Sunday, August 28, 2011

All Grown Up

On September 10, my baby brother got married. In a beautiful ceremony Joey (he'll always be Joey to me) married the love of his life, Colleen.
Don't they look like they should be in a magazine?

Trying to navigate the logistics of a wedding with a two and half year old and seven and half month old is nearly impossible. I would have loved to have just kept the baby home, but she still refuses anything but the boob which means by default she has to be close by. With the older one, she was the flower girl so her presence was a necessity. The people who usually babysit- my mom, my dad, and my sister all had roles in the wedding, and I was a reader.
What to do? What to do? What to do?
The few weeks leading up to the wedding, I would wake up in the middle of the night and try to figure out the logistics. Do we rent a hotel room and hire my best friend's cousins to babysit the girls during the reception? Do we drive back and forth in the two hours between the ceremony and the reception to drop off the girls with my mother in law at our house? Do we have Bry drive home at bedtime- 9pm, with both girls and then I stay at the reception by myself?
We chose option one.
Was it the ideal choice?
I'm still not sure.
Maeve decided around 10 pm that she was not going to sleep in the hotel. She cried and screamed from 10ish on and off all night. The poor girls who were watching her called us at 10:25 asking us to come up. Thirty minutes later, she was asleep in my arms and our time at the reception was over. Mo, meanwhile, had crashed in the double bed from the sugar high of lollipops, gummy worms, and jellybeans which effectively worked to bribe her to behave in the church. Even with Maeve screaming a few feet away, Mo slept.

In the end, we saw the wedding ceremony, got a few pictures of the extended family together- my parents, my sister, the bride & groom, and my family, I enjoyed most of cocktail hour with a bay breeze (or two or three) in hand, watched the first dances, heard the speeches including the phone call from my brother's best man from Afghanistan where he is in the navy, and ate my dinner and cake. I think I may have even had a few dances on the dance floor.
When one sees it on paper, it can be assumed I hit all the important parts of the wedding.
I have a confession though, I am sad.
I feel like I missed out on the celebration.
When I got married, we had lots of candid pictures throughout the night. I remember looking back at them seeing my friends and family. I remember looking for certain people. Now, as I look at Joey's pictures, I see his friends, I see my dad dancing with my grandmom and great aunt, I see my sister and my cousins and a few family friends.
What's missing?
Everyone looks like they had a fabulous time, and the portions of the evening where I was there, it was great. I missed, however all those non-scripted parts of the party that people talk about when they reminisce about weddings. When I looked at the pictures from the end of the night, when the main lights were back on, and most of the guests had left, I feel sad because I'm not there. As my dad took a picture of my brother and my sister, I'm missing.
I feel like I should be there.
Growing up, it had always been the three of us: Jackie, Jeanna, and Joey. My mom has frame after frame, photo after photo, of the three of us. Pictures from swim meets, holidays, picnics, trips, graduations, and my wedding where it's Jackie, Jeanna, and Joey. I realize, we never got that shot that day.
Maybe I'm a little nostalgic now that I'm a mom myself, but when I saw the pictures and realized that was missing, I cried. I rationally know that taking care of my crying baby was and is more important then the dancing at a reception and getting in pictures, but I can't help how I feel.
I am happy for Joey and Colleen.
I am happy that my family has been blessed with another sister, my girls another aunt, my parents another daughter.
I'm happy the weather held up and they had a beautiful day.
I'm still joyous that Mo made it down the aisle without running or tearing off her dress or shoes.
I'm so thankful my dear husband agreed to push Maeve in the stroller around the perimeter of the church during the ceremony.
I'm also thankful Bry agreed to stay in the hotel room with our two crazy girls overnight knowing full well what a clusterf--k it could and ended up being.
I'm grateful the hair salon was effective in putting my sister's curly hair into the best up do I've seen on her.
Overall, the wedding was a huge success and one of the best looking affairs I've ever seen.
As I type this, I can't help but still be a bit sad, however, that I didn't get to celebrate the way I had wished and got that one picture to add to the Jackie, Jeanna, and Joey collection.

This Post was initally written in September of 2010.  With this week's topic "I Wanna Marry You" as the flicker of inspiration prompt, my mind immediately thought back to this night, to these feelings.

 I'd like you to write about a wedding. The wedding can be fictional or real; the only requirement? That a wedding appears at some point during your piece. Write about your own wedding. Write about a disaster wedding gone horribly wrong. Write about a bridezilla. There are many different directions you can take this prompt in, and I can't wait to read them all! Don't forget to come back here next Sunday to link up your wedding stories


  1. I hate to say it, but I love to say it . . . I told you so!!!!! It would have been so much better if I took the girls home at 9pm with me to sleep in their own beds. You could have had all those pictures with family, minus me. That would have been better than no pictures at all.

    Guess Who?!?!?!

  2. I know exactly how you a way. Kaiden was 6 months old when my brother got married. Luckily the ceremony and reception were early enough in the day that we were able to keep him with us without him getting soooo tired out. But I wasn't able to dance as much as I normally would have or mingle as much as I wanted. I feel like I missed out on some of it!

  3. I'm sorry you didn't get that picture. But the wedding was beautiful, I guess that doesn't help the way you feel too much does it?

  4. So sorry that things didn't turn out quite right and you didn't get a picture with your brother and sister. I can see how being a mom changes things so much...even things that may have been simple at one time, like attending your brother's wedding, become complicated affairs.

  5. Oh, I feel the bittersweetness of it all. Of course, you want to care for your baby. But the thought of not having that picture...I can see where that will haunt you too. It is good to be blessed but sometimes those blessings all pile up on you at once!
    Maybe photoshop????????

  6. So sorry. :( What a bummer. I would cry, too. But it looked like a beautiful wedding. It's kinda disheartening sometimes, the things we have to give up as moms of tiny ones.

  7. Yes, your brother and his wife do look like they belong in a it ok to hate them a little?
    As for you, braving a wedding with children. You tried. I can't tell you how many functions I did not attend because of small children, and now I regret. So good for you for giving it a go.

  8. I am so sorry. Children, they change everything. Most of the time for the better,but sometimes we miss things because of them.
    Forget about renewing their Vows in a few years, joey and his bride should throw another party just for you. There, problem solved :)


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