Friday, April 21, 2017

Sunday Post-Wedding

Sunday morning after the wedding, we got to sleep in. For someone from America, this is a luxurious experience! (We have one service on Sundays and it starts at 3:30pm)

We woke up to the sound of the tamale cart passing by. I stuck my bed-head out the window and waved at him to stop. 

We got a few different kinds of tamales - this is a sweet one with cream inside.

Cherie asked for a mole one (a sauce unique to Puebla, pronounced "mole-ay").

After breakfast, we dawdled around the house, chatted, and got ready for the day.
We then headed to church - Stephanie came with me to pick up my kids.
Steph and Belen
Cherie and Steph - looking adorable in their Mexico-themed outifts!
They participated in the hoola-hoop contest in Sunday school, much to the pleasure of the team and kids!

Look who they got to meet.....

Abner was gone so I subbed for his Sunday school class...


Cherie played for the main service. I had hoped she would agree to do so and it was so nice to switch things up!! I sang and my dad led. Oh, and Johnny played the drums!

Nicole sang a special...

Andrew testified...

...and so did John.

Pastor Collins preached a wonderful message to us! God is getting ready to do GREAT things!

Andrew and Fabioli

After church, we went out to eat at Tacos el Puente - our favorite place for carne asada tacos.

Austin, after a near-death choking experience which he denies as such, but calls it "the door to my throat just closed."
I'd told Stephanie that the taco-eating record was held by Bro. David from Mexico City - he ate NINE.

Andrew and Stephanie decided to break this record and go for TEN!
They accomplished this feat, I am proud to say! I can't imagine this record will stay like this for long - who is going to let an American WHITE girl out-do them?!

It was a fun Sunday! So good to have our friends and family together again!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

The After-Party

As I mentioned in the previous post, the skies were working up to a big storm as everyone left Nicole and John's wedding fiesta. All of us in the wedding party decided we wanted to go downtown to finish out an awesome night with more eating and celebrating! Everyone wanted to have the public transportation experience, so we started heading to the corner where the bus passes. My house is on the way to the bus stop and as we got closer, it started raining cats and dogs! Thunder and lightning! We all ducked into my house to wait out the storm.

I'd recently acquired some new little pets - we were in the market buying the supplies for Nicole's wedding dinner when I spotted a lady selling these plants for about fifty cents each. I thought they were SO CUTE and exactly what I'd been looking for to give my house a pop of green freshness. Nicole says the lady told me stuff about the plant, but I was so excited to have found them that I didn't hear anything except "water it every few days". I vaguely remember Nicole saying something about :wheatgrass" as we walked away from this lady's stand and I thought, "Oh wheat in bread...?" I was over the moon. I didn't know this was the beginning of my first gardening experience! Later Stephanie explained that these were a "power house" of vitamins. You can eat them plain, put them in smoothies, make wheatgrass shots (shots - as in a shot of this, a shot of syrup? Not a shot in the arm.) Turns out, wheatgrass is very yummy and fresh-tasting. Kind of like...grass! For the week the girls were here, we enjoying plucking strands out to eat (probably not the best idea because of the whole root thing lol), and giving it haircuts. I love the haircutting part! I feel like it's my kid, at a trip to the barber. But since I'm such a money-savy DIY-type mom, I do it myself. *aw, shucks! blush, blush*

This has fixed the puppy hankering I've had since Nicole moved out. It's just my kind of pet. I can snuggle it, bury my face in its hair, smell it, love on it, feed, detangle, and groom it, fawn over and worry about it. In return, it doesn't yap, leave presents for me to clean up, or have to be potty trained. It just sits there and looks pretty.

Ready-made salad! For extra flavor, I can drizzle some Ranch dressing over it.
 I recently purchased them some fancier homes. They are spoiled rotten! 
I'm hoping that phenomena doesn't occur in this case - where the pet and owners start looking alike...

Back to the main event of this post - 
The storm soon abated and we continued on our journey to the Zocalo of Puebla.

Waiting at the corner for the bus
On the bus...bouncing down the road to our destination
We took plenty of adorable under-the-umbrella pictures

We got serenaded by this man who, come to find out... (on account of Cherie's great memory)...
^^ Renactment of the picture below
...had serenaded Cherie and Stephanie on their first trip to Tacos Los Angeles a few years ago - LOL.

Our first sips of the best Horchata in the world -

It doth meet our standards!

I love Cherie and Stephanie. Wonderfully adventurous, both get a kick out of Mexico's vast array of delicious cuisine!

We were honored that John and Nicole elected to spend the time after their second wedding ceremony with their lowly family and friends. (Unlike after their FIRST wedding...)
The famous fruit platter you must try!
After dinner, the girls and I took an Uber home. Unfortunately, our driver missed his exit and we ended up spending the majority of this eternally long ride wondering if we were about to meet our Creator.
"Are we being kidnapped?"
I'm kidding. I wasn't thaaaaat blood pressure was hitting new heights though at the ridiculousness how long it was taking us to get home. It should've been a fifteen minute ride, but turned into about 45.

This is how far out of the way we went.


*be pleasant* 

And that was the end of our night! I shall continue the story of my sister and our friends' visit next time!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Big Mexican Shebang

 Nicole and John's wedding celebration here in Mexico was last week. Two of Nicole's bridesmaids, Cherie and Stephanie, were able to come down and be in on the celebration. Andrew, John's best man, made it and John's parents, Pastor and Sis. Collins came as well! This was all so special! 

Saturday morning we got ready and headed over to the church to start setting up. We turned on to the street of the church and saw this big tent set up. This was where all the festivities would take place!

 A few more table runners had to be made so we started out with that.

We then got all the papel picado strung around the tent. The guys actually did most of this work, but unfortunately, they went inside the church for a break and Nicole and I were the only ones captured doing this "hard labor". Nicole wanted to wait for the guys to come back and finish it, but I insisted we were "strong independent women" and could do it ourselves. The truth is, I'd never climb a ladder to hang something this high, therefore, Nicole is the strong one - ha!

There were 110 chairs rented and 110 seat covers to be put on these chairs, then 110 sashes to be tied around each chair - slow and steady, we got it done!
There were bouquets to be trimmed for table centerpieces, and vases to be filled with water
After everyone pitched in for a solid couple of hours, things started coming together!
After things were all finished, we had an hour before the party was to begin. I told everyone - just relax and focus on cooling down! It was pretty hot under that tent.
The same exact thing happened to me that happened before the ceremony in Idaho. People were arriving, last minute details were being ironed out, and I was loving getting to chat with everybody as they arrived!! All of a sudden my dad yells at me to get upstairs because everyone was waiting on me to be able to start the ceremony. I looked around and sure enough, the rest of the wedding party was no where to be seen. Hahaha! 
I ran upstairs to the house, then realized I'd forgotten to give my camera to someone so they could take pictures. I ran back downstairs. 
I ran upstairs again then realized I'd left my bouquet on a table in the tent...ran back downstairs to get it. 
Up and down, up and down. I was so nervous! Excited! This was the true party we'd so been looking forward to! The Idaho ceremony was the more serious and important of the two. The Mexico one was where we could all let our hair down, have fun, and CELEBRATE with our friends and family! I was beside myself. 
In the meantime, Steph and Cherie were helping Nicole get ready :D

Before our grand entrances, we snapped one last picture of us all! 

We all waited at the top of the stairs as Dad announced each member of the family and wedding party. 
According to the tradition of Mexico, the Collins and my parents are related now and are called "consuegros". In-laws to each other. For example, instead of my dad referring to Pastor Collins as "my daughter's father-in-law", he is now just "my consuegro". Sis. Collins is my parent's "consuegra". Family ties are endless here!!
 The "Abuela" of the bride....*drumroll!*.....
Sis. Wakefield!!!!! 
And everyone cheers and claps :)

...The mother of the bride! 
Sis. Wakefield again!!! 
Woo hoo!!! *Cheering and whistling!*

The best man and maid of honor...Andrew and Bethany! 
He bowed, I curtsied...*Clap, clap, clap!!!*

Bridesmaid Cherie! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!

Bridesmaid Stephanie...Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!

Annnnnnd......THE BRIDE AND GROOM!!! 
As they walked through the doors, Johnny did a repeat of their first kiss in the Idaho wedding and dipped Nicole back for a big smooch! 
Of course this brought on even MORE cheers, whistles, clapping, and laughter! 

Looks like Dad is holding a dazed Johnny steady HAHA!
After everyone was announced and had taken their seats, Dad and Bro. Collins performed a small ceremony. They talked about the importance of purity, marriage, and a life lived for the Lord. 

It was short, sweet, and special. When they were done food started being served. 

We had mixiotes, rice, beans, and tortillas. Fabulous fare! 

It was funny, some street vendors saw that a party was going on so they came and stood with their wares, ready to make some sales. Agg! :D

Cherie and Steph got to see old friends from the last time they'd visited.

Nicole and John opened their wedding gifts. 

Nicole and little Stephy
 Everyone wanted pictures with the bride and groom!

I missed this part, but it looks like Nicole and John got a little bit more crazy with the cake-feeding part of the party. 

 Nicole threw her bouquet...

 ...Of course Stephanie caught it! Being the tallest and right in the front row - lol!

Johnny also threw his tie (they don't do garter tosses here in Christian churches) but I don't have a picture of that!

Soon, the the excitement escalated and the men started having pole-climbing contests. We do this at our church conferences sometimes and it is the equivalent of an arm-wrestling contest. Time for the men to prove their strength! :D The goal is to make it to the top of the pole, slap the tent roof, then slide down, all to the uproarious cheers of the people below. 
Abner muscling it to the top...
Even our American visitors got involved! Our people love Andrew!
We then got Dad to climb it...
I don't know what happened here, but there was a photographical malfunction and it looks like Dad is wearing a skirt LOL.

The bridal party was in the corner all gathered together and we were the ones scouting men to climb the poles. We'd scan the crowd to find an able-looking gentleman, then begin chanting his name. The crowd would then join in and instantly you have an entire tentful of people shouting your name in unison. It is great for peer pressure!!!!
You can even get a boost up if you need it
 We all started chanting "PASTOR, PASTOR, PASTOR!!" But can you all believe it? He refused! C'mon Grampa! You can take 'em all!!

Instead, Grampa put the brothers Ismael and Israel up to the challenge. He threw down a $100 peso bill on the ground between them. Whoever made it to the top first would take the prize!
Ismael, the young man further down, won the contest.

Our tallest guest and possible the shortest - guau!
Our Tio Mario couldn't come to the party because...if you can believe this...of ALL times for something like this to happen....little Miss Elissa came down with the chicken pox right before the wedding! It was a huge bummer.
But we were glad to have our Tia Hayde!
Need I mention Abner? We can always count on him.

We have a photographer family in my church and before the party ended, they asked that the bride, groom, family and wedding party gather behind the tent for one last picture.

The sky started looking pretty cloudy, the wind started blowing....a downpour was on its way!
Everyone helped fold up tables and chairs and clean up quickly.
People loaded up, tummies full, and huge smiles on their faces!

It was a wonderful party! A complete success! It was wonderful to be together with our loved ones and saints from the other churches around the area.


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