Monday, July 21, 2014

our wedding

About a month ago, Austin and I said our "I do"s.  Our photographer, Amanda Jameson, and her second shooter got some really awesome pictures of our day.  I can't say enough good things about Amanda.  We have been super pleased and impressed with everything that she has done for us, and I would highly recommend her for anyone getting married in the DFW area.  She is seriously the best!


We started the day by getting ready in his and hers suites at our hotel.  It was so fun to have all of my girls there to hang out with all day.  


I do remember feeling like the day was going by SO SLOW though.  I couldn't wait to just be ready and at the chapel seeing my groomie.  By the time my sister zipped up my dress, I was so pumped!


Austin and I did a "first look"...

Ta Da!!

...and I loved it!  It was so nice to be able to give him a big hug and kiss and just have some time to talk before the ceremony.  Not to mention, we were able to get almost all of the pictures out of the way before the ceremony, so we were able to get the party started ASAP.






Our wedding party was made up of our best friends in the world.  We felt so lucky that they were all standing up there supporting us on our special day.  We could feel the love coming from everyone!



Austin's getting a little too much love!

My cousin's son and daughter, Brycen and Payton, were the most adorable ring bearer and flower girl that I have ever seen.  They did a great job!


The actual ceremony was beautiful.  It was short and sweet, but I think it was definitely "us".  There were funny parts, sweet moments, and some serious stuff too.   


I will never forget walking with my dad down the aisle.  We stood outside of the chapel, and our cousins Josh and Kyle opened the big brown doors when our pianist started playing my song.  I saw all of our friends and family smiling at Jimbo and me, and I felt so overwhelmed with love and emotion.  I needed a tissue when we got to the end!


Austin and I decided to do a unity cross as part of our ceremony, and I am really happy with that decision.  The cross represents the two of us coming together, and then there are three pegs that hold the pieces together that represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  It is something that we will have in our home forever.


In the end, we both had rings, we said our vows, and we sealed it all with a kiss!


I was so happy to head to the reception as Mrs. Austin Harmon!

We did it!

(Speaking of the reception...more on that later this week!)

All of these pictures are courtesy of Amanda Jameson Weddings.  Thanks again for our lovely memories, Amanda!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

our honeymoon: the reading lists

Anyone who travels knows that books are essential for a successful trip.  How else are you going to fill the time on the plane?  What else will you do while you're sitting on the beach?  Austin and I both read a few books during our trip; some were great, some were meh.  So, without further ado, here are our honeymoon reading lists!

His:

Austin definitely has a "type" when it comes to books.  He likes darker, suspenseful novels that focus on a trial or crime.  He started out with Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.


Austin said this was the best book that he read during our trip.  If you can't tell from the cover, it's pretty dark.  He would definitely recommend it though!



Austin read both of these appropriately titled novels while we were hanging on the beach.  They are both about a series of crimes that happen to people while they are on their honeymoons.  How romantic, right?  He said these were just okay.  They were good, quick reads, but they weren't anything to write home about.


The last book on Austin's list was his least favorite.  He enjoyed Stephen King's writing, but he hated the ending to this!  I hate it when that happens (*cough* Allegiant). 

Hers:

I read a bit of a variety during our trip.  All three of these books have been on my reading list for awhile, so I was really thankful that I finally had some time to dive in!


I started with the book that I've been hearing good things about (particularly from my students) all year long.  In case you haven't heard, this is a story about two teens with cancer who fall in love.  I definitely enjoyed the book (it was hard to put it down!), but it probably isn't the best thing to read on your honeymoon unless you enjoy sobbing on the beach.


I decided to go with something a little lighter for my next read.  Jim Gaffigan is one of my favorite comedians, so I was really excited to read his book.  Jim has five kids, and this book consisted of a bunch of short essays about various topics centering around fatherhood.  The writing was funny, but there were a ton of jokes from his stand up routines.  So if you're like me and have listened to all of his material, this book may be a little redundant.  


This novel has been on my reading list for-ev-er, so I was stoked to finally jump in!  In case you don't know, Lauren Graham is an actress (mostly known for her roles on Parenthood and Gilmore Girls).  I LOVE Gilmore Girls, so when I found out Lorelai wrote a book, I knew I had to get my hands on it.  It did not disappoint!  Someday, Someday, Maybe follows Franny, a struggling actress, as she tries to make it big in New York.  The story is fantastic and I loved Lauren Graham's writing style.  It was a great read for the beach!

Well, that concludes my posts about our honeymoon.  As you can see, we had a fabulous trip, and we plan to go back to The Body Holiday to celebrate our 25th anniversary!  Stay tuned for some posts about our wedding!!   

Thursday, July 10, 2014

our honeymoon: the eats and drinks

Let's talk about one of my favorite things today: food!  The Body Holiday, the resort we stayed at for our honeymoon in St. Lucia, had delicious things for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any time in between.  


Breakfast:

Every morning we would start our day at a wonderful buffet with pretty much anything you could want for breakfast.  I would usually get a bagel or croissant with some fresh fruit and green tea.  Austin had an omelet and a french press most mornings.  There was all sorts of other good stuff as well...bacon, sausages, pancakes, english muffins, eggs cooked however you wanted, all kinds of breads, etc.


Breakfast happened at Cariblue, one of the restaurants at our resort.  The entire dining area was covered, but the walls were open, so we could feel the ocean breeze as we dined.  It was lovely.  The only downside to the open wall policy was that birds would make themselves right at home.  They would constantly flutter all around and even felt comfortable enough to land on the tables and chairs.  I only had a few meltdowns because of this.  Sorry, Austin!

Lunch:

There were a couple of places to have lunch at our resort.  We ate at the Cariblue lunch buffet once, we tried the deli a few times, but we mostly ate at "the grill".  Every day the grill would have a different buffet that would feature items that had been grilled (duh) and a couple of sides and salads.

beef skewers, chicken skewers, and fish

The grill also had a pasta station and a pizza oven.  The pizzas were delicious, so that's what I munched on most days.


Dinner:

The dinners we ate while we were in St. Lucia were fabulous.  Our resort had three spots to choose from.  We could go to Cariblue for a three course meal that featured different items each night; TAO, an Asian restaurant that was only open at dinner, for a three course meal; or Windows, an extension of Cariblue that had a bunch of small tasting plates.

Here we are at TAO:


scallop and pork belly appetizer from TAO
chocolate cake/pudding with vanilla ice cream from TAO

And this is us at Windows:

The view from Windows

one of our tasting plates...muscles and a crab cake

There was also plenty more to eat and drink in between meals.  The resort had a few bars, and they would give you a drink whenever you needed one!  

the local beer: Piton


There was also a smoothie and juice bar at the deli.  We usually went there for a mid-morning snack.  I was partial to the fruit smoothies, and Austin liked their coffees and cappuccino smoothies.


Another thing that was unique about our resort was that we would have tea time every afternoon.  The owner of the resort is British, so a lot of the other guests were from England.  It was fun embracing the culture!


cheerio, old chap!

Like I said, the food and drinks were just great!  Austin and I definitely did not go hungry.  Overall, our favorite meals were had at TAO.  The pork belly scallop appetizer was unbelievable, and we died over their chocolate dessert.  It was a cake, but it almost tasted  like chocolate bread pudding or something.  We had it three times during our stay.

our last night...dinner on the beach and dessert at TAO!

Honeymooning is just the best.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

our honeymoon: the activities


Like I said in my previous post about our honeymoon, St. Lucia and our resort were both wonderful.  Not only was everything beautiful, but there was also plenty to do!  Our first activity happened as soon as we landed in St. Lucia.  The airport wasn't exactly right next door to the resort, so Austin arranged for us to take a helicopter!  I felt like I was on an episode of The Bachelor!  It was so incredible to see the island from up there.  It was a great way to start our trip! 


The resort had a TON of stuff to do, and Austin took full advantage.  His favorite activity spot was the water sports hut.  They had pretty much any water activity you could think of.  Including...

Water skiing and wake boarding:

Go Austin Go!

Sailing:

Ahoy, Austie!

Wind surfing:

Hang 10, dude!

And paddle boarding:

Austin and the paddle crew

I couldn't let him have all the fun though, so I joined in on a few things like...

Snorkeling: 


Austin's first sailing lesson (we had to go out with an instructor before Austin could take a boat out by himself):


And kayaking:


We also took part in some fun on land.  Austin tried his hand at archery one morning, and he said it was awesome (I decided to sleep in instead of channeling my inner Katniss).


Something else that was cool was a wine and cheese tasting.  A local wine maker came to the resort and we got to try a white and a red with some yummy cheese and toast.  


One of my favorite things we did, though, was a cooking with the chef class!  One of the resort's chefs taught us how he makes vegetable curry.  It was so interesting to see him work, and the result was delicious!  


Since the resort was all inclusive, everything that I've mentioned so far was included in our package.  Austin did do one extra thing though.  One afternoon he went fishing with two of the locals that work at the resort.  They gave him some St. Lucian rum and took him out to their favorite fishing spots.  


And the fun didn't stop once the sun went down at The Body Holiday!  Every night they had a local band play at the club house, and there was also a piano bar that we visited a few times.  We spent our last night at a beach BBQ with entertainment from a steel drum band.


Check out their name.  It's like they were our own personal honeymoon band!

The Harmonites!

As you can see, we definitely stayed busy during our trip to St. Lucia.  I loved all of the activities that the resort had to offer; just another perk of The Body Holiday!