I got there first on the 16th. Audrey picked us up bright and early "with donuts!" as Julien would say.
For the first few days I stayed with Kim in her cute little apartment. It was so nice not to have work, or school, or scouts, swimming....
Homemade pizzas at Joey's house. Joey had also downloaded a bunch of movies for Julien and Logan. They loved that.
Kim, Julien, Logan, Kia Ora, and I went bowling. It was super cheap and so much fun. Julien was having a hard time bowling and was getting a little discourage so a sweet guy who worked there gave him pointers on how to bowl better. He was so happy and did much better after that.
My parents, and Alex arrive.
On Monday we went to a park by Emory (Audrey's school), were I took their engagement pictures. They turned out so cute. Audrey and Joey are so adorable together that it was hard to get a bad shot.
Here are a couple shots from the photoshoot
Here is a shot from mom and dad who are going to be celebrating there 30 year anniversary in a month. They too are a very cute couple.
Later that night we all went out to eat to Fox Brothers BBQ. It was amazing! The ribs and the chicken wings were to die for. I even tried a chicken wing, my first chicken eating experience in perhaps 6 to 7 years.
Today we went to the aquarium, which is supposedly one of the biggest ones in the world. It was so cool, we got to see lots of things. There was a huge underwater tunnel you could walk through, where manta rays, and whale sharks would swim over you. The boys enjoyed touching the sting rays, and sand sharks, along with sea cucumbers, star fish, shrimp, and much more.
The kids favorite thing about the aquarium was the shark exhibition, it was pretty interesting. Alex, Jon and I thought the underwater tunnel was very cool. I also enjoyed the mermaid show. Several times throughout the show, the manta rays, and whale sharks would come really close to the mermaids, and "their body guards" had to shoo them away.
We visited the Archibald Smith Plantation Home in Roswell, Georgia. It was very interesting to learn more about that area, and plantation life.
We celebrated Christmas Eve at Joey's parents house. We had a good time getting to know one another, and enjoyed eating the mounts of good food on the table.
Saturday was the day Julien, and Logan had so patiently been waiting for; Christmas! They were spoiled. They mostly got Legos and Kung Zhu stuff, it was exactly what they had asked for. When they opened their presents, they had continuous grins from ear to ear on their faces.
Kia Ora got a cute little doll, a stuffed animal, and a teething ring.
Jon got a nice leather portfolio from BYU, and I got a Thai food book, which I am thrilled about. Jon and I love Thai food. I can't wait to put those recipes to the test.
The highlight of the day was being able to talk to T, and Raph. It was so good to hear their voices. We were even able to skype with Thiefaine. I am so proud of both of them; they are great missionaries.
Alex got a Wii, so we played Wii the rest of the day. I did not realize how fun and addicting Wii games are.
Jon and I really wanted to go eat at the Varsity while we were in Atlanta. It was exactly what we expected: it was not about the food (because it wasn't great), but it was about the overall experience, people yelling "What'll you have! What'll you have...." We enjoyed it.
After the Varsity we headed to the planetarium, a cheap, fun activity. It was perfect for the kids. Some of our favorite things to see was the Honey Bee exposition, and the planetarium show.
On our way home we had to make a pit stop to the emergency room for Kia Ora. She had been a little fussy and congested for 2 weeks and started touching her ears, but on our way home she got so congested that she couldn't breathe very well. Jon and I were so worried that we decided to take her to the hospital.
Turns out that she had an ear infection, and she was so congested that the nurse had to suck her snot with an air compressor type thing. It was so scary. She is such a sweet baby that even sick, she was still smiling and giggleling.
We went to an amazing farmers market which was right by the house we were staying at. It was wonderful, there were so many different foods from all over. We saw a few people buying sugar canes, so we asked them what they did with them. Turns out, a sugar cane is suppose to be good for teeth, and it is a good source of energy (because it is pure sugar) so we got some for the kids.
That night my parents babysat the kids while Jon and I went out to eat at the Vortex to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. The Vortex was suppose to have amazing burgers. After getting a table, and sitting down to enjoy our appetizer, I started feeling extremely sick, aches everywhere, feverish, and the immense urge to throw up. I knew if any smell at all irritated my stomach, I would not be able to control the action. So we boxed up the food, went home. I crashed into bed, while my parents took care of the kids, and Jon ate our 10 year anniversary dinner by his lonesome self at the dinner table.
Wednesday was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. It was nice to see where Audrey and Joey were getting married. Julien and Logan were the ring bearers, and were excited to practice.
After the rehearsal we headed to Joey's club house where we ate a delicious dinner prepared by Joey's sitter who is an amazing chef. Jon and I ate grits for the first time, and we loved it. She served it with a delicious shrimp sauce. Oh! It was out of this world.
During the dinner Joey had a surprise for Audrey who left all of us in tears. He asked T, and Raph who are on missions in France, and Canada to send a video for Audrey. It was so great to see them "in person." They are wonderful missionaries, so dedicated in doing their callings. It was hard to watch because we miss them so much. It was very thoughtful of Joey to do that for Audrey, I know it meant a lot to her, and to the rest of us also.
Thursday was Audrey and Joey's wedding day. It was a beautiful ceremony. They both looked so great. I did not get a lot of pictures of Audrey and Joey because I did not want to be in the way of the photographer. But as soon as Audrey gets her pictures, I will post some. She was the most beautiful bride. I am so happy for them.
Here are a few shots of my little family:
Kia Ora, the prettiest girl of all!
Jon and the kids
My beautiful mom, and sisters with Kia Ora
My cute little brother Alex, looking sleek in his tuxedo!
Mom and dad as cute as can be, still so in love after soon to be 30 years together.
The photographer took Audrey and Joey to a "secret" location for their first look pictures. (the first look is the first time they would see each other all dressed up). As I was taking pictures in the foyer, I happened to see them from the window and tried to get a few shots myself.
Audrey and Joey during their first dance.
Audrey and dad.
Here is a video of Julien and Logan dancing, apparently they were a hit on the dance floor. Sometime during the night Logan got down on the dance floor and started breakdancing.
The cake- Audrey and Joey got a "Piece Montee" which is a traditional french wedding cake. So good!
Audrey and Joey surprised us with our very own 10 year anniversary cake and first dance. It was so sweet of them to share their special day with us. It is fun and exciting to think that Audrey, Joey, Jon, and I will share the same wedding day.
Happy 10 year Anniversary!It is crazy how fast time flies. I can't believe Jon and I have been married that long. Looking back at the past 10 years, I realize how much we have accomplished; three beautiful, amazing children, schooling, jobs.... It has been great, even though we have been so busy. Jon and I are both looking forward to the next 10 years of our life together. It almost feels like a new beginning now that Jon is graduating in a 3 months, along with moving to Texas for his job.
For those of you who don't know, Jon has worked really hard this past semester at applying, and interviewing for Mechanical Engineering jobs. He did really well, and got an amazing job working for Dow Chemicals. He was one of the first of his graduating class to get a job (I am so proud of all his hard work.)
I feel so blessed to have him in my life. He is a wonderful husband, and father. I am eager to start this new chapter in our lives.
The toss of the bouquet- notice how one of the girls is diving back to grab it while Kim is pulling, shielding herself from it! (too funny)
Unfortunately, every vacation must come to an end. We loved spending time with Audrey, Kim, and Joey, and visiting Atlanta. Julien, and Logan were sad to leave. We can't wait to go back perhaps in the spring or summer next time.