Posted tagged ‘Weddings’

Family Matters

July 29, 2021

A baptism last week. A wedding this week.

Last Friday, we headed to the Midwest. We haven’t traveled on an airplane in over two years because of COVID-19, but when a family wedding celebration is on the horizon, we go! Our destination was not an easy place to get to. We drove our car to the park ‘n ride to catch a bus that took us to the airport. We boarded a plane for a two-and-a-half-hour flight. We then boarded a regional plane for another hour’s flight. Arriving at the small airport, we picked up our rental car and drove another hour and a half to our destination. In all, it took us thirteen hours. We missed the rehearsal dinner, but the Midwest heat and humidity were there to greet us!

Saturday – Wedding Day

The Bride – Our Niece

Parents of the Bride – A Nervous Dad

The Bride and Groom

Father/Daughter Dance

We didn’t get a family photo of my brother and two sisters, but we did play cornhole at the reception. What else do you do in corn country? (Notice the determination on my face.) I lost to a five-year-old!


Sunday morning, we did a reversal of our Friday travel schedule. I was immediately reminded why flying is not my favorite pastime. Besides delays, cancellations, and turbulence, other problems creep up. On our first flight, all I wanted was a cold glass of ice water. Problem One:  No ice available. Problem Two:  They ran out of water before they got to us! Really?? The second flight had a mechanical glitch that had to be fixed. And so, we waited until it was a go. Twelve and a half hours later, we finally reached home. Even though it was a short visit and there were a few minor problems with our flights, it was wonderful to be able to get together with our family and enjoy a day of celebration! Family matters!

We Are Family

May 22, 2014

This past weekend there was little time for reading or writing. My niece and her fiancé got married. When my brother, sisters, life-long friends, and extended family come together to celebrate a wedding, we cheer! It’s not often we are all in the same place at the same time, but a wedding celebration seems to pull us together. “We Are Family” is the perfect song for those of us whose families are spread across the United States.

What added to the ambiance of the wedding weekend was the fact that it was in Florida. After surviving a long Wisconsin winter, I was ecstatic to celebrate love in a warm, inviting place. To bask in the sunshine and dip my toes into a pool of water that was not frozen was a delight.

The Beach

The Beach

There were a few hiccups along the way to our destination. Our on-time flight was not. After being delayed for two hours, we boarded only to find out that the truck fueling the airplane didn’t have enough fuel. When that was taken care of, the Captain announced there was a mechanical problem that would easily be fixed. It was not. We deplaned, were directed to a new gate, and boarded another plane. We arrived at our destination the same time a fierce thunderstorm arrived. We headed our rental car to the beach where we were supposed to meet family for a “hey-it’s-great-to-see- you” dinner. We were late. We needed food. We needed drink. The torrential rain made driving slow and hazardous, and taking a wrong turn didn’t make for pleasant car conversation. When we finally did arrive, everyone had finished eating. My very efficient sister had ordered a meal for us that was ready just as we sat down. Good company turned an exhausting day into an enjoyable evening.

We had exceptional weather the rest of the weekend. There were a few other mishaps, but despite everything, the wedding day was perfect. The happiness radiating from the bride and groom was unmistakable. With family, friends, good food, great music, and dancing, I realize life is good!

“We Are Family”– let it play again and again.



Epping Forest Yacht Club

Epping Forest Yacht Club

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

Wedding Tales

September 12, 2013

I’m ba-a-a-ck!

The past few weeks have been busy, busy, busy. My lovely daughter got married — a marriage made in heaven. For those of you who read my last blog and are wondering where the wedding reception took place, the answer is the library. It wasn’t just any library, mind you. It was the Boston Public Library. If you’ve never been there, it’s a must-see architectural treasure.

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As mother of the bride, you must indulge me as I blog and blab about the special day.

The ceremony took place at Our Lady of Victories Church, a French National Church, hidden on a narrow side street. It’s a charming old church, dedicated in 1886, and it has a magnificent organ that fills every nook and cranny of the interior with heavenly music.

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The bride was beautiful. The groom was beautiful. The ceremony was beautiful. Tears of happiness flowed like the enchanting courtyard fountain at the Boston Public Library.

Before the reception, pictures were taken in historical spots around Boston – an Art Deco style building,

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Trinity Church, the “T” – Boston’s subway system, and the Public Garden.


Then it was on to the reception at the library. As I mentioned before, this building is amazing.

An old postcard of the Boston Public Library

An old postcard of the Boston Public Library

Inside the building you’ll find a grand marble staircase, balconies made of limestone, marble pillars, an enclosed courtyard with a fountain, murals painted by famous artists, collections of rare books, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, prints, and much more.

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Entry to the Library



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Bates Hall


Book from 1920 that explains everything you want to know about the rooms in the library.

The cocktail hour took place in the courtyard with its picturesque fountain. The courtyard was a special place for the bride and groom. Not only did they first express their love for one another there, but they also got engaged there.


The Boston Public Library and Interior Courtyard

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X Marks the Engagement Spot

Dining was in The Popular Reading Room. It was a gourmet’s delight, and afterward, we danced the evening away. The bride and groom glowed the entire day.

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Popular Reading Room


At the end of the evening before they escaped through a secret door among the stacks of books, the groom played guitar and sang to the bride.


It was a fairy tale wedding – one that I will hold close to my heart.

Okay, my blogging and blabbing are done, but the bride and groom have only just begun. I raise my (coffee) cup to them for a long and happy life together!









WIP – Wedding In Progress

July 18, 2013

Besides reading and writing and blogging and tweeting about children’s books, I do have another life. This summer my other life has been consumed with preparations for our daughter’s wedding, which is rapidly approaching. She’s on the east coast. We’re in the middle. Distance makes for challenges, but my husband and I are no slouches. We’re in it until the last guest leaves the reception and the last check is signed.

So far I’ve learned these things about wedding planning:

Keep smiling.

No matter how old they get, your children still do not listen to you.

Money is no object from your child’s point of view.

It’s much easier to plan a wedding when you are both in the same geographical area.

Frequent and calm communication helps to clarify issues at hand.

When a request is made, don’t ask questions, just do it. It makes life easier.

Our latest assignment from east coast was to find specific pictures for a book the future bride and groom are going to create for guests to sign. These pictures were needed ASAP. What else is new?

The Requester

The Requester

So the obedient mother and father trudged down to the basement and pulled a million photo albums off the shelves and hauled them upstairs to the comfort of the living room. Divide and conquer was the motto. “The list” of required photos was at our fingertips. From birth pictures to present times, my husband and I flipped through the albums in record time. It was like looking at time-lapse photography of seeds growing to maturity. Our daughter was a beautiful flower. We were withering weeds! By the time we got through all the albums and found the designated pictures, we were spent.

We looked at the mess we had created. We agreed it was time to weed and condense albums – tomorrow. Tomorrow came and went.  The road to the basement is paved with good intentions! And those good intention albums ended up right back on the shelves. Out of sight, out of mind.

The important thing is that we completed the task at hand, and we still hold our daughter and her fiancé dear to our hearts.

What’s next on our to-do list? I’ll be sure to let you know.


May 23, 2013

My daughter is getting married. The good news is I’m thrilled she has found someone wonderful. The bad news is I have to purchase a mother of the bride dress. This may seem like a trivial thing to some, but for me it’s colossal!

I hate to shop. Having a personal shopper who knows exactly how to find the perfect clothes for my body type would be ideal. As I get older, I have found my body does weird things. It revolts against everything I do to try to keep it in check. No matter how much I exercise or how well I eat, things keep happening to my body – ugly things – wrinkles, sun damage, sagging parts, and added weight. This is one time I’d like to be a man and just get measured for a groom-chosen tux. In and out. No hassle.

With my body baggage in mind, I began to look for a mother of the bride dress. I planned my strategy. I started by looking online. The first thing I noticed was the mother of bride dresses were being modeled by what looked like twentysomethings with perfect figures. In my mind, I’m still twenty-six, but in my body I AM NOT A TWENTYSOMETHING! Show me real everyday moms in these dresses.

I found a few dresses I thought would work for me. I went to the bridal salons that had them and tried them on. The dresses DID NOT look the same on me. I don’t need a bridal salon. I need a saloon!!! My mind was running wild. I was hysterical. Can I lose twenty pounds in two months? I took a deep breath and calmed myself. It’s taken me years to put on these pounds. My body is certainly not going to let that extra weight go without an all-out fight! I chose a new strategy. I picked out the ugliest of ugly dresses I could find and tried them on. They provided a good laugh, which helped with my overall mental and physical health.

The good news is I finally did find a dress. The bad news is someone politely said, “It’s slimming.” A better comment would have been, “You look gorgeous!”

Thank you very much!

Here are some great picture books where, unlike my experience, dressing up can be a fun experience.

The Very Fairy Princess Here Comes the Flower Girl   written by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton and illustrated by Christine Davenier

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Pinkalicious Flower Girl written and illustrated by Victoria Kann

Memories From A Long Weekend

April 25, 2013

It’s a mother’s dream to be actively involved with her daughter’s wedding plans. Mother and daughter shopping for wedding dresses, looking for flowers, choosing invitations … I was eagerly looking forward to all of that.

Our visit to the east coast was set. My husband and I got great airline fares. It was going to be a perfect long weekend of wedding planning with our daughter and her fiancé. It was a dream come true.



Not a dream.

A nightmare.

It began with our arrival at O’Hare Airport in the pouring rain. The day before our airline had experienced a system failure. Travelers were still trying to get out of Chicago. HA! No problem for us. Our 8:20 evening flight was on time. The rain continued, but we were safe and comfortable as we waited to board.

We watched buckets of rain splash on the tarmac. It looked like we needed an ark not an airplane. Lightning flashed, thunder rumbled, and the deluge continued. On-time flights suddenly became canceled flights. Along with hundreds of other people, we found ourselves up a creek without a paddle.

There was a mad dash to get into the rescheduling line. To be safe, we also used our phone to reschedule. We did everything we possibly could to get a flight out of Chicago. Bad news.  According to the airlines, there were no flights available for us until Friday morning. FRIDAY? FRIDAY? That was two days away! Appointments we had scheduled for wedding plans would be missed!

It was 10:30 in the evening — time to rethink our situation. We decided to get a hotel room and keep on phoning the airlines. Alas, there were no rooms at the inns. Full, full, full was the word, and the roads around O’Hare were flooded. With no place to go, we chose the next best thing to pass the time. We headed to the airport hotel. Following suitcases being pulled by other weary travelers, we went straight to the bar. We remained there until it closed. It was then my wonderful husband took me to a cozy corner in the hotel lobby where we camped out on the floor for the night. We were not alone. There were many other flightless people littering the lobby floor. It was romance at its best!

As I watched the lightning and rain, my husband continued to call the airlines to reschedule our flight. At 2:45 am success was ours! He had managed to obtain a flight for us early the next morning. Being persistent does pay off.

I’d like to erase that night from my memory bank, but the memories from the visit with our daughter and her fiancé made up for the stressful events that had previously happened. AND after visiting numerous bridal stores, the dress choice is down to two. Now that’s success!

If you like flying and airplanes, check this book out.

 Moon Plane, written and illustrated by Peter McCarty, was a 2006 Charlotte Zolotow Award winner. A young boy sees an airplane in the sky and wonders what it would be like to be on it. Using muted colors, McCarty depicts the boy on the plane flying over a car, a train, a boat, and all the way to the moon and back home to his mother. The illustrations and simple text produce an overall good feeling. That’s the type of flying experience I would have liked to have had!

I’m Back!

July 31, 2012

True to my word I said I’d return at the end of July to continue to dazzle and entertain with my bi-weekly blogs, and here I am.

It’s been a busy six weeks since I last blogged. During that time, my husband, Tom, and I have been to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Summer has always been a perfect time for me to catch up on reading, but not this summer. Instead of Fifty Shades of Grey, our summer began with fifty shades of red. I’m talking about red paint.

Our daughter bought a condo in Boston, and “Daddy” agreed to paint. He didn’t realize she wanted him to paint every wall in the condo, using several different colors. Deciding which shade of red to use as an accent wall in her bedroom proved to be the most daunting task. She had every sample from the red color palette taped to the wall. Tom was seeing red by the time she made her decision.

End Result

In between painting and traveling back and forth to Wisconsin, we attended a shower and three weddings. Tom and I measure our life in stages, and we happen to be in – Our Friend’s Children Are Getting Married – stage.

Our first wedding was in the New England area. The groom was from New Hampshire. The bride was from Pennsylvania. The venue of choice was in Connecticut.


Our next wedding was in downtown Chicago right after a wicked thunderstorm. Streets were flooded and trees were down, but nothing stops true love.

Chicago and …

A Bucky Badger Wedding Cake?

For wedding three, it was onward and upward to Minnesota.


The best part about attending these weddings in different states was that I could wear the same dress!

We also got together with my sister and her husband for a mini vacation in Boston and Portland, Maine.

The Freedom Trail and good food were on the Boston menu.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Tall Ships

Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese

That was followed by a trip up the coast to Portland, Maine, the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, and more good food.

Portland Head Light

Lobster Linguine

I have literally eaten my way through this summer. This is NOT good. I need to keep my girlish figure because we have yet another wedding to attend in November. (And, yes, I’ll probably wear the same dress!)

Right now it’s home sweet home for us. Tom is taking care of the parched lawn, meager garden, and dead flowers. I am busy chasing the dust bunnies that have multiplied since the last time I cleaned. I’d better hop to it!


May 22, 2012

This past weekend we embarked on a journey of social engagements that will keep us busy until the end of July. This isn’t normal for us. Our social calendar is what some people would consider boring. Suddenly, after years of boring, we find our calendar jam-packed with graduations, showers, weddings, dinners, weekend guests, and a vacation.

We have a conundrum. With all this social activity, who’s going to cut the grass and weed the garden? Who’s going to chase the dust bunnies in the house and the ravenous rabbits in the yard? Who’s going to take out the garbage and recycle bins and bring them back inside? Who cares? I surely don’t.

It would have been nice if these events had been spaced more evenly throughout the year, but since they’re not I’m going to take advantage of all the invitations to enjoy time with friends and family. We’ll take care of the rest later after we rest later.

Sometimes boring is good, but not this summer. The party-hearty journey has begun!

The graduate enjoying a cool beverage at the UW-Madison Union Terrace.

Party-hearty with these picture books!

Bumble-Ardy by Maurice Sendak

If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff

I’m Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems

Miss Spider’s Tea Party  by David Kirk

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