Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I am Muriel Jean's Grandaughter...

Muriel Jean-the name of my beloved grandmother. A mother to 4, grandmother to 15, great-grandmother to 1 and another one the way. She was no ordinary grandmother...

Mammy (as all of her grandchildren call her) was young. She was full of life. She was spunky & witty, always saying exactly what was on her mind (my family says I take after her in this way). She created her own "Mammyisms," as we called them-often mixing up sayings such as "two heads are better than none." Or, "I'm going to visit the ARmish today." She pronounced words in her own way and always declared that she was pronouncing them the right way. She was THE most creative person I have ever met. She created bears, purses, watches, quilts, bridal bags, sock monkeys, headbands, scarfs, name it, she has made it. She could create something from nothing-a true artist. Remember the flowers on my wedding dress? She made those-out of lingerie from the Good Will-I guess they served as my something old, and something borrowed ;) Everything I know about creating she has taught me. I would not be the crafter I am today without her knowledge. I strive to know the things she knew one day. She was no ordinary grandmother...

Mammy never had an easy life-she endured a rough childhood and upbringing, a loss of a husband, a loss of a son and two cancer diagnoses. Yet, she never complained. She never whined about doctors appointments or chemo, she actually enjoyed it-often telling me, "I hope I have chemo today...they treat me like a queen there and I get free lunch!" She had a strong faith in the Lord and believed that we were made to know God and follow God. She continually brought joy to people's lives through her crafts, jokes and simply her smile. Did I forget to mention she was one beautiful woman?...always wearing the most perfect colored lipstick and flower headband in her hair, which of course matched her outfit. She was no ordinary grandmother...

My family lived with my Mammy two separate times throughout my life. Once when I was 3-4 years old and again my first year of high school. I can't count the number of times we danced in her kitchen together, ate chocolate cake until we "blew up like wood ticks" (as she would say) or talked over a cup of coffee at 3:00 in the afternoon (she always needed her afternoon cup of coffee to survive the rest of the day). My mammy was no ordinary grandmother...she was so much more...

After her passing, my mom found a letter she wrote to her children and grandchildren a few weeks before. The letter was read at her burial this past Saturday. The words she wrote I will forever hold in my heart, and I hope you will also...

"Follow your dreams never give up and be happy along the way. I have made mistakes, nobody is perfect, but I always had your best interest in mind and always did the best I could to the best of my ability. For what I have learned out of life is that no one should do good for the sake of reward and that there is no end of good that can be done by those who don't care who gets the credit. We always forget that we are on trail on this earth. We were made to know God, to love God and to try and get back to Him in heaven."

My Mammy has found her way to heaven. She is there now-with my pop-pop and uncle, who passed away only a few weeks before her. And although I am shocked and saddened with the thought of not having my crazy Mammy around, I can rejoice in knowing that I will one day dance again with her...only not in the kitchen, but in heaven.

(This photo was taken on Christmas Eve this past year)

(All of her grandchildren-minus one-wearing purple in honor of her after her memorial service)

Friday, March 23, 2012

It is well with my soul...

My beautiful Mammy (grandmother) passed away Wednesday morning. My newest tattoo has never seemed so appropriate...

I'll be back in a few days with many thoughts about this amazing woman has impacted my life...

Monday, March 19, 2012

UncommonGoods Product Review

A few weeks ago UncommonGoods contacted me asking if I would be interested in a product review for their company. Um...of course! I absolutely LOVE their website and unique and funny gifts. It took me a while (seriously hours) to finally decide on a few products to review, mostly because I wanted everything. Here is what I eventually decided on:

How fun are these? Jeff and I have boring salt and pepper shakers that we registered for so we thought this could spice things up a bit on our kitchen table! They seem to look much bigger in the picture below, but are the perfect size. UncommonGoods has tons of other beautiful wine glasses, but since jeff and I don't drink much we figured a wine shaped salt and pepper shaker was best ;) Made out of glass, dainty, fun and most of all...anything but ordinary.

I also could't resist this beautiful frame. You all know I love pictures. I love a good picture frame even more. I aren't that cool unless they have a cool frame to be displayed in. This frame is made of reclaimed wood and fits perfectly in with the decor of our home!

A picture of Wyatt fits perfectly :)

Need fun items to entertain with, beautiful home decor or gifts for one of the girls in your life? This is the website for you! I promise you won't be disappointed and neither will your guests when they see all of the fun and uncommon things you accumulate from this site!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nikki's Bachelorette Party

In two weeks my best friend will marry the man of her dreams. So of course, this past weekend...we celebrated her last weekend as a single lady! We headed to OCMD (she lives about 20 minutes from there in Salisbury) and celebrated with a night out on the town. We started off at her fianc├ęs grandparent's condo-snacking on candy and other appetizers. Here was a little mini candy bar I set up...

Fruit & Veggies so we could be somewhat healthy over the weekend...

We bought the girls coral necklaces to wear out since Nikki's wedding colors are coral & navy blue :)

Nikki had to complete a scavenger hunt throughout the night. After presents & appetizers we went out to dinner and then to a club/bar (the infamous Seacrets). For every once she completes, she got a pair of undies! She did almost all of them :) Let's just say #4 was her favorite. After a few drinks, she realized that she could make a lot of money with this one...and she did.

No bachelorette party is complete without "pin the junk on the hunk" (or brandon).

College roommates and best friends.

Competing #2..."kiss a bald guy's head."

Competing #3..."have a guy serenade you."

I wish I had more pictures from the bar after dinner...however my camera would not have survived there. At least we have these to remember this incredibly fun night!

Check back tomorrow for a product review from one of my favorite websites...Uncommon Goods!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moving on to bigger & better things...

One thing you might not know about me is that I stress...a lot. I also worry...a lot. It runs in the family, I think. My mom, sister and I are all this way. And as hard as I try to not stress or worry about anything, I always seem to find something to worry about.

I thought moving to PA would cause all of the stress in my life (wh
ich was mostly being away from my family and traveling so much) to go away. Unfortunately I was wrong. So what am I stressing about? Our business. Jeff and I honestly could never have imagined our life where it is today. Our business is thriving more than we ever dreamed. We have booked well over 20 weddings for this upcoming season and realized that we may be in over our heads. So, I guess at least it was a good thing to stress about?

With working over 40 hours a week nannying, we realized that we had zero time to edit the engagement shoots we have had and definitely wouldn't have time for all of these weddings this spring/summer/fall. So, we took a leap of faith and I left my nannying job to focus on our business. Scary? Yes. But exciting. Yes!

I am still working part-time (from home) as a personal assistant for a friend that sells insurance but it really gives me time to focus on our clients and their pictures. I started my new life yesterday and can honestly say that I feel a weight lifted off of me. I am able to enjoy photography now, rather than feeling pressured to edit. I am able to go for a run in the morning and still have time to complete all of my work. I have time to visit my grandmother who is very sick every few days. Most importantly, I have time to do this...BLOG :)

Here is a picture of us from this past weekend. We visited friends in one of our favorite towns, Annapolis, MD!

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