Pumpkins For Sale

Last Sunday, we stopped by one of my favorite places to buy flowers and pumpkins.  There is a cute family owned market just across the street from our Church and it's so darling it makes my heart happy to go there :) I usually request a trip here (alone) for Mother's Day so that I can buy some bedding plants.  The kids love it too, simply because of the pumpkins that grace the property every Fall.  They beg us to come here and since we pass it everytime we go to Church, they were long overdue a visit! 
 It was a gorgeous, warm day and there were tons of people who had the same idea we did.
Ava and Carter were all business!  We set them loose and they were on a mission to find all the pumpkins as soon as they could get their little hands on them :)
Which, lucky for them, was not a problem!  Aren't these great??  This is where I could spend all my money if I'm not careful and I don't walk away quickly!  Those warty pumpkins and all the different colors represented...I love them!  I like things that are unique :) Not to mention, those mums in the windows!  Aren't they beautiful?  Carter was all about this "Mawnkeeee" too.
After I pulled myself away from the amazingly expensive unique piles, we went for the rows of traditional cheaper pumpkins and set the kids free!
They insisted on a wagon...we said, "sure!"
It took them all of 2 minutes to make a decision.  As you can see, Ava was doing a victory speech about her choice!
 So much to look at, why would I ever ask them to look at me?? 
Carter was not a fan of the giant pumpkin boucy house, but he did like this little house instead :)
Busy, busy!  Carter stands still NEVER. 
 That little face kills us.  He is trouble, but he sure is cute!!
Isn't this place too much??
We came home with three pumpkins and the kids have loved them all week.  Last year I played the lazy card and drew on their pumpkins (lame) but this year I was determined to carve them.  I was hoping to step up my game a little bit and do something they would love and tonight I found a cute Disney carving kit and chose the Mickey Mouse pattern.  They loved it!  It was suprisingly easy (I've never used the kits before) and turned out pretty cute.  And not scary or evil.  Which is what we are going for :) We're all about the happy, Fall fun without the darkness of Halloween.  I think we achieved that!  


An October Wedding Day to Remember

Congratulations, Jena and Jeff!!  Last weekend I had the joy of doing flowers for another wedding.  The Lord has been so good to quietly bring me bride after bride...Just enough work to handle and still LOVE without getting burned out or overwhelmed.  I'm so glad I had the opportunity to say yes to this sweet couple many months ago, I knew I would definitely want to work on this wedding because it was in early October AND it was a rustic, romantic theme.  SO glad I said yes to them :) :) :)
 They had a great idea of the direction they wanted to go with their look and style, but mostly they left a lot of the choices  up to me.  Which really is my favorite way to work :)  When I worked in retail shops, we always loved it when we got an order that said "designer's choice" in the description.  That always meant we could use our favorite things and I promise you, those orders always got more for their money than the ones that were terribly specific and picky!  A good florist knows what flowers to use together and which blooms are at their peak...I loved putting this wedding together and I had the benefit of a bride who let me!
 The bridesmaid's bouquets were a mix of all things fall.  They were wearing plum colored dresses so I knew I wanted to use some golds, oranges and whites that would make the purples pop!
This is not a great pic, but this was the bridal bouquet.  She wanted a larger version of her girls' bouquets with all of the same colors.  I used a little more red and white in hers but mostly kept it the same.  I really did love the way it came together.  As you'll see in most of the pics, curly willow and fiddlehead ferns were two common threads used in all the arrangements.
 The groom, ringbearer and groomsmen's bouts.  Loved, loved, loved them!!
Birch was also a big influence in their style, so I wrapped these in birch shavings with copper wire around the stems.  Kind of a fun, rustic twist with the curly willow.  The guys wore gray tuxes with green vests/ties and purple pocket squares, so this color scheme helped tie the girls in with them. 
These were corsages and bouts for the grandparents.
A bout for the Pastor.  I'm always looking out for them :) Ha ha!
 Getting the bouquets all lined up for the bridal party. The little bouquet with the pop of yellow in front was for the flowergirl instead of a basket with petals.  So cute!
Up close and personal...that purple flower is kale, isn't it great???  It was the runaway hit of the bouquets I think.  Along with the purple seed from seeded eucalyptus. 
Lots of golds, rusts, and oranges surrounded by curly willow and those amazing fiddleheads. 
Doesn't this just make you happy??
Wrapped up and ready to carry!
 Some of the cute bridesmaids with their flowers.  Darling dresses that showed those flowers off so well!
Their cupcake tower.
Cake topper, wrapped in some birch bark.
The toss bouquet.  I always make those for my brides.  After all my hard work, I can't stand the thought of them actually throwing the bridal bouquet! 
One of 11 medium centerpieces.  So happy with these too.  The groom hollowed out 11 of these birch logs to hold the flowers and they were just stunning.  Such a cool look instead of using a vase or ceramic container.  I love weddings that incorporate something different like this!
 Hard to get a good shot of this in the bright daylight without any tables set or the beauty of candlelight, but if you can see we used some low, colorful centerpieces mixed with some tall, dramatic ones.
Loved, loved, loved these too!!  Totally natural and organic in feel, just curly willow with a mixture of fall greens, but they were almost 6' tall so they were very cool on the tables.  I would have loved to have seen them at night with the glow of candlelight all around!  Hoping for some good pics from the photographer!
We've had weddings on the brain over here after that big weekend!  I played paper dolls with Ava after the wedding and this is what she wanted to see...all the princesses in their bridal best with their own bouquets too :) Maybe I'm raising a little business partner???  It's pretty hard not to get swept up in the beauty and joy of a wedding when you are a girl.  I had such a great time working on this wedding but also a great time answering all of Ava's questions about weddings and listening to her talk about all the flowers too.  She told me a few days ago that she was going to wear "a beautiful, white dress with veil on her head and Carty would wear black pants, black sleevies, and a tie, and they would dance at the ball, with her a couple weeks, ok Mom?" 
HILARIOUS.  And not ok :)
Not yet, anyway...
Congratulations Jena and Jeff!!  I loved doing your wedding, many blessings to you!!


On My Mind

It's a dreary, cold Thursday.  From where I sit, I can see outside and the skies are grey...About half of the trees have dropped all of their leaves.  It's not hard to spot bursts of color here and there but it's very apparent that Fall is in full swing and the seasons are beginning to exchange handshakes as they pass one another by.  Secretly, I love cold and dreary days this time of year.  I love the excuse to stay in, I love the warmth of a flickering candle, the feel of a soft blanket over my legs.  I'm such a sensory girl :) These days are like medicine to my soul...

There are a few things (OK, more than a few) mulling around in my head and I thought I'd share today.  No real order, no plan as I sit here, just going to babble on a bit...

A few weeks ago we went to the apple orchard.  I think the apple orchard visit is seriously one of the highlights of my year.  It's a bit of a drive to get there, we often go just the 2 (then 3, now 4) of us, it's a sweet and simple family day...and the Lord keeps blessing me with DARLING family pictures every year.  Like honestly, He makes me want to cry because I got to leave again this year with a full heart and sweet pictures to cherish.  Snapshot of life kind of pictures...And until today, I haven't shared even one!  I've wanted to, just no time to sort and edit and blog.  But I'll show you a couple of my favorites anyway :) I'm keeping the best one a secret though because I'm pretty sure it's going to be our Christmas card! 


Thank you Lord...I am so grateful for this little family of ours.
I am feeling very refreshed and rested this week.  Soccer ended last week, which is always a bittersweet thing.  Bitter because we hate to see Trav's team lose, sweet because we're very ready to stop sharing him and have him home more.  The month of September is a crazy one, kind of a blur every year.  Trav is essentially working morning, noon and night between 2 jobs and lots of expectations and I'm kind of solo parenting through it.  It's not that we don't enjoy it or wouldn't change it, it's just that we're always ready for the end when it comes :) We became two ships passing in the night for a few weeks there and neither of us likes how that feels.  For us, in our own marriage, we thrive when we get evenings together and freedom on the weekends.  After these last couple of weekends and days, I finally feel like we are in a good place again.  We're normal, just like you.  Sometimes we bug each other, feel like everything the other one does is an offense of some sort.  But I attribute most of that to lives that are too busy and a neglect for one another that sets in.  Sometimes there are seasons like that when the demands are high, it's just worth the effort to make sure those seasons come to end frequently.  I love the conversations we've had this week...I'm grateful we are on the same page or the same team, so to speak.  There are some extreme things happening all around us regarding marriages.  I think because we are in ministry we get an all too often, front row seat into a family's crisis.  We are seeing so much infidelity, so much pornography and/or other addictions and too many broken families.  It's heartbreaking and gut wrenching to walk with some dear friends and see the pain of broken trust and divorce in real time.   We are just hyper aware that we would be fools to think disaster couldn't strike us or temptations won't come knocking on our door.  We see no other option than to walk closely with the Lord, to be in His Word and in prayer, sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to ask for conviction and brokenness over our sin and to make our marriage a priority...even over our kids.  We do them no favors if they are coddled and we are falling apart.  Lord help us, we need YOU in us, all around us and through us to stay married in this upside culture...
I love him.
I have a wedding this weekend and I'm really looking forward to it.  Working Moms, my hat is off to you!  God has brought a few design opportunities my way lately and I've been challenged to keep all the plates spinning as I've walked my way through the balancing act.  I'm grateful to be in a position of  being able to say yes or no to things that come my way.  I do love exercising some stiff muscles again, using my degree and talents but also just having an outlet for some pent up creativity.  The wedding I have this weekend is a romantic north woods style with all the gorgeous fall colors as a palate.  I'll take some pictures and share it with you as I can.  I can't wait to have a day to myself (mostly) to create and relax and enjoy!  I will be tired by Saturday afternoon but it will be a good tired. 
Finally, I've held back one of the dearest blessings this Fall from you.  Not because I haven't thought often about sharing it but because pictures of the kids usually take precedence when it comes to blogging.  I have been leading a small group of 10 Senior High girls from our big High school here and they have been a sweet, sweet blessing to me.  It was definitely a group the Lord put together and handed me, I only know two of the girls who are from our Church, the rest are brand new to me.  But what I've loved, loved, loved is their desire to grow in their faith, to know the Lord and to walk with Him apart from their parents or Churches.  Most of them are brand new to this, have never opened a Bible or really understood what being a follower of Christ is all about.  They come from Lutheran, Catholic and Evangelical backgrounds but we are able to center our discussions and our time on the one common bond that is most important, God and his Word.  They are sweet, committed and have brought a refreshment to my soul.  Sometimes when you serve in the Church, you get used to people who have years of "knowledge" or are able to spout off lots of Christian speak, so it's incredibly fun to be with girls who have an honest inquisitiveness about them, who don't necessarily know the "answers" but are willing to dig and ask the right questions.  This is such a PERFECT season in their lives, before they stepping out on their own next Fall and headed to different corners of the country.  They are dear friends and I have just enjoyed every minute with them!  There are girls from all walks of life, college-recruited athletes, dancers, creative types, and smart academics...I love getting texts during the week, going to their events, keeping tabs on them via Instagram...I wouldn't have guessed this group would ever work or that I'd have time to be with them but the Lord is making a way for all of us and really doing an amazing work right before my eyes.  What. A. Privilege.  Plus, what a faith builder for me to see these girls get hungry for the Lord, to watch them get serious about what role the Lord will play in their lives.  I love going through the fundamentals of what we believe, what the Bible teaches and how to do things like read and study the Word, how to pray, how to memorize scripture, etc.  I hope I never think I've outgrown the need to sharpen the basics of  my faith, to grow in the disciplines...
Those are just a few things on my mind today, on this chilly Thursday afternoon.  I don't know if any of that resonates with you or means anything to you, but maybe it does.  Praying for more of Jesus in your world today, in mine too!  Blessings, Friends...


Weekend Love

We had a sweet weekend, how about you?  With the end of the soccer season this past week, we finally had a free weekend and some time to spend with the kids and each other.  We did exciting things like clean the house...
 ...we are teaching the kids to help us with some chores around the house and their favorite one to do is to help unload the dishwasher.  It's a dangerous blessing :) We love their excitement and eagerness to help but we have to move at warp speed to keep one or both of them from unintentionally breaking my dishes! 
 Ava and I played nail salon :)   Note to self, need to play that more often.  She was one happy girl to have "paint" on her fingers and toes! 
Forgive the grainy-ness of this pic, this was taken on Saturday night from the top row of the balcony at our Church.  We went to the TobyMac concert, which was amazing!!!  SO, SO Good!!!
We are old-school DC Talk fans and we love Toby Mac's stuff too.  Our kids especially love his music :)   We have frequent dance parties rockin out to his stuff.  His concert sold out like 8 weeks ago so it was a packed house and it was a LOUD night!!  Jamie Grace and Chris August opened for him (and they were excellent too) but we are big fans of Toby Mac and the show he puts on...worth every penny!!  If you have the chance to see him, do it!  We were greeters and I got the biggest kick out of seeing people in their 60's and 70's there.  I can't imagine what they were thinking when it was bumpin in that worship center and people were dancing (including us) all over the place!  Hilarious :)His new album is amazing and doing so well on the secular charts, but better yet he loves Jesus and is so clear and outspoken in his music.  Such a fun (late) night, we are exhausted today! 
 This afternoon we got another chance to get away and leave the kids with a sitter while we went to a wedding in the most beautiful setting.
 Yesterday it was raining, today it was beautiful!  What a backdrop, huh??  This place is called the Chapel in the Woods and I think that's a pretty appropriate name. These pictures from my phone do not do it justice.  With all the gorgeous fall colors and the afternoon sun streaming in, it really was breathtaking!
Waiting for the ceremony to start :)
Can you spy a third wheel??
A violin, a guitar and a banjo.  What a great combo!  And that tree behind them??  Gorgeous.
The cute groom and his Dad, who is also a Pastor.  I got very choked up listening to him talk to Sammi and Dan during the ceremony, thinking about the day when (we pray) Travis will be marrying Ava and Carter off too.  What a special blessing as a parent to do that...His Dad did a beautiful job and it was very touching. 
 Is this the cutest wedding party or what??  Those bridesmaids and those lace umbrellas??  Darling :)
Sammi, the beautiful bride.  She was a high school student when we came to Grace and last year she was one of our volunteers.  We love her and her new husband, also one of our former volunteers.  So sweet to watch them get to this day!
Honestly, this setting!!
 Just adorable.
 And romantic...I love weddings!  Makes me love my husband all over again like a young bride...
The canopy above us was breathtaking.
Of course I had to get a picture with my sweet man!
It was so great and very needed to get a little time out with him this weekend.  It's been too long since we've had a date and we were long overdue. 
What a great weekend!  Hope you had a sweet one as well!