Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Soccer Mom- FAIL

This long weekend, we took a road trip to Ohio...with 3-month old baby G.  We were oh-so-fearful of the 9+ hours in the car with an infant, but we had an excellent reason for going.  I had pre-written the following post, planning to publish it today once I added a picture of myself with my new ride:

Something has happened.  Something that I swore to myself would never happen.  Something that was previously so unthinkable that I am still having trouble processing the situation even as it is staring me straight in the face.

I own a minivan. 

And I cannot tell a lie...I'm pretty excited about it.

Now before anyone gets too judgey, you should know that I did not decide that my 3-month old was cramped in the backseat of my sedan.  (However, his stroller, Pack 'n Play, and various other accoutrement were cramped, indeed.)  Nor did I venture into the used car lot in search of the behemoth.

This van was the property of my dear mother, who has recently found herself an empty nester without the need for seating for seven.  So, a trade took place.  I put the Accord (back) into the hands of my parents, and the Odyssey became my rightful property.

Now I always swore I'd be the cool kind of mom who drove a hip SUV with a third row of seats.  Not the type of LAME-O who carted her kids around the ole' mini.  But I'm pretty sure my idea of the ultimate mom-mobile has changed.  Because lemme tell ya'- this van is pimp

That's right, I said it.  We're talking leather seats, DVD player, automatic everything...it's even got butt warmers.  And it will make my life so much easier.  Oh, how I love the ease with which I will cart around baby and all of his junks.

So, although my son is far too young to actually kick a ball, I will drive that van and beam with pride as the world assigns me the label of Soccer Mom. 

WELL...turns out, that post was written all for naught.  Because the car switcheroo, or rotation, as it is known in my family, was an EPIC FAIL.

On the bright side, my son is a rock star in the car.  He was an excellent traveler.  The drive wasn't nearly the nightmare that we were fearful it might have been.

The bad news?  The minivan is no longer with us.

On Saturday, J moved the car seat from the Accord over to the van, and we hopped into two cars and started heading downtown for Taste of Cincinnati.  We were about a mile down the interstate...yes, that's right, interstate...when the van died.  Yep, the engine cut out a few times, so we pulled over...and then it was done.  D.O.N.E. 

Thank God we had two cars.  My dad took me and the babe back to the house while the rest of the group waited for the tow truck.  Once all the shuttling back and forth from the side of the road to the house to the Honda dealer was complete, we just waited for word from the mechanic.

The word that was handed down?  It might be a goner.  This is not the first time that this issue has occurred with the vehicle.  What was thought to have been repaired two years ago clearly. was. not.  

"This is crazy!" you must be saying.  And you're right.  This is a Honda.  And it's only six years old.  But it's a lemon.  And it's definitely not meant to be mine.

SO, we drove the Accord back home yesterday, and alas, I am not yet a Soccer Mom.

Car shopping to commence this week.  Get judgey if you will...I'm pretty sure I'm in the market for a minivan.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Little Bit of Geeky

Since I'm married to the man that I am,  who knows stuff about the world of computers, I have a program installed on my blog to let me keep track of my "stats."  As in, how many hits I get each day, where on the web these visitors are coming from, which posts are the most popular, even where in the world my readers are reading (twenty different countries!).

It's kinda fascinating to me.

I spent some time looking over my stats recently, and found some things that surprised and delighted!

Did you know that if you type "confessions of an" into a Google search, my blog is the fourth suggested phrase?

Also, I used to get only a few hits a day.  15-20 would be a rare day on the high end.  Now, 60-70 is the daily norm!  So THANK YOU for reading!  (And I must say, you all are quiet readers...nary a comment day in and day out...but now I know you've been here!)

Anyway, just thought I'd share...apparently I can be a geek sometimes, too.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Blockbusters

Apparently, the American Idol finale must draw quite the audience, because the movie trailers that were shown during commercial break were aplenty.  And I must admit (although I think that trips to the theater will be few and far between these days), I am excited about this summer's movies.

My mom and J often have movie dates, because they want to see crap that I am just not interested in, nor is my father.  For the most part, I inherited my movie viewing preferences from him.

But the nerds must have rubbed off on me, at least a little bit, because the comic book and adventure movies of today?  Me likey.

Here are a few gems that I can't wait to see.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
I resisted seeing the first installment of this series for as long as I could.  But it so happened that my brother was in town during its release, and this was the only movie that was even remotely reasonable for the two of us to see together.  When we left the theater, ready to discuss our thoughts on the film, I could think of only one thing to say: "That was f*@#ing AWESOME!"

The sequel was decent, but not outstanding.  I'm hoping that they've moved away from some of the gimmicks used in the second film, and just get back to good ole' ass kicking Optimus Prime in the third.  I am also looking forward to the new girl...that's right, no more Megan Fox.  Maybe this girl can act, and is more than just a pretty face?  Hey, I didn't say it was likely...just a possibility.

Also, I have a crush on Shia LaBouef.  Even though his last name translates to "the beef."  I love him.  For reals.  That is all.   

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Captain Jack Sparrow is just such an incredible character.  I adore him.  I think he's fun.  And I enjoy his crazy adventures at sea.  I am admittedly a little nervous, now that we're onto the fourth installment of the series.  Typically, I believe series' to fizzle out after three.  But I am willing to give Pirates the chance to prove me wrong.

Also, I have a crush on Orlando Bloom.  I love him.  And I'm very sad that he won't be reprising his role as Will Turner.  That is all.

The Hangover: Part II
Okay, I can't blame this one on J, and definitely not on my mom (who doesn't enjoy ridiculous comedy).  This movie isn't really adventurey, it's just who-larious, if it's anything like the first.  I can't tell you how often I still quote the first movie, and laugh.  The words "she's a nice lady" didn't used to be funny.  Now they are.  Fat Jesus?  Hysterical.  Another Mike Tyson cameo, you say?  One where Stu tattoos his own face to look just like him?  Downright riotous.  I seriously can't wait for this one.

And THE movie of the summer?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
This one I've been waiting for for years.  I just know that it will only be able to be described by the word epic.  I believe the saga of Harry Potter is one of the best stories to ever have been told.  J.K. Rowling is a genius, in my humble opinion.  And the Harry Potter movies are a rare case in which the movies are just as enthralling as the books.

When I finished reading Book 7, I shut the book and said out loud, to no one, "I am so happy."  And I truly was.  The story was just wrapped up so wonderfully.  I am sincerely hoping for that same feeling after seeing this movie. 

Honorable Mentions of the summer?  Kung Fu Panda 2, Cars 2, and X-Men: First Class.** 

**Apparently I do not look forward to seeing original movies, but merely sequels, prequels, and the like.  So I'm unoriginal.  Deal with it.

Hometown Hero

Scotty WINS!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Things I Heart: Snack Food

While I was pregnant, I just wasn't all that hungry.  If I ever felt starved, it was rare.  And even then, a smaller-than-normal amount of food would fill me up.  I was hoping that this would continue after the babe was born, so that I could continue the weight loss trend that began during pregnancy (And yes, I am aware of how ridiculous that sounds.  But what can I say?  I'm a freak of nature.)

Turns out?  Not so much.  Making the milks makes this mama hungry. 

So, in addition to my three square meals, I've needed a morning and afternoon snack.  Here are a few of my faves.

Fruit Snacks
Yes, it's like I'm a kid again.  I rediscovered these while in the hospital.  When you give birth at 11:47 pm, after not eating since breakfast at 7 am, you're hungry!  And the vending machine is pretty much your only option at that hour.  So fruit snacks and peanut butter crackers it was.  I will admit- I buy the generic brand rather than the more expensive Welch's.  But they are equally as yummy.  And in my opinion, a little less gummy than the Welch's, which makes them even more delicious in my book.

Apple Cinnamon Nutri-Grain Bars
I've always been a fan of the strawberry flavor, but alas, they sell out quickly when on sale at the Teeter.  So at last sale, I was left with the choice of cherry (cherry flavored anything = blech) or apple cinnamon.  Apple cinnamon it was.  Turns out, YUMMO.  This has now replaced strawberry as my fave flavor.

Mister Salty Chocolate Covered Pretzels
My mom bought these when she last came for a visit, and left a box in my pantry.  Once I tried them, I was officially hooked.  They come in convenient 100-calorie packs.  Which, as it turns out, is completely irrelevant to me, as I need two packages to satisfy even the smallest of hunger pangs.  I mean, c'mon.  Who really thinks 8 tiny pretzels even qualifies as a snack

And, the snack to end all snacks...

Ranch Wheat Thins
I am O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D.  At first bite, I wasn't sure I was a big fan of the explosion of flavor in my mouth.  Then, after eating a couple more, I couldn't get enough.  Like, for really real couldn't get enough.  As in, they're on the shopping list every. single. week.  I may have an illness.

Fellow snackers, I highly recommend these new favorites!  What are your faves?  (You know, because I need another snack to obsess over like I need a hole in the head.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Let's Talk Idol

Yes, friends, even with the lack of cable television (and NO DVR- gasp!), I have managed to keep up with Idol.  I have missed an episode here and there, but I'm still committed.

Why, some of you may be asking?  Not merely because I am a singer who loves to watch other singers.  Not because I have a bit of a rock star crush on weirdo Steven Tyler.  Not because I like to admire J.Lo's gorgeous ensembles.  Not even because I'm a fan of the word "pitchy."

Scotty McCreery, that's why.

What my readers afar may not know?  I live in a smallish town in North Carolina.  The next smallish town over?  Garner.  Home to the now-famous Scotty.  He is our hometown hero of the moment.  So exciting! 

This boy can sing.  And let me just say that I am not a fan of country music.  But that being said, I recognize that his kid has a true gift for it.  He just oozes that country charm, and his deep voice makes for some delicious country tuneage.  The fact that he cocks his microphone to the side and makes eyes at the camera only adds to his charm.

Also, he is a nice boy.  It is obvious, even on TV, that he was raised well.  He has manners and integrity.  He wants to grow up to be a good man.  I only hope that the music industry doesn't swallow that sweet-as-pie right up!  Because he will have a career in country music, whether he wins this contest or not.

So Tuesday night, I will be watching. and I will be voting.  And Wednesday night, I sincerely hope that I am tuning in to see a Scotty win!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Gabe- Three Months

Oh, my sweet Gabriel Clark.  How is it possible that a quarter of a year has already passed since your birth?  Time is flying by way too fast, and I'd like it to slow down immediately.  You are becoming a little person.  You are no longer just a little lump.  Some of your personality is beginning to shine through.

You are happy.  Oh, such a happy baby.  You love to lay on your back, look up at me, and laugh your sweet beginning giggles.  You like to hear your voice, so you coo and babble and yell- when you don't have your hands in your mouth.  You'll find that thumb someday soon, sweet boy. 

You recognize my voice and my face, and when I come to get you out of your crib after a sleep, your face breaks into a gigantic smile.

You are beginning to chunk out!  Your face and your arms and your thighs are gaining those perfect, adorable little rolls and folds of baby fat on a daily basis.

Your hair is growing!  It's auburn, just like mine, and it's wild.

Your beautiful lashes are growing, too.  Those eyes?  Oh, my.  I believe you just may be a heart breaker.

You're strong.  You like to sit up on my lap, facing out, like a big boy.  You like to be held up with your legs on the ground, so that you can practice standing.

You like to move your head from side to side, back and forth, again and again, looking at everything, taking in the world around you.  Sometimes you're so busy looking around that you wear yourself right out.

Your daddy and I couldn't believe it when you rolled over for the first time on your three month birthday!

I love you so much, sometimes I think my heart may just burst!

My perfect, beautiful little boy...I believe I was born to be your mommy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

They've Lost That Loving Feeling

As if it wasn't hard enough to come back from maternity leave...

While I was out, an intervention teacher, new to our school, took over my classes.  A male teacher.  He's new, young, male, and utterly adorable.  Basically, my students immediately fell in love with him.  After all, he is a rare species in an elementary school, indeed.  The little girls think he's dreamy.  The little boys think he's cool.

Let's call him Mr. Love... (and p.s.- we're calling him that because that's his real name...I couldn't make that up if I tried)...

For my last two weeks of work, pre-maternity leave, my students asked on a daily basis when I was going to have the baby so that Mr. Love could be their teacher.  I was not bothered at that point, because I was in a hurry to have that baby and hand over the reins.

HOWEVER, I was a little nervous to come back, fearing that I would show up that first day to disappointed children, asking for Mr. Love.  Lemme tell ya'- had that happened, the waterworks would have doubled.

Happily, my students were excited to see me, making my return to work a little more bearable.

But now that we're back into the swing of normalcy, the excitement over my return has dwindled.  I get asked on a daily basis, by at least two or three students, where Mr. Love is.  There is a constant buzz amongst the little ones, talking about Mr. Love sightings in the hall.  He has amassed some serious celebrity with the seven and under set!

And I, dear readers, am old, boring news.

Is it wrong of me, as a teacher and a mother, to say that sometimes kids suck??


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Let Go of Guilt - Parenting.com

Wow! Stumbled across this article...Parenting.com must have been reading my blog! Or perhaps lots of moms struggle with the Mommy Guilt, making this topic perfect for an article?  It's definitely one of those two things.

Mom Guilt - Let Go of Guilt - Parenting.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Back to the Dark Ages...But Not Really

Like many people, J and I are desperately looking for ways to save money.  I clip coupons and hardly ever buy anything unless it's on sale.  I re-think every purchase I make before I make it- is it a need or a want?  (And if it's a want, by the way, it must come out of separate funds.)  I buy generic...gasp!  We try every conceivable way to stretch a buck.

And to that end, we recently underwent a major change...we ditched cable TV.

For the past two years, we have been subscribers to Dish Network...blech.  But they lured us in with a bill that was $30 a month cheaper than cable.  Turns out, we really disliked satellite.  The weather was such an issue- if there was so much as a gentle breeze or a misty sky, we would lose signal and be without television.  Annoying.  But we were stuck in a 2-year contract in order to get the great price.  So we suffered through it.

Well, the two years are over.  We couldn't wait to ditch Dish.  But we certainly couldn't stomach the thought of going back to Time Warner Cable for $70 a month.  So the solution?  How about nothing?

The switch was officially flipped last week, leaving us without any type of cable programming!  AAAHHH!!

This would be much tougher if J wasn't the computer nerd that he is.  In preparation for the big disconnect, he downloaded many-a-show.  I believe we are up to 374 movies?  And lots-o-tv.  We have full seasons of newer shows like Mad Men, The Big Bang Theory, and Modern Family.  We have oldies-but-goodies like Friends, Alias, and Boston Legal.  We have chick shows like Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, and Felicity.  We have cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants and The Fairly Oddparents (J and I are big kids at heart).  We even have some trashy reality tv, like The Real Housewives of (insert city here).

As if this wasn't enough?

J spent months writing a program called PseudoTV.  All of our many movies and shows were categorized and put into "channels".  So I can turn on this program, turn to the guide, and select the comedy or drama or family channel. It's just like the real deal!  Only without commercials, and the ability to always choose the exact show I want to watch at the exact time I want to watch it.

The only downside here?  What about my current shows??  What about American Idol?  Grey's Anatomy?  Glee? 

No need to panic, folks.  That's where the antenna will come in.  It's on order, and once installed, should allow me access to local network TV without the monthly cable bill.  Whew.

I will miss the Food Network, and well, there's just no getting around that one.  Turns out there's not a big demand for Barefoot Contessa, so downloading that one poses a problem.  And this, my friends, is a hardship that I will have to suffer and overcome. 

So there you have it.  It's not a myth, after all.  This family fought the cable company...and won.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Major Mommy Decisions

Ah, parenthood.

It's a funny thing...when I was pregnant, I read/heard/was told A MILLION times that no matter how much reading or listening I did, I would NEVER be prepared for what was about to happen to me.  I brushed these comments aside.  "Pshaw...I know all about babies."

And really, caring for Gabe has been easy.  I don't find the baby stuff scary.

What has really thrown me for a loop is the mommy guilt.

I had in my mind that things would go a certain way.  That I would take an approach to parenting that would always involve doing the absolute best thing for the baby, regardless of my personal sacrifice.

Well, lemme tell ya'- that went right out the window during labor, when I made the (awesome) decision to get an epidural.  Gabe's birth would have been an extremely different and much less pleasant experience for me had I remained drug-free.  (Truth be told, I'm pretty sure I would have died.  25 hours of labor is a llooonnnggg time, friends.)

I faced my next hurdle when we brought baby home.  I had lovingly set up a beautiful cradle in our bedroom where the babe could sleep.  This cradle was built in 1841, and has been in our family ever since.  I ordered a new custom mattress and sheets (as there was no such thing as "standard size" in 1841), I polished the wood, I placed a sweet teddy bear inside, awaiting baby's arrival.

And then the moment came when we finally had our baby with us and could place him in his lovely bed.

Then the crying started.  And didn't stop.  Not until I picked Gabe up and brought him into bed with us.  And there he remained.

This wasn't how I saw things going!  I was nervous about having him in bed with us, and not just due to the fear of suffocation.  I didn't want to have him rely on being next to us to sleep!  As much as I loved him snuggling up to me (he would scoot, scoot, scoot himself until he was right up against me...it was beyond precious), I was afraid that if we started out this way, we would end up with a 4-year old in our bed every night.  Plus, babies are supposed to sleep in cradles/baskets/bassinets, right?  Whenever anyone would ask where he was sleeping, I would hang my head in shame and mutter that he was in the bed with us.

Then I realized that I had two choices...put the baby in his cradle, and nobody would sleep, hence everybody is unhappy?  Or put the baby in the bed with us, and everybody sleeps, hence everybody is happy.

When I put it to myself that way, it was a no brainer.

But when Gabe was three weeks old, I happened to notice that he actually seemed to like being in his crib.  Yes, his big boy crib in his very own big boy bedroom.  I occasionally laid him there during the day so I could run and fetch something from another room or go to the bathroom.  You know, whenever I needed two free hands.  So I thought that maybe he would actually sleep there.

So we tried it...and it worked.

Again, this was not how things were supposed to go!  I imagined him in our room for the first few months!  Who puts a 3-week old baby in the big crib in his own room?  This mama, that's who.  Of course, I hated it the first night, and I cried when I left him alone.  But this had solved the dilemma of having the baby in the bed with us.  He was actually sleeping elsewhere, and I realized that it was a good thing.

Several weeks passed without any mommy guilt.  Then the BIG dilemma arose.  The feeding dilemma.

Through all of my reading and preparing for baby, one of the hottest topics I came across was the breastfeeding debate.  Of course, everyone knows that "breast is best," but for a multitude of reasons, some women choose not to breastfeed.  And God help those woman if a breastfeeding fanatic should get a hold of them.

I was told once to set short-term goals when it came to nursing.  After all, it's not an easy thing to do.  So if you set huge goals, you may be setting yourself up to fail.  It may seem impossible, and therefore, easy to give up.

I will admit- I did not take this advice.  At first, I thought that I'd like to get through six months.  Then I thought, why not a year?  After all, if I never have to spend any money on formula, how great would that be?  And really, I can make it though the initial pain...after that, how hard can it be?

Turns out, extremely hard.  Breastfeeding was never easy for me.  I required assistive devices in order for Gabe to latch on, the pain was horrible, and there were many days that I cried at the sight of the blood...yes, blood...that I pumped along with my milk.  But I overcame that.  And I was proud.

But even though I had passed that hurdle, I still wasn't loving breastfeeding.  Remember how I thought I would just love pregnancy?  Well, I didn't.  I also thought I would love nursing, but as it turns out, not so much.  I'm not positive what was really going on...maybe I wasn't patient enough, or maybe my body just wasn't doing all that it needed to...but in the end...we introduced formula.

Gabe would nurse for up to an hour at a time (!) and then act hungry again within an hour.  I was also trying to pump in between feedings so that J could help with the occasional feeding, and so that I would have milk stored up when I went back to work.  Talk about exhausting.  I felt like I was topless way more often than I was fully clothed.  And all this may have been worth it if my baby seemed content and satisfied for longer than 20 minutes at a time.

The nights were what got us, I think.  Gabe would be up every hour and a half, wanting to nurse.  I'd fall into bed and pass out afterward, only to be awakened by his cries twenty minutes later.  And I just couldn't take it anymore.

I fed him that first bottle of formula with a heavy heart, feeling a little bit like I had failed.  But then he slept.  For a solid three hours.

It's been just over a week now, and the guilt has faded.  I've come to realize that Mommy's mental well-being plays such an important role in my family life.  Not to mention the fact that I feel like I have a new baby on my hands.  He just seems happier, and for longer periods of time.  AND THE BOY SLEEPS!  For 6 hour stretches!  I feel like the little guy may have just been hungry all too often before this!  Bottle feeding is this mama's new best friend.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.  I am still pumping every three hours, so Gabe is still getting breast milk for about half of his feedings.  But when there isn't enough breast milk, then formula it is.  It's not what I envisioned when I started this journey, but it is what it is.  And that's okay.  

I'm sure this will not be the last decision I make that will cause me to feel some mommy guilt.  But I'm trying to embrace the mantra "If Mama's not happy, NOBODY'S happy."  Because it's true.  I've learned that sometimes what is "best" isn't always what makes for a happy mama, a happy baby, or a happy family.  And in the long run?  Gabe will be F.I.N.E.  And we'll be happy.  And that's really what matters.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Back to Life...Back to Reality

Remember that song?  I had to look up the artist...it's Soul II Soul, for any of you who may have been interested.

Week one complete...

I am now officially a working mother.  I went back to work this week  And I survived.

The week leading up to the big, unhappy occasion was terrible.  The anticipation of having to leave my baby was almost more than I could bear.  I cried.  A lot.  By the weekend, I'm pretty sure J was worried for my sanity.  I was one unhappy Mama.

When I woke up on Monday morning, I immediately burst into tears, and told J "I don't wanna go."

But go I did.

I wept in the car as I drove to school.  Whenever anyone welcomed me back or asked how the baby was, my eyes would immediately fill to the brim with fresh tears.  It was a rough day.     

But I had things to do.  Being away from the grind for ten weeks led to a little bit of clean-up when I returned.  There were lessons to be written, an e-mail inbox to be cleaned out, correspondence to be caught up on.  So I tried to say busy with these tasks.

And you know what?  The time passed.  And much more quickly than I had anticipated.

The second that clock hit 11:45 (yes, I only work part-time, THANK GOD), I was out the door.  By 12:00, I was home.  I had made it.

The mornings got easier and easier as we made our way through the week.  By Tuesday,  I had already stopped crying when I walked out the door.  By Thursday, I was no longer crying in the car.  And by week's end, I almost felt okay about going to work.

I remind myself every day that this is only temporary.  That I am working right now to help get our finances in a better place so that one day I'll be able to stay at home with our child(ren).  I remind myself to be thankful that I only need to work part-time, and that I am so lucky to have every afternoon with my little punkin.

I expect for things to keep getting easier as the weeks pass, however, I don't think this will ever feel natural to me.  But I will do what I have to do.

Now that I've taken on the first week, and lived to tell the tale...I know I can make it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

For the Record...

I realize that the tag line below my blog title is no longer accurate.

But somehow I think that "My attempt at a witty spin on the occasional day in my life.  Hey, I work part-time, but I'm obsessed with spending every second of my afternoons with my new baby, so I don't get around to blogging as often as I used to." just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Royal Confession

I must confess...(and better late than never)...
After I wrote this post, I somehow had a slight change of heart.  YES, I was still sick of every other story on my People Magazine app being Royal Wedding related.  BUT...I realized that I just HAD to watch.  How could I not?  After all, it was history in the making.

Now I didn't go crazy, and set my alarm for 4am (why would I need to?  I have an alarm clock that goes off around then, anyway...his name is Gabriel...).  I did, however, set my DVR.

When I awoke at a civilized hour, I immediately tuned into the event.

And I was mesmerized.

As I should have been all along.  This is a true life fairly tale!  Kate Middleton was about to become a princess.  She actually grew up and met her Prince Charming!

As I watched, I simply couldn't wait to see her emerge from her hotel so that I could see what her gown would look like.  In the meantime, I adored seeing all of the guests arrive, in their oh-so-fabulous hats.  My, how I would have loved to be there.

Turns out, Kate's gown was worth the wait.  (And, of course, I also admired her tiara.) She looked absolutely stunning in such a demure, princessy way.  Her walk down the never-ending aisle was pure magic. 

But mostly, I loved watching the ceremony.  I loved seeing how the couple looked at one another so sweetly.  I loved the smiles on their faces.  I loved how it seemed like to the two of them, they were the only people present.  I got caught up in the moment, and was even a little emotional about the beauty of it all.

I sincerely hope that these two live happily ever after.


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