Friday, June 22, 2007

meet the bridal party [aka, my team]

Kelly: best friend of something like my whole life, married now herself, stood by me even in my most embarrassing and moronic moments, much laughter, can talk to about anything (even things I can't tell The Fiance, which is fine because he would get bored half the time), is the love of my life (as far as platonic love goes). She's the kind of person I would lay down for--in front of an oncoming train, beneath the ocean, sent up in a rocket ship. And I know she'd do the same for me, which is just all the more sweet, sweet.

This is my baby sister Chelsea. We are drinking beer together because she is not quite the baby I thought she was. This was taken the day before The Fiance and I got engaged (grr, and I'm wearing This High School's tshirt--get it off!). We are at Brooklyn Brewery because, at the time, this is where she lived (Brooklyn, not the brewery) and it's actually our second time here. And thus, our second time a little tippy in the afternoon, riding the subways. I could sit and tell you all kinds of memories--from shameful (remember when Blant toppled from his bike because we were tossing fistfuls of pebbles at the ground in the turnaround?) to wonderful (remember how we would play for hours and hours in the quiet afternoon in the playroom, which later became your bedroom, but we still always played there?). I love this kid, even if she isn't a kid, even if she isn't just striking a life out on her own, finding ways to become happy, which is a struggle for everyone, but when this little bird takes flight, my heart swells. Oh, and she has really nice bird tattoos on her arms, which is something Kelly and I are looking for. :)

Here is The Fiance with his own little sister, Megan, and Megan's little one, James. This was taken a few days after The Fiance gave me a shiny little object (that makes me feel like a raccoon every once in a while). We are in New Jersey, and would you believe it, I had a good time! Of course, this has something to do with family and the best cake I've had in my life (yes, including the samples we tasted for our wedding cake, but shh, don't tell The Fiance). It also had to do with a buttery little baby and seeing This Fiance able to spend time with a sister who lives too, too far away. She was the third one exactly to ask--Kelly because she knew (she helped pick out the ring, but she also always knew she'd be my maid of honor) and Chelsea because we were staying with her (besides, she's my second in command anyway). I felt silly asking fresh hours after the new ring, but of course, she is family, will be part of my branching family now too.

Here is Chris with "the Brazilian" (her boyfriend, as we called him for too long before we accepted his name was really Ted). She is at our one year house warming party, fresh from a trip to Brazil, a glass of wine in hand because we used the excuse of a mortgage to try a string of Rieslings. I've known Chris since high school (so wonderful!) and am not only a person who adores her, but admires her, big time. If there were a Chris fan club, I might be the president, or at least someone with a lot of glitter and pom poms. She's the kind of person I'd love to be: smart, sassy, bold, brave, creative, beautiful.

OK, with the switch to digital, this is the best I could do for Nikki, who is smooshing my head against her chest. She is the one between me and Chris (with Kim on the other end) on a night when Nikki was in GB (I will have plenty of pictures of her and Chris to slather this blog with after the end of July and our trip to North Carolina). She is a delight to be around--another bold woman (I only like them bold, and as I look up and down this list, I see rich, wonderful, bold women, all women I admire so much) who loves to have fun but can also be counted on for a long conversation. I think Nikki and I have had some experiences in our life that have linked us, too--which makes it all the more easier to feel bonded. Interestingly enough, she was part of my senior year high school "lunch group," but we didn't get fiercely close until after high school. I don't know why this strikes me so much, but I remember when she went to England and I called her for her birthday (and I have phone allergies, you see) and how excited she was. And I'd call her from England every day, though I'm glad she understands my phone allergies and forgives me for taking so long to come visit her in Charlotte.

Here is Miss Emily, who is laughing because I told her to "look frightened" at her roasted beet salad (I would be scared too--the thing is huge and it has beets in it). It was taken something like twelve hours ago, here in town, where she finally visited me and my not-too-cluttered house (she confessed that she expected it to be much worse, which either says something for my classroom and car (which it does) or for my talking it up). She's a former colleague, and I wish I could drag her along to Local High School (seriously, if they abuse her at This High School--as they did me--I can easily go up and kick some lousy This High School admin butt) because she is also wonderful. We grew so close so quickly, and I am so grateful to have met her before I had to move on. We are truly lucky to have found each other. The afternoon we spent together today was spent with ease--full of flowing conversation and each other. The only thing I regret is that I couldn't get my jumping bean / bowling ball dogs to stop jumping on her and I went into a bit of a shopping coma towards the end. :) But seriously, LOVE LOVE this girl.

And Angie. Look at this girl. I just want to wrap my arms around her and say: thank goodness for meeting you! I think the thing about Angie that I love the most is that she is completely and utterly honest, but also willing to listen and experience the great, wide world. She's ready to take it all in, and if you don't mind a frank opinion, she'll share that experience with you. She is part of a trio (her husband Lane with our friend Chad) in Winona that we adore and socialize as much as we can with... plus, her dog is best friends with Penelope, so I think we are forever linked. And here is something that seems a little silly, but: we went camping not so long ago, and she came back to help me when I was totally dying and embarrassed at how pathetic I was. She took my backpack and coaxed me up (it sounds like I was dying, but I wasn't--I just had to pause more than the group--and I didn't complain, just really was hoofing it) and didn't make me feel like an idiot for being the weakest of the group.

And this is exactly how lucky I am.


One usher, on my team: Jesse, who I do not have a picture readily available, but we have been friends since our undergraduate days, and some day I will dedicate a post to him and his family and how much my heart is with them. Also: one reader, my friend Eireann, who is so talented (sorry if this makes you blush) and so humble--so creative that I feel blessed to have her in my life too.

And The Fiance has a lovely little assembly, all of whom I approve of:

His best man, Mike: a friend since undergraduate days, three years room mate too
Eric: his older brother
Dan: his good friend from graduate school
Lane: husband of Angie, good friend from graduate school
Chad: of the Winona five, good friend from graduate school
BJ: a friend of ours that The Fiance went to high school with
Jeff: a friend of ours that The Fiance went to high school with

And: Jay, who is an usher, who he had as an instructor in graduate school and team teaches with now.

All this, in case you were curious. :)

Plus, you knew I would one day have to sit down and say how fabulous our wedding party is!


KeLL said...

Everyone looks so great! Except for me. I think I was drunk.

EWH said...

I laugh because how could someone be frightened by beets? I love beets.

I'm so excited to be a part of your wedding party. I feel so honored to be one of "your people".

T-minus 50 days to your wedding!

tongue in cheek said...

Wonderful circle of friends and love! Happiness is evident!

eireann said...