Chatbooks | The MVP of Instagram

Chatbooks: Saving each Instagram account, 60 photos at a time.

I was introduced to Chatbooks by a friend last Christmas and was instantly intrigued.

  1. IG photo preservation that isn’t virtual
  2. Two options of books to preserve IG photos
  3. Automatic shipping
  4. CHEAP
  5. Easy options to change/manipulate an order before its shipped

The question I asked myself was: Do I find my Instagram photos to be worth saving outside of the Instagram app?

The answer was a definite, YES.

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When sharing on Social Media I only share the photos that are most important to me and that (most often) have a story behind them.  Gone are my younger years when I shared every last photo I ever took of an occasion.  Nope. Not interested in that, at all.  I find it to be less authentic and feel a point can be made and a bigger impact felt by sharing a few meaningful photos, or photos that capture the eye, or photos that are telling of yourself and your own personal story, or of others, in a positive, heartfelt way.   The photos (and I take a lot) that aren’t shared on Social Media platforms are uploaded on a monthly basis to Snapfish for storage, print and photo album creation, for my own personal use.

But, Instagram?   That’s where I like to post my favorite photos.  The ones that encompass who I am, what I believe in, the friendships I cherish, the family moments, the vacations, the scenery.   My IG photos tell a story.  With Chatbooks I get to preserve that story in the form of a book, forever.

About Chatbooks

Chatbooks started in 2014 by a husband and wife duo looking to preserve memories with little time investment.   The company has grown to employ over 85 individuals across the country but remain “small” in nature to provide a foundation built on people and individuals.   Their motto:

“Chatbooks exists to help people hold on to what matters.”

What Options Are There?

With Chatbooks you have two options.  The Chatbook Series Option and the Custom Chatbooks option.

I use the Chatbook Series option.

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Series books are ongoing and linked to Instagram, Facebook or even your own camera roll favorites.  For every 60 photos uploaded, Chatbooks will create a new album, (or in their words, Volume) and send it to you for $8 Automatically.  Three days before shipment you get an email where you can manipulate some of the photos/captions by removing anything unnecessary.

 

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 Chatbooks also includes the accompanying caption and the date uploaded.

 

Questions

Chatbooks has an awesome support center where all your questions can be answered at the click of a button:

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I love my Chatbooks collection and I know I will love them even more as the years go by, their purpose evolves and the documentation becomes even more significant.

 

Life is big and beautiful and I ❤ to live it.

Ready to connect your IG, FB or personal photos for your own set?

Click here for quick access! (This link is tied to my account for referrals, but in no way is this post sponsored.  I love this product enough to shout it from the rooftops!)

Cheers!

 

Biker Feature {Liz}

Three Christmases ago, Clint bought me a really nice Canon Rebel.   I was stoked!   Took it out of the box, attempted to figure out the manual settings, and then put it back in the box and let it sit.   Thanks for the Christmas present, babe!

This summer I am making a concentrated effort to start learning the ropes, with the end goal of being able to use my camera in the manual settings to produce quality photos of my biker friends that they will enjoy.  Fortunately, I have some pretty great friends who are willing and eager to serve as my guinea pigs and Liz raised her hand to be my first experiment.

Holy crap, I was nervous!  What if I was unable to translate what I saw in my head to my camera?  What if I botched it, completely?  And what about putting it out there for others?   What about the judgement?

All of that aside, we scheduled a date, I chugged a few beers and we went to work.   200+ photos later, I am pleased with what was captured and am excited to share with you a few of the highlights.   Now, to continue to learn and grow.

Thanks, Liz for being the PERFECT “first” for me.   It was a ton of fun.

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Cheers!

12th Annual Biker B!tch Run | 2017

The 12th Annual Biker B!tch Run rolled in hot.

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And rolled out even hotter.

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Literally.

It was 9 million degrees that day. But who ever let a little sun and heat index of stay-inside-and-hydrate stop them?

Clearly, not us.

 

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The Beginning – Sugars in Council Bluffs, IA

Sugars provided us with our morning cocktail blends of bloody mary’s, screwdrivers and red-bull vodkas.  Logical drinks of choice for the 10:30 brunch hour, right?   And can we take a moment to appreciate this pretty BA sign that Candy and Marcy got for me???    This girl has some pretty incredible and oh-so thoughtful friends (even if I had to be reminded WHO actually went in on this bad boy.  Early on-set of Alzeimers, friends.  It’s real.  And I was just so excited for the day!)  Thanks again Candy!  ❤

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After cocktail hour, hugs, hellos and good-to-see-ya again’s… it was time to make that day our b!tch.

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Stop 1 – Tailgators Bar and Grill in Oakland, IA

A smorgasbord of lunch, ice cold beers and temperature regulation, Tailgators served us well.  And leave it to these naughties to find an opportunity in the dumpster.

Because where else, right?

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Finding fun in every moment is what these chicks excel at.

I dig.

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Stop 2: Cruisers in Griswold, IA

I believe we have Cruisers to thank for the kick of feel-good-endorphins.

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It’s a strong possibility those endorphins were brought to you courtesy of little cups of jello thanks to that wild child, Elise.  A little jiggly bucket of magic dust is what we will call it.

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And it’s our civic duty to follow clear directions and common law…

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So we made sure to oblige.

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Cruisers also provided us with a long stretch of street where we could actually set up and snag a few photos while melting under the fiery glare of the sun.

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Oh, but honey…

Griswold never looked so good.

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Let’s not forget our fun little crew taking space in the fun bus.

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I have Hunter to thank for many of the group photos from the road.  I gave her my camera and said “have fun”.

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Anyway, let’s roll on, shall we?

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Tyree always serves as my right-hand woman.  On the road and in life. ❤

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Stop 3: The Rainbow in Red Oak, IA

There is always one community that doesn’t know what to do or how to handle us when we come rolling in.  This year was definitely Red Oak.  Upon entering the town we came up on a sheriff.  Said sheriff pulled into the center turning lane and sat there while each and every one of us rolled on by, following the trusty 25mph speed limit and providing smiles, winks and a few head nods.

I am certain he was just enjoying the view…

Wouldn’t you?

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The Rainbow provided us with some eats and treats before it was time to leave the fine diners of the Rainbow Cafe to themselves again.

Ya, I see you Cyndi.

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Liz was being a badass a few weeks prior and broke her ankle so instead of two-wheels, she got four, courtesy of this little scooter.  And what kinda mode of transportation would it be without a license plate?

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Y’all.  This is my aunt Marla.  My dad’s sista.  I have this B!tch run to thank for getting us connected again.  It’s been so fun having her along for the ride.   Fun fact: she trailored down my dad’s old bike so I could use it in senior pics back in 1999.   Fun new fact: she fed me pizza when I was a toddler and got scolded.   This new fact is brought to you courtesy of Jessica’s conversation starters in the fun bus.

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Let’s ROLL!

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Stop 4: Jaime’s Tavern on Main in Essex, IA

Oh, friends.  FRIENDS!

You don’t even know…

Let me elaborate via visual effect.

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Our smart mouthed but huge heart friend Jenn couldn’t make the run due to work (we were also down a few others due to a trip to MX, a float trip, work and family time) BUT, Jenn busted her butt to get to Essex to have a drink and see us off to the next stop.

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And it’s always about this time where I become huggy.  I believe we can thank those little buckets of magic from earlier.

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Or maybe these baby beers.  Seriously.  Have you HAD THESE YET?

You are missing out.  Don’t miss out.

Don’t be that guy.

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Alright, Alright.  Let’s move along while we still can.

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Stop 5: The Hangout in Malvern, IA

It’s always about this time where folks start tearing off to head home for dinner with their s.o.’s or various other reasons.  It took me a minute to get used to that as the OG days we stayed together until alllllllll hours of the night.  But, a larger group now-a-days equals a wider range of home locations and miles in between plus family obligations, so I have embraced it as the new standard and can totally dig it.  It’s us.  It’s the new way.

And this last official bar always brings the onslaught of photo opps, as for many of these girls, this B!tch ride might be the only time each year that they ride together, which makes the moments and memories even more special.

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A little fact about the below pic.  Cyndi (left) rode in from Cedar Rapids!  I met Cyndi during the summer of 2007 at the Conesville Motorcycle Rally (R.I.P to the #2 ranked most epic of rallies… click here and here for the #1 ranked) so to have her join up this year on her own ride was pretty friggin’ sa-weet!

And Ashley (right) was a Jeeper during the 11th annual and decided then and there that she was going to be on her own two-wheels for the 12th annual.

A woman of her word.  My kinda peep.

Tyree- does this make her MY friend now too?

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Is the photo fuzzy, or have you just been drinking?

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The official stops may be over, but the unofficial stops were just beginning!

Peace out Malvern!

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Unofficial Stop 6: The Backroom Lounge in Lake Ohana/Glenwood, IA

We didn’t stick around here long.  Just enough for Tyree to join some kids in a bounce house, eat some grub, laugh at something on a phone that I am sure wasn’t funny, pass out the lollipops.

GANG, I am SORRY (not sorry cuz more for me) I forgot these earlier in the day… fail.

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OFFICIAL stop 7: Cara’s SURPRISE 30th BIRTHDAY PARTY!

We cruised into her nice quiet neighborhood, frightened her husband, rolled back the throttles because no birthday is complete without the sound of motorcycles hitting their rev limiters and surprised the hell outta this girl.

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We done?

duh.

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Some fuel and then I took up whip while Liz led us out to The Mile Away where you should also go for the chairs alone.

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Strong possibility they’ll put you right to sleep too!

Soon after the Mile Away we made our way to Crescent for some grub and good tunes and a final end to the night brought to you courtesy of Kimi’s famous split.  It wouldn’t be a B!tch run without it.  BUT, I shall spare her the pic.  There may be some shirt slippage in there and that’s just reserved for us. 😉

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Year 12 brought the fun.  It brought the renewed spirit.  It brought new friendships and reunited old.  It brought a sense of complete camaraderie and sisterhood that makes the B!tch run what it is and what it was built from.  Friendships united on trust, love, honesty, loyalty, a lil booze, wind and complete and total nonsense.

And 100% fun.

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CHEERS!

 

 

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Special Thanks to:

Courtyard Ink

And all the bars visited, linked above.

 

 

 

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11th Annual Biker B!tch Run | July 2016

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The 11th (E.L.E.V.E.N.T.H) annual Biker B!tch run happened July 2016.   Can’t believe it’s been 11 years!

Also can’t believe it took me almost a year to get a post up about it.

Better late then never??

Ya, let’s roll with that, mkay? 🙂

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The 11th goes down in the history books for probably the most unique B!tch run to date.  But, we came, we saw and we conquered.

…And Pep is still smiling that bright and shiny beautiful smile of hers.

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We had a few bonus girls with us manning the Jeep and it was GREAT to have them along.

 

The Jeep came in handy as you will find out in a few more scrolls down.

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The day started in Council Bluffs at a bar that has since closed down, but hey, we appreciated their hospitality while it lasted.  Their parking lot was prime real estate!

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Heidi’s bike on the other hand didn’t treat her so kindly.   High-five to Tyree for saving her.

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After I did my best bossy-pants photo set-ups…

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It was time to rollllllllll…

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First stop: Twisted Tail in Beebeetown, IA; where the food was delicious, drinks were cold and the fan clubs were in full paparrazi mode.

These young girls above wanted pictures taken with them, so of COURSE we obliged.  And then the beautiful ladies below were next in line.

We were feeling famous for about a minute. 😉

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Thanks to Jenn and her continuous drill seargent fitness instructor ways, she challenged Jessica to some weighted squats.

With her as the weight.

Damn, Jess.   You’ve got great form…

… And a graceful fall.

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And before we knew it, it was time to roll on out again.

Want to see us in action?

↓ Click on the photo below ↓

 

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Dunlap, IA to Lampe’s Pub we went.   And also where we hunkered down for the better part of the day.

Sadly, we had a bike that needed some medical attention.  Flat tires and riding do NOT go hand in hand.  Fortunately said flat didn’t happen until we were at a significantly reduced speed creeping into town.   Hello road angels. Liz felt your presence, as did the rest of us. ❤

 

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Thank to a local Dunlap towny, we got Liz’s wheel off,

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drove it down to Woodbine, IA to see the Motorcycle Medic for some TLC

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Then back to Dunlap for the local patron to help us get the wheel back on.

Like I said… it was an adventure!

Thanks Dunlap man.

If we can remember your name, I’ll give you full on credit next time. 🙂

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Meanwhile back at the bar during the bike medical assistance…

Things were getting a little wild.

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Work it, own it, strut it.

Rawr

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Weird… wonder how that dancing red dress emoji girl got on the bar.

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The girls sweet talked this young little bartender into taking his shirt off.

When I ordered a PBR, he didn’t know what it was.

Oh, Bless his cute little young heart.

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Rumor has it the Sheriff rolled through three times.  Apparantly our prolonged presence was making the town folk nervous.

Funniness aside – we thank our men and women in blue for all they do to keep us safe.

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And on that note with bike wounds healed and everyone accounted for and completely sober, it was time to roll.

Thanks, Lampe’s for the good times.

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On to Pop N Docs for a quick drink by the river.

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Tyree and her cowgirl hat hotness.

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And before we knew it, we were rolling on to the Cottonwood Marina in Blair, NE.

But not without the required lollipops first.

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Blair provided us with some dancing, mingling and some goodbyes as a few of us seperated ways as this was technically one of the last stops.

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And with that, our whirlwind of a day was over and the 11th annual was a wrap.

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I am truly thankful for all the strong, empowering, beautiful, full of LOVE females I know.

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What a beautiful ride it is.

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And what a beautiful ride it will continue to be.

Cheers!

 

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Special Thanks:

Anytime Tees – Council Bluffs, IA

The Twisted Tail – Beebeetown, IA

Lampe’s Pub – Dunlap, IA

Motorcycle Medic– Woodbine, IA

Pop N Docs – Decatur, IA

Cottonwood Marina – Blair, NE

 

 

 

 

Year 5!

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5 years of marriage

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10 years together

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An incredible ride

 

The saying time flies when you’re having fun couldn’t ring more true.   As you are reading this, we are currently in Illinois for the weekend, staying in a cabin and exploring life along the Mississippi river from the seat of our two wheels.  In honor of year 5, I felt like taking us on a little journey back to 09.10.11 when we both said I DO to this crazy, fun adventure we’ve gotten ourselves into.

Our Wedding Day

The morning of September 10th, 2011 started off as most typical weddings do…

√ with the girls all shoved into a hotel room

√ clouds of hairspray in the air

√ and slight buzzes all around from mimosas

Or if you are the Bride, you are buzzed from drinking champagne straight outta the bottle.

Don’t you dare deny it.  You know you did.

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prep

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These girls provided much laughter and entertainment as we each got ready for what was bound to be a fun filled day.

Once the makeup, hair and jewelry were all set in place and the dress on; my sparkly orange shoes and I made our way downstairs to see Clint for the first time.

I believe the look on his face says it all.

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With a little dress help from the soon to be husband…

sidebyside

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…we set out on the Pre-Wedding Party Bus for an afternoon of photos, boozing and laughter.   The thought of doing photos with zero beer sounded insanely boring and not our style.  Plus, who wants a party bus after the wedding when you only get to use it for 5 seconds?

Psssh…. Let’s do this RIGHT.

Load ’em up!

bus

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We chose the old train station in the Old Market as the location for all our photos.  Off the beaten path, a little edgy and zero stuffiness of a traditional setting.

Just the ticket.

girls

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boys

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boysandgirls

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I crack up every time I look at these photos of the boys.  They took the potential awkwardness of photos together and threw it out the window with their ridiculousness.   Priceless.

I love those boys.

boyswillbeboys

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To be serious is really hard.  I believe there are more laughing photos than smiling or serious.  Which is cool for me!  After all, this is a true reflection of our marriage, but most importantly, friendship.

I dig the shiz outta this dude.

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duo

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After we wrapped up the photos, we trekked on over to Joe Banana’s Bar for a few shots and relaxation before making our way out to Westfair for the Ceremony.

Wait, wait.  We hadn’t gotten hitched yet and we were still out having a good time?

BINGO!

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Party Bus loaded, we made our way back to Westfair to actually DO this thing!

westfair

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For the walk down the aisle, Clint and I chose to walk together.  We’d already established ourselves as a team and a united front.  Why not go into it as such?  Plus, it took the pressure off my non-spotlight kinda dad and soft-spoken step-dad.

walk

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While my brother played the guitar for our entrance, the wedding party made it down the aisle (and up the stairs in a straight line, might I add) before we made our own way down with a pit-stop at both sets of parents for hugs and love before taking our own spots on stage.

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With the girls to our left and the boys to our right, we said our own vows, prayed for the Lord’s Blessing on our marriage and said our I Do’s, surrounded by the folks that mean the absolute most to us.

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vows

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And just like that we became Husband and Wife

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Post-ceremony we made sure to grab our families for some photos before we lost them all in the sea of friends and beer.

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Then came the eating, drinking, laughing and reminiscing with friends past and present.  A SPECIAL shout-out to Claire’s mama, Kendra, for the insanely delicious frosted sugar cookies that proved to be painstakingly tedious to make.  I fell in love with Kendra’s sugar cookies in High School.

COULD NOT. CANNOT. GET ENOUGH.

So, when I asked her to make enough cookies to feed a few hundred, she didn’t hesitate once.   Unfortunately, I nearly ruined her of making these for eternity after this stint.   But, I am happy to report, I have had a few of her creations since then.  Whew… crisis diverted.   Thank You, Kendra!  ❤

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And then the rest of the night?

DANCING

Oh, the DANCING!  With Lemon Fresh Day taking over the Westfair Stage, you KNOW we danced and partied hard.

What an incredible night.

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Cheers to year 5 and to many, many more.

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Venue: Westfair

Catering: HyVee

Photography: Gulizia Design

(please note photos are slightly distorted due to program I used for cropping and combining, NOT from actual photos)

Ties: RokGear