Wedding, honeymoon and beyond..

Hello everyone! The wedding was awesome...thank you to everyone who was able to make it out for our big day. We had a great day of rest the following day and then on Monday we headed out for our honeymoon adventure in Key West.

The first day was just travel. We flew from Dayton to Miami with a layover in Atlanta. Then we made the ~3hr drive from Miami to Key West. It would have probably been more enjoyable of a drive if the sun hadn't set halfway through the drive. When we got to the hotel it was very late, so we ordered a pizza from good old Papa John's and went to bed. The next day we spent some time walking around the island doing some window shopping. I, of course, forgot to put on sunscreen before going out, so I got to start out the trip with quite a sunburn. That night we headed to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration and then watched a couple street performers do an acrobatic act.

The next day we started out the day with a jet ski tour around the island. This was really fun and it was amazing to see the color of the water and just how shallow the water is even when you are quite a distance offshore. Then we did more walking around the island. During our walk we went to the Ernest Hemingway house and saw the garden, pool, his writing studio, and most importantly, the Hemingway cats! I even got to feed two of them treats (I think our tour guide felt bad for me because I was the color of a tomato). After that we walked to the southernmost point on the island and got some pictures with the marker. That night we watched the sunset from our hotel's dock, and honestly it was just as enjoyable and a lot less crowded.

Thursday was the most exciting day of the whole trip. We took a boat out to a set of islands 70mi west of Key West called the Dry Tortugas. There is a fort there called Fort Jefferson. After the 2.5hr boat ride out, we got a tour of the fort and then wandered the fort on our own for awhile. We walked along the top of the fort, attempted to snorkel (I just couldn't bring myself to get in the 71-degree water), laid out in the sun, and walked the moat wall around the fort. Then we took the boat ride home. Halfway back, a lobster line got caught in the boat prop and we stopped in the middle of the Gulf for close to half an hour while our tour guide jumped in and cut it out of the prop. Jeff was very proud because he didn't get seasick while I did. I didn't really get sick, but I did get an upset stomach. I'd like to mention at this point that I came down with a cold the day after the wedding and I'm convinced if I hadn't had drainage from that I would never have gotten seasick. After we got back we did a little more window shopping, but I really did struggle with that because the whole world swayed back and forth the rest of the night.

Friday we went to the Pirate Soul Museum and got to see treasures and what not that had been salvaged from different wrecks. We also learned quite a bit about the different pirates and the laws that were instituted to try to protect the world from pirates. That evening we got a phone call saying that my grandfather had passed away that day. So we went and had our nicest dinner and a drink in his honor and then that night we went on the ghost tour we had scheduled for that evening. We got a could pictures with orbs that we couldn't quite explain. The ghost stories were good, but there wasn't all that much that we actually got to see.

Saturday we drove up the keys to Bahia Honda State Park. It is one of the few places with a natural beach in the keys, and it also has some walking trails and access to the old railroad bridge where you get a good view from about 150ft up. So we walked up there first and then spent some time out in the water. You could walk a couple hundred yards off the beach and still be thigh high in the water. It was very cool. Then we spent some time sunbathing, and afterwards we walked the other beaches on the key. We ended the day having dinner at Benihana's. We got to sit at a table with locals, and wish we'd met them at the beginning of the trip so we'd have known more places to go.

I also want to say that I had four glorious slices of key lime pie and a whole lot of wonderful seafood meals on this trip. My tummy certainly enjoyed the vacation.

Sunday was our travel home day. The drive to Miami was slow...it seems that people like to go slowly so they can take in the view. The plane was late leaving Miami, so we almost missed our connection in Atlanta. Because we had to run from one plane to the other, our checked luggage didn't make it back to Dayton until much later than our 9:30pm arrival.

Monday we got up, got ourselves together and made the trip to Memphis for Papa's funeral. It was a long trip, but when we got into town we met up with family for dinner and then headed for bed. Tuesday morning was his funeral, and afterwards we had a gathering at Bob and Cheryl's house. We were all sad that Papa passed away, but there is something very healing about spending time with family. I want to say it has been about 20yrs since I last saw my Uncle Kevin, and 10+yrs since I saw my Aunt Letha and cousins Shannon and Sharron, and it was really good to get to see them again. Wednesday we headed back to Dayton to get Jeff to his class on time.

Now we're in the organizing stage...putting away new dishes, getting my name changed, starting the new quarter at WSU, and working our way through the mounds of laundry we created. We have posted pictures from the wedding that we've received from guests and our pictures from the honeymoon. Check out the Photos link at the top of the page. If you have pictures you want to share with us, check the instructions that Jeff posted on that page for adding your photos.

Love you all!
-M
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Only Eleven Days and counting

We are in the home stretch, with just over a week to go and we are busy making final arrangements. We will be spending this weekend making seating charts and finalizing the program. Our honeymoon plans have been checked and confirmed this week and we have pretty much confirmed the list of attendees. We hope to see everyone very soon here in Ohio.
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38 days!

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Well, folks, we're getting much much closer to the big day. The hotel block is good for another week (Feb. 17th), so if you're going to book, book soon! January 30th was my bridal shower. Although it was cold, the weather was great and we had a wonderful time. My FMIL, Sharon, hosted a great party, Amy R. put together some fun games for us to play, and my mommy brought a cake that was a delicious reminder of how good the cupcakes should be wedding day! We also got some really wonderful gifts. Thanks again everyone for being so generous and thoughtful. I was also very happy that as many people were able to make it into town as did. My girls also took me out for a great night of dinner, drinks and dancing that evening. Hopefully, if we can brave the snow, we're going to go get our marriage license today!
Trying to stay sane,
Mandy
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Hotel info

Hey everyone, just for your information, if you would like to stay at the hotel at the rate we negotiated, you'll need to book your room by Febuary 17th, 2010 (its a Wednesday). The rate is $109+tax, and they offer a complimentary shuttle to the reception site. Check in is at 3pm, check out is noon. Check the hotels and attractions section of the website for hotel contact information. 67 days!!!
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Busy 3 months

Well folks, things are moving right along in the wedding planning department. Since the last time I posted, we: 1.) set times for the rehearsal/wedding/reception, 2.) settled on a menu for the reception, 3.) ordered and picked up our wedding bands, 4.) ordered my dress shoes (which we are picking up tomorrow!), and finally 5.) sent out invitations. I hope you all like them. Those silly little rhinestones were a pain in the behind to stick on. We're also finally getting our respective plans sorted out of our pre-wedding celebrations with our friends. Sometime this coming week I plan to book appointments at a salon for the girls on the wedding day. We also plan to meet with Mikey soon to talk about music for the reception, and we are going to meet with the sacristan at QAC soon to talk about our options for the ceremony. After that, there isn't much left to do but seating charts, dress fittings, and figuring out if I'm going to buy or rent a cake stand for the cupcakes.

I still can't believe that its only 77 days away. :)
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Update, 23 Sept 09

Well, folks, things are moving right along with the wedding. Jeff and I are marching right through the paperwork and requirements for the Catholic Church, and we really just have to meet with Fr. Gene one more time before we rehearse. Today I set up the contract with Hilton Garden Inn for a room block for our guests. Jeff will update the website sometime soon to let you all know how to book your rooms, if you choose to stay there. Jeff booked our flight/hotel for the honeymoon, so its official, we're going to the Florida Keys! That's all I really have for you now...but keep checking back with us!
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Update, 03Aug09

Hi everyone. Not too much has happened recently, but I just thought I'd give an update. Firstly, we put a deposit down on the Beavercreek Golf Club as our reception site. They do their own catering so that is one less thing we have to worry about.

All of my bridesmaids have chosen dresses to wear, and as I might have guessed they are all very unique. I have also asked my cousins Nathan and Christine to be my ring boy and flower girl. Christine got to try on dresses this past Saturday and we found the perfect one for her. Nathan is just excited that he gets to wear a suit for the event.

Jeff and I are pretty sure that we've decided to go to the Florida Keys for our honeymoon. Anybody out there have a good trip there and have any suggestions/recommendations of restaurants/tours/events we just can't miss when we go?

I think that pretty soon we will be setting to the task of making our wedding registry, and dealing with some other little details, but at the moment it doesn't feel like we have much to do at all.

Oh, and we sent out the Save the Date cards, which will be how most of you find out about this website. Check back every once in awhile to get the most up-to-date info on our wedding. And if you have any questions/comments, feel free to leave them here.
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We have a reception site!

We have chosen the Beavercreek Golf Club as your reception site. It has a nice big room with windows and a dance floor. Check out the info here.
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Funny but true

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The wedding site

On Saturday, Jeff and I went to see the chapel for the first time. It was a bit of a trial finding a church that would allow us to get married during Lent. Fortunately, Queen of Apostles is run by Marianist priests, several of whom are affiliated with UD, and whom tend to not get caught up in some of the frivolities of the religion. Fr. Gene (for all my UD friends) is also a regular priest there, so having him marry us will be super convenient there.

We started our tour in the chapel and it is pretty great. There are a couple pictures sprinkled throughout the website if you want an idea of the look; it is a simple and intimate little chapel that will meet our needs perfectly. Deacon Greg, who kind of runs the joint, gave us a little bit of history about the church and the community, and we both really like that although it is a Catholic parish, they pretty much welcome everyone with open arms. Afterwards, we took a little stroll on the Bergamo property. It is GORGEOUS. It is perfect for both of us.
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