Monday, January 09, 2012

Laura Marries Ryan: Wedding Week Fun

      Last Friday night, while most people I know were watching the Cotton Bowl, we were celebrating my baby sister's wedding.  It was such a fun week, chock full of activity and togetherness.  We drove in late Tuesday night, which left us to recover and get things going on Wednesday.  That night was Laura's bachelorette party.  It was pretty low-key, but tons of fun.  We did dinner at PF Chang's - tastiness.  Laura has some of the best, sweetest friends, so it was a fun night.  We went back to the house for Laura to open her presents, and then, I had a craft all ready to go for the group.  We had thought about going to a paint your own pottery place, but based on price and not loving the final results, we opted for something else.  I will share this in another post, because it is that cool.  Worthy of its own post.

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The "McCulley" girls!  My amazing sisters and sister in law.  (She came straight from work as a Labor and Delivery nurse, hence the scrubs.  Also, her stories are undeniably some of the wildest I have ever heard.)

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That last picture pretty much sums up our sisterhood.  A little spastic, but so fun.  Thursday morning we had Christmas with my family.  The girls have such a blast with their uncles, and we scored some really sweet gifts.  Thanks, fam!

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That night was rehearsal fun.  We had the two flower girls who were supposed to ride in a wagon pulled by another 3 year old.  Based on the steep pitch of the aisle and the number of children under 3 years of age involved, John and I were dubious, but willing to give it a go.  In the end, we figured out that the ring-bearer, Noah, should pull the girls with John's help.  Having children in weddings is just stressful.  You want so badly for them to perform well, and that is just really unpredictable.  The girls did great at the rehearsal, but at the rehearsal dinner, Bella made the rice mess of the century, which we let her make, because it kept her so stinking happy.

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Lastly, we had the actual day of the wedding.  Laura really did an excellent job of planning and being on top of things, which I am so thankful for.  We did hair and make-up, then headed to the church.  Laura got a little keyed up before her big reveal to Ryan, but after that, she was ready to have a great time.  We did outdoor pictures.  In short strapless dresses.  In January.  We were blessed with the best weather we could have hoped for on January 6th, but it was still not exactly balmy.  When John and I were driving home, my jaws hurt from all the smiling I did all week, but also from the shivering.  I think the pictures will be awesome, since they are by Luke, but it was a bit chilly.  We bridesmaids kept looking for spots of sun and huddling in our red pashminas.  This next picture is us girls waiting in the car while the guys finish up some pics in the windiest place.  Laura truly looked gorgeous.

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The girls arrived at the church in time to get all dolled up for pictures, and Lily even let us curl her hair.  They also enjoyed playing the piano.

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Getting the kiddos all looking was certainly a trick.  I could not believe how sweet Lily was - amazing.  We had to bribe her with stickers, but it was totally worth it.

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The wedding was beautiful.  Seeing two people commit themselves to one another before God and man always touches me, especially when it is baby sister.  I was only slightly distracted by the sounds of John wrangling Bella, which I couldn't see.  Other wedding attenders say they didn't notice her at all, but when it is your child, you hear their every coo.  She was happy, but a little loudly so.  John should get a medal of honor for all of the baby wrangling that he did, especially since it was mostly solo, since everyone in the family was integral to the wedding.

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      At the reception, we ate dinner, danced the night away and kept track of the Cotton Bowl score, especially since we were in Wichita where everyone was cheering for K-State.  John changed out his usher tie for a subtle Razorback one for the reception.  Good times.  Here is the Bride with Crazy Eyes and Bella with John, enjoying all the lights and movement.

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And, then, it was over.  Just like that.  (I wish it felt "just like that" instead of feeling like we had all been run over.)

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That last statement might be a little dramatic, but family weddings are truly exhausting, especially once you add small children to the mix.  My mom always says that the family deserves a trip as well, after all of the hype and then the clean-up.  The girls did so well - beyond our highest hopes or expectations.  We are so thankful to have married off the last of my immediate family.  God-willing that will be our last wedding on my side, and we are so blessed to have all found godly spouses who are tons of fun to hang out with.  It was a whirlwind, but one I am glad to have been in.  Congrats, Laura and Ryan - we love you guys!

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