Saturday, October 12, 2019

Rainy Saturday With a Spot or Two of Sunshine

The day started out dark, cold, and rainy. It was pouring when I stepped out of the car to see my grandson for his birthday, but half an hour later the rain stopped. It remained damp and cold for several hours, but the sun eventually decided to make an appearance and it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon.

The were lots of tears and hugs today. I saw complete strangers, old friends and former neighbors, and lots of cousins (on James' side). One of the guests thought she might know me and asked if I was Pam Carr. I've been told before I look like Pam, but it's been many years. About 40, maybe a few more. I told the woman asking that Pam is my cousin, the woman told me her name, and then we realized the real reason I looked so familiar. We grew up living across the street from each other. Renee is just a couple years older than me.  We never hung out much. Our mothers weren't the best of friends, but back when we were kids all the neighborhood children played outside. There really wasn't anyone we didn't know.

Maybe I haven't seen Renee in ages, but I was thinking of her just a day or two ago, because of my foot. My right foot. The foot whose 3rd and 4th toes often feel like they're popping in and out of joint while I walk. I wondered if Renee ever had the same foot problem as me because as little girls we both sat on our heels to control a desperate bladder. It was impossible to get up and run to the bathroom without losing all control, and we would sit like that, totally embarrassed, with tears rolling down our faces waiting for the urge to dissipate. Once control was regained, getting to the bathroom was no problem. Sometimes I still sit on my heel, and fifty years of sitting on my heel has taken a toll on my poor toes... (Getting old is interesting for sure.)

The daycare owners were at today's event. Their son is engaged to the daughter of James' cousin Angel. It is strange to see them in a different setting, and stranger still to have one of the owners give me a hug. Sometimes it can be easy to forget in the confusion and frustration that is work, to remember these are people too.

Today is done. The Celebration of Life at the park was good. There were lots and lots of people. Tomorrow there will be another remembrance in a different place, for a different person, my cousin Pam's mom, my Aunt Margie. There will be more strangers, old friends, and cousins (this time on my side). Another goodbye, and more tears.

Today

The battery in my camera is dead, and the other battery, along with my charger, is missing. It's probably here somewhere, but I don't know where. I was keeping it in the bottom of my purse for a while, so I'd have it when I needed it, but it isn't there. Maybe it will appear when I actually decide to clean my room. But that won't be today.

The weather was perfect this past week. I wish we could have saved a couple of those bright, sunny afternoons for this weekend. Dark, rainy days may be appropriate for movie funerals, but in real life a little sunshine is preferable, especially when the Celebration of Life is in the park. There is a chance of sunshine later this afternoon.

It's time for Number Seven's birthday party. He'll be five on Monday. Going to try and squeeze in an appearance before the other gathering.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Change of Plans, and A few Wedding Photos

Feeling a little overwhelmed this evening. I talked to a hurting friend upon arriving home this evening. Sat in my car, and then got out and locked my purse inside... along with my keys. (Will I ever learn?) Thankfully, I was not locked out of the house and I had my phone in my pocket. I rearranged my evening plans and called for help. And then my grandson came over to sit with me for a bit while his dad made a visit to Urgent Care. The evening turned out just fine, even if I didn't make it to the grocery store.

Hey! I found some beautiful photos online... (It's that wedding I went to last month.) 





That's my son behind the girl in the purple shirt.





My daughter in law made the wedding party cake. Isn't that pretty?


Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Time Flies

The week is flying by! The alarm goes off each morning in what feels and appears to be "the dead of night." It was so dark the other day when we set out the door for work that I looked at Sergio and said, "It's really dark out here. Are you sure it's time to go to work?" It will be slightly lighter when the clocks are turned back, but that means our shrinking evening sunlight will be even shorter. (I'm not quite ready for winter...)

I haven't been to the Pottery Studio in almost two weeks. Just not feeling it right now. I'm not sure what to make of it, so I'm giving myself some time to decide what to do. If I give up the shelf I'm renting I could save myself some money, and maybe put it toward another class, or my roof loan... but I'm not quite ready to turn in my key just yet.

 Each week I am thankful for the little ones who fill my days with smiles. This morning a little voice called out a morning greeting from the hallway. It was my little friend Derek stopping by the kitchen door to say hello. He very often says "Hi Martha" in his very own Derek way, which I cannot duplicate. It doesn't sound like my name, not yet, but it's getting closer all the time. It's so fun to see them grow and learn. I can't believe how smart all last year's babies are getting!

Sunday, October 06, 2019

This Weekend

Saturday morning I visited my counselor's office. It was a teary session, and tears are healing. The woman I see in the mirror today, is not the same one who peered back at me four years ago, and I am grateful for the hand of God in my life. He has never left my side. Ever faithful, He is constantly leading me and helping me grow in ways I never imagined. I am so thankful to be His child.

I did not wander far from home this weekend, but yesterday afternoon Hannah and I took Idris out to wander Once Upon A Child in search of some cozy child-size pajamas. While the little on looked at cars and trucks and the mommy checked out blanket sleepers, I wandered about the store. As I passed one aisle, I caught sight of two slightly familiar looking people. Though I only saw the backs of their heads, it was enough for me to take a step backward for another look, and there looking through baby clothes was my little friend Adam and his mom. How fun to see one of my daycare friends out at the store and to give him a snuggle as his mother's aching arms got a rest. I kissed his little head and told him that I love him, and then introduced him to Hannah and Idris. It was a nice chance meeting.

Last evening I received sad news from a cousin who called to inform me that the husband of my childhood friend had lost his battle with cancer. My childhood friend is also James' cousin, and so the other cousin called. Always the friend and encourager, never judgmental, Ed leaves behind a beautiful wife, six grown children, and a handful of adoring grandchildren who will miss him for a very, very long time. My heart is aching for every one of them.

This morning I forgot to take my phone along when I left for church. I stayed not only for the service and Sunday school, but a meeting afterward. It was almost 3 o'clock by the time I returned home. There were two text messages, a voicemail, and four missed calls. I rarely ever get phone calls, and seldom get texts. One text was garbage, and the other was from my sister. The voicemail was my cousin Pam calling to let me know that her mom, my Aunt Margie, passed away last night. The aunt who loved my little ones like her own grandchildren, who always showed up to our family gatherings, and never failed to arrive with a treat of one kind or another. In my mother's final years Aunt Margie was a constant, faithful friend.

It has been a weekend of loss.

Friday, October 04, 2019

The Bucket List and Other Sundry Thoughts

I can check dumpster diving off my bucket list. This afternoon, on my way out for my lunch break, I tossed a banana box into the dumpster.  On the way up, the box caught my keys and tossed them in the dumpster too. I heard them hit the bottom... There is always something to be thankful for. The dumpster is emptied Friday mornings, and the only thing inside was the box and my keys. I headed back inside the daycare for something to help me retrieve them. At my boss's suggestion, I came back out with a ladder. She asked if I needed any help and I told her, "Only if I can't get back out." Ha ha! I felt a little silly climbing into the dumpster, but I needed my keys, Up and over the edge I went, hoping my exit plan would not fail, and just liked I'd hoped, the banana box made a great step stool. If not for that I'd have been out of luck.

It was three o'clock and the little ones were just on their way outside to play when I came around with snacks. Graham crackers and bananas (because I wanted to get rid of the bananas before the weekend...) and milk. Two small boys were on their way home. One left in his mother's arms, a graham cracker square in each hand. The other, my little friend Parker, was waiting for his mom to return from the baby room. I told the teacher I'd stay with him while she took the others outside. Once they were gone he sat at the table and I gave him his treat. He was very happy to have me sit and talk to him while he chatted and ate his food. Sometimes it's just the way their eyes light up when they see me, or when I stop to give them a little attention. This is one of my special kids. We're not supposed to have favorites, but I have a whole collection of them!

PS. This is quite obviously not Parker, but another little friend who also loves graham crackers.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Hugs and Kisses

It's been a week of sleepy headaches. Last night it dawned on me that it just might be my sinuses rather than caffeine or tension, and so I stopped for some sinus medicine. Although I woke up with a dull headache and battled it through the day, I am beginning to feel relief. No wonder I was so tired over the weekend!

I was early for work this morning. (Go figure.) On a normal day I arrive five minutes early, but this was more like ten or twelve minutes. Too early to punch in right away. We had five babies before 7:15 am (which is the reason I go in at seven) for the first time since I came home from Minnesota. They are a boogery bunch!

Every day I am blessed with hugs. I sat on a chair in the three year old class on Monday and was surrounded by six or seven little people all clamoring for a little attention. Some of these children were in the baby room when I started sitting in there a little over two years ago. My friend Addison soaked up an extra long hug.

In our toddler rooms are more little friends. My buddy Jonah was smiling on Monday as he climbed on my lap and wrapped his arms around my neck. Once upon a time he cried every time I left the baby room. Even now, when he is really upset and I am able, he will crawl into my arms for some comfort. How I wish I could always be available! My friend Chase smiles and says, "Hi, Parta!" and the others all want to collect a hug and kiss too. My friend Parker has been back since school started. I love hugging that little guy who I sat with all last winter in the baby room during Meg's lunch break.

Swearin' Maren is still in our baby room, but she's more of a scowler than a swearer these days. Sometimes I call her Tipsy because she's always losing her balance and falling over, a casualty of being 13 months and having a little fluid in her ears. Mylah does the army crawl every time the door opens, Brayden makes noises like a tugboat, and Maggie is six months old and mad at the world because she can't sit up alone or move on her own. I think most five and six month old babies are miserable. Ha ha! Penny is our new baby, She belongs to my friend Parker. She's his baby sister.

I came home from work tonight. It's cool and rainy, and the headache that I had earlier left me sleepy. Idris and I stayed home to clean the kitchen and play cars while his mommy and daddy ran out to the grocery store. We played cars, shared a cup of lemon tea with honey, and looked out the window until the car came back in the driveway. It was nice to have someone to share my tea with.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Unalarmed

I managed to get up on time this morning. It was still dark, my alarm went off, and I was not late. On my way to work my mind went back to the fiasco that was Sunday morning...

I had no plans for Saturday so when my sister Priscilla called and asked what I was doing, I answered her, "Nothing." She inquired as to whether we might do nothing together, and it sounded like a fabulous idea to me. After a little back and forth conversation, we agreed that I would take a ride out to her house and I set off that direction.

We did quite a bit of "nothing" while trying to decide what kind of "something" to do. We had a bit of lunch together, and then took a walk to Main Street and went in a couple of shops. First we wandered through True Lily which was absolutely fabulous! An entire shop full of whimsical do-dads and artistry! We looked and talked, and talked and looked. I found all kinds of wonderful things, but only came home with one gift for a small boy who will be five in just a couple of weeks. Before heading back to Priscilla's house, we crossed Main Street and went into a second shop where enjoyed looking, but didn't buy anything. Back at the house we decided to watch a movie, ate a little dinner, and then I headed home. It had been a very nice visit.

The house was empty when I arrived home in Webster, and quiet and still when I climbed the stairs and crawled into bed. It was late when I heard my people come home, and I drifted off to sleep only to awake in a panic next morning when I discovered I would be late for work for the second time in less than a week! Except that I wasn't.

I don't go out to Priscilla's house often, but when I do go, it is typically a Sunday afternoon. We usually visit for a while and have some dinner before I go home. When I returned home Saturday night, my mind imagined it was Sunday night instead of Saturday, leaving me in a state of panic and confusion when morning arrived. Ha ha! And here I thought I was losing my marbles...

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Alarmed (Not to be confused with "Alarming" which was my last post.)

The room was still dark when I opened my eyes, and as I often do upon waking, I reached for my alarm clock and pressed the button to light the screen. "6:40."

"6:40?" I thought, "How can it be 6:40? How in the world did I oversleep again?" I checked my clock and found the alarm was turned off.My mind began to swim. Twenty minutes until I had to be at work. Once again there would be no shower... I slipped out of my pajama pants and into a pair of clean underwear. At least that would be different this time...

My mind was still spinning. "What will Beth say?" I wondered. She is the first Infant Teacher to arrive each morning. She would never let me hear the end of it. I grabbed my socks, shoes, and purse, and then realized I was still wearing my pajama shirt... That would be cute, going to work in my Minnie Mouse jammie top... especially with a chiropractor appointment after work. I looked about the room and my darting eyes caught sight of the top I'd hung across the end of my bed the night before, the one I'd planned to wear to church on Sunday morning...

I felt both silly and relieved. Silly because I'd actually been convinced today was Monday and I was late for work again, and relieved because I didn't actually get in my car and set out to find my workplace closed.

I put my pajama pants on and crawled back into bed.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Alarming

Silent and sleepy. Dark clouds vainly attempted to thwart the day's sure arrival. I opened my eyes and blinked. Morning struggled through the window. No bright sunshine flooded in, and yet the dark of night was dissipating...

"What time is it?!" I grabbed my little clock and pressed the button. "7:17."

I literally flew out of bed and made a grab for yesterday's blue jeans which were on the floor by my bed. I heard my flip phone fall out of the pocket and hit the floor. I blinked some more, trying to find the runaway phone. In the end I got down on my knees to peer under the bed before locating the digital device and making the dreaded phone call.

"Hello. Tot Spot. This is Heather." said the voice on the other end, and what could I do but tell her I had just woken up and was on my way. I wasn't just going to be late, I already was. By fifteen minutes. "We'll be fine," she said. In truth, they hadn't even yet missed me, but they would soon have been missing breakfast.

Waking up in a panic leaves one rather disoriented at a time when there isn't any extra time to be so. I opened one drawer to find a shirt, and another to locate a pair of socks. Both instances left me feeling blank and confused, like my brain hadn't completely turned on. I dragged a brush through my hair, turned a circle or two in the middle of the bedroom, and tried to clear the fog from my brain. There was no shower, no application of deodorant, and no changing of the undergarment. I tossed two waffles in the toaster and a cup of water in the microwave on the way to the bathroom where I relieved myself and washed my face.

I have no clue what time it was when I left the house, but I made it to work by about 7:50 am, less than an hour after I'd flown out of bed. In a stroke of luck, or Divine Intervention, our fifth baby had just arrived and an extra assistant teacher was taking my place as I came in. (I'd envisioned a room full of tiny tots and infants, at least six or seven of them, but God was way ahead of me.)

The Daycare owner thinks I get too much overtime. He'd wanted me to start taking a "long lunch," which means leaving for my break a half hour early when I am typically cleaning the kitchen and setting out afternoon snacks. (I end up staying an extra half hour to 45 minutes almost every day because we still have too many children in the center at 4 o'clock.)  I told our director I wasn't going to give him 2 1/2 hours of my time every week. She could try to send me home early once a week, but I wasn't going to bust my butt trying to give him back time I needed to do my job and have it wasted. Today I found a new way to save him from paying me overtime... I overslept. Oops.

Tonight the alarm is turned on, and I am turning in. I gained about 2 1/2 hours sleep last night by going to sleep an hour early, and oversleeping for another 90 minutes. Honestly, I think it was much needed. But I don't intend to do it again anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Spiders

I could get in a lot of trouble with that little bag of spider confetti... This one is stuck on the driver's side window of my car. Every once in a while it catches me by surprise, but only when I see it out of the corner of my eye, and it never moves. It's been stuck there for a couple of weeks now, even with me rolling the window up and down. (Do we still "roll" windows up and down? Or do you need a handle to do that?)


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

I'm Fine. How Are you?

I've had some fabulous days the past few weeks. Even answered "Super!" when someone asked me how I was. (I am practicing not saying "okay" when someone says, "How are you?") I am still fabulous compared to where I was emotionally a few years ago, but last night and tonight I found myself feeling teary all over again.

My oldest son turned 38 today. (Yes, I did just post this picture last week.) He's closing in on 40 and even though we're less than 20 years apart, it still makes me feel... just slightly old, or at least racing that direction much too quickly. I am ever so grateful to have spent five days with him a week and a half ago, but I think a mom will always miss her kid on his birthday...

And then, Saturday will mark ten years since my dad's passing. I haven't been dwelling on it, haven't pulled up any of his music or pulled his old flannel shirt out of the closet (hadn't even thought of it til now), but ten years sounds so long. Can it really be possible that ten years have passed since I sat next to him and knew his time was near? He still feels so close...

Feeling emotional made me long to go home and sit on my couch... except I share this home and I don't have a couch of my own. And that made me emotional all over again, even though most days I don't even think about it.

How am I? I am growing. I am learning new things, and doing things that are hard. My heart is full when the toddlers at work surround me looking for hugs, kisses, and gentle words. I am smiling when I recall the coworker who said, "Martha, you just made my day!" because I left  a note in the break room that said, "Pumpkin Spice creamer in the kitchen fridge. Happy Fall!" I have my room, and my bed, and my daughter and her family downstairs, and I am more then blessed. And tonight I had the rare and wonderful opportunity to sit and listen to a free Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concert following my small group meeting at church. Just like a cherry on top!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Weekend

The weekend is over and it went by much too fast. I got my laundry washed and folded, but my room is an utter disaster (again). Ha ha! Story of my life.

I worked from 9 am til 6 pm on Friday, came home exhausted, and put myself to bed early. I found Sergio and Idris playing soccer in the backyard when I same inside and sneaked back out for my camera to snap a few pictures before they knew I was there. "I make a goal," he said as he ran through the grass with the ball. He is doing great for a little guy not quite three.

I had an appoint- ment Saturday morning and then met my sister at her house. It was too beautiful to be inside, so we took a walk by the Erie Canal in Pittsford, NY. So pretty. Maybe another time we'll take a boat ride.

Today, after church and Sunday School (I went to both!), I drove out to Williamson to find Number Nine at Abuela's house where he'd been for the morning, and took him home with me. We took a nap and then went out to the Fireman's Park to play for an hour or two. Hannah and Sergio had taken a day trip for their anniversary which is why the grandmas were watching the child.

Tomorrow it us back to the kitchen and all my little friends. I believe grilled cheese is on the menu, and that should make everyone happy.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

The G.O.A.T.

I have been home from Minnesota since Monday night. I found my missing hairbrush, which wasn't actually missing at all, in the very last bag I unpacked (Yes, I unpacked all of them.), but not until after work on Tuesday. On Tuesday morning I had to borrow the hairbrush I keep in the car.

Today I was looking for a pen, but when I reached into my purse for the little bag I bought to keep them in, I found the bag was missing. I checked the cabinet where I'd stashed my purse during work. I checked my car. When I got home I checked my bedroom. I did not panic even though my checkbook is inside the pouch, but the longer I looked without success, the more uneasy I became.

I filed a missing item report with the airline. I wracked my brain. When was the last time I'd seen it? I knew I'd used a pen in Minnesota, but I couldn't remember anything past that. It's not anything fancy, just a plain white/gray canvas pencil bag with a goat on one side, and "The G.O.A.T." on the other. I bought it because the large pocket inside my purse has a hole, and I don't like things like pens and checkbooks floating around the liner of my handbag. It was doing a splendid job.

I prayed the Lord would help me find the bag, not because of the bag itself or the pens, but because of the checks. This evening I left a status update on Facebook. "Lost something. Maybe on the flight from MN to Rochester. Or maybe it's here somewhere and I just can't find it. Prayers for its recovery would be appreciated. Thanks."

My son answered, "What did you lose? Besides your hairbrush." Funny guy. Turns out I left it in the glove compartment of Michele's van. Tucked it in there when I lightened my load before we went into the Renaissance Festival, and then completely forgot about it. Ha ha! Good thing my son's memory is still working. In my defense, I was very sleepy on the way home from the festival Sunday afternoon... Maybe I was sleepy when I put it in there too.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

No Pictures, Just a Story

She was at the wedding. I didn't take her picture, though I desperately wanted to.

I'd heard her story online last year, but had no reason to connect her to anyone I might know, other than the fact that she went to the church my son once attended. Jim had left a tag for his friend (in this case Saturday's groom), but the friend had never responded and I forgot all about the story until last Saturday when a thin, older woman showed up among the guests at the wedding.

The pastor looked up before the rehearsal, and said, "Isn't that -----? I didn't know she would be here." And there was talk of her connection to Dan between the pastor, his wife, and a couple others who I don't recall. As they spoke, her story came back to mind with the sudden realization of who the woman was. She was connected to the groom in the wedding because she had once been his mother in law. (There is something about this guy. He loves deeply and completely. I suppose that is why both his ex in laws were in attendance, seated in the front row between his parents and me. Honestly, I wondered what was going through their minds... But that is another story.)

Before the ceremony began or the guests were seated, this woman was sitting alone waiting. I decided to sit by her and introduce myself. "Hi," I said, "I'm Martha. I'm Jim's mom."

We sat and chatted about nothing, and then she looked at me and said, "Last summer I had something very interesting happen to me. I found out I was switched at birth." And then she told me her story, and it was just like the news story I'd read.

I wonder how many people have grown up in the "wrong" family. It's kind of a scary thought in a way. I'd left this comment under the FB link to the news story last year...

"One of the reasons my dad was born at home in 1932 was that my grandma was afraid of this kind of thing. It almost happened with my Uncle Art. She knew the baby they brought her one day was not the one she'd held previous. She complained to the nurse who assured her it was her baby, but there was another woman down the hall putting up a fuss about the baby they brought her too."

My daughter did an Ancestry DNA test a few weeks ago. She smiled when she told me she was going to find out if she was really adopted, and I'd asked if she sent any family tree information in along with her test. She said no. Well, I turned out to be her mother, just like I knew I would. She's mine.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Bits and Pieces (while I can still remember them)

Long post alert. Sorry.

* I flew out of Rochester at dinner time last Wednesday with a box of fried cakes (cider donuts) packed in my luggage. By the time I arrived in Minnesota I'd eaten only airline crackers and pretzels, so I ate a donut before crawling into bed.

* It rained all day Thursday. I had a headache. We did not go out. We ate eggs and donuts for breakfast, lazed around, took naps, and played with the baby while we waited for Austin to come home from school. At dinner time we went out to play miniature golf and eat pizza in the basement of the old American Can Company in Saint Paul. Pretty cool!

* On Friday the sun came out. Mid afternoon Jim and I rode out to Farmington for Dan and Rachel's rehearsal dinner. It was cold and damp. I had my jean jacket along, but the sleeveless shirt underneath added no second layer for warmth. (I should have asked to borrow a sweatshirt.) I stood by a smokey fire to keep warm. Ha ha! We had burgers and hots on the grill and I got a big hug from the bride to be as well as the groom.

* Saturday was wedding day. The little boys were dropped off with Michele's parents for the night. We arrived at the house well before the ceremony and enjoyed the preparations. It was a cowboy wedding with all the trimmings including a chuck wagon dinner.

* There was a baby dedication at church Sunday morning, a trip to the Ren Fest in the afternoon, and then, because it was my last night in Minnesota, I stayed up way too late chatting with my son. And I don't regret that for a second. It's one of the things this mom misses.

* Monday morning my friend Kristina came and took me out to breakfast. We ate on the patio of a little place called Day By Day Cafe. The food was good and the weather was even better. It was a perfect day to be outside and we were both disappointed to have it cut short by my impending departure.

* My bags were packed when my son took me for a ride in his old "farm truck." I should have left my cup of coffee on the counter because it sloshed all over the place on our short drive around the block. Ha ha! And in no time at all the trip I'd looked forward to for so many weeks was over and I was headed to the airport for the return flight home.

* This evening after work a small dark haired boy came to greet me in the driveway as I climbed out of my car. He was smiling. Love that Number Nine!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Minnesota Ren Fest Take 2

Yesterday morning at church I witnessed the dedication of my sweet little grandson Parker. Number Eleven. He didn't cry when the pastor took him his arms to pray and his big brother was well behaved too. It was the grandparents who had their eyes open, cameras in their hands...

Following church we headed to Shakopee, Minnesota and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. We rode the shuttle bus from the parking lot, dodged mud puddles in the path, and dined on turkey legs. There was more to see than the eye could, or should ..., take in. Ha ha!








We left the festival tired and sun soaked, but not as dusty and dirty as six years ago. I mostly just took in the scenery and didn't spend much, but I couldn't resist buying a teapot from ASH Pottery.

I fly home in two and a half hours...

The Wedding

I came to Minnesota because my son lives here, but the gentle nudge to follow through and actually book a flight came from my son's childhood buddy Dan. He called me back in April or May and said, "I'm giving you a verbal invitation to my wedding." An actual wedding invitation followed a few months later, but by then I'd already made the decision to be here. Dan has called me "Mom" for years now, and as much as he loves me, I am also grateful for his parents who stepped in to be family for my son when he first moved here twelve years ago.

The wedding was incredibly beautiful, and fun. I put my camera down for the ceremony. Actually, I left it in the care of my beautiful daughter in law who was sitting several rows behind me. I did not want the temptation in my hands because I knew there would be moments I wanted to capture, and there was a photographer for that. Instead, I sat in the front row with Dan's parents and another couple close to his heart. What an honor bestowed on me! I am humbled and grateful, and I love that boy!  (I stole a photo online.)

No pictures of the horses that carried the groom and bride to the ceremony. No shots of the dogs who came in with the bridesmaids. And no photos of the pooch turned ring bearer either. I took it in without distractions. This wedding, like those of my own children, had my full attention.

Congratulations, Dan and Rachel! I wish you every happiness!