Tag Archives: wedding

A Delayed Year in Review

I know we’re already two weeks into 2010 but I never properly recounted what an amazing year 2009 was. I like to take a little time to think about the highlights of the year before. And often when I do I’m amazed that I ever have days where I think I have the most boring life ever… and yes I do have those days.

In January I flew out to California to shop for bridesmaid dresses with my best friend Tonya. My other girlfriends Dawn and Melly flew out, too and we had a blast. Then Tonya drove up to another part of California with me to do some research for a book I was writing… a project that was later unfortunately put on hold indefinitely.

The Girls with Tonya's Man Ryan

In February we launched GeorgeBevShea.com, welcoming the world to send birthday wishes to 100-year-old George Beverly Shea in preparation of the launch of his new book. We even got country star Josh Turner to record a greeting. Tim flew out to Utah with some buddies for a snowboarding trip. I stayed home and made dorky t-shirts for us to wear on Valentine’s Day. So romantic!

Nothing Sexier Than a Man Vacuuming

In March I watched the world’s biggest jerk-face dump his fiance on live TV and ended up getting more than 3000 hits on this little blog in two hours because of a post I wrote about Jason Mesnick. Also in March I was able to see one of my favorite storytellers, Garrison Keillor, live at the Peace Center in Greenville. My favorite moment of the evening was listening to him recite Edgar Allen Poe’s poem Annabel Lee. I also experienced one of the worst hair disasters of my life (except for that perm in 1988) and was a guest on a local radio program where I talked about saving money.

In April I attended some TEA Party rallies, voicing my opinion about the government bail-outs and increased tax burdens. The 25/30 celebration was launched in Florida with my husband’s 25th birthday. We spent a day at Universal Studios and took in a Trace Adkins concert. I sent him on a birthday Easter egg hunt where he discovered at the end that he would be going to Ireland the following weekend. Except that the trip didn’t work out because we were flying standby and the seats were booked. We ended up breaking our backs sodding our yard instead. So we tried again the following weekend… and it worked! We spent three-and-a-half quick, lovely days visiting his family and taking in amazing sites.

Hiking in Northern Ireland

In May our friends gave us a joint birthday party at our favorite restaurant, The Lazy Goat. We took a road trip to New York City, stopping in DC along the way to take in a chocolate fashion show and visit our friend Jennie. In New York we saw Robin Williams at a taping of The David Letterman Show, went running the full length of Manhattan, and went rowing in Central Park. I happened to tell The David Letterman Show about my brush with fame in 1997 when I was on a Richard Simmon’s infomercial and they wanted to put the video on air, but I couldn’t find it. Oh well. We ate amazing food, watched Cirque du Soleil in a real tent and went to lots of flea markets where I spotted design star Eddie Ross. And I turned 30. It rocked.

A Picture From My 30th Birthday

Also in May we sold our sweet Mini and ended up with a luxurious Audi for less than the cost of our scooter. I appeared on a segment on WYFF called Blog Talk. We also left a disposable camera in downtown Greenville to see what would happen… cheap entertainment at its best

Our "New" Car

In June we did summery things like have a yard sale, buy patio furniture and lounge on the beach at Lake Lure, North Carolina. I did some more decorating around the house and cheered my husband on as he decided to go for an 18 mile jog one Saturday after watching the movie Ultramarathon Man. I also through a backyard baby shower for our neighbors.

In July we went on what was perhaps our longest road trip ever. We drove from Greenville, SC to Denver, CO for the International Christian Retail Show. It was a great week and I met a lot of neat people. Plus we were able to take in some sites in Denver including the Botanic Gardens.

Simple and Beautiful

In August we followed up one long road trip with another one. This time we headed to Iowa for Tonya and Ryan’s wedding. It was an amazing week of fun and friends. We got to go jet skiing, relax and see our awesome friends get married. I also got to show Tim around my college town of Ames and see the dumpy house where I lived. After that relaxing weekend I embarked on organizing Greenville’s first Twestival, a global event to raise money for charity that was pulled together in just three weeks.

Our Friend Tyler was One of the Models

In September we headed to Charleston to celebrate two years of marriage. We rented an apartment above an art studio that came with two beach cruisers which we rode all around town. We came back and put on the Twestival, raising a bunch of money for the Miracle Hill Boys’ Shelter. Local clothing stores outfit models in pieces from their stores along with items from the Miracle Hill Thrift Store. Vespa also featured photos from our last big charity event, 2 Wheels 4 Water, on their Facebook page for thousands of fans to see. In September I also found Ruby. She can in front of my scooter as I was riding up to Walgreens.

Ruby Joined Our Family

In October my sister came for a visit. We carved pumpkins, went hiking and took her to Charleston. Tim and I also did more projects around the house including painting our porch. Our friend JJ pressure washed everything for us, too. We hosted a Halloween dinner party with a few other couples. Tim also ran a half marathon in Greenville and I loved cheering him on!

Tim Nearing the Finish Line

In November we finally started converting our attic into a master suite, work that helped us discover some treasures in our attic including 100-year-old stamps and newspaper molds from The Greenville News. I also taught a coupon class at my church, helping 20 people learn how they can use coupons to give more to local shelters and food banks. I also got word that a national magazine was interested in one of my articles.

Teaching How to Use Coupons to Give More

December was the hardest month of the year. We lost Tim’s Uncle DD. Shortly after that Ruby got out and was killed by a car in front of our house. But we managed to have some wonderful Christmas moments, including our fourth annual visit to Reedy Place, a shelter for chronically homeless people. We also had a great Christmas in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with my family. We got to try hangliding, we went horse back riding on the beach and we rode in a 4-wheel drive SUV on the beach to search for wild ponies. It was a wonderful way to end an incredible year.

Tim and I Looking for Wild Ponies in North Carolina

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Don’t You Just Love Weddings?

Don’t you just love weddings? I recently returned from a great one. One of my very best friends in the whole world got married last weekend. The wedding was in Okoboji, Iowa, about 90 minutes from where we grew up. Okoboji is to Iowans what the beach is to South Carolinians. It’s the summer destination for sun and sand.

Jet Skiing on Lake Okoboji

Jet Skiing on Lake Okoboji

We stayed three nights at an Inn on the lake. I went for jogs along the shore and ended my workouts stretching on the end of a dock. The weather was absolutely beautiful and got me anxious for fall. I was a bridesmaid and my husband was the best man. I got to spend lots of time with some of my favorite people. We laughed until our stomachs hurt and made lots of great memories.

The Bride and Her Bridesmaids

The Bride and Her Bridesmaids

The bride and her new hubby are now celebrating in Hawaii. I imagine them relaxing on a tropical beach, zip lining like they are starring in an episode of the Bachelorette and hiking up volcanoes. While I’m a little jealous I can’t be learning how to hula dance, I’m glad I was a part of her special weekend. Now all of my close friends (except for one!) is experiencing the joys of marriage. Congrats Tonya and Ryan!!

All the Married Friends Showing off Our Bling

All the Married Friends Showing off Our Bling

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Shhh! Secret Sale at The House of Bachelorette!

Get a Free Boa!

Get a Free Boa!

It’s all about who you know and when it comes to bachelorette party supplies, I’ve got a great in! My sister owns TheHouseofBachelorette.com and she’s having a friends and family sale. Since my readers are my friends, here are the details! Any friend of yours is a friend of mine so let them know, too!

DEAL #1: 60% OFF Priority Shipping Need your stuff in a snap? Simply use coupon code: FriendsPrioritySale at checkout to snag this awesome deal. Use this code on ANY size order!

DEAL #2: FREE Shipping on orders of $40 or more Free shipping means more money for shopping! Use coupon code: FriendsFREESHIP to take away that pesky charge.

DEAL #3: FREE Tote Everyone loves a free gift with purchase! No matter what you buy you’ll get a gorgeous Bride tote for free with coupon code: FriendsFREETOTE & add the Brides Tote (pictured above) to your cart!

DEAL #4: FREE Boa A bachelorette party isn’t at its best without feather boas! Our friends get them for free by using coupon code: FriendsFREEBOA at checkout.  Just add out Hot Passion Pink Bachelorette Boa to your cart!

Hurry!  Shop soon! All Offers Expire 6/15/09 or while supplies lasts!

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Goodbye Mini, You’re Full of Memories

I just returned from selling our Mini Cooper. It’s been the plan for a few months now in an effort to downsize our expenses, beef up our investments and start work in converting the attic to a master suite. I’m not overly sentimental about things. They’re just things. It’s probably because I moved 9 times in my first 18 years of life. Heck, I’m still not sure if I’ll be keeping my wedding dress. But today saying goodbye to the Mini was a bit tough.

It was inside that speedy little astro black Mini with the white racing stripes that my husband and I spent our first moments alone as a married couple.

Getting in as Mr. and Mrs. Lowry

Getting in as Mr. and Mrs. Lowry

I remember those moments so clearly. I remember the rice falling from my hair onto the floor mats and the gear shifter. I remember smiling like little kids, amazed that we had actually done it.

My New Husband Getting Ready to Drive Us Away

My New Husband Getting Ready to Drive Us Away

I remember nervously wondering whether we should head down Augusta Road or through Cleveland Park to avoid traffic on the way to the reception.

My Husband Spent Hours Cleaning the Mini That Day

My Husband Spent Hours Cleaning the Mini That Day

I’m sure the Mini’s new owner will be good to it. And we’ll always remember where we spent our first moments alone as a married couple; inside that little Mini, so full of memories.

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My First Year of Marriage: A Lovely Adventure

Yesterday we celebrated our one-year anniversary. Although we didn’t do it over a candlelight dinner or a romantic mountain getaway like we may have liked, it was a lovely day. We spent most of it in airports returning from the wedding of a friend back in Iowa. We got home in the evening, hauled trash (including an old toilet) onto a trailer bound for the dump, did laundry and organized our bathroom closet. We did crack into our year-old wedding cake and reminisced about our first year of marriage: a time period described best as a lovely adventure. Here’s a quick recap:

September 2007: The wedding is perfect. I’m talking Bride Magazine, Town and Country perfect. Everything is beautiful, including the weather: partly cloudy with a slight breeze. Being blinded by our haze of perfection we fail to notice a hurricane is headed to our honeymoon destination. We get the scoop from Weather Channel super star Jim Cantore. He’s one of 12 people on our flight to Belize and tells us to get off the plane and drive to Charleston instead. We ignore his advice and once we land we are whisked away by strangers on a single-engine Cessna to Guatemala where we spend two blissful days waiting to see if Belize survives the storm. It does and the rest of our trip continues as planned. I tell my husband that this is pretty much what he should expect life to be like with me. Bizarre happenings that I will write about over and over.

October 2007: It’s a pretty quiet month of getting settled into our new home, redecorating our bedroom, holding a yard sale and drinking lots of coffee. Pumpkin spice lattes to be exact. We take several shopping trips to Atlanta and Charlotte. Our diabetic min pin nearly goes into a coma, but recovers quickly.

November 2007: We spend a wonderful weekend at a cabin in the mountains with friends. Family makes other plans for Thanksgiving so we decide to take a road trip to DC and NYC with friends JJ and Alanna. We eat Thanksgiving dinner in a Denny’s. A mad man in a red scarf tips our table at a Manhattan Starbucks in a fit of rage. Our cab driver’s breath smells like pooh. Alanna tells a man selling fake Louie handbags that she’s an undercover cop. We make it home alive.

December 2007: Holiday season is busy and fun. We fly out to Seattle to spend Christmas with my family, baking cookies, shopping and snowboarding. Tim and I decide to set a $50 limit on presents, but mine is lost in the mail.

January 2008: We start the year off with a trip to Florida to visit Tim’s parents. We buy a flat screen TV from Target. I launch my website, http://www.alisonstorm.com. We start looking for a new house.

February 2008: We throw our friend Jennie a huge good-bye party with a Mardi Gras theme. We mistakenly call it “Jennie Gras” which translates into “Fat Jennie.” Oops. Tim cooks me dinner for Valentine’s Day. Tim eats very expired cream cheese from Panera, but thankfully doesn’t get sick. The rest of the month is spent watching our new flat screen. We fall in love with Rob and Big.

March 2008: We embark on our UK Tour 2008, spending almost two weeks in London and Ireland. James Blunt is on our flight to London and I get my picture with him. London is incredible, Ireland is amazing. My favorite moment is getting caught in a downpour and sliding down a hill through sheep poop with my husband. Priceless. We return home and put our house on the market.

April 2008: Tim goes the eye doctor for a free LASIK consultation and passes out giving me the scare of my life. We visit the Billy Graham Library with the in-laws and go rollerskating with friends. For the second year we dress up to watch a polo match in Camden.

May 2008: We celebrate Cinco De Mayo with fake mustaches and lots of friends. Couponing becomes a serious hobby for me. After years of wishing we finally buy a Vespa named Frankie from a guy in Charlotte. Frankie is our new love. We camp out at Dunkin Donuts to win free breakfast for a year.

June 2008: We hit Charleston with a big group of friends for our first beach trip of the summer. My sister gets engaged on an Alaskan glacier during a break from dog sledding. Show off. We hold our second yard sale of the year and blow our earnings on a shopping spree.

July 2008: We spend the fourth in Atlanta staying with friends. The next week we head to Orlando and Tampa for a Christian Booksellers Convention. I meet Nicole C. Mullen and finally accomplish my dream of visiting The Holy Land Experience. We sell our home and put an offer on a new one.

August 2008: We spend six hot days riding scooters across North and South Carolina to raise money for Hydromissions. The trip is a huge success and tons of fun. We close on the sale of our home and purchase another across the street. Friends help us move by carrying each box and piece of furniture across East Faris Road. We spend five days with friends in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, kayaking, sunbathing and swimming. We return and start working on our new home beginning with the bathroom and basement. We end August with a trip to Iowa to visit my family and be a part of a friend’s wedding. Our year of wedded bliss ends with some frozen wedding cake in our new home.

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I’ve Been Married 51 Weeks!

I can’t believe I’ve been married nearly a year. Wow. And what a year it’s been. There are so many remnants of our wedding still around. Two days ago I finally threw away the aisle runner that I walked down at the church. I’m not sure why I kept it for 51 weeks just to toss it out.

I’m excited that in one week I’ll finally be able to free up space in the freezer and eat our top layer of cake. I think normally the top layer of a wedding cake is small, but ours could feed about 30 people. I’m not sure why we kept the ENTIRE top layer, but we did, including the decorative coffee cup that sat on top. I’m not even sure if that part is edible.

Then there’s the issue of my wedding dress. My beautiful, expensive, wedding dress. It spent 50 weeks or so crammed into my husband’s closet. He has more available space than I do in any of my three closets. I think you are supposed to have your dress professionally cleaned, wrapped and boxed. But since we moved last week my wedding dress has been laying on a chair in the workout/dog kennel room.

I am torn between being a sentimental person who feels obligated to cherish things like your wedding dress or aisle runner and being completely against holding on to anything that has no useful purpose. Even when my husband lost his wedding ring, I wasn’t completely crushed. I know that these are just things but it’s still hard to let go of anything that is tied to that beautiful, wonderful, perfect day 51 weeks ago.

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I’m Getting a Brother!

Stef and JasonA brother-in-law that is. My sister just called to pass on the good news… she’s engaged! I’m so excited for her and her long-time boyfriend Jason. The proposal sounds magical. They were dog sledding on an Alaskan glacier and they stopped to let the dogs cool down. When my sister turned around Jason was down on his knee holding a big fat diamond ring! I’m so excited that there is another wedding to look forward to and that I will soon have a new family member.

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