Tag Archives: Wedding

sabbatical days, part 5

I’m finishing up documenting my sabbatical with our trip to my brother and Brittany’s destination wedding.

IMG_5778_edited-1Despite how we look here (at 7am in the Atlanta airport after a redeye) we were very excited to be half way to our final destination, Beaches Ochos Rios in Jamaica.

IMG_5783_edited-1We spent the first few days relaxing at the beach and pool. The resort had a water park with some of the only poolside shade to be found. We camped out here for most of the day and then tried the different resort restaurants each night. IMG_5796_edited-1 IMG_5787_edited-1IMG_5890_edited-1 IMG_5815_edited-1

I’m so happy we were able to be a part of the wedding. There were about 25 people that made it to Jamaica to celebrate with Joey and Britt on Friday night. Maks easily won the award for best dressed.
IMG_5824_edited-1 IMG_5832_edited-1 IMG_5833_edited-1 IMG_5839_edited-1 Love, love, love that my brother had custom Vans made for his wedding. I don’t think I’ve seen him wear shoes other than Vans since he was about five, so it was completely fitting that he wear a pair on this big day. Love that Brittany let his style shine through as well. IMG_5842_edited-1 IMG_5849_edited-1

Daddy and the flower girl walking down the aisle. And below, the basket Avery promptly threw overboard when she finished tossing the petals.

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I’m pretty sure all four of them shed tears during the ceremony. Joey and Britt shared sweet vows that they wrote to each other. Here they are, the official Collins family of four.
IMG_5867_edited-1 IMG_5863_edited-1 IMG_5870_edited-1IMG_5874_edited-1I’ll end my sabbatical memories on this adorable note: cousins kicking off the dancing.


throwback thursday

I thought it would be fun to go through my photos and try to find a picture from January from each year in the past. My digital photos start with 2005 and I really had no idea what I would find. I just skipped the year if I didn’t have any pictures from January.

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2006 – my first roast chicken! oh my gosh I totally remember this. i was living alone for the first time (in San Rafael) and always did new recipe Monday.

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2007 – around my birthday on the coast up in marin county.

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2009 – one of my all time favorite SF nights. the night before we ran our first Kaiser half marathon. soo many of our inside jokes came from this night.

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2010 – my birthday/girls night at julie’s. after many bottles of wine.


2011 – so many great pictures from my 30th birthday, but i’ve always really loved this one. five great guys, i’m thankful to have them all in my life.


2012 – sending out save the dates. started to feel really real!


2013 – birthday trip to portland, before we realized puppy plus hotel room was a terrible combination.

This was so much fun, I’m going to try to remember to do it again next month.

mr. and mrs. maciol

My baby little sister is married! We had such a fun weekend celebrating Becky + Arek’s wedding with family and friends. I didn’t take many photos, and even fewer good ones over the weekend. I was too busy enjoying the family (and herding cats at times).

Friday we landed in Long Beach and it was WARM. I immediately asked Greg why we don’t live in Southern California and he had NO GOOD ANSWER. Even his usual “taxes” didn’t quite work when it was seventy something degrees in January. We headed straight to the rehearsal and dinner. Polish food truck for the win. rehersal

Friday morning we woke up after 9+ hours of sleep to overcast skies. Not cool, LA. I headed to the boat for the first time as it was girls’ day at the spa. We all got manicures and pedicures, and those of us who have been to kindergarten already also enjoyed champagne. The littles definitely took to a day of pampering just fine. Anna was on top of her technician like it was her job.

nailsAnd then it was time for the big day. We started getting ready sometime before the crack of dawn. Literally. Meeting my new nephew for the first time and holding a 16 month old in a tux well made up for the early wake-up call. Another champagne toast and we were off… only to wait for the limo bus that was an hour and fifteen minutes late to arrive.

getting ready

Greg managed to track the limo bus down and get him oriented and we were off to the church. They had a fun ceremony that was traditional with a light-hearted priest. Maks decided he had no interest in me holding him down the aisle, so his mama did instead. I think I definitely saw Arek wipe away a tear seeing his two loves walking down the aisle towards him. 

The reception was so much fun. We ate, we danced, we caught up with friends and family. I managed to make what is hopefully my last wedding toast ever and survived. I’m a billion times happy for Becky and Arek and so thrilled we got to take part in their happy day.



Project Life: January 2012

My new paper PL process involves ordering photos from Walgreens. I am doing the album all matte, which you can’t pick-up in store and have to have shipped. To avoid shipping fees every week, I try to print several weeks together and this also means I can take advantage of whatever deal they always have going on, like buy 25 get 25 free.

All that to say, I don’t have week twelve to share this week because the photos were ordered while en route to Los Angeles on Saturday morning and have not arrived yet. A benefit of a husband who travels all the time: free internet. I did my photo ordering and grocery shopping from 30,000 feet.

So instead, I will share with you the second album I’m making. There are a lot of things one can say about me, but no one can ever say I don’t 100% throw myself at my latest hobby. Whether that is a good trait or not, I’ll let you decide.

Anyway, last year I participated in Project 365 and took a billion pictures. (As I’m learning while re-editing and printing, in the beginning of the year I took a billion terrible pictures.)

I’m doing it very simply by month. And so far I’ve done… January. (I did just get the printed photos for February back.) I’m using the Olive edition of Project Life (album // kit); it’s not my favorite thing, but of the paper options I liked it enough and didn’t want to wait to get started until the new ones come out over the summer. Now I wish I had waited, but oh well. I can use one of the new ones I like for 2014. Because I never get ahead of myself. Ever.

My matte finish and rounded corners for 2013 are sort of a giant pain in the ass, so for 2012 I’m printing normal (glossy) and having a white border added to the 4×6 photos. I’m still rounding the corners of the 3×4 because I can’t add a white border to them but they needed something.

So here’s January. Ignore the incredibly dark, horrible photos. Be thankful I saved you from all 31 photos from my photo-a-day challenge. There is nothing like checking out someone else’s dresser change jar. I’m putting together February and editing March photos and I promise it gets better.

Taking these with my iPhone didn’t help, but I really haven’t learned the art of taking photos of my photos yet.

We started the year winning the NYE dress like your drink (jalapeno margaritas) contest, and then sent out of save the dates and took engagement pictures. We also had a few random date nights.


We celebrated my birthday and I took some random photos. IMG_2023_edited-1

My mom and sister came out to help me find the dress and we had a fun short weekend in Seattle. IMG_2024_edited-1

And then we got three days of snow that shut down the city. IMG_2025_edited-1

The Mom Creative

Roberta and Don Get Hitched

Roberta and Don got married on October 27th. Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. McKay!

On Friday night we met the wedding party at the Tulalip Casino north of Seattle for dinner. I had never been so it was fun to see the casino and the restaurant was good. As a bonus, on the way out I put two dollars I found in my sweater pocket into a slot machine and won $11.20!


Roberta’s best friend and MOH, Karin, with her husband Lee.

Robera’s friends Dale and Steven – Steven performed the ceremony on Saturday.

And the happy couple the night before their big day!

Greg and Mike walked Roberta down the aisle to start the ceremony.

Roberta worked on all the table decor herself and it came out so cute. The colors were black and silver and the florist made really pretty arrangements to go with the colors (which I forgot to take a picture of).

I can’t believe I didn’t get a good picture of the bride and groom. They had a photographer before the ceremony so I’ll have to get a copy of on of them later.

Greg, Matt, Mike, and I ended the night with a pretzel and beer at Brave Horse Tavern.

Honeymoon Top Ten

Greg and I had the best time on our honeymoon in Playa del Carmen. It is such a cute little town, and while touristy, still feels small and not very crowded. We made only a few plans and it was really nice to have no agenda for the majority of the trip. The first day there we slept something like fourteen hours – clearly we needed a week of relaxation! My top ten highlights, in no particular order:

1. The Little Mexican Coking School – recommended by my parents and our favorite activity of the trip. We had so much fun spending the day with Pablo and a few other students learning about traditional Mexican cooking. I bought a cookbook and a mocajete, both of which I need to use soon before buying cooking gadgets on vacation is banned.

2. Xplor Eco Adventure Park – another recommendation by my parents and another winner. We just happened to book it for our fifth day, which was perfect as we were starting to feel a little restless. By the end of a day of zip-lining, swimming, and paddling we were exhausted.

3. Morning mimosas and afternoon vodka lemonades. Brought to me with no effort on my part, for ‘free’. Unfortunately, these probably have something to do with why my work pants are a little tight and I’ve had a sore throat that won’t go away since we returned home.

4. Xulum – a new authentic restaurant that opened up just by the resort. We had our last meal here and it was so good. Greg had boar and I had a traditional pork dish, probably the best thing we tasted during our trip.

5. Spa service descriptions – it appears they’ve tried to be funny, but something is lost in translation. I didn’t get a picture but our couples aromatherapy massage (terrible, but mostly free thanks to resort credits) was described as “smells even better than teen spirit”.

6. The beach – we spent very little time at the beach since we like to hide under umbrellas and do our part to support PNW vampire rumors, but it was nice to at least walk along some sand since we didn’t get to any other beaches or water this summer.

7. Sleep – did I mention we slept for 14 hours one night and nearly 10 hours every other night? I love Alfred, but a little break from him early morning wake-ups did wonders for our mental health. (And now that we’re back, he’s sleeping til 7 or 8 on the weekends!)

8. First class flights – yes, I’m turning into a flight snob. But when I lose my husband nearly weekly to travel, I should get something in return and I’m happy that that something is I rarely fly coach anymore.

9. Nerding out with this guy – we spent an entire evening sitting in our room making lists of what we wanted in a house and combing down the Redfin site to the ones we actually wanted to see. It worked – four days after we returned home we put in an offer on our favorite house and it was accepted. But seriously, who else but my hubby would want to nerd out with me like that?

10. Mr. Collins – you may have noticed “Greg Collins” in the spa description picture. He was Mr. Collins all week, which is funny because when we went to Puerto Vallarta in 2011 that also happened since we used my Marriott points to book the room. He is a good sport.

Wrapping up a Crazy Summer

I can’t believe I’m sitting here on the couch with my HUSBAND next to me. Where did the summer go? This seemed like a good time to look back at the Summer Bucket List I wrote way back in May. It turns out I love a seasonal bucket list (shocking, I know). This worked so much better for me than setting New Year goals that I forget about by Valentine’s Day. I think I’ll keep borrowing Holly’s idea, but I have a few tweaks to make for a Fall list. First I am going to pack and head to Mexico for a week. 🙂


Host a wedding wine tasting party – Success! We had a lot of fun with friends (12 people showed up!) and actually found that a few of the pricier bottles were really not good, while the house cab took second place overall. 

Have friends over for a BBQ – It’s kind of cheating because our good friends Talia and James moved into our building at the beginning of the summer, but we all got together for a few BBQs, so it was a success. This particular BBQ was the weekend after we picked Alfred up from Spokane and if I remember correctly they hadn’t quite moved in yet, so it totally counts as having them over. I don’t even remember Alfred being that small.

Beauty and Style

Wear a dress/skirt to work everyday for a week – I have worn a ton of dresses and skirts, but haven’t managed to do it for a full week. And it probably won’t happen since I won’t be back to work until October.

Buy and wear white denim – Done and done, and I love it! I got a dressier pair of white pants and love them so much I tried to find a more casual pair too, but never found any that fit well. Next summer for sure.

Start wearing glasses more than contacts – I pretty much wear my glasses Monday – Friday and sometimes even on the weekends. My eyes feel so much better, totally worth it. At some point I’d like to get a second pair of glasses, but probably not until insurance will pay, so like in two years.


Go to my BACHELORETTE party! – It was awesome and you can read about it here.

Go on my HONEYMOON! – Countdown: one day!

Visit LA for my bridal shower and Becky’s baby shower. – Done and done. I would say I will post about it, but probably not going to happen!

Day trip to somewhere new in Washington State – We visited lots of new parks with the puppy, but we never left Seattle for a new-t0-us location.

Weekend trip to Lake Chelan – We spent the weekend in the Chelan condo for Labor Day, after thinking we wouldn’t make it out this summer. It was super relaxing and we did pretty much nothing but read, watch TV (his dad has cable!), and play with the puppy. We aslo did do a weekend trip to Wenatchee earlier in the summer as well.


Plan and throw a WEDDING! – I’m Mrs. Martin! I even have the tote bag to prove it!

Get a PUPPY! – We did, and boy has it been an adventure. Here’s the adorable Alfred monthly from May – August. 


Pick berries at a U-Pick berry farm – Nope, not even once have I contemplated going.

Make something preserved with the berries – Hard to make anything with berries you didn’t end up picking.

Make a new cocktail with each of the herbs growing on the balcony. – Over the course of the summer I made strawberry infused vodka sodas with mint and spiked basil lemonade. 

Enjoy outdoor brunch at a new restaurant – We tried a new brunch spot (Local 360) that was tasty, but sadly the morning we went it wasn’t quite warm enough yet to eat outdoors. They have a great patio, so it wasn’t for lack of trying! 


Run a half marathon – So we paid and trained for this, but it didn’t happen. Talia got injured in a soccer game two days before the race, and when I woke up on race morning to pouring rain, well… there was just no way I was going to go do 13.1 miles alone in the cold rain. My heart isn’t in running like it used to, so for now I’m retired. I had a good run with two full marathon and four halfs. I enjoy walking and hiking with the puppy and doing CrossFit at home these days. Maybe I’ll get back into at some point, but for now I’ve promised Greg I will not spend any more money signing up for races. 

Beat my 2011 Warrior Dash time – I really thought the two fitness goals would be the sure things. Funny how that works. By the time Warrior Dash weekend came around we were just too tired to drive the hour each way and participate. It had been a long week for everyone, including Alfred who got stuck in his crate for a good portion of it. Last thing we wanted to do was leave him home alone for a good chunk of Sunday, too. We went on a family hike and finished up with push-ups at home. Again with the promise to not sign up for races. 🙂