First, let me give you a peek into our prep...
All of last week was pretty wonderful. My girls treated me to a mani-pedi (which I normally shy away from because strangers end up rubbing your hands and feet) and we did some shopping and errands together. Everyone worked their tails off - Jeff especially. I married a g-e-m. More on that later. Amy and Lindsey were both SO helpful and supportive of their sis, asking her what they could do, what she wanted. They were wonderful. Those times when all of us are together are becoming fewer and farther apart so I was soaking up every minute.
On Thursday Lisa woke up with a swollen and painful eye - because things were going a bit too smoothly! A visit to the ophthalmologist and some sample eyedrops calmed nerves about wedding photos.
My two "sisters" from college days, Liane and Karen, came on Thursday afternoon and did all of Lisa's flowers. We ordered them from Costc* and they were absolutely beautiful! Lilies and roses. Lisa switched things up at the last minute and added yellow and orange to her wedding colors of apple green, charcoal and white - but it was a perfect choice. Those hot colors with that apple green looked stunning.
Bridesmaids and girlfriends arrived on Friday. I have to say that I love my daughters' friends. They were incredible - such a support to Lisa and a huge blessing to me too. They kept asking me how I was doing, how they could help me, if I needed anything. I wanted to keep them all. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to take pictures while all of this was going on but alas, I didn't. Boo.
We had such a wonderful wedding day, full of great friends and family. I have to admit to worrying a teensy bit about how everything was going to come together but Jeff and I agree that it just couldn't have been much better. The bride was absolutely breath-taking. My eyes are stinging just remembering that moment when she and her dad walked down the aisle. It's a surreal experience is all I can say.
When the married couple (still getting used to that!) finally drove away with cans clattering from the back of the car, everyone who was left pitched in to help gather up all the remains and headed to our house. All the cousins piled into cars and drove downtown to V*od*o donuts. They came back with various cereal-covered pastry and bacon maple bars, which tasted surprisingly like pancakes, bacon and maple syrup - yum!
Does this look good to you?
In memorium - Amy Winehouse.
Portland is weird like that.
Portland is weird like that.
We took an oh-so-brief respite from all the eating to talk and reminisce. Several of Lindsey's friends came over and then we all filled our plates with leftovers from the reception lunch: chicken kabobs, bbq pulled-pork sliders, pasta salad, cole slaw and fresh fruit. It was a beautiful evening - about 80° on the back patio. We played a rousing game of Jelly Beans. I know what you're thinking... 'These people have some serious sugar issues' - but this had nothing to do with jelly beans. It's just a great game for a big, overly-tired group of loud people.
And then exhaustion began to set in. I normally like to smooth out the clean sheets on the guest beds and be sure there are fresh wash cloths in the bathroom but I'm afraid these folks were on their own - I had no fuel left in my tank. We scrounged up blankets and pillows and foam pads for all the young'uns and fell into bed. When I got up at 6:30, we counted 17 people had spent the night. There were bodies sprawled everywhere. A couple of them had come in way after I lost consciousness but we decided that everybody had some connection with someone else and therefore was okay to be there.
Breakfast was disposable buffet-style - muffins, bagels, fruit, coffee and juice. We scoured the house multiple times, finding a bunch of stuff people had forgotten to pack up (imagine that!): phone chargers, car keys, deodorant, hair spray, shoes and articles of clothing. The only thing left unclaimed were a laptop sleeve and a mini hair brush - not too bad! We circled up for a final prayer and then sent everyone north to Tacoma and Seattle. Sigh.
A highlight of my week was the card my sweet husband gave me right after the wedding. My first thought was, 'Is there a card for husbands to give their wives after their daughter's wedding?' But I don't think there is. That he took the time to write his thoughts to me on that special day meant the world to me.
I am so incredibly blessed - I'm married to my best friend and we have three amazing daughters and now a son! Jeff and I are on a really unusual, exciting, uncertain and fun journey together. And this weekend was a big gift.
Thank you God for forgiving my lack of faith, for always meeting me, for constantly surprising me. YOU are amazing!
Wedding photos soon, I hope!!