Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement Photos by Matt Lien

I can't believe that I have not posted these beautiful things yet! To say I am obsessed with these photos would be putting it very lightly. To have this beautiful moment of our lives captured so perfectly brings me to tears (and if you know me you know I don't cry easily ;)).  To have photos like this that will last forever & that we can share with our children one day just takes my breath away. What a wonderful gift a photographer blesses people with. We are beyond thankful to Matt for capturing so perfectly our love for exploring the outdoors and each other. The light he captures is out of this world amazing. Tomorrow is the 7 month mark folks! I really really can't wait to be your wife Leland.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas Wish List 2013

Writing out christmas lists has always been a favorite of mine! I am the biggest child when it comes to Christmas (and any holiday for that matter) & can't wait to create new traditions with my husband for our little family unit next year. One thing I mentioned to Lee recently was that I want us to buy pajama sets for each other and open them on Christmas Eve to which he replied"Ali, what would we do with that many pairs of pajamas?" Well Lee, I see your point, but you really can't wear the same pajamas in your Christmas photos every year - you just can't.  Plus who doesn't love the feeling of fresh pajamas on their skin?

 This year my list is short and sweet.  The wedding is definitely the biggest cost & "present" for the year ahead, but if I were to receive a gift for being so good ;) I would not mind receiving any of these items. What's on your wish list?! I would love to hear. 

1. Gap Boyfriend Jeans, similar here
2. Anthro Shower Curtain - for the future home
3. neuLASH, lash enhancing serum - to grow my tiny little eyelashes
4. Target Beach Cruiser, mint green - because it's really necessary during MN winter's...
5. Fotostrap, graphite 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Am I Ready?

Am I ready? Three words that I have been asking myself during the quiet moments of my day.  Am I ready to move when called?  To step outside of my comfort zone in order to show the love of Jesus to this hurting world? Because if not I want to be.  I want to spend my free moments preparing my heart for the adventures ahead.  I don't want to waste one more minute.  I don't want to spend today thinking about tomorrow, CPA exams, & being a good enough wife. I'm preparing today for those moments tomorrow. My heart yearns to be ready.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Yeeehawww for Country Weddings

Lee's oldest brother Justin got married this past weekend in the most quaint & country of locations on the most perfect fall day you could ever ask for - minus the hurricane like winds (hence my hair in these pictures which is now brown in color eek!)  Sarah my new "almost" sister in law's dad married the two of them and Jesus was lifted high throughout the ceremony. We are excited for the two of them to begin this new journey together & can't wait until we can go on a vacation of some sort with them. We love you Justin & Sarah and pray for God's favor to be upon your marriage for many many beautiful years to come.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lake Kabetogama 2013

We spent our labor day weekend on Lake Kabetogama (near the Canadian border) with the most wonderfully inspiring group of friends.  Lee and I are the only ones not yet married in the group and so we always enjoy hanging with "the married crew" - talking wedding and marriage and just soaking in all of their advice. We feel so blessed to have been given friends with genuinely, real hearts - a rarity these days.   It was the most relaxing end-of-summer (tear) 4 day long party & we are so thankful to Jared & Beth for the invite!  

P.S. The first picture is a polaroid from Beth's new Instax 210 - a gift I would not mind receiving in the near future ;) 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

MN State Fair 2013

A very unexpected highlight of our summer was making it on our favorite news channel, KARE 11's live broadcast during the MN state fair. Lee & I were first time fair goers and were chosen to sit in the "best seats in the barn" by Julie and Randy because 1) it was my birthday the day before and 2) I am a big mouth - poor lee. We were interviewed and the whole sha-bang and given all of the fair food from the segment to taste donut beer & chocolate covered cheese curds - both very interesting and something we would never have tried that night had it not been FREE! Thank you, KARE 11 for making our first trip to the fair a tough one to beat ;) 

[we can be seen looking all awkward & such at the 1:40 mark in the above video of KARE 11's favorite fair moments 2013]

[Julie Nelson, one of my favorite news anchors - seeing her in person was the absolute best!]

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The First AND Second Muskies of my Life

[this was the first one i've ever seen so up close and personal & even had the privilege of netting for lee]
[the happy first muskie of my life picture!!!]

Since the first summer I started dating Lee, we have been after muskies together & until the other night been muskie-less. Clarification: he's caught plenty, but never once have I been with as net girl or caught one of my own. Though I love fishing with Lee, I wimp out on him and the fish quite easily and usually resort to reading a book or flipping through Pinterest to take away the pain of not seeing any fish. With muskies I become even more of a wimp 1/ because the lures are large and so heavy to cast and 2/ because they are a hard species of fish to come by and since (until this past weekend) I had never experienced the thrill of catching one I usually have no desire to continue casting when my arm is about to fall off. Now I know the feeling & maybe just maybe it will help me to be less of a wimpy fisher-girl next time ;) 

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Happy 4 Years Date to PF Changs

We dressed up. We ate yummy chinese food. We reminisced on highs & lows of the year. We got super excited thinking about 
the fact that next year at this time we will be married & living under the same roof (whatever that might look like). We promised 
that we'd still always make this "dating" anniversary a special day. We ate ice cream. We rented a RedBox. We took these 
photos with my mama as the photog - thanks mom! Year five: we look forward to you & the major life milestones you 
have awaiting us. It's going to be a good one!

P.S. my dress is an H&M dress from goodwill - you would never have guessed! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

4 Years...

[Our 1 year anniversary trip to Duluth - so little!]

Today marks 4 years with the man I will soon (in 11 short months) call my husband. 4 years of laughs, frustrations, delicious food, getting to know the others quirks, big fish AND little fish, adventures, tears, & most of all a love so deep. Thank you for trying to figure this broken girl out and for being so patient and forgiving of me.  I love loving you Mr. Z. Next year at this time I will be Mrs. Z woo hoo! And we'll start all over again with this whole anniversary thing. Happy 7/22 babe!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

We Heart Auctions

About a month ago, Lee & I attended our very first auction and now we are officially addicted!! It was the greatest way to spend a rainy sunday afternoon - surrounded by a bunch of hill billy red-necks fighting for the oddest of treasures. We ended up winning 55 antique blue ball mason jars for our wedding centerpieces & the desk pictured above. We beat an old lady in the bidding war and got it for $20. I sanded it down and stained it with Minwax's "Jacobean" color. The hardest part was choosing the stain color and wondering just how it would react with the wood of the desk, but I am so pleased with the results! I added a fun drawer pull & Lee painted a layer of polyurethane over the surface so that it looks and feels like a brand new desk. After we finished I said to Lee, "this will be the desk I study for the CPA exam on next year... exciting!" Everybody needs a cute desk to study accounting on right?! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement Picture Inspo


In one short week, Lee & I will be in the process of taking these bad boys. Yippeeeeee!!! 
It's finally time to put the 3 years of pinterest inspiration to good use. They are going to be shot
 somewhere in the MN woods & will be taken by our wedding day photographer, Matt Lien
We can't wait to kiss over & over again on camera without being ashamed of the PDA ;) 
& also get to know Matt and his shooting style a little bit better before the big day!
Here are some of my favorite pins & shots from around the web. Enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Itasca State Park

Over the 4th, Lee & I decided to take a day trip to the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi [as I typed that just now i sang in my head M-I-SS-I-SS-I-PP-I]. We had both been before, but seeing the world together is a whole lot better. Creating "us" memories as I like to call them. We rented beach cruiser bikes & rode all around the park. We only had one minor accident - one in which I saw my entire life flash before my eyes. The story goes like this:

Lee braked abruptly in front of me to do a trick & had no clue that I was directly behind him because usually I'm quite slow, so I had to hit my brakes fast and went flying through the handle bars as a crowd of about 10 was gathered to peek at the map nearby... I cried mostly due to embarrassment...A lady in that crowd brought us her first aid kit and another kind woman brought us an ice cold water bottle...MN nice I tell ya...He bought me DQ on our way home...My knees are nearly healed. 

Exploring this big beautiful world on day trip's with this boy as a fiance makes me so excited for real vacations as a married couple where we can stay the night or week anywhere we please.