Laura and Mitch

As I drove to this quaint little country church in the middle of nowhere tucked in a grove of majestic trees, I couldn’t help but cry and give all the praise and glory to God! He created this beautiful December day to be absolutely breathtaking! The ground was blanketed in fresh snow as frost clung to everything else around it. Thank you Father for blessing this lovely couple with a day that couldn’t be more perfect! It was a delight working with Laura! I can not get over how stunning she looked, a beautiful winter bride!

These incredible images were provided by Kelsey James Photography…..when a bride informs me they booked Kelsey, I get excited because she truly captures every detail with tons of images showcasing the flowers! LOVE her work!!!

http://www.kelseyjamesphotography.com/

Lindsay and Greg

I honestly can not put into words how stunning, detailed, intimate and simply breathtaking this wedding was! It was an honor working with Lindsay and Greg!

You will also be able to check out Lindsay and Greg’s wedding in the Central Minnesota Bridal magazine January 2019 issue.



Taylor Hendrickson Photography

Taylor Hendrickson Photography

Lindsay rented several props from an antique store in Fargo, ND from vintage pieces of furniture, crocks, crates, Olive vessels and more. She even had me design a floral piece to drape over the canoe at the resort. I mean, seriously! I asked my husband to buy me a vintage canoe just so I could make more arrangement like this one! And YES….Lindsay and Greg ventured out in the floral draped canoe on the lake and took some lovely photos! I’m a bit of a klutz myself (my husband is no better) and pretty sure we would have fallen in!

Lindsay is actually the one that inspired me to add some beautiful crock vessels to my collection and hopefully use as centerpiece containers for a wedding sometime soon!



The start of the Redwing Crock collection…along with some other fabulous pieces available to rent. Shout out to my husband who made the shelving unit for me…LOVE IT!

The start of the Redwing Crock collection…along with some other fabulous pieces available to rent. Shout out to my husband who made the shelving unit for me…LOVE IT!

I would love to share an email I received from Lindsay in January 2018. Lindsay shared the basics about her and Greg…her vision for the wedding…mood boards and so much more! After receiving this email, I could envision every part of the day down to the smallest detail. Below is just a fraction of that initial email.

WEDDING OVERVIEW

BRIDE: Lindsay Rae Knott

GROOM: Gregory Michael Bruce Amundson

DATE: August 3rd - 5th,2018

“WEDDING WEEKEND” / Ceremony & Reception Friday Evening

LOCATION: Lake Irene, Alexandria Minnesota — The old “Lynn Haven Resort”

ABOUT THE BRIDE & GROOM: We both grew up in Minnesota. Greg, in Worthington - but spent summers with his family in Alexandra where they ran the Lynn Haven Resort. I was born and raised in the small town of Raymond. We both attended NDSU — but it wasn’t until after college and through mutual friends that we met at a friend’s birthday. We immediately hit it off, and started dating. After just a few short weeks Greg shared his plans of moving to Nashville to pursue his dream of singing / songwriting. Luckily, I was a bit persistent and determined not to let him slip away :). We dated for two years long distance. Greg would make the 16 hour drive back when he could to spend a week in Minnesota. I would make the flight for short weekend trips every other month. Or plan a “Meet in the Middle road trip”. Until finally we decided that we should spend a bit more time together to see if this the magic was real or a result of only spending fun weekends together on our best behavior! In October of 2015, I packed up a small u-haul of *most* of my belongings and we make the leap! As you may have guess as we are planning a wedding together…everything worked out! Greg proposed on a surprise trip to New York, last April on our 4 year anniversary. We are still living in Nashville, along with our giant *dogue de bordeaux*, Norm. We have plans to move back to Minnesota before the wedding — but the southern hospitality has been hard to walk away from (more for me than Greg). Greg works as a pharmacist — but is a passionate outdoors man Who loves to hunt and fish, and traveling whenever possible I am an interior designer, and my passion is my profession. In my spare time I enjoy working out and traveling - which is actually our favorite couple activity.


One of the many breathtaking engagement photos by Taylor hendrickson photography! YES….this is the very same canoe as used in the wedding shots below!

One of the many breathtaking engagement photos by Taylor hendrickson photography! YES….this is the very same canoe as used in the wedding shots below!

WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS

NUMBER OF GUESTS: APPROX. 100

MUSIC: BLUE GRASS BAND (COCKTAIL HOUR & DINNER) / LIVE BAND or DJ (DANCE)

ACCOMMODATIONS: The Idea and goal is to allow all of our guests to stay with us at the lake for the weekend. There are multiple cabinets on the property and a few neighbors cabins that we will be able to rent to allow everyone to spend time together. We will also be rending a few of the outdoor tents below for the wedding party to stay in.

THEME / CONCEPT:

- Natural

- New Traditional

- Classic / Timeless

- Sophisticated

- Minimal

- Casual Atmosphere

- Elegant Attire



The young lady that captured this incredible day is the amazingly talented Taylor Hendrickson Photography! Literally thousands of stunning images…I had such a hard time deciding what to post! Check her out!!!!

https://taylorhendricksonp.wixsite.com/mysite?fbclid=IwAR23ajjGvP14pD0M6DZ8O_a14fhPJLIzU4Ub2-r4OIybqxFuZLuxTW4eTcQ

5X7A0380.jpg

Skylar and Brock

What is a ‘Boho- Rustic’ style wedding you ask? Well check out Skylar and Brock’s wedding because they totally crushed it! You guys….I’m obsessing over these images! Seriously, I am only showing a fraction of these photos that literally took my breath away, made me tear up and had me spitting my coffee out of my mouth because I was giggling so hard! (Unfortunately I did not share all the funny photos except for one…I couldn’t help myself! In this particular image, there are NO flowers displayed. For all of you familiar with the movie ‘Bridesmaids’ I know you will appreciate this shot of Skylar and 5 of her lovely friends!)

Skylar completely trusted me with designing these arrangements and they were an absolute delight! Her bouquet was spilling with contrasting colors and unique textures, honestly one of my all time favorite bouquets! We wanted to simplify the bridesmaid bouquets a bit considering there were 10 young ladies standing for Skylar. They carried mixed varieties of foliage which was not only stunning but cost friendly! The foliage crown topped off Skylars look, but wait until you see one of the 3 little flower girls modeling one of these crowns! Pretty sure she stole the show a few times throughout the day! I can not forget to mention the handsome little ring bearers…who you will note, are still single ladies!

Okay…enough about the flowers, can we take a minute to drool over this wedding dress! Absolutely stunning!!!! From the dress to the foliage crowns, the incredible macrame backdrop, hay bale seating, farm yard wedding is screaming Boho- rustic!!! LOVE it ALL!!!!

The photos were taken by the talented Tonya Hjort Photography. This is one gifted young lady! Amazing and I hope to work with her again in the future!

https://tonyahjortphoto.com/


Jasmine and Chase

This wedding was a dream! When Jasmine emailed me to check availability for her date, she also mentioned she happened to live in California so the planning process would be  a bit tricky. I assured her I work with many brides via email and we seem to make it all come together! Jasmine started emailing me the details from Pinterest photos, colors, her location and more. It only took a few emails and ideas to get the look she was hoping for and better yet, keeping it within her budget! The wedding was going to be held at the Cottage Farmhouse in Glencoe, MN. I was excited as this would be my first time at this new venue! 

Jasmine also envisioned creating floral hoops for her bridesmaids to carry. This was something I had pinned awhile back and was giddy to finally make them. Everything came together so beautifully until the day of the wedding when the weather decided not to cooperate! As I was setting up in the rain, praying for the skies to open and the sun to shine...I finally had the pleasure of meeting Jasmine in person! What a beautiful young lady inside and out! 

It did continue to rain off and on, but Jasmine informed me the sun did come out in time for the reception! Thankfully the actual ceremony was held in the Cottage Farmhouse barn....AMAZING!!!!

Can we also take a moment to gush over the stunning images taken by Nicole Castonguay Photography! GORGEOUS!!!!

Morgan and Brennan

I had the absolute pleasure working with this stunning young lady last summer. Time has flown by and with my crazy life and schedule I am now finally making time to upload these stunning images! Morgan is not only gorgeous...she has a heart of gold! I enjoyed every moment working with her and her lovely mom and of course, my second time working with the Hagert family! Truly an honor and pleasure! Morgan's vision for the rich jewel tone flowers was refreshing and I was thrilled to work on them. This was my first attempt at creating a bouquet with an asymmetrical shape that I absolutely fell in love with! So much so, I often design into the oblong shape with more of a boho style! LOVE IT!!!

And can we take a moment to talk about these photos!!! Dana Widman Photography.....these are breathtaking! I very much hope we can work together again in the near future!

DANA WIDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Mary and Ryan

I enjoyed every moment working with Mary and her mom Roxie - we truly had a great time planning! Mary was my dream bride from her genuine kindness to her fun sense of humor. She knew exactly what she wanted but at the same time was very laid back and easy going. Designing the flowers in the rich shades of plum, stunning foliage and the aromatic lilac was a delight! When I received access from Mary's photographer I was beyond excited! The photos are stunning and just display the true love Mary and Ryan share! Yes, this was a stunning wedding....but more importantly, it was a wedding focused on the marriage ...a Christ centered marriage! I pray this amazing couple is blessed beyond measure!

All images provided by the talented Ellen Gustafson Photography.

Instagram: @ellengustafsonphoto
Facebook: Ellen Gustafson Photography
Twitter: @ellengphoto
Website: www.ellengustafsonphoto.com
Email: ellen@ellengustafsonphoto.com
 

Emily and Scott

I have been truly blessed by this family! Emily is the third of four beautiful Wentzel daughters to get married. These girls share a love and appreciation for flowers that makes me smile! When we met, Emily knew exactly the look she wanted....the color pallet for the flowers was soft and subdued but looked incredible against the stunning teal gowns. Mixed foliage was the theme with stand out beauties like the icy pink peonies and the Amnesia roses...AMAZING! She wanted a 'Boho' look without going overboard on draping and wildness of the bouquets.

The venue for Emily and Scott was Lakeside Ballroom in Glenwood, MN. A beautiful room with natural light shining through the large windows that peer onto lake Minnewaska. The centerpieces turned out magnificent! The antique gold vases were provided by Kim at Laurie's Design. These centerpieces were a statement piece to say the least! I'm guessing they towered at nearly 4 feet tall with the unique feathered grasses shooting out another 3-4 feet. I can not wait to make more creations like this....my imagination and creativity were allowed to run wild! 

There were low, Boho arrangements and also lovely Eucalyptus wreaths around the hurricanes. Anther breath taker when walking into the room was the 6 Foot foliage and floral draped ceiling scape over the head table.

These gorgeous photographs were taken by the talented Sarah Hardie. I wish you could all see each and every image...they are flawless! I hope to work with Sarah again in the future! You can check out more of her work on her site

Sarah Hardie Photography

 

This wedding was a joy to work on and this family was a joy to work with! I hope you enjoy the album!

 

LOVE bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

LOVE never fails

1 Corinthians 13:7

Erickson and Covert Weddings

I'm featuring two couples today...

Dillon and Courtney Erickson and Luke and Keena Covert.

What's common with these two couples....well, probably multiple things, but my favorite is their impeccable taste for photographers!

YES! Carlina Jane Captures has done it again! This is one talented young lady! I am always mesmerized when looking at the beautiful photographs she has taken. If you are in need of a photographer, Carlina is your gal!

Carlina Jane Captures

 

Our first couple...the timeless Courtney and her husband Dillon

Luke and Keena Covert are our next lovely couple! Keena had a detailed vision of what her wedding would look like. The two backdrops were challenging...(I love a good challenge) but oh so fun! I absolutely love how they turned out!

Again...images by the uber talented Carlina Jane Captures!

Enjoy!

Foliage

Oh how I love foliage! So many varieties, textures, shades of greens all mixed into lush arrangements that will coordinate with any theme! 'Foliage' was named the wedding color for 2017....I hope it stays in style. With each wedding, brides become more and more brave giving me the freedom to create these lush arrangements with a Boho feel of draping greenery. With the foliage as the canvas, any color and flower can be added to make the arrangement fit your wedding. There are still so many varieties of foliage I have never worked with...and of course, with the different varieties, come different price points as well. 

I wanted to show you a few lovely weddings from the last months where foliage was showcased....

Samantha and Jacob were married at Stonewall Farms. These images are stunning thanks to Availeth Photography.

(Remember to keep scrolling....we have two weddings to show you)

Allgood_Bowdoin_AvailethPhotography_StonewallFarmsMNForestWedding57_0_low.jpg
Allgood_Bowdoin_AvailethPhotography_StonewallFarmsMNForestWedding32_0_low.jpg

Our next wedding showing off that lush foliage is again at Stonewall Farms. This venue is the perfect setting for this whimsical, fairytale looks!

I actually never met the bride, Kaitlyn, who was extremely busy with her schooling. Icollaborated with Kaitlyn's mom, Gina, who did an outstanding job on behalf of her stunning daughter!

 

 

 

Hannah and Kelvin

Hannah and I started working together via email...it was in the second email where I learned a bit about her and Kelvin.

"I currently live in Richmond, VA. My fiancé lives in Toronto, Ontario. This wedding in MN is a destination wedding for us. We met in Willmar, as we were both a major part of CTI Music Ministries. Though it's a destination wedding for us, we have a lot of mutual friends that are in the area. I won't be able to meet up for a physical appointment with you until May. I also have several pictures of various bouquets that I have taken inspiration from." 

I thought this was so cool and I was honored Hannah contacted me to be part of this special day! I met Hannah briefly in May where we discussed the options I had emailed her. I actually work with many brides via email...with life being to crazy busy for people, this is a very convenient way to communicate! Hannah was wonderful and gave me her blessing to go ahead with my plan. 

When September 3 finally rolled around, I was overjoyed to deliver the flowers and see the look on Hannah's face! The day was perfect...beautiful weather, my favorite venue (Stonewall Farms) and the most incredible wedding day music ever! As I set up the flowers on the cross, friends of Hannah and Kelvin were warming up - I'm assuming other members of CTI. I left that afternoon feeling so blessed! I could have sat there all day and listened to them sing...AMAZING! 

It wasn't until I received an email link from Hannah's photographer that I could truly see how special this couple was! It was evident that this day was about Hannah and Kelvin uniting in marriage before God and everyone they loved! God was present that day and I have goose bumps just looking at these photos! 

These lovely images were provided by the uber talented Nina Francine!

http://ninafrancine.com/

Carly and Adam

I was so incredibly honored to work with Carly and the Rudeen family this summer! Carly came to me with a vision and to be honest...I was thrilled to try something new...and a bit nervous to work with a new flower. The King protea...wow! It was magnificent! These beauties were shipped in from Africa, are one of a kind, and were a bit challenging to work with.

You will also notice in some of the reception photos, this mouth watering display of desserts! I have no idea who made these...but I can find out for you if you would like! YUM!

Photos provided by Joe & Jen Photography - AMAZING!

http://www.joeandjenphoto.com/

Andrea and Seth

I was so honored when Cathy (Andrea's mom) called me to see if I would be willing to design the flowers for Andrea and Seth's wedding! These high school sweethearts were united in marriage on Friday August 14, 2015. The entire family was a delight to work with! I knew instantly this day was more about the marriage than the wedding......to officially join together as one before God, their families and friends. It was so evident that God was, is and always be at the center of their relationship and I truly believe because of that, their marriage will be richly blessed!

Andrea and Seth were married at Stonewall farms on their new ceremony site located among the breathtaking pine trees. The focal point was a beautiful cross hanging in the trees with the lake in the background. I could feel the presence of God all around me as I set up the flowers...this was going to be an incredible day! 

These gorgeous photographs were taken by the talented Alexandria Ry at Alex Anne Photography. These images truly captured the pure joy and excitement in Seth and Andrea's hearts! You can see more of her work at:

www.alexannephotos.com

I love making these adorable little flower crowns!

"I have found the one whom my soul loves"

Song of Solomon 3:4

Nick and Kris

I was so excited to work on Nick and Kris's wedding after meeting with Kris several months ago. Kris had this incredible, unique vision of what their wedding would look like. Kris began the appointment by explaining her work in progress - one of a kind wedding dress. This unique wedding dress was created by  her grandmother and mother and it was combining both of their wedding dresses to make this gorgeous piece...special for Kris! The bridesmaids had the freedom of finding whatever dress they desired as long as it fit the color requirement. As for flowers....Kris introduced the idea of only using varieties of foliage for the wedding....NO flowers and I was thrilled! I had been wanting to design something like this for a long time. It was a delight working with Kris and I was honored and flattered at the freedom of creativity she gave me. 

The breathtaking photographs were taken by the lovely Carlina at Carlina Jane Captures Photography. Carlina photographed another wedding I worked on last August and I quickly became one of her biggest fans. This is one talented young lady and I absolutely LOVE her style! 

http://carlinajanecaptures.com/home/

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Adoption news......

I would first like to say THANK YOU to everyone who supported Speed the Light this year! I was overwhelmed by people's hearts and generous giving! My initial goal was to raise $1000.....but God was far bigger than my goal and with all of you, we brought in $1495. Did I mention that $1495 was matched dollar for dollar from another very generous outside source? By joining together Mother's Day weekend, we paid for 15% of one well in Africa....one well that will give thousands of people clean water and SAVE lives! 

Now, to the title of my post....as so many of you know, I started this business 5 years ago with a mission in mind and a desire in my heart! My family and I began a journey of adoption nearly 5 years ago and this small business was going to help fund that journey. We took a huge leap of faith and applied through Bethany Christian Services in the Ethiopia program with dreams of bringing a baby girl home. We anticipated this to be a two year process. Two years came and went...then three and four. I never expected this to be an easy process, but I also was not prepared to experience such a roller coaster of emotions. God had placed this insurmountable love in our hearts for a child on the other side of the world....we were doing the paperwork, paying the fees, waiting, waiting and waiting.

As odd as it may sound, although we  had heavy hearts and were beyond being discouraged...we were so emotionally and financially invested in Ethiopia, that we were too scared to change. There were so many days where I felt God forgot about us, so many days I felt alone on this path.....but I would always peel myself off the floor and stand firm in His promise that He would NEVER leave me or forsake me! He is faithful...He has plans to prosper and not to harm, plans of hope and a future.

After years of waiting, Shawn and I spent many weeks in prayer asking God what to do. We were bold in asking Him to open our eyes, our hearts and new doors on this long journey. (Even as I type this, my eyes well up with tears) Though so many of the next details are personal, I can share with you that in February of 2015 God told us to move.....and scared to death, we were obedient and we moved. We officially withdrew from the Ethiopia program and started on a new path in the China special needs program. I was excited to see where God would take us but at the same time I was grieving. Part of my heart will forever be in Ethiopia! For 4 1/2 years, we prayed for the children of Ethiopia and it will always be part of our story! 

I will never forget the Sunday before Mother's Day....Sunday May 3 2015. Like a normal Sunday we got up...got ready and headed out the door for church. A lot of things had been happening....things were stirring up in my heart....parts of my life seemed to be crumbling down around me....I left for church that morning feeling complete defeat and brokenness. Shawn held my hand that morning and led me up front for prayer.....I was exhausted, sobbing, and the only words I could get out were "I am so tired!" I had finally come to a place of complete surrender and knew I could not do this anymore. Our pastor prayed words of encouragement....words of renewal in my life. The days that followed were so hard. I was emotionally and physically drained, yet I pleaded with God each and every morning to energize me....and like every prayer over the last 4 1/2 years, to bless this family with the child we longed for. 

I refocused all my energy on Mother's Day and Speed the Light. It's amazing what will happen to your spirit when you take the focus off yourself and put everything you have into something far bigger than you! It was an exhausting week....but a good exhausting! The phone continued to ring...emails were coming in and 40 Mother's day arrangements later, I was overcome with complete peace!

I finished the last arrangement at 3pm on Friday May 8....as I drug myself into the house, selfishly hoping to  take a little nap before the kids came home from school...the phone was ringing and I really did not want to answer it....but I did. I was completely blindsided by this phone call.....was I dreaming? It was Bethany Christian Services telling me they had a little girl for us to look at in China. I was in shock!!! Shawn was coaching tennis...I knew he had his phone on him, but it was one of those moments when I literally called and texted him a gazillion times and he would not answer....Ugh!!!! My heart was racing as I opened up my email to see this little girl. As the pictures uploaded onto my screen, the floodgates also opened up! She was perfect in every way! I fell in love at that moment! The same exact love I felt when I delivered each of our four amazing kids!  Finally, my husband called me back....I told him everything as I was basically hyperventilating! We just couldn't process everything....we had a commitment that evening for church...I drove so he could look over the files. It was the most quiet car ride ever! Still nothing was said. We came home late that evening and just sat on the couch staring off into space. Staring quickly turned into smiles....which turned into giggling and tears of joy! God is faithful! We are so excited to announce we accepted the referral that week and have been working hard to complete mounds of paperwork! Mounds and mounds of paperwork...but it's worth it! We have a beautiful one year old daughter waiting for us in China! Travel dates are unknown although we are hoping and praying it will happen in 2015.....and if it doesn't, I can finally say and BELIEVE what I'm saying....God's timing is perfect!

We are asking for prayer!!! Please hold us up in prayer as nothing is official until that sweet baby girl is in our arms! Please pray the paperwork goes through quickly and without error. Please pray for patience....please pray for our daughter in China! The Aker family is filled with joy! 

Over 5 years ago, God put this love in our hearts. He gave me this verse..."Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" Our hearts are full!

When God tells you to MOVE...MOVE! The amazing thing.....when you move....GOD MOVES TOO! 


Ida and Matt

 Matt and Ida were united in marriage on February 28, 2015 in Cottonwood MN. It was a joy and pleasure to work with this incredible couple! Ida, who has a background in design, came in so prepared with a detailed vision of what their wedding would look like. I asked what the colors of the wedding would be....but what I did not expect was for Ida to take out several different paint chip samples in these gorgeous subdued hues that were all different but blended together so beautifully. They were stunning and this just started the ball rolling! Ida and I went back and forth bouncing ideas of each other and by the end of our appointment, we were almost finishing each others sentences. We discovered quickly that we shared similar thinking, with creative minds that really never shut off. Matt was also a delight to work with.... I admired him for coming along to the appointment (not many finances tag along for this step in the process) One of my favorite parts of my job is watching a couple interact....seeing the pure joy and excitement on their faces....Matt and Ida are so deeply in love that is just warmed my heart! It was truly and honor to work this this lovely couple!

I would like to give credit to Megan Daas Photography for these fabulous photographs!

http://www.megandaasphoto.com/

I also want to thank my friend Andrew for referring this amazing couple to Blessings & Blossoms.....Since Andrew is employed at Gertens Greenhouse in Inver Grove Heights...I will be contacting him soon to see if these fabulous garden roses can be grown in Minnesota! Thank you again Andy!



Ida's bridal bouquet....I am head over heels in love with this bouquet! It honestly looks like a painting with the textures, color and perfection of the individual flowers. The stunning blush O'Hara and peach Juliet garden roses.....all I can say is WOW! 

Photo taken by Blessings & Blossoms

I incorporated cinnamon sticks into all the bouts and corsages. It not only added a fun and unique texture but they smelled delicious too!

Photo taken by Blessings & Blossoms

The stunning couple...Matt and Ida

Stunning bridesmaid dresses! They looked so delicate and elegant!

I am not 100% sure about this...but I'm going to guess four lovely sisters here!

Matthew Ida Wedding Day-6 Couple Portraits-0014.jpg

The reception was held at the SMSU event center

"I have found the one whom my soul loves" Song of Solomon 3:4

A Season of Giving

A few months back I received a phone call from a volunteer at Hope Pregnancy Center in Willmar to consider donating a service at their Celebration of Life banquet.

I was excited and honored to help out....but I was unsure of what I could do for a donation. After much consideration, I decided to offer a Christmas Centerpiece how-to class. This all sounded fabulous in my head until the day grew closer and I grew more and more nervous.... I am NOT a teacher! After the banquet, I was called by a friend who had the highest bid. We scheduled a day and figured out the details. To my surprise, that same day another woman, with a giving heart, called me....she was incredibly disappointed she did not get the bid. She asked me to consider teaching another class if she would match the donation given to HOPE. Without hesitation, I agreed!

After our phone conversation I sat down as my eyes welled up with tears and I was covered in goosebumps. I think it just hit me.....how simple it was to donate a few hours of my time and some floral supplies and watch God multiply it. I feel incredibly honored to have helped raise $1,000 for the ministry of HOPE......I am so thankful God brought people to the banquet not only to donate, but to open their checkbooks and their hearts while supporting this incredible cause!

This is a costly time of year! It's expensive to heat our homes, buy groceries, provide for our families, and buy Christmas gifts.....it's this time every year when we get mail and phone calls asking us to donate to a hundred different organizations. We pack our calendars plump full with activities, parties, concerts, coffee dates...running here, there and everywhere! We are so incredibly busy, we often forget what Christmas is all about!

  • Luke 2:1-20

    In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told

Jesus gave to the poor and needy....He healed the sick and brokenhearted. He helped the orphans and the widows.......and He has called us to do the same! 

There are probably thousands of organizations who would love to have you donate.... I encourage you to research some options and see where Jesus calls you to help. (World Vision....Compassion International....HOPE pregnancy center....Urban Homeworks.....literally THOUSANDS!) Maybe you are in a position where it's difficult to give of your finances....trust me, giving your time is just as valuable! Volunteer at church, visit people in the hospital or nursing home...take a friend in need out for coffee. Nothing compares to the Joy you will be filled with when you have a giving heart!

Well....this was the week we had our classes....it was a blast! I was so blessed by all these amazing women! We shared coffee, snacks...and lot's of laughs!

The finished arrangements...they turned out great!

The finished arrangements...they turned out great!

We held class number 2 on Saturday morning...it was so much fun to catch up with these beautiful women. 

We held class number 2 on Saturday morning...it was so much fun to catch up with these beautiful women. 

DSC_1295.JPG
Snack time! Coffee...hot apple cider and fresh baked almond joy biscotti...YUM!

Snack time! Coffee...hot apple cider and fresh baked almond joy biscotti...YUM!

Fabulous job ladies! I had so much fun with you!

Fabulous job ladies! I had so much fun with you!

Cassie & Shean

Cassie and Shean were united in marriage on August 30, 2014. I was so honored to work with Cassie....she is such a gorgeous young lady inside and out! We immediately clicked and were on the same page within minutes! Cassie pulled up her 'wedding' Pinterest page (don't roll your eyes...we ALL have one) and I just giggled because I had pinned so many of the same exact photos! What I loved and respected most about Cassie....while discussing flowers, centerpieces and church decor her comment was always the same....'I love that...I want it to be stunning....but I want Jesus to be the center of it all!'  

I was so incredibly blessed to receive some of the most beautiful photographs I have ever seen from Cassie's talented photographer. Carlina blew me away with these images...there were so many gorgeous shots, I couldn't decide which ones to post! Most, of course, show off the flowers...but there were also some breathtaking photos I just had to share!  Check out Carlina's site  

http://carlinajanecaptures.com/home/

Cassie and Shean, your love for each other is so evident....but your love for Jesus is what truly shines!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ...."

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I am so in love with this dress!

I am so in love with this dress!

Sisters.....

Sisters.....

Cassandra's garden bouquet

Cassandra's garden bouquet

Takes my breath away....GORGEOUS!!!!

Takes my breath away....GORGEOUS!!!!

They are so adorable!!!

They are so adorable!!!

Notice Shean's confidence.....He's not ashamed to pose for this shot holding his brides lovely bouquet

Notice Shean's confidence.....He's not ashamed to pose for this shot holding his brides lovely bouquet

The silly shots are some of my favorites! 

The silly shots are some of my favorites! 

Cassie wanted to have the cross be the focal point...we went back and forth on if we should use fresh or artificial flowers. We decided on artificial so we need not worry about water dripping on the wood.

Cassie wanted to have the cross be the focal point...we went back and forth on if we should use fresh or artificial flowers. We decided on artificial so we need not worry about water dripping on the wood.

In a room full of friends and family....before giving his daughter to her future husband...at the foot of the cross...Daddy & Daughter selfie....PRICELESS!

In a room full of friends and family....before giving his daughter to her future husband...at the foot of the cross...Daddy & Daughter selfie....PRICELESS!

A foundation rooted in Christ

A foundation rooted in Christ

One of my favorite centerpieces....different varieties of foliage (most harvested from people's landscaping) with small splashes of color mixed in.

One of my favorite centerpieces....different varieties of foliage (most harvested from people's landscaping) with small splashes of color mixed in.

I provided all types of bud vases that Cassie's grandmother put single stems of lovely garden flowers in.

I provided all types of bud vases that Cassie's grandmother put single stems of lovely garden flowers in.

A sprig on every napkin....simplistic beauty

A sprig on every napkin....simplistic beauty

The tents at Stonewall Farms

The tents at Stonewall Farms

A single yellow garden rose on the cake

A single yellow garden rose on the cake

"I have found the one whom my soul loves..." Song of Solomon 3:4

"I have found the one whom my soul loves..." Song of Solomon 3:4

Megan & Danny....

As you probably quickly figured out by viewing my photo albums, I absolutely LOVE color and texture! I look at individual flowers like I look at my acrylic paints. It's taking unique shapes, colors, shades and textures and designing a work of art! Megan and her mom Karen were a delight to work with! Megan knew exactly what kind of look she wanted without pulling in the traditional fall flowers. 

DSC_1125.JPG
Buckets of lush hydrangeas, tangerine orange roses, thistle, berries, orchids and more

Buckets of lush hydrangeas, tangerine orange roses, thistle, berries, orchids and more

Take my breath away....larger than life, beyond beautiful green Dutch Hydrangeas

Take my breath away....larger than life, beyond beautiful green Dutch Hydrangeas

This is basically how I start a bouquet:  Count out each flower I will be using  Wire the more delicate flowers...lay them out in piles and start to create!

This is basically how I start a bouquet:

Count out each flower I will be using

Wire the more delicate flowers...lay them out in piles and start to create!

For Megan's bouquet...I started with the white hydrangeas and lovely cream roses

For Megan's bouquet...I started with the white hydrangeas and lovely cream roses

Next....the honeycomb Dahlias

Next....the honeycomb Dahlias

Incredible bluish/ purple  thistle which popped against the navy chiffon dresses

Incredible bluish/ purple  thistle which popped against the navy chiffon dresses

The final bouquet!

The final bouquet!

Altar arrangements at the Green Lake Bible Camp

Altar arrangements at the Green Lake Bible Camp

Vintage milk glass compotes mounded with tree fern, purple smoke leaf, hydrangeas, football mums and thistle

Vintage milk glass compotes mounded with tree fern, purple smoke leaf, hydrangeas, football mums and thistle

Barn door backdrop with an asymmetrical drape and other decor incorporated.

Barn door backdrop with an asymmetrical drape and other decor incorporated.

This was so fun...I designed an arrangement inside this antique minnow bucket which sat next to Karen's (Megan's mom) grandfathers tackle box used for cards. The lures inside were the groom's grandfathers. 

This was so fun...I designed an arrangement inside this antique minnow bucket which sat next to Karen's (Megan's mom) grandfathers tackle box used for cards. The lures inside were the groom's grandfathers.