Thankful

Six years ago today my husband lost his wife. My daughter lost her mother, whom she’d never really remember. A hole was ripped in people I would come to love very soon afterwards that nothing can ever fill, no matter how happy and fulfilling our lives are now.

There’s nothing I can do about that. And it sucks.

I can do some stuff though. I can be here for my husband. I can tell my daughter stories I’ve learned from other people so it feels like they’re her memories, like her mama is still here with us not only in spirit. I try to do those things every day, and more so on days like today. 

The biggest thing I can do, though, is so simple. I can be thankful. 

I am thankful for my husband. We don’t agree about everything. We are very stubborn. We have our share of disagreements and yeah, sometimes I look back at skinny, free 2010 me and wonder what happened and WHY. But I am always, always thankful for him. I am constantly reminded that I could be without him. In the blink of an eye, my life and marriage could be over and I can never forget that. I am so so thankful to have had four and a half years of marriage with him already. 

I am thankful for my children. I get to stress about birthday parties. I get to potty train. I get to lie awake at night and worry about how she’s feeling and whether I’m doing the right thing or whatever. I am so unbelievably privileged that I get to do that every day. 

I am thankful that I get to live in my dream home, happily and healthily. 

I am thankful that I get to be 29, even though I’m mad about turning 30. I am thankful to have this time with my mom, with my sister, with HER mom. I am thankful to be friends with her brother’s new wife and watch them start their family. I am thankful to be here to see my niece and when my brother falls in love and gets married.

I am thankful for budgeting and sick kids that climb in bed with me and then need help with their own blankets at 3:30am and gross colds and grocery shopping and taking out the trash and those few quiet minutes at the end of the day when my husband and I are finished with everything we need to do and can just be together. 

I am so lucky, and I am so thankful. 

THE WEDDING OF THE CENTURY

OR AT LEAST SINCE AUGUST WHEN WE LEARNED OF THE BRIDE’S EXISTENCE.

(Kidding. I totally knew before then, because I’m in the inner circle.)

(The groom just didn’t.)

(This relationship is on a need to know basis.)

ANYWAY.

This wedding guys. It was amazing and beautiful. I’m Catholic, and I love our marriage ritual and the place it has within the liturgy. But sometimes you cant tell that the bride and groom just don’t care. This wedding was not Catholic, but it was one of the most heartening Christian weddings I have ever been to. God was at the center of everything, and I am sure He will bless their marriage because they take solace in Him.

It began, as per usual with this wedding, with a cluster…ahem. Buzz and I split up. He took the kids to his grandparents, I had to head to the bachelorette party. My car is bigger, and we had a metric crapload of stuff, so I packed it all in my car. The mother of the groom arrived to drive down with me. We bundled up, queued up some Christmas music, and turned the key in the ignition.

And nothing happened.

Of course.

I called AAA, we waited for them to come, and they told me it was something that coudln’t be fixed that day.

Of course.

So I rented a car super fast, cringing only a little when I heard the number of digits in the price, and moved ALL THE STUFF from my dead car to the new rental car.

And we finally hit the road! Just in time to hit rush hour in Chicago.

Of course.

Made it to the hotel, had a comedy of errors that I’m saving for another post, and finally got to the bachelorette party. Where I learned all sorts of things about my friends’ husbands. Wow.

Anyway, the next day we set up for the wedding and had the rehearsal. img_6934

I would like to believe that my children stole the show, but honestly, the bride and groom were so adorable I think they might have beaten us.

The next morning Squeaks got her hair done at a salon and it was easily the most impressive thing she’s ever been through.

There was glitter hairspray you guys. And the bride looked beautiful as well.

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I figured I’ve spend enough money on makeup so I sat on the floor and did my own.

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Getting ready was so much fun. I’ve only been in my sister’s wedding and I was too busy trying not to puke everywhere (Thanks, Fetus Buddy) that I don’t remember much of the part before. This was super fun.

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The bouquets were made from the Anne of Green Gables book where she gets married. HOW ADORABLE IS THAT. I have it in a vase in my dining room right now.

(That’s a lie. It’s in a wine bottle.)

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I didn’t take any pictures during the ceremony because it turns out Protestants stand during their whole wedding ceremony. Huh. Who knew. I certainly did not, which was why I bought the stripper shoes. Oh well.

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I can’t tell you how much this wedding meant to us. Michael, is, without a doubt, one of the most special people in the world to me. When I met Buzz, I was very, very nervous about how his late wife’s family would accept me. I didn’t need to worry. These people have acted as Christ to me for almost six years and made my life easy in a way that I never knew I would need. I love her mother as my mother, truly. People mistook her father for my father this weekend (of course.)

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And Michael? Since the day I met him, seeing a movie in May of 2011, Michael has been the nicest, sweetest, most supportive person in the world to me and Matt. He was the first to congratulate me on my engagement (because his mother can’t keep a secret.) He loved us enough that he stood up next to us at our wedding, which must have been an agonizing day for him, no matter how much he loved us. I got pregnant so fast that I was worried there would be an (understandable) difference between his blood niece Squeaks, and Buddy. There isn’t. From the moment they found out he was on his way, the entire family has loved him as their own. I honestly can’t imagine my life without them. I am so proud to call him a brother.

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And when he found his wife- oh man. She is amazing. She’s GORGEOUS. Which I always said I didn’t want in a sister in law. Turns out I don’t care when she’s also the NICEST person in the world. And she loves to read. And she loves Doctor Who. And the Gilmore Girls. And LITERALLY ALL THE THINGS I LOVE. She’s me. Except she’s the me that wants to have sex with Michael. (That’s a level of weird our family doesn’t need.) SHE’S PERFECT.

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I am so so blessed to have been able to get to know her these last few months. I am honored to get to be her sister now as she starts her life as a married woman with one of the best guys in the world.

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