OK, so this episode definitely should’ve been on another show: BRIDEZILLAS starring Alana Atkins!  Baby, that Alana was something special on her rehearsal and wedding day!  But, hey, we all go through it; you just want the day you’ve dreamed about.  Daddy, really? No tux? And then brother Justin strikes again — crashing cars! Can things be any more chaotic?!  But, hey, at the end of the day Alana was beautiful and Desmond was ecstatic!

Man, what day that was – but perfectly Atkins! All that could go wrong did, but in the midst of it all we do what we always do as a family — come together and make things happen for whoever needs us.  Alana was a beautiful bride and the wedding was her through and through – especially with Scooby (her dog) as the ring bearer. Anything less wouldn’t have been us.  It was amazing to see Alana so happy. My favorite moment was seeing this calm and peace that came over Alana at the height of the craziness. All that mattered to her was marrying Desmond and wanting him to be happy.

Alison & Skip

Love is Love! Alison’s first marriage was to a woman and now she’s married to a man, Skip. These two as you can tell are so very much in love.

She met him while running errands at Home Depot one day. She happened to look up and saw him and then bulls’ eye! The love cupid shot an arrow through her heart. It’s all about timing and as they say love happens “when you least expect it.” We all have heard that line over and over, but it’s so true. So to all you single ladies out there, here’s living proof.

They clearly do everything together from making their wedding bands to shopping for her wedding dress. That’s what I call a “Dynamic Duo.” Alison had cancer removed a few months back – I so hope she remains cancer free. So I suppose that makes them the “Super Dynamic Duo.”

It was a beautiful day in Washington Square Park, a perfect day for a wedding. Gino put me in charge of crowd control. It was my job to create this personal space for Alison, Skip and guests and of course keep the uninvited “guests” away from the ceremony. However there are some things you can’t control like the man in the fountain playing with his dolls in his underwear. That’s the part you didn’t get to see… you gotta love NYC.

Linda & Curtis

All I have to say is thank goodness Linda and Curtis found each other. I can’t even imagine having my marriage arranged. I would be running for the hills! But that’s what Linda’s mom tried to do, but she didn’t succeed. It must be hard for them not having Linda’s mother approve nor accept their relationship because of it being interracial. I hope when they have their first born that will change the way her mother feels about their relationship. Something has to give….

I call her my modern day bride, she proposed to him on his birthday. Listen up women. We CAN propose to men! I love this story, a woman going after what she wants. Curtis is one lucky guy.

But then a surprise took place on their wedding day. Curtis got down on one knee and proposed to Linda over looking the Brooklyn Bridge! Remember I’m a hopeless romantic so this took my breath away. Then another surprise emerged Curtis wanted Gino to marry them in a checkered cab going over the Brooklyn Bridge and AGAIN at another ceremony in Brooklyn. Ok people let’s do the math here: 2 proposals and 2 weddings. Does that mean 2 honeymoons? Well seems everything comes in 2’s for them. Wait…Does that mean they’ll be having twins?

This school year was pretty challenging for me. It was a little harder for me to apply myself because of all the friends that I have made and I couldn’t help but wanting to hang out with them all of the time. 

My classes were amazing, except for geometry and chemistry, of course. My geometry teacher was a kind man, but the whole year he was generous with rewarding me with my grade and I should have learned more than I did. Still, I will definitely be prepared for the ACT. Chemistry well, that was just a struggle and a half. As much as I tried to buckle down, it didn’t exactly work out…

I would not say that high school is competitive; maybe competitive to achieve good grades in order to be granted privileges from your parents, but not anything Olympic like…

Peer pressure is easy just say no and stick to your gut feeling. I have had to make the decisions to lay off of Facebook and texting in order to study, which is probably the hardest challenge so far.

I value advice from my parents, even though they don’t always tell me what I want to hear. But I know that they are advising me in my best interest. At the same time I like confiding in my friends and asking for their opinion because I feel like they would be on more relatable grounds, more able to understand me.

I have taken on new responsibility – a JOB!!!! I’m a lifeguard at Hartigan Beach and a proud employee of the Chicago Park District.

I am in swimming and water polo and I absolutely love training hard and long tiring practices! They make me feel accomplished and BA once I’m done with them (: I feel as if I have a one up on everyone, like, hey, guess what I did at 6 am while you were sleeping?

Sophomore year was a great year. I did extremely well in all my classes. I had a little competition with other students in class because I’m a little bit of an over achiever and I like to be the best in the class. Surprisingly I didn’t have to face very serious peer pressure at all and that is something I am revealed about because peer pressure just causes a lot of stress and I already had enough stress with grades. Even though i had a lot of stress with relationships and friends I didn’t talk to my parents about it because I feel weird talking about things like that with them, i mostly go 2 my close friends for advise. This year i finally decided to join a sport but because of the CPS budget cuts, they cut all sophomore sports and that really upset me because i trained so hard and i was ready to play. But to make up for that i was in 2 clubs, Latino club and Mediterranean club. I performed in international night, I did Latin dances and a belly dance. I became more outgoing and started to get more involved with school. Next year I can’t wait to be in the same clubs again and i will finally get to be on the softball team! I’m so excited!!!!!! Hopefully everything goes well next year! =]

The summer before sophomore year, I chilled with friends and worked as a volunteer for the park district. The best part of the summer was hanging out with my friends and being able to go swimming at my house. The first thing I thought this going into this school year was, “Am I going to fail this year??”

So far, my sophomore year has been pretty hard. I was pretty sure they were going to be easy. As far as friends go, when I started the school year I knew that not everybody would stay close, but the friends that mean the most stuck by my side and we worked through it all. I think the biggest change for me between freshmen and sophomore year physically was the fast that I lost 25lbs. I don’t really have a fear going into sophomore year… well, maybe passing. I think what I am MOST excited about heading into sophomore year is getting my permit!!!!

The best part of sophomore year was volleyball. It was an amazing year. I didn’t really have a worst part of the year and I like that I didn’t have problems. This summer I got a job; I became a lifeguard for the park district. I’m working at Independence Park, and yes I am getting paid! This year I also got my driver’s permit. I’m so excited to have my permit. I love to know that I get to drive and that I get to be the one to fix the cars. I think the biggest change in my personality this year was that I’ve become more down to earth. Something about myself that I would NEVER change would be my smile and my laugh. I am still in Girl Scouts; this year Girl Scouts was calm and a lot of fun to be around the girls all the time. For next year, I hope to complete my gold award with my other friends.

This school year has to be THE best school year I’ve had so far. It’s the exact opposite of my freshman year. I became closer with my mom, I’ve maintained decent grades all year, and best of all is that my depression is basically gone! This year I thought that my classes would be tough, but they really weren’t! They were actually more simple and easier to understand; this was also a plus considering that I’m not depressed anymore.

One thing that was kind of an issue for me this year was… yes, I have to admit it, BOYS! They are a handful to think about. This year there were a few boys in particular, one of whom was my “crush” ever since I started freshman year, one who basically stalked me the whole school year, LOL, and another one who was just too cute to ignore.

I resolved with myself that they weren’t more important than my education and decided to just focus on my work. All in all, this year really worked out in my favor. All I can say is, “I cant wait ’til next year!”

The best part about sophomore year was my Dad getting his job back and me getting back into sports. When my Dad got his job back there was less stress on my family, less of his complaining or drinking, and less of him messing with us. For me, playing in sports was good because I didn’t get a chance to play in school because of my grades and I had become really lazy.

The worst part about sophomore year was my Dad’s drinking problem and Julian. My dad’s drinking problem was an issue because he would use up a lot of money drinking at night and starting fights and picking on us. Julian was also worse because we broke up because of his cheating habits and because he spread rumors about me around school.

My school year was bad because I failed a class. Overall, it was nice because I got to hang out with my friends and stuff. My classes weren’t good because I didn’t like some of my teachers. I think when it comes to competition at school, I’m not too worried about it. In situations like the Duchess Competition during Homecoming, the competition is a little tight and people are pretty competitive about that. But when it comes to school wo­rk, people are either just smart or stupid. How do I feel about peer pressure? I don’t have to deal with any. 

One of the big decisions I made this year was dating my boyfriend. We broke up and got back together. We were only broken up for a few days, so it wasn’t a big problem though. Something big that happened this year was meeting my mom’s new boyfriend and my dad’s new wife. I had to make judgments as to whether I liked them or not.

I trust my friends with giving me the advice that I’m looking for, but sometimes I feel like my parents usually have the right advice, so I usually turn to them if I feel like my friends don’t give me the advice I wanted. 

A big responsibility I took on this year was getting a job! I work at a local supermarket chain. I also attend summer school and I babysit my brother a lot. I’m pretty busy. 

I haven’t really discovered anything new about myself. Not really.  People told me that I changed and that I look different, but I think I look the same. I think the whole thing with the job has made me more mature and responsible. 

I’d say the highlight of the year was meeting and dating my boyfriend. He was a nice thing to come along. The lowlight of my year was failing my class and of course my Grandpa dying. That was pretty hard.

All right, the moral of this story is rehearse rehearse rehearse – LOL!!  First off, what an amazing honor and experience it was to be requested to sing a Lionel Richie song in front of Lionel Richie — at the APOLLO!  Now don’t get me wrong, we didn’t suck.com, but we definitely weren’t at our best.  That Warryn Campbell, my sweet husband, can really let us have it! Don’t tell him I said this, but this time he was right.