Tuesday, February 23, 2010

moments from a wedding

October 8, 2009

Despite attempts to write a new entry, the hospital computer system had other ideas and I haven't been able to update. A good friend informed me that my last post was titled "Damn it" and we all agreed something more positive was needed. So, no diagnosis of the computer problem but it's tempermental self agreed to let me write something new today.

How do you sum up one of the most significant of your life events? How do you put into words a lifetime of hopes and dreams. Usually what I will write comes into my mind during a workout or during Mass or throughout the day. But I have yet to figure out how to articulate all that has transpired in the 40 days since I wrote about my friend in the "damn it" post. So, this post may not be organized or edited because I will only know what to write once it is on the screen.

When I think of the last five weeks, I see a slideshow of moments in my mind. Brief, yet significant memories of these amazing weeks. The short version is that September 26, 2009, I married my best friend. And during that celebration, the moments that I hope I remember forever...

getting my hair washed the morning of our rehearsal dinner, completely alone, head being massaged, thinking that I needed to be more diligent about finding moments of solitude

the week prior, constantly praying a part of a prayer we say at Gift of Grace "shine through us and be so in us...that every sould we come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul. Easily prayed this 200 times over the week (in attempts not to strangle mom or get anxious)

rehearsal dinner and my first of a few anxious moments, can't remember why, but a bridesmaid/forever friend came up and said "do we need to pray?" My college girlfriends and I went to the side of the building, held hands and they each prayed for me, for me not to feel like I had to make anyone happy or entertain anyone, for me to feel peace. Ross later said he asked if I was okay and my dad said " I think so, she's smiling." I was smiling.

the sweet toasts given to us at our rehearsal dinner, my best friends recounting memories of our years together, Ross's sister's toast about "being done" with Ross if he didn't marry me ;)

the morning of our wedding, pouring rain, anxiety welling up in me as I sat outside the bridal store waiting on the rain to stop so I could go inside and pick up my dress. I called the Gift of Grace house. Nearing tears, Sister Brunetta, Sister Sylvia, Sister Maria Jose and each of the ladies got on the phone with sisterly excitement and joy and then sang "Happy Wedding Day to you." Tears ceased, peace filling my heart as those ladies I love re-inserted perspective

the moment I realized the rainstorm was not going to pass and near tears again (a chaotic friend coming in the room didn't help). Then comes my lifelong best friend and she begins running the show. She found passage ways under the church so noone had to walk in the rain. She found a place for the guys to stay out of the rain (no groom's room at the Cathedral). She walked/ran 5 miles in heels to and from the top of the church to the bottom. She knew the church, knew the layout, knew the crazy bride. She was perfect.

taking individual pictures with bridesmaids in the basement chapel of the Cathedral, where we had all of our high school Masses. Thinking I would HAVE to send in a picture to our high school newsletter, despite the great need for some interior decorating.

posing with each friend and then my childhood BFF comes up and we can't pose. We immediately cry/laugh, forehead to forehead, smiling. I pray the photographer captured the moment well.

moments before we walked into the church, my bridesmaids, the women in my family and my dear priest friend Fr. Tim prayed in the foyer. Precious memory

Shortly after, again, little butterflies coming on, and my Uncle Philip puts his hands on my shoulders and tells me how much I am loved. Butterflies be gone. Peace again.

Standing in the back of the Cathedral I saw my Sister-in-law, this precious older sister for whom I prayed for as a child. She burst into tears and hugged me tight. One cannot have too many sisters.

Standing alone in a corner at the back of the church, praying, again realizing the great benefits of some quiet moments alone.

breaking up a fight between the three flower girls and asking the ring bearers to not sword fight with their roses. Then thinking that I hope I will be blessed enough to break up the fights of a house full of babies like these.

looking at my dad as we stood in the back of the church. Deep breath- the moment you've dreamt of forever- walking arm in arm with your daddy. Priceless. Priceless.

Seeing Ross at the end of the aisle- with a large, fixed grin- knowing it wasn't his normal smile, seeing a slight flicker of nervousness.

Remembering someone telling me to look at everyone twice as I walked down the aisle- seeing Sister Helen, our high school principal, Mrs. Garvin, our church organist, The Dempsey's, my pseudo grandparents from the days of daily Mass in Athens, my boss, my sister Katie at the end of the aisle looking stunning, and then...my husband.

Realizing that as we finally met each other, the nerves for both of us were gone. We were where we belonged, on the altar.

Standing on the altar trying to "pretty smile" (versus my big, no holds bar smile in which one eye closes and my teeth buck out like a horse) but then convincing myself to smile naturally, buck teeth and all.

Hearing the same organ that I sang with for years of christmas Candelight concerts at SVA play my favorite hyms. Walking over to the blessed Mother's altar with Gentle Woman in the background. I was as excited to hear that beautiful song as I was to pray in thankgiving for her blessings.

trying to get my sister's attention to straighten out my train and veil as we kneeled. She never got my drift but I'm sure the video will make me laugh.

Hearing Fr.Tim's perfect homily about marriage and holiness and being a "Power couple" for Christ. Hearing him mention my brother's attendance from Afghanistan and that my grandmother married here in 1946. Looking over to see my grandmother beaming and looking around to make sure everyone saw her. I half expected her to do the Queen of England wave she was so proud and happy.

Realizing that a fear I always had that my elderly grandmother would not be there and thanking God that this woman I adore watched me get married.

Listening to the prayers of the faithful that we wrote and realizing how personal they were and how happy I was that our hearts were shown through those words.

Thinking that noone could have read the words more perfectly than our dear friend Streppa.

Wanting to run out of the church at the end to Joyful Joyful we Adore thee I was so happy.

Drinking a cold beer as friends tried unsuccessfully to bustle my dress in front of the church. Realizing that I was not being a very good example of the Christian bride as I had a beer on the steps of the church with friends under the back of my dress.

Riding on the trolley with our closest friends and family and thinking that the trolley was one of Ross's great suggestions.

Walking into the reception and wondering how my mom and sister pulled off such a beautiful party. I never, in my wildest, wildest, craziest dreams, thought we could have such a nice wedding period, much less on a reasonable budget (yes it was a reasonable budget dad and I'm VERY glad we didn't go across the river to get married!!)

Seeing the room FULL of people, realizing I was crazy to think that I'd walk in and no one would have shown up.

Dancing with my dad. Precious, precious memory.

Walking around talking to guests. Thinking that this is what I dreaded most- small talk but realizing that I LOVED it. It donned on me that I LOVED the people in that room- all the people I loved most in the world were there. I wanted to talk to them all- to look in their eyes and pray that they could see my gratitude and humility that they were there for us.

Holding my friend's baby, something I'd dreamt of doing since she found out she was pregnant and I got engaged.

making a Cory sandwich with my friend and her sweet husband. His face in the picture is hilarious.

Wondering why all of a sudden I was handed a cow bell and making a mental note to tell Ross I didn't approve- but never remembering to tell him! Then thinking that my friend's husband Stu and pediatrician extraordinaire was made to play the cowbell.

Seeing that there was not a square inch on the dance floor where someone wasn't dancing. Realizing that Ross's one big request was worth every penny. And dad, the human checkbook, agreed!

Seeing my reserved, quiet, wallflower sister boogie dance with my mother. Realizing it was funny and disturbing at the same time.

Watching my father-in-law dance like absolute crazy and feeling so happy that he was celebrating so hard with us.

Tasting my sister's cake and making another mental note to have her bake it for me every year on my birthday. Lemon cake with lemon curd- whatever curd is, I like it. alot.

Seeing my brother, so handsome in a tux, so thankful he was there.

Watching my grandmother tap her foot from the safety of her chair, just smiling at her family.

Receiving communion with my husband for the first time. Also dropping tears for the first time, my lifelong dream of taking communion with my husband fulfilled.

Letting my sweet, crazy Annie drag me to the cake table to see two chuck-e-cheese ice cream cakes. Half appaled, half laughing hysterically at my parent's fulfilling my childhood desire to have a chuck-e-cheese ice cream cake at my wedding. Hilarious that they remembered, though the plastic Chuck-E face kind of gives me nightmares.

Seeing my mom and dad, so sweet and in love with each other, feeling like our wedding was my favorite party in the world and thanking them for sacrificing so much to throw an amazing wedding.

Hearing older couples tell us how beautiful the ceremony was- being so happy to hear that because the ceremony was so prayerfully planned and so important to us. Happy that our desire for our faith and our hearts to shine through was honored.

Getting the hotel and realizing that my sister and Kat struck again, packing us food and champagne. DEVOURED the lukewarm mac-n-cheese that I had to have there as my brother's favorite food just in case he was able to come (back when we didn't think he would be there). p.s. ungrateful little butt still said Grandma's was better. Even if he was right.

Dancing, for the first time as a wife, wrapped so safely in those arms and thinking that life doesn't get any better.

Okay there are sure to be more and I will add them as we go. I just wanted to get these memories down on paper. We are now safely home from a honeymoon that was perfection. Oh my gosh it was amazing. Sorry if I bored you to tears but like the engagement post, this one is for my kids one day!


  1. RossN14 LOVE YOU WIFE!

    carolineS776I share Ross's sentiments.

    ShannonL1203 Keri - I LOVE reading your blog posts. This one was my favorite! You are beautiful!! Love! Shannon

  2. is all this reminiscing responsible for bringing baby ninness to you?!? ;)