11.21.2013

the gills go to new haven - part II

yikes!
i almost forgot to post part two of our trip to new haven!
let's continue, shall we?
 our last day in new haven was quite cloudy.
we were nervous that it might rain, since graduation was being held outside
no matter what the weather was like.
we stood in the back for the gigantic yale graduation, since sarah promised us there wouldn't be much to see.
 we did, however, catch her and teoman on their way out!
huzzah!! grads!
 there was so much excitement!
 the crowds were pretty insane,
but it's always easy to spot miss gill with her gorgeous hair!
then it was time for the school of architecture graduation.
 we all cheered when sarah walked across the stage- beaming with pride.
then they began to announce the awards.
we all shifted around in our seats, expecting sarah's name to be called for one of them.
then they came to the final award.
the really really big deal one....
"sarah gill" they said-
literally all four of us started crying!
 after the ceremony was over, sarah was swarmed by her professors, classmates, and friends
showering her with congratulations.
again- we were beaming with pride!
 just as they began to serve lunch, the clouds parted and the sun came out.
it turned into the most beautiful day!
and we got to meet a bunch of sarah's friends and finally put some lovely faces with names.
 one last group photo!
 later, we spent some time walking around campus.
sarah showed us all the amazing sights,
from the outside you can't fathom how incredible it is.
i was in rare book heaven.
then we strolled around campus some more.
 obviously, rocking the yale gear:
 finally we stopped back by sarah's apartment
to prep some food for the potluck grad party at sarah's frind peter's house.
and we got changed.
 we walked a few blocks to peter's place
and couldn't believe the spread set before us!
 we spent the evening eating amazing food, drinking plenty of wine,
and laughing with new friends.
 i was so happy to be included.
it was awesome getting a little window into sarah's life in new haven.

the next day we flew back to texas.
shortly after we left, so did sarah!

she got a job in london, but before she set sail for the uk-
she came to austin to spend a couple days with us!

we stuffed a lot of fun into a couple days.

drinks at hotel san jose
(complete with olives)
 it was so hot! but still beautiful.
 stu and val joined us for a pretty cocktail:
 and meegan came too:

then we got hungry.
had to treat sarah to some fried chicken while she was in town.

it was so yummy.
we demolished this bucket.
 that evening we got dinner at contigo,
which, by the way, is delicious.
these cucumber drinks were pretty perfect too.
(especially considering it was about 94 degrees at sunset)
beautiful ladies:

shortly after, she zipped off to her new life in london,
and we have missed her every day since!

the good news? i now have a reason to go back to london!
xoxo



11.12.2013

a year ago...

a year ago (november 10th) i dawned a white lace dress,
walked through a forest of trees strung full of candles and twinkling christmas lights,
and said "i do" to the most amazing man in the world.

i swear i have known i would marry this man since the first summer we spent together in 2006.
he is my other half in every way shape and form and makes me a better person each day.

i never officially did a blog about that special day, so how about an anniversary blog?

i always knew i wanted a fall wedding. when andrew proposed in october 2011, i knew it would be a slightly long engagement! we set the date for november 10th. this is a good date because even numbers are only exceeded in greatness by those divisible by 5. 10 is both of those things.
this puts my soul at ease.
it was also a good date because the weather was absolutely heavenly!

heather (my little sister and maid of honor) and i painted a bunch of directional signs the day before the wedding. i had just gotten a sparkly gold pedicure that i was very happy about, but, alas, it wasn't meant to be. i dropped a pint of yellow paint all over my feet, legs, and clothes.
there was still a significant amount of house paint on my skin on our wedding day!
signs came out cute, though!
 we had the most fun girls come out to do hair and makeup.
i have some pretty beautiful women in my life,
between my mom, my bridesmaids, and my mother in law-
it was like being on a movie set!

 these are the boy's boutonnieres.
they are exactly what i had imagined-
props to my wedding planner for totally nailing these!
 all my girls had their own unique dresses.
i picked out a bunch, and they helped me narrow them down.
i tried to pick dresses that matched their individual styles and beauty.
i'd say we nailed it, because they looked stunning.
 and these were the shoes. they are supposed to be "barefoot sandals" that just hang on the tops of your feet, but have no sole. they looked great for about ten photos, but the long lace dresses instantly snagged and broke most of them!
haha oh well, it was worth it for this photo:
 for bridesmaids gifts i gave all the girls glass pumpkins.
i wanted them to have something that they might pull out every thanksgiving for table decor,
and remember my wedding and how special they made it.
 i damn near starved myself before my wedding
(this is a bad idea, you should not ever starve yourself)
so when my dress zipped up without a hitch, there was a big round of high fives from everyone!
 heather helped me put on the garter that she picked out for me.
 and then there was toby.....
as any reader of this blog knows, toby has a knack for getting into food he isn't supposed to eat.
we left welcome bags for all the guests that stayed on property or in hotel rooms.
there were bottles of water, maps and itineraries for the weekend, a cd with all our wedding music, and a few sweet treats. one of the sweet treats was a giant caramel popcorn ball.
wouldn't you know, toby found a couple popcorn balls while we were all rehearsal dinner-ing.
needless to say, he felt like this all day:
 i tried to perk him up for some photos, but he was in a sugar coma for most of the weekend.
 i have really long eyelashes and i love too much mascara.
i reapplied about twelve times before we actually walked out the door.
 meanwhile the boys were getting all dressed up in their grooms-bros gear.
apc jeans, a white shirt, and brown vests from j crew.
they looked so handsome!
they toasted the day with a round of beers.
meanwhile, the girls toasted with a bottle of champagne!
 out in the trees, the ceremony was getting all set up.
we didn't want to have an aisle, because we didn't want it to feel like we were on stage or that there were individual bride/groom sides. we wanted it to feel like everyone was surrounding us.
 and i really loved these little chair flowers marking where our families would sit.
 our "first look"happened on this little bridge by a waterfall. it was really beautiful.
 hey!
 then we took some photos.



 then the rest of the crew arrived!
 note to all photographers:
there is no way to "look like you're just hanging out" when you're lined up taking wedding photos.
 i also generally hate the "everyone walk toward the camera" photo,
but this one is pretty cute:
 oh my goodness how are there so many beautiful women in my life?!


 the bros looked pretty rad also:
 here i am with my amazing parents:
 we used this one for our christmas card.
("look what santa brought us for christmas!")
 i wanted a photo of me and all the boys.
for some reason they all put their hands up as if they were on a roller coaster.
not sure why.
 the trees! so magical.
 finally it was time for the ceremony to begin.
alex (my brother) walked my mom down the aisle
as joanna newsom played.
the groomsmen took their spots as the beatles played "two of us"
 my sweet friend jonathan was our adult flower girl,
but instead of flowers, he brought toby.
 toby only made it halfway, but the sugar was still slowing him down,
so jonathan gave him a lift.
 then came all my beautiful ladies!
they walked down the aisle to the magnetic fields song
 and then my other dear friend jonathan
(the adult ring bearer).
 once everyone was in their places,
my song began to play!
when andrew and i first started dating, he made me a cd of a bunch of his favorite songs.
at the end, he included his own version of "girl from the north country" by johnny cash and bob dylan
andrew is an incredible musician and his voice is gorgeous.
i still believe that i fell in love with him the first time i heard this song.
 my dad walked me down the aisle.
i think we were both equally nervous!
 andrew's dad was the officiant.
he spoke such beautiful words, and it felt so perfect having him up there with us.
 about halfway through the ceremony, we did a tree planting.
i feel like the whole candle lighting thing is so cheesy,
and (don't get me wrong) tree planting is pretty darn cheesy,
but i love trees.
now we have a special place we can visit every year and remember that day!
 while we planted our tree,
jess williamson
(another one of our favorite humans)
sang her own version of one of our songs,
"southern cross" by crosby, still, and nash.
 jess is gorgeous and her music is so moving.
it meant the world to us to have her sing at our wedding,
and no one could have done such justice to the song!

 we said our vows and before i knew it, he was kissing his bride!
we walked out to the feist song
which i chose for it's upbeat feel.
after all, it was now time for the real celebration!
 there were hugs and congratulations all around!
 and then came the family photos.
the light was disappearing fast and organizing everyone was quite a challenge.
they didn't even come out good!
hahaha
 this is the only one that came out good,
but it made the whole photo mess worth it, because i LOVE this photo:
 the "barn" was all set up for the party!
the guests made their way over while the wedding party took a celebratory tequila shot.

oh and i have to include the photos of my cakes,
if for no other reason but how ugly they are!
i told the bakery i wanted them plain and messy looking
(nailed it)
and then my wedding planner was going to add some natural elements.
in his defense, i did say minimalistic, but this is just downright silly looking.
the good news:
it tasted divine!
(it was a pumpkin spice cake- white cake is way too boring)
 andrew loves spicy foods, so i wanted to do a spicy dark chocolate for him.
again, it tasted amazing.
i had ask that it be decorated with little spicy chili peppers.
what i got- the hugest jalapeno ever plopped on top.
though he is sweet, cake decor isn't one of my wedding planner's gifts in life.
 thankfully they left my little gluten free cake alone.
(i might add that we ate the top of that cake last sunday!)
(how cake can stay good for a year is beyond my understanding)
 there were huge lanterns hanging from the ceiling that totally changed the room.
the barn is huge and the ceilings are way too high to feel intimate.
the lanterns fixed the problem perfectly.
 succulents and cacti huddled together with fresh herbs and fruit.
it was very natural looking.
i loved it!
 finally we joined the party!
we burst through the giant barn doors to kanye west's
 my brother drove us in on a pedi cab!
 of course i had a bottle of champagne
and andrew had sick little tobe.
 we high fived the crowd as we entered!
it was so fun.
 once the song was over, our little jazz band began to play.
food and drinks were served, and toby took a much needed time out.
 the best man (craig) made an amazing toast that gave everyone little baby tears.
 there was a basket of these white knots that we invited the guests to wear.
it was important to andrew and i that everyone take a momentary pause
to remember that our country is depriving a lot of very special and deserving people
from being allowed to celebrate their love as we just had.
oh and johnny made us this needlepoint for our wedding gift.
its a replica of one of kanye west's tweets that reads,
"this is going to be a dope ass day"
amazing, johnny! 
 we set up photos all around the barn of our parent's and grandparent's wedding photos.
here is my mom's parents on their wedding day:
 andrew's mom's parents:
 andrew's parents:
 and my parents:
andrew and i had our first dance to 
by grayson capps (sang by theresa anderson).
it's one of our favorites and will always remind me of our first summer together.
we didn't practice our dance and i have zero rhythm,
so we looked a little crazy.
but who cares!
 my dad and i danced to jimmy buffett's
he used to sing this to me every single night before i went to bed.
it was actually written for jimmy buffett's daughter.
the line about her "big brown eyes"- dad would always change to "big blue eyes"
 it was emotional:
 then andrew and his sister danced to a song that their father recorded
back in the 70's with his folk band.
for obvious reasons, there is no youtube video of this song.
their dance was very sweet and they clearly make better dance partners than andrew and i!
 then we cut that ugly cake:
 what did i say?
it was delicious.
#fatkidalert
 this priceless little smooch happened:
we are so lucky to both have parents that live such perfect examples of love
 as little wedding favors, i wanted to give everyone seed balls.
they are little balls of clay/compost stuffed full of seeds.
in the fall/spring you scatter them before rainfall and flowers pop up.
after one or two mason jars full of cocktails,
there was reports of one or two guests mistaking them for chocolates.
to all future brides: edible favors go over a lot better with the crowd.
 bouquet toss time!
 i was so pumped to hurl that bouquet!
but i threw it far too short.
(ps- my garter wouldn't stay up on my thigh, so i wrapped it around my forearm then forgot it- oops!)
 luckily kaitlyn is equipped with the most amazing giraffe like legs
and she caught the bouquet, despite the bad toss!
i freaking love this girl:
 we knew we wanted a big dance party, but we also knew that only half the guests were young enough to want to participate in a late night dance party.
solution?
we took a break halfway through the reception.
there was an amazing fireworks show!
 appreciated by all.
 and a romantic kiss under the sparkles.
 then my brother gave us a ride back to our place.
we smooched some more, i re-applied mascara, and discarded some of my less comfortable undergarments.
(there was no way i was going to wear that 'suck your tummy in' thing all night)
 we came back to the barn and the dance party was in full swing!
dessert shots were served and there was a cookies and milk bar set up.
 the lights changed colors
 and the dj got the party started!
 this dj was the absolute worst. she was unpleasant and played every single song on my
"please do not play these songs" list.
but the crowd was about 200 dessert shots deep and no one seemed to care!
 after all, booze + music = dance party.
 i love all these dancing photos.
everyone just looks so great!

 and yes i carried around my own bottle of champagne all night.
why wouldn't i?!



it was so perfect!
i loved every single second of it!
and i love remembering and reliving it through photos.
thanks for going on my little memory lane journey with me.

the first year was great! can't wait for all those to come!