This is the approximate grand total number of miles that Swanny and I traveled this weekend, including a trip to the Quad Cities to drop the kids off with Swanny's mom, a trip to St. Louis for a wonderful wedding celebration, and the return trip to pick up the kids and come home.
My dear friend from college, Molly got hitched this weekend. Molly has been a friend of mine ever since, in my second year of college, I moved in next door to her in the dorms and in meeting her discovered that she was also on her way to becoming an occupational therapist. We've since shared many of life's experiences together: ups and downs with school, health challenges, weddings, births, family drama, you name it. Distance between us certainly means we don't see each other as often as we would like, but our friendship has lasted.
Swanny's mom generously offered to watch the kids for the weekend for us so they didn't have to make the long drive and so that we could enjoy some mom and dad time away. So, after dropping the children off on Friday night, we headed out to St. Louis Saturday morning. After relaxing with an appetizer and a few beers at the Irish Pub in our hotel, we tidied ourselves up and joined up with friends at St Xavier College Church on the campus of St Louis University for the wedding. After the beautiful ceremony, complete with EIGHT flower girls and one ring bearer, we proceeded to the Missouri Athletic Club to celebrate their union with toasts, dinner and dancing. The reception ended about midnight but we moved the party to a new venue (the Irish Pub we had already visited earlier in the night). Despite the late, late night (I'm getting too old to stay out until 3:30 am), much fun was had by all. Swanny and I dragged ourselves out of bed and headed out to collect the kiddos from Grammy this morning, then made the drive back home from her house. Here are some shots of the action from the wedding:
The big girls walked down together. The 3 babies were pulled in a wagon by the ring bearer and another flower girl. It was too precious.
I just love the anticipation of looking for the bride--here are Molly's 3 sisters and her mom awaiting her entry...
Mr & Mrs!
Is it obvious the wine and drinks were flowing freely at this point?
Swanny and Mr. Seimons decided that since the bride and groom hadn't eaten their pieces of cake (well over an hour after they had been served) that they would take care of it for them! They sat right down at the head table as the reception wound down, and enjoyed the uneaten wedding cake.
All in all, the miles and time were totally worth it.
Congratulations to Molly and Patrick. I know the future holds years of love, laughter and adventure for you both. The ups and downs of life seem a little more managable when you're holding the hand of a partner in whom you have complete love and trust. It's amazing to me that with as many weddings as I have celebrated over the years that I am still able to see something new in the joy of a wedding. This weekend I fully recognized the happiness these two families shared in as they welcomed new family members and celebrated their family growing.
Congrats to my friends and their families!! (And another big thanks to Grammy for watching the kids for us. They had a ball! I'm sure she's going to be sharing some of the great pictures she took of the kids at her house on her blog soon!)