Our weekend + a great cause

This weekend was a mostly relaxing one for us, which felt incredible after a whirlwind of traveling these past few weeks. It was of course also Memorial Day weekend, which for me has taken on a new meaning over these last few years. Brian served in the Navy for 5 years before leaving in 2010. He and I met a few weeks after he had been officially discharged. I didn’t know him while he was actively serving, but I know how dedicated he was and that a piece of his heart will always be with the US Navy. He felt a calling to enlist that most young people don’t/can’t feel, and I will be forever grateful to him and to all our servicemen and women for that.

Shortly after Brian and I met, my college boyfriend and good friend was killed while on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had married the love of his life on Sept. 4 and went to heaven on Nov. 10, 2010, the day before Veteran’s Day.

That event rocked my world and the world of so many others, specifically his family. Eddie was born and raised in a small town outside Syracuse called Chittenango, and his passing changed that place I believe. Ed knowing and willingly sacrificed his life for us, and were he given another chance I know he’d do it all over again. Even though his death was honorable, it changed the lives of others forever. Out of the ashes came an amazing cause, called A Clear Path for Veterans.

You can read all about it here in a post one of the co-founders wrote this weekend that brought me to tears. It was a different calling she felt, but an honorable one nonetheless. Please take a few minutes to ready about this non-profit that is doing amazing things for the Veteran community in Upstate NY.

With that I’ll leave you with some pictures of our day yesterday. We took Tucker for his first hike at a local state park and he loved it! It was a great way to spend Memorial Day with our little family. XO

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I’m back, baby

Today is my first day back at work after Kait’s wedding, and I feel like I need another day of recovery! The weekend was absolutely amazing…so many pictures to share below. What we thought would be a beach ceremony turned in to an inside ceremony due to the horrific weather, but Kait took it all in stride and knew she couldn’t change it! She was a stunning bride. I was so happy to be by her side. We spent an extra night on LBI and I’m so happy we did, it was a mini-getaway! Now, on to the snapshots from my Insta! (You can follow me @ rachstr43)

Pics from the rehearsal - everyone was ready to party! And Kait looked stunning.

Pics from the rehearsal – everyone was ready to party! And Kait looked stunning.

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The florist did an amazing job, our flowers were beautiful, right down to the last detail!

The florist did an amazing job, our flowers were beautiful, right down to the last detail!

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We were almost ready to head to the venue - but needed to make sure all weather precautions were in place!

We were almost ready to head to the venue – but needed to make sure all weather precautions were in place!

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Getting the bride in place, cocktail hour and reception pics!

Getting the bride in place, cocktail hour and reception pics!

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Lucky to spend one extra day soaking up the beach, sun and sand. Nothing like the feeling of sand between your toes for the first time in months!

Lucky to spend one extra day soaking up the beach, sun and sand. Nothing like the feeling of sand between your toes for the first time in months!

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So the sun set on another wedding, and we came to the realization that…we’re next!!?! We have Brian’s brother’s in September, but in our group of friends we are the next ones. It’s very surreal. Let the countdown begin!

Beautiful weekend for a wedding

This weekend we attended our friends’ wedding and it was so fun! The weather held out for them, the ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a blast. It made me so excited for our wedding! They’re currently on their way to Hawaii (jealous :)) and I am blogging before taking a quick day trip for work. So here are some pics from the weekend, hope you all enjoyed yours! Oh, and I saved the best picture for last…my dad sent his first text message this weekend and hilarity ensued.

 

A faraway shot of the wedding party in the GORGEOUS basilica!

A faraway shot of the wedding party in the GORGEOUS basilica!

All smiles!

All smiles!

My future brother-in-law catching me taking a pic of him with the rings!

My future brother-in-law catching me taking a pic of him with the rings!

It's official! Beautiful couple

It’s official! Beautiful couple

A couple shots of me and Bri on the way in to the reception

A couple shots of me and Bri on the way in to the reception – another Rent the Runway success with my dress!

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I got to take home one of the beautiful centerpieces!

I got to take home one of the beautiful centerpieces!

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And last but not least, you’re welcome for the laugh.

a lazy but productive weekend

Bri-guy was in NYC this weekend for a bachelor party, and I have to say I relished the downtime at home by myself! I always miss him when he’s gone but there is something to be said about finally being able to binge-watch the last 4 episodes of this season’s Scandal 😉 (my newest guilty pleasure!)

My weekend was spent cuddling with the pup and hanging out with my girlfriends for the most part, but yesterday my mom and I went on a mission to find bud and milk vases for the wedding centerpiece idea I had. It is finally coming to fruition! The picture below is just half of what we scored at the local Goodwill, we ended up with about 40 vases and only spent $47!! We stopped at an antique shop afterwards and found this vintage copy of Gone with the Wind…one of my all-time favorite books. I could be selfish and keep it for me but am giving it away as a birthday present instead to  a fellow book lover 🙂

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Hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend!

bridal showers and Easter eggs

We had a super busy and fun-filled weekend of family and friends! Spent Friday night putting together last minute details for Kaitlin’s bridal shower, then pulled it off without a hitch on Saturday! Tons of photos below to re-cap. (and you can see my Rent the Runway number!) Sunday was absolutely gorgeous (and unseasonably warm here) with 80+ degrees! We had our Easter with our nieces and capped off the day with putt-putt and ice cream. So fun! Hope you all had a great weekend!

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Beautiful (and tasty) cupcakes with G for Gallagher on them!
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Centerpieces we worked tirelessly on the night before 😉

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The spread!

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Our blushing bride with her signature white sangria cocktail

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Me and the bride, bride and her MOH, and cutest flower girls ever!

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And finally, our “Easter Sunday” (Palm Sunday) with nieces, in-laws and family!

xo!

week’s end and blogging help

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Hey all! Sorry I missed my usual 5 on Friday post this past week. I was traveling for work and am not organized enough to schedule a posting 🙂

We had a great weekend, it was finally SPRING here in Syracuse! Friday night Bri and I had a nice and relaxing date night in. We did a wine tasting at this awesome little shop called the Savvy Wine Cellar. They have been open for 5 years now and it is so great to see a local business thrive. They sell JUST wine, no liquor. And they do free tastings every weekend (my kind of place!) Then we got takeout from our favorite seasonal Mexican joint, Boom Boom Mex Mex.  When Boom Boom opens it’s officially the sign of spring. It was just as delicious as I remember it being.

Saturday we went to our niece Katie’s art show up at Syracuse University. She was just the cutest and so excited/proud of all the hard work she had done. She looked like a little adult. (Pardon my wet hair in the picture ;)) Saturday night we had a great night out with friends. Grabbed burgers at our favorite local pub The Blarney Stone and then had a good old fashioned night of bowling. It felt like high school, hah! But those are the best nights in my opinion.

Sunday was gorgeous and we spent all day outside working on our front yard. (Pictured above – the entire garden department of Home Depot that we bought out). I can see how people think gardening is therapeutic, there really is something about digging through the dirt and planting! Right now we just have mulch and  lot of soil. We didn’t move in to our house until late June last year, so we are not sure what’s planted there, but it looks like a lot. We are excited to see what blooms!

Lastly – since I am new blogger, I have been using one of the canned WordPress templates. I am already getting bored of it! Do any other bloggers out there have templates they’ve successfully downloaded from other sources? Or is the trend to have something custom-designed for you? I’d love any and all advice!

That’s it for now – hope your week is off to a fabulous start!

week’s end

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1. Bri was in Boston for the weekend which means I let Tuck sleep with me…or as you can see from this photo, on me. He was restless all night but I don’t mind cuddling!

2. Saw some of my close college girlfriends this weekend (including two bridesmaids!) for my friend Katie’s 30th. It was so fun and I haven’t laughed like that in a while.

3. Yep, I got it…my long-awaited blood orange margarita! It was just as delicious as I remember. I always ask for extra salt on my margs – am I the only one? It doesn’t feel complete without the salt!

4. Rochester welcomed me back with a blizzard…I can’t believe it snowed this much. This is the view from Katie’s front porch at midnight, it continued snowing all night. And it’ll be 60 degrees here tomorrow. Good ol Upstate  NY!

5. I stopped at Mom and Dad’s when I got back to Syracuse and my dad assigned me to cleaning out my old CD collection in the attic…I found these gems in the process, my music taste in middle school! Brought back some hilarious (and awkward) memories.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!