Monthly Archives: June 2012
So the Super Bowl was in town and Indy was hoppin! Josh, Aunt Janine, Rob, Carly and I had planned to go downtown to all the festivities to experience the hype of this crazy NFL week. However, before we went down Josh asked me to come over for dinner together. I reluctantly went…I just wanted him to come pick me up after his practice so we could get downtown sooner! But I finally agreed to go make dinner with him since we hadn’t seen each other all week….plus I just love spending time with him so I was easily persuaded. I headed up to Westfield so I’d be there as soon as he was done coaching bball. Time passed and I started to get frustrated because we were supposed to pick them up at 7:00 and it was already past 6:00. His practices never take this long! FINALLY, he called me around 6:20 as he had “just got out of practice” and was in a great mood! I was annoyed already. So then he asked me to stop by wal-mart to pick up milk and bread so we can make quick sandwiches. Again I reluctantly did this for him as he headed home to shower and get ready. Then while I was still in there he called me back with a short grocery list of things for me to pick up. I got the turkey but left the rest of the list for us to get another time since we were supposed to head downtown in a half hour by now! I called him as I was leaving to let him know I was finally on my way over, and he told me to let myself into his apartment because he was just now getting into the shower. I felt like he was taking FOREVER to get around, because we were already late and I just wanted to go see everything downtown! I really thought nothing of these “time buying” events. I was just annoyed.
Anyway, so I get to his apartment, let myself in (milk, bread, and turkey in hand), to find a dim lit, candle filled room with a construction paper road all around the living room floor and green jungle poster paper along the walls. My stomach flipped and my heart dropped the instant I stepped into that door because I knew what was about to happen! I was about to get engaged to a genuinely wonderful man of God!!! I dropped the groceries and began “The Journey.” There was a small box at my feet with a letter that instructed me to take part in this journey of our relationship and follow the stops along the way (laminated pictures, stories, verses, etc). I cried and laughed through these stopped for the next 20 minutes or so. So many emotions inside of me were felt! The environment was amazing and his words were so thoughtful. I couldn’t stop thinking about the guy I knew would be at the end of this journey!! Finally I opened the door that led to the last stop on the road (coincidentally just the beginning of our lifelong journey together), Joshua Carl down on one knee holding a little black box!!! I was in a teary speechless mess. He went on to say how much he cares for me, appreciates and loves me, and would love to spend the rest of his life with me as his teammate and wife. He asked me to marry him and I said yes!! It was perfect. I felt so overwhelmed, blessed, had tons of butterflies, excited, and surprised. I told him I kinda felt like I was gonna throw up from all the butterflies–he said that’s not exactly what he was going for
After doing a little screaming, dancing, laughing, and crying, we headed to pick up Rob, Carly, and Aunt Janine and celebrate with some football fun downtown. What an awesome night!! It was a blast to spend time with them after this exciting moment in our lives! It was a party downtown–but I was kinda distracted because I was too busy thinking about how I was about to marry my best friend!!!! He is an amazing man following the Lord-I’m truly blessed to be marrying him in 81 days!!! We’re so thankful for God’s plan for our lives and for how He has abundantly blessed us with one another. Can’t wait to see what the rest of our journey together holds!!
I can still remember the first time I met Louie like it was yesterday, even though it was nearly six years ago. I was working at Starbucks as a shift supervisor, and a co-worker had recommended a friend to fill a position. I was definitely excited to have a new male employee to work with, so on his first day I was eager to meet him. When I realized that he was in the backroom talking with the manager, I peaked my head around the corner and his back was facing me as he tied his apron. He was tall, skinny and he certainly made me smile. For about two years we worked together, I learned a lot about him, but he was still a mystery. I remember the many times I would look at him and admire his confidence and every time he was more handsome than the last. He was always an excellent people person, and was able to strike a conversation with just about anyone, especially when it came to sports, which is very sexy to me. I think the think that attracted me the most was that he was in no way submissive. Even though I was his supervisor, he still seemed to be in control, and never gave up on his opinions. It was well know, at the time, that Louie was somewhat of a ladies’ man, even though he had an off and on girlfriend, and had hit on almost every girl we worked with except me. I truly believe that it was out of respect, because (not to be conceited) but I was a pretty good looking and fun loving girl, and him not trying to hit on me was increasingly gaining my attention. It finally got to the point where if his girlfriend came in on his lunch I would get jealous, and I began to deploy my man catching techniques with more nervousness than usual. I think he picked up on my flirtatiousness and I could sense his shock at my aggressiveness, and his usual cool behavior was replaced with nerves. I eventually asked if I could go swimming with him at his apartment complex, which was fine with him. The tension was obvious, this was our first time together, alone and outside of work. We played like we were kids, and after circling each other not sure whether to minimize the distance between us, I finally got the nerves to wrap my limbs around him, when he kissed me for the first time. I can still recall the smoothness of his skin, and my heart was beating rapidly, secretly knowing that life would never be complete without him. Since that moment we have spent every day together. When we started dating it was very controversial for many people, especially because I had a baby girl, Ava, that was only a couple months old, but he quickly fell in love with her and cared for her like she was his own. After a couple of phenomenal months we had gotten an apartment together he proposed to me at two o’clock in the morning on Valentine’s Day, and a couple weeks later I discovered I was pregnant. Our son, Jayar, is two and a half now and Ava is four and a half and we’re finally getting married at the end of this month! Years of excitement and anticipation are now reaching the climax. The whole event will be at our home, and I am so excited to have our friends and family with us at this momentous union, one that many people thought wasn’t possible, but I am ready to spend my lifetime proving that Louis and Luisa Latini are meant to be.
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How We Met:
It all began with MySpace (back in 2005 when MySpace was cool). Matthew was beginning his sophomore year at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK and I (Stephanie) was finishing up senior year of high school via independent study in Plano, TX and applying to colleges out of state. Neither of us was very happy at the time. Matt was getting off of an on-again-off-again relationship and I was still struggling with moving from Orange County, CA, where most of my family and friends all lived.
I decided on a whim during the summer that I wanted to befriend people in the Plano area online so I did a basic search of local people with similar interests. Up popped this guy with awesome taste in music so I added him to my friends list and he accepted… then nothing. Not until one night on October 9th when he got back to his dorm from a trip home to Plano, TX, got online and decided to answer a “what do you know about me” survey that I had posted.
When I read his answers I couldn’t help but gut laugh. They were witty, sweet, and flirty at the same time so I flirted back. By the end of the night, he had proposed marriage because I was “so perfect.” This began a few months of conversation on the internet, then the phone, in which he constantly is tried to get me to go out with him, but I kept him at a distance… at least physically. We talked until late into the night- every night.
Then on January 9th, 2006 we decided to watch the Princess Bride in our respective houses via phone. At this point he was back in Plano. I told him that I didn’t have the movie so he offered to bring a copy over to me. He pulled up to my house and got out with the BIGGEST smile on his face. I was on the up on the second story leaning out my window. Like a nerd, I lowered a purse (tied to a robe belt & a Playstation controller) for him to put in the movie. Matt was uncommonly quiet and just looks up at me, smiling. I thought he was the cutest guy I’d ever seen so I took a picture to remember the moment. Matt finally left to go home so we could watch the movie with each other.
At about 12:15am, Matt announced that he was coming over again because he wanted to see me again. I said, “Ok, bring a rope.” He got there and threw the rope up to me. I tied the rope around the small wall between the two windows in my room and attempted to repel down (so I didn’t wake up my parents- LOL!) Repelling became falling, but luckily Matt’s shoulder was there to catch me. Yes, the first time we touched was my butt on his right shoulder.
We walked around my neighborhood to a spot right by a lake with a fountain. I rambled on and on nervously and Matt was still quiet. We talked for about an hour before Matt got the courage up to finally kiss me at 1:57am. We know this because I asked Matt to look at his phone to see what the time was so she could remember the moment. I, still rambling and nervous, said “you call that a kiss?” and kissed him longer. He walked me home and boosted me up enough for me to climb back up into my upstairs window. After that night, we know nobody else stood a chance with either of us.
9/10/11 began VERY early (for us). We got into the car at around 8am and drove from Plano, TX up to Oklahoma City for the day. We had a lot of fun in the car singing to the radio and trying to make trucks honk along the highway.
We got into town at about noon and headed over to OKC’s Bricktown for lunch at Falcone’s Pizzeria& Deli. When we were done, we drove over to the Oklahoma Museum of Art to visit the “Passages: the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible.” I (Stephanie) had wanted to go since May when I first heard about it, and I was lucky that Oklahoma City was one of 3 locations in the world it was going to be. The others were Atlanta and the Vatican! We loved seeing all the various versions and the storyline of the Bible from ancient Jewish texts to what we have today.
After the exhibit we headed back to Matt’s grandparents house to spend time with family before his cousin Brandon’s wedding. We headed out for a quick dinner before the ceremony and then went to the old OKC Farmers Market. It was a beautiful ceremony and a fun reception. We especially enjoyed dancing with Matt’s twin nephews Blake and Caleb! We partied it up until about 9:30 when we decided it was time to head back towards home.
I knew something was up around the time we approached Norman, OK (about 20 minutes south of OKC). Matt began to speak in his “British narrator” voice and got of the highway and took side streets in the wrong direction. All the while he’s telling me the history of “us” in his accent.
He took me on a tour of Norman including the place he was when he first talked to me online, places we went when I came up to visit, etc. During the tour he was telling me how he felt when we first began talking online, what he thought when we met in person, how much he missed me when I was away and how good I have been for him and how much he loves me.
He then pulled over in front of the University of Oklahoma and walked me over to where there was a water feature- a bunch of arcs of water shooting out of a wall all lit up beautifully in the night. We were very much alone- just a couple students off in the distance. I guess originally Matt was going to us a Taco Bell sauce packet (the one that says “Will You Marry Me”) but he said that he wasn’t going to let a sauce packet do the talking for him. He got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. I replied “as you wish” a line from The Princess Bride, one of our favorite “couple” movie and the first one we watched with one another. For those of you who have not seen the movie, “as you wish” was the way that the “hero” told the woman he loved that he would do anything for her because he loved her. Matt still wanted me to clarify that that I meant, “yes.”
I cried and hugged him tight for a while and got in the car and began calling everyone in our family and close friends to tell them the news and enjoyed our first car ride together as an engaged couple!
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These fiancees met at a bar when they were in law school. The future bride was in an abusive long-distance relationship at the time, and actually thought the future groom was a complete jerk. But the future groom was taken by future bride’s kindness and apparent need for love.
He wanted to spend more time with her and put a smile on her face.
The future bride was eventually taken by how lonely her future groom seemed to be. She couldn’t say no whenever he wanted to hang out.
They started hanging out all the time, doing mundane things together like cooking dinner and playing video games. Six months later, the future bride was in a bad car accident and decided that her life needed a dramatic change. The couple started dating soon after and has never looked back.
Six years later, the couple (now both attorneys), took a work trip to California. Despite their stress and busy schedules, they squeezed in a trip to Napa Valley at the end of their work. Little did the future bride know that her boyfriend had painstakingly transported the engagement ring in his suitcase across the country. On a perfect spring day, they hiked to the top of a mountain overlooking Napa Valley. The future groom laid out a blanket and slowly took out the ring. He said “I have a very important question.” No one will ever know what he planned to say next, because the future bride said “yes” the moment she saw the ring.
This couple was set to live happily ever after, except for one snag.
When the economy crashed in 2008, the couple faced tough choices and decided to put their careers first – for the time being. The groom could only find work in Washington, DC, whereas the bride had to live and work in Philadelphia. Despite the long distance, the couple talked on the phone multiple times per day, saw each other every weekend, and vacationed together as often as possible. Whenever the bride felt hopeless, the groom would say “all that matters is our love…everything else will work out.” And he was right. The bride finally landed a job in DC in 2012 and moved down to join her love.
The couple is set to be married in the fall of 2012. They never get tired of hearing people say how perfect they are together.
Nora’s side: The best proposal ever…
Dan and I decided to go on an impromptu vacation in June 2011. Our destination was a first for both of us: Paris, France! We enjoyed hectic sightseeing for the first couple of days of our trip. Then, on the morning of Saturday, June 18th, Dan handed me a pair of train tickets. I was overjoyed to discover that we were going to Giverny for the day. My great uncle was a painter, and many of his paintings are from the French countryside. In addition, one of my favorite artists is Monet, and I knew that his gardens were in Giverny.
So off we went on our early morning trip. We strolled through the quaint town to Monet’s maison. We meandered through his breathtaking gardens which were in full bloom. When we reached a secluded area with a bench, Dan wanted to sit down.
He proceeded to set up the automatic camera. We took a picture and then he wanted to sit down again! I wasn’t all that suspicious, but asked him why we couldn’t rest just a little further down the walk as I knew that Monet’s waterlily garden was nearby.
Dan insisted that we sit down again and he then said “I have something for you. ” He proceeded to pull out a sheaf of papers from his backpack. He read me a beautiful poem about the enchantment of Monet’s gardens and falling in love. At the same time, he was digging in his pocket for something. He pulled out a little plastic bag with a tissue in it and began to unravel the tissue very slowly. As he did this, he got down on one knee, and asked “Nora, will you marry me?” I said “Yes!” Then I promptly burst into tears. A small crowd of French ladies gathered around to admire the ring.
We eventually found our way over to the waterlily garden and it was every bit as beautiful as Monet had depicted so many years before. Now, whenever I look at the flower pattern on my ring, I am reminded of Dan’s beautiful proposal in Giverny and our engagement among the blossoms!
Dan’s side: Just the missing details…
As you might expect, my side starts a bit earlier than Nora’s. I spent many long months trying to find the right moment and location to propose. When we decided to go on a trip, I immediately got excited. After a couple hours of considering our options, we chose Paris! From that moment on, the rest of our lives was set in motion.
I had three weeks to ask Nora’s mom and dad for permission, pick a setting, stone and have the ring assembled and work out the details of an unforgettable proposal. Fortunately, I had some help. Nora’s parents were thrilled at the news and we celebrated together. With the help of Nora’s mom, I was able to keep Nora in the dark about my intentions. A family friend of Nora’s helped me pick a stone and setting to create a beautifully unique combination to fit Nora’s taste. For proposal ideas I searched the web and found many ideas for where to propose in Paris with ALL of them being deemed cliche’. During this search however, the name Monet popped into my mind. I knew he was one of Nora’s favorite artists and I found that he had lived and worked not far from Paris… a distinctive yet personalized location!
I then told Nora that I had made reservations for dinner for that Saturday night. If she had any suspicions, she would expect it at dinner (or so I hoped). Everything was set except for a smooth transition from sight-seeing tourist to love struck proposer. After a great deal of searching, I found the perfect poem to read. It was an amazing connection between Monet, the beautiful garden, love, Nora and myself. And she said “Yes!” My proposal was complete!
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Will those who have been affected by Google Updates Panda and Penguin please stand up?
For those who didn’t have much impact, well, you survived and will only there for a little longer as Google is changing the way it lists websites for search.
For wedding cake toppers and cake toppers specifically, the terms have had shifts from top to bottom with many sites seeing a benefit and many others seeing a dip.
What do you do if your wedding site is affected by the updates Google released?
Content, Content, Content….we have been writing articles and having customers write articles that appeal to our customers and readers not to Google. Google doesn’t want us writing to them anymore and they have the algorithms to determine if you are writing for SEO vs. writing for your customers.
Links are no longer the low hanging fruit of the wedding industry. We may all be friends and exchange links back and forth, but until we provide content for customers, Google still will only see your wedding website as a link farm or a website that is missing the point.
Whether you are a wedding cake topper company or a wedding dress website, continue to improve your content, its the best way to save your site from the Google Panda and Penguin updates.
My fiance is a paramedic and I am a ER nurse.
Micah and I actually met through a mutual friend, one of his groomsmen, Steve. I remember Steve saying to me “I have this really great friend I think you’d really like. His name is Micah” We sadly met for the first time at a funeral of another paramedic and Micah was in uniform. I remember thinking “Wow is he tall” but that was basically it for our first meeting.
Since he brings patients into the hospital ER where I work I saw him quite a bit after that and we’d say hello but not much more until one day he brought a patient to me who was an older Caucasian woman thought to possibly be having a stroke. In his report I remembered him saying “I can’t figure out what’s going on with her. She spoke Spanish to me the whole ride here but her paperwork says she is English speaking, can a stroke cause you to speak another language fluently?” It was quite the mystery until her daughter came in and told me that this patient used to be a high school language teacher. I later told Micah and we got a good laugh and that is what I recall being the beginning of our friendship.
For a while after that we were good friends and as we shared a passion for breakfast we would meet at local San Diego places known for their great breakfasts and discuss our dating woes over pancakes, waffles and eggs. At some point we both seem to come to the same conclusion that maybe we could date each other and we gingerly set up a first date for during restaurant week. But then Micah (who was in the fire academy) went into kidney failure and rhabdomyalgia (severe muscle breakdown) and was admitted to the hospital in very critical condition. Our date was canceled. But I came to the hospital and even though Micah looked terrible I realized that I really cared about him and wanted to give us a real chance.
And the rest as they say is history.Roughly three years later…
There was a unspoken deadline by which Micah had to propose before I was off to return to my fabulous single life. During 2011 we had taken vacations to Costa Rica, the East Coast, Micah had visited me in Alaska and we had gone to Chicago together. I figured in ONE of these places Micah might pop the question. But no luck.
Micah came up to Portland end of November to help me celebrate my 30th birthday and I had the sneaking suspicion he planned to propose then. On my birthday we had plans to go out wine tasting in the very scenic Oregon country side, I figured this would be it. So I was in the bathroom blow drying my hair when Micah yells to me “How long do I have to s**t or get off the pot?” (this is a common saying in my family, especially relating to proposals). Then he proceeded to given me all sorts of excuses and I started to get mad.
Micah came into the bathroom and said to me “I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?” I looked around the bathroom and Micah STANDING next to my cat’s water fountain just steps away from the litterbox and I replied “You’re doing this HERE?” And Micah said “Do I have to get down on one knee?” and of course the reply was “Yes”
At this point there was no ring and I again looked around at the bathroom, looked at my about-to-be fiance who I had to remind to get down on one knee to propose, and thought “So much for romance.” Thankfully by that time he had the ring out, which was beyond stunning, and the moment was saved and I said I’d marry him.
Micah, master of romance. Not exactly the way you dream of as a little girl, but it was very us. I still get a good laugh telling the story.