Monday, December 10, 2012

The soon to be Schusters!

Congratulations Bryan & Sadie! A few weeks ago, while having lunch with Sadie at work, I got a text from Bryan requesting to talk to me. I quickly hid the phone thinking, "I bet I know what this is about & Sadie can't know!" Bryan had a plan that was ready for action and needed some help documenting the day. I was honored to help in this way and share in such a significant moment in their lives. On Friday, December 7th Bryan asked and Sadie said YES! Anticipation: Photobucket The Decoys: Photobucket Shock and Surprise: Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Now to pic nic, take it in and celebrate! Photobucket

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Thanks.

Here it comes.. a post on what I am thankful for. Typical of this time of year? Yes. But I am glad to be reminded or the many reasons I have to be thankful. Let's just list a few. 1. Growth - We look fun, right? Well, I think we are but this road trip to Oregon last winter was a tough one. It was filled with last of hard conversations in the midst of some hard things Charles and I were trying to work through. It really was a draining and challenging trip but it brought the beginning of much growth. Growth in our situation, growth in our relationship, growth personally. In this situation and many others I am thankful for challenging times that draw me close to God and teach me something new as I go. Photobucket 2. Community - This goes with number 1. If it weren't for my community of family and friends, growth wouldn't be possible. There are so many people I lean into for support, wisdom, acceptance and counsel. I am thankful for each of you. Thanks for listening, offering grace and loving me well. I am blessed by many. Photobucket 3. Coffee - We cannot overlook coffee! I am thankful for it's taste, for conversations over it, exploring new coffee shops and more. I love that Green Bliss opened down the street from me. The whole staff is great, the coffee is excellent and the place itself is so charming. Finally good coffee in Fullerton. Photobucket 4. Ministry - I am thankful for the ways God has called me and used me. For a church home in which I get to serve alongside so many great people. I am thankful to witness life change and healing, to learn with and from so many on our team, and to be a part of a vision for the lost that impresses me. I am thankful for the journey I am on with My Father and Creator and the life He has invited me into. Photobucket Photobucket 5. New beginnings - I am thankful to share in new pieces of life with so many valuable people.. for the many births within family and friends, witnessing in marriage commitments, or launching into a new journey. This year I became an official aunt, stood alongside Jordynn as a bridesmaid, and shared in so many other moments. I am blessed to share in and grow through what life brings for those around me. I am thankful I get to share in a piece of these significant lives and moments. Photobucket Photobucket 6. Dreams & passions - I am grateful for the ways God has created me and the things he has called me to do. For the way life evolves as He shapes my heart and leads me into new things that make my heart beat. I am thankful for the things that stir anger in me, the things that He softens my heart to, the simple things that can make my day and the dreams He gives me for the road ahead. Photobucket 7. Weather & pretty places - I love a pretty sky, a rainy day, a storm and the beauty of creation. I am thankful to see and enjoy so many places that make me stop in awe. I don't always love sunny and 75 S.California weather but I am thankful for the pretty places within reach. Photobucket Photobucket 8. People who are far but remain close - I am thankful for the people in my life who are spread out but don't feel like it. Yes, I'd love to see them more but I am thankful for the ability to communicate, travel and pick up like time has barely passed. Photobucket 9. Traditions - I am thankful for traditions, festivities, holidays. I love partaking in the festive elements that come along with Holidays and seasons. Ya know, scented candles, decorating, holiday themed food, parties, quality time with those you love and more. Photobucket 10. Charles - I am thankful for the man that is my Fiance and will soon be my husband (I am still taking that in). I am so grateful for his love, his commitment to me and many, his desire to be a Godly man and the adventure we are on. I am thankful that he has invited me into a journey alongside him. I am not sure what this journey holds for us but I am so eager to begin life adventure and ministry together. Photobucket This was a quick list and there are so many more things I have to be thankful for. And so many people. Thank YOU to the many who I get to share life with. Big or small, there are so many things that I am continually blessed by. And for that I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Family Holiday minis (part 1)

Another big thanks to the Gonzalez family. For the second year in a row we have gotten together quite a few families for Holiday mini sessions. Many of the families are part of twin group and it has been so fun to see them grow so much in the past year plus. Here's a few from our morning at Fullerton College. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Way to go Mom & Dad.. gotta make the kids say "eww" a little! Photobucket Part two with the other families coming soon..

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

10.19.2012 {Will You Marry Me?}

I am engaged to Charles Stoicu. While it has been almost 3 weeks, it is still a little surreal. First, I'll tell the story (for those who haven't heard and want to read) or feel free to scroll down to the photo story. Charles, myself and some friends had been planning an Arrowhead get a way to a friend's cabin. Why? Cause we were ready for a weekend away, cause we needed cooler weather and cause we wanted quality time with friends. This trip was with friends we don't get to see a lot and during a very busy time so I was pretty impressed we were getting together at all. On the way up the mountain, after a lot of traffic, I find out that our friends are running late or haven't left yet. I was a little bummed by the lack of communication but was ready to enjoy a mellow evening. Charles and I headed to dinner and then would meet them at the cabin. Dinner was kinda fancy which surprised me and then our not so sly hostess seemed overly excited about something. This made me wonder if MAYBE something could happen. Honestly, I got a little nervous. I felt like it might be a little awkward to get proposed to at a restaurant. Anyway, dinner finished and we left. I was thrilled by the cold weather and mellow weekend ahead so we moved on to the cabin. When we arrived and walked inside I found it totally decorated. There was burlap dressing up the counters, fall leaves, lamps, candles and two lattes in our mugs! At this point, I knew THIS WAS IT. Charles led me outside to a patio strung with lights and a table for two decorated to match the inside. There were 3 large mounted collage prints of memories he uncovered. He sat me down and gave me a wrapped gift. Inside was a book I gave him for our one year anniversary. On the last page representing the future of our relationship I drew two stick figures (not my talent) and said, "place future photos here" like a to be continued. Charles worked from the back of the book in with pictures and captions. He walked me through significant moments, places, challenges, growths and much more. While my mind wandered to what might happen next (and I reminded myself to take in what he was saying), he so thoroughly communicated through such significant pieces of our relationship and what I meant to him. We switched continuously from laughing to crying and back. On the last page there was a collage with photos of us in black and white and a picture of the ring in the middle. I briefly glanced and looked at him down on one knee in which he asked, "Will You Marry Me?". Before really seeing the ring we hugged and kissed and took in the moment. Then he placed the ring on my finger! After a few moments we went inside where the perfect background music was playing and danced for a few songs. This was such a great way to take in the moment, talk about what just took place and hear all the details that were in the works for so long. After a few minutes, we went outside to enjoy the pie and ice cream that was on the table. Before we could there a whole crew of friends came up from downstairs. I was still really overwhelmed and went straight back to crying. It was so exciting to share the moment with people we love so much. Charles had asked our friends to come prepared with a story about us they wanted to share. We enjoyed lattes, dessert, and a great time of support. I seriously loved every minute of it. Here's the deal.. I am really hard to surprise. I don't even try but I catch on. Even if people think they are sneaky. But, I've always wanted to be surprised on this occasion. And I was! Still feels like a miracle. Charles did the best job of acting normal, keeping me out of the loop and making this such a well thought out occasion. And eventually I found out our friend Kyle was tucked near a tree taking photos (THANKS KYLE). I've always wanted this as well! We had the weekend to take it in, enjoy friends, celebrate and talk future dreams. It was the best. I am so incredibly thankful for how well Charles planned and all the details he included, for so many friends being present and for all the celebration that followed. Now, for the photos: Dinner by the lake: Photobucket The patio set up: Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket He is down on one knee! Photobucket We're engaged! Tears and so happy: Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket FRIENDS Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket The celebration continues: Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Thank you thank you to all of you who drove, set up, waited and celebrated us. Thank you to all of you for the many congratulations, celebrations, asking of the story and support. We really felt and feel so loved and encouraged. What better way to begin life together than with such great support? Thank you to Charles for loving me so well, journeying with me, working through challenges and choosing to do life with me. This is good! Here - we - go!