A big day...

Hello blog readers!  Well, it's January 7th.  For many, just an ordinary Saturday, but for two people I know, one of the most life changing days they'll ever know. My brother-in-law and his fiancée become man and wife today.  I have known Andy for close to 3 years now, and although I wouldn't say that I know him extremely well, I feel that I know him reasonably well, since he has spent a lot of time around us (particularly in the past year).  I have only known Alishia as long as she's been with Andy, but moving in across the street from her in August definitely means we see her a lot.  Andy will be moving in with her (and the two other roommates...no, they won't all be sharing one room!) so we will still get to see each other all the time.  It's a pretty nice arrangement, really.  I live with my brother, and Allen lives across the street from his brother.  Back in the day, it wasn't odd to have family members all living in close proximity, but it is less common now.  My side of the family, for instance, is all spread out.  My mom's parents and many of her relatives live in New England (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire), but my mom and my dad and my sister live in the midwestern burg of St. Louis.  My other brother lives in New York City.  We are spread out across the whole country!  In a few years, my sister will be college age and who knows where she'll go then?  Maybe she'll find a school close to home, as Chris did, or maybe she'll be like Toby and me and go far afield for her education.  Toby will be finishing up his MAT this year; will he stay in this area to work, or go somewhere else? Only time will tell.  I never really thought much of family being all spread out.  That was just our family's reality.  But marrying into a family that is not at all spread out makes me realize that there is something nice about being close.  I sometimes wish our country was small enough that even if we lived on opposite ends of it, it would still be close.
Last night was the bachelor party and bachelorette party.  Both seemed pretty fun from what I heard.  The bachelor and his crew went to Tac Ops, a local airsoft gun range, and spent several hours shooting each other silly with air rifles.  They came home covered in little welts...oops! But they had a good time; at least, Andy and Allen did!  Then they did some last minute wedding prep, hung out, played a home-made mad lib, entitled "What I love about Andy by Alishia" (which I made based on what she had actually told me), prayed for Andy, and went to bed.
The girls, meanwhile, went downtown to the Benson Hotel
Whitney's big gift to the couple was to buy two nights at the hotel: one for the bachelorette party, and one for the wedding night.  The hotel was SO cool.  I definitely wouldn't mind spending a night there myself!
Of course, the room was *tastefully* decorated for the bachelorette party!
The ladies gave themselves pedicures and manicures in matching nail polish and made matching anklets (since they'll be walking barefoot down the aisle).  Alishia opened her presents ("ooh la la!" is all I'll say), and we took a lot of goofy pictures in the lobby.  Here's  a picture of one of the presents I gave her.  I made us matching tank tops (well, I bought the tank tops and then decorated them).

In case you can't make it out, the front says "Mrs. Cook" and then has our respective wedding dates (8-8-09 and 1-7-12) on a red satin heart (leftover fabric from her reception dress).  On the back are iron-on angel wing decals.  Above that it says "Allen's Angel" (on mine) and "Andy's Angel" (on hers), and then Proverbs 18:22.  What is Proverbs 18:22, you ask?  "He who finds a wife finds what is good, and receives favor from the Lord."  I think she liked it, and I think Andy will like it too. I know Allen likes the one I made.  
Well, time to get ready for the wedding!  I just hope Ruby can make it through the day without a meltdown...


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