These faces make me smile :)

 

 

One of the weeks I was blessed to be in Abilene over the summer while Jake was in Dallas and then Washington DC I had our very good friend and photographer who takes all our pictures do me with my sweet Trammell girls because I really wanted some good recent pictures of me with them! I’m sure most of you know how it is, the only way you get good pictures of them is if you are behind the camera taking the pictures and selfishly I want to be in the picture with them sometimes because I want to have these wonderful memories to look back on one day and remember how blessed I was and how special of children they were and just how fast they grew!

First of all, I honor photographers who graciously work with kids, especially small kids because Elizabeth who is 4 isn’t one for pictures especially this particular day, but with a little talking through and coaxing we were able to get some really cute ones that I love and will always cherish! I can’t look at these pictures without thinking about the journey that I have been on with these sweet girls and their family! If you have read this blog at all you know what these girls mean to me and you are probably tired of hearing about it but it is just part of my story and everyone has one that means the world to them and this is just part of mine! I couldn’t do my life without these sweet little smiling faces among others but they are so BEYOND important!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love you Maggie, Claire, & Elizabeth

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Gotta have a smiling with all three

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LOVE this one with Elizabeth’s mouth wide open from laughing

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Both Claire & Elizabeth look so cute in this one and Maggie is laughing just in a more mature way.

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Maggie is clearly the older sister

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Love you sweet baby sister…I remember the day you entered the world!

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Love my sweet Elizabeth

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Love my Claire

 

 

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Best job I ever applied for, thank you sweet Claire!

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There is no one who couldn’t love this girl right here!

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Love me some Claire Louise ๐Ÿ™‚

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My very first Trammell girl ๐Ÿ™‚

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Big sister Maggie

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Look at that face ๐Ÿ™‚

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Just look at that pose, that’s my Claire Bear right there!

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And here is my sweet girl tribe…love them to death ๐Ÿ™‚

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LOVE Elizabeth’s face in this one…really shows off her silly and funky personality!

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Fun in San Diego

 

 

So back several months ago my sister asked me if I would be interested in going to San Diego with her, Matt, & Parker this morning. What do you really say to that? I mean I love travel almost more than anything in the world! So when someone invites to come vacation with you especially two of your very favorite people in the world there isn’t even a question in mind of whether you want to go or not. From the very first time she asked me I was 110% completely down with it!! And as it turns out it worked out so perfect that Jake received this new job at the beginning of summer and I was not too keen on being alone all summer long since he was going to be gone for so long. So the timing worked out perfect for such a wonderful vacation! Not only had I never been to California but I had always wanted to go and sometimes I still can’t believe I got to go to San Diego, California for an entire week with my sister, brother in law, and nephew. They were so enormously generous by inviting on this trip that I could never thank them enough!! Love you guys more than you will ever know ๐Ÿ™‚DSC_8578

Nothing but a really cool sign not too far from us in San DIego. They had some really old, unique signs everywhere in San Diego…I LOVED them!

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Matt & Jenna at La Jolla Beach, we drove around one day out there looking at all the amazing houses and then walked around looking at the sea lions and water and stuff. It was a really cool beach!

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Jenna & I at La Jolla Beach:)

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This whole time while we were driving around looking at the town and all the amazing houses Parker had fallen asleep and woke up just before leaving and was able to have his picture taken at La Jolla Beach. I know he was so thankful ๐Ÿ™‚

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The sweet Manges family ๐Ÿ™‚ But Parker not wanting to look at the camera and smile.

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Looking at all the people and the sea lions below on the rocks and in the water. He definitely having so much stuff to look at.

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These sea lions have adapted to this rocky beach area and have made it their home. It is a really cool sight to see and hear!

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One of our first exhibits we saw at the awesome San Diego Zoo was the Koala Bear exhibit, which was very well done and ended up being one of Parker’s favorite animals of the zoo. At the end of his trip he even got to bring home a koala bear from the zoo gift shop. They were very sleepy animals but still so cute watching them climb up their trees and snuggle and sleep and occasionally wake up to eat their euchalyptus leaves.

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Taking a little break from the animals to say CHEESE for a quick picture, clearly Parker didn’t want to smile!

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One of the greatest sights to see was the amazing Polar Bear exhibit the San Diego Zoo had, they had two or three polar bears in the exhibit. And we were lucky enough to get to see them do all sorts of fun tricks and also learned how smart of animals polar bears are. In this picture the polar bear was dribbling a ball underwater, it was truly amazing to watch!

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Jenna & Parker in front of the pretty pink flamingo exhibit, again Parker not looking at the camera, there really was so much more to see around him.

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The Manges family in front of the San Diego Zoo main entrance…perfect picture opportunity!

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A sweet man with his family was nice enough to take our picture so that everyone could be in it, we were so very thankful ๐Ÿ˜‰

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And of course I had to get one with just me and my sweet nephew Parker LOVE him so much ๐Ÿ™‚
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Matt & Parker…Parker says HI to the camera

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This was at one of the duck exhibits, he absolutely loved it! Although this spring and summer he has had a serious duck obsession so I think he would have loved duck anything.

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This was HANDS DOWN my absolutely favorite part of the entire zoo! I had never seen a real Giant Panda Bear in real life and it was simply amazing. This one pictured above I believe was the mama panda bear and they also are sleepy animals but so cute and furry and soft. We learned so much about all the different animals we saw at the zoo, but I thought to be so interesting that this female panda bear only ever wants to be around a male panda bear when she is ready to breed which is only once a year.

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Here is another one of the Panda bears we saw

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Parker also loved the Hippopotamus and they were HUGE and came up so close to the glass!

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Another break from the animals for a picture for Jenna & Parker

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We also were able to go to a San Diego Padres baseball when they were playing San Francisco Giants which was so FUN! Here is a picture from outside of the baseball park while we waited for the gates to open.

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Jenna & Parker at PetCo Park

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It was an absolutely perfect night for a ย baseball game, amazing weather and we had awesome seats!

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A view from the other side of the field

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And a certain someone here was EXTRA happy about watching ball-ball as he calls it. He was smiling, clapping, and cheering throughout the whole game, it was making everyone around excited haha! He definitely made the game even more fun!

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I just LOVE the expression on his face in this picture ๐Ÿ™‚

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Too adorable for words ๐Ÿ™‚

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I had really forgotten how much fun going to baseball games are since it had been forever since I had been to one!

 

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The sweet little family at the baseball game

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At the New Children’s Museum in San Diego just playing and playing. This museum was different, Parker had fun playing, and it was definitely creative and intriguing to see what kind of projects they did to work with the children’s art and creativity. But it was unlike any children’s museum we had ever been to. It was very green, recycle, reusing things to make art, but the whole museum reflected the feel of the city of San Diego which was really neat to see that put into a museum. But there also wasn’t a ton for his age of kids to do at the museum but he still had a fun time playing.

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This place had all kinds of neat, colorful things hanging from the ceiling that were so interesting and intriguing to Parker.

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Parker & I playing on the drums which he really LOVED!

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Beating on those drums!!

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Jenna & Parker playing the drums together…I think this picture is so cute with their faces so close together and both of them smiling!

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This was one thing that he did love, they had this big maze painted all different colors and with all kinds of graffiti writing all over it. And he had himself a ball crawling and running through it mainly away from us haha, but when we finally would catch him he would just crack up laughing and it was too cute!

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LOVE this one!!

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Building blocks was another fun part of the museum, although his favorite part was knocking down the tower after we had built them!

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Here we are at the Pacific Beach on Coronado Island to be exact. I absolutely loved the Pacific Ocean and was utterly amazed at how much beach the pacific still has, its still so long, vast even before your toes hit the water.

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Parker LOVED the sand, This sand was different than our beaches here. But he just melted in the sand and laid down and played in it.

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Standing in front of the villas at Coronado Island which were so so beautiful in person if you can’t tell from the picture. I would definitely love to go back there and stay here!
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LOVE this picture of my sweet little Parker and me

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Playing in the sand

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And here is the beautiful Pacific Ocean…I can now say I have put my feet in the Pacific, Atlantic, & Gulf coasts.
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Jenna & Parker putting their feet in the Pacific Ocean
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The Manges family playing in the water ๐Ÿ™‚

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No smile from Parker but he really was having a blast playing in the sand and the water.

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Clearly distracted by the sand but love our little boy so much!

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Another view of the villas at Coronado Island

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As we left Coronado Island that night here are some pictures of the lights over the island.

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My most recent dream come true

So towards the end of our huge snowstorm of 2011 we ventured out to Best Buy after saving up ALOT of our money, playing with, researching, and finally coming to a decision on our first DSLR camera. We went so back and forth for a couple weeks on which camera was the best for us to buy, we were between this Nikon 3100 and a Canon EOS Rebel T1i, which are both really great cameras, but there were a few more features that this Nikon d3100 had that the Canon didn’t and so far we have been SO pleased with our purchase. I haven’t had alot of time yet to take it out on the town and experiment and play around with it, but really looking forward to that!

I cannot tell you how long I have dreamed and looked at all of these cameras and to actually have one in hand to use for whatever I want is almost surreal for me. I am so excited to get to start learning all about this camera and what it will do and photography in general, I have so much to learn, but am really looking forward to it all! I have been interested in photography for a long time, but to finally get to use this camera as a part of my interest and new hobbies is just beyond exciting! So there will definitely be LOTS more pictures on this blog due to my new toy! So I hope everyone enjoys the results ๐Ÿ™‚

favorite wedding pictures

So I’m anyone reading this is getting tired of all the wedding picture posts, but I LOVE all the pictures so much and I’m just trying to get it all done & documented so one day when I still have this blog, I can look back at these posts. But the pictures on this post are really some of my top favorites, they are some of the more artistic ones with cool angles and such and I love them. I’m so so glad I got absolutely what I was really looking for in the area of wedding photography, Hannah did such an amazing job, I know for a fact I could not have asked for a better photographer, the memories we have in all our pictures are so special! I cannot wait to get the pictures printed that we want to frame & especially can’t wait to get our coffee table album & gallery wrap that Hannah is doing for us, I think they are going to be so awesome!

So anyways…hope you enjoy looking at some of my favorite wedding pictures, let me know which ones you like the best out of all the ones I have posted so far. Have a great weekend everyone!

white rose arrangement

such a sweet, sweet picture, Amelia dancing on my brother’s feet, I love it :
Below: Jake’s grooms cake made by the talented mom & aunt beth, I absolutely love the way it looked, it was EXACTLY what we wanted!

above: my brides cake, so so pretty, very simple, by I loved it…not to mention it was ABSOLUTELY delicious, the best italian creme cake I have tasted yet, thanks Beth!
Below: cool angle of one of the centerpieces, loved how they turned out…thanks to Nana
the centerpieces were lots of belles of ireland in tall square vases with all different color rose petals in the water.
Claire Louise & I, sweetest girl ๐Ÿ™‚

Daddy & I as we walked down the aisle

My groom & I with our wedding party behind us, love the way this picture turned out

such a different take on wedding party pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

Flower girl, Claire Trammell

what I consider a breathtakingly beautiful picture, sweet Claire & Elizabeth

LOVE LOVE this one too, I think all the different expressions on everyone’s faces is so cool

such a cute girl picture, gotta love the shoes ladies!

one of my favorite angles in wedding photography, I think its precious how you see the lower half of all the older girls & all of amelia and her sweet smile

one of my top favorites of all the thousands of wedding pictures Hannah took

I know I already shared this one, but I just love it, think its so so cool

Reception Part II

So luckily blogger fixed whatever problem it was having earlier today and uploading all the pictures I wanted wasn’t a problem. First thing to say about our reception is that it was SO much fun for all, of course Jake & I had an amazing time since it was our special day, but most of all our family & friends that were at the reception have told us how much fun they all had. My only complaint from our entire reception was I wished it had been longer, we had so much fun dancing adn enjoying all the great music our dj was providing. Jake & I, along with most of our guests were getting so tired, plus we only had the building until midnight, but I knew if we had stayed longer we would have regretted it the next morning seeing as how Jake & I had to get up at 5 am to leave Abilene to drive to Galveston to board our cruise ship, a.k.a WORST TRIP EVER!!!

Aside from all that I cannot put into words how much we enjoyed our reception, how much fun we had, how special it was to have all the people in our lives that care about us, minus a few. I loved getting to make the rounds of the room talking, catching up, & taking pictures with everyone that came to celebrate our special day with us. The food was absolutely fabulous and the presentation of it was even better, I loved how the work of Celebrations Catering turned out, thanks to June, she is an amazing caterer if anyone is looking for catering for anything in the Abilene area.

Before I leave this post I want to just share my greatest memory from the entire night was the moment while Jake & I were having our first dance in front of the gorgeous floor to ceiling black paned windows. I remember closing my eyes, listening to our song, and enjoying our first dance as a married couple, I vividly remembering thinking how I was living my dream life and just how long I have dreamt about it, I adored that moment & will never forget it.

Hope you enjoy all the reception pictures, there is ALOT more, but I’ll post more later!


the bride & groom making our exit in the rose petals

My groom found the garter, which might I add was so cute, handmade by my mom ๐Ÿ™‚

me about to throw my “throw away bouquet” to a single lady


YMCA everyone was getting into that one!

cool picture of some of the food on the main buffet table, the food was SO delicious!
my precious cousin Ben & I dancing
dancing with my jr.bridesmaid (cousin) Amelia, she looked GORGEOUS at the wedding


Jake & I dancing ๐Ÿ™‚
LOVE LOVE this picture, he is just so adorable & made it into alot of the wedding pictures!
about to cut our awesome cakes that were made by my talented Mom & Aunt Beth, they are the greatest, I’ve never tasted a better cake
My dad & two brothers, from the left: Uncle Cecil (oldest brother), Skipper a.k.a. Joe, & my dad
Tommy didn’t make it to the wedding

LOVE this picture & LOVE this girl ๐Ÿ™‚ Mandi, my best friend from growing up in Beaumont
was SO excited her & her mom made it to the wedding, was just so good to get to catch up with them.

cute picture…from the left: bridesmaid (cousin) rachel, groomsmen (brother) Christopher, bridesmaid (cousin) Maggie, & cousin Ben

Reception Part I

So blogger has been being really stupid while I have been trying to do this post, making me mad, but these are the only pictures that it is letting me put up, so for now it will have to do, hope you enjoy these pictures at least.

Anyways our reception was exactly how I wanted and dreamt it would be, just wished it were longer, but we were all so tired. When the wedding ceremony was over we took the rest of the family pictures that we didn’t get to do before the ceremony, which mainly consisted of my abnormally large family haha, but our amazing photographer made it all work. After pictures were over Jake & I started to mingle with all our guests that came to celebrate with us, while the men broke everything down to get set up for the reception, like moving tables, chairs, centerpieces, and stuff. Once they got all that figured out & moved where it was supposed to be everyone began to serve themselves at the delicious buffet, provided by Celebrations Catering in Abilene, Texas.

So below is just a few of the family wedding pictures that I could get to load, the rest will be in the next post along with much much more about the reception. Sorry for the problems blogger was causing for me today, oh well! Reception Part II coming up next with LOTS more pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

Jake’s mom side of the family: (left) aunt sally, sandi (jake’s mom), me & jake, nanny (jake’s g-ma), & josh (jake’s brother).

Jake’s mom, me & jake, & jake’s brother

My brother, Christopher, mom & dad, me & jake, my sister Jenna & brother in law, Matt
ALL of my mom’s side of the family…too many people to name sorry ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

most of my dad’s side of the family, some people that weren’t able to make it to the wedding!
(left)uncle luther, cousin cara, aunt barbara, cousin robbie, brother christopher, dad, me & jake, sister& brother in law, jenna & matt, aunt vickie & uncle skipper, uncle cecil, & little cousins Carol Anne & Patrick
my sweet little girls: Maggie, Claire, & Elizabeth with Jake & I 

oh my I hope the food is good!

ok, so since we have picked the location, sorta have found the flowers I want, we started looking at caterers a couple of weeks ago. Oh my was I surprised at how EXPENSIVE food is for wedding receptions, its basically just ridiculous. But we are trying to look at all our options and figure out what the best deal is going to be, so thats where we are at right now in the wedding planning process. The first caterer we looked at was a lady in Abilene, June Sheppard, she has her own business her in Abilene and does everything from the food, beverages, dishes, linens, flower arrangements, flower bouquets, decorations at the wedding ceremony & reception. The only thing that she does not do are the wedding cakes, but with my family thats not a problem. We have already decided that my mom and one of my aunts will be doing both of the wedding cakes, which is a big relief on stress and finances. But anyways…the first caterer we looked at, her estimate for everything was $2800, which is a little over our budget of $2500. The second catering company we looked at was TopCat Catering, which is a company here in Abilene affiliated with Alleycats restaurant, which was far far past our budget. Although I was very impressed with their food selection and presentation their estimate for everything was about $4500, and I think the numbers tell it all! So today I went on to my next catering option, which was another very nice restaurant here in downtown Abilene, Cypress Street Station, and who were actually reasonably. I gave them all our information of wedding/reception location, estimated guests number, time of wedding, type of food we are looking at, beverages, dishes and linens options, and was told for the number of people and the type of food we are wanting that $2500 was a good price range. The caterer there will be emailing a ballpark estimate and a list of good options as far as food goes, so I look forward to that email.

So right now our next goals are to pick a date, reserve the Elks Art Center for the wedding/reception, choose a caterer. Once we have those things done we can do all the little things whenever we want. I know we will be going dress shopping sometime this summer with me, my mom, my sister, and maybe one of my cousins, and best friend. Jake and I have started looking and listening to alot of music that we want to have at the reception and some of the ceremony music. We have also been discussing our options for who will marrying us, which is actually one of the hardest parts of it I think.

But for now I think thats pretty much it, once we have the set date picked, ALOT more can be done, such as things with the wedding party, working on save the date cards. We have already purchased the invitations and the stuff we are using to put together the save the date cards. We are doing really well as far as time and money go so far I think. I know photography and catering will be our most expensive parts of the wedding. But other than that we have really saved on alot, but everything is just the way we want it right now at least. More later as things progress. Keep checking back,