Wednesday, May 23, 2012

weekend catch-up

Wednesday, is that you?  ALREADY?!?  Goodness the past five days have flown by thanks to jam-packed plans and lots of fun.  I apologize for my late start this week but when I first gave this blog life, I promised myself it would never be something on my to-do list.  I would never feel obligated to write something just for the sake of posting something.  Each post on Gratefully Inspired is a part of my heart, my soul and the inner-craziness that is my brain.  It is my safe-haven and breath of fresh air.  And it will never be a place of obligation or annoyance.  So yes Wednesday, you may have snuck up on me, but I’m not scared.  I’ve still got you, Thursday and Friday to make my mark…

So, about those past five days of utter chaos.  One of those days was Saturday – sweet Saturday.  I loved everything about you.  For starters, I slept in until 10.  OK I’ll say it again.  I slept in until 10.  And it was amazing.  Sure it was interrupted sleep as my pup Sevilla felt the need to bark to her cousin Ellie in the room next door, but it was a form of sleep and I needed it.  Then, my sister-in-law, Sarah, and I took our less than 15 pound pups on a three mile walk.  We were so proud (and ecstatic that they slept the next two days). 

After our walk it was lunch with our identical-looking husbands then I was off to Raleigh to shower a best friend before her wedding.  The shower was beautiful and I wish I could take credit for all of the cute little touches and decorations, but I simply can’t.  Oh, and I forgot my camera – gasp.  So the pictures below are followed with photo credits because I completely stole them from Instagram and Facebook.  But nonetheless, it was beautiful and delicious (delicious describing the five different martinis and matching cupcakes there for tasting).  Not to mention, the shower was in a boutique full of to-die-for dresses, clutches and jewels.  Martinis and dresses – a girl’s dream.

But as more of my friends jump on the marriage train I learn more and more about myself and about them.  It’s crazy inspiring how you can have a 20 year old friendship and still learn new things about each other.  This weekend I learned the meaning of a Bridal Shower and a little bit more about my friend.  When I was engaged, some of my friends threw me a bridal shower and others threw me an engagement party.  I was humbled and taken aback by the thoughtfulness each one of them put into those special days.  I was overjoyed and so happy. But I don’t think I grasped what all went into that day.  Last weekend, looking in from the outside, I saw just how much thought was put into the showers and parties, and the love behind the thought. 

Ever heard of a champagne circle?  Me either... until Saturday.  Towards the end of the shower, there was a small group left.  After dancing around like crazy people and singing at the top of our lungs, one of the other bridesmaids suggested a champagne circle.  Everyone cheered and sat down (apparently they had done this before).  In my mind I was thinking, “Aw fun, drink champagne and tell funny stories about Anna.”  Well I was wrong.  As each person passed the bottle, they shared things of which they are grateful.  Some girls talked about Anna’s kind spirit.  Other’s talked about her love and support for them throughout the years.  But all were thankful for Anna – and her presence in their lives.  When the bottle got to me, I immediately started to cry.  Typical me.  I don’t even have to speak to tear up.  But I was overwhelmed with emotions.  I was thankful for Anna too, and her constant presence in my life over the past 15 years.  I was thankful for her great friends who have become my friends too.  Thankful for the man whom she will marry in two short months.  I was thankful to be witnessing such a precious moment in time.  And it was then that I saw a whole other side to hosting a bridal shower, engagement party – anything for a bride-to-be.  For those of us hosting the shower, it was like some sort of love offering, showing our support and gratefulness for Anna in this pivotal time in her life.  It was also a promise.  A promise to stick by the couple in the future, come what may.  A promise to love their children and continue to be present in their lives.  The feelings extend beyond the hosts undoubtedly; it extends to the people who came.  The people who wanted to come but couldn’t and sent cards.  I had felt all of these things in the past when hosting things for other great friends.  But I have never been able to verbalize or truly put into plain terms what it was, until now.  The showers and parties leading up to a wedding are fantastic – loads of fun.  But they are also something sacred.  A time when the bride and groom are shown just how loved they really are. 

So Anna Banna,
You are loved.  And you will continue to be loved.  Your love and support for me leaves me humbled and grateful and I feel beyond honored to stand beside you on your special day.  Saturday was a testament to the person you are.  A person of integrity, compassion and selflessness.  Casey – you’re a lucky guy.  I love you and am so excited for July 14!

Ps – Nashville – brace yourself.


Now for some stolen pictures….

the happy couple - anna and casey
photo credit:Megan Tunnell

photo credit: Erin Anderson

the beautiful bride and maid of honor
photo credit: Caroline King