Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Inspirations...

Good Morning Readers!

It's the morning of Halloween and I'm officially as big as a pumpkin. It's very difficult to get in and out of bed these days.... but that's okay it's totally worth the uncomfortableness. I remember last year, seeing all my friends post adorable photos of their children dressed up in costumes and me feeling so sad.... and wanting so badly to be a mommy, and today I sit here as a giant pumpkin..... feeling so happy. I can't even begin to year..... dressing up my little girls...oh the fun we will have!

I'm feeling so much better today, as yesterday my doctor reassured me that all the recent pain I've been feeling is totally normal for twins.... and that the babies are doing great and I'm showing no signs of pre-term labor. She encouraged me to keep going strong like I've the babies are already used to our busy lifestyle. Music to my hears... as we have tons to do before their arrival.

In the spirit of Halloween...I thought I'd share some fun Halloween/Fall Centerpieces I found online to inspire your dinner table tonight! Happy Halloween All!  Enjoy!



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dave & Renee's Starr Stylized Wedding

Renee and Dave had a lovely Wedding!  Complete with my All Starr Vendor Team! 

I'm loving this shot in front of the willow tree....

Dave is a pilot, Renee is a kindergarten teacher...together they are adorable.

The design for Renee's Wedding {Provided By J.Starr Stylized Wedding's Florist: Renata Hodl} was one of my favorites... all white floral, black feathers, curly willow and rhinestones... Think Glam meets Tim Burton ~ I LOVED!

The photos were taken by Nate, of Still Life Studios.....
 She reminded me of  very sassy Meg Ryan, she cracked me up!

It was the perfect weather for a gorgeous wedding day....

The Centerpieces

 The Music/Entertainment was provided by: AZ Celebrity DJ

And the cake, complete with a princess tiara representing the bride and a silver airplane representing the groom was provided by Piece of Cake Desserts.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Manic Monday Vol 15

(29 Weeks Pregnant/ 7 Months, with Twins)

MANIC MONDAY ~ Have to catch an early train, got to be to work by nine. And if I had an air-o-plane I still couldn't make it on time. 'Cause it takes me so long just to figure out what I'm gonna wear...Blame it on the train but the boss is already there....

Highlights of last week included: {What a Week!}
~I was totally honored to be asked to be a featured Planner/Designer on an upcoming photo shoot at a very swanky venue to be included in a 2 page spread in Arizona's Finest Wedding Magazine! I have to keep quiet on the details for now...until the magazine is published in June of 2013...very exciting!!! Babies hang in there until momma gets the shoot done.
~Had my professional in studio maternity photos taken {and not a moment too soon}
~Got our KEYS, and celebrated with some bubbly (yes, I had one whole sip) fruit and cheese
~Had a fabulous J.Starr Wedding Day for a very sweet bride & groom
~Officially GAVE MY NOTICE at my "day" a few short weeks I no longer will be the Director of Wedding & Event Sales at Superstition Springs Golf Club...instead I will pursue J.Starr Stylized Weddings & Events FULL TIME!!! This has been a dream and opportunity I've been waiting for.....for a LONG time!!! Feeling so happy!

Last week I learned:
~We stood in our new home feeling so happy and so relieved...and then it hit us....a wave of feeling COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED. I had a difficult time this week with the pregnancy, several days this past week....I found it very painful to walk. Which of course has sloooowed me down quite a bit. As much as we'd like to be moved in RIGHT NOW...our new home needs new carpeting, new flooring first.... not to mention finish up packing our condo, sell our condo, buy a new car (one of ours died, completely, we've been renting up until we closed)... set up the nursery....the list goes on and on.

But we did take a moment to savor (completely initiated by Justin) to enjoy the "present" and the mere fact after all of the "home searching" stress, we do indeed NOW have a home to bring these babies home to. So much to feel grateful for. Things will hopefully continue to fall into place, so long as these little babies can stay put a little while longer.

Yes This Actually Happened:
~I had be wanting to do my "official" studio maternity session for quite a while...but with everything we have going on, it kept getting pushed back. Finally we made it happen (see two photos above), yes it was at 9pm on a Thursday and we didn't finish until midnight...but it got done. I'm so thankful...we've done so many of these shoots for several of my girlfriends, I would have felt so sad if we didn't seize this moment.

Truth is, this particular night...I was exhausted...I could barley walk, much less pose and "work it". Justin had to practically carry me. Looking through the photos now, I can't believe I actually made it through the took a LONG time for me to get warmed up, before he could get a "natural" smile out of me.

Lesson learned ladies! If you're pregnant with one baby you must get your photos taken around 7 months....if you're pregnant with twins you must get your photos taken around 6 months (not 7, like I did).... the difference between the months is like night a day.

Feeling Appreciative:
~Quality one on one time with some of my best girlfriends...Melissa and Addie on week nights. LOVE! I feel so spoiled these days
~A surprise visit at work from my cousin Bri and her darling baby girl Ellie... they even brought me homemade chocolate chip cookies.
~Our dear friend Matt and his little boy Lane who showed up at our new home on Saturday afternoon to help Justin rip out all the old carpet. Thank you so much!
~For my mom who's been a godsend in helping me pack up this condo, especially considering I can barely bend down or carry anything.


On the horizon for this week:
~Picking out carpet and paint, and hopefully hiring some help, as we're both working full time and still in the middle of "wedding season".
~Another lovely upcoming J.Starr Wedding Day on Saturday
~If all the puzzle pieces fall into place, maybe MOVING IN, but most likely not until next weekend.

Currently Listening to:
~Broadway Showstoppers on Pandora ( I seriously love this station)

Quote I'm Loving: "Done is Better than Perfect"

~ Quality time is such my "love language". It means the world to me...and there's nothing I appreciate more. It's times like these when I need all the extra sets of hands I can get,  that I'm reminded to try and not get so caught up in my "own busyness" to remember to offer my help and time to others more often. The gift of time to someone else (in their times of need) is so invaluable!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Manic Monday Vol 14

(28 Weeks Pregnant/ 7 Months, with Twins)

MANIC MONDAY ~ Have to catch an early train, got to be to work by nine. And if I had an air-o-plane I still couldn't make it on time. 'Cause it takes me so long just to figure out what I'm gonna wear...Blame it on the train but the boss is already there....

Highlights of last week included:
~Two beautiful weddings for two beautiful brides (in the same day!) matter how stressful the job can be from time to time... my brides make it all worth it!
~Sammy and Olive said goodbye to our beloved little lakeside condo, as they will down at my parents house for the next two to three weeks during the moving process.
~Quality time with my family on Sunday
~Massages...not one but two...oh yes.  I'm having twins that justifies it.

Last week I learned:
~ I was reminded how important communication is when collaborating.  There's no such thing as over communication especially when it comes to event productions.... What did we all do before smart phones??

Yes This Actually Happened:
~After several back to back meetings one day, I grew fearful that these particular pair of maternity pants could potentially be cutting off blood flow and circulation to the babies... so I actually drove home with no pants on, oh yes I did.  Hot, I know.

Feeling Appreciative:
~Plans and goals are starting to fall into place as we begin this new chapter in life; it's very scary but so exciting.
~My doctor is so proud of me, as I've gained a total of 28lbs so far with these little girls.  I, of course feel HUGE...but she's happy my weight gain has been ideally you're only suppose to gain 35 to 45 pound total with TWINS.  Let's hope I just didn't JINX myself....Jennifer be good...stay clear of the snacks.


On the horizon for this week:
~Another beautiful bride and dear client will say I DO this Saturday!!!  Congrats Nikki and Paul!!
~We are scheduled to CLOSE on our new HOME!!!  Can't even believe I'm typing the words!  We're scheduled to get our keys on Friday, let the moving extravaganza begin!!!!  Oh my, where to start???

Currently Listening to: 
~Nothing...pure silence, other than the sound of my keyboard.

Quote I'm Loving: Keep Calm and Love Weddings

~ I LOVE accents...any kind...male or doesn't matter.  I'm mesmerized.  Just sharing a random confession.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Just the Two {Four} of Us...

Rewind back to June of this year.  I had scheduled a photo shoot with our beloved buddy and talented photographer: Matt Wheeler, owner of Still Life Studios. 

The purpose of this photo shoot was to accomplish two things:
1.) Crossing Off # 30 off of my 101 in 1001 List 
2.)  Announce our Pregnancy in a Cute Way

Okay, so with the first goal.... I wanted to be able to check off:

# 30.  Have a "getting dirty wedding" photo session prior to our 5 Year Wedding Anniversary

Well for starters, our 5 Year Anniversary had already passed...and second I was now pregnant.  So, rather than giving up on this goal completely, I decided to modify it... {it's my 101 list, therefore my rules :}

So...let me first explain what a "Getting Dirty Session" is.....
The idea is that shortly after your wedding day...(I recommend doing it within a 30 window following your wedding!) put on your wedding gown one last time and talk your groom back into his tux and you do something totally crazy and wild with your photo shoot.
The idea is that it's kind of an oxymoron in the sense that you want to be a very untypical location for a Bride and Groom and to in.... and you also want to be doing something in the shoot totally random.

Some Examples:

To view several more click on the Still Life Studios Website go to the weddings tab, go to the portfolio tab, then go to the "Getting Dirty" Section.

I had always wanted to to do this...but the years flew by super fast... and before I knew it, I was pregnant with twins.  At this point I just didn't feel very "bridal"...So instead of doing a "Getting Dirty" Session... I decided that it would be nice to have some photos taken of "just the two {four}of us".  Who knows maybe down the road we'll do some crazy "Getting Dirty Session"..but back in June it just didn't quite feel like the right time.

I remember feeling really sick this day(first trimester)... and it was super hot, I was trying to be such a good trooper... I was starting to "show" a little in a weird funky..chubby middle section kind of picking out outfits was a bit of a challenge. 

But all in all, I'm glad we did this.. as this was the last professional photos taken of us..."pre bump"...well kind of :)


 And of course the we were able to capture this famous shot, which I'll always treasure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chris & Nina's Spectacular Wedding Day!

I just love this couple so much and had a wonderful time working with them on their most special day....the photos by Still Life Studios turned out so beautifully...
I'm almost at a loss for words....

Nina, the gorgeous bride is very close to me...and by nature a very easy going person, with an infectious laugh and genuine charm.  It was a wonderful experience for me to be able to be an "insider" on her most special day. 

Her Groom Chris, was lovingly called "The Bride" many times by Nina.  As he was very active in the planning process... it was a great way for me to get to know him better.  I personally LOVE it when the groom is active in the planning, maybe that's because my groom was active in the planning process.  It's really helpful, and the wedding day becomes a true collaboration of their blended personalities.

Their "first meeting" was on the beach....THE BEACH!!!  Knowing that it would be very difficult for the "J.Starr Design Team" to assemble floral on site {with it being a destination wedding} Nina opted for her bridesmaids to hold these darling pinwheels for their bouquets...all made by the talented bride herself!

 She also handmade her bouquet, along with the corsages, and boutonnieres!

 All their lovely details came together so beautifully.....

 And most importantly...they had fun!

 The Reception took place at this lovely restaurant venue that overlooked Dana Point, called Cannons.
The staff and Cannons was exceptional! Truly...they helped myself and my team so much with the set up details...maybe they felt sorry for "Preggo"... I was really impressed and appreciative!

They had chosen lanterns, lighted sticks, and pin wheels to be decor theme of their reception...and it turned out so lovely and so fitting for the venue!

 And Chris and Nina were no fools... they knew that had to fly in Still Life Studios to capture their day.  And they opted to book 2 photographers rather than one... and of course the photos prove what a great decision that was!

  Just breathtaking!

 And this last shot, showcases the view of the reception, it was a truly magical night.  I feel so honored to have had a part in this day, thank you Chris and Nina.  Much love to you both!!!

"So thankful for Jennifer Starr's amazing event management yesterday, even while pregnant and a guest at our wedding, and the unreal photography skills of her husband Justin and his cohort Matt Wheeler. You. Guys. Crushed. It. In every possible sense." Chris Cardinal, Groom

Monday, October 15, 2012

Manic Monday Vol. 13

(27 Weeks Pregnant/6 Months, with Twins)

MANIC MONDAY ~ Have to catch an early train, got to be to work by nine. And if I had an air-o-plane I still couldn't make it on time. 'Cause it takes me so long just to figure out what I'm gonna wear...Blame it on the train but the boss is already there....

Highlights of last week included:
~Starr Style Wedding for Renee & Dave...she's a kindergarten teacher and he's a pilot...she's a complete crack up, reminded me of Meg Ryan with some extra sass..and Dave just plays it calm and cool. Truth be told, I was a little worried about Renee enjoying her day..she was a worrier during the planning process...but she was all smiles on her wedding day..making me soooo happy! She walked down the aisle to "Chasing Cars"... by Snow Patrol...making for a really dramatic and sweet entrance. I REALLY loved her decor...all white flowers mixed with black feathers, red rhinestones and tall curly willow Tim Burton "ie" looking sticks... almost a little "spooky"...but still very elegant. {Provided of course by J.Starr's Lead Florist ...Renata} 
~A photo shoot for little Mr. Liam Keegan, and dinner with the Keegan family

Last week I learned:
~ I'll need a new phone very soon, time for an upgrade.

New fab finds:
~Hmm.... I've been a BIG fan of popsicles this week.

Feeling Appreciative:
~For my husband...he didn't get a day off this past week... he worked Monday ~Friday {like always}..and then he shot a Wedding at Regency Garden on Saturday and another one on Sunday at Anthem Golf and Country Club... I so appreciate his many talents, which leads to income. And we still managed to get in a breakfast date on Sunday my hardworking guy.


On the horizon for this week:
~Ultrasound....can't wait to see my little girls
~ Hair Appointment with my talented hair designer Lisa Berger
~The official start of my 3rd Trimester!
~Picking out new flooring, carpet, and paint for our new home!
~TWO J.Starr in the morning/afternoon on Saturday and another on Saturday late afternoon/evening!!!
~Possible "In Studio" Maternity session with Justin on Sunday morning... I know we take one each week....but I'd like to get some "in studio" dramatic shots...before I grow out of "cute" and into whoa...

Currently Listening to: Broadway Showstoppers on Pandora

Quote I'm Loving: "Be the BEST version of YOU"

Confession: My "innie" is officially an "outie".... ewwweee... Did I really just write that?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sweet Family Moments....Personal Highlights....May ~June 2012

Oh My! Time has just been flying by this year...I have so much blogging to catch up I'll try and condense some of my spring/summer personal life events into one blog post this morning...

After finding out I was pregnant, the whirlwind begin............. during this time some really sweet family moments occurred....

Mother's Day/Breaking the BIG News!

I was so excited to share the news with my family, especially my mom. She had been waiting for a long time to hear this news..... I remember feeling very nervous about telling anyone, because I still didn't believe it myself.

I found out on May 4th and waited until the following weekend to tell our family {because that weekend was Mother's Day weekend, couldn't be any more perfect}.

It was a bittersweet evening. I was nervous, but trying so hard to keep it cool. Only a few minutes after arriving at mom and dad's house, my dad received a call from my Aunt Patty. I knew it must have been serious, because he walked out of the room and was on the phone for long time. When he returned back into the living him in a very soft voice he told us that my Grandma ( my dad's mom) was being sent home from the hospital and put on a in home hospice program. The doctor had said there was nothing left they could really do for her at the hospital...

We had a feeling that this time was coming, but never thought it really would. My dad looked so somber, it broke my heart. I wasn't sure what to do. Do we still tell them? Do we wait? After several moments...I decided to tell them. I thought my dad needed some happy news.

So I told my mom I wanted to give her her Mother's Day gift...and asked my dad to come and sit next to her on the couch. I then instructed my little brother to come a sit on the chair next to them, he said "no", I said "just do it Chase". (my family is used to me being dramatic and bossy).

I gave mom her card...and WAITED in silence. Justin stood by with the video camera. Mom opened her card and it said " Happy Mother's Day Grandma".. she was quiet...paused... looked over at me... and melted. She said "Well, it's about time!!!". My dad looked shocked. Chase was still wondering what was going on. I started to cry. I don't remember much after that (we'll have to watch the video, I've yet to see it) was very special. Then we gave mom her gift... a beautiful blue box from Tiffany and Co.....inside was the darling little elephant piggy bank from the Classic Baby Tiffany's Collection.
They were pretty stunned...

So was Uncle Chase....

It was official, it was real!

Finding Out We're Having...TWINS!

About a week and half later, I had my first ultrasound appointment.
The day before we had learned the very sad news that my Grandma Jane has passed away peacefully in her home with my Grandpa, her husband of 60+ years by her side. It was really a weird time, the timing of everything was very "full circle" in a sense.

I was so thankful Justin was able to be with me at this appointment. I was nervous, I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to "medical" stuff. The ultra sound tech welcomed us ...and got started. She grew quiet for a moment and then asked us..."How many circles do you see".... now I had no clue what were looking at, thankfully Justin did, kinda. She then said " You have two babies in there"...

My response " I always knew I would have two"
Justin's response " Umm... what are the chances of another one popping up in there?"

THEN, we heard the heartbeats...first "Baby A", then "Baby B" that point the tears started to flow, I was in love...those little heartbeats were the sweetest sound I had ever heard.

We walked out of that appointment stunned and excited. We had met there from work so we each got in out separate cars and drove home. I was afraid to drive, afraid to make left hand turns, afraid of speed bumps, afraid of the world....and feeling fiercely protective of these two little heartbeats.

Justin immediately called his brother Trevor on his drive home. When we got home we realized that we had to drive to Casa Grande to tell my parents in person right away! 

My mom knew I had a ultrasound and had been waiting patiently by the phone... when she didn't hear back from me she grew very worried.....and starting in the text messages, "what's going on" "are you okay"?
Finally we pulled up to my parents home, dad wasn't home yet. I walked into to the house trying not to make eye contact with my mom {I had to tinkle, yeah first trimester!!}.... I could hear other voices in the house.... my Aunt Chrissy was there along with my Uncle Dan's Girlfriend Karen... I remember thinking to myself... I HAVE to tell mom now, or she'll freak out... she had already attacked Justin in the kitchen, asking him what was going on, but he kept it quiet.
I then walked out of the bathroom to find my mom staring at me with a concerned look on her face.... I then told her.. "Mom, they didn't find one heartbeat".... and before I could say another word she screamed "THEY FOUND TWO" !!!!!
My dad came home about an hour or so later... looking tired and down. I walked up to him and gave him a big hug and told him the big news. He's reaction was completely opposite of my moms... he was silent......totally shocked. It was overwhelming news for our family who had just lost sweet Grandma Jane the day before.
Granny's 80th Birthday:

A week later... we joined up with my other Grandma otherwise know as "Granny" to share the big news with her and celebrate her birthday along with my moms.

She was confused...and thought my mom was the one who was pregnant?? Apparently she still thinks of me as ten. Very cute, sometimes I think I still am.

Saying Goodbye to our Grandma Jane:

Days later was the funeral for Grandma. My family planned a lovely church service for her followed by a reception at my Uncle and Aunt's home.

The entire family was there, it was bittersweet...but the way that Grandma would have wanted it....lots of people, lots of food, lots of laughs. It's pretty amazing that she gave life to so many people.

Craig & Patty, Bri & Donnie, Paul
Little Liam 
Pam & Chip, Andy, Grandpa & Tommy

Justin's Birthday:

A few weeks later my love bug turned.... 32! His brother Trevor and Trevor's girlfriend Isis flew in to celebrate with us.

"The Expectant Father"...very appropriate gift from his brother.

Followed by some fun in the sun with the Starrs....

"The Boys" Justin and his brothers...Trevor & Shannon.

Tons of excitement... about the upcoming Starr Babies!!!

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