So, picking up from my last blog, I need to continue the story. I want to continue the story. If you know me, you may also know that sometimes I start a blog series and never finish. I'm working on being consistent. Just for you.
So..where were we? Oh yes, the wedding. It was beautiful. It was the wedding I always wanted. I married very young the first time, a mere 18, and we were married in his parents living room. The second time, by a justice of the peace. But this time, I was older and with more financial stability and wanted to be married near the water, with white folding chairs, and a dress that I picked out, something different, and a rockin' band, and dancing and good food and good wine and all my friends and family! And that's exactly what it was.
With a lot of help from this best friend extraordinaire, Crystal, who played two roles...that of the wedding planner and my maid of honor.
The weather was absolutely perfect. The sky was indigo blue, the water, calm and sparkling. And me? I was a mess. When I was a child, I was painfully shy. So much so that I think it probably bordered on a disorder. I've overcome so much of that, but still in moments where I'm the center of attention, my stomach flips and flops and begins to scream, "GET US OUT HERE OR I SWEAR, I'M GOING TO START PROJECTILE VOMITING AND IT WON'T BE PRETTY!" To which I reply, "Is it ever pretty?"
But just when I thought my stomach was going to show me just how un-pretty it could be, as I got to the end of the aisle, my eyes rested on this handsome gentlemen and my nerves settled.
This is my Dad and preacher extraordinaire.
He wrote a wedding ceremony tailored just for us. He's a deep thinker, a wonderful writer and knows the power of words. Because he knows me, he printed out a copy of said ceremony on beautiful parchment paper as a keepsake. I still read it from time to time. Dad is my rock. He also married me and my first love, Brian. Tragically, six years later, he also had the difficult task of preaching Brian's funeral. He's stood with me at many crossroads in my life.
This is my son, Jesse. He gave me away. The look on his face is that of a young man who's trying to show the world that he's an adult. And the look on my face? Well, this is about the time my stomach started taunting me.
These two little women are my daughters, Stevey and Sara. Stevey was nervous, too. She inherited my introverted ways and Sara loved that she got to wear little heels. They were my bridesmaids. They were so sweet that day.
And this guy on the left His name is Nate. He was the best man and comic relief.
When my father got to the place in the ceremony where he states, "You may now kiss your bride", instead of turning to me, Robert turned to the right and looked at Nate. Nate turned to Jesse and held out his hand. Jesse reached into his suit pocket and pulled out a canister of Binaca and gave it to Nate. Nate then turned to Robert and administered two quick, blasts of Binaca. All of this was done in the most solemn, Tony Soprano sort of way.
This is my mother with my father. Isn't she beautiful?
She's a wonderful mother who has put up with a lot from me over the years, especially my young adult years. She cried one whole summer when Brian and I were drifting around Florida, living in a stolen U-Haul tent, partying, with no way to be reached. She didn't often understand me, but she has always been my biggest fan. I truly believe that her motherly prayers are the only reason that I'm still around, seriously. I've done some reckless things in my life.
And guess who else was there? Sister-in-law and artist extraordinaire, Diahn.
She drove all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee. She's amazing and has known me for so long. Almost 30 years to be exact. Geez, that makes us sound old! We had sort of drifted apart over the years and the wedding marked the awakening of our very special friendship. She gets me and encourages my creative side.
This is my step mother-in-law, Elaine. She's Robert's stepmom and baker extraordinaire.
She made our cake and drove it here all the way from Alabama. She pieced it together in a hotel room the morning of the wedding. It was exquisite and one year later, when we took the top of the cake out of the freezer to celebrate our anniversary, it was still as moist and to- die-for as it was on that day.
My only regret is that I didn't dance with my husband. I don't dance. I can't dance. Well, I could but its rather embarrassing, but still, I wish that I had. I wish that I had been able to overcome my inhibitions and wrap my arms around this handsome guy and dance like no one was watching.
These days though, we dance in the kitchen while dinner cooks. Sometimes he gets brave and dips me and he never drops me, which is nice, considering the tile floor would probably crack my skull wide open.
But there was dancing! A little anyway.
This is Crystal, on the left, cutting a rug. She has no inhibitions when it comes to dancing. I love that about her. Actually, she has no inhibitions about anything. She's brave and generous and has sat up with me so many nights, listening me to ramble on and on, when I was a single mother. And I've done the same for her, when she became a single mom again. She gets me, too. Now she's married which you can read about here. It's a really cool, romantic story.
Here are a few more pictures of the day. This is Robert and some of his family. From left to right, Gabe, his stepbrother, Mary, his youngest sister, Bill, his cousin, Laura, his older sister, and Kristie, his cousin.
And this is my sweet husband shoving cake in my face. Oh, how he couldn't wait for this moment. He comes from a family of food fighters. Sometimes when we get together for holidays, he and his sisters still go at it.
But I forgave him. How could I not?
On the left, in the white jacket, my dear sweet Grandmother. She passed away two years ago. You can read about her here and here. I still miss her.
And here we are, the wedding party, with my son playing his usual goofy role. Look at those smiles.
As the sun was going down on the lake, we got together for our first family portrait.
This little family has grown since then but when I look back at that day, at this picture, and think about what has transpired in these last four years, I want to go back and find that nervous woman, the one with the screaming stomach, and tell her to relax. I want to tell her that she finally has something that is coming together, that enfolds her, that she can trust.
A wonderful circle of family and friends, all who played such an intricate part in this day.
And a love extraordinaire.