Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wedding Woos (Original blog date: August 20, 2013)

One small step for man, one giant leap for Lindsay Ann. I MADE IT TO MAUI!

Brakes. Lets back up.

I got married to the love of my life on Sunday, August 4th!

Oh wait…let’s back up a little more actually.

My dearest lovely sister, Christy (whatupswags), cleared her whole schedule in order to spend the last two weeks before my wedding with me! I am forever grateful for the time she gave me, since her time in America on her summers is always of a limited amount. She cooked for me, cleaned for me, and made me laugh. She helped me move, she helped me with wedding to-dos, and she kept me sane through the whole process.

Some crazy good memories from that time include:
  • The deliciousness of cooking food from savory to sweet, including bomb dot com authentic French crepes. C’est magnifique!
  • Romping around Southern California giving her French tutor, Monique. An experience of a lifetime for her 65th birthday present.
  • Knowing what it feels like to have my very own Personal Assistant. FYI: It feels good!
  • Doing the historical walking tour of Bankers Hill, complete with crossing over the Spruce Street suspension bridge! Dun dun dun….

 There were very good times to say the least.

Then, once upon a Friday afternoon, she threw the most amazing bachelorette party I could have ever asked for! It was perfect for me! The cherry on top should’ve been the surprise massage at the salon we spent all day at, but the cherry on top actually ended up being the fact that I was able to spend time with all of my favorite girl friends at one time in one place. That meant the world to me! It was such a beautiful picture for me to see them interact with each other. Sigh….

I’ve never actually had my nails done before, so the French tip manicure I got and a somewhat relaxing pedicure was also very bomb dot com.

Although, I feel the Pedicurist should be obligated to give a briefing before they let me sit in the chair the next time. No one told me if I would move my feet it would make the water jets hit my airborne foot at the exact angle to spray the poor poor Pedicurist with water. Twice on her clothes. Once on her face. I apologized profusely through giggling.

I don’t think I ever want to get a pedicure again, though. Not because of that. But because, during that whole pedicure, I had the lovely company of Miss Sarah Baddeley beside me giving me comedic entertainment. No pedicure could ever be that good and entertaining again. Unless, Sarah, you want to come with me every time. My experience with pedicures has peaked too soon.

The night was topped off with scrumptiousness and a heaping order of laughter from Buca di Beppo and then French Angelina’s homemade hot chocolate (literally: “hot” “chocolate”. There ain’t no water involved in this hot chocolate!). Not to mention more delicious French crepes and a slumber party at the new house!

The next day, Saturday, was the day of our rehearsal. Oh Golly Gee Willikers, when did time travel so fast?! This day seemed to always be so far away in the future and now…. It. Was. Here!

It seems like every monumental moment of my life involves Taco Bell. If not, I at least wish it did. Birthdays, moving days, every day (hehe), Honeymoon days, you-name-it days! (Side note: I knew Justin and I were soul mates for many reasons, one being the fact that his favorite place to eat is ALSO Taco Bell.)

So, rightly so, we had Taco Bell to kick off our Saturday with a bang! Then…(must read the following in a very dramatic tone)…we arrived at THE MANSION.

We at least got a briefing here. Obviously not a good enough one, though, because we somehow managed to drain the Jacuzzi….

The day carried on for me with eager anticipation. Marc would arrive soon. My parents would arrive soon. Justin would arrive soon. The groomsmen and his parents would arrive soon. And all my family would arrive soon for the rehearsal dinner. 

My stomach was a meeting place for all the butterflies around.

It is impossible for me to describe my gratefulness to all of those people. They are all such BEAUTIFUL people and it truly was the most beautiful picture for me to see everyone in one place together. Throughout the past few weeks, Justin and I have had multitudes of conversations about how much we love all of those people and how blessed we are to have them in our lives.

The rehearsal dinner was "c'est parfait!" and we had "haystacks" due to my request. Yay! And my Uncle Mike made a term for seconds: "restacking." There was fruit galore. Always makes me happy. And Magic Bars, which taste exactly how they sound...magical. And Justin’s dad’s speech…oh me oh my! I am joining such a lovely Christian family. I am truly blessed!

The night dwindled down into quiet chaos for me, Miss Bride-To-Be. But it ended hilariously…. This is why people shouldn’t let Bride-To-Be’s do two things at once! 

I started a bath in the master bath tub that could probably hold 6+ of me. Then I decided I wanted to say goodnight to all of my lovelies while I waited for the bath to fill up. I should’ve known better…I can’t say goodnight to eight people I love in less than fifteen minutes the night before I’m married! I came back probably a mere thirty minutes later only to find the bath tub completely full! Good thing we were at THE MANSION because they have an anti-overflow feature in the tub, which it definitelywas utilizing…. Nothing like comic relief right before you go to bed after a stressful day.

Bghrrrr. Bghrrrr. Bghrrrr. (My best attempt at putting the sound of my phone vibrating into words). Holy jeepers creepers, it’s Sunday! I scurried to get ready for the pre-wedding brunch hosted by my bell of the ball, Aunt Wanda! Best breakfast restaurant I have ever eaten at! Servings were HUGE, food was DELECTABLE, presentation was ARTISTIC, prices were GOOD, atmosphere was PERFECT! What more could you ask for? Penfold’s CafĂ© in Temecula. Go. My waffle showed up with a crown of whipped cream on it. Enough said. Go.

I will leave out the next few hours up until I get ready since I made a huge mistake and lost track of time and it made me start getting ready TWO hours late. I have NO clue how that happened since I usually am so well with time management. 

My favorite moment during that time, though, was when I went to go visit the horse in the stable at THE MANSION. I was so focused on my goal of sweet talking the horse to come over to me so I could rub it’s nose that I didn’t notice the goat who came immediately to the fence to greet me…by trying to EAT MY BRUNCH DRESS! He got a hold of it and yanked it, making me almost fall into the fence. It was hilarious. And still is, only because he didn’t ruin my dress.

Christy and Allison. The two that stayed with me while I frantically and stressfully got ready. It felt so right to have them there, despite my scurrying around, if not around the room, then in my mind.. And my mother sent food up to my room: cheesy on Homer and Betty’s famous white bread and also a bowl full of watermelon. Memories.

We summoned my mother and Aunt Denise up to the room to help me get on my dress and take pictures. It was such a beautiful moment. And it felt so right to be finished getting ready and to be prepared to finally marry Justin! I have never had one doubt about being with him. There has always been such peace and comfort…. It has made me feel very assured the whole time through our relationship because I knew God had given him to me.

Then I was supposed to see him. Christy was prepping me. She sent everyone out of the room and was about to go herself when she took one last look at me and I lost it. It wasn’t a bad “lose it.” It was a good one, if that is possible.  I’d been so overwhelmed with happiness, good tears started spilling out. But they aren’t “good tears” when they mess up your freshly done makeup! Once she got me to pull it together like only a sister can, I saw the love of my life. In our wedding clothes.  Can’t write about this because words can’t express a moment like that.

The public appearances began and the camera flashes came rapidly. I had to suck it up and try with all my might to not be awkward in front of the camera. Worked about 85% of the time, which is good odds for me. (Sarah, see me later to see the awkward pictures!)

Weddings are expensive, so buying things last minute is never a good idea. But. I bought a “prop” about a week before the wedding. And it was expensive. But it was SO worth it. I justified buying it by telling myself it is worth it because I know wedding pictures will stress me out and this will be a way to decompress and get rid of the stress at that time. I bought a parachute. Not the kind you jump out of the sky with. The kind you play with when you’re a little kid in a gymnastics gym. The big red, yellow, green, and blue parachute with handles around the outside. We ran through it, twirled under it, kissed beneath it, and played with it like we were children again. Stress release. Check.

The day was beautiful. Nothing could ruin it for me. I was braced to have something go wrong. I had heard horror stories, or at least stories where music wouldn’t start or you trip on your dress or stumble on your words. But no. Nothing ruined the day. I may be biased. Actually, I know I’m biased, but me and Justin’s wedding was perfect! Nothing went wrong. It was the best day of my life. Justin’s too. And my mom admitted hers too. : )

Having most all of your favorite people in one spot at one time is such a rare occurrence. Of course we couldn’t have everyone there, since we both come from different hometowns and have friends and family throughout the country, but everyone who could come definitely is in the category of me and Justin’s favorite people. And to see them all together…on a night like that…was ___________. No word can best describe how I felt. If you see me in person, I can do a motion that best explains it where I sigh and have a thankful look on my face and my hands over my heart. Other than that, I have no way of expressing how much it meant to me. I can’t wait to watch back our wedding video and be able to relive this day whenever I want!

Some highlights and moments I never want to forget (besides the ones I’ve already mentioned!):
  • Seeing my bridesmaids for the first time, looking as beautiful as ever and hugging all of them!
  • Taking fun pictures together with my extremely photogenic bridesmaids.
  • Seeing Christy, Marc, Jeremy, and everyone else step it up like it was no one’s business!
  • Hugging Justin’s parents in the kitchen when they first saw me.
  • Aunt Denise explaining to me through tears how she put one of Grandpa’s tie clips in my bouquet on one of the stems.
  • Seeing our parents dressed up so beautifully and handsome!
  • Taking a picture with all of my aunts.
  • Gnawing on a loaf of bread in a room with Justin, Christy, and Marc before the wedding.
  • All the bridesmaids deciding we should have prayer before the wedding starts. So I made everyone hold hands, which Sarah knew I would say, and Pooky prayed for us and made me cry. Best part about it is that we were cramped in the little laundry room for some reason doing this.
  • Pooky helping me fix my makeup.
  • Finding out Sarah was ALSO Nebula from Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century for Halloween one year when we were in junior high before we ever met. CLASSIC. PRICELESS!
  • Playing the copying-singing game with all of the bridesmaids as we copy-sung at the top of our lungs to the song Christy was making up and rolling on the floor in hysterical laughter.
  • Peaking out one of the bathroom windows of THE MANSION to see who was seated at the ceremony already. Seeing a couple arrive I haven’t seen since I was little, trying to figure out who they were, and realized it was Michael and Julie Moskus! I started crying because I was so happy and it was so sweet of them to come!
  • Deciding it was time to go downstairs. The heard of butterflies came back.
  • Christy helping me figure out how to walk in the long grass at THE MANSION. Just a “toe flick.” Piece of cake! How does she seem to know EVERYTHING?!
  • Losing it again, but Diane came to my rescue with creating a copying-singing song again! But having to "whisperrr it because there are peopleeeee outside nowwww." So perfect! Thank you, D!
  • Watching everyone all lined up in front and waiting for me and my daddy to enter. Letting him know we’d walk down to “Edelweiss,” the song he would always sing to me growing up in my room to help me go to sleep at night.
  • Only keeping my eyes on Justin as I walked down the aisle.
  • Realizing the netting of my dress was caught on my sandal’s buckle right after I got to the top of the mound at the ceremony and thinking “oh crap, how am I going to be able to walk to the unity candle table?!” I ended up going big. I really went for it for when I walked to that table. You bet I did. Haha. I tried to move that foot in gigantic steps in order to try to release it from the netting without having to bend down to do it (tacky!). VoilĂ . Worked!
  • Looking around at the people we love. Glancing back at my bridesmaids standing there to support me.
  • Justin having to re-light the unity candle that burned out with the Bunsen-burner-like lighter, aka: the  TORCH.
  • Justin and I realizing our hands were super sweaty the whole time and trying not to laugh or talk about it during the ceremony.
  • Crying when we said our vows. Christy handing me a kleenex from her bouquet, but then not knowing what to do with it and almost stuffed it in my dress, but realized that wouldn't be socially acceptable, so I just made Justin take it. Hehe.
  • Justin not being able to put my wedding ring on because I have such strange fingers.
  • Sometimes noticing Jeremy behind Justin’s head and smiling with him.
  • Exiting the ceremony with such a happy “lightness” about it all! I felt like I was on cloud 9. Probably because I was. Probably cloud 10. Cloud a million!
  • Taking a moment with Justin to let it all sink in. Kissing a lot.
  • Seeing all the bridesmaids and groomsmen walking in together figure out what they were going to “do.”
  • Entering the reception and seeing it all look exactly like I wanted it to and being completely happy!
  • Loving the music we chose!
  • My favorite part of the whole reception: Uncle Doug’s portion about unity and going around to light people’s candles. Hugging Grandma after it.
  • Racing Justin to finish the crossword first and winning, which wasn’t fair, because I helped my mom make it, but laughing because Justin knew all of the answers except where HE was born! And him finding out it was Springdale only because Laurie came over and immediately said, “I didn’t know you were born in Springdale!”
  • Seeing the complete cake design. Took my breath away!
  • Eating the delicious food!
  • Kissing A LOT.
  • Being waited on like it was nobody’s business!
  • Looking at the stars.
  • Having people I love come up to us to tell us congratulations and feeling overwhelmed with happiness seeing so many special to me all at one time.
  • Taking it all in.
  • Finding out the groomsmen adjusted their ties every time Pastor Jeff said the word “love.” Hysterical! Props to Beanz. Can’t wait to see the video!
  • Hugging my Grandma, my Great Aunt Wanda, and Justin’s Grandma Rasmussen at the reception.
  • Hugging my cousin James.
  • Laughing watching Castwell dance with my mom and Aunt Daphne dancing with Diane.
  • Seeing the bridal party have so much fun together, doing little dances to music, and taking pictures together.
  • Having all of our siblings together. I love you Christy, Marc, Jodi, and Jeremy! Justin and I are very lucky!
  • Telling Beth there is a meteor shower going on and she said she and Brad saw a shooting star!
  • Jeremy singing The Gift of Love.
  • Matt Chancey playing our song and making us laugh.
  • The toasts. Laugh. Cry. Laugh. Cry. Smile.
  • Sarah and I immediately looking at each other when You and I by Ingrid Michaelson came on.
  • Justin singing my song to me. Jeremy helping me get a seat front and center, near Aunt Denise. Crying when I realized he added a new verse about soaring around the world together and holding on tight to each other. The photographer whispering to me to look behind me during the song so I could notice everyone had lit their candles again and were swaying back and forth.
  • So glad we chose to add in sparkling apple cider with toasting glasses last minute.
  • Justin and I cutting the cake and having no clue how to do it.
  • The beetle bug being in all the cake cutting pictures in my dress. Becca bringing it to my attention. Me freaking out holding onto Justin. Trying to figure out which layer of netting it was caught in. Jeremy finally grabbing it with his fingers and throwing it on the grass. What a man. What a man….
  • Castwell and Alex being bosses with the sound and flashlights for people.
  • Seeing Carrie and taking an LOL2 reunion picture!
  • Hugging all my friends and family whom I cherish so deeply!
  • Castwell making it a point to say goodbye for me before he had to run to the airport.
  • Throwing the bouquet and massively sucking at it. Regretted not practicing it off the balcony beforehand. Massive fail of a toss. Hit the roof and fell straight down. But, yay, Sam grabbed it! Feel like that was fate because she won the "toilet paper bride" contest at my bridal shower…it only made sense to get the bouquet to go with the dress!
  • Justin being silly before he got the garter. He stinking at tossing it as well. I’d really recommend "engagees" to practice these things! It went right behind him and Jeremy grabbed it off the ground with the guys chanting at him to get it. Ardy and the guys put Jeremy on their shoulders cheering for him.
  • Spending time with Michael and Julie. Getting a picture with them, Justin, and Christy.
  • The night not feeling long enough to spend time with everyone.
  • Going inside to get ready to exit through the sparklers. Marc organizing things and leaving, then showing right back up to give us a sweet funny hug and to tell us he loves us!
  • Seeing all the sparklers light up down the row for us!
  • Opening the big doors of THE MANSION to walk down the sparkler tunnel. Dip kissing in the middle.
  • Falling down the patio step. Twice.
  • Finding Mom, Dad, and Christy to hug goodbye.
  • Realizing the whole car was filled with balloons, amongst other things. And trying to get all the balloons out before we drove away.
  • Driving down the road and stopping along the side to look at the stars.
  • Realizing Castwell used Justin’s phone to take pictures and videos for us all night, so we were able to watch them before we went to bed.
  • Ordering room service because we were starving.
Those were my favorite moments. And I’m sure I forgot plenty of others I will want to add to the list for my memories also. Everything went so seamlessly and perfect. It was the most beautiful day of my life and I feel so blessed and fortunate for these sacred memories I will always be able to hold on to. God has truly blessed Justin and I. We are so lucky.

Screech. Now fast forward to Maui. Yes, MAUI! Excuse me while I go splash water in my face, pinch my cheeks, and do a happy dance, because are you freaking kidding me?! Did I really get to go to MAUI?!?!

The “Just Maui’d” adventures will be included in the next blog. But I want to end with this thought:

One of the mornings there, I was doing my devotions outside on the porch in between birding. Yes, birding. I would now consider myself a “Birder.” And proud of it. But...a bad birder. A beginner birder. A BABY BIRDER! Eeeee!

Anyway, I was reading in 2 Corinthians where Paul refers to heaven as “paradise.” Just moments before I was doing my devotions, I was journaling and wrote about how Maui is definitely paradise to me! The most beautiful place I have ever seen with my eyes! Maui has literally everything I could possibly ever want in a place to live. I realized I had written about Maui being paradise, but Paul wrote about heaven being paradise. It made me realize, that Maui may be man’s paradise, but Maui probably isn’t even CLOSE to what God considers paradise! Such a beautiful thought.

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