Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: First Look Photos

So you're still coming back for more wedding photos huh? Glad to hear it because I love sharing them! This week's wedding post is full of some of my favorites pictures of the entire day - our first look photos. From the beginning, I was always set on doing a first look before the wedding so that we could have that special moment together, and so that we could enjoy the party after the ceremony and not keep our guests waiting. Corey was not sold on this idea. He was more in favor of the traditional approach of not seeing the bride until I walked down the aisle. I didn't have to do too much convincing, because for most of the wedding planning process, Corey let me call the shots, so he played a long. And at the end of it all, we were both so glad we did this!

My girls and I had finished taking our pictuers, so our photographer sent me back up to the suite to relax a bit, and she said she'd call me when it was time to come down for the first look. I will never forget how my heart skipped when the phone finally rang. "Hi Stephanie... Corey is waiting for you" were the words I heard and I instantly got choked up. It's hard to describe all the emotions I was feeling as I was walking down the hallway, down the elevator, and through the lobby. I've seen Corey a gazillion times, but this time would be different.  It's tough to put into words what it's like walking towards a man that has been your boyfriend and best friend for the last 10 years knowing that in minutes, he will become your husband for life. My heart was racing and I'm pretty sure I held my breath the entire time. I had no idea I would feel this way... it took me completely by surprise, but it was definitely a moment I will never, ever forget.
My handsome man waiting for me...
Here I come...
I give him a nervous tap on the shoulder... and he starts to turn...
I give him the "how do I look?" eyes and he gives me the "damn, girl!" eyes...
And he immediately grabs me for our first kiss of this amazing day...
Then of course I had to strut my stuff for a sec so he could see all the details :)
After our first look moment, Corey and I accompanied our photographer, Alison, on a nice walk around the resort and took some of my favorite pictures of the two of us.
Love these pictures, love that day, love this man.
Next week's Post:
The Ceremony
Hope everyone has a fun, safe and happy Halloween!
Do what I do... eat WAY too much candy and love every bite of it! Oh, and watch Hocus Pocus of course!
xo Steph

Monday, October 29, 2012

Apple Hill

This weekend my sisters and I took our little boy Brendan up to beautiful Apple Hill. Apple Hill is a string of apple farms and ranches that have pumpkin patches, arts and crafts, bakeries, hay rides, face paintings, and everything apple you can imagine. We drank apple cider and ate apple pie, apple donuts and apple butter. And the weather was amazing! Couldn't have asked for a more perfect day for Brendan's first trip to Apple Hill!
Our first stop was Apple Ridge Farms where we had a picnic lunch (with apple pie for desert of course!) and Brendan picked out his very first pumpkin.
He picked the perfect pumpkin!
Brendan also got to "drive" a tractor!
This stop had the best little bakery full of so much good stuff, we didn't know where to start! Between the carmel apples, homemade fudge, truffles, and pies, there was too much to choose from!
Our next stop was Rainbow Orchard where we had the BEST apple donuts ever (thanks to Shannon for the recommendation)!
Momma Shawna looooves her some apple donuts!
Love this little man!
Our final stop was the Honey Bear Ranch, which we visited purely because we loved the name. We actually just bout a bunch of homemade fudge from here and then hit the road home!
On the car ride home, Brendan was on a serious sugar high from the very small amount of vanilla ice cream we gave him. He was so smiley and his eyes were so big... until he crashed and passed out!
I loved the drive, the sites, the smells, and the treats that we came across on this day trip, but my favorite thing about the whole day was being with all my sisters. When all 4 of us are together (plus outrlittle guy!), I am so happy and so at ease. I love spending time with my family more than anything!
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!
xo Steph

Friday, October 26, 2012

In the limelight.

Many of my loyal blog followers know all about my best friend Kari. If you recall, she is the one that designed mine and Corey's wedding save the dates, our custom baseball tickets and my blog header. She is one of the most creative and talented people I know. Her eye as a photographer and graphic designer is unreal, and her work is downright amazing. I take full advantage of her God-given gifts, as she often does little projects for me and is currently designing our first Christmas card as a married couple :)

If you know anything about Kari, you know that she doesn't like to be in the limelight. So it's pure creative irony that the name of her graphic design company is Limelight. The purpose of this blog post is to give you all access to my secret weapon and share this amazing resource with you all.

Looking for a scenic print for that bare spot on your wall? Need a flyer, invitation, or business card designed? Looking for custom-made tickets for your event? Look no further. Limelight is your one-stop shop for all of it.

And lucky for all of us, Kari recently put some of her work up on etsy for easy purchase. Here are a few samples of her work that would look amazing on any wall:
This is just a small taste of what this girl has to offer. You can visit her etsy shop at

Even more remarkable than her artistic skills, Kari is one of the best friends I could ever ask for. God seriously blessed me when I met her and I am lucky to call her a friend. It's just an added bonus that she's seriously good at design/photography/videography/editing/and everything else computer and art related.
Kari and I.
I am forever indebted to Kari for everything she has done for me over the years. This is just a small way I can do something for her. So go check out her etsy shop and let me know if you have any questions or special requests! And if you need something down the road and can't find this post, her button will always be on the left hand side of my blog. Go ahead... click it!

xo Steph

Thursday, October 25, 2012

5 Years Cancer Free!

Today I got some news that I had been worried sick waiting for the past couple of days. You see, every 6 months my dad has to go for his cancer screenings to make sure the cancer is still gone. The big "C" word is not something I've mentioned on this blog before, since it isn't something we allowed to slow our family down, but now that we got the good news my dad is still cancer free, I will share with you a small part of this speed bump in the Rosa family history.

Five years ago, I was a junior at San Francisco State University, living on my own in a big city for the first time. I was kicking butt in school, thriving in my internship at ABC-7, and kicking down the door of the sports broadcasting industry. Nothing could stop me. Then I got a call that changed everything. My parents called all my sisters and I over to the house to tell us that something showed up at dad's doctor appointment. That something was cancer. They told us not to worry, that this was something he'd beat and the odds of survival are good. I heard the words but I wouldn't allow them to sink in. My dad is the strongest person in this world, how could this possibly be happening to him? He is the rock. The strength. The hard head. This couldn't be happening. I kept thinking that we need him around for many more years and many more milestones. We knew we had to do the only thing we could do: beat it. That was the only option.

I dealt with my shock and fear of the whole situation by spending hours and hours online obsessively researching things my dad could do to help fight the Hodgkin's Lymphoma he was diagnosed with. I found hope in my research since I learned it was one of the most treatable forms of cancer out there - and if you had to have it in your lifetime, this was the preferrable type. So my mom accompanied my dad to countless hours of chemo and radiation to try and kill the baseball size lumps he had in his chest. Throughout the entire painstaking process, he never missed a single day of work.

After several long, hard months, many sleepless nights, and a huge outpouring of love and support from our friends and family, my dad was finally proclaimed cancer free. Those have come to be some of my favorite words to hear. And thank God I heard them again this morning as he reached the 5 year cancer free milestone. Go dad! He seriously is the strongest, toughest, most determined person I know, so of course he beat it. He has too much to live for, and we need him around!
One of my favorite pictures from my wedding.
My mom and dad.
Dad and all his girls!
Since I was little, I've always signed all my letters and cards to my dad as his #1 fan. Because I am and I always will be. He's the best dad, grandpa, husband, and friend out there. He's my hero.
xo Steph

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: The Wedding Party

I always look forward to Wednesdays so I have an excuse to look at my wedding pictures for the millionth time! We had the best wedding party ever. We kept it small and simple, which made things easy and we know that 50 years from now when we look at these pictures, our children will know every single person in them.

The Bridesmaids
From left to right: My BFF Kari, sister Pixie, sister Shawna (and my future nephew in her belly!), me, sister Nellie and sister-in-law Kimberly
The Groomsmen
From left to right: Corey's friends Daniel V., Peter, Daniel M., my cousin Anthony the ring bearer, Corey, Corey's brother Keith, and friend Alexis
I love how the grey and navy color combo turned out in the pictures. It was exactly what I envisioned! We are so lucky to have such awesome siblings and friends. They all made this day easy, fun, and definitely memorable!

Next Week's Recap
First Look Photos

xo Steph