Friday, April 29, 2011

{Friday LOVE} Berries, Berries, Berries!!!

While looking through snapshots from a recent weekend trip, I realized...
I love berries...
I {LOVE} berries.
Berries are the gloriously sweet and still pretty-healthy product of summer. And I love summer (but that's an entirely different {Friday LOVE} ramble).

So now I offer: The berry-deliciousness of one Sunday.


Berries-n-cheese plate goodness!

Berries-n-creme brulee.

Maybe I just like berries + dairy? :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

{Friday LOVE} The Best Night of My Life... The Proposal Story!

We knew we were getting married. Almost from the first date. Our love story began years before. So when we decided to "date," it's because we had recognized the likelihood of marriage in our future and wanted to begin a relationship journey towards that end.
So it was not a surprise when Brandon asked me about my preference about engagement rings just a few weeks into this. He wanted me to love it. He wanted it to be perfect. So, over the next two months, we talked about rings. Looked at jewelry websites together. Went to a couple jewelers together and eventually settled on exactly what I wanted. A custom amethyst-and-diamond ring..... ordered it, but I wouldn't see the final product until the day Brandon proposed.

I didn't think he had the ring.
The jeweler was in Pennsylvania.
Brandon lives in Virginia. His work schedule had been so crazy for the three weeks after we ordered the ring, he didn't have time to come for a visit and pick up the ring. OR so I thought. He made a secret PA visit on Wednesday, March 30th... to pick up that sparkly thing + have the traditional "can I marry your daughter?" moment with my dad. (My dad recommended the jeweler. Of course, he said, "yes!")

And I was clueless.
Intentionally clueless. Intentionally ignoring any signs of a proposal. Intentionally focusing on simply enjoying every moment with this man that I love.

We made plans to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC. It was on our lists of things to do/places to see together. And we chatted much about what we would be doing that weekend. Going to eat sushi on Thursday. Going to see monuments and cherry blossoms on Friday. And then (my idea) going on a river cruise on Friday night! The idea developed into, yes, we can dress up! It'll be a dinner cruise! Yes, it'll be amaaaaazing!

Again, I was trying not to think about proposals. Or rings. Or that beautiful question. Even though several friends hinted. ;) Even though Brandon seemed a little preoccupied during the day. Even though he mentioned funny things like, "the day isn't over yet" and "this is the best night of your life." Hmmmmmmm.

Friday, April 1st was a beautiful day.
Coffee, Bible, breakfast at Starbucks.

Cherry blossoms, monuments, fountains.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Arabia 3D, the Hope Diamond.

And then onward to our evening dinner cruise. :)

Some of the most perfect moments of my life were on boats. I love water. The gentle rocking on the boat beneath my feet. The faint sounds of waves lapping against the boat. It's calming to me. I was so excited to be on a dinner cruise. And the most wonderful part of all...savoring every moment with him.

We revelled in the dinner menu. Smiling at each other.

We went to see the sun set over the water. It was a chilly, windy day (the wind nearly blew my dress over my head!!) so we quickly decided to go back inside.

Brandon suggested that we find a little spot for ourselves to spend time together after dinner.. so we found a little alcove by a few windows and in between two tall palm trees. Secluded, semi-private and we could see the river through the windows. :) And so off we went to enjoy our three-course dinner.

There was (not-quite-real) candlelight.

More deep intense staring and sharing delicious food. And funny little comments by my beloved that made me wonder.

And then.
As soon as we pushed aside our dessert plates, Brandon reached for my hand.
"Let's go to 'our spot.'"
With his arms around me, he began to whisper beautiful words. About the path that God had led him. The path of our relationship. How God had led him to me. How he loved me. And I knew... this was the moment.

And then,
he was on one knee.. with a little black ring-box open.
"Naomi.... will you marry me?"

And I said...
"Ohmygosh, YES!"

There might have been a few tears of joy. And to be honest, I didn't even look at the ring on my finger for about 5 minutes. Too busy revelling in the fact that I am going to marry this man!

We asked a random stranger to take a picture. :)

We're engaged! We're engaged!!! :)
And for all of you girls that are wondering... I eventually looked at the ring, and took a little better picture of it...

Gorgeous, unique amethyst-and-diamond ring!
It's perfect. And I love it.

But mostly, I love it because of the one who gave it to me. What the ring represents to me. I am promised. Intended. Engaged to marry my beloved.
God is so good.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kevin & Caitlin {Central PA Engagement Photography}

I like when friends pass my name along... Many of you may remember Matthew, a family friend who is a Marine and was stationed in Afghanistan until September 2010. Matthew was deployed with Kevin.

And then Kevin fell in love with a girl named Caitlin.
Kevin grew up as friends with Caitlin's sister. Until one day, he started chatting online with Caitlin. She kept talking, wondering, expecting that someday he would ask about her sister....

He never did. Because he was interested in Caitlin. :P

And the rest is history!

We started out the engagement session at the Nittany Lion shrine. Pennsylvania people love Penn State football. It's like required! And so on a Saturday afternoon, there's a little picture-taking line that forms on the sidewalk by this statue.

The weather was chilly for a March day. But beautifully sunny. So we didn't complain oooone bit. We headed over to a historic village for some beautiful backgrounds. :)

Puns are funny to me. Like this one. "The perfect pair?" :) :)

Happy to have found one another. Happy to be together. Happy to be engaged. And happy to be getting married..
An interesting door? Of course, I can't resist. ;)
White picket fences... and my favorite series of this engagement session!

There were even railroad tracks!!

Congratulations, Kevin & Caitlin!! Can't wait for your wedding day!! :)