Thursday, June 12, 2014

Queen of Hearts

So our summer with Allie has officially begun and we couldn't be happier. All three of us look forward to this time all year and it's just.. the best. This year, Zach and I wanted to be more intentional about providing opportunities for Allie to take more personal ownership of things and have more independence. As a teenager now, we want to give her some more rope to begin making her own decisions, problem-solving, and just.. generally using her noggin in God's big, beautiful world (while we watch and guide from a few feet away :)). We gave Allie a summer starter kit that had a few fun things in it like water balloons and drink umbrellas,

but also a few organizational things such as summer calendars (so she knows where we will be when and can plan the remaining time), a list of her responsibilities for the summer, a meal planning chart and guidelines (for her to plan out her own nutritious breakfast and lunch each day), a guide for planning some adventures when her BFF Emma comes to visit next week, some super top secret insider information about our Father's Day plans (shh! Don't tell the Daddy!), and a Chipotle voucher redeemable anytime of her choosing. :) She also has a phone for the summer (she doesn't have one in Alabama) to learn some time management skills and communication skills within some set guidelines.
Pretty much as soon as we picked her up we headed straight for Charlotte- the Queen City and still... a little bit… the queen of our hearts. We love this city and the people in it so much and we were thrilled so start our summer with Allie off in this treasured place. The reason for our weekend getaway was because Zach + band was booked to play an engagement party/surprise wedding. More on that later…

Our Saturday was jam packed with Allie being reunited with her sweet friends Emma and Annie. 

 As you can see, it's like no time has passed at all since they were together. :)
After lunch we spent the afternoon shopping at the mall-
and finding lots of adorable things like these shoes
 and this hat!
We also had a little sunglasses fashion show. The girls -

and the coolest moms evaaa! Haha

Gotta skim through Lilly Pulitzer. Such an adorable store.
The girls also enjoyed trying on ridiculous shoes in Macy's. Allie's face + these heels = amazing. Ha!
And of course a trip to Anthropologie, God's country. :)
The creativity in this store (or rather the store designer's head) is so inspiring. They do the most dramatic things with just regular stuff like cardboard, bamboo, and paper.

 Window display garland.

 Ok so that's a lily pad tub fountain thingy. So pretty.

As the girls tried on beautiful clothes, I got to sit here, in the waiting area… which I've never done before because usually I am in the one trying on clothes! But it was such a cozy place to sit and wait for the fashion show to begin. :)

So fun! After shopping we played a few rounds of Heads Up, a fun, interactive word guessing game game that's kinda the opposite of Catch Phrase-

and then the girls got a well-deserved super sugary Starbucks frappe full of chocolate and cookies crumbles. (We don't do this often. Haha)
Later on that night, we drove out to the country for the engagement party/surprise wedding for our friends Tyler and Emily.

Our Allie girl ready for the party!
 So pretty.
The wedding ceremony took place under this gorgeous tree full of hanging lanterns. As the sun set, these beauties sparkled in the evening sky like fireflies.
The groom waiting for his bride.
Getting' hitched.
The reception was held in this unbelievably gorgeous tent constructed for the event. It was so lovely - a mix of rustic and modern, and it really set the mood for this special night. (Also… I was thrilled to have air-conditioning!)
 Gold tree stumps. Love.
 Seriously y'all. So gorgeous.
Flowers, flowers everywhere. And candles too. 
The cakes.
 Best groom's cake ever.
But the best part about the whole night for me was hanging out with these sweet friends! I love my Charlotte friends so much and am so grateful God has brought these women into my life (and Allie's!).
With Allie B and Bethany
 My girl Al.
As the night set in, the whole place was illuminated in the warmest, most romantic light. These pictures don't do it justice!
 Dancing the night away under string bulb lights.
Oh yeah- can't forget the wedding band with my main squeeze front and center! They did awesome! And I'm not just saying that because I have to. I was so proud of Zach and it was so cool to see the happy couple dance their first dance to the song he used to propose to me. Download it here!
Oh yeah - E&T really know the way to someone's heart - King of Pops. I mean.. seriously?! One banana pudding please. :)
 The party favors were unlike anything I had ever seen before too- a tote bag full of goodies from non-profits they support. Such a unique and awesome idea!

The night ended with fireworks and the happy couple being whisked away under explosions of confetti and cheers from the guests. So so fun!
At the end of the night, after the guests were all gone and the band was tearing down, the wedding planner told us to take some flowers home. Say whaat?! I let Allie pick out a bouquet to keep and she was in heaven! What a special night for everyone! Congrats E&T!
On Sunday, we went to church and got to see a ton of our dear friends, old church family, and old co-workers. We love you Forest Hill! 

For lunch, I was fairly insistent about going to one of our old favorites to get my Asian food fix. Why Pei Wei has not come to Atlanta is BEYOND me, but I sure enjoyed my fresh stir-fry dish on Sunday!

Afterwards Allie got a few more hours "hanging out" (I've been asked to stop calling it  "playing with friends"…the teenager years have officially set in) with her pals before we had dinner with some of ours.
Up to their usual shenanigans…

God has been so kind to give us sweet friends like the Browns, Mokrises, and Carsons. We are so thankful for our time with you guys and your families.

Zach and AG watching some basketball and doing some light Bible reading… (love this spunky girl)
Thank you Carsons for everything! We love you!
And we love you Charlotte. Until next time Queen City!

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