Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Vows of Family

In this family, we love family.  I mean, we love it.  We drive through the night.  Cook huge meals.  Send silly birthday cards.  Play touch football.  Do scavenger hunts.  Take group naps.  And most of all, we show up for other.  That's what we do--that's who we are.  We show up.

So, when Michael's brother Brian and his fiance (now wife!) Janelle asked us if the kiddos could serve as attendants in their wedding, we agreed.  Most people told us we were crazy to take 5 eighteen-month olds all the way to Pittsburgh for the weekend, but as a family, we show up for each other.  So there was never a second thought.

As June 30 approached, our au pair Jess and I went into planning mode.  There was a checklist.  There was a checklist of the checklist.  There was a timeline.  There was a master schedule, complete with wardrobe changes.  That's one of the many things I love about Jess.  She functions like me.  She plans.  She thinks.  She checks lists.  She's truly is an amazing au pair and human.  She will go far in life.  I just know it.  

I worry Ava may want to move to Sweden come February of 2019.

Since we need five pack n plays to go anywhere, we realized renting a hotel room probably wouldn't work.  So, the bride helped us find a home that we could rent. It was a great size and despite the babies refusing to follow their normal sleep schedule (!!!), they looked adorable in their outfits for the rehearsal.

Luke Thomas

The girls practicing their walk down the aisle with Daddy.

This man is incredible with kids.

Unfortunately, the kiddos refused to sleep much during their first night away from home, so this was one tired Mama Bear.  Thanks to coffee, a cold shower, and some old fashioned umph, we prepped for the wedding.  Michael had to go early to join in the wedding party festivities, so Jess and I dressed and loaded all five kiddos and got them to the wedding. 

Thankfully, the bride had a separate room for our kids to play while the wedding was going on.  

I absolutely loved the dresses the bride picked out for the kiddos.  

Sweet, thoughtful Clara

Millie loves to count the cups.

I love watching Jess play chase with the kiddos.  It's so much more fun (and less tiring!) when she does it.

Then, the big moment arrived.  Clara and Ava walked down with their Dad.  I started out walking with Isabelle and Millie; however, when Izzy got clingy, Millie decided she could walk on her own.  I love my independent girl.  Michael's brother, Chris, carried our big guy, Luke, down the aisle.  Luke was much more interested in playing outside than he was in the church service.

Clara and Ava



Luke and Uncle Chris
The wedding was fantastic.  The bride was effortlessly beautiful and her groom only had eyes for her.  I have loved watching those two fall in love.

When we arrived at the reception, the kiddos were starving and desperate to run wild.  So, with the help of Michael's aunt/uncles/cousins, they did just that.  It's tough on a Mama when her babies are running in all different directions with different people.  I feel like my neck needs to be on a swivel, like an owl.
Luke and Grandpa

When the kids grew tired, we loaded them in Bubba Bus and Jess took them back to the rental house while Michael and I stayed at the reception.  

As soon as I loaded the kids in the bus and returned to the reception, I sat down and burst into tears.  Ugh, yes, I was that crazy lady crying at a wedding reception.  I was just so. darn. tired.  And stressed.  From diaper covers to pacifiers to snacks to matching shoes to sleeping schedule to germ prevention to juice refills to......ugh, I was just out of gas.  

I'm so glad the kiddos could share in this special day, but it was tough on this Momma.  I hope that I can grow less structured over time and maybe not get so stressed out in the future, but I make no promises!

Still, I'm so thankful for this family and our place in it.  Cheers to the new Mr. and Mrs. Baudinet!

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