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Aaaaaaaaaaand, we’re back!  After a whirlwind, and I do mean whirlwind trip down south, we have finally returned home on this lovely Columbus Day evening.  We were discussing in the car today how nice of a trip it had been…..had we time to enjoy it!  In 3 full days we….met Phillip’s family for dinner Thursday night in Salem, then traveled on through to Murray Kentucky where we spent the night and half of Friday with the Puricelli’s, then it was on to Birmingham for Chris and Jes’s wedding (more on that spectaular event to follow) and on our way back today we made a quick stop in Nashville for a great breakfast and short but sweet visit with college and blogging friend Diane and her two cuties, Javen and Liam. WHEW!  and YAWN!!

Although I am COMPLETELY sleep deprived (as are my children, surprise surprise) I had to download the pictures and share them.

Here are some shots from the first leg of our trip, spending time with Micah, Kacey, Finley and Scout in Kentucky.

Now for the wedding, the whole reason for our marathon road trip.  Chris and Jess.  Fabulous friends, and we were thrilled and honored to be included in their big day.  Phillip was a groomsman and Hazel a flower girl.  The wedding took place at Chris’s uncles mansion.  Although mansion doesn’t really accurately describe the house.  It was more like a cross between a castle and a mansion, a Cansion, if you will.

Set on umpteen acres of land, equipped with a barn (nicer than our house) and a half a mile long concrete driveway….

Doesn’t every house have an observatory and elevator?

and these pictures don’t even begin to do it justice, but you get the idea… Enough with the gaulking, lets talk about the big day.

Well first there was the rehearsal and the dinner…

Definitely in Southern/Auburn territory, sweet tea and WAR EAGLE Cups

Onto the wedding…

Let me first say, Jess was such a chill bride.  She took a few pictures with the bridal party, coaxed the reluctant flower girls in for a couple of shots, then called it a rap.  No stress no mess.

Chris was, as usual, more concerned about the comfort and general happiness of everyone else.  He was a charming, gracious and caring groom.  We feel so blessed to call him and Jess, our friends.

Here he is after he got the go ahead to get ready

The ceremony was simple and beautiful.  The music was thoughtfully chosen.  Everything from the accompaniment to the marriage official, was a friend or family member.  Everything was extremely thoughtful and meaningful.  I didn’t get any pictures during the ceremony because A: I was holding Callum and walking around and B:  After Hazel diligently threw ALL of her flowers out of her basket (she took her job seriously) she abruptly left the wedding stage and headed for “mommy”, so I hadn’t any free hands for a camera, SIGH.

So we will fast forward to the reception.

Chris’s uncle had a bird that both of my kids tortured…I mean, enjoyed

Family photo attempt, this was the best of many

She loved the staircase

Chilling on the stairs, acting like she owns the place

Family pic (minus Hazel who refused to be photographed) with the groom

Toasting

We Didn’t Start The Fire– The highlight of my evening

Oh and Phillip made me take a picture of his war wound.  The guys went paintballing the day before the wedding and Chris (the groom) shot Phillip in the forehead.

And our last, but not least, stop in Nashville, where we enjoyed breakfast and a quick visit with the McD gang.

Diane easily handles both Liam and Callum, doesn’t even break a sweat!

Thanks to some exerting playtime with Javen,  Hazel passed out about ten minutes after we got in the car and slept for three hours!  Cue the “Hallelujah” music.

I love road trips.  Although they, at times, can be stressful, okay, down right miserable, the good always seems to out way the bad.

The silver lining:  Traveling on four wheels allows us to make these rare visits happen and I am so grateful for the limited, yet treasured time spent with family and good friends along our way.

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