Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family, Wedding

wedding week {Julianna}

So. My sister Julianna got married last week. {!!} Still somewhat hard to believe. She and her husband, my brother-in-law Joshua Spurlock, are honeymooning in the city of love this week… and once they return, there will officially be two of us in what is becoming a select group of married Squicciarini girls who live in tiny homes a few miles from the Family Residence.

A review of the wedding week from my perspective as Sister Of The Bride

+ Sunday kicked things off with brunch for the ladies at 1pm {“bird’s nests” + baked brie}. The berry sat on my lap and happily sampled egg yolk, just like one of the big girls. We went up to Southpark Mall for a shopping spree afterward where I got headbands for both of us {Sophia: Nordstrom; moi: LOFT}. Meanwhile, the men went trap shooting with Joshua at the Charlotte Rifle & Pistol range.

+ Monday Julianna had scheduled appointments at {our new favorite grooming place} the European Wax Center. Sophia & I checked out Great Things consignment store next door and found a perfect {very chic} LBD for Julianna to bring to Paris! Later, I sent Julianna her Sheva Berachot schedule for the week – our community opened up their homes to celebrate the new couple each night.

+ Tuesday we had intended to meet for Bible study as usual, but we ended up changing our plan in order to bring a meal over to the Uphams instead. The gift Greg & I had ordered {from Israel} for Julianna & Josh finally arrived, so I wrapped it and added a “congratulations” card.

+ Wednesday we went to The Residence for lunch with a houseful of people – Uncle Fred & Aunt Stephanie {from Rochester, NY}, Jacob & Heather Meyers + their sons Asher & Zev {from TN}, and Mary Norris {from Israel}. That afternoon we all went for manicures and pedicures at My Bella Spa… I decided on a gold-lined French manicure {loved it!} and skipped my toes since they wouldn’t show. Sophia was such a good girl! {This was my first manicure since the berry arrived, and frankly I don’t see how other moms do it. If I hadn’t had a bunch of women passing Sophia around, there’s no way I could have given my nails time to dry! Needless to say, quite a treat.} The group headed down to Rock Hill to decorate the venue while I took Sophia home and made dinner. That night I went over to spend the evening with Julianna after her mikveh… she and Peter and I talked for an hour or two before bed.

+ Thursday {the big day!} Greg got off work early and we had an early dinner at Earth Fare on our way down to Brakefield. Sophia and I dressed in the Bride’s Room with the other girls and sipped sidecars while Julianna had her makeup done. Heather, the very pregnant photographer, nimbly climbed around the furniture to get some lovely preparation shots. The men gathered in the Groom’s Room to witness the ketubah being signed {complete with celebratory whiskey shots} and hear a Torah teaching from Joshua. Experiencing the wedding as an observer was breathtaking… I almost cried when Joshua entered the Bride’s room to veil Julianna and they looked at each other for the first time in a week – so romantic! Each moment was full of joy and anticipation. Their ceremony was almost exactly like mine {and now I realize that every wedding has little idiosyncrasies!}… short and to the point, rich with tradition, concluded by a triumphant shout of “mazel tov!” As for the reception, it almost seems like a blur… old friends to catch up with, new friends to meet, new family members to hug… it was spectacular.

+ Friday I made food for the weekend {Julianna and Josh did a photoshoot with Heather – sneak peeks here!} and we joined my family for an informal Erev Shabbat with the northern Squicciarinis {their last night in CLT}, the Grant family {from TN}, and the Wright clan {from FL}. Sophia loved playing with the Grant girls, Mara and Belle… I would have two amazing babysitters if they didn’t live so far away!

+ Shabbat ended the wedding week with one of the biggest Bella Torah services we’ve ever had… most of our regular members + the visiting Spurlock relatives and other out-of-town {and in-town!} guests. We had made arrangements to hold the service at the Holiday Inn, in their spacious conference room, and it worked out splendidly. {I have been spoiled by meeting at my parents’ home, where I can put Sophia down for a nap, but holding her gave me a chance to have terrific conversations with two women I admire greatly – Jessie Wilson and Diana Nunez.}

Quite a week…

Weddings are such sweet memories. I love how they bring so many people together, people that might otherwise never cross paths. I am already looking forward to the next one!

=)

Note: I don’t have pics from the wedding yet, but they’re coming!

Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family, Wedding

balloons

Under normal circumstances, a few months isn’t a whole lot of time to get to know someone, but I’ve spent every day of these past five months living with my baby girl, and I feel like I know her inside and out. I know each of her little expressions – her wide grin, her curious face, her determined lower lip, her pout… I know her moods, when she’s feeling energetic, happy, peaceful, tired, restless, hungry, snuggly, frustrated, or nervous… I know how she likes to be held, and how to calm her down… I know all the little sounds she makes… and I also know which toys she likes and which ones she thinks are silly. I know she loves her mommy and daddy. I couldn’t be more proud of my baby! She has brought so much joy into my life.

Week at a glance…

  1. met Greg at Earth Fare to chat + shop houses online
  2. had dinner, a bath {Sophia}, & a whole bunch of conversation with the world’s youngest CSSP
  3. got a surprise gift – a gorgeous Urban Decay eyeshadow, from my stylish husband {is he not the coolest guy ever?!}
  4. visited Christ Covenant Church for a birthday lunch with Greg’s coworkers
  5. helped Julianna {@MrsSpurlock2be} assemble dozens of wedding favors {and let me tell you, I would attend the wedding JUST to get one of these… sooo pretty!}
  6. joined an awesome group of people at The Cowfish for a yummy ahi tuna burger {Sophia’s second time there, no wasabi for her this time}
  7. had a planning session with Laura Guido & Mary Squicciarini to nail down the details for Julianna’s bridal shower {!!}
  8. attended Joshua & Julianna’s {beautiful} Tenaim Service {our first chance to give marriage advice – such an honor!}… what a meaningful concept to outline goals for engagement
  9. spent an evening with Amelia Perez {2.5 miles at the park, followed by tea at home}
  10. continued reading through The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot with Greg
  11. went to a children’s consignment store {my first time visiting Kid To Kid} and shopped baby stuff with Hannah Lorence
  12. indulged in gluten-free pizza {a rare treat!} at Fuel
  13. celebrated Sophia’s 5-month “birthday” by giving her an exersaucer {who came up with that name, anyway?} which she LOVES! {grin}
  14. planned out the next 2 months {whew! we will have to stop and catch our breath when November starts} on my pretty new calendar
  15. talked to one of my favorite people {hello, Poppop} 🙂
  16. nursed in public for the 2nd time {eek} with no problem
  17. had a quiet Erev Shabbat at home {Greg brought me flowers!}… Sophia sat quietly through the entire Kiddush
  18. yet to come: Bella Torah Shacharit service and the final night of our prayer discussion series ~

=)

Baby, Bartos family, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family

more reasons to smile

Awhile ago I read a post on Crysta Bobylev’s blog {Shalom in the Home} that I’ve been wanting to share. Today I went back to reread it and find the link to share it here. Crysta wrote a beautiful post called “Stealing Away,” drawing a comparison between nursing {special time with my baby} and the Sabbath {special time with our King}. Check it out!

Week at a glance…

> welcomed Julianna & Peter home from KY with hugs {from me} and smiles {from Sophia}
> tried new food! {Thai fish cakes… interesting texture}
> got a super sweet email from one of my friends that made my day {thank you Hannah!}
> date night errands with Greg…
> lunch with my big brother {grin}
> made progress in Passion & Purity with Mary; discussed “does G-d want us to be happy?”
> joined a fun group of girls to support the National Network to End Domestic Violence by donating gently worn underwear to women’s shelters in Charlotte, an event publicized by Soma Intimates in Southpark {rewarded ourselves with lunch afterwards at Earth Fare}
> took Sophia to visit an orphanage {Thompson Child & Family Focus} and told her about children that don’t have mommies & daddies
> had a girls day out with my baby! {pedicure + eyebrow wax… 2 things I haven’t done since before she was born} SO proud of her sitting in my lap, watching attentively as mommy was pampered
> got a package I’ve been waiting for {a pretty photo book of Sophia’s baby pictures… surprise gift for Greg’s mom!}
> visited a new cafe in Pineville with my mother-in-law, sipped Tazo Lotus green tea in the sun
> had dinner at The Residence with family + the Stelzls {my cousins}… always enjoy conversation with Uncle Dave!
> made the decision {with Greg’s approval} to donate 10″ of my hair to an organization supplying cancer patients with wigs {nervous about it! But my hair grows very quickly, and has gotten very long… seems like an appropriate time to cut it for a good cause}
> got approved for a mortgage {the house search is officially under way!}
> yet to come: dinner with my niece {I became an aunt when I married Greg… we have a niece and nephew in Massachusetts. Alexis is visiting Nonni for a few days}; first Bella Torah service since the July break; and second week of our liturgical prayer discussion on Saturday nights!

=)

Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family

valentine’s day

My sisters and I have been doing a “31 Days of Prayer” project, praying for our husbands with a different focus each day, and today is the halfway point. Coincidentally, it’s also Tu b’Av, the Jewish Valentine’s Day… so I have to take a minute and rave about my husband. {grin} What this project has shown me so far is how incredibly blessed I am to have Greg in my life! As I look at the focus for each day, I find myself praising G-d because I recognize these qualities in Greg already. We’ve prayed about spiritual disciplines, leadership skills, loving righteousness/hating evil, faithfulness in marriage, a pure heart, character qualities for success, wisdom in finances, integrity, a teachable spirit, self-control, uplifting words, and choice of friends. I am thrilled that Greg’s love for G-d is demonstrated continually! He sees his morning prayer time as the most important part of his day. He constantly studies/memorizes the Scripture. He has a compassionate heart and gives money or time wherever he finds a need. He works tirelessly to support us. He leads our family with wisdom + decisiveness. He is quick to provide my every need, whatever it may be. He is truly a devoted husband. I love you, Greg! You are so good to me – far more than I deserve. Happy Tu b’Av!

Week at a glance:

  • observed the 9th of Av with appropriate mourning, prayer, & reading Eichah {the book of Lamentations}… no fasting for the berry & I this year
    “Restore us to Yourself, Adonai, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old…” Lamentations 5.21a
  • talked to Miss Madison Hackett for HOURS {hug!}
  • made it home safely from our trip {very impressed with Sophia who did so well in the car, even on an 11-hour drive}
  • skipped date night this week {since we drove home all day Monday} and had Peter over for a social visit instead of his usual berrysitting responsibilities
  • unpacked from the aforementioned trip {no small matter now that there are three of us!} and replenished our pantry/fridge
  • met Julianna for conversation {house shopping!} + wild blueberry tea right before she left town
  • spent an evening with my parents sipping port {Greg} and catching up with them
  • heard an interesting new Bible theory {two arks, not one, in the wilderness – one holding the tablets, manna, & Aaron’s rod; the other carrying Joseph’s bones}
  • took care of five returns that had been waiting around here and got $100 back {yay!} {you’d be surprised how many people hear me say “I have a return to make” as I hold Sophia’s car seat and respond with a joke about how “you can’t return those here…”}
  • got an antioxidant boost {beets + carrot juice!} at Earth Fare with Christine and Mary
  • saw Greg’s mom when she stopped by Thursday afternoon, bringing us freshly ground coffee {yum}
  • reorganized the bathroom closet/cabinet {seriously, one of the highlights of my week… why? 1) was able to throw a bunch of stuff away, 2) both places needed a good cleaning, and 3) it’s a thousand times more neat + easy to use now!}
  • finished reading The Sabbath out loud to Sophia… our first book together {besides Hug Hug}
  • yet to come: erev Shabbat at The Residence with a fun group of Texas friends, a quiet day together, and the start of our 4-week discussion series on liturgical prayer!

=)

PS: added a picture to last week’s post… that one was done on my phone as we drove to Kentucky.