Anna and I determined that as soon as Paul's wedding was over, we would hit the ground running on that Monday morning and get everything we could out of the way so the week before her wedding wouldn't be crazy.
We did hit the ground running that Monday. As soon as Grandma and Grandpa left, we were out the door, looking and buying and pondering. And we did alot that week and the week after.
But the week before her wedding was still crazy.
We tried. But there was so much to get done, and the more we did, the more it seemed there was to do. It didn't help that I was approaching my 8th month of pregnancy, and was so tired alot of the time. It didn't help that she didn't have her license and needed me to drive her everywhere.
Thank God for her wedding coordinater, a young married girl in our church named Jennifer. Jennifer worked as hard, if not harder, than we did. We met with her that Wednesday, for over 2 hours, going over things. Jennifer went way out of her way to help Anna, but, mostly she was helping me. She was super organized and thought of everything.
That first week passed rather quickly as did the second. It seemed we were always on the go, not to mention the things that had to be done at home. I tired easily, so most times when we went shopping, I went for a few minutes, then retreated to the van to wait on Anna. Paul kept telling me I needed to take it easy, but I knew I could take it easy after the wedding. I knew this time would never come again, and I wanted her to have the wedding of her dreams, so I kept on.
Wedding week came way too fast. We went to pick up her dress. My heart skipped a beat as I watched this beautiful young woman walk out of the dressing room. Where did the little impish girl with the big eyes go? Her dress had some major alterations and Anna loved the end result. We picked up Ellie's dress also, and thankfully, Emma was wearing the same dress as she did in Paul's wedding. Sam and Ben were also wearing most of the same clothing as Paul's wedding, and I was praying my dress still fit with my ever expanding waistline. I tried it on a few days before Anna's wedding. It was snug, but it would work. If her wedding was a week later, I would have had to buy another dress.
We ran every day. My parents arrived later in the week, so there was housework to do and the never ending laundry pile to contend with. Anna was getting married on the property where she would live after the wedding, which was about 40 minutes away. So there were a few trips down there during this crazy week. Her bridesmaid Lydia arrived and thankfully, took over the driving for Anna to finish getting what she needed. All this time we were intently watching the weather, praying for great weather on Saturday. It looked great, but we knew that could change at any time.
The rehearsal was Friday evening. On the way there, it started to sprinkle. We tried to ignore it, hoping it would go away. It did end up sprinkling on and off all evening. Even a downpour on Friday evening would ruin plans for the wedding on Saturday. The rehearsal went well. There was alot of talking and laughing, and afterwards, there was a bachlorette party for Anna from her bridesmaids, and a bachelor party for Joseph by his groomsmen. From what I hear, it was a great time.
The day of the wedding dawned much too early. I couldn't sleep, so I got up and went to Kroger. By the time I got back, everyone was up and the house was bustling. I laid down for a while, and when I woke up, Anna had fixed lunch for everyone. Dad and the boys went down early to make sure the set up was progressing and the girls and I arrived around 3. It sprinkled on the way there. We ignored it.
Anna got her hair done and then the photographer arrived and things were in full swing. Anna had a bit of an "emotional" time (to put it nicely) for about 45 minutes. She was beside herself. Until she saw Joseph, and then all was well. They had opted for a "first look" with just the photographer before the wedding, and it was what she needed to calm herself down. It was kind of strange to see the bride and groom together before the wedding, but it worked for them.
The little house we got ready in was full to capacity. It was almost time to begin, and Anna came over to her dad and I and gave us hugs. Sigh. I was doing so well till this happened. It was starting to sink in that my little girl was getting married.
The ceremony was beautiful. The weather was wonderful, albeit hot and sticky. Everything and everyone looked so nice. I had to just smile to myself as I was being escorted to my seat by Paul Jr. Anna's wedding was going to be just about exactly what she had dreamt about for the preceding six months. I was thrilled for her. I had a few moments during the ceremony where I got teary eyed, but I was able to enjoy the ceremony and reception. It was magical.
I finally got in the van after 11 with the little kids to head home. They were all 3 crying. They were so tired, and hungry and thirsty. I was so tired also. So I told them to quit crying and I would stop and get them whatever they wanted. I did. It cost $15 for snacks and drinks from a convenience store. I didn't care. We were all exhausted. Poor Emma opened her snack and drink, but fell asleep before she could even take a bite or drink. We arrived home around 12, she got out of the van, walked in the house, marched to her bed and passed out.
The boys, on the other hand, were wired. And, so was Grandma! It was close to 2 before we all showered and settled down and got in bed. It would be an early Sunday morning for sure.
I was so proud of Anna and Joseph. It was a great wedding. They had saved their first kiss until the ceremony, and they were so happy. I was again thanking God for letting them live close.