Gone too soon...

Image from here

The year was 1983, and I was five years old. I recall sitting in the bedroom that I shared with one of my siblings on my bed which was dressed with Strawberry Shortcake sheets. I was learning to read, and had taken Michael Jackson's Thriller album up to my room so I could study the lyrics and sing along to my favorite record. We didn't have much when we were kids, and this record was one of my favorite things. I would listen to "Beat It," "Billie Jean," "P.Y.T.," "Human Nature"... all of it. Thriller would send chills down my spine- it scaring me a little, but fascinating me at the same time. Still to this day, I search the channel guide around Halloween hoping to catch the making of Thriller special on tv. The image of the inner album sleeve is still burned in my brain- I stared at M.J. and that little tiger so many times and genuinely loved that record. My mom brought us up on a lot of 60s and 70s music, and this was really one of the few performers that I got to know and like on my own (alongside Olivia Newton John for "Physical" which I also loved). Even in later years, I recall going on ski trips with my middle school and listening to the "Dangerous" album. I loved "Black or White," "Will You Be There" (even sang that one in a choral concert! Free Willy anyone?) and the lesser known "Gone Too Soon" which I really loved.

Then the day came. June 25, 2009. I could not believe the news, and still feel a little shock that Michael Jackson is gone forever. I am genuinely sad that he is gone, as part of my childhood is gone with him. I know we all have to go at some time, and truthfully I could never picture him as an old man, but to die at 50... It such a tragedy that a man that seemed to have everything on the outside, probably had very little on the inside and was rather lonely towards the end. The last decade of his life was definitely not a great one for him, yet he'll be remembered as the "King of Pop" and by far one of my favorite musicians of all time. He dedicated his life to his fans, and hopefully lived a full life in the fifty years he was with us. Prayers go out to his family, his children, and the many fans that will remember him for the good things and the joy he brought to many. Thanks, Michael, for the music. I'll remember you always...

Laudacious Wedding Recaps: Moments Before the Ceremony

Where did we leave off? Ah yes, I ducked into the house after some pictures at home and waited for our sweet ride to arrive. Our photographer left us to head to the church to get some shots of the groom getting ready. The idea was for him to spend about 30 minutes getting some cool shots of the groom, groomsmen, and groom's family prior to the ceremony while we still had some daylight before the ceremony. Sometimes the best laid plans don't always work out as about 10 minutes after our photographer left, the skies really opened up and it POURED. Water was gushing down the hill in front of my parent's home, and I prayed for the rain to stop for just a minute as the trolley pulled up in front of the house. I darted out to the trolley, my bridesmaids in tow, and Captain Kirk, our trolley driver, helped my sister-in-law load two leaky styrofoam coolers of post-ceremony beverages onto the trolley. We were all in place and the trolley pulled away as "Going to the Chapel" came on the stereo system courtesy of Captain Kirk. I was so excited!

After a quick five minute drive to the church, the trolley pulled up. I watched from the trolley as the wedding coordinators making some last minute touches to our outside decorations. We got the green light to sneak into the little chapel in the rear of the church. It was so gloomy outside, but you'd never know by the light coming into the enormous stained glass windows.

In the meantime, our flowers were distributed and the coordinators pinned on all of the boutonnieres making sure everyone looked great. My handsome groom, "J", looked so calm and relaxed!

Bryan got some nice shots of J before squeezing in a few formal shots to save us time after the ceremony. The engagement pictures we had taken a few months prior were a great idea, because I think J was able to relax in front of the camera a little more- or maybe he was just excited to see his bride (wink, wink!).

J poses with his parents...

...his best man and groomsmen (note the little ring bearer in the middle of all the big guys!).

In the chapel, I was sharing a few quiet moments with my bridesmaids...

... and bossing the priest around a little.
J had to cheer him up after dealing with me. Just kidding- he had a few last minute questions for me. I was rather relaxed and ready to get the show on the road. No "bridezilla" moments for me!

Soon, the guests arrived and took their seats...

...read through our mini programs
and it was almost time to start! Less than 8 minutes to go!
The men took their places as the string trio started to play Bach's "Air from the 3rd Suite" ...

My older brother escorted my grandmother down the aisle.

J's cousin escorted his mother down the aisle, and to the altar to light the candle.

My brother quickly went back for my mom, who also lit a candle...

The bridesmaids lined up for their cue, and my father and I took our place behind them.

And the church bells struck 4 o'clock...

Next up: Down the aisle!

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Laudacious Wedding Recaps: Glam - Part 2
Laudacious Wedding Recaps: Dress Me Up!

Laudacious Wedding Recaps: Pre-Ceremony Pics

Because we got married at 4 o'clock in November just a week after daylight savings time ended, we had very little time after the ceremony for pictures. I wanted to get some of our formal shots out of the way before the ceremony, but did not want to see my groom before the ceremony. We had our photographer take some bridal shots of me and some group shots with my bridesmaids, and family before heading over to the church to get some photos of my handsome groom (whose pictures you will see very soon!).

We started with a few formal, portrait style shots which I am glad we have. (I didn't choose to take bridal portraits in a separate session with our photographer- guess I never understood the point of taking those prior to the wedding day).

I love this picture because it shows off my custom headpiece (e-mail me for more info. if you'd like it). The designer had me name it for her collection. It's called "le Dauphine" in tribute to our French/Italian theme and me feeling very princessy and Marie Antoinette-ish (I got to keep my head in the end but did enjoy the cake!)

My dad joined me for some hugs and pictures before heading outside to get some more photos.

Sharing a smile with my mom.

We squeezed all eight bridesmaids onto the front porch for this shot. I think it's one of my favorites from the day.

One with our flowergirl, my groom's niece.

And a fun family shot with my parents, siblings, nephew and niece.

One more of me watching a huge rain cloud blow in...
And a quick smile before I duck inside to wait for the trolley to arrive.

It was a great memory for me getting ready with all of my friends around me. I will always have pictures of "home" from the big day...

Next up: Goin' to the chapel and meeting the groom!

Related Posts:
Laudacious Wedding Recaps: G-L-A-M-O-R-OUS
Laudacious Wedding Recaps: Glam - Part 2
Laudacious Wedding Recaps: Dress Me Up!

A Wave of Karma

I have been in a bit of a professional and social slump lately. Not enjoying my day job one bit, and my career has gone a bit stagnant. It is easy for me to sit back and complain about it, but I have recently decided to take charge and not accept mediocrity in my life. I have to go after my own greatness as we all do. Along comes Karma. Feeling it this week. It's powerful stuff if you believe it. I'll explain:

Someone close to me is having a difficult time financially due to unemployment and some other circumstances. I wish I was in the position to help this person out, but cannot. As I tend to do my best thinking while driving, a little idea about how this person could change their luck popped into my head on the way to a meeting Monday evening. I made a mental note to talk to my friend about this idea, and two days later find out that they had received a call and set up an appointment. My idea became a reality for this person just a day later. I was very excited, but a little creeped out...

The same evening, I attended a board meeting for a relatively high-profile young professional's group. I joined this organization two or three years ago looking to meet more people, make some friends and network professionally with the hopes that #s 17 and 31 will be accomplished in the near future. I got elected to the organization's board, and at our last meeting of the year was sitting across from two or three people with whom I'd love to connect. I made a mental note to find them at our end of year reception afterwards to introduce myself, but ended up leaving because I wasn't feeling well. On the way home I got rear-ended in my brand new car. I thought I was being punished for leaving when I should have sucked it up and stayed after the meeting to socialize.

Fast forward to yesterday when I receive an e-mail from the board's co-chair inviting me to take leadership of the social committee. I will be working alongside one of the three people I wanted to meet, and will be in the former role of the other two. My co-chair works in the industry in which I'm aspiring to work, and most likely has some great networking connections for me. I can't believe my luck. Is that what it is- luck?

These little things that have been popping into my head at random are coming to fruition so quickly. I suddenly feel like I am having these strong but fleeting moments of intention, and am weirded out that my very thoughts are playing out so quickly. Feeling inspired, I revisited my list, and made notes of anything random that popped up in my head this week. I am trying to ride this wave while it lasts. To be practical and take charge of my own destiny in case the wave is coming down, I decided to strike while the iron is hot and apply for some internships, seasonal or part-time jobs that will lead me closer to my career goal. I am feeling some positive vibes and really feel it has a lot to do with the positive thoughts and prayers that I have been sending out to the universe. I'm really believing in a higher power this week, and really like what it's doing...

Have you ever had little visions like this? What did they turn into?

And because the heavy content on my dear, little blog is not to be outdone by humor and light-heartedness, I leave you with this. Hope you're having a warm and fuzzy Friday.

Laudacious Wedding Recaps: Dress me up!

Hair styled. Check. Veil and headpiece on. Check. Makeup done. Check. What is missing? Oh yes- my dress! I posed for one last photo in my cute Pink pre-gown wedding day attire (note the "Love" down the leg), and headed up to my old bedroom for one last peek at my Casablanca before diving in. Do I look excited? Because I was. Very excited. I'm glad Bryan captured this moment, because it was a blur.

I announced to my bridesmaids that it was time to get dressed. My high school buddy and mom came into my room, and we carefully took my gown off of the photo-worthy-oh-so-cute toile print hanger that I am so glad I remembered. I shimmied into my mermaid slip, put on that pesky longline bustier and was ready for my big moment. "Oh no!" I thought. I forgot to ask the makeup artist to hold off on putting on the lipgloss until after I put my gown on. I zipped my lips on tight and mom and BM helped put the dress on over my head as I literally dove in.
Photo taken by one of my bridesmaids
With a zip, hook and eye, I completed my transformation. "Wow. I am really a bride now. I just put my wedding gown on for real" I was thinking to myself. It was momentous. I tried to act naturaly but remember just feeling giddy. It is sort of an out-of-body moment putting on your wedding gown- I'll cherish it forever. To avoid making it sound like this moment was totally sappy, I'll let you know that I did manage to make some sassy comment to my BM as she fondled me and tucked the little stays on my gown into my bustier- because that's just how we roll.
Photo taken by one of my bridesmaids
The mermaid slip that my seamstress recommended had oodles of layers. I am very happy that I decided to purchase it, because I was going for a more fit-and-flare-mermaidy-yet-still-timeless look and I think it really made a nice silhouette. I stood there, very serenely breathing in and out in all of my bridal glory, while BM and mom pulled and fluffed each little layer.

Bryan used the opportunity to get a money shot of my gorgeous (and totally comfy BTW) ivory satin "Karolina" Kate Spade pumps with a side of bling. I had searched high and low for a pair that I could wear all day, and am so happy to choose these in the end.
It was time to add some baubles, so I put on my earrings and had BM help me with my baby: the coveted Haute Bride bracelet that I could not WAIT to wear.

We hung out upstairs for a few minutes and let it all soak in, until I dashed down the steps to get ready for some pre-ceremony photos with my family and bridesmaids.
Little sis' and Maid of Honor played Cinderella with me, and helped me into my shoes to complete the full bridal ensemble.

Next up: Pre-ceremony pics with the girls

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