My sweet little girl is all grown up. After being a year younger than everyone else and the tallest in her class, she actually quit growing in 6th grade, at about 5'2". By high school, everyone else finally caught up and surpassed her and she didn't like being short, so she started wearing spike heals to school. By her senior year, that phase had passed and she joined the barefoot/minimalist community.
All of that is beside the point.
Sara and Bruce decided to get married. Bruce is in college on a math scholarship two hours north of us. Sara and Bruce have been together for well over a year and didn't like being apart, so they made plans to change that situation. We were given three weeks notice to plan the wedding. Sara had wanted it to be a quiet ceremony between the two of them until the day she had me help her try on her dress to make sure it fit right. It took me about half an hour to tie up the back. During this long arduous process, I asked her, "If you don't want anybody at your wedding, who is going to help you into your dress before the ceremony?" Her response was, "OH!" And that is how I, her mother, got invited to her wedding. It feels good to be needed!
Sara's mother in law offered to take care of the flowers for the ceremony and asked if I could help her with some flower arranging. We spent much of that Friday in search of extra hydrangeas, since the ones she had bought were already wilted. After searching the valley high and low, we eventually found a hydrangea plant at Smith's grocery store. Hallelujah! Since we had floral paint, the color of the hydrangea's really didn't matter much.
I helped with the flower arranging as much as I could until I had to leave to go pick up the groom and help them run errands, one of which was to pick up his tuxedo and another was for them to get their marriage license. Luckily, we had all the paperwork they needed for that to happen!
Upon returning home, we had a family wedding dinner at Golden Chorale. This was the place of choice since the food is already cooked and there's a great variety! Bruce is the oldest of 7 kids in his family and Sara the oldest of 4 kids. We figured it would be easier on the kids to not have to wait for their meal to be prepared. Luckily dinner went as planned!
After dinner, Bruce's mom returned with a few of her kids to our house to add final touches to the florals. There were many bouteniers and wrist corsages and of course, a beautiful bridal bouquet! By this time the hour was late and I was exhausted, on the verge of grumpy and decided it would be wise to get organized since the wedding was to take place at 8am the following morning. Zack was not at home to hear the announcement. Elijah and Joshua were asked to gather their church clothes, specifically their black suits and lay them out with white shirts, black socks, and black shoes. This would make our morning oh so easy, I was just sure of it! Bruce's mom had taken her girls and found cute dresses that were all the right colors for the wedding and so I wanted the boys to match as well. For this to work, the chaos had to happen that evening. Josh found his clothes right away. Eli couldn't find his black pants, so we decided he would borrow Zack's extra pair of black church pants.
Guests finally left around 11pm and I hit the sac around midnight but couldn't sleep. I will add that I got the prompting to set my alarm...so I did. After tossing and turning for what felt like hours, I probably fell asleep around 2am. I had set my alarm for 6am. Just a side note here. I have an iPhone, which means when the alarm goes off, it doesn't stop for about 15 minutes before it finally gives up on you. Apparently Matt had set his alarm for 5:30 and we slept through it (another iPhone). My alarm went off at 6, and we slept through it. Seriously, I haven't done this in years and it absolutely baffles me. The only explanation I can find is that my sleep cycles were so far off that I was in a very deep sleep. At 7am, Sara came out of my bathroom after doing her makeup and said, "Mom, are you going to get up and get ready for the wedding?" I jumped and asked why she hadn't woken me sooner. She told me she thought I was being rebellious because I didn't want her to get married. Aack!
And so the fun begins. I took THE SHORTEST SHOWER of my entire life. I think it might have lasted 30 seconds, basically enough time to get my hair wet and get out. I had Matt wake the boys and told them they got a two minute shower and to get their suits on right away. We were supposed to be at the church by 7:45 and I had to get me ready and help Sara into her dress. Thank goodness the boys had their suits set out! By the time I came out of the bathroom with my hair blow dried, Zack was out of the shower, "Mom, my suit is in my locker at school." (He had a choir concert that week and had left his suit at school.) My jaw hits the floor and I am speechless, which seriously doesn't happen very often. I finally decided to search his closet to see what might be a good alternative. I figured we'd have to find Elijah's black pants so Zack could wear his spare pair. Zack had a black suit coat with white pinstripes. That was close enough.
Next Joshua emerges with his outfit on, complaining, "Mom, these pants are WAY too big for me in the waist and super long. I don't know what's wrong." You've got to be kidding me. He takes off his belt to show me the size. Yup, they're Elijah's pants. No wonder why Eli couldn't find them the night before! So Elijah takes Zack's pants upstairs to Zack and puts on the pants Josh just took off, so the question of the day is, where are Joshua's black pants? I searched high and low. Not in the drawers, not in the clean laundry baskets, not in the dirty laundry baskets. Nowhere to be found and I'm running out of time. So Josh puts on his beige pants with his black suit coat. *heavy sigh* Elijah is the only one dressed as planned in his black suit. I have the boys all find blue ties and decide I can't do anything about this conundrum.
At this point, I'm in my dress and my hair is as done as good as it's going to get. I have no makeup on and no jewelry on yet and Sara is ready for me to help her into her dress at the appointed time we are supposed to be arriving at the church. I laced her dress up double time! I had the boys brush their teeth while I put on my makeup and we headed out the door, arriving to the church 30 minutes later than planned. This being only 15 minutes late for the ceremony, I was somewhat pleased until Sara said with a scared voice, "Mom, I left Bruce's ring at home. It's in my jewelry box." I told her to sit tight and I'd go get it while everyone pinned on their flowers. No big deal, right? That's what I kept telling myself, anyway. Ring acquired, back to the church I go. When I walked in, Sara had the look of death on her face and nobody else was around. "Mom, I forgot the marriage license, it's on my dresser!" You've got to be kidding me. I hand her the ring and walk back out, drive back home, grab the license and head back to the church. I'm thinking, "If she forgot anything else, this marriage is not happening today." By the time I return, it's 8:30. Sara had also left her veil at home, and there it stayed.
The ceremony was beautiful and only immediate family was there. We took pictures and dispersed. The newlyweds left for Midway for professional wedding photos and a short honeymoon, while the rest of us decided we deserved a big breakfast after the surviving the morning's chaos. Matt and I fixed belgian waffles loaded with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream, hash browns, and bacon. We feasted 'til we were stuffed and then hung out for awhile before deciding we needed to get on with our Saturday.
Everything turned out okay in the end, but I sure felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Meanwhile, the happy couple have started their Happily Ever After!
I have since gotten phone calls from my beautiful daughter sayings things like, "Exactly how does one cook a chicken?" and "I thought I knew how to cook until I left home." and "We are so tired of eating the same thing every night. What else can I cook with these ingredients?" As the mom, it's so nice to feel needed and to have the opportunity to hear my little girl's voice again. I miss her hugs and her amazing smile. I miss my best helper. Time to do some more training with the boys.