Have you ever really looked at the skin of a baby?
It would make anyone jealous the way it is perfectly smooth. It has yet to face the harsh conditions of childhood and beyond: the bumps, bruises, rashes, scabs and scratches. It is fresh start.
I think a lot of people feel this way of marriage: it is a fresh start. It is a clean slate for two people in love to go anywhere with their lives from this unscathed starting point. I don't see it that way at all. By the time two people get married, they have been through something. I would always go ahead and make the assumption that the worst and best are yet to come so a couple who decides to marry must be at the point where they feel they will be able to support each other through not only the worst of times but also the best of times.
Meagan and Jonathan were married last weekend. I had the grand pleasure of standing next to her in front 200 close friends and family. It was a surreal experience being so close to the marriage ceremony. I could see the subtle exchanges between the bride and the groom that made for such an intimate experience: the squeezing of each others’ hands, the whispering of their prayers while her brother sang. I could see the pastor’s thorough notes from which he referred (he has known the couple for years and known Meagan since she was a little girl). I could even smell the flame drifting off of the unity candle. Everything about the ceremony and the events leading up to it were just right because those kids are right for each other.
Thursday evening was the CRAZY girls’ night at Ceviche http://www.ceviche.com/, a tapas restaurant in South Tampa. We enjoyed a delightful evening together, listening to plans for the honeymoon and details of what the next few days would bring. The night continued as we moved the party to Meagan’s home where we enjoyed delicious chocolate-covered strawberries and oreo-cheesecake truffles (I must have the recipe even though I am totally not allowed to eat them), coke zero and wine. Megs told charming tales, engaging us all …
Friday started off with GTL baby! (for all you “Jersey Shore” fans) – GNAILS – TARGET – LUNCH.
This was immediately followed by other random errands, diet lemonade from Chic-fil-a (so good), the rehearsal at the beautiful church, and finally the rehearsal dinner. The dinner was hosted by the groom’s family and was at the ever-so-classy event room at Jacksons Bistro on Harbour Island. Three walls were glass, and it all overlooked Tampa Bay at sunset.
The views of Tampa Bay from the restaurant gave me a fresh look at my hometown; it is prettier than I remember.
The speeches ranged from moving to hilarious (the bride’s brother and sister-in-law took the gold with their rap, “The Married Life” to the tune of Fergie’s “Glamorous”).
Saturday was the big day involving hours of primping, pictures and happy tears. The ceremony was so nice (as described above), and the reception was a blast. Everything just came together so nicely as we sent the happy couple off to their honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort in St. Lucia (IamnotjealousIamnotjealousIamnotjealousIamnotjealous).
I wish Megs and Jonathan all the best (not that they need it). While it may not be a fresh start, this certainly is the beginning of a fun new chapter in their continued lives together.
Upon returning to the real world this week (after all the exciting wedding festivities)...I find myself breaking open many a watermelon, one of my favorite summer foods. I usually end up eating about half of the thing myself. It is just the epitome of freshness. The bright pink flesh has never been exposed to the elements of the outside world. It grows and plumps within the confines of the thick, green shell until it is burst open to be pillaged for its cool, sweet and refreshing insides.
I have decided to share something very important exclusively with my readers: how to properly cut a watermelon (according to me). Very important indeed. Of course there is no wrong way to cut a watermelon, but as someone who has had a lot of practice over the years (a self-proclaimed expert, if you will), I have found that the best way is the way my dad taught me originally from the time I was a kid. I have tried it several ways, but as the 1954 television series says...
"Father Knows Best" - How to cut a watermelon; do it this way.
With a great strong knife, cut the watermelon in half long-ways.
At this point you can wrap plastic wrap around one half of the melon if you want to save it to cut later so it stays fresh longer. However, if you are me, you are eating the entire thing over the course of 2-3 days so you might as well cut it all.
Place the watermelon half, pink side down, on a large cutting board. Slice it in half lengthwise.
Place one of the quarters, green side down, on the cutting board. Slide the knife from tip to tip longways on one side, staying as close to the rind as possible (see picture).
Then do the same thing on the other side (try to make the cut meet close to the middle).
Cut slices (as thick as you like) across down into the melon.
If you want smaller triangles, you can make one more slice down the middle longways.
Pop out the slices!
You can cut the slices into smaller pieces if you want, but I like'em just like that.
Store them in a big ole' bowl and cover with a lid or some plastic wrap.
Thanks, dad, for ALL the life life lessons I have learned and continue to learn from you!