What a weekend. My baby sister is married and is sitting on a beach with her new husband. I spoke to her for 2.5 seconds on Monday morning and she was about to lay out and get a drink with a little umbrella in it. She sounded so happy.
I guess I should start from the beginning. Jackson, thank God, never got sick with that stomach bug. We were able to travel to Houston on Wednesday as planned. I didn't make it to MOPS that day, but inside I knew I probably wouldn't. I had my last personal training session and although the whole thing was really challenging, I will miss it. I love what it did for my arms and legs. I may ask Curt for a punching bag and some boxing gloves for Valentine's Day, which we haven't celebrated yet.
The wedding gears started turning on Thursday. That morning Mom and I swore that we would not eat at any restaurant that we liked nor would we eat any food that we really wanted. We had to focus on the goal of looking as good as possible. So we planned on devoting ourselves to Jason's Deli (which we prefer not to frequent). We never made it there once. Instead, we got chicken tender salads at Chick-fil-a. We both hate eating salads. I actually ate two salads last week and that should show anyone who knows me the depth of my sacrifice. In our despair, we swore that Sunday would be known as Fat Sunday. We would eat anything and everything that we wanted in celebration of having met our wedding fitness goals. We could not wait.
That afternoon my mom picked up two of Melissa's bridesmaids from the airport and got them checked in to the Hilton. Thus began the whirlwind. Melissa and I met the girls at their hotel at 7 p.m. for Girls Night Out. Then we went to Cafe Adobe on Westheimer for dinner. (It was Valentine's night, so we were really limited in where we could go. We would have loved America's.) The diet was out the window. After that we went to the Dessert Gallery. We had some yummy treats and then headed to the airport to pick up another bridesmaid. It might not sound like that exciting of a night, but we did all of this in a black limo and it was extra fun! Melissa and I got home at 11:30 and found a really cool gift waiting for her there. It looked like a wedding cake. We had to open it up immediately. That was such a fun moment.
The next morning my lovely, blessed, beloved mother-in-law and sister-in-law flew in and became Jackson's primary caregivers for the weekend. It was amazing. I cannot convey the amount of stress it took off me. What a blessing. Curtis was in charge of the ceremony, so we really did need some help. That it could be family was just perfect! Especially since Jackson's birthday was Sunday.
At 9 a.m. on Friday, Melissa and I picked up the bridesmaids and we all went to Norris of Houston Spa and Salon for mani-pedi's and 30 minute massages, compliments of the M-O-B. She is a generous lady, that M-O-B! Afterward we had lunch at the Backstreet Cafe. I had never been there before. The food was great. I had cheese grits and shrimp. Oh my word. Yes, the diet was definitely out the window. The last bridesmaid to arrive came during lunch, as did Melissa's BFF from Wheaton, Kevin. He was basically a bridesman, but he was there to read Scripture in the wedding. Melissa had been very intense but when he got there she was able to relax and laugh like her normal self. I think it also helped that she knew every last person had made it safely. I'm sure Kevin loved being the only man at the bridal luncheon. Thankfully it was not your traditional, Southern bridal luncheon.
At that point I was nearly comatose from exhaustion, but I had to go pick up Melissa's bridal portrait and convince the photographer to give me a digital file to put on the blog. Mission accomplished. They were so accommodating. When I saw her portrait it was like a bolt of lightning hit me. I was stunned by how gorgeous she was. Every single person in my family had the same reaction. Especially my dad. I'll never forget how he gasped, took a step backward, and put his hand on his heart.
On Friday night my whole family hopped in my hubby's suburban and headed completely across town in rush hour traffic. We were late to the rehearsal, of course. We all recalled being late to mine, too. What can you do. The rehearsal was painless. Afterward we went to Ouisie's Table for the rehearsal dinner. Besides my own, it was the neatest rehearsal dinner I've ever been to. What a neat restaurant and what good food! Yes, I know. The diet. Oh well. I was seated with my Pappaw and he and I have always loved to eat chicken fried steak together. Yes, I ate a CFC the night before the wedding. I hate myself. One time in jr. high, when I had super human metabolism, I spent spring break with my Memaw and Pappaw. Somehow that week I managed to eat CFC every single day. Someone turn me in to the Guinness people.
Melissa and Colin did the neatest thing during their rehearsal dinner. Colin works for the company that owns Marble Slab Creamery and he sells franchises for them. So Colin had an actual marble slab, along with lots of sweet cream ice cream and strawberries, brought to the restaurant. At the end of the meal, he and Melissa put on little Marble Slab aprons and served ice cream to all of their guests. If you've never been to Marble Slab before, they scoop out the ice cream and mash it on the slab with the strawberries or whatever other topping you get. It makes it taste so good. I didn't have any ice cream, so three cheers for me.
We headed home and put the bride to bed. We were all so tired already and the big day wasn't even here yet.
The next morning Melissa woke up at 5:00 and couldn't go back to sleep. Bless her heart. Mom, figuring that any repercussions wouldn't show up that day, got a huge box of Shipley donuts and kolaches for us for breakfast. She had a severe case of Moorder (which is when the Moore's order more than they need. We do it every time) and managed to spend $25 on donuts. The cashier nearly threw confetti on her.
A limo took Mom, Melissa, and me to the church and we started getting ready. The wedding was at South Main Baptist Church by the way. (HFBC was booked for that date.) Wow, it does not get prettier than that for a Baptist Church. So beautiful. It is so dumb how early you have to get ready for weddings. It just makes for such a long day, although I don't know how you get around it. It was like pulling teeth for Melissa to push back the time as much as she did. A makeup and hair person was there to take care of us. She was wonderful. We went through every single emotion in the hours that followed: joy, bliss, stress, nervousness, nausea, and excitement. Once Melissa got her hair done and the flowers arrived, she was able to settle down a bit. We played the CD I had made for our Girls Night Out and it lightened the mood. I felt bad playing "Let's Get It On" in a church, but when you have a couple who has put off relations until their wedding night, you get to be lighthearted and happy about it. God wanted them to get it on. And that's all I have to say. Thank You, Jesus.
Right before the ceremony began, we made a circle around Melissa and her friend Erin prayed. Erin immediately started crying and Mom and I looked at each other and whispered, "Don't do it!" I had to look up and keep my eyes open to control myself. Soon they called mom out and then it was time for the rest of us. I was suddenly very nervous. The fact that Curt was doing the ceremony added to my nerves. When we got to the foyer, Travis Cottrell was singing. Lis and I watched through a small window and I could tell that Travis could see us. Melissa was pumping her fists in the air because how can you not when you hear Travis sing? It was a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Those 3 minutes were my favorite of the whole weekend. That is the snapshot I will keep in my heart.
I walked down the aisle and the flower girl quickly followed. She waved to everyone like a beauty queen and it was so precious. Then out came Dad and Melissa. I can't describe my emotions to you. I was about to burst. I was half laughing, half crying (without tears because I did not want to mess up my makeup), and half wanting to pump my own fist in the air. (Don't judge my math.) They were a gorgeous pair and they were headed to a very excited groom. I loved watching Colin's face. He always looks at her so lovingly. The ceremony was short and sweet and very meaningful. I thought Hubs did a great job.
After pictures, we headed to Brennan's of Houston for the reception. Everything looked amazing. My sister had worked so hard and the atmosphere was incredible. I could not believe how beautiful it was. Her colors were brown and white and there were lanterns at the center of each table. The table linens were spectacular and all the chairs were covered. Brennan's is a New Orleans restaurant and the look of the ballroom "evokes visions of a New Orleans carriage house with vaulted ceilings, skylights, and crystal chandeliers." I just copied that from the web site.
For dinner we had lobster bisque, salad, steak and fish, bananas foster, wedding cake, and groom's cake. It was out of control. A quartet played music through dinner. At that time, Jackson had a moment to shine on the dance floor with our cousin Carleigh, a.k.a. the cutest flower girl ever. Soon Melissa and Colin danced to "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds Five. They looked very happy. Then Lis and Dad danced to "My Girl." They did so good! When Colin and his mom danced, I nearly cried thinking of Jackson and I looked over at Johnnie, who is my mom's BFF and mom to two grown sons, and she was bawling. Everyone gave her a hard time but I think it's just tender being a boy mom.
The DJ played old, classic slow-dance songs. The dance floor was full every time I looked over at it. It was fun seeing the guests enjoy themselves. It was also just really special to have such close friends there with us.
The best man and I each gave a toast toward the end of the night. I was super nervous, but tried not to care that my hands were obviously shaking as I read my speech off a piece of paper. I'm too tired to try and write it all out and I'm not sure I would anyway, but Melissa said she liked it. I was glad I got to do it.
Soon it was time for Colin and Melissa to go. Since we were at a restaurant, there wasn't really a way to throw flower petals at them as they rushed out to the car. Instead, people said goodbye to them in the reception room. They had to go down a big staircase to exit and of course Mom, Dad and I, along with Colin's parents, went down to see them off. I made it down first and there were some people sitting in a lounge at the bottom of the stairs. They were marveling at the beautiful princess coming down the stairs and I looked at them and said, "That's my baby sister!" I was so proud.
It was raining when we got outside and Colin held a huge umbrella over his new bride. They were precious. Then they got into their limo and were whisked away! We left shortly after and we have been thinking and talking about it ever since. It was a wonderful weekend and a magical night. The Lord truly blessed us.
We had no idea there were tornado watches or warnings around town. The Lord made us completely oblivious. For that I am so thankful! The weather didn't have much of an impact on things, except that we had to adjust our hairstyles accordingly. I had planned on wearing mine down, but definitely not in that weather.
I have more to say and show, but I am all typed out for now! And I'm saving Jackson's stories for later.
That had to have been the world's longest wedding recap. Well, it was my baby sister's wedding! What did you expect?