Mark’s Birthday In Paradise

Mark celebrated his 31st birthday while down in Turks and Caicos. He started the morning off with a lovely surprise massage arrange by the world’s best wife (me). We lounged around all day as per usual and then I had arranged for a private beach dinner at one of the other resorts on the island. We had done a beach dinner the last time we were here for my birthday so we decided it would be a little “tradition” if you will. Celebrate birthday in Turks and Caicos = beach dinner. I couldn’t remember where we did the dinner at the time before and we all know Mark’s memory is worthless for things like this so I turned to my trusted Google. Search… “dinner on beach + turks and caicos + tiki torches” because that is literally all I could remember. I called the first place on Google and asked the same basic questions and it sounded like the same place so I booked it! Turns out it wasn’t the same place, but it was delicious and even better than the place we went to last time! Score!

Here are some pictures from the night!

 

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The dinner set up – fancy eh?

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my hubs – sorry the lighting is weird but I loved my dress

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our names were even printed on our menus!

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love cute birthday desserts

 

And then the wine hit us. Hard. I cannot bring myself to upload the pictures in their entirety but the collage sums up the rest of the night quite nicely. Wine & selfies by the hotel pool. We put ourselves to bed soon after. Hope you had a wonderful birthday my love!

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xoxo,
Rachel

Pre-Honeymoon

I feel guilty every time I type that, but I still do. I’m the worst.

So we are all set to go on our RV Honeymoon Road Trip across the country, except we remodeled the RV and it wasn’t going to be done before the wedding. We had also always planned to wait a week or two to get our house all cleaned up from the wedding, give me some time to legally change my name (yay!) and to wrap up a few business things but something seemed wrong about having this whole wedding weekend just to return to work come Monday. Even having a huge road trip planned just in front of us, it just didn’t feel relaxing/loving enough. So we booked a “prehoneymoon” (sorry) to the only destination we knew we couldn’t get to in our RV. Turks and Caicos. We came down here about 1.5 years ago for my birthday and absolutely fell in love with the island (more specifically, Providenciales).

The water is an incredible shade of turquoise, the food is excellent, the locals (belongers) are friendly and the mantra of the island is calm and relaxing. Just what we needed.

We spent the first few days lounging around our room, reading (I read 4 books by our 3rd day here) and just relaxing. By the way, we are staying at the West Bay Club which is a great place if anyone is in the market.

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Our room & view at The West Bay Club 

We then decided to spend a day driving around the Island. Probably one of our favorite things to do while traveling is to explore. It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic or Christopher Columbus-esq but we love to just drive around and see what else is outside of the traditional tourist things, which love too. We ventured around the island with a goal of seeing Chalk Sound.

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Chalk Sound

We stopped first at Da Conch Shack. We ate a delicious lunch of fresh fish. How fresh? Well one of the employees was literally fishing/getting Conch out of the ocean directly in front of us. Mark even helped take the conch out of the shell. So yeah, pretty fresh.

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Mark helping remove the Conch from the shell

We kept driving around with our map. Map is a very vague term here. The roads aren’t named, less the “highways” and some roads don’t even make it onto the map. Directions go something like this. “Take a left at the second big tree and then a right at the church.”

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the map you get when you rent a car

Here are some more pictures of our exploring the island!

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Enjoying our lunch at Da Conch Shack

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We spotted a starfish on the beach

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We ran into another couple exploring who kindly took our pic! 

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The water is nothing short of incredible.

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Mark busting me for taking a shameless selfie in Chalk Sound

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Some places, the water doesn’t even look blue because it is so clear all you can see is the sand on the bottom!

and finally, we found a bajillion dollar house. Don’t believe me? It is for sale, check it out here. 

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xoxo,
Rachel

We’re MARRIED!!!

Well, we are officially married!!! It was the perfect day! Although we had to go with plan b for our ceremony because of some heavy rain the days prior to May 10th, everything else went off without a hitch!  And most importantly, I’m married to my best friend!!! I’ll post probably 100 more times about our wedding day but here are some sneak peeks from our photographer! She does GREAT work! You can check out her Website Here or her Facebook Here!

 

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At some point she told me she has already taken 1000 pictures, I don’t think we had even started the ceremony yet…

 

xoxo,
Rachel Jenney

Mark’s Surprise Bachelor Party

Where to start with this story?

Perhaps here: Mark is very busy with work. He is trying to get systems in place, people hired and ready to thrive in their roles and new initiatives planned out and ready to roll all before we leave for our RV Honeymoon. He can’t just walk away from his companies for a few months without putting in some serious time right now. That being said, he didn’t really have the time to plan a bachelor party and/or actually take time away from work to go on a bachelor party. A few weeks ago he had sort of decided that he was going to do a “post bachelor party” [he made this term up, it is NOT a real thing] and that was the last I heard about a bachelor party. Side Note: I was perfectly fine with the idea of no bachelor party 🙂 

Mark and a few of his business partners had to go out west to Vegas and then to San Francisco for a few trade shows this past week starting on Tuesday. These are annual trade shows, nothing out of the ordinary. Tuesday – Thursday pass without anything out of the ordinary happening. Friday morning, I get a text message from Mark that is a video.

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I first notice my brother, Jason in light blue. Weird. Why is Mark sending me a video that has my brother in it while on a work trip. Then I notice that I know all of these people sitting around the table. But they DO NOT BELONG TOGETHER. ever. for any reason. ever.

Turns out, Mark has some pretty great friends including his business partner and longtime friend Vinnie Fisher that planned a Surprise Bachelor Party on the tail end of this business trip! How Fun!! Everyone (who wasn’t already on this business trip) had flown in Thursday evening and was ready to party Friday-Sunday! They did the standard bachelor party heavy drinking on Friday night (I’ll spare you the onslaught of videos I received in the wee hours Friday night) but they also did some non traditional party things!

Boat Ride Around San Fran Bay

Boat Ride Around San Fran Bay

Outside the Google Office!

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Some of the Group!

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They visited the offices at Google, Nasa (one of Mark’s friends works there – wow!), took a boat trip around the San Fran bay and walked around Muir Woods! I’m told there was no drinking Saturday night because everyone was whooped from the night and day before! I’ll play along with that story for now….

It made me so happy to hear the surprise in Mark’s voice and the excitement to spend a few days with his friends. I’m so glad he got to experience a real bachelor party and not a “post bachelor party!” The only issue is: I was banking on his fall “post bachelor party” as a convenient excuse to have another girls weekend. So, I’ll have to work on a different approach to that.

39 days and counting!!!

xoxo
-Rachel

Bridal Shower 2.0

I forgot probably the best part of my bridal shower. My Nana (grandmother) who just happens to be the best person alive.

Here is how the story goes:

One time my 86 (almost 87) year old grandma bought my lingerie for my bridal shower. The card read:

“You probably didn’t put this on your list of “needs.” 
But I’m sure you can find a good use for it! Enjoy!”
Needless to say, my personality runs generations deep and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope Mark enjoys this special gift from grandma!

Rachel, Mom & Nana

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The Most Appropriate Gift Ever

xoxo
-Rachel

Bridal Shower

Last weekend marked my bridal shower! The seemingly last wedding related event before the actual wedding. I’ve now experienced the engagement, engagement pics, bachelorette party and each one brings me more and more excitement for 5.10.14!

The shower was thrown by some of my aunts and a cousin and my mom. They did a great job and I can’t imagine a more perfect day! It was held at a wine bar, so really, what more does someone need?

I was spoiled with gifts from family & friends and immediately came home and rearranged the kitchen.. twice, to make room for all my new kitchen toys! All I want to do now is throw dinner parties every night. Nothing makes you feel more special than having almost 50 people come spend a Sunday with you celebrating your upcoming marriage ❤

Some Of My Best Friends

My Lovely Mother!

Cutest Prizes!

The Proposal 2.0

I know I have a page dedicated to the proposal, but I wanted to revisit the day with PICTURES this time!!

What a perfect day it was! The sun was shining, I was oblivious that my world was going to change (for the better) and I was head over heels in love.

Short version of the proposal: We were out on Lake Havasu, just the two of us and Mark starts playing music on his phone. The second song being “Faithfully” by Journey (our song). He comes over, gets down on one knee & asks me to be his wife!!!! I.am.in.complete.shock. I like to think of myself as pretty aware of my surroundings/able to pick up on things. I had no idea he was going to propose. I didn’t even know he had a ring.

For those of you who know me, you would think was reaction would be loud shrieks and screaming. WRONG. I was dead silent. My whole body was shaking and my throat was dry. I think I eeked out the words “are you serious??” Once I finally realized what was going on and was able to come to grips I was able to scream out yes and I couldn’t stop shrieking for the rest of the night!

I think my favorite part of the proposal was that it was our little secret for several hours. We were out on the boat all day and didn’t call/text anyone until a good 5 or 6 hours after the fact. How magical!

Here are some pics – enjoy!

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A reenactment of the proposal!

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Thumps Up & All Smiles

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Our Celebration Dinner

Wedding Planning

Although this blog will be devoted to our RV Honeymoon, I wanted to also include some wedding details because, you know, we have to have a wedding before we have a Honeymoon!

Mark proposed on May 11, 2013 and we are getting married May 10, 2014. Funny story about that.

As previously mentioned, we have rental properties in Arizona and were in AZ when he proposed. Arizona has SIGNIFICANTLY better weather than Ohio. Significantly. Arizona has 290+ days a year with sun. Ohio has barely 160. Not to mention Arizona’s winters are roughly 40 degrees. Yes, thats their winter cold. Anyway, we were in Arizona for most of the end of what most call late winter/early Spring. It was around 80 degrees and I was swimming and laying out at the end of March. I had a horrible perception that Spring is 80 and sunny and decided I needed to have our wedding outside… but in Ohio. I wanted romantic, rustic, elegant outdoor white tent. By the time we arrived back in Ohio and started looking at venues, it was full on summer – June – and the weather was gorgeous. I was having the hardest time finding a venue that would a.) hold our reception size, around 200-300 we were guessing and b.) was outside and pretty. I had heard of this winery, ThornCreek Winery but was having a hard time getting in contact with someone (botched email address correspondence, phone tag, etc). This venue was my last chance. I had driven around and visited at least 20 venues in the greater North Eastern Ohio and was slowly telling myself I was going to have to settle for an indoor, reception hall vibe.

In a final act of desperation, my mother and I just showed up one day at ThornCreek Winery. It was a Monday, they were closed. Luckily for us, the winemaker was in and he happily showed us around (& gave us wine, bonus!). It was love at first sight. After I came down from cloud nine & realized I had yet to ask the most important question yet… is it available for any Saturday May-August. I was very flexible in all details relating to venue at this point. Being the winemaker, he looked at me and said in the nicest was possible “I make wine, not wedding plans.” Not ready to accept that I would have to wait xx hours before finding out if there were any dates available, I kindly complimented his wine again and asked if there was anyway he could find out. He said he would check the event coordinators office because “he thinks he keeps a folder for each wedding.” He came back with a piece of notebook paper that, at first glance, every Saturday it seemed was filled until into August. Not Good. Panic swept over my body.

A look at the list of taken dates

My mom found a small hole in the date he had written down. May 10th was available. Quick check of the phone showed that it was in fact a Saturday! It is also almost 1 year exactly from the date Mark proposed. It was fate mostly!!! My mom points out it is Mothers Day Weekend. I’m okay with that. I quickly ask/demand that he allow no one to even breath in the direction of the event coordinator until May 10th officially becomes our wedding date.

After several emails and phone calls over the next 24 hours, the event guy finally tells me that the day is ours and I am head over heels. Now I just have to show it to Mark and get his approval….

Luckily, he LOVED it as well!

See you May 10, 2014 ThornCreek!