Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Wedding Day


Let me go back to September 21, 2013. It was a crisp cool morning with not a cloud in sight......who am I kidding. It was a crisp cool morning with plenty of clouds in sight. The back yard was set. The high bar tables were around the pool, we had moved the work bench from the garage to the pool deck to be the bar for the evening. The chairs were set up for the ceremony, the tables were in place under the gazebo for the buffet. We were ready, we were both filled with anxiety as the weather was not cooperating. We were looking at intermittent rain showers through out the day, but secretly deep down in our hearts we were hoping the showers would blow through and not interfere with our wedding day. When was the last time it is has rained in September in California????? My biggest concern when we choose this date was the heat, hence a evening ceremony so the big Oak tree would provide shade for our guests.

This was our wedding day. I was going to marry the love of my life rain or shine. It was about 1:00 pm and Rachel my fiance at the time was outside placing the table clothes on the high bars and the buffet tables. I looked outside and the weather had moved in and then it happened, it started to rain; slowly at first with just a drizzle. I looked at Rachel and I could tell she was holding back the tears, the frustration was overwhelming. I went to her and just hugged her saying "It's going to be Ok, the rain should pass in time for the ceremony. All that matters right now is us and that we are together."

We stood there holding each other trying desperately to keep the tears back, standing there in the rain feeling defeated. All I was thinking about was what were we going to do. I knew I couldn't shut down and that we needed to come up with a plan in case it did rain. We both went inside knowing that we each needed a little space, some time to decompress. I turned the television on and watched something on DVR, what, I don't remember and Rachel played a calming game of tetris. About an hour later I looked over at Rachel and said "We need to come up with an option 2. We are running out of time, the caterers will be here around 4 and the photographer will be here around 3." Rachel knew it, but I think she didn't want to accept the fact that we might be having our ceremony in our house, nor did I for that matter. I had a few ideas and I looked deep into her eyes and said "Rachel, let's walk." Yes, I was using work terms.

With those few words we stood up walked into the living room and frantically started rearranging the furniture. It was still pouring outside and everything was soaked. We moved the dinning room furniture into the spare bedroom as this area was now going to be the buffet room. We removed everything from the kitchen counter and this space was now the bar. We than removed all the furniture from the living room and placed it in the family room as the living room was now going to hold the high bar tables and potentially be where we would have our ceremony if it came down to that. We moved so quickly, it was amazing how fast we moved the furniture. We brought the high bar tables inside, the buffet tables and quickly put the table clothes in the dryer. I immediately jumped in the shower as the photographer was due to arrive at any moment. I walked out to the living room and it looked amazing. We had completely transformed our house. The flowers were out, the candles were in place, it literally took my breath away.

Our photographer arrived a little before 3 pm. At this point the tears and disappoint are about to be shed, it was still raining. She immediately went to work and started getting the photos before we had to finalize getting ready and the family pictures.

At this point my friend Trailmomma arrived. I had asked her to come a bit early to help keep me calm and together and to do any last minute things we/I needed. She already had her hands full as I had called her twice already. I needed a vase for my mom's bouquet. She brought two vases with her. She also ran to Target and gathered all the black umbrellas we had. We would potentially need these umbrellas. What a life saver Pam was as well as Rachel's two friends who were staying with us.

Rachel and I finished getting ready and it was time for pictures with our dogs, as they are family. We had them dressed up with their bow ties. We were able to get pictures out side with Rachel and myself and the dogs, but it was a challenge.

The black umbrellas came in handy as it was drizzling a bit on and off again. After that we drove over to the park near our house and it was time for family pictures. Luckily the rain had stopped. Just as we finished up the family pictures and arrived back home it started to rain again. And when I say rain the skies opened up. We still had hope though that we would be able to have our ceremony outside. Our guests were arriving and were enjoying themselves. I could hear the laughter and see the delight and happiness on their faces. The rain let up and then the most amazing thing happened. Rays of sunlight started to appear as the clouds parted. It was at this point I knew that all was going to work out. We had weathered the storm and it only made our relationship stronger.

Everything was going to be perfect. The rain had stopped. The ceremony was just about to began. I was nervous I wont lie. I was more anxious and excited because I never thought that this day would come.

That I would never meet someone who made me as happy as I am today, who loved me as much Rachel loves me. Someone who loved me for me; even if I am a nerd and a bit random at times. Rachel, brings out so much happiness in me. She is my light. When I see her my face lights up. We were about to began our lives together, to travel down a road that I thought I would be traveling alone. She understands me and accepts me for me and never questions that. I love her so much and all I want to do is spend the rest of my life with her.

The ceremony was special to us. The officiant was a friend of a friend and he did an outstanding job. During the ceremony he made a last minute change that just about melted my heart. You see, my mom passed away when I was 14 from endometrial cancer. Even though she wasn't physically there I know spiritually she was there that day. She made her presence known through the words. Rachel as her gift to me is refurbishing my mom's guitar. Our officiant didn't know anything about this. When we came to this part of the ceremony I about cried.......

I surprised Rachel with cufflinks! Her reaction was price less.

"Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from the same cup. Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of the
lute guitar are alone, though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping for only the hand of life can contain your hearts and stand together, Yet not to near together for the pillars of the temple stand apart.
And the oak and the cypress Grow not in each other’s shadow"
I looked at Rachel and Rachel looked at me with a twinkle in her eye. How did he know? We asked him afterwards about using the word guitar and he said it just came to him during the ceremony. 

Trailmomma signing the paper work!
That day I will never forget. I married the love of my life, in front of my family and close friends. The weather challenged us that day, but we came out on top. We made our relationship that much stronger. Now matter what is thrown in our path, together we can do anything. 

Michael our officiant signing the paper work!

We enjoyed the rest of the evening laughing and talking. There is a long standing belief that it is good luck for a couple to marry on a rainy day. A knot that becomes wet is strong and hard to untie and some in the Hin-du tradition believe the same about a wedding in the rain. We tied the knot on a rainy day and our knot will never become untied for it is as strong as ever. 

A special thank you to our photographer Gabriella Clavel, all photos you see were by her.

A special thank you to Anthony Brantley for the music

Thank you Michael Hill our officiant

To our Family and Friends for joining us on this special day and for celebrating our love and commitment to each other. 

To Trailmomma, Kortnie and Emily...Thank you so much for all that you did that day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

21 Miles For The Week!!!!!

This past week I would say was pretty successful. I managed to log 21 miles in running which is a huge jump from the previous 10 miles the week prior. Overall I am excited that I am able to run again and even more excited that Trailmomma and I are meeting up on Sunday's for our "long run."

Yesterday I went to work about 3:45am and worked until 11:45ish. Once I arrived home I immediately changed into my running clothes grabbed some water and then headed off to Trailmomma's house. Trailmomma was all ready to go and she even had a surprise for me. A new route that she wanted to try. I was looking forward to trying a new route. This new route would take us to Brown's Ravine and a small loop over by the lake and then we would tackle the hills on the last mile back to her place.

The run was pretty great, it felt like we were in the middle of the woods when in fact we weren't. It was also warm out there about 84. I of course didn't bring any water for the run which was a mistake on part, but Trailmomma being a great friend let me have some of hers. The route took us on the road and even some dirt trails. It felt great to be back on the dirt again. We even got a little silly and took our classic JC Penny pose while out there. You will have to check out her site for the pictures though. 

All in all, it is tough getting back in shape, but what makes it easier is having a training buddy who can keep you motivated and focused. I am sure that if I hadn't made arrangements to meet Trailmomma yesterday, then I probably would not have run as far as we did. 7 miles is a big thing. I do know that soon I will start incorporating some hill work to rebuild my leg power and next week we have plans for hopefully a 10 mile run and yes, I will bring water next time. Thanks Trailmomma for the run and thanks to my wife for all the support.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Running Again

After being not able to run for the past 2 months due to a hip flexor injury and also my wedding, I am pleased and excited to say that I am back to running once again. Oh how I have missed it. I can actually feel that my body missed it.

It has been a challenging 2 weeks of a lot of emotional lows in trying to get my brain and body to remember how to run. My first run was 4 miles, I knew I didn't want to push my body and that I needed to rebuild the milage. 4 miles was a long ways. I had plenty of walk breaks which was disheartening and I had no power. I knew that this was due to not running.

At the time of my injury it was actually pretty difficult to walk. To bring my leg forward brought pain and I walked with a limp for a few weeks. In fact the joke around the house was, "You better not have that limp when we get married." Oh the pressure was on. Actually not really.

After the pathetic 4 miler I was mentally in a funk. But, I kept at and my next 4 miler was just as bad as the first. It was like my body forgot how to run. Which I am sure it did, but I knew that eventually on one of my runs everything will click.

This past weekend, I emailed my friend Trailmomma and we made plans to run together. During that run everything felt better. I was actually running. We made plans to continue to run on the weekends in fact we are getting together this Sunday and will actually try some dirt fire roads.

It feels great to be running again. I have missed it. Now I just need to focus on building my strength and leg turn over. I know my fitness will come back, I am sure that this 2 month break was needed. I am looking forward to racing again but most of all I am looking forward to spending some time with my running friends.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cascade Hike/ Rainbow Trail Hike

We have been home now for almost a week. It is really hard to go back to work because all I really want to do is be home with my wife. We had a blast in South Lake Tahoe. We did a bit of hiking, some horseback riding, some relaxing but most of all we were with each other. Our last day we were there we did the Cascade Lake Trail hike. It is moderate 1 mile stair case hike to a overlook that overlooks Cascade lake. Which is a private lake for the residence. It also gives us spectacular views of Lake Tahoe in the back ground. We took our time on the way out and really enjoyed the views. 

This is right before the hike

Here I am on the left jumping for joy and on the right Rachel is at peace with the view and sun. 

Rachel really wanted to do some rock climbing. 

Cascade Lake with Lake Tahoe in the background. 

Here I am practicing my JC Penny pose.  

Pretty neat tree

The view without the lake. Any view in Tahoe is beautiful. 

We also went to Taylor Creek visitors center and walked the Rainbow Trail. During early/late October the Salmon are running as it will be spawning season for them. If you are lucky you might get a glimpse of a bear enjoying some fish. 

Unfortunately the Salmon weren't running, but soon. 

We did though see a family of bears. A momma bear and her two cubs. In the middle of the picture you can see the last cub. That was pretty cool. I wonder if that was the same bear I saw last year? We had a great time and I can't wait to go back again.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Another Amazing Day in Tahoe

Yesterday, we took it nice and easy and enjoyed some down time. We went horse back riding at the Camp Richardson Corral, located on highway 89 past Camp Richardson. Overall our experience was great. We were the only ones during the time we selected. Which meant it was just us and the trail guide. Our horses did really well and we were able to cover more ground than most parties do in the hour time slot. 

Rachel, really in her element.

The corral also offers boarding and during the winter time it offers authentic sleigh rides. There was a age restriction, at least 6 years old. But they did offer "pony" rides for the little ones if they weren't old enough to ride on the trail. 

Here I am petting the horse before riding, and yes I am very scared. 

Here are our horses; Cigar and I can't remember the other's name. Cigar had a very calm personality. In fact the trail guide told us he doesn't want to get to left behind so he will gallop to catch up. He is also very thoughtful before any obstacle he goes over; as in he thinks about each foot placement. Kind of like me. Rachel's horse on the other hand, took the quickest route and didn't care if it fell behind. All in all each horse was a good pick for each of it's riders. 

After our horse ride we headed over to the Beacon Bar and Grill and enjoyed some lunch. We had the clam soup which was amazing. I ordered the fish and chips which were dispassionately over cooked and Rachel enjoyed the Lobster and Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich, which was amazing as well. 

Then we did some site seeing, tourist style. I took Rachel up to inspiration point and we looked down upon Emerald Bay and just enjoyed the moment and being with each other. 

So far, this is the perfect vacation for us. We have enjoyed some great hikes, some horse back riding and also some amazing views, but most of all we have enjoyed spending time with each other and taking it all in. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fun in Tahoe

It has been a crazy week in the Pigeon household, but we are also taking some time for ourselves and relaxing in beautiful South Lake Tahoe on our Honeymoon (Wedding post to come when I have pictures!)

Yesterday we enjoyed a very nice day hike. We headed to Fallen Leaf Lake and did the Glen Alpine Trail Hike. This hike took us to a beautiful water fall and also to Soda Springs and Grassy Lake.

The weather was coming in, so we made sure to bring some warm clothes and I am glad we did as the first part of our hike brought in some snow flakes. As we climbed the weather cleared up and became sunny with wind gust. We ended up turning around about 1 mile after Grassy Lake due to some pretty gnarly looking clouds and I knew I didn't want to get caught in that weather system.

The Glen Alpine Trail is located at the end of Fallen Leaf Road and the trail can take you to Mt. Tallac, which offers incredible views of Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe. You can hike to Gilmore lake, Half Moon lake, Susie and Heather Lake, as well as Lake Aloha. The views are breath taking and the great thing about coming to South Lake Tahoe at the end of September is the trails are pretty much empty, plenty of parking as this is the down time as in non peak season.

On the Pier enjoying the view

Pretty Cool Tree

Taking a moment to enjoy the view

Water Fall on the right, and that is me pushing the tree over

Ohh, wait....I shouldn't have pushed the tree over!

More to Come, stay tuned on what other adventures we will have. (Today Horseback Riding)