Farewell Sister Brisco

23 years, that’s how long Sister Brisco has been a part of my life. She’s known me since diapers. Literally. And I can honestly say, she’s had a HUGE part in molding me into the person I am today.

Saundra Brisco (Sis. B) has been in children’s ministry for 50 years. She stared in ministry when she was just 16 years old. This past Sunday, we celebrated her 23 years of ministry at my home church, Montgomery First. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, I didn’t think this day would ever come— Sis. Brisco is retiring. Of course, you can’t leave us until we throw you one over the top Farewell reception complete with over a thousand balloons, bagel bites and a slit walking clown.

As a child I remember Saturday morning Easter egg hunts, parents night out, spring break trips to Butts Mills Farm and even Kids Camp. I remember the first solo she gave me in a baseball themed program. I thought I was hot stuff in my white and red baseball tee. I even remember the time she had me dress up like a toy soldier and glued fake side burns on my cheeks for Christmas. Ouch! We’ve made lots of memories through out the years, Too many to count. But through those memories have come a lot of teachable moments.

If there is one thing that I would have to classify as ‘The Biggest Thing Sister Brisco Has Taught Me” it would be: How to Love People. I’ve had the privilege of serving under her ministry, working side by side with her week after week. We’ve even traveled the world together and I can honestly say she’s the same person in Montgomery, Alabama as she was in South Africa, Ecuador and Guatemala. Her heart for kids is something special. I can vividly remember standing outside a elementary school in South Africa in 2009, dusty dirt roads, kids running around who haven’t eaten in days, showered in probably weeks, but it didn’t matter. She saw someone who needed love, and that’s what she gave them. Wether it was a hug, prayer or even a smile– She could’ve cared less about what their background was, the color of their skin or how well dressed they where or what they smelled like. She once  said to me “Evan, Happiness comes when we learn to love others.” Talk about ah-ha moment, in the middle of Africa at that. I’ll never forget it. Today I find myself loving on those who are in need, who may be different from others and it’s credited to her and the values she spoke into me at an early age.

Speaking of traveling together, boy have we done our fair share together. From Kids Crusades, field trips and overseas adventure we’ve been side by side. I LOVE telling people about the time Sis. B decided to wear white pants on our 16 hour flight back to the states from South Africa and spilled diet coke on them 45 minutes in our flight—she had a bing brown stain for hours. Or the time we were in the Canary Islands and she didn’t like the tuna casserole the sweet church ladies offered her, so she pretended to eat it and threw it in the bushes. They saw her plate was empty so, they brought her more. You know what she did next, she threw it in the bushes again, and they brought her, yet another round. We laughed for hours. I could go on and on with stories, life lessons and memories we’ve shared but I’ll save those for my trip to visit you at the beach.

Sunday night I overhead people saying “It’s bitter sweet. We hate to see her go.”, but I say it’s all sweet and no bitter. We’ve laughed together, cried together even hooted and hollered. We’ve done life together but For now, I suppose two inadequate words will have to do: Thank you. Thank you for accepting me, loving me, teaching me, laughing with me, and most importantly praying for me. Thank You for being an inspiration not only to me, but those in our church, our city, our state and even the world. I won’t say “Goodbye”, I’ll just say “Until we meet again.”. I Love You Sister Brisco.

Humbled

Yesterday, I did something that I typically wouldn’t do. Something that most would’ve considered out ordinary for me. I left my blog camera’s at home and told very few people what my plans for Wednesday afternoon actually were.

Why?

Because I wanted to do this for myself. Most of you are probably thinking I spent my day at the spa or shoe shopping but I didn’t. I volunteered at a local nursing home. I didn’t do it for publicity. I didn’t do it because a family member is a resident. I did it because I saw a need.  2015-12-02_0002 Mrs. Alberta Woodson has been volunteering at 6 different nursing homes and rehab facilities in our city for years. Residents look forward to seeing her walk through the doors each year for their annual Christmas Party. She leaves not detail untouched. Showering each resident with gift after gift. They don’t get just a candy cane– Mrs. Woodson does it up right. Wether it’s 40 patients or 200 they all go back to their rooms with an arm full of goodies.  Lotion, shampoo, socks, fruit baskets, cologne and they even get a few new clothes.

I’ll be honest with you though, I was unsure of what I was getting into. I hate hospitals and nursing homes. I don’t know what it is but it just freaks me out.  But I left South Haven nursing home yesterday  afternoon a better person that I walked in.

2015-12-02_0001 Thanksgiving has come and gone but the spirt of the holiday keeps on giving. I stepped outside to grab some extra cookies out of the car and when I walked back in I will forever remember the minute I stepped foot in the cafeteria. Nurses, volunteers and residents were gathered around  a boom box singing an old hymn. You couldn’t wiped the smile from my face. It was something I’ll hold in my heart forever.

Thankfulness is a choice and when we choose to be thankful our emotions have no reason but to be exude joy. It can be the smallest act of kindness, but when it’s given out of gratitude it’s bigger than we imagine.

As American’s we sometimes get so caught up in our bubble that we forget about everyday life around us. Wednesday was a day that I needed. A day that took me back to reality and made me realize a life isn’t so bad after all.

Thank You Mrs. Alberta Woodson has a servants heart and obeying the call that was placed on your life years ago. I was honored to be a part and look forward to Monday.

 

Surprise Gatsby 40th Birthday

It’s every girls dream to have a FABULOUS over the top birthday party, right? What about a FABULOUS Great Gatsby themed 40th? Well, we did just that for one of our most FAVORITE clients.

I remember Mrs. Toni (the birthday gals Mom) calling like it was yesterday… She said, “Let the Planning Begin”. I called my sweet friend Meghan at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa downtown Montgomery and immediately sat up a meeting. 2015-11-10_0016 The entry to the ballroom was draped with sheer white voile and flanked with geometric pedestals and lush florals. As guest entered they were greeted by our “Gatsby Girls” and a glass of champagne. SIDE NOTE: Isn’t that sequin table linen AMAZING?  2015-11-10_0017 Gatsby Girls on slits? I KNOW, we thought of EVERYTHING. I love thinking of special unique touches that take an event to the next level. Not to mention, people are still talking about the “Gatsby stilt walkers from Julie’s Party”. 2015-11-10_0026 2015-11-10_0022 As you entered the ballroom, we spared no detail. From lounge area seating, gorgeous table centerpieces to a 60 foot balloon wall complete with over 1,000 gold balloons. Don’t tell anyone but we weren’t allowed to have balloons. We had to call in a few favors.  2015-11-10_0018 Those GORGEOUS table linens are from Nuage Designs. They have an entire “art deco” collection that was a match made in linen heaven for our event.  2015-11-10_0023 2015-11-10_0029 2015-11-10_0020 One of my personal FAVORITE details was the “Sweets Bar”. Cake Pops, Petite Fours, Sugar Cookies and French Macaroons were a HUGE hit with party guest. I might have been seen her most of the night. 2015-11-10_0019 Speaking of sweets… Ligers Bakery knocked it out of the park with Julie’s cake. Feathers and Strawberry for the win.  2015-11-10_0028 Now that all the details are set & ready to go and guests were in place….. it was time to reveal the surprise. (Do I get an award for “Best Photobomb”? I laugh every time I look at this picture. What kind of face am I making?) 2015-11-10_0024 The only requirement for the party: Super T. The band played at Julie’s wedding and I now know why they had to booked them again. They were FANTASTIC and certainly now how to get the party started.  2015-11-13_0001 2015-11-10_0027 Of course the Birthday Girl needed an official photo with the Gatsby Girls.  2015-11-13_0003 Julie is beyond blessed to have such amazing family and friends that celebrated with her.  2015-11-10_0025 2015-11-10_0030 It was the party of the year.. Well besides the #BigTopBirthdayBash. (which is coming soon, BTW) Thanks Sanders Family for allowing Evan and Company to be a part of so many special events in your life. WE LOVE Y’ALL!  2015-11-10_0031 Event Planning/ Floral Design: Evan G. Cooper, Evan and Company | Lighting: Encore Productions | Venue: Renaissance Hotel and Spa | Catering: Renaissance Hotel and Spa | Cake: Ligers Bakery | Sugar Cookies: Simply Sugared | Entertainment: Super T & DJ at Large | Photo Booth: Face Time Photo Booth | Gatsby Girls: Glitterbug the Clown | Linens: Nuage Designs | Drapery: American Rental and Tent | Balloons: The Balloon Lady | Sofa Towers: Brendle Rentals  Photography: Steve Wells Photography 

The Real EGC

I never imagined that people would be saying, “Evan G. Cooper planned my wedding”.   It was always a dream to that I never thought would become a reality.  I had high hopes back then though,  I even printed my own business card in 2006. #embarassing

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A lot of you may know me personally, but most of you don’t. I blog very little but I really am trying to make more of a conscious effort to blog more. I felt that it was LONG overdue for an introduction and more of a back story about me and how I got to where I am today….

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I was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. Baptist Hospital,  Room 223 to be exact. Ok! Ok! That’s not the room number! I’ve lived here my entire life and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. As a kid I can remember mom working in a flower shop “flowers etc.” to be exact, with Mrs. Tina and Mrs. Cindy, running around like crazy, planning church events.  She was constantly moving furniture or painting around the house. She’s one of the most creative and artistic people I know. My sister majored in art and is crazy talented with a paint brush, and Dad is a true  handyman. Creativity comes natural or at least I think it does.

In 2006 my parents bought me a camera. I still have no idea why, but I remember seeing this shiny camera sitting on the shelf at Wal-Mart (because Target wasn’t around at the time. Who shops at Walmart these days?) and I had to have it. For some odd reason, the thought of taking pictures and capturing special moments fascinated me. In 2009 I met the sweetest dark headed photographer, Kim Box. Long story short, I started working at Kim Box Photography in August of 2009. While there I did everything from order appointments, packing orders, “receptionist” to shooting weddings on the weekends. Through my 3 years shooting weddings I had and “AH HA” moment one day: the wedding photographer is only as good as the Wedding Planner or floral designer. If it weren’t for those individuals, the brains behind creating the concept for the day, the photographer wouldn’t have prettying things to photograph.

That’s when it all began.  I started offering to decorate and design my friend’s and family’s parties and events.  My church always had exciting celebrations that needed decorating, and I was always first in line to help.  My sister, Morgan, got married in in 2013 and it was my first ever wedding to plan start to finish.

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I had a BLAST planning Morgan’s wedding.  It really is one of my favorite’s of all the weddings I have done (not that I’m biased or anything).  From there, business skyrocketed.  I got calls left and right, and before I knew it, I was a full fledged business owner, managing multiple weddings at a time, creating floral designs, and gaining incredible relationships with vendors around town.

View More: http://kimboxphotography.pass.us/cokerengland

2014-11-09_0064 2015-07-14_0004 Today, We have done over 50 weddings and I am so incredibly amazed.  If someone had asked me what I would be doing 5 years ago, I never would’ve imagined this.  God has blessed me and my business.  He has given me an amazingly supportive family, church fellowship, and co-workers, who all make my business what it is today.

View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/evans50 View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/evans50 If I could tell you one piece of advice it would be this: take a chance at doing what you love, you may find out you’re actually good at it, you may get to live your life doing what you love doing.  Follow your passions and don’t be afraid of the journey it takes to get you where you want to be.  Hard work and a love for what you’re doing will take you further than you could ever imagine.  God is constantly next to you, guiding your heart and directing you where you need to be.  We live in a country full of dreamers and freedom to follow those dreams. So be a dreamer, be a do-er, be what you’ve always wanted to be.

 

Photo Credits: Aubrie Moates | Nick Drollette | Josh Moates | Kim Box

Balloons: Kreative Moments