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Saturday, April 23, 2011

I am not even ashamed to admit it.

That I am currently watching the William & Kate Lifetime movie.

And I am kind of enjoying it.

Mr LikesIt, on the other hand, has been banished to the bedroom after one too many snarky comments in his terrible British accent.  Yes, it's cheesy (the movie, but the accent really is as well), but it's so kitsch I just can't help myself.  

Just a few more days ...

POST EDIT:  I take it back. The last two minutes were so beyond beyond that it ruined the whole thing for me.  I know Lifetime took some liberties but jeebs, that was just bone-gratingly awful.   BOO LIFETIME AND AWFUL CGI SUNSETS! BOOOOOOO! (Besides, I watched the Barbara Walters special and I know that's not now it really happened.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seaside Ever After: The Arrival

I cannot imagine a better time to go on a vacation to the beach when it is cold, icy, and grey in the Midwest.  We left for our Seaside mini-moon on a dreary St Louis day.  By the time we arrived in Florida, it was 30+ degrees warmer and blindingly sunny.  Nope, no complaints here.

The only bad thing about the trip to Seaside is the travel.  We spent approximately three hours actually in the air to get to Panama City's new airport, yet it was an eight-hour process from point A to B.  I dislike flying for this reason.  You hurry up to get to the airport, stand in line to check your bag, stand in line to get through security, wait at the gate, stand in line to board, stand in line to de-plane, stand in line at baggage ... it's a whole lot of waiting and not a lot of movement.  I dislike that someone else is in control of your destiny, so to speak.  Flying feels a lot like being herded around.  At least there are lots of places to get coffee.  Airport water will cost you eleventy billion dollars, but a tall coffee and a trashy magazine is a combo I can get behind.

Needless to say, by the time we arrived in Panama City, we were anxious to just get to where we were going.  Picking up our car and luggage was painless (the Enterprise associate was awesome!), and we were giddy as kids on spring break.  Most of the 30-minute drive was spent reminiscing about the spring breaks we took in college, actually.

 Yes, those are my sunglasses. 

 Wheeeeeee road trip!

Arriving in Seaside was like a dream.  It was just before sunset, and the town was hopping.  Seaside sits on about a two-mile stretch of beach in the Panhandle of Florida.  It was founded in 1981 and developed by the same person who created New Town in St Charles, MO.  It's a perfect little place.  The Saturday we arrived happened to be a town-festival, so it was crowded to the brim.  We had a little trouble initially finding the rental offices, and after a long day of travel, both Mr LikesIt and I had short fuses.  Traveling together is a good test of a relationship, I think.  We got through it, needless to say.  

Our cottage was on the upper level of one of the buildings in the town square.  We dropped off our bags and ran around the two-level condo like kids.  We used Cottage Rental Agency to find the place (dubbed "Above the Crowd"), and it was absolutely perfect.

 We walked in to find a bottle of wine and a cute little Seaside gift bag.  We like free stuff.

I have an obsession with window seats.  It had not been listed among the condo features, so it was a surprise bonus for me.

One thing that had been a must-have when we were booking a place to go was a hot tub.

Ours was in an open-air little patio, completely private, and perfect for the somewhat chilly evenings.  We also had a steam shower, so hot tubbing and saunas made it feel like a mini spa.

After a long day of travel, I think any sort of accommodations would have been incredibly appealing, but these were above and beyond what we had expected.  We were directly over the town square, which was hopping with a free concert and festival.  All of the restaurants were also supporting a "Dining for Dogs" charity for a local rescue, which gave me the warm and fuzzies.  We had eaten light all day, so dinner was top priority after the tour of the condo.  


We didn't have to go far, luckily.  Crush, a seafood and tapas restaurant, was just downstairs on the square.  It may have been the fact that we were starved, but it was one of the best meals ever.  Delicious wine, fresh sushi, amazing crabcakes ... I even tried scallops.  Turns out, I like them.

 BLT wedge salad.  Yummmmmmmmmm.

Our first day was long and somewhat stressful.  Airports and plane flights always make me feel frazzled, slightly disoriented, and kind of gross.  The amazing dinner at Crush (followed by gelato at Heavenly on the other side of the square) entirely made up for it.  It was the perfect start to the trip.

Within an hour of being in Seaside, Mr LikesIt and I were completely relaxed and de-stressed and on full vacation mode.  Less than one day there, and we were pretty sure we never wanted to leave. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Let's Fall in Love: Mr and Mrs!

After we exchanged rings and shared a kiss, we turned to face the congregation.    The church erupted into cheers and applause. 

Pastor Radtke presented us for the first time as Mr and Mrs.
Joy was written all over our faces.

We shared another quick kiss as the first notes of the Wedding March began to play, and walked back down the aisle as husband and wife.

Another one of those moments when we forgot we weren't all alone. 


Mr LikesIt and his new Mrs (!!!) slipped downstairs to wait in the cry room while the bridal party and the guests processed out.  We shared a lovely, quiet moment together amongst all the noise and shuffle upstairs.  I wrote about it here

Meanwhile ...

Parents and grandparents followed before the rest of the guests.

I love this photo of my parents.  Thirty-five years and counting.


Mr LikesIt and I waited downstairs, basking in the glow while the church emptied.  Bmaid Katie was delegated the task of lining up the wedding party and guests on the steps of the church to prepare for a confetti-filled grand exit.  After a short time warp downstairs (five minutes? ten? how long does it take 165 people to shuffle out of a church?), Mr LikesIt helped carry my train as I navigated back up the narrow nasement stairs and prepare to have one more big moment.

Next up, all the flutterfetti a girl could hope for.


In case you missed it ...
I bought a dress and completely changed it.  We had a marathon final week of engagement.  I giggled my way through our rehearsal.  Mr LikesIt got grilled at our rehearsal dinner.  The groomsmen ran amok in downtown Springfield. The girls got gorgeous.  We exchanged mushy wedding-day gifts.  The guys got fancy and then got dancy.  I became a Bride.  There was a first First Look. I shared my Somethings.  The boys made the most of trolley-time. And did their thing on the Capital grounds. The girls took photos at the hotel. Everyone arrived at the church. We walked down the aisle. We declared our intentions and my cousin preached. We exchanged our vows. Our hands were blessed. Rings were placed upon them, and Mr LikesIt kissed his bride.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Let's Fall in Love: The Exchange of Rings

Vows were exchanged, readings were read, hands were blessed.  We had spent 22 months looking forward to this, and the wedding ceremony was almost over. Yet, there was still important business to be done.

Nathan called for the rings, which Sean delivered.  Mr LikesIt placed my ring on my finger, completing his vows.
Recieve this ring, as pledge and token of wedded love and faithfulness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

He slid the ring on as best he could.  My nerves manifested themselves in puffy fingers, and I thought for a moment that the rings just wouldn't go on.  Nathan smiled at me and waited for me to push them the rest of the way on.  No faking it in church.

I took Mr LikesIt's ring (didn't drop it, phew!) and placed it on his hand.

 Recieve this ring, as pledge and token of wedded love and faithfulness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

He whispered to me that he loved me, and all I could do was beam at him.  We knelt at the alter together for a final prayer. He put his arm around my waist, and we leaned together with ridiculous smiles on our faces, looking up at the two pastors as they finished the last words of the ceremony.


Now that Kenny and Meagan have committed themselves to each other in holy matrimony, giving themselves to one another by their solemn pledges and declared the same before God and these witnesses, I pronounce them to be husband and wife.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.  What God has brought together, let no one put asunder.  Amen.
And with that, we were married.  MARRIED!

They called for a blessing of all married people and their homes, calling for ours to be a sanctuary and place of peace throughout our married lives. We said the Lord's Prayer together, and returned to our feet.

There was an awkward pause when we weren't sure what we were supposed to do next and just sort of blinked blankly at the pastors.  Then we realized that this was the big moment!  The kiss!  It was not announced (kissing in church?! gasp!) but the pastors nodded for us to proceed.

Mr LikesIt may now kiss his bride!

 
There were over a hundred people sitting in that church watching us.  The room was full of so much love and light and joy.  But in that moment, when we shared our first married kiss, took a deep breath together, and just paused to look in each others' eyes, it was like it was just the two of us. 

 And we're married .... MARRIED!!

In case you missed it ...
I bought a dress and completely changed it.  We had a marathon final week of engagement.  I giggled my way through our rehearsal.  Mr LikesIt got grilled at our rehearsal dinner.  The groomsmen ran amok in downtown Springfield. The girls got gorgeous.  We exchanged mushy wedding-day gifts.  The guys got fancy and then got dancy.  I became a Bride.  There was a first First Look. I shared my Somethings.  The boys made the most of trolley-time. And did their thing on the Capital grounds. The girls took photos at the hotel. Everyone arrived at the church. We walked down the aisle. We declared our intentions and my cousin preached. We exchanged our vows. Our hands were blessed