So Monday night Kelly had a little birthday celebration for her brother Brady's 30th birthday. Kevin and I decided to drive down to Philly after work to celebrate. Turns out, Philly is commuting distance to work! Well, sort of. We had some dinner, ice cream cake (!), and went to the Local and had some drinks. We closed the place on a Monday night. Go Team Brady! Happy birthday, Officiant Brady!
Ice cream cake! It is really exciting, Kelly!
At The Local in Philly with the birthday boy Brady
In 2009,* three months after we were married, Sunny and Trey asked us to give "newlywed advice" at their wedding as part of the tradition of seven blessings in the Jewish ceremony. I was thinking it would be fun to update our wedding advice every five years or so, as we grow in our marriage, and to revisit what we thought in the past.
Here's what we said at Sunny and Trey's wedding:
Kevin: Nobody will ever look at with you with as much love, admiration, and happiness as your wife on your wedding day. So look at her a lot.
Ericka: When you go to Bali, tell everyone you are on your honeymoon. It's the only time you'll ever get to do it, and it makes people instantly understand how in love you are and they treat you well. It's also a good time to practice being really nice to each other for the rest of your life.
Kevin: Indulge the temptation to play with your ring: it's cold when you leave your hand out the car window; it clicks when you pick up a drink. People look at you and know you did something right.
Ericka: Get used to saying "my husband this" and "my husband that," even when it's better to just say his name. It's a fun and strange transition. You feel adult and loved.
Kevin: Trey is one of the smartest, most ambitious, most kind-hearted men I've ever met, and Sunny is clearly his match. They deserve a lot of happiness, and we feel blessed to support them on this day.
I think the main themes were to appreciate each other and to shamelessly celebrate your love. That seems to be very "newlywed" indeed.
Seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day
*Full disclosure: This post was retroactively posted in 2014, but the advice was what we wrote down in 2009.
Kevin, Jon, and I had a little time to explore Chattanooga while we were in town for Trey and Sunny's wedding. We started with the Downtown Music Hall where they had their welcome party. The next day wewent to Ruby Falls, a privately owned waterfall inside a cave. Despite living near Luray Caverns for many years, this was my first time in a cave so I was very excited. Man oh man, you have not lived until you have seen a laser-light show in a cave.
Kevin, me, and Jon at the Music Hall
At Ruby Falls with Jon
Laser light show!
Of course, since it was Chattanooga, I also demanded to see a train of some kind, and Kevin demanded to eat BBQ. What a great weekend!
Last weekend, Kevin, Jon, and I took a 27-hour round trip car ride to Tennessee to see our friends Sunny and Trey get married. Really one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever seen as it was all written by the couple and family and friends of the couple. The emotion between them and in the audience was palpable. As part of the seven blessings, they asked friends and family who had been married for different lengths of time to give marriage advice. They asked us to give "newlywed advice." We were really honored and touched to be asked to participate in the wedding.
The food was wonderful, complete with a three-flavor French fries bar (pepper, waffle with paprika, and sweet potato) and a milkshake bar! As if that weren't enough, dinner choices included brisket and cheese grits. That's food heaven to the Southern girl I've become.
Tented reception area
Three kinds of fries at cocktail hour!
The party began almost right away with the hora, and it went into the wee hours of the night. The collective energy of the wedding guests never waned, perhaps due in part to the copious amounts of Tennessee whiskey at the reception. Mostly, however, I think people were really happy for Trey and Sunny.
Dancing the Hora
Kevin gives it a try
Trey's close friends from high school
Trey and Sunny were wonderful hosts, and made time to have dinner with us, spend time with us over the two days that we were in Chattanooga, and showed us a really good time. The best part though was seeing how much they love each other and seeing how happy they are to share their lives. It's something that's tough to describe unless you've seen them close out their wedding dancing to Dirty Dancing's "Time of My Life!" Congratulations! You guys are brilliant in every way!
Cutting the cake
We're a little warm from so much dancing and partying, but everyone is happy!
Some belated engagement news since all these happened before I started regularly blogging:
In July, right after her birthday, my buddy Aubree got engaged to businessman/fireman Patrick. Nice.
Aubree and Patrick in Vermont
Then in August, Cory proposed to Robin and had someone take this very cute photo of it.
Robin and Cory in Virginia
And then! Jeff proposed to Inga. Still waiting to hear the details.
Jeff and Inga from California (picture from our wedding)
Congratulations to all of you! We cannot wait to see you tie the knot! Marriage is even better than the hype.
We also had some other friends who got engaged before our wedding... so I don't know if anyone has been keeping count here, but we have six weddings to attend in 2010, and one or two already in 2011. It's going to be a very good year for our friends, and a very busy one for us.