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Forever: Memories Made On Sam And Justin’s Wedding Day

Forever: Memories Made On Sam And Justin’s Wedding Day

I want to share with you that one of the greatest things with running a business is not only the people you meet, but the outreach of ideas and referrals people give you.

Those last Forever.

I posted the cover of my Fall 2017 Catalog on Facebook the other day and along with that asked if anyone knew of a boutique or shop they felt would enjoy the products I offer at Old Lake George and I want to extend that question here…drop me a note, I’d love to chat about it.

And now I want to pay that referral forward.

This is the contact information of my other nephew, Preston.

Preston gifted Samantha and Justin a wedding video as his gift to them for their big day.

Every feeling and every moment was caught on camera, by drone or video, and set to music. There are no words spoken for the entire six minute video, yet, everything was said.

I have watched this video a hundred times already and have yet to not tear up at their First Look.

But then the ceremony became the reception and those tears of joy and love turned into tears of laughter.

Remember when I said that Wade and I gave Sam and Justin a little gift and that you didn’t want to miss that video?

A quick backstory.

We wanted to get something for Sam and Justin for their wedding that they would keep Forever.

Wade doesn’t dance.  We didn’t even have a DJ or dance at our wedding.

He will only slow dance if I give him the “come hither” look.  🙂

So knowing this, my bright idea was to do a dance for them to my favorite childhood song, Little Willy, by The Sweet. I knew Sam would recognize the song right away because when she and Jack were little it was our go-to afternoon dance party song!

When I first gingerly approached Wade with the idea, I was braced for a, “Nope, not happening.” But he thought it was a great idea and was on board from the beginning!

Now all we needed were dance lessons and a choreographer.

I researched locally for someone to help and found nothing.

And then one evening Jimmy and Nikki, our neighbors, were over and I shared with them our brilliant wedding gift idea and dilemma.

At that moment all of our stars aligned, dancing shoes aligned and Nikki volunteered to choreograph for us being that she was in dance during high school and in college.

She quickly assessed how simple the moves were going to need to be 🙂 and put something together.

We practiced several times for about a week.

And then it was show time.

Speeches and toasts were given by the best man, the maid of honor and Justin’s Mom.

Then it was our turn.

We made Sam and Justin sit in front of us on the edge of the dance floor as we faced them and the rest of the wedding guests.

Besides Nikki and Jimmy, only two other people knew we were doing this.

Sam started to cry because she thought we were going to say something touching. Ha. Justin had no idea what was happening.

Wade did say a few words of Thanks to everyone for making this the Best Day Ever and then the music started.

During the brief intro of the song we got everyone clapping and I yelled out that they better pull out their phones, cause this will never happen again.

Enjoy the video and hold on tight for the Forever Dance.



Thank you Preston.  You captured this day Forever.


Sam And Justin Tie The Knot: Best Day Ever 2017

Sam And Justin Tie The Knot: Best Day Ever 2017

The day finally arrived. Justin and Sam officially tied the knot!

The weather earlier in the week was rain, rain and more rain, but the day of the wedding was a perfect, 75 degree low-humidity day.

After a fun Thursday evening at the Plymouth Millennium Gardens for the rehearsal, we all met back at the Lucky 13 restaurant for the groom’s dinner.

Sam and Justin chose a casual patio garden barbeque menu. The evening was full of fun and laughter as everyone chatted and celebrated the couple.

Friday morning, the day of the wedding, started with early morning hair and makeup for the wedding party and  decorating the venue.

My Mom had designed all of the arrangements the night before using blue, green and white hydrangeas.  From there we corralled everyone to help with putting arrangements on the tables, setting up the photo booth, and placing more flowers on the cake, gift and guest book tables.

It took a small village of family and friends to pull it off and I want to thank everyone who helped.
(I’ll show you more pictures of the details as Spencer finishes them)

Speaking of Spencer, he gifted Sam and Justin their wedding photos. What a great gift!

He worked off of a list that the couple had created.

The first item on the list was the “First Look” picture.

Here is what that looked like, from the balcony of the reception area using my iPhone.

Only the two of them and Spencer were allowed to be part of that moment. Not even me, the mother of the bride that gave birth and raised this child for 23 years, 11 months and 11 days!

But I’m not bitter, it’s fine, whatever.  🙂

After the “First Look”, pictures of the two of them at different parts of the gardens were snapped. (Photo by Spencer)

The back of her dress is so beautiful, I wanted you to see it. Again using my IPhone, I captured this picture of my sister Carrie, who was Sam’s personal attendant, helping Sam with her train as they walked towards the next photo spot.

From here they started on wedding party photos. (Photo by Spencer)

I love this picture. Spencer captured these two “Kissing”. These two goofs are not the kissy, huggy type in front of other people. The expression on their faces is usually how they posed.

So why not keep that tradition going…even on your wedding day.

Next came family photos.

And then it was time to tie the knot.

I thought I had all of my tears out of the way at the rehearsal.  Let me tell you, I was an ugly cry mess. I knew I would be, but dang, I was a torrential downpour of tears. It was even suggested that I attach sponges under my eyes for the wedding day.

When Wade, Sam and I started to walk down the aisle, I was doing pretty good.

And then I saw Carrie crying.


I held it back until we were standing in front of the minister and she told us that is was “Time to let go and give Sam’s hand to Justin.”


Are you kidding me?

Let go?

Commence the waterworks, ugly cry and the greatest hug I have ever received from my daughter.

The rest of the ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a fun celebration with family and friends.

As I get more pictures, I will share them with you.

In fact, Wade and I gave Sam and Justin a gift that they will never forget. You won’t want to miss that video.

Thanks for stopping by,

Best Day Ever – Spring Break 2017

Best Day Ever – Spring Break 2017

We had another Best Day Ever on Spring Break last week.

Sam spent her break with us and we checked a few more items off of the wedding To-Do list.

The reality that our little girl is all grown up and getting married is really starting to sink in.

I know, I know, she and Justin, her fiancé, have dated for over six years and have been engaged for almost a year already so I knew this was coming.

But when you are editing pictures and you notice in a close up shot, that she still holds her pencil the same way that she did when she was little, it becomes real.

Just a second, I have to go and blow my nose.

I am going to be such a mess on her wedding day. 🙂

Okay, let’s move on.

Besides visiting her wedding venue and playing with some different table arrangements, we worked on the photo booth background.

Sam found an app, DIY Booth Lite, that we put on an iPad. The iPad will be strategically placed and centered using this as our background.

From there anyone can make a fun photo strip of pictures using the app and send it to their phone. Even better, Sam and Justin will have a set for themselves on the iPad.

We used the black frame that I use to hold the backgrounds for photos. However a customized background was well over $50.

Not in Sam’s budget, so what does a crafty Mother and Daughter team do?

You guessed it. We made it ourselves.

We bought a 6’x9’ drop cloth from Walmart for $6.99 and I already had the paint, the fabric medium, the large letter stencils and a cheap craft paint brush.

If you did need to purchase all of those things, it would be about $10-$15.

The saying, Best Day Ever was laid out on the drop cloth and traced.

Then each letter was painted.

We wanted the effect to look like a huge old fashioned typewriter had imprinted the fabric.

Sam added her wedding date by freehand. (The girl has skills.)

Since Sam was little, when she is really happy about something, she does a little wiggle dance.

When we finished the backdrop, she wiggle danced.

Here’s wishing all of you a wiggly Best Day Ever Spring Break!


Labor Day Weekend Fun

Labor Day Weekend Fun

I hope you all had a relaxing Labor Day weekend. Wade and I got a great surprise on Sunday night. Jack and Sam drove home to visit us! Both of them had school off on Monday and wanted to spend time at home on the lake.

While the boys were out doing what boys do, Sam and I decided we wanted to play around with some ideas for wedding centerpieces. We’ve already talked at length about this. Sam really loves the idea of fresh flowers and we always go back to hydrangeas as the flower we love the most.

So yesterday, we snuck over to Nikki and Jimmy’s house to cut some of their blooming hydrangeas. Nikki did give us permission, but we felt pretty sneaky anyways.

Since we were pretty set on using hydrangeas, what we really needed to concentrate on was what height of vases we liked. We ended up using things I already had around the house including a traditional flower vase, a decorative urn, old milk bottles, a large water vase, a bottle from Ikea and an old wine bottle.

We loved the height of the wine bottle and we loved the look of the decorative urn.

What we liked was a combination of the height and the look. Cue: Country Chic Paint. I bought this locally at The Round Barn a few months ago and have only used it one other time. You can read about that here.

As you can see in the picture, we didn’t remove the label from the wine bottle before taking pictures. So after quickly removing the label with Goo Gone, we threw on some Country Chic Paint in Cheesecake.

After the paint dried, I distressed it, but as Wade likes to say I scratched it up. He’s so literal.  🙂

So after today’s success, we feel like wedding planning rock stars.

Centerpieces? Check!

This week, I’m so excited to keep working on items for the Market on Old Lake George sale. But did I mention that I am also sewing a one-hundred pillow cover wholesale order for a customer? Just call me an overachiever. 🙂


Planning a Wedding

Planning a Wedding

The venue is reserved, the DJ has been selected and the catering menus are rolling in. Little by little we are chipping away at the details of planning a wedding.

Samantha is back home for a quick two-week break between semesters and we are checking off as many wedding to-do’s as we can before she drives back to start the fall semester.

Spencer, yes the photographer and social media genius behind my Etsy shop and this blog, gave Samantha and her fiancé Justin an engagement and wedding day photo shoot as a gift for their big day.

They met Spencer on Monday morning and walked around downtown Minneapolis shooting with different backgrounds, poses and wardrobe changes. There were so many beautiful pictures to choose from. I think this one sums up their story, “The Air Force Air Traffic Control Journeyman and the Delta Gamma College Graduate finally together after four years of long distance dating.”

The next big item on the list was wedding dress shopping. Samantha had been collecting photos of dresses she liked and we took those ideas to The Wedding Shoppe in St. Paul. We had a ten a.m. appointment with Cindy.

We met Cindy and headed upstairs to the wedding dress selection room.

Picture this (the upstairs): one big room with covered wedding dresses on one end and a stage surrounded by mirrors on the others. In front of the stage were little pedestals for the bride to stand on and clear acrylic chairs where guests of the bride could sit.

Samantha and Cindy reviewed the ideas that Sam had gathered and they got to work.

Dress #1 was so pretty. It was a little big so they clamped the back of it to help tailor it to her figure. I could tell right away that this was not “the one”. 

Dress #2 also pretty but……..

…..still not quite right.

Then she walked out with dress #3. There was another bride with her maid of honor and mother there trying dresses on at the same time. We collectively squealed when we saw Sam in this dress.  

The eyelash lace, the row of covered buttons down the back and the elegance of it all, this dress was a show stopper. This dress was made for a Royal Family wedding.

But for her, this dress was still not the one.

Sam had a vision in her head, so we tried on dress #4.

Since she was a little girl, Sam would do this little fist-clenching, shoulder-raised wiggle when she was happy and excited about something.

Dress #4 got the wiggle.

I can only give you a sneak peak of the dress. I don’t want to give away the wiggle wedding dress.


And if any of you are wondering, I cried. I made to dress #4, but I cried, we cried and we hugged.

So in between the DIY and my other types of posts, I will be updating you on wedding plans.


Wait, one more thing. After we bought Sam’s dress, we went across the street to an estate sale and I bought a farmhouse table with a bench and an antique settee.

The table needs to be sanded and stained and the settee needs to be reupholstered. They are going to make for some awesome before and after pictures.