I can honestly say, without a doubt, that 2011 was the most wonderful and magical year of our lives! And truthfully we're a little sad to see it go. But of course we'll find a way to top it with a new baby due to arrive any day now! There are sure to be many more adventures as a family of three! But before we get this new year started, I wanted to take a look back at the most AMAZING year ever. Goodbye 2011! We'll miss you!
JANUARY: We started the new year off right with an engagement shoot at the gorgeous LACMA "Urban Lights" sculpture in downtown Los Angeles. Matt's sister Stephanie is an amazing photographer and offered to take the photos for us. It may have been a freezing cold day, but we definitely had fun and ended up with some beautiful shots.
FEBRUARY: Awe, the month of love! My girlfriends spoiled me rotten with the most wonderful bridal shower in Huntington Beach and all my favorite friends came to play and shower me with gifts. My BFF Erin even arranged for there to be a photo booth at the shower. So fun! Later in the month I snuck off (w/o Matt this time) to join my parents in Hawaii to take my brother through the Laie Hawaii Temple for the first time to receive his endowment in preparation for his mission to Korea in May. We stayed almost a week and had way too much fun surfing, sunning, and eating lots of shave ice!
MARCH: The best month of my entire life! (Hopefully Matt's too!) We were married on March 19th for time and all eternity in the Los Angeles LDS Temple and celebrated with all of our family and friends afterwards at a beautiful luncheon in Santa Monica and a fabulous reception at my parent's old home in Laguna Niguel. It was the most magical day of our lives! After staying 2 nights at the St. Regis, we snuck away to Park City, Utah where we spent the week riding the powder dusted slopes and soaking in our own private hot tub! Again, absolutely magical! And then, it was time to come home...to my new home! I made sure our bedroom was the first room done so we could enjoy a wonderful welcome home! Then, just a few days later I turned 29. I told you...best month ever!
APRIL: It was back to the daily grind in April. Matt returned back to work at Laidlaw's Harley Davidson and I resumed my floral design business. I had the pleasure of doing the flowers for 2 dear friends of mine, Marian Clayton and Adrienne Curry. It was a great way to get back into the swing of things. Sadly, the month didn't end quite as wonderfully as it started. The day before Easter I found out that my dear childhood friend Briana Blackwelder passed away in a car accident on her way from Utah to California. The news came with great devastation and I spent the rest of the month mourning her loss. I miss you Briana! Can't wait for the day when we'll be reunited again.
MAY: May was definitely the month of weddings! Lots and lots of weddings! One every weekend to be exact! From a Marie Antoinette themed wedding, to a ferris wheel reception in South Orange County, to a rustic celebration in old town San Juan, and a pretty in pink wedding in the Dana Point harbor, it was one fabulous month of love! And somehow mixed in amongst all those weddings, we found time to send my little brother Scotty off to Korea to serve a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then it was my turn to sneak off again, this time to Illinois for a week with my friend Jen and her adorable family of five. And as if that wasn't enough, when I got back we topped off the month with a beach trip down to San Clemente for Memorial Day.
JUNE: Yup, more weddings! This time just one though, and for my dear, dear friend Amanda Koch. It was quite the challenge too because I was about 8 weeks pregnant and oh-so-very-sick! But it was most definitely worth it! The wedding was absolutely gorgeous! And so was our beautiful baby at our first ultrasound. She looks just like a little jelly bean here. SO CUTE!
JULY: What a fun month this one was! I had just one wedding at the beautiful ocean side Casa De La Luz and then spent the rest of the month playing at the beach! First we joined my family on Beach Road for our annual Independence Day celebration at their beach house. Matt and I brought our beach cruisers and longboards and spent the week riding up and down the coast, sleeping in, and lounging on the sand. We loved every minute of it! Then, just 5 days later we snuck down to Oceanside for the Laidlaw's Annual Beach Trip. We felt so spoiled to have so much time off work to spend with family and enjoy some fun in the sun with those we love!
AUGUST: Well of course I started the month off with some gorgeous weddings. Both were vibrant, unique, and so much fun to design! After work was done, it was time for some more play....in Kauai!!! Matt's parent's planned a "Babymoon" for the family so we could enjoy one last adventure before our beautiful babies joined the family! And upon our arrival home, we found out our little jelly bean baby was a GIRL!!! Matt wasn't able to make it to the ultrasound so I surprised him at work with some pink balloons to share the news. While he wasn't crazy excited at first (every guy wants to have a boy!) he has really grown to love this little girl we are growing together and can't wait to meet her!
SEPTEMBER: My belly REALLY started to make an appearance in the month of September. People no longer avoided the elephant in the room, but felt confident enough to come up and ask me "When are you due?" It was fun to start picking out some cute maternity clothes and even take these gorgeous maternity shots with my friend Emily Gibby of elove photos. The rest of the month was more fun in the sun as we snuck down to San Clemente again for a Labor Day bike ride with my parents and then off to Lake Havasu with Matt's parents for one last vacay of the year. Matt wakeboard to his heart's content, and I even got out there on the wake surf with my big 'ole belly. Don't worry, I was careful!
OCTOBER: My last wedding of the year! Of course I sent it out with a bang, designing the most gorgeous blooms for my friend and former co-worker Briana and her sweetheart Phil at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. With all my weddings done and over, it was time to sneak off to Arizona for one last time before our baby came to celebrate my little D's 3rd birthday! My sister threw him the most amazing SuperHero themed party complete with Spiderman bounce house, pinata, and batman cake! Of course Dallen loved every single second of it and was devastated to see it end. After getting back to California, my sweet hubby surprised me with a special night out on the town in Pasadena where we enjoyed a luxury movie experience complete with recliners, blankets, and free popcorn. It was a real treat! Then, we topped off the month with the most adorable tea party at my mother-in-laws home, where my SIL Gale and I took this cute picture of our growing bellies. Cute, right?
NOVEMBER: Another eventful month here at the Laidlaw household. Matt let me redo our kitchen with painted white cabinets, add some polished nickel hardware, and add this gorgeous subway tile backsplash. We love, love, love it! A couple weeks later my sister came into town and our amazing Mom threw us a combined Baby Shower where all our friends came and spoiled us rotten! And with all that new loot, it was time to get started on the baby's nursery! It's still a work in progress, but looking adorable. Finally, we topped the month off with lots and lots of celebrating. We celebrated Matt's 31st birthday at the LA Auto Show, celebrated Thanksgiving with 2 turkey day dinners, and then celebrated the good life at The Price Is Right's special Maternity Episode. Talk about a FUN month!
DECEMBER: We certainly sent the year out with a bang in the month of December! I finished up my last day of work at Handbill Printers EVER, giving me plenty of time to get my craft on and decorate the house for the holidays! Later in the month we celebrated the season out on THE HOBBY Yacht with one of my favorite families, The Hobbins! It was such a fun night cruising the Newport Harbor with those we love. Then, it was time for yet another Baby Shower! Thanks to my wonderful friends for putting together the perfect Saturday afternoon party to celebrate the arrival of my baby girl. And finally, we topped off the year with the most perfect Christmas present, when our sweet niece Sydney Rose Bracken joined the festivities just days before Santa came! Unfortunately Matt and I weren't able to go out to Arizona to celebrate her arrival, but we've been loving her through photo and video almost everyday! On Christmas day here in Glendora, my husband gave me this beautiful piano that we diligently sanded and painted a gorgeous shade of grey/blue. It was a Merry Christmas indeed!
And there you have it! The most amazing year in review ever! It's kind of crazy to think that this time next year, our year in review will be filled with nothing but pictures of our little family of 3! Oh, I can't wait!!! Here's to another WONDERFUL year full of fun, family, and many more good things to come!