My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, May 30, 2010

it's been a great weekend!

I'm sitting here staring at a blank screen trying to find the words to capture the past three days and ... despite my relative gift for gab, I'm not sure I can properly articulate the emotions and events that I've experienced.

It was beautiful. It was everything a parent could have wanted for their child. There was some chaos - every wedding has it's snafus and I think that's what makes memories!

I drove down on Thursday to do what I could to help with the set up, pick up Austin's outfit, get Austin a haircut and basically just be there. It was a long but very sweet day for me. I went by Jim and Angie's on the way home Thursday night so I could see everyone, have a bite to eat, make sure the girls' dresses fit... and just regroup with the support of my "sisters".

I got up Friday morning and did the glam routine and then drove back to the southside. I was incredibly calm, which I attributed partly to prayer and partly to the fact that I had very little responsibility in the whole process. I went straight to Cody's house and got to spend a little time alone with my 3 boys. Again, very sweet time for me.

I went to the spa where Cody works to get my eyebrows waxed and checked in on Marquee, who was having her hair done at the salon next door. She was a bit anxious but hanging in there. I gave her gum (it's what she asked for) and went back to the boys.

We cut hydrangeas and gardenias to go in the flower girl baskets. We puttered around and rushed around and took care of little details. I added Marquee's name to the big framed family tree in my parents' living room. That makes 24 of us.

The boys and I headed over to the wedding venue... first we stopped for gas... then we stopped to grab lunch. When we got to the venue her family was leaving after finishing up the decorations. They did an amazing job! There were a few final details - putting out the wedding signs, etc - so they left Cody with the keys for the venue and went to get ready. Cody had to leave to pick up a few more things so he left the keys with me and left me to begin to greet our family as they arrived. (this becomes an important detail later on)

All along Purple Michael had told me that there was no way he was going to be able to come to the wedding. I was bummed, of course, but I understand. He lives in Chicago, after all. But Michael was such a huge part of Cody's childhood. And Michael, more than anyone else in the world, knows how to hold me together in times of emotional distress. I understood, though. He called around 2pm to let me know he was thinking about me and once again expressed his regret at not being there... and then... about a half hour later... Austin said, "mom, look, there's Michael!" He was there! It was the most emotional moment of the day for me... I rushed to him and buried my face in his chest and just sobbed. Such a precious, precious gift!

It was hot and muggy at the time we were supposed to start but some family members were stuck in traffic so we delayed the start of the ceremony by about half an hour. In that time, the weather moderated, the sun went behind a cloud and it was much more comfortable during the ceremony.

The kids had no idea of how they wanted things done but fortunately my sister in law Angie is an absolute pro at these sort of things. She organized everyone... arranged seating in the ceremony... pulled it all together in a way that no one else could have. Once again, I have no doubt that God brought her into our family because He knew that we needed her.

The ceremony was perfect, beautiful, simple, sweet. Not a big production... no drama, no nerves... just a very sweet exchange of vows in front of a gorgeous gazebo and scenic view.

The reception was the most fun reception I think I've ever been to. Again, very relaxed, nice but not elegant to the point of being stuffy. They had Cody's favorite mexican restaurant cater - we had chips and dip on every table, fajitas, sopapillas. It was awesome! Really good food. The cake was orange/pineapple with cream cheese filling. There was a candy station. And a DJ.

I sat at a table in between Barry and Michael. It was exactly as it should have been. The two men who provided the greatest support for me in raising my boys were right there on either side of me. We had family gathered all around... we laughed and talked and visited and danced. Oh man, did we dance! I danced until my hips hurt! Michael danced. Candice danced. Even Jim and Angie and the girls danced. We had the best time! My 86 year old grandmother even danced! Not slow danced - I mean she really danced! It was such a precious memory!

The wedding was at 3:30. The reception started around 4. I think it was around 7:30 when Austin and i left and we were completely spent. We stopped by my parents' house and then headed home... made a stop for a bite to eat and a drink... got home around 10pm, completely exhausted and then... got a phone call.

I had the keys to the wedding venue in my purse.

Yep. In my purse. My cellphone was out of minutes so I had turned it off. For two hours everyone had been frantically trying to reach me. The kids had started driving north. Yes. On the road, in pouring rain on their wedding night... Ryan, the maid of honor, Cody and Marquee. I think that makes me officially the worst mother in law ever.

When they got me on the phone we decided i would drive south to meet them. Two problems: I gave my garmin to Bryan and Candice to use since they were driving Grandma home to North Carolina. I can't see to drive at night. I do ok if I'm going somewhere I'm familiar with but I can't read street signs. I really can't see in the rain. And... oh yeah, third problem... I was exhausted. One more problem... no phone... I could text but not talk. And who can text and drive at night in the pouring rain? It was crazy.

It took about 45 minutes but I found my way to the Waffle House off the interstate they had described. I wish I had brought my camera because it was the sweetest site of the whole day... these four kids in my parents brand new car... sitting in the parking lot of the Waffle House with to go plates in their laps - they couldn't eat inside because they had Sammy the dog with them. I apologized profusely... hugged them... apologized again... suggested that maybe someone should get mommy a real phone... and let them get on their way. I got back home at midnight. They had another hour and a half to drive... in the pouring rain. I haven't heard from them since... I'm taking it as a sign that they're having a great time post wedding/pre-honeymoon and not that they hate me forever. Oy vey.

It was after 2am before I got to sleep Friday night. Barely 6am when I woke up. I fell back asleep around 9am and slept until noon and then went to Angie and Jim's to help set up for her birthday party. They were having 50 people over for dinner... and... Angie's dad had to be rushed to the ER as soon as they got there because he was altered and obviously not well and Angie had to go to the hospital to be with her dad. It turns out he has double pneumonia and was only at 83% oxygen. He was admitted. We pulled it together, though... the college girl that lives with Jim and Angie did all the cleaning, I did all the decorating, Jim did all the set up and heavy lifting... Bryan and Candice put the food together... and it was a lovely party. Angie made it back to the house about a half hour before the guests arrived.

And I... am.... worn... out. I'm skipping church this morning and spending the day with Bryan and Candice. We plan to check out Babyland General, maybe Dahlonega, Fred's Peanut Stand, Betty's Country Grocery... all the great places around here. Tomorrow I'm sure I will have a great big old pj day in the nest... but it's been a great weekend.

Time to glam for the day ahead! I have a ton of pictures on facebook. If you aren't able to access my facebook page, let me know and I'll post some pictures here. Have a great day, y'all!


ginger said...

I'm so glad the wedding was beautiful. I would like to see the pictures. What name are you on facebook?

ginger said...

I found you.

moshell's lilbit of space said...

The pictures were beautiful Heather, and it made me teary to see both *purple* Michael and Barry there for you and Cody!!!

Here's to a Great *best* friends, and Steel Magnolias.