Sunday, August 14, 2011

Be Our Guest! Be Our Guest!

I have officially been married for one year! And to celebrate this very adult milestone, my husband and I went to Disney with a jaunt to Hogwarts!! Thanks to the help from one of my wonderful friends, we managed to take a very budget-friendly week long trip. We rode and ate our way through the various theme parks complete with penny press scavenger hunts.

We started our drive on our wedding anniversary, July 31st and made it to Orlando late that night. We met up with my awesome friend, Beth, at her apartment and she gave us our room keys for the All Stars Music Hotel as well as snazzy anniversary buttons. (Disney has awesome buttons they give away for free that you write your name  written on in a sharpie and they indicate if you are celebrating something.) Exhausted, we went to our room, and found a great surprise. The ride had left us feeling blah and far from romantic or excited about cohabiting in marriage for a whole year. Opening our hotel door changed all of that.

Beth had me do online check in so she could pick up keys for us and this was the reason why she insisted I do so! She had gone into our room and decorated it in an Up theme in honor of our one year anniversary! Beth remembered that the last time I was there (minus the man), we had a love of Wall-E and for our first dance at the weddings was to "A Married Life" from Up. She went on a hunt for Up stuff and came up frustrated with the lack of Up merchandise so she made her own.

Beth decorated a white photo box like the Up Mailbox to store our Disney memorabilia and had Wall-e and Eva along with Carl and Dug pins in the box. She also got us snack goodies (the Disney chocolate chip cookies are awesome...I want one every day please). The clincher of the decorations were the super snazzy "balloons" she hung from the mirror. that was above the table Those balloons are now hanging in our entry way and make me smile whenever I walk through the door.

It is funny how sometimes it takes an outsider to remind you of the joy and happiness you have in your life. The night before, July 30, we were extremely aware of our love and devotion to each other, but a 14 hour car ride had put on us edge....not unloving, just too tired to have that emotional epiphany from the other night. Beth's surprise rejuvenated us and got us very excited for the first day of our second year of marriage. One thing was for sure, we were starting off the second year with adventure, because "adventure is out there" and we were going to find it in Orlando, FL!

The next couple of blog posts will be about our wonderful vacation complete with pictures of us, food, and fun!!

Slice of the Past

A little over a year ago, I married Bynum Edward Murray III. I could go on with the cliches that a person can say: he is my soul mate, my best friend, my companion. And they all would be true. I wish I could find some new and creative way to express how blessed I am to have Trae as my husband.

Taken by Woody Woodruff of Johnson City, TN
Trae and I should have met years ago. We can make a whole novel of our missed connections; he lived where my friend was an RA, worked with another close friend, went to the same small Italian town. Yet, God wasn't ready for us to meet. We met at a bar, Nick's Taproom, in Clemson; both of us agree that if someone told us "You will meet your soul mate at Nick's," we would have laughed at them. Yet, we did, and now a year later, I am the still in shock of how many times we did not meet.

The year has been amazing, and each day is a reminder of how Trae truly is my soul mate (Yes, even the days when we have arguments is a reminder how he is my soul mate: who else would let me eat ice cream while sitting on the kitchen floor crying at one am?)  On July 30, it was nice to sit down with our cake, wine, and video to recall that special day. (We did it a day early, because on July 31, we were driving to DISNEY!) Looking back with tangible reminders such as cake and wine helped transport us back to the day when we said I do, and made the vows seem a little more concrete a year later. Each day is a reminder of those vows because I wake up with Trae, tell him I love him, cook with him, kiss him, but it was still nice to sit down with year old cake and recall the words and meaning of our vows.

My husband helped our wedding cake designer, Old World Cakes of Greenville, SC, design our wedding cake. It was beautiful, elegant, tasty, and everything we wanted. (You can read about the symbolism of the cake in my post The Role of Food: Part One.)

You can read Old World Cake's blog post on the cake here
We cut the cake using the same knife my parents used at their wedding. From the right angle, when I am showing off the knife, it looks like I am cutting Trae's head off. Oops!

The large silver tin-foiled  box that protected our top tier spent majority of its life in my parent's freezer they had in their garage. Then my parents and I moved at the same time. The box moved with me and was the first thing (and for a long time, the only thing!) in our freezer.

 On July 30, we took the box in order to share the tradition year-old slice, and I didn't slice Trae's head off this year.  And...

It was good! We even ate another slice as we watched the wedding video and sipped wine (a bottle from the wedding) in our fancy crystal goblets from his grandmother.

One of the neat things we did was save five bottles of Orvieto Classico from the wedding; we will open one each anniversary for the next five years. So for at lest five years (now four), we will be able to have tangible reminders of our wedding to bring us back to that very day.

After watching the wedding video, we felt grateful for the year we had together and for the fabulous wedding my parents put on.  We went to bed  that  night, happy, ready for what the second year of marriage would bring.