Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Alaska - The Great Land

Our honeymoon to Alaska was nothing less than extraordinary! It was by far the most beautiful place I have ever been! If you appreciate the outdoors, wildlife, history, and beautiful scenery - we highly suggest you go to Alaska sometime in your life!!
Pictured above is Emerald Lake in the Yukon territory of B.C. Canada

Our vacation began with a morning departure from Detroit Metro and a lay over in Chicago. My fears of losing all our luggage and/or the plane crashing started to set in. If you didn't already know... I'm a huge worry wart! But good news... no accidents and we never lost a piece of luggage! The second flight was the long one.... 6 hours. Watching movies on my iPad, playing some games and taking a nap helped pass the time. We arrived in Vancouver, B.C. Canada in the early evening. Just enough time to go out to dinner and check out the town. It was pretty neat! The next morning we boarded the ship in downtown Vancouver. Let the excitement and fun begin! Oh and the waiting in lines.... There were 2,800 people boarding that ship. Can you imagine the lines everywhere you went?! Talk about finding some patience.... Haha ;-)  

The first two days we were at sea on the cruise ship. It was beautiful to sit on our balcony and look at the scenery nonstop! Make a note... if you ever go on a cruise, it is WELL worth the money to get a balcony suite! When you don't want to stand with a group of hundreds of people to look off the ship, it's nice to have the option of going to your own private balcony to relax and enjoy the scenery!

There was TONS of activities and events to particpate in on our ship. Every day we got an itinerary and timeline of events going on throughout the ship. From theatre performances to wine tasting to magic shows to kareoke to game shows to balloon drop.. it was nonstop activities! It took us a couple days to wander around all 16 floors and learn where everything was. I've never been on a cruise before and I was completely astonished by the ship! From the details of the decor, to the 8 different dining rooms, several different bars, the movie projector under the stars, the dance clubs, the dinner meanu, the pools... everything! It was beautiful! 
The three ports we stopped at were Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. Ketchikan is the salmon capital of the world! Juneau is the capital of Alaska and Skagway is known for the Klondike Gold Rush. All of these towns were beautiful! We did shopping at all the unique shops in each town which was lots of fun! We also participated in zip lining, a railway trip, a gold mine tour and panning for gold, Iditarod dog sledding, lumberjack show, glacier tour, and many tours of historic places!

We seen lots of wildlife! Although we wish we would have seen more! Bear, otters, sea lions, caribou, humpback and killer whales, lots of huge salmon, mountain goats, and bald eagles. It was so neat to see animals in the wild that we don't see at home besides at the zoo. My favorite sightings were the bear and the whales! My first reaction when we seen the bear coming towards us was "Michael! Should we run?!" He calmly said.. "No, we should be alright, he's busy fishing for dinner." That little bugger came within feet of us and just mind his own P's and Q's! So neat! The whales were just an amazing sight to see blowing water and frolicking around. We did get a couple good pictures of them mid jumping or diving - which I will post at a later date! 

Michael and I in front of our ship - The Diamond Princess - in Ketchikan, AK
This was the only picture I had of the bear on my phone. I have some closer ones on my good camera that I will post sometime!
Sunset at sea - Breathtaking!
Waking up to this sunrise out of our balcony was one of my favorite things!

That is all for now my friends! I've got lots to catch up on now that we're home! Sometime soon I hope to go through the 3,000+ pictures that we took and share some more!

XO, Julie


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sneak Peek!

I'm so excited to share a couple sneak peek pictures that my photographers have shared with me! They are beautiful! And I'm not just saying that because they are of Michael and I.... I truly love the scenery, the sunset, the landscaping backgrounds, the flowers, my handsome husband (of course), not to mention - the photographers angles and edits.. everything about them just makes me melt! I'm so glad they were able to capture so many special moments!

Check out JMK Photography and Shanell Edwards Photography! They are two different photographers that worked together to capture the wedding! They're amazing ladies!!!

Look at all these handsome guys! Michael's Dad is on the far left. My Dad and little brother were late so they are not pictured. The rest are groomsmen and ushers!
I love this little collage one of the photographer's put together!
This is a little collage the photographer put together of some pictures from the backside of the ceremony. This kiss wasn't our "first" kiss. We were getting ready to walk and they said waiiiiit! Kiss again! Haha! It's still cute though :)

Hope y'all like them!! :)

XO, Julie

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wedding Weekend Recap

It's official.... we're married!!!

Michael and I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out. We were surrounded by so much love and generosity from our friends and family members all weekend! We truly are blessed to have each and everyone one of those people in our lives!!

Thursday we loaded up our pickup, the camper, and Michael's brother's pickup with all of our wedding decor and attire. My brother flew in Wednesday afternoon so he was at our house for the first time. Once everything was loaded up, we headed to the venue to start setting up. Once set up was complete, we headed to the KOA campground around the corner and got the camper set up and the dogs situated. Rehersal started at 6! Everything went well! After rehersal we had dinner and drinks and gave our bridal party their gifts. The evening ended around a bon fire at the campground with smores, sparklers, and drinks!!

Michael and I at rehersal 07.11.13
My Dad and I at rehersal 
Michael and I at rehersal 
 The bridesmaids and I after rehersal

Friday morning came early! All the ladies headed to my mom's beauty salon to get pampered. We had our hair and makeup done while we enjoyed Mimosa's and breakfast. Next thing I knew, we were headed back to Fore Lakes to get dressed and get pictures taken! I haven't seen any of the professional pictures yet but I do have these to share from others that took some pictures with their personal cameras!

My Dad and I coming down the aisle!
Officially Mr. and Mrs!
My brother, Jeramie and I
Michael and I dancing "on the clouds"
Michael and I doing our first dance - Which turned into a funny "surprise" dance. As soon as I get a video I will post it soon!
Cutting the cake 
Our DJ surprised us with the "shoe game".. which was fun and hilarious!

Everything went great! I have zero complaints!!! The venue was beautiful! All of our decorations worked out perfect as I had envisioned! The service was amazing! The weather was perfect! I could go on and on... but I'll save that for another day! Although I do have a couple regrets... I wish I would have had more time to get pictures and I wish the night would have lasted longer so we could have visited with more guests! More details and pictures to come...

Saturday morning we had a big breakfast with everyone who stayed at the campground. It was fun and delicious!

On Sunday, I chopped 10 inches off my hair and visited with friends and family! Michael went back to work for the week before we go on our honeymoon!
My brother and I :)
My friend Grant and I 
Some of my girlfriends (and some of their kiddos) that I don't get to see often enough!

All in all, it was an extremely memorable weekend! In the end, I am so thankful to have married the man of my dreams as well as had so many amazing friends and family be a part of our special day! 

I hope everyone else had a great weekend as well!!!

XO, Julie

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Final Days of single life...

Well we're officially down the final days of being single!

We spent the weekend with family. Lots of relaxing. Which was much needed before this week gets crazy!

I've also been gathering all the wedding stuff together and checking my list twice. Besides having a dilemmena with my dress, I think we're all set!

Today is my last day of work and luckily, Michael didn't have to go to work this week. If he would have went to work, I would have been stressing out about where he was (he travels across the country) and when he was going to be home. So it's been nice to have him home! He's taken care of a lot of things we needed to get done in the last couple days.

Myself on the other hand... I've still got a list of things to do and get! This is one of those times that I hate living in the middle of no where! I see a lot of driving in my near future.... The two most important things to do are picking my brother up from the airport tomorrow and taking my wedding dress in to get it's "final" touch up - something that I shouldn't be dealing with... but at least the salon is making it right. Fingers crossed all goes well!

Michael and I relaxing at a family BBQ on Sunday
Jasmine and I watching the fireworks Saturday night in Port Hope
The pile of wedding stuff in our basement! Decorations, gifts, favors, etc..

My next post will probably be when I'm a married lady!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Celebrate America!

Happy (Be-lated) Birthday to America!
We will be celebrating our independance as American's this weekend by watching fireworks, parades, tractor and truck pulls, and spending time with our loved ones! I hope y'all are doing the same!

Yesterday morning we started the day by giving our garden a little TLC. As we were doing that, I got to thinking, I wonder if other countries garden for a hobby?! It just seems like an American tradition that not everyone has an opportunity to experience. With that thought, I enjoyed it! What a great way to start the day!

In the evening we went to Port Austin to watch the fireworks. In the past 3 years, we watched Port Austin's fireworks from a boat. So this year, watching them on land was a litle different. Not as great of a view, but it was still perfect!

Have a great Holiday weekend everyone! Be safe! :)