Project Amour Eric and Chandra's Journey to Get Married in Paris


L’introduction de Frannie Clay

Meet Frances "Frannie" Clay

The newest resident on Welland Court.  Eric and I have been discussing the idea of a new puppy off and on for a few years now.  We have one dog, Gracie, who is now 11 years old and the vet suggested that now would be a good time to introduce a new puppy while Gracie is still in very good health and full of energy.  Last night we drove to Cary, NC to meet our latest addition, Frannie, a Boston Terrier full of love, grunts and energy!  The folks at the pet store referred to her as "tripod" because she has three black legs and one white leg.  I looked at her and thought -- she is something special.  We named her Frances and will be calling her "Frannie".  That seemed like a great name since we will be traveling to France for our wedding and she is an early wedding gift to ourselves (the name also happens to fit her really well).  The poem below helps to describe how I felt when we met Frannie for the first time.

One Look at Her

Her eyes like diamonds they shine,
Her paws, her nails... like pearls devine,
That tail, that nose... and yes, that little whine.
One look at her, I must admit, she had to be mine.

That snort, that grunt, that pitchy little bark
And yes, you've guessed it, sometimes she'll even ...
She ain't worth millions, no priceless piece of art
One look at her, I must admit, she greedily stole my heart.

Welcome Frannie!

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Une vie d’amour

A Lifetime of Love

October 28, 1961. The car was washed, waxed and the tires were gleaming. Shoes shined, dressed in his Sunday best, he pulled onto a winding dirt road on his way to what would become the best day of his life.

Waiting at the house near the end of the dirt road she put the finishing touches on her makeup, put on her earrings and draped a necklace; all the while waiting patiently for him to arrive.

October 28, 1961. The day my Dad, W.E. Callicutt married my Mom, Alice Faye Nichols.

My parents were married at my mother's home place which is traditional in Southern weddings. Surrounded by love and supported by family they said “I Do” and a wonderful life together began. Mom's dress was white, street length and in pictures she was a beauty. Dad always loved remembering her that day and often recalled how amazing he felt when he took her hand in marriage. They went to the North Carolina mountains for their honeymoon and I'm certain the leaves were spectacular then just as they are today.

Mom and Dad were married for 46 years before dad passed away. They built a life together based on trust, love and respect and I feel so fortunate to have been born into such a blessed home. As I now begin to plan for my wedding in April it seems fitting that I look back on what my parents were able to build together. Dad's vow to always say “I Love You” even when things are rocky. His belief that giving a hug gets you 90% of the way towards forgiveness. Mom's unconditional love, support and dedication to a man and a family that could be more than difficult at times. Her unselfish willingness to make sacrifices all in the name of love. How lucky I am to have such a great example as I walk towards a life of wedded bliss. I know that Eric and I will be able to create something equally as special if we can just use them as our example.

In closing I would like to thank my Mom and Dad for teaching me about life, laughter and the true meaning of love!

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Traditional French Wedding Cake

The Croquembouche is a traditional French wedding cake.  The exact translation of the word is” crack in one’s mouth” or “crunching in one’s mouth” because of the sensation you get while eating one of the puffs. The croquembouche has been used as a celebration cake for weddings by the French nobility since the early 18th century. Each wedding guest would bring a “sweet bread” or two with them to help create a tower of cream puffs. The bride and groom would attempt to kiss over the tower.  (I hope Eric's height will compensate for me being vertically challenged)  As tradition has it, the hope was that this ceremony would grant them a prosperous life together, which in those days of course included having many children (not sure about the many part but Eric and I do plan to have children).

The cake itself consists of puffs of choux pastry filled with a vanilla crème patisserie, held together with a delicious cobweb of caramel. Although tradition calls for it to be decorated with sugared almonds, there are many ways of serving this versatile cake. They range from lacing it with spun sugar to drizzling dark or milk chocolate over the whole pyramid. As with traditional wedding cakes, during the cutting of the cake, most couples pose with a knife against the croquembouche before it is taken away for serving. Traditionally, the croquembouche is served by hitting it hard with a sword, with the bridesmaids catching the pieces in a tablecloth.  (You just have to love the fun in tradition)  Below are some examples of a croquembouche.  They range from simple to very elaborate.  Can't wait to share one with our friends and family at our reception in May.