Posted by at 7:30am on February 17, 2015 under Personal

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“Our” two big months have always been February and December. December because I’m a bit Christmas obsessed, and we were engaged and married that month. February because it’s the month we met, started dating, adopted Huck Finn, and now? Closed on our Florida home. <3

We really thought our Nashville home was “it.” The one we’d hopefully raise a family, play in the yard, have family meals at the kitchen table, the whole she-bang. Obviously that wasn’t the case when we realized our “roots” were in Florida, both personally and professionally, and moved back home last August. The real estate market here is so much different, of course, and I thought I’d never find a home I loved as much as our first.

We started looking into pre-existing homes and nothing jumped out at us, but then realized in Orlando, you can build a home in some areas for the same cost as buying. I loved the thought of picking my own paint colors and wall outlet spots and kitchen cabinets, so we started the neighborhood hunt! At first my priority was to be as close as possible to Disney, but when it came to envisioning our “everyday” life, I kinda liked the idea of not grocery shopping with tourists. (Nate’s always quick to joke that when we lived in Celebration, I felt like everyone in Publix was always wet and wreaked of sunscreen, like they just jumped out of a pool on 192.)

Annnnnnnd then, a friend took us to a neighborhood where I found my dream family floor plan. And my dream lot. In my dream city, Winter Garden. We happen to only be ~10 minutes from where our good friends are also building a home, and the same distance from where our best friends hope to move in a few years. We run into more friends at the Winter Garden shopping plaza on any given month than we did in our four years of Nashville life combined! Of course, the one thing we don’t have control over is our neighbors, so let’s cross our fingers for some new best friends! And if you’re reading this and looking for a home in Winter Garden, I bake cookies for our neighbors around the holidays and would love a sitcom-worthy best friend for daily coffee chats. I even drink coffee now and have a Keurig and the lot next door is still available. Just sayin’.

We are fiiiiiiiiiiiinally home, friends. And as of 3pm today, the legal papers have been signed, and our new key in hand.

This marks our 10th move in 10 years and oh man, I hope this is it for us! :)

Please be patient as we put our work and email on hold the next ~10 days to settle in! <3

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We have a whole series of these which makes my heart explode and I can’t wait to make a coffee table book of them!

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My favorite part of this whole process were our close friends and family members who took the time out of their lives to come see our home in progress. We know it wasn’t as exciting for them as it was for us, but I felt like a kid on parent teacher night proudly showing every closet and light switch. ;) Hopefully we’ll continue this photo tradition with any guests that visit our home and if our family ever grows! I’ll post the whole series when life calms down a bit, and hopefully, some interior photos if we manage to conquer the mountain of cardboard boxes that lie ahead.

Yay for new life chapters!!! <3

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Posted by at 7:00am on February 14, 2015 under Personal

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Happy adoption day to Huckleberry Finn! <3

Pomeranian Puppy

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Posted by at 7:00am on January 28, 2015 under GeneralPersonalWeddings

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Almost 11 years ago, Nathanial Root told me on our first date that while he loved photography, he would never become a portrait photographer because photographing people was “too awkward.”

Not even a year later, Brian Adams hired Nate right out of college for some help with his web design, which in turn led to Nate coming along to assist at some of Brian’s weddings, which then led to Nate’s roommate asking him to be his wedding photographer. Got it? Good. :)

It was nine years ago today that Nathanial photographed his first wedding. 

Oh, the lessons we learned from this wedding, from needing to bring double the memory cards and batteries he’d budgeted for to the hard lesson of not ever, ever, ever following a member of the bridal party to the reception and navigating yourself. (Of course, this was before our phones could navigate and we owned a GPS!) Nate was so glad I was there to be able to help when he was stressed, and I came along to his next wedding as an assistant, and the next, and the next… :)

I was so thankful Nate had put so many hours in assisting Brian and can’t imagine the mistakes we would have made those first few weddings without seeing how Brian worked first. He was the best mentor we could have asked for, and I know so many things we still do today stem from his example.

While I’ll forever cringe at photos from our first weddings (not the photos, but the editing. Ohhhhh, the editing!), I’m still so proud that Nate, who never ever wanted to photograph people, took a chance and photographed Bethany and Mike’s wedding. I can’t even begin to imagine where our life would be now otherwise!

Bethany and Michael, thank you for taking a chance on my sweet husband. And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! <3

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Posted by at 9:00am on January 9, 2015 under GeneralPersonal

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(Make sure you’ve already read our engagement story here and wedding story here!)

After our wedding, my brand new husband and I took a train back to New York for our honeymoon. Neither of us had been and it was just the most magical. There was nothing like walking around New York City for the first time ever on Christmas Day- Everything was decorated, but the city was practically a ghost town because everything was closed. I was a little sick but didn’t care, and Nathanial was my husband and all was right with the world.

Brian met up with us in Central Park for a few more portraits before we headed back to sunny Florida.

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These are all my favorites. <3

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There’s a line in Miracle on 34th street where Santa tells Mr. Bedford, “In all my troubles past, and all my troubles yet to come, I’ll never find a better friend.” We never say it enough, but Brian, that’s exactly how we feel about you. Second to getting married, the only thing that mattered to us on our wedding day was having you there! Thank you for your unwavering friendship, and essentially being responsible for not only our wedding day, but our careers. We love you too much. <3

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And to wrap up too long a story, here are some of my favorite photos Nathanial grabbed from our honeymoon. <3

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And we lived happily ever after. The end! <3

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Posted by at 10:19am on December 24, 2014 under Personal

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(Continued from our engagement story posted here.)

 

Our wedding day was perfect.

But before I get to that- It was December 19, 2007 when Brian Adams (our good friend, photographer, mentor, and future wedding officiant) and I were chatting on Google Talk. I don’t remember what time of day it was, but if memory serves me right, Orlando was in the 70’s and I hadn’t been around snow in years. Brian was visiting his mom in Connecticut for Christmas and told me it had just snowed, and I got the craziest idea- Or, maybe Brian suggested it? I honestly don’t remember! But somehow our casual conversation turned from “Hello! Merry Christmas!” to “So you would be totally ok marrying us in the snow next weekend?” in maybe 15 minutes flat.

Basically, it takes us 30 minutes to pick a restaurant for dinner, but 15 minutes to pick a wedding date, state, and location. :)

My favorite day of the year has always been Christmas Eve. *Cue dramatic violin music* On Christmas Day, someone was always crying or fighting or left out (yes, I have middle child syndrome, ok?!), but not on Christmas Eve! Everyone was so happy and excited and on their best behavior. I love that the day purely consisted of spending time together and looking at holiday lights and waiting until the end of the evening to open that one present we scouted out all month. Christmas, on the other hand, could go either way. Soooooo, if we were to get married on my favorite day of the year, we had 5 days to figure something out! Nate was totally on board and before I knew it, plane tickets were bought for December 23rd.

The next three days were crazy- First, we told our Moms the plan and asked them to keep it a secret.  Nate made sure the logistics were settled- Like, you know, making sure we can get a same-day marriage liscence in Connecticut and more importantly, that the office would be open on Christmas Eve! We went to the mall and spent a whole $75 on Nathanial’s wedding band, and Mom gave me one of her rings to use.

Brian suggested we have the ceremony in a state park near his Mom’s place that would involve a little bit of a hike in some snow, which meant my wedding gown was a no-go. If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you know about my Lorie (you can read about her wedding in Africa here!) However badly I felt about our parents not seeing us get married, I felt a hundred times worse not having my best friend there. I thought she’d be furious, but she couldn’t have been more supportive! Lorie helped me track down my wedding ensemble- I wore a simple cream colored sweater and pants. The evening before Nate and I flew out, Lorie and I scoured a very crowded mall for a wedding-appropriate coat. We couldn’t find anything, and then at the last minute (literally- the manager had started pulling down the security gate to close the store), we rushed into White House Black Market and found my perfect wedding coat. Dad had sent me $200 for Christmas, and I think my coat came to $200.11. Their credit card machine was down, but the manager even waived the $0.11 that neither of us had on hand!

Mom drove us to the airport and after a teary goodbye, we were off to get married! Landed in New York, took a train to Hamden, and spent the last 30 minutes of daylight driving around with Brian to find a specific wedding location. We were driving around the edge of a park when I saw the cutest little bridge in the distance and said, “That’s it!” Brian laughed because that was the exact spot he was going to suggest. :)

Then it was our wedding day! We woke up together and had breakfast and mimosas with Brian’s family. I did my own hair and makeup and we had a little impromptu first look in the hallway; it was my favorite because it wasn’t planned at all! Brian happened to be in the hallway with his camera. :)

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We got our marriage license and drove to Sleeping Giant State Park. Nathanial had never looked so handsome. <3

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I was acceptable. :)

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The biggest item on my list I never had time to do? Find my wedding shoes! These were my “something borrowed” from Lorie, which she since let me keep and now they’re the most special things I own. <3

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We walked out to our little snowy bridge, Brian set up a tripod, and we started our ceremony. I asked my Mom to “give me away” over the phone. She was so sweet- I didn’t know until after our ceremony that in the midst of saying her speech, she was so focused and emotional that she accidentally locked herself out of the house! :)

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We had the most fun ceremony ever- I cannot recommend enough having someone you love (and who loves you!) officiate your wedding. :) We had nothing scripted, but Brian had letters from a couple friends and family members to read. Between the three of us we’d seen just a few weddings, so we kinda knew the jist- Vows, rings, kiss, etc.

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Brian stepped back and let us privately exchange our vows. <3

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MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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My favorite photo of us, ever. Brian, I can never thank you enough.

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Final (and much less interesting) chapter coming soon. <3

 

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