Photodump: July 4th Friends Beach Trip

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Our friends beach trip tradition began back in May of 2008. We woke up only a few hours after our graduation celebration at TOTS ended, piled ourselves into cars and caravanned down to Myrtle Beach for a week in a tiny, run down three bedroom beach shack filled to the brim with 19 people.

It was the best time.

And so — every year since 2008 — we’ve made our annual pilgramage to the beach with some of our best buds. For the past few years we’ve been going to Nags Head over the 4th of July because fireworks on the beach are hard to beat (as is a free vacation day).

While Thursday was spent celebrating this great country of ours, Friday and Saturday were for the knock down drag out competition of Beach Olympics. Sixteen people, four teams, countless rounds in six different events over two days. Because I love a good excuse to use my tripod, we paused before the final event for some pretty priceless team photos and one last group shot of all the competitors.

The competition was so serious that Commissioner Hugh kept track of it on a complicated scoreboard that hung inside the tent all weekend reminding us to keep our game faces on.

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My team unfortunately had a few tough breaks and did not quite come out on top. But there’s always next year.

Photodump: Troyssie’s Wedding Weekend

While I don’t have pictures of anything really substantial from Jessie and Troy’s wedding, I do have pictures of a herd of mini horses, Jessie getting ready for the big day, and a pitstop at Havre de Grace, MD on the way home after the wedding.

Prepping For Troyssie’s Wedding

This time last week I was in Pennsylvania at Jessie’s childhood home checking off the final to-dos and counting down the hours to Jessie and Troy’s wedding.

I road-tripped up with the happy couple and their pup Dexter, leaving my beloved behind to finish ticking and tying his audit (I don’t know accounting things, but I assume that’s what he was doing). Troy and Dex shared the back seat.

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IMG_0531Our first order of business, according to the three-page check-list the bride was clutching, was to assemble the welcome bags for out-of-town guests’ hotel rooms. In the midst of the operation, however, Jessie’s dad alerted us to a herd of feral mini horses with a bunch of foals down the road. Jessie wasn’t impressed, but I begged enough and off we went to visit the baby horses.

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Back at the ranch, we packed up the groom and the welcome bags and headed a few towns over where the wedding was taking place to run some errands (lunch, tuxes, etc.) and drop some things — and Troy — off at the hotel.

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When Jessie and I returned to her parents’ house, we played with the dogs, went out to dinner, and played with the dogs some more before attempting to get a good night’s sleep (which Jessie failed to get, despite my best efforts not to snore).

Friday morning it was time for nails with Troy’s sisters, nieces and nephew, followed by lunch, reception set-up, ceremony rehearsal, and a beautiful rehearsal dinner.

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Jessie was calm and beautiful all day Saturday. We got our hair and make-up done in the bridal suite, Jessie ate chicken fingers, I cried when her mom and I zipped her into her gown and again when I put her veil on … and again when her dad came in for the first time.

And when we got to the church nice and early as the incredibly organized bride had planned, I had time to go double check a few things in the reception space leftover from the first double-check. I ran across a field barefoot in my bridesmaid dress and glamorous hair and make-up, the sheep in the churchyard baa-ed at me, and it was worth it. After tidying a few details I got to scurry back and share pictures with the anxious (in a good way) bride.

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And she was happy.

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Before I started my walk down the aisle, I turned to Jessie and told her that I love her. The joy between her and her dad in that moment right before the wedding was incredibly sweet.

Jessie and Troy’s ceremony was beautiful, and I was so happy for them that I did the gator later that night at their reception.

 

 

I’ll upload actual pictures from my actual camera sometime soon. Probably.

National Grilled Cheese Day and Two Anniversaries

I never need an excuse to make one of my favorite foods, but I decided to honor National Grilled Cheese Day Friday night with some turkey+pepper jack+honey mustard grilled cheeses. Because we’re classy and we were kicking off our lavish anniversary weekend, we also had champagne (a wedding gift) in our toasting flutes with dinner while we caught up on Mad Men.

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Saturday night we had a celebratory dinner at 1789, which is in an old federal house in Georgetown. Dinner was delicious, our server was super sweet, and the weather was so nice that we walked the mile+ home afterward.

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For our actual anniversary, we got up late, made a big Sunday breakfast, did some chores, packed a picnic, went to the batting cages and closed out the evening at Hugh’s baseball game.

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And I gifted us two Rick Steves books — Germany and Italy — and now I’m in full-blown trip-planning mode.

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On a more serious note
We knew when we picked our wedding date that it would forever be followed two days later by an anniversary which, in six years, hasn’t gotten any easier. I wrote about April 16th here, two years ago.

Last year our wedding (and this year our anniversary) brought some light to a week — and a day — that has normally been pretty rough. Both anniversaries in such close proximity serve, and will always serve, as a reminder to acknowledge and be grateful for who and what we have in life.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly
We are brave enough to bend to cry
and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

   -Nikki Giovanni – April 17, 2007