Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - A Year in Review

Began the year in Chattanooga, Tennessee at Winter Ramp.  John and his mom came, and we were still in the initial stages of really getting to know each other. Jody was with me. We had a great time at the Ramp, and then on New Year's Day exploring Chattanooga.

 January, flew down to see John on his birthday weekend. By this time, our relationship was definitely getting to be more serious. On his actual birthday (the day I flew down), we went to his sister and brother-in-laws for his birthday dinner and to watch a movie.  The next day, we went to church and later that night to the Ramp.

In February, he flew up for Valentine's Day/my birthday. We went to the zoo, celebrated Valentine's Day, and had a get together so he could meet my friends (and they could check him out/give him the seal of approval.) Later that month, my friend Jessica and I had a joint birthday party.

 In March, there was a pretty big highlight. I flew to Alabama the last weekend of March and came home engaged!

April was a relatively slow month in some ways. Tax season ended at work, so that was a relief! We started wedding planning, looking at bridesmaid dresses, wedding dresses, etc.  I did take a trip to Ohio to see my aunt, uncle, and "nephews" over Easter weekend.  While I was there, I watched my uncle and nephews test for the next belt in their Tae Kwon Do.

One way the month was not slow was that one of the big news stories in the country was also one of the big news stories in our life.  At the end of April, a Category 5 tornado tore through Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The destruction was bad.  The loss of life was terrifying.  I'm happy to say that all my Alabama loved ones lived and came out relatively unscathed. Thank you, Jesus!

May was a very big month. At the beginning of the month, I helped two very dear friends, Jason and Jessica, with their wedding.  At the end of the month, my parents and I went down to Alabama for my first wedding shower. My friend Ashley (maid of honor in the wedding) also did our engagement pictures while we were down there. After the wedding shower, we brought back quite a lot. Most significantly, we brought back John! He moved up to find a job up here before the wedding. We went from not being able to see each other to seeing each other practically daily. It was great. My parents (where he stayed) was 45 minutes from the condo, but that's much closer than 15 hours. 

June was a busy month of job searching for John, and he started his first Michigan job!  We also had a wedding shower up here, thrown by my bridesmaids and friends.

In July, we continued to plan the wedding. Due to our different work schedules, we didn't go anywhere or do anything too exciting. :)

Same thing for August!  But John did find a job with daytime hours that he started in August.

September was obviously a very big month. We had the wedding, the honeymoon, and the Alabama reception! We also spent time with Cameron, Delia, and the boys while they were home, including a sleepover with the two cutie pies. :)

In October, we.... well, bought a house! Yay!

November, John started a new job - yay!  We also moved into the house on Thanksgiving weekend. So a lot of the month was spent packing and all that jazz.

December has been a whirlwind. We had our first Christmas and even hosted Christmas dinner!

2011 was great! Now on to 2012! :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wedding Rehearsal - Eek!

So as I'm attempting to finish writing my wedding recaps, I'll finish this post that has been half done for over a month! It'll fit in nicely between Christmas posts and New Year's posts.
I was one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life.....

I don't think I've ever been asked my opinion so many times in 1 hour. It's also not really in my personality to try to make people do things "my way." In my pastor's mind, this is the time to make sure everything is exactly how the bride wants it. During our counseling, he told John several times that it was "my day." I protested "No, it's our day!" They were both like "No, it's yours. :)
Our wedding was big. We each had 7 attendants, plus the 2 ring bearers, 2 flower girls, memorial flower attendant, 2 ushers, 1 reader, 2 singers, a guest book attendant, a program attendant, and a second pastor. Our rehearsal dinner, had everyone invited attended, would have been about 60 people.
We decided to have the rehearsal at 3:00 the day before the wedding. We couldn't do it Thursday because of out of town people. We didn't want to do it Friday night, as we wanted our bachelor/bachelorette parties that night (since that was the only time the bridal party could be together).
At 3:00 Friday, things started buzzing. In addition to being asked all the questions, I was also asking my own question - WHERE IS EVERYONE? Specifically, my 2 missing bridesmaids, missing musician, and missing minister. (The 2nd one. If our pastor who was doing the majority of the ceremony hadn't been there, I may have cried. He, as well as some of my bridal party, was the lifeline to my sanity.)
One of our ring bearers, Evan, was so jetlagged from the flight from Singapore that he slept through half the rehearsal and cried through the other half!
Once the musician and one of the missing bridesmaids arrived, we got started. It was overwhelming. There was a decoy bride at one point so I could approve of the arrangement of people. We took a lot of pictures.
After the rehearsal, I went downstairs to where the reception would be. My wonderful friends had transformed it while I was gone into a much prettier place. You'll see pictures of it when I post pictures from the reception.
Here are some pictures.
Camille, our Memorial Flower Attendant. (Her mom, my beloved Ms. Karen, took all these pictures!

Our mom's practicing for their role - the unity sand.
Practicing our vows
Me giving orders..... um, I mean directing!
John and Paul, his best man
Me and Ashley, my wonderful Matron of Honor
Ashley's mom and son, Brayden. Oh my word, looking at this picture makes me realize how tardy this blog post is. He has gotten so much bigger in the past 3.5 months!
Another cute shot of Brayden.
Walking down the aisle (I think I was just coming from the back for something, because when we actually rehearsed, my dad escorted me down.)
Giving Away of the Bride
With my groom. :)
The parents did a parental blessing. This was practice.
Random practice. I don't know what I was looking at. You can see Caroline, Camille's sister, standing in for me as the bride.
Another shot of the stage with the decoy bride.
A view from the back of the room.

It was overwhelming, but we all survived. :) Then it was on to rehearsal dinner.