Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wedding Thursday-- Reception.

After the ceremony, we walked out of the chapel to the room where I had been sequestered earlier.  I was very adamant that I wanted to have a few minutes just the two of us-- no family, no friends, no photographers.  Just us.  My MOH was in charge of making sure that people stayed away, and she did a great job.  It was one of my favorite moments of the day-- FINALLY getting to talk to him and have a minute just the two of us.

Then, once all the guests left, we did some quick pictures in the chapel.

Then we headed to our reception site for some more pictures before the reception.

 Then, we headed in to the reception!

My dad gave a very sweet speech and blessed the food before we all ate.  (PS-- Everyone told me that I wouldn't eat, but I made sure to.  Granted, I didn't eat a whole lot since I was pretty amped up, but I made sure to get some sustenance.)

Our first dance was to Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are."  We spent a while trying to figure out our first dance song, but ultimately decided that Billy was perfect.  You can't go wrong with some Billy Joel.  Ever.

My dance with my dad was to James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)."  I grew up listening to James Taylor with my dad, and this was a sweet but upbeat song, so I thought it was perfect.  We laughed and cut up through the song.  This is another favorite picture of mine from the day.  :)

Donny's dance with his mom was to Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."  It was so sweet-- I think they got to most of the room with their emotional choice.

Then it was time for cake and champagne!!  Donny proved his love for me by not smashing cake in my face. :)  The cake was AMAZING.  Thank goodness they packed a box of pieces for us to take home because this bite was all I had at the reception.

The speeches by Emily and Brandon were the highlight of the reception.  Emily's was sweet and hilarious-- just like her.  She managed to throw in how among all the girls in our small group, I was the only one who wasn't anxious to meet someone and get married.  Yet I was the first one to walk down the aisle...  Haha!
Brandon's speech was so touching and sweet.  He and Donny are like brothers, and he was so genuinely happy for us.  He had the room in tears.

After the cake and toasts, it was time to party!!

And the bouquet toss!  (ps-- I had to call out Rachel to get her back in the room. She had tried to escape out a side door!) 
 There was quite the skirmish between Emily and Donny's sister, Tracy over the bouquet...
 Tracy prevailed!
 But Emily got a small piece...

Quite a bit of the night was spent dancing with my boss's daughter, Sophia.  She's so darn adorable.  :)

We actually ended up leaving earlier than we had anticipated.  But, we had had our fun, and it was time to go.  We made our exit to glow sticks (I was slightly paranoid that sparklers would burn my dress), and I LOVE the way they turned out in the pictures!

It was a long day, but it was an absolutely WONDERFUL day.  I loved it, and thought everything turned out exactly as I had imagined it.  :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Adventures in Car Buying.

This weekend revolved around our car buying adventure (if you couldn't already tell from the title of this post...). Donny has a Chevy Blazer that was in dire need of replacement.  He wanted a truck, and he had a list of several possibilities that he had found in the last few weeks.  So on Saturday, we headed out to look at some.  (It had sleeted for a few hours on Friday, so we were thankful that it got warm enough on Saturday to melt all the ice so we could even get out!)

First up was a Ford Ranger. He called the owner and set up a meeting at a Sheetz a few minutes away from where we live. When pull in and the owner gets out of the truck, I realize he is a former client of mine! He was in high school when I represented him a few years ago, and it wasn't anything serious (thank goodness), but I had a hard time controlling my laughter at this kid and the dozen stickers on his back window...  Donny drove the truck around the block, but it had some major problems that (of course) weren't mentioned in the ad.  So, we said goodbye and went on our merry way.

Truck number two was a Ford F-150 in a town about a half hour away that is on the edge of civilization. We got down there a little early for our meeting and COULD NOT find the place with the address he has given us. The only places near there were a service station, a mechanic's shop (neither of which had the truck sitting out that we were looking for), and a salvage yard with dozens of wrecked cars.  I was starting to get nervous when we saw the guy coming down the road.  Turns out, we were in the right place-- at the salvage yard.

The truck was NOT wrecked-- turns out the guy who owned the place was selling it for a customer of his.  The truck was actually really nice.  It was clean inside and well maintained, just had a recent tune up and some other work done.  All good things.  Donny drove it and said it ran great.  So, we got the VIN number and came home to check the carfax report on it-- we don't buy cars without checking the carfax (especially since this one was sitting in a salvage yard...).  But, the carfax came back clean, so we called the guy and told him we wanted it and would come get it on Sunday.

Sunday afternoon, we waited to hear from him most of the day to set up the meeting.  The town where the truck was is on the other side of the city where my parents and grandma live.  So, we hung out with them for a while before deciding to go to Target then Barnes & Noble to kill some time.  We finally talked to the guy and met him around 7pm at this salvage yard (that has no lights outside).  I wondered briefly if we were being lured to our deaths...  Ha.

But no-- he pulled in right behind us as soon as we got there, and we all went into the shop where we got the paperwork done, got the keys, and headed home with our new truck!  
Isn't it pretty??  It is now sitting in our garage waiting for a license plate!  I'm glad it fits in the garage-- I wasn't sure it would, but we're good.  :)

How was everyone else's weekend??  


Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Club Friday-- Kid Carolina and Gone Girl.

I've been reading like crazy recently.  I'll credit it to the fact that I've picked books that kept me WANTING to read them.  I've read two this week:  Kid Carolina and Gone Girl.

Good Reads Synopsis: The Reynolds tobacco family was an American dynasty like the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Astors. R.J. "Dick" Reynolds Jr. was born into privilege and decadence, but his disastrous personal life eventually destroyed almost every relationship he cherished and stole his health at a relatively young age.  Dick Reynolds was dubbed "Kid Carolina" when as a teenager, he ran away from home and stowed away as part of the crew on a freighter. For the rest of his life he'd turn to the sea, instead of his friends and family, for comfort. Dick disappeared for months at a time, leading the dual life of a business mogul and troubled soul, both of which became legendary.  Despite his personal demons, Dick played a pivotal role in shaping twentieth-century America through his business savvy and politics. He developed Delta and Eastern Airlines, single handedly secured FDR's third term election, and served as mayor of Winston-Salem, where his tobacco fortune was built. Yet below the gilded surface lay a turbulent life of alcoholism, infidelity, and loneliness. His chaotic existence culminated in a surprise fourth marriage and was shortly followed by a strange death, the end of a life every bit as awe-inspiring as it was disturbing.

My Thoughts:  I've grown up around the Reynolds family lore my whole life, so when I saw this book, I was very excited to read it.  It was a truly fascinating story that seems almost like a movie because it's so far-fetched.  But yet, it's true.  I call the Reynolds family "the Kennedys of The South" because they're so similar.  A wealthy family; a family business; wild, uncontrollable heirs; young deaths; mysterious deaths; rocky marriages; and more.  I just wish that this book had been more in-depth.  It's incredibly well-researched, but it's pretty sparse.  The story could be so much more enthralling, but she skims over important events in mere pages instead of a whole chapter or more.  It was 357 pages but should have been twice that.  I just needed MORE.

Good Read Synopsis: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?  As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

My Thoughts: This book was incredible. From almost the minute I opened it, I was completely engrossed and couldn't put it down. Seriously. I read it everywhere-- even at stop lights and in line at Chipotle. I just HAD to know what was going to happen!  Gillian Flynn is an amazing writer. I loved the way it went back and forth between the voices of Nick and Amy, giving both perspectives. I was slightly disappoint in the end, but I suppose it was fitting for the book.  So I'm not going to let it bother me too much.  Although the story was fairly depressing, I highly recommend this book!

Next up for me? Something light and fluffy. I need it after a string of suspenseful/dramatic/violent books. Suggestions?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wedding Wednesday-- The Ceremony.

After the pre-ceremony pictures, I was sequestered with my family and bridal party until the ceremony started. That hour between pictures and the ceremony was maybe the longest of my life. I was SO ready to get things going, but of course, I had to wait.
I was never nervous or anxious-- just ready to get married. But I do remember there being A LOT of people coming to talk to me before the ceremony. Some I didn't mind, but then there were some people who I really am not that close to that felt the need to come back there, which I found odd and slightly annoying. If I had thought about it, I would have had my MOH run interference for me, but I didn't. Oh well.

And then, the music started.   
My extended family left to be seated, followed by my immediate family, then the bridal party. 

Donny's mom and sister being seated by his Best Man and cousin, Brandon
My brother seating my mom
The bridesmaids proceeding
My dad walked out of the room, leaving me alone for a moment. It was the first time that day that my emotions started to bubble to the surface.  My MOH and bridesmaids had done a great job at keeping me laughing and entertained all day, but then I was by myself.  I remember thinking that I had to keep it together, so I had to get my dad back in the room to make me laugh.  

And he did.  As he always does.  :)  I have no idea what he said to me, but I do remember that he gave me the strength to keep it together.  Then, the doors opened, and it was our turn to walk down the aisle.
I don't think I've ever been happier to see this face.  After my almost-meltdown earlier, I was set and managed to make it through the ceremony tear-free.  Not so for others...  My bridesmaids reported later that they were all managing fine until they saw Donny get emotional.  :)

Our minister was wonderful.  He had done our pre-marital counseling, and so knew us, which was great.  He's also the nicest, most genuine man.  I was so glad that he performed our ceremony.  He tailored his message to the scripture that we picked out-- Colossians 3:12-19.
Love this face!!
Both our moms read something during the ceremony.
"You may now kiss your bride." 
My face in this picture cracks me up.  :)