Wednesday, June 2, 2010

366 1000 miles

This past weekend I had to head to Saint Louis, MO to shoot a wedding with my good friend Candy. And because we love to share the fun, our other photog friend Tricia came along with camera in tow. Chip of course had to work, so I took the kiddos down to Cleveland to stay with their Mimi and Pop Pop. It must be excruciating to get pampered by the grandparents! :) Katie loves going down, and I think Connor enjoys it quite a bit too (if it wasn't for the whole lack of Mommy thing). I took them down on Friday, and we started for St. Louis early the next morning.

I meant to be super prepared. To be all packed and ready to go. Wake up and brew my own coffee. To be bright eyed and bushy tailed. Instead I ended up hitting the hot tub after I got back from the four hour round trip to drop the kids off. My back was hurting and I needed to relax. I managed to set out my suitcase and throw most of the stuff I would need in it. I had to do a load of laundry, and I got that going. I packed my camera bags. And then I had to SLEEP!! I knew I had a long day of driving ahead of me. I still managed to hit the snooze button a couple times before I looked at the clock and realized I needed to pick everyone up in the next half hour. Then it was a mad dash to finish getting ready. Amazingly I managed to remember everything ... except shampoo and conditioner. I am just not girly enough to remember to pack hair care products. I did good to have a comb.

I gathered up the girls. Tricia was ready to go. We loaded her up and headed to Candy's .... who had managed to lock her keys in her van. Luckily she could get someone to come take care of it and we were able to hit the road. The drive was uneventful. Not to mean boring ... we laughed our booties off and had a great time getting there. I was amazed at how quick the drive seemed. I am sure if I made it with screaming kids that it would have felt much longer. We got there with an hour or so to spare before we had to find our way to the rehearsal.

Once the bride and groom have seen the pics and given me the go ahead I will post some for you to enjoy. And until then I will simply refer to them as Bride and Groom. I know, they probably don't care, but I hate just throwing out info just in case.

THANK GOODNESS FOR GPS! I am by no means a navigator. I have no sense of direction, even with the little readout in my car. And even with GPS we managed to miss our turn. It didn't help that there was also a good bit of construction in the area we seemed to be centered around. We found the City Museum and made it in time for the rehearsal. This was my first time to meet the bride and groom since Candy had done all the meetings since she booked the wedding. The bride absolutely glowed. You could see how happy she was to be marrying her Prince. The groom was obviously smitten. The whole wedding party was fun and fabulous ... even the best man who showed up almost an hour late ... and I thought I had a problem with being punctual (just giving him a hard time, it is kinda my job). Rehearsal flew by, we got used to the lighting and scoped out a few photo ops.

A quick trip back to the hotel and we headed out for the rehearsal dinner at the Morgan Street Brewery. (did I mention we missed our turn and crossed the river?) We finally got there and it is a great little place on a cute cobblestone street. The dinner was upstairs with a bar and pool tables. We had a blast ... yes, I know we are there to work but you will realize that the bride and groom treated us more like friends and family than hired help. I am totally adopting them! We had a delicious rehearsal dinner and it was back to the hotel before the Bachelorette Party. The bride insisted that we go out and have fun. AND WE HAD SO MUCH FUN!! We met up at a little bar called Heartbreakers. At first we had the bar pretty much to ourselves but as the night progressed it became more crowded, and not just with the dancers on the bar. There was a great band playing called Come Closer. The lead singer had a wonderful voice and they really were the perfect backdrop to the night. We ended up calling it a night before the rest of the wedding party in order to have our eyes well rested to take pics the next day. Although they might have beat us back to the hotel rooms anyway. We were almost back to our hotel when Candy realized she had left her debit card at the bar. And OF COURSE the street was now closed off to thru traffic. I had to drop them off at one end and circle back for them. Do I need to remind you that I had NO CLUE where I was?! It was nerve wracking. But, they got her card back and we made it back to the hotel, and that is all that mattered.

Thankfully the wedding was not until 2:30, so we were not in a mad rush to get going in the morning. We even got to the museum early in order to walk around and take some pics. I didn't take too many, which was a good thing since my batteries barely made it to the end of the night. The City Museum is insanely cool, and I need to take the kids back up very soon!! And when I am not wearing three inch heels! I got to spend my time with the groom and his friends. I did not stop laughing! These guys were hilarious. We had such a good time. I have never had so much fun hanging out in the Men's Room. I got some great pics. Some sweet ones of the groom dressing their son in his tux. A couple really funny ones of the guys. I just love the way that men interact with each other. These guys had a really special bond. Awesome.

The wedding was beautiful. Emotional and sweet. When I first saw the bride even I teared up. Gorgeous! Everything went perfectly, and I think we captured it quite well on camera. I just hope the whole feeling of the wedding comes through. And might I say, the bride and groom give each other what can only be described as "yummy kisses" .. they put their whole heart into each one. They have a long and very happy life ahead of them. You could see it in their eyes and in their interactions. They just radiated joy and happiness.

After the wedding and a quick greeting line, we took some group pics and then took off around the museum for some fun pics. The bride and groom had also rented a limo-bus to drive us around to take more pics. We were running short on time so we did not make it to the Arch, but we did hit Union Station and the fountain out front. Then it was on to the rehearsal where the party continued. Complete with karaoke (the bride and groom met doing karaoke, they took 2nd and 3rd in a contest). I almost got on stage, but talked myself out of it. No need to get the dogs of St. Louis howling.

It was an amazing weekend with a wonderful couple, and I am so happy I was able to be a part of it.

Monday we headed back to Mississippi. I also found out that Chip was ill, throwing up and confined to the bed. So, after I dropped off Candy and Tricia, I got more gas and I headed straight down to Cleveland, MS for the kids. I was exhausted and decided to stay overnight. Probably for the best, so they wouldn't be around Mr. Sickie. Or so I thought, until about 1AM when Katie woke up and went running for the bathroom. She only puked twice, but it was more than enough. Connor woke up with all the commotion and then refused to sleep without me holding him. It took me two more hours to slowly slide my way down to where he was laying on the bed. Eventually I was able to get a couple hours of sleep, clinging to the four inches of bed that the kids left me. It was not the best night of sleep ever, but itwas enough to get us home the next day. After a leisurely morning and breakfast with Mimi and Pop Pop of course.

It was a great weekend, but a thousand miles later, it was good to sit down in my own home ... for a while. Of course now I have to get the kitchen packed up, so they can paint and start installing the new cabinets. I am going to escape the demolition and construction. I don't think two kids need to be running around in here with all of that. So, I am headed to Atlanta to spend some time with the family, leaving Chip to supervise and hopefully avoid any kind of disaster .... his average for avoidance is really low lately. Cross your fingers for him.


Kathleen said...

I'll cross my fingers for you that you will have a lovely new kitchen!