Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Happy Happy

I can barely express how truly happy this sunshine makes me.'s just so very lovely. 

When I wake up in the morning I can see light peeking in my window, rather than dark. 
When I have my quiet time I can see the sun rising out the back window.
When I hop on my bike it's sunny and dry, not raining and dark.
My bike commute is an adventure and not a chore. 
I arrive at work warm and feeling extra alive.
I grab lunch for my coworkers and don't need a jacket.
I ride home in a TSHIRT, not a jacket. 
I cook dinner in the light, I even eat dinner in the light!

I live in Canada. While much of the US and much of Canada has been battling storms and snow I am experiencing spring. And oh, I am thankful. 

Last June 1st it was pouring in Vancouver, by the time we arrived in Minnesota on the 6th it was still pouring in Vancouver but it was sunshiney in MN and the dakotas along the way. And somehow, right now, in March, Vancouver is enjoying warmth. I won't get my hopes up for the future, but I will enjoy this in the now. 

There's so much to fill you in on - Paul and I had a bike riding date at Stanley Park on Friday, we attended a wonderful family wedding on Saturday and with Easter coming up this weekend there's lots to talk about. Instead though, I'll leave you with a few snapshots of the wonderful weather and promise to be back next week...especially if it rains.

Oh and sneak peak for Easter Decor...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Quick Takes Friday (Vol 4)

--- 1 --- 
Crate & Barrel opened in Vancouver.
Oh my. This could prove to be dangerous

I wish I could buy this for Paul - retails in the store at $1700 definitely not going to happen.
But they have plenty of other semi affordable things...
Like these and these gorgeous ceramic berry colanders

And the cutest egg platter

And warm dining rooms
I'm in love with C&B.

--- 2 --- 

Another wedding this weekend! Paul's step brother Tyler is getting married to a wonderful woman named Sara. I can't wait to be a part of the celebration of their marriage and love. Sara is a joy to have added to the family and I look forward to many years of family gatherings and some day doing so with kids as well!

--- 3 --- 

Last night I was rebellious AGAIN - that's two nights in a row I said, "screw you meal plan. I'm picking something different." Wednesday night I'd planned to make Skinny Thai chicken and noodles but didn't feel like following a recipe. 

I pulled together balsamic roasted asparagus, man pleasing chicken, roasted veggies and pommes ana. It was a hit. 

I went much less fancy last night and made roasted veggies and perogies. Mmmm.

--- 4 --- 

It's been sunny still around these parts and man, I continue to be a much happier version of myself. It is amazing what a little sun can do. 

I'm hoping the sun remains as Paul and I have an outdoor date planned this evening. I'm riding my bike over to the edge of Stanley Park. He'll meet me there with his rental bike and we'll bike around stanley park and english bay and then head over to grab some street meat or shawarma. It'll be a great date even if it's cloudy but oh man, sun and some warmth would help. 

--- 5 --- 

Tomorrow before the wedding I will be spending some time on my command center. Paul laughs when I call it that but that's what all the mom bloggers call them. It's a spot to command your world - you put all your papers and stuff there. It's like your office. I use a large cabinet that I bought from a friend. Right now it's hella messy and in need of an overhaul. Here are some of my inspirations:

Source: Tara on Pinterest

--- 6 --- 

7 Quick takes are harder than I thought. 5 maybe? 7 is a lot :)
Oh I thought of one! I finally got to sit down and watch the newest Justin Timberlake on SNL. Oh my goodness. So much fun. I laughed through almost all of it. JT - you rock. 

--- 7 --- 

And lastly today I had lunch with my friend Lindsay. She is so much fun! She came downtown to meet me (thanks girl!) looking fabulous in a snow leopard print cardigan and electric blue pants. Sounds confusing? It looked awesome. Not only did she rock the outfit but she was kind and supportive and funny and a great lunch date. That's all kinds of awesome. 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A+J Whitton Wedding

Before I start raving about this wedding and how GORGEOUS it was I wanted to preface this post by thanking Josh and Ana for the honor of joining them on their big day. I loved being their event coordinator and they truly put together a beautiful wedding. They thought through all the details and had so many cute touches. It was also great to see them grow and learn together as they walked through this process. They are married now and that is a covenant before God - I look forward to see how God uses them both to draw them both closer to him and to each other. I see God all the time in my marriage and I pray that for them as well. They're wedding was honoring to God and their relationship and it was great fun to enjoy them both so much.

Ok sappy-ness aside, lets look at how gorgeous it all was. 

First off we started with a rehearsal the night before the wedding. They were getting married at Minoru Chapel in Richmond, BC which is a gorgeous little church in a park. The bridal party listened well to the officiant, Allan, who was obviously very used to leading people through this process. 

The girls were lined up in the bride's well Paul lined up with them for some reason. 
Ah well, you can see he kept Irene entertained.

During all this I was helping the officiant and answering questions. As event coordinator my job is to take all the wedding knowledge out of Ana and Josh's head so they can just enjoy their day and to be the person that "knows it all". The rehearsal is always a time of a lot of learning and question answering for me.

Then it was off to Moxies in a flurry of activity. There were 40 of us at the restaurant and it was a great place for it. Lots of fun, lots of conversation and great food and drinks.

Here's Paul trying a tester of beer

My food was awesome.
And I had my favorite appies - can't go to Moxies and not get it!

I tried to get a picture with Paul.
It's much harder than it looks.
And he is much sillier than he looks here.

Then we headed home by 9:30 to get some rest for the big day. Paul and I made sure to sleep in as best we could. We got up around 10 since our friends Rachelle and Adam had spent the night - they were in town from Portland. We had brunch with them - Breakfast Taco's and were very glad to for the food and fun start to the day. 

We headed over to Heritage Hall to confirm that the set up there was going well before heading over to the Chapel. We got there at 1pm and found out that actually the doors weren't going to open until 1:30, despite the initial time we'd been told. Since the wedding was at 2 and we were there to decorate we were feeling a bit rushed! I quickly found a bathroom nearby to get dressed in before the chapel opened so that in the last half hour I could focus on getting it all set up. 

Paul was a huge help all day
Thanks babe!

The programs and celebration flags were such fun touches.

Paul was trying to look ironic here
Mostly he looked creepy or pissed.

The Ceremony went off without a glitch. It was perfect. Great little moments of humor and solemnity. There was laughing and crying and great prayers. My Dad did a blessing speech and prayer which was really beautiful. It was lovely from start to finish.

And then they were Mr. and Mrs. Whitton!

It was time for photos - and this is when I have to start bossing people around, especially if there's family photos involved. You need people to get in and out of place as quickly as possible. It's tricky but it's important otherwise it can run into the time for other things. I led the families to the side and directed them in and out of photos as needed. I'll admit I do love it. 

Here is the couple with Ana's side of the family.

And here is Lizette, the amazing photographer.

So happy - and in love

After the family photos the bridal party headed over to Steveston for some group shots. Paul and I headed over to Heritage Hall on Main street to ensure that the last of the decorations and things were going smoothly. I pulled out my Josh + Ana binder out because it was even more so a time when I needed my coordinator A game. There were questions a flurry when we first arrived but we got it all settled and even got to enjoy it all!

The decor was fun and quirky. Ana worked at and ran a starbucks for many years, so they had a coffee bar in honor of that, as well as a regular bar. They also had a legit photobooth and lots of neat touches around. It was gorgeous.

They even had bibs for when the ribs were to come out later!

After speeches and food there was dancing - including a traditional mexican dance where money is pinned on the bride and groom. My shot was fuzzy but you can see the money on them!

All in all it was a great night. The couple headed off on their honeymoon successfully, the hall was put away successfully and everyone left happy and full. Success.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Before I tackle the task of writing about Ana and Josh's wedding (a task that I wish to give time to honor well) I have some thoughts bouncing around in my head that need letting out first...

Thought 1:
It has been nice and bright and sunny lately. Except when it rains. But whatever. Yesterday I got home at 5:15. Paul opened all the blinds when we first got home, so it was nice and bright. I cooked dinner with it being bright. We ate dinner at 6:30 and it was still bright. It wasn't until 7 and I was heading to Superstore that it started to dim and even leaving Superstore at 8 was still not pitch black. It was lovely. I was amazed by how much more I enjoyed cooking when it was bright. I enjoyed eating in the bright. I felt happier and lighter and oh-my-goodness how can a bit of light make such a difference? It really does. 

Thought 2:
Sunday I was pretty tired after a late wedding night. I had a shower that morning and needed to wrap the gift I'd bought, find and write in a card and make two items for the shower....and still had church, company for dinner and a family gathering ahead of me. I thought the party was at 11 at Leah's. I planned to be there early. Then it became apparent as I tried to complete everything that I would not be early and would not even be on time. And then, as I pulled up to Leah's I realized that the party wasn't at Leah's. I checked Facebook and actually the party was 10:30 at the Mitchell's. So now I am double extra late and at the wrong place. Awesome. I felt flustered. 

I pulled up at the Mitchell's 10 minutes later with my bag full of food and drinks and my big bulky gift and walked into a party almost an hour late feeling kind of embarrassed, really awkward and super insecure. I'd been too busy lately to spend time with God, which is where my security comes from - well not actually too busy but neglecting to prioritize His truth about me and had been tending to feel more insecure lately already and this was the perfect storm. Plus I'd forgotten to do anything to my hair. To say insecure and awkward was how I felt would be almost an understatement. 

And then I got into the party. The first three people I ran into welcomed me cheerily and announced that they too had gone to the wrong location. I got a high five. 

After I put my gift down I went to put my food together and ran into another 3 ladies (including my sister) at the Kitchen Island. They all said very warm, sincere hello's to me. Lyndsay came around the island to hug me because she said she really missed seeing me and liked me. Jenna said she was glad I was there and was only sorry I was late because parties are better with me. And Morgan and I got to chat while I put food together and she and I chatted and I felt warm and loved. 

I don't feel capable of expressing how truly blessed I felt in that moment. And not just to have found good friends, as if I did something to get them. No, blessed that the God of the universe would give me such wonderful women in my life to call friends. That God knows my heart and wants to fulfill my childhood desires to have friends and be loved. He shows me his love to me through my friends. In that moment I knew God was telling me that He loved me. 

As the party continued I still felt tired and flustered but I chose to receive from God the blessing of community and of being loved. Woman after woman at that party made me feel wanted and chosen and loved...and it wasn't even a shower for me!

The lovely bride-to-be, Sarah Gotell

Sheila, Sarah & Jenna

Me and Sarah

Sarah and Jenna

It was a lovely shower. Leah, Corrie and Jenna did a wonderful job hosting and Debbie was so generous to open up their home. The games were fun and informative (since most haven't spent a lot of time with Sarah's finance since they live in Nelson) and the gifts were perfect for Sarah. It was a great time. 

So the bride felt loved and so did I - double win, right?

Thought 3:
This week is Paul's Spring Break. 
And he is amazing. 
Between yesterday and today he has gotten our cracked windshield fixed, put in 4 lights, installed dimmers and switched and door stops, added grips to our outdoor stairs, put up a jewellery system for me, unloaded the dishwasher and reloaded it and then unloaded it again AND found a basket for cutlery since ours didn't come with one. 
He also made time each day to spend time with guys and build into his relationships. 
Both of these types of tasks love me so well. A man who gets guy time is generally a much happier man! Especially when they talk about things. A man who does things around the house is a super awesome man and I am thankful. 


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