A lot of words about a Wedding

Mr & Mrs Clifford

Meet my brother, Ryan & his brand-new wife, Rachel.

They just got married: September 24th, 2011.

Isn’t she gorgeous? I was completely speechless when I saw her. And I’ve been seeing her for 10 years. I mean, seriously. There’s something about a wedding dress on a girl that makes her eyes sparkle and Rachel was no exception. She positively glowed from the inside. When she stepped out from behind the trolley, steadied by her brother, a bundle of hope and nerves- I could very literally feel her energy. My chest got all tight, tears sprang to my eyes and I could see them starting in hers. She begged me to turn around so she wouldn’t lose it, and I obliged…though it was hard. Isabella & Annika stared slack-jawed at her, Bella’s hand flew over her mouth and Niki even stopped sucking her thumb for a minute. Even squirmy Maë seemed to calm a little. Show-stopping gorgeous, I think is what that’s called.

Let’s back this train up a little though. All day Friday, the skies opened up and poured menacing rain on my aunt & uncle’s gorgeous yard completely set up for the ceremony. At least twice, the power went out at my parents’ place (site for the rehearsal dinner) and pre-wedding jitters were getting the best of everyone’s nerves. But wouldn’t you know it, with the rehearsal set to start at 6:00pm, be damned if those rain drops didn’t cease to exist at 5:48pm. Not even the weather messes with The Rocket. Save for some minor snafus (I’m not even kidding you, don’t mess with Rachel. She will scratch your eyes out. ::side eye Reverend::) we all made it back to my parents’ place in one piece for a Mexican Fiesta/ Pudgy birthday party. (<- it was the best man’s son’s 4th birthday. the boy deserved a cake)

I must digress a moment to say, my brother very nearly brought me down in tears at his reaction to a gift I had given the bride & groom. My brother is a quiet man, with very steady emotions…that is to say, he doesn’t get excited about much. I had made them a family tree, hoping to express my sheer joy at watching them add branches to mine. This may not seem like much to you, but upon seeing it, Ryan looked at me and said “Wow. That’s really cool. Seriously, thanks.” You know that kind of knot you get in your chest that travels to your throat when you just know the ugly-cry sob is about to escape your mouth? Yeah. That.

Fast forward to: Wedding! Day! The older girls joined Nanna & I getting our hair done and oh my word, you should have SEEN how excited I was watching them get all dolled up. I can’t count how many times I said “THIS is why I love being a girl Mom, right here.” There were squees and tears and hand clapping…far too much hand clapping. And when my Ladies rolled up into the driveway, got out in front of their dapper looking Uncle Ryan and his finely-dressed groomsmen? The compliments on their beauty just swelled by heart with pride. Behold, my little Ladies trying out being Big Girls:

Princess Bella was right into being pampered

Even Ms. Nika sat perfectly still for curls

We got to dress all up and take pictures with my brother, most of which were hogged by Bella schmoozing for the camera…with loads of encouragement from all boys present. Seriously guys, you’re not helping. After having many, many conversations with the girls about letting the adults have their big-people time and not hanging around them all day, my brother & his friends were so lovingly inclusive of my girls…it really warmed my heart. They made Bella a comfy place to sit & eat lunch in the driveway while listening to the game. Uncle Ryan asked the girls to ride with him on the trolley after the ceremony and spent loads of time paying attention to them on a day that was all about him. When I tell you that he is the greatest at this Uncle job? I mean it.

My brother's hand. Our great-grandfather's ring. Married.

Would you believe me if I told you that not only did my girls walk up the aisle, but the oldest Ladies stood ever-so-silently at the front of the tent with the bridal party? I tell you, it was incredible. Know what else was incredible? Watching my brother stare at his bride and say the same vows I once said to my husband (who lovingly wrangled a rambunctious 16-month-old away from a pond of fish). The bride and groom were very much themselves during the ceremony. Giggling, joking, chiding each other. I even got a look of impish shock from Rachel when the Reverend mentioned bearing & rearing children of their own…seriously you two, jump on the baby train already. While I’m sure you have your own plans, I would prefer to hear an exciting announcement in 6-8 weeks, mmmkay?

Pictures went amazingly well, my aunt & uncle’s yard got many compliments from the photographer & Dodger (the married couple’s dog-son) was just about as good a dog as you’ll ever meet. Us older Ladies could not have had a better time on the trolley & I can’t tell you how happy I was to be witness to the happiness ringing through the new couple and their closest friends.

Trolley Tour

Smoke break

And then I sent this tweet:

Holy shit. My daughters are gorgeous, fully functioning humans. I am the proudest mother. The Proudest.
Because I WAS. I all at once saw that I was doing something right by my kids when I realized we were having so much fun together. TOGETHER. My daughters and I were friends on that bus. I straddled that fine line beyond just being their mom, I put away the rules & the expectations & the planning and just…spent the time with them. It was glorious.


Messing with Midtown

At the reception: the food was amazingly good (thanks to Rachel for instructing the kitchen staff on the best way to make Chicken Parmesan), the speeches were short and filled with love, Mrs. Karen Capstick put her whole heart into a slideshow about their lives, my oldest outpartied even the groom, and my two youngest fell asleep at the table. In maybe the most touching part of any speech, Rachel thanked her late father for giving her the sun on her special day. I can say with certainty, I could feel him there- all around us that day.

Everyone wanted to mother this child, I swear it.

So, to sum up the longest post ever on this blog: my brother got married to a gorgeous lady whom I love so deeply and it was good. It was so very good. It was entirely worth the 10yr wait and I’m so honoured that they asked my entire family to be a part of it. I cannot say enough about how happy I was that day…forgive me that this post is so long. I want to never forget what it was like to literally witness the highlight of a 10year relationship and the start of a new family. The fact that it was my only sibling is just icing on the cake. Cause now? I have a new sister, and we love her.

Mrs. Rachel Clifford, everyone. ::slow clap::


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