Sunday, December 31, 2006

Finally ... post-wedding recap!

I am, obviously, a little lax on my blogging. This is because, my brother, got married yesterday, and, as is true with most weddings, sleep is the last thing anyone is thinking about. There is so much to do that sleep, even for my dear husband who is nursing a head cold, is just not a top priority.

We also were no longer staying at my parents, where I could jump on the computer at any given moment. Don’t feel neglected. I hope this post will make up for yesterday’s post – probably the shortest on record.

So, without further ado, a quick recap, followed by, what everyone wants to see anyways, pictures! J

Bachelorette Party
Thursday night was the bachelorette party as you can see by the pictures I included on a previous post. It was a very fun evening as I had only previously met one of the other eight girls there. There were six bridesmaids and two good friends who were serving as coordinators and scripture readers. We had dinner, opened gifts, and then took a limo to Beach Place in downtown Fort Lauderdale. I had JB pick me up from there as it was nearing midnight, and I was really worn out. AD’s friends were wonderful, and I totally felt included. They are wonderful friends of her’s from high school and college and just a delight to get to know. As for the other events of the evening? I signed some paper swearing me to secrecy so that is all I can say about that. But for those of you who know me, I am sure you are not worried. As I told AD, I am not a big stick in the mud but I am at least, a small stick in the mud.

Rehearsal Dinner
Friday was the rehearsal dinner. It went off, flawlessly. However, getting to that point in the day was a major adventure. JB and I woke up early at the VanWycks, went to a wonderful memorial service for Rick, then picked up JB’s tuxedo and returned to my parents where we worked on the box for the gift cards and a guest book for the rehearsal. We then went to work on the printing the programs only to realize that my parent’s printer couldn’t print the margins we needed. Grrrrrrr.

On to plan B – Kinkos, only it is now nearing 3:00, the rehearsal starts at 5:00, and we can’t find a Kinkos on this side of town. We decide to put the programs aside until later in the day, while JB went to pick up our niece Grace (aka “flower girl”) so we could take her to the rehearsal.

We met at the American Orchid Society at 5:00, went through the practice for the wedding (more on this location in a bit), and then headed to AD’s parents’ church for the dinner. Smokey Bones catered, and the food was great! It was a very casual but very nice dinner, and beside the fact that my brother was a witness to an accident on the way over and therefore thirty minutes late, everything went great.

Grace was a real joy the entire evening. We spoiled her rotten, and she seemed to be comfortable with her role as flower girl despite earlier fears of walking in front of so many people. When my mother (whom she calls “Lady Di”) asked her if she would be able to help the ring bearer the next day and be a good girl etc., Grace, with all seriousness, looked at my mom and said, “I’m not Jesus you know.” It was hysterical. She also picked up the phrase “Oh for Pete’s sake,” and spent the evening asking people to say crazy things so that she could reply by saying, “Oh for Pete’s sake.” AD gave her a flowery dress-up tu-tu that she walked around in the whole evening. The bridesmaids got some beautiful jewelry for the wedding, and JB was given a pen monogrammed with “Dr. John Kit." How cool is that?!

After the rehearsal dinner, we took Gracie home, and the headed down to the VanWycks – with one quick stop at Kinkos. For those of you who know where those places are, yes, we went from Boca, to Coral Springs, back to downtown Fort Lauderdale. That’s a lot of driving! However, Kinkos ended up working out perfectly. Thirty minutes later we had our programs printed and cut. They charged us $8 and it was worth ever single penny.

Somehow we managed to get to bed before midnight. I’m still not sure how we fit that all in.

The wedding day was jammed. JB dropped me off at my mom’s around 10:00 and Grace joined us. Our friend Debbie did our hair, and my dear friend Michelle did makeup.

From there, off to AD’s mom’s house where the bridesmaids and bride were gathering. Following a ninety minute stop, we headed to the wedding site.

What a location! I am not able, in words, to tell you how beautiful this location was or how important it was that there was no rain! It was absolutely gorgeous. The wedding was in this orchid garden, and the reception was organized around fountains. It was amazing. It was, breathtaking.

Grace successfully walked down the aisle where Beth, the ring bearer’s mom, had toy cars for her and Cody. Grace then stood silently next to me for as long as the bag of mini Hershey’s kisses lasted. When they ran out and I had wiped the chocolate from her face, she wanted a place to play with her car. A bench behind sufficed until it was time to exit. She exited between JB and myself, and started counting 1-2-3 for us to swing her. What the heck – we did! It was great fun.

The ceremony itself was rather short. AD had to take her shoes off midway through the ceremony because they kept getting stuck on her dress. Her dress was two piece and just gorgeous! In addition, the pastor’s microphone didn’t work, but otherwise, it was just a perfect little ceremony. Keith’s friend Bryan performed his first wedding for them and did a great job!

We then partied until about 11:30. The slideshow JB and I put together worked out perfectly except for the fact that JB had to hold the screen still due to the wind. There were appetizers in the greenhouse and on the gazebo and tons of dancing. It was a fabulous evening. I got to see a few old friends like the Lagassi’s and Matt Cleveland Lauren Leggett as well as Eddie Holmes.

Okay, okay, so here is what you really wanted – pictures. These start at the rehearsal dinner and work their way through to the wedding. Enjoy! We sure did.

AD, Keith, and Bryan (Pastor/best man) discussing the ceremony.

AD's dad Gene holding Grace and his niece

Gracie making wishes at the fountain


Gracie at rehersal dinner

My Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob (Dad's brother) drove in for the wedding

My grama and grampa Medema (Mom's parents) flew in for the wedding

My Grama Huisman (Dad's mom)

My Uncle John (Dad's older brother) drove in with Bob, Mary, and my Grama

My Dad and Mom who put on an awesome rearhsal dinner

Gracie in her gift from AD and buckets of chocolate (which she was passing out to guests)

Gracie eating ice cream


Keith wrote AD and each bridesmaid a letter which I delivered the morning of the wedding. He also had a CD with some cool music as well.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wedding Day!

It's 11:41. The wedding is at 5:00! Check back soon for pictures and updates. Praise the Lord there is no rain forecasted today at all.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wedding Mania

Well the last few days, as you may have noticed from my rather pathetic blogging, I have felt the wedding crunch big-time. Decorating the reception hall, hair appointments, nail appointments, tent-set-up (in case of rain), picking family up from the airport, breakfast with bride and groom, bachelorette party (that's tonight) etc. etc. etc. We are basically going non-stop right now. I am yet to be part of a wedding that didn't have this last minute "crunch" stuff -- just a lot of running around and trying to coordinate schedules.

The weather, right now is beautiful. I have, however, been slightly irritated by a few Fort Lauderdale facts. This includes the fact that you have to dial 10 numbers for any local call here! There are too many people so the area code has become mandatory. What's with that? It wasn't like that when I lived here. Speaking of living here, the trailer park I grew up in has been plowed down. This brings me to my other pet peeve. The other thing that is throwing me for a loop is how many new condominiums there are here. If there is a free piece of land, there are new apartments, condos, townhomes going in. The reason has to do with the housing "boom" about 3-4 years ago. This left property so expensive that most normal families can't afford a house -- just this commune style living. People live on top of each other here. I am not joking. So they tore down our mobile homes to make room for five homes stacked on top of each other. Talk about a concrete jungle. A warm concrete jungle but a concrete jungle nonetheless.

Another tough part of living here. The highway. This trip I have ventured onto 1-95 a few times. This proved even more precarious than usual as the six lanes of weaving traffic were compounded by the fact that my father's car does not have a speedometer (I told JB to slow down, and he said, "Wendi, I am going ZERO!") Another problem? I found out, only when I needed it most, that my father's car also doesn't have a HORN. You don't realize the importance of a horn until a young teen has you in his blind spot and begins drifting into your lane and you can't tell him he is going to spin you off the road because you have no horn. Sigh. This road has other bad memories for me as well as it is the location of the ONLY ticket I have ever received. $137. I still remember working off every single dollar taking score and taking tickets for 28 different ballgames to make up that stupid ticket. I hope to avoid I-95 for the remainder of my trip.

Okay, off to pick up my Medema grandparents from the airport, drop my stuff off at the VanWycks (we are now staying with them to make room for the grandparents at my parent's house), and go to the bachelorette party. Should be a relaxing evening. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Remembering Rick

For those of you who knew Rick, or those of you who want to know more about him, here is the link to his obituary in the Sun Sentinel.


Also, you can visit his guestbook. I hope that everyone who knows the Monroes will leave a message, and even if you don't, if you are praying for them, please let them know. These guestbooks are a great way for the family to get support.

The memorial service is at the Christian Reformed Church at 11:00 on Friday.

Cool Breezes

There was a cool down in Florida yesterday that has carried into today. It is currently 61 (and it also feels like 61 degrees). My dad has the windows open and it feels great in the house.

Things have been very busy the last few days as the wedding prepares to come into full swing. We have been praying profusely for no rain as it is an outdoor wedding. At first, the forecast was calling for nearly a 60% chance of rain, but now it is looking like less than 10% so this outdoor wedding should go off without a hitch. It should be absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to see the Orchid Society.

Tomorrow, my Medema side grandparents come into town and my mom and I will be preparing for the rehersal dinner on Friday. There is also a get-together with the bridesmaids tomorrow evening. Friday, my Huisman grama, Uncle Bob, Uncle John, and Aunt Mary are coming into town, there is a memorial service for Rick, and we have the rehersal dinner. Then the wedding is on Saturday. JB and I will also be changing locations. We are currently staying with my parents, but the three grandparents will be taking our spots and we will be transferring to Joan's house. Speaking of Joan, she is taking Bree and me for facials today. Yay!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Some snapshots

Here are some pictures of Christmas morning at the Kits and a few more pictures from Christmas Eve with my fam.
Grace with one of her Christmas gifts.

Dad and Mom Kit.

Grace with another Christmas gift.

Rob with one of our gifts -- an Air Force shirt

Mom with her Air Force Mom gear

Gracie and her new baby doll from Matt and Danielle

Grant and Liz

Grace and Uncle JB

Matt with his girlfriend Danielle

Rob and Grant

Katie and her fiancee Eddie

Have you ever seen a salad this big?!

Rob with some of Christmas morning gifts

AD showing off the new cleats my mom got her

AD, Keith, and Mom

My Dad and Mom

Monday, December 25, 2006

Rick goes home to the Lord

Last night during dinner we got some sad news. Rick went home to the Lord midday on Christmas Eve. We are not sad for Rick. We know that he is celebrating and no longer struggling. However, we are sad for his wife and two daughters and of course the entire FLCS family who loved him so much. We prayed during dinner for the family and then reminsced about some old Rick stories. He was the president of the school's booster booth for decades and just loved athletics. I'm glad I got to see him, and we will probably attend the funeral sometime this week.

Sometimes it seems rather trivial to talk about the tiny little details of life when you know another family is grieving, but, of course, sadness is going on everyday. It's just harder when it hits close to home.

I hope we all remember, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, the people that are hurting this holiday season. This time of year can be difficult when you are grieving, and I think it's important to never forget that and remember those people in our activities and prayers.

Yesterday, as most of you know, was Christmas Eve. Since JB and I were married back in 1998, we have spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with JB's family. This also worked out for Keith and AD. We aren't sure if this tradition will continue or not as JB's residency means we aren't sure what our holiday season will be like, but at least for this year, it worked out nicely.

We had a fabulous day. We went to Church at Calvary Chapel in the morning, had breakfast at IHOP (I really love IHOP! Why don't they have these in the Polar North?!), and then came back to the house and opened Christmas gifts. I got some wonderful presents including a Chipotle gift card, long pajama pants, and beautiful necklace/earring sets among other things.

We then broke for naps. I slept an hour but JB and AD (our two initial-name-family-members took the cake. (This means "did the best" for my non-native English speakers). AD slept FOUR hours and JB slept THREE! While they were sleeping, my mom and I went for a walk. When everyone woke up, we played a new game -- Blokus and enjoyed steaks on the grill.

We also taught the fam "Mexican Train Dominoes". I have no idea why the game is called Mexican Train Dominoes, but our good friends Hans and Rachel taught us how to play, and we love it. For some reason, my parents have the game despite the fact that they had no idea how to play it (and truthfully weren't even aware that they owned the game). In fact, they have instead used the game as a door stopper for the last two years. (Ceramic dominoes are HEAVY!)

Playing Dominoes -- I'm seated on the far right and winning nicely, but I had to take a break from the domination to take a photo

Take a look at the score of this game folks. Yes, you are reading it correctly, Wendi has 25 points and the rest of the grew has over 150!!! How amazing is that?! Hans, even YOU haven't played a game that good. Unfortunately, while I did end up winning, things didn't stay quite so lopsided for very long.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas today. If you get a chance, pop in on my friend Tara's blog. I am very proud of her. Tara has the best attitude despite the fact that her family is in Mexico while she is waiting for a flight out of Denver! How many of us could keep good spirits despite our holiday going NOTHING like we had planned? If you think of complaining this year about anything, check out Tara's delayed-Mexican-holiday.

Merry Christmas everyone! I'll be back later today with photos of the day at the Kits. I hope you all have a wonderful day and remember the true reason we celebrate -- Christ's birth.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Our new family

Surprise Long Distance Shower

Well thank you to those of who participated in the long-distance shower for AD. For those of you who don't know, my Aunt Jan and I put together a "MAIL bridal shower" (not MALE as JB kept getting confused about) for all the family members who would not be able to attend the wedding. Participating family members sent in a card with a photo, introducing (or reintroducing) themselves to AD. Some included a monetary gift. We then put all the cards photos and gifts into a box and surprised AD with them today. I was supposed to do this on the 20th, but some cards were still trickling in, so I decided to give it a few more days. Sorry for the delay.

Here is AD before she realized that her photo was going to be going on the blog, reading the invitation we sent to everyone. The headband she is wearing had been a stocking stuffer from my mom.

Here is AD (minus the headband since she know understood this was going on the blog) opening up some of the gifts the shower purchased her. Here are the three different kind of tongs Keith decided he needed on the registry.

Keith and AD reading some of the cards that people sent.

Reading more of the cards.

Opening up the shower curtain, shower hooks, and tongs.

AD with the comforter she registered for -- Keith is explaining why he doesn't care if it is pink since he is colorblind anyway.

Thanks again to all of you who contributed. It was a fabulous surprise for the newest member of the Huisman family.