Monday, December 21, 2015

A Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

All of last week was fun and interesting and - you guessed it - busy. I actually had to put in OT at work as well, and combined with some of the other stuff going on, posting about last weekend just slid to the bottom of my To Do list. Now I'm a bit behind on posting, but determined to catch up since these two weeks have had lots of fun things happening!

Here we go - it's a looooooong one (with mildly decent photos)!

So...back to the weekend of December 11-13!

Last weekend started for me on Thursday (the 10th) with my CPCU test. I already posted that I passed (and received the books for my next class on the 16th...wooo it all begins again). After my test Cam and I met at the gym (he left work early) and we got in a good workout before heading to an arcade place called Gameworks for PrideZ's holiday mixer with Sears. It ended up being a lot of fun - I looooove hanging out with the PrideZ people! I met some new-to-me people from my company as well as some others from Sears, and followed dinner and conversation up with lots of Pop-A-Shot basketball and racing games. My arms were super tired at the end of that night, because every game we picked involved some kind of arm activity.

I took one (lame) picture, and that was it. So moving on!

Friday morning Cam and I got up early, fit in a workout, did a bunch of laundry and packing, and left for South Bend (Indiana) at about 3 (driving time ~3 hours). We decide to spend a night in with Bryn and Erich (one of my best friends from college and her equally awesome boyfriend), and had a really good time. They'd ordered Chinese food which was ready when we got there, and we ate while chatting and watching The Great British Bake Off (which for some dumb reason is called "The Great British Baking Show" on Netflix...).

Momentary pause to talk about their dog, Luna. She is effing adorable. I took a ton of pictures of's a sample:

Her underbite was adorable.
And she really loved climbing on Cam (and licking his face).
Luna aside..Bryn and Erich are super into board games, and we played one called Dead of Winter while we were there. We played what Erich said was a "short" version...and it took almost 2 hours! Craaaaazy! But it was a lot of fun. It's a zombie survival themed game with lots of different things going on so it's never boring! Definitely good if you've got 4 or so people to keep entertained for a few hours.

We stayed up past midnight talking and catching up (I really, really miss Bryn living close to me) and finally decided to go to bed because Cam and I needed to get to the hotel early-ish to work out on Saturday.

We got to the hotel long before our room was scheduled to be ready, so I asked for keys to the gym...I was a bit bummed later when I learned that we didn't get our guest bag or our free cookies. We were supposed to be offered both by the check in staff, and they didn't give them to us. It turns out we were the only ones who didn't get either thing, and at $120 a night I was a bit ticked off about that. #firstworldproblems

We also had to park in the world's shortest parking garage:

He's 6'6" for reference, he said it was making him claustrophobic, and he had to bend his head to keep it from knocking it on stuff. #dramaqueen
We decided just to lift so we wouldn't be tired for the wedding, and I also did some core work. Holy crap, I was so sore from it! Of note: We took one bag filled entirely with shoes!

I took no workout selfies, but here's the pile of gross clothes we had left after (just in case you want to see it):

By the time we finished our room was ready and we showered, then I ran out and got us some Jimmy John's while Cam studied a bit. I found this guy on the way:

I'm sure this has something to do with football. They seem to like football in South Bend.
When the time came, I gussied myself up, got Cam into his shirt and tie, and we headed to the church for the ceremony:

The confusion was just beginning. Metaphor for the whole night :P
So here's the thing if you ever attend a wedding at the Norte Dame basilica: It's not the easiest church to get to. We did not know this. Everyone we asked said it was "like 10 minutes away". Yeah. Maybe if you know where to go!

After two blocked driveways we accosted some young student (who, bless, thought we knew something about the campus...we didn't) and he gave us good-enough directions to get to the guard stand you have to pass to get to the basilica. She finished out the directions and we made it into the church with 5 minutes to spare (score!).

My mom immediately made me cry by showing me the program. This wedding was for my cousin Sarah and her (now) husband John, and (unbeknownst to me) John had lost his mom. It was Sarah's idea to add an "In Memoriam" to the program, listing the family members who are no longer with us When I read through it, I was touched beyond words that they'd included my dad on the list.

You's no secret to the people close to me that weddings can be really hard for me. I actually kind of loathe them. There's so much father-daughter stuff with weddings, and they also tend to be events where it feels like those we've lost are...forgotten. There's no other word for it. The more time that passes, the more it feels like other people have forgotten about my dad. Realistically I know they haven't...but it can really feel like that sometimes. Seeing his name in print next to all the other important people (John's mom, Sarah's grandpa...) made it feel like my dad still matters.

And so I burst into tears. Quiet, dignified tears. But yeah, I cried without anything even happening. I made it through most of the rest okay. The priest was actually really funny - most Catholic weddings I've been to have felt so somber that you may as well be at a funeral (and give me anxiety), but this guy made it seem way more lively that I'm used to. And I liked it!

It was short and sweet, and lighthearted (but still dignified) and afterwards we mingled with my family a bit before heading back to the hotel. During that mingling, Cam got one million compliments on his hair (it is disgustingly beautiful). He was likened to Thor multiple times. His ego inflated just a bit :P

Oh yes! And I took a picture of me in my dress and heels, because for three seconds I remembered how to be a good blogger:

Yes. I took it in the gym mirror while Cam refilled our waterbottles at the filter. It seems fitting, in a way :P
We spent the hour before the reception playing chess, and then skedaddled down to be social. On the way out of our room I got one of the only pictures of us that I took all day. I'm actually a bit bummed because I wanted to get a good picture of us together and totally forgot:

I had to force that tie over his head and around his neck, although props to Cam for leaving it on allll night.
Oh well, good enough I suppose.

The reception was very fun. Cam and I were at a table with most of my cousins, and once dinner was over the rest grabbed chairs and planted themselves there with us. My cousin Grace and I tried desperately to get Cam and our other cousins to come dance with us, but they were being silly and shy. She and I didn't care though, and we busted our moves out on the floor for a good measure of the night. And in case you're wondering: Yes, we're both amazing dancers.

I managed to get this one table selfie (that I honestly don't really remember taking, but I think I did say something about needing one for the blog, lol):

Lmao. There are only six of us in it, and only four paying attention, and you have to really look to see Sam on the edge there. I'm so good at this.
Annnyways. The night went on til 11 when the reception was scheduled to end, and after much cajooling, Cam convinced some of my cousins to wander around South Bend with us. Cam and I only stayed out until about 1:30, but I found out the next morning that a few of them didn't get back until FOUR AM. WAAAAT!!! Crazies.

The night went fine for me, but Cam struggled a bit at the end there. I'll just leave what that means up to your imagination...

I will say this though: He and Sam had enough tequila that they're now best friends, and Cam promised multiple people that he'd be at our family's Christmas Eve party (point of contention for us the last few weeks). It was news to him in the morning, but I can tell he's looking forward to it now ;)

We rounded out the trip by meeting Erich and Bryn for breakfast in downtown South Bend - right across the street from the Football Gorilla!

The drive home was uneventful (very, very boring, as it happens) and I made chicken soup and did laundry to recover from all the excitement. In the end I felt like I needed a weekend from my weekend...but that didn't happen, and instead I got to go to work on Monday like a normal person.

One other highlight from the wedding that I want to make sure I mention:

Sarah made the cutest and most thoughtful favors. She's very crafty, and took pottery classes when she was in PhD school, and every guest received a different handmade flower pot with a small desert plant:

I'll have to take a better picture of the pot, because this was a wonderfully unique (thoughtful, creative, cherished) gift to give. It will certainly have a place in my home and prove to be a nice little momento as the years roll by. Even Cam was excited for it, that's how cute they all were.

And with that, O' Blogosphere, I leave you. Lots to get done today so I need to get a move on! I'll be back soon with my December Streak update, as well as a bit about my birthday week. That sounds so pretentious but there are so many people to do stuff with that it's never just one day anymore!

Peace out until next time!


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