Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weeks' Wedding Weekend

This weekend we were so glad to be a part of Bradley and Laurie's wedding!!! Bradley Weeks was one of Forrest's pledge brothers and was a groomsman in our wedding and Forrest was honored to be asked to be a part of Bradley and Laurie's special day this past Saturday.

Bradley and Forrest at our wedding
To kick the weekend off, I spent Friday with the class I volunteer with on their end of the year field trip to the McWane Center in Birmingham. It actually worked out perfectly because they let me ride the bus so Forrest was able to pick me up after we were finished and drive us to Ttown for the weekend and we didn't have an extra car to worry about. With gas as high as it is, this was very exciting to me! I was not sure what to expect about this field trip experience but it was really fun and definitely different than anything I do on a daily basis. The kids were SO excited and it was fun to watch them light up! The first thing we did was watch an IMAX movie on tornadoes. Let's just say that this was not the best timing on that movie. However, I barely watched any of it because it made me motion sick! I just sat there with my eyes closed, which was fine since I didn't want to see tornado destruction any more than I had to.

3 of my little group about to watch the movie
Next, the kids got to run around and play for a while before lunch, and then they had a little lesson on magnets, gravity and forces. They got to put on these plastic "floor skates" and slide around on the carpet to see what it feels like without friction. Oh, this was so much fun for them!!  After their class they got to run around and play again before heading home. I don't think they really grasped the concept that they were supposed to be "getting something" out of all the playing they were doing, but they had fun anyway so I guess it doesn't matter! Forrest picked me up about 1:30 and by that time I was EXHAUSTED! Chasing 6 year olds wears me out. At least I know that I chose the right profession since I get to work with adults and any chasing that is involved occurs over the phone!! I did have a great day though and I am so glad to have been invited!

Playing in the tornado maker

Touching sharks and stingrays! This was a HUGE hit!

Mrs. Weaver's 1st grade class
Although it was nice to be able to sit and relax while on the car ride down (and nice to actually see Forrest in the middle of a weekday) I was dreading going to Tuscaloosa. I just did NOT want to see all of the destruction for the tornado. Any article I read or picture I saw made me cry and get scared all over again for my sister. Yes, maybe that is a tad dramatic since she was fine but I just haven't been able to shake that last little bit of lingering fear. I did think, though, though, that seeing it with my own eyes might make it a little more manageable for me, so even though I was dreading it I was determined to take it all in. Forrest and I were definitely NOT prepared for what all we saw. You can tell exactly where it crossed over the interstate and so we followed its devastating path. An entire block of housing projects is completely gone, as are entire neighborhoods. We couldn't really drive up and down the streets in the neighborhoods but the main roads were open. At one point we had no idea where we were--turns out we were at the curve where Hackberry becomes Hargrove. Normally, you would know exactly where you were when you got to this curve, but none of the buildings look the same (or are even there any more) so we were really confused. It was so sad to see the site of our 2nd hometown cut in two. We tried to find the houses of friends that we used to visit and have parties in while we were in college, but they either weren't there or we simply couldn't find them because there aren't any land marks to guide us. We also drove through the area known as Alberta City, which was totally unrecognizable. I used to tutor Hispanic children at Alberta Elementary in college, and now the school is totally destroyed. It was right in the path of the tornado and basically only the front wall is still standing. I remember that being the most beautiful school I have ever been in, and now it is gone. I of course had been crying through our entire drive, but when I saw the school I just lost it! After a quick drive down 15th street, we decided we'd had enough and went to my sister's to get ready for the rehearsal. Even though I was really torn up about everything, I did feel better. It was nice to see that because the tornado angled so much, my sister was a lot further away from it then it seemed at first. Also, the slight by visible progress being made and cleaning everything up was comforting. I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but it did make me feel better. However, as my college roommate Molly said (who was there when it happened) "There is just too much sky". You can see for way too far because there are no trees or houses to block your view. Tuscaloosa will never look the same and therefore it will not be easy to forget what happened, which is both good and bad.
Ok, let's switch gears from depressing to wedding fun!
One of the greatest things about the wedding was getting to see so many of our college friends all at once. Several of the boys live out of town, and even out of state, and they were all back to celebrate Weeks' wedding. Since Frankie and Becka's plane was delayed, they made it to town just in time for Frankie to pick up Forrest and head to the rehearsal. Becka stayed with me and we got ready together. It was fun to help each other pick out outfits, jewelry, and share purses! We made it to the church right as the rehearsal was ending, so we basically turned ourselves right back around and headed with the group to a non-smoking bar in ttown. Amazing! I hate going to smokey places and this was a welcome change in ttown! After a quick stop, it was time for the rehearsal dinner at one of my favorite Tuscaloosa restaurants, Cypress Inn!! I had my all time favorite meal--their chicken with white bbq sauce, and their delicious rolls and muffins! Mmm mmm mmm! I Love going to rehearsal dinners, almost as much as weddings. You really get to see the closeness of the families and they love they have for the married couple. Of course, we have fun eating and hanging out with our friends too!

I was freezing at the restaurant so Becka and I shared her pashmina--yes, seriously

About to get our dinner on!
Becka and I discovered another thing we have in common (just one of the many---I'm so glad we have gotten to know each other!)-----a love for the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous! We were doing lines from the movie in mid-western accents all night long! Hilarious!! Bradley honored his groomsmen with Vineyard Vines elephant ties from the Shirt Shop. How appropriate! I honestly think that those were the best groomsmen gifts I have ever seen. Way to go Bradley!!!

The guys and Bradley. This picture is highly appropriate
In return, to honor Bradley, all of the groomsmen and other friends went to Bradley's favorite college bar, the Houndstooth, to celebrate Bradley's last day as a single guy. It was a perfect night to sit outside and reminisce about all of those crazy college times!
On Saturday morning Forrest got up early and went biking through the state park with Jay. I chose a more lazy approach to the day and stayed in bed until time for lunch with Randi and Becka. We went to Mugshots, another one of my favorite ttown places. We introduced Becka to her first fried dill pickle and really just had a delightful time! I got a frantic call from Forrest saying that it was 9 minutes until he had to be a the church and Frankie wasn't there and he didn't have his tux yet--panic! Luckily they had moved the picture time back so they were fine, but I volunteered the girls and myself to pick up the tux to save time. When we got there, I thought it was closed and ran through the street, planning to break in if I had to so we could get that tux! Luckily it was opened and my sprint was apparently seen by everyone in the store, who were laughing hysterically at me when I came flying and panting into the store. Oh well, at least I put my all into it, right?
I must say that the wedding was LOVELY. It was at the First Methodist Church downtown, which I had never been in before. Laurie looked BEAUTIFUL in her lace gown and Bradley looked so sweet as he smilingly watched her walk down the aisle towards him. Awww--don't you just love a wedding! The reception was at Smith Hall, where they have a museum on campus. It was a fantastic space! It was just the right size, complete with grand double staircase from which the new couple was introduced, and a huge dinosaur skeleton suspended over the entire room. Forrest was so jealous that they had fossils at their wedding and we didn't!

The food was great, the music was fun, and overall it was a great night, including the Catherine Bailey/Jay Hedgspeth medley of songs from Grease, complete with lyrics and dance moves!!! Congrats Bradley and Laurie! We love you and wish you all the best!!!

With the bride and groom

Wishing them a fond farewell!

They gave out shakers that said " Bradley and Laurie, May 21 2010". I am going to use mine as my new lucky shaker!
Also please notice Ben in the background. You can't have a pic without been doing something weird in it!
On Sunday morning we went to early Mass and much to my surprise, sat next to Scott Cochran, the strength and conditioning coach for the Tide, and his wife. (He's the one screaming and jumping up and down on the sidelines throughout the whole game.) Also, Coach Saban and his wife sat 2 rows in front of us! At one point during Mass Coach Cochran turned to me and asked to borrow my pen. I gave him a pink and white polka dot one and when he gave it back he said "You're awesome!". I'm pretty sure he meant in life and not just because I happened to have a pen so his wife could fill out her check for the collection! He also shook our hands during the sign of peace AND I got to hold his hand during the Lord's Prayer. I am pretty sure I am now little more powerful now!!!
After Mass we had breakfast at the Waysider, something we always used to do after church in the spring. We LOVE a good breakfast and the Waysider never disappoints! I had the special, sausage and cheese omelet and Forrest had pancakes, and of course we polished off some of their world famous biscuits!!!
On the way home, we stopped at my grandmother's to pick up my sister's car (she left it there went she flew to Italy a few weeks ago). Forrest stayed in town and worked with Cahaba Valley Health Care to do dental screenings at St. Peters in Hoover. I took MMM"s car and went straight home for a "Sip and See" for my friend Amy Gladden and her new baby, Thomas. Thomas was such a sweet little guy and just slept through the whole thing. Congrats Gladdens!!!

Me and Kendall, some of the few "non-moms" at the party
That night we ate dinner at my parents' but had to scurry home quickly after because Forrest has finals. Please please pray for him this week and next week as he has so many tests!!!
Have a great week!!!

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