Getting Personal #95: Second Wedding Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Al! Here’s to two years of marriage!

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I love the black and white.

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One of my favorite photos from our wedding! Image Credit: Stellar Exposures

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We had an amazing reception!

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December 2016 – Al’s company Christmas party.

As I write this post, I realize we need to take more photos of ourselves!

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August 2017 – We celebrated Casey’s birthday at Topgolf in Virginia Beach!

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October 2017. My current profile picture – One of my favorites, taken by my dad!

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October 2017 – Celebrating Nick and Savy’s wedding! Amanda photographed all three of our weddings – Al and me, Steven and Crystal, and Nick and Savy!

Thank you for everything this year – We’ve definitely learned to be homeowners, that’s for sure! I look forward to many more years with you. Can’t wait to celebrate tonight!

I love you!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #46: First Wedding Anniversary

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Image Credit: quotesgram.com

Today marks our first wedding anniversary. I can hardly believe it!

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Image Credit: Stellar Exposures

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Image Credit: Stellar Exposures

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Image Credit: Stellar Exposures

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One of our many honeymoon photos. We were waiting for Blue Man Group to start!

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Hogsmeade!

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December 2015: Lunch before seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

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June 2016: We bought a house!

Thank you, Al, for an amazing year! Here’s to many, many more!

I love you.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #18: Best. Day. Ever.

I hesitated to use the word “perfect.” I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate.

But, during our thank-you speech at our wedding reception, I couldn’t think of any other word that was better.

November 14th was truly a perfect day.


Disclaimer: All photos in this post, unless otherwise stated, were taken by Amanda MacDiarmid, or her second shooter, Cathy. Amanda owns and operatesΒ Stellar Exposures.

All credit goes to them.


We started the day early – My parents and I arrived at the church at 6:45 a.m. Hair and makeup quickly followed, and our ceremony started at 11:00 a.m. sharp.

My dress was in a tree!

My dress was hanging in a tree!

One of my all-time favorites.

One of my all-time favorites.

Amanda is so creative!

Amanda is so creative!

Getting dressed!

Getting dressed!

Our save-the-date postcard and our invitation.

Our save-the-date postcard and our invitation.

Our program on the brick steps leading to the sanctuary.

Our wedding program on the brick steps leading to the sanctuary.

Amanda and her second shooter, Cathy, were absolutely FABULOUS!


Our ceremony was held at the church that I have been attending since I was four-years-old. Aldersgate United Methodist Church holds a special place in my heart. We were so fortunate that our former associate pastor, Eric Song, came down from Winchester to marry us!

The sanctuary.

The sanctuary.

Beautiful shot.

Beautiful shot.

He played his guitar during the groomsmen entrance, and I could hear it as I was waiting to enter the sanctuary.

Dea Atkinson, a long-time church friend, played a lively variety of music on the piano. She is amazing!

Pastor Eric Song playing his guitar during the groomsmen entrance.

Pastor Eric Song playing his guitar during the groomsmen entrance.

Walking down the aisle with Mom and Dad.

Walking down the aisle with Mom and Dad.

Al seeing me for the first time :)

Al seeing me for the first time πŸ™‚

Married!!

Married!!

One of my favorites :)

One of my favorites πŸ™‚

The ceremony had a lot of laughter, and a few tears. Eric did an amazing job! It was a whirlwind – It was over in just 25 minutes! But it was amazing. I felt completely surrounded by love and peace.

One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was the love letters that Al and I wrote to each other. Eric asked us to write a letter to each other, but neither of us could see it. We both ended up writing about our first date on September 4, 2010. It was awesome!


About 100 people came to our wedding, which was perfect.

I married into a HUGE family. Being an only child, it’s so awesome! We were so grateful that most of our family members were able to join us for our special day.

Mom and Dad.

Karen (Momma) and Jim (Daddy).

My family. L to R: Uncle Richard, Auntie Marn, Mom, LB, Dad, Cousin Ryan, and Uncle Butch.

My family!
L to R: Uncle Richard (Mom’s brother), Auntie Marn (Dad’s sister), Karen (Mom), LB, Jim (Dad), Cousin Ryan, and Uncle Butch (Dad’s brother-in-law).

Al's immediate family! L to R: Bruce (Dad), Debbie (Mom), Al, and Nick (Brother and brother-in-law)

Al’s immediate family!
L to R: Bruce (Dad), Debbie (Mom), Al, and Nick (Brother and brother-in-law).

91-year-old Grandma Helena came!! L to R: Al, Grandma, Nick

This was spectacular – 91-year-old Grandma Helena came!!
L to R: Al, Grandma, Nick

Pastor Eric and his wife, Heather!

Pastor Eric and his wife, Heather!

Beautiful and handsome.

Beautiful, and handsome.

Wholesale Flower Market, Inc., in Chesapeake, did our arrangements. They wrapped my bouquet with one of my grandmother's handkerchiefs and attached one of her gorgeous brooches.

Wholesale Flower Market, Inc., in Chesapeake, did our arrangements – They were absolutely gorgeous. They wrapped my bouquet with one of my grandmother’s handkerchiefs and attached one of her gorgeous brooches. Grandma Grace, who passed away in July 2013, was definitely with us in spirit.

Aunt Pam and Uncle Bill.

Aunt Pam and Uncle Bill.

L to R: Cousin Kellie, LB, Al, Aunt Rosalind, and Uncle John.

L to R: Cousin Kellie, LB, Al, Aunt Rosalind, and Uncle John.

L to R: Nick, LB, Al, Mia (future niece), and Savy (future sister-in-law).

L to R: Nick, LB, Al, Mia (future niece), and Savy (future sister-in-law).

L to R: Uncle Ken, Aunt Karen, LB, Al, Aunt Brenda, and Uncle Joe.

L to R: Uncle Ken, Aunt Karen, LB, Al, Brenda, and Uncle Joe.

Uncle Dan and Aunt Jeanne.

Uncle Dan and Aunt Jeanne.

Uncle Bill and Aunt Susan.

Uncle Bill and Aunt Susan.

Cousins Micah and Ashley.

Cousins Micah and Ashley.

The whole family!

The whole family!

The proud parents.

The proud parents.

The wedding party! Y'all rock! L to R: Liz, Katie, Stephanie, Melissa, LB, Al, Bruce, Nick, Joe, and Mike.

The wedding party! Y’all rock!
L to R: Liz, Katie, Stephanie, Melissa, LB, Al, Bruce, Nick, Joe, and Mike.

Stylin'!

Stylin’!

The girls!

The ladies!

No one planned the coordinating black and red shoes!

No one planned the coordinating black and red shoes!

Mom and Dad :)

Mom and Dad πŸ™‚

The men!

The men!

Standing in front of the floor-to-ceiling stained glass piece.

Standing in front of the floor-to-ceiling stained glass piece.


After the ceremony, Charlie from Orange Peel Transportation came to pick up the wedding party and shuttle us to our reception at Cedar Point Country Club in Suffolk, about 15 minutes from the church. It was a brisk day, but sunny and crystal clear!

Our gorgeous cake, made with love by Tracy Grandon.

Our gorgeous cake, made with love by Tracy Grandon.

One of the three amazing art pieces that our future sister-in-law Savy made for us! Check out SavyArt for more!

One of the three amazing art pieces that our future sister-in-law, Savy, made for us! Check out SavyArt for more!

Our first dance. We danced to "Who I Am With You" by Chris Young.

Our first dance. We danced to “Who I Am With You” by Chris Young.

Father-daughter dance. Dad and I danced to "Carolina In My Mind" by James Taylor. This was a surprise for my mom as well - Dad played this song when he proposed to Mom!

Father-daughter dance.
Daddy and I danced to “Carolina In My Mind” by James Taylor. This was a surprise for my mom as well – Dad played this song when he proposed to Mom!

Mother-son dance. Al and Mom danced to "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts.

Mother-son dance.
Al and Mom danced to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts.

Aunt Karen said a beautiful blessing over the food.

Aunt Karen said a beautiful blessing over the food.

Our fabulous DJ, Matt! He's with Music Makes You Happy Entertainment. He was stellar!

Our fabulous DJ, Matt! He’s with Music Makes You Happy Entertainment. He was stellar!

Al and I love movies, so he edited images of famous movie couples for our tables!

Al and I love movies, so he edited images of famous movie couples for our tables!

Beautiful! I love this photo of us :) Here's to more adventures! L to R: Drew, Katie, LB, Al, Heaven, and Justin.

Beautiful! I love this photo of us πŸ™‚ Here’s to more adventures!
L to R: Drew, Katie, LB, Al, Heaven, and Justin.

The beautiful maid of honor, Melissa, making her speech.

The beautiful maid of honor, Melissa, making her toast.

The best man, Bruce, a.k.a. Dad, giving his speech.

The dapper best man, Bruce, a.k.a. Dad, giving his toast.

The father of the bride, Jim, giving his speech.

The handsome father of the bride, Jim, giving his thank-you speech and toast.


After eating and toasts, we DANCED!

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Let’s boogie!

Connie!

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!

Mom and Dad!

Mom and Dad!

Chris and Donald.

Chris and Donald.

Olivia and Christine!

Olivia and Christine!

Brad Daniels with Ebb & Flow Films!!

Brad Daniels, our fantastic videographer, with Ebb & Flow Films!!

Tearing up the dance floor.

Tearing up the dance floor.

Standing, L to R: Nick, Crystal, and Savy. Sitting: Mia. Crystal was our bomb.com wedding planner! Check out Cherry Blossom Planning Factory!

Dancing, L to R: Nick, Crystal, and Savy. Sitting: Mia.
Crystal was our bomb.com (glitter bomb, of course!) wedding planner! Check out Cherry Blossom Planning Factory!

Dance, dance, dance!

Dance, dance, dance!


Around 3:30 p.m., Amanda and Cathy came to Al and I,Β and asked us for 15 minutes to go outside for some portraits. I needed it then – I was so hot! The brisk air was so refreshing!

Amazing.

Amazing.

It was a little windy, but it felt awesome!!

It was a little windy, but it felt awesome!!

I forgot that we were on a golf course!

I forgot that we were on a golf course!

Beautiful. That light!

Beautiful. That light!


November 14th was perfect. The pictures that Amanda and Cathy took, they number in the thousands. I’m incredibly grateful for each and every one. Thank you, Amanda and Cathy, for capturing our special day so beautifully!!


A HUGE thank you goes out to our families, first and foremost. Thank you for supporting our love since 2010. Thank you for being amazing every day!

To our friends, thank you for your love and support. It means the world to us. Thank you to those who hosted bridal showers, offered help of all kinds, were a phone call away when I wanted to pull my hair out, and much, much more. We were so happy that so many of you were able to come celebrate with us!

Thank you to our fantastic vendors!!

Ceremony Site: Aldersgate United Methodist Church

Reception Site & Caterer: Cedar Point Country Club

Linens: Waterford Event Rentals

Videographer: Ebb & Flow Films

Photographer: Stellar Exposures

DJ: Music Makes You Happy Entertainment

Flowers: Wholesale Flower Market, INC.

Hair & Bridal Party Make-Up: Mystique Salon & Day Spa

Transportation: Orange Peel

Wedding Ninjas: Cherry Blossom Planning Factory


Happy New Year, friends.

Here’s to 2016!

Dancing and singing to "Don't Stop Believin" - The last song of the night.

Dancing and singing to “Don’t Stop Believin'” – The last song of the event!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #17: The Final Countdown

Image Credit: samirpatro.wordpress.com

Image Credit: samirpatro.wordpress.com


Here we are, the last week before we tie the knot!

I can hardly believe it. It’s been a little over 10 months since we got engaged. And this time next week, we’ll be Mr. and Mrs., realizing that we are finally experiencing post-wedding and pre-honeymoon.

A ton of emotions washed over me today. I got my hair trimmed at the salon, my last “single” haircut. I signed a couple of credit card receipts, knowing that this is one of the last Saturdays that I will sign anything as “Stricker.”

I told Al that I was a little nervous, but more excited more than anything. He told me not to be nervous. It won’t be perfect, but at the end of the day, we will be married. I even shed some happy tears earlier tonight.

Everything is falling into place. Our guest book/canvas/work of art was dropped off today (It is absolutely gorgeous!), I have a ton of thank-you notes to write this week because so many amazing packages have been arriving, I finished the first draft of our wedding program this afternoon, and Al is completing the final touches on our movie couples seating arrangements for the reception πŸ™‚

I’m trying to treat this upcoming week as normally as possible, but it will certainly be interesting. Most of my relatives will be flying in at the beginning of the week and spending time with us at the house. I get to enjoy dinner with Katie and Brian on Thursday night while Al is taken out for his bachelor festivities. Mom and I have our own self-imposed deadline of Wednesday for everything on our plates to be done. I need to clean up my room, and pack!

So much to do in these last few days, but my excitement isΒ brimming.

As the title says, I’ll leave you with this. Enjoy your weekend!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Adventure Time: Hampton Roads Edition (Bridal Shower #2 And Being A Big Sister)

Image Credit: sororitysugar.tumblr.com

Image Credit: sororitysugar.tumblr.com

During the weekend of August 22nd, I was honored as a bride. I was also honored to be a supportive Big sister.


My parents are in our church’s handbell choir. One of the members, Linda, offered to host a bridal shower. Sue, the director, was such a gracious co-hostess! That Saturday was a gorgeous day. I felt so loved!

The amazing table! Linda and Sue are beautiful decorators.

The amazing table! Linda and Sue are beautiful decorators. And the food! It was delicious!

Our future guest room has a travel / passport theme. Val, who is British, thought it was appropriate to gift the Union Jack pillow!

Our future guest room has a travel / passport theme. Val, who is British, thought it was appropriate to gift the Union Jack pillow!

L to R: Linda, Dea, Suzie, Janie, Michaela Leigh, Cindy, LB, Karen, Lucy, and Val. Sue took the photo.

L to R: Linda, Debbie, Dea, Suzie, Janie, Michaela Leigh, Cindy, LB, Karen, Lucy, and Val. Sue took the photo!

It was such a wonderful shower. We received so many amazing cards, gifts, and especially recipes! I am even more ready for my own house so Al and I can make so much delicious food together.

Thank you to everyone!


Remember earlier, how I said I was honored to be a Big sister? I’m talking about being a big sister to my amazing Little, Lane.

L to R: Al, LB, and Lane.

L to R: Al, LB, and Lane.

She’s an amazing woman. There are so many things that I can say about her. I’ve loved her since we met at Longwood, and I’ve loved her even more since we became Big and Little Sister because of Alpha Sigma Tau.

Lane is leaving tomorrow, to embark on a new journey. She’ll be in boot camp for the next several months. She is such a courageous woman. Enlisting in the Navy is a huge commitment, and I am full of pride and joy. You are awesome!

We celebrated at Red Robin, among amazing friends. It was such a wonderful time! I’m so glad you loved the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 mixtape necklace – I loved your reaction!

Little, I am so proud of you!! I miss you already. I can’t wait to write to you!


As I write this, I feel so full of love and warmth. I’m so happy to be in the company of so many amazing people. Words can’t accurately describe how blessed I feel. I am so grateful.

Thank you to all!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Adventure Time: Hampton Roads Edition (Builder Fest and Bridal Shower)

The weekend of August 15th was awesome! Al and I spent time on Saturday exploring downtown Portsmouth.

We went to Roger Brown’s for lunch – Delicious! I had an amazing BBQ brisket sandwich, and Al had what looked like a great Cuban sandwich. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.

After lunch, we headed across the street to the Children’s Museum of Virginia for BuilderFest! Before we crossed, I heard someone yell my name. It was our friend Sara in her truck! We said hi quickly and we went on our ways.

BuilderFest was an event that involved a team effort with multiple Portsmouth attractions and businesses. Al found out about it because one of the girls who works in IT at his company, Kate, is really into LEGOs. Kate and her sister Meg were going to have a table with LEGOs at the children’s museum.

I was so excited, Al had to calm me down. Neither of us had been to the children’s museum since probably elementary school. Besides Kate and Meg, the museum had a Lowe’s builder’s workshop, 3-D printing, and the Hampton Roads Ship Model Society.

Check out the photos!

This epic Ferris Wheel turns with a crank!

This epic Ferris Wheel turns with a crank!

This is a LEGO model of one of those carnival rides.

This is a LEGO model of one of those carnival rides.

The carnival ride was hooked up to a battery-operated motor, and it went really fast!

The carnival ride was hooked up to a battery-operated motor, and it went really fast!

Trains.

Trains!

Al holding one of the ship models. This one took 1,000 hours to complete!

Al holding one of the ship models. This one took 1,000 hours to complete!

Part of the museum's art exhibit.

Part of the museum’s art exhibit.

One of the results from a 3-D printer!

One of the results from a 3-D printer!

This is part of the LEGO city that Meg assembled for the kids. It was awesome!

This is part of the LEGO city that Meg assembled for the kids. It was awesome!

The first floor of the museum. They've done a nice job updating it!

The first floor of the museum. They’ve done a nice job updating it!


On Sunday, I enjoyed my first bridal shower. One of my PEO sisters, Carolyn, was the gracious hostess. It was a beautiful sunny day, and so many wonderful women came to celebrate!

The gorgeous table, prepared by Carolyn and Suzie.

The gorgeous table, prepared by Carolyn and Suzie.

Back Row, L to R: Cat, Sue, Melissa, Kim, Clura Faye, Amy, Suzie, and Stephanie. Front Row, L to R: Abby, Amber, Emily, Mary Lou, Katie, and Carolyn.

Back Row, L to R: Cat, Sue, Melissa, Kim, Clura Faye, Amy, Suzie, and Stephanie.
Front Row, L to R: Abby, Amber, Emily, Mary Lou, Katie, and Carolyn.

It was so wonderful! Like the bridal luncheon, I felt surrounded by love.

I received many amazing gifts. Most of all, I enjoyed the food and the fellowship that afternoon!


At the end of the weekend, I was exhausted, but completely full of joy and love. I am so thankful for this time in my life. I can’t wait to marry Al!!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Adventure Time: Hampton Roads Edition (Birthday and Bridal Things)

That’s how I felt last weekend – Surrounded by love.

My birthday this year was Friday the 7th. Last year, I started a tradition that I would take the Friday off of my birthday week, to re-charge my batteries and enjoy myself.

This year, I was able to go see my dad at work in Norfolk and take a tour, say hi to his co-workers, that kind of thing. Then, Al’s work is only 10 minutes away, so I went to pick him up. He took me to Uno’s for lunch – Delicious pizza. I treated myself to a mani-pedi in Chesapeake, close to my house. Then, our dear friends Lucy and Emily came to our house for the weekend. My mom had appetizers for everyone, before 10 of us went out to dinner at Olive Garden. After dinner, we had brownies and ice cream for dessert. Yummy!

I received so many nice cards, and several gifts. It was awesome!


On Saturday, I couldn’t sleep past 6:00 a.m. I was so excited.

I got my haircut at the salon, then donated canned food and money to a local high school senior who was trying to fill the bed of his pickup truck to help the local food bank. We found out later that, despite the rain and gloomy weather, he succeeded!

After getting ready, I drove my mom, Lucy, and Emily, and my mom’s best friend Debbie D., to our friend Kathy’s. Months ago, Kathy offered to host a bridal luncheon for me, inviting the bridal party and any other special friends.

L to R: My mom, LB, Al's mom, and Kathy.

L to R: My mom, Karen; LB, Al’s mom, Debbie; and Kathy.


Kathy was such a gracious hostess. The luncheon was catered by another dear friend, Tracy. She is making our wedding cake!

The lunch was amazing, and then the red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting were to-die-for!

This was the luncheon plate. Everyone was raving that it belonged in a magazine! It was almost too pretty to eat!

This was the luncheon plate. Everyone was raving that it belonged in a magazine! It was almost too pretty to eat!

Amazing red velvet cupcakes. Yummy!

Amazing red velvet cupcakes. Yummy!


Before lunch, Kathy had everyone go around the room and say how they knew me and something they appreciated about me. I almost cried. My mom, Al’s mom, and Kathy were struggling to hold in tears. I wish now that I had recorded it. Everyone was so sweet and gracious. They also mentioned Al and how wonderful he is πŸ™‚

Everything was beautifully decorated! Kathy chose burgundy as the theme, based on our wedding colors. So beautiful.

Everything was beautifully decorated! Kathy chose burgundy as the theme, based on our wedding colors. So beautiful.

The vegetable bowl in our everyday china pattern, plus a beautiful leaf-shaped accent piece.

The vegetable bowl in our everyday china pattern, plus a beautiful leaf-shaped accent piece.

Kathy had everyone write recipes on cards for Al and I. Looking forward to getting my own kitchen to make these!

Kathy had everyone write recipes on cards for Al and I. Looking forward to getting my own kitchen to make these!


Kathy’s not a big fan of silly games, but she did have one prepared for us.

This was the list of candy that we had to match to wedding things and phrases. The answers we came up with were hilarious!

This was the list of candy that we had to match to wedding things and phrases. The answers we came up with were hilarious!

Debbie D. won the whole shebang, with 14 right answers!

Debbie D. won the whole shebang, with 14 right answers!


After the game, everyone had coffee, more cupcakes, and enjoyed fellowship. It was so nice to see everyone and catch up, especially with Lane, my Little from AST. She can’t come to the wedding, so I was thrilled that she and her best friend Amber were able to come to the luncheon!

Lane and Amber, best friends for forever!

Lane and Amber, best friends for forever!


Photo montage!

Katie, one of my bridesmaids, and Melissa, my maid of honor, get to know each other.

L to R: Katie, one of my bridesmaids, and Melissa, my maid of honor, get to know each other.

Three out of the four bridal party ladies. They took over this table and wouldn't let me listen in! L to R: Liz, Melissa, and Katie.

Three out of the four bridal party ladies. They took over this table and wouldn’t let me listen in!
L to R: Liz, Melissa, and Katie.

L to R: Amber, LB, and Lane.

L to R: Amber, LB, and Lane.

L to R: Emily, LB, Debbie D., and Lucy.

L to R: Emily, LB, Debbie D., and Lucy.

Group photo! This was the best idea ever. Top Row, L to R: Amber, Katie, Debbie D., Kathy, Lucy, Emily, Melissa, and Liz. Bottom Row: Debbie V., LB, Karen, and Lane.

Group photo! This was the best idea ever.
Top Row, L to R: Amber, Katie, Debbie D., Kathy, Lucy, Emily, Melissa, and Liz.
Bottom Row: Debbie V., LB, Karen, and Lane.

I cannot say thank you enough. What a wonderful weekend!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚