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Thursday, June 30, 2011

**Anniversary Trip to Sunset Beach, NC**

Our 15th anniversary trip was wonderful! We went to Sunset Beach, NC.  It was beautiful!!  I had never even heard of it before.  It's just a tiny little island before you get to Myrtle Beach.  There wasn't even a restaurant or gas station on the island.  You had to go across the bridge to find anything like that.  We stayed one night at the most gorgeous bed and breakfast we have ever stayed at! It was called Sunset Inn.  When we got there the lady upgraded us to a grand room at no extra charge!! We stayed in the "Vesta" Room.  The room was named after the Blockade Runner “Vesta” which sank January 10, 1864 on her maiden voyage. Vesta, attempting to deliver Confederate supplies, shipwrecked and burned in the location of where the Sunset Beach Pier is today. Until the late 60’s, the remains of The Vesta were visible near the original Vesta Pier, appropriately named.My favorite part was the screened in porch.....especially when the sun was setting!  We had an awesome view of the sunset from our porch.   We enjoyed sitting out there talking and reminiscing about our wedding day.  We started the trip by mama picking up the girls on Tuesday evening. (This was the longest I had ever been away from the girls!)  Wednesday we headed on our way.  We stopped in Jacksonville to eat at our beloved Olive Garden.  We checked in our bed and breakfast a few hours later.  That evening we went to a restaurant called the Twin Lakes Restaurant.  It was overlooking the water and we really enjoyed sitting on the deck (except for the mosquitoes)!  We enjoyed breakfast the next morning sitting on our porch.  The other nights we stayed in a less expensive resort on the mainland.  We had so much fun on the beach!  Rarely do we get to enjoy the ocean because of the crowd.  Thankfully this beach is so underdeveloped we practically had a huge section all to ourselves.  Be sure to see pictures!  You won't believe it!  Their was nothing but sand dunes behind us.  For supper that night we went to a really nice place called the Parson's Table.  It's an old church they have turned into a restaurant.  The doors were over a hundred years old....beautiful!  The only bad thing about it was as soon as you walked into the doors of the old "church,"  there was the bar!  It was really pretty on the inside.  The food was delicious and I loved that they let me order off the kids menu! :-) Then the challenge of the trip came. We saw a sign for a glow-in-the-dark mini golf indoors. We found the place and the guy let us play for free because it was close to closing and there were only about 3 others there. We are both extremely competitive, so this was serious. I challenged Gary to a game, but despite my best efforts to make special rules along the way, I still came up a few strokes short! He won 61 to 55 after 2 rounds.  The next day we went back to the beach to enjoy the gorgeous weather.  When we got back to our room we realized something HILARIOUS!  I had put sunscreen on Gary's chest and back at the beach.  Little did I know that I did it so quickly that I didn't rub it in good and it was expired!! He looked diseased...like I had drawn circles on him!! hahaha It was so funny! :-)  For supper we ate at a really good place called Crabby Oddwaters! That IS the name, and the food was good....all caught fresh and brought right up to the restaurant.   We then went back to the beach to walk.  It was so pretty and peaceful out there!  There is only one pier on the island, and we went fishing late at night on Friday.  We had the whole pier to ourselves!  It was awesome.  We didn't catch anything, but it was fun. Saturday was one more trip to the beach before heading home. Our resort had a pool/workout facility that we could use until 7PM, so we showered and headed over one island north to Ocean Isle and a restaurant called the Isles Restaurant! Our table was on the balcony looking at the Atlantic Ocean. Combined with a nice breeze, beautiful water, great food, and wonderful atmosphere, it was a super place to spend with someone special. We had gator bites, flounder, fries, and hush puppies (along with Gary's grilled salmon - Not quite as good as Seattle's, Brian & Keri). After eating early, we headed to Goldsboro to pick up the girls (the dog and the rabbits too - thanks to my parents and their mini zoo) and then on to Goose Creek. It was an absolute wonderful time together to celebrate 15 years, and we hope to go again soon!
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

~Honeymoon/Anniversary Photos~

As stated earlier, we recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.  We wanted to include our honeymoon photos as well as some anniversary pics through the years.  Our honeymoon was absolutely wonderful!  The week of June 1st-10th, 1996 was unforgettable!  We had a blast!  Here is a short re-cap of the places we went:

Day 1:  Florence SC (Ramada Inn...room 173)  We will never forget the feeling we had when we drove away from the wedding.  The only word we can describe it is "WHEW!"  It was a wonderful wonderful day, but the feeling of knowing it was all completed was almost like a burden was lifted.  We had spent so much time planning and preparing it was a good feeling to know we could now be done with that and focus on each other and our new life together.

Day 2: Sunday, we drove farther south towards our final destination, but first we spent one night at Daytona Beach (Comfort Inn Oceanfront). It was a great room overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and we saw our first sunrise as a married couple from our balcony.

Day 3: Monday morning we headed to Disney World for 5 nights and 6 days at the Port Orleans Resort. We were in room 4304, and it was so nice. We enjoyed the cleanliness and special touches that Disney is known for. We had a "heart shaped welcome basket" in recognition of our honeymoon, and the entire resort had a really nice atmosphere. We loved walking the paths by the river, sitting on the benches, and enjoying the beauty of the resort when we weren't in the parks. It was just an enjoyable time being together in the "Deep South Bayou" setting. We checked in to our room, and headed to the bus stop to spend the rest of the day in the Magic Kingdom. We tried to have people take our picture together with different "magical" backgrounds because we wanted as many memories of this trip as possible. We watched the afternoon MickeyMania parade and a great many attractions.

Day 4: EPCOT! Future World.  We also ate at a great Italian Restaurant in "Italy." ( Fine china, cloth napkins, and great food!)

Day 5: MGM Studios (now known as Hollywood Studios for those of you too young to remember!) -
Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones Stunt Show, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! Beauty and the Beast (with a great pre-show where the "stage hands" accidentally ended up on stage as an incredible a capella quartet), Back Stage Tour, the Ace Ventura Detective Show, and the Toy Story parade that we thought was stupid (we hadn't seen the movie yet)! We also had a reservation at the Prime Time 50's Cafe' - a restaurant set up like homes of the 1950's where the waitresses acted like mom, the other people in the room were cousins, and you may get fed your vegetables by "mom" using the airplane method if you didn't eat them on your own. Quite fun! Melissa tasted green beans!

Day 6: EPCOT - we visited the World Showcase countries and then went to eat at the Contemporary Resort's Concourse Steak House, a meal included with our package! Appetizers, entree', and dessert! That night, we returned to EPCOT for the fireworks and laser show, and we ran into one of the families from our church (Faith). Mike Cordell, my teaching partner in the Jr. high school, and his family were on vacation! We had a picture made with them (shown in the video), and we actually saw them another time that week!........ It's a Small World After All....

Day 7: Friday we visited Discovery Island where many exotic animals were kept in a natural habitat! We also toured the Grand Floridian resort and took pictures of it and the wedding chapel. That afternoon, we spent about 30 minutes on a mini speed boat around the Seven Seas Lagoon (another extra that was part of the package). For supper that night, we returned to Epcot to eat at the Mexican Restaurant complete with an Aztec looking background, a Mexican street market, and a mariachi band! To end the evening, we rode the bus over to Downtown Disney for a quick meal and some window shopping. Melissa bought me a nice plaid polo with a Disney logo as a wedding present.

Day 8: Our last day in Disney, we started out by eating breakfast at the Coral Isle Cafe' in the Polynesian Resort. Melissa's breakfast fruit drink was call a Pink Lani - strawberry, orange, and other fruit! VERY GOOD! We had determined to "park hop" and revisit the things we enjoyed most, and we were joined by Christy Coleman  for the day. She lived about an hour west of Disney and had not been able to attend our wedding because her cousin was married the same day. So, she decided to spend a day with us. CRAZY DAY! I laughed at the 2 of them being silly all day. It's kinda crazy spending a day of your honeymoon with someone else, but we knew that would be the last chance to see her for a while and so we wanted to be able to spend some time with her.  She and Melissa sang "Beauty and the Beast" in high pitched voices while we rode the Tower of Terror!  We laughed so much!  That night, the last thing we did in Disney was watch the Main Street Light Parade, one of our favorites!

Day 9: Sea World - Shamu, the ski show, dolphins, seals & otters. penguins, and sharks! AND rain... we got soaked and we didn't care. An afternoon shower came through, but it did not dampen our spirits. We had a great day. That night we stayed at a Days Inn in Orlando in a family suite after going to the motel we had reservations at and figured out it was not what was expected!

Day 10: Our last day in Florida! Both of us had been to Florida/ Disney on other occasions, but this week was absolutely awesome! The 2 of us together with nothing pressing to do except enjoy our time together. Melissa was beautiful every day, and I was privileged to be with her, hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm, on our own!

              We went over to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL and then to Daytona to take a tour of the speedway. One funny thing that happened that day -funny now that is- one of the automatic doors at Kennedy closed on Melissa as she walked through it, or INTO IT! Needless to say, it "knocked her a-winding" as she would say! She recovered from that in time to enjoy the tour and the IMAX! At Daytona, we saw Jeff Gordon testing on the track - FAST! Then into the transporter around the track and the infield until we almost drowned from the downpour! Before we left, we played in the arcade and raced on the Daytona simulator video game. Then it was northbound, in the rain. ONE MORE THING - our Mickey t-shirts that we bought at a fruit stand about 1 hour from the Georgia line at a fruit stand. If that had not taken place, I would have been in trouble. I promised her we would get matching shirts but refused to pay outrageous Orlando prices. The place had shirts that we liked and only 2 left - one in my size and one in hers! Happy Girl! We were on our way home. We reached our home in Pikeville in the wee hours of the morning, but we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. - Gary

Our honeymoon was the best ever!  We loved every day of it!  It was so wonderful to go places and be Mrs. Gary Goodfellow and know that we had absolutely no schedule.  We were together and on our own....Finally!  I collected bells at the time and Gary took me in a nice little shop on Main Street and bought me a crystal bell w/ a Mickey on top.  He had it engraved with the month and year. It was so pretty!  Those 10 days were so special. Gary did an awesome job at planning the trip and I loved it!  I loved being with my wonderful groom! ~Melissa

Our Anniversaries:
1st--1997--We had church that day and our final Patch performance of the year.  After that we went back to Florence, SC where we spent our first night of our honeymoon. 
2nd--1998--Gary surprised me w/ a trip to NYC for a combined anniversary/b-day/graduation from college gift.  We had an awesome time seeing the sights of New York!  We saw Phantom of the Opera,  2 Yankees Games, rode the ferry to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty,ate at an awesome Olive Garden, and toured NBC studios.
3rd--1999--Went to a favorite restaurant of ours...The Log Cabin in Smithfield, NC.
4th--2000--Enjoyed a couple of days at Bro. Jerry Atwell's lake house in MS. 
5th--2001--Spent the day and night in Beaufort, NC at the Pecan Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Was so gorgeous.  We enjoyed a relaxing time of sitting on the porch playing checkers and a nice bike ride on the water front the next day.
6th--2002--Out to eat in MS while our good friend, Gaye, kept the girls.
7th--2003--Spent the evening at the Sheraton in New Bern.  Gorgeous room on the water.
8th--2004--Gary borrowed a convertible bug from a sweet lady in our church to take me out on.  We enjoyed a nice dinner and a ride on the ferry.
9th--2005--Walked around downtown and ate at Captain Ratty's in New Bern
10th--2006--Kylie had been in the hospital thanks to strep throat and scarlet fever! We had come home the day before and we felt she needed to stay at home and I wasn't about to leave her!  Gary fixed supper and we enjoyed the evening at home.
11th--2007--can't remember
12th--2008--Went back to Florence, SC and stayed in the same room and motel we stayed at on our first night of our honeymoon. (Motel had changed names...wasn't the Ramada anymore)
13th--2009--Back to Florence, SC.  Same room & Motel
14th--2010--Stayed at a nice Bed & Breakfast in Dunn, NC called the Simply Divine Bed and Breakfast.  The deluxe breakfast prepared for just us was awesome!
15th--2011--Sunset Beach, NC ....Sunset Inn Bed & Breakfast....PICTURES COMING SOON!
We have enjoyed our anniversaries celebrating our wedding day.  Gary always kisses me at 1:00pm (the time of our wedding :-)  Sometimes we will try to watch our wedding video as well.
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Dear Daddy, Happy Father’s Day! Glad we are able to spend this special day together and I wanted to take time to let you know how much I appreciate the daddy you are to me and Little Keith. Looking at these pictures brings so much to my memory. I’m so thankful for all you have done and do for us as a father. Here are some memories that came to my mind that I am thankful for:::: you calling me Blossom, coaching my softball team while trying to teach us how to shuffle and get me to swing level!…and I remember when I got hit in the mouth with that line drive ball you were on the field in a split second!, and when I was the pitcher and I accidentally threw the ball straight up in the air, you came out there and told me to get some dirt on my hands, you making my Richard Petty costume for my pageant, you serving others even when it was inconvenient (like getting paint for people after you had gotten off work), watching the Christmas parades from the Motor Bearings upstairs window, for riding me in all the parades in those cool convertibles, for keeping things running….(like our 3-wheelers, 4 wheelers, cars, trucks, washing machine (even though you used a car belt), go-carts, everything!), for bringing us home candy nearly every day of our lives!! (i loved those little wax juice bottles!),  for carting me to all the pageants up and down the east coast (remember when the maids in Miami threw my expensive pageant dresses in trash bags because they thought we were checking out!! A “Smith Fit” (you know…head shaking and foot shaking) was sure thrown that night…the bad part…they couldn’t understand English!) also, this was after you had made a special trailer that matched the van to cart my dresses in!!!, for my mustang and all the work you did to get it ready…you made it special like none had ever seen before…glossy white with a hot pink stripe! It was gorgeous!! I loved it and I love watching the video of you painting it and how particular you were.  I also remember how you wouldn't let me drive it first.  You told me to get in the passenger seat because you wanted to show me something!  I thought, "hmmm."  We pulled out of the driveway and as soon as we turned on the road you floored it!!!  I told you that you were scaring me!  You said, "Good, that's what I wanted to do.  This is what it will do and I better never catch you doing this!", for teaching me to play golf….or at least trying!, for all the work you did around the house like mowing the grass that we never thanked you for or didn’t even know about, for dealing with our horses even when you didn’t like them and they didn’t like you….(I remember when I saw you flying through the air because Miss Grace had kicked you in the rump! That was your fault, though, cause you sneaked up behind her when she had gotten out of the fence!), you making me feed the horses because you were afraid of the wolf rats!, your love for cartoons, for building my awesome playhouse, for all the baby dolls you gave me at Christmas time, all the times on the boat and fishing….especially when I kept throwing my line and getting it hooked on the railroad tracks and post!! Haha!, laughing at you behind your back when you that blue fish bit you, cleaning up behind all those rabbits, putting all the toys together at Christmas and birthdays, spitting on White Webb’s car because he had been winning all the races, for giving me my pianos, for faithfully going to work every day to provide for us, for teaching me about faithfulness the way you stuck in the parts/paint/body work for so many years, for keeping all my vehicles running, for coming all the way to Mississippi even for my minor foot surgery, for sending me to FCA all those years and for sending me to Southeastern (I was so excited to be there I never thought about what it must have been like for you to leave me at college that night, for turning my bunk around at college so I could have a rail and not fall off (literally people…I was 18 years old and he walked in my college dorm room and saw the top bunk did not have a rail. He physically turned the whole bunkbed around so I would not fall off. I knew better than to argue with him. It was actually quite funny at the amount of people that came in my room and said “something’s different about your room…..umm…why is your bed backwards?” I would just answer, “Because my daddy wants me to have a rail!”) , for getting me a rug and 2 recliners in my dorm room (my room was the envy of all the other girls !), going to watch you race cars and go-carts on Saturday night, you calling Gary “george” at first, me telling grandma that my daddy “how knows to cook flat fries!”, me wanting you when mama was having little Keith…I vividly remember standing in Grandma and Grandaddy’s kitchen on a chair talking to you on the phone….I was all better after I talked to you, passing on your love for the Yankees, for never shaving off your mustache again after you shaved it off when I was four and I cried because you didn't look like my daddy!,  knowing what it is to be a hard worker, to know what it is to do things right ( I.E. to be curious over things!), for slipping me the $20 bills in my glove box (boy has that saved me more than once!), convincing you to drive all the way to New York to see the Yankees play w/ no tickets in hand!! hahaha, running the roads back and forth to come to New Bern and back to help us work on the house, skeet shooting w/ you on the cruise ship, and you still to this day saying, “Call me when you get there.” I have to admit sometimes it did aggravate me when I was a teenager, but now that I’m a parent I fully understand! I definitely inherited that protective nature over my children from you! For instance, I really don't care what people think of me when I dress one of my children up like they are going to fight Goliath just to play a game of softball! :-)
Some things I am NOT thankful for: that wretched green truck you used to pick me up from school in….HOW EMBARASSING!, your stinking feet and you throwing your socks at us all the time, and when you broke our Operation Game the day we got it because it scared you! :-) Just kidding!!
Gary’s first memory of you is seeing you on the high school sidewalk at 7 something in the morning with your finger pointing up at a guy who was giving me trouble my senior year (will remain nameless :-)! I remember that day vividly too………coming out from morning study hall with all my friends and seeing you telling him off! I was embarrassed somewhat, BUT, I never had any trouble out of him after that!! Thanks! Needless to say,,,,Gary was pretty afraid of you! Nothing like first impressions!! Haha!
I could keep going and going…and to try to sum up all that you are to our family doesn’t seem like enough to thank you for all you have done and have been to me. I don’t tell you enough, but I love you and am so thankful God chose to put us together as a family. I love being your little girl and I will always be “Daddy’s little girl!” I love you, Daddy!


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Happy Father's Day, Dad

Dad, as I look back over my life, I realize that being a father is not as easy as it looked long ago. I guess back then I just expected you to work long hours yet come home refreshed and ready to play at the same rate that I was. You did play and spend time teaching me things - especially baseball - even when you could have been relaxing. Then, as I learned later, you pursued your dream of law enforcement at a "late" professional age. I'll never forget watching mom (a speed typist) squirm while you did the rat-a-tat-tat 10wpm on that manual typewriter. Poor mom! You excelled, and I learned during that time that you can work hard to achieve goals and ambitions. I believe that God placed you in that environment to make a difference.... Those days were great. Remember the "snow flurries turned blizzard" of 1980, big wheels, basepaths worn in the front yard, MNF or baseball with popcorn, pong, atari, little league and goose egg from the ball I lost in the lights, ALL-STARS and the great lesson learned that has stuck with me even when it was hard, my flight to Tangier, my ping-pong table, the b-ball goal on the garage, hamsters, dogs, ducks, bunnies, learning to drive a 5-speed Datsun with fuzzy seat covers (COOL), ball games and practices, laughing constantly because you had joy in your heart and something funny to say, and tons of lessons learned about life and surrender to God. One event Melissa said I couldn't leave out. The trip to Mr. Thompson's house at 10 PM to apologize for my wrong attitude at school will never be forgotten. It was effective however.
Even over the last several years as we have tried to do God's will for us, I have watched you go from a teen sponsor, to a youth pastor's friend/ helper, to a pastor's confidant, to a college dean. That's a long way from hanging steel and catching bad guys! The path you have taken has had its moments I know, but each step has been a learning process for you (and me as I watched). Thank you!      
I remember reading this in our house years ago:
"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy!"
Thanks for being my dad. I LOVE YOU! Happy Father's Day!
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Monday, June 13, 2011

~~~15 Years of Marriage~~~

June 1st, 2011 We celebrated 15 years of marriage! Wow! When we used to hear someone say they had been married 15 years it sounded like so long........but it's really not. The phrase "time flies" is an understatement! So much of our wedding day and the weeks leading up to it seem like they were yesterday. We still remember so many of the details! We hope to share a little of that with you. A lot of this is just random memories we want to journal about so we can cherish them forever! Our wedding day was one of the most special events in our lives. Each memory, each picture, each video.....is so precious to us! We hope you will enjoy seeing some of it. We have enjoyed reminiscing this week about all that took place. Join us as we reflect on what God did in our lives 15 years ago through this most special occasion! (Sorry, it's a little overdue....we have been busy enjoying a get-a-way to Sunset Beach, NC!! Beautiful!! We also have been busy getting ready for Kristen's bday party. Stay tuned for a post with anniversary pictures.) -Melissa

It's hard to believe that 15 years have passed. Our lives have been through many changes. We knew that life was going fast for "other people," but surely it couldn't happen to us too! I waited almost 25 years to find the perfect wife, and it was more than worth the wait. God had someone special for me in Wayne County, NC (Rosewood community to be specific). Little did I know in all my visits to Goldsboro that there was the prettiest blonde anyone had ever seen growing up there - just for me. I am so thankful! Time flies when you are having fun, and I thank the Lord for the privilege to say that we have been together this long. I pray that He allows us 115 more years (give or take a couple)! - Gary

~~~When I was little I dreamed of my wedding gown. The only stipulation I remember having is that it had to be the longest train possible! I remember one day at college I was flipping through someone's wedding magazine and I saw "the dress!" You know what I mean.....THE one....like it doesn't matter how many more you see, none will compare! I tore the page out of the book and saved it. This was months before Gary and I were engaged. The funny thing is that I couldn't even see the front of it. The heart in the back is what "sold" me on it! I loved it!! It was the prettiest dress I had ever seen. I did go to a couple of wedding shops to try to find it but they didn't have it in my size. They tried to show me other ones but that was useless because those were not THE dress! We were engaged on Nov. 3rd and we ordered the dress on Nov. 27th! My mom found a lady in Pikeville to order it wholesale! Whew! She got it for us way cheaper than what it would have been to order it from a bridal shop. The total was $567.66. Here is the description of the dress: "Romantic heart shaped cut out adorned with drop pearls and stunning layered peplum is featured above a cathedral train. Elegant beading graces the attractive V-neck satin gown with gibson sleeves." (We also chose Gary a white tux. The only time I had seen the groom wear white was at Christian & Erin Powells' wedding. I loved it because not only was the bride set apart in white but the groom as well. I knew right then I wanted the same thing. The white obviously symbolizes purity so we BOTH chose to wear white. His tux was so handsome and we knew it was the one as soon as we saw it in the catalog!)
I absolutely loved my wedding dress and 15 years later I love it every bit as much! It now hangs on a mannequin and is the focal point in our bedroom. Funny, when we first got engaged, I said I would sell it to get some of the money back. But, after I got it in the mail that day and put it on for the first time, there was no way it would ever be sold! Getting my portraits taken was fun! My mom and Aunt Suzanne went with me. The photographers had Kenny G music playing while they took pictures. - Melissa

I had always wanted a pretty wife for as long as I could remember. This beautiful woman far exceeded anything I had ever dreamed. I had known for a long time that Melissa Smith was the woman for me. I always enjoyed being with her, and she always seemed to know what I needed to make me better. This special day will always be dear. What a thrill to marry this special lady! - Gary

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~~~We were so very blessed with all the wedding showers that were given to us. Some of my very best friends hosted a shower for "just us girls." We had so much fun that day and it was a total surprise!! I had no idea! Jennie was so sweet to put that all together and a lot of the other girls drove a good ways to come that day. 
The folks from our church showered us with gifts of china, cookware, crystal and so much more. We love our Faith church family! The ladies that hosted the shower are so dear to me. Each of them had a special impact on my life. My very special piano teacher gave the devotion that night and there was no one there more fitting than her to do that for me. When you've been somewhere your whole life you grow so close to people and I'm thankful to have spent so many years at Faith. Mrs. Haas also had known Gary since he was little through their time of being at Gateway. Their families were very close during that time.
My sweet aunts hosted a floating family shower for me as well. Once again, we were showered with such special gifts.
Some of the men dear to us at church hosted a "honey-do" pounding for Gary. That was so neat! I had never seen that done before! We were just so appreciative of that because there were so many things that Gary needed that were given to him. How many men would take a night out to go to something like that?? Once again we were reminded of what a precious church family we had!

After the rehearsal dinner, we went to the motel where a lot of Gary's family and friends were staying. They showered us with gifts and with their sweet fellowship.
When we returned from our honeymoon we had a whole living room of wedding presents waiting for us. It was like another shower all over again!
A few weeks after we had been married we drove to VA Beach so the ladies of Gateway (Gary's home church) could give us a shower. It was every bit as big as our church shower! Those ladies were so sweet to do that for us. Mrs. Sandy Lane gave such a sweet devotion that night. She has been a close and special friend to the Goodfellow family for many years. We are thankful Gary had the privilege of growing up there.
I remember one of my biggest, and I mean biggest, fears was I did not want to have to talk in front of everyone at my showers. I wanted to say thank you to everyone....just individually....not publicly! I was so nervous.....especially since Gary was at some of them! I rehearsed and rehearsed what I would say. I remember not wanting to open the last present because I knew it was time to say the big public thank you!But, I did it, and I lived to tell about it! :-)
We truly were overwhelmed at the outpouring of love shown to us through gifts during the time of our wedding! We received so much of what we needed and a lot of what we wanted! I still have so many special things that were given to us. Some of the gifts we remember the most are: our Camry, $$$, lamp from Gary's memaw, crystal, china, photo frames, salt & pepper shakers from Gary's granny & grandaddy that matched our crystal, towels and sheets (that we are still using!), framed invitation, & cookware. We have every gift written down but those are some that just stick out to us. Even though it's been 15 years we are still thankful to everyone who showered us with their love as we were celebrating showering our love on one another!

 

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~~~Rehearsal day was filled with running to and fro finishing up last minute details and decorating. My mema spent tireless hours making ALL my flowers......everything from the bouquets to boutonnieres to bows and everything in between. They turned out so pretty and was so special because they were made by her. Gary had the last day of school that day so he was finishing up with cumulative reports and so forth. My mom did the food for the reception. Boy, did we fuss about that one! I didn't want her to be so tired being tied up with doing that, but she insisted. She was practically up all night long the night before the wedding finishing up. Thankfully her close friends helped her out and made sure everything was good for the reception. The food, even though we really didn't get to enjoy very much of it, turned out wonderful and was loved by all. They used the glass plates that the church had and ran out (hundreds of them)! Thankfully she had some plastic ones to use just in case that did happen......does that say anything about how many folks were there!?!?! Gary's mom and dad had the rehearsal dinner catered by Dave Bishop (a Faith church favorite). We had his special chicken and London broil. It was a wonderful meal! We had so many folks there that night, it was hard to fit everyone in the fellowship hall. It became interesting to find seats for everyone. We passed out our gifts to our wedding party as well. That afternoon before the dinner I was hurrying to try to get things done (like finishing moving into Gary's house) that I didn't have time to put my contacts in...I was so aggravated at myself for that. Gary's dad also came down with a horrible headache, but, thankfully he was able to make it in time for the dinner. We had a great time at the rehearsal! Bro. Dann and his jokes just added to that. He did such a wonderful job on our ceremony. He wrote it all out just for us. It wasn't just your usual....do you..i do...etc. After rehearsal we went back to the motel where friends and relatives were staying to have a family and friends shower. It was a special time. After that, I took Gary back to his house. I had a few more things to take over there.
We had a sweet conversation, and I gave Gary a little wedding present. It was a little box with this saying on it:
"This is a very special gift
That you can never see

The reason that it's special
It's just for you from me
Whenever you are lonely
Or when you're feeling blue
You only have to hold this
gift and know I think of you
You never can unwrap it
Please leave the ribbon tied
Just hold this box close to your heart
It's filled with love inside"
My mom had found this little saying a few years before and she gave me the paper and said, "Here, you can give this to your husband one day." I tucked it away and saved it. I saved it for that special man in my life. That man was Gary Goodfellow, and I had so much love for him!
After I got home, I called him and his dad answered the phone. His dad told me he wasn't there. WASN'T THERE?? Where was he?!?! It was at least close to midnight by this point! His dad said he went to the store. What did he need at the store?? HMMMM. I waited for him to get home to call me, but no call. I called back and he still wasn't home! I wasn't really upset with him. I trusted him, I just didn't know where he was, and I didn't like it. FINALLY, he called! He told me had been to Walmart. What he had really been doing was recording a song for me to have played at the wedding!! How sweet!! I'll say more about that in a moment!! I could hardly sleep that night! I was so excited! My friend Sarai and her husband Michael spent that night at my house. She helped me finish packing for the honeymoon and finish getting ready for the big day!! - Melissa
(This is my most favorite classical song in the world: "Canon in D")

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~~~I remember so vividly getting ready on the morning of our wedding. Everything had to be picture perfect! I fixed my hair and makeup at the house. My good friend Jennie came to pick me up at the house. She drove me in my Camry. We had to start taking pictures around 11:00 because Gary and I chose to not see each other before the ceremony. Not because we believed in bad luck, but because we wanted that unforgettable first moment to be when the back doors opened. We took as many pictures before and without each other as possible. That made for a long time afterwards for photos but that's ok. I loved that we waited! It wouldn't have been quite so bad if we had not have had the slowest photographer ever! Not to mention, one of his cameras broke, and he had to go get another one!! We had a list of photos that we wanted taken, and he went right by the list. I remember the price of the photos was 50 8x10's for $500. We definitely wanted the 8x10's and that was the best price we found. (This was before digital photography really hit the scene people!)
I couldn't wait to come down the aisle! I was so ready to be Gary Goodfellows' wife! It was so hard to be patient waiting for all the bridesmaids, flower girl, etc to come in!! This is the day I had waited for my whole life! I couldn't wait to be Mrs. Gary Goodfellow! I had practiced signing my name like that so many times, and now it was coming true! I love the song: "When God made you" except for the part...."i wonder if He knew everything I'd need." HE did know what we needed! That's not something I have to wonder about!
Finally, it was time to come down the aisle! I walked in and caught a glimpse of Gary. I took a few steps and then stopped to let my director fluff my dress and then began that

journey to my handsome man! It was so majestic, so emotional, so grand! The organ and piano were turned up loudly playing the traditional Bridal March in such a majestic manner. There were so many people there that were special to us and that we loved. I could feel their presence as I walked in holding onto my daddy's arm. I could sense the tears of those in my family and others. I stayed locked in on Gary's tear-filled eyes. I wish I would've walked slower to savor the moment even more. It's a moment that you never forget, a moment that you never get again. You anticipate it for so long and then it's there. - Melissa

What can I say? The day was finally here. I mean, hey, here I am almost 25! I had the most beautiful woman in the world about to become all mine. When that back door opened, WOW! I was already excited, but my emotions were hard to contain. My eyes filled with tears as that blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty came to me. Those moments were precious, and I have to admit that I cried with joy knowing how perfect this day was because of how perfect my bride was! No words can adequately describe the joy of seeing that smile that was for me! Melissa had worked so hard to make that day special - and it was, but she was far more special than anything I could have hoped for! I guess guys don't realize the preparation that is necessary to "pull off" such a big event. I know I tried to help whenever I could especially since Melissa was a full-time student. I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that OUR day was a day we would always cherish! Looking back on the whole time of preparation, rehearsal, and ceremony, we were surrounded by family and friends who showed an overwhelming amount of support for us. Knowing that our union met God's approval and their approval and that our day turned out as well as we could have dreamed, June 1, '96 will always be CHERISHED - Gary

The ceremony was the most beautiful that has ever been. All the things that were said, played, sung, & prayed were so sweet and loving. The decorations, the weather, and all the aspects of our special day couldn't have been better!
We didn't let my poor daddy hear the "daddy" song ("The Father Says I Do") until that day. Bless his heart. I tried not to think about it....didn't want to ruin my make-up! There were still pictures to be taken! :-)

My absolute favorite part of the wedding was when Gary sang to me. It was my dream to have my husband sing to me at our wedding, but I never really expressed to Gary how much I wanted that. When we were picking out music for the wedding I was so hoping in my heart that he would mention it, but he didn't. Finally, I just asked him, "are you going to sing?" He told me he would love to but he thought he would be too nervous. Too nervous?!?! This is the guy who had sang in front of people hundreds of times. I so hoped he would change his mind, but he didn't. I even forgot about it with all the planning and preparations. I had always wanted the song,"Only God could love you more" in my wedding. I even left it out when we were choosing music leaving it available for some certain someone to pick it to sing if they changed their mind! :-) Then about 3 weeks

before the wedding Steve Green came out with a song "Till the end of time" that was so beautiful! We both loved it! I was so disappointed that it wasn't going to be in our wedding!! I even thought about replacing one of the songs we had chosen with that one, but that would have been unfair to the musicians to throw a brand new song on them with only 3 weeks to go. That is the song Gary recorded the night after the rehearsal. Our good friend Jason helped him. During the wedding, we were supposed to go to the kneeling bench, and Gary grabbed my hands and told me to stay there for a minute. Then, all of a sudden, this weird music came on that I knew was not supposed to go there! My eyes immediately filled with tears. I thought our sound man had totally goofed! I looked over at Gary's dad and he was smiling. I thought to myself..."Why are you smiling?!" Part of our wedding is ruined and you're smiling! I then looked back at Gary and he was smiling and said, "This is just for you." I was COMPLETELY shocked!! I began to cry more because I heard his voice came over the speaker and realized he was singing it!! That was pretty impressive to pull something over on me like that and no one else slipped up and said anything! I mean, this was a ceremony that I had planned for months and knew it backwards and forwards! He was so sweet! He sang it quietly to me along with the recording. That was even better than him singing it without the recording because he could totally not worry about what he sounded like and mean it more from his heart! When we got our video back you can hear him singing it "live" to me because he was "miked". I absolutely loved it and it was definitely my favorite part of the wedding! -Melissa

With all the hustle, I had scared myself out of singing to Melissa because I didn't like to sing from memory and wasn't used to using tracks (which was all I had for this song). PLUS, I was getting married and wanted everything to be right. I had secretly tried to figure a way to sing, so when this song came out, I knew I had to make a way. Getting through the day with all the school work and then the rehearsal and family time, by the time Melissa left to go home, I had to get moving. Jason and I spent at least an hour at the church trying to get the song right. The look on Melissa's face when she finally realized what was going on was a great reward to me, letting me know how pleased she was. I really did want to be with her "until the end of time" and sang it to her that day live on stage along with my recording while I thought of the days (and now years) ahead with her! - Gary

The "kiss" was such a sweet moment too! I remember how excited we were walking out! I was so proud to be Mrs. Gary Goodfellow!! - Melissa


The kiss: A perfect ending to an unbelievable ceremony! -Gary

We were only at our reception for a short time due to all the pictures that had to be taken. It was so pretty in there and there was so much food....meatballs, punch, cheese balls and crackers, nuts and mints, chicken salad croissants, lemon bars, wedding cookies, brownies, watermelon baskets, bbq hot dogs, & veggie platters. Of course my mom did so much of the reception, but Della Stocks & Clara James were so helpful to her. They did a lot of behind the scenes work that I never even knew about.  Mrs. Stocks made our cake as a wedding present for us! How generous!  It turned out exactly as I had designed it!  Heart shaped cakes, real flowers, fountain underneath, slight color accents, and grand in size!  The morning of the wedding Mrs. Stocks noticed the cake was starting to collapse!!  Several folks knew about it and were trying to help her but NO ONE told me!!  They ended up sending Mr. Tommy Sutton to a cake store and purchasing an extra column while people literally held it up until he returned!!  Whew!!  We had planned to let two doves go outside to go along with the whole dove theme.  We went through great lengths to try to find some!!  But, the day of the wedding we wouldn't let them go because I was scared they would "mess" on my dress or something!!  They were pretty at the reception though! :-) We then went to start taking photos. I remember by this time my back was hurting so bad from standing so long in that heavy dress.
When all that was over it was finally time to leave! We chose to have bubbles instead of birdseed. I had never seen the bubbles before my wedding. I'm so glad we did that! It was different and so pretty! Gary's 8th grade class decorated our car. They had strict instructions to not use anything like shaving cream etc, but they could do whatever else they wanted to . It was cute! I tried to stand up through our sunroof, but my dress wouldn't allow it! :-) We drove to Gary's house and Gary's dad pulled up behind us to give him his wallet that he forgot!!!!! Not something you want to forget for sure! We quickly changed and headed out for our honeymoon!



This slide show is our favorite because it has the actual ceremony pictures and all the memories of our special day!  I was able to capture the audio from our video of Gary singing...the quality isn't all that great, but I love it every time I hear it.  We knew this would be a lengthy post but I'm so glad we took the time to journal about our memories of this one sweet day.  Now we, as well as our children, family, and friends, can always have it to remember.  Hope you enjoy reminiscing along with us of this most special time in our lives. 
We along with so many other special friends and family members worked so hard to make it a day that was unforgettable....a day that we dreamed of......Mission Accomplished!! It was the day I dreamed of because I was marrying the man of my dreams who I loved more than words can say! - Melissa

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