Monday, July 25, 2011

Mermaid Splash Party

For Mary Selwyn's birthday party we rented a huge water slide and had a splash of a mermaid party.  We rented a slide from an awesome company called B & B Rentals and they let us keep the slide for a very long time.  We had plenty of time before and after the party so the adults got to play too.... and wow were we sore.  Mary Selwyn was of course most excited to spend the party sliding with her friends.  This is a girl who loves her friends.  We had hot dogs and mermaid cupcakes and although the rain threatened my party it ended up being perfect.  Here are a few pictures.  Mary Selwyn said, "It was the best party every."  After hearing those words I always consider myself a successful party thrower....hopefully she says it every year.

Mermaid tail cupcakes, thank you Mrs. Dork.

Also thank you Goon because Mommy struggled making them thick enough.

Can't believe she is 4!!
If you have noticed I'm enjoying making these collages because it shares a lot of pictures at one time.  Sadly this isn't even half of the pictures from the party.  Thanks to all our sweet friends for making this her best birthday yet!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Koonz Wedding

Oh my, I don't even know where to begin.  This week Shay and I traveled to Dubuque, Iowa to be a part of our best friends, Jeff and Maura's wedding.  It was one of the very best weddings I have ever been a part of.  They had an absolutely fabulous wedding party.  Of course, I knew none of the other bridesmaids before I arrived but they were the sweetest bunch of women.  They immediately included me and made me feel like I had known them all forever.  It was the same throughout the whole wedding party, it was like we traveled across country, met strangers and left with best friends.  What a wonderful group of people.  Overall I have decided that people in Iowa are the nicest people in the country.  Sorry southerners, but I have never received more compliments or been flattered more than by the people I met in Iowa.

Now on to the most important part, the beautiful bride.  I'm sorry Kate Middleton but you have nothing on Maura.  She was drop dead gorgeous.  We decided that she would look good in a wet paper sack but of course she dressed up for the occassion.  Maura's mother, Margie, passed away in 2003 I believe of breast cancer.  I cannot begin to imagine my wedding day without my mother and I wondered how Maura would do it without Margie.  Let me assure you that we were not without her.  Margie was honored and represented in every part of this wedding.  I have never even met her but I could feel her very real presence in each moment throughout the day.  The most beautiful way Margie was honored was in Maura's wearing of her mother's wedding dress for the ceremony.  Oh it was breath taking.  All of us bridesmaids watched in silence with tears in our eyes as she slipped on the dress.  How special for Maura and her sweet dad, Ray. 

We also got to sneak a peek at the first time Jeff saw Maura in her mother's dress.  It was hard to be quiet and hold back our excitement and tears.  We were sucessful in being quiet but not in holding back the tears. 

I am so glad I captured this look.  This is when she was walking up behind Jeff for him to see her for the first time.  Also when my tears started flowing, no surprise there.

When Jeff caught us peeking
After a very beautiful and spiritual Catholic wedding service, we loaded the trolley and headed to the party.  I can't even put into words how much fun the reception was.  Everyone danced, EVERYONE!  I don't think a single guest left before it was over.  Almost 300 guests danced 'til midnight.  It was a party for sure. Shay and I haven't danced that much......ever.  I also haven't laughed that much in almost ever.  The company was great.  My whole body is still sore from the dancing and laughing and I am still worn out.  I hope I can recover soon.

Maura in her reception dress with her handsome groom

Again I can't say enough how wonderful the whole weekend was.  Jeff and Maura are two of the kindest, most thoughtful and genuine people we know.  I am so thankful they have found each other.  I remember in the beginning of their relationship Jeff called me and said, "I have been praying for a long, long time for the right girl to come along and now here she is."  It was very special to witness them finally becoming husband and wife.  They way they both glow when they look at each other is so sweet to see and maybe a tad disgusting..ha ha just kidding.  I'm just so happy they are happy and starting the next chapter in their lives.  I look forward to sharing a lifetime more of memories with them.

another way to honor her mother

Monday, July 4, 2011

Our Trip to Texas

I have to hurry and blog about our trip to Texas because tomorrow we leave for Iowa.  I have to get caught up on my blogging before I get too far behind.  It has been a busy summer.  Moving on, after our horrific trip out there, I am happy to report that the rest of the trip went perfectly and was tons of fun.  The girls LOVED being at Nanny and Poppy's house. (side note, her name is actually Nana but MSN has successfully changed it to Nanny.  I guess when you are a great grandchild you have that kind of power.)  They loved their dogs, especially the little one, Arnie.  I'm pretty sure that dog has never had so much attention.  We also got to see some aunts, uncles and cousins that we never get to see.  This was the first opportunity my family there had to meet Mary Selwyn and Adeline.

Also while we were in San Antonio we visited Sea World.  Obviously this was the girls first trip there and saying they loved it is an understatement.  We went three of the five days we were there.  They had the best time seeing the shows, playing at the water park, riding rides, watching the shows, feeding the sea lions and feeding and petting the dolphins.  Adeline's favorite was the penguin house and the "Shampoo" show.  She came back with a penguin t-shirt that she refuses to take off.  She has a literal melt down if you make her take it off, sheesh.  Mary Selwyn's favorite was the "girl show" with the divers, acrobats, dolphins and beluga whales.  I think Sea World is my favorite amusement park.  I love seeing all the shows and I day dream like a little kid about being a whale trainer.  Then I snap out of it and realize I would be too scared to get in the water with that huge fish and I'm not that great of a swimmer, actress or acrobat so that leaves me with the scooping poop in the penguin snow, or worse concessions.  Whew it is hot out there.

Overall we had a wonderful trip.  My girls got some good quality time with Nana and Poppy, which they never get and time with great grandparents is very precious in my mind.  Our trip home was a dream, so easy with no missed flights or stress.  The girls had a wonderful time in Texas and spent every minute being spoiled.  They are already asking when we are going back.   We are glad Nana and Poppy invited us to visit and it was very sad leaving them.  Luckily we will get to see them again in a few short months.

This is my favorite picture from the trip.  The girls are still talking about their trip to Sea World and telling everyone how the "ate dead fish!"

Happy 4th Birthday Mary Selwyn

Today this beautiful, silly and sweet child turns 4! Mommy and Daddy are having a hard time believing it. We had our little family "surprise" party with cupcakes for breakfast. It is becoming quite a fun tradition. We are headed to the beach to celebrate for the weekend. (I know I'm behind on my blogging. will catch up soon.) We love you Mary Selwyn and are so proud of the sweet girl you are! Happy birthday to our big girl!