countdown

inchina

It’s almost time to pick the Smiths up from the airport! They’ve been in China for the past two weeks finalizing the adoption of Elena Duo Duo. When they arrive, things will never be the same again. There will be another person – another family member – in their lives. I’m excited to see what’s in store for everyone. I’m also nervous about speaking Mandarin with Elena. Will we be able to understand each other? We’re going to be living with each other for a month until I get married. So hopefully we’ll figure out some level of communication. Time will tell!

flightschedule

shelcy

FoodE

This girl!! She saved my from my wedding planning insanity. Don’t get me wrong, almost everything we did revolved around wedding planning. But it was with wine and laughter and support. I am so blessed to have Shelcy as my friend.

Shelcy flew in Wednesday afternoon and I picked her up from the metro. That evening we broke open the wine and giggled about the ridiculous pressures of wedding planning and expectations. We talked about how to tackle the rest of my To Do list in an inexpensive and sane fashion. She told me of things that went wrong at her wedding, and things that went exceptionally well. She brought me the cutest little veil to wear. It was given to her at her bachelorette party. It was the best, most relaxing night I’d had in ages. If she had flown in for just that night, it would have been worth it. But lucky me, I got her for four days!!

greenville or bust

greenville1

We found our venue.

This is super, super big exciting news! I am beyond relieved. Brian gets all the credit for finding Glassy Chapel. When we had to drop Daufuskie, I was devastated. It was the perfect wedding site for us, and I was so excited about everything: the ceremony by the ocean, the reception in the classy restaurant, the vacation homes for all our guests to stay at, the post-wedding celebrations… just… everything. So when they changed terms on us, we had to walk away. And I felt sick: our wedding was in two months and we were out of a location (which meant we had to start over on everything). I cried for three days. During those same three days, Brian scoured the internet and found a stunning chapel just outside Greenville, SC. It was available, affordable, and poorly marketed online. How did he find it? I think it was God’s grace.

brunch with grandma

Yesterday Brian and I had a brunch date with Grandma Bonnie at our new favorite place, the Lotus Kitchen. It’s a quaint home-turned-restaurant with cozy rooms for dining and chatting. This was our first visit with Bonnie since getting back from the cruise and Daufuskie Island, so Brian and I recounted our engagement story and talked over our wedding plans with her. She was almost as excited as we were!

I am still not used to wearing such a beautiful diamond ring. I didn’t know what to do with my hand; I felt like every time I moved, I was purposely showing off the sparkling ring. In fact, near the end of our visit, the couple at the table near us complimented me on my ring. (Is it that obvious, or am I that awkward?) Bonnie said proudly that Brian and I had just gotten engaged, and were telling her all about the engagement and plans for the upcoming wedding.

After brunch I went back with Bonnie to her apartment and saw her rehearsal and wedding outfits. They were both so classy. I felt honored that she purchased two new outfits for our upcoming celebrations. It was a tangible reminder that others care about us and are excited about our wedding! I’m reminded of the picture frame Bonnie gave us years ago. It says “Mr. & Mrs.” on it – our first wedding present. It’s been carefully tucked away all this time, but soon we’ll get to put a wedding picture in that frame and display it! I can’t wait. :)

engagement story

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We’re both quite excited about being engaged. I’ve only had the ring for 2 weeks, so you can say it’s a whirlwind every which way! All good things. :)

Brian and I both live in the DC area, but love the south. We’ve had a few occasions to visit family in Savannah, Naples, and other areas along the East Coast, and it has such an easy (and warm!) feel to it. My parents were kind enough to take us on a cruise out of Florida, at which time Brian asked them for their blessing and showed them the ring he got me – and that’s a whole story in itself! Brian played it coy with me, though, and insisted he had no ring on him…I needed to enjoy the trip for what it was, a family vacation. Since he and I had been dating for just over three years, he knew how to convince me out of my suspicions.


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