Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Big Party (The Reception)

I told Beth the day before the wedding that I was going to "boogie-oogie-oogie" at the reception. After seeing her give me a look that at best, said, "Suure you are, Mom." I had a point to prove. I have always loved to dance. Before we were married, John and I went to a lot of places where we could dance. (A nice way to say," bars"), and we did quite a bit of dancing. Once the kids came, we pretty much hung up our dancing shoes. But, I was bound and determined that we were going to dust those puppies off and put them on again!

And we did!

When we got to the reception we, the parents, and the Bridal party was introduced.

Elijah, Anna and Abbey waiting to be introduced

My beautiful Anna, this time with fellow Bridesmaid, Annie

Meghan and John
sister of the groom and brother of the bride

Then their first dance as husband and wife, to Cat Power's "Sea of Love"

We then chowed down on some Eastern NC barbecue, macaroni and cheese, baked chicken, hush puppies and slaw.

All of a sudden the wind started blowing ominously. We looked up and there was a big black cloud approaching. We had about 120 or so folks, and the house would only accommodate about 100. We were all very concerned about the weather. Several tables weren't covered by the tent. So, Beth and Greg rushed to cut the cake.

It was a beautiful cake. Beth had picked out some pictures and I'd given the vision to the lady who did the cake. She did a wonderful job. I'd highly recommend her.

(Funny story--when we pulled up to the reception from the church, she was just leaving after having dropped off the cake. John had to deliver some stuff into the reception, and I had Abbey and Elijah in the car. It was very humid and hot, so they had gotten out for some fresh air. Just then Beth pulls up and gets out, needing her dress bustled. Mindy, aka the cake lady, watched A and E for me while I bustled Beth's dress. It's not often you get a wedding cake maker and a babysitter all in one!)

Back to the reception recount. The weather was turning pretty frightful. The tent was creaking and swaying with the stiff breeze. Beth came up to John and said, "Daddy please pray for the storm to go away!" John and I went and bowed our heads and fervently asked the Lord to stop the storm.

Meanwhile, we went on with the festivities. Greg's Dad gave a very nice toast.

and Anna gave a heart-tugging toast. It was so sweet. I just bawled...again.

Then John danced with Beth. They had some sweet moments that he says will always stay with him, as they danced to The Beach Boys, "God only Knows".

Proud Daddy

Greg then danced with his Mom to "Stand by Me"

After the toasts and dances. Greg's Dad came up to us and said, "I believe the storm is going to blow over!" The wind had died down it just sprinkled a little bit and no more thunder!  That night when we got home, John watched the weather on the 11 o'clock news. The radar showed this line of thunderstorms. As soon as they got to Raleigh, "poof" they dissipated! Coincidence?? I know not!

Then the "boogie-oogie-oogie" began in earnest. (A wonderful friend came,  picked Abbey and Elijah up and took them home to a babysitter). I had a blast!

John didn't quite know how to take his normally very staid Mom, boogeying the night away!

Beth danced with my Dad

At 10:00 the bride and groom made their way through a line of sparklers.

After they left, John was standing with Beth's college friends, who were also bridesmaids. He started singing, "Hark the Sound", which is UNC's fight song. I, along with all of the girls, joined in and ended with, "Ra, ra, Carolina, lina ra ra, ra !" Such a fitting end!

The Carolina Bridesmaids

Such a wonderful time! Beth now says it was the "best day of her life"! That makes it all worth it!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

We officially gain a son! (The Wedding, June 11, 2011)

The time had come, and of course, we were late!  Not late for the wedding per se, but later than we were scheduled to be. After decorating, I rushed home, put the kids in bed for nap and got dressed. I then rushed to the hotel to have Anna do my hair and to be with Beth as she got dressed. I don't think we had planned for the fact that high schools in our area were having graduation exercises all day on the 11th. Parking was a nightmare. I rode around downtown a couple of times before I could find a place to park. Beth was also late getting dressed. The wedding was at 4, and I was rushing home at 3:15 to pick up John, the kids, my parents and John's mom. My house is about 15-20 minutes away from the church, we certainly were cutting it close.  They hadn't been able to find but one of Elijah's socks, so I found another pair and changed his socks in the foyer of the church. We finally made it to the "ready room" at the church, with not much time to spare, but we were there!

As I sat in the room with all of the bridal party and Greg's family, I began to contemplate about how surreal it all was. While I've always thought of myself as a mom, but a mother-in-law was another story. I sat there and looked at everyone, from my kids to Greg's sister and mom, I thought about how we were strangers a few days previous, but in the next few minutes our lives would be forever entwined. I so desire for my grandchildren to be able to enjoy both sets of grandparents without any petty jealousy or conflicts. I vowed then and there to love Greg's family, as I love my own family. John and I already really enjoyed his folks, so I don't think it will be a hard thing to do. (I'm being real here, not just saying it because I know his Mom reads my blog!)

 Greg's Stepdad and Mom

Maternal grandmother with Mom

Greg with his Dad and Mom

Sitting there, I began to pray for Beth, Greg and their marriage. Of course, I had to cut my prayers short because I had to find a bathroom,(typical me)!

Before I knew it, it was time to go to the front of the church. I watched my Mom and Dad and John's Mom being escorted by these two handsome guys:

Looking cool, calm and collected

"Let's get this show on the road!"

Me the ring bearer

Then it was my turn. John, Jr. offered me his arm. When we got to my seat, he leaned over and gave me a impromptu kiss on the cheek. Be still my heart!!

Greg's Dad was his best man

Looking about as comfortable as a groom can

The Groomsmen

The Bridesmaids

Then came Abbey throwing down the petals

I don't have a picture of it, but Elijah brought the comic relief. As Abbey so solemnly threw down the petals, Elijah ran right behind her and picked every one of them up! There was a slight rumbled of laughter throughout the congregation. It really was quite cute, and so fitting of their personalities!

Here he's presenting me with the petals he's "cleaned" up.
He actually left a few, never worry, he picked those up on his way out!

Then the moment... accompanied by "Canon in D"... my gorgeous, eldest baby walked down the aisle with my ever so handsome husband. My baby about to become someone's wife. I had a lump in my throat the size of Texas.

and then he "gave" her away to her about to be husband

saying their vows

lighting the unity candle

beginning their marriage in prayer
(a wonderful way to begin a life together)

By this point, my tears were getting harder and harder to hold back. On our way down the aisle, John and I both bawled. In the foyer of the church, we clutched each other and cried, not sad, but happy, bittersweet tears.

Then it was time for the pictures:

The wedding party
(Minus Abbey and Elijah)

With Greg's Dad and Stepmom

Our family

Next it was time to paarty! And party we did!

(Again, thanks to Tim for letting me use his great photographic skills!)


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wedding morning

I knew that the wedding day would move quickly, but I wasn't prepared for just how fast it would fly by.

The day started a little stressfully (big surprise, huh?). My Mom and Dad were planning on keeping Abbey and Elijah so that John and I could help decorate  Haywood Hall (reception venue). Because of issues with the care of my grandmother, Mom and Dad were going to be about 1 1/2 hours late getting to my house. I began calling friends at 8 am.  The 2nd one I called, Paula, graciously agreed to come and watch the kids. She even insisted on folding the load of laundry that I had started when she got there. What a blessing good friends are!! But, Abbey was quick to tell her, "When my Nana and Grandaddy get here, you have to leave." Not much tact, that little one. So, crisis number one taken care of.

On to crisis number two. Remember that I had dealt with strep throat the week before. Well, John's throat felt tight, but didn't hurt. He went on Wed. before the wedding, and tested negative. On our way to the rehearsal dinner, the nurse called and said that the culture had come back positive. He also had strep! Beth's throat was already hurting her, but her throat always hurts when she's under stress. While we were setting up, John told her about his strep. She went ballistic! She begged him to give her some of his antibiotic, so as not to get any sicker before the wedding. We knew that she might indeed have strep, but that she also was stressed to the max. We also knew that if we gave her any antibiotics, she could have a false negative test. So off to a nearby drugstore went John. He examined the pain relievers to find one that wasn't labelled. He found a generic Tylenol and gave that to Beth. Second crisis solved! (don't worry, we came clean with Beth the next day and she laughed it off. She did go to the Dr. on Monday and started anitbiotics)

Decorating for the reception was a mammoth undertaking, but we had many hands, so the work didn't take that long.

 Even the Pastor, Mike, did his share.

The Bride in action

Jordan,(the wedding coordinator and really good friend), Annie, a bridesmaid, and Sara, the matron of honor folding napkins

Laura, a bridesmaid and Anna, maid of honor, fixed the table assignment cards

Each of the tables were named for a band.

This one was the "Queen" table

Guests would see this sign

and find their names along with their table assignments
My Morning Jacket is one of Beth and Greg's favorite bands
(We sat at the Beatles table, of course!)

My job was flowers. I made the centerpieces for the table, along with the bridesmaid's bouquets.

When it was done, it looked like this

and this..

and this...

I thought it was so cool that the hydrangeas were still blooming, since we used hydrangeas for the centerpieces.

My Dad made a sign and easel to post the menu

That morning seems like a blur. I must take a moment here to praise my daughter's friends. They are so wonderful. They were always willing to help in any way we needed. From the Bridal tea, to decorating, they were fantastic. Sara, Laura and Katie will always have a special place in my heart. I could tell that they really love Beth and also wanted to do anything they could to make her wedding beautiful! I'm so grateful for those "Carolina Girls"!

My next post will finally tell of the "main event"!