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Pink & Black Sherlock Inspired Bridal Shower by Kara Abbey Photography in Irwin, PA

Our Thanksgiving week was super busy, but with delightful things! We kicked off the week with a surprise birthday party for my Grandma, and then the next highlight was my little sister, Ellen’s, first bridal shower in New York! Ellen’s soon to be Mother-in-Law hosted the most lovely pink & black Sherlock inspired bridal shower for her side of the family since they would all be together over the Thanksgiving holiday, and it was perfect! Ellen is obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, she always has been. Ellen was never a huge reader, but she loved reading the classic Sherlock Homes books. It’s just another way that she & Jonathan are the perfect match because lo-and-behold, Jonathan loves Sherlock too!

Ellen is marrying into the most lovely family – I honestly cannot express how thrilled I am with the family she will have as “in-laws”. That’s always a tricky one, ya know? The guy might be nice, he might even have nice parents, but what do you do if he has downright crazy relatives? There is definitely no fear of that in Ellen’s case! Mrs. J’s side of the family is, literally, my favorite. We were talking at the shower & determined that since Ellen is marrying into the family, I can be adopted in at the same time as an honorary family member! YAY!

Seriously though, they outdid themselves in putting this shower together for Ellen! The black & pink details were the perfect touch of elegance and the heart cutouts were actually punched out of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes! I’ve never read it, but Ellen was able to pick it out as soon as she saw them (something about the language & wording she noticed right away). The pink roses were to die for (and smelled so good) and the little treat bags filled with chocolate the most splendid way to tie it all together (they came from an Etsy shop, if you love them, this is the link!)

We had a lovely wonderful time celebrating together!

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Pink & Black Sherlock Inspired Bridal Shower by Kara Abbey Photography in Irwin, PA

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These two became fast friends! I can’t wait to see them together at the wedding!

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The lovely bride herself!

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Here we are! Your first look at the bride & her bridesmaids & flower girl!

Pink & Black Sherlock Inspired Bridal Shower by Kara Abbey Photography in Irwin, PA

I think personalized gifts are my absolute favorite – aren’t these aprons that Jonathan’s Aunt had made so adorable? Can’t you just see these two, in the kitchen, whipping up some tacos together in these?

Pink & Black Sherlock Inspired Bridal Shower by Kara Abbey Photography in Irwin, PAPink & Black Sherlock Inspired Bridal Shower by Kara Abbey Photography in Irwin, PA

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Black Lab in front of the Christmas Tree at night by Kara Abbey Photography in Irwin, PA

Highlight of the Week

It’s officially Christmas in the Abbey house! When we got home from our traveling Thanksgiving, we set up & decorated our tree (it’s the first year we’ve ever had a “non-real” tree! I’m kind of loving it! Don’t get me wrong, real trees smell sooo heavenly, but my Mom’s cousin gave us this one & I love how huge it is! We would have never bought such a tall, real tree! So, I’m enjoying the change!) we put up all of our Christmas decor & strung lights all over the house! Night time is the best, we turn all the lights off except for the Christmas lights & our house just glows – it’s fabulous! We even ate dinner by the glow of our Christmas lights one night this week!

Yes, This Happened

  • The Irwin Cookie Tour was last night! It had been a crazy, full day, but we decided to go down anyways & I’m so glad we did! Braelynn loved looking at all the lights & holiday decorations, we visited so many little shops, rode on the horse-drawn carriage down Main Street, visited Santa (funny story: Braelynn actually agreed to go see him, until we got close, then it was all tears & calls of “Mommy!”), and ate cookies! Well, I ate cookies, Braelynn got a cookie at the first stop and carried it the rest of the night. She had just began nibbling on it as we were walking in the door at home, when Abby ran up to her & stole it right out of her hand. Let’s just say, she was not a happy baby.
  • Since we were outside strolling Main Street in Irwin last night, it was a little chilly, so we were all bundled up. It’s the first time Braelynn has ever worn gloves. She apparently thought they were pretty cool because she’s wanted to wear them inside all afternoon today!

Feeling Blessed

This entire week has had one focus: Ellen’s Bridal Shower. It’s been a packed full week of shopping, planning, printing, cutting, Pinterest-ing, cooking, baking, laughing, collecting, and assembling. Everything really came together tonight as we went over to set everything up & decorate at the church! I literally cannot believe that it’s tomorrow. My little sister is getting married y’all, and I can’t even handle it!! Her bridal shower seemed so far away & here it is: tomorrow! I’m equal parts SO excited & SO sad. I’m so excited because, well, I have 72 lovely ladies who have RSVP’ed that they’re coming! That’s SO many wonderful people, who all love my sister & Jonathan & it’s going to be wonderful to sit in a room with all of them! It’s so sad because, well, it’s just one step closer to her being married & I’m still not so sure I’m ready. Thankfully, she isn’t moving away, she’ll actually be closer to me once she’s married than she is currently, but, I don’t know, it’s just a big change to our family, and I’m not one for big changes. Don’t get me wrong, Jonathan is the best and he is literally the perfect mate for my little sister! They are adorable & perfect together, I’m just not sure that I’m ready to share. But, no matter what I feel, tomorrow is the big day for her bridal shower & it is going to be simply fabulous. I cannot wait!

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Beautiful Midnight Blue Heirloom Wedding Album by Kara Abbey Photography in Irwin, PA

I have always been a book person. Blame it on my Mother – who literally has her own library in our family room downstairs – I have been collecting books for as long as I can remember. I love to read.
Derrick doesn’t quite understand my bookshelves of books [and I have nowhere near as many as my Mom has!]. I just tell him – you collect movies – I collect books & the discussion comes to an end.

For a long time, I bought purses only after they were able to answer one question: is it large enough to hold a book?
I love to hold a book in my hands. Sure, reading books electronically is convenient & I’ve read a few that way, but there’s something magical about turning pages.

In the same way, digital negatives are amazing. They are the core of my business. I want to give you all of the photos from your wedding day, so you can not only show them off on your phone, but you can print unlimited copies for yourself and as gifts.
But there’s something special about a book – an album. Something magical about turning the pages, reading the story, watching and remembering how the events of your wedding day unfolded.

I am over-the-moon-thrilled for how beautiful Kyle & Joe’s wedding album turned out! With it’s BLUE leather cover (my first blue album! I love it!) & it’s hard thick pages – it’s a book that will stand the test of time & be something their kids & grandkids come back to look at over and over again.

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Remember that re-cap I promised on Saturday? Well, here we go! Are you ready for a crazy wonderful ride?

I have been looking forward to the “Thanksgiving week” on my calendar for months. It was a packed full week, but filled with every exciting thing you could imagine: a surprise birthday party for my Grandma, my little sister Ellen’s first bridal shower, time with Derrick’s family, good Thanksgiving food, visiting some of Derrick’s old friends, and the cherry on top was one of Derrick’s best friends’ wedding! It was going to be a whirlwind, but I was so excited for it! I mean, how could you not be?

Our week started on Monday at Rodney’s Restaurant in Irwin, PA for a surprise birthday party! The day before Thanksgiving this year was Meme’s 80th birthday, so we decided to scare the crap out of her by throwing her a surprise party. Okay, that sounds a little harsh, but does it strike anyone else as comical that we decided to “surprise” my 80 year old Grandmother? The surprise went off without a hitch though (thanks to Zeb & Emilie) and we had a fabulous evening celebrating & eating good food!

Surprise Birthday Party at Rodney

Surprise Birthday Party at Rodney

Surprise Birthday Party at Rodney

Tuesday morning dawned & thus began our travels of the week! My Mom, Amy, Emma, Ruby, Braelynn, and I left Tuesday morning to travel up to Derrick & I’s old stomping grounds: Sayre, PA! It’s a long & crazy story, but believe it or not: Ellen’s fiance Jonathan, has family that lives about 20 minutes from where Derrick & I used to live! How crazy is that?! They were all gathering for Thanksgiving & wanted to celebrate Ellen & Jonathan’s upcoming wedding, so they hosted a small bridal shower for Ellen on Wednesday. We rode up Tuesday, my Mom & sisters stayed in a hotel, and Braelynn & I stayed with Derrick’s parents. We were able to sneak in about 45 minutes of swimming when they checked into their hotel and Braelynn loved that!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Grumpy face – “why do we have to get out Mom?!”

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Wednesday was Ellen’s first bridal shower & it was perfect! Jonathan’s family pulled together the most elegant & beautiful Sherlock themed shower & we loved being a part of it! The details of the shower were so lovely, they deserve their own blog post, so here is a little sneak peek, but I want to post a whole blog about the shower in the coming days! So, stay tuned!

Sherlock Themed Bridal Shower at TomassoSherlock Themed Bridal Shower at TomassoSherlock Themed Bridal Shower at TomassoSherlock Themed Bridal Shower at TomassoSherlock Themed Bridal Shower at Tomasso

The sisters (& coincidentally we make up Ellen’s bridesmaids & flower girl!)

Sherlock Themed Bridal Shower at Tomasso

Who knew that bridal shower-ing could be so exhausting?

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

So, on Wednesday, as my Mom & sisters left to go home, Derrick was leaving home to drive up!
Thursday morning dawned & we did something we have never ever done on a Thanksgiving morning before – we went swimming! Derrick’s parents have a gym membership with pool access, so instead of zoning out in front of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (the usual tradition) we went swimming! Swimming twice in the middle of November? Yes, please!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Then it was on to the good stuff – Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

This is Paul & Naomi’s puppy Rosie – she’s so sweet!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Whew – rough hair!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Friday morning, we woke up & hit the road again, this time heading further north up into New York state. First stop was a visit with Derrick’s Grandparents! Braelynn loved that they already had their Christmas decorations up!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

She also loved the chocolate/peanut butter pie they gave her!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Derrick’s Grandparents’ health hasn’t been the greatest over the last few months, so it was really nice to see them, in their home (Grandpa Abbey was in the hospital & a nursing home for several weeks) and have some time to visit!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

From there, it was on to wedding prep! We rode out to the mall to pick up Derrick’s tux and do a little late Black Friday shopping with the groom.
Wondering how to sell tuxes? Put a cute baby in the window!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

We wondered into a Barnes & Noble, which was probably a bad idea (for both Braelynn & I)

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Braelynn loves books, but she loves fluffies more! So, as soon as she realized there was a tower of stuffed animals right around the corner, that’s where she hung out the rest of our time at Barnes & Noble!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

We stayed in a hotel Friday & Saturday night & Braelynn thought it was the best. How does this kid instinctively know to put the phone to her ear & talk to it (especially since we don’t have a landline!)

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Saturday was Jake & Hayley’s wedding day! Braelynn usually sits really well (she’s been doing better & better in church on Sundays) but for some reason, she was not in the mood for sitting still and being quiet for the wedding ceremony. Of course. So, we spent the ceremony in the entryway, peeking in the door to watch the ceremony.

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Of course, as soon as the ceremony was over & they started into family formals, then she wanted to sit & watch what was happening.

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

The reception was at The Columns in Elma, NY & it was a gorgeous reception venue! The large entry was all decorated for Christmas & of course, Braelynn loved that!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

We are the very first names!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

All I wanted was one decent photo of Braelynn all dressed up with her Daddy all dressed up. And every time we attempted that – we got the bottom right photo – Braelynn crying.

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

She kept saying she wanted to go “Night Night” on this chair.

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Dinner! Delicious!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

As much as Braelynn loved the lights in the lobby, she loved the dance floor more! Even late into the evening when she was too tired to actually dance, she just wanted to lay on the dance floor – what a crazy kid!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

Wedding days are exhausting & my little noisy, Christmas-light-obsessed, cheese-eating, brownie-snatching, dance-floor-hog babe passed out hard-core!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

That brings us full-circle to Sunday morning! Breakfast was eaten, bags were packed, and home-again-home-again we headed!

Thanksgiving weekend in NY to visit familyThanksgiving weekend in NY to visit family

It all went so fast, but I loved every moment & we had such a fabulous time! I can’t wait for our next adventure!

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