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Monday, October 1, 2018

April? APRIL?!

The last time I posted was April?

As surprising and sad as that sounds to me, it also sounds realistic. The past few months of my life have been the most emotional, turbulent, and full-of-change months of my life. While I have so many thoughts, reflections, and things to say on lots and lots of topics (dare I say that I ... might post on those things soon?), I wanted to come back to blogging life with something happy and wonderful.

I wanted to share with you about my wedding to Joe.

As you prepare for a wedding, one thing people tell you over and over is to expect that something will go wrong. As much of a planner as I am, I was truly okay with this happening. I believed in my heart that the only thing that mattered was that Joe and I would be married by the end of that day. We had done all we could to plan, and whatever happened, happened.

And you know what?

... nothing went wrong. NOTHING. It was the best and most perfect day of my life. Here are some reasons why:

The Dream Team
Never in the history of the world did a bride have such a wonderful group of women to stand up with her. My bridesmaids were heaven sent. Seriously. I called them the Dream Team. Throughout the process they were great, but on the day of -- wow. They were on time to hair and makeup, had only wonderful attitudes and things to say, were easygoing, were complimentary, asked for nothing, complained about nothing, and were generally the best people on God's earth. I'd give anything to have them around me all day every day. I have so many happy moments with them that day, but one of the top ones is Sarah praying for us just before I walked down the aisle. I wish I could relive that moment always. Erin, Mel, Sarah, Story, Colleen, and Emma -- God, I love you guys.

The Venues
We were married at Our Lady of Fatima, the church where I grew up, and our reception was at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. We could not have asked for better locations. Wanna hear something weird? The air conditioner at Fatima had broken the week before the big day. I (and my mom) had everyone on God's earth praying that it would be fixed in time for the wedding. (Seriously. "Did you find everything you needed today?" -- Target cashier. "Yes, and can you please pray the air conditioner is fixed at the church before my wedding Saturday?" -- me.) I just kept telling myself that a person God had afflicted with hyperhidrosis would not also have to suffer the indignity of a hot wedding. Miraculously, the air was fixed!!! (Even weirder, my mom texted me a couple days after the wedding to tell me the air had broken again. God is real, people.) We also loved everyone at the Big Sandy Arena! Veronica, Lindsey, and company were simply the best. Early in the evening, I noticed that our event coordinator, Lindsey, was bartending. I thought it was odd, but, with everyone else going on that day (like getting married), I didn't really think on it further. Later in the evening, I went to the bar to get a water (seriously, I drank, like, EVERYONE'S waters), and I thanked Lindsey for all the great work her staff was doing. You know how she replied? "The chef quit earlier this week." EXCUSE ME?! Yeah, their chef quit earlier that week, and she was bartending because their lead bartender was actually their sous chef and was heading up the kitchen. You guys. The food was EXACTLY AS GOOD as our food tasting. Arena staff -- you have my forever love.

The Family
You know those movies that feature the most monstrous in laws or the mother of the bride who is such a pill? I have no idea what that's like in real life. My parents were the best, and my in laws are one of the biggest blessings of my "new" life. Everyone got along, helped each other, had fun, and rolled with it. I was also so blessed to have so many family members come to my wedding. My lovely family came from all over West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kansas, and Virginia to celebrate with us. Here's a photo of what pretty much amounts to being 1/8 of my actual family. Haha.

The Vendors
Guys ... I don't know how we got so lucky, but our wedding vendors were the best ever. If you are in need of any of these services, please, for Heaven's sake, do yourself a favor and reach out to:
Cake -- Suzcatering (delicious, beautiful, amazing)
Wedding Planners -- TwoFineWays (Could there be two better people than Hannah and Leah? I think not!)
Flowers -- The Putnam Market (If you're local and haven't gone there ... go!)
DJ -- Bravo Live! (I can't say enough about how awesome Josh is! Please call him if you have any DJ needs!)
Photography -- Margaret Schaad Photography (Maggie is simply one of the best people I've ever met. If your plan for your wedding day includes wanting to have people around you who are kind, uplifting, loving, professional, and amazing at their jobs ... reach out to Maggie, or you're making a mistake!)
Videography -- I have been in more than one Drew Navy production, so I know from what. Drew is the best. No question. I was honored to be in just one more of his films! There is only one Drew Navy. See his video below.

The Friends
Thank you so much to all of our friends who spent our day with us. We know some of you traveled a long way, gave up time with your own kids and families, and spent your precious off-work time with us. It meant SO much to us to have you there!

My Kids
One of my absolute favorite parts of my whole day was having my precious girls at my ceremony. I teach English, but I do not have words -- I truly do not -- for how I feel when I think about my sweet girls coming to our ceremony. As we walked out of the church that day, I knew our job was to walk through the crowd and then double back around to take photos with our families and bridal party. Before it happened, though, I said to our photographer, Maggie, that I wouldn't stop at all ... except for students. I would only stop for students. And I did. My girls -- you are my life. You being there made my life. It really did.

This is a photo I will treasure till the day I die.

When I first received my wedding photos, I didn't cry ... until I saw this one. It gets me every time.

More later on all kinds of topics. But for now, Drew's (and Sarah's!) spectacular, creative, more-than-we-could-have-dreamed-of video of our wedding. The one that makes me cry every. single. time.

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