Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Big Reveal......

This has to be some sort of record....two posts in one week!!! But I'm trying to be regular and get caught up on some our recent marriage adventures. For those of you at our wedding, I meant what I said, when I mentioned AK loves an adventure.....I just under estimated how good he is at keeping a surprise (even though I did everything in my power to ruin our engagement and he nailed it and I was shocked, so maybe he's more talented than I give him credit for!!). Anyways, he pulled off a scavenger hunt with his good friend Nick Benyo that left Stephanie and I cracking up and anxiously awaiting our 30th birthday!!! :)

A few weeks ago, AK mentioned we were going on a date....just the two of us, out for a nice dinner, wine, and catching up. I was so excited, because a few weeks before that I think I sat in our house for something like 20 hours watching nothing but sports....the tigers were in the playoffs, spartan football, the lions, hawkeye football, etc. I love sports, but I was over it and made AK aware that I was burnt out. Well little did I know our "date night" had been in the works since SUMMER!!!

Anyhow, they set Steph and I up and had scheduled two nail appointments at a place where we get manicures. When we both saw each other and both explained to each other that our husbands had made appointments for us at 4pm, we both quickly realized we had just entered the matrix and there was no way out, other than cracking the clues. HA.

The minute our nails were dry the cute little Asian ladies handed Stephanie our first clue and said "you have nice husband!" We knew we were in for it. Luckily Steph cracked the first clue that led us to a wine bar where we were instructed to enjoy a glass of vino and cheese. We took that as a couple glasses of bubbles and wine, but who was counting. The freaky part was, when we walked in, the waitress asked if she was speaking with Stephanie and if so, clue #2 was waiting for us!!! # wierd. So luckily Steph and I can rhyme and were able figure out Root Down rhymed with Boot Clown.....still cracks me up. So onward we went and when we arrived at Boot Clown (now renamed, obviously), there they were just so smiley and sneaky looking. While Steph and I moved through the matrix, we both had ideas of what this was all about, but both agreed that we would be happy with nothing and would be excited our husbands planned such a fun (but we were secretly hopeful). So I think we made it through a few sips of wine before I had to know what was up.....and when I want something, I'm fairly persistent!!! So they shared with us that we could not stop trying to plan our 30th birthday celebration and tried to go around them multiple times and plan ourselves, so they thought they better share what they had up their sleeve......and the big reveal was the four of us will spend my and Stephanie's 30th birthday weekend in Napa!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woot! Woot. Beyond excited and now the torture is waiting for it to arrive....or maybe I should be careful what I wish for. Either way, I'm excited to go back and show AK such a beautiful place and Steph and Nick are Napa pros and such fun people, so it should be a blast!!!!

If you can keep up....follow the matrix below (via photos).
And as always stayed mom was here last weekend and on Saturday I leave for Nicaragua on a Medical Mission with a non-profit group called Surgeons of Hope!!!! 

the first clue after our maincures were dry!!

clue #1. 
a few glasses of bubbles and vino.

so help us solve clue #2.
clue #2.
the kays and benyos all smiles sharing after dinner drinks.

nick is so excited, he just can't hide it!!! :)
and this is for the iowa peeps that read this.....this was the cover of the menu at one of the restaurant/bars we went to. We Love Pork!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mad-town Delivers!

Hello, hello!!!

I have no excuses and wish I did. But alas I am back and want to catch up on what a fun fall we have had. In my opinion, this has been the best Fall to date in CO (since I moved here in 2008). The trees were so colorful, the temps have been great (cool in the morning, mid 60s in the afternoon) and the wind has not been so intense, so the colorful leaves have actually stayed put for longer than 1 week.

But with the great fall weather came our last wedding of 2013....if you remember, it's been quite a year for us, you could even say "the year of the weddings!" But Bridget and Chris's wedding must be talked about, because it was a weekend to remember. We all flew to Madison Thursday night, October 3rd and we were warned to pack our party pants, not only by the bride and groom, but also by every single person that has ever stepped foot in Madison....and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!!! In fact, I would say Mad-town delivered!!!

Bridget and Chris planned such a beautiful weekend and we were so honored to be included in so many of the wonderful events. AK got to golf the guys and I was invited to brunch with some super fine ladies, and Saturday I even got a sneak (early) peak of the beautiful bride....wait until the pictures...she was a show stopper!! :) The reception was gorgeous and Bridget made it so cozy by having so many unique DIY touches. I think my favorite part was the homemade apple pie for desert....genius idea considering the fall time soiree. My actual favorite part though, was the very touching father of the bride toast that Bridget's dad gave......just an incredible tribute to such a beautiful woman!!! Cheers to Bridget and Chris.....we are so happy for you and plan on making so many "married" memories in Denver!!!!

And to top it all off, Sunday after the wedding AK and I got up super early (too early for the day after a wedding) and drove down to Chicago to meet Alan and Kristyn's new little bundle of joy, Ethan!!! And we were able to confirm that he is just as handsome as his parents had said!!! It was the perfect cherry on top to a fun filled weekend!!!! :)

the lake that borders University of Wisconsin's campus. so pretty!

the famous capitol. also the center of the best farmers market i have ever witnessed.

before the wedding.....looking pretty dapper, Mr. Kay

i love this photo....bridget, her older sister jenny and her mom claudia, all helping her get ready!!!

mr. and mrs. lucas

all the denver girls in mad-town!

you guessed it, AK happened to meet a few more spartan fans. good thing they are as lovely as their smiles!!! :)

hashtag, great. hashtag, so fun. hashtag lolololololololol!! ;)

we were encouraged to kiss....i may have taken it to another level....but cute nonetheless.

i walked or ran by the lake every day while we were there. so gorgeous.

meet little ethan.

AK's a natural.

sail boats along the lake!!!

That's a wrap of wedding season, my friends. Thanks for taking interest. 2014 has already been labeled and it will be "the year of personal travel" as we have trips planned to Napa and Italy all before June....eeeekkk!!!!!! Also stayed tuned, I will inform you all about "the big reveal" regarding our trip to Napa and my mom just visited for a weekend so there are a few stories in the hopper!!!!

If I don't return before Thanksgiving, happy Thanksgiving to you all.....may you all remember your greatest blessings and all the things you're thankful for!!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Summer Full of Special Chaos!!!

Helloooooooo!!!! My goodness sakes, it's been a while, hasn't it? It's absolutely incredible how time flies and and you're not quite sure where it went or how much money it cost to get there!! :) This summer has been just that....we all know we got married in June (!), however we have been blessed to witness so many nuptials this summer with one more special wedding in just one week. But honestly, with all these social obligations (it's tough having so many friends), our summer has been chaos so say the least. In fact at the wedding we went to last weekend in Beaver Creek, CO (see below....STUN-NING) our wedding photographer was this couple's photog as well and he caught a picture of AK (now known as "the hubs"....weird) and myself shaking hands as if we were meeting for the first time, because truthfully that's how it feels as our door constantly revolves and we hope to end up in the same place at the same time. I would LOVE to know how many frequent flier miles we racked up this summer, and thankfully I don't manage our money, because I would HATE to see what they all cost.....thankful again for "the hubs!!" Anyhow, despite all that it has been a summer to remember and not to mention a summer of love. So without further ado, let me introduce to you all our wonderful friends who were bride and grooms this summer:

In May, my great friend Timmy Zern got married and officially kicked off wedding season. This wedding was perfectly done and Kaitlin and her mom did a wonderful job transforming your standard hotel ball room to something just their own. In addition to the perfect wedding deccos, we had the time of our lives. It was such a blast hanging out with old friends, and I was lucky Andy married me after that, as I'm pretty sure my good guy friends caught him up on the last 15+ years of my know all those moments and memories you purposely leave out of conversation....yeah he heard it all!!! Such a great night!! Congrats again Tim and Kaitlin!!!
**sidenote** I did not take one picture the night of their wedding, because we were too busy laughing and catching up with good friends, so I stole this off Tim's Facebook account!! But aren't they so cute!?!?!? 

so happy!!! 

Next up was Chi-town and we were so excited.....not only to return for a visit, but to witness one of the most anticipated weddings of 2013. Nick and Stephanie left not one detail out of what was an absolutely spectacular wedding weekend!! Picture the classically beautiful big city wedding and that was what Stephanie and Nick planned!! The weekend kicked off with a welcome party at the Arlington Heights race track for a day of horse racing, betting and getting to know all the A-list guests!! It was so fun and one of the most incredible fireworks displays I have ever seen.....did I mention they were married over the 4th of July!?? The next day we all made our way to the city and were so excited to see what wedding day had in store as the welcome party set the scene for the weekend. And it did not disappoint......The wedding was at the most beautiful church I have ever seen and the reception was held at the old historic Knickerbocker Hotel downtown Chicago.....with a backlight dance floor....who knew!?!? But honestly, these two did not leave one detail unturned and it was the most lovely celebration of two lovely people!!! Salut Steph and Nick!!!!

happy birthday America!!!

The Kay + The Benyos. We love you guys!!!

see what I mean?

The floor was so cool.....but not quite as cool as you know who??? THE BENYOS!!!

and the newlyweds at the celebration!!! and remember "the hubs" was still recovering from the scuba diving incident, hence the crazy eyes!!!

The next wedding we attended was back not only back in the Mitten, but it just so happened to be in East Lansing, also known as the home of Michigan State (lucky me, huh?? kidding, really I'm kidding). But we were there to see and be a part of Ben and Jen saying "I DO!" The hubs has some pretty close college friends so it was a great reunion with them and Ben and Jen know everyone so I'm sure they felt the love....there wedding was bigger than ours, so I would classify that as huge!!! But honestly it was the perfect mix of Midwest kindness + Southern charm (Jen and her family are from Austin, TX) and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Hip, Hip, Hooray to Ben and Jen!!! (a southern way to say congratulations!!)

The Kays.....enjoying themselves!!!

best buddies celebrating the night before!!! ;) looking good brett!

The next two to go down were Tate and Hunter. This was a pretty special occasion as I grew up with Tate and could even be known as his baby sitter for a summer or two. But seriously we are so lucky to call the Buttons our friends and quite honestly we all think of them as family!! They're the best and Tate does not fall short of that, however we are all confused about how he scored Hunter, because she is rea-lly great!?!? Either way Tate is a lucky guy and deserves the best!! ;) They were married in Clear Lake, IA which offered a perfect lake side setting for two little lake kids. And their wedding offered the laid back feel we all are accustomed to when going back to the Midwest. Their nautical theme was just perfect and in my opinion the flowers (which were ordered off brave) and the fried chicken were the highlights of a lovely evening!! And the hubs and I were the videographers....raw talent at its finest!! Cheers, Tate and Hunter. Love you two so much!!!

AK looking like a bad a#s. hahaha. too funny.

after the ceremony!!!

the night before. rehearsal dinner. delish and the debut of my new specs.

wedding party on the dock. so awesome. i love the blue and grey combo! and those flowers!!!!

sisters, but not really, but kinda. we share a special bond.....the only girls and the babies of our families. love her!!!!!

my true family after Tater-Bug's wedding!! love!!!

Alright now that brings us up to Beaver Creek and man are we lucky to have been invited to so many amazing but different events. Laura and Brian planned for their nuptials to be shared atop of Beaver Creek on the mountain at Beno's Cabin....genius idea!!! Incredible scenery, incredible venue and incredible people made for an incredible evening and an even more incredible dance party!!! It was lovely start to finish and nothing short of a classy affair. You may peep me in my down jacket, but only for the ceremony as there was enough dancing later in the evening to keep us all warm. I would by lying if I said we weren't all over served and a bit obnoxious, but that comes along with epic celebrations and last weekend was just that. Mazel Tov Brian and Laura...a.k.a Burnham and Grauer!!

i mean really?? look at that scenery and look at that bride....stunning beauty!!!

waiting for the shuttle.

girls before the ceremony. it's cold on top of the mountain!!

right before cocktail hour!!!

Well I think that is a wrap my friends!!! That alone summarizes where we have been this summer and what we have been up to!!! We have traveled east and west too many times to count but a few things we are not short of are friends, memories, lots of love and gratitude. All our love to the ones mentioned above and we have been honored to be included on such special days. I leave you all with one wedding to go....and that is the grand finale of our good friends Bridget and Chris. Please stay tuned and I promise a recap....Mad-town style!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Honeymoon Adventures....Turks and Caicos Style!!!

Hellllloooooo!!! Wow, it has been quite a while since I updated this thing we like to call our blog...HA. To be a participant, you actually have to be active, which I have been a big ole slacker. But with good reason. We have been busy, busy, busy with weddings and honeymoons and more weddings!!! All good problems to have. Now, I realize I'm posting about our honeymoon first and many may think that is putting the cart before the horse, but it's only because we don't have personal access to all our wedding photos at this the wedding post will be to come!! Something to look forward to I guess!! ;)

But with that said, AK and I were lucky enough to have one of the most beautiful wedding days two people could ask for and were so thankful for all the love and support that surrounded us on June 15th. Just an incredible day and when I have more pics to post of the big day, I hope you agree!!!

But here are a few teasers....

the denver girlfriends!!!!

one of my favorites!!!!

sunset at dinner!!!! LOVE!!!!

right before heading to the church!!!!

Gehrk and I.....dancing the night away!!!
first dance!!!!

And after the wedding, comes the honeymoon, so let's talk about that, shall we.....

The honeymoon itself was absolutely one of the best experiences I have ever had start to finish and much needed after the wedding extravaganza!!! We were lucky enough to honeymoon in Turks and Caicos and experienced to many wonderful things the islands had to offer. The pictures below will speak for themselves, but in summary the water was crystal clear, we saw sea turtles on two different occasions, the local people were a delight, we ate the local food, drank the local beer, and relaxed as much as we possibly could. It's hard to summarize 10 amazing days, so I thought I would hit my top 3 experiences....

#1. We stayed at the nicest place I have ever stayed for the first part of our trip and experienced true five star was luxurious and I could not ask for more. This place offered incredible service, had a beautiful pool, an amazing beach deck and need I mention the tuna wrap we had every day for lunch!?!? The 4 days there were incredible, and offered just the right amount of beach time, of nap time and of fun time. It was the perfect start to a spectacular honeymoon!!

sunset on the beach deck!!! gorg!!!

beers, tuna wraps and sun bathing on the beach deck. the view was remarkable and you can't see in the pic, but this seating offered shade for the ginger and sun for me.....perfection!!! :)

selfie on our deck over looking the pool and the ocean!!!

we match....unplanned!!! ;)

the view from our deck. so awesome.

nap time at the pool!!! i think i slept 36 of the first 48 hours we were there!!!

not bad!!

the beach we enjoyed outside our resort!!!!

sunset silhouette + wine with my great!!!!


more views.

more views!!!! 

selfie in the lobby mirror!!

view from the beach deck.

i'm on the beach deck and AK is in the didn't suck!!!

i did this almost every morning!!! had to pinch myself often!!!

#2. We went on a snorkeling excursion through our resort and while the snorkeling was okay, the sights and beaches they let us tour and enjoy were much more appealing to me. They even did a famous person house tour and I'm pretty sure I could have thrown a rock into Oprah's living joke. Along with that, we were made privy to the fact that Miley Cyrus also owns a house in Turks and Caicos, which I just find completely unfair.....she's a kid and clearly I'm an adult!! :) But honestly getting off the beatin path and seeing the intricate beauty, shown to us by locals, was such a treat and we were so lucky to experience something so beautiful!!! I should also mention some of the best snorkeling came right down the beach from the second place we stayed and even lead us to see a sea turtle under water which we were able to swim with for a few minutes. So. Much. Fun!!!!!!!


getting ready to snorkel!!!

see what i mean....just keep scrolling down!!!

natural beauty!!!


so blue!!!!

loved it.

it was like this for miles....the picture do it no justice.

one of my favs!!!

surrounded by nothing but blue water. so fun!!!

my camera wouldn't quit snapping.

andy exploring the local conch

our boat for the day.

the best lunch i've ever had despite the diet coke and the soggiest sandwich ever....private beach, my favorite man, and incredible sights.

andy loves the ocean and spends lots of time in the water.....a combo of loving sea life and trying to keep that ginger skin cool.

so incredible.

we couldn't get enough.


#3. On two different days we rented jeeps and did our own exploring. Both days were equally as beautiful, however the first day we did this, we took a fairy to a completely different island and drove on beat up windy roads until we came across one of the most spectacular views I have ever seen....seriously incredible. Look below and you be the judge. On this day we experienced private beaches, solitude and some of the best conch via Daniel's Cafe!!! The second day we did this we took our jeep to the caribean side of the island we were actually staying on and even though the water was beautiful everywhere we went....this water was different....more shallow, we could walk and walk and walk without the water coming above our waist, and the water was so clear, we saw a real life star fish in the sand and two sea turtles swam between us while we frolicked in the water. Both experiences were incredible, which is why I could not pick and had to cluster them into one of my favorites!!!

i nearly jumped out the top of the jeep when we saw this!!! pretty incredible.

a little place on middle caicos called mudjin harbor!!!!

we had to hike through a cave to experience the above and below pictures.....totally worth it, even though i look a little terrified. caves are weird. beautiful private beaches with stunning views in the middle of nowhere are not!!!!

jumping for joy!!!

atop of the harbor.

look at that water.


chilling in the warmest ocean water i have ever experienced.

a little yoga posing.

daniel's cafe.....with daniel himself guarding the door. great local conch.

our jeep for the day and the local gas station. most expensive gas ever, but totally worth it.

AK loves a little jeep riding.

look at that water.

a little road construction. i wanted to stop and hook these amateurs up with a guy named Gehrk, but I figured they didn't want a little white American girl telling them what to do.


more views.

i was giddy with excitement.

the true harbor. see how it is enclosed in a cave....reminder that the road less traveled is usually worth it.

follow the yellow brick road.....not in kansas anymore toto

capturing all angles.

the view under the cave.

love this pic of AK

anniversary date!!!!

so much fun!!!!
Day 2 of Jeep Rental....

the Caribbean

it's a jeep thing!?!?

AK was in heaven.

this day we stopped at bugaloos for lunch (another local conch shack) and AK's boy Rasta was shelling the fresh conch right in front of us. it was as fresh as could be.

the water.....I. WANT. TO. GO. BACK!!!!

searching for sea creatures.

we got so good at selfies and camera timers.....

i couldn't get over all the colors of the water!!!

my chauffeur.

toes in the water, booty in the sand.....pretty much fit right in!!!! :)

 A few more worth posting.....


i love this photo.

they served coors light....who knew???

we loved the beach.

leaving middle caicos on the ferry.


complete shade. hahaha.

ginger skin.

pretty much every afternoon.....sun for me, shade for my mister accompanied with stunning views and our kindles and fruity drinks.

last night on the island.

our view leaving.

one more.

one more.

final sunset.

last look at the ocean.
one thing i didn't mention....AK spent a day scuba diving (since he is certified and all) and the pressure got him. looked like he got beat up by his brand new wife, huh??? these eyes are finally better....FINALLY!!!!

Enjoy the pics above and let the beauty of the Caribbean/Atlantic Ocean speak for itself!!!

I do realize not everyone is lucky enough to enjoy or experience the kind of honeymoon AK and I did and I'm so grateful for that time we had together to celebrate our marriage and reminisce about one of the best days we have ever had!!! I love you much!!!! Thanks for planning such a fabulous trip. It was so much fun, I'm already looking forward to our first anniversary Euro adventure!!!! :))))