Friday, December 29, 2006

Tithings of Comfort & Joy...(long)

Ah..what a busy year it's been. I started it off in Jacksonville, FL for New Years and then it was followed by kidney stones, medical bills and lots of other traveling. Roanoke, Myrtle Beach, Richmond, Gatlinburg, Charlotte, Harrisonburg, Wilmington...I'm sure I'm leaving a city or two out. My sister's wedding was also planned this year. Hectic with dress fittings and toast writing, this year felt like a whirlwind.

The Bachelorette party was incredible. My sister has such wonderful friends. We went to Myrtle Beach to celebrate the passing of her singleness and had a lot of fun and alcohol. Kelly had been so stressed over the wedding planning that she was about to rip her hair out. It was great to see her laughing again and completely letting loose. She definitely needed it!

Six weeks after the bachelorette party, Kelly got married. I came up a few days early to help out. We had to put chair covers on in the reception hall, decorate tables and clean up while the florist was doing his thing. That was an all day thing. The next day was filled with fighting mall traffic for pantyhose, getting my nails done and trying not to ruin them while I got ready for the rehearsal. I tripped going up the stairs by the way. I almost cried watching dad walk Kelly down the aisle. The church was if you're getting married..go to Grandin Court Baptist up in Roanoke. Then it was off to rehearsal dinner at the Roanoker where Kelly gave us these gorgeous garnet and white gold necklaces. I'm still wearing it actually.

Jeff couldn't make it to the rehearsal or dinner because of a shipping issue I had. Let me go back a bit. I had a bizarre dream that I don't remember, but as soon as I woke up from it, I knew exactly what I was going to say for my sister's toast. The short version is that life has many roads and to navigate them, you need a compass. But, a compass is no good if you can't see where you're, I was going to give Tim a compass and my sister a light. I shopped around until I found a beautiful compass that I had engraved. I paid for it on the 9th to include 4-6 day shipping. I figured I'd give it an extra 2 days to account for the engraving, but by the 18th when I hadn't received it, I started freaking out. She told me it was being sent USPS and gave me a tracking number. I told her I needed it by the 21st since I was going out of, she pulled it and sent it UPS 3 day. When I looked it up on the 21st, it said the shipment had been voided. ?! WHAT?! I flipped out and called Jeff. My very resourceful and dedicated husband, found the right tracking number where she'd pulled it yet again and sent it UPS 2 day air, so it was set to arrive on Friday the 22nd. He had to wait for it to arrive before he could leave and it didn't get there until 3:30 that that's why he missed rehearsal and dinner. anyway, that night I didn't sleep a wink because I was agonizing over exactly how to word my toast and if it would come out ok. The morning of the wedding, we went and had our hair done and got back to the house with enough time to do make-up and get to the church by 1:30. We got dressed, took a ton of pictures and before we knew it, it was 4pm. I did not trip walking up the steps this time and Kelly looked absolutely stunning. The ceremony was quick and laid back. Woody did a great job of officiating. It was followed by more pictures then a limo ride to the reception hall. The jr. bridesmaid and groomsmen were adamant they were riding in the limo, so we had to make some adjustments. Hannah, the jr. bridesmaid was so excited she could barely contain herself all day. It was almost to the point of being really irritating, but she was also just so completely cute, you couldn't help but smile at her childish wonderment.

The reception was a blast. The food was phenomenal and the hall was gorgeous. The Christmas tree was 10 ft. tall with 1300 lights, glass engraved keepsake ornaments, 2 dozen roses and crystal beading. All the wedding gifts went under the tree and there were 5 columns with greenery and lights. There were also massive rose bouquets that were to die for. I cried when Dad and Kelly danced to "I loved her first" by Heartland. Dad was crying and so was was just such a touching moment, I cried. I also got to dance w/ Jeff to our song and got to see my 85 yr. old Grandma dance to Rapper's Delight. It was a trip! She was tearing up that dance floor. I'm so glad I got pictures! Grandpa just had a great time laughing at her. They don't get out much, so it was nice seeing them have a good time. My toast turned out very well and I think they liked it. My voice was a little waivery, but it was good.

After the reception, we cleaned up and then Jeff and I went to the Grandin Theatre to see A Christmas Story on the big screen. I was so tired I slept through most of it, but I woke up for the good parts. They gave out door prizes and free Ovaltine. Rock!

Christmas Eve was a late party at Jeff's brother's and a late stay at the Omlette Shoppe. Christmas Day was full of house hopping and present opening. I had a lot of fun just being with family though. Tim's a great addition and suits my sister wonderfully. I really liked having him there with the family on Christmas. It felt complete. Maybe it was the contentment of knowing the wedding came out perfectly and we were just very relaxed after a stressful year. Either way, I felt very blessed to be there with my family. I loved watching our god-children open their gifts and seeing the look on Jeff's aunt and uncle's faces after we left our yearly prank in their yard. That was priceless! But next do you top a farting dog??

Kelly and Tim left for Hawaii on the 26th and I'm anxious to see how they're doing. I hope they're safe and having fun. I miss her. I hope everyone else's Christmas was just as wonderful and that you all had safe travels!! To Kelly and Tim..Congratulations!!! I love you!

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