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Entries in catalina (17)


My Sister Sariah

My sister Sariah and I weren't the best of friends growing up. She was two and a half years younger than me and she often straddled the line of hanging out with the "big kids", me and Chadmichael, and the "little girls", Rose and Phoebe. Anyone who has grown up in a large family knows that you quickly learn about diplomacy and politics when you have a lot of siblings. Some days you're allied with two of the seven, and just as quick, that alliance can disintegrate and re-form with another group of brothers and sisters. With me and Sariah, our alliances were always shifting. I left home when I was sixteen and when I left, Sariah and my two younger sisters were little girls that I didn't have much in common with at all. Luckily for me, that has changed.

Sariah and I started getting closer over the past six to seven years. When my youngest sister Phoebe moved out to live with me Sariah and I started talking more on the phone. Phoebe and Sariah had been very close and Sariah liked to check in on her, though I very shortly realized that really, Sariah was checking in on me, and I love her for that.

I didn't see my sisters for a few years after I moved away from home. The first time I finally did see them Sariah was like an entirely different person. She was all grown up. She was really into swing dancing. She had long, beautiful hair, and she had lots and lots of boys vying for her attention. She moved to Utah to go to college and shortly thereafter she was engaged and then married to Jake. I was living in France at the time of their wedding and was so bummed that I couldn't make it to see the event.

Not long after her wedding Sariah was pregnant with her first child and I promised her I would be there for the birth. This was after all, the first one of my siblings to give birth! This was big! This was the first of a new generation. This baby would be the oldest cousin once we all started having children. I had to meet this little one, and Sariah wanted all of her sisters there.

When Phoebe and I got the call that she was in labor we hopped in the Mini and drove non-stop to Utah. That was a long drive. My favorite part was going through a winding canyon in the rain listening to the latest Coldplay album, just enjoying the moment with my sister Phoebe. When we got there Sariah was still in labor. The evening before we had to leave Sariah gave birth to her daughter, Phoebe Joy, named after our sister. Phoebe Joy was born on August 16, which is my grandmother Charlotte's birthday. None of us got to meet Grandma Charlotte. She passed away when my mom was 12 or 13. It was an incredible moment to be in the same room as all of my sisters, my mom and the overwhelming presence of my grandmother Charlotte as little Phoebe Joy was brought into the world. If you've never witnessed a birth before, I highly recommend it. I think it could give even the staunchest atheist a run for their money. I actually felt the entrance of a new spirit into the room as she was born. It was incredibly intense.

Sariah was my biggest cheerleader and confidant at the beginning of my relationship with Eric. She listened over the phone to our triumphs and our tragedies. She gave me advice on being in a long-term relationship. She encouraged me. She listened to me. She got to know the man I love via our phone calls. Sariah was the first person I called the night Eric asked me to marry him. She had been waiting the longest for the news, and she was the most thrilled about it.

It was Sariah that shepherded me through the long and arduous process of planning a wedding. She would clip out ideas with her daughter Phoebe Joy and send me them with little letters full of possibilities, color schemes and cake displays. I went to visit Sariah in March of last year and she took me wedding dress shopping, planned the design of my wedding cake and got me to call the hotel in Catalina to firm up the date. Every time I’d feel overwhelmed by the wedding she’d smile a huge smile, pat my shoulder and say, “It’s going to be wonderful! You’re going to look beautiful! Let’s look at invitation designs!” She was my own personal wedding planner.

Sariah made my wedding cake. That’s right. She baked the whole thing, iced it, and assembled all three tiers into boxes that were carried over by friends and family on the ferry to the island. The day of the wedding she put on the finishing touches and worked with my brothers Chadmichael and Rich to make a wedding cake that I couldn’t have dreamed up if I had tried. My siblings are so incredibly talented.

She made Phoebe Joy’s dress. Isn’t it beautiful? She also made Phoebe Joy, isn’t she beautiful? And so precocious! I couldn’t have asked for a more precious little flower girl. She practiced dropping the petals for weeks in advance.



That little girl is going to be a heartbreaker when she grows up.

Her little brother Kimball was my ring bearer. Kimball is a ball of energy, which is why I’m shocked that the photographer was able to get these photos of him.    

Truly amazing. As proof of his boundless energy I present to you exhibit “A”. This is in the bridal shop on the day I was picking up my dress. Kimball is the boy who is about two feet off the air.

Here we have exhibit “B”. Kimball is the boy who is again two feet in the air, leaping for joy at the discovery of his brother’s Easter basket. (You can imagine how high he jumped when he found his own.)

Little Warren was an honorary member of the wedding party. He’s the sweetest of the bunch. I cannot resist him when he sucks his thumb:

Or when he acts shy:

Or when he annoys his sister J

Let us not forget Jake. He’s Sariah’s husband, and one awesome brother-in-law.

Look, he actually picks Sariah up and sweeps her off her feet!

Jake can sing, is heavily involved in volunteer work with the scouts and plays with his kids for hours at a time. He loves his kooky family, and I love them.


Sariah, thanks for making my wedding day a dream come true. I’m blessed to have a sister like you.


Catalina is a Perfect Place to get Married

We had our first major sailing trip to Catalina. It was the first time I had an inclination that our relationship might actually be going somewhere. It feels like our own special island, and I encourage you to go and visit if you haven't been there yet.

The weather is almost always perfect, and even when it rains, it's beautiful. We lucked out and had the best weather of all of November for our wedding weekend. In the picture below there were snorkelers and swimmers all around us enjoying the crystal clear water of Avalon Harbor.

Catalina is a casual island. You get around in Golf Carts and flip flops and Crocs are the norm. I wore my trusty Crocs for the wedding. They're peaking out in the photo below. This is us en route to our "photo shoot". How glamorous.

 I think this American Gothic knock-off may be my favorite one of all the pictures yet, you tell me:

 But this one is sort of Great Gatsbyesque, and fits well with the Casino:

But, we finish off modern, not bad for a pretty laid-back, casual couple from San Diego:

You can view all of the photos at Shana Cassidy's site: The Wedding Frame, password morrisette

We will get digital copies of the high-res images soon, if you'd like digital copies.  More posts highlighting the friends and family who came to the event soon.


Wedding Weekend

We're off to Catalina bright and early tomorrow morning! I promise to post pictures as soon as we get back. Thanks for all of the love and support and well wishes we've already received.

Coming back a Mrs!



Catching Up

I’m here, I’m alive, but I haven’t been blogging. Today is the last day of classes before three weeks of a break. I am so happy. My bronchitis came back, and I’ve basically spent over a month being sick and trying to teach. My creative blogging juices have been non-existent.

I haven’t forgotten about my weight loss countdown. I’m happy to report that I’ve achieved my goal! I gave myself until the wedding to lose 10 pounds, and I was able to do it in five months! Now my goal is tone up my body. I’m also excited to say that my sister, who started this at the same time as me, has also lost 10 pounds, and several inches off of her waist and thighs. I am so happy for her. She is trying to get to a size 8 before the wedding.

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1161984-1396144-thumbnail.jpgWhen I get home this afternoon I’ll post a before and after picture of my body from July 07 to January 08. I can’t believe what simply walking 3-4 times a week and cutting back on wine and portions will do. I haven’t restricted sweets, or cheeses, or fats. I just watch what I eat, and really consider having seconds, and give myself enough time to feel full.

1161984-1396139-thumbnail.jpgOn the wedding front, Eric and I are finally going out to Catalina this weekend to meet with potential vendors, and try to find a site for the wedding and reception. I feel really good about this trip. It’s had to be rescheduled twice now, and I’m finally starting to get excited again.

I’m also excited to visit my family in Utah in two weeks. Eric is hauling the boat out in the latter part of March, and suggested I go out to see my family, as we won’t have any facilities while the boat is out of the water. My sister has already made appointments at several bridal salons, and she and my mom are going to go wedding dress shopping with me! Yay! I’m also going to walk and go to the gym with Sariah. It will be nice to actually work out together, instead of virtually.

My mom came out to visit this past weekend to celebrate my nephew's 1st birthday. She surprised us! James and April invited 70 friends and family over for Corbin's party and got a big jumper that was used more by the adults than by the kids.  Rich outdid himself, and catered the event doing awesome Mexican fajitas.  I'll post pics as soon as I have them up. I have never seen Eric have so much fun before. He jumped on the bouncer for hours!


Wedding Woes

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Ack! Planning a wedding is stressful, and I've barely even gotten started!  I can already tell it's going to be difficult to arrange things for the wedding when I'm not in Catalina to do it. Luckily we're going out to the island in February to meet with vendors, but it's frustrating to have to wait on things until then because I can't really plan things (like vendors, colors, location, etc.) until I've actually seen places with my own eyes.

We are going to have to take a lot of pictures. I know that everyone knows this already, but weddings are expensive! I'd really like to get married at the Country Club, but I think it is going to be too much money. I've spent the day looking at other locations online, but there's something about being on an island that has businesses there in the stone-age electronically. Either they don't have websites, or they're crappy websites, so it's very difficult to get an idea of what a place looks like without actually going there :( I'm worried that we'll be rushing around trying to fit everything in to a day and a half when we do visit.

Anyway, I just needed to vent. I'm impatient, and want to get started, and I'm frustrated at not being able to be there directly to work on things.  We're also considering doing two events. We might keep the wedding on Catalina incredibly small, with just family present (then again, it's not like my family is small), and do a big wedding shower and reception in San Diego and invite all of our friends. Just not sure yet, but I will let you know.

*Photos curtsey of photographer Shana Cassidy, The Wedding Frame