Our family has been renting a cottage on Higgins Beach in Scarborough, Maine every summer for nearly 20 years. We LOVE it. We only have the cottage for a week, so we make sure and pack as much sunshine and beach time in as we can!
This year Dave and I weren't sure if we'd be able to go (ya know....all that wedding expense, etc. we didn't think it'd be in the budget) but one of our dear friends took care of our portion as a wedding gift so we could go!! It was so nice to be able to go, since this is our last summer living in Maine.
Our first full day at the beach, Sunday, it was off-and-on stormy - we still had a great day!
Dave's parents were able to come spend the day with us on Sunday, such a treat! Everyone in the group is an old friend now, since our wedding trip in Mexico. :)
Sunday at Higgins was a ton of fun family time, yummy sandwich smorgasbord, and some great beach time, despite the scary sky!
The week flew by....honestly I don't know what day the rest of these photos landed on! We hung out on the beach, played LOTS of games, and ate a TON!
Megan has a bit of an obsession with handstands - considering I have more upside-down photos of her than right-side up photos. Her little obsession turned into quite a few "Handstand-Off's" on the beach. It was hilarious!
One of the highlights of the week at the beach was a game Dave introduced us to (introduced to him at his bachelor party by some of his best dudes in PA) called KanJam. Do yourselves a favor - buy it! (KanJam, you're welcome). It's SO much fun, and makes for some hilarious photos! Just FYI, it takes a little bit of practice to get anywhere near.
The first half of the week was amazing....we loved every second on the beach, rainy or otherwise, and had some great laughs. We played plenty of KanJam, and inside we played a bunch of card games, including Cards Against Humanity. Hilariously inappropriate, but we enjoyed ourselves. :)
Friday we had the twin's BFF Nicole with us, so we played more KanJam (obviously) and enjoyed more beach shenanigans.
We decided the jump photos were fun, so once the sky cleared a bit we decided to take a few more of them. :)
I thought it'd be kinda cool to line them up and have them all jump out different directions....it KINDA worked. :) The fail photos are always my favorite, obviously.
The second try was a little more successfu
Dad decided to join in with our little jumping routine....at least kinda. He didn't like our simple jumping....so he improvised ;-)
Since this may be our last summer in Maine for awhile (we're not quite sure what our life will look like for the first few years in the south) we were really happy to actually spend (most) of the week at the beach with the family.
Dave and I have this "tradition" of hiking on the 4th of July. It didn't really start with that intention, but the first year we were dating we were both flat broke - and after our first idea of tie-dying a couple of old t-shirts, we decided the second cheapest thing we could do on a day we both happened to have off was to walk through the woods.
Our first 4th of July hike was to Little Wilson Falls. I'll never forget that first hike, because we drove his old Impala (VERY little ground clearance) up a dirt road that I was positive we would get stuck on, and then about a half hour into the hike we got hit with the worst thunderstorm I've ever seen. We were going to attempt to finish the hike in the rain, but when the lightening started hitting close, and then we were getting pelted in the head with quarter-sized hail we figured we should probably turn around. We ran (yes, ran) the trail back to the car as fast as we could...and literally the minute he unlocked the doors and we got in the storm stopped. Hike = fail.
Thankfully this year was a little different. We left Bangor around 6:15am, and actually had Megan and Taylor (two of my sisters) join us! We started the day off on a great note, because they were BOTH on time. (Actually, Taylor arrived 10 minutes early and already had a coffee....seriously...world record). Neither of them had ever been, so we decided Gulf Hagas was the perfect hike. Taylor brought her dog, Boris, with us.....which we weren't initially super excited about, but he turned out to be a fabulous hiking partner.
We weren't sure it would ever happen, but it actually got hot this year - so the hike was pretty sticky...but trust me I'm not complaining! The first part of the full Gulf Hagas loop trail is through the woods. You have to cross one river (pretty wide, but only about knee deep during the summer) so we carried water shoes, and then after the river crossing there are lots of wooden bridges across marshy areas in the woods. Gorgeous, but definitely a mosquito breeding ground!
We stopped about halfway through our hike to eat lunch...this just happened to be where we finally came out of the woods and started seeing the rivers. We ate out on some sunny rocks, and Boris "played" in the water. (He actually kept trying to swim downstream, but Taylor kept a good eye on him).
Bringing Boris along wasn't just so Taylor could have his company, he also carried all of her gear! I'm still not sure if I think this was extremely smart, or unfair. ;-)
The trail from lunch on skirted through the woods beside the river, with plenty of "viewpoints" to check out of the gorgeous water.
I actually didn't even have my camera out for most of the prettiest parts of this hike....unfortunately the prettiest parts are also the most technical, and in an effort not to smash my camera, or teeth, I decided to leave it in my bag. You'll just have to hike it yourself to see.
As she so kindly does on our hikes, Megan took my camera and got a couple shots that I'm actually featured in....that way it doesn't look like my camera hiked without me!
We have fun. :-) I think we stopped at every viewpoint possible, and Boris kept trying to jump into the water! (yes, even off the giant cliffs....)
This hike is so beautiful, I had such a hard time putting my camera down (thus the million pictures)....but seriously, it is so hard to relate the beauty of this place.
The next rocks we got to had an amazing group of butterflies, and they were just hanging out! (I'm sure there's a reason why they were congregating, but we figured it was just for us to hang out with them)
I'm not sure what the actual name of this spot is....but it's basically the most dramatic canyon on this hike. Megan took over my camera again for a few minutes to grab some shots of Dave and I.
Meg kept telling us to smile (apparently we had camera smiles this whole time...oops) and finally tried to make us laugh - by telling us to think about Tango falling into the canyon. FAIL!
Poor Meg re-twisted her ankle walking down over some rocks....it was still pretty sore from our Tumbledown hike! She was a trooper, though, and kept right on trucking!
We stopped at this next spot because Meg was hurting pretty bad, and luckily it was a low spot where she could actually put her ankle into the cold water and "ice" it a bit.
It was a pretty long day, but so worth it. Definitely glad we had bugspray (go Dave) because we would have been eaten alive otherwise. (word to the wise, BRING BUGSPRAY) When we got back to our cars we found that people had written in the dust from driving...literally ALL OVER the cars. Not impressed. I guess that is our punishment for hiking in a popular place on a holiday - but thankfully it was only an annoyance. No permanent damage! Overall, fabulous hike!
Happy Birthday, America!
Our wedding was May 23rd, 2015. We headed down to Riviera Maya, Mexico on a Wednesday - we got married on Saturday.
If any of you ladies are planning a wedding please take 2 planning tips from my experience:
The three days prior to our wedding (as I already went through in my "pre-wedding" blog) flew by, and aside from the actual travel to Mexico were super relaxing and fun! Zero drama/zero stress.
Dave and I had breakfast with everyone together on the morning of our wedding, and then said goodbye until the 6pm.
I met my bridesmaids and friends in our room to get ready - my fabulous new sis-in-law did all of their hair! Our photographer, Jenn, met up with us right at "getting ready" time to start documenting the day. (By the way, if you're looking for a wedding photographer, Darling Photography is it. Seriously.)
Mom and I had to leave the girls at 2 to head to the resort spa and have our hair & makeup done. I was SO nervous that I'd end up looking ridiculous (I had no idea what the skill level of Mexican hair/makeup artists was....) but I really didn't need to be worried. The woman who did my hair and makeup was the sweetest person ever, and the last thing she said to me (before "goodbye, good luck!") was "Your hair is in my dreams". Definitely started me off feeling confident. :)
Our hair appointment went much longer than we expected, so when we got back to the room so I could get dressed we had to move quickly. FYI...if you have a dress with a billion ACTUAL buttons, give yourself plenty of time.
I had a few brief freak-out moments after I was actually dressed and ready....I imagine every bride has her "ohmygoodnessthisisreallyhappeningholycrap" moment. Thankfully mine was rather short.
Our wedding planner called our room when it was time (insert second brief moment of panic here) and we headed out on our rather long walk from the room to the beach. We paraded across nearly the entire resort towards the beach (past all of the pools, etc) and were cheered on by all the guests relaxing in the pools or on the lounge chairs. We heard lots of "You all look gorgeous!" and "Good luck!!"....I doubt many weddings have a pump-up session prior to walking down the aisle, it was pretty cool.
I could post so many more photos, Jenn was amazing and literally documented EVERY moment of this day, but my computer is too slow to wait for the uploads. Sorry! :)
Everything from the second we met Dad, the girls walking down the aisle ahead of me, and then Dad walking me down the aisle to meet Dave is a bit of a blur. Seeing Dave waiting for me nearly sent into tears, he looked so freaking handsome - plus the fact that he was waiting up there for ME, to marry me, to spend the rest of our lives together....holy moly.
Our ceremony was so perfect. Merritt read a scripture for us, the the minister performed a beautiful ceremony with a great love poem. We had a mini sand ceremony, signed the marriage certificate, and then a kiss that tasted like tequila. Perfect Mexican beach wedding.
We had our cocktail hour at an awesome tiki bar, and then our reception was on a terrace by one of our favorite pools.
Our first dance was to one of our favorite songs, under an amazingly colored sky, in front of our closest family and friends. It couldn't have been more perfect.
We only did a few specific "dances", I danced with Dad, and he danced with his Mom. I don't even remember what we ate (I'm sure it was delicious, the pictures look fancy), honestly the meal was the least important part of everything. We didn't even eat our cake (for some reason the waiters just took it away?) but I really don't think anyone missed it.
Adam prayed for the food, and for our marriage - Dad gave a toast (definitely made me cry...meaniehead) and after dinner Emily gave another amazing toast and played us a song that was really meaningful in her & Dexter's marriage - and wished us the same kind of love.
We had a fabulous time dancing with everyone, and a hilarious bouquet toss (let's just say I'm not a professional bouquet "thrower" - and when you have a wedding party with mostly married couples the bouquet toss can be pretty amusing) mixed in there too - but you'll have to come see me if you want to see those photos. :)
I've looked back through all of our photos a million times since our day, and I still can't believe how perfect it was. I wouldn't change a single thing.
A billion thanks to Jenn & Mike from Darling Photography for capturing each perfect moment in amazing beauty - for more photos check out her blog of our wedding!
Dreamer, decorator, wife, business owner, personal fitness trainer. 20-something.