An Andrade Wedding in Pictures

Thanks to all of the Facebook and Flickr thieving I’ve been up to, I’ve amassed a small treasury of photos from the Coletta-Andrade wedding. One seriously breath-taking wedding, and I am so lucky to have been a part of it. Congratulations to two of the most amazing folks I know!

Rehearsal/Roce Ceremony

The sister who ran the rehearsal was fantastically sassy.

The Coletta sibs.

After the rehearsal, we went to the hotel and hurried to get ready for the Roce. The outfits we wore were so beautiful and intricate.

Mr. C with a few words.

The bridal party at the start of the Roce.

Dave (who graduated with his MBA a week later) and The Doctors Andrade.

Such a good looking couple!

Showing off our amazing clothes

Everywhere you went, there was always dancing and laughing.

It was also David’s mom’s birthday — one more reason to party!

Wedding Day 

Our chariot.

Too much cute to handle. Ava and Rosie, the most precious little flower girls.

Bridesmaids! Sara, Liz, Gwen, and me.

The groom and three of his groomsmen — Dan, Luke, Dave, and Darren

Darren and Sara

Dan and Gwen

Luke and Liz

Rick and I

All of these words.

Stunning, happy bride.

Dashing groom.

Perhaps you could solve the mystery at hand — are our dresses more purple or pink?

Darren and Liz, two new favorite people!! They are moving here this summer for Darren to do a fellowship at Good Sam.

It was really ugly there.  

Mr. and Mrs.!

With the photographer outside of the reception.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Andrade!

First dance.

New in-laws

Coletta and her dad

David and his mom

Dan and David’s mom

A wonderful time was had by all — can’t wait for a reunion!

… and to close this picture post:

For Coletta, days before her wedding

Part I

On Friday, my long-time forever friend Lauren is getting married. And so I’m packing for a trip to Massachusetts, thinking about the past 12 years of Coletta, and getting all varieties of giddy and emotional.

There’s a line in the movie 500 Days of Summer that reminds me of my friendship with Lauren. It’s when the little sister (the best female character in the plot, because, well, let’s not even get into what a b—- Summer Finn is) tells Tom “Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soulmate.”

False, little sister. False.

Yeah, we’re going to go ahead and ignore the whole romantic premise of the line and get down to the obvious truth — the little sister was wrong. That ‘bizarro crap’ is exactly what makes Lauren Marie Coletta my soulmate. That bizarro crap is just the cream rising to the top — a latte of proof that we are kindred spirits – that has been confirmed over and over by process of mutual identical thinking.

Coletta was the easiest friend I’ve made. We were 14, and we were sitting in Earth Science. I couldn’t see the overhead projector slides (because I needed glasses and didn’t know it), and she had (has) perfect vision, so I started copying her notes. Those who knew me in high school, or yesterday for that matter, know that this is a big deal. I’m a bit snobbish when it comes to study buddies. Coletta’s notes were perfect. She abbreviated what I would abbreviate. Which is nothing.

 Coletta our freshman year, sitting across from me in science. Look at that face and tell me it wasn’t destiny.

Pretty much from that point on, Coletta and I were together, from the 7am student council meetings, through the exact same class schedule year after year, to field hockey after school. In retrospect, it’s a pretty good thing we got along. I remember back then feeling like she was the other side of my brain — the part that could actually do math in a reasonable time frame. We loved Harry Potter, thought throwing an invisible ball during class was hysterical, found deeper meaning in the Disney Channel, and spent entire sleepovers creating new flavors for Ben & Jerry (“A Wok to Remember” — an Asian ice cream novelty). I remember thinking how odd it was that I could have so much in common with someone who had lived so far away my entire life.

 

 

Nearly all of my happiest adolescent memories include LMC. The two weeks spent wearing the same “good luck” field hockey sweats. Dressing up like the  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Halloween, dressing up for dances, ‘dressing up’ for ghetto nights at Applebees. Hiking, white-water rafting, midnight practices, weekends at the Cape. Late night AIM conversations. We learned to drive together, and her house was one of the first places I remembered knowing how to get to by heart.

Part II

Over the years, there have been visits. Summers spent travelling Route 66, eating Mexican food, and roadtripping to San Diego. Sleepovers in dorms and nights out on the town. There have been long phone calls and late night email catch-ups. There have been big announcements, big disappointments. One thing has been absolutely apparent – though I only lived in the same state with Coletta for two and a half years,  soulmates stick together. Every time we talk, we just pick up where we left off.

As I sift through old photos and the memories float up, I’m most pleasantly reassured that, at the core, we’re still the same couple of 14-year olds we were back at Nipmuc. I think about all of the milestones and life changes and obstacles that have fallen across the pathways over the past decade, and I’m so, so proud of you, Lauren Marie. I’m so excited to get on the plane tomorrow and watch you take one more step in your fated direction. I’m so happy to share this time.

Part III

This is the part where I talk about how lucky (and awesome himself) Dave is and how happy they’ll be. I talk about their huge future and how their dreams are just starting to come true. I tell you I’ll cry as she walks down the aisle, and admit that my plan is to mainly watch her future groom’s face as he takes her in. And her Dad’s, too (Hey, Mr. C!).

And all that is true. But it’s getting late. My suitcase is packed, bedtime is long past, and all I’m hearing is her cackling laughter and the way Jeff Buckley sounded the first time I heard his voice in her parent’s Volvo. I’m shaking my head at the way she’d get so nervous before vocabulary quizzes that she’d physically tremble. I’m debating who is ultimately better, Johnny Tsunami or Zenon, and I’m wanting to chant, “What makes the grass grow? Blood! Blood! Blood!” I’m thinking about that August some years ago when we crammed ourselves into Miley’s princess tent, and the hours a couple summers back we spent at her then-new duplex eating bruschetta and playing Wii. I’m laughing at the journal we used to mail back and forth across the 3,000 mile span in order to “pass notes” to each other.

Mostly, I’m looking forward to watching more unfold. I’m convinced that we had it right from the start: bizarro crap is solid, sturdy ground for a lifetime.

If I go it’s not impossible, but possible is probably wrong.

In the sooty gray of a mid winter afternoon, maybe in February, the trees are black mascara drips across an anemic sky. Normally the trees would obscure the pastel yellow and green and white colonials, but this time of year you can see right to the front doors (most of them red). I don’t know what the most common native tree species of Massachusetts are. Red maple? White pine? Some kind of birch. These specific trees are on a hill on Blueberry Street, where the school bus swings by my house at 6:50am.

That’s the big difference between New England and the Southwest: back east, trees conceal everyone’s secrets. Down here, you can see for miles and miles in any one direction. The goods are on the brown desert table, you could say.

Of my time spent living anywhere else, I have spent the vast majority of my life on the west side of the Valley (of the Sun, not the Dolls — though we do try our damnedest to be a mini-California in these parts). I’ve come to conclude that the lack of geographical privacy gives Arizonans a complex. We complain that there are no trees because they’d be pretty — but truthfully, they’d also protect us.

I used to run Blueberry Estates to condition for field hockey. Or to escape the processed, heated air of my house. Or to cure boredom in a small minuscule town. Regardless, winter runs were nearly always shocking because you could see my neighbor’s yards, front and back (there aren’t concrete block walls around them like there are here). You could see their porches, their swing sets, the pattern of the curtains on their windows. You could see the people inside.

In Phoenix, there are no trees, and that’s a year-round sort of fact. If it weren’t for the manmade fences around everyone’s yards, you’d see right into the pool decks and the drying laundry and the Fisher Price kitchenettes and the yellowed, dying grass. You can always see through the front windows. Where I live now, I don’t really talk to my neighbors. But I know whether or not their yards are clean. I know what their kitchen tabletops are made of. I know what’s in their garages.

But it’s more than the trees. Down here, we’re missing the blankets of snow and a fair share of overcast days. We’re missing mountains. And it’s more than the privacy. There’s a lot of pressure when it comes to living with no shade.

I don’t have much to hide. I have a clean record, and I’m leading a pretty nuts and bolts suburban existence as a 25-year old teacher, married with a baby and a dog. (Sometimes I forget to take my recycling out — my neighbors are aware of this.) There’s nothing dark or mysterious or skeletal in my walk-in closet. And maybe it’s just me with the complex. But some trees would be nice.