Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Wedding of the Century (again!)

We had serious doubts that “Apple David” (Rebecka’s 2-year-old version of “Uncle David”) would ever get hitched. I mean he is after all 15 years older than little brother Todd was when we got married. But nevertheless, a couple of weekends ago, it happened with a bang!

Friday, November 2 – Fairly calm morning. Slept late, went for my first outdoors job in a loooong time, helped Todd pick up tuxedo (very handsome). In short, this day was very different from the craziness of the day before the last Wedding of the Century.

Around 3:30 PM or so, we headed over to the church for the rehearsal. Both Todd (Best Man) and Rebecka (Jr. Bridesmaid) were in the wedding, so obviously they needed to be there. The members of the wedding party started dropping in one by one. I just sat back, relaxed, and took it all in.

Around 4:45 PM, I drove our rental car (yay for Hertz rewards!) over to the venue for the rehearsal dinner to help with the “technical” setup (i.e. hook up DVD player to projector). The venue was an ice skating complex adjacent to a mall. I wandered around for a while searching for Party Room #2 (“The Den”). I got a little lost. Then I found it and met aunt of Caroline, retired educator and owner of Bed and Breakfast in Vermont. We had some good conversation around whether school systems around the country focus too much on children with special needs (below average and over average) to the point that the “average” kid gets lost or if more funds should be spent on our extra talented kids (as is the point of view of a recent TIME magazine cover story). We were rudely interrupted by the arrival of the rest of the rehearsal dinner guests (I guess that was after all the main point of the evening).

Dinner went well with a good mix of salad, wine, and Swedish fish. When dinner was over, Rebecka talked me into going skating with her on one of the skating rinks. I was concerned about getting cold, but I submitted to her will (as is fairly common). It was fantastic! It had been a really, really long time since I went ice skating and I forgot how much fun it is. Rebecka progressed from clinging onto me and the side of the rink to independent skating in a matter of 30 minutes. We had an enthusiastic audience as the rehearsal dinner was directly above the rink. Then Rebecka got tired and left. I kept skating. I eventually made it back upstairs and joined the relatives until it was time to go home.

Saturday, November 3 – Again, a freakishly calm morning, considering we were at the house of the groom, the day of the wedding. Apparently, Apple D had taken care of everything the previous evening. So organized! I went for another 45 minute jog on the “Four mile” trail. It was crisp and refreshing. Then we began the beautification process (at least for me and Rebecka) with blow dryers and flattening irons galore. Brush, brush, brush that hair and those teeth. Arrive at church way ahead of time for further beautification, bonding, and behind the scenes pictures. Rebecka was on look-out duty to make sure the groom did not catch a glimpse of his bride before it was time. She also had the opportunity to sneak in some Nintendo DS time…

Caroline was like a dream:

All of a sudden, it was time and I found myself sitting in church next to brother-in-law #1. David, Todd and the rest of the groomspeople (yes – there was a groomswoman) stood at the front of the church eagerly awaiting the bride’s party to enter. When Caroline finally made her entrance walking between her parents, the look on David’s face made half of the congregation have to pull out their Kleenex (crap – I forgot to stuff some into my miniature wedding purse!). It was overwhelming love, extreme happiness and excitement all rolled into one. It’s making me tear up now, just thinking about it.

I have to say, Rebecka did a fantastic job as Jr. Bridesmaid. For large portions of the ceremony, she had to hold both her and Caroline’s bouquet. It was heavy! She didn’t fidget and stood there the whole time like a little lady. Good job! Todd was obviously kick-ass too. He didn’t drop the ring or anything crazy like that. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smoother ring-from-pocket-to-groom delivery.

Once all the wedding guests had cleared out, it was picture time (boring! - for innocent bystanders like me, at least). The photographer was very bossy. I told her as much. She ignored me.

Once all that nonsense was done, we headed over to the reception at the Hilton. We caught the end of the cocktail hour (thank God!). The cocktails for the evening were Green-tinis (so clever…). I opted for wine. I spent some time chatting with Todd’s Uncle Mike. He has a ponytail. He’s not cutting his hair until the war ends. I have increased respect for the man. We asked him to take a picture of us:

The evening proceeded according to schedule (which Todd kept close to his heart in the interior pocket of his tuxedo). Todd was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. He did a fabulous job. He introduced the first dance at the right time…

…and the “Best Man Toast” was perfect. There was much dancing and rejoicing. This wedding was indeed a worthy candidate for the Wedding of the Century title. I think we have a tie!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm back... once again

So the last few weeks have been absolutely insane!!! I don't quite know where to start.

Looking at my calendar, it appears as though these are some of the events which transpired:

10/20/07 - Eyebrow wax with Nicole. Ouch!!!! I'm not sure why we put ourselves through this pain... This time I asked for no waxing above the eyebrow which greatly reduced outbreak. Yes!

10/22/07 - Drive down to Atlanta in the morning and then fly out to Wisconsin the same evening.

10/23/07 - Sign up for an additional cell phone line and order pink phone. Yes, my 10-year-old now has a cell pone.

10/26/07 - Attend wedding in Wisconsin. It was beautiful. It was also beautiful that we got to ride to and from the various venues in a limo. Good thing since I have never tried to find my way around in downtown Milwaukee.

10/31/07 - Back home and time for Halloween! Rebecka and I dressed up as each other. At least one person recognized her as an executive (success!). And I got a "That's cool!" from one of her friends (double success!). Trick-or-treating was fun. Especially with Sophie. Although, I'm not sure how thrilled she was with her pumpkin outfit.

11/1/07 - Eye doctor appointment. I'm completely out of contacts (except for the ones I'm wearing). I left my insurance card there. It's still there.

11/1/07 - Head to Washington DC for wedding #2. Getting to the plane was an adventure in itself. In my infinite travel wisdom, I had decided we would leave the house 90 minutes prior to departure which should give us plenty of time to get to the airport (20 minutes), park in the economy lot (10 minutes) and be at the check-in desk an hour ahead of time (luxurious!). We set off perhaps 6-7 minutes later than planned, but I didn't worry about it. However, we soon realized traffic was slightly worse than normal. Actually, not slightly, rather a lot worse than normal. As we crept towards the airport, we wavered between hope and despair. Ultimately, we decided we were going to go for it. I came up with the following plan:

1. Tabita to drop off Todd, Rebecka and all check-in bags at terminal.

2. Tabita to drive to short term parking and park the car.

3. Todd and Rebecka to beg to skip to the front of the line and check in bags at Southwest counter.

4. Tabita to grab remaining bags and sprint to security line.

5. Todd and Rebecka to go to same security line.

6. All to run to the gate (which happened to be very, very far away).

It worked!!! We were the last people on the plane and we didn't all get seats together, but we made it.

11/2/07 - 11/3/07 - Wedding stuff. Separate post to come.

11/4/07 - Say bye to family and fly to Boston for a day of UIE conference. Fantastic and inspiring!

11/5/07 - Fly back to Wisconsin. Get sick with sore throat, etc. Sick!?!?!? I don't get sick.

11/7/07 - Fly home. Home sweet home. Still not feeling well.

11/10/07 - Make it back to the gym after one whole week of no exercise. Panic. Decide to work out every day until New Years. Play Brain Age for first time in three weeks (the computerized Dr. was not pleased with me). Clean entire downstairs (with much help from Todd). It feels so good!!! Blog.

Yep - that's pretty much it. Time to freshen up before company arrives in 38 minutes. Todd has already started working on the chili. I should probably get going.