Thursday, May 17, 2018

Photos...and a sweet story....

 Second Fridays in Lititz are a big deal. Each shop tries to do something
special on that night.  Often it is a sale, a guest artist or something.
We had a musician on the porch and a couple enjoy dinner
as they listened to him last month.

This month we were hoping to have swing dancers performing
but the timing didn't work as there was a conflicting event in
town that weekend for the dancers.

And so, we decided to host a deserving mom and her immediate family to
dinner in our garden. 
After asking for nominees we chose a mother of twins who had
suffered multiple pregnancy losses prior to having her
sweet girls.
After she had them an emergency heart surgery became necessary 
for her.  Her mother shared her story in a heartfelt way and I knew
that we would not only want to host the daughter and her family
but the mom and dad as well.

They were all available to come.

Chelsea and Chadd set up a beautiful table.
They went to Wilbur Chocolate and got special chocolates.

I got a pizza order and we had it waiting as the family arrived.

Below is a photo of the beautiful family.
The twins insisted on being held by their grandparents
for this photo.
As a new Grandma I just loved that!

We were so pleased to provide a quiet space and 
beautiful environment for this dinner.
What a lovely family!

The next day I needed to serve appetizers.
All of the shops were taking turns serving food.
I got crackers, cream cheese and red pepper jelly.
Easy...and tasty!

Mother's Day flowers from Mikey and Emily.
Aren't they pretty??

In the garden...the shrooms have arrived.
So bright and colorful.
Gotta love them!

From inside the shop....

Local artist, Liz Hess, is extremely popular in our shop.
Often you will find a red umbrella in her works...
but not always.
I have examples of both in this post.

 This is a print from Liz's latest series, Jerusalem.

Another popular local artist is 
Mary Charles.
She is self taught, a great person and has
mastered the art of color!
Mary says she uses the colors that the Amish use
for their clothing.
We often think of the Amish as plain and colorless but that 
couldn't be further from the truth.
Lots of bright colors are worn by the entire family
but primarily by the younger crowd.

C&C Sheets created this 
amusing and attractive sign.

A fun new scarf display in the boutique room.

A pop up note pad and Curly Girl card.

Lovely towels!


From our friend, Amy's shop
in our shop....

 We love her style!

Finishing up with a bit more 
from Liz Hess.

What amazing talent!

It's wedding season....

Have a wonderful day...
It's time for me to hit the road.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Introducing Mr. And Mrs. Jonathan Keeney

The month of April was a marathon for the ladies of this family.  Oh, my goodness!  Because our shop participated in a huge promotional tour called the Best Kept Secrets Tour which lasted more than two weeks we came into the intense wedding prep time pretty tired.  However, we were very excited at the same time.  Jonathan and Darcey did most of the work leading up the wedding themselves.  They seemed to truly enjoy taking care of the planning and crafty projects.

The location was so unique, and in being so, absolutely perfect for this wedding.  Global Aid Network is a ministry under Campus Crusade for Christ.  They have a warehouse in Mount Joy.  This is not a location that you would think of holding a wedding in.  However, I can't imagine a better place for Jonathan and Darcey's wedding.  As you'll see in the photos the backdrop to the ceremony itself were shelves and shelves of boxes filled with items to go out around the world in time of need.

Here is the day in phone was running low on battery so I didn't get many photos from the reception.  But here we go with my running commentary on what I did capture.

The colors were cobalt blue, silver and brown.  Jonathan made wearing a kilt optional and one of his groomsmen took him up on it.  Nate is a coworker of Jonathan's and is responsible for setting up Jonathan and Darcey.  He and one of the bridesmaids arranged the first meeting.  The best man is Jonathan's longtime friend, Josh.  Their friendship grew over the years we were in Conestoga Valley Homeschoolers.  It has only gotten stronger in recent  years.   The other two groomsmen are Michael and Chadd....Jonathan's brother and brother in law.  
Jonathan was fighting tears in this photo....and when he saw Darcey coming down the aisle he was losing that battle.  I offered him the tissue Darcey's mother had given me right before we sat down.
He wasn't having it.  Ha!

Our Pastor, Mike, married them.
Mike has been like a member of the family over the years.
Our kids love and respect him so much.
I was happy when Jonathan wanted Mike to perform the ceremony.
Mike recounted how when he first met Jonathan he could look down to see him.
Not so anymore....

Darcey and her Daddy. 
I loved the braids in his beard.
They fit the theme perfectly.
All of the girls carried shields rather than flowers.
The hours and hours spent on these shields were enough to test
Jonathan and Darcey's relationship I think.
They were a labor of love....and added a very unique touch
to the wedding.

After Darcey's Dad gave her over to Jonathan the ceremony was well underway.
In the upcoming photo  you'll be able to see the rest of the shields.
Molly is the one on the far end...she is the other person responsible for 
setting these two up.
Her husband catered the meal and did a fabulous job!!
He was so tired by the end of the day...and I felt his pain.
But...he completely rocked it! they adore each other.

My brother commented on how her face spoke volumes as she walked 
down the aisle toward her groom.  
I was watching Jon have the same reaction.
They kept the tradition of not seeing each other until the ceremony on their wedding day.
I think that always makes for more anticipation.

The silk flame pots were on loan from our friend, Melissa.
they added to the mood Jonathan and Darcey were going for.
You would have thought that the boxes and shelves behind the bridal party 
would have been a distraction but they weren't at all.
They melted away because of the sweetness of the moment.
But in looking at these photos it is special to know that 
those things will bring relief to many at some point.
Darcey has volunteered with GAIN on many occasions.

After being presented they headed back the aisle.

They quickly returned to personally dismiss every person who attended.
This was their way to get to speak to all who came
and to keep their guests comfortable in the waiting.

As people came into the reception space they found 
cheeses, fruits, veggies and crackers awaiting them.
This was my responsibility but there was a bit of a fiasco happening
at the time I meant to put it together and get them out so
thankfully my family jumped in and made it happen...

Let's talk about that fiasco.
It involved the cake.
Yes, it was supposed to be one cake.

However, as Warren and I were building the cake and put the final
layer on top the heat in the kitchen had finally been just too much for 
the buttercream frosting and the entire thing  started to slide toward the floor.

I quickly deconstructed the layers and wanted nothing more than to sit down and
cry....for having messed up the cake, of all things.
I stripped the bottom two layers back down to the look of a "naked cake"
but knew that this was not what either Jonathan or Darcey wanted.

The little Lego topper kept falling apart and into the sticky ganache....
I actually did freak out a bit.
It seemed that I was a wrecking ball.

However, finally we got it to stay together and this was the little cake that the 
sword cut.

The big blue cake isn't really as tall as it looks.
The cake stand was red so I covered it with buttercream.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Chelsea had the fantastic idea of putting Wilbur wafers all around the chocolate
cake while we found some mini light sabers to top it off.

The troublesome cake topper and mini porgs.
You can see the buckling of the frosting here.
But it truly was the case of not realizing how hot the kitchen had 
gotten.  It must have been in the mid 80's by the time I was trying to finish 
the cakes with just an hour until the ceremony.
I couldn't believe the mess.
So...while I'm super disappointed with how they came out in relation to how 
it was planned....I'm super happy with how they were rescued
and how they continued to fit so well into the theme.
Of course they tasted amazing.
That I knew would be the case.
That's how I make cake.  

Several borrowed photos are coming up next...this one from Jonathan.
Mark and his wife, Trish, traveled from Canada to attend the wedding.
Now, none of us had ever laid eyes on Mark in person before
but he has been one of Jonathan's best friends for many years.
Even I have talked to him through Jonathan's headset as he would 
"bless me" if I sneezed or would ask how I was doing from time to time.
I think I counted six people at the wedding who knew Mark
through virtual means but who enjoyed meeting him in person yesterday.
Conversation flowed freely among these friends!

From Warren's side of the family.
His Uncle Jim, Aunt Betty, Cousin Tim and Cousin once removed Alecia.
Last Sunday we visited Tim in the hospital....yesterday it was awesome to 
see him feeling so much better and able to attend.
Alecia and Jonathan have always had a connection due to their common
interests.  She really seemed to enjoy the wedding.

This photo and the next two were from Mom.
When we went outside to take family photos the weather was awesome.
Although it was quite windy.
Within an hour the skies were stormy and the rain
poured down.  But we were safe and dry inside and the pretty photos 
were captured.

What a great capture of my brother and his nephews.
Go mom!

With the happy couple.
Obligatory parental photo.

Surprising no one I was hanging out with these dudes.
Especially the little one.
Roy did sooo well yesterday.
He was all dressed up for the ceremony but seemed to enjoy
getting into comfy clothes and some play time with 
his daddy and Uncle Mikey in the grass during the photo time.

Back to the wedding.
The hardest part about the day was not getting to sit and chat
with all of the guests.
There was just so much to do....
but know that we appreciated ALL who were able to attend.
Long time friends...a sister of the heart....Aunts and Uncles... many.

Our families, some volunteers and friends worked super hard and got the 
place cleaned up last night so that Darcey's family didn't have
to go back today to finish.

It was worth it.

All of it.

Jonathan and Darcey are on their honeymoon and hopefully are
having the time of their lives....
without stress.

Everyone kept commenting on how great it was to see
Jonathan just having fun.
He so often carries the weight of the world on his broad shoulders.
But yesterday....he let it all go and danced, danced and danced some more.

Praising God for how He has brought this couple together!

We wish them a life filled with richness of joy, peace and 
a love that grows and grows.