Our family is scattered all over God's earth~South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, & Washington (state). I think that's all.
One neat thing this weekend was "de-lurking" some people with respect to my blog. I was sitting next to my grandfather (Big Daddy) and he leaned over and kind of sheepishly said, "I don't know if you know this, but I found your blog." I started laughing. He said he didn't know if I minded. I told him that no, that was fine. It's a good way for him to keep up with our family! It's just always kind of funny when I discover someone else who reads my blog. I also found out that 2 of my cousins, Angela & Andy, also read it. I think maybe I had an idea that they did, but they actually "admitted" it this weekend. I told them I was going to "de-lurk" them, so.....come out of hiding guys and leave a comment!!!!!!!! :-)
Okay, here goes. I will try to relate the events of our weekend. (Also, for some reason blogger doesn't always recognize my hard returns, so it sometimes looks like my post is one big paragraph. UGH! That is blogger's fault-not mine!)
Thursday, we went to Atlanta to spend the night with my parents. It's the first 3 hours of the trip, so it was nice to get those out of the way in one evening so the next day's drive was shorter. Friday, we got up and headed out about 8:30. My parents rode with us. After about a 4 hour drive and lunch at McDonald's, we arrived in Huntsville at my grandparent's (Big Mother & Big Daddy) house. No other family besides my grandparents were there yet. Katie & Gracie had the best time in their backyard playing with 3 little plastic chairs that Big Mother had bought at a garage sale for 50 cents for all 3. They "made" a pirate ship as well as a secret hideout which was located in the corner of the yard beneath some bushes. Gracie was the queen. I'm not sure who Katie was! After awhile, Gracie decided she wanted a break to read so she settled down on the back porch with one of Big Mother's books.
Shortly after this happened, my brother (Josh) and his family (Beth, Ann Elise, & Morgan) arrived. Gracie called out to Ann Elise and they both ran to each other-then they stopped. It was so funny. When they got to each other it was like they didn't know what to do so they hesitated but then they finally hugged. After that, it was non-stop playtime for the 4 cousins. I'm really thankful that my brother has 2 girls so close in age to my girls. They're all almost exactly 22 months apart-Gracie is July 2000, Ann Elise is May 2002, Katie is March 2004, and Morgan is February 2006! They played & played in the secret hideout and enjoyed having Pappy pull them in the garden wagon. We laughed & laughed at baby Morgan who has the funniest facial expressions. Not long after that, my uncle Joe (father of the groom & my mom's brother) arrived with my cousin Andy (not Joe's son) and his wife, Jodi. They had been over at the church decorating and came over for just a few minutes. Right after they got there, my Uncle Bobby (actually my mom's uncle-Big Mother's brother) arrived with Aunt Laynette (a.k.a. "Bob & Nette.")
We visited for awhile then went to check into the hotel. Honestly, I can't remember for sure what we did for the rest of the afternoon, but I think I took a nap and I think the girls went next door to play with Grammer & Pappy and Ann Elise. Maybe Morgan too-I really can't remember! That night, we had the rehearsal dinner at the church at 7:30. Once there, we got to see yet more family. Beth (mother of the groom); Tony & Jeannie (my aunt & uncle-mom's brother); Angela (my cousin) & her husband, Monty; Alex (my cousin) & his girlfriend, Amber; Austin (my cousin); David (my mom's cousin) & his wife, LeAnne, and their son, Layton; Joel (my cousin & the groom) & his now wife, Ashley; Jon (my cousin) & his wife, Laura, and their son Jay. The rehearsal dinner was fun-GREAT food-and a slide show with pictures of the bride & groom. The bride's dad had sung the song "Butterfly Kisses" which played along to her pictures. It was so sweet!
After the rehearsal dinner, we stayed around for quite awhile and talked & talked. It was really fun to get to spend time with these family members who we hardly ever get to see. I wish we all saw each other more often!
Saturday morning, most of us met for breakfast at a place called "Little Rosie's." It was really good. Then, a lot of us went back to my grandparent's house where we sat around & visited while the kids played. It was really neat for Gracie & Katie and Ann Elise to get to play with Layton. He is only a few months younger than Gracie although he's actually the son of my mom's cousin. (So, does that make him Gracie's 3rd cousin.....1st cousin twice removed......2nd cousin?!?!?!) They've probably only met once or twice, so it was fun to watch them becoming friends. After a little bit, some of us decided to go bowling which was a lot of fun. I didn't actaully bowl, but I got to visit a lot which was nice. I guess there were about 15-18 of us there. Even the groom came by for a little bit.
We then went back to my grandparent's house where she & Aunt Nette had prepared tons of food. We ate lunch then headed back to the hotel for Katie Boo to take a nap. Well, Chris & I too! Gracie went next door with Ann Elise & Morgan to Grammer & Pappy's room to play. The wedding wasn't until 7:00 so late afternoon, we started getting ready for that.
Both Joel & Ashley's families attend Mayfair where the wedding took place. I guess Ashley's family has been there for awhile. I guess Joe & Beth (Joel's parents) have been there for a shorter time although they had been there a long time ago too and came back at some point after living in Atlanta & Montgomery. Anyway, I guess Joel & Ashley's paths had never really crossed until they both went to the lake with their parents last Labor Day (2006) and happened to meet. Their parents had known each other for a long time. I don't know if the plan-on the part of their parents-was to "set them up," but essentially they did when they introduced them.
The wedding was absolutely beautiful! Joe performed the ceremony, and he did a really great job! It was very God centered. One of the things he read was a letter that Ashley had written in high school. The teacher of the Bible Class had instructed them to write a letter to their future mate, even though they didn't know who it was at the time. Her family had searched for the letter and found it. It was so sweet to hear the things she had written at such a young age about the future mate she was hoping God would lead her to find.
The bridesmaids' dresses were black, then they had these bright flowers with the dominant color being a hot pink. The bouquets "popped" so much against the dresses. Ashley is such a pretty girl, and the facial expressions she made during the ceremony were precious. She just kept looking at Joel and making these excited faces and winking at him. It was just really cute-you could tell that she was having so much fun and was so happy to be marrying him!
The reception was a dessert reception with lots & lots of sweets. It was pretty yummy! Here is Gracie, trying to decide what wish to write down for Joel & Ashley. My aunt Beth is so thoughtful & creative in that she had prepared a "children's table" at both the rehearsal dinner & the reception! We enjoyed more time visiting with family during the reception, and Gracie even got the bouquet! It was so funny! I was taking a picture of Ashley and just happened to turn around in time to see that Gracie had apparently run for it when it was thrown! A little competitive side came out! One of the bridesmaids actually officially got it, but she gave it to Gracie. I guess because she'd put in such a good effort!
After the reception, some of us decided to get some "real" food since we'd ingested so much sugar earlier. We each picked something up to go and went back to the hotel lobby where we sat around and ate & talked some more. The girls were in their pj's and had a great time!
We left early yesterday morning after eating a light breakfast at my grandparent's house. We drove for about 7-8 hours with a stop in Atlanta to drop off my parents. We were-and still are-very tired, but it was a fun trip. I look forward to seeing all of my family again and treasure the time we got to spend together.
I don't know if my "captions" will line up with my pictures, but I'm going to try!
My cousin, Jon, Laura & baby Jay.My family minus the kids. My uncle Tony & aunt Jeannie with their children, their spouses & girlfriend.
Mom with her 2 "little" brothers, Joe & Tony.My cousin, Alex, with Amber.My cousin, Andy with Jodi.My cousin, Angela, with Monty.Uncle Bobby (my mom's uncle), Aunt Nette, my mom's cousin, David, LeAnne, & Layton.visiting on Saturday. My brother, Josh, and his wife, Beth are 2 of the ones in this picture.