Sunday, December 14, 2014

Utah for Christmas

It has been 5 years since I've spent Christmas with family and away from the tropics so I am very much looking forward to spending this Christmas in Utah. 
We decided last Christmas that we wanted to travel this year and to have a white Christmas. 
My mom and one of Zach's brothers lives in Utah so we started turned out that most of Zach's family decided to also spend Christmas in Utah so we'll be splitting our time between my mom & Dan and Zach's family.
We have been trying to prepare ourselves for the cold weather, although we don't know if there will be any seems Utah is having strangely warm weather right now but we are HOPING for snow. 
I get cold easily, I even get cold in Hawaii so I am a little nervous for how cold I'm going to be even if it's just in the 40's, luckily I have my awesome snowboarding jacket waiting for me.
Sadly, I haven't really gotten into the holiday spirit yet so I am hoping once we board the plane on Friday that will change.  
Because I'm so excited for warm winter clothes, hot chocolate, home cooked meals, playing in the snow, seeing Christmas lights, wearing my flannel Christmas PJs, watching the littles open their presents on Christmas morning,  watching Elf, and snuggling with my husband next to a fire.

Today we had our office holiday brunch at the Outrigger Canoe Club. It's a fun time for the staff and their significant others to get together for good food and a fun game of white elephant gift exchange.

Today also marks our 4th month as a married couple...time is really flying by. 

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Wedding Planning

Now that our wedding has come and gone I wanted to write about the whole planning process. 
Zach and I talked about getting married in 2014 but I was still surprised when he proposed on Christmas Eve last year. When we first starting talking about planning our wedding we knew we wanted our friends and family present and we wanted it to be an outdoor wedding. 
Luckily, our friends Tim & Chelsea were visiting last Christmas so Chelsea was able to help me with the initial planning process. 

The Venue: We thought briefly about having the wedding in Hawaii but concluded that would be more expensive, more hectic, and allow for less people to attend. We decided California was the best place to get married since most of our friends and family live there. So we started Googling "outdoor wedding venues in Southern California", Chelsea helped out a lot with the Googling process.  We loved the idea of having our wedding at the Santa Barbara zoo and even my mom was able to go to the zoo for us to get information and check out the grounds.  But in the end we thought it was a bit pricey and we didn't like that we had to use their food caterers. We also had my aunt and uncle check out a venue for us in Los Angeles but again it was too expensive.  We were not able to fly to California to check out venues so we were relying on the internet and the help of our family.
I kept coming back to this one venue, Elings Park in Santa Barbara. We loved the deck with the huge oak trees that we saw in the pictures and it was in our budget. Zach's parents were able to check out Elings Park for us and they loved it so we decided that was where we'd get married. We loved that we could have both the ceremony and reception in one place and we loved the freedom to bring in our own caterers and other vendors. We got lucky with finding Elings Park, it is a beautiful place! 

The Food: Zach told me he wanted to have the In N Out truck cater our wedding and I liked that idea, seeing as we both love In N Out and it was something different. When he looked in to having In N Out cater they told him they only went as far as Ventura county, which we were bummed about and even looked into finding a different venue (before we booked Elings Park) just so we could have In N Out be a part of our wedding.  But then we started to research food trucks in the Santa Barbara area and we came across The Burger Bus. We loved their menu selection and were happy to hear that they cater weddings so we booked them. We got to pick 6 different types of sliders for our guest to enjoy, along with sweet potato fries and Berna kindly made a variety of salads. And for dessert Zach's mom made pound cake  for our cake bar. The only gripe we had about our whole wedding was that our guest had to stand in line for get food form The Burger Bus. We thought the burgers and fries were going to be served differently so we were a little taken back when we realized people had to walk and wait in line to get the burgers, luckily they didn't seem to mind.

The Dress: Surprisingly, my least favorite part of wedding planning was finding my dress, which was weird because I always imagined how fun finding a dress would be. I think the problem was I had an idea of the type of dress I wanted but when I tried those types of dresses on they were not how I imagined and were not flattering on me. So I didn't know what kind of dress I wanted. I was thankful to have the help and support of girls at work to go with me multiple times to find a dress. The first time we went to David's Bridal I tried on the dress I eventually bought. The girls at work loved it but I was unsure, I wanted to see other dresses. We went to a couple other shops but I ended up going back to David's Bridal and getting the dress. In the end, it was the perfect dress for me!

Photography: Last August we flew to California for our friend's wedding, we had a blast and loved how their wedding pictures turned out. So we decided we wanted to book them (Mactaggart Media) to capture the day of our wedding. We love the work they did for us!

Once Zach and I started mapping out the events of our wedding day we realized we were going to spend the majority of our wedding reception taking family pictures. With 3 separate families + our wedding party to take pictures with we knew it was going to be a process. Since we had the park booked for all day we  figured the easiest thing would be to take pictures before the ceremony, also allowing us to utilize the park for more than just 4:00pm to 10:00pm. At first I was apprehensive about this idea because I wanted the first time Zach to see me on our wedding day walking down the aisle but it made sense to take pictures before the ceremony. Zach and I did our first glance photos first, then took pictures with his family, my mom's side of the family, and our wedding party. After the ceremony we took pictures with my dad's side of the family. It actually worked out very well, leaving ample time for us on the dance floor!

At first glance

 The Collins Family

 The Notz Family

The Sosebee Family 

We had a hard time choosing colors and our theme. To be honest, I didn't even know we had to have a theme and every time someone asked me what our theme was I would say, "park?"....gosh I didn't like that question!
We kept going back and forth with our colors. At first we thought we wanted neutral, soft, earthy tones but I also liked the color coral. We decided on gray as our main color because Zach said he wanted the guys to wear gray dress pants. Once we knew the main color for our wedding party we decided we liked the idea of our wedding party picking out their own attire, especially for the girls, I loved that they choose their own style of dress. I really liked the thought of gray and coral together so we decided coral would be our accent color.  We found coral tutus and bow ties for the nieces and nephews and my bridesmaid wear coral shoes. We thought about having the groomsmen wear coral bowties as well but decided to stick to back ties.
I was not picky when it came to flowers, in fact, I knew for years I wanted to make my own bouquets and table arrangements. It's just crazy to me how much flower bouquets and arrangements cost. My plan was to get my flowers from Costco the day before our wedding and make all the arrangements and my plan work out well, also thank you to my bridesmaids for helping me tackle that project.
The colors came together nicely. I liked that it was all a little different but seemed to blend well together.

 Such fun people!

 The littles had fun on the dance floor

 Again I was not picky about flowers or colors. 

After seeing the pictures of the big oak trees cover the deck I knew I wanted banners hung from the trees. My bridesmaids were awesome and got all the material and made the banners. I think they added a lot of character.
I also knew I wanted signs placed around the park, which was fun to make.
Zach and I thought it would be fun to have a photo booth since those are very popular at weddings but we could not bring ourselves to pay $500-$800 for 2 hours of picture taking. I found a giant cut out polaroid on Pinterest and asked Zach's (now mine) talented sister-in-law, Vanessa if she could make one for our wedding. It was perfect and our guest had a blast taking fun pictures.

Loved the banners!

All of our planning came together so nicely.
We couldn't have asked for a better day! Our wedding was perfect!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Goals & Dreams

This is exactly what Zach and I are working on...Our long-term goals!
We have so many plans and dreams that we talk about constantly 
and it makes us excited to think about what we want for our future. 

Now that we are married (and so very much in love) people are always asking us when we are going to start having babies? I can't tell you how many times we get asked that question...our response is the same, "not any time soon". 
Zach and I want to have kids but we are not ready yet. 
Our goal is for Zach to finish school here in Hawaii and to get into PT school back on the mainland (there are no PT programs in Hawaii). 
We talk about having kids all the time but right now we are working hard so when the time comes we can turn that dream into reality. 

Our main long-term goal right now is getting into PT school. 
Zach is busy and doing well with school and I am so grateful for his hard work. 
We have briefly started looking into PT schools, to make sure he's taking the right classes needed to apply. There are a lot of schools and we both get excited when we talk about where it might be fun to live once we are finished in Hawaii. 

Another goal we talk a lot about is traveling. 
We really want to visit Kauai and the Big Island. And lately we have been talking about taking a cross country road trip, hopefully before Zach starts PT school. So we have started saving to make those trips possible. 

It's easy, especially for me, to get so caught up in the future instead of staying in the present moment. 
But I think it's good to know what it is we are working towards and for us to talk about our goals and plan for our future. 
I believe the more you talk about your dreams the more eager you become at making those dreams come true.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Our Sundays

I can't explain how grateful I am that Zach now has Sundays off. 
Since we've lived in Hawaii our work schedules have never matched. He works evenings and weekends and I work during the day Monday through Friday. 
It finally got to a point where we NEEDED to have at least one day off together each week. 
And Zach made that possible! 

The last 2 Sundays have been awesome. 
We've gone on 2 really cool hikes and spent the afternoons at the beach. 
It feels so good to get outside and explore the island again 
(I was starting to turn into a hermit).   

First, we hiked the Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail, which was a neat hike. 
The water was beautiful and looked so inviting. 
There were some pretty steep parts on the trail and there was no shade but it was super windy 
so we didn't get really hot, just wind blown. 

 Hawaii Kai all the way to the  left, Koko Head, and Hanauma Bay 

The wind was crazy

This last Sunday we hiked Friendship Garden on the Kokokahi Ridge in Kaneohe with a couple of my co-wokers and their boyfriends. The views were awesome. The air was a little heavy with no wind so we were hot but there was shade and tall grasses to keep the sun completely off of us. 
 Kaneohe Bay to the left and Kailua to the right

 Kaneohe Bay

 Love this picture of the mountains

Walking through the tall grass
The Kapaa Quarry 

We were hot and tired after the hike so we rested at Kalamas Beach Park in Kailua. 

It is so nice having a day off together!

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Our wedding day was amazing. The weather in Santa Barbara was perfect and Elings Park was beautiful. It turned out better than we both imagined, thanks to our amazing family and friends who helped and supported us, and who shared in on our special day. 
And a big thanks to our photographers, Mactaggart Media for capturing the love, fun, 
and beauty of the day!