Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Addresses please!

If you are reading this blog, or just an occasional onlooker and would like a wedding invitation, please leave your address in a comment here, or send it to racheldefreese@gmail.com. I would love to send you one!

As of today, there is only one more month left. YAY!

Monday, October 19, 2009

then there were more...

Libby did an AMAZING job with our engagements! We both enjoyed the photo shoot. Thanks Libby!

When the train came, we decided not to move. I ended up loving some of these shots, even though they would never be sent out.

I like this mug shot expression that we both had

Monday, October 12, 2009


That is the word that describes the photographer that took our engagement photos. I was very pleased with the results! More to come.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Damp cheeks

There were a few touching moments from my trip to Utah that I have to write about.

Touching moment #1:
After I crossed the finish line at the race, I did something that I haven't done before and want to continue doing. I watched as the racers after me crossed. I was surprised at how much it moved me. I watched as couples in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and some 70s crossed hand in hand. I watched as fathers and daughters, and mothers and sons crossed hand in hand. I watched as sisters, friends and complete strangers crossed hand in hand.

I saw racers limping, bleeding from their chafed nipples, a runner with a bloody nose, and racers that were sopping wet with sweat. I watched as racers, who pushed so hard, passed out after they crossed the finish line, threw-up as their bodies came to a stop, went into shock and had to be taken to first aid and carried away in an ambulance. I saw it all.

It was not just what I saw, but how I felt that moved me. I felt so proud of each racer that accomplished the great goal that they set. I felt so proud of each racer that beat their last race time. I felt so proud of the ones that looked so much in pain, but just kept going. I felt it all.

After seeing and feeling what I did, I had damp cheeks.

Touching moment #2
This morning, as I was dropped off at the Salt Lake airport I saw several young men and women in missionary attire. I watched as they documented each moment in the airport by camera. I watched the excitement on their faces as they were getting ready to embark on this wonderful and very trying time in each of their lives. I watched emotions go through cycles as they called home to say good-bye- smiles, then tears, then smiles again. I watched and realized that even though I am not going on a mission and haven't been on a mission, I still am a missionary and need to do my part to share what I love so much and live for.

My cheeks didn't get damp, but I had a difficult time swallowing with such a lump in my throat.

Touching moment #3
This moment made my cheeks the most damp. I watched this morning as men dressed in their army greens said good-bye to their families and friends. I watched as they were strong, but then had moments of emotion flood through them. I watched their loved ones wipe their damp cheeks. I had to look away when I saw a young wife say good-bye to her husband. I watched as her tears shook her body and breathing became hard. People probably watched me as I wiped my face.

I have been grateful for the men and women that serve and have served our country. I am selfish at times and was truly humbled by what each of these citizens are doing for me personally. They are sacrificing their time with families, friends, education, and any other joys that they experience in their daily lives. For that, I am grateful. I am grateful for their bravery. I am grateful for their pride. I am grateful for their strength. I am the most grateful for what they represent.

To the man that hugged his sobbing wife, I say thank you. To the man that hugged his three kids and strong wife, I say thank you. To the woman who hugged each of her siblings and parents, I say thank you.

Thank you for my damp cheeks and new-found appreciation for my body, religion and freedom.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Posting Machine!

Four new posts below

Viva Las Vegas

After finishing the marathon, a large group of us went down to stay in Las Vegas. Crystal's cousin was out of town and so we stayed at her house. Even though we looked like fools walking around with limps, we still had a good time.

Crystal does Donny Osmond's hair and has become good friends with him over the years. Last time my mom was in Utah, we arranged a time for her to meet Donny-- this was a dream come true for her. As we were sitting around resting on Saturday, Crystal decided to text Donny to see if he had any extra seats at him and Marie's show. He said he did and would love for us to come. His agent contacted us and arranged a table right in the front center of the room. The show was lots more fun than I thought it would be! The room was full of women my mother's age screaming for him. I almost felt like I was cheating on my mother being there. He walked out to our table in the middle of the performance to hug Crystal and give us all high-fives. We felt special. We were invited to go backstage to visit with him after the show. The women that were sitting near us couldn't believe that we were going to get to go see him backstage! They were super friendly and were happy to take pictures with us. It was such a fun night!

I love Emily's facial expression in this one!

Crystal telling Donny that she is faithfully voting for him on Dancing With The Stars.

Hearts be still all you middle-aged women

Even though they were soaked with sweat, they were still gorgeous people, inside and out.

Mom's teenage prayers were answered August 2009. Wish you were with us mom!

Just keep moving

I had to tell myself to 'just keep moving' over and over yesterday as I participated in my second marathon. Since I was doing this for the second time, I set new goals:

*Carb-load earlier the day before
*Don't walk
*Beat last year's time
*Encourage those running around me to keep going
*Drink more Gatorade and choke back goo before I am beyond exhausted
*Get a picture of me at the finish line

St. George was sunny and more enjoyable than last year's race in the rain. On the ride up I sat next to a man from Dallas. As we were chit-chatting, I found out that this was his 55th marathon-- 13th this year, and that his ultimate goal is to run in a marathon in each of the fifty (St. George was the 38th). Our chat was a bit motivating.

This year the run was more fun because there were five of us racing in it. Crystal, Crystal's sister-in-law Marci, James and James' mission companion also participated. We each experienced some difficult pains. James had problems with his ankles, Marci with her back, Crystal's knee was challenging her, and I experienced pain in my knee, quads and am now dealing with a purple toenail that will be falling off shortly.

I couldn't believe the time I made it in! My goal was four hours and I crossed the finish line at 3:59.09-YAY!!! I beat last year's time by 15 minutes. I couldn't believe it!

Pasta, pizza and breadsticks-- oh my!

James, Dave, Crystal, Marci, and me-- at 4:30 am. Ready to be done before we began.

James was the first of all of us to come in at 3:40

So happy to be at the finish line. Waving to Emily

Where's my umbrella?

I have been attending receptions, bachelorette parties, and bridal showers for years. I was always excited to go and celebrate with the bride and groom. I didn't realize that it would be hard to be the center of attention. Don't get me wrong, I loved all that everyone did for me, but wasn't used to having the party be about me. There were a couple embarrassing moments involving the words: little, black, lacy, skimpy, tight, revealing.... well, you get the picture.

A big thanks to all who came! Another big thanks to the women who threw the wonderful shower-- Megan, Emily, and Crystal. I know that a lot of time was spent in preparation, and I am very appreciative! My ever-so-talented friend, Crystal is an AMAZING party thrower, and made sure that every last detail was perfect!

For journaling purposes-- The agenda went greeting, mingling, eating (lots of wonderful food-- calzones, caesar salad, truffles, and a chocolate fountain with lots of items to dip), introducing everyone, playing a game that had to do with me telling my engagement story, gifts-- lots of gifts, and then the after-party.... devouring the chocolate fountain with our tongues. YUMMY!

Emily and Megan making truffles

The mastermind behind this all, Crystal Mitchell. Love this girl!

Love them all!

Diane, this is what you and Mala got me-- I loved that with your card and picture, I felt you were there!

All the gifts I received are wonderful, appreciated, and will be put to good use (wink wink). I had to post this picture to show the quilt Crystal made for me. It is gorgeous and it was her first one!

The after-party

A BIG thank you to all who have showered me with thier support and love for me throughout the whole dating process!!! It's been a ride, and thankfully it's just about over :)

My Boys

I was able to come to Utah this week- YAY! I came for a few reasons.... I came to run in the St. George Marathon, to catch up with my clients while I did their hair, to be showered by so many wonderful friends and family members, to finalize wedding details, and to see those close to me. I couldn't wait to see these two! I've been able to spend lots of quality baby-sitting time with each of these little boys, and have enjoyed every minute of it-- well, except for the times when they threw tantrums.

Tyman and Kobster