Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Before I forget...

On July 17, 2010, Jim and I were married at our home, in our well-loved back yard, surrounded by family and friends. Although I've waited way too long to post this, there are so many things that I'm afraid I'll forget about the week leading up to our big day if I don't get them down!

Actually, the first thing is something I'd like to forget: Martin (my oldest son) calling to tell me he'd overslept and missed his flight to Portland! Thanks to a lot of help from his dad, he made it here that same day, but very  late at night. Oh, well, at least he made it!

I love remembering going to the airport with Ben and Addison to pick up Jason, Lisa, and their boys. Addison was SO excited to meet his cousins - Aunt and Uncle were poor seconds, I'm afraid! - but especially Matthew with whom he shares a fixation on the movie "Cars." As soon as they met each other they began comparing notes. It was so fun to see two four-year-olds so deeply into their conversation!

I loved seeing my two oldest grandsons, Andrew and David, and how much they'd grown. They're such wonderful boys and gave their Gran big, happy hugs!

On Sunday, my sister, niece, and daughters-in-law threw a party for me which was supposed to be a surprise. Except no one could figure out how to get me to d-i-l Christina's house on a ruse; so my sister called and said, "We're having a surprise party for you, so come to Christina's!" I loved it! After eating and lots of talking, we watched "Annie Get Your Gun," which had arrived at Christina's with help from Jim. After almost 60 years of watching it with my sentimental eyes, I was treated to the funny, sarcastic, and spot-on comments about its corniness by the above-mentioned relatives. It gave me a whole new point of view and I'll never again watch it without thinking of our laughter and mimicry. Thanks, Ladies. Really!

Monday afternoon brought the fun of a full-family barbecue at Mike & Christina's (intrepid souls that they are), where everyone got together for the first time. Being family, there was lots of laughter, some tears, old memories resurrected, and new memories made. I loved seeing my boys all together - something that happens too seldom - and introducing Mike - an only son - to the horseplay of brothers. He didn't seem to mind - too much! It was also fun seeing the older cousins reacquainting themselves with each other, and the next generation of cousins meeting and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Having Jenn and David and their two kiddos was perfect!

I definitely don't want to forget that Tuesday morning brought a phone call from Ben that they thought Drew had come down with chickenpox! Oh, no! A quick trip to the doctor garnered a diagnosis of roseola, and Gran spent the day with Drew while the rest of the fam made it a day at Oaks Park Amusement Center, with rides and general hilarity all 'round.

On Wednesday the whole crew - sans Mike & Christina and their kids, as well as Jim and me - took off for the Coast. Martin also stayed in Portland, and he and I had a chance for some time together - an infrequent occurrence. We went to dinner, had good conversation, and excellent Margaritas.

Thursday afternoon, Peggy & Steve hosted a backyard barbecue and we had a chance to get a group photo of all of my mom's descendants - except my brother Martin, who couldn't be here - the first time ever that all of her kids (except Martin), grandkids, and great-grandkids have been together! Steve took the photos, which had to be retaken after we realized Addison was missing from the first set. He'd been in the house reading (big surprise - NOT!) and was brought outside to complete the picture.

Friday was rehearsal day - and final preparations for me, since I was spending the night at Ben & Briana's house. After rehearsal (and a brief appearance by Bridezilla!) the whole crew went out for pizza and general hilarity. One memorable minute was when Uncle Martin got a video game prize of earrings, and promptly put them on! His nephews, nieces, and cousins loved it - as did his mom!

Saturday dawned lovely - sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Since we'd had horrible heat the previous week, and rain the week before that, it was a glorious gift to know we'd have a perfect day. I put in an early appearance, and was charmed by Mike's reception of me in bride mode. I'm so lucky to claim him as a stepson.

Jim walked in with his family: son Mike, daughter Katy, d-i-l Christina, and grandchildren Gigi and Felix. When my turn came, I was preceded by d-i-ls Briana - carrying Drew - and Lisa, with Andrew and David. Then our ringbearers, Matthew and Addison; flower girl Ada; my sister and matron of honor, Peggy; and escorted by my three handsome sons, Martin, Jason, and Ben.

We had forgotten to warn Ada, Addison, and Matthew that there would be lots of people waiting when they made their entrance, so there was a bit of consternation on their part when they saw their reception! I treasure the picture of Mike when he saw Ada coming toward him with her basket of rose petals!

We had a lovely service, using the New Zealand prayer book, and lots of laughter and love. It was a joy to be surrounded by our families, neighbors and good friends, and to have them join in our celebration. It was a perfect day, and I am so proud to be Jim's wife and share our happy day with those we hold dear.

I know I've left things out, so hope those of you who were part of this wonderful event will share your memories in the comments!