Tuesday, October 23, 2007

flower girl

It was a perfect day for a wedding. Dyer Observatory proved a beautiful spot - on top of a (what seems almost like a) mountain, Jason and Emily said their "I Dos" overlooking the city far below.

Decorated with pumpkins, mums and other tastes of fall, the outdoor wedding felt just right. There was a winding walk to the altar (a giant mound of rocks) and I love that bits of mulch and leaves clung to the bottom of Emily's dress.

Andy and my brother, Clay, were groomsmen. My sister-in-law, Sarah, was a bridesmaid. And my Ella was a flower girl. There are few times I have felt so honored to be asked anything. It is an Undeniable fact that Ella is in love with Jason and Emily. Both of them. Very much. And they asked HER to join them in the biggest day of their lives. Granted she's cute, and I wouldn't blame a complete stranger for asking her to be in their wedding just for pictures, but it's because Jason and Emily love her!

Jason met Ella when she was less than 30 minutes old. She hadn't even had her first bath! That night, he wrote a beautiful lullaby for her that makes me cry every time I hear it. I don't even know the title, but the first line is "Little hands, little feet, little Ella, go to sleep." I want to figure out a creative way to have the lyrics in her room, over her bed.

When Jason and Emily started dating, Ella was instantly smitten with Emily. We listen to Emily's record a lot around the house (especially when Andy's about to play a show with her and is brushing up on his guitar parts). Ella loves it, and requests it often. To this day, when she hears a female singer on the radio, she sometimes asks if it's "Em-ah-lee's song?".

As soon as Ella was told she would be a flower girl in their wedding, she couldn't stop talking about it. She didn't even know what one really was, but she knew she would "wear a pretty dress" and "sparkly shoes" and "sprinkle the flowers." If you know Ella, you can picture her arching her back in excitement, and the next second talking to you less than an inch from your face. When Jason presented her with the shoes, she started waving her hand in front of her face like she was about to faint from excitement.

She was given a beautiful garland and basket that Emily's mother had fashioned - reflecting October perfectly. The garland, with its oranges, whites, and dotted with tiny pine cones, was so delicate and breathtaking on Ella's gold-spun hair. Her dress made her look like a tiny bell, and the gold, sparkly shoes caught the sunset just right. There was another flower girl, Emily's cousin; she was the same height as Ella, with the same color hair (although she had more of it) and big blue eyes. They looked the perfect pair.

The processional started. Ben Shive was playing like only Ben Shive can. There was a a last-minute scramble as the wedding party reordered themselves (the wedding coordinator lined them up backwards). Emily's sweet tears had started as she held on to her father, and the flower girls were trying desperately to hold themselves back from sprinkling ALL the flowers before it was even their turn to walk down the aisle.

I was with Ella every step of the way down that long, mulch walk. The whole time I was coaching, prepping, encouraging, and praying that my sweet girl (who often becomes paralyzed and panicked in front of strangers) would make it down the aisle. "Go straight to Daddy, he'll be waiting for you up there," I said. She nodded, glanced at her petal partner, and seemed reassured.

The time came. I stepped into the background, holding my breath and snapped a couple of shots. Sure enough, about halfway down she turned around yelling "Mommy!!" I threw my camera behind a tree and crouched alongside her, holding her hand until she spotted the monkey. Yes, the monkey. Two stuffed monkeys were placed in front of the groom to entice the flower girls to complete their job. I guess it kind of worked.

Ella grabbed the monkey, jumped into Andy's arms, and stayed there for approximately 4 seconds. The rest of the ceremony was spent in my arms. After the ceremony, picures were taken and we whisked Ella up to the reception to enjoy the band a la "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" while she ate a plate of food.

Soon my parents and Sadie came to pick her up (whew!) and Andy and I enjoyed talking with friends, eating good food, making S'mores (yes!), looking at the moon through a GIGANTIC telescope, and dancing. OK, so Andy didn't dance all that much, but this girl certainly did! The only thing missing on the dance floor was LIZ (but since she's in South Korea I guess she couldn't make it).

It truly was a glorious night - crisp, clear, great music, friends, and best of all...Jason and Emily are married!!!

** Andy wrote a sweet post about the day, with a look back to my brother's wedding as well. You should look.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Purse Contents

Someone else did this, and I thought I'd record this morning's collection for posterity. I will list the items in the order of which I pull them.

* Fossil catalog, Fall 2007

* Baja Burrito receipt

* Packaging for an Elmo bathtime book

* Wild Oat's receipt

* my wallet

* a baggy with Sadie's green pacifier inside

* my white sunglasses that Ella likes to wear when it's sunny. they draw LOTS of attention

* Ella's Parent's Day Out payment reminder

* a dollar bill

* a card from our Neighborhood Fellowship Group, addressed to "The A Team"

* Border's receipt

* Burt's Bees Hand Sanitizer- Aloe and Witch Hazel (100% natural...hooray!)

* Zoo membership card

* CVS pharmacy receipt

* lip gloss

* a purple drug rep pen (we have lots around the house) for "Relafen - Nabumetone" ummm, I have no idea what that's for...Dad?

* Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm (ole Burt is from my hometown, you know)

* Strawberry Lip Smacker

* another dollar bill

* Canel's Chewing Gum - tutti-frutti flavor (from Baja)

* a really fun ring from Curious Heart Emporium (i think my favorite gift shop ever - but it took me forever to go in because I was scared of the aliens and spaceship and other odd-looking creatures in the front), and I literally just gasped aloud because I think it's broken. BOOOOO.

* another stick of Chapstick "Compliments of: allegra"

* a red pen

* 7 quarters

* 1 dime

* 3 pennies

* business card for my friend, a hair stylist at the Green Pea Salon

* Davis-Kidd receipt (my favorite Nashville bookstore)

* Neutrogena lip balm "Pink Splash" with SPF 20

* 2 Veggie Puffs (corn flavored, I believe)

* oooo, another penny

* some crumbs

What's in Your purse??

Thursday, October 04, 2007

10 months

Sadie. I love so many things about her. Among the top of the list...

...When she smiles hard or laughs, her eyes become the shape of the moon when it's a tiny sliver. And the top of her nose has smile wrinkles in the shape of a triangle with the tip pointing down.

...Her laugh. She has so many different kinds. Amused, belly, I-want-someone's-attention, excited (usually turns into a shriek)

...Kisses. Especially when she initiates.

...The fact that she cannot listen to music without dancing.

..."Da-da" "Ma-ma" "El-la" "Dugga Dugga Dugga"

...The way she wants to be a part of Everything. It usually means pulling up on the object of her affection (mainly Ella) and getting as close as possible to the action.

...Books are the only thing that will keep her still. Especially if she's reading them herself.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I threw together this little dish at my parent's house the other day. It was a lovely medley of taste, texture and colors. What made it even better was eating it outside.

Organic white shells and cheese - Grape tomatoes - Avocados - Fresh basil from the backyard - Ground Pepper