Tag Archives: Philadelphia temple

The Big Day!

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We awoke Thursday morning, our hearts all aflutter…

It was Gracie’s wedding day!!

On Wednesday we headed out to Philadelphia where we would be setting up camp at a Home2 Suites. We booked two rooms for two nights and slept like babies upon arriving Wednesday night.

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On Thursday morning, after a tasty complimentary breakfast, we set to work, preparing for the day. While the boys enjoyed the hotel pool, the girls and I began pressing wrinkles out of wedding outfits and preparing for the day.

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At 11:00 we began getting dolled up for the big event.

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With the Mama Mia soundtrack serving as the background music to our day, we curled, pinned, and glossed our way into bridal beauty.

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Gracie’s heirloom engagement ring was beautifully complimented by the Color Street French tip manicure she gave herself the night before. A beautiful $14.00 manicure that looked like a million bucks!

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Final touches…

My already lovely daughters became show stoppers with the addition of bridal dresses and high heels.

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The beautiful bride and her maid of honor.

Then it was time for the boys to get gussied up. They all looked dapper in their matching ties, sewn by the bride and groom prior to the wedding.

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The fathers’ ties were gifted with a personalized iron-in tag printed with a message of love to the dads from the bride and groom.

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The male relatives also all received a beautiful metal tie tacks in the shape of the Philadelphia temple to wear to the wedding, while the girls all received beautiful scarfs to warm them against the October chill of the day.

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The mothers of the bride and groom also received personal gifts. Gracie gave me mine at the hotel before leaving for the wedding and I’m so glad she did.

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As I read her note of love the tears began to fall…

I was a mess as I read the inscription on my wedding day hankie and the loving message she penned in my copy of “Love you Forever.”

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Zach’s mother, Sherrie, received her wedding day hankie from Grace and a matching book from Zach at the luncheon they hosted prior to the big event.

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After many tears and lots of loving embraces, it was time to go. We were meeting the groom at the temple at 2:00 for photos. We opted to do wedding photos prior to the ceremony, as their 7:30 pm wedding ceremony would mean it would be dark afterwards and make wedding photos more of a challenge.

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Grace asked me to take their wedding photos rather than hire someone else to do it, so with Molly’s help we spent the next hour capturing the love Gracie and Zach share.

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The biggest challenge was the wind. With 30-40 mile an hour gusts, we found ourselves battling the elements.

It was a good thing I used an entire packet of bobby pins in Gracie’s hair! Despite the winds, her hair didn’t move.

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Molly and I didn’t fare so well!

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At 3:30 we strolled across the street to enjoy the luncheon  so lovingly put on by the groom’s family for the guests that traveled in for the wedding.

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The spread was amazing,

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And everyone enjoyed the time we had to celebrate the blessings of the day over good food and in the company of good friends.

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Following the meal, we took advantage of the beautiful courtyard that stands in the center of the church to take family photos with the bride and groom…

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Two families joined together in love.

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So much love in one place!

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Then it was time to stroll across the street to the temple and begin getting ready for the marriage ceremony. While the parents helped the bride and groom get ready, the siblings headed to the parking garage to decorate the “getaway car,” as Tyler called it.

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The boys each made posters ahead of time,

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And packed balloons and window markers to decorate Zach’s car.

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They did a stellar job with the help of Zach’s niece and some of his sisters.

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Then it was time for the big event, and it was beautiful! With tears of joy streaming down their cheeks, the bridcommitted themselves before family, friends, and Heavenly Father to love and honor each other from this day forward with a love that is never-ending and will endure into the eternities. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

They exited the Philadelphia temple to cheers of delight,

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As family and friends embraced them in love…

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Then it was time to say goodnight to the new Mr. and Mrs. Tame!

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Next big event: The reception!

 

I love to see the Temple

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From the time she was a small girl wearing pastels and lace, racing around the nursery at church, she sang the words to this song:

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This weekend these words, so loving sung with off-key enthusiasm by three-year-old Gracie, became her truth as she went through the temple for the first time.

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She made the temple her desired destination, the blessings found within, her wish. With her eyes set on this personal goal in her own spiritual journey, she prepared day by day, her entire life, for this special moment.

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This was a special milestone in Gracie’s spiritual walk as she entered to make covenants with Heavenly Father in His house that would serve as a strengthening force and great personal blessing to her throughout her life.

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What a joy and delight it was to walk our daughter into the temple to make her own covenants with the Lord. She was joined by her fiancé, and Zach’s family, who drove the five hours to join her and support her as she went through the Philadelphia temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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There, on a beautiful summer day, she experienced the blessings of the temple and soaked in the sweet spirit found within those sacred walls.

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We are so happy for our sweet girl and the path she has chosen to walk, knowing the great joy and profound purpose this path brings.

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When we exited the temple we celebrated Gracie’s big day with lunch at Sabrina’s Cafe, a local culinary icon made famous by their stuffed French toast. This was Gracie’s second request for her special weekend, having dreamt and drooled over the memory of the French toast she ordered there during her December trip to Philly with Andrea.

A trip to Sabrina’s Cafe seemed the perfect ending to an amazing 24 hours with our eldest daughter. We enjoyed a late lunch with the Tame family,

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And Grace enjoyed her long-dreamt about stuffed French toast…YUM!!

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Grace rode home with Zach’s family, so as to help manage things at home while Toby and I took advantage of the rare opportunity to enjoy a mini anniversary trip. For the next 36 hours we fit a lot of fun into our time alone. It was wonderful. It was a perfect long-weekend from beginning to end.

More on the adventures Toby and I enjoyed in upcoming post. Until then..

We love you, Miss Grace! You make our hearts glad.

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If you’d like to learn more about the Temple Endowment Ceremony I’ve included a video link below:

The City of Brotherly LOVE

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Following our trip to the Kalahari Resort in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, we decided to take a little detour before heading home. Our detour required a south-easterly jaunt to get to our desired destination…

Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love!

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We didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the city, as three kids had work at 6:00pm and we had a 5 hour drive to get home, but we wanted to make this stop a priority.

Gracie, our eldest daughter, will be marrying her true love on October 17th. They have decided to be married at the Philadelphia temple of our church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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It was important to Grace that her siblings visit her wedding location prior to the big day. Much of this was for the benefit of Tyler and Braden who struggle with the unexpected and unknown. She knew that visiting prior to her wedding day would alleviate some of the emotional angst connected to her getting married and leaving home.

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It was a blessing. Grace was able to share her excitement of her upcoming nuptials with her family while also walking the boys through what they can expect that day. She was so sweet, asking for their input on decisions like the best locations for photos and what flowers would be pretty in her bouquet.

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The visit was a blessing for the entire family as we all were strengthened by the spirit felt on those temple grounds.

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And Gracie just glowed with anticipation as she imagined what her wedding day would be like.

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By the time we left the Philadelphia temple we just had two hours left in the city before we needed to get on the road. Molly, Rusty and Braden were all scheduled to begin work at 6:00 pm, so we did a speed tour of Philadelphia sites that we didn’t visited on our last trip to the city.

Our first stop was the “Rocky steps,” located in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, made famous by the film scene from the movie, Rocky.

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Toby opted to do a drive-by and drop us off rather than try to find parking,

while the kids ran the 72 steps that made the site an iconic tourist spot in Philadelphia.

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I did not run the steps, but did walk then so as to take in the view of the city from the top,

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And capture this memento of their Rocky moment:

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A quick stop at the Rocky statue and then we caught our Uber (aka: Toby) on his fourth loop around.

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We decided with our remaining time in the city that we would head to Reading Terminal Market, per Gracie’s suggestion.

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Here is a little background information on this iconic Philadelphia site:

Reading Terminal Market is an enclosed public market located at 12th and Arch Streets in Center City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It opened originally in 1893 under the elevated train shed of the Reading Railroad Company after the city of Philadelphia advocated to move public markets from the streets into indoor facilities for both safety and sanitary reasons. The Reading Railroad Company owned and operated the market space until 1976 when the company liquidated, leaving the market without its parent company and foot traffic from the train. Presently, it still occupies the ground floor and basement levels of the Reading Terminal’s former train shed which is now part of the Philadelphia Convention Center. Vendor stalls occupy the ground floor with entrances on Filbert Street to the South, Twelfth Street to the West, and Arch Street to the North. The stalls are arranged in a grid pattern with an open area in the center with tables and seating. Over one hundred merchants offer fresh produce, meats, fish, artisan cheese, groceries, ice cream, flowers, grilled cheese, baked goods, crafts, books, clothing, and specialty and ethnic foods.

It was a very cool place with its bustling atmosphere, sights, and smells. Had I not been trying to keep six other people in my sightline, while making sure everyone stayed regulated in this highly chaotic and stimulating environment, I probably would have enjoyed it more,

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But if I am being transparent in my recollection of the experience, it was my idea of a living nightmare. (Just keeping it real)

I found everyone’s assessment of the experience fascinating as we took in the energy of the space. The introverts of the family began breathing quickly taking note of the closest emergency exit and desperately seeking out a corner to hole up in, away from the bustling crowds.

My extroverts, however, came alive, energized by the crowds and social atmosphere of the environment.

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I found all family members landed firmly in one of two camps. They either LOVED Reading Terminal Market or HATED it.

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The one thing we could all agree on was how delicious the food was that was sold there.

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We decided to make the experience authentic by eating lunch there. We found the prices to be reasonable and the choices were abundant. Toby split the group in pairs of two and sent them out with money in hand to each buy  what they wanted for lunch. The kids loved the freedom of picking their own meal and liked being able to be as daring (or not)  as they liked in their food choices. There was something for everyone!

I opted to sit and save a table, having discovered an elusive find in seven free chairs around a reasonably clean table.

From my spot, back against the wall, I was able to observe the “dance” of the market from a place that felt much less overwhelming, and actually enjoyed it. It was fun to “people watch” once I was out of the stream of moving people, and the activity was pleasant when observed from the outside looking in.

We enjoyed a delicious and unique dining experience before jumping back on the turnpike for home. It was the quickest Philadelphia tour ever, but we fit a lot of fun and special family moments in our three-hour morning there!

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