And so it begins!!

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again! It’s like Christmas – so exciting, but always seems to come out of nowhere!

We definitely enjoyed our off season this year – here are a few pics for you :). We were married February 6th – yes you guessed it, strategically planned for the first Saturday after Signing Day! How’s that for life revolving around football??

But seriously, it was the best choice of date that we could have ever made – all coaches’ kids – I highly recommend using this day. Everyone is still flying high from the success of Signing Day (well, hopefully), and coaches are at the beginning of an entire month of freedom – so daddy is obviously in a good mood!

Dancing with my dad was far more emotional than I anticipated – I sobbed the entire time! We danced to “There Goes my Life” by Kenny Chesney. My dad gave the best speech I could have ever imagined. The one line that I’ll always remember him saying is “Congratulations, you two will be soul mates for the rest of your lives!” I couldn’t agree with him more. Here’s the link to our wedding video!

Our “first look” was at the very top of a building on a helicopter pad in the middle of Atlanta, our favorite city! We met, attended school and spent most of our relationship there; so making our vows back in the city where it all began made our day extra special.  We wrote letters to each other, turned back to back, read them, obviously cried, and then turned around on the count of three to see each other for the first time that day. It was wonderfully emotional and such a relief, as nerves just continued to build all day with anticipation of finally seeing each other!

our-wedding-1025(2)From the moment getting married became a comprehensible event in my life, walking down the aisle became my biggest fear. No, it wasn’t the 6-inch heels I had to wear (dumb, dumb decision – they came off my feet 25 seconds after the ceremony ended). It was the emotion I knew would surface when my dad handed me away.

My dad and I are as close as it gets. We talk 5 times a day and see each other as often as possible. He really is my best friend. So I just knew that moment was going to be emotional for us both! When they pulled the curtains back, my dad kissed me on the cheek and grabbed my hand as we locked arms and made our way down the aisle. I feared we would both be sobbing, but surprisingly, we were calm and happy. My dad said afterwards he felt nothing but joy because the person he was giving me away to was Corey, the most amazing person a dad could dream of his daughter marrying. Side Note: I hate that “giving away” saying. It’s so final! Real life, we got married, actually moved closer to my parents and spend several evenings a week with them – and we LOVE it! So it’s safe to say, this wasn’t the most emotional part of the day, but it sure was nerve-racking.

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You can see him holding my hand here, so sweet!!!! 

We had the BEST wedding team ever. Visualanties, Cody Hunter Photography, and the best wedding planners in the world – Along Came Stephanie. We had several other vendors that were absolutely amazing. I listed them below in case you are interested in using any of them. I would recommend them all 100 out of 100 times.

Okay, last wedding picture, I have to share how gorgeous my mom and sister looked! They came down right before my dad and me. I just love how the pictures turned out!!

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So fast forward a couple of months and more exciting news! I’m sure most of you are aware, but there will be a sweet little baby boy joining us in December (just before the bowl game). It’s the first grandbaby, so the whole family is just dying to meet him! I was really nervous about pregnancy during football season – it’s supposed to be 9 months of keeping stress low and taking it easy, which is near impossible for any of us this time of year. My mom reassured me I would be okay – she recalls specifically at 8 months preggo charging the field when Notre Dame beat The Team Up North during the season my little brother was born. Just go ahead and laugh at that hilarious visual. So I will promise to reenact that entire situation if we get some big wins later in the year. I hope for your sake the cameras catch it happening, ha!

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Okay, now that we’re all caught up on life over the last 8 months – the craziest 8 months of my life – I can get back to business. Football is HERE! I spent a beautiful 2 weeks alone without my husband or dad (that’s sarcasm, it’s the absolute worst). I finally was able to spend a really nice evening with them on Saturday while listening to live music with wonderful friends – our favorite family activity ever. It’s so bittersweet. You know the most exciting time of year is coming up, but you can’t help but feel sad that the “worry-free” off-season is now another year away. It’s not really “worry-free” as you can imagine, but it’s not a weekly panic attack like the actual season brings.

If you remember from last year, the Game Week family schedule is about to begin. Dinner with my dad on Wednesdays, Family night on Thursdays and high school football on Fridays to watch my brother, Nate, dominate as a safety in the backfield. I really enjoy a good schedule like this, especially when four out of seven days are designated to spend with family from 6:00pm until bedtime.

I’ll keep this first blog pretty short and brainstorm some interesting topics for the rest of the season. Thanks for reading and inspiring me to share my side of the football world. Hopefully, I can shine some light on one of the wildest professions out there and let you see that these players are just 18- to 22-year-old kids trying to make it through college as a student athlete and that the coaches are good husbands and dads just trying to do their best and win some games.

I would like to note an amazing point Coach Schiano made at dinner the other night. He said the prayer with the entire staff along with their wives and prayed for the coaches. He prayed for them to coach these boys not only in sports but also in life. To help them grow as players, but most importantly, to help them grow as men – into good dads and husbands themselves one day. That gave me chills!

So Buckeyes, if you aren’t already aware, these are the type of men who are on your sidelines coaching, and you should be proud, because they truly are the best!!

SEE YOU SATURDAY, GO BUCKEYES!!!!

Nicki

 

 

Wedding Credits: Along Came Stephanie (design, planning, décor), Cody Hunter Photography, The Lovebenders (Columbus based band), Visualanties (video), Kaleidoscope Naples (floral), Ventanas, Stats, Hilton Garden Inn (venue), Geri Sims (draping), Aura Hair and Makeup, Trishalicious Cakes.  Rental from We Rent Atlanta, Jim White Designs & Over the Top. 

One thought on “And so it begins!!

  1. Beautifully written! Your wedding day was beautiful! Congratulations on the impending arrival of your baby boy! I just had my first daughter in July, it’s truly the best thing ever!! And you will survive the stress just fine! I was pregnant during the last few games of Buckeye football and also while watching my favorite NFL team (Carolina Panthers) make it to the Super Bowl ( and lose :/) and survived all of that stress just fine! Wishing you a healthy and happy pregnancy! So ready for football, Go Bucks!!

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