Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"It's Howard, right?"

While the week leading up to the wedding was definitely amazing, the day of the wedding was the best. I could get used to being a bride, everyone caters to your every whim and doesn't dare to cross you. I even once used the phrase, "Fan me, minions," (mostly in jest, but maybe also in a little bit of a power hungry way) and both my mother and my maid of honor jumped up to fan me. Also, the day before the wedding I had talked to the Perry hotel and they opened up our honeymoon room specially for me to hang my dress. They even let me climb on the couch to hang my dress from the ceiling so the train could hang down. Its those kind of perks that make life great.
Me all pampered with morning champagne.
Travis and I played mostly traditional bride and groom and he didn't see me in my dress until the ceremony. We diverged from tradition while getting ready because I forgot all sorts of things the day of the wedding and he had to run around and get me my veils and engagement ring, oops. Travis spent most of the day (when he wasn't dealing with his crazy bride) wandering about with his best man, Alex, having beers.
A beautiful bromance.

While Travis' best man was keeping him calm, my maid of honor was providing comic relief. After changing into her long ruffled dress, she made the mistake of trying to back up. I have this beautiful slow motion video of her in my head, tipping backwards with a squeek, cowboy boots flying into the air. It was one of the funnier things I've witnessed her do. Later in the quiet fifteen minutes that we had before the ceremony I noticed her get out a book and start writing things down. I asked what she was doing and she replied, "I may have procrastinated, I'm writing my toast."
Too bad I didn't get a picture of her falling over.
The ceremony went perfectly. There were lots of good tears. My father managed both a meaningful and funny ceremony, he definitely got a little choked up but he also pulled out a flask halfway through (An empty flask, much to his new son-in-laws disappointment). And Travis and I got in both traditional vows and personal additions. He forgot to mention he'll obey me for life but I know he meant it and that's what counts. But for the sake of never losing these vows no matter what technology crashes or what papers fall prey to my crazed "organizing" sprees, and because these are very special to both Travis and myself, here's our vows, one more time.

These are the promises Travis makes to me.

I promise to roll my eyes liberally during conversations.
I promise to always make the kitchen look like a war zone when I cook.
I promise to forever snore out of sync with every dog we have.
I promise to always make it my mission to see you smile, and make you laugh, be it with me or at me.
I promise to stand by you, in our warmest days, and coldest nights.
I promise to forever remind you of how beautiful you are, how smart you are, and how inspiring you are.
I promise to never deny to anyone how much you mean to me, never to myself, or to you, or to even my mother.
And I promise that you will forever be my best friend, my confidant, my partner, my top priority.
There is no one else that I would rather spend the rest of my life with.

And my promises to Travis.

I promise to always take you out for a beer after every haunted house or Bigfoot informational session at Barnes and Nobles that I drag you too.
I promise to let you occasionally believe that you wear the metaphorical pants in this relationship.
I promise to always appreciate you for being the most resourceful, strong, loyal, and caring person that I know.
I promise to follow you wherever you go, no matter if that is near, far, or anywhere in between.
I promise to never cease surprising you, and to always keep you on your toes but also to keep the fire questions and polar bear encounters to a minimum.
I promise to constantly seek to keep our friendship strong, our love deep, and our lives adventurous.
I promise you will always be my best friend, my favorite partner in crime, my companion, and my family.
You are my happily ever after.

I normally stay away from disgustingly adorable but a wedding post was a good time for an exception. Now moving on before I cry...

After the ceremony, yours truly was rather set on beautiful snowy photographs. I would not be deterred by negative temperatures or record setting snow fall. It may be the year the Howard clan blames Miriam for the 15 plus feet of snow but I got my winter wedding. And I'll be showing off those pictures long after everyone has forgotten how cold they were.
Photoshop takes the frostbite away.
Drastic subject change time. And be warned, the following is not for the faint of heart. The one thing that is always brushed under the rug when discussing weddings is the whole predicament about peeing whilst in a gigantic dress. I have a slight phobia about bathroom privacy so this topic came into my mind the day after I got engaged. Picking a bathroom assistant was as important as the maid of honor. I decided my mother would be best to help me seeing as I think she's changed a diaper or two of mine. My maid of honor, Jeri, was also pressed into service as my dress was a bit of a handful. I strategically developed my plan of attack with much help from Google and a whole world of bridal bloggers. Strategies ranged from unhelpful advice like, "Just hold it in all night," to complicated tutorials to make a sort of dress condom out of a trash bag. As I didn't want my bladder to explode during a congratulatory hug and I still can't quite work out the mechanics of the dress trash bag thing, I settled for the easy face the back of the toilet while you get too close for comfort with your friends approach. This approach was helpful because it at least allowed me to bury my head in my arms in shame over the back of the tank while I yelled at my mom and Jeri, everything from "Stop judging me!" to "Someone turn on the water and sing me a song." I wished in vain for more alcohol so I'd have less dignity to lose. Jeri laughed so hard she had to leave the stall and my mother was again reduced to wheezy purple faced laughter. The pinnacle of my bathroom adventures involves a fourth party, one of my favorite Texans, my old first college roomie, Becca.

Now a little backstory on my friendship with Becca is necessary here. I was the only one with a car in our freshman suite and so I was the go to for rides. Once before a winter ride, I handed Becca an ice scraper so she could help clean off the snow. She looked at me and innocently and seriously asked, "What is this?" Another memorable time I was leaving my parents house after a weekend visit. I opened the front door and was confronted by Becca, ribboned wafflemaker in hand, apparently attempting an anonymous present drop. She simply screamed, threw the wafflemaker at me, and then ran off before I could really question her. The final moment that really sheds light on our friendship was the parking lot scissors incident. At the time of this incident I just recently had accidentally locked my keys in my car for the first and only time. So I was newly cautious and before I exited my car on this particular day, I placed my keys in my purse and securely zipped it shut. I swung my purse onto my shoulder, stepped out of my car, locked the door, slammed the door shut, turned to walk away, and promptly fell to the ground. I'd managed to close the door onto three inches of purse containing the zipper handle. No amount of tugging and pulling would dislodge my bag or allow access to the zipper and my car keys were securely tucked away inside my purse. I called Becca and said I was in the parking lot and needed scissors or a knife, pronto. It's the mark of a true friend when no questions are asked after that sort of request. Within minutes, Becca was helping me chop up my favorite purse to retrieve my keys.

It shouldn't be surprising to me then, that as I'm standing in front of the bathroom door (fatal positioning mistake) with my dress hiked up to my waist so that Jeri can adjust my garter and socks (I couldn't reach past the dress ruffles) that who should walk in but Becca. I break the ice with a polite, "Oh hi, nice to see you, its been a while." Becca just stares with a deer in the headlights look and replies, "Oh my God, I think I'm scarred for life," and runs to the bathroom stall before bursting into hysterical laughter. Jeri fall to the ground in tears, she's laughing that hard. My mom is in the other bathroom stall asking what the hell she's missing out on. And I'm desperately trying to find someone who can hold it together long enough to fix my socks.

Despite all this, Travis and I managed to get legally married. My dad forgot a few lines on the marriage certificate and possibly sent us with the wrong copy. I don't know if this mishap is my dad's fault but it is oddly reminiscent of the time he brought me the wrong car title for my old blue subaru that I was selling. I handed it off to the towing man who politely replied, "This doesn't look like a red chevy truck." Indeed.
I promise that glass is apple juice.
And most notably, I managed to sign the right name on the marriage certificate. Most states have you sign with your maiden name. Michigan has you sign with your married name. When it came time for this, I momentarily panicked and forgot which name to use and asked Travis, "It's Howard, right?" Ever the witty one, he smirked and said, "Really??? Yes, it is Howard. H-O-W-A-R-D."

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