Friday, May 30, 2014

Wedding

Marriage is the best! I give it two thumbs up.

Tyler & me playing thumb war during our bridal shoot. I won. Okay.. he won.
I just got my pictures back from our photographer (my friend, Alexis, who also took roommate photos for our 2012 Christmas card) so to celebrate, I'm going to finally write a blog post about the big day. Woooooooooo party!

The week of the wedding was a whirlwind. Tyler and I both had to move out of our apartments. We had an entourage come from out of town consisting of Tyler's family, his childhood friend Matt, and his mission companion, Aaron. Torre, one of my best friends, flew in from Colorado too. It was a blast!

Some of my favorite moments from wedding preparations:

1. Going to the temple. It was such a wonderful experience and I got to do it with my whole family and the man I love. It was such a special day for me.

2. Tyler and his friends and family so kindly helped me do the final cleaning of my apartment before moving out. I wish I had gotten a picture of all these big guys scrubbing my apartment! It completely melted my heart. It meant so much that they were willing to come in after travelling for hours and clean my house, some of them barely knowing me. So much kindness. I can't.

3. On Friday, Torre flew in. Tyler and I were busy moving him out, so we sent Aaron for her. I told her that a big black guy was going to pick her up. She made the mistake of thinking I was joking, and was a little surprised to find out that I wasn't. They met us at Tyler's apartment just in time to witness Tyler's dad get sassy with the apartment manager for trying to fail Tyler on his cleaning check and charge him all kinds of illegitimate fees. (It was necessary. Someone needed to stand up to them.)

Having Torre here was the best thing ever. She brought with her only the most sincere happiness for me and eagerness to help me make my day as special as possible. She was there to calm to jitters, help me make last minute wardrobe adjustments, and most of all she was a reminder to me of how much I was loved despite all the craziness going on around me. And I knew she was there not only for herself, but on behalf of all my loved ones in Colorado who couldn't make it because of the short notice. Having that comfort helped me be able to really enjoy the experience. I cannot express enough my gratitude for her presence, at my wedding and in my life.


4. Torre, Momma Dalton, and I were driving to Salt Lake to see the venue the day before the wedding, and we were listening to songs in the car that we could use for the first dance and the daddy/daughter dance. We all ended up in tears.

5. The bachelorette party the night before!! Britney threw me such a fun party complete with Mormon jello shots (...just jello. They weren't very good for shooting), non-alcoholic alcoholic drinks, and inappropriate eating utensils. My friend Anna came in from Montana to be there for the party and the wedding, and I'm so happy she did. My roommates made it to share the laughs and raunchy gifts. It was fun to have a girls' night in to blow off some steam before the nerves could set in.
video


Before I knew it, the day was here! Because the sealing wasn't until 3:40, we had plenty of time in the morning to get ready and take care of last-minute details.. like Tyler's upset stomach. We were a little worried that he had caught the bug I had earlier in the week (during which time, for the record, Tyler never left my side except to get me water and frozen vegetables to put on my hot skin. He even watched Pretty Little Liars with me... and got a little bit addicted. Best husby ever.), but everything worked out. His mom smeared him with essential oils and he was feeling better in no time.

Then we had another hiccup: getting rear-ended on the way to the sealing. A cute old man accidently hit us. Luckily we were in a rental car with a damage waiver, and the damage wasn't bad, but the police took a long time to get there and we were late to the ceremony. Woops!

The ceremony was so beautiful. My heart was so full as I looked around at the faces of friends and family, and held hands with my sweetheart, realizing that I get to be by his side forever. There is no greater blessing.





The day was gray and rainy and a bit cold, but I didn't even notice. It was perfect.




Tyler and I took pictures outside the temple and missed dinner because the sealing had been so delayed. We ended up snarfing food from to-go boxes right before the reception started.

The reception was so fun! It was the best sharing the experience with all of our loved ones. Katie's sisters came--even Anna who had to fly out from Oregon! I was so happy to see them. So many people went out of their way to be a part of our day and I am without words. I wouldn't give up those memories for anything.

My daddy and I danced to My Little Girl. I know. Classic.



Then Tyler and I danced to Marry Me by Train.



And then we cut the cake... well we tried to. Word to the wise: make sure you know how to cut the cake before you actually cut the cake. You might think it's pretty self explanatory, but it's not always..
Anyway, things got a little messy.




I tossed the bouquet

and Tyler threw the garter (Tossed? Flung? Shot?)


And suddenly, as if in the blink of an eye, it was over!


I thought the day would drag on, but it went so fast. It was the best day. And every day since then has been the best day.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Engagement Pt 2: The Downs



Engagement is hard on couples, each for different reasons. Each couple experiences different trials, perfectly crafted for that set of individuals to test them and make them work for the beautiful gift of marriage that they are accepting. I never really anticipated the challenges of engagement. I tried to safeguard myself against my weaknesses so that I could make it through unscathed, but the truth is that no matter how prepared you are, life will find the spot where you are weak and it will try to wear you down.



Something that Tyler said to me when we were working through one of our many obstacles during our brief engagement was that Satan will do anything to get in the way of marriage. Because he knows that it is the most wonderful, powerful and joy-filled ordinance we can enter into, he will do anything to ruin it or overshadow it before it even starts. For some couples, that means tempting intimacy before marriage. For some, it means making the celebration the focus to detract from the spouse and the sacred union, which are the true sources of joy which God has intended for His children. I expected those things, and I was prepared for them. I like to think I handled them pretty well. But Satan threw me a curveball. My biggest challenge was something I didn't ever expect to have to deal with while preparing for marriage, and it was something that I hold so dear to my heart: my friendships began to deteriorate.

 
I am one who holds onto relationships tightly, who wants nothing more than to get to know people on a personal level and resolve issues whenever they arise so that I can maintain them. In the time leading up to my engagement and my wedding, it seemed that, due to my own mistakes as well as circumstances far beyond my control, I lost many of those relationships with people who I thought would be in my life for the long haul, and it made it really hard for me to enjoy the journey. And it was hard for Tyler not to take that personally, when I should have been overjoyed to be marrying him but instead I was sad.
 
That was a difficult couple of weeks for both of us. What helped to turn it around for me was a conversation we had with my bishop. He was giving us some marriage advice, and he talked about the commandment to cleave to your husband/wife. He said people often think of that in terms of physical intimacy, but it extends far beyond that--it means to cleave to your spouse above all else. Not to cleave unto money, or your job, or your possessions, or your entertainment. And not to your friends. It was about that time that it hit me that I was clinging too tightly to the things that, although important and worthwhile, will not be the things that I take with me throughout eternity.

 


Throughout this life and forever after, the only one who will stay by my side, witness all of my experiences, go through everything with me, learn with me, grow with me, support me, and let me support him is my husband. From here on out, my friends just won't be a part of me in that way, not because they aren't loyal or don't care, and not because I don't care about them, but because family is the only eternal unit and marriage is the Lord's plan through which we can experience the fullest of joys. My friends and mentors, even my parents, siblings, and children, though they will have important parts in my life and I have rich relationships with them, will all eventually go their own ways. Everyone is taking a different route in this life, but Tyler and I are on the same route. This experience helped me understand that a little better.



In that way, losing those friendships helped remind me to put the attention and effort where it needed to be--cultivating the relationship with my future husband that I needed to--and it was a true blessing. It also helped me to appreciate the friends that put up with my imperfections and are patient enough to stick around while I stumble through the learning process that is life.
 
Things got a bit simpler after that. It was still really hectic trying to plan a wedding on a time crunch while finishing a semester, but my heart began to heal and I was able to really enjoy the process and be excited for the end result: an eternity with my favorite person in the world!!

So many people came together and worked really hard to help me create the short notice wedding that I could never have managed on my own. I feel so grateful for my friends who jumped at the opportunity to help, my selfless parents and loving family members who bent over backwards to give me a celebration and find options for me that I felt happy with when the time constraints limited them considerably, and my understanding new mother in law who has such excellent taste and unquenchable enthusiasm (and was probably more excited to plan my wedding than I was).


And most of all I was able to enjoy the sweet moments with my Tyler--all the laughing, the acts of kindness, the good company. We had so much fun making invitation blunders and registering for gifts, trying desperately to take engagement pictures that weren't awkward or strained when we didn't know what to do in front of a camera. We were able to accomplish so much wedding planning in such a short time and we were able to do it together. He is full to his tall brim with beauty and goodness and selflessness. I seriously hit the jackpot. I can't wait for our forever together.

Engagement Pt 1: The Decision

We had it all figured out.

June 28th.

It was a good, solid date. It fit in with my work schedule and we'd get married right after Tyler finished Spring semester. The boy had proposed. Family members had been told. A Facebook invite had been extended. The ball was rolling.

And then I experienced my first week of engagement. It was torture.
I was driving Tyler crazy because I couldn't make up my mind about anything.
I couldn't sleep at night because I couldn't stop thinking about wedding decorations.
I was stressed. I was exhausted. It hadn't even been 7 days.

I am a very laid back person, and I don't like to worry too much about things. I just like to enjoy life. I quickly found that planning a wedding made that hard for me.

Tyler's family came out that weekend for Spring Break. It was a Saturday, and his mom was helping us make some plans for the wedding. Tyler, Momma Dalton and I were driving back from the Salt Lake area when someone, I think it was Tyler, planted the seed.

"What if we just did it in April?"

The three of us sat quietly for a moment, all thinking something along the lines of "... But really. What if we did?"

I remember that moment so vividly. The road stretched out in front of us. The mountains were so prominent and beautiful and for that moment everything was so simple and easy and perfect. The sky was clear and blue. So, so blue. Every time I see blue skies I think of how I felt right then. After a week of stress and anxiety, that moment of peace and clarity was such a relief, and made a great impression on me.

We took a couple days to mull it over. We didn't want to make any rash decisions, but we also knew that if we were going to change our date, we had to do it PRONTO.

We made a pro/con list. Actually several. There was definitely merit to both options. Both of our families were incredibly supportive, and that was encouraging. But what I really kept coming back to was that blue sky feeling of simplicity. That's what Tyler and I both wanted. We knew cutting our engagement period by 2/3 was a pretty bold move, but I like to think we are a pretty bold pair.
So we did it.

April 26, 2014.