Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Our first party + In-laws

CV's parent's were in town from the Outer Banks last week...
We thought it would be nice for the whole family to get together, so we did what anyone with a big backyard would do, and invited everyone over for a little party!
CV's mom's birthday was coming up, so it was a perfect reason to get together and celebrate.
We had about 30ish people attend...which called for renting some tables and chairs for the perfect little dining experience.  Add some flowers as centerpieces...and there you have it!

A game of bocce ball started...
 ...along with a lot of conversations.
...and grilling hamburgers/hotdogs/etc!
CV handled the grill...along with his sidekick, Bob.
(Ladies in Cincinnati...he's single!!) :)
Paisley even wore her new little outfit for the party.
And then I stopped taking pics...because I'm the HOST, not the photographer!
The rest of the week/weekend included painting rooms in the house, yard work, planting lots of gorgeous flowers, eating delicious meals, drinking A LOT of wine, and hanging out with the family.
It was great to have the in-laws in town for the week...
Now back to the normal schedule of life...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Anniversary Celebration

Our one year anniversary was perfect...
...It started out with a couples massage at Woodhouse Day Spa in Montgomery.
{best massages in the city!} ...followed by brunch at our favorite little pancake house.
...to going to the mall to return WEDDING GIFTS...yes, we returned a few wedding gifts on our one year anniversary. Haha.  Nothing like an anniversary to remind you that you still have pillows in the basement that you still don't need!
...to relaxing and taking a much needed nap.

Then, we headed to a delicious sushi dinner at Ando Restaurant. 
Followed by exchanging letters and eating our one year old cake that's been in the freezer.
 I got out our amazing wedding cake topper to display with it. It definitely fancies up an old cake pretty quickly!

And we also opened 1/3 of our wedding present from my MOH.
The first block said "open on your first anniversary"...and inside was a bottle of wine and a personal note from her. What an amazing gift!!
 Here is a close up of the note: Too funny!
It was a perfect little Sunday.
And even though our anniversary came and went....our waiter at Capital Grille made us a special little dessert this past weekend. It was delish!!

Can't wait to celebrate every day with my hubby until the next anniversary....and the next one...and the next one...
...and the next one! :)

Linking up here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

{In the process of} Building A Trellis

Want to know what we're building this week???
A beautiful custom trellis for our backyard!!!
(to go over the steps that walk down to the basement)
The old one was SO UGLY and was made of aluminum and pipes, so we knew when we moved in we were eventually going to tear it down and build something pretty and new.
Here are the plans for the new and improved trellis:
 The side view of it. 
 Here's how it will look from a birds eye view.
 And if you're looking at the back of the house...here's how it will look.
CV's parents are in town this week to help us paint/fix up the house, so CV and his dad will be building this trellis for us!
I can't wait to see his dad's beautiful handy work!
The lumber & concrete arrived this morning, so they have A LOT of work to do! :)
The before/after pictures will be posted very soon!! :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

The First Year of Marriage

I always thought my first year of marriage would be easy...
We would be in our "honeymoon phase". We would be happy and carefree. 
And we surely wouldn't experience any real-life challenges. 
Boy, was I wrong.
Our first year of marriage was full of challenges...loss...heartbreak...sadness...hospitals...and sickness.
But also joy...happiness...laughter...gratitude...and an amazing new home.
We've definitely had our share of good and bad...we've experienced the highest of highs and the very lowest of lows.  But I can luckily say that we are getting through it all together...both by each others side.
We are a team...we are in love...
and we are stronger than we were one year ago today.
This weekend we will be celebrating our love....we will be eating old cake that has been living in our freezer for a year...and we will be popping some champagne and toasting to another year of marriage.
Whatever challenges may come our way...I know we will face them together.
(Love you forever, babe! xoxo!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Love Session {Dominican Republic}

Well, here it is:
The day we met them, we chatted on a million subjects including what we did for a living.  She just graduated from an interior design school (she's only 19 years old, can you believe it??). He is an engineer at G.E. in Austria. (Ironic, since GE is headquartered in Cincinnati)
 Then, of course we told them what we did in the states...including my little photography business.
He mentioned that they (well, SHE mainly) have always wanted to get their picture taken, but they never got the chance...
  And then she wanted to lose some weight before they took any pictures too. 
(She's lost 30 pounds since January! Wowzaz!)
 So there they were...on vacation in the Dominican Republic....lookin' amazing...but picture less.
 So obviously I jumped in and saved the day with a photo session on the beach with the two little lovebirds!
I took sooooo many gorgeous photos of them...but here are just a few! :)
Doing something nice for complete strangers new friends sure does feel good!
I sure hope they treasure these photos...and I hope when they look at them they will think of ME!!
Haha.... just kidding! :)
Hope everyone is having a great week!!
Follow my photography facebook page here please!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

...Now, on to my NEXT vacation!

It's always fun planning trips in advance....although sometimes it seems like it takes FOREVER for those trips to get here. 
But I love having fun events to look forward to.
All summer I was super excited for me & CV's one year anniversary vacation to Punta Cana. But now that we are back in Cincinnati, I can officially be excited for my NEXT vacation I had planned this year...
...and that's a beach vacation in FL with 5 of my BFFs!
These fabulous ladies have been in my life for, oh I don't know, like 15+ years...and I couldn't imagine my life without them!
And one special lady I have only known for a few years, that I met through CV (CV has known her for 15+ years though)...but she fits right in with our bunch of girls. Especially since she opened her home to all of us when my girls came in town to visit earlier in the year. Super sweet and inviting...which is exactly what I look for in a fabulous friend! :)

We all live in different cities, we are all married (I was the very last to get married!) and combined we have 8 children (obviously none of them are mine), we all have full time jobs and other obligations...so finding the time for a vacation where all of us are free is nearly impossible....
...BUT....we did it!
We picked a date, we booked the condo, some of us booked flights....
Now, all we have to do is....wait.
One girl is coming from Texarkana, one from Memphis, two from Nashville, and two from Cincinnati!
 I just love and adore each and every single one of them...and I'm super excited about the little beach vacation we have planned.
Is it October yet???

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dominican Republic - Pretty Things

And last but not least, I just wanted to share some pretties
from the beautiful Dominican Republic.
Like this beautiful purple grass...
Cute little flowers budding from every bush...
A close up shot of a the bottom of a palm tree...
"Sun gods" that were lurking in every corner...
...a bush that you do NOT want to come in contact with...
...the view of a palm tree when you're looking straight up...
...and when you're looking in the distance...
...I really liked the sideways slanted roots...
...and the beautiful skies...
...and the little things that made the resort so pretty.
Hope everyone had a great time looking through my vacation photos!
Now, if you need me...I'll be peeling my sunburned shoulders.
See Part I and Part II here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dominican Republic - The Good and The Bad

Now that I shared the beautiful beaches of Punta Cana...
Let's dive into the other details of the trip...like the good and bad parts!
The Good:
+ direct flights both ways
+ fresh fruit delivered to our room
+ the view from our balcony
+ fresh flowers and "towel art" shaped as hearts in our room
+ delicious pastries and croissants just steps away
+ self-timed photo sessions (since I don't trust anyone to use my nice camera)...still a good thing though because I love these pictures! :)
+ 7 straight days of sun with NO rain
+ getting super duper tan
+ umbrellas in my drinks
+ meeting new friends...from Austria
+ having dinner with new friends and learning all about the Austrian culture
+ being able to gift our new friends something special (you'll find out what that is soon!)
+ lots of restaurant options: Italian /Spanish /Steakhouse /French /Mexican /Japanese /Asian /and more (Japanese & Italian were my favorite!)
+ midnight swims at the pool
+ trying new drink concoctions...like 1/2 beer, 1/2 Fanta. I didn't like it, but that's what the Austrians drink.
+ never setting an alarm clock
+ playing cards in bed
+ pop up art displays (we bought an amazing piece of art, I love it!)
+ beautiful things everywhere you looked....even the bark on the palm trees were beautiful to me
+ mid-day naps in the sun
+ swim up bars
+ a some-what entertaining magic show
+ locals that gave me a handmade beaded bracelet as a gift
+ relaxing pool side & taking walks on the beach
+ 90 minute romantic massages...even though they MADE us wear these little black speedos for it. hahaha!
+ celebrating our one year anniversary (early)
+ spending 7 straight days with my handsome hubby
Although there were tons to be happy about on our trip...we did experience some not-so-good things.

The Bad:
+ getting a little too much sun on the first day
+ fainting from heat exhaustion...and having our new friend CARRY ME to my hotel room (CV was taking a nap, or obviously he would have carried me!)
+ throwing up in bed (from sunburn/heat exhaustion)
+ CV fainting at a nice French restaurant
+ CV throwing up at a French restaurant while he was still unconscious
(THIS SERIOUSLY HAPPENED...and on the same exact day! The locals told me it happens all the time, but we were in disbelief that it happened to us. It was crazy!! And yes, I was totally freaking out at the restaurant when CV wasn't responding to me!!)
***No worries though, we are fine now! :)

+ having to eat room service because we had to leave the French restaurant
+ nobody spoke English. The locals don't speak it very well...and all the guests were from all over the globe...very few people were from the states. Not a big deal, but it did make getting directions to places pretty difficult.
+ having upset stomachs due to the water! We drank bottled water the entire time...but they wash lettuce/tomatos/dishes/etc in their tap water and even the smallest amount can make you sick. And even all their drinks are made with their ice cubes, and you can never be too confident about their filtration system.  We stayed at a 5-star resort and still got sick! :(
+ losing money at the casino
+ missing my little Paisley pup
Even though we had a few bumps on our trip...we still had a great time.
I mean, spending seven days with my hubby on a tropical paradise...how can I even complain!?

Happy hump day everyone! :)