Wedding Photos!

We hope everyone has had a very merry Holiday Season so far...we received the best Christmas present possible on Christmas Eve - our wedding pictures! It's impossible to describe the emotions we felt while browsing through over 700 of the most beauitfully shot and edited photos we had ever seen! Sharon is such an amazing talent, we would recommend her to anyone! To view her website, go to www.sharonelainephotography.com

We promise, you will be blown away!

Looking through our photos has brought back so many memories from the day. It truly is a blur while you're living it, but Alan and I both tried to hard to pay attention to certain moments - take a snaphot of them - and hold them forever in our hearts and minds. Our pictures take that one step further. Little details that may have been lost are once again remembered - to have and cherish forever. We can't wait to get these photos framed and on the wall :)

Happy New Year everyone!

Wedding Photos!

Wedding Photos!


Marissa's New -Do!

Marissa had her hair chopped off! She knew that Jake was going to be getting his first hair-cut and boy did she ever beg me to get her's cut too! I was just going to get it trimmed, but she was very adamant about wanting it shorter - and I thought, "hey, why not? It's just hair." :) It felt nice to "go with the flow" for once. Maybe Al's temperment has been rubbing off on me??? Nah. ;)

I also wanted to post a picture of Marissa in her new robe - she's very proud of it. I have to make sure it's laid out in her bedroom for her at the end of every night so that it's within her reach when she gets out of bed in the morning. :)


And so it begins....

For our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple, Alan and I painted...the entire day...and found ourselves STARVING at 1:00 in the afternoon. Alan made the comment: "How is it that it is Thanksgiving and my stomach is growling from hunger??" At any rate, we actually enjoyed spending the day together and working on our new house. In just four days we were able to paint the living and dining rooms, as well as Marissa's and also pull up the oh-so-seventies-green carpet. :) I even had a little extra time to put the Christmas tree up! I included some before & after pictures of the front rooms. We can't wait to have everyone over to see the fruits of our labor. :)

Jake's 1st Haircut

Jake had his first haircut the day of the OSU vs. Michigan game. :) He did ok as long as he had a sucker in his hand! But he did want mommy towards the end of the ordeal.... as you can tell from the photo. I almost cried a little when I noticed his cute little blonde curls were gone :( I did save some in a baggy though. Sissy had her cut too (A WHOLE 6 INCHES OF IT!) - but I forgot to get a picture....give me a couple days and I'll get some posted.


Walking... Finally!! :)

He's finally doing it! Our Jakey is walking! He been preferencing Marissa lately (that's usually the person he wants to walk to.) I think he just likes tackling her once he gets to her! :) Marissa loves it and is so excited that he is getting bigger. I think he walks more and more each day...once he decides he's going to go for something - there's no stopping him. :D


25 Days and Counting

It's the day after one of the most historic elections our nation has seen, and everywhere I turn I hear people talking about "change". Well, nothing says "change" like moving into a new house! Alan and I are experiencing change on so many levels right now! Yep, 2008 has been the "year of change" for us!

Just to give everyone an update on our house-buying process: we had our whole-house inspection on Monday and it went very well! The inspector only came up with a couple issues, nothing major and nothing we need to worry about as buyers. We are so very thankful!

Which brings me to other thoughts that have been swimming around in my mind lately.... all of the little quirks and perks of living at our apartment in Springfield. Sure, there are many things that I definitely will NOT miss - the drive to work and back, the lack of space, etc. But there are so many things that I WILL miss, and some of them may surprise you. Living at our apartment the past year and a half has taught me to not take things for granted and that positives can be found in any situation. Here's the list:

- Probably the biggest thing I will miss about our apartment is the breathtaking view I get to see every night on my way home from work. Once we round the curve that begins the steep slope down the hill to the mall, the kids automatically know we are close to home (even Jake has this memorized now.) The way the late-afternoon light hits the trees, the church steeples peeking out over the hills in downtown is so pretty. Sometimes, when we take walks to the playground with the kids I'll stop at the end of the drive to take another look. Yep, the view is definitely what I will miss the most.
- We were blessed to have been assigned a unit with a small backyard that opened into a large wooded area. (The picture on this post is from our backyard, this past Winter.) Marissa and Alan have had many adventures in our woods! We've also had lots of visitors come up to (and inside) our apartment because of them too. :)
- We had the convenience of a community pool and playground at our disposal. Even though we probably didn't use either as much as we should have (because of how busy we always are!) we still enjoyed taking a few dips in the pool and heading to the playground. Jake especially liked going to the pool this past summer. He never wanted to leave!
- There were some things I didn't like about our location - but overall it really wasn't that bad. We have had a mall literally in our backyard in case we ever just want to go "window" shopping to have something to do with the kids on a Saturday or Sunday. We've also had a lot of restaurants and stores nearby in case we ever needed to make a food run! I cannot tell you how easy it is to have a Speedway 10 seconds away! (Those who aren't from rural areas take this for granted). Plus we've become regulars at Collier's. I think we're the only couple under 65 that eats there on a regular basis :) Jake always seems to get a lot of attention when we're there - probably because he's the only baby in the restaurant!

So that is my list so far. I'm sure I'll think of other things once we move into the new house. Things that I still take for granted and do not realize yet. When you become a family in ANY type of living space I think you will always have some kind of attachment to it. When we finally told Marissa that we would be moving soon she said - "But Mommy I love our house! I don't want to move!" It was hard hearing her say that, but I assured her that we are moving for the right reasons. The kids will be enrolled in an excellent school system, Alan and I will be building equity instead of feeling as though we're wasting our money every month (hopefully), and we will have much more room for our family to grow (and to store things!)

Even though I will miss certain things about our apartment, Alan and I can see ourselves raising our family and growing old in the new house. I'm sure I will be able to find many more positives about our new place too. I usually do..... :)

Ah..... Brown's Fans

So he finally did it... Alan was able to drag me to a Brown's game... in Brown's gear. :P I only did this 1) Because I love him - alot and 2) Because it was his birthday present! Drew and Heather came along with us. We all had fun - it was a little chilly but nothing compared to Cleveland in February (long story). Since we didn't have any evidence of Alan attending the game picture-wise I thought I would include this professionally-shot video (by none other than Alan himself). Only those who watch South Park WAYYYY too often will get this one.... sorry. Typical Alan. :)



Happy Halloween! Marissa (and I guess Jake?) were so excited for Trick-or-Treat night! Marissa was Dorothy and Jake was one of the flying monkeys! :) Alan and I were VERY glad the weather warmed up a little. After we were done, Jake enjoyed a lollipop, Marissa enjoyed some chocolate, and mommy and daddy snacked on Aunt Diana's homemade caramel popcorn. Yummmmmm!



I've had some funny pics of the kids sitting on my computer for quite a while - so I thought I would share a few of my favorites. :) Oh - and BTW... Jake covered in food is pretty much a daily occurrance. :D

Marissa's First Field Trip

Marissa had her first preschool field trip to the Fulton Farms pumpkin patch a couple weeks ago. The weather was a bit chilly, but everyone had fun. I love the shot of her classmates lining up to go down the slide! Ashton picked out the most perfect pumpkin I've ever seen too! :)


Our Slideshow - Part 1

I've uploaded our slideshow video we played at the wedding reception for those who could not be there and missed it. (or if some would like to see it again!)

We hope you like it! This clip is only Part 1 of 2 - scroll down to play the second clip (sorry I couldn't the whole file, it was too big!)


Our Slideshow - Part 2


Wait A Minute....

Somewhere in the midst of all that was going on last month, Marissa had her first day of preschool! I thought I would post a couple photos. She and Ashton are enrolled at the same preschool. Although, much to her dismay, Ashton's classroom is located downstairs while she is upstairs. But they do tell me that they see eachother everyday. :) Her teacher has had nothing but wonderful things to say about Marissa as a student... even went so far last week as to ask if she could "clone" her... not quite sure she would want to go that route. Our Marissa Girl is one-of-a-kind! :D


It's a Beautiful Day...

I can honestly say that U2 was playing in my head all day long.... Our wedding day was spectacular. We couldn't have asked for better weather, better family and friends who gathered around us to share the day... it was amazing. We are so thankful and blessed to have such wonderful people surrounding us; to have such beautiful children who were able to share in our joy. Here is a sneak peak at some of the photos shot throughout the day. We hope everyone had as wonderful of a time as we did! Enjoy ~


If It's Not One Thing, It's Certainly Another

I thought I would take some time tonight to actually sit down and type out my thoughts on job and house-hunting. Alan and I have to move back to our hometown-area by the end of summer 2009. He's hoping to have a new job secured by the end of October (2008). This means that as soon as we're back from our honeymoon, the dreaded job of house-hunting begins! Now, being the anal type-A personality that I am, I have already contacted our realtor and asked him to pull up prospects in the desired areas. I was just trying to plan ahead, right? You would think that that would be a good thing, right? Au, contrare..... because now not only am I scrambling to finish last minute wedding projects, I am also trying to field all sorts of questions and issues that have come up with Marissa's father (because he would like nothing better than to determine where I will live for the rest of my life), worry about which town we should ultimately live in and which school system the kids should be enrolled in, and try to keep my focus on the wedding without the cute little houses that are on the market NOW weasling their way into my thoughts. ugh. I suppose I should have let the house-hunting wait until after our return from Boston.

But the house-hunting issue brings up another issue, one that is much bigger. Our ideal location would be a city with the best school district in the area. However, in order to live in said city and be able to afford the property taxes there, I would have to give serious consideration to selling my plasma on a monthly basis. :P All kidding aside, Alan and I now are faced with the choices of either 1) living in our ideal school district and trying to absorb the financial costs or 2) living in another school district that Marissa's father does not approve of and then trying to absorb the emotional risks of having our children enrolled in separate school districts. (Marissa in one, Jake + future children in another.)

This decision may be a no-brainer for some, but it's a very difficult one for us - the school district that is another option for us would be in a private school system. The kids would get an excellent education, but getting Marissa's father to see past the "religion issue" is about next to impossible. How do we make a decision that will have a definite impact our family's future and our children's lives? I just pray that we make the right one.....


During the aftermath of a milestone and on the eve of a new beginning....

When Alan and I first began this blog we had planned on keeping it updated with witty, intellectual comments and journal entries..... well, like a lot of things that we "plan" to do, that hasn't turned out exactly how we thought it would. "Life" has seemed to happen to us this summer. In the midst of all that normally goes on, we have also been planning our wedding.... plus....the summer of '08 has been the summer of the baby boom! While our little Jacob turned one this August, we've also welcomed four beautiful babies into the world - now there's only two more to go!

With so many new little people in my life, it really makes me stop and think about how quickly time goes by. I think all too often we live our llives waiting around for the "next big thing" to come along. Just last week I was thinking to myself - "Okay, once we get Jake's party out of the way then we'll have Alan's bachelor party, then my bachelorette party, then the rehearsal dinner, then the wedding........" Life isn't supposed to be about crossing the days off of a calendar....... Jake's party has come and gone, and I feel a little let down. My little baby boy is one year old already! Where did the last year go? I look back at some of the snapshots from his few first months and can't even remember him looking the way he does in them! How pathetic is that? I suddenly find myself wishing I could stay home with my children each and every day, so as not to miss one single moment. Marissa will also be starting preschool next month, which also has me trying to reach back into the past to steal a precious few minutes back from when she was little. Why do they have to grow up so fast? I fear that after this "aha moment" I may end up having 12 children in order to keep a young child close to my side at all times...... :P
So I'm going to try my hardest to live life for the EVERDAY MOMENTS that I will surely miss six months, one year, and especially ten years from now. I find myself paying more attention to Marissa's singing, Jake's laugh, and the remarkably beautiful way Alan interacts with them everyday.
...............I'm not sure I know of three things more worth living for :)

Jake Turned The Big #1!

Our little Jakey Boy turned 1 on August 16th! His party went rather well - I thought I would share some photos from his big day and some shots from his 1st birthday photo shoot too! :)

share the moments

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