Phillip & Crystals Wedding

Last weekend on Friday James and I had the privilege of attending my brothers wedding. It was so beautiful and I'm so glad that we were able to see them get sealed for all time and eternity. It made me so happy to see my brother so happy. And I am so excited to have a new sister-in-law! 

The Luncheon:
The luncheon was done so lovely. My mother put a lot of work into and the ladies that helped set everything up did a wonderful job. There was yummy old fashioned soda's, (a TON of flavors!) delicious salads, tasty cookies and fantastic sandwiches! They went all out.

The decorations were so simple and cute. Good job mom & Whitney! Each table had a different word around the mason jar. Underneath the mason jar there was burlap & fabric and yummy mints around the mason jar. The mason jar had very pretty white daisies. Made it perfect for the whole vintage theme. 

This was above the food table. My mom and I made the banners and I personally think they just turned out to be so dang cute! My dad made all the wood crates and all that fun stuff. He did a fabulous job. Very talented he is. 

This is what one of the food tables looked like. You can kind of see what the decorations looked like. It was a very nice luncheon and looked awesome! 

The Reception:
Crystal put a lot of work into the reception. Whoever did the cupcakes and their cake did a fabulous job! The cupcakes tasted so yummy. At the reception they also had old fashioned soda's. 

This is what Phillip & Crystals cake looked like. It was so pretty! 

The decorations were so vintage and pretty! There was also some yummy mints for us all to enjoy! I think the kids enjoyed them the most ha ha! 

This is what Crystal used to put the cards in. It was a very smart and cute idea! The flowers that you can see Crystal made them all! She is so talented. 

The theme of the reception was vintage. She did a very good job at making everything look so vintage! The decorations were just so lovely and spectacular. 

This is Crystal's wedding bouquet. She made everything! It looks like it would be heavy but it was so light weight. She did such a wonderful job. It looked so pretty. She is so so talented!

The wedding, luncheon and reception was just so well put together and it was just such a beautiful day! Congratulations again Phillip and Crystal! Welcome to the family Crystal. We couldn't ask for anyone better for Phillip to marry!!


Family Vacation, Part Two: Nauvoo, IL

 On Sunday night we got to Nauvoo, IL. We got in pretty late but the grandparents were still up and so excited to see us! It was great being able to hang out with them and chat with them again. I cannot wait for them to get home, but I know they are where they need to be right now. And I am truly grateful to them for serving a mission. I know that my husband and I have sure been blessed by it!

The grandparents house is right next to the Mississippi. It was so wonderful to be that close. The sunsets were gorgeous and great for my photography! Ha ha. It was beautiful to see the sun setting and glowing so pretty across the water. And down by the Mississippi it was so peaceful to hear the water hitting against some rocks and logs. Just a pretty sight all the way around. They sure did get lucky on where they are living. 

They also live close to the Temple Quarry. Which if you don't know what that is, it's where the temple workers who were building the Nauvoo LDS Temple got the limestone from. It was neat to be able to see that.

This is where they got the limestone from but of course there wasn't water there at the time. It is such a beautiful place. It is surrounded by a billion trees and bushes. Just made it feel special and so peaceful. (Nauvoo is really green though!) 

This is also at the Temple Quarry spot. And of course we had to get a pretty epic picture. Thanks MOM & JAMES!! 

This is at some stone bridge place. It is just a beautiful spot. It is so green around the area and wonderful for photography. Thanks Grandma for taking me to this wonderful place. It was nice to visit for a little bit. I just love the sound of water and I love being able to take beautiful pictures.

A few of us headed out with Grandma to go see Morley's settlement. This is such a special place because James' family and my family both had ancestors who helped settle this area. 
You can learn a little bit more about Morley's Settlement here: Morley's Settlement

Neat story about my family being here. I had no idea that I had any family that would be in Nauvoo or around Nauvoo. So when we went to the Seventies Hall I decided I would look just to see. And I found THREE ancestors! (I will be blogging about this later though..) And I found out that one of my ancestors was part of the Morley Settlement. So it was neat to be able to go and see where it would of been. (Morley's Settlement got burned down completely.)

And here is what Morley's Settlement looks like today. Farmland. Ha ha. I really wish I knew what it looked like back then and how big it truly was. It is a very beautiful place here and I am so blessed that I was able to go and see it. I felt so close to my family and it was just a neat experience.

On Wednesday (I think..) we went to dinner at this delicious buffet! It was some of the best food I have ever ate. I was so stuffed after. They had all sorts of meats, potatoes, salads and breads.It was a very cute place to go to also. Although the women's restroom was a little creepy and very pink!

One of the places we toured was the Brick Yard. It was neat to go there and see how they made the brick to go on the home. We even got our very own brick to take home! 

James and I got up early one morning and went to visit Grandpa and oxen. (Who are lazy by the way..) We were able to go on a ride. I wouldn't want to go on a long journey in a wagon pulled by oxen that for sure! It was not a smooth ride at all. So I can't imagine being one of the pioneers that was sick and had to ride in the wagon. I now understand why most of them walked. I am so grateful to all those pioneers though! Man they were TOUGH!

The grandparents are apart of a wonderful show called Rondevu. They are so cute! They did a wonderful job. It was great to see their special spirits and their great talent. Man can these two act and sing! Well done. They had me very impressed. They sure know how to bring in a special spirit.

This is just another picture from Rondevu. It was one of the cutest parts. I also found out that it's one of Grandma's favorite parts!! 

We were able to walk around and see the Smith Family cemetery. It was a very peaceful place to be able to feel so close to them. Especially Joseph Smith. It helped to grow my testimony very much. I know that he is and was a true prophet. And that what he saw and what he did was really the truth. I am so thankful to him and his brother for everything they did for me and for everyone. I'm glad that they brought this church back and got it on the earth for me to enjoy. I am eternally grateful to them.

We were also able to see the graves of Lucy Mack Smith & Joseph Smith SR. They two helped build my testimony and gave me such a peaceful and special spirit. 

We were able to go and visit Carthage. That was a neat experience. I have never felt the spirit so strongly before. I felt so close to Joseph Smith and I felt gratitude but also sorrow. Once again I was SO thankful for all he went through and for all that he did for me. It was such a very special sacred place. 

I was blessed to be able to take this picture. It will forever be near and dear to my heart. I took it through the bullet hole in the door that points to the window that Joseph Smith fell through. It makes me smile because it is all dark and gloomy around but the window is so beautiful and bright. It helps build my testimony because it makes me think that there is always a light ahead of a dark road. And it makes me feel like it is my Heavenly Father reaching out to me with his light. It helped me to also know that what Joseph did was true and the right thing.

The Nauvoo Temple is so GORGEOUS! We were blessed enough to be able to go on the inside and do some temple work. It was so neat to be able to see everything that this Temple had to offer and all the neat things they had inside. It was such a wonderful experience and I felt so close to all my family and those I was doing the work for. I am so glad that we had a day to go here and relax and feel the spirit. I just love temples so much.

There were so many fun and spiritual experience in Nauvoo. I only posted about a few of them but I highly recommend if you get the chance to please go visit Nauvoo! They have a little bit of everything for everyone! I was so blessed to be able to go to this sacred special place and even more blessed to be there while the grandparents are serving their mission. I love Nauvoo so much and will forever remember the feelings and thoughts I had while there. I hope I can someday return.


Family Vacation, Part One: Chicago, IL

James' family and us went on a trip to Nauvoo, IL to see the grandparents!! (It was a blast.. but you'll figure that out with my next couple blog posts!) We flew out on Saturday and got into Chicago super late, thankfully we had a hotel set up that was actually pretty nice. (For the most part..) So on Sunday the parents decided it would be fun to spend the day in Chicago because we hadn't ever really been there! I'm so glad that this decision was made. Also, it was a total bonus that we had two awesome tour guides to show us around! (Thanks Penrose family!!) 

Our first stop after we checked out of the hotel was to the United Center where The Chicago Bulls & The Blackhawks play. This was a great stop because the men in the family were thrilled to see it and I'm sure a few women were.. (I was just along for the ride.. I had no idea what this even was until we got there ha ha!) But it was a good stop because the hubs enjoyed it. So of course I got a picture of him in front of the building.

I didn't know this but I'm sure many people do or don't (?) but they have a Micheal Jordan statue out front. It was pretty neat to see that! The picture up above is the whole clan that went on this wonderful trip! Aren't we just so darling? 

They also have the hand prints AND footprints and also Micheal Jordan's signature. Pretty nifty. That might of been the best part of seeing the United Center. At least in my opinion.

Afterwards we were all pretty hungry and we decided on getting some real Chicago food.. which means yes, we got delicious Chicago hot dogs!! I'm not the biggest hot dog fan in the world.. but if they are certain ones count me in. HA! We went to this really cool place called Portillo's. The outside as you can see is amazing but the inside is even better. (I should of taken pictures..) The inside was like a busy old school street type place and it had celebrity pictures all over the walls of those who had ate there. It was such a scrumptious place to dine at. 

I had to take a picture of the cup.. I thought it was just too cute to not share. And also it helped me to be able to remember the name. (I was born blonde for a reason.. my memory ain't so well..)

And last, this is the hot dog that I enjoyed. It is the original Chicago dog. What's that you might ask? A hot dog on a poppy seed bun topped with relish, peppers, onions and of course a pickle. It was one of the best hot dogs I have ever have! In fact I'm kind of craving one right now. Just kidding.. kind of.

Our final stop before we headed off to Nauvoo (which was a 4 hour drive) was to go to the Sears aka the Willis tower. It was very tall of course. The views were amazing. It was awesome to be able to see everything from so high up. And seeing all that water made it that much more beautiful. I took a billion pictures of all the views but I decided that I would only share one. Yes, I spared you some boredom.

So at the Sears Tower (Willis Tower) they have these sky decks. Which I was at first determined not to go on.. but as you can tell from the picture I did indeed go on the sky deck. It was nuts to look down and see the roads and buildings beneath you. It did scare me a lot so after I took this picture I was quick to get the heck outta there!! But I did pat myself on the back for at least doing it. And a BIG shout out to Halee who also did it!! (She's afraid of heights but still did it!)

And there you have it, the first part of our trip. It was a lot of fun and a great way to start everything off! And I really hope that one day I can return again to Chicago and explore a little more.. although I don't want to drive there maybe I'll be rich and can hire a driver. Ha ha!

PS. I got this picture also as proof that I really went in the box.. as you can probably tell from my face.. I wasn't that excited about it ha ha!