A Sunny Day to Celebrate

In the middle of a rainy, colder-than-average spring, we managed to have a perfect day for the wedding of Holly and Ryan.

The day started out at the Grace Christian Reformed Church where Holly’s beautiful gown was waiting for her.

The rings were polished and the flowers were fresh.

I noticed the inscription inside Ryan’s ring and couldn’t help placing it between their names–so faith was with them before their journey down the aisle.

Before the ceremony started, we headed out to a nearby park for some pictures. Holly’s gown was beautiful on the hanger, but she brought it to life and made it spectacular.

Ryan was relaxed and ready for the day.

The guys were all easy-going and gave the day a fun flair.

Holly and Ryan had an outstanding group of siblings and friends to support them during the day.

Holly and Ryan were amazing together and they had the most perfect day.

Everyone was so much fun!

I saw Ryan talking to his sweet little ring-bearer and dad/grandpa watching them in the distance.

We headed back to the church.

When the ceremony ended, we headed off to the Eesley Place for the reception.

The Eesley Place is an historic mill that has been converted into an amazing banquet hall. Outside, there are plenty of places for photos and inside is stunning as well.

I’m a sucker for old trucks, buildings, etc. So, I’m a big fan of the fact that they have this cool vehicle parked out back.

We arrived just in time to play for a few minutes in the fading sunlight.

The guests from all over the country (and other countries) were waiting inside for the fun to begin.

Congratulations Holly and Ryan. Please view the rest of the online album here. It has been so much fun working with you and your amazing families!

A Day Filled with Celebration

A day of adventure awaited one happy couple last week.

The lovely Amanda got ready

to marry the handsome Josh.

She had beautiful flowers

and a long white gown.

Friends and family gathered at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Battle Creek.

Amanda was all smiles before the ceremony

.

Three little sweethearts almost stole the show.

Their vows were spoken. Rings and a kiss were exchanged.

Then, it was off to a party before the big reception. There was an entire crew of people to celebrate:

The skies started clouding up and looking ominously like rain. So, we snuck off into the woods for a few outside photos.

Everything was green and lush in the early spring air.

When the rain began falling, we headed off to the Battle Creek County Club to wrap up the evening at the reception.

It was there that Amanda and Josh danced for the first time… as husband and wife.

Congratulations Josh and Amanda! Please view the rest of the online album here. May you have a full and beautiful life together.

What’s in My Yard

We have never seen our new yard in the springtime. So, I am constantly surprised by the hundreds of blooming flowers that are popping up all over the place. I love flowers, plants, and basically all things living and growing. So, the fact that there is so much beauty all over the place out here is extremely exciting to me.

Here are some of the things I have found in our new yard over the past week:

Chick Update

So, chicks (as in baby chickens) grow up really, really fast.

I received them in the mail when they were only a day old. They were cute little peeping fuzz-balls.

One week later, they looked like this:

They had gotten much bigger. They are only 11 days old now and already have wing and tail feathers and I swear they are trying to fly out of their container.

We did loose one chick right away. I was told she was probably a very weak chick and that the stress of moving was too much for her. There was little I could do. The other five seem to be doing quite well.

Surrounded by Sweetness

Yesterday, I was surrounded by people who were truly pure of heart and intrigued by the world. It was the most precious few hours I’ve spent in a while. I learned so much that I had long ago forgotten. Like how simple things are so interesting and how big the world is.

I chaperoned my son’s preschool class on a field trip to the zoo. I didn’t learn about zoo animals while I was there. I learned about the things that fed my son’s heart as he talked on the car ride to his little buddy about his world. I learned that planting a green bean seed was foremost on his mind and that his ice fishing trip last winter was something he still thinks about. From listening to the conversation of these wonderful little people, my life is suddenly bigger.

I didn’t take any pictures at all of the animals at the zoo. I ended up with a file of pictures of these perfect souls with little fingers and Charlie Brown legs peaking out of oversized shorts. When I look at them I can’t help but wonder what paths their lives will take them traveling on.

I thought I was going to assist them, but I ended up getting the biggest rewards.

Spring Ant

I was outside the other day photographing the many spring flowers that are popping up because I’m so excited about all of the delicious plant choices the previous owners have made around our new property.

The landscape does need many additions to become what I envision it will someday be, but the previous owners did right with their tree and shrub choices. It seems everything here flowers. I will most likely be posting some of the flowering jewels at a later time.

Meanwhile, when I was out documenting the many plants we have popping up, I saw this little guy hanging about cleaning his antennae. I didn’t think he’d mind if I posted his picture tonight before heading off to bed.

A Spring Start to the Wedding Season

For me, the wedding season has been kicked off with a beautiful start at the wedding of Elizabeth and Matt at the classy Kellogg Manor House.

Elizabeth’s dress was lovely as it was draped on it’s hanger ready for the day.

It was even more lovely when she put it on.

She looked a little like a princess

waiting for her prince.

Matt was calm and couldn’t have been happier for the day to begin.

Of course, he had this handsome little helper by his side.

His job was to safely deliver the rings to the altar during the ceremony.

Which he did perfectly.

The ceremony was held in the lovely pagoda garden overlooking the lake.

The day was beautiful and the wedding party enjoyed a few moments of down time before heading off to the reception.

Elizabeth and Matt were so happy to be together.

It started out cloudy in the morning, but the sun was out during the ceremony and right after. We had glorious spring sun pouring in on us during pictures.

After spending some time around the grounds of the Manor House, the wedding party went indoors for the reception.

Even during the reception, the happy couple found a few secluded locations for some quiet moments.

Elizabeth and Matt’s online gallery is here.

After spending some time with them, I can tell they will be a happy family and though we weren’t lucky enough to have a sunset on that night, they will for sure be riding off toward a wonderful future together. Congratulations Matt, Elizabeth and sweet Malechi!

A Masquerade Banquet

Last Friday I had the opportunity to enjoy the company of some very wonderful people at the Grace Christian Academy’s Junior/Senior Banquet.

The theme of the banquet was Masquerade – an appropriate theme for a magical place. The event was held at Shadowland on Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Michigan. It was my first visit to Shadowland and I really enjoyed the history of fun that was proudly on display there. People have been visiting the location for carnival rides and amusement for many generations.

The colors were black and red, but the ladies were wearing a variety of colors in their gowns and accented in the ties of the guys who were with them. I admit I was intrigued with the latest styles and thinking about the dresses I wore to my high school proms. Ahhh, the memories….

The food was amazing. The couples I photographed during the evening were sweet. The entertainment was pretty special.

They had this historical carousel all to themselves for the evening. What fun!

Meet the Chicks

A six-pack of chicks arrived at the post office for me at 6:00 a.m. today. The little girls were hatched yesterday and spent the evening in a heated box traveling from Connecticut to my house. I got the phone call bright and early that the box was in and I went to pick it up.

When I was handed the box, it was chirping. It was very exciting to open the box and find my six new chicks huddled up inside waiting to see their new home.

So, it is my pleasure to introduce to you:

Nugget

Noodle and Chunk

and Alfredo, Tetrazzini and Bleu

No worries, these ladies are going to be pets who make eggs–a business for my boys to operate. They will not be eaten–at least not by us–and hopefully not by anything else.

Here’s the whole gang.