Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

2 year anniversary!

Dear John,

It is hard to believe that tomorrow we will have been married for two years - sometimes it feel like I have known you forever and other times it feels like just yesterday that we were looking at wedding venues (I am sure you are glad the days of flower shopping are over :) ).

I am incredibly blessed to have been able to call you my husband for the past two years, and I am so excited to continue to grow with you.

I am your biggest fan, and I love you dearly.



Looking back on our beautiful day!

the details

the details

the details

the details

getting ready

the ceremony

the ceremony

the reception

the reception

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

Dear Dad,

Happy Father's Day!  

Thank you so much for working so hard and always putting your family before yourself.  I have learned a lot from your work ethic, integrity, and love - things that John and I will be able to teach our children.

I am truly blessed to call you "Dad"!



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Restuarant Week!

There is nothing like Ann Arbor’s restaurant week to bring out all of the last winter hibernators… and Tuesday’s beautiful day was no exception – downtown was packed!

John and I ate dinner at the Prickly Pear on Main Street.  Prickly Pear is a very yummy Southwestern restaurant with fun, unique food choices.  I had the scallop and shrimp quesadillas (the same thing that I get every time :) ), and John had the buffalo enchiladas.  We ate outside and the weather was perfect!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Celebrating 30 years!

Dear Dad and Mom,

Congratulations on thirty years of beautiful marriage!

John and I truly admire the relationship that you two have, and we could not have a better example of a Christ-centered, loving, and relational marriage.

Lots of love,


June 11, 1983 - Paul and Cindy Western, 20yrs old

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer cookout

Yesterday my husband and I went to our good friends' (Jameson and Val) home for a cookout.

For dessert we brought over a burger cake from Whole Foods - although I was a bit freaked eating it, it was very tasty! 

Scout and Milton played all evening and are now best friends!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Although I may not be throwing back a photo from a while ago, I thought the below picture of John and his friends throwing back a shark bowl from this weekend worked perfectly.  

We had a few friends visiting us in Ann Arbor and we (or John, rather) decided it would be a good idea to give them a tour of the city.  

The boys at Rick's - Ann Arbor's finest establishment.

Here are a few more gems from the night :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Wednesday Happies

Shadow and Scout getting along

Wait for it...

Nope, never mind...!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wedding Season

Some of the best gifts that I received when I was marrying John were the customized gifts given to me from my bridesmaids.  For my shower, one of my bridesmaids, Elizabeth, made me a hanger with my (then) soon-to-be name (Mrs. Pray) for my wedding dress to hang on for a lovely photo-op.  

I was obsessed with the hanger, and ever since then, whenever I have a friend getting married I always make them one. This one will be for the soon-to-be Mrs. Lietzke!

To make these custom wedding hangers, you will need a wooden hanger, wire, glue of some sorts, and wire tools.  Please note that before you make one of these hangers, you will want to check with the bride to confirm that she will be taking her groom's last name - that could be awkward otherwise :)

Since you will be bending the bride's new name with a single piece of wire, you will want to practice writing the name with a single line.  Certain letters like "t" are particularly difficult because you need to cross the "t" - below I wrote the bride's name with a single line (I did not pick up the pen when writing her name).

Once you have figured out how you are going to bend the wire, remove the dowel from the hanger and drill a blind hole (a hole that does not go all they way through the hanger) the size of the wire into the hanger.  I went to Home Depot and they drilled the holes for me.

(Note: When picking your hanger, it is best to pick a hanger that will have dress straps holders so the bride's dress hangs better.)

After you have hanger ready you can start bending the bride's name in the wire.  I use twelve gauge wire - it is a bit thicker and holds better.  Don't bother cutting the wire when beginning, but just unroll the wire as needed (that way you won't have to worry about running about of wire).

I usually start (or end) with a heart.  To make a heart, start by shaping an "M" and twist the center dip.  Using wire tools can help you grip and twist tighter areas.

Once you twist the center, then twist the bottom together to form a heart! Play around a bit to get the shape and size you are looking for.

Now starting forming the bride's name!  When working with tight corners/turns (like an "M") make little loops - they look pretty and it makes the turns easier.

Once you start forming the letters, you will want to make sure that you will have enough room to fit the full name in the hanger.  I usually make my capital letters about two inches tall and narrow enough to give myself a few inches on both sides once the full name is written.

After you finish bending the bride's name, lay the wire in the middle of the hanger to measure where you want to cut the wire.  Remember, measure twice and cut once. :)

Before you put the wire into the hanger holes, put a little drop of some sort of glue to keep it secure (I used tiger bond but have also used normal crazy glue).

Once you have the wire secured in the hanger, you can play around with the letters a bit to straighten them out or space them to look better.

I topped off the hanger with ribbons using the bride's wedding colors!  Generally, there is enough wire to bend two names - so I used the remaining wire to make a hanger for my friend Olivia... soon-to-be Mrs. Carranza!

It is a bit hard to see in the picture below, but I could not help but show my wedding hanger.  :) My dress is still hanging on it! Thanks Elizabeth!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Farewell to Uptown

After two moving van trips, priming all of our walls, selling our furniture on Craig’s list (since it sadly would not fit through the door of our new home), and many (many) car trips later, we are now officially moved out of our old apartment, and into (but not yet unpacked) our new home.  We finished at a solid 3:30 am, and I hope that everything looks ok since we were doing most our painting in the dark...

Leaving was bitter sweet (mostly sweet), and took way longer than it should have to move everything out.  Although we are happy to have moved, we have a lot of really great memories there as newlyweds.

Top 5 favorite memories at our first apartment
1) Our first two years of marriage and all of the fun and excitement of setting up a “real person” home
2) Our first, massively large, Christmas tree
3) Hosting a crawfish boil for the Florida State vs. Oklahoma game
4) Hosting family Thanksgiving 
5) Decorating for every season (especially fall)

Top 5 things I am looking forward to in our new home
1) Being within walking distance to all things Ann Arbor
2) Closer to work for me (again, location, location, location)
3) Being part of a beautiful neighborhood with huge, old trees on our street 
4) Never living in an apartment again
5) Having friends over to host fun summer barbecues in the yard

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hey June

It is very hard to believe that today is June 2nd (we are six months into 2013... What??)!  In celebration of summer, below you will find my summer 2013 bucket list.  Hopefully I will be able to check off the majority of these items, but given our crazy busy life as of current, it may be more challenging than it seems.

1) Going to a Tigers game

- John and I have been to several Tigers games together, and I feel like at least one game this summer is a must

2) Going to Cedar Point or Soak City
- One of our first dates together was to Soak City (this is where we first held hands :) ).  Perfect for a hot day, and the lines are not nearly as bad as Cedar Point

3) Camping

- One of my most fun times with John was camping July of 2010... We definitely need a camping round 2

4) Catching a fish using my fly rod
- I am working towards catching my first fish... in the meantime, I will live vicariously through John

5) Having a few lake days

- There is nothing better than a nice, clean lake that isn’t freezing cold

6) Playing tennis, golf, and riding our road bikes as much as possible

- I am so thankful that my husband and I share the same active interests… he may kick my butt road biking, but I still have fun!

7) Picnic in the arboretum (and not get lost)

- The last time we had a picnic in the arboretum we got lost and walked many miles out of our way until we came upon the UM hospital and walked several more miles home from there – I wanted to call a cab, but John refused claiming that we were “so close” the whole way (5 hours later we made it home)

8) Having as many patio dinners and happy hours as possible

- I want to take advantage of the cooler Michigan evenings and the tasty Ann Arbor eats

9) Actually buying something from the Ann Arbor Art Fair
- We always visit, but never buy… this summer I will insist we get a memento (but nothing too expensive…)

10) Seeing a movie at the State Theatre

- We have been to the Michigan Theatre several times, but never the State – this summer, we will change that
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