Friday, May 30

Summer Reading: May 2014

Thanks to our little vaca in Curacao and then a story gathering trip to south Georgia, which included a weekend in St. Simons!, I was able to read a lot this month. Not a bad start to what promises to be a fun summer.

Last year I had the lofty goal of reading a certain amount of books, and then was disappointed when I didn’t reach it. This year my goal is going to be much simpler. I am going to attempt to read three books a month, and write my reviews. So many times I read books quickly and then will give them away, without jotting down some thoughts. Here goes…

Hero at Large by Janet Evanovich
Cover via Amazon
I literally read this entire book during the five hour plane ride to Curacao. I both love and hate these type of books. They are easy to read and fun for planes, but you really need to read them in one sitting. The story was cute, I like Evanovich’s other “romances” that aren’t Stephanie Plum books. It wasn’t Earth shattering, but it wasn’t terrible either.

The Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stuart
Cover via Amazon
I literally have no idea how this book came into my possession, but I saw it on the shelf and grabbed it for Curacao. I’m trying to refrain from buying any new books until I’ve read what I’ve got on my shelf. This was a good beach read. It was a little slow in parts, and you really have to under French culture to appreciate it I think, but it was definitely cute. The character and scenery descriptions were Stuart’s strongest point. Gave me a case of French wanderlust, bad!

This was a spur of the moment purchase at a flea market in south Georgia. I have to admit the purple cover got me to shell out the $2. This was probably my “favorite” book in May. The story had some inconsistencies, but overall it was a perfect beach read. It was binge worthy but I was also able to find good stopping points when it was time for bed, if that makes sense. I really loved the mystery aspect of the book as well as the love story. It felt a little like an episode of ABC’s Castle in that regard. The way the book ended made me think Nichols might want to turn the story into a series, and that would be totally fine by me—I'd buy them.

I’ve already started Summer Blowout by Claire Cook for June and it’s proving to be quite a funny little book. Otherwise I have no idea what I’ll end up with for this month. Probably another ragtag collection of “off the shelf” stuff, which is either going to go really well or really…not so well. I'd love to hear some suggestions on what to read next!

Thursday, May 29

We Eloped!


On May 9, 2014 after about two weeks of talking and about one solid week of planning, Mark and I entered All Saints Church in Curacao and exchanged vows. We became husband and wife with only four people in attendance. It was perfect and it was miserable.
As a little girl I had always dreamed about my wedding. Hell, I had probably planned it 40 times over in my head. Thanks to Pinterest you’d think I was a wedding planner. But all of that went out the window when Mark proposed to me.

Mark and I are in a unique situation and our love story is quite different than most. And that’s okay—it’s ours. It’s no less filled with love than others.

When Mark proposed to me I knew a big wedding was out of the question, and I was fine about it. A “destination wedding” seemed like the perfect solution. Small, just very close family and friends that might as well be family. But instead in the days after I said “umm, okay” to the all important, down on one knee “Will you marry me?” I realized I didn’t want to wait any longer. It was time. I wanted to be Mark’s actual wife. Not just his common-law PermanentRoommate.

When the chance to go on our “summer vacation” to Curacao presented itself, I nearly immediately told my Momma and Daddy that this would be it. And while I love them more than I will ever fully express, they were not invited.

That stung. A lot. It especially hurt my Dad. But they both knew this was what was right for me, and because they are so supportive of all the crazy antics their favorite child partakes in, said okay.

In the days leading up to the wedding, as Momma and I shopped for my dress and I emailed back and forth with my wedding planner, I never really noticed that no one was involved besides me. In fact, while a lot of friends guessed it might be happening, we never actually told anyone that we were getting married in Curacao.

I sent my very best friend in the entire world Mallory a very cryptic message on the day of my wedding that left me in a puddle of tears. {Poor Mark! Me crying, sad tears, a couple hours before saying “I do.”} I sent messages to both my parents as well, thanking them for everything. But that was it. That was the only interaction I really had with my family before getting married.

I was emotional. I cried the night before the wedding, again poor Mark!, and as my new friend/hair/makeup man worked on my wedding look. Thankfully he was used to upset brides and we had a mini dance party that made it better. I missed my family. My heart hurt that they weren’t there. But then, once I got my dress on and looked in the mirror, all of that faded away.

After years of wondering what it would be like, days of planning, and hours of stressing, I was a bride. A bride!
Everything fell into place when I put the dress on. I entered the chapel and big, strong, handsome Mark was standing there looking all nervous and hot. {Bless our hearts I really should have rethought the whole church without an air conditioning 40 miles north of the equator thing, but whatevs.}

The ceremony is sort of a blur. It was really hot in there but I signed on the dotted line at the end! So did Mark! We were officially “The Andersons."
When I really think about it, it is all a blur. We spent about an hour and a half taking pictures around the island with our photographer, laughing, walking around and goofing off. It was some of the most fun I think I’ve ever had. As the sun starting setting it came time for the “reception.”
Our table was set up on the beach and we enjoyed a private waiter with a five-course meal. I couldn’t tell you what we ate or what we talked about while we ate. But it was delicious and we laughed. That’s all that I care to remember and all that I wanted for our “reception.”
We cut the cake and in true Mark fashion he made some sort of smart-ass comment that resulted in me smashing half the cake in his face. #grownups

That’s how we started our married lives together: smashed cake, just the two of us. And while I would have loved to watch all my friends get a little too drunk and hoist sparklers in the air as we ran out, the walk up to our room overlooking the southern Caribbean Sea was just as romantic, just as perfect. Our wedding might not have been Pinterest perfect but that’s okay. Because in reality, I hate peonies and gold chairs…our wedding was Jessica perfect. It was bright, fun and all about Mark and me. The way a wedding should be.  

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