blackie and jojo. By Sydney Layne Lewin

one day blackie and jojo were playing ball. jojo said you are my best friend. do you want to sleep at my house tonight? yes jojo I do it would be fun. I will bring my d.s. and my computer. can we make popcorn? yes we can I love popcorn. ok the boys went to the house and played and went to sleep the next day blackie went home his mom had a baby! mom you had a baby I did not know that. her name is stacy. stacy what a pretty name. blackie and jojo played at the park. and had fun.

Scott and Kara’s Amazing Engagement

While posting pictures of Scott and Kara’s wedding, I kept thinking back to the story I read about their engagement. I asked Kara if I could share the story with you all and she said yes, so enjoy! This is probably one of the best engagement stories, you will ever read. It has my vote!

January 10, 2009

COMPLETELY unexpected and...well, perfect.  The proposal really was the scavenger hunt of a lifetime...a scavenger hunt literally halfway across Iowa with the best gift a girl could ask for at the end.


It was a Saturday afternoon and I had just gotten off work only to receive a phone call from Clark, the doctor we work with.  He told me I had received an envelope at the office with my name on it that looked "very important" and urged me to pick it up right away!

A little suspicious, I walked back to the office and found an envelope sitting at the front desk with my name on it...with an invitation inside for a "Day of Fun and Surprises!".  My heart skipped.  The note inside instructed me to grab my GPS (a clever Christmas gift from Scott), pack some clothes, and "stay on task for reservations at 5:00."  And...also inside was my very first clue...

Go to the local video store and ask for a copy of the first movie we saw together.  Hint: CHICKEN is best when it is in LITTLE bites.

So I went to Family Video and asked for "Chicken Little", but instead they gave me my second clue...

Next to the house of our wonderful employer that has told us we are a team in everything we do.  Simply check under the doormat for your next clue.

I found the next clue - "Try not to step on me!" and braced myself for Scott to jump out of the bushes.  Nope, just another clue...

Let the travels begin!  Better get some gas and a cappuccino for the road.  Travel to the place we first ate together.  Hint: Nothing is sweeter than an APPLE covered in BEES.

For those of you who don't know, this Applebee’s is in Coralville, which is about an hour drive.  An hour!  Talk about an emotional roller coaster...excitement, nervousness, tears of joy and confusion...all by myself...in the car on my way to Applebee’s.  When I got there the hostess knew who I was immediately and led me to the bar where the waitress immediately gave me mozzarella sticks and a martini.  There was no way I could eat with the butterflies in my stomach...martini on the other hand, not a problem.  The bartender and waitresses were so excited for me...we cried together while I read the next clue...

Hope you enjoyed the snack!  Compliments of the IRON CHEF (great TV show we watch together).  Hop in your car and head to where you spent a summer babysitting (not the same house, but the people are the same).

Off I went for another half hour drive to Cedar Rapids to my brother Kenny's house.  I found the next clue with "KIKI" on it waiting for me underneath the rocking chair on their front porch...

Taco Supreme on pan crust is only available at one place, the place where we go every time we are back in Cascade.  Hint: No hint is needed for this greatness!!

Well that's easy!  Happy Joe's!  Away I go to Cascade (my hometown) and yet another hour drive!  Sadly, no pizza was waiting for me.  Only the next clue...

Sorry you don't get to eat this time.  One of your personal rules is you always have to visit two kids while you're home.  But don't spend too much time talking because I know how the mother can be.  Check at the base of the basketball hoop.  Remember you can't stay and chat, reservations at 5:00. Hint: Chatty

My sister's.  FINALLY I get to talk to someone and find out what's going on.  I'm thinking she has to be in on this.  It's 5:00, this has got to be my last destination.  I grab my next clue and run into her house just thrilled to see someone I know!  But she had no idea.  She was just as confused as I was.  I tear open the clue and inside find my last and final clue.  A map to Bankston, IA and...

After driving for hours, I bet you are thirsty.  Now to a place we have never been.  We have done this before, but, when?  Just follow the map to the desired location where we can have a much needed vacation.  Hint: 15159 Thielen Road Bankston, IA  52039.

So here I go again, jumping in the car sooo anxious to find Scott.  By now it's dark, I'm late (no big surprise there), it had snowed 7 inches that day so the gravel roads are slippery, they're windy, I'm driving through the country with literally no houses for miles.  I have no idea if I'm even close to where I should be.  The Garmin finally reaches my final destination "to your right", I look over, and it is a wide open field of nothingness.  Scott??  Nope, no Scott.  The only thing I remembered seeing on the way was a sign for a winery.  So I backtrack and begin to follow signs to "Park Farm Winery".

I eventually came across this big hill and when I get to the top I see this big beautiful castle-looking building...and Scott pacing in the window.  He met me outside and I was so happy to see him, but I didn't know if I should hug him or punch him.  So I hugged him, then punched him.  He grabbed my hand and led me inside to do some wine tasting.  Scott was definitely acting stranger than usual, and he wouldn't look me in the eye.  Finally he took me on a 'tour' of the winery and eventually led me upstairs to a very romantic private room with Frank Sinatra playing in the background, big picture windows and a gorgeous view.

Within minutes I turned around to find Scott dropped on one knee, taking my hand in his, and asking me to marry him.  He was so sweet all versed with sweet things that made me cry.  We both cried, celebrated, and laughed, just ecstatic and relieved from our big day of fun and surprises!  After that he turned around a wine bottle on ice with a label saying "Kara, will you marry me?"  It was perfect.  And he did an amazing job creating the ring too, it's beautiful.

But it's not over!  Our last stop was Dubuque for reservations at 7 o'clock!  Both of our parents were waiting for us at Star Brewery to help celebrate.  Actually, everyone knew except for my mom, who was VERY surprised and of course, very thrilled.

And in case you're wondering how he managed to pull this off... Scott was about an hour ahead of me the whole time dropping off clues at each place.  Stopping only momentarily at the nursing home to ask my grandpa for permission to ask me to marry him.  (Yes, he asked my dad as well on Christmas Eve, but this really captured my heart).

kara engagement

Mr. & Mrs. Collings

I am so excited to share these pictures with you! What an amazing wedding and a fabulous couple to work with. I was so excited to get started on the flowers for this wedding! The couple was so layed back and gave me so much creative freedom! To a creative person, it's like being a kid in a candy store when someone lets you know the basics of what you want, but then lets you take it from there.


Thank you to Brian Hall Photographers for the use of the beautiful pictures!

Mr. & Mrs. Ehlinger










Travis and Jessie Ehlinger's flowers were by far are some of the most commented on wedding flowers I have done so far. When I show other brides pictures of this wedding, I always get lots of comments on the color and texture of these bouquets. I can't take all the credit for these flowers looking the way they did. Jessie knew she wanted to stick with mostly lime and ivory tones with a very natural feel.
The textures in the bouquets were amazing! We used spotted ornamental cabbage, viburnum, varigated ivory and green tulips, cymbidium orchids, spider mums and ornamental cabbage. How fun is that combination!!!!

Thank you to Laura Shroeder for the use of the pictures! Beautiful work!

Lots of catching up to do!










Boy its been awhile since I have blogged! Seems to be a trend for me on here. The first long overdue bride and groom to post is Audrey and Josh Brown. I was excited to get a chance to not only do the flowers, but to assist in decor planning as well. I was super excited to have my hands in this wedding!


The couple were married at the Dyersville Basillica and hosted a reception at the Dyersville Commercial Club Park. The decor was elegant, yet whimsical. Audrey chose plum tulips, hydrangea, green jade roses, lime spider mums, fiddlehead fern, and tons of beautiful crystals dripping from branches to adorn her black and white demaske linens on the tables.


The bride carried a bouquet of white hydrangea, tulips, calla lilies, ranunculas and ivory roses. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of plum tulips, lisianthus, hydrangea, green spider mums, jade roses, and fiddlehead fern. I have become a huge fan of fiddlehead fern this year! Be sure to check it out in the maids bouquets. If you are not familiar with it, look for the plum colored curly looking guys in the bouquets.
Thank you to James Drescher Photography for the use of the pictures.

Brandon and Mollie Grimm










I am excited to post these next pictures! Mollie and Brandon were married last year and I am finally getting around to posting the beautiful pictures.

I got to meet Mollie and her family through a friends wedding I had done flowers for a couple of years ago. What a fun family to work with! The bonus for me was Brandon's mother, Nancy was a frequent visitor at a store I used to work for in Manchester quite a few years ago, so it was a pleasure for me to be able to work with this group all around!

I was very excited about the choice of flowers for this wedding. Mollie really wanted to keep the bouquets pretty monochromatic with tones in green and ivory as an accent. What a classic and romantic combination. Using green hydrangea, kermit mums, hypericum berry, roses, and ivory dendrobium orchids, we were able to create the perfect look! The bride I must say did add a special touch to her bouquet by carrying Cymbidium Orchids in addition to the other flowers.

More Photos











I was having some trouble adding additional pictures to Ashley and Jason's post. Here are some more! Thanks again to Alissa at A Fleeting Moment Photography in Farley, Iowa for the great shots! You rock!

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