A Valentine’s Day Tradition

valentines

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day, friends! Today I wanted to share a fun (and slightly myterious!) Valentine’s Day family tradition with you:

Every year of my life (and long before I was born), my sister, cousins, and I always received a sweet but mysterious Valentine in the mail, signed with a question mark. Who was this mystery Valentine from every year?! Over time, of course, we figured out that our amazing grandparents in Ohio were the ones behind our question mark mystery Valentines, and we looked forward to receiving it in the mail each year, even throughout our college years and our twenties! This simple but fun family tradition was at least three decades long, and it’s something that’s impacted me so much, especially since my grandma passed away… and the continuation of our mystery Valentines with her passing.

However, last year, I decided to take matters into my own hands and continue my grandparents’ tradition with our whole extended family. But I had to be extra careful so no one would know it was coming from us in Raleigh (we live literally all over the country!). I made Valentines for each member of my mom’s side of the family, had Rob write all of the question marks and the addresses (so no one would recognize my very recognizable handwriting), mailed a large packages of envelopes to my aunt (on the other side of our family) in Ohio (who lives right by where my grandparents used to live), and had my aunt pop those mysterious Valentines into the mail in Ohio.

Over the next week, it was SO fun to see my parents, sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins receive their Valentines, simply annotated with a ?. Group texts were flying, and no one could quite figure out where they came from. I may have fibbed a time or two when asked if I sent them, but the keeping up the suspense and wonder was really special and fun — and a way to honor our incredible grandparents, the little and big family traditions they instilled in us, and the legacy they created in our family.

Several months later, at our big family reunion, I couldn’t keep a straight face any longer and divulged the Valentine’s Day card plan to everyone, including how we managed to keep the surprise intact. This year, though it’s no longer a mystery who is sending those question mark Valentines anymore, I had the honor of carrying on my grandparents’ Valentine’s Day tradition by again mailing out Valentines to our whole family, signed with a question mark.

I am forever grateful for such loving, wise grandparents who created such a legacy of love, celebration, and family values in all of us, and it is such a privilege to carry on so many of the traditions they passed down to us!

July 2017 Goals

photo by Faith Teasley from our Bald Head Island shoot

Happy July, y’all! The 4th of July is just around the corner (one of my all-time favorite holidays!), wedding season is in full swing, & summertime is oh so sweet! July 1st is also our three month anniversary… I simultaneously can’t believe it’s only been three months since we got married and sometimes can’t believe we’re actually married already! It’s a little crazy to think 2017 is officially halfway over, but I’m trying to soak it in + savor it all. Give me all the fresh peaches + berries, please!!

I traveled to Charleston (I planned Shelby and TJ’s wedding), Carolina Beach (day trip with Rob), Winston-Salem (one of my best friends had her baby!), and Charlotte (for Claire and Tony’s wedding) this past month, and July holds travels to Charlotte (Allison and Nasser’s wedding) and Ohio (our 4th of July tradition!), as well as two huge weddings I’m planning in Chapel Hill for Angela and Jason + Anna and Jeff! June was also filled with getting outside lots, pool time, grilling out/cookouts, a Durham Bulls game, fun times with friends, a really epic Vita Vite date night, hosting some dinner parties, and lots of baby snuggles, as three friends had babies this month! June, you were a great month.

Personal

  1. Travel to Ohio for the 4th of July and soak up quality time with my three grandparents, my sister and brother-in-law, and my extended family! We’ve been traveling to Ohio for the 4th of July my entire life, and it’s such a sweet time with family filled with so many traditions… though it’s bittersweet this year because it’s the first year without my precious grandma. She passed away a couple days after last year’s 4th of July trip, and I’m so, so, so thankful we ALL got to see her one last time – and that she got to meet Rob.
  2. Read three books.
  3. Play tennis weekly and take walks in the evening regularly.
  4. Cross a bunch of things off our summer bucket list (still on the top of our list: outdoor movie, outdoor concert, Whiskey Kitchen, kayak, and Fearrington Village)
  5. Get more involved at our church by signing up to serve regularly
  6. Really be intentional about the friendships and relationships in my life (sending snail mail, planning friend dates, little surprises, praying for friends)
  7. “He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:30

Business

  1. Officially change my business name from Stephanie Scholl Events to Stephanie Shaul Events – I didn’t quite get to finalize this last month!
  2. Update my website, etc with my new business name.
  3. Create new content for the blog and for my business, as well as continue blogging three times a week.
  4. Execute two flawless weddings at the Carolina Inn and the Parlour at Manns Chapel for two of my amazing couples! (I’m also the florist for one of them!)
  5. Book two new 2018 weddings.
  6. Update and fine-tune my pricing guide for new inquiries.
  7. Celebrate two years of taking Stephanie Scholl Events full time!! (You can read more about my journey to taking wedding planning full time: Part One and Part Two)

I’d love to know – do you have any goals set for the month as July kicks off?! I can’t wait for the 4th of July celebrations, beginning today as we travel to Charlotte and then straight to Ohio!