Date: June 18, 2011
Time: 12:30pm (CST)
Ceremony Location: St. Stans in New Carlisle IN
Reception Location: Saugany Lake Farm Rolling Prairie IN
Bride: Jennifer Hindes
Groom: Nate Atkinson
Maid of Honor: Mary Jane Slaby
Best Man: Nic (Rooster) Atkinson
Jennifer Hindes is daughter to Marykay and Tim Hindes. Jen is surprised daily that Nate still wants to marry her despite her addiction to making all sorts of foods. She is known for flour stains on her pants from fresh bread, and herbs in her hair from food she's concocted. Also this woman is known for having her nose in a book, or a pen in her hand. She's pretty frequently referenced in her household for "how's a poetic way to say this..." Currently Jen is working on her Undergraduate in English, with a teacher's certification and minors in both Women's Studies and Creative Writing. The moment she is most looking forward to is when Nate sees her walking down the aisle and doesn't run. Actually she's looking forward to the smile Nate has when he looks at her, which is also the same look he has when he looks across the table, the room, and everyday.
Nate Atkinson is son of Nancy and "the" Rick Atkinson. Nate is known for yelling so loudly the neighbors can comment on his rants, music, and the current project he is working on. Likewise Nate is seen frequently dancing at parties with or without pants on (might I add he is at least wearing his short-running shorts). Overall though Nate is a kind hearted man who has a lot of love for his fiancé Jen. Nate is currently working for Eastern Illinois University and his own personal project SteepleWeb. Nate is most looking forward to the part where "Jen and I, you know, are married."
More Updates will be available about hotel rental, times, and registration as the date gets closer.
Want to hear how the wedding planning is going? Or How Nate asked the big question? Find more at Jen’s blog – here
Want to know what those two crazy folks are up to? Or find out where they are now? go to the adventure blog.
Remember, Adventure is out there!
I decided my freshman year, unlike many freshman, to not go home for spring break. I was going to Mexico, not for the typical bikinis, body shots, and dirty dancing. No I went because we'll it was another county and another culture for a super low price. Four hundred dollars to work on a Farm / Orphanage in Mexico. I signed up a little hesitant because according to my slightly-overstressed father there was drug cartels and a war going on down there. Minor detail. I still wanted to go.
We had our first "meeting" for Mexico in the pool lounge and I busy as always came running in from one thing to the next with over sized sweats, a baggy stained T-shirt and my hair a mess. It was really attractive. Nate on the other hand was prepared with a list of important things to go over and ready to answer all questions. He was our fearless leader. This was sadly the first time we met, super romantic right?
The real story you're probably asking for is when I finally "snagged" him. Well let me tell you. So we go to Mexico right? It's a over 20 hour travel to Mexico the way we go (Bus, Car, Bus, Plane, Bus) and already I was starting a bond with an amazing group of people. Carmen Hines and I immediately started bonding the whole bus ride through Mexico and laughing about everything there was and explaining our hesitations to go along on the trip (none of which were security reasons). We just created a bond, and that bond grew to all seven of us. Each night after hours of work on the farm, and even longer hours playing with kids who never tire we would have our reflections and we would simply talk. We'd each give our little insights, ideas, and purposes, and together it all came around. I can't really explain in only a few short words what happened, but I grew together with these people. Nate leading it all, seemed magical to me. He was great, keeping the group together, keeping the group laughing, and keeping the group in high spirits. That was not what made me fall in love with him.
What made me think he was the best was when he told me a story about his own selfless love he said, "Material things aren't what matter, it's people that matter. For instance one day it was raining and I was coming home from work and I didn't have anything with me, just walking home from work with my umbrella, and I saw this girl trying to keep her books dry, and without a really rain resistant coat. So I gave her my umbrella."
I still remember texting my sister in the airport on the way home, "Help I think I fell for a graduate student. He's tall, good looking, funny, smart, and so much more" Sure enough she sent me back a text that said, "stay away from him and send him my way."
Over the next few giddy weeks I would talk to him when ever I could and everyone else we went to Mexico with started asking if I was interested in Nate. We all agreed we were surprised more people didn't fall for him in Mexico. The man is great. I started bringing him his now favorite brownies of Double Chocolate from Ghirardelli and we would stay up for hours singing to Journey classics in his living room. The rest seems like history, Girl saved by boy. Girl traps boy in love web and never lets him leave. Life goes on. This time as two.
Roy Lanham from the Newman Center on-campus asked me to lead the spring break trip to Mexico, he'd thought I'd be a good leader. So I accepted this position in November (2008, for a frame of reference). By December, my group had all signed up - I was leading a group of 7 girls, oh my. I was a little nervous going into this - considering I've never been much of a lady's man, and never led a volunteer trip to Mexico.
The first time Jen and I met was in January of 2009, at a group meeting. I was the site leader, so I organized a few meetings with the group before we actually left for Mexico. Jen actually was hardly at the meeting - she had some other program going on in the residence halls that she was in charge of - so she showed up for a minute and said hi.
The trip went excellent, the group was great, and the girls did not make it awkward for me. They included me in everything and did not make me feel like the odd-man-out. Of course, during the entire trip, they kept asking me about my status, why I was single, if I was "in the market."
On the long 20+ hour voyage home, Jen shared the last 3 hours with me on the drive from Chicago back to EIU. We sat together on the van, and both got large chocolate shakes at 1am to keep us awake on our drive. We talked about everything and anything, and I somehow did not catch-on that maybe she liked me. A note for the audience - Jen was my first and only girlfriend - so I was a novice at this point in my life.
Back to school, back to the normal life away from Mexico. I saw Jen a few times around campus, and we said hi and talked a bit. Then we started hanging out and watching movies and listening to music together. She would bring baked goods (great brownies and cookie bars) over to "the shithole" (our college house).
I finally realized that maybe she liked me, and I realized that I liked spending time with her. She wooed me with ease, and I'm glad she did.
I did no asking. In fact I was only acutely aware something was going on. Let the record show Nate and I have never looked at rings together and or seriously talked about "our" wedding before he asked me. It had always been in subtle ways like, "Hey honey if we ever get married and have kids promise not to let our kid feel like we aren't proud of them." Those sorta very vague not-actually about the wedding but about the fact that we thought about being together long enough to have kids and be in love for a long time - type of conversations.
Therefore what I did in this whole proposal was a whole lot of napping. I was sleeping with my alarm set to wake me up only a few minutes before work. I love napping except when I wake up I have this weird thing where I instantaneously become freaking hot.
Nate came home from work all chipper about something and woke me up from my pleasant temperature, and pleasant dream sleep. "Hey Honey." UHHHHHHH" I ran to the bathroom to relieve my napping, just woke up, bodily function. Then like clock work I became unbearably hot so I walked back into the room and stood over a fan complaining. Whining. Being anything but attentive.
Nate on the other hand kept pestering me to look at his new picture on the front of eiu.edu. I sat down at the computer and saw the same picture of his from last week, "Nate I've seen this before." "No you have to refresh the page." Still being crabby from my nap I clicked the refresh button and waited.
In the bottom left hand corner of eiu.edu I saw my handsome. Which is weird because if he took the picture then why is he in the picture. Speaking of weird what did he write on the side of the steps...
"What are you doing?"
"Will you marry me?"
"What first your brother and now you?"
"Will you marry me?" (Sheesh what did he think I was going to say no?!) At this point I still didn't answer I just sorta leaped onto him and started kissing him. Which now that I think about it he probably asked around four or five times before I finally said yes. Even then he had to pull me away from my "I can't believe this is happening" hugs and kisses to show me the ring. The ring. The beautiful amazing, bought from etsy (proof this man knows and loves me), simple and elegant - ring.
Shortly after the engagement bliss I looked at the clock. "I have to go to work! Why did you ask me right before work? Why did you ask me right after I was crabby from being woken up from my nap?"
"I couldn't wait. I'm going to call the guys at work and tell them you said yes."
"Oh no you don't. You're leaving your phone here and you're going to work with me. If I can't call anyone because I'm at work you can't call anyone, and you're going with me so that way I'm not the only one suffering." - So then after an exhausting two hours of teaching swim lessons we came home quickly changed and took a follow up picture, made quick haste in phone calls before facebook could grab hold of the news, but before we even posted it everyone was asking me, "Is that Nate on the front of eiu.edu."
That's how all of this wedding adventure started, side walk chalk, a lot of love, and a crabby nap, and a man who still decided to ask even with my sass.
I'd known for a while that I wanted to marry Jen - I think Dave Holm asked me about it during a long car ride in February 2010, and I was pretty sure then.
Honestly, part of me was afraid that if I didn't ask her soon, that she might ask (Jen knows how to take initiative).
So, I didn't really plan anything, I just realized that in less than a week Jen and I were going to her parent's place for July 4th, and that might be the only time I'd see her dad that summer. So I decided then that I was going to ask Tim that weekend.
The weekend came, and it was lots of fun with Jen's huge family. Sunday morning came, and I still hadn't talked to Tim, and I wasn't sure when I was going to do it. Jen and I are practically inseparable, so I didn't have much time when I could talk to Tim without Jen being there. Finally got my chance a few hours before left - the girls left and it was just Tim and I in the house. 5 minutes went by, and we were still making small talk. Then 30 minutes, then an hour. Finally, nearly 2 hours had gone by, and I was still trying to work up enough guts to ask him. I finally asked him, and he said he'd love to have me be part of the family. My body was still weak for another 30 minutes - but it finally hit me that I was on the road to getting married - really crazy, but really exciting. Exciting that (if she said yes) I would be with the person that makes me happy, and the person I love being with - forever!
We got back to EIU, and I started looking for rings. All of you who know me know that I am a bad shopper, and very indecisive. I wanted to pick out a ring, and ask Jen without her knowing it was going to happen - so I had no idea what kind of ring she wanted. I searched for days, and finally picked a ring.
I got it on a Sunday, and I asked her on a Monday - I couldn't wait any longer. I had the guys at work help me a bit, and it was Christy's idea put a picture of me proposing on the front of the university's website. So Monday morning, we took a picture of me proposing, and just before I left work at 4:30, I had the guys put it online.
I got home, and she was napping (she is super pretty when she sleeps). So I woke her up, and told her to check out the website - that I had gotten photo of the week again. As she looked, I pulled out the ring. She realized what was happening, and she started giving me hugs and kisses. She didn't even look at the ring, and she didn't bother to answer my question (you know, the "will you marry me" question). Well, she said yes, and she loved the ring - I must have had some help from above.
Meet the Wedding Party - who most definitely will be the life of the party!
Best friend to Jennifer Hindes since Jen asked her to a corn maze, and the rest is history. Mary Jane is a bad ass at the Indiana Daily Student and in her free time manages to keep Jen from jumping off tall buildings. It is said Mary Jane is currently plotting revenge and picking out hideous bridesmaid dresses to someday get Jen back for all of this. However the entire world knows that Mary Jane is one of Jen's very best friends and despite the fact that they sass each other - they are the best of friends. Mary Jane will surely prove to dance the night away with her favorite Jams being any Polka music and the Cha Cha Slide.
Sister to the bride since birth and despite denial of parentage - indeed these two are sisters. Nicole is a current resident in Colorado working with college students to change the world one person at a time. Nicole was reluctant to be one of Jen's bride's maids after she learned of Jen's outrageous demand that each bridesmaid legally change their name to "Yes Jen" however she is coping and managing to stay as positive as her strong liquor allows. Nicole and Jen are known for constant bickering sass that can cause any mother to drugs. Either way the two of them enjoy their mutual respect for each other's sassy abilities and look forward to Nate trying to translate.
The Natalie is friend to Jen since the high school swim team. Despite the fact that Jen's dancing in the locker room once startled Natalie the two have grown to a deep understanding that Jen is crazy. Jen looks forward to Natalie dancing the night away to Jams like you wouldn't believe - she credits all of her boogey down moves to those she learned while Jen use to drive her Ford Truck back in high school. Natalie is kicking ass and taking names in life currently attending college for a future in educating special needs children. Natalie like always - proves to pack a punch despite her small size and wants the wedding crowd to know, "watch out for this party animal."
TJ is brother to Jen a relationship no one has quite understood and yet everyone has remained in awe of. For instance, Jen use to get her brother in further trouble by arguing with her parents to be nicer to TJ, to which they believed TJ paid Jen to do. (Note: Jen had a way of constantly getting her way as a child it only seemed natural an older brother would take advantage of this) Yet despite their reprimands they quickly learned that Jen actually believed the punishment to be too harsh for her brother and constantly demanded better treatment for her older brother. This continued throughout life that what ever her older brother did Jen seemed to idolize his "free spirit" and his "dedication to what makes him happy." Jen couldn't think of a man better suited to represent the people who have helped her grow in life and remain to support her.
Nic has been friends with Nate since they were old enough to jump on non-existent beds and the bond grew as the two became teammates, and roommates in college. Nic is rarely called his name by the bride as his more common nickname "Rooster"" quickly stuck and doesn't have any sign of departure. Rooster is currently creating the most bachelor pad of pads as he has room to run in his two bedroom humble abode. Nate, though constantly in awe, whole-heartedly believes the single life is far behind him. Nate and Nic are known for their inability to separate and the ability to never wear the same clothes. Nic is priding himself in years of knowledge on the groom that the Maid of Honor doesn't have on the Bride- to which a battle will ensue on who's speech will surpass the others. Nate is lucky to have a twin who constantly remained his right hand man, and although he will be marrying Jen- Nate will still pride himself in having a brother he can depend on all throughout life.
Brother to both Nic and Nate Andy found himself left out of the twin loop most of his life and henceforth has received therapy and finally - his own personal tape. Andy is a resident in Minnesota teaching Math to save the world from apocalyptic calculator failure. He also enjoys a mean game of golf with his fiancé Laurie. Andy, although beating Nate to the engagement will be married after Nate and Jen in the month of July. Andy tries not to hold bitter feelings about the race to marriage, but is promising providing grandbabies will be a "race to the death." Nate and Jen think they will let him win this one. Despite the brotherly tangents Nate is grateful to have an older brother like Andy who can give good advice, laugh at life and, and still kick his butt in golf.
Nate met Dave during his years at Eastern Illinois University and despite the difference in Nationality (Sadly, Dave is Canadian) the two remain great friends. Dave, disappointed there will not be a keg of Molson at the wedding, still promises to dance with all the single ladies. Dave is currently working and aiding society in "doing work son." Dave's favorite lines are either pick up lines or movie quotes, you can frequently find him and Nate discussing moments that didn't happen in real life and conversations that never happened - only in the big screen. The two want to know if "someone could fix the frickin projector.'
Eric is Nate's very good friend and teammate from EIU Running. Eric, otherwise known as Trap, is a different breed altogether. Trap is known for sleeping through the day and staying up until the morning- a skill that should find itself useful for the wedding party (reception). Trap is an idolizer of the still-living Bruce Springsteen. Nate and Trap, once in a short lived band titled, Trapensteen and the second street tanks - dedicated their life's work to the Boss and managed to receive a few cat-calls and phone numbers in every facility they played. Trap may otherwise be known for, nerf guns, star wars (sheets), sunglasses, vests, and yelling loudly with Nate.
Wes is "a bad ass" according to both Nate and Jen. Wes was asked by the groom to be an Usher and after months of consideration he finally agreed as long as he too was able to have his name on the "Wedding Party." Reluctantly agreeing Jen and Nate admitted it simply wouldn't be a party without a man like Wes Sheldon. Wes promises to make the wedding a true party bringing his famous favorite song "Ghosts and Stuff" by Dead Mouse. Luckily for the bride and groom Wes is going to carpool to the wedding because of his matching car entitled "dead car." Wes is one of the couple's favorite boys and looks forward to his excellent escorting abilities at the ceremony.
Dave's response to being asked to Usher was "Oh Hell Ya." Dave proves to be a truly energetic man throughout his life in all aspects. A fellow Hoosier like Jen, Dave looks forward to being on his "own" ground for the wedding. Dave is known for (according to Jen), "being adorable" however Nate believes Jen has it all wrong because Dave is more simply put as a "bad ass." Either way the two knew that of all the people they could have aiding them in one of the biggest decisions of their life, Dave McKinney (who has an awesome last name) would be the man to help them.
Maggie is adorable on all counts. This little girl is known for throwing sand (which may or may not be directed toward her little brother) and giggling loudly. Maggie is one of Jen's many pen pals and the two of them correspond about life's trials and tribulations. Jen mostly writes about the stress of college, planning a wedding, and trying to save the world. Maggie on the other hand pretty frequently scribes about the stress of coloring in the lines and passing on her many picked up germs from school to her parents. It's hard work but it's safe to say the two of them are quite successful.
Nate, fully convinced Madden looks like a small Avril Lavigne immediately knew who he wanted to be a flower girl. According to him it will be "bad butt." Madden is currently teaching her little sisters the ways of being outrageously charming and getting your own way. Madden also is master at cookie decorating Christmas cookies and singing her favorite songs. Madden is also co-leader with her mother in leading a female dominated house especially since the newest pack member - Catherine.
Molly is too cute for her own good. Molly is a member of the female dominated house that Madden lives in and is quickly learning the tricks of the trade. There is legend of a book entitled "Daddy around my little finger." Molly may or may not be the co-illustrator specializing in chapters like "Cousins, They can Do Anything" and "Uncle Tim Could you Get me this." Molly worked hard to take out a lot of her competition as flower girl and looks forward to the wedding with her sister by her side.
Annalise is the only flower girl coming from Nate's side of the family, but after meeting Jen she quickly weaseled her way into heart and the two (Nate and Jen) knew they would be having four flower girls at their wedding. Annalise was one of the few flower girls the couple was able to ask in person and the two were able to see the pure delight in both their parents eyes and Annalise's. Annalise is in high demand this year as she will be in two weddings- A princess like her should be in weddings with a disclaimer - She may find herself stealing the show from the bride she's that beautiful.