Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Cards Come but Once a Year

There are a million reasons why I love Christmas. The music, the presents, the way my dad looks in his favorite holiday sweater. One of my favorite things about Christmas, though, is checking the mail every day and finding a stack of photo cards from friends far and near. This year is no different. Taped around the entryway to our living room (just the way my Mayme did it!) are the bright and smiling faces of folks Jeremy and I hold so dear.

Another thing I hold so dear, however, is the idea of finishing - finally! - the wedding-related thank you notes that I still (shame on me) have to write, so instead of adding another stack to my already lengthy list of correspondence to-dos, I've decided to do the unforgivable and go all techno this holiday. Here, in place of a piece of mail, are mine and Jeremy's warmest wishes for a merry Christmas that leaves you thinking, "oh! What fun!" and is full of family, laughter, and love.

And you can look out for an actual "piece of mail" as soon as these thank yous are written ... maybe Valentine's Day or, at the rate I'm going, the Fourth of July!

In the meantime, merry Christmas, Y'all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

the Proof is in the Pictures

Have you ever heard a director say that “99% of good directing is good casting”? In other words, if you hire the right people, your job is easy. Blame it on six zillion years of theatre training, but that’s the mentality I took with me, as I planned our wedding. I knew if I hired the right vendors, I wouldn’t have to worry about a thing.

And, as it turns out, I didn’t – worry about a thing, that is. Not surprisingly, that old director’s dictum is right. From the beautiful invitations, thank you notes, and programs created to perfection by Brooke Rainey Designs to spot-on floral arrangements by Adina at Frilly Bloomers, I was THRILLED by (and so grateful for) the work folks did on behalf of me and Jeremy. Add to the paper and flowers a breathtaking big band (Equinox Jazz), incredible cake maker (Kathy & Company), and weather so wonderful it could ONLY have come in answer to a million and a half prayers, and the end result was a day that, in my admittedly biased opinion, could not have been more beautiful.

Luckily for Jeremy and me, we will never be able to forget it! Another amazing vendor was on tap to capture the entire event. Cristobal and Kathleen Perez, co-owners of Azul Photography, put their Pulitzer Prize-nominated talents to work and produced pictures that make me laugh, cry, and feel like the luckiest girl alive.

At the risk of being that tacky hostess who makes you look at her vacation photos (though, honestly, since when has THAT stopped me?!), I’m posting a slideshow of some of my favorite shots here. It probably won’t surprise you to know that I’ve already watched it about sixteen thousand times. Each time I see these images, though, I am dumbstruck by the thought that that woman in the white dress in those pictures had absolutely no idea then just how amazing a man she was marrying. Jeremy truly is better than I even imagined.

Sweetheart, as Dorothy wrote 81 years before we ever even met, “I know why I’ve waited / know why I’ve been blue / prayed each nite for someone / exactly like you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Seventy Three-Seventy Two...Close for Comfort!

I really wasn't all that worried.

Going in to last Saturday's clash between my hue of blue and Jeremy's, I felt pretty confident my Cats would pull it out - after all, did you SEE Carolina against UNLV?! Or how about the way they had to battle from behind to beat the Wisconsin Badgers? Add to that the Cats' clicking defense and a hyper-charged home crowd, and I felt pretty positive about retaining the bragging rights I'd won in the 2011 Elite Eight.

Then came the game. Suddenly, the 'Heels didn't seem to suck as much. Trying to be a good sport, I'd lean over to Jeremy and say, through clenched teeth, stuff like, "Y'all have really taken us out of our offense" or "you can tell they've really been throwing up the threes in practice this week." What I was really doing, however, was buying myself a little good will - hoping that he'd be as kind to me in the aftermath, as I was (trying to be) to him as the battle raged.

For those who've never experienced it, there is a distinct difference between watching a game with a Wildcat and watching one with a Tarheel. This became clear to me early on in our relationship. Jeremy and I were at a NCAA Regional game in Charlotte last March. The 'Heels were playing Washington when I first noticed this disparity between MY people and his. MY people are painted up, jacked up, fired up, voices united, screaming, shouting, slapping hi-fives to strangers one second while cursing a missed free throw the next.

His people, on the other hand, behave at a ballgame the way most folks do at a classical music concert. We're all t-shirts and cheek tats; they're cashmere and sweater vests, or, as former Florida State baller Sam Cassell put it, they're a real "cheese-and-wine crowd, kind of laid back."

It's that way at home, too. I scream about every possession as if it's our last. "TERRENCE JONES, YOU SUCK" is immediately followed by "Nice shot, TJ. Now RUN THE FLOOR, and DO NOT let Marquis Teague handle the ball!" Jeremy sits, calmly watching while his beloved Tarheels take missed shot after missed shot, and the most rambunctious I have EVER seen him get is when he musters a single, spirited, "Come on, 'Heels" as they start their surge.

It really is phenomenal that two fan bases with equally impressive basketball legacies express their excitement in such drastically different ways, and no where is this difference better expressed than in Danny Nowell's brilliantly-written "Lexington Diary."

Nowell is a Tarheel. Following his passions for basketball and bourbon, Nowell attended last Saturday's game and described it thus, "As the game started, the atmosphere in the building became as electric as any I’ve seen. We in Chapel Hill are as passionate about our Heels, but we carve opponents’ psyches with our condescending dignity; Kentucky concusses you with blunt-force excitement."

And last Saturday's "blunt-force" was as exciting as it gets.

Great game, Baby. We'll see you in April, and when we do, remember all that "good will" I built up at Rupp, okay?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy birthday, Huntybutton!

Lila the Huntybutton had a birthday party!

Mayme & Pop weren't able to make it. Luckily for them, however, Aunta's camera WAS!

For you, Mom & Daddy, here are some shots snapped (and footage filmed) as Lila turned five!

Click here to view these pictures larger