Saturday, May 27, 2017

One Week From Today

Well. Wedding #1 is one week from today. Julie and Sam's wedding. I am not quite ready!

Here's what's been going on since I last blogged on May 2:

  • We hosted several of Olivia and Julie's college friends for a weekend while they all came to run the Coke 10K race. We bought new bunk beds for Sam's room for this occasion which sleep 5! The beds are two double beds bunked with a twin trundle bed. I only put 3 college boys on these beds, but I am thinking that 5 future grandchildren can sleep there just fine.
  • Our family also ran the Gumtree 10K the following week.
  • Clay graduated, and we had a huge party to celebrate the occasion at our home. It was supposed to be an outdoor BBQ, but it rained and rained, so I had to host 94 people inside my house! I was able to seat 42 people in tables and chairs on my porches. Still, it was fun and crowded!
  • Our family of seven took a short vacation to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Except we did not do much hiking in the snowed. Three feet of snow in 24 hours! We have never experienced snow like that before! We stayed in a cabin in Estes Park. The first day, before the snowstorm hit, we were able to do three hikes. The next two days we played in the snow and even tried to drive into the park to explore (unsuccessfully!). The last day we drove to Boulder, Colorado, where we were able to drive up to the summit of Flagstaff Mountain. We took a few picture there in the snow before heading down to explore the Pearl Street Mall.
  • This last week I have done wedding stuff every single day. This included counting and sorting tablecloths, vases, lanterns, and candles, shopping for ribbon, fabric to drape over the arbor and various other items, taking the program to the printer, picking up Olivia's invitation envelopes (the outer and inner envelopes were printed), and much more.
  • Last night Leanna and I spray painted 38 clear vases gold and silver speckled. 
  • I've had my final meetings with the caterer and florist. 
  • Lynn and Leanna have been diligently working to plan the flow and flip of the ceremony and reception. I am so thankful for both of them, and there is no way I could pull off these weddings without their help. 
  • Julie finished her wedding dress and veil, and they are both beautiful!
  • Olivia's dress is hemmed and ready as well. Both gowns and dresses along with bridesmaids dresses are all hanging in the closet.

I actually have so much to say about our fun and busy month of May, and I have lots of pictures to share. I really hope I can find time to do that! 

Big Sam will fly in Tuesday! He will stay with us until the night before the wedding. I am sending all guests to a hotel for Friday and Saturday nights. :) After that, the Johnson Hotel will reopen for business. Julie and Sam have not seen each other since the beginning of January, so they are both super excited! Their plan is to come back here after their honeymoon and some other traveling they need to do (Sam will be giving reports to the churches that have supported him the last year). They will stay with us until after Olivia's wedding on July 22. Then they will fly to their new home in Romania. 

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The College Girls Are Home

Leah and I drove down to Tampa last Monday.  We made record time....11 hours and 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the trip back also took record time:  the longest drive to or from Tampa ever...14 hours, 25 minutes. What a trip!  I pulled a Uhaul trailer behind my SUV with Olivia, Leah, and Sam as passengers. Clay drove Julie in the girls' college car. We encountered numerous traffic jams due to wrecks and construction, and every stop took longer than usual because I am not the best parker when pulling a trailer.

A few details. Leah and I listened to Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle on Audible. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I think I liked it better than Leah did. It was only 6 hours, so that was perfect to listen to on our trip. We alternated listening to the book and Leah watching movies (with headphones) while I listened to podcasts.

I spent last Tuesday packing up Julie's dorm room and Wednesday packing up Olivia's. I can't believe how much stuff they have! It almost did not even fit in the Uhaul and our two vehicles. On Thursday I finished up the packing and did some cleaning. My parents, Jimmy, Clay, and Sam arrived Thursday afternoon. We all attended Olivia's Senior Coin Ceremony which is where each senior presents a commemorative coin to a teacher or staff member that had the greatest impact on him or her during their four years of college. Olivia presented her coin to her dorm mother, Momma B. Momma B has been invaluable to both Olivia, Julie, and me too!

Friday our family explored Lettuce Lake Park near our hotel, and then we attended two graduations! Julie received her Associate of Arts Degree at 3:00, and then Olivia received her Bachelor's Degree at 7:30. Both girls graduated with highest honors, and I am so proud of them.

Jimmy and my parents flew back early Saturday morning (Jimmy had to be at work at 4:00 PM), and the children and I finally got on the road at 10:30 AM. We finally arrived home just before midnight CST.

Olivia and Julie are diligently unpacking and sorting through all their college belongings. I think things multiplied in their dorm rooms. I am not sure where are going to put all this stuff! We unloaded the cars and Uhaul into my schoolroom. I moved Leah and Sam's schoolbooks to my kitchen because you cannot even walk in my schoolroom!

It actually looks a lot worse than this picture right now because they have started going through the boxes.

The final days of wedding planning are in full force, and next week is filled with Clay's graduation, the kids' piano recital, and Clay's graduation party. Fun and busy times!