Monday, October 14, 2013

3 Under 4: Wedding Edition

Hi, everyone!  I hope you're enjoying your October.  Yesterday, we were blessed with perfect weather for my brother's wedding.  It was located at a local barn with picturesque landscape.  The gorgeous green grass sloped around the large red barn, leading us to rows of chairs. 

I'm at total genius (here's my sarcasm sign!) and left the girls' dresses at home.  My wonderful husband ran back to get them (10-15 min. away), so I was alone.  My son was ready to stun them in his khaki pants, white button-down shirt, navy blue jacket with gold buttons, and yellow-striped bow tie.  I slipped the adorable brown cowboy boots on my girls, ready for the rehearsal.  They weren't ready yet.  So I have my son take the twins' hands, calling for them to follow me down the aisle.  Screaming and ripping their hands free, the girls took off in opposite directions.  Ella yelled, "Mama!" and ran for me.  Addy laughed and ran AWAY from me, back up the aisle.

Everyone arrived, including my husband, and we readied for the actual ceremony.  My brother escorted a gorgeous blonde down the aisle, my mom with spiral-curled blonde hair and a sleeveless purple dress.  Next, it was our turn.  My wonderful sisters, Kati and Kelli, each grabbed a girl, and we sent them down the aisle.  I sprinted around the front to urge them down the aisle.  My niece, Alaina, also was a flower girl, and they tentatively stepped towards me.  Lil Rudy helped the girls, who did not want his help, so he came down and joined me. Adelyn and Alaina are the adventurous girls, so they moseyed their way down the aisle.  Their adorable eyes grew large when they realized all these people were watching and waving at them.  Adelyn's face lit with a smile, and she raised her little hand and returned their waves.  The guests laughed and cooed at her, and she didn't even spare me a glance.  Ella saw me, smiled, and came running.  Ultimately, all 4 of them made it down the aisle.

Those of you with little kids know what happened next.  Lil Rudy lay on the ground and played games on my phone.  Ella and Addy played with their leaves, baskets, dresses, and then were ready to play.  They began to scream, since they couldn't break free of my firm hold, so I hurried away.   Strapping them into their stroller, I listened to the adorable letters my sister-in-law had written to my brother and watched her surrender her purity ring to him.  Tears filled my eyes, and I was a little thankful for my squirming toddlers to distract me from the overwhelming emotions.  I took the girls to the hill across from the wedding.  The yellow leaves covered the vibrant grass, and in our meandering, I lost both Ella's bow and my necklace piece.  (Sad sigh)  I looked everywhere...twice.  As my brother and his bride raced beneath a rain of leaves, I started pushing the stroller towards the side of the barn for family pictures.  A gentle aching in my neck and head changed sharply into stabbing pains stretching across my forehead and down the back of my head.

It took a lot of help, but we completed all the family photos, and thanks to my sister-in-law's sister, they even made it in the bridal party picture.  I led my 3 under the age of 4 inside the barn and crashed across from my parents.  The girls sat serenely in their chairs, while my mom and grandpa fed them graham crackers from the best favors (S'mores mixins).  My lovely videographer and sister, Kristi, fetched me a glass of water, and I enjoyed a few minutes of rest.  Then the graham crackers ran out, my son spilled water across the table, and my husband was preparing to announce the bridal party (he was their MC).  Everyone stepped up to help.  The stroller was fetched, table dried, and kids strapped in.  Then my husband announced the bridal party and family would eat first, and I rejoiced.  I led my son through the line, crying and pouting, and returned to our seats with food for everyone.

So you finally got to sit down and eat and relax?  No.  :)  I cut up chicken for lil Rudy and the girls, until my husband finished eating and forced me to sit down, eat, and relax.  He brought me more water, and everyone took turns helping me with the kids.  I got to dance with my dad and sisters during the Father-Daughter Dance and with my son during the Mother-Son Dance.  I was really impressed.  I was even sent back for apple pie before we left, so I wouldn't miss out on anything.  The best part was we were on our way home by 8 p.m., which means the kids went straight to bed.

It was a crazy, hectic, exhausting time with 3 under 4 starring in my brother's country wedding. But it was a beautiful experience.  I'm completely aware this is my last time with them this age.  By our next family wedding, the girls will probably be closer to my son's age, and I'll miss how adorable they were at this age.  But that's how life goes.  It flies by, leaving nothing except photos and memories of each stage of their childhood.  I'm thankful for this memory, and I'm also thankful it's over! :)  Haha!

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