S: Lauren & Sean's Wedding Celebration
BC: Your friendship, love and well wishes will be remembered always.
FC: Lauren & Sean's Wedding Celebration | Jekyll Island, GA May 21, 2011
1: Thank you for traveling to help us celebrate this special day. It means the world to us to have you here.. Please help us remember this time forever by signing our guest book. Thank you, Lauren & Sean
3: How we met: | We met in Dr. Witmer's Saturday morning Biology 101 class. Sean knew Lauren as grumpy, sweatpants girl, and Lauren knew Sean as old guy who needed to shave. After a rocky start caused by a misconception regarding a mutual acquaintance (Sean thought Lauren's BFF [in reality, her stalker] was a girl that made his skin crawl), they were off to the races after talking to each other at a Navy Medicine recruiting meeting (just eight months later). Lauren demonstrated that she had more in her wardrobe than sweatpants (including a very smart black, pencil-skirt suit), and Sean demonstrated that he could occasionally shave (although Lauren quickly learned that in Sean speak "occasionally" means "only when absolutely necessary"). Sean offered to take Lauren to a luncheon where Andy Baldwin (the Navy doc from Bachelor Season 10) was speaking (a bad idea of multiple levels; Andy Baldwin is much better looking than Sean and can through the course of a powerpoint presentation make serving in the Navy sound boring). When he couldn't deliver on a table spot, he felt compelled to offer lunch elsewhere. Lauren blew Sean off for a couple of weeks (in reality, she was taking finals, driving her Meme north from Florida, and watching her brother graduate from college) but snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by wishing him a happy birthday on Facebook. Sean and Lauren went on several ambiguous "dates" where Lauren earned Masoud's paw of approval (by giving him part of her salami sandwich), Sean met the family at a Memorial Day BBQ (where Dave was, as always, on point with the meat), and they both grimaced their way through a terrible early-dating-movie (The Girlfriend Experience, which is about high-class prostitution and stars a porn star). Finally, Lauren had enough with the ambiguous "friendly dating" situation and seduced Sean (Sean's version). Alternatively, Sean was so enthralled and amazed by Lauren that he neglect the throngs of other women throwing themselves at him and spent the rest of the summer trying to win Lauren's love and affection (Lauren's version, aka the truth). The rest, as they say, is history...
4: How we got engaged: | Never one to let a cliche pass unmolested, Sean had originally intended to ask Lauren to marry him on their vacation trip to Spain. Like a Grandmaster (in romance, not chess), Sean had brilliantly assembled all of the pieces in a bold strategy reminiscent of a young Bobby Fischer, circa 1972. He had enlisted the help of Lauren's mom, Sue, in finding the perfect engagement ring. He survived a heart-to-heart discussion with Lauren's dad, Dave. He had even taken the time to tell Masoud and Clio that their days of being illegitimate puppy siblings were numbered (news that provoked profound snuffling, excited headbutting, and many plaintive requests for celebratory milkbones). Unfortunately, in the process of "preparing the battlespace", Sean lost the element of surprise. Lauren became quite convinced that either her proposal was forthcoming, or that Sean had become employed by a foreign intelligence agency. Naturally, Lauren, recognizing Sean's regard for cliche assumed that Sean intended to pop the question in Spain. And so might the story have gone...Sean drops to one knee on top some Gaudi masterpiece, Lauren feigns surprise and consents, and so begins a long life of Sean failing to catch Lauren off guard. However, that's not what happened. By some miracle of intuition, Sean realized that his hand had been tipped and he had lost the second pillar of his strategy of Speed, Surprise, and Violence of Action (a strategy that Sean effectively employs in all manor of life tasks from Close Quarters Battle to getting Masoud into the shower). To regain his tactical advantage, Sean employed a deft touch of misdirection (asking Lauren a plethora of questions about her favorite spots in Barcelona) and a masterful ambush when Lauren was least prepared. After a grueling week of finals, Sean suggested that they should take the puppies for a hike in Wissahickon Park (not coincidentally the site of their first date). Lauren readily agreed, and the happy couple, with illegitimate puppies in tow, departed for a relaxing afternoon in the woods. Little did Lauren suspect that secreted in Sean's CamelBak amongst the GPS, four water containers, six poopbags, three powerbars, pocket knife, and whistle (because you never know), was her intended bling. After allowing adequate time for Lauren to get good and sweaty, Sean proposed to her that they should pause by the riverbank to allow the mutts the opportunity to frolic in the mud. While Lauren was distracted by her efforts at preventing Clio from eating a butterfly and Masoud from embedding mud into his three layers of fur, Sean secreted the ring box out of his bag and into his hand. Sean sidled up to Lauren and murmured some sweet nothings about their first date at Wissahickon Park and the long path they had traveled together since that day. Lauren muttered a, "Yeah, yeah." while still trying to wrangle the wayward pups. Judging the moment optimal, Sean popped the box open, presented the ring (upside down), and asked Lauren to spend the rest of her life with him. Counting her baffled look and confused sputterings as legal assent, Sean quickly thrust the ring onto her finger, effectively sealing the deal. By the time Lauren realized what had just happened, she had noticed how wonderfully the ring complemented her long, elegant finger and decided to keep it on. The rest, as they say, is history....
7: Our Family: | It has been posited that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil the end result could be a tornado in Texas. While our shared understanding of chaos theory, meteorology, and lepidopterology (which, as everyone knows, is the study of both butterflies and moths) could easily be accommodated on the inside flap of a matchbook, it would appear to us that the present incarnation of the Simmons Familia was birthed in a plywood shack in the frigid mountains of north Afghanistan in November of 2007. To the casual observer, this momentous occasion could have easily been mistaken as a protracted birthing of a litter of nine fur-balls by the camp bitch, Ranger. However, alea iacta est the moment a certain soldier was confronted with a certain golden-colored ball of fur, soon to be named after the famous “Lion of Panjshir,” Ahmed Shah Massoud. Let us follow the three dimensional whorls of probability forward to May 2009 and we find this now established family of two, soldier (now student) and fur-ball (now larger and even fuzzier) on a nature hike with a certain dusky-haired beauty. After a remarkably brief trial period, this young lady was accepted as a permanent member of Team Fun (facilitated by numerous belly rubs for Masoud and tasty meals for Sean), and the family number expanded to three. However, it soon became quite apparent that a family comprised of two adults and one 65-pound dog could not nearly fill a one-bedroom, Rittenhouse Square apartment, so the next logical step was to procure a dog with a breed standard size of 80 pounds. Both Sean and Lauren were gratified to find that two adults and two large dogs fill any one-bedroom apartment admirably (particularly if that apartment is less than 700 square feet), and the family appeared (to all concerned) to be stabilized at four. However, as the Book of Hosea warns, they that sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. For a young couple confronting the challenges of medical school, learning the intricacies of co-habitation, and contending with 150 pounds of high-spirited dog-flesh (and fur), the next logical step was clearly conceiving, delivering, and raising a child. And so, on March 8, 2011, in defiance of the laws of probability (listed on the side of Lauren’s birth control packet) the unspoken dreams of both sets of grandparents were answered, and the Simmons Familia lineup stabilized (we hope for a little while) at five. Now, on any given day, a visitor to our modest home in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC can be treated to an interactive lesson in chaos theory as Sean, Lauren, Raylan, Masoud, and Clio careen about in their collective, (seemingly) unpredictable, yet inexorable trajectory towards family happiness.
16: I love you, not for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. ~ Roy Croft
26: How do you know the Bride & Groom?
27: Everlasting Love...
33: ~ Your special wishes for us ~
35: "The beauty of your love has filled my heart with wonders beyond imagination and it makes life worth a living" ~Chatman