Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shelly and Patrick's Wedding

Photo by: Finest Moments
We had been waiting for this since April of last year.  The baby was getting married!  We knew it was going to be the ultimate party and we were not disappointed.  The wedding weekend started on Thursday with cousins flying into different airports at different times to stay with us.  D was pumped for our house guests.  He really gave Andy's cousin an idea of what it is like to have a toddler, he followed him everywhere!  I found him in the morning dreamily watching Tyson brush his teeth.  Needless to say D was quite the host: holding hands, playing music and providing endless entertainment/surveillance to our guests.

Photo by: Finest Moments
Rehearsal - Shelly wanted a Downtown wedding and that is what she got!  The rehearsal dinner was at Lola's.  We love Michael Symon and love The B Spot.  I made sure to thank Patrick's dad since Andy and I don't go fancy places and that may have been our only chance!  The food was AMAZING!  Patrick's mom did a slide show perfectly matching up childhood photos of our two lovebirds.  (Shelly in a football uniform, then Patrick in his.  Shelly with a suitcase when she was little, followed by her packed for college.)  We were all crying!  East 4th Street in Cleveland is hip and happenin' and we were in the middle of all the action.  While we were dining on delicious food the out of town guests were a couple doors down at The Corner Alley.  We of course grabbed some friends and cousins and made a few other stops around town before turning in.  Shelly (and Patrick too) planned everything perfect so it was all within walking distance.

Gettin' Ready - We awoke early to start the beauty process.  Now when I got married Shelly and I went to the salon got hair and makeup then ate at Swenson's while the other maids did their own thing.  It's a whole new world now!  We all met in a suite in the hotel and everything came to us.  Everything at our fingertips: Hair, makeup, food and Andy even came to visit!  It was so nice to relax and watch them turn Shelly into a princess and us into movie stars!  ("Movie stars" was a direct quote from an actual guest!)  Our floor length one shoulder black gowns flattered every body type.  Our flowers slapped you in the face and screamed, "Its summer time — let's party!"  I was so nervous as the clock approached 2:00pm I felt like I was getting married again!  I was relieved that Shelly's new SIL felt the same jitters I did.
We make that porta-potty look good!  

Ceremony - The church was a stunning catholic cathedral in the heart of downtown.  The long cobblestone isle was nerve-racking but Andy met me halfway and we made it with no problem.  I don't know if it was the church, the music, Shelly being the baby but as soon as the doors shut and the music played the tears ran down my face!  (I wasn't alone that's for sure.)  It was a beautiful ceremony and they both looked so over the moon in love.  When we exited the church, our little prince awaited us.  We didn't trust he'd stay quiet during the service so my very generous parents drove him up just for pictures, then back to the sitter and then they came back up for the reception.  With the attitude he had during pictures this was definitely the best choice!  While around town for photos our bus broke down needing a jump from the photographers and I ran into an old coworker.  Both making excellent stories!

Reception - It was at the Marriott where we were all staying.  The room was stunning!  Long white sheets with lights behind, family wedding photos as you entered (We did this too, shout out to those who showed you what love is!), beautiful flowers, everything was perfect.  Nervous about our wedding party intro, Andy ended up carrying me like a baby.  Shelly did the most selfless thing a bride can do — she gave up her spotlight!  Oldest sister Kim had a beach wedding and missed getting to dance with her dad.  Shelly shocked them both by giving them their own father/daughter dance.  Kim looked like she had won Miss America.  It was by far one of the sweetest things I've ever witnessed.  Anyone who had not cried by this point during the day was now.  

On a lighter note my Akron born and bred brother-in-law requested and performed David Allen Coe's "You never even call me by my name".  He did it at our wedding which my first response was, "Why the hell does Mike D have a microphone??"  It quickly became my favorite wedding tradition!  Andy has pulled it off at a couple of our friends' weddings, it's always a crowd pleaser.  I had been doing the Insanity workout leading up to the wedding but I did not get the ripped bod I hoped for but it did help my endurance on the dance floor.  I couldn't stop!  I didn't even stop for cake.  I kept thinking I'll never dance at Shelly's wedding again.  I HATED to see this night end, even staying up until 3am trying to make it last forever.  Which caught up with me on Sunday and the numerous times I found myself crying at the thought of our little sis being married!
"I was drunk the day my Ma got out of prison..."

Chef Ralston 
Sunday BBQ - If you are coming into town the Hargrove's make it worth the trip!  We did a clambake after our wedding and Shelly had a Caribbean BBQ for their Dominican send off.  My brother-in-law made jerk chicken, a family friend made an amazing white bbq sauce, Kim's world famous coconut rice and corn souffle.  It was so nice to be able to continue the celebration for one more day.  Our cousins had their babies in town so we got to finally meet them and have them play with our babies.  I was happy to get to talk to with everyone since it was hard to catch up on the dance floor!  I thought it took long for us to leave Andy's parents after a normal Sunday supper, well it's nothing compared to have 50 extra family members to kiss (not on the mouth, thats for another post and I'm happy to say Patrick sides with me on this) and hug.  It was so bittersweet.  This Texas family embraced me the moment they met me (which was when I was already engaged to their precious Andy, we moved quickly) and I hate we don't get to see them more often.  Someone else needs to get married ASAP!

We love you Shelly and Patrick! 
Thank you for having the awesomest wedding ever!

D & Tyson

Monday, July 1, 2013

Spring Review

The first of many wedding shenanigans this season
Spring was packed with baseball games and fun.  This year was D's 3rd opening day and it was interesting.  All of a sudden he does not like clapping or fireworks.  Anytime the crowd went wild he ran into the bathroom crying.  We've been up a few times since and he's getting better.  He loves to come out to the balcony to dance to the walkup songs.  His personal favorite is Michael Brantley's.  Andy got to leave his mark at Jacob's Field, the family room girls asked him to leave his handprint on the wall like the other players children.  Andy's is slightly larger than the rest!

My grandpa celebrated his 80th birthday right before I celebrated my 30th.  What I thought was going to be my "dirty thirty" ended up being an "uneventful thirty".  It was spent over Swenson's cheeseburgs and our DVR.  My grandma gave me a letter my mom wrote to her after I was born.  It was so neat to read.  She wrote about how much my dad loved me and I would not want for much, and that is still true to this day!  (He just washed my car last time I was home.)  I always heard you are never done raising your kids and I am so glad my parents haven't!  Andy took me to supper in Kent that weekend to a restaurant owned by a family I use to work for, The Bistro on Main.  The food was as good as I remembered but the city was not how we left it in 2006.  The development of downtown of Kent is amazing!  We were shocked and it made our love and pride for Kent even stronger.

My sweet Aunt Sally
One wedding down and all my bridal showers are over.  I have one more bachelorette to go this week.  We will be so bored come fall!  The first wedding was of high school friends of mine.  It was so good seeing everyone, it was like 1998 homecoming again!  Shelly's bachelorette day long extravaganza was last weekend.  We had so much fun starting at the spa, dress fittings, dinner at Bar Louie and going out in downtown Cleveland.  It took a few days for this old lady to recover but I wouldn't change a thing.

D's in a big boy bed!

Other than my New Orleans trip we did some light travel to central Ohio.  My beautiful cousin Courtney graduated so we went down for her party.  We were able to visit with our Lancaster family and see my Aunt Sally who's been battling pancreatic cancer.  Made a stop to visit with our Hollow Rock friends and their twins.  We went for Jeni's Ice Cream, I was happy it lived up to the hype.  It was a quick trip but totally worth it.  Now on with the summer of love and our 3 other weddings!!

In the family room at the Jake
Shelly and her sisters and her sister-in-laws as bookends