Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Renewing our Wedding Vows

For our 7 year anniversary Ian put together a wedding vow renewal ceremony. Ian told me that he wanted to say our vows to each other again on the beach in Puerto Vallarta since we were already planning to go on vacation there and that is where we went for our honeymoon. So, I bought a white linen dress and a little orchid mini-veil. I thought it would be sweet to do our personal vows for each other one night; little did I know that Ian had a lot more up his sleeve.

Once we were in P.V. Ian informed all the family there that we would be having our ceremony at 6pm on Thursday night. I was excited that his whole side of the family would be there to share in our vow renewal and that he was making it a special deal for everyone.

Thursday afternoon I hear a knock at our room door. Standing outside is a lady with a beautiful bouquet of white roses and a matching boutonniere. Right away, I realized that this was a lot bigger than I had imagined. Ian had met with the wedding coordinator at the resort and planned the whole event without me knowing much of anything. It was overwhelmingly thoughtful and I loved every moment of it.

Ian's brothers took family pictures before the wedding and beautiful shots during the ceremony as a wonderful gift to us. When we walked out to the beach there was a white curtain cabana on a small jetty in the ocean set up especially for our vow renewal. Ian had them put out white covered chairs and line the walkway with straw mats and tiki torches and candles. It was beautiful!

The ceremony itself was so special. We actually remembered our vows perfectly when the time came. It is funny that when you sit down to write your vows you really assess what it is that you want in a marriage and what you hope to accomplish. It really was neat to restate our intentions and refocus our relationship on those main goals. Ian and I wrote our vows more than 7 years ago, but they are still just as pertinent as ever. They are short, so I will share them with you all:

Ian: I make these promises to you Rachel Elizabeth.

Rachel: And I to you, Ian Matthew

Ian: That above all others on this earth, I choose you.

Rachel: And I you, my love

Ian: I promise to love you for who you are and not who I want you to be.

Rachel: And I promise to honor and respect you above myself.

Ian: I will cherish and provide for you.

Rachel: And I will glorify God with all the love that you give to me.

Ian: And I will point you to God, rather than myself.

Rachel: For the rest of our existence.

Ian: For the rest of our existence.

Rachel: We bind these oaths in Jesus' name.

Together: Amen

The ceremony also included the blessing of our wedding rings and a blending of two vials of sand from the beach (which was completely appropriate since it was the same beach where we had our honeymoon and started our lives as husband and wife.)

Afterwards, the family all had a champagne toast and an amazing dinner at a restaurant overlooking the ocean. It really was the perfect day! Thank you, Ian, for wanting to marry me over and over again. I love you. And thank you for all of you that stood as our witnesses 7 years ago and the family members that were there this time around. We are grateful for your examples to us as a couple and your support as friends in this journey of life!

Here are some pictures that were taken of our renewal ceremony:

Bride and Groom :)
The boys had these precious matching sear sucker suits that MiMi had given them.
They looked adorable!
Our family walk from our hotel room out to the beach
The whole family before the ceremony
our little family
Walking out to the jetty cabana
Ian stopped to write our names in the sand
We just had to walk out to the water before the ceremony!
It was a gorgeous evening on the water
water splashing us
my love
I still can't believe Ian put all this together for me.
It was like getting the joy of having two weddings in one lifetime!
The ceremony
such a special memory
blending of the sand
"You may kiss your bride"
Exiting the ceremony
The family right after the renewal; we exited the ceremony with our boys in our arms
my beautiful bouquet Ian picked out for me
Walking back down the straw mat isle
I kept joking that they were my "bridesmaids" :)
Everyone at the patio bar for the champagne toast afterward
Our attempt to twist arms and drink for the toast! :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Puerto Vallarta

We just returned home from our first "family" vacation. Ian and his family have been going on family vacations to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico since he was one year old! He has so many special memories of his childhood there, learning how to swim, going on jungle walks, getting fresh tortillas from the tortilleria, and the walking on the Malecón. It was special for Ian to get to share so much of his personal childhood with our boys.

Elijah and Joaquin were completely spoiled from all the attention they were getting. Gamma and Gampa, Uncle Stu, Aunt Katie, Uncle Chris and Aunt Melanie as well as Lita (their great-grandmother) were constantly playing in the pool, around the beach, going for walks, and sharing fancy meals. Gamma and Gampa let Ian and I go out with the brothers and sisters while they watched the boys a couple nights too! It was an amazing vacation. We spent most of our time at the pool during the day, then after the boys napped we would all get dressed and head into town for dinner! We got numerous comments from all the locals about how cute Elijah and Joaquin were with their blue eyes and blonde hair. We felt like such proud parents to have our kids oohh'ed and ahhh'ed over. Elijah really broke out of his shell and gave high "cincos" to everyone in town and Joaquin was a constant flirt with all his dimpled smiles!

Ian went above and beyond for our anniversary (but that will be another post later...) Here are some pictures of our wonderful family time in P.V.

View from hotel room.

Our attempt at a human totem pole... Daddy, Mommy and Joaquin

Ian and I in front of the Iglesia de Guadalupe

all the big guys...

Aunt Katie and Elijah (this was way past his bedtime)

Gamma and Gampa and the boys

Aunt Melanie and Uncle Chris

the family in the pool. there was a large baby area with water about a foot deep. the boys loved it!

Ian and the boys in front of a fountain on the resort grounds

Mommy and Joaquin under my favorite laying-out hat

Ian and I after dinner one night

Stuart, Elijah, Ian and Joaquin on the Rio Cuale

Everyone out at dinner one night

Joaquin has such great balance. He loved showing off his skillz in the pool with Daddy.

Elijah on the stairs outside the flea market


Katie on the Malecón

crazy sand sculptures

Stu during breakfast one morning

Gamma keeping Elijah occupied while we were trying to eat breakfast.

Daddy and Joaquin engrossed in the World Cup game

One silly night out at Senior Frogs

Daddy and the boys with their sombreros

tequilla shots! owwww!

Elijah was doing his g-funk dance Uncle Stu taught him!

Mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio


Elijah crawled up next to daddy to "lay out" like daddy was. It was so precious!

The center of the pool had an island that had a hot-tub in the center of it and waterfalls off every side. It was beautiful!

Gamma and Joaquin during sunset on the Malecón
(I don't remember exactly why he was pantless)

Performers on the Malecón

our little family all dressed to go out to dinner one night

Gampa and Elijah on the bridge over to the island in the pool. This was one of Elijah's favorite things to do... go on the bridge and look for Iguanas.

Joaquin surfing on Daddy's tummy :)

poolside chilaxin

swim up bars! ahhhhh! Elijah always got a lemonade and he thought he was super cool! He loved sitting on the little stools in the pool.

Aunt Katie, Joaquin, Uncle Stu and Elijah on one of the waterfalls

The crew headed out to dinner one night on the Malecón.

Uncle Chris, Ian and the boys in the pool

Ian and Joaquin

Ian's stained feet. The tanner on his sandals rubbed off on his feet and would not come off! It was so funny I had to take a picture!

View from the living room/kitchen area of our room.

Chris, Melanie and I outside the tortilleria

the shakey bridge

The boys having lunch on the living room couch.

If you can't tell... WE HAD A BLAST!