Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Beginnings

Nicole and I had the pleasure of witnessing two of her great friends exchange wedding vows this weekend. Zach and Maurine, fellow apprentices at the Actor's Theatre of Louisville a couple of years back, got married in Birmingham yesterday (Saturday).

We drove over Saturday morning, and checked into the coolest hotel in a hip area of Birmingham. The hotel was the aloft Birmingham Soho Square, in Homewood, an area now referred to as "SoHo." It is filled with quaint shops, restaurants and condos. To check out the hotel, go to

Nic and I got our wedding drag on and headed over to the church in beautiful Mountain Brook. (For those of you in Jackson, Mountain Brook is like Woodland Hills on steroids. Magnificent homes with lots of old money floating around...). The ceremony was perfect. Short, sweet, but very poignant. The vows were so sincere and the couple looked so happy. We got to witness the beginning of their life together! What an honor!

The fun part, however, came in the church parking lot after the wedding when Nicole was reunited with two of her NY roommates who were also former Actor's Theatre apprentices. Rafe Jordan and Timo Acker were just so helpful to us when we were in NY while Nicole was in the hospital. Timo actually drove from Cleveland to NY to be there for us. They are really great friends and we are so thankful they are in Nicole's life, and now ours. I think they were shocked to see her standing so tall and pretty, because the last time they saw her, she was laying in a bed with a ventilator tube down her throat. Remember, they lived in the building that Nicole fell off of. They knew oh-so-well what she endured.

After the wedding we went to the reception at the Alabama Theatre. It was a great reception, complete with a gi-normous wedding cake, lots of great food, and a killer show band that had everyone up on their feet. Nicole danced with Timo, and it was the sweetest moment of the evening for me.

We left after an hour to go back to the hotel. Too much standing had Nicole feeling tired. But a couple of hours later, Timo and Rafe showed up to take Nic out to a nice wine bar downtown. There, the bride, groom and other friends had a chance to relax and catch up. The guys brought Nic back to the hotel, and she went to sleep happier than I've seen her in awhile.

Josh spent his weekend in wedding-land, too. He had two weddings to shoot this weekend, so he wasn't able to attend the wedding with Nicole. I realized that he gets to experience the joy of weddings nearly every weekend. On his website,, Josh says "Weddings are those surreal events that move at the speed of light." He goes on to say that "I love watching families and friends come together to celebrate a loved one's happiness. I enjoy capturing the day's awe-inspiring moments with my camera." Yep, he gets it. And that's exactly what we experienced this weekend. I was honored to be there to witness it all.

This morning we enjoyed the most wonderful brunch with my Southern Living at HOME friend, Anita Hand. She's a senior director in the company and she's been one of my best mentors and cheerleaders! The weather was perfect, the food delicious, but the company was perfect!

After loading up the car, we took off for Madison. Lots of traffic, but we made it home in time to pick up Larry and head up to Camp Bratton-Green for the annual special needs camp talent show. It really puts things in perspective for you to see someone get in front of a crowd of folks and bare their soul...they sang, danced, painted, showed off skills they've learned and more. The campers are so wonderful, but just as wonderful are the big-hearted counselors who work so hard all week long to provide a "normal" camping experience for these special adults.

We all came home tired, but happy and content. We've shared in the new beginnings of Zack and Maurine as they start their life as husband and wife...and of the special needs campers, as they go back into their lives with new skills and memories...of the counselors who will go back to their realities tomorrow with a new perspective...and now we'll have our own new beginning tomorrow, when Nicole heads back to therapy FIVE days a week, thanks to the work she'll be doing with the new Bioness H200 ( And I can't forget Joe, who will soon be heading to Hattiesburg to begin studies at a new school (Southern Miss) and something very new for him, cheerleading! We are so proud that he'll be a cheerleader for USM this fall!

Let's hear it for new beginnings!

Blessings to all who read this!

1 comment:

  1. That sounds such a beautiful weekend!

    I hope that this week is full of exciting progress for Nicole with the Bioness (it looks really cool!), and that you're all encouraged and uplifted.

    With love and prayers (and gratitude for the tip about the ice pack on sore heels!),