Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thank You, Thank You, (Thank you...thank you)

There is a reason why I have waited until Wednesday to write my weekly weekend report. My back aches, my head aches, and last but not least, my fingers (especially the right ring finger) aches. So THIS is what a wedding does to you, eh?! :)

On Friday, Michael and I attended our second marriage counseling session with Dr. Bill Buker. Our test results have yet to come in due to a very odd circumstance. They were mailed in a timely fashion but the postman had Bill Buker down as being deceased so the test scores were returned to their origin. When Bill called the post office and heard the news, he was a bit taken aback and let them know that he was very much alive. We meet again this Friday and will hopefully receive the results then.

After the session we dropped by my apartment, scooped up Thumbs (ok, let's be honest, part of my backache is due to "scooping up" Thumbs-HA!) and drove home to Fort Smith. Michael's parents were already there so the 6 of us sat down to a nice dinner.

Saturday morning we woke up to some pretty monstrous claps of thunder. What's a wedding shower without a true shower? The weather cleared up pretty quickly and it was off to Ann Edward's house. I was very nervous driving there because we had only heard from people letting us know they would not be attending the shower. Not to mention, 13 of the guests were hostesses. No, you did not read that wrong, I actually said 13. (Let's take a brief moment to allow that astronomical number to sink in.....) Anywho, I worried for nothing because there was a great turnout! I enjoyed myself immensely and Michael enjoyed leaving immensely. :) It was wonderful seeing old friends, school teachers, etc. And while this might sound trite, we got a lot of AWESOME stuff! WOOHOO!

After the shower the 4 of us drove back home, exhausted from small talk. We ate a quick lunch and Michael proceeded to take a nice nap. The girls got back in the car to exchange a few duplicates and look for more reception decorations. It was an extremely long day that ended at Calico County (yeeeehaw). I tell you what, there is nothing in life (exhaustion, anxiety, etc.) that a batch of fried okra can't fix!

Michael's parents left Sunday morning and after having some Geno's pizza, we took off as well. I was very proud of us, we got back to my apartment and immediately put away all of our gifts. It was a daunting task but we enjoyed it--it is crazy to see all of these cool gadgets and realize they are all ours!

I wish I could say "and so ended another great weekend" but it kept going. I spent several hours on Monday and Tuesday writing thank you notes (I believe it ended up being 60 total) for the gifts from Saturday. My mom also drove up to help clean the apartment since Kaitlin moved out this past weekend. It was very sad to come back to an empty place and not see Kait or George. It was a great 1.5 years living together and Michael will have some big shoes to fill (even bigger than his typical size 12s)!

Mom also helped with the invitations and envelopes. That task, my friends, blew me away. I was thinking "Oh, how long can it take to stamp, stuff, and lick a few hundred envelopes?" 5 hours is the answer. It was ridiculous! Leslie was kind enough to address all of them for us as a wedding gift and I can't even imagine how long THAT task must have taken. It really felt like the envelopes were multiplying at an exponential rate.

This post is also multiplying at an exponential rate so I will go ahead and end it (as well as the suffering). One last detail: Mom and I went to a seamstress yesterday afternoon to have my dress altered and bustled. I was so happy, we got to the place (never been there before) and it turned out to be the same lady who altered my bridesmaid's dress for Leslie's wedding. I thought she'd gone out of business but she'd only moved to a new location--HOOORAY!

We are going to Grand Lake this weekend with Kait and Stephen so my next post should not even include the word "wedding" and it BETTER not include the word "shower" (I'm praying for a sunny weekend). Until then... :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Shower that Didn't Involve Rain

I have reached the point where I think about our wedding, marriage, showers, etc., 24 hours of the day (I'm including sleep because I continue to have the wedding dreams/nightmares). I suppose for some brides this begins when they are newly engaged and lasts throughout the engagement, but I have just recently noticed my obscene obsession with becoming Mrs. Haynes. Though it is not (and never will be) my place to advise future brides on what they should/should not do, I don't mind giving a pre-warning that having a long engagement is not all it's cracked up to be. The only thing it has heightened is my nervousness for the big day. What if I trip? What if I faint? What if I say, "I Michael take you Meredith"?! Silly worries that can't seem to leave my nervous mind.

That being said, we had a WONDERFUL wedding weekend in Coppell. Karen and Myers hosted a couples shower for us on Saturday afternoon. My parents drove up early Saturday morning and the 6 of us headed to the 2p shower. I met some wonderful people and we received some great gifts! Thank you notes go in the mail tomorrow! We played one shower game where Michael and I held one of our own shoes and one of each other's shoes. Karen would ask a question and we'd have to raise the shoe that we felt matched the answer. For example, she asked, "Who is more accident prone?" and both of my shoes flew up (thanks, Michael). We had our backs to each other so we weren't able to see what the other answered. It was hilarious!

After the shower, Michael and I took a nap and our parents visited. Karen and Myers joined us at Mi Cocina for dinner and then we all went back to the Haynes' house for dessert. It had been a LONG day!

My parents left early Sunday morning to drive back to the Fort and we drove to Dallas to check out a Crate and Barrel outlet. Our everyday dishes have been discontinued but we were told we could find the remaining dishes at the outlet. It was a less than successful trip and we both left pretty bummed. We drove to another Crate and Barrel (of the non-outlet variety) and found some dishes there that we really liked. They aren't nearly as spunky or retro, but they are beautiful and will be put to good use as we both like to eat. :)

We didn't leave Coppell until 5p and it was a nice drive home. We spent most of it talking about how great our family and friends are, where we are going to put our new gifts, who really is more accident prone (still me), listened to good music as well as our "first dance" song, and practiced reciting our vows a few times as well. I'm so lucky to have this man in my life!!! We are going to be married in LESS than 2 months (as of yesterday!) and I could not be more thrilled. I asked him on the drive home if he preferred "for as long as we both shall live" or "until death do us part" and of course he chose the first because he's such a happy, optimistic man who loves LIFE. And it doesn't stop there--for some reason he loves accident-prone, bad-driving, key-losing, horrid-dancing me.

I couldn't love anyone more.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Weekend with the Guys

(written by Michael)

This weekend most of the groomsmen in our wedding came to Tulsa for the PGA Championship at Southern Hills. Wes had his second experience in his life in a plane and had the lady next to him rubbing his back, asking him not to throw up and start the chain reaction down the row. Craig flew in from California where he had been visiting Jess in perfect weather. I think he complained it was hot while we were still in the air conditioned airport. Myers and Karen may have had the easiest trip as they got off from work a little early and drove up. I take back the easiest trip part…Jamie lives two doors down so his trip was on foot. Roman definitely had the longest trip as he flew in from South Carolina after having run for 35 minutes directly following a 45 minute bike ride. Triathalons sound terrible. Brian wasn’t able to come up because he was in a wedding last weekend in Dallas.

We tried to show everyone bits and pieces of Tulsa whether it was lunch at Utica Square, dinner and a cigar out at the Riverwalk, or to everyone’s favorite interurban grill Baxter’s downtown and its famous honey pepper bacon burger. Wes kept calling it the honey butter burger or something with butter, but it was good nonetheless. Plus Karen won a giant golf bag in a giveaway at the restaurant. We also found some time to enjoy/suffer the sun at the pool and catch a movie.

Craig and Meredith cooked us pancakes and muffins for breakfast on Saturday so we grabbed a quick bite at BBD Sunday morning before golf. We got out to the course between noon and 1 and the heat was brutal. Parking and all that was actually very organized and easy to deal with. We walked in to the grounds and went to the PGA store first to check out all the memorabilia. Just the walk from where the shuttles dropped us off, through the gates, and to the store had us sweating. I’ve never seen so many polos and hats in my life. Craig picked up some gifts, and Roman and I bought replica 18th hole flags that were really awkward to carry around all day.

From there it was out to the course. We think Tiger was practicing on the putting green as we were trying to make our way in because everyone was standing around packed in a walkway next to the green like cattle. We eventually found an area under some trees between the 9th and 18th fairways that was pretty breezy and gave us a slight view of the tee box on #1.

Big John Daly nearly killed us with an errant drive at 9. It hit the tree limbs above us and fell down on a lady about 15 feet away. I know the marshals are supposed to find the ball and make sure people don’t mess with it, but all these fans started sprinting after it too as it rolled down the hill. It’s a golf ball! I’ve never seen his ball and I promise I can describe it. Maybe people wanted to see if he had a Hooters logo on his ball that matched his shirt. He finally made his way down and we had to spread apart like the Red Sea to give him an alley to hit through. He managed to hit some more branches and get it to squirt out. As he walked past us you could tell he was really hot and tired and he was only halfway done.

We heard them announce Tiger on the first tee from where we were the crowd went crazy. He teed off and then they announced his playing partner Stephen Ames. That was the most pathetic golf clap I’ve ever heard. I felt bad for the guy. Once he had teed off they made their way down and you saw the bleachers next to the tee box empty out like they were on fire and oceans of people made their way down each side of the first fairway.

Shortly after that Craig found us a spot on a hill that was right next to the 10th tee box and overlooked the 18th green. It was next to a couple of TV towers so we were only in the sun for an hour or so before they shaded us. It was pretty cool to watch everyone finish off their rounds on the 18th as well as being able to turn around and see all these pro golfers no more than 30 feet away on the tee box behind us.

Ernie Els stared down the 10th fairway for a bit before he reached for his bag. This was a dog leg right and most everyone had been playing it safe and hitting an iron. He grabs his driver and the crowd lets him hear their excitement. We were close enough to see him break a grin at all the cheering. He steps up and crushes this drive over the trees. I think it may have gone into orbit temporarily.

Tiger came up a couple of groups later and he and his caddie each had a banana before he teed off. Tiger walked over and threw his peel away and a lady definitely grabbed it out of the trash within a couple of minutes. He teed off and was business as usual. You can tell he’s changed since he first turned pro, but you can’t tell how massive he really is until you see him that close up. He’s a beast.

The rest of the day we watched guys play the 18th and enjoyed some golf course burgers. Not one person birdied that hole all day so we saw a ton of pars and worse. You could see the crowd start to swell once Tiger got to the 18th. Els and Woody Austin made a brief challenge early in the day but Tiger was able to hold them off without too much trouble. It was a pretty surreal scene when he walked up the 18th fairway and reappeared on the 18th green. He had to tip his hat multiple times at the ovation. He nearly sank a considerably long birdie putt, but finished it off with the par and went immediately to his caddie. It was a lot of fun to watch and it’s pretty neat to say that we saw Tiger Woods win one of his majors when he will most likely break the record some day.

It was great to see everyone, and even better that they got to see some more of Tulsa since some of them had previously only been in town for a day or so at a time. We had a great time and I’m excited to get together again in a couple of months!

Monday, August 6, 2007


Today, August 6, is an extraordinary day. You might be wondering what makes it so exciting since for all practical purposes it is just another Monday. A hot Monday, but just another Monday. Turns out it is so much more: we have reached 75 days until Michael and I say "I DO!" You still might be wondering what the big deal is... We decided to celebrate tonight with a bottle of leftover champagne from the bachelorette party. We were going to do this at 100 days but Michael was sick so we figured 75 days sounded just as nice. If that isn't an extraordinary day, I just don't know what is.

Two of my good friends/co-workers became engaged on Friday night. (Do you "become" engaged? I don't know...) Several weeks prior, I had heard from Josh about the plans of the proposal and I had heard from Jaclyn the anxiousness of a girl who is ready to be married. It was neat to hear both perspectives and I could not be happier for the two of them. :)

Michael and I had a low-key weekend. On Friday we went to our first pre-marital counseling session in Jenks. We had a nice time and got along great with Dr. Bill Buker. He let us know that we would spend 6 sessions together so I am interested to see what we learn about marriage, each other, and ourselves! We took a test on Friday and will get the results at our next meeting. Here's hoping we passed! (Perhaps that will be my toast this evening!)

Michael's bachelor party is this weekend so his groomsmen are coming in from all over to be with him. I know it will be a lot of fun and I plan on being a good future bride and staying out of it. Karen is coming up with Myers and will keep me entertained while they do "men things." Hopefully the stripper pole won't make an appearance this time around!!


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