|This free digital slideshow made with Smilebox|
My parents came in from Pittsburgh to spend this special holiday with us 🙂 I was so excited to host my first dinner, and even more so proud to be serving those who have spent their life serving me. I’ll never forget my dad telling me that my new “Southern Sweet Potato” recipe was the “best he’d ever had” – very cool!
Finally dinner was served! Turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans,squash casserole, cranberry relish and pecan-pumpkin pie for dessert…YUM!!
Next we got quite a surprise…my mom and dad had left a box for us when they were in town, and inside was a scavenger hunt! Get this, my mom hid presents all around our house! We found one prior, and thought either it was left by the girl who lived here prior or Patrick’s aunt and uncle left it for us when they were in town because it was a biking speedometer. The entire scavenger hunt was so thoughtful and really made our Christmas morning so memorable!
I spent most of the rest of the day in the kitchen preparing Christmas dinner. We hosted our friends Tim, Craig and Kat. Dinner included Honeybaked Ham and Smoked Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Cheesy Potatoes, Zucchini, Asparagus and Salad with Pecan Pumpkin Pie, Nut Roll and Peppermint Bark for dessert. We capped the night with wine and a game night of “Apples To Apples”- which was such a fun time!
|Us out front of the mansion|
|Loved the peacock stained glass windows!|
|The Jungle Room!|
|TCB Room…Takin’ Care of Business|
|Pool room…the walls, ceiling, and couches all had the same fabric…not my favorite but neat none the less!|
|Elvis played at that piano the morning of his death.|
|Amazing to see how much one man can accomplish!|
|My second fav…gold snakeskin top and suiscide doors…pretty sweet!|
|Elvis’ car for his mom|
|The last vehicle Elvis rode onto Graceland|
|My personal fav!|
|A gift for Priscilla|
for a place to stay in the Cancun/Riviera Maya area, this is the place to go! Aside from being absolutely beautiful, the food was great (guests can get food 24 hours a day), the staff was pleasant, the entire resort was pristine cleanliness, and there was always some activity going on for guests to partake in.
Patrick and I then spent about a week at home before we headed down south for our Texas Reception. A lot of Patrick’s family and friends weren’t able to make it up to Pittsburgh for our wedding, so we decided to go to them!
Patrick and I celebrated our first holiday as a married couple, Easter Sunday. I kicked off the day by making breakfast for my husband on our new griddler we got as a wedding gift. Cinnamon Raisin French Toast…can you say mmmm?! After we got ready for mass. The rest of the day was spent with my side of the family at my parents house. Now that there are grandchildren in the mix, my mom goes all out there, orchestrating an egg hunt…always fun!!
Later in the month Patrick and I were invited to a meet and greet and concert with Craig Morgan. We both love country music so we were game! The meet and great wasn’t anything spectacular…Craig didn’t really talk and it was just a line of people waiting for a picture or autograph. I was a little disappointed at it, but he made up for it with his show. I’ll just say he must have been saving his vocal pipes – lol! He was amazing on stage! Man can blow! He had the whole place going, he was very entertaining. One of my favorite parts was when he came on stage and his mic was going in and out. He stopped the entire show to get a new one and when he came back he said “Y’all paid good money for my show, I’m not going to put up with anything not being perfect.” I thought that was really cool! Opening up for him was Sarah Darling and Due West. Both acts were great!
Patrick’s brother, James, graduated from West Point this year. What an accomplishment! These men and women who choose to go there for school take their last four years of real freedom and devote them to others. They go through bootcamp and basic training, they have to wear a uniform every day, there is no sleeping in, and heck, they even have curfews! I felt so proud to have this man as my brother-in-law! Way to go James!!!
The commencement ceremony took place at Michie Stadium. They had snipers keeping watch just in case…
My favorite part was at the end when each cadet threw threw their hat in the air…
Each hat held a note and/or money and all the kids in attendance got to go on the field and catch one! Cousins, Codey and Caila got theirs and it was so sweet seeing them wear them all day!
James took his oath of honor in front of one of his class buildings with one of his favorite professors. His parents swore him in…what a special moment for all of them!
Patrick, Aaron and Andrew got to pin on James’ new badges…
After we went back to the camp we were staying at and had a cookout with everyone…so much fun! It was the weekend of the Apocalypse and I’m so happy my last day on earth wasn’t spent living here…
But it did have some nice views…check out the waterfall!
It wasn’t SO bad, but having to use a communal bathroom is something I never want to have to do again! LOL! The bathrooms were across the lawn from us which was no fun because I wake up to pee at least once a night – lol! Lucky for me when I did have to get up to go, I got locked out of our place!!! Ugh…I’m just not a camper!
Patrick and I have kept busy with weddings and showers!! Our friends Anne and Neal got married at St. Stanislaus church in the Strip District.
They had 17 flowergirls and ring bears!!! 3 of which were my nieces!Anne and Neal’s wedding was awesome! They had such a fun feel to it. Each flowergirl wore a different colored sash and each bridesmaid carried a different colored bouquet of flowers, so the whole event was very colorful and fun!
Following the ceremony was a reception at the P.A.A. and it was so nice to go to a wedding there and actually enjoy it!!
Keeping with the colorful theme…check out their gorgeous cake! It tasted as good as it looks!!
This wedding was so much fun! They had a photo booth for guests to enjoy and instead of a cookie table they had a popcorn bar – can you say sweet?! I love Pittsburgh Popcorn! That was such a fun treat!
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. McGrath! We were so honored to be a part of your special day!!
The following day, Patrick and I headed to Somerset, PA for our friends Nicole and Josh’s wedding. I went to college with both and remember when their friendship became a relationship, so it was so special being there for their wedding!
Nicole is probably one of my most down to earth, no frills about her friends. She’s a country girl! She enjoys jeans, a tank top and flipflops with a side of country music and a cold beer! So I had a had time picturing what kind of wedding dress she would wear…gosh did she look beautiful!!!
There was some time to spare between the wedding and reception so Patrick and I went to lunch with my old college roommate, Kristina, and her fiance, Josh. This was the first time Patrick and Josh really got to hang out together and they brewed up a little bromance – haha!
The reception was great! It had a country feel to it – just what I expected from these two being that they requested I wear my new cowgirl boots!! Loved the cake!!
What a great time at this wedding! I felt like I was back in college again! I’m so glad Patrick got to hang out with a lot of my college friends 🙂 Below are some of my favorite pictures from the night…Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Hickey!!
Our first course of dinner was the Wedding Soup. I was so nervous about my dress I couldn’t even eat. Patrick’s mom saw this and took me aside and asked if she could try fixing my dress. So I left my new husband to eat alone and went to try out Linda’s idea. I was so scared as Linda took out each pin and unzipped my dress completely. She then zipped it up and it was perfect! I was in one piece again! I was so grateful to her!!! I remember feeling like a million bucks walking in with my dress right this time! And I was so excited to tell Patrick my dress was good now! Patrick had already finished the salad and was mingling with friends. Gosh, it had to have looked so obscure seeing these newlyweds eating separately and mingling separately! We did get to eat our main course together fortunately! I chose the Boursin Crusted Fillet Medallions and they were amazing! Patrick ate the Stuffed Chicken Breast and my other Medallion – lol!
I remember my dad saying Patrick and I looked like pro dancers out there and he had inquired if we did make it to dance lessons. Well any little turn or move Patrick and I had made during our dance was about to be overshadowed in a big way!
Patrick and his mom danced to Steve Winwood’s “Roll With It” and should probably go down in history as the BEST mother-son dance ever!!! I remember when I first asked Linda what song she wanted to dance to Patrick with and she said “Oh I don’t know, just roll with it, baby.” and I said “Okay” kinda puzzled. Then Linda said “Yeah, Roll With It, Baby! That’s the one!” and I said “The song Roll With It Baby?!” She said “Yes! That’s the one!” When I got home I pulled up the YouTube video for Patrick and informed him that this was the song his mom wanted to dace with him to at our wedding. Patrick got a big grin on his face and started dancing around the house and singing it – lol! Secretly I always wondered how in the world they were going to pull of dancing to that fast of a song…they mastered it! Check it out…!
We tried to talk to people as we saw them (since we never got to go around from table to table) while also trying to make appearances on the dance floor and get last minute portraits taken with our grandparents and parents since we didn’t have time to do that at the church. I felt like we were being pulled in every direction! Oh, and my flats and purse never made it to the reception so I had to walk barefoot all night and had no makeup to touch up with throughout the night!!
Patrick then did a little baseball skit to Trace Adkins “Swing, Batter, Batter” before tossing my garter out to the waiting group of guys! Our friend Dez caught it! Patrick played with Dez on the Steelers and he was actually one of the masterminds behind our matchup! He got us some good luck in our marriage by placing the garter of Naomi to Nelly’s “Hot In Here” – haha!
Somewhere in the mix, my zipper busted again 🙁 Linda grabbed the back of my dress to cover me and we bolted out of there as quickly as possible. I was pretty defeated. It happened just when I was starting to enjoy myself again. I again retreated to an empty room where my sister and Mother-In-Law pinned me into my dress again. This time there were no disguising it. There were safety pins all the way up the back of my dress. To try to hide it though, they took the bottom of the train of my dress and pretty much pinned it to the top of my dress. I had paid $200 for my bustle…it was supposed to be this beautiful layered silk taffeta with the crystal medallions gathered in the back. Instead I got my train practically tucked into the back of my dress! At this point I was ready to just go home but we tried to make the most of it by just having a good time on the dance floor.
Only one person said something to me about my dress being broken, which was difficult to hear. I’m sure others noticed but opted not to say anything which was probably the best thing for my sake! My zipper breaking twice was horrible. I hope no other bride ever has to go through that.
We also had a signature drink, “The Bailey’s Kiss” that we never got to sample. It was a mixture of Bailey’s and Amaretto! (Thanks Miss Palma for grabbing this picture, we didn’t have one of it!!)
We never did get our “Just Married” sign or coke cans but I think we both were so happy to be married and off to spend our first night together as man and wife! We stayed in the Braeburn Suite at the Inn On Negley – the room we had selected months ago for this special night! It took Patrick about 15 minutes to get all the safety pins from my dress lol! It it took me another 20 minutes to get my veil and all the bobby pins out of my hair! Finally though I was released from all my pins and Patrick and I were able to give each other the best wedding gift ever!
The End 🙂