Thursday, January 30, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect


Friday morning we spent hanging out at the hotel, greeting our family and friends as they arrived and making sure everything was all set for the next day!  We claimed a cozy little corner to set up camp and quite enjoyed sitting in the lobby and seeing a continuous stream of people we knew walk into the hotel. 

Lots of hugs for familiar faces and lots of last minute details to confirm -
escort cards in order, welcome bags prepped, seating chart finalized, all systems go!

Anna Banana was our superstar helper and we were so very grateful to have her there with us.

Leigh and I had time to catch an exercise class at the super fancy gym in the basement of the hotel,
which was nice for working out some of the pre-wedding jitters that were starting to build up.
Rehearsal was early in the day, at 1:00pm, since there was a wedding Friday evening that we had to clear out of the space for. Everyone who was part of the ceremony met in the lobby and got a little crazy with the hugging and introductions. Then we headed out through the pool area to the back lawn where the wedding was to take place, only to discover that our groom and officiant were missing when the site coordinator called for them.  Oops! 

Eventually all the important players made it and we were able to get in several run-throughs.


Afterward Leigh, Anna and I snuck away for a bit to get manicures before the Welcome Reception that evening. We were a bit nervous just randomly choosing a walk-in place up in the mountains, but it turned out to be an AMAZING spa, really great service and bafflingly cheap.  Perfect!


And then it was time to change for dinner...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Licensed to Wed + Roadtrip

DVC flew into town on the first of January and I was ecstatic to pick him up from our tiny little airport in San Luis Obispo.  Mostly because it hadn't begun to feel real yet, and I knew once he was there with me it finally would.  Plus, we had business to take care of - only four days out from the wedding and we still had to get our marriage license in order!   Previously, we hadn't been in CA simultaneously in the three months prior for long enough to get it, so it was the one item left until the last minute. I had called several weeks beforehand to confirm the County Clerks office in SLO was actually going to be open the day after New Years and she'd assured me yes they'd be open and it would be a quiet day so we should have no trouble. No appointments permitted, so the next best thing was to show up at right 8 when the doors opened. Still, the extremely narrow window of opportunity left zero room for error and had us both a bit nervous. This license don't happen, this wedding don't happen! Nothing like squeezing the important things in right under the wire!

Thankfully, luck was on our side! We snagged a parking spot directly outside of the building entrance, waltzed in to a delightfully empty lobby and proceeded directly to the first marriage kiosk then immediately to the front of the line for confirmation. Total breeze!


BOOM! We're legal.

After a (quick and efficient, yet loving) high-five and a brief hiatus at Starbucks, we scooted out of SLO and were back in Nipomo with plenty of time to pack up for our hopeful scheduled noon departure. 
And let me just tell you, Stephensons preparing for road trips = Total And Utter Chaos. 


DVC's eyes may have bugged out of his head just a little bit when he saw our overly-complicated packing dance (everything in! everything out! everything back in!).  But we managed to get 7 people (and all their crud for a full weekend of festivities!) packed into 2 cars and hit the road only slightly behind schedule!

First landmark: Monkey Turd Rock

Second landmark: Maricopa Jolly Kone

Took the back roads route to Lake Arrowhead, which meant no cell service for most of the drive.  When texts did come through, they mainly read as follows:
Do you see the Joshua trees? Those are Joshua trees!
Are you making Anna take pictures of the trees?! 

After what felt like FOREVER, we finally arrived!

 Unload unload unload and get ready for a crazy weekend!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hen Party

The wedding festivities kicked off with a terrific little bachelorette party, thrown by my sweet kid sister Leigh. 
It was exactly what I was hoping for - a small, intimate cocktail party and dinner at home with my girlfriends.  My brilliantly creative friend Krista took care of the decor, while foodie friends (and sisters) Tracy and Kari cooked an amazing dinner for everyone - delicious home made meatballs, my absolute favorite!!  Though my sister was nervous acting as hostess, to me the evening was absolutely perfect and I can't thank her enough.

Even Andrea came by for a while and brought her sweet newborn Walter.
What a trooper - always up for a party!

My darling, colorful friends.


After dinner we played some silly games, though nothing that left me overly embarrassed (thank you sissy).  DVC answered some seemingly straightforward questions and I attempted to guess his crazy answers...

What expression are you most likely to hear from Meg?



Has Dave had any cavities?
If so, how many?
Like 90. My teeth are condominiums. Three cavities on the base-level, two second floor, and then a luxury offering in the penthouse afforded to my 7th grade Laffy Taffy habit. 

What would Dave say he does most "like a girl" - laugh, run or throw?

What would Dave eat
for his last meal?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
If your home was on fire, what three things would Dave grab?
Cederquist Christmas Card '74,
Smiths 45s, and an armload of party dresses that Meg is surely cramming into a suitcase while trying to find her keys and phone (which are in her purse).

Complete this sentence: 
Meg wishes I would stop...
Cataloguing her adorable
verbal missteps.
I wish Meg would stop...
Watching "How I Met Your Mother."  Didn't that show just start?  How are there already 9,000 (expletive) episodes?  60 minutes has fewer episodes!  I think they (expletive) tape three a (expletive) day!
I knew I had found
the love of my life when...
About 4 years ago, a couple days after Christmas, I was returning from work and saw her car parked in front of my apartment. It was unexpected and my reaction really surprised me.
I thought, "sweet, Meg is here!"
Ordinarily I prefer to be alone, and I certainly dislike surprise visits. But hers are always welcome and I pretty much always think "sweet, Meg is here!"
When things began winding down, we decided to cruise on over to Jocko's (where else?) for a nightcap!
It was a spirited evening - we met some rodeo clowns (sadly not in costume) who bought us a round, ran into an old babysitting charge of mine who I could hardly believe was old enough to be in a bar, repeatedly stumped the bartender with cousin Michelle's drink requests (though they really didn't seem that complicated), desperately tried to remember the alter egos Krista came up with for each of us when she introduced us to random blokes and gleefully sang our hearts out to the jukebox as Leigh created the perfect musical recipe.

Then it was slumber party time in the barn. So fun.
Thanks for humoring me and my not-so-wild taste, girls. I love you big time.

Who's hungover?  Not us! (Ok maybe a little.) 

Bring on the pancakes!