Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Hoopla

The real reason we gathered on this day.
It might be a stretch to say we had a wedding so we could have a hoopla, but not much of one. We had lawn games, an open bar with some of our favorite beer, and a pig roast for dinner. (OK, it wouldn't be much of a stretch either to say we had a wedding so we could have a pig roast.) Since it was something of a whirlwind of pictures, friends, family, beer, and food, I don't really remember enough of the events to relate them in a blog post. Instead, I'll share some of the amazing toasts that were given and a bunch of pictures, and invite all of you to share any stories you might have in the comments.


Hello everyone!  I’m Michelle, one of the bridesmaids.  I would like to thank everyone for being here today…  Josh and Carissa’s wedding day has been wonderful thus far and I’m so happy we are all here to share it with them.

I met Josh and Carissa when we were all in college at Saint Michael’s and even though I am certain I met them individually, I do not actually think I have any memories where they weren’t a couple.  For the whole time I’ve known Josh and Rissa, they have been a team.

It was like Josh and Rissa were the really important corner pieces of a puzzle.  Once they found their way to each other, everything else just fell into place.  And we’re all here today to celebrate that partnership that’s even older than my college degree, which is unfortunately getting up there in age itself.  When I asked them each what they loved about the other, Josh said that he loves how she defines herself.  He said, “Most people draw how they define themselves from all the pre-fab identities of our society.  Rissa defines herself completely on her own terms.”  Which I thought was so lovely… and when I asked Rissa what she loves the most about Josh, she replied with, “He makes me and puts up with my decorating style.”  Which I feel like does a really great job summing up why they are so fantastic together.

So on your wedding day, my friends, I would like to offer up some wishes I have for the two of you as you continue on your life’s journey together.

  1. May you always be adventurous while cooking - but never so much so that you need the fire extinguisher.
  2. May you always have the chance to get outdoors enough to be able to see the stars and then go make smores around the campfire.
  3. May you always be ready for the mosh pit together, but never the ER afterwards.
  4. May your love of literature and learning always be something you share with each other.
  5. May your love of nerdy things never waver - I hope you always have new blogs that are as epic as The Muppets Take Ulysses.
  6. May you always compromise for each other.  Rissa watches hockey because you, Josh, love hockey… She does not love hockey, but is there anyway and that’s beautiful.
  7. May your wanderlust always bring you on fantastic trips* - but always make sure to come home to where your friends and family are… because we all love you.
  8. May you always find room on your bookshelves for just one more book… even though you know you shouldn’t.
  9. May you always take care of each other, like Josh did after Rissa’s surgery - filled with a calming demeanor, thoughtfulness, and the desire to see the other comfortable and happy.
  10. And last but certainly not least, may you someday soon find your dream home - it will probably be 65% kitchen, 30% library, and 5% rest of house.  Or better yet, get a gigantic place with a greenhouse and a barn that you can convert into a brewery!  Just think my, I mean your very own tap room!

I love you both very much and am so happy for you two… If everyone could raise their glasses, to Josh and Carissa.

May you never lie, steal, cheat, or drink.
But if you must lie, lie in each other’s arms.
If you must steal, steal each other’s kisses.
If you must cheat, cheat death.
And if you must drink, drink with us, your friends.


*Okay, so I am the emotional one in our group of friends - Besides Drew, of course - and I promised that I was going to try not to cry, but if I do, here it is…

Andy Frechette: For those of you not familiar with the South Lewiston Little League tee-ball scene, I am Andy Frechette.  Josh and I were tee-ball teammates, playing for Worden Realty, in those beautiful powder blue uniforms.  Didn't really seem like a big deal at the time, but it turns out it would be the first of many meetings. 

In the third grade, my school, Holy Cross, had a pen pal program with McMahon School.  As luck would have it, I was paired with my former teammate.  Now, as some of you might already know, but Josh likes to write things.  (Pause for uproar.)  I am not sure what my classmates were getting for correspondence, but I recall getting some fairly lengthy and involved letters.  All I could really do in return was send back pictures of Shamu that I had drawn. 
At the end of the year, our schools got together so that we could meet our pen pals.  I challenged Josh to a game of basketball.  At the time, I was unaware that no private school kid should ever challenge a public school kid to a game of basketball.  I received the trashing of a lifetime that day.  I also learned that for a boy of his size, Josh was deceptively quick. 
In the seventh grade, Josh and I were in the same home room.  Even though it was 1992, Josh was still sporting a full-on mullet: spiked in the front, long in the back, lines shave into the side.  In spite of this unfortunate choice, Josh and I became fast friends and were pretty much inseparable for the next six years.
Like most young teenagers, Josh and I tried to get into some trouble.  This was impossible, because Mr. and Mrs. Cook always understood.  It really was infuriating at times.  (Yes, in spite of the fact that I am thirty-four years old, they are still Mr. and Mrs. Cook.  Calling them Ray and Beth would be like calling my mom Kathy.)  Aside from their unwillingness to get angry with us, they did a wonderful job raising Josh and, on a great many occasions, raising me as well.  Please raise your glasses to them.
And things continued from then, through food, lawn games, dancing, and beer until a shuttle bus arrived to take us all home.

Yep. First dance. That's how we roll.
Doughnut. Tower. Let me say that again. Doughnut. Tower

Yes. That would be paper flowers and a centerpiece featuring Ulysses.
This is how you Hoopla.
This is also how you Hoopla.
Hoop. La.

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