Looking Back: Wedding Trip Part Two

I wrote in October about the first part of our trip out to my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding, and while we’re in the midst of what is a rather different part of our lives right now, I do want to come back and touch on the wedding itself before the end of 2016! We’ve all loved Sharon since the first time we met her – I started making some not-at-all-subtle hints to my brother about marriage soon thereafter! – and we were thrilled for them to be embarking on the journey of marriage together, and we were all honored to be part of their special day.

They actually turned it into a full weekend of fun – our family and Sharon’s had pizza together at Daniel and Sharon’s cabin on Thursday night, and then on Friday the guys hung out and those of us girls who were in town got our nails done before the rehearsal dinner Friday evening.

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They actually invited their entire guest list to the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and a Sunday morning brunch, which was a lot of fun! It was nice to get to see some of our friends and extended family throughout the weekend, but of course the main event was Saturday 🙂

The guys got ready together and the girls together, and we did most of the photos before the wedding.

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

If you’re wondering why we look so cold…it’s because we were! The days leading up to the wedding had been beautiful, but the wedding day itself was only about 50 degrees, so while the day was gorgeous for photos, we were all freezing outside! We made the best of it, though 🙂 Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

Here’s the happy couple with their dog, Dixie!

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

Of course the most important part was the ceremony itself! The first time I teared up was when Danny was escorting Sharon’s mom, Patti, and my mom down the aisle. Patti had had a severe stroke about 9 months prior and was working hard in PT. She wanted to walk down the aisle, but as they started out, it became clear that she needed more support than Danny could offer with her on one arm and my mom on the other, so my mom came around to the other side, and they all walked down the aisle together.

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

The girls took their flower girl role very seriously.

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

The ceremony was beautiful, and the officiant did a good job of incorporating parts of their story and personalities into the day.

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

It was great to have so many people all coming together to celebrate the beginning of Daniel and Sharon’s marriage! This is the wedding party and both immediate families.

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

We’ve actually seen and gotten to know Sharon’s family better than might be normal for two sides of the family living all over the country, and that’s been sweet. We tried to be an encouragement to them after Patti’s stroke the summer before and very much appreciated their support after Matt’s heart attack in February, and it’s been cool to feel like the families are being knit together as Danny and Sharon have joined together in marriage.

The reception was at the beautiful vineyard and was a lot of fun!

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

Matt and I and our kids had to head out relatively early that night to get the kids to bed before they melted down, so we weren’t part of this photo, but we very much enjoyed seeing so many of our extended family members at the wedding!

Jennifer Gulley Photography www.jennifergulley.com

We were so happy to have Sharon joining the family officially, and we were all thankful to be part of this amazing day!

Note: All photos in this post (except the girls at the nail salon!), as you probably guessed by their quality, were not taken by me! They are courtesy of my brother and sister-in-law and were taken by Jennifer Gulley Photography.

Our Atticus Boy is 18 Months Old!

Our little guy hit that big 18-month mark at the end of last month! He is an amazing juxtaposition of all things little boy – he is sweet and snuggly while also being an adventurous lover of dirt.

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He is resourceful, regularly pulling a chair from the dining room into the kitchen to expand his reach – sometimes to see what he might be able to reach in the China cabinets, but other times in an attempt to be helpful.

IMG_0035He considers the dishwasher his personal domain, certain that he is essential to both unloading and loading it. Fortunately this works pretty well for unloading…

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…though when it comes time for his mama to load the dishwasher, he often finds himself relegated to the Toddler Tula 🙂

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With his sleep, he proves the statement that every child, even within the same family, is different. He has always been a pretty good napper, and while he generally sleeps well at night, he is my only child who, beyond a few months old, would regularly wake in the night not just because he needed something but in order to spend a couple hours playing. We’re hopeful that he’s growing out of that phase!

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He is a climber and an acrobat and a builder of block towers.

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He’s also an avid reader. He loves to listen in on his sisters’ reading, bring books to us to read, and look at books himself.

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Due, in part, I’m sure, to this reading, he seems on the verge of a language explosion. He doesn’t say “this” all that much anymore, but he does have a few other words. His favorite word is “moon,” and he also offers directions with a few words – “up” and “down” and “out.” Before he takes naps and goes to bed, he approaches each person in the room to wave and say, “night night.” In true boy fashion, he had multiple sound effect words – “boom” and “bump” – before he ever said “mom,” but the other night I did get a definitive “mom” from him, which made my day! He also occasionally says “ball” and “dad.” And he makes signs for more, no, and touchdown. He’s a fairly able communicator, employing pointing and grunting in addition to his words, but we are looking forward to his having more actual words!

One effect of his status as a third child is that at even 18 months old, he recognizes Star Wars paraphernalia and, much to his sisters’ delight, any time he sees it, he starts humming and dancing to the Imperial March!

His hair is still one of his defining features – it was the first body part he learned to identify 🙂

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It can be tamed somewhat, though, and he cleans up pretty well! He was the ring-bearer in my brother’s and sister-in-law’s wedding last month, and he LOVED the pocket watch they gave him!

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Though his presence in our family certainly makes life somewhat more complicated, it also brings so much fun. We’re so thankful for these past 18 months with our little buddy, and we can’t wait to see what the coming years hold!