Sweekend.

The weekend started out with a trip to the State Fair for Kevin and me. We had tickets to see Tracy Lawrence in concert so we left Ava sound asleep in her crib with Craig, Sue, Teddy, Rue, and Kiki holding down the fort. The fair wasn’t very busy – I think it was the first evening it was open, maybe the second – and we started our time there with a trip to Kevin’s favorite fair food stop – the Nutty Buddy stand.

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Ice cream treats in hand, we wandered over to the red barn to check out the baby animals. Then we meandered through the sheep and goat barn, the steer barn, the pig barn, and the 4-H exhibit hall. After checking it all out, we made our way to Tingley for the end of the kid rodeo and the concert. Tracy Lawrence put on a great show – lots of 90’s country (the best), minimal chatting, and we made our way to the floor during the encore to take a two-steppin’ spin around the dirt dance floor. It was a fun night.

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Ava was not in the least bit sympathetic that her parents were late to get to bed the night before, crowing at her usual 6:20. Someday I will wake her early after she’s been out late and it will be sweet parental revenge. :) She also was not feeling like a morning nap so we told Kiki to draw herself a bubble bath and enjoy having the house to herself which the three of us humans took Rue to the vet for her annual check up. Rue got a clean bill of health and Ava seemed very interested in the vet’s office.

Once we got home, we were all ready for a nap. So we were the napping house for a bit – minus the flea, thank goodness.

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Kevin woke up first and got ready and left to go coach a football game. Ava woke up, ate, played, and then we packed up and headed to the game ourselves. We staked out a nice plot of lawn under a tree near the scoreboard and she was so good. Sitting and crawling on the blanket, playing with her toys, watching the people around us, and only occasionally trying to eat grass. We managed to see and wave to Kevin as he was headed back up to the box as half time drew to a close and Ava gave him a big smile. That and the victory made his game day pretty sweet I think.

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Ava and I left at the end of the third quarter. We headed home, she took a 5-10 minute nap in the car, and ate when she got home. I changed her outfit and my own and we drove to a nearby park.

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I mentioned in a previous post that something tragic involving a child recently happened in my city. A local photographer took action and arranged for herself and a few of her photographer friends to take over 100 mother/daughter photos over two hours. She asked only for donations to local child abuse organizations and she said she would match the donation. I contacted her about sending a donation to include – not really needing the photos and knowing that there was a waiting list because the spots filled up so quickly. She happened to have just had a cancellation and asked if I could be there at 5:00. Ava and I were there at that time, sat for a few photos, and made a donation to the child abuse prevention partnership. I thought it was a lovely thing for the photographer to organize and it was really sweet to see all the families there.

We were done by 5:11 and called Kevin, asking him to meet us at Flying Star for dinner. A nice meal out then home for the evening. After Ava was asleep, we watched football (that Arkansas/TCU game!! Wow.) and then called it a night.

Sunday morning was lovely and we went for our morning constitutional around 7:00. Ava took a really nice morning nap and I went to do the grocery shopping for the week. We unpacked the groceries, she woke up, and we all got ready for lunch at some friends’ house. They just got a puppy and have an almost 18 month old, so it was really fun to hang out with them in a relaxed setting like their home rather than dealing with a restaurant.

Shortly after we got home, the storm clouds rolled in and it began raining right as my mom got to our house. She came to town for a meeting and arrived a few hours early to hang out with us. It was great to see her. We missed the neighborhood picnic because we didn’t want to take Ava out in the rain, but it was cozy to just be home. It cleared up briefly and we all went for a short walk. Then mom had to head to her meeting and Kevin and I loaded Ava up to go to Craig and Sue’s house for dinner. That was enjoyable and delicious, as always.

We got home right around 7:00 and little miss went to bed for the night (she woke up around 7:40, crying as hard as we’ve ever heard her cry. Not sure what happened – maybe a nightmare, poor baby. Fortunately she slept through the remainder of the night once she had calmed down and I nursed her for a bit.)

That was the weekend. It was sweet indeed. I love my people and I love this life.

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How was your weekend? Tell me the highlights! 

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Easy like Sunday afternoon.

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Take me back to yesterday afternoon when the weather was cool and cloudy.  The house was clean, the fridge was stocked.  The baby was napping and the husband and I were chopping, sautéing, mincing a beef stew into the Dutch oven.  Homemade bread dough rising and puffing beautifully.  A Tracy Lawrence YouTube concert played on the iPad.

Once the stew was in the oven, Kevin read his book and I painted.  Third time’s a charm painting this canvas in Ava’s room. I have accepted that it will never look exactly like the picture I have in my head, and I’m finally satisfied enough to just hang it on the wall and let it be. Artistic I am not.

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Ava woke up, Kevin’s parents came over for dinner (the bread dough fell right before I put it in the oven, but that’s okay because the flat bread had a fantastic crunch to the crust on the exterior yet was pillow soft inside), and a perfect Sunday afternoon transitioned into a perfect Sunday evening.

Nothing is wrong on this Monday morning – it’s just not Sunday afternoon.

The rest of the weekend was nice too.  We went out to dinner Friday night at a local place (known for its decadent desserts and I had a slice of key lime pie on the brain but $6.50 for a slice of pie – not happening) near a local bookstore.  Picked up a couple of board books and then took ourselves home.

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The cats and I enjoyed a nice cereal breakfast on Saturday morning.  I love to be popular.

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Then Kevin and I test drove a car.  Two people have told us that this particular car (Mazda CX-5) is the best car they’ve ever owned, so we were really excited to try it.  It was fine…but I think I like the one (Honda CRV) we drove the previous weekend better.  Just dabbling with the idea of getting a new car.  My car is fine and incredibly low mileage and in excellent condition and I don’t drive that often anyway and it’s the best thing ever to not have a car payment (well, it’s actually probably the BEST thing ever to not have a mortgage payment, but not having a car payment is pretty awesome too), so…I don’t know.

Ava took a nice long nap on Saturday afternoon, making us fashionably late for her friend Mia’s first birthday party.  It was so fun to celebrate that little cutie!  And so begins the year of first birthday parties since so many of our friends had kids last year.

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^ Riding through the safari on a zebra. #nbd ^

Happy Monday.

How was your weekend?

 

Coffee date with you II.

It’s been nearly a year since our last coffee date, so what do you say we catch up over a cup?  Truth be told, I’ll probably order a tea.  I only like the coffee drinks that are heavy on syrup and flavors – the gateway coffees, if you will – and I’ve managed to avoid those for the past eight months, so why break the trend now?  I’ll explain this as I dump sugar into my steaming cup of black tea and you’ll wonder at my rational (or lack thereof) train of thought.  But being the good friend that you are, you won’t judge.

Kevin’s football coaching season has begun which is really fun for him and I like the home games.  The field is in such a beautiful location on the school campus.  I look forward to the fall when the leaves change and the air is crisp.  I usually take a book, pull a blanket from the trunk of my car, and sit under a tree near the field.  This year I’ve been spoiled and had company at each game thus far – Leann met me for the first and Kevin’s best friend from high school was in town for the second.

Lisa came to town to accompany me to the State Fair and watch Doug Stone perform.  We had a great time walking around, reminiscing about our livestock showing days and waxing poetically about how much things have changed.  The concert was great.  It was not well attended, so it kind of felt like a private show.  Doug (after a practically private show, obviously we’re on a first name basis) sounded really good and he was hil-ar-ious.  Kind of self-deprecating and very engaging with the fans.  One of the best concerts I’ve ever gone to, and it was fun to share it with Lisa.  We love our 90’s country!

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Last weekend I hosted a little Favorite Things party for a few work and Junior League friends.  It was so much fun!  Each gal brought one of their favorite things – times three and wrapped individually.  Each name was written three times and put into a bucket.  We took turns drawing three names apiece and handing out our favorite thing to each of the three recipients.  It was a great way to learn more about some of my favorite people and their loves.  I brought my current favorite lip balm by Pixi and I received such awesome stuff – Pineapple Kona tea and Perfectea Rock Sugar from Teavana and a Baby Lips gloss from Ashley, Thin Mints and a Starbucks gift card from Becca, and a pen and a Lush bath bomb from Heather.  Everyone in attendance seemed to have a great time and we all kept commenting that it was like a birthday!  Getting to open three presents – who doesn’t like that?  Toss in some tasty snacks (including Leann’s famous carrot and pineapple mini-muffins and the Trader Joes ginger snaps provided by Heather) and beverages (Ashley brought the supplies and expertise to whip up some Italian cream sodas) and it was a lovely morning.

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While I was favorite things partying, Kevin took his truck with the car seat and base to a safety clinic for car seats.  He learned how to properly install the base, things to keep in mind as we grow and graduate to bigger car seats, and now we both feel really comfortable that we can safely haul around our little gal.

And that night we braved the looooong line of cars around the state fair grounds to go watch the PRCA rodeo and Clay Walker perform.  The rodeo was entertaining, as is the people watching at the fair forever and always.  Clay Walker put on a pretty good show too, and we had a nice night out.  (It started with Mexican food at my favorite Mexican food spot, which was perfect – even if it did mean ending the night with a little heartburn.)

It has been the year of the baby – not just for us but for many friends as well.  We’re toward the end of the batch of due dates and it has been so fun to see our friends become parents.  There have been lots of brunch and dinner double dates with the sweetest little fifth wheels and seeing our friends so in love with their bebes makes us even more excited to meet our own.  Of course we’re really treasuring the time we have to spoil ourselves and each other – sleeping in, changing our plans on a whim, leaving the house with minimal preparation or supplies…etc.  It’s an interesting time – so much is the same but so much has changed.

As usual, I’m rambling on and on, and the coffee mugs are empty.  Thanks – as always – for the time, friend.  And now please – talk my ear off.  What’s new with you? 

A sweetheart sweekend.

I have decided that Valentine’s Day should always be on a Saturday.  Really – everyone wins.  It would save single people the effort of rolling their eyes at the flower/chocolate/teddy bear deliveries to the workplace and couples could spend the entire day gazing at each other in adoration.

My Valentine’s day was dreamy.  Kevin had arranged for some lovely flowers to be delivered to me at work on Friday (if Valentine’s Day is permanently moved to a Saturday, I’ll make him promise to not send flowers).  Fresh, bright flowers bring springtime to any month, don’t you think?

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The weekend started with a #Galentine pedicure date.  I met Shawna and we caught up on all the happenings.  Nothing quite like going into a weekend with chat and pretty toes.

On Saturday morning, we read and relaxed at home.  A hot air balloon landed one street over – practically in our backyard.  Random, but interesting.

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^^ Photos shot from my seat in the breakfast nook.  #onlyinnewmexico

We went to Whole Foods for provisions.  Everyone else in the city was there too.  I guess a lot of people settled on eating in to celebrate the day of love.

That afternoon we went for a bike ride along the Bosque.  It was Fantasia’s inaugural ride in the company of her boyfriend, Kevin’s nameless bike.  My butt started to hurt after about 7 miles, so I turned around and totaled around 14 miles for the ride.  Kevin rode a bit further and did around 16 miles.  I didn’t fall off the bike or crash into anything, so I’d say it was a successful adventure.  The weather was over 60 degrees F and absolutely perfect.

Showered fresh and so clean so clean, we went for coffee at a cute local place.  They have lots of fancy latte options, so I scored myself an Almond Joy specialty and Kevin tried their daily brew.  We’ll definitely go back for more!

Home and caffeinated, we read for a bit and then started dinner.  On our first Valentine’s Day together (2011), I told Kevin that I wanted to stay in for the holiday.  He went above and beyond and prepared chicken parmesan for us.  That locked it in – our V-day tradition is to be home with each other and the cats and some delicious chicken parm and Moscato.  His chicken parmesan not only rivals but surpasses any that you’d find in a restaurant and he always makes me pasta with pesto too, which you know I love.

IMG_9489^^ Dinner.  Before.

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My task was Caprese salad, deconstructed.

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Rue kept her feather toy (the little scamp) under control. IMG_9496

Kiki supervised.  Tough job for a brindle cat. IMG_9108

And the dinner came together beautifully.

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It was such a perfect meal, with my perfect guy.

We watched The Hobbit after dinner, pausing the film briefly to indulge in some chocolate covered strawberries.

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On Sunday morning we met some friends at Gravy – the first new restaurant that K and I have tried this year!  We tend to get into ruts when it comes to eating out, and if Gravy becomes a rut, you won’t hear me complain.  It was so delicious.  Kevin had the breakfast sandwich (description below), I had the breakfast burrito, and our friends had 2 eggs any style and the specialty pancake flight, which was completely and utterly decadent.

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 Kevin had to work a lot on Sunday and I ran errands.  We had dinner at his parents’ house, as per the usual Sunday night tradition, and that was the weekend.  Any time I get to spend with Kevin is time well spent, and the weekend included a lot of that.  So sweetheart sweekend indeed.

Do you like Valentine’s Day?  How did you spend your weekend? 

Sweekend.

A sweekend post on a Tuesday.  Two posts in two days…(and there’s one on the docket for tomorrow too, which would bring the count to three in three – a record around these parts.)  What can I say?  I like to live la vida loca.

Let’s start with Saturday and I hope you’ll not judge me (too harshly) when I tell you that I got sucked into not one, not two, but THREE Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.  I’m weak.  And romantic at heart.

Kevin’s big birthday gift from me was a massage at our favorite spa.  I received a gift card to the spa on my last birthday, so I didn’t feel too bad about making a massage appointment for myself as well.  It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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That night we went to the annual Christmas party bash thrown by one of Kevin’s mentors.  It is always a lot of fun with really good food.  I made myself sick on queso – the sign of a good time indeed.

Sunday we went to brunch with Kelly and Nelson at a cute little place that specializes is sweet and/or savory waffles.  It was carbtastic.  They also had peppermint mocha to offer – yes, please.

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We made the grocery store rounds and then we went to make a very special pick-up….  The newest member of our family came home with us.  Meet Rue.

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She’s almost 6 months old and she fell out of a tree in her former foster home’s yard when she was around 6-8 weeks old.  No sign of a mom or littermates, that nice family took her in while she got her shots, etc. and then she was put up for adoption with Fat Katz.  Kevin and I went to an adoption event the previous weekend and fell in love with her calm, sweet disposition.  It was kismet – the first time we’d been out to look at kittens coupled with the first time she’d been placed in an adoption event. We completed the application to adopt her on Monday and got the word on Wednesday that we’d been approved.

Right now Rue is in Kevin’s office at home with the door shut – her safe room.  She’s settling right in and has proven to be very, very sweet.  She has a hearty appetite, is drinking water regularly, and found the litter box just fine.  She has Kiki’s gentle disposition, but she’s also Flo’s spirit child – jumping onto high shelves and finagling her way through closed closet doors.

Kiki is still trying to figure out exactly how much this new roomie is going to shift her world.  When we brought Rue home in the crate, she and Kiki stared at each other for awhile.  Rue meowed {we translated that to, “Hi, I’m Rue.”} and Kiki hissed {loosely translated:  “I’m Kiki and I run this place.”}  But thus far, Kiki isn’t hissing at Kevin and me when we smell like Rue, so we’re optimistic that they’ll become friends soon after they have the run of the house together.

How did your first pet react to the arrival of a second pet?  How many holiday parties are you hitting this season? 

Sweekend.

Friday PM: 

Kevin picked up our favorite sushi and brought it home for dinner.  Thank goodness because miso hungry.  {Don’t sushi-roll your eyes at my puns…}

Saturday:

I went to an 8:00 Nia class with Sue.  It was a lot of fun and it’ll definitely count for a dance class on the ol’ 30 by 30 list.  After class we ran a few errands and grabbed brunch at a cute little neighborhood place.

Once I arrived home, I had to rush to get ready for the 2nd Annual Bikes & Brews tour that some of Kevin’s friends put together.  I neither biked nor brewed, preferring the four wheels of my car for transportation and root beer and cream soda for beverages, but the company was great and it was a beautiful day to sit on the patio at a few breweries.

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All that caffeine (me) and beer (Kevin) led right to naptime with football on in the background.  The remainder of the evening consisted of football, reading, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and a pizza delivery.

Sunday: 

We started the morning with the breakfast of champions at my favorite breakfast spot.  It was a cold and windy day, but two sets of great-aunts and great-uncles and my cousin met us out and it was a nice meal.  With full tummies, we did the grocery shopping (so much safer than going on an empty stomach) and then went home.  There was reading and napping and football and Kiki cuddles as the wind raged outside.

I also started a crochet project, intending for it to be an infinity scarf.

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I don’t know what I’m doing yet couldn’t be bothered to find a pattern, and it quickly became clear that this bit of yarn was not destined to be a scarf.  Too short.  It did however manage to fit around my head and cover my ears, so the project name was changed to ear warmer headband and I managed to finish it same day.  This very well may be the only crochet project I have ever finished.  Let’s all applaud me.

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Headband crocheting finished just in time to brave the cold for a dinner out with Craig and Sue and Jewell and Donald (my great-aunt and great-uncle) at Macaroni Grill.  That was great fun as well and really just the perfect end for the sweekend.

How did you entertain yourself this past weekend?  Do you crochet?  What’s the last crafty-type project you’ve finished? 

Sweekend.

Over the weekend, this girl took a leap.

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She {her name is Tiffany, btw} got married!  It was lovely.  I was incredibly blessed to be a part of it as one of her matrons of honor {doesn’t matron of honor make me sound so OLD?  Let’s just call it MOH.}.  Sadly, I don’t have many pictures from the wedding day to share with you.  In fact the following are the full extent of my wedding day photos:

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The lovely bride with two of her photographer friends, one of whom is pulling double duty as makeup artist.

 And this little gem shows me with my wedding hair all undid:

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What can I say?  I wasn’t snap happy for a very good reason – I was too busy.  First of all, being a member of the wedding party makes it a little harder to take the time to snap photos!  Also, I genuinely felt like I should enjoy each moment as it came and soak up time with some wonderful people, gathered together to celebrate a wonderful girl and guy.  I didn’t want to be distracted by trying to track every moment.  Three of Tiff’s lovely and dear friends had their cameras on them at all times and were in charge of photodocumentation.  One of them, Britt from The Fisk Files, will be posting a blog with photos, so I’ll be sure to link to that once she has it posted. In the meantime, I’ll try to paint a picture with words.

It was such a lovely and heartfelt wedding weekend.  On Friday I drove to Tucumcari and spent some time at my parents house in the early afternoon.  I met up with wedding folks at the church at 4:00 for the rehearsal.  Everyone was excited and having a great time – a testament to the bride and the groom and the type of people they are.

Rehearsal done, it was then time for the rehearsal dinner, courtesy of Ty’s parents at Tiff’s parents’ house.  The food was so, so good.  Fajitas!  There was plenty of space to sit and relax and chat with the sweet people who were there to celebrate the happy couple.

The time passed quickly, and soon it was time to go to the home of some of Tiff’s family friends.  The bride and her gals stayed there and we kept our lovely hostess up far too late with the very definition of girl talk.  It was a peaceful and safe and engaging conversation – one that each of us will remember and draw on for comfort and smiles in the future.

Early to rise the next morning!  Tiff had decided to do a 5K on the morning of her wedding.  She’s just that kind of energetic, folks!  Can’t stop, won’t stop.  There were around 7 of us and we each took the 5K through the countryside at our own pace.  I managed to jog the entire distance, so you better believe that’s counting for my 30-by-30 5K!  After the run, there was some tasty breakfast, prepared by our hosts, and lots of pre-wedding chatter and laughs.

Then it was time to get ready and get ready we did!  Makeup, hairspray, tasty chicken Caesar salad – I can’t emphasize enough how awesome our hosts were! – and all that is wonderful on a wedding day.  The time flew by in a flurry of activity and soon we bridesmaids were all dressed and standing at the bottom of the staircase.  As you may recall from this post, she had narrowed the dresses down to two and didn’t tell us which one she’d picked.  For a quick refresher, here are the top two:

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It was the moment of truth.  On the count of three, we turned around and the lovely bride was standing at the top of the stairs.  She chose the mermaid style gown with the illusion neckline (on the right in the above photo)!!  I was certain that she’d chosen the other dress, so I hope my surprised face is not horribly grotesque in the photos of the reveal.  Because I was genuinely surprised, in the best possible way.  She absolutely chose the perfect dress.  She was a vision.  We all hugged and posed for photos and then it was time to go to her parents farm for more pictures.

Standing in the wheat field, with little ladybugs (good luck!) crawling up between the layers of tulle, Tiffany looked absolutely radiant.  The groomsmen proved that chivalry is not dead by offering us bridesmaids a ride back to the house in their little SUV when we thought we were going to have to hoof it back.

We all made our way to the church and it was go time!  The ceremony went well (I did not drop the groom’s ring on the floor, which meant mission accomplished for this girl) and there was so much love!  And a little humor.  For example, the sweet little flower girl spotted her grandpa as she was walking down the aisle and she rushed into his arms.  He picked her up and she thrust the basket of flower petals into his hands, declaring, “You hold it!”  Then they walked the rest of the way down the aisle with him holding the basket and her flinging fistfuls of petals onto the runner.  In another light moment, the preacher paused after posing the question that if anyone objects to this union, let them speak now or forever hold their peace, and the bride’s father said, “That’s long enough!” when the pause lasted a smidgeon too long for his liking.

After the ceremony there were more pictures and then we reception-ed it up!  Lots of delicious food, dancing, and chatter filled that convention center.  There were over three hundred people in attendance, I’m sure.  The two best men and the other MOH and I each gave a speech – short and heartfelt, all the way around.  The evening passed quickly and it was such a wonderful time.

When I think back on this wedding and reception, I’ll always remember the sense of community that pulsed through the event.  The groom’s grandmother (who is 80 and an amazing lady!) made the cakes.  Some other relatives of the groom took care of the flowers.  The bride’s aunts set up five snack tables around the room.  A local 4-H club handled the tea and water refills.  The bride’s mother and some family friends did a stellar job with burlap and lace decorations.  Friends of the bride did the photography and the hair.  There was such a sense of togetherness in the event.  It was a pleasure to be a part of such a special time.

Tiff is my best friend and is the best kind of friend anyone could wish for, so it really warmed my heart to see her so happy and so in her element.  So surrounded by the people she loves.  I’m so excited for her and Ty and wish them all the happiness.

The following morning, Kevin and I went to my parents house for a little farm fun.  We rode in the back of the pick up to the irrigation ditch and did a little tube irrigating.  Kevin was a natural at getting those tubes started!

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And we hung out with the kittens.  Three weeks old and sooooo precious.

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Then it was biscuits and sausage for breakfast with mom, Dale, Lisa, and my Aunt Jewel.  Good family time!

Kevin and I hit the road after breakfast and made our way home to our sweet little Kiki cat who had been all alone for 24 hours.  Poor thing.  We napped in the afternoon, which was the perfect ending to a great and busy weekend.

Do you sometimes put your phone/camera aside at big events so you’ll be able to just watch what’s going on around you?