Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

Serenity NOW!

Mother’s Day weekend was a whirlwind of celebration for our family: my little sister’s wedding, family reunions, my son’s 8th birthday, Mother’s Day dinner; and ironically we left Oklahoma City less than an hour before a deadly tornado blew through town, smashing homes, overturning cars, dropping baseball-sized hail.

Thankfully my parents and visiting aunt were fine. The rode out the storm in their windowless hallway, huddled under mattresses, giggling nervously as they listened to giant hail rain down on the house.

Two skylights, including the one above the bed I slept in Sunday night, were smashed. And my sister Serenity’s car, parked in the driveway while she and her new husband honeymoon in Mexico, lost a few windows.

But other than that, the tornado passed over my parents’ house leaving mostly minor roof damage and a lot to be thankful for.

As for the whirlwind of activity -- that began Thursday night when the kids and I arrived in Oklahoma and immediately rushed off to get the boys fitted for their tuxedos. And then there was a big dinner at my parents’ house, meeting with out-of-town family members and wedding guests.

I met my Aunt Janet from Bermuda that I had only met once before. She has become very close to my mom in the past few years, and it was wonderful to finally get to know her a little bit.

Then Friday it was off to get the girls' nails done, and some shopping, and checking into the hotel near the wedding site, and then to the rehearsal and the following dinner.

Serenity married an Oklahoma boy and his family provided amazing pulled pork barbecue for the rehearsal dinner. It was awesome and we ate the leftovers for the next three days. Yum!

Friday night I stayed up too late with my sisters and brother, hanging out with the bridesmaids until way past midnight. But when I stopped by my sister’s room at 6 a.m. the next morning she was awake, happy and half way through getting her gorgeous red hair styled.

“I’m getting married today!”

The wedding was beautiful.

The pictures speak for themselves, perfect spring weather, beautiful bride. Cute cousins.

But the best part of the wedding for me and my husband was hearing our fathers speak. Kip’s dad, who is a minister, married Marc and Serenity. In his jovial way, that reminded us of our own wedding nearly 16 years ago, he encouraged them to love each other selflessly.

And my dad gave a lengthy blessing – the kind of blessing that speaks to now and the future – recognizing the beautiful weight of the present and calling into existence the beauty of the future.

My sister wanted dancing at her reception, so she hired a DJ and my parents went to dancing lessons to prepare them for their role. It was the first that I could remember that someone in our family has had dancing at wedding.

After Serenity and Marc left in a horse drawn carriage, it was only mid afternoon, and plenty of time left to recognize our son's 8th birthday.

Kip, our son and I made a quick detour to the historic Guthrie train depot in honor of National Train Day, and then headed back to Oklahoma City to my parent's house for more pulled pork barbecue, a golf course themed birthday cake and a generous pile of birthday presents.

Kip’s parents stayed with my parents as well, so Sunday morning we were able to celebrate Mother’s Day with both moms. We went to church and found our way downtown to the historic Oklahoma City stockyards and ate at a world famous little steakhouse dive Cattleman’s Café.

Afterward we drove around and found some real cowboys unloading a semi-truck of cattle into the stockyard. We watched liked tourists and had a min-van discussion of whether or not we should be vegetarians.

Then Monday it was rest up, clean up, pack up, begin remodeling my parent’s bathroom, and head back to LA – just in time to miss the real whirlwind.

Mom pulled out her wedding dress from 1972 and let our daughter try it on.

The Rehearsal

Practice makes perfect

Sunny on a sunny day

It is really difficult NOT to get a picture of Kip's dad laughing.

Cousins .... my son and my sister's twins

Two of my favorite people in the whole world.

My siblings and parents together for the first time in more than four years

Before the wedding

Because the wedding was in the morning, the preparations started before 6 a.m.

Final ceremony preparations in the bride's room.

My mom and Aunt Janet from Bermuda
The Wedding

Dad should be used to this. It was his third time giving away a daughter.

Dad praying a blessing over Marc and Serenity.

The married couple!

A Few After Wedding Pictures

Kip's parents

Kip and Me

Dad and Me

The four of us kids

And then they were gone

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