Friday, June 26, 2009

Bad Blogger!

I'm a terrible blogger again.  Sorry guys!  

The hubby and I are going to use his wedding gift from me this weekend! A trip to Atlanta to see the Boston Red Sox play the Atlanta Braves.  Jason is a HUGE Red Sox fan being a Boston native and all.  He's super excited!  Can't wait to share pictures with you all when we get back!  I promise to try to be a better blogger!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Marital Bliss?

Sunday was such a wonderful and sad day. We returned home from our honeymoon, and as happy as I was to see my family, sleep in my own bed, and be back in Kentucky-I was so sad that 100% of our time wouldn't be focusing on our time together like it was on our honeymoon. I was excited to get adjusted to my new life. Jason returned to work on Monday, and I was scheduled to return to work Tuesday. I spent Monday with my parents catching up on life. Monday evening we grabbed Taco Bell and called it a night.

Tuesday was difficult to return to work. Jason leaves about an hour before I do in the mornings, and he told me he was feeling a lot of sinus pressure. Since I had the same problem in Mexico due to the air pressure from the plane, I assumed that this was the same thing. I gave him some medicine, and sent him on his way. Two hours later, he asked if I was feeling ok because his stomach was in a lot of pain and he thought it might have been something from Taco Bell. I told him that I felt fine and brushed off the question. Food that doesn't sit well stinks, but I never imagined it anything serious.

20 minutes later, my poor husband was on his way home from work. Vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, the works. Assuming it was just food poisoning, I stayed at work. He slept a large chunk of the afternoon, but was still vomiting by the time I was heading home. Oral medicine for nausea wasn't working so it was time for my first real "wifely" dirty work duty. The finnigrin suppository. I start telling him what needed to be done, and he FREAKED out. He said that if it had to be done, he would do it. So he did. 30 minutes later-he was STILL vomiting. In fear of even more dehydration, off to UrgentCare we went. And he was pretty unhappy with me that he had to "violate" himself for nothing. Sorry sweetie!! :)

UrgentCare was horrendous. Never again will I take him there. I told the nurse I was extremely concerned with his dehydration since he had been unable to keep liquids down for nearly 12 hours. She assured me that she would send a nurse into the waiting room to check on that for him while we waited for a doctor. We waited an hour and a half in the waiting room, and a poor little three year old girl threw up IN the lobby. The mother frantically requested somewhere that the child could lay down. She said she understood there was a wait, but was there possibly anywhere her child could be more comfortable. The people behind the desk said "Well I guess we would have put her in the pediatric area earlier, but seeing that it's 8:30 (they close at 9) and she has been vomiting, we can't take her back there now. She can't have one of our rooms because they are for people waiting to see a doctor." The mother told them that they should be ashamed for not TRYING to help-and she was taking her daughter to the ER. My regular physician took my mother into an extremely dark room in the office while she had a terrible migrane so that she wouldn't have to wait in the waiting room with lots of light and noise. He couldn't see her out of order, but he made sure he took care of her as much as possible until he could get to her. UrgentCare refused to attempt to make this child more comfortable. After they left, a boy behind the desk (around my age, we went to high school together but barely knew each other) came out and overdramatically sprayed the area with something extremely fragrant to cover up the puke smell. A gentleman in the office asked the boy if the ER would be any quicker. The cocky boy looked at us and said, "Well we are just too ashamed of ourselves to tell you that." I couldn't help it. I blurted out "Wow, that was really professional and mature of you to make that comment in front of everyone." He went back behind the desk while the others continued to make fun of that poor lady. I was infuriated at this point of how they treated that poor lady, that the nurse had not been out to check on my husband, and that we were STILL waiting after we were informed that the wait was around an hour. (We were at 90 minutes at this point.)

Finally, they called us into a room. A lady weighed Jason, and took us to a room. His poor muscles were twitching he was in so much pain. I informed the nurse that we had just returned from Mexico so that they would know to look for other signs of something besides food poisoning. Rather than asking medical questions to help my sick husband she retored "Why in the heck did you go there with the swine flu going on?" I gave her the dirtiest look that I could and said, "You know what, it was our honeymoon, we were no where near the outbreak, and that part doesn't really matter right now. Please just take care of him." She left. 30 minutes later-no one. I got my butt up out of the chair (I was REALLY mad) and went to the nurses station and told them that SOMEONE needed to some in there and check Jason's fluid level because his muscles were starting to twitch, he was feeling faint, and that they were supposed to have already checked on him. Their story was that the front desk never paged them. I believe it.

However, she was no help. As sweet as she was, she was a moron. I know I'm not a nurse, but I have always heard clear liquids when you are that sick. Sprite, water, ginger ale, MAYBE gatorade, etc. She asks him if he wanted grape juice. First of all-nurse lady-he's vomiting 5 minutes after he puts anything into his stomach so having him drink won't help. Second, a DARK, SUGARY liquid?! Really? Even I have more common sense than that. I mentioned an IV. She looks at him and says "Oh I don't think he's that dehydrated, and we don't do that here anyway. You'll have to go to the ER. " I am thunder, hear my roar. I was FURIOUS! I told her that her front desk was a joke and knew that was our main concern and they should have told us that when we arrived. She leaves. The "doctor" comes in, LAUGHS at the idea of food poisoning-and tells us she thinks he has a parasite, but will need a stool sample to be sure. The stool sample would take 4-5 days to get back. Absolutely not. I requested a finnigrin shot for Jason and the oral medication as well. She also wrote him the perscription, but also two others for two different antibiotics without having ANY idea what he had. I absolutely didn't fill them. They just wanted the money for the labs. He got the shot, I went to Walgreens to fill the finnigrin and took him home.

I ended up sleeping on the floor the next two nights at the foot of the bed so that he could have the entire bed and be more comfortable. I didn't want my movements to cause any more discomfort, but really wanted to be in the room with him in case he got sick again.

The next morning we took him to our regular doctor, and after a lengthy, informative conversation came to the conclusion that it was Mexican water that made my dear husband so sick. We were careful not to drink it, but word to the wise: Ice on the airplane returning from a foreign country is NOT filtered water. Poor Jason ate it. I got a different perscription for this, filled it and took him home. I stayed with him for the rest of the day while he slept, somewhat drank and somewhat ate. Jason had been a wonderful patient. Until that evening.

The boy refused to drink! He was still so afraid of throwing up, he wouldn't put more than two sips into his body every other hour. When his temperature elevated to 102 beacuse of his lack of dehydration, I began to feel angry with him. How can I help him if he won't help himself? As awful as I felt about it, I let him have it. I called my sister for Tylenol (we only had ibprofuren) and begged him to drink. He finally did, but he was so hot from the fever nothing worked. Ice packs for his sore back and to cool him off, cool washcloths, nothing helped. And then he became cranky. I won't go into details, because we've already discussed, forgiven and forgotten his words-but he did start listening to me after his outburst.

He attempted to go to work on Thursday, but the banana as his first food of choice wasn't obviously the best choice and was back home before I even left for work. He rested, and touched base with me every hour to tell me how much he drank and what his temperature was. He was finally getting better.

Friday he was back to normal and our horrible week was over! He definitely initiated me into marital duties VERY quickly, but I don't mind. We never expected to start this journey in such a way...but "in sickness and in health."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Honeymoon Days 4, 5, 6, and 7

Sooo...can I just say how much FUN we had on this trip??? Everyone makes that beautiful "did you ever leave the room?" comment about your honeymoon. Really people, as tacky as that comment is, we have the pictures to prove it! We got up at like 7 every morning, ordered room service for breakfast (since it was included and all), and then got ready to go on another adventure!! Day 3 was a BIG adventure, full of events. Some not so pleasant. We went to Chichen Itza!

Chichen Itza (not Chicken Pizza, as the Mayans joke) is one of the 7 wonders of the word. It was a 2 hour drive to this place, and we strongly considered NOT going because of the long drive (they make it a 3 hour drive because the bus stops at a small market so you can shop) but the beauty of this place was so incredibly worth it. The tour bus, windy roads, and speed of the driver caused me to be extremely car sick-but again-so worth it. The HEAT was insane, and there was no area to cool off here. Even at the entrance where people who don't have included tours would pay to get in had no air, and the restaurant that served lunch had no air. The heat was painful and exhausting, especially because of my motion sickness. We actually strayed away from the tour group because neither Jason and I were really interested in the history of the place. We were interested in the designs on the structures, admiring their beauty, and just taking them in for what they were. We read the little descriptions in front of them to somewhat know what we were looking at, but we wanted to explore on our own. This was especially intriguing to Jason being in the design field. It was a beautiful place, and so breathtaking to see what this culture did way before technology. The long trip, painful heat and pure nausea was well worth every moment of seeing this beautiful site.

Thursday was Jason's pick. ALL I wanted to do on our trip was swim with the dolphins, even though it was extra money. Luckily, we caught a break on it. So it was only fair to let Jason pick something "extra" to do. He really wanted to do this ATV jungle tour that we saw advertised. He thought that you just went on a scenic tour of a Mexican jungle, and the best way to go on the jungle path was ATV's. This sounded fabulous to him. So when we talked with our resort, they told us that one of the included tours was a "Paradise Snorkel" excursion on Maroma Beach in the second largest coral reef in the world, only smaller to the Great Barrier Reef. After the snorkel excursion, the beach offered ATV trips that also included an hour of speed boats. Again, this sounded FABULOUS to Jason. So we signed up. Now, snorkeling is not my thing. Or speed boats. Or ATV's for that matter. But Jason was really REALLY excited. So off we went. Let's just say snorkel gear never fits my head. I can never get it tight enough around my face for that saltwater to keep out. So after about 30 minutes, I was ready to get back on the boat. Jason was too actually-the waves were really rough, neither of us are used to swimming in that, and my eyes were burning from the saltwater. But the reef was beautiful, and there were thousands of beautiful fish. We even saw a stingray!

Then came the speedboats. No seatbelts, just a little two-seater boat for me and the hubby. Of course, he drove. I definitely didn't want to! The waves were so rough anyway, and the man that was taking us on an hour long path created MORE waves, and my small frame bounced everywhere. I just knew we were going to die. I was going to fly out of the boat, or Jason was going to flip the boat, SOMETHING. It was so scary. My whole body hurt after from all the jerking and the constant tension in my muscles as I desperately tried to stay inside this little speed demon for waves. I couldn't wait for our ATV ride. And then, 20 minutes later, I couldn't wait to be back at the resort. Jason's thought of a scenic jungle tour wasn't what he thought. It was a full on 4-wheeler course. I have NEVER been on a 4-wheeler before (yes I know, and I'm from Kentucky). Anyway, this course was full of dirt paths, bumps, sand dunes, the works. I was even more terrified on the back of this than I was on the speed boats. I think Jason had permanent imprints on his stomach from me holding on so tight. I just knew that he was going to kill us (again). And he swears he took it easy!! AHHH! He had a fabulous time, even though he felt really bad because I was so scared and all the jerking made me so sore. I was so happy to get back to our lovely resort.

This sign was in our van on the way back from our adventurous day. It made me laugh.

Even though this picture was from a different day, I only find it appropriate to put right after this sign. I'm not a huge fan of beer, but a really really cold one on those extremely hot days actually tasted REALLY good. Really. Since I used that word so many times in once sentence, I had to use it one more time, ha! Jason and I aren't very big drinkers, but we do like a few every once in a while, and it was really nice to have the frozen drinks in such extreme heat.

So immediately after we got back from our "extreme sport day" the resort was giving a "Honeymooners Cocktail Party." We got all dressed up (you had to be dressed up for some restaurants anyway) and headed down to the beach area. The beach on this resort is man made since it's on the part of the island that the waves are never calm enough to swim in, and the coastline is extremely rocky. So the rock wall is built up enough that you can't climb it, but you can still hear, see and smell the ocean. And the lagoon area IS ocean water, and they have sand...its just not a natural beach. Anyway, we headed down to the lagoon where they had champagne, finger foods, and romantic (somewhat cheesy) music playing. The resort toasted to us, and thanked us again for letting them be the ones to help us celebrate our most special time. They gave us all kinds of sweet stuff for being on our honeymoon. Since it's an all-inclusive, we all had to wear those plastic bracelets, but ours were pink and only the honeymooners got pink ones. They gave us T-shirts that said "Honeymooner" on it, a romantic dinner at the Mexican restaurant with special dishes that you can't get off the regular menu, the cocktail party, and a bottle of champagne delivered to your room, and 10% off at the gift shop! Every staff member congratulated you, and they were all extra nice to you. It was so neat!

Christine, this picture is for you. This was one of the desserts that we were served at one of the restaurants. It was a piece of cake from some other celebration on resort, and then the sample of all the deserts in that restaurant. It was blueberry pie, key lime pie, chocolate mousse, strawberry cheesecake, and one more that I can't remember!! But they were all REALLY yummy.

So on Friday we decided to visit another Mayan ruin site called Tulum. Tulum was MUCH closer to our resort than Chichen Itza, and so much more beautiful. This old city is set RIGHT on the coast line with a beautiful beach that tourists can swim in. We decided not to swim, but rather take in this site. Again, we strayed from the group to do our own exploring, picture taking, and studying. It's incredible to see the things they built, with the etchings in the stone that all have significance to them.

At the top of the city, where you could look down and see the beach and the beautiful ocean water.

There was so much greenery, palm trees, beautiful white sand, and some of the prettiest ocean water I have ever seen.
How COOL is this view?The same view from another angle. There was a nice, large, flat rock right at this area where this pictures was taken, and as Jason continued to walk and try to find more iguanas, I just sat here and stared for a while. Call me weird, but I LOVE the smell of the ocean, and the aroma from this elevation was heavenly. There was so much to look at and take in. It was definitely one of those moments when you look around and really think "How GREAT is our God?" The Mayans may have build their city on this beautiful land, but this view right here was nothing but the work from the one above. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and one of my favorite moments from the entire trip. We had been on the go all week and had a blast, but this was probably the first moment that I sat down and really took everything in.

After our beautiful site of Tulum, the bus stopped at another market for shopping. Jason and I had bought more things than we had already planned on, so we took pictures instead. This is him standing next to a tequila plant. I had no idea thats how tequila was made.
Us next to a wall painting of the Mayan Alphabet. You were able to use these letters and the sales people would make a necklace with the letters of your choosing (name, initals, single letter, etc.). Rather than buying a pendant that we would never wear, we took a picture of the whole alphabet.
Our next stop on Friday was Xpu-Ha (Shpoo-Ha) Palace Resort. It was another resort in our chain, so we were able to enjoy lunch, a different pool and scenery for the afternoon. We met some friends on this trip and they were at Xpu-Ha with us, so we spent time talking with them and learning about their lives. Shannon, they were in the military too! They had both already gotten out, but she had done two tours in Iraq and he had done one. I have no idea if they were in the Army, Marines, or what-but I think Army. Anyway, their first year of dating they spent writing romantic, handwritten letters to each other since they had to be apart for so long. It made me think of you.

We chose to just relax at the resort for our final full day in paradise. As a final splurge and a way to ease my sore muscles from "extreme sport day"-Jason let me book an 80 minute couples hot stone massage! I was SO excited. I had never been to a spa before, and this one was really top notch. There was also a hydrotherapy room that had a sauna, steam room, 3 jacuzzis with different water temperatures, and a foot jacuzzi (my favorite). They served me a Jamacian flower juice, that was supposed to cleanse your kidneys and be good for your heart. There are separate for hydrotherapy rooms for men and women, so Jason and I did spend one hour of our honeymoon apart. After the hydrotherapy session that was included with our package, we were lead to a waiting room (with hot packs around our necks and super comfy robes) and then taken in for our massage. The room that we were in overlooked the ocean, and was the most relaxing 80 minutes in my life. Afterward, they took us to another part of the spa that overlooked the ocean so that we could enjoy some hot tea before heading out to enjoy the rest of our day. The picture above is my adorable husband in the pool right after our spa morning.
Most of you know that its easy to get Jason to do stuff. They had already gotten us involved with a "Best Couple on the Resort" contest earlier in the week (with some pretty embarrassing games that I won't get into) and came in second. So on Friday, when it came to the belly flop contest, Jason said no way. We were watching close by (this picture is from my lounge chair) and Gustavo, the entertainment guy, called for Jackson from North Carolina. When Jackson didn't appear, he looked to Jason and said, "Aren't you Jackson?" Jason just shook his head, knowing what was coming. Gustavo asked his name and when Jason responded, Gustavo simply said "Jackson, Jason, close enough get up here!" The goal was to do a really cool belly flop, but to pop the balloon you were holding (it was supposed to prevent the pain). This is the shot I got of Jason.

Poor guy missed. See the balloon still perfectly in tact? 3 tries and a sore belly later, he popped the balloon and sadly didn't win.

A photo of us in our room (love that self timer) right before dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on the resort.

Here's Gustavo, Jason's new friend and the man behind my husband's sore stomach and chest. No, that is not his real hair, it's a wig. They had a samba show that night, and he always dresses up for them.

Sunday morning, time to go home! We were so happy to be heading home, we missed our family!

So sad to leave paradise...

We got bored at the airport, so we improvised and made a card table with our suitcases and played rummy. After a long day of travel, we were finally home-happy and sad all at the same time. Little did we know what the next week would bring us...and I know you want to hear this story! Stay tuned for our extremely adventurous first week of marriage at home! We've already been put to the test! :) And stay tuned for some of my favorite wedding pictures taken by the wonderful Jennifer Creed.

Honeymoon! Days 1, 2, and 3

Have I kept you in suspense long enough? I'm finally catching up to where I can blog about our fabulous trip to Mexico! And then I want to share some of my favorites from our professional wedding pictures! So much to blog about! Ahh!

We went to the Aventura Spa Palace in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. We stayed about an hour and 20 minutes south of the Cancun airport. I was REALLY iffy to stay in Cancun, because I've heard of the huge party scene, but we were advised to stay outside of the hotel chain and we would be ok. And this place was 100% all inclusive. We are talking phone calls back to the US, room service, all food and drinks (7 restaurants on site), service from any other Palace Resort, transportation to and from the airport, and tours to a ton of the Mayan Ruins. It was fabulous!

We spent days 1 and 2 checking in, sleeping in, planning out our tour days, and lounging by the pool. It was beautiful.

This was the view from my airplane window.

The picture we took jsut because it looked like a Corona commercial.

The AWESOME pool chairs.
Our beautiful resort.
Some man was walking around with these birds and taking photos (for a small fee of course). They were so friendly, but I was scared to death that they were going to poop on me!

The red one like to groom Jason's hair.

Tuesday we swam with the dolphins! If you want to see more pictures, head on over to my facebook and check them out. This was an INCREDIBLE experience. We had a promotion with our resort for a buy one get one free, so for Jason and I to both swim with them, it was only $129!! SUPER cheap for this kind of thing. We got 40 minutes with the dolphins and we got to do the kiss, handshake, belly ride, foot push, pet them, "hug" them, and then some other "free" play time where we spun around in the water, and they spun with us. If you splash them, they splash you back, its so cute! I really think this was my favorite excursion that we did this whole week. It was a blast.

When we got back to the resort from our dolphin swim, we went on a kitchen tour at our resort. They showed us where they make their filtered ice, what the kitchen looked like, how they prepare a lot of the food, and how they do some of the really cool stuff, like the watermelon carving. This chef did this water melon in about 6 minutes. It was incredible! They also took us to their bakery. It was amazing to see really how HARD their staff works, and it really made us appreciate everything they did so much more.
Get ready for more honeymoon fun!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Today, I am tired. I still have every intention of sharing all of our wonderful pictures from our trip to Mexico, but I am so sleepy!

We went to see Jennifer and Chris Creed last night in their beautiful townhome for the BIG reveal of all of our wedding images. They set up a wonderful slideshow set to music of a lot of their favorites, and then let us look at every singe image that was put on their cameras from that day. I think it took us an hour and fifteen minutes to look at everything they have done, and we went through them really fast!! They are FABULOUS pictures, and I can't wait to finalize the album she is working on for us so that we have a hard copy of so many of our favorites. It's so hard to choose our favorites, there are so many!

Anyway, we got home and just HAD to look at all of our beautiful pictures again, and our friend Ashlee came over to see them as well. Ashlee went home around midnight, and Jason and I were still up looking at pictures and trying to pick our TOP favorites. Finally, around 2 am, we called it a night. I am definitely paying for it today!!

Check out this blog link for some of Jennifer's favorites from the day. If you want to see ALL of our images (Warning: there are a LOT! I love it!) let me know and I will send you the password.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sneak Peek!

Shannon, this link is for you and anyone else that wants a second sneak peek of our professional pictures by Jennifer Creed!

It's a slideshow of a few other professional pictures taken by Jennifer Creed! I LOVE them, and can't wait until next week to see the rest of them!

The Reception

Our reception was a BLAST! Have I killed you with pictures yet? So sorry!

This is a picture of Jason's shoes he wore for the wedding. He originally purchased them for the reception only-but they were so HIM that he ended up wearing them all day. They were perfect for his personality.
Me with Steve right before the reception. I love this picture, even if I'm making a really weird face. It kind of shows our relationship haha! Always funny comments with me and that family!
My crazy Mom with some of her brothers and sisters at the dinner table. SO attractive :)
Apparently the same attractiveness went on at Jason's parents table.
Jason and I at dinner-no goofy faces. We had a sweetheart table so that we could enjoy some time just the two of us.
Our first dance was so fun. We danced to "Making Memories of Us" by Keith Urban. And then we broke out into Sir Mix A Lot's "Jump On It" at the part that says "What's up Orlando, what's up?!"

Jason and I decided to surprise Mom and her sister dancing "the right way" with some REAL dancing. I love Mom's face in this picture.
Dancing with sweet Riley. Even though she didn't feel well she still seemed to have fun dancing.
Mom and her "Seester" dancing "properly."

Our AWESOME DJ and really good friend, Jeremy.
Jason dancing with his Mom.
My cousin Amy and her "hunky butt" boyfriend Ed.

The garter toss. Since Jason is a huge Red Sox fan, I surprised him with a Red Sox garter. His reaction was priceless.
This picture is everything Jason and I are about. Always laughing and doing silly things.
About to leave-hugging my new mother-in-law.
Giving my Momma big hugs before we left.
And giving my Dad some love too. His eyes look so sad here.
Our improvised exit. Since it was already night time and I was afraid of messing with sparklers, we chose to do a send off dance to Michael Buble's "Save the Last Dance for Me." We planned on just giving hugs and leaving, but our wedding party came up with this idea. It was so cute!

The AWESOME sign that the hotel put up for us!!!

Stay tuned for honeymoon pictures! We had a blast in Mexico!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Ceremony

I must say, I LOVED every part of our wedding ceremony.  Forgive me if this blog is way too long with way too many pictures.  I want to share all of it with you!!  I think I've said that in every wedding related blog so far haha! I'm going to tell this story through our pictures.  And of course our captions!
Here's another beautiful shot of the atrium and our guests seated.
Let me take a minute to tell you how SMART my niece is.  Even though she's only 13 months old, she was the best flower girl ever-even on a sore belly!  Mom taught her what to do with the petals about 5 minutes before the start of the ceremony, and she loved it so much they had to pick all the petals up out of the basket so she could throw them down the walkway, they covered the waiting area!! Instead of being seated with Jason's mother, Mom walked down with Riley right before I came down.
So my entrance to the wedding was no huge reveal.  I wanted a big reveal for Jason and I to see each other, which we definitely got thanks to our fabulous photographers (have I mentioned that Jennifer Creed is AWESOME?!) but I didn't care too much who else saw me before the wedding.  In fact, at about an hour before the ceremony, I was sitting in the lobby with Jenny and her husband Chris drinking a Coke.  Guests were starting to arrive slowly, and I didn't care who saw me.  The only large reaction I really wanted was Jason's.  Anyway, back to the above picture.  The entrance was scheduled to be for Dad and I to enter through the beautiful glass elevator from the top floor of the hotel, and to come into the atrium that way.  But I wanted to SEE what was going on instead of staying hidden.  So I stood out in the balcony area to watch all of the guests, bridesmaids, groomsmen, grandmothers, mothers, etc. enter.  Guests could see me from their seats, and waved.  I waved back.  I didn't care one bit that they could see me and there was no huge "WOW" moment or anything.  Because of this, I got to watch Jason enter the atrium too with our officiant.  That's when the tears began.  He walked in and my Dad said to me, "There he is, he's waiting for you."  I teared up and for the first time, got a little nervous.  My Dad looked at me and said, "Don't be nervous, you made the right choice."  And I lost it from there.  It was the sweetest thing for him to say that to me.  My nerves were mainly for reciting my self written vows, but it was still the perfect thing to say at that moment.
My oldest, dearest friend Ashlee fulfilled something that we've talked about for years.  She sang at my wedding.  She doubled as a bridesmaid and a beautiful singer.  We always talked in high school how I wanted her to sing at my wedding one day, and she followed through on her promise!!  I wish you all could hear how beautiful she sang.  She sang two songs for me.  When I came down the walkway, she sang the first verse of Ben Folds "The Luckiest."  It was a beautiful entrance with a completely unique song.  But it was a song that was the most special to Jason and I because it was the first song we danced to on top of the parking structure at sunset the night we started "officially" dating.  She sang another song later, but that's coming up!
A picture of the elevator entrance.
Here's Jason waiting for me!
Almost 5 years ago, my Dad surprised all of the guests at my sister's wedding with a self-written poem about how much he cared for his oldest daughter and how proud he was.  It had EVERYONE in tears.  But because of the emotions of the day, he gave the poem to the preacher to read.  Several months after, he talked about how he wished he had the strength to be the one to read it to my sister, and was determined to do it at my wedding.  He made it through!! I'll copy and paste the poem for you here: 
I Love You
Today is the day that I give my last born baby girl away.
Paige you have given me so much happiness and joy over all of your years, even though today I will be shedding and fighting back my tears.
It is going to feel like we live so far apart, I just want you to know you will always lie deep in Daddy's heart.
I think you are a daughter that every dad wishes they had and that's amazing, today this lucky feller gets to marry you and his name is Jason!
My time is running short and you will have to go and be on your married way, but I will be waiting on that phone call, you tell me there is a grand-baby coming someday.
So, I have tried and thought of some way to end this poem I wrote just for you, there is only one thing comes to my mind. I am sure going to miss you!!! 
What a sweet poem it was.  Of course I cried through the whole thing, but laughed out loud at the grand baby line.  We aren't planning on children for a couple of years!  I NEVER cry, am hardly ever emotional, but over this past month I've been a wreck.  Of course I ended up crying through the whole ceremony.  Anyway, to lighten the mood, our officiant (Ashlee's Dad, a very close family friend of ours and a Judge!) handed him a dollar and said, "Well I lost the bet because I never expected you to make it through this!"  It gave everyone a laugh.  As they say in Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!"
About two weeks before the ceremony, Jason and I decided that we really wanted to write our own.  So we decided to pick a theme.  Our theme was "I love you because____.  Because I love you, I promise to____."  That was all we knew until these moments-we wanted them to be a complete surprise.  This picture is Jason reading his vows to me.  His vows were:

"I love you because you're my best friend and my angel and because I love you, I promise to never forget why and how we fell in love.

I love you because your passionate about life and you have a strong faith in God, and because I love you, I promise to be your strength, be your warmth and to be your everything.

I love you because of our sense of humor that carries us through anything and because I love you, I look forward to growing old with you and starting our own family.

I love you because you support me in all I do and because I love you, I promise to love, honor and cherish you.

You are my world and I love you."

I loved these, and he was so sweet reading them with tears in his eyes and such a strong voice.
This picture is me reciting my vows to Jason.  And no, we didn't even attempt to memorize them!"
My vows:
"I knew I loved you in the early stages in our relationship, and as we have grown and faced new struggles, I love you even more now. I love you because you bring out the best in me. I love you because even when I’m angry, or sad, or being so stubborn that I’m determined not to smile, you can make me smile. I love you for your caring heart and compassion for everyone around you. I love you for challenging me, for making me try new things, and for pushing me to new limits that I never dreamed I would reach. I love you for always believing in my hopes and dreams, and never leaving my side as I reached for them. I love you for your faith, and for striving to be the best Christian and role model that you can be. I love you for all of this and more.
Because I loved you then and now, I promise to you that I will always love you as we start our new journey as husband and wife. Because I love you for all these reasons, I promise to give the same. I promise to bring out the best in you. I promise that I will always honor you, cherish you, and be faithful to you. I promise to challenge you, make you try new things, and to push you to new limits. I promise to believe in your hopes and dreams, be right by your side to support you as your reach for them. I promise to strive with you to become better Christians and role models. I promise to stand by you, when life is wonderful and when life is hard. Because I love you, I promise you my love, my heart, and my world for the rest of my life."A very dear friend of Jason's family recited a prayer for us on this special day.  And lucky for you all, he typed it up so that we could have it forever!  I love this photo, and how everyone is focused on the exact same thing at the same moment.
The Prayer recited:
"Our Father, as you preside over this Holy marriage of two of your most beautiful children, we humbly ask that you bring honor to this marriage by blessing it and sustaining it with your Holy Spirit.  Lord we ask that you  bless Paige.  Lord, we ask that you bless Jason with a love to last forever.  In sickness, and in health may they find your strength.  In doubts and troubles may they see your light.  In transgressions and fear may they find your pardon.  In loneliness and desperation may they find your joy.  And above all may their lives be filled with joy, love, faith and hop through You.  In Jesus name, AMEN."

It was a beautiful, sweet prayer.

I told you all about the sand ceremony in the details, but I wanted to include a picture of us actually completing it.
During the sand ceremony, the beautiful Ashlee and another wonderful singer, Jacob sang "The Prayer" for us.  This song has a beautiful Italian section, which we loved to pay tribute to Jason's heritage.
Another ceremony shot I love.

And other, because you can see everyone.
Finally, the big KISS!! We left the ceremony to Jacob singing "Everything" by Michael Buble.  We went straight to another room to breath, and chose not to do a receiving line.  We wanted to table hop later during dinner.  We ended up using NO traditional wedding music, but I absolutely love that.  Jason and I both love being completely unique, and I think we really fulfilled that in our ceremony.  From my dress to the location to the music to the vows, it was all just completely US.  And after all, that's what it was all about.  The personal moment that we began our lives together.  :)

Stay tuned for The Reception! Hope I haven't bored you to tears just yet!  The honeymoon pictures are coming!!