Friday, October 17, 2014

love letters

Dear Em,
"I'm never gonna let you down
I'm always gonna build you up
And when you're feeling lost
I will always find you love
I'm never gonna walk away
I'm always gonna have your back
And if nothing else you can always count on that
When you need me
I promise I will never let you down..."
- Never Gonna Let You Down by Colbie Caillat

October will always make me reminisce more than any other month...mostly about your daddy & I. We shared our first kiss in October. We started dating in October. He proposed to me on the beach in October, & we got married on a beautiful day in October. Six years ago, we were honeymooning in October. October will always feel like love to me.

Thirteen years ago today, we officially started dating (although, it wasn't facebook official, because we didn't have facebook back then). I really can't believe that we've been together for 13 years. Gawd, they've flown by. 

Just after Daddy threw me in the ocean & just before he first kissed me in October 2001.
Right after we got engaged in October 2006.
Husband & Wife in October 2008.
Honeymooning in St. Lucia in October 2008.

I thank God for your daddy & the past thirteen years. It's not that every moment has been perfection or that we never disagree (actually, we just had disagreements yesterday about leaving the pantry door open & leaving crumbs in chip bags). Love isn't something that always comes easy. It's a decision we make each & every day. Every day I choose your daddy. In Daddy I found someone who will always stand by me, a partner, & best friend. More than anything, I'm so incredibly thankful that your Daddy gave me the greatest gift I will ever receive...you.

Pregnant in October 2009.
Our family of three in October 2010.
No matter where I go or what I do, our little family of three is my favorite thing in the whole world...

October 2014
...and October will always remind me of love.

I love you so,
Mommy

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Andrea & Lowell's Wedding

Dear Em,
* All of the photographs from Andrea & Lowell's wedding day are from Reese Allen Photography. If you're looking for a photographer in the Charleston area, they were absolutely amazing to work with & did a phenomenal job capturing precious moments throughout the day. They also blogged about Andrea & Lowell's big day.  *

Does six months ago count as a throwback? I'm going to go with it, because that's how long it has taken me to put words to what was an absolutely amazing weekend. We actually started before the weekend. We escaped the chilly New England weather for warm, beachy May days in South Carolina.

You stayed at Nonnie & Papi's house when Daddy & I drove out to Folly Beach, just outside of Charleston. Lowell & Andrea had rented a large beach house, with gorgeous ocean views in the front & a calm, picturesque marsh in the back. They had invited their whole wedding party to stay at the house, & it was such a great group they brought together. We had so much fun just hanging out. Laughter filled the open layout of the large house the whole time.


You stayed at a beach house down the street with Nonnie, Papi, & Uncle Jared & joined us the day before the wedding. The rehearsal took place in the back yard of the beach house, where the ceremony would be held. You were very excited to show everyone your Flower Girl moves.


I remember smiling at how happy & calm your aunt Andrea was. Everything had come together so beautifully, & she was so excited to be marrying your uncle Lowell the next day.


After a buffet style dinner at the house, we loaded into a trolley & headed into the city. You were a little disappointed you wouldn't be going, but I was hoping you would get a great night sleep & be full of smiles the next day.


Charleston is such a beautiful & quaint city. We had a blast taking in the city views from a roof top bar that night.


The day of Andrea & Lowell's wedding was sunny & beautiful. The girls piled in Andrea's bedroom to get ready together.


When you joined us, I knew right away that something was very wrong. In order to get you to the house on time, you had been woken up from a nap. Bad things happen when you're woken up from a nap, purple minion bad things. Let's just say there were lots of tears, & not the happy kind.


I tried to soothe you as I fixed your hair, reminding you that it was aunt Andrea's special day- a happy day. It took you a little while, but you were finally ready to get on board with some smiles.


Then disaster struck. Your hair got stuck in Grandma's purse. It hurt as we disconnected your head from the purse, & you were devastated that your hair had gotten messed up & we were going to have to start over. Sigh. More tears were shed, & the process of putting a smile on your face started all over again. Luckily, kisses fix almost everything at this age.


When it came time to put Aunt Andrea's dress on, you proclaimed she was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. It's true. She was truly stunning.


The boys were also getting ready together, being very hilarious & GQ.


Aunt Andrea & Uncle Lowell shared a intimate first look moment just before the ceremony. Seriously, have you ever seen a more beautiful couple?


After they had their sweet moment, you let them know how great you thought they looked. Then we took a few family & wedding party photos. You were still warming up a little bit, & the photographers were amazing at getting your smiles out for Andrea & Lowell's photos.


When it came time for the ceremony, you were not feeling as bold as you had during the rehearsal. Daddy & I had already made our way down the aisle. The Maid of Honor offered to walk down with you, which made you feel a little more confident. It was a pretty long walk from the house to the ceremony, & Kristen had to stall you from throwing all your petals right in the beginning. When you got close to where everyone was sitting, you were a little exasperated. "Can I throw my petals now?! We have walked almost the whole way & I haven't even thrown ONE PETAL." Kristen finally gave you the go ahead, & you very gracefully set each & every petal down, cheesing for your audience & the camera the whole time. It was hilarious & adorable. You were such a great Flower Girl!


During the rehearsal, you had stood up front with myself & the other bridesmaids. This time you decided you wanted to sit in the crowd with Nonnie & Papi. There was just one problem. When everyone stood up as the bride made her way down the aisle, you couldn't see a thing. "I can't see! I can't see," I heard you complain. That's when Uncle Jared hoisted you up on his shoulder. I had a  mini heart attack, worried you would fall to the ground during Aunt Andrea's moment, but you sat on his shoulder & smiled & waved & called out proudly, "Hi Aunt Andrea!" 

Andrea shared with your daddy later that she was starting to get choked up as she walked down the aisle with Papa. She was really worried she wouldn't be able to hold back tears, but then she saw you smiling & waving & calling her name. You were exactly what she needed to make her laugh & put a smile on her face.


While there may have been happy tears shed by some of the rest of us, Lowell & Andrea had the sweetest & biggest smiles across their faces as they became husband & wife. The ceremony was so sweet & absolutely Andrea & Lowell. Everything was perfect.


You were so happy for the two of them, & couldn't wait to give your newly married aunt Andrea a great big hug.


After lots of hugging & congratulations, we headed to the beach for wedding photos. The ocean was a beautiful blue-green color, but nothing could outshine your gorgeous aunt & the love Andrea & Lowell share for each other.


We were hanging out on the steps of the house, waiting to enter the reception, when I had my second mini heart attack of the day. Daddy & I were sitting & laughing with the wedding party. I looked over at Nonnie & Papi, & they were also sitting & laughing...but you weren't with them...& you weren't with Daddy & I. I looked at the busy road right in front of us & panicked. "Emma! WHERE IS EMMA?!" The photographer called over meekly, looking a little afraid of my crazy mom face. "She's over here. I hope that's okay. I was just taking pictures of the Flower Girl picking flowers." Ha! My heart rate quickly returned to normal. Of course you had found flowers to pick in the middle of a beach town, & of course you picked flowers for every member of the wedding party.


We were all announced into the beautiful & open outdoor reception. Lowell & Andrea had such a sweet first dance. You could really feel the love in those moments.


You, on the other hand, were getting a little antsy. You had thrown your petals & taken what probably felt like a gabillion photos. When would it be YOUR turn to dance? As Andrea danced with Papa, Daddy also danced with you on the outskirts of the dance floor. It made my heart overflow to see the two Daddies happily dancing with their beautiful daughters.


You & Papa hit the dance floor as soon as it cleared up. You were ready to get your dance on & show us all your moves.


The toasts were amazing but merely an interruption for you. "When do we get to dance," you shouted in a whisper to Andrea & Lowell in the middle of the Best Man speech.


The outside lights twinkled on, & you finally got the go ahead to head out onto the dance floor. For the rest of the night, it was all about dancing & photo booth pictures. It was such an great night spent having fun with amazing people .


Once you started to show signs that the purple minion was returning, Papi declared it was time to take you home. You were not happy about it. He was taking you away from what had probably been the greatest night of your life.


It was a truly great night for everyone who was there to share in Andrea & Lowell's wedding day. They are such a beautiful couple, & I'm so thrilled we got to be a part of their wedding day & all their days ahead.

I love you so,
Mommy
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