Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Second Most Important Choice on the Big Day

Obviously the who is the most important, but a very distant second
is what music will be played, during the ceremony and for our first
dance as husband and wife.

We settled, very early on, on which song will accompany our first dance together. Lou Reed's sentimentalPerfect Day from his 1972 album Transformer. The song is probably best know for its appearance in the Danny Boyle film, Train Spotting, but with lyrics like,
" Oh it's such a perfect day

I'm glad I spent it with you
Oh such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging"

It's difficult to pass on this indie rock icon.
The second song that we decided on is the track that we are going to walk out to.

Again we went with a Lou Reed song, but from earlier in his career when he was the man behind The Velvet Underground. The song is a leftover from their S/T effort in 1969 and appears on 1985's VU album and on the Peel Slowly and See box set released in 1995.
Despite what most people think, the lead vocals are not performed by The Velvet Underground's usual cohort Nico, but are courtesy of The Velvet Underground's percussionist, Maureen Tucker.

The final decision was the most difficult. What song is worthy of leading Tarah down the aisle? We wanted something epic, but nothing that might try to upstage.

My initial choice was Europe's Final Countdown a.k.a. G.O.B.'s theme song, but realized that only Tarah, Jeremy and myself could truly revel in that song's amazingness. After passing on the illusionist's theme, I set off in search of a truly fitting song. I focused in on works by some of our favorite (mostly) instrumental artists, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mr. 1986 and Album Leaf.

What we finally settled on is an abbreviated version of Godspeed's (Storm) from their 2000 release Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven. The track has a great build and at it's crescendo, Tarah will begin her walk down the aisle to meet me on the beach.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Leading Ladies

I am fortunate enough to have two wonderful ladies standing by my side during this adventure. One has been by my side and has supported me for as long as I can remember, and the other for as long as I have known her.

My beautiful little sister, Ashley, is one of my bride's maids. She has always been willing to do whatever it takes to make me smile (and of course while growing up, whatever it took to be a pain!). We've done it all together; from playing make-believe, to exploring the great outdoors (being our backyard when we were younger and then the trails around North Carolina as we got older), traveling to new and exciting locations, trying to be the better sports-woman, or just plain hanging out and watching a movie. I am glad that she has agreed to test the walk down the rocky beach before me this summer. I am blessed to have such an amazing sister who is willing to do anything for me!

I am equally blessed to have a best friend who will also stand by my side this summer. Megan Rader is my Maid of Honor, and at times I think that I am the one who is more honored to have her support in all of my crazy adventures.

Meg and I met on my first day of college through my roommate. She quickly became a friend, and over the next 4 years she became my confidante. She has been my partner in crime (if you consider saving the world a crime, that is), my support when the world felt like it was about to crumble around me, and my challenger when I decided to just let things be. She has made me a better person by not letting me simply be.

Meg served with AmeriCorps*NCCC for two years as well, and is now continuing her fight to make the world a better place by building homes with Habitat for Humanity in Baton Rouge.

There are not enough words to describe how much each of these leading ladies mean to me, and even if there were, you would probably be bored to tears, so I will spare you. I am, perhaps, the luckiest girl on earth to have such amazing people to stand with me as I marry the most incredible man I know.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Meet my Best Man

I'm fairly confident that "Best Man" is an understatement.

Jeremy is one of the most amazing human beings that I have ever encountered.
He is:
A tremendous man of God.
A true humanitarian.
A fabulous friend.

Jeremy and I met, in college, through a mutual friend. We took chemistry together, though in completely different capacities. He was, for all intensive purposes, pre-med and I was simply filling my science requisite to graduate, but while learning about covalent and coordinate bonds a true connection was made.

Our initial connection was over our mutual love of music, specifically on vinyl. Suddenly, spending $150 in a weekend on music most people never heard of, let alone heard, on a medium, long thought dead, was OK. We have also been witness to some truly spectacular live shows, from Lincoln to Omaha to Lawrence.

We also, thankfully, were there for each other during some interesting, to say the least, relationships with the fairer sex.

In my opinion, though, our greatest bond is our shared passion for humanity. While I was trying to do my part in AmeriCorps, Jeremy was a mentor, worked in the medical/mission fields and worked/volunteered translating at a clinic frequented by individuals with meager incomes, just to name a few things. He will be entering med school in the fall, not to pad his pockets, but to help people.

Although we have spent more time apart than together, I feel that there is no one, other than Tarah, that I can better relate to.

I am truly honored to have Jeremy Howe standing beside me on August 11.

Check out his blog. It's painfully witty.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Three Ring Circus

So, the other night we were trying to tackle more things on our list of to dos before we say our I dos. In the process of doing so we started looking for rings 2 and 3 (being our wedding bands) and just decided to check out ring 1 (my engagement ring)online while we were at it. Lo and behold, we discovered that ring 1 was a bit less expensive through the website. This makes me wonder how many other people out there have paid more than was necessary for their engagement rings. Do jewelers just expect that people won't investigate prices? Granted, we got my ring a couple of weeks before Valentine's Day, but still. It is the same ring now as it was in January. Hmmm...

Anywho, Chris called the jeweler and was able to talk some sense into them and now he is getting a refund on the difference between website and store prices. For a costly event such as this, every little bit helps. Maybe we'll be able to afford to return from our honeymoon now!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Where it all began...

So, just for a little bit of background, this is the story of Chris and I... so far.

We met through a national service program called AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) in January of 2006 while training to become Team Leaders. We had both served through the program during the previous year in different parts of the country, but as luck would have it, we both ended up in Perry Point, Maryland for our final year with NCCC.

Training was boring to say the least, and while half-way paying attention to the mostly useless information that was offered to us, we were able to get to know each other a little better. We worked together doing fun and exciting things like cutting down trees with field saws, clearing trails for a camp, and finishing training challenges in the fastest amount of time possible. In the off time our friendship grew through watching movies, listening to music, running, soccer, and ultimate frisbee. Before you knew it we had been through a month of training and we had started dating.

Soon after our friendship had become something more we were bombarded with teams of 18-24 year olds that we were in charge of and were sent from Maryland down to Mississippi to help with some Katrina Recovery. I was in Kiln working with community relations at a volunteer center and Chris was in Wiggins helping out at a Girl Scout Camp. While we were a little over an hour apart, we still managed to get together about once every two weeks or so and hang out at Camp Iti Kana. From there we explored Hattiesburg, went on a couple of runs, explored camp and enjoyed the lake. Of course time flew and before we knew it I was moving back north and Chris stayed in the south.

Through limited phone conversations due to time changes and intense work, we managed to continue to get to know each other in our months apart and were happy to join back up over summer vacation. We enjoyed time in Camden, Maine and did a little hiking (where we got slightly misguided after blazes to a trail disappeared) and camping in Camden Hills State Park. After a couple of days though we were off to Nebraska to attend Chris' brother's wedding. It was a nice trip and I was introduced to Chris' family for the first time. It was a pretty quick trip but we had a great time.

After returning to Maryland once more, I was sent to the south and Chris had his chance to stay in the north. Once again we had crazy schedules, but managed to take a little time off and Chris flew down to Louisiana to visit me for a long weekend. We explored New Orleans and visited the zoo and aquarium. Before we knew it though he had to return to his project, but we had hopes of seeing each other again in just a few short weeks while we prepared for our final projects.

As my time to return to Maryland drew closer, Chris discovered that he was going to embark on a journey out west where he would be helping fight wildfires in the desert. His time out there coincided with my return north and so once again we were in our own worlds for a couple of months.

We were able to take a quick vacation together during our final service projects. I rented a car and drove from my project in Connecticut to Maine where Chris was working. We each had a job interview to squeeze into the visit, but then proceeded to drive north to enjoy the colors of autumn in Acadia National Park. We hiked the West Face of Cadillac Mountain (the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard) and then I managed to get us slightly lost (in the dark) on our way back to the car. But we made it out safely and before we knew it our projects were ending and we were back in Maryland.

After a whirlwind of activity that included: our teams graduating and flying home, Thanksgiving (during which Chris met my family), reorganizing/building tool sheds, inventorying tools, cleaning and repairing chain saws - we were done with our service year and were thrown into what is warmly referred to as Life After AmeriCorps.

Our life since then has been full of travel across the country, moving, and getting engaged.

Our new adventure began on January 21 when Chris proposed and the never-ending plans that are required to get married began piling up...
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