October 27, 2010

Local Celebration - October 23, 2010

This past Saturday was our local reception. When Jason and I decided to have a destination wedding, I really wanted to have a local reception back home so we could celebrate with those who couldn't attend. At that time, I knew my grandma, Jason's grandparent's and a few friends wouldn't attend the wedding but had no idea how few of our friends and family wouldn't be able to go to Mexico. So I am forever grateful to my parents who threw a big bash of a celebration for us back here. We had family and friends join us from as far south as Florida and South Carolina and as far east as Colorado, and of course many from the northwest tip of Iowa including Jason's grandparents, and cousins from all over Illinois!

Originally, my idea of a reception was to have it in my parents backyard on a Saturday, middle of the day with some inflatables for the kids, BBQ food for the adults and just laid back and low-key (but of course with me wearing my wedding dress, Jason in his suit and the wedding party in their attire.) As time went on, we decided the best option would be to have it at Klein Creek Golf Club in Winfield. Without going into any details of how this all transposed and why we decided on Klien Creek, I will tell you that it was more than an answer to prayer in ways that Jason and I never could have asked for!

The day began with me meeting my mom at my grandma's house so Jolene could do our hair. Having my hair done was just as much fun the second time around but not nearly the emotions, which was a plus! Then I went over to Klein Creek to meet my aunts who had done an amazing job setting up. A HUGE thank you to my Aunt Shelby and mom for taking care of all the flower arrangements. They looked just beautiful! Also thank you to my aunts who all drove in early to help my mom and aunt make sure the place was all set up to Aunt Shelby's liking. After visiting the tent, I headed to the hotel where Laura helped with my make-up and got dressed in my beautiful wedding dress all over again. I told Jason maybe I'd start wearing my dress every 5th weekend on a Saturday night...I kinda liked this new tradition I was beginning. ;-) Once we were all dressed we met up with Jason's cousin, Dan and his girlfriend, Stacey, Phil and Laura and were shuttled off to the reception. From the second I got out of the shuttle the night just flew by! There were so many people to see and talk to, so much dancing to do (especially with the kids!), food to be eaten, pictures to be taken and fun to be had! The night began with hors 'd hourves and cocktails while a photo montage played in the background. Then we had a delicious dinner followed by a video of the wedding while everyone munched on cupcakes. After that, we did our (2nd) first dances, followed by more mingling, pictures and dancing. The kids seemed to enjoy the dance floor more than the adults, but by the end of the evening we had a pretty large group out there dancing. All the details of planning the local reception and then all the pressure to talk to everyone while we were there made me even more thankful for having a destination wedding. However, it really made me appreciate the local celebration even more because I realized just how many people didn't make it with us to Mexico and how much I would have missed celebrating with everyone. The intimate destination wedding allowed Jason and I to enjoy every minute of our special day and the local celebration allowed us to celebrate our wedding and marriage with all our family and friends. I am so excited to see the pictures from our local celebration, and can only hope that everyone had as much fun celebrating as we both did. Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who was able to be there with us this past Saturday and we look forward to many more nights of celebrations with you in our future as Mr and Mrs. Jason Lockwood!
This is just a sampling of the pictures, to view all of them, please visit: http://photos.tjarosphotography.com/p295353767

October 21, 2010

Beautiful Fall Day

I'm not one for cold weather, I absolutely detest winters in Chicago. So it's no surprise that fall is my second least favorite of the seasons as it's just the precursor to cold temperatures. Fortunately, this year, the fall has really seen some great weather. It was pretty warm in August and September and even last weekend in October it was in the 60's or 70's. Yesterday and today have been gorgeous. Temps in the 50's and sunny! I decided I better make the most of the days we have left before I become a hermit and took Brandon and Izzy on a walk through Wicker Park. Izzy had her head sticking out the window the entire trip there and back and Brandon enjoyed the walk as much as I did as long as the sun wasn't in his eyes. Today we did the same thing but instead headed to the West Loop's new park, Adams-Sangamon Park to let Izzy play at the dog park while I fed Brandon his bottle. (sidenote, if you're in the area and have kids or dogs, definitely check this new park out) We all had a blast and it was such a treat to be able to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather before it all changes to cold, wind and snow!
View from Adams-Sangamon Park

October 19, 2010

Thursday at Howl at the Moon

Someday last week, I got an email from Carli saying her mom was in town from Iowa and wanted to go to Howl at the Moon so she was rounding up the troops to go on Thursday night when they had all you can drink with a buffet for $10 for 2 hours. Didn't take much convincing on my part so off we went on Thursday night. Howl at the Moon is always such a fun night, and hanging out with Carli makes it even better, and it was so good to meet her mom too!

Happy Sweetest Day --- to me :)

On Saturday, Sarah (Brandon and Kaitlyn's mom) stopped over and delivered flowers to me for Sweetest Day to thank me for all I do. (I don't really do anything special except love their kids!) It was such a nice little treat and was nic to see Sarah outside of the house since I'm usually either really crabby in the morning or rushing out in the afternoon to wherever I'm headed. Thanks Dill Family for the gorgeous flowers, it was such a loving, sweet gesture!!

October 17, 2010

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Lockwood

September 18, 2010 was the most amazing day of my life. There is not a thing I would do to change any part of the day. We prayed about nearly every detail of the wedding beginning with the location and resort, down to the finer details like my dress but especially about the weather since we went during the rainy season. I am still completely in awe that every prayer was answered, especially the weather which was iffy every night leading up to the “rehearsal night” through our ceremony! The evening before our day we entertained our guests with a show provided by the resort which included entertainment and excellent food. Then we all headed outside for a bon fire complete with what I’ll call the Mexico version of s’mores and of course unlimited beverages of choice. It was a good opportunity for our guests to mix and mingle and for all of us to have a relaxing night before it all began. Jason and I decided not to share a room so he was in a complimentary room the resort provided us with, but it was in the other tower, so I was really nervous about being lonely during the night and when I woke up. So I made him bring a walkie talkie and leave his phone on (in Mexico…which you know the rates in another country are not cheap!) But as it turned out, I fell right asleep and slept like a rock. I woke up around 7:30 and it was shortly after that, that Jason called to say good morning before he headed out with all the guys on an ATV Tour. I had plans to meet Laura and Meredith for breakfast at 9:30 but wanted to spend some time on the balcony praying and spending some time with God. As it turned out, I took a look over the balcony to the beach and noticed that they were already setting up for our wedding. I completely lost it. I was crying so hard (all happy tears!) that my day had come! It was surreal to me…that this was the day that I was getting married! I’ve never bee that girl who thought much about my wedding or had my dress or any other wedding details planned. But I have been through some tough relationships and almost immediately after my last relationship ended, I decided it wasn’t up to me and gave my future relationship(s) up to God. I completely let go and realized that He had a plan for me and I’d meet my Prince Charming. I made some changes in my own life regarding relationships and from that day on, began praying for my future husband who would have to be a Christian and would already have a relationship with Him keeping Him first at all times. It was amazing to me that only 5 months later that God brought that person, Jason, into my life. And I’m sure I have shared somewhere on this blog the story of how we met and how different of places we were at the time and how just a short month later, God reintroduced us. Awwww. So that morning was an emotional one, thanking God for bringing me the most amazing man to spend the rest of my life with. It almost felt like I didn’t deserve to have what was about to happen really happen. Not to mention that we had nearly 30 people there with us in Mexico to celebrate this day with us. I wish I could have spent more time thanking God that morning and just taking it all in, but as I said, I had a date with the girls for breakfast to get to! I was practically skipping to breakfast with way, way, way too much energy. I forced myself to eat some yogurt and fruit before I was off to the spa to meet friends and family while they got their nails done. About 12 of us all got our nails done while sipping mimosa and then my mom and I both got our hair done. I was slightly nervous about how my hair would look since I hadn’t spent too much time researching and certainly didn’t have a trial but it turned out 100 times better than I’d have ever imagined. Our trip back to our room was an interesting one as Jason was headed up to the spa for a massage and I was nervous about running into him. Meredith did a great job keeping watch to make sure I didn’t run into him and dodging anyone who came along the way! All of us girls went back to my room and got ready…Andrea did my makeup and a bunch of girls helped me into my dress…there was some problem with the hook or something? Haha! We had about 3 hours to get ready so we planned to go take pictures with just us girls but somehow those 3 hours seemed to have turned into 5 minutes and before I knew it, it was almost 6:00. All of us went out to the balcony to learn it started drizzling, which seemed to delay the ceremony from starting, but allowed us all to see the guys and guests starting to be seated. Honestly, there are no words to explain how I felt when I was looking over the balcony and saw Jason walking down the aisle to the “alter” for the ceremony. I got so chocked up I had to walk back inside, and the best way I can describe it now is that I was and am so in love with him. We got our call from the wedding coordinator to head down to the beach and the next thing I know the girls were walking ahead with their groomsmen. I was an emotional wreck! When my dad came around the corner to walk me down the aisle, I couldn’t even make eye contact with him or I knew I’d start bawling. As soon as I came around the corner to where I could see Jason at the end of the aisle, I lost it…just started crying like a baby. After taking Jason’s hands, I tried to be “in the moment” of the ceremony but it was too hard. It went by quickly but the one thing I’ll remember was holding Jason’s hands through the whole thing and being the most excited that I’ve ever been in my life. Our minister was perfect, the Bible reading was beautifully done by Andrea. Jason’s Uncle Curt sang a gorgeous version of “You Rise Me Up” and Tiffany read a verse and reading about “God’s Knot” which we did instead of a unity candle or sand. The exchange of vows and rings couldn’t have been more perfect. (again, me getting a tad chocked up over the vows!) The ceremony was finished with a prayer that Jason’s mom, Judy wrote. It was the most wonderful time of my life filled with more emotions than I didn't know were possible. The next couple hours were spent taking pictures with our photographer then the reception with our friends and family. Jason and I took about a 10 minute time out during pictures to just catch up on the day (we hadn’t seen each other all day!) and sip champagne. Though it was only 10 minutes, that was probably one of my fondest memories of the day…even though I’m sure everyone was watching and many were still taking pictures, it was our time together on our special day to be together and I am forever grateful of that time. The reception was so much fun complete with our first dance, our father/daughter dance, the mother/son dance and wedding party dance. We had a cutting of the cake, then all hit the dance floor for the remainder of the night. We had maracas made with our names and date which read, “Shake for a Kiss” and they were definitely incorporated into the dancing portion of the evening. The last song the DJ played was “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas and everyone was dancing (more like jumping up and down, maraca’s in hand) through the entire song. It was the perfect way to end the best day of my life! I am so grateful for the friends and family that were there with us on that special day. It meant more than I could ever say to have friends and family there with us and I am confident that the weekend was a blast for everyone. I couldn’t be more excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. I thank God every day (many times a day) for bringing us together and look forward to all He has in store for us together as a couple and family in the years to come.

pedicure...look at that view behind me!

loved my hair!!!

Andrea did my makeup for me :)

Us looking off the balcony at everyone being seated...me about to lose it when I saw Jason walk down the aisle

Dad walking me down the aisle, me crying

the kiss!

our ten minutes...my favorite part of the day

I loved how the cake looked and it was two flavors...one kahlua and the other chocolate!

Our last song, everyone jumping up and down to "I Gotta Feeling"

October 13, 2010


For as long as I can remember, it's always been my dream to have a golden retriever. This past weekend I was able to pretend I had one as we dog-sat for Izzy, Brandon's dog. She is the sweetest, most loving and easy dog. It was a good warm-up for when we get our dog someday. I am still trying to convince Jason we need our future dog to be a golden, but I'm pretty sure I'm not near convincing him yet!

October 5, 2010

Married Fun Begins

I've been waiting to post anything until after I post the wedding post but I have no idea when I'm going to get the professional pics so the blog will have to continue without it for the time being. As I said in the last post, being married is completely different than being engaged. I'm sure a big part of that has to do with us not living together before we were married (long) and the very obvious part of our relationship that most of you know...but also there's so many things about it that are just "different." One of the things that I've made intentionally different is that I am cooking on a regular basis for Jason and I. I had this sort of epiphany a few days after we were back from Mexico. We were at my grandma's showing her the video to our wedding ceremony and we were discussing me cooking for Jason. My grandma was telling stories about how she used to cook every night for her family and dinner was on the table when my grandpa came home. I firmly believe that if we don't start these habits of nightly dinners, it won't automatically change when we have children and I really want the tradition of our children and husband sitting down together to dinner as many nights as possible. So I mentioned to my grandma that the biggest issue I have is that Jason and I can't ever decide what to eat, that Jason won't help me set the menu. And she laughed and said, "Oh I didn't ask grandpa...he just ate whatever I gave him." That's when it hit me...I just need to set the menu each night and we'll have dinner on the table. From that moment on, I was very excited about making this work! We have it set up that on the nights I have class, he's on his own and then I'll cook 2-4 other nights depending on what we have planned for the week. And with me being in class 2 nights a week and the other million things we both have in the evening we know in advance every week where we'll be so it's easy to plan. Last week I started really easy, one night was tacos, the second was chicken Parmesan and the third night was my mom's delicious chili. We don't really have a dinner table yet so the IKEA coffee table had to suffice. It was kind of funny as I took one of the pictures because it made me realize that some day we'll look back at how our first week of marriage we were eating off my cheap IKEA coffee table as our diner table, but I think it is these kinds of memories I'll always look back on so very fondly.

First I will learn how to cook, then I'll work on the presentation so don't judge!

October 1, 2010

I'm BACK!!

YES - it's finally time to start blogging again!! I am now married to my best friend and absolutely loving married life. (I don't care what anyone says...it feels completely different to be married!) I actually already blogged about our wedding day but I have wait to post it until after our photographer sends us the edited prints because what's a wedding post without some pictures? I can tell you now that September 18, 2010 was the best day of my life. Absolute best!! And the week leading up to it and following it was definitely the best weeks of my life. I thank everyone who was able to be there with us on our very special day, it meant more than I can ever express. :) Things are crazy again with school but my life is way less crazy because I am only working 3 days a week now. (A huge and very quick answer to prayer) I have really enjoyed this on so many levels...I feel like I can breathe and just enjoy life again. Things went so fast this past summer and it was truly one of the best times of my life but it was just so busy I wasn't able to give back where I felt led and wasn't able to enjoy my day-to-day life. So now, I hope with this new schedule I can be the best wife that Jason deserves and a good friend, daughter, sister, babysitter and most importantly, child of God. Thanks to all of you who read this and for your patience while I took a hiatus enjoying such a wonderful couple months!