It's been almost a month and a lot has happened in the last few weeks, so this will be a long post. I think I have good reason for taking such a long hiatus, though. I'm a Mrs. now and so far, no regrets. In fact, we're pretty happy. I wish I had lots of pictures to tell the story, but we're still waiting for them, so I'll just have to use my words. And since a picture is worth a thousand words and there were lots of pictures taken, get ready for thousands of words. Okay, I won't write that much, but this could be long. Feel free to skim read, skip sections, whatever - I won't be mad. Mostly this will help me, many years down the road, to remember how everything was and how everything felt. We do have a few pics which I'll post here and when we do get the rest of the pictures, I'll post a link to them so if you do skim read, you can look at the pictures for the whole story.
Wedding week was a little crazy. With all of the families coming into town and all of the wedding preparations going on, we were very busy. I worked through Wednesday, so Thursday (the day before the wedding) was busy with preparations, packing, etc. I was up late getting everything done, so I got little sleep that night. It was about what I expected though. Friday started bright and early. My good friend Turbo (Jessica McDowell) came over at 6:30 am (thanks Turbo - you're awesome!) to do my hair and make up. My hair took only a couple minutes, the make up a little longer, but it all looked great. Turbo also stayed to do Amy's (my maid of honor) hair. Jared's parents and family were meeting us at the temple, so we rode up together with my parents. In the car we had a couple last minute things to take care of and then we were pretty much done. That left us time to really start thinking about what we were doing and that's when I started to get nervous. Needless to say, the last half of that car ride was hell. I don't think Jared was doing too bad, but I was a mess (my mom insisted on taking a picture of us together before we went into the temple. I'm not going to post that here because it's not a pretty sight. I looked about how I felt - not great). I never had second thoughts about what we were doing. I think I just started to realize the enormity of it all and it made me nervous. Once we were in the temple and preparations were underway, I was doing a little better. It was nice when Jared and I finally got to sit for awhile together in the celestial room. I was still nervous, but not like before. When they took us up to the sealing room, I think that's when Jared started to feel it. We were both nervous, but ready. When we finally walked into the sealing room, I was totally overwhelmed at seeing so many people who are so important to me. At that point I totally lost it. Some people say I looked terrified. I wasn't scared. I was nervous and overwhelmed, but never scared. I honestly have no idea what the sealer said for the first five minutes, but after that I collected myself and paid attention. A lot of it is a blur, but I do remember some things he said (if anyone who was there remembers anything specific, please share because it might be something that I forgot). If I could describe the sealing in one word, I would probably say it was intense. It wasn't crazy or anything, but for me, on a personal level, the emotions and thoughts I had during the ceremony were intense. While kneeling at the altar, I kept thinking over and over, "I can still say no, I can still say no!" Of course, I didn't, and when I said yes, everything just felt right.
In comparing the pictures we took before going into the temple to the pictures after we came out, it's a pretty funny contrast. We were so much happier after! We took lots of pictures after the sealing and then headed to Round Table Pizza for our luncheon. After the wedding, with all of my nervousness gone, I was really hungry and ready to eat and the pizza was perfect. We weren't into having a fancy luncheon because there would be so many kids there. We just wanted something that would be easy, tasty (especially for the kids), and wouldn't create any more work for our friends and family. I think the pizza was perfect. After the luncheon, we went home for a few minutes, but then it was off to the reception site to get things ready. And that's when things got crazy. I won't go into detail, but we'll just say that Jared and I were both completely stressed out with trying to get everything and everyone ready to go for the reception. When it all finally started, though, it was fantastic! Everything looked great, the food was great, the people were great - we were so happy with how everything turned out. It was so fun to see so many people that I haven't seen in so long. We loved it!
For the honeymoon, we went to Puerto Vallarta and had an absolute awesome time. With the intensity and busyness of the wedding day, a nice, relaxing vacation in Mexico was exactly what we needed. We had great food (thanks for the restaurant suggestions Kristen and Aaron!), awesome weather, great times swimming with dolphins, riding the zip lines (more thanks to Kristen for the suggestion), and just relaxing in Mexico. Thanks Julie and Terrell for the timeshare! When we got back from Mexico, we made a very quick trip up to Rexburg for the open house up there. It was hard going from the wonderful weather in Mexico to the frozen tundra of Idaho, but we survived (barely!). The open house went well and Jared's mom did a great job with the decorations, food, etc. Most of the time Jared was introducing me to people at that one, but a couple people came through that I actually got to introduce to him. A couple of my aunts and uncles were there and it was so fun to see them. We even went to a session at the Rexburg temple with them the morning before the open house. It was also so fun to see Mary Peterson, who I served with on my mission. After the open house, it was home to California where the craziness continues. My parents leave tomorrow for their 6 month mission to serve in the Nauvoo Temple and we'll be housesitting for them while they're gone. The timing is perfect and it will be great for us to have someplace to stay, rent-free, for 6 months and it will be great for them to have someone taking care of the house. Win-win...win. This last week has been crazy with them packing up, us moving but not unpacking, us trying to stay out of their way and not make a huge mess, and trying to figure out what to do with an extra set of couches (we ended up squeezing them into the house. That's makes for a lot of extra seating. Did someone say party?).
It's been one crazy day after another, but it's all been so great and Jared and I are so happy. Things should finally settle down a little next week, but whatever the circumstances, we're enjoying life!