Friday, March 30, 2012

The Best Thing

I seriously can not believe that we got married 3 weeks ago & this time last month I was just getting ready to go home for a 2 week vacation. But that two week vacation & the wedding that happened half way through was seriously the most genuinely "us" thing we've ever done together. I'm going to just share a couple of the highlights from our time back in the sunshine state, because the entirety of the experience was just too glorious to put in words.

First of all, in a comparatively less thrilling turn of events, Sadie Mae Morgan, our littlest puppy lady, successfully staged a jail break toward the end of our flight down to Florida. She was NOT pleased about being on an airplane & so she put the mesh of the dog carrier in her mouth, started tugging somethin' fierce & then just gave that thing a head but & out she popped! So I had to hold her...shaking & losing her entire mind...for the last 20-ish minutes of the flight. Of course Lilah was silently miserable in her carrier under the seat in front of Greg. And as soon as we got off the plane, the two of them were just as pleasant as puppies can be. Naturally. 

The next day we went to the dog park with Lauren & Paul who were, at the time, patiently & anxiously waiting for baby Ella to arrive...more on that later.  We got up early, got coffee & drove to downtown St. Pete with our puppies & our friends & just sat outside in the breeze feeling like life was a dream. And it kinda was. Later that day we headed off to Paisley, Fl to watch two dear friends get married in a completely authentic way at the most perfect location. Their wedding was so "them" & we had an incredible time. 

The following week was just a blur. My brother & his family arrived in the wee hours of Sunday morning. We moved into the raddest vacation home. EVER. on Monday. Once we moved in to that place my productivity declined severely.  The pool & the back yard & the room to run for the puppies, & the giant kitchen & dining room, & the fact that so many of the people that I love were almost always under the same was seriously like heaven on earth.  The pool was almost always full of a mixed bag of kids. They'd wander their way to our house as soon as they could wake up & put bathing suits on & usually stayed for the day. BLISS! 

That same week we went on an amazing sailing trip in Tampa Bay, my all time favorite body of water. We packed up sandwiches, fruit, wine & beer & headed for the "high" seas. There was swimming, libating, laughing & singing & again...I was in heaven. The weather was phenomenal. That Tampa Bay breeze is one of a kind & St. Pete just looks & feels like home. It felt good to be back where I come from. 

The-day-before-the-day was a mixed bag for me. #1: If I haven't seen you in person in a while you probably haven't been able to witness the anxiety that I have contracted sometime over the course of the last 3 years...but I had a ROCKIN' case of anxiety that kicked in sometime around Wednesday of the week before our wedding. By Friday it was in full effect & threatened to hijack my day with the girls. I'm pretty sure if it wasn't for 3 things I would have completely spun out & called the whole thing off....#1 I was riding with Lauren Frederick who is the most calm human on the planet. #2 Nobody judged me for having anxiety (read: they already know I'm high maintenance) & #3 Kristin Carey dropped off champagne at the salon. The manicures & pedicures went smoothly & looking back on that day is one of my very fondest memories of all. I wish I could do that with those 4 girls every weekend. They're the loves of my life. 

Brother showing off his leggo watch
The-night-before-the-day: Our rehearsal dinner was fantastic. My mother in law (I just love to write that) threw such a fun dinner! I had been looking SO forward to the rehearsal dinner because that's when we were planning on giving everyone their gifts. I had been shopping for personal gifts FOR A YEAR & the WORST part of giving the perfect gift is waiting to give it. I could hardly wait. I had such a great time at the rehearsal dinner. Everybody was so natural & it just felt like a big family dinner. We even had Syracuse hoops on for Ram. Everything was perfect & I'll always remember how special I felt when Mary Grace gave her toast.  

Mom getting made up

THE day:  I woke up feeling SUPER sick & trying real hard to maintain low tones & not move too fast. Sadie woke up SUPER early & I slinked out of bed so that Coop & Ash Mat wouldn't know that I was up.  Naturally the three of us slept in the same bed the night before. With Lilah & Sadie. Anyway, I felt sick & anxious the minute I woke up, so Sadie & I quietly went outside & then settled down on the couch hoping to go unnoticed for long enough that I could feel normal again.  Of course it didn't take long for my best girls to realize I had defected from our bedroom. They came down to sit with me, and while they weren't looking I slinked back upstairs to get cleaned up, after which I finally got real with my self for a second and decided that if I wanted to feel better I needed to put my wedding dress on. So while Coop was in the shower, I called Ash Mat up to my room, we put my wedding dress on & I instantly felt better.  I went dancing out into the hall way to show Coop, and then promptly took it off, put my pajamas back on, went down stairs and had some dry toast & a glass of water, followed by a glass of champagne, and I was back in the game. I will say I had this image of me sitting on the couch, lounging around while everybody was getting ready, drinking coffee, dancing in the kitchen & singing songs into wooden spoons...and while it wasn't quite as fun & fancy free as I had expected, it was a completely amazing morning.  It was so nice watching my best friends, my mom, my mother in law, and the rest of the women I love get all gussied up & fuss over each other. Gosh I just love those girls. All of them.

Some how the whole morning went by in like 15 minutes, and it was time for me to get into my dress for good.  The next thing I know, we were all dressed up & getting into the limo.  From then on I was on some kind of auto pilot, which worked for me until we got off at Davis Island...then I was on a crash course with some more rockin' nerves.  About 30 seconds after we showed up at the Garden Club , it was time to walk down the aisle, and I'm honestly surprised that I didn't break all of my father's fingers.  Poor thing. He was trying so hard to make me laugh, and lighten the mood, but I couldn't even look at him, because I knew if I did I would burst into tears, so I just faced forward, did my best to put one foot in front of the other, and before I knew it I was face to face with Greg, exactly where I belonged.

The ceremony was beautiful. The readings, by my brother & my sister in law and then by our friend, Megan, were just perfect.  Our officiate, Greg, is a dream come true. The things he said, and the things he helped us say were incredible. I'll always love him for that. I'm remembering now as I write this that I leaned in to kiss Greg WAYYYY before I was "supposed to" & the look in his eyes as I was getting close to him said "WAIT! NO!" & that's when I snapped back into the situation, re-directed & whispered in his ear...that was CLOSE! Before we knew it, Greg was inviting my husband to kiss me & we were ready to celebrate! 
The reception was a blast. For the sake of full disclosure (& because I am impossible & I know it) there are a few little baby things that I would go back & do different if I could...but all in all I had a great time, and I'm of the mind that those little baby things don't really matter anyway. Greg & I matter. Our family & friends matter. Our future matters. The rest is just icing & roses. I need to say that the things that were said by Rob, Meghan, My Dad & David Wilbanks will live in my memory as some of the most significant words that have ever been said about me, or to me in my lifetime. And I'm so grateful. 

Today & Forever
Once all of the formalities were done, we had the very. best. time. I barely saw Greg, because both of us were busy frolicking with our friends & family, but we managed to pass by each other a few times. The performance of the Sigma Chi Sweetheart Song was amazing. The Zetas did an incredible job serenading Greg & I. I got to dance with some people who helped make me who I am, see some of my friends that I haven't seen in years, & just celebrated the fact that this life & the people in it are seriously way too good for me. That was the best party ever. I can't wait to see the pictures. 

The next day we had....ANOTHER PARTY! Back at the "Big House", we had wedding cake, hot dogs & hamburgers, left overs from the week & lots of fun playing in the pool & telling stories. I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

Ella Mae
Monday we had to move out of the big house & pack up for the honeymoon. We were pretty sad to close chapter 1 of our vacation, especially since all of the family & friends were going their separate ways, but we were really happy on Monday. Ella Mae was born Monday, March 12th & she is the most amazing thing that happened that week. For sure. Also, we went on our honeymoon. The honeymoon was just perfect. We went to Little Harbor Resort in Ruskin, FL & I can not wait to go back there. In fact we're planning a trip for our 1st anniversary with the couple that got married the weekend before us. I can't wait! 

Little Harbor
Sadly, our time in Florida finally came to a close. We packed everything up, saw baby Ella one more time & headed back to the Windy City for 1 last weekend of freedom as newlyweds. We celebrated St. Patty's day with our neighbors, Coop & the rest of the city of Chicago & got settled back in for the last leg of the semester.

Since then it has been a WHIRLWIND. We've been in a steady state of unpacking, doing laundry, budgeting & planning. I've got 4 weeks left till GRADUATION & it's going to be a SPRINT to the finish. Greg's back on the road this weekend playing in the DC Burn Foundation's annual hockey tournament. I'm a little sad that I couldn't go to be with Jimmy & his parents. And I just LOVE to watch my husband play hockey (who wouldn't?). But I've got a date with my best girl tonight & a graduation portfolio to finish this weekend, so I've got my hands full anyway. 
The truth is, whether our wedding was the most magical day of our lifetime or not, what we know is that even though our life isn't a fairy tale, & conflict & challenge happen...we are seriously living the dream. On a more personal & totally gag-worthy note: my husband is a dream come true. 
Mrs. Morgan's what was trending: #baycation #Madon #wizzardstaffing #loveconnesh #codependent #AmyBeaverhausen #cray #Tyrone #pound <3

1 comment:

  1. Fun to read, Mrs. Morgan. Mom and I were thrilled to be a part of yours and Greg's very special day. We love you both so very much. Dad