Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sima Phi Lambda, Sisters for the Lord

This was at the end of the weekend, and there weren't as many girls left. Maybe I ran them all away! Anyway, it was a relaxing time and a nice change from being a mommy all the time.

Now I am almost caught up to this ACTUAL week! Yeah!
These are my very closest friends from college. Some were roommates, others I had classes with, but all were in the sorority. 11 of us stayed in a hotel one night, and other nights some stayed at my house. We shopped and stayed up late and talked for hours on end! Don't the rest of you want to come? :)

This is me and Julie. We were roommates our sophomore year. It was great to reconnect with her and visit in person. She has 2 adorable boys!

Believe it or not, this group of girls has been friends for 12 years!! You read that right! These are some of my dearest friends from college, who all met joining Sigma Phi Lambda, a Christian sorority at Texas Tech. Some of us are older than others and pledged at different times, but we all share the bond of college days and fun times! We had a reunion at my house 2 years ago, and it was much smaller. Well word got around and this thing ballooned! It was great to see people and catch up! This picture was at an Italian restaurant in Grapevine where the majority of us met for dinner. It was great! And like Meaghan mentioned in her blog, there are 5 pregnant women in the pic and who knows how many kids amongst us.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lubbock 08-08-08

Grandad making sure no one gets hurt!
Cyla not wanting to get wet

Josh has 7 cousins in his family that are all around his age. All of them have kids, so Josh's Mom-mu and Grandad already have 15 great-grandchildren with one more on the way. Here are Brady, Grace, Caitlyn, Colten, and Caden playing on the slip-n-slide. All 15 of those kids are 5 and under. You should see Christmas time!

Since so much of my family was in town, we stayed at Josh's grandparents' house. We always enjoy staying with them. Grace was making Mom-mu play princess something or other.

My aunt Twila playing the dulcimer. My dad and I sang, and some of my other cousins played their guitar. We are the Original Family Band! :)

Another hilarious and fun thing about our family is that we like to perform and sing. Not to a large group of people, but for each other. Every Christmas, Mimi plays the piano and we all sit around and sing carols. So after the party, my family put on a talent show for my grandmother and her brothers. My uncle Tim's family is very artistic, so they painted a canvas together during a song, and it was a completed picture when they were done.

My Mimi with 2 of her sisters-in-law and her niece

cousins Abbee, Jill, and Josh

my cousins Jeff, Jared and Dan Gibbens-Rickman

Funny story about the cake...we ordered it from this YUMMY bakery in Lubbock. It looked pretty wild and crazy with all the colors on it. Anyway, my uncle picked it up and was driving it slowly to the church. Some lady stopped really quickly in front of him and he had to slam on the brakes. His box of golf shoes fell on the cake, right on my grandmother's face. My mom about died! We had to leave the cellophane on the cake over her picture because the picture was coming up with the plastic. I think even Mimi was a bit embarrassed! We kept the cake hidden and brought it out, sang to her, and quickly cut that baby up. It was funny!

You can somewhat see how we decorated. Colored napkins and the olympic rings. Each table had different pictures of my grandmother. She is the only girl with 4 brothers, so she was and is pretty special! We had the party at her church in their garden room.

Grace listening to her movie

Grace and I drove home from TN on Tuesday and on Thursday the whole fam packed up in the minivan and we drove to Lubbock. My Mimi turned 80 yrs old on 08-08-08 (weird, I know!), so of course we had to have her party that day! It was Olympics themed since it was the day of the opening ceremonies. Here is Brady watching Elmo on the drove across West Texas.

Wedding Day!

(*sidenote: read this from the bottom up)
I took so many pictures that I ran out of memory! So someone else will have to send me the pictures of them leaving the reception. They went to Jamaica for their honeymoon and had a great time. I have seriously prayed for my brother for about 7 years that he would find the perfect wife for him. If Erica has decided she wants to put up with him, we'll take her! She is one special girl! It was such a fun day!
The kids loved the band and dancing! I think they would've danced all night. Brady really has some rhythym!

Erica and Micah Miller

My dad married Erica and Micah. We're not sure how that was legal, or if they're really married now, but they say yes. We were all so worried about him doing it, because he "preaches" to his Sunday School class each Sunday. He said he was going to start the ceremony with the first marriage of Adam and Eve and end with the last marriage of Christ and the church, and tell everything in between. We were worried we would be in the hot sun until the sun went down! But the wedding was so short. Maybe 30 minutes. He did a wonderful job!

Grace did a really good job as a flower girl! She walked down the aisle with a smile and stood with the bridesmaids for a while. She did tire of that and went and sat with my mom. Poor Josh missed the whole wedding. He was over to the side letting Brady throw leaves in the lake.

I love this picture of my dad and brothers. Zachary was so serious about the whole deal. He had to walk so many people down the aisle, he kept having to ask and make sure he was performing correctly! He hasn't been in as many weddings as the rest of us yet, and he wanted to get it right.
Here are the groomsmen. I thought their suits were nice and didn't get too wrinkled. The ties were blue and green. My brother is in the middle, acting like Ron Burgandy. All these guys are friends from junior high, high school, and college.

Grace had the BEST day! She got to wear the dress she waited so long to wear, got to wear lipgloss, and be with "big" girls. She wasn't too fond of the flower ball(don't know the correct term for it), so she wanted to carry my huge bouquet or my mom's little bouquet around instead.

My mom and I. Some people think we look just alike, and some think I look like my dad. She is much more petite than I am. My friends all call her Sally Field, because they think she looks like her.

Here was their cake. I didn't eat any, so I have no idea how it tasted. I really liked their last name initial on the top. I guess that's the new thing! So much better than a plastic bride and groom.

I thought my kids looked beautiful! I am a little biased. Grace's dress looked a lot like Erica's and she loved the headband! The groomsmen wore very light tan linen suits so my mom got Brady this linen short set. Josh thinks all the stuff he wears is so girly, but he's only little once!

Erica got Grace a necklace and a princess CD player for being in the wedding. It is a little portable CD player with plastic CD's that has only one volume-LOUD! Grace loves it, but Uncle Zachary didn't like it for the 7 hr trip home.

All the bridesmaids and Erica got ready at the yacht club. She had these 2 ladies come and do all of our hair. It was raining all afternoon and Erica was getting really sad about that, but it stopped and cleared up before the ceremony at 7. It actually cooled things off and wasn't so blazing hot!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thursday and Friday, before the Big Day!

(*sidenote: start at the bottom of this post and work your way up. It will make more sense. Can anyone tell me how to do this correctly?!)
Memories!! (sing the song with me, everybody: "like the corners of my mind"). These 4 teenagers were the flower girls and ring bearers at my wedding 9 years ago! Justin and Adam are my twin cousins who are now seniors in high school. Their sister Jessica was my flower girl, along with my other cousin Abbee. Yikes! I feel so old!

Josh owes a whole lot to my cousins Abbee and Jessica, who helped him entertain the kids. They were so so helpful and I could never repay them!

More fam at the rehearsal dinner (Uncle Scott, Aunt Rhonda, cousin Amanda, brother Zachary). Since so many people came from far away, my parents wanted to feed them at least one meal.

Here is my dad and his mom, my Mamaw. She wasn't going to come to the wedding but decided about 2 weeks before that she wanted to come. Thank goodness my uncle offered to let her stay at his lakehouse. If you want to see me in 40 years, look at her!

Everybody kept coming up to me, telling me what a wonderful husband I had! Some people even suggested I send him on a honeymoon alone to Jamaica (where Micah and Erica went) after this weekend! Josh had to wrangle these crazy kids all weekend by himself. I was so busy documenting the weekend with pictures, singing, helping my mom, being a bridesmaid, etc. that I wasn't a very good parent. Thanks Josh, for being so awesome!!

This is my beautiful cousin, Amanda. She should be Miss Kentucky!! I was so glad she and my aunt and uncle came. We hadn't seen each other in a long time.

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time!! My dad was praying before the meal, and here is Brady praying too. Precious!

A couple of hours later we had the reheasal dinner. You can't see them well, but that afternoon my mom and I and some of her awesome friends made the centerpieces. They were iron votive holders, and we got fresh flowers to decorate them. There are orchids through the top, and roses and hydrainges in the bottom. My mom is very particular (because she is basically another Martha Stewart), but I thought they were beautiful! We had the dinner at the golf club in the same community where everything else was. It was a big room with windows all around. We had dinner, saw a great slideshow of Micah and Erica growing up, and I sang. Several people got up and talked about the two kiddos also.

Here is Erica and her mom arriving AFTER the rehearsal was over! No, her aunt was supposed to bring her mom, and she had car trouble. So Erica's mom drove herself and got a flat tire! Erica had to go and pick her up, which made them all late. We had practiced some things, but we finished once the bride came! :)

Grace was the flower girl, and here she is practicing for her big day! She was quite serious about it, and had to do everything, say everything, and wear everything just like Erica did.

Fri afternoon was the rehearsal. The wedding was on a lake, actually on a dock. There was a big tent covering where the guests would sit, and the wedding was on the end of the dock in the water. Up behind the tent was the yacht club, where the reception was. Here we are getting instructions on what to do. I could've led this little meeting, seeing how many weddings I've been in.

Erica gave all the bridesmaids these super soft robes with our initials on them. Grace had to wear mine.

It was really hard for Grace to sit at the restaurant for hours, so she played "restaurant" at the table, making a mess for my mom to clean up. She also wandered around the place singing and exploring.

These are some of the girls at the luncheon. Let me point out here that it was Micah who insisted on having 9 groomsmen! Mr. Friendly he's not, but he sure is close to a lot of his buddies. Poor Erica! At the rehearsal dinner, every guy got up and talked and each one said they thought THEY were Micah's best friend. Anyway, the place where we had the luncheon was wonderful! It had the best food!

Friday morning we had the Bridesmaid's Luncheon, so we took Brady and all the men to the hotel where my grandmother and cousins were. They swam at the pool while we lunched.

Josh and Brady finally arrived! Josh had been complaining for weeks about the fact that he had to fly from Dallas to Knoxville with Brady. Never mind the fact that I had done it before, by myself, with 2 children and a layover! Of course, guess what? Brady slept the whole plane ride over to TN! But we sure were glad to see them!

My dad and brothers clowning around while my mom and I do all the work!

Here is my mom, busy as a bee! You can't really tell, but she and I put gift boxes together for all the people staying in different lake houses and at the hotel. They had snacks, candy, and water in them and there was an itenarary tied onto the front of it. My brothers delivered the boxes to the guests the next day. My mom and I also had to wrap 9 (yes, NINE) groomsmen's gifts because of course my brother knows nothing about details! He probably didn't even pick out those gifts.

The 3 bedroom lakehouse where our fam stayed. The kids had plenty of grass to run around on and did singing performances off the big porch out front.

I don't even know where to begin about this weekend! Grace and I drove over near Knoxville, TN with my parents to the lake where the wedding would be on Thursday. All of the festivities were in this little lake village, so my mom got our family a big lake house to stay in. It was wonderful because we weren't sitting in hotel rooms bored for days.