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Nora and Chris Photography Contest - Free Destination Wedding Photography


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#51 elissae

elissae
  • Member
  • 631 posts
  • Wedding Date:April 2, 2013
  • Wedding Location:Riu Palace Riviera Maya
  • LocationClifton Park, NY

Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:37 AM

This is so exciting - thank you for this opportunity Chris & Nora!   

Oh man! These are fantastic!

Only one more day to enter, and then Nora and I will start contacting the finalists via PM. We'll set up a time with each finalist to chat, find out a little more about each other, and go over some details

Good luck everyone! :)


Blissfully married since April 2, 2013.


#52 AllieRay

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  • 26 posts

    Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:51 AM

    My fiance and I met my first year of law school at SMU Dedman School of Law.  We were both members of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) on campus.  Ahman was an evening student so we only saw each other at the social events, first at a game night and second at Main Event.  Every time we hung out, we had a blast! It still never went further than that though of course, cause I was still in a relationship. 

     

    Ahman and I - Main Event.jpgKneeling: In the middle (Ahman), to the right of him (leaning on the left should (me). At Main Event.

     

    Fast forward into my second year of law school, my other relationship had ended (and for the best). I started spending more time with friends, which included Ahman.  Somewhere along this year, we got to the point where if you saw one of us, you saw the other.  If we were hanging out with our friends, we rode together (since we lived about 5 minutes apart).   Of course, we both denied either of us having any feelings for each other when our friends asked, but they knew better.  Ahman and I both love Mexican food, so he would find different street taco places, pick me up and we would go try them.  I remember telling one of my guy friends about Ahman and I having dinner before I came out with him for drinks, and he said we were dating.  Of course, I denied it explaining we were just friends.  With his guy knowledge, he said, he picks you up, he never lets you pay, etc...ya'll are dating! This is right around the time I start admitting I have feelings for him, and so I began to notice he did as well. 

     

    By my third year of law school, we were spending a couple of days per week together.  Our new hobbies, bowling and pool! We would invite others to join, but even if they couldn't make it, we never noticed! Ahman and I had become unspoken best friends. Christmas 2010 I was at my best friends house for a week, about 30 minutes away from Ahman.  We planned a bowling night, which was really a date night.  Met for dinner and drinks, and then rode together to the bowling alley.  BUT before we get to the car, he says I have something for you. I'm shocked, and he has a pair of bowling shoes, exactly how I mentioned, only once, to him when we were bowling early in the year.  It was so sweet, it showed just how much he listened to the little things I said.  Now we both had a pair of our own bowling shoes (even though we're not really that good!) At this point, there's no denying our feelings, yet neither of us has come out and expressed them. 

     

    January 2011, a month I'll never forget.  Ahman invited me to go watch his nephews basketball game and then hang out with his family afterwards.  Now, this was by no means the first time I had been invited. Nor was it the most important event he had invited me to.  But it was, the first time I said yes.  We were both taken by surprise.  Little did we know at the time, we were both using the family bonding time as a way to determine whether we would begin a relationship (we admitted this later).  I had more fun that I could have imagined.  By the end of it, his mom had a recording of me playing Dance Central on the xbox! Craziness! But I loved it.

     

    Two weeks later, we went on a trip together to Washington D.C.  Still, not "dating". Ahman had been working full time for an airline and was going on education leave so he could finish law school earlier, since he was in the evening program and decided to get his MBA while he was there. He's not an overachiever at all :)   The trip was originally meant as my going to locate a nursing center for my grandmother, alone. Ahman called one day and said, he might as well go on a trip before he went on education leave and wondered if I would mind if he came along and we could make a weekend of it.  We had been having so much fun up to then, of course I said yes.  After walking around the city and exploring all the historical features, Ahman formally asked if I would be his girlfriend and told me he loved me! CRAZY right?! I loved him too! We were both so stubborn and had not expressed our feelings, but we both fell in love with each other over the years.  This was one of the best weekends of my life. 

     

    Ahman and I DC cold.jpgOur D.C. Trip!

     

     

    We flew back to Dallas and were welcomed by an  ice storm, so I was stuck at his apartment for a couple of days.  Since that weekend, we have essentially never left one another's side.  We moved in together. When we told our friends one night that we were dating, several of the responses were "wait, weren't ya'll already dating?" I guess you can see why.

     

    Fast forward a year.  We have both graduated from law school, Ahman one semester after me.  While I studied for the bar he was my rock.  And, if you have been around a loved one while they are preparing for the bar exam, you know how much of a trying time that can be.  Few months later, results are out, and I passed! We are both interviewing for jobs, and we both get an offer.  My job offer, in Dallas.  My fiance's offer...Minneapolis, MN.  After talking to me about moving with him over that month, we decided to accept his offer and move to MN.  One weekend at the Belmolnt Hotel, over looking the Dallas skyline, Ahman was telling me how much he would miss Dallas and his family, while I was getting dressed for dinner.  In the background Eric Benet's "Spend my life with you" song was playing.   Hearing him say that, I walked out to the balcony, looked into his eyes and told him, I understand and I will miss everyone too, but as long as I'm with you I'll be fine and I'll have everything I need. Ahman bends down on one knee, and asks me to spend the rest of my life with him.  And, well. Based on this story, I'm sure you know the response, right? Just in case, I said YES! Now we are getting married January 19, 2013 in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica!!!!

     

    Other pics of me and my better half: 

    Ahman and I at Funday Sunday.jpgOut with friends in Dallas. 

    Ahman and I - Scott and Ana wedding.jpgIn San Antonio for his best friend Scott's wedding!

    Vegas fancy hotel.jpgIn Vegas after a wonderful buffet at The Wynn Hotel 

    And, they're off to MN.jpgAnd, we're off to Minneapolis! 

     

     

     

     

     



    #53 danp

    danp
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    • 2 posts

      Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:27 AM

      Of love & long distance air travel:

       



      Juli was living in Dallas; I was in Hawai`i. For nearly a decade we lived within miles of each other on the east coast. We had mutual friends and - by later accounts we figure - we almost met at countless parties, events, and gatherings. It wasn't until we both moved west - and lived 3,700 miles apart - that our paths finally crossed.

      On April 30, 2009, delayed and canceled flights threatened to keep me from leaving Hawai`i to attend a good friend's surprise birthday party in Dallas. I pled with airline reservations agents and barely made it onto one of the last flights leaving the island... I faced multiple connections, lost luggage, and a chance I'd be stuck somewhere on the west coast. As I strapped myself into my seat for the first leg to Portland, I had no idea how lucky I was.

       

      Nearly 16 hours later, I stood - reeking of air travel - in my friend's kitchen in Dallas. I remember it now like a favorite movie played out in my mind. As I stood there recounting my struggle to get off the island in time for the surprise party, Juli walked into the kitchen. We locked eyes over a kitchen counter - and there were sparks. As we talked I knew we had a special connection. That night, when we touched, there were sparks. I'd heard from friends that when you meet the person you'll spend the rest of your life with "you know." Up until that moment I was skeptical. Now I am a believer.

       

      The weekend was a whirlwind of reunions with friends living around the country. The first night Juli and I danced without music at a bar with no dance floor. The second night we stayed up all night talking. When I had to leave the next morning to fly back to Hawai`i I asked for her number. She was hesitant... despite later admitting to the same spark I felt, she didn't believe I'd call. I did. The next day from a parking lot on Maui, I called the woman who would become my life partner. The next day I called again, and the day after, and the day after. Three weeks later I was on a plane back to Texas for our very first date.

       

      We talked almost every day. For hours on end. At first Juli quizzed me and interrogated me. I tried to patiently answer every question. As our relationship grew and evolved we shared our lives across time zones. Sometimes we would sit quietly on either end of the phone, sometimes we would video chat and, when we could, we would travel to be together.  

       

       

       

       

       

      While dating long distance we moved Juli further east from Texas to Baltimore. After 2 years of dating long distance and a hefty bit of air travel, I left Hawai`i and we made a shared home on the east coast.

       

       

       

      The proposal:

       

       

      I can't remember when I started shopping for rings. The search began in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, spread across the internet, and meandered the shops and jewelry stores of Washington, D.C. (my hometown). One lucky afternoon I found a little jewelry shop in Georgetown. The owner, Dino, and I talked for about 1/2 an hour and we agreed to work together to design Juli's engagement ring. Dino and I met several times after that; we shared stories about our lives, talked about my life with Juli, and sketched ideas for the ring. Juli had no idea I was thinking of proposing or that I was designing her ring. I hid the ring in the house and plotted how to ask the question.

       

      In February we received sad news: the vet told us to say goodbye to our GirlCat, Juli's friend and constant companion (along with GirlCat's brother FatCat) for over 17 years. After a couple of weeks of tears and of trying to make our friend comfortable, we decided to venture out for a quiet dinner in the neighborhood. It was the Friday after Juli's birthday. The food was great. We laughed and shared happy memories of our sweet little cat. Burning a hole in my pocket was the ring I'd been hiding in our home for weeks.

       

      Since the moment we met in a kitchen in Dallas I knew there was something special about Juli. Long before I left Hawai`i I knew I wanted to spend the rest f our lives together. And I knew I wanted to ask Juli to join me in the adventure we call life before we said goodbye to GirlCat - while our little family still had time together. Visions of grand gestures danced in my head before giving way to more important considerations. 

      That night in February - walking home through our neighborhood - I knew it was time. In our kitchen, before we even took our jackets off, I was down on one knee, ring box in hand. Juli forgets what I'm sure was a river of sweet, carefully crafted words, my graceful reflections on adventures shared, and my proposal that we commit to a lifetime together. Fortunately she figured out that I was proposing. Best of all - through what I believe were tears of joy - she said yes.

       

       

      The future:
       

      Our brief engagement has been filled with excitement and sadness: friends welcomed and are expecting babies; family members and loved ones are struggling with health issues and loss. This October we will join our closest friends and family members on the beach in Riviera Maya to celebrate the love we found the life we are building together - one more happy occasion added to the mix.

       



      #54 BermudaTammy

      BermudaTammy
      • Newbie
      • 9 posts

        Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:58 AM

        My fiance Michael and I met in March of 2008 when I was waiting outside of a bar to meet a friend. Michael was walking past with a group of friends and asked me where a different restaurant was. After telling him, we struck up a conversation about ourselves and eventually exchanged names and what we were both studying at the University of Delaware. (We were both 3 months shy of finishing our graduate degrees and had actually lived in the same town for 5 years without ever meeting before). When my friend arrived, Michael left with his own group of friends. Yet something inside of me told me that I was missing out on something the second that he walked away. So when I came home, I looked Michael up on the UD student server (this was back before Facebook had gone universal) and I sent him an email asking him if he'd like to get together. I knew it was very bold and a long shot, but I had been having really bad luck with guys so I figured what was the harm of another rejection. I had no idea that I was actually starting a relationship with that one simple message! Michael and I chatted over email for about a month before we went on a date, which took away all of the awkward silence that comes with a first date; I felt like I had known him for years by the time we actually met face to face. Our relationship was normal for about two more months and then Michael moved to Egypt, then to Tennessee, and now he is in England. Almost all of our four years together have been long distance, though I have been able to live with him for parts of the time (depending on the job market wherever he goes). Most people think that we are crazy, but we make it work. It takes a lot of patience and communication when we are apart. And when we are together, there is always an adjustment period, but I eventually feel like being with him is right where I belong.

        Throughout our relationship, Michael and I have traveled to various parts of the world. Sometimes it's because he has lived somewhere fun; other times it is simply for vacation and adventure-seeking purposes. But the most significant of our trips has been Paris, where we went between Christmas and New Year's of this past winter. For New Year's Eve we went to see the Eiffel Tower light up beneath the hundreds of fireworks that the city sets off. We popped champagne and celebrated the adventure of the incoming year. Afterwards, we walked to the side and Michael got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the most romantic moment! And one that I will remember all of my life! Because of the traveling nature of our relationship, we have decided to get married in Bermuda in 2013. We feel that it's so symbolic of our lives--right in between the US where I am and the UK where he is. We are hoping that all of our family and friends will join us to celebrate the first day of the rest of our lives together. And then I will move to England so that we can finally be together forever! :)



        #55 juliboley

        juliboley
        • Newbie
        • 76 posts

          Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:43 PM

          I love you so much, Dan!  And thank you for telling our story so beautifully and for entering this contest for us.  You make me smile every day!IMG_0453.JPG

          IMG_7700.JPG

          http://juliannedaniel.ourwedding.com



          #56 YaliSunshine

          YaliSunshine
          • Newbie
          • 9 posts

            Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:49 PM

            “I wanna dance with somebody!”

             

            Iceland Nov 2011 poland.jpg

             

            (Iceland November 2011) This is the gorgeous hairy love of my life. We’ve traveled to some fabulous places together, and our wedding will be in one of them. We will be married February 2013 in Riviera Maya.

             

            I met Kamil at a graduation party more than a decade ago. He was all blond spikes and baggy jeans, and my heart stopped the moment he entered the room. He sat at a rowdy table of guys, and was completely unaware that I was burning holes through him with my eyes. My best friend suggested I ask him to dance – I was a terrible dancer, we needed a plan.

            Here was the arrangement: as soon as the DJ played a Hip-Hop track, I would march over to the table, confess my two left feet, and ask the worst dancer in the bunch to join me in tearing up the dance floor. Epic failure! Every guy at the table pointed his finger at the pimple-faced drunken mess they called Lenny.  I laughed at my own luck and dragged my two left feet and Lenny to make good fools of ourselves. This must not have been lost on Kam…he asked about me. *wink*

             

            After some months of messages lost in translation among mutual friends, Kam and I finally had our first date on the steps of Union Square in NYC. We went sky-diving on our third date, and by the end of the summer, he was teaching me how to fish at his family lake house.

             

            yali fish.jpg fishing 2.jpg

             

            Kamil was born in Poland, and he and his family are deeply connected to the country and its history. When we were finally in a financial position to visit Poland in 2010, we jumped at the chance. He added a little bit of our own history to a quiet street that had likely witnessed as much ugliness as it had beauty. Maybe he planned it this way, or maybe he was too nervous to realize it, but Kamil never took the knee. He sat beside me and held my hand the whole time. I told him I was glad I didn’t have to “look down” at him to give him an answer. I NEVER want to look down at him. We respect each other. We are fully and equally present in all aspects of our relationship. He said that Poland and I are his two greatest loves, and this is why he chose to propose in Warsaw. (I think there are three of us - and those who have seen him with his motorcycle know exactly what I'm talking about!)

             

            Here's Kam, nervous just before popping the big question... proposed.jpg kam rides.jpg

             

            Turns out Kam was indeed the worst dancer at that table – and now every party we attend is punctuated with a dance-off…where the one with the worst moves takes the prize.  The man wins every time!

             

             Halloween 2011 047.jpg Funky chicken



            #57 YaliSunshine

            YaliSunshine
            • Newbie
            • 9 posts

              Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:50 PM

              “I wanna dance with somebody!”

               

              Iceland Nov 2011 poland.jpg

               

              (Iceland November 2011) This is the gorgeous hairy love of my life. We’ve traveled to some fabulous places together, and our wedding will be in one of them. We will be married February 2013 in Riviera Maya.

              I met Kamil at a graduation party more than a decade ago. He was all blond spikes and baggy jeans, and my heart stopped the moment he entered the room. He sat at a rowdy table of guys, and was completely unaware that I was burning holes through him with my eyes. My best friend suggested I ask him to dance – I was a terrible dancer, we needed a plan.

              Here was the arrangement: as soon as the DJ played a Hip-Hop track, I would march over to the table, confess my two left feet, and ask the worst dancer in the bunch to join me in tearing up the dance floor. Epic failure! Every guy at the table pointed his finger at the pimple-faced drunken mess they called Lenny.  I laughed at my own luck and dragged my two left feet and Lenny to make good fools of ourselves. This must not have been lost on Kam…he asked about me. *wink*

               

              After some months of messages lost in translation among mutual friends, Kam and I finally had our first date on the steps of Union Square in NYC. We went sky-diving on our third date, and by the end of the summer, he was teaching me how to fish at his family lake house.

               

              yali fish.jpg fishing 2.jpg

               

              Kamil was born in Poland, and he and his family are deeply connected to the country and its history. When we were finally in a financial position to visit Poland in 2010, we jumped at the chance. He added a little bit of our own history to a quiet street that had likely witnessed as much ugliness as it had beauty. Maybe he planned it this way, or maybe he was too nervous to realize it, but Kamil never took the knee. He sat beside me and held my hand the whole time. I told him I was glad I didn’t have to “look down” at him to give him an answer. I NEVER want to look down at him. We respect each other. We are fully and equally present in all aspects of our relationship. He said that Poland and I are his two greatest loves, and this is why he chose to propose in Warsaw. (I think there are three of us - and those who have seen him with his motorcycle know exactly what I'm talking about!)

               

              Here's Kam, nervous just before popping the big question... proposed.jpg kam rides.jpg

               

              Turns out Kam was indeed the worst dancer at that table – and now every party we attend is punctuated with a dance-off…where the one with the worst moves takes the prize.  The man wins every time!

               

               Halloween 2011 047.jpg Funky chicken



              #58 YaliSunshine

              YaliSunshine
              • Newbie
              • 9 posts

                Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:52 PM

                “I wanna dance with somebody!”

                 

                Iceland Nov 2011 poland.jpg

                 

                (Iceland November 2011) This is the gorgeous hairy love of my life. We’ve traveled to some fabulous places together, and our wedding will be in one of them. We will be married February 2013 in Riviera Maya.

                I met Kamil at a graduation party more than a decade ago. He was all blond spikes and baggy jeans, and my heart stopped the moment he entered the room. He sat at a rowdy table of guys, and was completely unaware that I was burning holes through him with my eyes. My best friend suggested I ask him to dance – I was a terrible dancer, we needed a plan.

                Here was the arrangement: as soon as the DJ played a Hip-Hop track, I would march over to the table, confess my two left feet, and ask the worst dancer in the bunch to join me in tearing up the dance floor. Epic failure! Every guy at the table pointed his finger at the pimple-faced drunken mess they called Lenny.  I laughed at my own luck and dragged my two left feet and Lenny to make good fools of ourselves. This must not have been lost on Kam…he asked about me. *wink*

                 

                After some months of messages lost in translation among mutual friends, Kam and I finally had our first date on the steps of Union Square in NYC. We went sky-diving on our third date, and by the end of the summer, he was teaching me how to fish at his family lake house.

                 

                yali fish.jpg fishing 2.jpg

                 

                Kamil was born in Poland, and he and his family are deeply connected to the country and its history. When we were finally in a financial position to visit Poland in 2010, we jumped at the chance. He added a little bit of our own history to a quiet street that had likely witnessed as much ugliness as it had beauty. Maybe he planned it this way, or maybe he was too nervous to realize it, but Kamil never took the knee. He sat beside me and held my hand the whole time. I told him I was glad I didn’t have to “look down” at him to give him an answer. I NEVER want to look down at him. We respect each other. We are fully and equally present in all aspects of our relationship. He said that Poland and I are his two greatest loves, and this is why he chose to propose in Warsaw. (I think there are three of us - and those who have seen him with his motorcycle know exactly what I'm talking about!)

                 

                Here's Kam, nervous just before popping the big question... proposed.jpg kam rides.jpg

                 

                Turns out Kam was indeed the worst dancer at that table – and now every party we attend is punctuated with a dance-off…where the one with the worst moves takes the prize.  The man wins every time!

                 

                 Halloween 2011 047.jpg Funky chicken



                #59 YaliSunshine

                YaliSunshine
                • Newbie
                • 9 posts

                  Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:53 PM

                  “I wanna dance with somebody!”

                   

                  Iceland Nov 2011 poland.jpg

                   

                  (Iceland November 2011) This is the gorgeous hairy love of my life. We’ve traveled to some fabulous places together, and our wedding will be in one of them. We will be married February 2013 in Riviera Maya.

                  I met Kamil at a graduation party more than a decade ago. He was all blond spikes and baggy jeans, and my heart stopped the moment he entered the room. He sat at a rowdy table of guys, and was completely unaware that I was burning holes through him with my eyes. My best friend suggested I ask him to dance – I was a terrible dancer, we needed a plan.

                  Here was the arrangement: as soon as the DJ played a Hip-Hop track, I would march over to the table, confess my two left feet, and ask the worst dancer in the bunch to join me in tearing up the dance floor. Epic failure! Every guy at the table pointed his finger at the pimple-faced drunken mess they called Lenny.  I laughed at my own luck and dragged my two left feet and Lenny to make good fools of ourselves. This must not have been lost on Kam…he asked about me. *wink*

                   

                  After some months of messages lost in translation among mutual friends, Kam and I finally had our first date on the steps of Union Square in NYC. We went sky-diving on our third date, and by the end of the summer, he was teaching me how to fish at his family lake house.

                   

                  yali fish.jpg fishing 2.jpg

                   

                  Kamil was born in Poland, and he and his family are deeply connected to the country and its history. When we were finally in a financial position to visit Poland in 2010, we jumped at the chance. He added a little bit of our own history to a quiet street that had likely witnessed as much ugliness as it had beauty. Maybe he planned it this way, or maybe he was too nervous to realize it, but Kamil never took the knee. He sat beside me and held my hand the whole time. I told him I was glad I didn’t have to “look down” at him to give him an answer. I NEVER want to look down at him. We respect each other. We are fully and equally present in all aspects of our relationship. He said that Poland and I are his two greatest loves, and this is why he chose to propose in Warsaw. (I think there are three of us - and those who have seen him with his motorcycle know exactly what I'm talking about!)

                   

                  Here's Kam, nervous just before popping the big question... proposed.jpg kam rides.jpg

                   

                  Turns out Kam was indeed the worst dancer at that table – and now every party we attend is punctuated with a dance-off…where the one with the worst moves takes the prize.  The man wins every time!

                   

                   Halloween 2011 047.jpg Funky chicken



                  #60 YaliSunshine

                  YaliSunshine
                  • Newbie
                  • 9 posts

                    Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:54 PM

                    “I wanna dance with somebody!”

                     

                    Iceland Nov 2011 poland.jpg

                     

                    (Iceland November 2011) This is the gorgeous hairy love of my life. We’ve traveled to some fabulous places together, and our wedding will be in one of them. We will be married February 2013 in Riviera Maya.

                    I met Kamil at a graduation party more than a decade ago. He was all blond spikes and baggy jeans, and my heart stopped the moment he entered the room. He sat at a rowdy table of guys, and was completely unaware that I was burning holes through him with my eyes. My best friend suggested I ask him to dance – I was a terrible dancer, we needed a plan.

                    Here was the arrangement: as soon as the DJ played a Hip-Hop track, I would march over to the table, confess my two left feet, and ask the worst dancer in the bunch to join me in tearing up the dance floor. Epic failure! Every guy at the table pointed his finger at the pimple-faced drunken mess they called Lenny.  I laughed at my own luck and dragged my two left feet and Lenny to make good fools of ourselves. This must not have been lost on Kam…he asked about me. *wink*

                     

                    After some months of messages lost in translation among mutual friends, Kam and I finally had our first date on the steps of Union Square in NYC. We went sky-diving on our third date, and by the end of the summer, he was teaching me how to fish at his family lake house.

                     

                    yali fish.jpg fishing 2.jpg

                     

                    Kamil was born in Poland, and he and his family are deeply connected to the country and its history. When we were finally in a financial position to visit Poland in 2010, we jumped at the chance. He added a little bit of our own history to a quiet street that had likely witnessed as much ugliness as it had beauty. Maybe he planned it this way, or maybe he was too nervous to realize it, but Kamil never took the knee. He sat beside me and held my hand the whole time. I told him I was glad I didn’t have to “look down” at him to give him an answer. I NEVER want to look down at him. We respect each other. We are fully and equally present in all aspects of our relationship. He said that Poland and I are his two greatest loves, and this is why he chose to propose in Warsaw. (I think there are three of us - and those who have seen him with his motorcycle know exactly what I'm talking about!)

                     

                    Here's Kam, nervous just before popping the big question... proposed.jpg kam rides.jpg

                     

                    Turns out Kam was indeed the worst dancer at that table – and now every party we attend is punctuated with a dance-off…where the one with the worst moves takes the prize.  The man wins every time!

                     

                     Halloween 2011 047.jpg Funky chicken






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