Saturday, October 16, 2021

A Wedding, Family and Full Hearts

Last weekend we scooted down to South Carolina for a special family weekend. My sweet cousin was getting married! We opted to head down Thursday to give ourselves a little extra time since the drive is so long. It's not fun to do it twice in four days but it would be even less to try and do it twice in just three days. And the other bonus of leaving early meant one extra day of hanging with some of our favorite people! We spent Thursday night at our close friends house, complete with snuggles from their two kiddos and then a grown up double date night. This is the couple that introduced us and we love them and their sweet family dearly so it was an awesome bonus to spend some time with them. 

Friday was low-key to start with a yummy breakfast from the local biscuit company. Oh boy am I glad to be moving back to the land of biscuits soon! And afterwards hubby and I headed over to my sister's in-laws so he could FINALLY meet her, my bro-in-law and their boys! I know, I's crazy that they haven't met. But since hubby and I didn't start dating until after they moved overseas, they've had to settle for facetime introductions. It warms my heart that even with only facetime the boys have still gotten to know him and Shannon tells me they ask about their uncle often. But the in person meeting had been long awaited and was finally here! We played trucks and planes and they showed off all their toys and asked questions and snuggled and we were all around thrilled to be in the same room as one another. 

After our reunion it was lunch, repacking suitcases and then just about time to get dressed and ready for the rehearsal and dinner. It should be noted that it had been pouring cats and dogs for DAYS leading up to this weekend. Seriously, all week- just buckets. But it miraculously stopped in time for us to make our way to the ceremony space. The setting the bride and groom had selected was truly stunning with just the most gorgeous views of the mountains. Even overcast it was gorgeous. This picture does not do it justice but trust me, the Blue Ridge mountains are an A+ backdrop for a wedding.

We practiced till it was perfect...the coordinator made sure of it. Then we loaded ourselves up in the cars to head to dinner downtown. The dinner was delicious and full of delightful conversation with family and some new friends. Hubby makes friends easily and often and I never worry about dropping him into a situation where he doesn't know many people. After dinner, we met up with rest of the family and hubby got to meet the last few members that he hadn't met yet while we all hung out in the hotel lobby telling old stories and some new ones. 

Saturday came much too quickly. This was not a weekend for sleeping in. So our carload headed over to meet up with the rest of the bridal party to start getting ready. But of course, not before stopping at Starbucks. Every bride (and her ladies) needs their favorite coffee to start the wedding day off right! My cousin had gotten us the softest pajama shirts to wear while getting ready. So did I go into Starbucks in a pajama shirt? Yes. Was there a very long line and did I have to stand there in my pajamas for about 20 minutes? Yes. Was I embarrassed? Absolutely not. The shirts were exactly what I expected from my cousin because they were delightfully cozy as opposed to some of the less practical getting ready outfits you see brides give out. 

I should point out that my hair and makeup did not look anything like this when I was standing in the Starbucks line. They were much less glam and much more, I didn't get enough sleep.

Caffeine in hand we were ready! Because getting reading for a wedding takes a while y'all. Boys have it so easy, they arrive, get dressed and it's time to go. But we ladies have a few more things on our to-do list. But we make it fun, with lots of snacks, music and girl talk. There's not many quiet moments when you put 7 women together in one room for several hours. 

Several hours, an cans of hairspray later we were all dressed and ready, it was time for the main event. The bride was stunning and we all peeked behind the trees for her first look moment with her dad and then her groom before it was time to walk down the aisle. 

The ceremony was lovely, and only a little wet. Yes, there had been no rain ALL day. But we did get a small shower during the ceremony. But how can you even care when two of the best people are in the middle of the best moment of their life? Plus, it came complete with a rainbow! Now I know they say rain on your wedding day is good luck, so I have to assume that a rainbow appearing behind you while you're saying your vows is even luckier! I don't have any ceremony pictures just yet because it's frowned upon to take pictures while standing up in front of everyone as part of the wedding party but I assure you it was magical. 

A few more pictures then it was time for dinner. Oh and toasts! All three toasts were lovely and I am not sure I have ever laughed so hard at a toast as I did for the best was so creative and witty and all the guests were very impressed. Should I ever need to make a toast in the future I will be asking him for advice. After dinner was dancing time. Now let me tell you, my husband loves to dance. Loves it! So we were out there most of the night tearing up the dance floor with all of our moves. Some of them graceful and impressive, some a bit more silly. My husband danced his tail off...quite literally. He may or may not have left the evening with a tear in his dress pants. 

Don't say he doesn't know how to have a good time! This photo was my husband's idea and I'm not sure my bro-in-law was quite as excited but I'm pretty sure it fills both my sister and I with immense joy that these two men got along so well their first weekend meeting. 

Plus we were together and we are each other's favorite people (shh...don't tell our husbands!)

A sparkler send off concluded the magical evening and we helped load all the cars with all the things before heading back to the hotel. 

Sunday equals another early morning, breakfast at a local spot and lots of hugs, kisses and see you soons to so many of our favorite people before making the long trek home. I've made that drive many times but after such a full weekend, I've got to say it was a bit tougher and required a few extra stops for renewed energy. But as I flopped into bed that evening I was overwhelmed with the joy from the weekend. My cousin is such a special person and she found the most special man to spend her life with, And celebrating that with the people nearest and dearest to me was such a gift. 

Cheers to the newlyweds and the best weekend! 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Big Changes

We got some big news at our house last week....

We are leaving Pennsylvania and headed down to Tennessee! Hubby has been moved into a new position at work that involves relocating down south. I am so very proud of him for this accomplishment in his career. He is the hardest worker and it is so exciting to see that pay off in a big way. 

At the top of the list of amazing things that this move entails are...

1. Being back in the south. Woohoo!! No offense to all of your northerners. We have loved living up here but we are southerners at heart and being back below that Mason-Dixon line is a plus for us. Not to mention we'll be sneaking out of here before any big snows! 

2. Being closer to our families. Being back down south means we are closer to all of our people. While we're still not exactly neighbors, we are exponentially closer to both sets of our parents and siblings as well. Speaking of sister and I have been way far apart for the last, oh 11 years I'd say. Spread out over South Carolina, D.C., Washington (state), Korea, Pennsylvania as we've moved through different seasons. And now, by some miracle we will live in the same state! Cue the excited cheers!! 

There are all kinds of things on this list, but these two are the ones that sit at the top, that make us giddy to get going! 

But while there is a long list of excitement in this opportunity, it is not without a note of bittersweet emotion. We really have loved this area and there is some sadness to leaving it. One of those, the biggest one probably, is that I have been at a great school over the last year. Finding a school community that you love being a part of can be tricky and I lucked out with this one. And It's certainly hard to say goodbye to my kiddos early on in the year. So I'll be cherishing the next few weeks with them as we prepare to make the transition. 

And aside from my job, I am a super sentimental person so I can't help but think of all this house has held for us. This is the first home we shared together. We were standing at this kitchen counter (well the pre-renovation version) when hubby told me he loved me for the first time, on one of my visits up here. We toasted our engagement on that porch. We planned a wedding from this house, and started our life together here. So saying goodbye to it will definitely give me some big feelings.  

But mostly I am so excited for this next chapter for us. Off on a new adventure together. The next month is going to be wild, getting everything together. And there are some challenges, with hubby needing to be in two place at once (both home here and at new job there) but we're going to figure it out together!