Saturday, August 1, 2009

My wedding ring is more sparkly in the temple

Mark and I had the opportunity to go to the Oakland Temple this last week. I always love the temple, but for some reason this trip was special. Maybe it was because we hadn't been for awhile... we go every month, but in June we went at the beginning of the month and we didn't return until the end of July. I felt like I'd been away too long. I had missed that peace and beauty that permeates my soul and makes me feel at home and loved. It's such a beautiful experience and one that was made better by having Mark there with me. Several times during our visit I couldn't help but notice how much shinier and more sparkly my wedding ring was than usual. I am so used to my ring that I don't often notice it anymore, but it was simply and utterly more beautiful within the temple. I felt an overwhelming gratitude for Mark and for our eternal marriage. I am grateful for the temple that seals families together and will allow me to be with Mark forever. Mark is my best friend and the kindest husband, and the temple sweetens and brightens our relationship. The temple is a place where we can go to be reminded of what's truly important in life and to be reminded of our own worth, as well as the worth of those we love. I love to see the temple!!

Funny side story: after leaving the temple, we decided to go walk around the temple grounds. You can walk up some stairs and actually walk on a second story ledge around the temple. They have beautiful trees and bushes on the ledge and a fabulous view, especially at night. We walked around and came back to the gate that lets us out into the parking lot only to find... the gate was shut and locked. With no way out. It was honestly quite a humorous moment, but we weren't sure what to do. Sleep on the temple grounds until morning? Climb over the tall fence in my skirt and high heels? All options seemed bleak (but really amusing), until a security guard came back after making a sweep of the place to let us out. In retrospect, of course they wouldn't accidentally lock people in. Although after all the Man vs Wild type shows that Mark's seen, I'm sure he'd be able to figure out a way to get us out eventually.

The craziest, most exciting weekend ever!!

I'm a little late in posting this, but here it is!!

Mark and I decided to get married the same weekend of his graduation from BYU. Needless to say, it was a crazy weekend! Here's my recap:

We flew into Utah Wednesday evening. It was a crazy mess. We were finalizing our packing and just getting ready to leave for the airport when I got an automated call from the airline company telling us that one of our two layover flights to Utah had been canceled. I immediately began to panic thinking, "but I'm getting married! I have to get to Utah!" After some negotiations with the airline, we were able to switch to another flight out of Oakland airport the same night, which was actually a direct flight and got us into Utah sooner than we would have originally. We booked the flights and frantically started calling anyone we could think of who could drive us last minute an hour away during traffic. We are soooo eternally grateful for our friends John and Eliza McKeon (just married this last weekend, congrats!) who quickly answered our pleas for help and even left work early to get us to our flight on time. One thing I've learned time and again during my life is that immense blessings come when life throws us something hard.

On Thursday, we had a whole list of errands we had to run, including getting our marriage license, picking up Mark's tux rental (which had to be fixed that day because the legs were too short... my stinkin' tall husband!), getting my nails done, and taking pre-wedding pictures.

I have two sisters who each got married within 8 months of me. My mom wanted to get pictures of all three of the girls in our wedding dresses and the boys in suits. So yes, Mark saw the wedding dress before the actual wedding day, but it was for a good cause! The pictures turned out absolutely darling! Here are a few...

My sisters and I:

From left to right: Seth and Heidi Larsen, Mark and Heather Abbott, Dave and Ashley Voelkel:

After the pictures we hung out for a bit with our Wadsworth family until Mark went to hang out with our Abbott family for the rest of the night (and he honestly had to watch the Lakers tournament game). I have such a crazy amazing husband! I completely accidentally plan our wedding for the middle of the NBA tournament... the Lakers played game 4 the day of our wedding during our reception with a record of 2-1! I know what a huge sacrifice this was for him to not be able to watch the games and I love him to pieces for not being annoyed or complaining about it (or at least not to me)!!

So Friday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn for Mark's 8:00 am graduation. Mark even had to be there an hour earlier... poor guy! Mark's parents, Kevin and Rachael, Uncle Clay and Aunt Marcia, and my mom were able to attend with me. To clarify a bit... Mark actually graduated from BYU in the English/Humanities department last December 2008. However, for whatever reason, BYU doesn't hold an actual graduation ceremony in December so Mark had to wait until April to have us cheer him on while he walked across the stage (wearing borrowed robes from Rachael Abbott - thanks again dear, we dropped the ball on ordering his robes!!!) and received his diploma cover (not to be confused with the actual diploma that we had received months earlier). Mark graduated cum laude, which is quite impressive!! I'm so proud of him for all the hard work that he continues to put into his education and into bettering himself. He's the best example to me of someone who knows what they want and works hard for it!

Mark right after getting his diploma:

One of the last pictures of the two of us pre-wedding:

The Abbotts (Kevin, Rachael, Abby/Mom, Mark, Heather, Papa) - Tyler was in Utah for the wedding but didn't join us until after the graduation... too early:

Mom and I had a lot of fun eating and laughing during the graduation:

The rest of Friday was full of celebratory eating out for breakfast and dinner with the Abbotts, picking up our Budget truck rental to drive back all our stuff to San Jose (crazy adventure in and of itself... those things are ginormous!), and wiffleball madness! We were able to play a rousing game of wiffleball with some of our dearest friends, Arie and Abi Dekker, Dave Theurer, Forrest and Lindsey Parker (and their cute Davis!), Mike Hansen, Kevin and Rachael Abbott, Tyler Abbott, and Jayne Bradshaw. Here's the whole wiffleball gang:

That night Mark hung out with his family and I got to have my "bachelorette" party hanging out with my bestest friends!! Amber, Jenn, Ryan, Todd, and Jessica made my night before the wedding so fun. We had yummy appetizers and drinks at Spark Restaurant Lounge and chatted. I love being with them because we always end up laughing so hard! I wish I had pictures of the evening, but I didn't get any. Love you guys!

And that is our crazy weekend right up to the wedding day... but that post will have until another day. :)