Friday, April 29, 2016

Final Preparations

Our out of town guests will begin arriving today.  We are so excited and know that with this happening time is going to fly by!

Chelsea and Chadd have been dealing with disappointment that it is going to rain and be quite chilly for their special day.  We have been scrambling to change up the location, seating and even appetizer areas to keep our guests warm and dry.  I don't understand why there must be so many disappointments for these two. 
 Chelsea said that of all of the things on her wish list, 
getting married outside was at the top.
But temps in the 50's and rain make it a very bad idea.
Should the forecast change in the next 48 hours we shift back to an outdoor set up but 
until then we are busily painting furniture, making more candles and figuring out how to do 
some pretty cool things.

The flowers were delivered to our floral designer yesterday.  Most of them are fantastic.
A few were less than perfect.  But that is where a true talent shines.
Susan is making some amazing adjustments and we are very, very excited!
Did you know you can paint flowers and no one would ever know it?
Well, when you can't get soft pink hydrangea you can get white ones and create pink ones.
By the photos Susan sent over you can't tell which is which.
Pretty crafty and sweet!

I think this is going to be one very special wedding.  
Two young people who have proven their commitment to each other and the Lord
are going to say vows that bind them to each other for life.

It takes me back to the day in the hospital when Chadd was being brought out of his coma.
As the medication lightened a little he would struggle to raise his head off the pillow
and search the room with his eyes for his sweetheart.
When he saw her he would visibly relax and go back to sleep.
Over and over he sought her out until finally he was fully awake and could just stare 
at her and then signal her to come stand by his side.
He couldn't speak at that point since he was still on the respirator.
As a mom this was when I knew, for sure, that it was meant to be.
His love and commitment to Chelsea was so pure and sweet in those moments
when he wasn't even really conscious.

They have been through so much that they are starting their marriage in 
a more mature place than many.
There is much yet to come that has potential to be very hard.
But we are sure, very sure, that they are up to the challenge in the 
same way they have gotten through up until this point.
The help of the Lord and the support of so many friends.

And so, we look forward to the marriage of Chadd and Chelsea on Sunday.
I'll be the one crying her eyes out.  
Not from sadness....but from joy of the depth of knowledge of 
ALL the Lord has brought them through and the hope of what 
He will do in the future.
And the tears will be reflective of thankfulness that God brought
this God-loving, special, thoughtful, tender and caring young man
into our daughter's life.
God is so good!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cuteness Overload....and Jon's New Ride

If I get this much joy from our little flower girl 
  apologize in advance for what kind of a 
grandmother I will likely be.

But when the "miniature human" as Jonathan likes to call her
is this cute, what is one to do but capture her image?

Just gets even better when you put her with Chelsea.

And then I told J to tickle Chelsea with the flower 
she had picked from the tree.....

She is so obedient.  Ha!

And thus ended the photo session.

Last night we spent a few quality hours picking up 
Jon's new Jeep Renegade.
It fits him to a "T".

There are so many buttons though.
It was 8:30 pm as we stopped at a restaurant for dinner.
Warren and Jonathan got out laughing like crazy.
Apparently Jonathan took the salesman's advice to heart and was pushing
buttons to see what they did.
They weren't out of the dealer's lot before he had pushed the 
"Call 911" button.
Good Grief!!
I cannot tell you how it warms my heart to see my 
guys enjoying time together.

So proud of our son for being responsible with his finances 
so that he was in a position to make this decision.
And for the gift from a relative that took some of the stress out of it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Rehearsal for a Wedding

Sunshine and warm weather made this a very beautiful day for Chelsea and Chadd's rehearsal and dinner.  Upcoming forecasts are predicting rain for Sunday.  The closer we get the more optimistic we are....but since there is a significant chance of storms we needed to have a plan B for the ceremony which was planned for out of doors.  And so we began our rehearsal at one end of the huge tent where we plan to have the reception.  Setting it up to be two separate areas will be tricky but the coordinator at the venue is very creative and full of solutions.  We are truly blessed!!

Warren cracked everyone up when he first responded, 
"My mother and I do".
Good thing we had a rehearsal. 
He got it right every time after that.
I do think he might have been a "tad" emotional. :-)

 I love every expression on the faces of Chadd and his groomsmen.

Practicing the vows.

J's first solo trip "down" the aisle.
I think it is her only solo trip down the aisle.
On Sunday she will come in with Emily.
That way we are fairly certain that she will do it.

 Big steps or little steps?
The dress is going to dictate that, I think.

We held the rehearsal dinner in this sweet room.
Chickfila brought two trays of chicken, we had purchased chicken and swiss rolls
from Costco and made fruit and garden salads.
We got Subway cookies and had a few other types that were known
favorites of people in the wedding party.

 A couple of our favorite people.....

The girls.  Well, most of them.  Chelsea photobombed this one.

 Then the girls let her in ....

 Emily noticed we were getting pictures and took her place.

The guys....

They are all very important people in Chadd's life.

Great guys.  All of them!!

It was a very fun evening.
Looking forward to Saturday and Sunday as we set up 
and then get these "kids" married.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

He Is Faithful

This is a Psalms kind of a day.  Not the happy sunny kind.  But the out of the deeps I CRY to you, Lord, kind of a day. I will not be that person who only shares my spiritual highs.  There are clearly low days too.  This was one of the worst.

He is faithful.

Yesterday, just nine days before the wedding, another repercussion of the accident was made known.

The timing couldn't have been worse.  We were just finding our stride toward joy for the big day.  Whoosh!!!  There went our feet.

But He is faithful.

We cried, and yelled and were as upset as we get.  I once again asked God why any of this had to happen?  Why on that sunny day did the accident take place????  

But He was faithful.

He led us to support in our community.  Someone who has walked this road and assured us that time makes these things better.  Anyone else saying it would have seemed trite.  But this was the voice of experience.

He is faithful.

In providing caring family and friends who don't have to know details to love us and reach out in support.

I know this battle is not against flesh and blood.  I know it is for the very hearts and souls of men.
I know who wins!  But it is that very One that I cry out to with the why's.  Why?????  And He assures me that I don't have to understand.  I only need to walk.  One baby step at a time.

Because He is faithful.

In the midst of the darkness of yesterday's yuckiness there came hope.  Hope for a healing and a brighter future.  Hope for a closer walk with the One who created us.  Hope for a strong marriage for two people who love each other so dearly.  Hope for tomorrow.  And the day after that.  

No doubt, He IS faithful.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Hearts in all shades of pink and cream.
Watch for them in wedding photos.

Added burlap and lace on a sweet basket.

Always trying to see the "after" in cases such as these.
The "before" isn't bad but didn't quite fit the wedding decor.

I have four more photos to print and put in the photo wall and then that will be done.
Three more cakes to bake and then those will be done.

The rehearsal is Monday evening.

We are in the final stretch now.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Car and Wedding Preps

Warren no longer drives the cute little Miata.
Dear friends will be driving it pretty soon.

His mom has been letting him drive her truck 
but the weather is nice now and she will most likely 
want to use the truck for her trips to the farm and to go bike riding.

And so we have been trying to decide what direction to go
for a new, to us, car.
Did we want to find a cheap car (less than $2000) that would get him
back and forth most of the time?
Or did we want to prepare for the eventuality that our minivan
would need to be replaced and get something a bit better?
Given that the minivan is just about to turn over 200,000 miles
we decided that it would be a good idea to see what we could do for a 
lower mileage pre-owned car.

I have wanted a Kia Soul since I had one as a rental when I had that 
fender bender back in 2014.
We found one in Delaware with 56,000 miles on it and
 took a late afternoon drive over there yesterday. 
 It was so pretty!  Back roads with lots of Spring views.
The Soul won our hearts quickly.
We took an extensive test drive with Ajay, the salesman who used to be 
in we commiserated together on the changes in that business.
If you don't know I was a Personal Financial Analyst for 
sixteen years.  I loved the people aspect but found myself 
perpetually frustrated by the increased paperwork that happened after
the 9/11 attacks.
And so, I make candles.  

Anyhoo......back to the fun stuff.

This is our new sweet car.

I can't drive it.
It's a manual transmission.
But I'm willing to learn.
So, we shall see.

Today I stayed home from Bible Study to catch up from all of our running around
the past few days and to make sure that Jonathan stays on schedule with his 
medication for his back. 
He saw his orthopedic doctor yesterday who put him on a serious steroid course
to see if we can't get him back to his stable place with this herniated disk.
This is day one and he has to take the meds religiously
and around meals.
His back had been doing quite well....until he decided to play frisbee on Sunday.
The doctor said he didn't blame Jonathan for wanting to do things.
He is just "finding out his limits"....hmmm.

Today I paid business taxes and then moved on to wedding stuff.

I've done a fair amount of work on the Appetizer planning.
Laid out each of the tables in that tent
and what everything will be served on.
You know marble slabs for cheese and wicker baskets for crackers, etc.
I'm also working on decor.
Finding goodies around the house that will go into it.
Deciding if there are things that I need to pick up yet.

My friend Deanna, from Creekside Cottage
loaned us nine of these perfect chalkboard signs. 

We have a couple of possible uses for them.
This is my wish....
Chelsea has another possibility and so we will work that out.

This afternoon is cake baking and candle making.
So...I'd better go grab some lunch and get back to work.
I think this is how it will be until the wedding day.
And I'm good with that.
Busy is better than boring!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Chloe's Turn

Sometimes it seems that Chloe is overshadowed by Bandit's spunky personality and craziness.  But those who know the both of them "in person" definitely prefer Chloe.  They usually just adore her.

Chloe isn't chasing squirrels these days, however, she does love to chew sticks.  Simply picking up a stick in her presence causes much tail wagging and excitement.

We definitely need to get out and pick up the many sticks and twigs
that fell during the super wind storm we had a few weeks ago.
Chadd and his friend, Kevin, got a bunch but there are still more.
Many more.

Seeing all of the white on Chloe's face reminds me that she is aging.
This Spring she has a cough.  I'm not sure if it is allergies or something more ominous
but she has plenty of energy and so I'll plan to take her to the vet after the wedding
if it persists.  If she seemed to be suffering in any way I would get her in now.

There is super tall grass where the men cut down the tree which was hit by 
lightning last year.  They planted this grass and it seems to like the shade there.
Chloe loves to play in the grass, hiding in it and eating it.

Because I was outside and these caught my eye I took a photo
of these yellow tulips as well.

The neighbors are having a garage built and so with extra people in the neighborhood
I'm actually spending more time out in the yard with the dogs.  
Normally I hang out in the doorway while they do their thing out there.
I'm finding being with them is a good thing.
It keeps the dogs from barking like crazy at the "strangers" 
and I get to enjoy the beauty of the season
that I would likely miss in all of the busyness of wedding preps.

I need to go and make another Cookies and Cream Bundt cake now.
They are amazing ....both in appearance and in flavor!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bandit and her Squirrel-Friend

From the upper side of the yard....

Through the tree tops.....

 To the back yard between our house and Georgia's.

 They got this close!

Fun times!
This is why I am never sure of Bandit's reason for asking to go out.

We Enjoyed a Very Happy Sunday

Our Sunday morning began with a candlelight breakfast for Warren and I 
made by Chelsea. 

She made us gluten free pancakes and sausage.
We used New York syrup on both.
This syrup comes from our friends
Real syrup is the best!!

Church was even brighter than usual with the surprise
return of a family who had been away for a few months taking care
of a family emergency in another state.
I love this family sooo much and had to blink back the tears
as we welcomed them back!

Since it was a third Sunday of the month we enjoyed communion
and a fellowship meal together.
Then hours of chatting before we separated only to meet up again
at Pastor Mike and Jenny's home for the evening.

Pastor Mike's wife, Jenny, is a very talented hair dresser.
She gave Chadd a hair cut yesterday that has all of us smiling.

This photo will make the photo wall. 

Jenny also gave my friend, Kelly, purple hair again yesterday.
Kelly loves the color purple and has attempted to 
have it in her hair before.
It is a hard one to keep in.
I'll be curious to see if it stays until next Sunday.

I love seeing our church body bless each other with their gifts
and talents.  It happens so often.

We are deep in organizational and cake baking mode.
Sometimes they come out perfectly....
sometimes they don't.

So we will keep at it until we have enough perfect cakes.

Please pray for Jonathan who re-injured his back yesterday.
It is pretty bad.
Hoping that when he wakes up this morning it will be
much improved.

See you soon!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Testing, Testing....

A piece of the table decor.
By the time I took this the candle had been burning for four hours straight.
It had burned at least that long before that on various days.
Look how clean that soy burns!

Warm Vanilla Caramel Macchiato!
It is custom....for my girl.

Two weeks from today we will be headed to the venue
for the great big day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Today I Order......

The Flowers!

You may remember.....

We are so excited!  Flowers are the main piece of the decor.  Flowers and Lighting.  We are having a professional lighting company fix us up with some antique fixtures and special lighting.  I am making candles for the tables.  It should be a sweet, gentle and romantic look overall.  The only tricky part is that the tent is so huge that things could look lost in the space.  Here's hoping they don't.  We are doing all in our power to scale our decor and arrangements to fit the space.

An artist friend has been making canvas art.
I have not seen them yet....other than in photos.
I think they are going to look small in the space but 
they are also going to be very sweet.
It will give people an excuse to get up and walk around to read 
them and appreciate the time invested in them.

Susan, from Divine Florals,  sent over the flower list last evening and was thrilled to have such a large budget to work with.  But with savings on the dress, a very affordable venue and the fact that this is our only daughter we wanted to splurge.

It also felt very good to drop off the list for the caterer yesterday.
Andrew, at The Daily Grind, is going to do a great job!
Chelsea has loved that place since the day it opened.
In fact she started campaigning for a job there before they opened.
Over this past "changeover" of shows at the theatre she worked at The Daily Grind part time.
It was great!  Andrew and the rest of the staff are wonderful.
It ended up being too much when she went back to the theatre so she had to 
give it up....but we are thrilled to have them cater.
Chelsea has worked so very hard to have every detail in place.
As you know, things will happen but they should be minor with all of her
attention to detail.

I made my shopping list for the appetizer tent.
I even purchased some of the items for know, the ones that won't go bad.
I need to focus more on the decor for that area very soon.
It needs to compliment, but not duplicate what Chelsea has designed for 
the main tent.
I hope our friends coming into town for the wedding won't mind
helping to make tray after tray of appetizers with me.

Another big detail I need to get put together yet is the order for the 
rehearsal dinner.  Rehearsal will happen almost a week in advance of the big day
and so it is sneaking up quickly.  It should be a big ball of fun!!

When it was time to do Michael and Emily's rehearsal dinner they wanted a picnic
in the park beside their venue.  The link above takes you to my blog post about that day.
There was a lot going on in our lives at that point too.

I tried to add some touches that included their colors but it was pretty 
straightforward.  I "catered" that one mainly from Costco.
Chelsea and Chadd's will include many of their favorite foods from 
their favorite restaurants.  I'll keep the decor simple because it will be held in a very 
sweet cafe looking room at the venue.
It is going to be very fun!!

One of my projects.  This photo wall.  I "stole" this from Mom's house while she was in Europe.
No worries, I had her permission.
 I was just very thankful that the police officer
 who lives next door to her knows me
 and wouldn't question me hauling
 a large piece of decor out of her house when she was away.
If you know me you know that I don't work "ahead" as well as I work
nearer the hour of need.
The adrenaline that comes from panic helps my brain work better, I guess. 
That's my excuse anyway.

Perfectly opposite of how Chelsea works.
This both makes her crazy and makes us a great team.
She's getting tired...and I'm just getting started.
We've got this!

Anyway...those are the exciting, rambling and optimistic
thoughts running around my head today.
I'll get to more of the details even as I make candle orders and
prepare for a candle event this evening.
I really considered dropping out of the event after Jonathan's accident
but just can't bring myself to do so.
So...if you happen to be local I would LOVE to see you at 
Good Harvest Supply in Strasburg this evening.
They are having a Ladies Night Out from 6:30 - 8:30pm.
I will be offering my final clearance on Fall/Winter candles in stock
at 50% off and will have a handful of Spring/Summer candles
at their regularly affordable prices.

Hugs from the crazy candle lady and mother of the bride!
Both hats are on today.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Wonderfully Boring...But Nice Blog Post

We are down to three
sweet hens.

The golden one, Mabel, continues to thrive.
She made it through another Winter!

Now that Spring is here she calls out to me to bring her freshly pulled
grass.  Once upon a time they used to fear grass falling from above as I pushed
it through the chicken wire.
No more.
Now they eagerly wait for it and gobble it up.

I can no longer open the door and give them their grass in a nicer, more orderly way because 
of the foxes and raccoon  that attempted to get the chickens.
There is now additional chicken wire blocking the door.
But better safe than sorry.

Each Spring there is a temptation to add chicks, 
especially when at the post office you can hear chicks peeping
from other shipments.
However, for now we are just going to enjoy these girls and then 
are most likely done with our time as chicken farmers.
It has been a decade long run....and we have enjoyed much of it.
Should the need arise to have them again we know what to do and would do it in a 
heartbeat.  I love fresh eggs from our own chickens.