Category Archives: My normal life

Throwback Thursday: Highlights from 1997


In the fall of 1997, I was a senior in high school. I was not academically inclined, so I had quite a few study hall periods between all my art classes. If I wasn’t hard at work on my next weekly sketch, I was bent over a spiral notebook, spilling my deepest thoughts onto the page.

Here’s a glimpse into my mind at that time. My thoughts of today are in italics.

9.17.97 It’s D-lunch study hall again and I have nothing to do. Ok, so I was dreaming about our future house, my room specifically and I want to paint the ceiling a dark purplish blue color and get a ton of those little sticky glow in the dark stars to put on it. That would be SO cool. Ok, I legit think this would still look really cool. What can I say, I’m 7 years old at heart. Still, the idea of painting over that is what keeps me from ever doing it. 

9.18.97 I really have to go to the bathroom- if you know what I mean. I feel like my hair is absolutely repulsive. It’s funny, I’m always so concerned about what I look like but I never notice much about what other people look like. I don’t know what I meant by the first sentence. Maybe I had to go #2. And my hair was pretty much the best it was ever going to look in those days.

9.24.97 People really need to come equipped with brake lights, turn signals and warning signs. After walking to study hall, weaving my way in and out of clumps of slow or non-moving people, I wish there was some way to know what the person in front of me was planning to do. It’s very annoying to be walking behind someone who keeps slowing down, or worse yet, spins around to go in a different direction. Maybe I’m just a klutz, but I crash into so many people, it’s ridiculous. This was before I was a licensed driver, and so I did not know then that all the turn signals, brake lights and signage in the world would still not help you really know what the hell the slowing driver in front of you is going to do.

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My proprietary design for adding signaling features to humans beings… and apparently removing their hands in the process.

10.6.17  Well, it’s been a while since I wrote. I really don’t feel much like writing, but Mrs. Hadeka says that 95% of what even the greatest writers write is just junk. So here I am trying to make the 95% junk.  This is great! I’ve definitely kept up cranking out a lot of junk over the years. 

11.5.97 I was just walking down the hallway and I came around the corner and this girl was talking to a teacher about some quiz or something. The teacher said “92” and the girl went “YES!” and pulled back her arm. I was thinking how funny it would be if she elbowed me as I walked by. I still crack myself up with these kinds of thoughts…. like “what if such and such happened?” and then I will laugh to myself and people wonder about me. 

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11.6.97 Well, my skirt is coming along pretty good (disregarding the fact that I had to stop working on it because it got stuck in the sewing machine and I can’t get it out.) I laughed so hard I cried when I read this just now. That skirt was a sexy crushed blue velvet number that I was so proud of once I got it unstuck from the sewing machine. I wore it for years!

12.16.97 This morning was a bit weird.  had to make up the Chem test that I missed last week, and the sophs who were in the classroom when I went in were dissecting fetal pigs. Ewww. What a horrible thing to do. What do they do, get a pregnant sow and open her up and take out the fetus? What do they do with the sow? Eat her? How gross! That makes me so sad. What is up with the world today? Yes, I was a bit naive at this time. I don’t know why it didn’t cross my mind that sows actually had litters of piglets, so it wasn’t like a one-fetal-pig-per-sow ratio. And duh, they obviously would have gotten them from the meat-packing industry when they killed the pregnant sows. Of course I still think it’s a horrible practice, but we’ve got a long way to go before people give up their precious meats.



Well, that in a nutshell was my view of the world in 1997. Pretty sheltered, yes. Of course I left out a lot of my deepest blatherings… the “Why doesn’t he like me as much as I like him?”, and “I can’t believe I thought he liked me, I’m so stupid.” Ya’ll don’t need to be reading that.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Americans!

We just got back from a hearty Thanksgiving meal at my dad’s house. Kris and Grey came too, so it was a nice little gathering. Of course we prepared too much food, but that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? I am always grateful for quality time with my loved ones.

This time last year, Dave and I were holed up in our hotel room in Costa Rica, waiting for Hurricane Otto to pass by. After that unique experience, I no longer have any particular expectations for how a Thanksgiving should be.

I used to feel like Thanksgiving had to meet certain requirements in order to be right. My whole family had to be there. We had to have turkey, stuffing, gravy, broccoli casserole, creamed onions, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and biscuits. We had to have apple pie and pumpkin pie for dessert. If it could snow, even just a little, that would be nice.

Last year, Dave and I decided to use the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as a way to extend our Costa Rica trip. I hesitated at first – did I really want to be away from my family during this most-cherished of holidays? It had been weird enough to stop eating turkey on Thanksgiving once I became a vegetarian, but skipping the holiday altogether was really pushing some boundaries. Perhaps being stuck in a hotel room as a hurricane passed by was the price I had to pay for skipping Thanksgiving, but it was worth it. That trip was amazing.

This year, when it became apparent that one brother was going to do this, and another that, I accepted that we would not all be together on Thanksgiving day. Instead, my brothers and I had a pre-Thanksgiving weekend with my mom, and then today, Kris, Grey, Dave and I shared the day with Dad.

When I think back to Thanksgivings of the past, I feel so lucky to have spent the day with so many wonderful people and in so many cozy homes. Above all, I’ve come to realize that the holiday is about the experience of being together with people who are important to you.

This is what I’m grateful for today:

Dave.
Time spent with my family.
My two fuzzy children.
That my dental journey is nearing an end (or, a resting point?).
Our cozy little house.
That I’ve been able to meditate for 110 days in a row!
That we live in a safe place and I can go through my days without fear.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Everybody’s Got Something


Reblogging a post from a couple of years back:

Uncommon Heather

It is the first day of first grade. I’m decked out in my favorite dress (blue, of course) with matching barrettes in my hair. I haven’t yet grown to dread the bus ride or the seemingly endless succession of school days that lie ahead. I climb onto the mostly empty bus, take a seat about halfway back and wave goodbye to Mommy.

Down our road and around the corner is a new housing development with lots of young kids. As the bus nears the stop, the kids scurry to pick up backpacks and lunch boxes and cluster in a group by the curb. They pile onto the bus and I take note of the familiar faces. There’s Dana and Chrissy and Emilee, all girls from my class last year. There are a lot of older kids I don’t know, and a couple of the boys sneer at me as they pass my…

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Throwback Thursday: The Cheese Lamp


I grew up in the house my grandfather built in the mid 1950’s.  The decor ranged from mid century modern to 70’s funk. We had some interesting stuff, to say the least.

In my bedroom, which had a multi-colored animal-print shag rug (it had been the t.v. room before I came along), there hung a lamp.  A hideous, orange, ceramic pendant lamp with various sized holes punched through it.  My parents called it  the cheese lamp.

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This is not OUR cheese lamp, but the closest I could find via Google search!

I remember this lamp clearly because it scared me.  At night, bathed in the glow of my Winnie-the-Pooh night light, this lamp was pure evil.  The holes were like dark eyes watching me from across the room.

One night I dreamed that my parents were zombies, and my mom had this lamp stuck on her head, the heavy metal chain wrapping around her body.

Not long after that, the lamp came down.  It lived in the utility room for a while, sitting up on a shelf between jars of nails and curls of sand paper.  At some point it disappeared, hopefully to the dump, because otherwise it will haunt some other young child.

Seriously, who’s idea was it to make a lampshade out of ceramic? It must have been insanely heavy, not to mention opaque, so it would only let light shine out of the holes and the bottom. Dumb.

Another thing that I found creepy in that house were the light switches that lit up when turned off. At night, when the house was dark and I looked down the stairs into the living room, I could see these amber-lit switches glowing like the eyes of a menacing beast.

I suppose I can be thankful that the scariest things in my childhood were lamps and light switches, and that I had to imagine monsters, rather than actually face them.

Was there anything that scared you in your childhood home?

How to be present in the great outdoors


Put down your phone.

Step outside.

Look up at the sky. Notice the colors. Notice the clouds, or lack thereof.

Feel the air with your skin.

Is there a breeze? Is it cold, or warm or wet?

Observe the light.

Is it bold and bright? Are you squinting? Or is it soft and gentle like a watercolor painting?

Listen. Listen past the sounds of people or traffic or machinery. Listen for the wind in the trees or the leaves scuttling on the pavement. Hear the sounds of the birds.

Don’t think, “I should get a picture of this and share it on Instagram.”

I mean, it’s ok if you think that, but don’t give into the temptation -or, if you do, just snap a quick picture and post it later. Enjoy the moment yourself, and with whoever you’re with right now.

Just be.

Observe. Sense. Feel. Breathe.

Enjoy.

Touchy Feet


My next toastmaster speech project is supposed to be a “touching speech,” It’s practicing  how to convey emotion through storytelling. Instead of just saying “Billy felt sad because he wasn’t invited to Joey’s birthday party”, you’d tell the story of Billy watching his friends pass by on their way to Joey’s party and wondering why he wasn’t invited.

I’ve been trying to decide what to do for my touching speech. I thought about telling my Color Me story, about the time the girl at school rudely suggested I use markers to give my hair some color. But then I had a crazy idea. Something that would really push me beyond my comfort zone in a big way.

I could tell the story of that day at the water park when that boy made a scene over my alien feet. I could talk about how ever since then, I have gone to great lengths to hide my feet – not only from strangers, but even from most acquaintances.

The kicker (see what I did there?) of it all would be that I would either walk up to the lectern in my bare feet, or I would wear shoes I could easily slip off to reveal my feet as I told the story.

But I’m not sure…. is it cheating to use my body as a prop? Is it overly dramatic? Would I be able to do it without peeing my pants in front of everyone? I practically hyperventilate at the thought of it, yet that only makes me want to do it more.

I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.

What would you do?

September 25th


Today’s date is a significant one for me – it is Gram’s birthday, first and foremost. She would have been 95 today. If she was still alive, the McKelvie clan would have gathered together to celebrate with a nice dinner, and, more importantly, a nice dessert. I suppose we could have gotten together anyway, and had a celebration in her honor… but it’s not the same without her.

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Gram’s 85th Celebration… nothing like a little sprinkling of heavy metals on your cake…
9.02 All McKelvies
Gram’s 80th Bash – We were all looking young and spry here.

In other news, four years ago today, I started this blog!

Today was a good day for me – perhaps Gram was somehow guiding my hand, but I actually did everything on my to-do list! I made an appointment with a career coach, and an appointment with a nutritionist, AND I took care of my dad’s big birthday gift which we will present to him in a few weeks.  I think I’ll take the rest of the week off.

Out of curiosity, I googled today’s date and came across a page which lists everything that has happened on September 25th… here it is, if you want to look for yourself:  http://www.onthisday.com/events/september/25

Some highlights include:

  • 1492 Crewman on Pinta sights “land”-a few weeks early (look out Native Americans…)
  • 1780 Benedict Arnold joins the British  (traitor!)
  • 1836 HMS Beagle anchors at St Michael (aww, Darwin)
  • 1878 British physician Dr. Charles Drysdale warns against the use of tobacco in a letter to The Times newspaper in one of the earliest public health announcements on the dangers of smoking (damn! and people STILL smoke.)
  • 1919 US president Woodrow Wilson suffers a breakdown in Colorado, his health never recovers (I didn’t even know this happened!)
  • 1926 Henry Ford announces 8 hour, 5-day work week (Dammit Henry… couldn’t you have gone with 5 hours per day, or perhaps a 3-day work week? I have hobbies!)
  • 1965 Children find trunk with corpse in Amsterdam canal (WTF.)
  • 1974 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1974 Scientists first report that freon gases from aerosol sprays are destroying the ozone layer (1974 was a bad year…)
  • 1981 Sandra Day O’Connor sworn in as 1st female supreme court justice (woot!)
  • 1993 Action TV series “Walker, Texas Ranger” starring Chuck Norris debuts on CBS
  • 1997 “ER” is performed live on TV (I remember that!)

There’s a ton more events on the actual page… a lot of it is related to sports and politics, so bleh.

Before I sign off, I’ll mention that I have been working on a post entitled “Losing my Religion” where I get into all the things that happened on my way out of Christadelphia. It’s been interesting for me to look back at everything that happened, and now that it’s been more than a decade, I can actually see everything so much more clearly. I almost wish I could travel back in time and rescue myself much earlier… but I suppose that I needed to go through all that ish in order to become the person I am now. It is also draining to rehash all those feelings and emotions I went through. It will probably end up being a series of posts, otherwise it will be so long and unbearable that no one will read the whole thing.

Alright – it’s off to bed for me… I promise to share more about the career coaching thing too, once I have more to share. 🙂

Namaste, friends.

 

A Tale of Two Squirrels


It’s been a while since I’ve shared a Toastmaster speech. Last night I gave speech #3 from the Advanced Communicator Series – Storytelling. The project was to tell a story with a moral. The examples they gave were The Tortoise and the Hare and another one about mice and a cat. I struggled to think of what moral I should share, and how to tell an original story. I floundered for about a week, before finally settling on the idea of two squirrels as my characters, and giving them the relatable storyline of eating too much and being lazy and getting fat over the winter.

The night before I was to give the speech, I looked at the book again and realized that the story was supposed to have a twist! A TWIST! As if it wasn’t hard enough to come up with a silly story with a moral, now I had to scramble to think of a twist at the last minute. (I know, I should have read the instructions more thoroughly, but I have a bad habit of reading things real quickly and then being like, yeah, yeah, I got it…)

So, below is what I ended up with… what do you think of the twist?

A Tale of Two Squirrels

Once upon a time, in a forest not far from where we are now, there lived two squirrels. Filbert and Marshall were the best of friends. They had grown up chasing each other up and down the trees, and playing hide and seek behind the fallen logs and rocks of the forest.

Over the years, they continued to keep each other company – spending their summers finding and sharing delicious fresh fruits and leaves and working together to store up food for the winter. One winter, they discovered birdfeeders hanging in a backyard not far away, and every afternoon the two of them would gorge themselves on juicy black sunflower seeds. Then, their bellies full of seeds, they would head back to their nests to take long cozy naps. After several winter months of stuffing themselves with their stored acorns, plus the rich birdseed, and spending the rest of their time asleep in their nests, Filbert and Marshall had grown quite fat!

Spring was just around the corner, and every year, the forest animals would celebrate with a big party. It was Filbert’s plan that this year he would meet a nice female squirrel to settle down with. He was not about to show up at the party looking flabby and out of shape. As he sat in his nest one chilly afternoon, he counted out the weeks left of winter time. “Hmm,” he said, as he consulted his calendar, “only three weeks until Spring… I’d better get to work!”

He thoughtfully planned out his diet and exercise routine; penciling everything onto his calendar so he wouldn’t forget.  Once he had finished, he called out to Marshall, who was curled up and napping in his nearby nest. “Marshall – if we start today, we can easily burn off our winter weight by springtime!”

Marshall lifted his head and opened one eye. “Um, no thanks bud. I’m sure the weight will melt right off once the weather warms up and I don’t need the extra insulation.” Then, he covered his face with his tail and went right back to sleep.

The next morning, Filbert ran laps up and down his tree until he was out of breath. Marshall watched him from a neighboring tree, chewing on an ear of corn that he had found in someone’s compost pile. “Dude. This corn is really sweet – I’ll share if you like!” Filbert ignored him and began doing some pull ups on a small branch by his doorway.

That afternoon, when it was time to raid the birdfeeders, Filbert treated himself to a few sunflower seeds, but then he made his way over to the birdbath and took a several big gulps of water. “Hey buddy,” said Marshall through a mouthful of seeds, “There’s plenty of food here for everyone!”

Later, while Marshall fell into his post-meal coma, Filbert practiced yoga in his nest. At the end of the day, he looked at his calendar again, and put some checkmarks next to each of the tasks he had accomplished. He smiled to himself, knowing that he was making progress toward his goal.

This went on for the next three weeks – Marshall continued to live and eat like it was his last day on earth, while Filbert stuck to his plan of daily exercising and being conscious of how much food he ate. Marshall made fun of Filbert for being so worried about his body. “We’re squirrels!” he said, “Our metabolism is so high, we can eat whatever we want!”

Soon springtime arrived, and Filbert was looking better than ever. He proudly inspected his reflection in the pond. His diet and exercise plan had worked! Not only had he lost the weight, but he’d even built up some muscles! He felt great, and was looking forward to flaunting his new body at the party.

The night of the party, Marshall and Filbert inspected each other. “Does my hair look ok?” Marshall fussed, as he tried to pat down his cowlick. Filbert picked a few crumbs out of Marshall’s fur and brushed him off. “You look fine,” he said, “how about me?” “Man, you look great,” said Marshall, “I should have followed your advice and started taking better care of myself weeks ago.”

“Failure to plan is planning to fail,” said Filbert, puffing his chest out proudly.

All of a sudden, a hawk swooped down from above and snatched Filbert away so quickly that Marshall could hardly comprehend what had just happened.

As this is the kind of fate that regularly befalls small forest animals, Marshall mourned the loss of his friend, but went on to the spring forest party without him. There he met a beautiful lady squirrel, and they fell in love and lived happily ever after.

The moral of this story is that you can plan all you want, but you never really know how things are going to turn out in the end.

Don’t Hate – Meditate


Hello friends!

Yes, it’s been approximately two million seconds since I posted last. I’ve been spending a lot of time with myself.

It started when I got sick after conference, and was lying around recovering and thinking. I realized that I’d been spending less and less time on self-care, and it had been wearing me down and making me a miserable brat. So I resolved to return to doing things to help me feel better and be healthier. Here are a few of them:

Mindfulness Meditation

The first thing I knew I had to do was get back to meditating every day.

For the last 21 days, I’ve been using the Headspace app – and I really like it. It was created by Andy Puddicombe, and I  actually found it and used it briefly a few years ago when I read his book,  Get Some Headspace: 10 Minutes Can Make All the Difference 

Perhaps I was impressed by the fact that he actually trained to be a Buddhist monk, but I really felt like his intentions are to help people learn to meditate. It is a paid app, but it’s less than $100 for a year, whereas I looked into doing Transcendental Meditation and was disappointed to find that it’s like $1500. Namastay away from that one.  

Over the past several years, I’ve read a ton of books about mindfulness and meditation – mostly while flying somewhere on a plane. (Planes are perfect places to meditate!) Some of my favorites are:

Michael A. Singer’s  The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

Dan Harris’s 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness 

Sam Harris’s Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Taking Sleep Seriously

Since I’ve been using a fitbit, I can see how many hours of sleep I’ve been getting each night. I’ve always known that I’m a night owl, and if left to my own devices, I could easily stay up until midnight or the wee hours of the morning. Which would be fine, if I didn’t need to get up and function the next day. My fitbit was telling me that on average, I wasn’t getting more than 6.5 hours a night.

For some people, that’s probably a decent amount of sleep, but for me, I know I need at least 8 hours to really feel refreshed. I have spoken with others who have ectodermal dysplasias and found that they too need nice, long sleeps, or else they feel sluggish, have more eye problems, and get sick easier. 

So now, I make bedtime a priority, knowing that anything that’s not life or death can just wait until the next day. I’ve also made arrangements to go in to work a little later, which gives me some more time to sleep in the mornings, and also gives me more time for my next life-improving activity:

Getting my walk on!

I truly love taking walks at the beginning and end of the day. Morning walks are nice, because everything and everyone is just waking up. It’s quiet and calm, and you’ll see wildlife – deer, rabbits, tons of birds, squirrels and chipmunks, turkeys – and even the occasional skunk.

I like evening walks even more, because the light after the sun sets turns everything into a Monet painting.  All of the colors and shapes soften and blur – it’s very calming. Plus, I like looking in people’s windows when their lights are on. (Just in passing – not in a creepy way!)

For a while a tried running, but I felt like poop half the time, and I decided that since I don’t actually need to lose weight, and have no plans to run a marathon, I should quit suffering and just go back to walking.

Eating like I give a damn

I have a bumper sticker on my car that says “Eat like you give a damn”.  I’ve always meant for it to remind people to think of where their food comes from, and that you should give a damn about it and not eat crap, and not support factory farms and not eat animal products. Yet, I tend to get lazy about the vegetarian food I eat… I will eat salads for lunch every day for a week, but not really pay attention to whether I’m getting enough of what I need. I will eat bagels for breakfast, because they are easy to throw in the toaster and heat up – but deep down, I know they have very little nutritional value. I will eat more carbs and veggies for dinner, but again, whatever is handy for me to just throw together quickly. I love vegan chick’n and veggie burgers because they are easy to make, but I know that even though it doesn’t contain meat, it doesn’t equal healthy food.

So, I’ve resolved to make a better effort to buy healthy stuff in the first place, and take more time to prepare my meals in advance. It’s going to be the hardest thing for me because I really don’t enjoy food prep. But I have to make the commitment if I want to be healthier… otherwise, what’s going to fuel all that walking? 

The end!

Let’s see how long my resolve to do all of the above lasts. Most of it is normal daily routine stuff, but I tend to fall out of these habits and make excuses about being too busy to be able to fit them in. But that’s just foolishness. I’m going to MAKE the time, baby!

Pro tip:  Not being Facebook is a totally rad way to gain more time in a day. 

A Vermont Wedding


On July 1, 2017, my brother John married his longtime love Cara, in a beautiful Vermont wedding.

The party began on Friday afternoon, when many of the guests began arriving at the Echo Lake Inn in Ludlow, VT.  It was raining off and on, so we were mostly confined to the porch, where everyone was gathered at tables, drinking beer and wine and getting to know each other.

Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration. Some people were getting to know each other, but my family was clustered together at one table, trying to catch up with each others’ recent life events. Still, I did get to meet some of John’s college friends and Cara’s friends and family.

After a BBQ dinner, the plan was to have a bonfire, s’mores and lawn games – like the customized cornhole game that Cara’s dad had made, and the giant Jenga blocks that my dad made. However, the weather was being uncooperative, and after only a few s’mores had been constructed and only a few corn bags tossed, the rain picked up and everyone ran for cover on the porch.

Kris, Grey, Nick and Matt, Bruce (my dad’s dog) and Dave and I all shared a condo that weekend. It was in a separate building from the Inn, though not very far away. We had envisioned that we would be up late in our party condo, sharing hilarious tales while we drank and played games into the wee hours of the morning. However, by the time we got back to the condo, we went right to bed. (We had to save our energy for the big day!)

Saturday dawned rainy and dark. Checking the weather forecast left us with little hope of the day clearing up in time for the 3:30 pm wedding ceremony. We ate breakfast in the inn and proceeded to play some Jenga during a break in the rain.

Giant Jenga
Grey cautiously removes one of the super-sized giant Jenga blocks from the tower…

After a while, the rain picked up again and we retreated back to our condo. Dad and Lisa brought us sandwiches from the general store and we all ate lunch while watching reruns of Roseanne. I began working on my hair, although I knew it was probably a waste of time since the humidity was guaranteed to undo any styling efforts I put forth.

We rushed back to the porch to be in time for our 1:30pm photo session, only to find out that the photographer had gone to Echo Lake Lodge near Lake George, NY – a vast two hours away! Luckily, one of Cara’s friends offered to take some photos of us while we waited for the hired photographer to get there.

 

As the afternoon went on, the rain would let up for a few minutes at a time before returning at full force. Would we be able to have the wedding ceremony outside or not? We all hoped for a miraculous clearing of the clouds, but alas. It was not to be.

It was interesting to watch the Inn staff turn the reception tent into a wedding tent in less than 10 minutes. I suspect they might have done this before.

The ceremony was beautiful. Cara looked stunning in her gown and birdcage veil and John was handsome in his navy blue suit. Their friend Dana officiated and did a really nice job of it. No sooner had the ceremony begun, when the sun broke through the clouds and a sunbeam shone right through the plastic tent window.

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The moment the sun came out…

I was honored to participate in the ceremony by reading a wedding blessing. I rarely get emotional at weddings – but as I looked up from my reading and saw John and Cara watching me intently, I was filled with emotion. I steeled myself and finished the reading without full-on weeping, but the floodworks burst forth when they exchanged their vows (which they had written themselves). To be fair, I think everyone in the whole tent got misty-eyed.

Watching my little brother, now all grown up, marrying the love of his life tugged at my heartstrings like nothing else. It made me feel nostalgic, sentimental, happy and excited all at the same time, and it all came leaking out of my eyes. I think the fact that they have already been together for 10 years and been through many ups and downs made their professions of love for each other all that more meaningful.

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The happy couple

That night, the reception was filled with laughter and fun. John and Cara’s bridesmaids and groomsmen gave hilarious speeches about the two of them. The tent was decorated in a constellation/starry night theme, with twinkling lights wrapped around all the poles, a star projector shining up on the ceiling, and custom centerpieces on all the tables.

 

We hit the dance floor and the party didn’t stop until 11pm, which must have been the curfew set by the Inn. We all migrated to the bar in the cellar of the Inn, though unfortunately we could not get the dance party to resume there.

The next day, we gathered for breakfast together before all heading off on our separate ways. John and Cara would be going off to Portugal for their honeymoon!

Regrettably, I did not take more pictures during the weekend. Actually, most of the above photos are thanks to Kris McKelvie, Grey Houle and Kaitlyn Clifford. So thank you all for letting me use them in the blog.

After we said our goodbyes, Dave and I were off to Londonderry, VT, where we would spend the next few days relaxing and exploring the great green mountain state. Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Vermont!