After our two weeks in Canada, we made our way south to Colorado. I’m just going to take a second to admit that this is the first time I’ve ever looked at where Colorado is on the map. The whole time I was there, I felt like the rockies were the border between Canada and Denver which is crazy because Colorado is pretty much in the middle of America. Totally mind blowing for me.
We spent the first few days in Colorado high up in the mountains where the altitude gives you blood noses at night and good excuses for being unfit. I got the longest-lasting blisters of my life from walking around Shawn’s neighbourhood in shoes two sizes too small, but that’s what you get for travelling light.
Yes, the photo above is Shawn’s “neighbourhood”. Spot the neighbours! And excuse the pixels.
Anyway, we went to this lovely state with the sole purpose of acquiring a new sister. One just isn’t enough. We were pretty successful. So after a few days in the mountains with our dearest co-worker and her energiser-husbie, we went to another little mountain town and moved into a massive house with my entire family. Imagine that.
Nanny flew over for the wedding, which was super special and a huge feat for her, and our German sister and Austrian brother both flew in as well – girlfriend, husband and baby in tow. The house filled up with groomsmen, photographers, and whoever else could fit. There were more bathrooms than I could count, games tables in every room, and a cafeteria sized kitchen table.
Night before the wedding was, in true American fashion, the rehearsal dinner. I was give at least two hours notice to put together a 300 photo slideshow of the two lovers from birth until today, and somehow pulled it off with lots of thanks to iPhoto.
That’s our completely adorable God-daughter and her beautiful mama. This little family travelled from Germany for the wedding and pushed a few of their boundaries to do so. First flights. New beds. Horse ranches. That kind of thing. It wouldn’t have been a Taylor family event without them, and Shane and I love every chance we get to spend with this little family.
This is the Groom. This may have been the point where his Father (and mine) was telling a room full of his closest friends and soon-to-be family in law about how he was conceived. I got every minute of it on tape for his the future generations.
That’s my stellar Nanny. The air is thin at such high altitudes, but she spent the time in Denver acclimatising, and slowly made it up the mountain so she could join her family’s celebrations. So, so glad she was there.
A week in a house with my family is tough. We grate on each other, revert to old ways, can’t see where the other person is coming from, and aren’t always super loving. But a week with my family is also super rare and I wouldn’t trade it. It’s friends, not siblings, getting coffee together, and going out for beers. It’s friends, not siblings, sitting on beds and catching up on the last few months of life. It’s friends, not siblings, bitching about the hardships, and challenging each other to go to God, work it through, and forgive others. It’s friends, not siblings, that strengthen relationships every time we are together, and make decisions to continue being friends, not just siblings.
The most fun part of the Taylor-Fallon-Davis siblings becoming “adults” is in our acquiring of other halves. Each of us has chosen a partner so incredibly different to the others, and our little family of four has (not quite officially..hint hint Andie) become eight. And that is one of the biggest blessings. When it works, when we are good at loving each other, it’s the coolest thing.
And this is us. Getting a photo where we all look good is pretty close to impossible. I know you thought I was really pretty tall, but I’m the shortest of this crew. Annnnd I was wearing platforms. To the left is Cate’s husbie Jordie, and to the right is Björn, our Austrian brother. I met Björn when I was four. Since then he’s pulled my hair, locked me in a room with a dry-ice machine, rugby tackled me, and teased me. Actually, he still teases me. And given the chance, I’m sure he’d rugby tackle me and pull my hair. But he’s the best big brother that none of us had, (other than Sam, I guess??) and we love him to death. He’s using algae to make bio-fuel in Norway, and has met a wonderfully sweet lady there who came with him to the wedding. Our time with him is precious, and our bond is life-long. And no matter how grown he is, my Mum will still tell him that he’s not allowed in a “girls” room.
Leading up to and on the Wedding Day, the Bride and Groom held it together pretty well. Kind of like ducks – calm on top… It didn’t help that the programs were delivered to Sam’s apartment an hour away, two hours before the ceremony. And it didn’t help that we were let in the day before to set up the reception area when the caterers were bringing the tables and table cloths an hour before the ceremony. BUT, somehow, magically or by God’s grace (I’d guess the latter), the wedding was beautiful and nothing seemed out of line. Even Dad’s tie.
It’s a really strange thing watching your little brother get married. With Cate, I was so involved. In the wedding, in the relationship, in the tears and joy. But Sam met Ash at college, and we only spent two weeks with Ash over the last two years. My relationship with Sam could be considered a little strange. We don’t talk often, and when we do I usually challenge him on every single thing he does or says. I don’t know why he ever talks to me again, but I guess it’s just that deep down he wants some overly-opiniated, overly-protective, overly-righteous big sister trying to tell him what to do. That, or he has short term memory loss. Anyway, Ash and Sam fell in love quite separately to “the family”. They seem so young, and their life seems to have so many unknowns, and yet they felt like now was a time to cling to one another and say forever.
I have to admit, I didn’t watch Ash walk down the aisle. My focus, which soon became blurred, was on my little brother. His youngness. His softness. His tears, watching his beautiful bride walk towards him. Gah. It was rough. And so lovely.
That’s Grant Daniels Photography, people. www.grantdanielsphotography.com
Anyway, back to crappy wedding photos taken on our phones…
Shane got this great shot where Cate’s eyes are closed, Ash is looking us like we’re crazy, and the other three of us are turned away. Perfect!
So you might have seen this pretty girl in my photos before. She’s the one who keeps Andie in line (and on time). She fits in pretty well with us – I mean look, we all wore floral! American style. We were the secret bridesmaids Ash didn’t know she had…And THAT right there is my gorgeous husbie. Rocking the mo. And no, I’m not pregnant, it’s just my dress. (Like I told Nanny, when I am pregnant I’ll wear really tight clothes so everyone can see, and until then…well, you see).
And even though this has been a really super long post here, let’s just take a minute to talk about how amazing my Mum looked. Actually, I don’t have words. I LOVED what she wore at my wedding (I chose it, obviously). But this she bought without me, and she did a really, really good job. I hope the proper wedding photographer guy got some better photo evidence than I did.
And that was it. Within a matter of hours Ashlee gave up her name and became a Taylor. Sam had his best friends write a song and perform it for her, and we all bawled like babies. The red wine kept us warm and helped us sleep, and the party of the year was over.
But we were all still in Colorado, and the weekend hadn’t even begun yet (the wedding was a Friday), so we woke up Saturday, spent a few hours trying to coordinate too many people, and finally found our way to Shawn’s local go-karting venue. But, this wasn’t some fun place you go for a party. This was the real deal. 60mph real deal. That’s like 100km/h. And you’re 3cm from the road. But don’t worry – the holes burnt in the full body suits and neck braces were from people who made mistakes, and you won’t make mistakes, right?
We thought Shawn was gutsy before she took us go-karting. We had no idea. She’s three levels ahead, so she gets the fast cars (60mph are the slow ones, ha!). Being “fair”, she took the slow kart out and lapped me at least four times on a ten lap course. I’m pretty sure I was the one doing the speed limit… Shane was in his element, as you can imagine. No, he could not beat Shawn.
Sunday was another family day. At lunch, our hostess raved on about this super cute town, Georgetown. Twenty minutes away was actually 37 minutes away, and the super cute town was…not quite as thrilling as we hoped. We got a syrupy pumpkin spiced latte, and wandered the streets of the tiny town finding basically very little other than a candy shop.
But, you can’t go wrong with the colours of Colorado in Fall. Most of the time these amazing sites were seen from the window of a driving car and photos weren’t really a priority, but follow Sam or Ash on instagram and you’ll be all golden Aspen-ed out. It’s a pretty wild country. Oh, and the mountains are so rocky! Amazing rocks. I guess that’s where the name came from. I took more mental photos than real photos in Colorado, but this gives you an idea of a lot of the drives.
Our family house was in a place called Evergreen. On the drive there we’d see elk (completely amazing) and deer beside the road. On some days, we’d have them as guests in our front yard. They are such graceful and strange creatures.
Our time in Colorado finished on a Verve note, as most things do these days. Our dear friend Aaron flew in to meet with BT (it’s our work name for Dad) and Shawn and interviewed for a position at Verve. We interviewed a few other candidates, and found some perfect fits for the jobs. Aaron, Shane and I stayed the night downtown, ate a super yummy dinner, and the left Colorado together for our next chapter in Chicago.