(the first part of our travel to MS in Nov/Dec can be read here.)
For the sake of getting this posted before next Christmas, I am keeping the journaling to a minimum. The little bit posted won't do justice for the actual events, but I hope to share just a glimpse of the outrageous fun from our holidays.
After arriving in MS, we were able to spend quality time with our family and friends. Grandparents drove in from out of town to see the boys.
The weekend prior to the wedding was the beginning of busy times before the big day.
First, was the King's annual Christmas Brunch on Saturday morning. This was special for me to be able to attend because this has been a tradition for our families since around 1994 (note to self: check on date of first year for album and on getting picture of very first Christmas brunch) when the King's invited the Jones family (that would be us) and one other family to their house for a hearty Christmas breakfast. Since that first year, the yearly tradition has grown to be something quite larger, but still remains very close to my heart. I had never missed a year until the last two, now being in Minnesota. (Clay was even able to attend in 2005 before our wedding as he happened to be in town. It was cool for me to have him there again this year and with our two kids!! Wow! Thinking about that seems so hard to believe.)
Mindy and John Tucker are the same ages as Taylor and me, so we had more than a few playdates at each other's houses. Mindy was an honorary bridesmaid in my wedding and I in hers. Tucker was the best man in my brother's wedding last month. Our parents have been friends since... well for as long as I can ever remember. The King family is one of the most giving and selfless families one could ever come across. Truly, to have friend's like these is a blessing that I could only hope everyone could have in their life.
Here's a picture of Mindy and me at the Brunch. If I could have fit all of the food in one picture I would have taken one to show, but because it took up three different large spaces in two different rooms, I'll just describe it at best. Every family brought a dish. There were over 30 families in attendance. Pork tenderloin biscuits, cheese grits, breads of all sorts, a delectable fruit variety, hot cider, coffee, and much more!
The invitation was so festive...a cute poem inviting the families to the big event.
A picture of the King family: John Tucker, Mrs. Felicia, Mr. John Mark, Mindy and her husband Richard
And next, on to the Moody's to celebrate the birth of Silas and Avery Warf. (I totally stole this picture from Terra's blog...thanks T!!!) Pictured below: Silas, Terra, Grace, Jack, Meredith, Meagan and Avery. Explanation: Terra and Meagan are twins...best friends of mine since childhood. They are holding Meredith's twins. Grace and Meredith are sisters...best friends of mine since childhood. They are holding Terra's baby boy, Jack. :) P.S. On a fun note...it was just announced that Grace and her husband, Micajah, are expecting their first this fall. Congratulations guys!!! It's going to be exciting times at the Gore gatherings!
Seeing so many hometown friends made for an extra fun morning for me...and I got to see more babies. Yea!
Saturday afternoon, Jack came over to play. This picture was also taken from Terra's blog, as this was the best one we could get between the two cameras. Three boys...three different ages (all under the age of 3)...all very busy in their own way...very hard to get them all to sit for three seconds for a picture. :)
Saturday evening, a few of us girlfriends got together for our annual Grenada Girls get-together. (This year, several of the girls from our group couldn't make it, so our little group combined with Mindy and Grace's, who also had several absentees this year, for a laid-back evening.) Cooper was the only baby who attended, but he slept the whole time so it was just like a night out for me. :) It's always so great to see these girls; I miss them so much and wish we could get together more often. What makes it even more fun though is that we always seem to pick up right where we left off before...love that.
Sunday afternoon, several friends hosted a Sip n See for Cooper at the Moody's home. Thank you girls!!
Cooper was either sleeping or happy faced, like the picture below, during the whole Sip n See.
(Parker wearing his coming home outfit from Rassie.)
Aunt LaLa, me and Ashland...not only were they a blast to see and visit with this trip, they were indispensable to me during these two weeks....helping out not only the whole weekend of the wedding but also prior to that. Thanks for playing with our boys and loving them the way ya'll do!!!
Special Cooper cookies...
The Sip n See was special and perfect in every way. My girlfriends rock and I love them so very much. Thank ya'll again for helping to make this such a treasured time that we will always remember.
After the busy weekend events, Parker enjoyed a little special time with Rassie helping to decorate the tree. I love his sweet, but serious expression as he concentrates so hard on where each and every ornament was to be hung.
One can probably tell that a toddler helped to decorate this tree. :)
...bad quality picture, but I love the one of the two of us in our red by the Christmas tree.
...and because Parker didn't get to ride in this fun contraption at the King's Christmas brunch on Saturday morning, they invited us back out to their place for a ride around the property. John Tucker was so sweet to ride him around after work one night. It just happened to be extremely cold that evening, so they didn't make it very far before Parker was ready to turn in. Parker didn't seem to mind though after Tucker introduced him to the video game world. Thanks Tucker. ;)
The week before the wedding was crazy, busy, chaotic, exciting, and FUN!!! I can't imagine how it was at the bride's household... :) I felt honored to go spend some quality hours one evening with my soon-to-be sister as we finished wrapping some gifts and completed a few other last minute to do's. Thank you for including me, Fair! It was nice to get to spend that time with you before the weekend.
And then the true fun began when Taylor and other family drove in to town on Wednesday. Parker enjoyed all the activity at the house and loved to help Aunt Pair and Uncle Tader open gifts!
One of my mom's sisters, her husband and her son, drove in from Arcadia, FL on Thursday evening. Taylor and I enjoyed getting to visit with our cousin Jason and reminisce over family gatherings. Putting the two of those guys together is always a laugh with their dry sense of humor. My dear hubby was supposed to get in earlier that day and ended up not arriving till the wee hours of the morning. I was sooo excited when he made it into town, but sad he missed the visiting time with the Arcadia bunch.
What our dining room table looked like on Thursday...gifts for the groomsmen and sorts.
A quick picture of mom and Taylor before leaving for the rehearsal.
I didn't get many pictures of the rehearsal or dinner, but thankfully, Anne and Mom got Mr. Rickey Cash to take pictures of the events...they turned out great! We will have plenty of photos for our album thanks to Mr. Rickey! Below, are a few of the pictures that either I took or my Uncle Barry captured.
A glimpse of the head table.
Our table...my mom put together the sweetest handout with a poem and letter to the bride and groom and included a simple childhood picture of each of them followed by a photo of the two of them in the inside above the typed letter. It is keepsake I'm sure Taylor and Fair will cherish forever.
Trisha catered the Rehearsal Dinner at First and Green in Downtown Grenada. The event was breathtaking and special. I was so proud of mom. She put much love and care into each detail of the evening to make sure that it was extra special for the soon-to-be-newlyweds. Simple greenery and garland, white lights and toile, navy and silver accents on table, a sweet and memorable video presentation that included pictures of the bride, groom, family and friends, delicious food, and most importantly, amazing friends and family.
Between the craziness of having the two boys there to take care of, the hectic day and the tear-jerking toasts from friends and family, I was a blubbering fool by the time I got up to speak. It's a miracle anything even came out of my mouth....and I can assure you, there was nothing eloquent about it. :)
Trisha and her team did an amazing job on the decorations for the evening. It looked like something out of a fairy tale. Here's a photograph of the entrance.
A picture of the four of us at the end of the evening...very tired, but very excited for the next day's events.
Mom and Taylor Saturday morning.
Saturday morning, the guys went to the Groom's breakfast hosted by friends and the girls scattered off to a Bridesmaid Luncheon also hosted by friends. Both were spectacular in every way. Once again, I wish I had taken more pictures at these events. After getting pampered with a delicious breakfast, spoiled with bridesmaid treats from the bride, and having my hair and makeup done, I quickly ran off to help with the boys at mom's house. They had recently arrived back from the Groomsmen brunch. We did enjoy a little downtime prior to all heading out to the church. A limo came to pick up the bride and bridesmaids from the brunch and a limo came out to mom's house to pick up Taylor and the two best men, our granddad and Taylor's long-time friend, Tucker. (I loved that Fair had decided to hire photographers that covered every aspect of the day...one of the photographers spent a couple of hours just at the house shooting Taylor and the best men getting ready, and everything else that was going on in the background...like Parker peeking from outside my bedroom door trying to see what was going on in Uncle Tader's room, me holding Cooper on the floor beside the piano, the guys getting packed and ready to jump in the limo...I mean, they got everything. Meanwhile, other photographers were with Fair and the bridesmaids, and even another one at the church shooting a variety of details.)
At the church that evening, after all pictures had been taken and everyone was just waiting on the clock, we grabbed a few photos before storing our cameras.
The wedding for Taylor and Fair was held at Fair's hometown church, First Methodist. The sanctuary and details of the event were perfect. Fair and Anne did an awesome job preparing for the day and in the end it was a true storybook wedding for the bride and groom. I wish I could share in words so many of the intricate details, but I truly don't think I could do the day justice. I would LOVE for you to check out more pictures from the day here. In viewing these, you will get a better picture of how special and reverent the day was for the two families.
Following the wedding, the groomsmen and bridesmaids were carried over by the Ole Miss Trolley to the Grenada Country Club, where the reception was to be held.
Ok, so I was sooo happy that my uncle had his camera present and let me
Me with my grandparents. One of my favorite things about the evening was seeing the two of them out there on the dance floor! They were so cute!
A classic...my mom and her two sisters...Aunt Cindy (FL) and Aunt Val (Madison, MS)...I might be getting a few phone calls over posting this one... ;) I love ya'll so very much! (They are a hoot when all together.)
...so here's a serious one for the girls :)
Me with several of my brother's friends at the end of the evening. I love these guys...true friends they will always be...and will always mean so very much to our family.
and a fabulous picture of the mother-of-the bride (Anne) and Mom.
You both survived. I think that calls for a toast! Here Here! Love you two...and you too, Mr. Buddy. ;)
The reception was a party like no other. I think what made it most entertaining for me was being able to visit and hang out with all of our relatives. Every single one of us out on the dance floor letting loose to oldies... Laughing over chocolate cake...me giving orders to each of the cousins to line up for pictures...seeing Clay (after everyone else had attempted with no success) with Mama Sam out on the dance floor tearing it up...meeting several of my cousins' girlfriends...watching mama and her sisters breaking it down on the dance floor...it was an evening I will never forget and always be thankful for.
And to wrap up our stay, Sunday morning all the family came by before leaving town. Mom, me and the boys were all still in pjs, but we loved the casual visits with everyone. LOVED the house full of people. It made me smile.
Later, we dropped by Golliday Hall for a visit with LaLa, Uncle Butch, Papa, Collin and Ashland. Sitting in their parlor room beside the fireplace and beautifully decorated mantel and tree completed the visit for me. It was such a special visiting time.
A picture of Golliday Hall at night.
One last picture at Rassie's. Thank you for hosting us as usual, mama. I know you love it and wouldn't have it any other way, but we appreciate the time and effort you always put into making the stay extra special for each of us.
And finally...headed home to Minne. The boys did great once again.
Parker enjoyed a special snack on the airplane that made him smile...mm's from the rehearsal dinner.
Upon arriving to MN, I had 2 very tired and hungry little boys on my hands, no husband, extremely cold weather and a long walk to our vehicle.
Yeah...after taking note of the bags, the toddler situation (ahem), the long walk in the dark, frigid cold...I called a girlfriend of mine. Thank you Sharise for coming to our rescue!!! She came and picked us up and drove us to our car; it saved us an hour of walking time (literally!)
Tadah!!! It's finally posted. ha ha! As I said before, because I was so involved with each of the activities of the weekend and my boys, I wasn't able to capture nearly the memories and details with my own camera as I would have liked. I am forever thankful for the photographers in taking such care in shooting the simple moments of the day in addition to the formal stuff. :) The Rehearsal, Rehearsal Dinner, Groomsmen and Bridesmaid brunches, preparation of the wedding, the wedding itself and the reception were all captured beautifully. The photographers (there were 5 hired for the weekend...4 on the day of the wedding) couldn't have captured the Southern wedding more exquisitely. I LOVED how they took note of every single detail and am grateful that we have these pictures for our albums.
To see some of the wedding and reception pictures, you can go to this link for a slideshow. Not all are posted, but a good representation of the overall day.
With this post, I send out much love to our family and friends back home. Thank you for helping to make our holiday season more special. We loved seeing each of you and look forward to our next trip down. Take care and we wish you the best in 2011.
Congratulations once again to the happy bride and groom. We love you two so very much...p.s. the offer still stands; we would love a weekend trip from you guys this summer. Stillwater and Duluth are calling our names!