Saturday, July 16, 2005

Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World

We got up shortly before 7am and started ironing the clothes we wanted to wear to our re-wedding. I don't want to call it a re-comittment ceremony because we never uncomitted. We just wanted to get married again :) We didn't go with anything too formal or casual. Aimed for somewhere in between and hit it well enough. It was slightly overcast, hazy, hot, and humid -- but not nearly as hot and humid as it would get later. Two hours sped by and we were soon giving hurried instructions to the sitter and dashing out to the truck. We went to church and picked up the Bishop who was tired but cheerful after a night up with his daughter and her friend at the Harry Potter party at B&N. From there we drove out to this spot that Chris had found. It was private enough -- I saw a few people here and there later but didn't notice anyone while we were having the actual ceremony. Oddly, there was a diesal truck there with a huge load but he cheerfully turned off his motor during the ceremony at Chris' request. You couldn't see it from where we were and I completely forgot about it as soon as the engine was shut off. The spot was beautiful.

It didn't matter though. Honestly, it could have been (as my mother-in-law kept humorously suggesting) the public fountain in front of Target. The spirit was there. The Bishop was fantastic, reading a few paragraphs that he's CLEARLY spent some time and prayer preparing. I *loved, loved, loved* it. I can't say that about any of the stuff the minister at our "first" wedding said before our vows.

The vows themselves were totally normal and perfect and I was just so FULL of the RIGHTNESS of it all. You go hoping this won't be totally goofy or cheesy and it turns out that it's just exactly what God had in mind for that morning. You KNOW this because the whole forest melts away and the words of the Bishop is all you hear and your husband is all you see and you're just there completely locked in the moment.

I was surprised and elated when the ceremony was over. We took some pictures, smiling, and chatting happily about how well that went. Then we dropped the Bishop back at the church and headed home. Chris and Gaye went to the store to pick up some items and I started picking up around the house after sending the sitter home.

Everything sort of chugged along. Veggies were chopped, salads assembled, rice steamed, pita slices baked . . . there was a deluge shortly before everyone got here and then not again during the rest of the party. It was, for me, the best party we have ever, ever thrown. I got to cook my heart out (that's how I throw a party -- I feed you to death, while Chris pours you drinks (non-alcoholic or alcoholic, your choice) and happily talks all that great party talk.) The timing was just perfect for everything. There were tons of kids, and Emily got to participate without making everyone nuts by staying on a five foot lead tied to my waist. (She's sleeping under my chair right now and her idea of heaven is sleeping under my bed at night -- so being tethered to my waist is no torture -- she's FAR more miserable in the kennel for the party.) Thor was a Good Dog, so he got to wander freely and help keep the floor clear.

I was just so thrilled to have everyone there. I kept turning around and thinking, "Oh! I'm so glad (person's name) is here! This is just perfect!" But I do have to give two kudos in particular for my A, A's wife, B, Aunt G, Uncle T, and Karen who all drove over three hours to come. Karen has a really busy life and came even without my brother -- so she had every excuse to stay home and not drive through all that rain. It was so great having her here and it wouldn't have been the same without her. My Aunt, Uncle, their kids, and one spouse -- I just don't have the words to explain how much it meant to me to have them here. They are each of them some of the best people I know. Just GOOD people. But our families have not often been able to get together and I haven't seen most of them (except my cousin who came by when we first moved here) in about two years. I was supposed to get the boys out there last month but finances got snug and my cousin's baby came a little earlier than predicted (oh my, that is one beautiful baby. I over bounced him though and shook him up like a milk shake. BAD me. Oh but I was so grateful for the chance to hold him and he cheesed me good, so it's not like he didn't get his revenge.) Anyway, their visit was one of those wonderful things that sometimes just happen like a surprise baby (that you were secretly hoping for) or winning the lottery or getting a letter from an old friend telling you where to move your family to so you never, ever have to move again. Yes, it was that good.

It was a magical, delicious, nothing-bad-about-it day. Were there goof ups? Sure, I forgot the corn-on-the-cob and pasta salad in the basement. We'll be eating corn and pasta all week :) But jeez, we didn't even have the obligatory child-spills-something moment! Absoluely everyone we know in State College (on a first name basis) came and I it served to remind me again how very much I LIKE these people. I found myself begging more than one to come back soon under quieter circumstances.

I highly recommend the "get married again" anniversary experience. As mortal experiences go, it was one of the best. Right up there with the births of my babies. And yes, it really was better than the first wedding. Although one thing was the same. At the first wedding I said the vows with this strange feeling like I wanted simultaneously for this moment to last forever while also wanting to FASTFORWARD to the point where we were pronounced husband and wife and all while wanting to close the gap between us to hold this man tight because he was/is so, so right. You know, we're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. If you think we're not over here squabbling about whose job it is to do the dishes now that we've switched "roles" you're giving us way too much credit. We've had some tough moments since settling in here as we pursue that happy ending/living we so stubbornly want. But today standing there in the grove I had all those feelings in exactly the same doses. Squabble all we want there's still only one man I want to share the toilet paper with. Still only one guy who motivates me to continue to slay my own demons, to dump my own "garbage", to not settle for mediocrity. I loved listening to the words of the ceremony. At the same time, I was poised with anticipation for the chance to say "I do!" And at the end of it all, I wanted so much to get to that kiss -- even if I held back a little because, you know, I was two feet from my Bishop and my mother-in-law ;)

Chris wanted to give everyone a party favor. So I suggested one of his wonderful music mixes. His choices were perfect. Email him if you want one. He made a few extra.


Anonymous said...

Oh Alaska, how wonderful! You two are so truly meant for each other. I'm very happy for you that the day was everything you hoped for and more.


Dy said...

Happiest of Days, you two! What a wonderful celebration of all you cherish in one another, and in your life together. I'm just so happy for you.

Congratulations, and Happy Anniversary!

As I toasted at Chris' blog, I toast here, too - here's to many, many more celebrations for you in the future.


Stephanie in TX said...

Oh my, you two look so beautiful and happy together! You look radiant! Congratulations, and may you be blessed with many, many more happy years together.

The Crib Chick said...

Oh my GOODNESS! You guys are so beautiful! Your happiness just shines through in those pictures! Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow, oh, wow, oh, wow. You two look so happy, and you sound so happy, and you're all beautiful and handsome and happy and now I'm just tearing up.


Writing and Living said...

What a wonderful day! Thanks so much for sharing with it all. May God bless you with many, many, many more happy years!


wendy said...

That is so beautiful! Congratulations on your incredible marriage.