Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Month of July - July 9th through July 13th

July 8th Ben and I arrived in Minneapolis to spend the week with his sister Jamie, her husband Keith and their two girls, Kara and Nina.  We arrived to good food and good company our first night, with much in store for the following week. 

On Monday, the 9th, Ben and I had an appointment to pick up our marriage license.  We woke up, grabbed some coffee and headed out the door.  I had previously scheduled an appointment at the recorder's office so that we would not have to wait forever in line, but ended up waiting about twenty minutes anyway.  It was a weird feeling applying for the marriage license - surreal, really.  It was the most grown up thing I had ever done.  I had been dreaming of my wedding for my entire life and it was insane that I was FINALLY there.  Insane, and completely wonderful. 

After we obtained our marriage license, we went back to Jamie and Keith's to spend time with Kara and Nina.  Ben's college friend, Andy, brought over pizza for a late lunch and to catch up with Ben.  I had heard much about him and was excited to finally meet him!  For supper, Drew (lived with Jamie and Keith) made us "Paccino"for supper.  It some sort of delicious seafood soup that I have been craving ever since we ate it.  It was absolutely delicious - we enjoyed the meal outside on the patio since it was such a beautiful night.  I was surprised at how much Kara liked the soup.  She has a very diverse pallet for such a young girl.  Or maybe I have always just been so picky that I am easily surprised? 

On Tuesday, the 10th, Ben and I woke up early to check out all of our vendors/venues for the wedding.  We started the day by going to Stillwater, MN to check out The Aurora Staples Inn where the ceremony was to be held.  We also made it a point to scout out some potential picture taking locations.  We had an appointment with the photographer at 1 p.m., so it was back to Minneapolis.  We met Rachel at her studio and discussed everything about our approaching big day.  We left feeling very confident in our decision in hiring De La Vue for our wedding. 

Wednesday, the 11th, we spent the day watching Kara and Nina while Jamie and Keith were at work.  We had a blast with those adorable girls!  Kara enjoyed playing hide and seek, playing puzzles and coloring.  She had me read her two books before nap and was very excited for her popsicle when she woke up.  Nina enjoyed anything, really.  Either laying on her play mat, walking around (being held - us walking), or watching her sister play, she was easy to please.  She is the perfect baby - so happy and sweet.  Both of those girls are perfect.  That night Ben and I made supper - we made Carribbean style chicken salad (mentioned previously in the blog) and a friggin' delicious brownie dessert of my own making.  It was a brownie bottom, then a layer of cream cheese with fresh strawberries on top!  Everything went over great! 

After supper Ben and I sat down with Keith to plan out how we wanted the ceremony to go and the script.  We had an idea of what we wanted, so we were able to get things hashed out fairly quickly.  When the girs had gone to bed, Keith, Jamie, Ben and I sat down in the living room and discussed anything and everything.  It turned out to be a great conversation and we all learned about each other. 

On Thursday, the 12th, Ben and I volunteered to have the girls again.  We couldn't get enough of them!  Ben's brother, Jon, and Bri arrived around lunch so Ben made them something to eat and caught up.  That night Ben dropped me off at the hotel we had reserved for guests and he stayed with his family.  Ben and his family had supper and drinks around the fire. 

I had a wonderful night myself - my bff Elyssa came up for a girls night!  I was excited for her to arrive and was really hoping she would be up for a night of junk food and movie watching.  After a couple weeks of running, I was spent!  True to form, Elyssa showed up with a bag of junk food! We are basically the same person and it works in our favor pretty much always.  After a short discussion, we decided that fast food (McDonald's, don't judge) and more junk food sounded GREAT.  I had also discovered that you could rent The Hunger Games off the TV!!!!!!! (It had not yet been released to DVD).  Elyssa was IN.  We went on a bit of an adventure to get our McDonald's and junk food, and then headed back to the hotel for our awesome movie!  Elyssa was very sweet and wrote a maid of honor speech that she read to me prior to our feast.  We both shed a few tears cheered ourselves up with artery clogging crap.  The Hunger Games was just as awesome as the three times we saw it in the theater and when it was done, we decided it would be a good idea to watch it again!!  We were both pretty tired and fell asleep part of the way through, and before we knew it, it was morning and Elyssa had to leave.  :(

The morning of the 13th I said my goodbyes to Elyssa and went back to bed for a bit.  I later met up with Ma and Clif to go to breakfast.  Clif ended up going into downtown Minneapolis to pick up some new shoes for Saturday, so Ma and I enjoyed a mother-daughter breakfast at Hazel's.  We indulged in the drunken banana french toast, eggs and bacon.  There are a few cute shops on the same block as Hazels, so we window shopped a bit and then Ma needed to go pick up Clif.  I was exhausted from the last couple of weeks and staying up late/waking up early the night before, so I went back to the hotel for a nap.

An hour later, and only about 20 minutes after I'd fallen asleep, Ma called and asked if I had gotten rested up and wanted to go get mani-pedi's.  I was still very exhausted, but decided sleep-schmeep, I'm going to be pampered.  We headed out to get our nails done and again some mother-daughter time.  We went to a place Jamie suggested and were very impressed.  We ended up getting spa pedicures, which were awesome, because we couldn't understand what the guy was asking us.  They did such a good job! 

At Luna Rossa
When our nails were done, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the rehearsal dinner.  Ben had already arrived at the hotel since he would be getting ready with me and going over together.  We were running short on time, so I quickly showered, got dressed and did my makeup, then Ben and I went to visit my dad and his date who had arrived a couples hours earlier.  They were going to follow us to the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, so we packed into Ma & Clif's rental car and headed for Stillwater.  Since we were running late and the traffic was intense, we were unable to pick up the folding chairs for the wedding (the place closed at 6), so we added that to our list for the morning of the wedding.  We arrived at the Aurora Staples Inn for a quick run through of the ceremony and then headed to Luna Rossa to meet everyone for supper.  The restaurant was beautiful and charming.  We had a room to ourselves and Glenda and Bill had wine already waiting for us on the table.  Everyone said hello and was introduced to one another before appetizers.  Ben's dad gave a very sweet and emotional speech prior to supper and we all toasted to our families becoming one.  Supper was delicious and there were these tasty eclairs for dessert that had some sort of cold custard filling.  Bill was especially taken by the eclairs.

After supper, dessert and drinks, we all parted ways for the night.  Ben and I returned to the hotel to get a good nights rest before the big day.  We spent the drive back discussing how things were going to go the next day and mentally preparing and organizing ourselves.  We passed out as soon as our heads hit the pillows and dreamed sweetly of the day to come!