Paul was the first of our children to get married. It was hard to imagine that our little boy was now grown up and getting ready to be the leader in his own household. Because we were the "Parents of the Groom", we were not all that involved in the wedding planning, but tried to help our wherever we could. They were getting married in Covington, Georgia, where all Courtney's family were from. We were thankful it was only a little over an hour away from where we lived.
The week leading up to the wedding was C.R.A.Z.Y. Several months earlier, Anna talked her dad and brother into running a marathon the week before Paul's wedding. This wasn't just any marathon- it was a mountain marathon. Add that to the fact that none of these three had ever run a marathon and you can see how crazy it was that they even attempted this a week before the wedding. Paul Jr. made it about 10 miles before his knee (which he had injured at work) gave out. Anna and her dad finished the entire thing and Anna finished in about 5 hours. They then headed home for hot baths and bed.
This was on Saturday. Sunday was church and then Monday, we went into super wedding mode. My parents were arriving on Thursday, so we also went into super house cleaning mode. Paul Jr. had a few last minute things to do and was in and out all week. Zack arrived on Tuesday evening. I remember that evening very well. I was so thrilled to have all 7 of my children home. We all sat on the porch and talked and laughed as we ate ice cream with nutty fagan (what else??). I remember thinking how strange it was that these days were numbered. 4 to be exact before Paul left to begin a family of his own and then a few weeks later, Anna. As a mother with young children, the time that you children begin leaving home seems so far into the future, and now, here it was, staring me in the face.
Friday evening was the rehearsal. The groom's parents traditionally provide the rehearsal dinner and thankfully, Paul Sr. took care of everything. My energy was fading quickly. The rehearsal went well. I suprised myself by tearing up several times that evening. I guess I had talked myself into believing that Paul's wedding would not be that emotional for me since Paul had already left home to go to college. I was very wrong. As I looked at him standing up there, it was unreal that so much time had passed.
The day of the wedding came. It was beautiful weather, just very hot. I was thankful it was an indoor wedding. We arrived around 11:30 so the other kids could get ready and then get pictures. Paul Jr. was flustered. It was almost comical because he normally doesn't get flustered. But he calmed down after a while. It was a chore trying to keep Emma clean after she had her beautiful dress on. All 3 of my young children looked so cute.
Finally, it was wedding time. What a beautiful wedding. Courtney was just glowing as she came down the aisle. I was glad I had a front row seat and could see Paul's reaction when he first saw her. He lit up. Everything went off without a hitch. (Although, at one point Emma did almost light her dress on fire from the candle, but thankfully, she didn't!) The reception was nice, the cupcakes were amazing and everyone seemed to have a good time.
It was a good day. I was proud of my son, proud of the girl he chose to marry. We didn't really know Courtney. We had met her and saw her a handful of times, but didn't really know her. But we knew our son. And if he said she was everything he had always wanted in a wife, we knew she would make him a great wife. And in the months that have passed, we have gotten to know her, and we have not been disappointed in the least. She is a wonderful girl and exactly what Paul Jr. needed. We are so thankful for her, and so thankful that they live only minutes away from us.
It was a good day. :)