Saturday, August 10, 2019

Early Morning Reflections Before the Big Day

I'm sitting on my couch amidst a small mountain of laundry that needs to be folded and there is a random moment of silence all around me. Jay is out to breakfast with a good friend, and everyone else is still sleeping in their bed. Even the dog.

My mind isn't quiet, though. After all, in less than 36 hours the first of my children will be getting married! It's still pretty surreal. Yesterday afternoon, I was getting ready to go get my hair colored, and as I stood in front of the refrigerator filling my water bottle, I was thinking, "I'm going to get my hair colored for my son's wedding!"!

There are so many emotions...but the foremost is pure joy. I've felt it since Wednesday night, when almost all of my children, including both my future dils, were sitting around my table to celebrate Luke's 10th birthday. The only one missing was Ellie who was spending time with a friend. But even Jon had come home from his grad program in NH.  There was lots of excitement over the events that would be unfolding over the next few days. Seeing them all together and the friendship they all share that 10 years ago I wasn't sure would happen..(quick shout out to moms of siblings that seem like oil and water...their IS hope!) My heart was so full listening to their conversation and everyone's laughter. It was a blessed moment.

I'm so proud of Andrew and Liz. I've loved seeing their relationship grow over the last 11 months since they've gotten engaged. I've loved seeing them work together and make decisions together about their big day. I love the way they have worked through differences of opinion on wedding decisions. I love seeing one or the other bend to something that's really important to the other. A funny moment that I got to see was the decision over the tuxes. Andrew wanted black tuxes, but Liz wanted gray to go with the petal pink bridesmaid dresses. Here's how the conversation went:
(Before we left for the tux shop)
Me: So, what color tuxes did you guys decide on?
Andrew: Black
Liz to Andrew(in a soft, patient voice): I think gray would go better with the dresses.
Andrew: Black will go just fine.
Liz(still with that soft, patient voice): I really think gray will go better for a summer wedding.
Andrew: Black is fine.
(At the tux shop)
Associate: So, what color would you like the tuxes to be?
Andrew: Looks at Liz who is just smiling and patiently waiting for him to answer, then looks at the associate and says with a very small sigh, "We're going with gray."
Liz just smiled and squeezed his arm. :)

I've gotten to see Andrew change and grow and mature so much over the last year as he gets ready to give his life to someone else. I'm so proud of the way that he has jumped in to help with phone calls and emails and planning details. He has been so patient with Liz and tried to just love and support her, especially over the last month while things have been extra crazy. Not only has Liz been planning a wedding, she has also been finishing up her last class for her Master's Degree!(It just ended Thursday!) And, not only that, but on August 2nd..(9 days before the wedding!)...she had to take Oral Comps, which is an extremely stressful oral exam in front of three professors that determines whether or not you get your degree. And, as if all that wasn't enough, she also started training for her new job as a reading specialist at a charter school! Not to mention having to start packing and transferring her clothes and belongings to the apartment that will be their first home together come Sunday!! Seriously, Liz did amazing! I'm just in awe! I can't believe how much stress she had to carry on her shoulders....and I'm so proud of the way Andrew tried to help in any way he could to take some of the wedding stress off of her plate. (And the way he comforted Liz when the pressure got to be too much and she needed a shoulder to cry on.)

And now, the Oral Comps were passed, the grad class is finished, work is done until Tuesday, and all energy is now focused on the last minute many details!...that need to be taken care of in the next 24 hours.

Today, Liz and Andrew have to drop off things at the reception venue, sign paperwork with our parish priest, and move some more things into their new apartment, where Andrew will be staying tonight.

Touching story: Yesterday, Kate came with me for all of my errands. At all six stores we stopped at, she told every cashier that we had a special wedding this weekend. And because she is 7 and cute they all asked follow up questions. This is generally how each conversation went:
Kate: We have a special wedding this weekend.
Cashier: That's nice...who is getting married?
Kate: Andrew and Liz
Cashier: Is that your brother?
Kate: Yes
Cashier: Are you in the wedding?
Kate: Yes, I'm the flower girl.
Cashier: Are you excited?
Kate:(every.single.time) No
Cashier:(always surprised) Why not?
Kate: Because when Andrew gets married, he's moving out.
(To which I remind her that he is, literally, moving 5 minutes away and she will see him all the time. But, I get it, change is hard.)

I had a funny conversation with Kate a couple of nights ago:
Me: Kate, are you excited? Andrew and Liz are getting married in a few days and we're going to go to a beautiful Mass and a really fun party with lots of dancing.
Kate: Yeah....but Andrew and Liz are going to kiss on the lips!
Me: Yes they are.
Kate: I'm never going to do that. That's gross.
(I should have gotten a video of that one for future insurance!!)

Tonight is the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner! Our day starts bright and early tomorrow. All the girls are getting ready here. The make up artist comes at 7:30 and the hair stylists will be here at 9:30. Jay and I will be making quiche and strawberry waffles(Liz's favorite). The guys will be hanging out at Andrew's apartment. They are going to bring in special wings for lunch then probably take all of 15 minutes to actually get ready. The church is at 3...mercy hour!...then on to pictures and celebrating.

The honeymoon will be delayed because of Liz's new job. When they first picked the wedding date, they thought it would give them enough time to get married and have a honeymoon before Liz started whatever teaching job she got hired for. Unfortunately, that plan didn't work. But, they both adjusted and will be taking a "mini-moon" to Nashville over Labor Day weekend..which they are both excited for. Then, over February break, they plan on going to Rome.

I'm so excited for tomorrow! There are just so many graces that feel really tangible right now, and I am so grateful that God has blessed my son with such a beautiful woman, both inside and out. I can't wait for all the beauty that tomorrow will bring.