Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Rest of the Story

As you may have guessed, we began wedding planning. First we needed to set a date, hmmm, most of the groomsmen were also military so it would have to be a weekend when they would have a four day. My oldest sister suggested Memorial Day and it was set. Yes, I realize that Memorial day was only a mere 5 months 26 days away from our engagement but it worked. My mom was a God-send. Had it not been for her there probably would have been no decorations in the church and we would have had to use the stinky road side daisy bouquets my father picked for the rehearsal dinner for the ceremony as well. (That story comes later) Mom came through though, the ceremony was in the evening so lots of candles (one of my pre-requisites) and gorgeous bouquets of roses (red and white). The bridesmaids wore black (much to the dismay and dislike of my future MIL) and carried white roses, Mr. Ski wore all black with a red tie, and I of course wore white and carried red roses. Can you tell yet that I'm a simple yet classic type of gal? Mr. Ski was very helpful and dutifully took his groomsmen to get measured and was a big help in the ordering of all their tuxes. I was stressing! But that is no different from any other day. My mom and I did the majority of the planning over the phone. I mean, my wedding was going to be 5 hours away from where I live and I couldn't just drive there every weekend to take care of details. So, I gave her the go-ahead to order invitations and flowers that I had never seen but she had described so well that I felt like they were a good choice. Everything was going smoothly..oddly enough. So it came time for everyone to begin the journey to East Tennessee for the wedding. Mr. Ski's groomsmen came in a Jeep they rented that by the end of the weekend had four flat tires and multiple scratches and dents (thank heavens for insurance), I can only imagine the antics that occurred in that Jeep during the 5 hour trip.

So, it's time for the rehearsal dinner. We all sit down to a bbq catered dinner before practicing our walk down the aisle. All through dinner we were smelling a horrid smell, it reminded me of dog pee that had set for many hours in the hot sun...oh wait that smell is the daisy's. This lead to a conversation with dear ole, thrifty dad..."Hey Dad, Where did you get the daisy's?".....'I saw them on the side of the road and thought they looked nice!'...."So the flowers at my rehearsal dinner for my wedding are from the side of the road?!"....'Well, I didn't see anything wrong with them'... "Awesome, so the dog pee smell is most likely really dog pee." Luckily I had gotten used to my Dad's thrifty way of doing things by now so I was able to laugh it off. Small bump, no big issue. It came time for Mr. Ski to give his speech, he stood up and thanked all those involved particularly my parents and his mother. He told his mom how grateful he was to have her for a mom and how she made him into the man he was today. It was really sweet. He sat back down and some awkward silence followed when out of nowhere my future MIL blurts out "Well Mr. Ski has always been obnoxious and I guess he always will be." WHAT?! Confusion struck us all... Where in the heck did that come from?! More awkward silence. After dinner we preceded to go practice, that's when my oldest sister looked at me and told me that she thought that my future MIL needed a good dose of Mrs. Ski. Which made me laugh and I got over it, although I still felt bad for Mr. Ski. Poor thing, all he was trying to do was give his mom a compliment. The night went on though and before you know it, Mr. Ski and I were saying our goodbyes for the night. Our last night as single people was coming to a close....

The morning of the wedding I was relatively calm and focused on what all I needed to do that day. Unfortunately my maid of honor wasn't much help, but she was going through a hard time then and I have long since forgiven her for her lacking maid of honor skills. I will never forget the moment right before I walked down the aisle, I was holding my dad's arm he was starting to say something sweet and meaningful when I told him to shut up because if he didn't I was going to cry. I didn't cry, until Mr. Ski read me his vows (although I'd heard them before the significance in that moment was overwhelming). I think I practically ran down the aisle, cheesing the whole way. The wedding went over fairly smoothly, the song my maid of honor sang was beautiful, no one fell or tripped and I didn't pass out (this was a concern) and a short 15 minutes later we were married! It was great, picture time post ceremony got a little hairy, everyone was tired and ready to move on to the reception, therefore, my post ceremony pictures kind of sucked. Mostly because the photographer lacked imagination, I mean he did try to take our ring picture on a hymnal...a bible I get but a hymnal?! Not really liking this suggestion I set down the hymnal and substituted my bouquet of flowers instead. That could be my favorite picture out of the bunch. All in all, the only thing I would ever do over is the pictures. But I'm sure I'll eventually get over that.

So, now for the happy ending, which will lead to very random posts about adventures Mr. Ski and I have faced and will face. We did have a happy engagement, happy wedding and now we have our happy beginning. We went to Gatlinburg after the wedding for about a day, the military does not care if you get married and gives you no extra time off for wedding getaways but we did have a great time and continued to go on "honeymoons" for the rest of that summer. I think every weekend trip we took that summer was considered an extension to our honeymoon. We went back to our townhouse, back to our jobs, and back to OUR life. No longer is it my life, my problems, my stories it is our life, our problems, our stories, our laughter, our journey.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Homecoming and MORE!

I got the call. From Mr. Ski's mom that is, letting me know that they had arrived. It was a chilly November night in 2006 and I couldn't decide if I was shaking because I was nervous about seeing Mr. Ski for the first time in seven years or because I was meeting his family before I even saw him or if I was just cold! I decided that it was a mixture of all three! Mr. Ski's mom was very sweet and we sat on the bus together as we rode out to the hangar where the plane would be arriving. I was definitely a bundle of nerves even after meeting her. We got off the bus at a hangar and stood outside waiting for the plane to land. It felt like it took forever but I know that it couldn't have been more than 30 minutes before the plane landed and began to taxi toward us. I took pictures...lots of them. We waited and waited and finally the doors opened and soldiers began flooding off the plane all in uniform all anxiously awaiting to see their families. They got into formation, I hadn't seen Mr. Ski yet but I kept looking. Then all the families were told to file into the hangar and sit on the bleachers. So in we went, keep in mind that this was my first Army experience so I had no idea what the procedure would be like. It was so surreal, I was sitting amongst husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters all waiting to see the ones they love. The most touching thing was to see infants in their mother's arms waiting to see their daddies for the first time ever. It made me teary eyed then and it still makes me teary eyed. I got my camera ready, set it to record and videoed the gigantic medal doors of the hangar opening and hundreds of soldiers marching in. Everyone was clapping and cheering and in all that madness....I saw him. I screamed really loud, you can hear it on the video, when I saw him. And I swear to you I knew right then when I saw him that he was the man I was going to marry. I think you can hear me screaming "There he is! There he is!" I was just about to bound off those bleachers and jump in his arms when I noticed that everyone else was staying where they were. I quickly realized that it would be a little bit before we were truly reunited. We waited for the company flags to be returned and raised and the company commander to talk and pray before the soldiers were released to their loved ones. Joe, Mr. Ski's brother beat his mom and myself to Mr. Ski. Which was ok. Mr. Ski's mom held my hand as we walked over to him. She hugged him and then gave me to him. I will never in my life forget how that felt. For the first time in a long time things felt perfectly in order. We hugged for a long bit and then shared the first of many kisses. WOW! I knew then that I never wanted to be without him. My heart was bursting at the seams and all I could do was hold him and look at him realizing that this man right here whether he knew it or not would be my husband one day.

We only got a mere 20 minutes together before all the soldiers had to get back into formation and exit the hangar to go return their guns and gear. The families boarded the buses once again and began the trip back to where we started. We were to wait in the cafeteria for our loved ones to get done. Geeze, could there be any more waiting!!! (It is definitely a preview into military life and all of the waiting involved.) A very long 2 hours went by and he found me, outside nervously smoking a cigarette. We hugged...again and kissed...again and then we started walking to my car. I'm usually one who needs to know plans...but I didn't care this night. As long as I was with him I was ok. All my nervousness and fears were moot at this point. It was like we'd always been together. We talked and joked and stared at each other for the majority of that first night. I didn't sleep at all. I ended up staying up with him all night losing track of the time on numerous occasions. It was almost surprising when the sun rose. We went to breakfast with his mom and then to the mall. I never got tired, I just wanted to be with him. I didn't go back to Nashville until late Monday night. And it was hard to leave. I returned Tuesday night after I got off work and we were together about everyday after that. I guess that's when my commute to and from Fort C began.

Thanksgiving that year was going to be held at my sister's house a short drive away. I invited Mr. Ski, thinking that if he could withstand a holiday with every member of not only my family but my brother-in-law's family too, there were about 20 of us in all, that he was a keeper! He was such a trooper and everyone was so excited to meet him. We were both told that day that no one had ever seen me that happy before. But I had every reason to be happy. I can't tell you how many holidays I had wished that I had someone special to share it with. My sisters are all older than me and all had significant others, all but me. Not that I cared every year, but that year I had begun to want someone to be with me at these family functions and now I had it! My family loved him, especially my nieces and nephews. His mom did keep telling me that one night we talked on the phone before he came home how good he was with kids...and she was right! I didn't think things could get any better....but they did.

On December 31, 2006 after eating lunch with his mom and my best friend at our favorite Mexican restaurant we were headed back to my apartment. My best friend had left lunch early with some lame excuse as to why, I can't even remember it now. And I have to admit I was a little angry with Mr. Ski because I had wanted to call her to make sure she was ok and he wouldn't let me. I was pouting as I walked to the car and I remember Mr. Ski saying 'don't get mad...not today.' I thought that she would be waiting outside for us to get back because I knew she didn't have a key to get in but she wasn't anywhere in sight. Odd. Mr. Ski and I were walking down the sidewalk about to go up the stairs to my apartment when he stopped me and said, "You know that I'm always going to love you and take care of you right?" The light bulb in my head flashed on! HOLY CRAP!!! We walked up the stairs and he opened the door of my apartment to the most beautiful scene. The apartment was dimly lit and there was a pathway of lit tea light candles on the floor leading to the coffee table that held more lit candles of all sizes and a silver box with a black bow. Mr. Ski and my best friend had been scheming for awhile and now I knew why! Right there in my living room he got down on one knee and began to propose. Don't ask me what all he said that afternoon because I honestly can't remember, do any girls? All I know is that I was screaming in my head YES YES YES!!!!! I started to cry early on in the proposal, Mr. Ski has an amazing way with words plus I couldn't believe that this was happening to me! It made me so happy to look in his eyes (which were a little teary too...) and tell him YES! We hugged and kissed and hugged and kissed some more! What I do remember is thinking...I wish I would have dressed up a little or washed my hair! But I hadn't and he still proposed even though I was in jeans and long sleeved t-shirt with my hair in a pony tail! It must be true love!