Weekend Recap, Week Overview and Greenery!

Happy Monday!  I hope all of you had a fantastic weekend and a great Mother's Day!  We had a whirlwind of a weekend, cause that's what we do, but it was so beyond words wonderful....I'll try to put it out there, but not sure I can really do it justice.

Friday morning, after dropping the pups off at their respective homes for the weekend (Ruth Ann to The Well Mannered Dog, a cage less boarding facility where all the dogs sleep in a puppy pile at night.  Ruth always comes home very tired from her weekends here but she also seems to have had a great time) and Tasha to my mom's house (we're a bit leery of leaving her in a cage less boarding area, for fear she might over exert her still fragile leg bionic leg), we headed towards Union Pier, Michigan where Mary and Bert, our couple for the weekend, were getting married.  Because we left from the South side of GR, we took 131 to 43, which is a two lane highway, over to Sawyer--this was a great part of the drive.  The farms and fields all along this section of the road were new to us and lots of old farms, school houses, barns, and blossoming apple trees lined our path. The route was a little longer than 96, but it was super beautiful and we had a great time prepping for the wedding, discussing future plans and enjoying the scenery.  When we arrived to Sawyer, Michigan, around 1pm, we were absolutely starving (we'd hit the gym before leaving and, of course, hadn't eaten anything since, so a snack was in massive order). We decided to check out the Greenbush Brewery, a brewery that we've always wanted to try and have never had the chance--it was fantastic.  Ian ordered a rice sake beer and I got a really fantastic pale ale along with a beet soup and a pastrami sandwich.  

But, the best part of the experience, was our waitress, Chelsea.  Ian and I have a tendency to attract really friendly people, it seems, and Chelsea was exactly the type of person who falls into that category.  She struck up a conversation with us after witnessing us bickering about social cues and gave us her opinion  on the subject of choice (which I won't go into detail about, but let's just say, Chelsea agreed with us about the faux pais in question) and from there we delved into all sorts of other topics--the Pop Up weddings, her life in Sawyer, her boyfriend and travels in Argentina.  By the end of our meal, we had made a new friend--she was the best! 

After our lovely beers, we headed over to Elephant Walk where we would be staying for the weekend. Elephant Walk is a group of small historic cottages right near Lake Michigan in Union Pier and Mary and Bert had rented the whole space for their wedding party, family and friends. We were lucky enough to fall into this category of friends, and, since Ian was officiating this wedding, we needed to be available for the rehearsal.  We checked in, got settled in our adorable cottage and headed down to check out the beach.

As much as we love the beach in our section of Michigan, this beach had a lot of really great rocks and I managed to even find an awesome pice of bright blue beach glass.  We then changed and carpooled over to the rehearsal, at the Journeyman Distillery in Three Oakes, Michigan.  What a GREAT spot for a wedding.  Beautiful natural light, amazing interior architecture, and craft liquor. Yup, this was going to be a great weekend.

The rehearsal dinner was at the Red Arrow Roadhouse, right around the corner from the Elephant Walk, and we had the chance to sit with Bert's grandfather, his girlfriend, Bert's mom and her boyfriend and this was the BEST TABLE EVER.  Not only is Bert's mom a retired teacher (lots of education talk), but his grandfather and Thelma have the best love story ever.  They had dated in college, sort of casually, but drifted apart and lost track of one another, then married other people, had wonderful lives with their spouses, but were both widowed and single.  Thelma read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a Greek restaurant and as she was reading it, she realized that the article was about her long lost sweetheart, George!  Her daughter reached out to Bert's nephew and within a matter of a few weeks, the two were reunited--that was 3 years ago, and they're still going strong today.  These two were such a blast to talk to and hear their story--plus, it was Thelma's birthday.  The whole evening was fantastic!

Saturday morning I was up early for a long run and then Ian and I took care of finishing up the writing of the ceremony, organizing the cameras, cleaning lenses, etc and started working around 1:30.  He headed off with the boys to the brewery and I got to stay with the girls for their getting ready photos.  Mary and Bert and Ian and I have developed a pretty awesome friendship in the year since they booked us--just through common life experiences and such, so it was really emotional to see Mary going through the day.  It's not often that I have a bride whom I'm as close to as I am to her, so I definitely found myself tearing up a few times as the day progressed.  It was a really special afternoon that I'll write more about in the full blog post, but I found myself a few times just feeling so grateful to be part of the whole thing.  This job truly affords a lot of opportunities to create amazing and lasting relationships with clients and I am so grateful for that.  The wedding was...rock solid awesome and Ian officiating....I've said it a few times already, but he did SO well that I was sort of overwhelmed by it.  I mean, definitely one of the proudest I've ever been of him--it was fantastic.  We partied late into the night, I think I rolled into bed around 1am after some cold fried chicken in the main house and Ian managed to go til 2am or so.  It was such a wonderful time, though that the lack of sleep was not even a consideration.  

Sunday we were up bright and early (I told Ian "I'm the keeper of the clock. You would prefer to stay in bed and watch shows about Space all day, but that's not going to happen) and headed back to Grand Rapids to see our momma's for Mother's Day.  My mom hosted a little BBQ in her backyard with my sister and some friends--it was great to just have a few minutes to sit still and relax.  By the time we got back to Grand Haven about 7pm, though, Ian and I were both so tired and brain dead that I think we were both in bed and asleep by 8:30pm.  It served as a reminder that I've got to do a better job of taking care of myself in the coming weeks--many people don't realize how hard on your body shooting a wedding can be--after 8 hours of carrying equipment around, I am more sore than I am after running a half marathon.  And this morning's workout and run reminded me of that! I'm beat!

But a truly wonderful weekend.  I so appreciate working with such kind and thoughtful families.  It's such an honor to be welcomed the way we were!

This week is busy--lots of photography work to catch up on, but I'm also doing all my plantings and flowers too--I love doing flower boxes for the Spring and I think we've finally had our last frost of the year, so tomorrow or Wednesday I'll be planting all our porch plants and boxes. It's FINALLY Spring! Remember how much I was craving anything and everything green this winter? When everything was white?! Uggg, it's time to get some plants going! I am also going to be officially moving my office out to the screened in porch and in general giving the house a good, solid cleaning, including several trips to Goodwill.  My mom will start to rent the cottage at the beginning of July, at which point Ian and I will move back into the Airstream in Empire, so I also need to start getting things paired down and simplified for the renters.  

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend as well and looking forward to a great week!