Monday, July 18, 2011

A Wedding to Remember......Part 1.....

In 2001 I enrolled into the University of Alabama.  It sounds like so long ago, but honestly it feels like yesterday!  I was the only person from my High School to brave the TIDE!  So ultimately that meant, I was going off to a new town all alone, about to enter this HUGE University, did not know a thing about how to get around, and most importantly I DID NOT have a roommate!  Now to some of you out there, that may sound like an adventure......but to little 'ol introvert Jessica....that was just a whole lot of panic and nervousness!

I can still picture my college move-in day....I pull into the parking lot and look up to what seemed like the tallest building ever....Tutwiler Hall.....the 14 floor, ALL GIRL dorm!   This would be the place where I lived for the next year with 1000 other girls!! This could be really great, or really bad!!

Knowing that I was going in blind with another girl did not help the constant worry!!  I would have to spend a whole year, in a 12'x12' room with this person!  What if she was weird, what if she was messy, what if we had nothing in common, what if we hated each other!  So much was going through my mind as I rounded the corner to my room.  Then finally it was time to meet her, I opened the door and there stood cute little Kellie!  She was the sweetest, quietest, most organized person you would ever meet!  GOD had answered my prayers that day!!

We went the entire year without a single fight or disagreement!  That's saying a lot considering our living circumstances!!  We parted ways our Sophomore year, then lived together once again when we became Juniors!

After college, I moved to Atlanta, she stayed in Tuscaloosa.....jobs happened, life happened, it's sad to say we completely lost touch!....that was until this past January!!  Kellie got engaged at C'mas and come January she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding!!  Talk about shocked!!  I had not seen her since graduation day in 2005....and here it is 2011!!  wow....how did so much time go by without us keeping in touch!!  I was excited, I was honored, I couldn't wait to pick up where we left off 6 years ago!!

Kellie's wedding was set in Tuscaloosa. I've been back to T-Town a few times since graduation....(being a die hard Bama Fan, it's hard to not go see a game here and there!)  However, I had not been back since APRIL 27TH....the day that FOREVER changed Tuscaloosa, the day where the WORST TORNADO the south had ever seen took out the heart of this city!!  This was the hardest part of the wedding weekend....seeing the destruction, feeling helpless!  Four of the best years of my life were spent here, and within 60 seconds many of the places I made memories were now gone!  It was tough, I had many tears, but I also had hope....hope that they will rebuild the city bigger and better than it was, hope that the many families who lost their homes would have the strength to start over!  Words can't describe what I saw........


trees were uprooted......



neighborhoods destroyed......



buildings left with nothing but a foundation........



homes split in half.....










once upon a time, this was my favorite ice-cream shop.....



the parking lot of my fav store....hobby lobby.....


Though it's hard to see past all the sadness, the city is slowly moving forward!  Areas are being cleaned, business are running through trailers, and rebuilding is taking place!  I am confident that one day Tuscaloosa will be the college city that I once remembered!  

Next up.....THE BIG DAY.......







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