Wednesday, October 17, 2012

# 359 - Days of Joy

I'm back home after a whirlwind of days in the College Station, Texas area for my oldest daughter's wedding. Heather was a gorgeous bride. Aren't all brides beautiful on their wedding day? What is it about a gal's wedding day that makes them beam with a beauty, putting a lump in the throat on onlookers?

Mother & Daughter - October 2012
She knows I am the one person she can
bark at, share her stress with, be herself with,
she can share her frustration and she knows I'll understand.
The two of us always make time to share smiles

I guess part of the glory attached to some of our wedding traditions that honor the bride is that we allow her to display, in glorious costume, the joy and importance of the day. All of it serves to uplift and to bring out the best in her. Usually, a wedding dress will be the most expensive dress a woman is likely to purchase in her life-time.

Heather was one of those rare brides who really coordinated her wedding, mostly on her own. That girl could put a wedding together with her eyes closed! Well, all along, I could also see that her fiance wanted to be that person next to her for all decisions...he was very involved in wanting to be a part of the entire process. That's a great trait to have in a groom. However, as a bride, Heather proved to be a woman of great strength, determination and focus, along with some typical bride-stress!

She knew what she wanted and she made it happen, to the best of her ability. Of course, there were wedding glitches, as everyone has on their wedding day and these glitches make each wedding unique and memorable. Heather definitely had some memorable moments throughout the wedding day. Overall the wedding was a day to remember, for sure.

Family: My nephew Water (my brother's son), then my brother "Bubba" is
in the middle and my dad, "R.D." is on the end. Three handsome men.

There was so much that happened that I am going to do several posts this week to catch up and to record the past few days. It has been an awesome time in my life, as Mother of the Bride. In fact, the past few months have been a pivotal time in my own life and I find myself in awe at how much we can change and how much richer our lives can become with the passing of time.

These family moments are worth all the ups and downs it takes to get there!

I am a proud mom!
As for my daughter's wedding, to recap some of the things I've already written about...I've had many great times leading up to the wedding. My daughter and I enjoyed going to Houston's Bridal shows throughout the years, so this helped with some of her creative ideas for the wedding. Great inspiration can be found at wedding shows. We went to several wedding dress shops for my daughter to try on various wedding gowns...we discovered which places were helpful and which ones were all about making a sale's quota. I'm glad we went to several different shops because it gave me a chance to see my daughter in nearly every style of wedding dress. Finally, under strange circumstances, she found her dream dress...during the filming of "Randy to the Rescue" on TLC. The dress she finally selected fit her body and personality with perfection.

Our family made two separate trips to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for filming of "Randy to the Rescue" so my daughter could get Randy's help and enjoy an amazing experience on television while getting the assistance of several different wedding specialists...from hair and make-up to being given wedding tips and fashion advice for her body type by Randy from "Say Yes to the Dress." Plus, the dress she found while filming for the show had been the same dress we'd seen during one of the many trips to wedding shops and the show's price for the dress was considerably less. A big bonus for any wedding budget.

My husband, myself and our youngest daughter, Stefie, all made another trip to the College Station area to be with Heather and Henry for a tour of the wedding venue, which we found to be amazing. The five of us walked around and felt amazed by the beauty of the land. To be honest, I had initially been concerned about the wedding not being held in a church, but I realized, as Heather reminded me, all of the Earth belongs to God. Absolutely! Standing beneath His GRAND sky to be married is to be closer to Him.

Little did we know, all in attendance would absolutely be closer to all-things-God for the wedding and reception as hard-hitting storms passed overhead and created extra excitement. It was kind of cool to see the night sky light up with bolts of lightening! Who gets a show like THAT on the evening of their wedding? What fun is a Cowboy-themed wedding without a tornado warning? I must say, the evening was very southern.

My two daughters. The beats of my heart.

Indeed, over the months, my daughter and I shared many fun moments about the wedding and we shared some stress. Weddings bring stress. This is a BIG day in the lives of two people joining together by vows for a's a day of major commitment. That being said, it's a beautiful day of knowing you will have a partner, hopefully for life.

As part of the wedding preparations, Heather decided she wanted to decorate with raw cut wood slabs. So her dad supplied most of the wood used at the wedding from a fallen white oak tree on the acreage we've owned since our daughters were young girls. This tree had been one that my daughters sat under for many picnics throughout the years. Once a bad storm hit the land, we were extremely saddened to see this massive tree lying on its side, never to enjoy another season of growth. At least the tree would be given a place of honor at the wedding.

Still working toward the wedding, this summer, my sister and I would travel together to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for Heather's fun lingerie shower. My sister and I arrived in town after five hours of travel to find ourselves suddenly sitting around the dining room table in a frenzy of making decorations for the shower that was to be held the next day. Good thing we are detail-oriented and fast with scissors, a glue gun and staying on task. We shared many laughs that night, until about 1:00 in the morning, but my sister and I sure were glad to hit the pillows that night in exhaustion. For me, it was especially wonderful to be able to be with my daughter for another special moment linked to the wedding.

The next wedding shower, hosted by Stefie, myself and my sister would be held in Houston and it was a big bash. Big. Even though I'm not a printing company and do not have the skills of a professional printer, I thoroughly enjoyed making very unique wedding shower invitations to go along with the Alice in Wonderland theme. I discovered at that moment the person my daughter got her detailed, creative personality We must love to torture ourselves. Surprisingly, Heather's dad had decided to make a needed contribution to the shower by making their cake. It was a big challenge to make that funky cake. Of course, Heather helped her dad decorate it. They had a ball. Meanwhile, Stefie and I made so many sandwiches and other food for the shower, then we had fun stopping by a custom bakery on the day of the shower to get some pretty treats to add to the table, then we were very ready to sit and enjoy ourselves as we watched the gifts be opened.

My sister, Robin, went the extra-mile in her own creative contributions for the shower, which included letting the event be held at her house. We all know how hard it is to prepare to entertain at your house...clean, cook, clean, clean and clean. When holding a function at your house...every speck of dust is something that becomes your priority. I was always told, having company keeps you living clean and true! Need to get the house in order? Hold a dinner party or a special gathering!

Anyway, my sister's contribution gave me the freedom to hold an important family dinner the night before the Houston shower at my own house. Besides, I had a houseful of company staying the weekend; it's was great that we didn't have to tiptoe around and worry about keeping the house spotless for a wedding shower. Since I didn't have to worry about cleaning for the shower the next day, I threw an intimate dinner party at my house for the parents of the engaged kiddos and for my loving Aunt Sheila and Uncle Billy, because they'd not yet met Henry's awesome folks.

Heather with her Great-Great-Uncle Joe from California who
is 83 years old, and with her Aunt Sheila & Uncle Billy.

Needless to say, I was thankful to have had my Stefanie help me make dinner for everyone...that girl CAN cook, when she wants to! During that dinner gathering, we had a great time visiting and my house was full of company and decorations to be taken to the shower the next day and food preparations for the shower, so it was wonderful to not worry about my house having to be ready for a wedding shower...the house was already in full use and the dinner party was a memory to treasure.

The next day, at the Houston wedding shower, the engaged couple was definitely showered with beautiful, useful gifts that will bring years of enjoyment. And this event gave everyone in Houston a chance to celebrate the upcoming wedding with the excited couple!

Of course, my daughter and her fiance, visited our home several times before the wedding and we were able to spend precious time together. One evening, not too long ago, Heather and I sat up until 3:00am listening to music that would be played at the wedding. It was a sweet experience. Exhausting, but sweet, and I'd give up a good night's rest in exchange for that experience, gladly!

On the day BEFORE the big day...we combined energies and resources to prepare for the wedding.

The groom's mother, Blondie, is awesome! Her and I work together
the afternoon of the wedding to get final touches finished.
It took a team to make this wedding happen. Heather and Henry
are blessed to have so many people who love them dearly.

The day before the wedding involved a major amount of work, the heavy lifting to transport all supplies to the venue, unpacking all of the decorations, unwrapping the flowers, framing the pictures, snipping tags of everything, putting arrangements into vases, and carefully handling all the packing materials so they could be used again.

I took some time to walk around and take pictures of the owners as they helped do their part of setting up. The beauty of my surroundings took my breath away.

The long awaited day was around the corner...within 24 hours, my baby would be married.

The rehearsal was so much fun. Heather's dad didn't take the sunglasses off his forehead for the first pictures...I should have been nearby to remind him. However, I'd already done my rehearsing part with being walked down the aisle and am seated, eager to see my daughter come around the corner!

Much better, the sunglasses are off the forehead.

Regardless, these two look adorable, and my daughter's smiles are big enough to light up the state of Texas.

Rehearsal is fun.

Now, I'm did those sunglasses get back onto his face as they get closer to walking down the aisle while he's screaming, "NO, NOOOOO, NOOOOOO," cause he doesn't want to give away his first-born to some stinky hair-legged boy.

Heather would not allow Henry to even hold her's all about the bad luck during rehearsal.

The Best Man, Casey and the Maid of youngest daughter. Sisters sticking by each other in the most important moments of their life. I am so proud!

Getting ready for the real ceremony is fun. Getting married is a day to remember. Starting a marriage brings a life-time of ups and downs.

Life, isn't it grand?


Anonymous said...

Wonderful !
Love what I can see of your dress !

LindaG said...

Congratulations and God bless you all. ♥