Free Speech Wall

It may not be as impressive as the Jefferson Memorial perched on the tidal basin in Washington, D.C., but the Free Speech Monument located in Charlottesville, Virginia, the home of Thomas Jefferson provides another fitting salute to one of our Founding Fathers.

imageWIth chalk provided, it’s hard to resist the temptation to write or draw something on the two-sided, 54 foot long slate wall.

On the day we wrote on the wall there were “words of wisdom” like:

Register to vote.

Don’t bite hamsters!

Have courage.

As well as lots of hearts, peace symbols, and people’s names. I didn’t see anything profound, but who

doesn’t love to write on a chalkboard. And I’m sure that on occasion more thought provoking messages appear.


Upon our return to the wall later that evening, we discovered that all messages had been erased as part of the weekly cleaning so of course new messages were scrawled on the wall.



And since this was the night before Steve and Katie’s wedding, Meghan added their hashtag:




Happy Two Monthiversary


In celebration of the two monthiversary…pre-wedding pictures

ceremony photos

groups pictures with family and friends

and post wedding celebration at #PattyParty2015

Happy Two Monthiversary!

sd21Sorry I’m a week late.

A Virginia Wedding

Sarah’s and Daniel’s wedding in February was only the first family wedding of 2015. Today, my nephew Steven marries Katelyn in Charlottesville, Virginia.

No wedding pictures yet, but here’s a few of the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs.

Not so sure about that Washington Redskin attire, but if she can’t make him into a fisherman, that’s quite an accomplishment.

They proved in February they know how to enjoy a wedding…with kisses

S&Kand dancing.


Looking forward to celebrating another happy couple.

Best wishes Steve and Katie!

Kisses 25¢

Photo booths bring out the best in camera shy people.

Using pictures I found on Pinterest, John was able to repurpose a ticket booth to create a kissing booth to use for photos at Sarah’s and Daniel’s wedding, and I got a kiss from my sweetheart.

IMG_6523What a fun cousin shot!

IMG_6606More cousins.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


Friends and family join the bride.

IMG_6529The fun wasn’t only for the younger generation.

IMG_6703When have these girls looked better?

IMG_6483Grandparents sneak a kiss.


The bride and groom goofing around.

IMG_6526Guests get a little sassy.


The soon to be Mr. and Mrs. slip away for a kiss.

S&KAnd my sister got quite a surprise!


Not everyone needed props…a few actually just gathered with friends and family and smiled.

Finally, Daniel steals a kiss from his bride.


1 Down; 14 To Go

In 2013, John came up with a brilliant idea of creating a yearly bucket list of places to go and things to do which has become an annual tradition. We’ve found shark’s teeth, visited Florida’s springs, swam with manatee, and watched the sunrise over the Atlantic and the sunset over the Gulf in the same day.

It’s hard to believe we didn’t complete the first item on the 15 in 15 list until midway through February, but it was a big one. Sarah’s and Daniel’s wedding marked the first event in our list of 15 in 15, and what an event!

IMG_6363After a few pre-ceremony pictures, it was off to the church.

The culmination of days of decorating and months of preparation, Sarah and Daniel walked down the aisle and said “I do” on Saturday, February 14th.

Then off to the reception to spend time with family and friends celebrating Mr. and Mrs. Daniel and Sarah Patty. #PattyParty2015

It may have taken six weeks to reach the 1 down, 14 to go mark, but it was well worth it! Congratulations Sarah and Daniel.

*Most photos without credit given were taken by my wonderful husband, John. I’ve tried to give credit to photos taken by others, but if I missed you and you’d like credit, please leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to update.

Love Quotes

We are most alive when we’re in love. ~John Updike
Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another. ~Thomas Merton

When you love someone all your saved up wishes start coming out. ~Elizabeth Bowen
Where there is great love, there are always wishes. ~Willa Cather

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. ~Dr. Seuss
If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love. ~Maya Angelou

I know of only one duty, and that is to love. ~Albert Camus

To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven. ~Karen Sunde
For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. ~Judy Garland
A kiss makes the heart young again and wipes out the years. ~Rupert Brooke
Kisses are a better fate than wisdom. ~e. e. cummings
A life without love is like a year without summer. ~Swedish Proverb

Wedding Advice for Sarah & Daniel

Today we’ll put the final touches on all of the wedding planning and then at 4:00 the planning ends as Sarah and Daniel say their “I dos” and by dusk the celebration will have begun.

No wedding pictures of the newlyweds. Instead, wedding pictures from the past.

Sarah’s grandparents: John and Bettie Lou, December 19, 1948
Sarah’s grandparents, Don and Betty, June 21, 1957
Emily's parents: John and Dee, August 4, 1979
Sarah’s parents: John and Dee, August 4, 1979

Since Sarah and Daniel are tying the knot, I thought it appropriate to provide a little wedding advice from Happy Wives Club.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” -Mignon McLaughlin

“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.”-Fawn Weaver

“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”-Robert Quillen

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”-Sam Keen

“The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. A mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.”-Fawn Weaver

“Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together.”-Barbara Cage

“The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.” -Unknown

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”-John Lennon and Paul McCartney

“There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.”-Ronald Reagan

“I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”-Rita Rudner

“Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.”-Michael Leunig

“A good marriage is a contest of generosity.”-Diane Sawyer

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.”-Andre Maurois

Modified post from November 9, 2013.

Final Week of Wedding Prep

This is the most exciting week of 2015! The final week of wedding preparation capped off by the big day!


So what’s on tap? Sarah, Emily, and I were busy crafting, organizing, and decorating.

John and Daniel completed cleaning projects, grounds beautification, and sound and lighting checks.


Of course, there will be trips to pick up those items that we’ve forgotten and lots of list checking. While the five of us worked at the lake on the last weekend of Sarah and Daniel’s single life, Jon and Meghan were home putting the final touches on music for the reception.

And for the record, Brian wasn’t ducking out of wedding day prep, he had to work. We’ll save some things for him to take care of next weekend.

One of the best things about all the wedding preparation: family teamwork!

A Fresh Start for Saturday

Another day of wedding preparation began at Fresh Vintage Salon in Ocala with a wedding day hair trial.


Then off to Oviedo to Sew & Tell for wedding dress alterations.

Finally a stop at both sister’s houses to pick up completed projects and dishes and to drop off projects still in progress.

A good excuse for a little mother daughter time.



The wedding countdown is in full force. Less than 4 weeks to go! So this past weekend was a busy one.

The “feyonce'” at Windwood Walls…Love is a risk. Do it anyway.

The bride and her bridesmaids enjoyed a SOBE weekend while the groom and his groomsmen spent the weekend in NOLA.

The bride-to-be with her bridesmaids. Bachelorette Weekend in Miami.
The bride-to-be with her bridesmaids. Bachelorette Weekend in Miami.

And we had a terrific weekend at HOME making wedding day preparations. We get a lot of satisfaction from checking another item off the list.

The checklist:

table set up
hang wire for lights
painting projects
trim trees and other yard work
pressure cleaning
build photo booth
Lowe’s shopping trip
Sam’s shopping trip
prepare escort cards

Guess who has big plans for the Spring?