**If the pictures look fuzzy or odd coloring, we realized afterwards that the camera was accidently on the wrong setting. I tried my best to fix it.**
Over the weekend we made the trip over to Houston to see my Dad's younger sister, LeAnn, marry her long-time boyfriend/ already member of the family, John. We had so much fun celebrating with them. We also used the trip as a dry-run for our 12-hr car ride days later this month to Utah.
I started off the trip by staying up way too late the night before to finish the kids' Wedding/Easter Attire. I made Annabelle's dress and Jared's tie. I also made my dress too.
Luckily, the kids didn't need me to be overly attentive during the car ride there. They each had their own 'Car Buckets' full of coloring books, games, toys (a couple they picked out from the dollar store in the days before our trip), reading books and puzzles. We also had the DVD player for those moments when everyone just needed a break. The only thing that seemed to be a bust were some stamps they each picked out at the dollar store---not going on the big trip--- and Annabelle is only getting color-wonder markers because she may have colored with a regular crayon all over her door. Whoops.
Seeing Family & Sleeping Situation
Once we got there, checked in and stretched, we saw Granni, Grandad, and a couple of my aunts. LeAnn & John reserved a room block in the hotel for us to all be in together, so we were a few rooms down the hall. In all, three of my other five aunts were able to make it, along with two uncles and three cousins (along with some extended family at the wedding). Some of them, we haven't seen since our wedding--- seven and a half years ago AND some didn't even know I was pregnant. whoops. So, they had their first meeting with Jared & Bellie.
We spent the evening doing some last minute things with LeAnn and waiting for one branch of the family to get into town (it also gave me a chance to finish Jared's tie). Aunt Shari found a kindred soul in Jared because he's also a Star Wars fan. It was neat to see her bond with someone else.
After the shenanigans of the night, we decided to try to put the kids to bed at the same time in the same hotel room--- and then leave the room to help with more wedding stuff. Bad idea. Twenty minutes after putting them to bed, we hear Jared crying from the hallway. He left the room looking for us and luckily, we caught him right before he decided to wander other floors of the hotel. We then tried putting Annabelle to bed, while Jared and I waited with the family until Greg texted me. That worked perfectly. After staying up way too late catching up it was time for the BIG DAY.
LeAnn & John picked this beautiful old house in their town converted just for weddings and receptions. It had such a wonderful feel to it. I really enjoyed being in the room to see LeAnn get ready. LeAnn & John looked so happy and it was definitely a wonderful event to be at. My Grandad is from Texas, so some of my extended family was also there, like my great-aunt and uncle (who live on the family farm), their daughter, and a few cousins.
The ceremony was beautiful; everyone in the wedding party looked great and the flower girl was adorable. Annabelle said LeAnn looked beautiful like a princess; best compliment to get from a two-and-a-half year old girl. The officiator had just the right amount of humor with seriousness that made the ceremony perfect for LeAnn and John. After he pronounced them married, they kissed, faced everyone and LeAnn proclaimed, 'finally!' It was adorable.
The reception/luncheon was in a building just across the courtyard. We had a lovely lunch, yummy cake and a sparkling cider toast. When it came time for my Grandad to give his toast, he was adorable, and maybe a little long. He talked about having six girls and always worrying about their welfare. Then he mentioned how he has a great son too, but never worried about him, looking at me. Just making sure I report it back to Pops. :) He & LeAnn also had this adorable father/daughter dance. I love seeing the different sides of my grandparents and aunts; it's fantastic to see the depth of caring and love family truly has for one another (especially when we can be a little on the sarcastic side).
The only downfall of the reception was the humidity. Adding the humidity to Texas heat makes it so hard to bare... especially when pregnant. I don't know how the pioneer women did it. By the end of the reception and the bubble send-off the kids were so done with the heat.
We still had a little bit of day to go, so we spent it recovering from the reception and then met LeAnn and John at a fun Mexican restaurant for dinner. They wanted to spend more time with everyone in town; I thought that showed just how much they appreciated everyone who was able to make it. After dinner, we all hung out in Granni & Grandad's room until WAY to early eating leftover wedding cake and sparkling cider.
Tomorrow, on the way out of town, we stopped by the Houston Temple. Since it was General Conference weekend, the grounds were closed but we still took some time and take pictures at the gate and contemplate sending the skinniest of the group under the gate to get a couple of pictures. We decided against it since it was Sunday and GC weekend (had to have been a double strike or something).
On our way home, we listened to the morning session of conference which was great. Then, we were able to catch the last session when we got home and welcomed one branch of the clan from Houston because they wanted to be touristy in San Antonio (since they didn't know when they'd be back).
It was great weekend and I continually felt grateful to live here, close to LeAnn and John (hopefully closer one day--- wink, wink) to be there for them on their big day.