Friday, March 30, 2012

Our Wedding Day Part 4: The Ceremony

Soon I heard the music starting to get serious.  The moms and my maid of honor got in front of me, we proceeded down the staircase a little ways.  and I felt even more numb.  This was it.  The ceremony was actually starting; the plan I put in place was really coming together.  There was Ave Maria, and they were through the doorway.  My sister got to the middle of the staircase and whispered, “If you come any closer than right here, Adam WILL see you.  It’s a small room.”  I nodded, and she proceeded through.  Then I got nervous.  What did Pachelbel sound like again?  I whispered to Sarah, who was standing right there near the door, “Let me know when to go!”  But she misunderstood and whispered to someone, maybe the musicians?  “She’s ready!”  I got nervous.  I think the music changed, but I can’t even remember.  I just got the feeling it was time, so I approached the door.

Did I stop long enough like the photographer wanted?
Did I hold my flowers low like I’m supposed to?

I think I approached slowly enough.  Adam was smiling HUGE.  I enjoyed that for a moment, but then I felt pressure again.  Everyone was SO crowded in that room.  I was embarrassed that I didn’t plan the space well.  Everyone at the front was squished, and it looked messy.  I felt shakey.  The room was REALLY dark.  Why weren’t the lights on?  The candles were all lit…except for the ones at the front, where most of the photos would be!  Was it because the JP was there and it was too cramped to be safe?

I gripped Adam’s hands like they were a lifeline and nervously stroked them for the whole first reading until I remembered telling him the day before, “If I rub your hand with my thumb, that’s code for look at me so the photographer will have some pictures.”  ARG!  I wanted to tell him I was sorry about that.  But then I told myself again, just try to relax.  And listen to the vows.  So I did, and I teared right up.  The vows I picked out, because I meant all of it.  I wondered if, 10 years from now, I’d still have picked the same vows.  If marriage will still mean everything to me then that it does today.  I expect not.  I think, and hope, marriage will feel just as great, just in a different way.  A way I can’t imagine yet. 

Adam blew me a little kiss, a tradition that started when we were separated for months on end by the Atlantic Ocean and chatting on webcam, and continued when we were out at dinner and minimizing the PDAs.  I blew one back and fought back tears a second time.  And then a third, when the JP said the line about it being easy to hurt the one you love, and that hurts the most.  Adam and I have had a fair few fights lately, feeling a lot of strain.  He looked a little emotional too when Rick said that, and it was like a silent promise passed between us.  To be more patient, more of a team, not adversaries anymore.  This was what a wedding is for: making these promises to love each other and put the other person first, in front of all our friends and family.  An amazing next step to our relationship.

The one funny moment when Rick said maid of honor could hold the roses we used in the ceremony, and saw she had her hands full of flowers.  I said she could juggle them.  And felt a little silly for making an obvious joke.

We exchanged rings, and Adam was able to quickly slip mine on.  It was déjà vu; just like the engagement ring I knew it was too loose and going to need resizing.  Rats.  Adam’s on the other hand, was REALLY tight.  I almost gave up trying to push it down his knuckle!  But I feared he wouldn’t understand that, so I kept going, kept trying, and eventually it did slide down as I finished off the vows.

And before I knew it, the ceremony was nearly over.  Done.  All the anticipation, and done!  Some people fall victim to post nuptial depression after the wedding; would I be victim to that?  “You may now kiss the bride,” Rick said, and Adam leaned in.  I put my hands on his face gently to help guide him, slow him down if need be, and as a tender gesture too.  But he didn’t need guidance!  He gave me the most tender kiss, even though we hadn’t rehearsed it or talked about it…it was perfect. 

I remember a feeling of, “Now what do we do,” (not in a deep way, just in a “where do we go” sense) since the ceremony was over, but I quickly remembered: Recessional means leave: walk “back down the aisle, this time with Adam.”  So we walked together joyfully, stopped in the foyer, and I gave my new husband a hug.  Then, still unsure of what to do, I went back, remembering I needed to remember my other guests and acknowledge them and not wanting to forget, so I ended up giving every one of them a hug too.  I was just giddy with happiness.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Wedding Day Part 3: Before the Ceremony Started

After the calmness I felt all morning I arrived at my wedding venue.  And that’s when the out of body experience began.

Along with all the furniture Adam’s family moved the morning before, and the decorating I did yesterday afternoon, there were now flowers.  I didn’t know where the mom’s corsages, boutonnieres, or bouquets were, but if they were anything like the ones on the guestbook table I was happy.  And then there was the altar.  I’d thought Darlene said there would be tall, thin vases with white orchids, which I wasn’t really sure about, but instead they were amazing roses.  It was gorgeous, and I was shocked.

But then again, there were no chairs yet.  The dining room table was set, but there was no tablecloth on it!  The programs were tossed onto the guestbook table all messy.  The candles weren't lit (though that was on someone's to do list, so I figured it would be done soon).  Adam was SOMEWHERE, and I didn’t want him to see me.   My sister had gone ahead to alert them, but I still felt unsure.  I wished I could have called him earlier today.  And of course the photographer was somewhere waiting for me.  I felt like there was lots more I wanted to do!  There was more to decorate, I didn’t get to make that signature drink I wanted even after mom went and got the ingredients yesterday, and I had no time to write Adam a touching Email. 

But it didn’t really matter.  I could either let all that get to me, or relax and enjoy what I DID accomplish.  I was only going to have one wedding day.  And even that wasn’t as important as the marriage itself.  I needed to relax, smile, and share my happiness with Adam’s and my friends and family.

Sarah must have noticed me looking a little lost at that point, and asked me if there was anything she could do.  I thought a moment about all the "shoulda woulda couldas" and prioritized one thing that seemed the most doable at the time.  "I notice the table is set, but there's no tablecloth?"  She explained that Adam's mum got overly eager.  I said hesitantly, "Could you, um, clear it for the caterer?"  She nodded kindly.  I felt better.

Then I had my next problem.  My mom told me that the caterer did NOT bring in the extra table.  Just a quick recap: the homeowner’s suggestion was to have seating for 8, and 4 at the breakfast bar.  I said that was unacceptable; I wasn’t going to pick 4 guests to be exiled from the group.  “Then you’re going to need to really squish those chairs in, because I’m not going to have people at the bar.”  I said.  Mom said, “We’ll take care of it.”  So I tried to put it out of my mind.

Relax.  Easier said than done.  The best I could do was to just go numb.  I didn’t say much, I didn’t offer to do much.  All I could think to do was to go upstairs because I knew the photographer would need me to get ready.  He was in the “bridal prep room,” which I could see ALSO needed work.  After all, it was someone else’s temporary living space this week, so it wasn’t really photograph-ready.  So I dug in and moved things that needed moving.  He shot the dress, and mom zipping up my dress, and me putting on my jewelry.  I wondered the whole time if I looked okay, if the fly-aways on my hair were going to be noticeable, if the makeup was settling into my wrinkles again, if the angle of the camera was giving me a double chin or making my arms look too big.  So I told myself again, none of that really matters.

The next problem was when the musicians came in.  Apparently the chairs had arrived, and they looked at the seating and decided there wasn’t enough room.  I could only imagine what they’d have said if we were unable to get the big couch out of there.  They wanted to move Sarah to the “bride’s side” apparently, and my mom said that wasn’t right.  (Now, in retrospect, this would have been the perfect opportunity to solve a bunch of little issues later on, which I’ll explain in another post).  And again, Mom told me they’d take care of it.

So just then, for a little comic relief, Mike told me that he wanted to get a shot of my sister putting on my shoes.


I almost said there was no way in hell that was going to happen.  But then I thought this was an opportunity I would never have again.  So I called her in, told her his request, and enjoyed the look on her face.


I guess there’s a little bit of evil in every bride.  Two years ago I said that bridesmaids aren’t servants, but that changed today!  He snapped a couple photos and she and I had a laugh.

But then the photographer finished and I figured I could let myself relax again.  But then I heard the musicians starting.  So much for “This is good; we have a lot of time for pictures before.  I’m glad I didn’t come at 1.”  We had JUST enough time!

As they played the first couple songs as guests entered, Mom and mum talked about who would go first when they played the song for seating the mothers, “Ave Maria.”  The song I picked because I know Adam likes it, for one thing.  And also because it was Adam’s ringtone for his mum, I came to associate it with her as well.  Mum said whatever the order was fine with her, and my mom said she was happy to follow.  I joked, “What sort of self respecting Leo are you?”  She agreed with a laugh.

So then the photographer coached me.  He told me that I would need to stop at the door while he photographed Adam’s face when I entered, then wait, and he’d circle around, and photograph me as I approached.  I knew too, from reading plenty of bridal blogs that I was supposed to hold my bouquet down low.  It was a lot to think about, I was nervous, and I was unsure if I would remember.  I worried that I would get lost in the moment. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Wedding Day Part 2: Hair and Makeup

Despite mom’s freak-outs this morning, we made it to the salon on time without further incident.  Normally when I get my hair cut at Wavelengths they offer me coffee, and I decline.  I figure they’re there to cut my hair, not to serve me.  Plus I don’t need the jitters when I’m trying to keep still.  But today I said, “Yes, please!”  As long as people were OFFERING today, I might as well accept a little pampering!

Nicole, my regular stylist, remembered I wanted my hair down and curled, but before she got started, she asked me if I had the sides up for the veil.  I said I didn’t think so (I remembered getting it styled elsewhere and preferring it completely down).  I checked my camera, kicked myself because it wasn’t there, and almost repeated, “Leave it all down,” until I realized they were on my phone.  And sure enough, they were up.  I told her how I nearly lost my veil and tiara, so since I had a freak out yesterday I got it out of the way for today (so far).  It helped that Nicole chatted away as she worked; she didn’t give me time to think or dwell on anything.  Hair was soon done, and it pretty much looked like before, so I was happy.

So next was makeup with Lauren.  It still took a long time, and my sister (dunno where she came from) and mom even dropped in before heading to CVS for a while, but I told her not to worry, no need to rush.  She laughed about that, but the fact was, I didn’t like my makeup the first time around.  But when she finished today I was MUCH happier.  Maybe my judgment was clouded by stress over it making me late for Adam’s appointment the last time, whereas today I felt like I had a lot more time before the ceremony.  Or maybe it was the “bridal glow” they talked about.  Which I DID notice when I woke up this morning, if I do say so myself.  I was pretty much fine leaving the house without any makeup this morning.  So either way, I felt ready (visually, at least).

As I waited for mom to come back, I checked my phone messages and saw that Mike (the photographer) had called.  He left a message saying he was locked out and no one was home!  My first thought was he went to my home address, not Winter Street because there was no way Adam’s family and friends were anywhere else (the venue was a vacation home I rented for the week so that they had a place to stay while visiting from England).  Well, when I called he said it was fine, he was in now (good thing, since it had been 20 minutes) and he was photographing the men.  So we set out for the house.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday: Our Wedding Day Part 1 (Staying Calm, Freaking Out, and Cake)

Considering today was my wedding day, I didn’t sleep that badly.  I think I slept better than I did the night before a friend’s wedding a few years ago.  The phone rang at 7:30 with confirmation about the wedding cake, and I pretty much gave up on sleeping then (though it did set my mind at ease; I’d called yesterday for confirmation since I hadn’t spoken to them in weeks and they were shut).

I laid in bed until 8:45, just letting my mind wander a little.  My thoughts were very calm.  I just kept thinking, “This is it.  It’s my wedding day.  Never mind how much preparation went into it.  It won’t all go perfectly.  And it’s not 2 ½ years long, even though I’ve had that long to think about it.  Today has less than 24 hours left now.  But that’s okay.  Just try to enjoy and remember every moment you can.”  And that really worked to keep me calm.

The cake arrived shortly after 9, with apologies from the driver for being late, but it was fine because I allowed wiggle room in the day's schedule.  Mom and I didn’t need to leave until 10.  He asked where it would be set up, and I said not here, it’s going to Salem.  He looked at me like I was crazy, saying he could have brought it to Salem!  I said, “Not New Hampshire, Massachusetts.  It would have been another $80.”  “Oh.  Yeah, I don’t blame you then.”  Hehe.  So he put it on the counter I indicated, since the other one wasn’t cleared off.  Unfortunately, the box was so tall it was hanging off the edge, which made me nervous.  He also told me that we can’t drive with the topper on, because it would certainly fall.  I was annoyed about that; I thought, “Then why did I have to lend it to you in the first place!?”  But that was just nerves so I kept quiet and tried to take in what he was showing me for getting it on top.  After using the upstairs restroom he was on his way, mom finished her shower, I grabbed a yogurt, and I got ready to go.

Until mom started panicking.

She started saying, “Oh my god!  Oh my god!”  Louder and louder as she ran from room to room.  “What?!”  I asked, annoyed that just like my first trip to England to meet Adam, I had to be the level headed one when this day isn’t REALLY about her.

“The cats!” 



“Where are the cats!?  I can’t find the cats!”

I’m so saving that one up for a few years; someday we’ll have a good laugh about it, I’m sure.

Her next freak-out came in the car.  The GPS started telling her to go a different way than she was used to, and then the battery died.  She swerved (unsafely had there been any other vehicles on the road at the time) over to the side of the road at an awkward angle, and I took charge of the GPS, which barely reached me when it was plugged in.  I told her to just keep going, and that it was fine to just keep going the way we were going (even if it wasn’t THE most efficient way, I thought, we still had plenty of time).  I started to think I made a mistake asking her to be my driver for before the ceremony.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday: The Day Before Our Wedding!

Today I got up and head out a little early for my nail  appointment.  It was easy enough to get to; just on the way to work.  I went in and they seemed a little confused (then one said to the other, “yes, it’s in the book.)  The whole process went mostly as expected, except it was strange having a man do my nails.  It was also really cool how they did the white part.  He brushed on the white part really messy, then poured some nail polish remover into a cup.  With a paint brush he “swept” under the nail, and an arch, leaving a little crescent on each tip.  I LOVE how they came out; he left a crescent larger than my natural one giving my nails the illusion of more length.  Awesome.  And it was practically free since I got some gift certificates for Teacher Appreciate Week. 

The only real negative was how LONG it took.  My appointment was for 11, but I didn’t leave there until nearly 12:30!  I was literally squirming in my seat, knowing that I had a tight timeline to set things up for the wedding and get to Longhorn at 6!  Once I did get home, we didn’t finish loading up my car until 2, and, the pressure got to me, and I had a meltdown.

We arrived at Winter Street and instantly felt better when I saw all the work they’d done for me, moving furniture.  The living room was clear of the over-sized furniture so I could have chairs set up and an aisle to walk down.  Phew.  So we unloaded the car and I kicked everyone out.  His mum wanted to stay and help me decorate, but I needed to do this on my own, without any second opinions.  I had a vision in my head, and if something didn’t work I needed to solve the problem by myself, not second guess myself.  They went to the Boston Hotdog Company (and I guess they enjoyed it!) and I started in.

It actually went a lot faster, and a lot smoother than I thought!  For a few minutes I thought I forgot tape for covering the mirror, but it turned up in the end.  And I was THRILLED with how it looked in the end.  Like it was just part of the room all along (the photographer said later that he remembered mid-ceremony that I'd mentioned a mirror over the fireplace, and me saying that I'd cover it, so I had done such a good job that he'd forgotten!  Adam's family agreed that it just looked like it belonged).  It took a little doing to smooth it out because it was just thin paper, but it worked out.

I finished LONG before they returned; unfortunately part of the reason was I didn’t have the tulle and silk flowers for the staircase.  I didn’t dare go back home to grab it because I had told them I wouldn’t.  I didn’t want to find the key or worry them about return times, so I waited.  I paced up and down the aisle I made for myself as practice, hah.  My phone battery was too low to listen to music, so I sat and reflected on the preceding week.  It had been SUCH a great week.  Weather-wise and event-wise.  We planned just enough stuff to do to feel busy but not frazzled (well, except for me, but it was worth it to show his family a nice time).  I felt sad that it was all almost over, but I knew I needed to enjoy the remaining time, not dwell on the approaching goodbyes.

When they did arrive, I told them I needed to pick up the decorations I’d left at home, as well as my veil.  So I left them to it and found my bag of tulle in the closet.  I then walked around the place trying to figure out where on earth my flowers were.  I actually said aloud, “Where are my flowers?  Flowers, where are you?”  And suddenly there they were, in front of my face.  I’d put them in a vase in the living room that was literally at eye level. I laughed.  And then I panicked.  I still had no veil.  Or tiara.

I looked EVERYWHERE.  His mum had  asked if it was in the bag with the dress, and I dismissed the idea.  I knew my tiara wouldn’t be in there.  But now I was second guessing myself.  It wasn’t here at home.  If it wasn’t with the dress I had NO idea where it was.  I drove back to Winter Street, his mum and I checked the dress bag, and it wasn’t there.

With tears in my eyes I asked Adam, “Come with me?”  He asked me to give him a minute as he went to get his coat.  Aled saw me standing in the doorway and reassured me that it would turn up.

And it did.

It was in the closet all along, under a package of toilet paper Adam and I picked up last week.  It was just a small bag; easy to miss, but it had my tiara in it as well.  I hugged him and laughed manically.  We called Aled and asked him to meet us at home so he could follow us to Longhorn.

Which led us to our next problem; we were late for Longhorn.  We had to wait for them to arrive, which took up more time.  Then we had to sort out GPSs again.  I had the task of driving fast to get there, but slow enough so as not to lose him.  And we DID lose him at one point.  We were both shocked when maybe 10 minutes later, a little car came zipping up behind us and flashed its lights.  They’d found us!  We soon turned off, and in moments I was blinded.  Aled had his high beams on.

I asked Adam, “Can they do that in the UK?  They can’t do that here!  It’s blinding for me AND others on the other side of the highway!”  I wondered if he was scared of losing us again, but Adam said Aled should know better.  And then I realized; he probably didn’t know.  He must have hit it when he signaled for the turn.  Sure enough, he shut them off with about 10 minutes to go, and when we arrived (40 minutes late) he apologized and we had a good laugh about it.

Mom had put our name in (she called at nearly 6 to ask if we were on our way and I’d warned her we’d be pretty late) and was waiting for us.  Once we’d all settled we had a really nice time.  The food was good.  His dad got a huge portion as usual, and finished it all :D  We couldn’t talk anyone else into margaritas, but that was fine.  I missed mum, who insisted on staying behind, but it was a nice final night as a single woman.  I whispered to Adam around the time desserts came, “I’ll be leaving you soon.”  We arranged for me to follow mom to her house and Aled to take Adam back to our house so he wouldn’t see me that morning.  (And I’m so glad it did, because it made the anticipation on our wedding day that much sweeter).  So we said our goodbyes in the parking lot while everyone got last minute stuff out of mom’s car.

When I got to mom’s house, I was feeling a little nervous, like, “This is it!  The night before!” and started getting out my computer so I could pick photos for the slideshow tomorrow when she said, “Castle’s on!  You watch that, right?”  It felt strange to go do something normal and routine at that moment.  Regular old “my show is on.”  So after my shower I sat with netbook in lap, choosing photos as the recap came on.  They’d just driven (or been pushed?) into the water in their car, and were trying to escape.

That night I slept a little better than I expected.  But my dream mirrored the program a bit.  I dreamed that Adam and I were driving along.  There was a pond nearby, which had flooded.  As we went along, Adam kept going on about how high it was, saying, “This is ridiculous!” and “Just be careful, don’t get too close to the edge.”  So naturally, I got too close to the edge.  My tire hit the edge, and we tipped right in.

I felt a moment of panic, but then the car straightened out, I noticed it was a convertible, and Adam and I just floated right up to the surface of the water, almost peacefully.  During our wedding reception I told about that dream, and someone, either mom or Aled said that it was like a metaphor for marriage.  “I get it!”  I said, “Taking the plunge, right?”

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday of our Wedding Week: Salem Museums and Our "Rehearsal Dinner"

This morning I woke up and said, “I wish we could just have a day to ourselves so we could relax and sleep in.”  Good old practical Adam started in with, “We CAN’T!  My family is only here for a week!  We can’t just take the day off…”  Not in a combative way, more in a, “Please don’t make this an issue way.”  And I felt bad because he missed my meaning.  I was having so much fun with Adam’s friends and family this week!  What I meant was I wished that these 7 days with them before our wedding could have been more spread out.  That way I (and everyone else, really!) would feel more refreshed and ready for the next busy day.  He was relieved that I was still prepared to keep going with the week’s worth of family entertainment, hehe.

So this time we invited Adam’s family and friends to our place in the morning.  Even though we’d need to go back there for real Salem site-seeing, the day we invited them around last time was too late in the evening for them to really relax.  They got the tour but seemed too tired to settle.  So I got up a little early and made cookies, set out mugs for a hot drink, and washed some fruit for Sarah.  It was a bit hit; they ate all but one cookie!  And as a little entertainment I broke out Dancing with the Stars (with the dance mat for the PS2) for a little demo.  Sarah was the only one brave enough to try it.  Poor girl didn’t have a chance; I had a lot more practice than her, hehe.  Adam and then Aled did the controller on co-op mode with each of us girls.

At that point, I asked his mum (who didn’t seem to love shopping in Boston yesterday) what she’d like to do.  I told her that there are cute little shops around in Salem, but then again, there’s a trolley tour, museums… “Museums.”  She answered.  So I checked out times, costs, and street addresses, and we head out.  Once again, Aled knew how to get there by walking.  And once again, we had a beautiful day to do so.

We went to the Witch Museum first, and arrived exactly on time for a tour.  The first part consisted of sitting in a room and hearing a voice talk about the progression of the trials, as different vignettes were lit up.  Though the statues were grotesquely old, it was an interesting enough talk, and I felt like Adam at least got a better sense of how it all went down.  He was surprised how FEW were convicted.  There were exponentially more burned in Europe.  So I got to explain that what made it a big deal was how human nature allowed it to happen.  People thought it was about religion.  Really, it was about people giving into their animal instincts.  Everyone was afraid of everyone else.  And the root of it was fear borne from protecting the children.

We had to spend a little time in the gift shop while waiting for the second part of the tour.  I had fun looking at all the corny trinkets.  Sarah tried on a witch hat and no one batted an eye, which was funny in itself.  I remembered my sister’s request for a bridesmaid gift:  “Something with a skull on it.”  There were a couple things that definitely fit the bill there.  But instead I settled on a copy of the poem, “The Raven” with a little figurine that said, “Nevermore.”

After the second part of tour was a walking tour, next up was the Peabody Essex Museum.  It was an easy walk from the Witch Museum.  We were all ready for a drink and light lunch.  His dad tried the clam chowder (finally!) and liked it okay, and our sandwiches were pretty good.  Just as we were finishing, a special presentation happened to be starting, with Native American singing and dancing.  Seats were in high demand, so we were lucky to have them, but unfortunately we had so much to do that I felt we didn’t have time to sit and watch.  I led everyone through the Asian art, then the maritime exhibit, just as I’ve done with my fourth graders nearly every year. 

Then we went to the “Water Exhibit” which was a temporary one in the children’s interactive area.  We had fun with the lit up  irrigation system and the smoke machine, and I got my own art displayed (for a few minutes) at the watercolor tablet.  That was interesting; it behaved like watercolor in terms of pressure.  But it was designed to fade away so the next person could have space to draw.  Then we went to a temporary exhibit on modern Native American art, which was of course extremely varied.  Some great, some kind of silly (like a tower ofblankets).  There was a really cool lit up piece that I wanted a photo of, but this was one of the no-photos areas.  Shame about that since Aled nearly brought the whole thing down when he tripped on a wire on the floor that connected it to the ceiling, hehe.

We finished around 4:30 and then it was time to head back.  Adam and I went home to change for our “rehearsal dinner” and soon found ourselves completely frantic trying to leave at 5.

We actually arrived at Winter Street at 5:15, which was the latest we wanted so it wasn’t too bad.  The drive there was a little quiet because I hadn’t had time to really do my makeup, wrap the bridesmaid/groomsmen gifts, or check over the “task list” for everyone.  I had planned to do a nice design on easy to dress it up but in the end we were too rushed.  But we made good time driving to Billerica, and arrived pretty much right at 6, which is when Aaron made reservations at The Pongal.

As promised the décor was nice.  Aaron arrived first and then mom, and finally Faye arrived about 10 minutes late.  After we ordered I said a brief thank you to everyone for coming, and then presented David and Faye with their gifts, which they seemed to enjoy.  David joked, “What do I have to do in return,” and I said “Actually…” and presented them all with their lists.  Only mom had questions.

The dinner itself was very good (though mine was too spicy for me) and people mingled pretty well.  I snapped a couple photos before we left.  We returned to Winter Street to drop everyone off, and at our request Sarah and Aled snapped a few photos before Adam and I returned home.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday of Wedding Week: Faneuil Hall

I really wanted to show Adam's family and friends around Boston.  Other than their arrival at Logan International, they'd never been.  It was pretty cool walking through Salem with “The UK clan” in tow and then waiting for the train to arrive.  Adam and I hadn’t done it that often ourselves (I’d caught it from Salem just as often as he had) so it was still sort of a novelty even to us!  Plus I made sure to drink in the beautiful weather we were still lucky enough to enjoy.  And appreciate the fact that I was learning a new part of Salem.  I felt a little sad knowing that after the wedding was over, I wouldn’t be making this walk again.  But we’d pass fairly close by on the way home from the beach, so I could take some solace in that.

Once we arrived we went to Faneuil Hall, and needed to walk up and down 2 or 3 times for everyone to choose their meal.  It was pretty overwhelming!  Unfortunately it was so busy on this warm weekend that we didn’t get to sit at a table, but we made due.  And my lobster roll and clam chowder from Boston Chowda Co was perfect.

We looked around the stalls within the building and found homemade soap for Faye’s bridesmaid gift.  I saw a hat (well, headband) I liked.  Adam said it looked cute so I asked, “buy it for me?”  And he did!  I got lots of compliments on it.

We went outdoors to more shops, the biggest hit being Newbury Comics.  Aled saw a, um, I think he called it a Companion Cube Cookie Jar which was modeled after an item in Portal.  He hated to leave it behind but knew it would be too heavy to bring home.

Eventually we decided to move on, and I thought I saw the Prudential Center and suggested we walk to it.  That was a mistake.  Wrong building.  But the walk over, in Aled, Sarah, and my eyes, was great!  It was perfect walking weather, not too cold for February, and blue sunny skies.  And we passed by so much fantastic architecture.  I enjoyed watching their delight.

Eventually we gave up and looked for a subway, learned we were in the wrong one, went in the right one, and Sarah got her card stuck in the machine.  Adam’s parents tried to find an attendant but communications were unsuccessful and in the end they bought a new card.  I felt silly for a few reasons at this point.  First, we bought the more expensive tickets instead of the card.  Second, though no one including me said so, I realized after we should have just passed our own card back and forth to her.  If we were given any trouble, we could have explained about her jammed card.  Rats.

So we got to the Prue, and it was locked up.  Once again I felt silly.  I said to Adam, we looked together, I’m sure this was it, but he was not happy.  I said we should walk around the building, and at that point we saw the Copley building, which was what we really wanted.  Turns out it connects to the Hynnes Convention Center; that was what we wanted.  Though I still insisted it connects to the Prue also (and was later vindicated on our honeymoon when Adam and I used the sky bridge that connected the two).

We window shopped a little, but were lagging.  They wanted a drink so I brought them back down to Au Bon Pain.  That perked them up a little, but they were less interested in high end window shopping so I led them to the Hynnes.  We spent a long time looking at chocolate.  I realized instead of feeling down or daunted about hunting for foods she can eat, Sarah actually enjoys being an informed consumer, learning about products and recalling successful purchases.  I was pretty impressed with her.  Until she bought Adam “chocolate caramel covered bacon,” haha.  BTW, it didn’t taste like bacon at all to me.  I didn’t really want more sweets to bring back home, so I opted for a single piece, and she bought it for me.  

When we got back to the train station, we found that we had the wrong time.  It kills me because Aled and Sarah tried and failed to look it up, so I found it with a single click in the right direction, but I later realized I had the weekend time.  So this morning I checked AGAIN, and found a weekend time.  I was so sure I was right!  So we decided to stay and eat near the station.  We ended up at The Harp, which I was really unsure about.  But Sarah was able to get something, my salad turned out to be amazing, and everyone else seemed happy and had a nice time.  Sarah wouldn’t let me pay; this time she paid for us.  Good times!

Wedding Week (Friday) My Last Day of Work Before the Wedding

It was hard getting ready for work this morning knowing that not only did I have to leave Adam, I also had to leave his family!  They would only be in this country for a week, and here I was going to miss a whole day with them.  Still, I figured it would be good for Adam to spend some time with just them.  He could enjoy more than he would having to split his focus between them and me.  Maybe.  It was only one day, in any case.

So I went to school, bursting with excitement.  I knew I’d never last the day if I focused on the fact that I was going to be getting married soon, so I tried to just live in the moment.  After all, the kids would probably be slightly buzzed knowing that a week of vacation was about to start for them too.  So I should just enjoy the last day with them that I’d get for a little while.

Even still, I was sort of looking forward to a little celebration with them.  See, one of the “Room Mothers” said something about having a wedding shower for me with the kids very early in the year when I mentioned I’d be getting married in February.  And on Monday she sent a note asking, “Will you be here all week?  Just curious” with a little wink.  I was a little uncomfortable; I didn’t want to put it in writing for a parent that I was taking 2 days off, but I was also a little excited.  So I wrote, “I will definitely be here Friday.”

And yet, at the end of the day…nothing.  The kids didn’t have anything for me and none of the parents dropped in with anything.  I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t disappointing.  But even more so, it was a little disturbing.  Why did she write that note if she wasn’t planning something?

In spite of that hitch, the day went smoothly.  As they left, along with “Have a fun vacation,” I told them, “This is the last time you’ll call me Miss Dawn!”  I left a note on the board for Monday morning and signed it “Mrs. Thomas.”  I changed it in a few key spots around the room, knowing I’d miss it in some places and discover it later, which I decided to look forward to instead of worry about.  Because it felt a little like putting a stranger’s name in my classroom.  It was almost like I was giving up my room to someone else.  And I felt a little sad knowing the name I was used to hearing from certain sweet children would not be said in their little voices again.  For a while it would sound like a stranger’s name to me and to them, and they’d be awkward when they said it.  But if my old name got “uncovered” bit by bit as the year went on, and gradually corrected, we would all adjust to it.

As for the day itself, once AGAIN Adam and his family got amazing weather.  I told Adam that next year when the bitter cold rolls in and he’s complaining to his family they’re going to think he’s making it up.  I knew they’d be splitting their time between Salem and Haverhill with my mom.  She took them to The Loft and to Vinnen Square.  Adam started to recognize the area since he’d been to Swampscott for an appointment with an immigration approved doctor.  And they had a great time getting to know my mom, keeping busy, enjoying shopping and having another nice meal out.

On my way out the door at work I got lots of well wishes from colleagues, which made me feel warm inside.  It made up for the lack of notice from my class (cause it’s not the children who dropped the ball, it was the Room Mothers).  And I felt like a lottery winner anyway, because vacation was really starting and I’d be married soon!  Part of this vacation would be super busy, but then the second half I would have enough time to relax at home and get some things done.  Everything was going the way I hoped.

That night Aled and Sarah led the way because they figured out how to walk from the house to Fresh Taste of Asia (where I had another Groupon).  The food was pretty good, and the company was very good.  I’d left a menu for Mandee’s Pizza for Adam’s family, which was a big hit.  They got to have an evening to relax, and they enjoyed the pizza very much.  Except David who wasn’t used to so much eating out and was happy to have an evening to just have some home cooking (my soups were a big hit).  So all in all, another successful night.

Readers, what is your relationship status?