Lowell was working, but took leave and flew to town on Friday after work. Everybody thought I was amazing for making that drive with the little kids AND the dog. I wouldn’t say I was amazing..maybe more of crazy person ;)
On Thursday, I went to the Gallaher’s house to try on my bridesmaid dress for Clare’s & Brian’s wedding and to pitch in where needed. I hung around for a few hours then headed back to the family’s to check on the girls and whatnot. After dinner, I loaded George, Rachel, and Domonique and headed back to the Gallaher’s for Clare’s bachelorette party. Rachel and Dom were going to babysit the babies in the back room while we partied it up. I took tons of pics, but was made to promise I wouldn’t make them public. We had a REALLY fun time, laughed and laughed alot, and enjoyed each others company as most of us were gathered in from all over the country. Once the party had died down, all the Gallaher men came home and some more of the out-of-towners arrived after a day of travel. So there was more visiting and drinking to enjoy, but being the party pooper, mom of three that I am, I called it a night at around 11 or 11:30.
I went with Mom (Schaper) to pick Honey up in the afternoon on Friday. A few hours after he got in, we loaded our little fam up and headed to Holy Trinity for the rehearsal. After the rehearsal, we headed a few miles up the road for the rehearsal dinner. We had a very nice time hanging out with our table buddies, the Robert Gallaher fam. Elise is one of my Top 10 most favorite people, so needless to say, it was a really great time. We called it a night before everyone else. The kids were getting grumpy and Lowell had been up for 24+ hours as he’d just come straight from the graveyard shift at work.
Saturday was Clare’s and Brian’s BIG DAY!! What a beautiful day to get married: The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Everything was pretty much themed around the feast. Faith and I were in the wedding, so after eating breakfast and a quick shower, we headed to the Gallaher’s for hair do’s, getting changed, and pictures. Since I was IN the action, there weren’t many pictures taken on our camera. It was a chilly day, but it was a beautiful chilly day :) Once we were all ready, we headed to Old Towne Manassas to take some pictures. Clare received alot of “oooo’s” and “aaah’s” walking around in her gorgeous dress. After 30 minutes of pictures, we drove to Holy Trinity for the ceremony. We got started pretty much right on time. Faith was all set to walk down the aisle with the little ring bearer, Brian’s cousin, Timmy, but decided at the last minute she wasn’t up for that idea. So, she walked in front of me when it was my turn to process down the aisle. Everybody said it was a pretty cute sight, and I have to admit I was a little happy for the distraction while walking up the aisle otherwise I would have had a serious shy moment!
The Mass was absolutly wonderful. I got all teary eyed at Clare’s hand-off to Brian and when they exchanged their vows. Faith ended up falling to sleep with Lowell so missed walking back up the aisle. Poor Timmy was flying solo again :/ After the church was emptied, the family and bridal party piled back in for pictures at the altar. Then it was off to reception for food, fun, and dancing. They had a little back room at the hall where the reception was that we breastfeeding moms took advantage of throughout the evening. The food was super delish and the important moments were some to be remembered. The toasts were amazing! Both tear jerkers. Then, there was the father-daughter dance. Excuse me but where was the BOX of KLEENEX????? They danced to “Butterfly Kisses” and it was a perfect match for Uncle Joe and Clare, I think. I missed the inital cake slice and smashing, but saw the end result of the smash! Too funny. Clare’s little cousin, Caitlyn (sp?), caught the boquet and her brother, Patrick, caught the garter. In all the weddings that I have attended with that guy, he has ALWAYS caught the garter :) I love Patrick! I want him to marry my sister, Lauren. Sorry. I know that is completely off the subject, but you never know who might be reading this ;) Anyway, Lowell and I actually got to dance twice throughout the night. One of the times we made it out to dance to our wedding song: “Return to Me” by Dean Martin. Faith and Felicity had fun running around, playing and dancing with their cousins, and even George made it out to dance a couple times! Once with me and once with Papaw and Grandma that I know of for sure. I think it is pretty safe to say that everyone had a really great time! The newly weds headed out around 9 o’clock and we headed home around 10. We put the kiddos to bed, stayed up visiting a little bit longer, and called it a night as Sunday was going to be another exciting, grace filled day!
We got up and got ready for 12:30 traditional Latin Mass and George’s baptism that was to take place at 2:30. Lowell’s family was SO thoughtful and good enough to bring some food to snack on between Mass and the baptism for everybody. I took George back into the church before the baptism started to get him changed and he pooped EVERYWHERE! Luckily, not on his little outfit, but on his blanket and onesie – ew! All I could think about while I was cleaning it up and trying to get him in his baptismal outfit was Lowell’s Aunt Roxane, who is also his godmother, telling me how Lowell did almost the exact same thing when he got baptized: just went EVERYWHERE! But, Lowell went during his ceremony, George had better plans of going before. It is scary how similar those two get to be each day. There were three other kids getting baptized along with George. It was done by one of the parishes deacons. He did a very good job, but went about it all in a very Fr. Erstad kind of way. If you ever knew Fr Erstad, or went to one of his masses, you know exactly what I am talking about ;) After a while, George was finally made holy – praise God! I don’t know if I can ever wait so long to baptize again. It was only a month, but it seemed like an eternity in some ways. At any rate, he has been baptized and is a shining little saint.
**will add pics when wordpress corrects their problem**
After the baptism, we went back to the Gallaher’s for a little after party/see the newly weds open their gifts. It turned into a wonderful evening of visiting, keeping warm by the fire, enjoying the atmosphere of family, and singing songs of all sorts. We did sing some Christmas songs…I mean we “practiced” them ;) Uncle Joe said we couldn’t sing them because it wasn’t Christmas yet but Advent, a time of penance and preparation. He was very correct on the matter, but Clare’s good friend, Angela, was able to convince him it was okay to “practice” so that we were sure to be well prepared to sing for Jesus when He is born. HaHaHa! Got to love that girl!
Monday we went to lunch with Robert & Elise without the kids. It was a very different experience to not have anybody to tell to finish their food or to quit causing trouble. It was a relaxing time that I am glad we got to spend with the Gallaher’s.
Tuesday morning was the day we had to say goodbye to Rachel. *sniff, sniff* After being with us for 6 weeks, it was her time to leave. Lowell loaded her up with Dom at 3:30 in the morning and drove to an hour or so to Baltimore for her 7:00 flight. She was flying with a buddy pass from my uncle who flies for Southwest, so had to be there in plenty of time to makes sure she was going to make the flight. They stopped and ate some breakfast before dropping her off and getting her all checked in. I was so happy Lowell agreed to take her because I could not face that goodbye. She came up to my room for a quick farewell hug before leaving and we were able to talk ourselves out of tears…at that point any way. Around 5:30, I was up with George, who’d been up alot that night, and was thinking about having to get up in a few hours to start my day and how tired I was going to be. I started to reassure myself I’d be okay after a few cups of coffee when it dawned on me: Rachel is GONE! Who is going to be my coffee buddy in the mornings now?? I totally lost it and cried my eyes out. So much for avoiding the water works! She got home safe and sound, though, and we miss her tons. She was so much fun, a joy to have around, and a HUGE help to us in so many ways. Thanks, Rachie – We loooove you!
We ended up staying in Virginia the rest of the week, driving home on Friday. It ended up being a good thing we left when we did because a massive storm hit that whole region and they got 18 inches of snow!! I was sad to go, but was eager to get home and have that long drive behind us. I also really wanted to “deck the halls” around the house and get in the spirit of Christmas. We got home around 9:30 that evening, got mostly unpacked, and the girls in bed by 10-10:30. We got our tree and decorated it and the house on Saturday – yay! I also finished up the Christmas cards and am putting them in the mail on Monday. Only Lowell went to Mass this morning. The Fo’s have nasty coughs and runny noses, and there was no reason to expose George to the temps that weren’t supposed to rise above 25 degrees today especially with sickness floating around the house.
So, we are home and ready to celebrate Christ’s birth on Friday. We don’t have plans. It will be just our little fam :) I will post a few pictures when this website gets situated with it’s photo problem. We pray you have a Holy Christmas and a Blessed New Year!