Wednesday, February 24, 2010

bowling !

About 10 days ago - my little sister Amy - who will always point out is no longer "little" as she now stands taller than I - put together a little bowling party for her friends. They weren't celebrating anyone's birthday or anything special - they just decided they wanted to go bowling together - FUN ! =D So, being the awesome sister she is, she allowed us - her family - to come along with her = maybe the fact that she's only 14 would have something to do with that too =D

But we had fun.

A little Daddy/Daughter love =D

Abby & Chelsea - I think they were disagreeing with the "automatic scoring" the bowling alley had - it was a little bit messed up at times.

My sister Amy & one of her bestest friends [lol] Olivia =D

Okay, so my Mom & Dad used to bowl every week with a league - so she's pretty much a super professional at this stuff =D

And my little bro Stephen - this is his first time bowling - he LOVED it.

And, by the end of the night - he was turning into quite the little professional himself !!

I'm sad to admit, but this little guy did bowl more strikes & spares than even I did - so - he's definitely a pro.

Annddd.. some of the other people who went bowling =D

UPCOMING ATTRACTION : I can't wait to post my next blog ! It's all about the Princess Ballet my baby sister & I went to at the library !! It was so much fun !! Look for it - coming soon !!

Friday, February 19, 2010

don't beg !

Last weekend, Derrick was here! =D It was Valentine's Day weekend - of course he was here :)

Anyway, besides V-Day, we had a full weekend lined up - as usual. When you are planning a wedding & live 260+ miles apart, the days you have together are packed with things that have to be done & can only be done when your together.

So, we were about to head out for his first tux fitting when we walked around the corner and I caught Ruby eying Buster & Buster eying Ruby's sandwich. I hurried up and grabbed my camera - which just happened to be near by & snapped this shot. I couldn't pass it up - the way it was set up with them looking at each other & just how Ruby was perched on the chair was SO adorable to me !

Ahh, I'm gonna miss my little sister when I get married & Derrick takes me to his castle that is so far away [which *cough*, he hasn't acquired yet, but will soon =D]

64 days to go !

Sunday, February 14, 2010

the derrick + kara story


hi everyone ! derrick & i had our engagement photos taken about a month ago, and ever since i have gotten them back i have REALLY wanted to show them off .. but i wasn't exactly sure how to do it - so when my matron of honor asked me to write out derrick & i's story for the bridal shower - i thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share a bit of our story & the photos at the same time ! OH and i got the post all ready in time for valentine's day too =D *happy valentine's day derrick !! I LOVE YOU ! =D

all of the photos were taken by one of my bridesmaid's: tiffany - she has her own photography business and you can see her website here : tjz creations and you can follow her blog here : tjz creations blog :) she's really absolutely fabulous and she did an outstanding job with our photos !! we were so happy with how they turned out :)

oh.. and for everyone who is reading this who will be attending one of my bridal showers - sorry for you hearing our story twice =D i think it's good enough to hear a second time tho' =D

but anyway.. on with the show]]


once upon a time, in a far away land – a princess lived in a shining castle.

okay, not really, but it sounded like a fun way to start our story!

we met simply because two people fell in love. derrick’s brother: paul & kara’s best friend: naomi met, became friends, started dating, became best friends, fell in love, & decided to get married. and for their wedding, they asked derrick to be their best man, & kara to be their maid of honor.

sounds a little bit like a movie, right?

paul & naomi had so much fun teasing kara about her partner for the wedding. they kept promising that on their wedding day – they were going to hook us up. little did any of us realize (or it would have made the perfect argument on kara’s part) that paul & naomi would have little else on their minds but each other on that day.

the day of the rehearsal arrived. derrick & kara met for the first time in paul & naomi’s kitchen. he was trying on his tux for the next day & she was eating a subway sandwich. it wasn’t love at first sight & no angels sang. derrick didn’t even remember kara’s name, as later on that evening he had to ask to be reminded.

the morning of may 31 dawned bright & early. two people were going to pledge their lives to each other this morning. everything went so fast. before you knew it, everyone was prettied up, dressed, photographed, the ceremony took place, & bam – kara’s best friend was now derrick’s brother’s wife.

the reception began, & taking derrick’s arm, we were announced as ‘kara eichelberger, escorted by derrick abbey.’ i can still hear the DJ saying those words (oh & the video we have of the moment probably helps too). we sat down at the head table, gave our toasts, had lunch, & then it was time to dance. paul & naomi had their first dance & then the DJ called the bridal party to join them on the dance floor.

this is where our story gets a little comical. neither of us had any clue how to slow dance : we didn’t know where to put our hands, how to move, or how to not step on each other’s feet. awkward! we kind of, sort of, started our own version of dancing & we must have been a great sight. this 6’4” giant was towering over his 5’2” partner & we were attempting to just fade into the group so no one would notice our awkwardness. well, we failed. derrick’s aunt came over & much to everyone’s delight, gave us a few pointers. we laughed & blushed & shrugged it off.

it definitely had the potential of being the most horrible 3 minutes of our lives – but it was during that time that we began talking – about who knows what. derrick later said that kara’s eyes were ‘shining.’

the dance ended & the reception went on. derrick did ask kara to dance again – & they did – still clueless, but just enjoying making small talk & before we knew it, the reception was winding down & people began to leave. derrick had to drive 4 hours that night to get back to college & he found kara on his way out to ask for her phone number.

she was utterly shocked & surprised, & after standing there for a moment with her mouth hanging open, she was able to say the words: ‘you have to ask my dad.’ taken back himself, derrick said ‘okay’ & disappeared.

kara half thought he’d never do it & assumed he had just left, but a few moments later he reappeared – with a big smile on his face. instead of a phone number, he had been granted permission to get an email address (that was cheaper). completely shocked again, kara gave him her address. they hugged awkwardly & then he left.

over the next month they corresponded back & forth by email & at the end of june, derrick asked if kara could come up to his parent’s house for the july 4th weekend. thus started the routine of once a month weekends that they would spend with each other. oh, & he got her phone number then & thus started the daily phone calls!

in january, kara moved to florida to work at disney world. she was supposed to be there from january through may, but when offered an extension, she took it & stayed until august. their relationship continued from 1,000 miles apart.

when derrick flew down in august to help drive kara home, they spent a weekend with some of derrick’s family. on saturday, they attempted to find a beach, but that turned into a bit of a disaster. derrick’s parents used to live in that area & derrick spent one summer there. so, he took her to a state park that he knew was beautiful, called rainbow springs. they came across a secluded wooden bridge that spanned a small waterfall. it was on that bridge, that derrick got down on one knee & asked kara to spend the rest of her life with him.

you already know the answer to that question: she said yes.

needless to say, they had lots of things to talk about the next day as they drove 16 hours up the east coast. and so they began the crazy process of planning a wedding – a marriage – & the beginning of their lives together.

thank you so much for your involvement & support in our lives. we’re so excited to join our lives together & can’t wait to have you celebrate with us in april!

love, derrick & kara

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Round 2 - The Blizzard

The snow continues to fall - after the 21 inches we received last weekend, we got an additional 6 inches last night. And then throughout today - we probably accumulated about another 6 or so inches.

Things have basically shut down around here. The roads are just plain scary - with the main roads looking like this: and the roads off of the main roads have barely been touched.

It's pretty epic =D
And everyone is loving it !

When I got home from work today [talk about being super thankful that I work for my Dad and I can ride with him so I don't have to drive !!] I took my camera outside - and Ruby did some modeling for me :)

She has the PRETTIEST eyelashes ever !!

Zeb rigged up the trike so pull the sleds around. He couldn't go off the driveway - but we have a lot of driveway - so they got to do some sledding - the modern way !! Sure beats the long walk UP the hill after sliding down anyway !

And then, while Zeb was working on the trike, Uncle Paul was outside supervising. After he got the trike up and running - of course he loaded the first person on the sled and everyone went running after him as he took off - leaving Uncle Paul & Eli standing there.

I was in photographer's heaven spying at them through the windows of our porch :) My heart began to pound and I got SO excited when I realized that I was about to capture the most precious moment ever:

Yeah - that gives me warm & fuzzies =D
I want to print it out and hang it on my wall and look at it all the time.

It is moments like THAT - totally un-manufactured and un-planned - that make me LOVE photography. That is a moment they can now cherish forever, thanks to a photograph.

I can't wait to show Aunt Dawn those photos =D

Oh, and I wasn't the only one spying - poor Buzzy wanted to go outside so bad. He watched out the window all day, crying because he was left out. Sorry Buzz.

Monday, February 8, 2010


This weekend, while Derrick & I were looking at houses to buy - my family back home was getting DUMPED on with snow. I left Friday afternoon, just as the snow was starting to fall - and it continued to fall through Friday night and into Saturday morning. At the end, we measured that we got 21 inches in our backyard ! ANNDD : they are calling for 8-14 more inches tomorrow !

We NEVER get this much snow here in Western PA - they said this happens about once every 15-20 years or so, and since the last time we had almost 2 feet of snow was in 1993, I guess time was up. However, we have never gotten 2 major snow storms in a row.

My parents lost their power for about 19 hours, but there are still a lot of people that don't have power yet - and the fear is that tomorrow, when we get more - the trees that are already so heavy with snow are going to come crashing down - on roadways and powerlines.

So - we'll see what happens !

I must admit though, when I came home Sunday night - I was shocked to see so much snow. Up at Derrick's house - they have nothing - zip - zero snowflakes on the ground - and here we have almost 2 feet ! haha it was crazy :)

The view on the way to work this morning - I rode with Dad so we wouldn't have to worry about my car getting stuck somewhere in the snow o.O

When we left work, we drove up to see if the church lot had been plowed [my Dad is just curious like that] and you can see how crazy high the snow is piled!

just as I was walking outside to take some photos of all this snow - these geese flying overhead caught my eye =D

yes, Grandpa plowed a path down the yard - for the dogs of course :)

I was able to catch some sun just as it was going down!

some handsome young men I found :)

the three musketeers =D

and then, tonight - when I was supposed to be working on my wedding invitations - I instead put on 3 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of pants, 3 shirts, a hoodie, 2 pairs of gloves, a hat & earmuffs, a scarf, and of course boots - and went outside to play in the snow with my little siblings :)

our poor doxen - we tossed him out into the snow [where there was no path] and he sunk so deep you couldn't even see him! it looked like he was swimming trying to get out of the snow - SO funny :) poor little guy - our big dog had enough trouble following us around thru the unplowed yard - and buster wanted to come along too, but he just kinda got lost =D no worries though - we did rescue him eventually and took him inside to get warm :)