Our Wedding, Five Years Later

Five years ago today, I married the love of my life.
I am still amazed by the way God brought this Long Island boy and homegrown Hoosier together.
I am excited to share our special day with you.

All festivities were held at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites.
We loved having everything in one place, especially for the many
out of town guests who were new to the area.

The day started bright and early for pictures.
Greg and I had our moment seeing each other before the ceremony
so we could get rolling early and get pictures out of the way.
This allowed us to have more time during cocktail hour to enjoy ourselves and mingle.

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Flowers by Bo Kay Florist // Bo Kay Florist

We took pictures at various locations in Indianapolis, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art
and the Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Monument Circle, just a block away from the hotel.
The weather turned out to be beautiful, even though I’m sure we both were sweating.

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Hair & makeup by Rachel // Beauty Anywhere

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The ceremony was officiated by my pastor growing up and was short & sweet.
Cocktail hour followed, then everyone headed up to the ballroom for the reception.
We ended the night dancing and drinking with our most favorite people in the world.

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Wedding cake by Heavenly Sweets // Heavenly Sweets

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Entertainment & music by Dave & Rae // Dave & Rae Band

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Photos by Cory Bracey // Footprints of Grace Photography

Michael + Karolina

I’m not sure if you remember my engagement photo session with Michael & Karolina since it’s been so long,
but in honor of their wedding weekend, I thought I would finally share their photos!

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We had their session in Winter Park right off Park Ave. and at the Winter Park Farmer’s Market.
I had such a fun time taking their pictures and I am so honored that they put their trust in me for this session.

Congratulations Michael & Karolina!

hello 2013

As we rang in the new year, I found myself revisiting my New Year goals from this time last year.
I decided then that they were goals, because I don’t like resolutions.
I quickly realized what a different place we are in and how much has changed in just one short year.
The memories of returning to work after maternity leave flooded back to me,
and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief that in this new year, I don’t feel that stress.
The year wasn’t always easy, but to see where we are now, I can safely say, we survived.
A year ago we were still in uncharted territory learning to be Kenley’s parents,
to understand what it means to be working parents, and yet, still be a married couple.

The reason I wanted to look back was to see just how we did with our new year goals.
as well as look forward to 2013 to see what we want to accomplish.

For a quick look back:

(1.) I have gotten back to my pre-pregnancy body (and then some) by running a half marathon,
and mostly by breastfeeding for over 11 months.
I didn’t share much about that journey because I wasn’t sure how to do that (maybe next time?),
but one of the biggest goals of last year was to have Kenley on breast milk for at least a year,
and we most definitely succeeded and it was most definitely a family effort.

(2.) We have also grown our blog over the past year.
I say we because, even though I may do most of the updating, it is really a family effort.
There are many, many nights that Greg was on dinner & dishes duty (for example) so I could sit down to write.
A lot of people ask, how do you do it all? and the answer is that I don’t! Not by any sense of the word.
We have a great system down and I couldn’t do 99% of the stuff I do without his support.
We’ve done a good job of documenting Kenley through her first year & beyond
and our goal is continue to do that, as well as keep friends & family up to speed on our ever-changing girl.
It is definitely fun looking back through posts of the last year and seeing what all we did!

(3.) We did a lot of great updates and projects in our old home,
and I don’t think either of us would have thought that we would be living in a completely different house
at the start of this new year, but we feel really good about how we left our first home,
Kenley’s first home (tear), for the new owners.
And we actually completed some Pinterest projects! Always a good thing.

(4.) I still feel that our church-going habits are a work-in-progress.
There are ups and downs through the year. We will get on a roll with attending,
then have a couple busy weekends in a row and not be able to go.
Finding our place in our church will continue to be a goal for us this coming year.

(5.) I think I deserve a huge pat on the back really learning to let things go.
Having a child has totally helped me be more “go with the flow”
and really not stress out over things that are out of our control.

Looking forward:

(1. ) First and foremost, this year, there will be more Greg and Kendra time.
I’m not sure how that is going to look yet, but it is a priority.
It may just be ‘no technology Tuesdays’ or date nights in, or even date nights out (gasp!),
but something’s going to give. We love being Kenley’s parents more than anything in the world,
but we need to pay more attention to intentionally being husband and wife.

(2.) Now that we have found our house, we need to transform it into our home.
I am very excited about the (forever long) to-do list that we have,
but it will be fun slowly making this new house our own.
Sort of along those lines, I want to also learn more about sewing.
I got a new sewing machine for Christmas (!!) so I am determined to use it properly.
I am planning to make (at least) a quilt this year.

(3.) I need to stop relying on my iPhone to take all my photos this year.
I’ve become way too dependent on it and I have a nice camera that I need to use.
I also have a new lens that I need to learn to use, so there is no time like the present.
Remember (over six months ago) when I gave you Michael & Karolina’s sneak peek?
Yes, I realize, I still need to blog about their session and how much fun it was.
Hopefully, I’ll have a few more to share this year, who knows?
At the very least, I need to start using my camera more,
and while I’m at it, I could stand to get in a few more pictures too.

(4.) Church will still be a goal for us this year.
I understand there will be Sundays that we just don’t make it to church,
but I would like to take advantage of our church podcast service
and still worship, even if it’s not in person.
I don’t want this to be a cop out. I want it to be a secondary option for worshiping.

(5.) Have fun!
Life is short and it’s moving very quickly.
We’re going to enjoy the ride.

***

What are your new year goals?

How will your 2013 look?

the big ONE.

Turning one is the perfect opportunity for a little photo shoot.
I had high hopes for this one, but someone had another idea for how it was going to go.

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I managed to get a couple good pictures, so I am pleased.

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She was not thrilled and did put up a good fight.

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It helped to have uncle Michael around, she sure does think he’s funny.

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Now, there’s a sweet smile.

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Kenley got this adorable outfit for her birthday, so that obviously meant we had to have take more pictures.
We all know how much Kenley hates headbands these days, so I am thrilled she actually kept it on.

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The O – N – E letters came in handy.

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Definitely got some keepers. Thanks for being a good sport Kenley!

ONE

Kenley’s First Birthday Party

We had an awesome time celebrating Kenley’s first birthday on Saturday.
In the last couple of weeks, I got a lot of questions about the theme of the party.
I didn’t really know how to answer them because there really was no true theme.
I wanted her party to be fun, girly, and dainty, and I also knew I wanted one thing: bunting!
I had a lot of fun fabric laying around thanks to Kenley’s Weekly Photo Project,
so I wanted to put it to good use. Plus, this fabric was an integral part of her first year of life!

We first started with the invitation. The insanely talented Isabel Ibanez with 9th Letter Press
designed our invitation for us. They are now available for others to purchase!
I absolutely love them.

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From there, majority of my ideas came from Pinterest and other blogs,
so I will give credit where credit is due.

First Birthday

For the bunting, I followed a DIY bunting tutorial, which is apparently no longer available,
so I may have to write my own sometime in the near future.
I specifically searched for bunting placecard ideas and came across this tutorial. It worked wonderfully.
I purchased the O – N – E letters at JoAnn’s to take pictures with and my mom stuck them on top of the blinds. I loved it!

First Birthday 2

I spelled Kenley’s name using IKEA TOLSBY frames that I already owned
and I got the idea from this adorable party on Hostess with the Mostess.
I made the pink and white cake stands with some spray paint and a glue gun and they worked great!
The water bottle labels were a free download from Bump Smitten.
For the fabric wreath, I followed this tutorial and for the tiny bunting, I followed this one.

First Birthday 3

The menu consisted of light and dainty foods:
Petite Quiche
Pinwheels
Chicken Salad Croissants
Cucumber Feta Rolls
Individual Fruit Salads in champagne flutes

Beverages included:
Strawberry Lemonade in glass bottles with striped straws
(which I failed to get a picture of, but used recycled Starbucks Frappucino bottles)
Bottled Water
Gin Bucket
Beer

For dessert:
Chocolate & Vanilla Cake Pops
Cupcakes in various flavors:
Strawberry Lemon; Chocolate Peanut Butter;
Cookies & Cream; and Pumpkin Pie
Kenley had her very own smash cake: vanilla with ruffled pink icing.

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Cake pops, cupcakes, and the smash cake were fabulous, and were done by Lindsey Bishop, 
who I highly recommend to anyone in the Central Florida area!

Kenley wasn’t sure what to think about her cake. She was tentative at first but did eat some of the icing.
It was pretty uneventful. I think she was more interested in why everyone was staring at her.

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She did not get as messy as I would have guessed, but that’s ok.

Watching Kenley open her gifts made me even more excited for Christmas morning.
I thought, for sure she’d get overwhelmed very quickly, but you couldn’t tell if she was.
She had one little break to see what the other kids were doing since they were playing with her toys,
but she was right back at it after that. She and daddy had a great time opening all of her new clothes and toys.
On the other hand, I am not ready for Christmas, becuase I’m not sure where we’re going to put all of this stuff!

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I’d like to think that her favorite gift is her new chair, but I may be a tad biased.
She does love to climb all over it and will actually sit still while in it, which is not like her!

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Getting introduced to Mickey and Minnie. They’ll all be best friends before we know it.

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Kenley is one blessed little girl, that’s for sure.

The final piece I had seen floating around Pinterest, but wasn’t completely sold on until
Heather posted about Henry’s Little Man Mustache Bash… a DIY photo booth.
I knew it was going to be the perfect way to get pictures of everyone and not have to hire a photographer,
which I was highly considering doing at one point.
It turned out so well.
We borrowed the pipe and drape from Greg’s work and I added my bunting.

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Ryan wasn’t able to come to the party, so he hung out the night before.

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Grandma & Grandpa

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Family

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GG (Maggi) and Kenley matched on party day!

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So thankful for the all the help of this crew!

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Our little one year old. Kenley’s dress is from Etsy.

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Uncle Michael

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Aunt Ya-Ya, Uncle Papi, Greg and GG

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Jeremy & Stan

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The Jenkinson’s

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Ann, Ron, Cooper, and Jackson

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Lindsey

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Kristen & Carly

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The Burnett’s

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Lindsey, Michael & Karolina

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Jessica & Benjamin

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All the mamas & kiddos

Overall, the day was a complete success. There was minimal crying and a lot of laughing.
It was so great to have family and friends here from all over the country to help celebrate this little girl.
We were even able to video chat with Kenley’s cousins in Colorado so they could see her play with their gift.

We cannot thank everyone enough for all the gifts, calls, texts, and well wishes over the weekend.
We are so incredibly blessed to have such amazing people in our lives!

Happy first birthday Kenley Dee!