and for the first wedding we've attended yet (among those of the younger gen we've been working with), we actually stuck around and did some dancing to music with an actual beat. SO outside of my comfort zone, but John and I just couldn't help but get caught up with the sheer joy and elation of it all (and when you have your kids to be silly with, it helps). We left around 10pm, while the party was still going....I'll look forward to seeing from Kaela's pics what we missed out on.

By now, Christi and Tyler are in Maui for two weeks....sigh....Fortunately, despite the fact that they now live close to Portland, Christi will be maintaining a one-day work week at Bello. As our whole family now goes to her for our hair, those Thursdays that she's agreed to return are important to us! We're also hoping, as our Tuesday Night Ladies will soon become "Thursday Night Ladies" that she'll be able to pop in and join us as often as she desires. Only, this time, she'll have a different last name.... =)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Harlow Crew on the Boat

Yesterday, we loaded the boat FULL with some of our favorite folks from Camp Harlow. Kimmie, Becky, Cassie, Heidi - and shown below - Lauren & Walt, and finally, Jacob.

This is Heidi with Brayden - while Heidi was Mikayla's counselor this last week, she and Brayden had actually met and hit it off prior when he was at mid-school camp. They are belting out a song at the top of their lungs here.

Here he's wearing her glasses. He actually kicked the day off by wakeboarding first - cracking us up as he sang along and did hand motions while boarding to Jennifer Lopez's "On the Floor"

And, of course, with all of the gals around, Mikayla was never at a loss for attention.

This was our longest consecutive stretch of time on the water. We got on the lake at 10:30am and didn't pull off until 6pm - and that was only because we'd used up the entire tank of gas!

Mikayla's two counselors: Cassie and Heidi - how lucky is Mikayla that she not only got to spend the weekend with them, but then had them aboard our boat two days later!

Starting up - three gals who'd never gone wakeboarding. Kimmie, Cassie and Lauren. And yes, they all got up!

With all of her experiences skateboarding, longboarding, and snowboarding, Kimmie was a natural on the water too. She got right up and was cutting across the wake in no time.

Cassie struggled a bit with balance, but based on this picture, you could see how tenacious she was!

Lauren was also determined - she kept at it until she was successful - and she was!

Heidi had boarded before, and it was obvious - she looked great, and so happy!

In between Lauren and Heidi's turn, I hopped in the water to "take a break" =) and figured once I was in, I might as well put the board on to take a quick trip. I didn't want to steal anyone's time, so we kept it short.

Becky had also previously boarded - and even though for both her and Heidi, it had been since mid-school, they both proved that once you figure it out, it's like riding a bike when you get the chance again.

Jacob was next - his family used to have a boat so he was a natural, but he'd never attempted jumps, so it was super impressive watching him catch air!

And, as for Walt - that guy is "Superman" on the water - and oh so happy no matter what he's doing.

Kimmie and Jacob are passing the time by doing the hand motions and singing along with "Life Is Good, Eternal Life Is Better"

The oh-so-patient and persistent driver - determined to not let anyone "fail" on our boat!

After Walt, we put the board away for a while and took out the tube. Everyone had fun - though I know Lauren got more than she bargained for when she went out with Walt. And, let me tell you, when Walt and Jacob were out there together, all bets were off - those guys were CRAZY! (But, thankfully - no injuries - praise God!)

As always, our day on the lake ended with a stop off at Dairy Queen. It's not common here in Oregon that you'll see it nearly 90 degrees at 7pm. (Which made it a perfect day for the lake). It also made for a popular time to visit DQ - therefore we ended up eating out on the boat in the parking lot - perfect!!