Archive for October, 2008

One Heart Out of Two, One Life Me and You

October 22, 2008

Words can do no justice to the thoughts in my mind nor the feelings in my heart.
This will take some time to compute.
Stay tuned.

To Love, and Be Loved

October 15, 2008

Never before have I felt so connected to my family and my friends. I am so lucky to have so many amazing people with whom I have the pleasure and good fortune to spend my days. And although distance often makes it difficult to see everyone I love as often as I would like, I still feel bonded and connected to everyone no matter how far apart our visits.

This weekend was perhaps the best of all Martin Family weekends thus far. In fact, I must say that the Martin Family has never before felt so small in size and yet also so big. Our family unit is growing. Our modest five is infinitely expanding. And I couldn’t be happier.

My sister’s wedding was last Friday evening. It was amazing. And beautiful. And inspiring. And emotional. And elegant. And classic. It was everything I could have wished for her, and for our family.

Last Thursday Adam and I headed to Manchester early so as to make the 5:30 rehearsal. He and I got there around 4, and were promptly greeted by my sister, who threw her arms around me and immediately began to cry. I felt similarly. I was so excited for her and so glad to finally be with my family, and with her, to share all that she was feeling together. We all met up went over to the country club where we briefly went over the following day’s ceremony. Erica, Brittany, Adam and I spent some time walking the grounds in the perfect warm fall weather, admiring the vibrant foliage by the reservoir that provided the splendid backdrop for the scene.

When we wrapped up there, we all went to my house for pizza, a rehearsal dinner in perfect Martin & Mayhew family style.

That evening, I had the opportunity to get to know Jon’s brother, Brian, who I had never met before as he and his family live in Guam. I was more than impressed with his friendliness and politeness, and found it very easy to interact with him. I found him very interesting and greatly appreciated is articulate and intelligent perspective on the state of our military and missions in Iraq. It’s really too bad that he lives on the complete opposite side of the world– he would be a great person for Jon to have around, and I’m sure would be a great Uncle to Jon’s (and Amber’s) children. I hope he’ll be able to relocate to the mainland before too long.

Also that evening, I was in my element hanging out with the flower girl, Jon’s cousin’s daughter, the four-year-old cabbage patch doll look-a-like, Bailey. She was absolutely precious. I had so much fun interacting with her. We played hide and seek and painted her nails. She made us all black ribbon necklaces. I wanted to hug her a lot, but had to control myself. She totally adores my sister, and constantly asks for “Ambuh.”

I was also very happy to present part of my gift to Amber and Jon, which was a portrait I had been working on for the past month.

As excited as I was for the day to come, I had no problem crashing as soon as I got into bed. Amber and the rest of my house weren’t as lucky, and slept less than four hours. At 9 Erica, Adam, and I drove to Bradley to pick up Michelle. It was unbelievably fantastic to see her, and to have her there during such an important event. I hope she knows truly grateful I am that she was there to share it with us.

For most of Friday, we hung out at my house, trying not to get ready too prematurely. Erica and her boyfriend Matt arrivied and I was glad to get to meet him– he is a very nice guy which is great! As three o’clock approached we were all busy doing our hair and what not. Thank goodness for Brittany, who did my hair and makeup, helped with Nana’s makeup, and did Amber’s hair, too, not to mention her own! It was a lot of fun buzzing around, finishing everything up and finally putting Amber in her dress. We had a nice little bridal party moment in her old bedroom as we did so.

The photographer arrived around 3, which gave us a couple hours to take photos. The flowers arrived around that time as well and were stunning. Brilliant red roses and white calla lilies. The flower arrangements were also amazing.

We spent a bit of time in the living room taking formal shots of the family, and then made our way over to the country club for the main event.

We all waited down in the women’s lounge anxiously awaiting the start of the ceremony. And a little after 5:30 we made our way down the aisle, surrounded by a setting Autumnal sun, releatively warm October air, and our entire family, that day growing larger, looking on with love and pride!

The ceremony itself was classically simple. Nothing about Jesus. No mention of God. Just two people vowing to love one another. I admired their straightforwardness, and although some might take it for mild sterility, I saw it as honest and sincere. It felt very much in line with how I feel about love and marriage. I also loved the reading Brittany did about Love. I hope my ceremony will be as befitting for me someday.

I must say that I am very glad I could not see Amber’s face during it, because it was difficult enough to remain composed. My mother was crying quite a bit, and I’m sure many other were, too. I’m pretty sure I saw Jon’s face tear up as well….that whole tough guy thing is all an act!

After the ceremony we stayed on the grounds for a while taking photographs. And as the sun was setting, it had grown a bit chillier. So naturally to keep warm we entertained ownselves with our own photoshoot.

When it was finally time to go in to the reception, we were announced and lined up around the dance floor to watch their first dance, to a Janis Joplin song. It was so nice– they truly looked happier than I’ve ever seen them, singing to each other as they danced.

When it ended we were able to take our seats at the head table, and visited with other’s around the room as the salad was served. A delicious dinner followed (I had the chicken) and then we did what we all came there to do: DANCE. We all jumped right in to the first song, “History Repeating,” and Adam and I started crazy dancing our butts off. We in fact danced most of the night– in fact the floor never emptied, which was very impressive! You could just tell everyone there was having a blast. It was fantastic!

Eventually they cut the cake, tossed the bouquet, (Adam ended up with the garter), and finished the niight with more dancing. One highlight of the night for me was the father daughter dance, which Amber had tricked my dad by first playing a bit of Rainbow Bright, a record she played so much when she was little that my dad knew every lyric! He got a kick out of it. And then they danced to Led Zepplin. A perfect fit.

The night flew by, but in a great way. I got to dance with everyone, including little Bailey. And the little ring bearer personally gave me his rose boutineer, instructing me very specifically to put it in a glass of water in my room when I got home. I wonder if I should read more into his romantic gesture….he’s definitely one smooth five year old!!!

So the reception wrapped a bit after 11, at which point we all packed up and headed to my house for a mini after party. But as it turned out, we were all quite pooped, so we essentially rescheduled for the following night.

The next morning Amber and Jon came over briefly to open their gifts before going off for a couple of days to Westerly, RI. I would have much rather they stayed and hung out with us all, but they didn’t have much choice in the matter. In the afternoon Erica, Matt, Adam, Michelle, Brittany, Phil, and myself all went to the Renaissance Faire for a bit. We mostly just walked around gawking at the funny people and browsing the medieval wares. We ate some lunch on a hill next to a tree as a giant ent walked by.

Then we relocated to Gay City State Park to take in all that Autumn in New England had to offer. It was a peacful, playful, day of bonding. I loved everything. Especially as I was finally reunited with my two best friends. It doesn’t get much better.

That evening, we returned to my house where we had a mini club night, which consisited of tasty food and many rounds of Rockband. Before bed me, Michelle, and Adam stayed up to chat a bit with my mom. Then we headed to bed.

On Sunday, we had but a brief time more to spend with Michelle before we had to bring her back to the airport. As short as her visit ultimately was, I am so thrilled to say that this visit had been the best since we graduated. I really felt reconnected to her–and both Adam and Amber agreed. Sadly, we had to say goodbye. It was too short for sure, but at least it was a satisfying visit.

After that, Adam and I went straight to Scituate to browse the Art Festival for an hour. We stopped at our favorite artists, and Adam purchased a beautiful pottery bowl. Then we went to his house to visit with his mom for the rest of the afternoon. Then he and I went to dinner before returning to our apartment.

It was a ridiculously full weekend. Filled with people, and fun, and Autumn, and friendship, and love. I have never been so proud to be a Martin, and so appreciative to have such an extended family of friends.