Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wedding, Wedding, WEDDING!!!

Well, folks.  It was a good run, 2010- 2016 of my life, being single.  I learned so much about myself, my relationship with God, life and other people. I took my life back after my divorce, and that is something to be really proud of, always.  I have been genuinely happy.  But I always knew I wanted to get married again, and I knew I would. Not for a second did I want to get married to be completed, or to be whole.  I know my worth does not come from having a husband.  I am enough, just me.  But I wanted to get married- I wanted a partner again, a best friend.  Someone who has my back, always, who supports me, and whom I can support and take care of in return. I want to be a mother more than anything.  And I am very ready for this next chapter to start.   I am not "starting my life."  My life has been going for 38 years, and it is awesome.  But I am turning a page, starting a new chapter, and with someone that I find to be amazing. I never dreamed someone could love me so well.  Super cheesy, I know.  And I know that life isn't perfect- he isn't, I'm not, and we both will make mistakes.  We have already made many, 8 months in.  But we love and love again.  And July 23, 2016 was the official beginning of that.  And I'm so grateful.  I thank God for Danny every day.

Here's a few pictures.  Not all of them; I will create a separate book for that.  But here's a few that I love, mostly credited to Becca and my amazing friend Katie Hill, my girl.

My dear friend Courtney Little did my hair, and I loved it.  She's been a friend for a long time, and I'm so grateful!

Payson Temple.  It was perfect.

We were so excited!


All these kids.... love them.

Oh, my girls.  Beth, Katie and Nellie all made huge efforts to be there.  Katie was my photographer, and was amazing, and local.  But Beth and Nellie were both drive-bys, on family trips already, and came for the sealing.  I was so happy they could be there.  Childhood/high school friends are some of the most enduring friendships I can imagine.

These crazies are some of my dearest friends, the ones I reach out to every time I come home to Utah.  They are the best.  Chad, and Courtney Little, Courtney and Rob Moffat, Shaun Little, Deb and Brendan Hahn, Amanda Crabb, Carolyn Hartvigsen, and LaRene Tinney (just missing Dave).  I have laughed so hard with every single one of these lovely people.  And eaten so much great food, and had so many amazing chats and experiences.  Ah, friends.

So, so happy that Danny's best friend from childhood, Caleb Haws could make the trip from Texas.  Relationships are so important to Danny; that's one of the reasons I fell in love with him.  His friendship with Caleb is, to this day, one of his most important, I would say.  So I was very happy to meet him at last.


Kelly and Emily, two of my favorites, who also happen to be my cousins. 

Becca made my bouquet.  And I LOVED it.

Lover-boy James, already breaking in Uncle Danny.

The whole gang.  And what a gorgeous day!

My new family, the Stokers!

When my first marriage ended, I believe that angels were with me as I left our apartment for the last time, because I walked out with a strength I knew I didn't have.  I have decided those angels were my grandparents, or family members who were watching out for me.  As Becca created my bouquet, she also added two tiny pictures of my grandmothers, Lucille Meservy Milner and Kathleen Riding (for whom I am named).  This was to help me remember my angels were with me on my new wedding day as well.  I wept.

The Riding clan.  Danny has no idea what he's getting into, that lucky boy. :-)

Pensive.  So pensive and thoughtful. Very serious.

So, SO handsome.  I'm a lucky girl!

We are both pretty much winning at life in this picture.

Annddd evidence of my dumb sunburn from the lake.

Danny and I sure did get our good looks from these handsome folks!

I can't say enough about my parents.  I just can't.  I love them with all my heart.

3 of the 4 girls I regularly did girls night with in NYC, and they all came!  I was so happy!  Deb, Carolyn and Abby, one of my most favorite roommates ever.  I was so sad I couldn't spend more time talking to them.  Just missing Mel.

These are my Las Vegas ladies, who came all the way for my big day.  Kim Meeks, (a friend that I didn't know, but was welcome!), Tate Hulet, Shalisse Jenkins, and Rochelle Hendricks.  That meant a lot to me to have them there. Just missing Erin Dudley and Kata Dean!

Mom has had a rough year, and her health continues to be a huge challenge.  I was so grateful to have her help, despite everything going on with her.  A beautiful, unselfish, amazing woman.  If

I'm half the woman/mother/wife she is, I will die happy.

Don't worry that my family did a surprise flash mob.  And this is me figuring it out.  One of my favorite moments of the day.  Oh man, it was awesome.  They even got Danny's family in on it too.  It was so fun to watch them all! I was dying of joy the whole time.

Even Danny went completely and totally out of his comfort zone to dance as well.  That's love!

Jim, Danny's dad, always has the biggest smile.  So happy to have a father-in-law like him.

I love these pictures so much because Mom is absolutely swaggering!  Just reveling in the attention and end of the night.  It makes me laugh so hard.  See where I get it??

I think Danny and I had a pretty good swagger too.  The day turned out perfectly, and we were so happy.  Also happy to be done and on our way!

The final goodbyes, and driving off amidst fireworks that the teenage boys were gleefully setting off.  A perfect button to a perfect day.  The one sadness we had was that we didn't get to spend quality time with anyone, and just sit and talk to people we loved and were so happy to have at our reception.  But I guess that's the way it goes, and I'm hopeful Danny and I will have more chances to get to know the people we individually hold dear in each other's worlds.  We are so grateful for the love we felt and all the people who came to be with us on such an amazing day.  We hope we can repay the kindness.