The Weekender

The Weekender has become my new favorite thing to write.

It really helps me to slow down on Friday and look back on my week. To notice the little things throughout the week I may have missed. Reflection is always good. And with that in mind, here’s the latest Weekender. I hope you all have a happy, glorious, and restful three day weekend. We’ll be working most of it, but I look forward to putting my feet up on Monday.

Ovaxposed: Vitaliy and I used to dream hard about buying a VW van and driving cross country. I swear sometimes I married a hippy. I can’t imagine what our lives would look like had we been born in the 60s. We never did buy a van, but the cross country dream is still alive and strong. So, instead, I follow @ovaxposed and let my VW dreams continue to spark each time I come across him in my feed.

102.1 The Throwback Station: If you are local to the bay area, you can thank me later. Assuming you have a fondness for old hip hop and R&B. Give me more Biggie, more Tupac, more of it all! But seriously, let’s throw it back! The new stuff just doesn’t compare.

Progressive Dinners: Are my jam lately! We did a progressive dinner for our anniversary and we just did another for Vitaliy’s birthday. In case you’re new to the idea, you eat appetizers at one spot, move onto another spot for the main course, and then a third spot for dessert. We always start early to take advantage of Happy Hour for our first portion of the night. If you are local to SF, stop what you’re doing and go to Paprika in the Mission. All of your sausage and potato dreams will come true! And if you don’t have sausage and potato dreams then I might start questioning our friendship.

Date Night: We combined date night and Vitaliy’s birthday this week. See Progressive Dinner above! And then go try one for yourself and let me know how it goes! It’s the perfect way to slow things down and not rush through the night. Tip: Don’t over order at your first spot! Share a meal at your second stop. And you’ll still be ready by the time dessert rolls around. (I’m always ready once dessert rolls around though, regardless.)

Beijos Events: Shout out to PJ Dunn from Going Lovely for inviting me to this wonderful evening at Dig Gardens hosted by Beijos Events. It was the perfect girls night out! I got to see so many folks I haven’t seen in years! And meet a few new faces too! Thank you Beijos girls and Dig Gardens for taking such great care of us and spoiling us with so many goodies!

Di Gardens - Beijos Events PartyPhoto: Check out the creativity of Beijos and the amazing space at Dig Gardens! I feel like Beijos Events have such a fresh take on weddings – so bright and cheery!

Lake Tahoe Wedding
Garrett & Kimberly

I am so excited to share Kim and Garrett’s beautiful Tahoe wedding with you today.

This was the first wedding we’ve had the pleasure of photographing in Tahoe and I hope it won’t be our last. I’m ready to go back now! In case you missed them, here are Kim and Garrett’s engagement photos, along with a little story of how they first met.

As you can see, Tahoe and the West Share Cafe were stunning backdrops for Kim and Garrett’s California wedding. But there was actually one small memory that comes to mind when I think back to their wedding. During their ceremony, Kim and Garrett tied their wedding rings on a ribbon and passed them onto their wedding guests who then sent them along aisle to aisle making sure each person had a moment with the rings. As someone who is very passionate about marriage, I felt like this was hugely symbolic of the reality of marriage – we need encouragement from those around us! Every couple needs the love and support from the people who surround them. That’s what each person was giving Kim and Garrett as they touched and passed the rings, and I hope it will be a reminder to all of their friends and family to continue to love and nurture this sweet couple for all the years to come.

Kim and Garrett, you know how crazy we are about you guys and your families! From photographing Amy and Larry’s wedding, to now getting to document yours, we are so thankful to have had the honor and pleasure of photographing and being a part of two such important events in your family’s lives. Thank you, thank you! We cherish these memories with you all! Congratulations again! We wish you guys a marriage filled with love and laughter!

Many thanks to the team for bringing this wedding to life…

Designer/Coordinator: Merrily Wed

Ceremony/Reception: West Shore Cafe

Dress: Martina Liana from Janene’s Bridal

Shoes: Toms

Tux: Men’s Warehouse

Makeup: Kiss & MakeUp

Hair: Salon Bella Vita

Cake: West Shore Cafe

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Florist: B & B Designs

Rentals: Celebrations

Linens and Catering: West Shore Cafe

Ceremony Music: The String Beings

Reception Music: Love Fool

Shuttle: Reno Tahoe Limosene Service

Photobooth: The Traveling Photo Booth

Photographers: Pictilio

Lake tahoe wedding photographyWedding details of invitation and floralsWedding details of West Shore Cafe weddingWhite wedding dressLake tahoe lakeshore weddingBride and groom with wedding party - lifestyle photography by PictilioWedding photos of bride and groom at West Shore Cafe and Inn in lke TahoeWedding photography in Lake TahoeGroom fishing for the bride wedding cakeBlankets for outdoor West Shore Cafe Lake Tahoe wedding receptionWedding photography at West Shore Cafe in Lake TahoeFlower girl wearing flower crownWest Shore Cafe and Inn Wedding Reception in Lake TahoeWedding details, signature cocktailSummer floral arrangement for a wedding bouquetBride and groom on the dock in Lake Tahoe. Wedding photography by Pictilio.

20 Creative Date Night Ideas

Cooking Together

This is the third part of a three part series to get us thinking differently about date night.

I began this series because I think we need to focus not on what we’re doing for date night but why we’re doing it. It’s less about the activity and more about the connection the activity helps bring about. As I mentioned in a previous post, date night as boyfriend and girlfriend is about getting to know each other and developing your relationship. Date night in marriage is about cultivating and deepening your relationship.

You can read the first part here and the second part here. Today I want to give you 20 Date Night Ideas that you may not have thought of as “date night” material, but are all great ways to invest in your relationship. I hope these help! We’ve enjoyed some ourselves and are looking to others for the future.

  1. Go to marriage counseling and grab coffee after to discuss.
  2. Go for a day or overnight trip away from all of your daily responsibilities. A secret rendezvous!
  3. Take a financial class together.
  4. Read or listen to a marriage book together.
  5. Maybe life is just hard and you just need a good laugh together.
  6. Spend a night praying together.
  7. If you aren’t having date night, spend an evening discussing why and making a plan together.
  8. Buy two sets of power sheets and do them together each month. We do!
  9. Enjoy a dinner, each asking the question, how can I better love or serve you this week?
  10. Take a night to look at each others calendars and see what needs to be canceled so you have more time together.
  11. If childcare is a constant issue, invest an evening finding or training a new babysitter.
  12. Try new things! Do something your spouse loves one week, and then something you love the next week.
  13. If rest is what you need, take a nap together.
  14. Get together with another family and discuss the idea of a date night swap. One couple watches all the kids one week, and then swap the next week.
  15. New to a city and feeling homesick, go play tourist together and grow to love your new hometown together.
  16. Find a mentor couple and go on a double date. Feel free to ask them to share some wisdom!
  17. Redo an older tradition or maybe your first date to conjure up some of those earlier feelings and fond memories of each other.
  18. Has a messy home or bedroom been causing conflict? Spend a night tidying things up to bring some order and, consequently, peace into the home and heart.
  19. Drop the kids to a babysitter and then go back home to spend some time in the bedroom together.
  20. Plan a maintenance night.

What do you do to invest in your relationship? Ideas are always welcome! Please leave me a note in the comments. And if you know someone who might need some new ideas, please pass this post along!