Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cape May 2011

The day after getting back from Christa and Kyle's wedding, Mac and I headed down the shore to Cape May to catch up with my family. They had been there since Saturday, but we arrived on Monday. We took two cars because Mac could only stay for one night.

The week was filled with all of our usual activities: all the ladies going out for tea, spending lots of time at the beach, reading, playing board games, etc... Here's everyone's beach shoes lined up on the picnic table out back:

And the boys always come up with something new to keep themselves entertained. This year Nathaniel figured out how to make a ninja mask out of a long sleeved shirt. He and Sebastian came ninja-ing down the stairs looking like this one morning:

And all the gals went out to get our spa pedicures! The best way to spend a dreary morning at the beach. Ahhh:

We did a lot of walking along the mall and generally enjoying each other's company. Aunt Angie has been able to make it down the past couple summers and it was a treat to have her with us again. Here she is with my mom (her sister - can't you tell?):

And yes, all the boys now thoroughly enjoy spending time in the sand, in the water and at the ocean. We went out early one morning to do our family photo and they really liked conquering this lifeguard stand. They're all getting so big!!

And here we are - the big happy family. Special thanks to Aunt Angie for taking this photo! She took tons of them with all different cameras and this one was the best, and one of the first taken:

On our last morning at the beach, I headed out to watch the sunrise and caught these scenes:

As always, it was a lovely time at the beach. It's something that I look forward to every year. We already have the same house booked for next year...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Christa and Kyle get Married!!

The last weekend in July was one of my favorite of the whole summer! My dear friend Christa got married to her best friend Kyle on a beautiful farm in Western Massachusetts. Mac and I arrived on Friday afternoon and got to work helping out with the wedding prep. We arranged flowers, set up tables and chairs, and did pretty much anything that needed to be done to make their day perfect. We also got to hang out with some amazing folks including the bride and groom and college friends Jerri and Mark and their daughter Zoe. It was a bit of a humid, dreary afternoon, but we made the best of it and ended the evening knowing that Saturday was going to be a beautiful day. Mark, Jerri, Zoe, Mac and I all headed into Northampton to get dinner, but Jerri ended up taking Zoe "home" to put her to bed, so Mark, Mac and I enjoyed our dinner at Haymarket, got some take-out for Jer and then picked up some beer for the wedding.

We all ended up staying at a co-op community were Christa's friends Steve and Lena live. Mark, Jerri and Zoe stayed in their house and Mac and I stayed in the spare bedroom in the community house. It all worked out for the best and we were even able to store the beer in the community house fridge.

Saturday morning we all went out for breakfast at a little coffeeshop in Amherst and then headed over to the farm to finish prepping. Mac helped out getting things set up and I took some pre-wedding photos of Christa and Kyle and their families. In the photo at the top of this post you can see Christa and Kyle and the beautiful barn where they held the reception. As you can see, it turned out to be a beautiful day!

The first thing that Christa and Kyle did for their guests was serve them homemade pie. It was their way of saying Thank You to everyone for coming and supporting them.

Here you can see the adorable aprons that someone made for them, and all the delicious pies:

Once everyone had a chance to eat some pie we all made our way to the wedding ceremony site, which was just a short walk down the farm on a beautiful hillside. The ceremony was very unique and included a Ring Warming. The rings were passed around to all of the guests and they were asked to hold them and give them their blessings and warm wishes. The rings were held in the wings of this adorable hand-made bird:

Christa and Kyle sat together during the ceremony, facing the guests:

Guests were also asked to share their thoughts and well-wishes with the couple in a way that was similar to a Quaker sharing. Whenever you felt moved to speak you just said what you had to say, or in Jerri's case, sang what you wanted to sing:

Mark also chose to share:

Then Christa and Kyle exchanged vows that they had written themselves, put on their gorgeous rings and were MARRIED! It was a beautiful ceremony on an absolutely perfect summer day.

After the ceremony we got the Syracuse crew together for a quick photo. Mark, Mark, Jerri, Christa and I were all RAs in Shaw Hall:

Mac took a nice shot of me with Christa and Kyle:

And Kyle returned the favor by taking a nice shot of Mac and I up at the ceremony site:

Once most of the guests had left the site I got to do a few more photos of just Christa and Kyle at the ceremony site.

On the way to the archery field, Mac stopped to show Zoe how seeds come from sunflowers.

And then we all got to shoot a few bows and arrows! Kyle and Christa teach archery at the farm, so they decided to have it available for the guests between the ceremony and the reception.

It was so fun!

After archery, we all headed back to the barn to watch a fun skit that their families had put together about Christa and Kyle. Then we were all treated to some live bluegrass music and a home-cooked meal. It was great to catch up with friends and do some dancing during the reception.

Once it got dark, we all wandered over to the bonfire site and watched a fire dancing performance which was really cool, then sat around the campfire and made smores and told stories. It was the perfect end to an awesome day.

On Sunday we all met up back at the farm to help clean up and eat some of the left-over food. Once the clean-ups were done, a bunch of us headed to Puffer's Pond in Amherst to take a dip in the water and enjoy one last hurrah with good friends. We spent about an hour at the pond and then went into town to get some ice cream.

It was the perfect end to a really lovely weekend.

Then Mac and I got in the car and drove all the way back to Princeton so that we could do a load of laundry, re-pack and head to Cape May on Monday morning to hang out with my family.