A January Wedding

“True love is not the kind of thing you should ever turn down. Don’t ever turn it down.”- The Avett Brothers.

In January of 2014 my best friend Nicole married her prince Cameron Lee. It was a simple and romantic ceremony and I got to be a part of it.

From the rehearsal dinner (which included the cutest water bottles ever) to the day of the wedding I watched in amazement and almost disbelief as my Nicole officially became a wife. (Hey Nicole, you are married).

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Everything about the wedding was a perfect fit for Nicole. She had been planning the moment since high school and I knew I would be wearing a green dress when I said yes to being a bridesmaid. Nicole always wanted green dresses and a winter wedding with lots of sparkle and that’s exactly what she got.

Her wedding dress was perfect.

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Our bridesmaid bouquets were customized letters.

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We wore green… just like Nicole always wanted.

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Her bouquet, which she made herself, was cleverly arranged using only brooches. I thought it was beautiful and a great way to add more sparkle to the wedding and so Nicole.

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And finally, Nicole looked amazing :)

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I knew once I saw her I was in for some tears but I tried to keep it together. We had pictures to take after all.

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By the way, the professional pictures in this blog came from Allison Maxwell Photography. I think she did a wonderful job of capturing Nicole’s big day and you can check out more of her work here.

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We took all of the traditional photos in front of the church before the ceremony. It was cold but I think they turned out really well.

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Then the groomsmen and the groom got in on the picture action.

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1618610_10153769154170005_2129117219_nBut I think one of the best parts of the pictures was when Nicole’s daddy saw her for the first time.

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Then it was time for Cameron and Nicole to take a picture together. But Nicole wanted to keep her dress a surprise and Cameron wasn’t allowed to see her before she walked down the aisle. The solution was this beautiful picture was taken of them together. I’m so in love with it.

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I’m also very proud of Cameron for not peaking. That must have taken some willpower.

Before we knew it, it was finally time for Nicole to walk down the aisle. In true Nicole fashion she walked in to an instrumental version of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.”

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As I watched one of my oldest friends heading toward her future husband, I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. That plan lasted about five seconds because when I looked over at Cameron I lost it. Cameron started crying when Nicole started walking toward him and couldn’t stop even after she was holding his hands. My heart melted.

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The ceremony flew by with Nicole and Cameron standing up there and looking so in love.

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In the blink of an eye and a kiss on the lips, Nicole Harper became Nicole Harper Lee and she never looked happier.

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I loved being able to support Nicole on her wedding day and I will cherish the memory of the couple’s happy faces forever. It was a perfect wedding.

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The wedding was followed by a reception with friends and family. I was very excited to see a lot of my high school friends who I have missed dearly living so far away.

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Not to mention the food for the evening was a soup bar. I loaded up on potato and taco soup. (Yum).

And again in true Nicole-style, she rocked the sparkles for the first dance.

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The night ended with her tossing the bouquet (don’t worry she brought an extra one) to the group of single girls hoping to be the next one to tie the knot. I stood back during the ordeal, but my friend Cortney Davis went for it and this picture is hilarious.

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But alas, Cortney didn’t get there in time and Nicole’s friend Hannah caught it. In case you are wondering if there is any truth to the bouquet toss, Hannah is now happily engaged…

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Nicole and Cameron your wedding was beautiful and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it. I also want to wish you a belated happy one-year anniversary. (Yes that’s how behind I am on blogging.)

Love you forever Nicole!

Almost time for a January wedding

“Come January let’s get married.”

I’m not the biggest Avett Brothers fan, but my best friend Nicole Harper and Cameron Lee had that song on the brain when they decided to get married in January 2014.

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Nicole and Cameron met working at a summer camp and the rest is history. That picture was taken on the porch swing at the camp where he asked her to marry him. It’s the same swing where they decided they were going to become a couple. How precious is that?

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So in January they got married. And I was lucky enough to be at Nicole’s side as a bridesmaid for the big moment.

I have to say I was very excited when Nicole asked me to be a bridesmaid but I was also a little nervous because I had never been one before. Plus walking down the aisle in a long dress is a fear that I’m sure most women have. What if I tripped and ruined the ceremony?

But Nicole and I have been friends since high school, so she assured me if I tripped she would just laugh at me.

We were really cute back in the day…

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A little before January we had her bachelorette party at the Four Seasons Sheraton in Greensboro. The night was known as “Nicole’s last sleepover.” Although I told Cameron that even once they were married, sleepovers might still happen.

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Nicole looked so cute in her sash and sparkles and we spent the night eating chicken and waffles and playing wedding games.

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Luckily, Emily Bryant was there to capture the whole evening on camera.

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This next one is my personal favorite. Nicole is obviously confused about what the beautiful Cortney Davis is doing.

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We had a fun night full of lots of giggles but none of it seemed real. Every so often Nicole would look over at me and say “This is all for me. I’m actually getting married.”

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I would look back at her in disbelief and say “This is so weird. You are actually getting married.”

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When January finally came Nicole made a beautiful bride just like I knew she would. But that’s for my next blog post.

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Time to talk about Tay Tay

We need to take a brief break my life recap to talk about pop culture for a second, specifically the life and times of Taylor “Tay Tay” Swift.

Swift recently released her latest album and my friends Zandi Watts, Bags and Morgan Wilson went a little crazy. Every time Taylor comes out with something new it’s literally all they listen to. They even nicknamed her Tay Tay a while back and refer to her as if she is a close friend.

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I also wrote a column about her once. I hope the newspaper subscribers liked it. Check it out http://www.facebook.com/notes/erin-kidd/kidding-around-hooked-on-taylor/10151421916388126.

Now I don’t get too excited about musicians and their new albums very often. Frankly, I don’t have the time or the money to keep up with the music scene. I hear new music when I’m with my friends and they are talking about how wonderful an album is and how they have to buy it. Which brings us to “1989.”

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I have to admit that I was a little excited to realize that Taylor was born in the same year I was and she chose to name her album after it. As Zandi Watts said “All the more reason to buy it.”

I’ve only heard a couple of songs so far but “Shake It Off” is very catchy. Not to mention the music video is great. Here it is if you haven’t seen it.

I find the video hilarious and I love the cat sweater she is wearing at the beginning.

I know people give Taylor a lot of grief for dating lots of men and writing songs about them.. but let’s be honest, it’s a two-way street. The men that date her know what they are getting themselves into. She makes no apologies for being herself and I kind of love that about her.

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So, in honor of her recent album release and in hopes that I will soon be able to listen to the whole thing, I’ve made a list of my top five favorite Tay Tay songs. This way we can reminisce on her good ole country days and see how she has grown.

5. “Our Song”
This is the one I would belt out in the car any time it came on the radio. I knew all of the words to it and she looks beautiful in the video.

4. “Ours”

This one recently became one of my favorites and it’s so precious. I particularly like it when people sing these lyrics to me, “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine and life makes love look hard.”

3. “22”

This is a song every 20-something Tay Tay fan loved, including myself. I was around 22 when it came out and my friends and I sang it like it was our anthem.

2. “I Knew You Were Trouble”

Because face it… we all have that boy we knew would be trouble, but we took the risk anyway. Shame on us.

1. “Blank Space”

My current favorite Taylor Swift song is one of her new ones. After I hear it I just can’t get it out of my head. Tay Tay has done it to me again. She sure knows how to write music that people love.

If you haven’t heard it or seen the video, you need to watch it here.

And one more thing before I conclude this post. Another reason I like Taylor is because she’s funny. I think we could be best friends based on the pictures and videos I’ve seen. And we share the same dance moves as illustrated by this video you have to watch. Taylor is lip-syncing to her own song and it is fantastic. I feel like I’ve used some of those same moves in the club.

So I’ll leave you with this. Go out and listen to more Taylor Swift!

Sparkling for 2014

I love all that gliiters and there is no better time to celebrate all that glitters than New Year’s Eve.

As usual, 2013 came to a speedy end and before I knew it 2014 was upon us. A new year brings new resolutions and new experiences. My friends and I said goodbye to 2013 in style with a party at Amanda Drake and Nick Lavid’s house.

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And as you can see, we did it with plenty of glitter.

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I really can’t think of a better way to spend New Year’s Eve than with friends who have always been there for me. Especially with friends who love dressing up as much as I do.

We met at Zandi Watt’s house to curl our hair and make sure we were perfect for this eve that comes once a year. She made my hair beautiful as usual.

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Then we headed over to the party. Amanda and Nick outdid themselves with decorations and food. It was perfect.
And what made it even more perfect is that Zandi brought her camera.

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My friends and I never shy away from a photo shoot. And sometimes we get a little crazy with them.

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I had one of the best New Year’s celebrations I’ve ever had that night. I’m so thankful I have such great friends to celebrate with and I can’t believe that 2015 is almost here. I guess we better start planning how we are going to ring this one in.

In the meantime, here are some more pictures. I just love all of them.

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I saved the best for last. I love you girlies, thanks for being amazing!

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A Christmas blog post…almost a year later

You are probably going to get tired of hearing this from me one day, but I’m sorry I took a break from blogging.

I was doing well and going strong with my posts, but then there were some big changes in my life and the motivation was gone.

I was out the other day and someone asked me why I don’t blog anymore. After realizing I had no answer to give them, I decided I needed to get back to it. I’m still working on coming to grips with the changes but I’m doing better and I have a ton of stuff to share.

With that said, I can’t promise I won’t wander away from the blog again but I will start back my recap with a fun one; a blog about Christmas.

I had a really good Christmas in 2013. We went to McAdenville and The Daily Courier Christmas party was a success. Then I headed home to Randolph County for fun with the family.

We did the usual three family get togethers and I always love seeing everyone and eating all of the good food. But this year at the Kidd Christmas breakfast, my cousins and I decided to do something to add to the fun. Well actually, the girls decided and the boys sighed and played along.

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That’s right… we found old family photos from Christmases past and tried to remake them.

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As you can imagine, this took some time. There was a lot of rearranging and moving around the yard. We’ve taken a lot of pictures over the years.

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Our mothers patiently snapped pictures on cell phones and cameras as we roamed from one side of the yard to the other, trying to make them as close to perfect as possible.

Of course, there were a lot of outtakes. With that many people in a picture it was hard to have everyone looking normal at one time.

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I’m just bossing everyone around like usual.
Andrew being ridiculous as usual.
Andrew being ridiculous as usual.

And then the dogs wanted in on the fun.

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So after a long time outside, we decided we need to warm up and that we had enough pictures to last us until next Christmas. Even though the boys didn’t like it and we had a lot of bloopers, we still ended up with some pretty cute ones.

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It was a blast for me, because we all know I love pictures, and we all had some good giggles looking at them later. I think it really spiced up the annual family Christmas and I’m going to start thinking of something fun for us to do this year. Boys beware!

I left Randolph County and headed back to Forest City, where Alyssa Mulliger, Cory Tarlton and Travis Durkee rounded out the season with our own Christmas party. I don’t have many pictures from the party, but we made gingerbread houses, played games and had a nice time together. We also clean up nicely if I do say so myself.

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It was a wonderful Christmas and I can’t believe it was almost a year ago.

I know you are probably also tired of me saying this but the people in my life are amazing and I don’t know what I would do without them.

Thanks for being patient with me and forgiving me for not keeping up with the blog. I’m not going to say I’ll try harder because I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ll try my best.

Nice to see you again, girlies!

Christmas Town USA

I love lights. Absolutely love them. When I was young I would beg my parents to drive me up and down the highway during any beach trip so I could see the signs and the lights.

So you can imagine my surprise when I learned that I had been living in North Carolina my whole life and I didn’t know McAdenville existed.

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McAdenville, also known as Christmas Town USA, became one of my new favorite places this year. In past Christmases I’ve driven around neighborhoods looking at lights and I’ve visited Tanglewood for its Festival of Lights, but a whole town of lights is something I had never experienced.

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When people at work told me that this town was only a short trip away from Forest City, I decided it was a requirement for my Christmas celebrations. And reading the website about the town made me even more excited. I strongly encourage you check it out here if you love lights as much as I do.

Luckily, I didn’t have to beg too hard for Travis Durkee, Alyssa Mulliger and Cory Tarlton to agree to go with me. Travis, who couldn’t believe I lived in North Carolina and had never heard of Christmas Town USA, even offered to drive his comfortable BMW so we could get the whole experience while riding through the town.

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Girls.. it was one of the best nights of my life. The town is absolutely beautiful. Everyone decorates their houses, there are over 300 trees and it perfectly expresses the magic of Christmas.

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We borrowed the fancy newsroom camera to capture the moments. And I’m really pleased with how the pictures turned out.

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How beautiful is that?

After driving through the town once, we decided to get out and walk around. I think that was my favorite part of the night because it gave us a chance to take more pictures and visit one of the town’s little shops to get apple cider.

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Although it was a little chilly, I loved every minute of the trip.

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I’m also extremely grateful that I have friends who will go look at lights with me and take pictures in sleds with me like this:

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You guys are seriously the best.

PS- I’m planning another trip to McAdenville this Christmas and anyone is invited to join.

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A Daily Courier Christmas

All work and no play makes Erin no fun to be around. So during the weeks leading up to Christmas, I decided to make the office as cheerful as possible.

Spreading the Christmas spirit isn’t always easy at work, but I was determined, and with the help of Alyssa Mulliger, Travis Durkee and Garrett Byers…. we made that place look like a winter wonderland.

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The boys helped me put up some twinkling lights and Alyssa and I spruced up the place with purple and pink Christmas trees for our desks. (PS- I want everyone to know those snowflakes took hours to make. They aren’t as easy as Youtube says they are.)

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Once Travis saw our trees he decided he needed one too.

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And of course Jean Gordon puts up her pen tree every year.

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Garrett even got in on the fun with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Lori Spurling donated it to his desk for the holiday season. It was perfect for him if you ask me.

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When it was all said and done I was very pleased. When the lights were turned out it was beautiful in the newsroom. Alyssa and I often worked in the dark so we could enjoy the lights.

We also had our very own normal-sized Christmas tree from Matt and Amanda Clark. Amanda donated it to the newsroom complete with ornaments and lights. Giddy with excitement, Garrett, Alyssa and I happily decorated the tree one evening to complete the Christmas decorations.

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I was very pleased with the finished product and with the Christmas spirit that filled the office.

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But Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a party. And any excuse for yummy food is fine by me.

So Alyssa and I began planning and shopping for the office party a few weeks in advance. We encouraged everyone to bring food and found some cute Christmas-themed snacks to make. We told everyone to wear their best Christmas attire or tacky sweaters and we waited for the day to see if anyone would participate.

The party turned out to be everything I hoped for. People brought snacks, dressed up and enjoyed spending time with each other. And there was food. Lots and lots of food.

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I made some reindeer cookies.

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And Alyssa brought the reindeer noses.

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And we wore our reindeer antlers and red tights to complete the ensemble. I’m so glad Alyssa was willing to dress up with me because if you know me or have read my blog at all… you know I absolutely love it.

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This is the part where I show you cute pictures we took during our photo shoot with the Christmas tree.

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We even got some of our coworkers to get in on the picture-taking fun.

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How cute are we as reindeer?

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By the way, Alyssa’s shirt says “This is my ugly Christmas sweater” and Travis’ tie had little Christmas trees on it and was reversible. My coworkers make me so proud. (I also curled my own hair for the party. Somebody write that down as a monumental moment.)

The Daily Courier Christmas party was a complete success.

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I’m going to have to start thinking of ways to outdo it for this year.