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I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Whirlwind Wedding Weekend: Part 2- The Rehearsal Dinner

You can go here to read Part 1 of this Whirlwind Weekend story if you're just joining us. :)

Did you know that Renee not only introduced me to my first "steady" boyfriend but that she was also related to him?  (Now you're asking yourself how this is relevant.  I'm getting there.)  This was no "fly-by-night" romance either.  I've always been pretty loyal. ;)  But to be fair, apparently he was too...for the most part.  And so it happened that Renee's cousin and I became high school sweethearts.  Troubled sweethearts, yes, very troubled.  But how much more can you expect from high school kids?  We're not exactly known for our maturity at that age.  Naturally, being Renee's wedding and all, most of her aunts and cousins were there, minus Jeromy (the "steady") and his wife, Jessica.  Jeromy is in the Air Force and was just transferred from Alabama to New Mexico so making it to the wedding wasn't within the realm of possibility.  His mom, Janice, brother, Jamie, and 5 year old son, Charles, were there, though.  Charles was actually the ring bearer and he looked super cute in his tux!  (But now I'm getting ahead of myself.)

You should also know that I've always felt very close to Jeromy's mom, Janice.  Even after the breakup, I'd still go visit her and we'd talk.  I even remember when Jeromy told her shortly after one of our splits (see?  troubled.) that he didn't want her seeing me anymore and she said something like, "Last time I checked, this was still my house and I don't need your permission in deciding who I can be friends with."  haha  I miss Wayne, too (Janice's husband).  He passed away last year in a tragic accident.  When Jeromy and I were dating, he would frequently ask me what I was doing with that fool...that I could do better...that he loved having me around but couldn't understand what I saw in "that boy".  lol  He was joking, of course, and trying to get a rise out of Jeromy most of the time.  (Between you and me, I think it worked, too.  haha)  Wayne just had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the least that's how I felt around him.  He was also just as hilarious as Janice and Jeromy.  He is definitely missed.

Now back to the dinner...It made perfect sense that I would be assigned to the same table as Janice, Charles, and Jamie at the rehearsal dinner.  Karyn doesn't really know them like I do.  If we were to be separated, she would be more comfortable sitting with Renee's parents and other family members that she knew.  I was comfortable right where I was, too.  Have you ever had years go by without seeing someone, or maybe even talking to them, and when you meet again, you just pick up right where you left off?  You know, like the distance and time haven't changed how you behave around each other?  Some people probably think that's weird to be so "buddy buddy" with your ex's family that you can sit at a dinner table together and laugh.  In many ways, I still think of them as family.  Maybe that has something to do with being such good friends with Renee and that she's related to them?  I tend to think it's more than that, though.  Justin has told me before that I sometimes blur the lines too much between family and friends and that most of them probably don't feel quite the same way as I do.  {Before you start thinking he's a big meany to say such a thing, he says that because he hates for me to get my feelings hurt when my expectations are too high (or higher than others), which has been known to happen on occasion so he is only trying to protect me. ;)}  Frankly, it doesn't really matter to me if they feel the same way or not.  They saw me through a lot, both good and bad, and were a significant part of my life during a significant time in my life.  They came to my brother's funeral in Tennessee after he died just 2 1/2 years ago.  In high school, my brother and I stayed at their house for a couple of weeks during a "housing swap" after our mom remarried.  (We upgraded to accommodate our larger family and the family we bought from moved into our old house.  We had to move all of our stuff into our future home's 3-car garage so they could move into our old place.  The original plan was for our new family of 6 to live in my stepfather's 2 bedroom apartment in the meantime.  For three teenagers, that can literally "cramp" your style. ;))  Anyway, Janice was kind enough to let Matt and me crash at her place until after the move.  Jeromy wasn't even at home then so there wasn't any pressure from him, not that that would have mattered (see above).  He was off somewhere being a Marine...or becoming one.  I lose track.  That was a long time ago, after all!  Janice and Wayne even came to Nashville to pick me up and bring me home for a weekend trip once when I was in college and didn't have a car (after being stupid and totaling the one I had.).  They are just great people who've always treated me better than I deserve.

So, why am I telling you all of this?  I don't know.  It just sort of came out.  I guess I'm trying to paint a picture for you of what it was like sitting at that table and give you some frame of reference.  I sat next to Jamie (and actually, I'm not quite positive, but I think he goes by James now?) who married his sweetheart, Kerrie.  She wasn't there and I hadn't seen him in a LONG time so I was hesitant to ask about her.  You just never know in this day and age, ya know?  I'm happy to report that they are still happily married!  She just had to work that night.  At some point during the meal, Jamie decided to send Jeromy a photo of us at the rehearsal dinner to tease him about not being there.  I can't imagine what it would be like to be over 1000 miles away from one of my kids for such a long period of time.  I'm not sure I could handle it.

The meal itself was delightful.  I ordered the steak and I had the sneaky suspicion that Janice would do the same.  I also had a sneaky suspicion that when they asked her how she wanted it cooked that she'd say, "Still walking." and that when it arrived, it would be overcooked.  I was right on all counts. :)  It's nice to know that some things never change. haha  For some reason, I got the impression that our waiter didn't like me very much.  Maybe that's because I was 45 minutes late?  Anyway, it could have just been my faulty perception.  Maybe he was just having a bad day.  The food made up for it, though. :)  Dessert was fabulous and sooooo rich!  Cheesecake!  (Do you feel the love? ;))  I don't even think I was able to finish half of it.  It was a big piece to begin with but ohhhhh, soooo yummy! 

The conversation ranged all over the place.  From undercooked steak to where we all are now to sharing memories of the past.  We had a great time.  Wayne was definitely missed as was Jeromy, Jessica, and Kerrie.  I can only imagine how sore I'd have been from laughing if Wayne and Jeromy had been there...and Matt, too.  All 3 of them (4 including Janice) would have been feeding off of each other and leaving the rest of us with belly aches and tears streaming down our faces.  Nonetheless, we had a marvelous time.

Before leaving, I had the opportunity to talk briefly to Renee's parents and her brother, Randy.  We talked about past memories, of course.  What else?  Dogs that we'd had.  Namely, our dog Amos (he was not your average dog), who seemed to be best friends with their dog, Duke.  Our dog, Bosco, who got ran over by a car when we were out of town and Joe (Renee's dad) was kind enough to bury him for us.  Then, there was Duchess, formerly known as "Hop Along Cassity" because she'd broken a back leg and it healed crooked, who was the offspring of one of our dogs and was taken in by Randy's family.  And who can forget Dulci, our Lhasa Apso, who suffered the fate of losing her gorgeous tail at the hands of my 5 year old sister who just wanted to give her a ponytail?  Oh, yes.  We have some crazy dog stories!  Then there was the time that Renee broke her arm in our backyard trying to jump a bicycle ramp on the day that my mom came home from the hospital with my baby sister.  Renee and I started clubs together (Kool-aid Kids), pretended we were djs of local radio stations, conned my brother into being our "student" at times, and fought over pictures of Joey McIntyre.  As we grew up, we took many trips together to St. Augustine, Helen, Orlando, some random beach in Florida (THAT was crazy!), etc.  There are an endless amount of stories from such trips!  She saw me through so many boyfriends (not that there were that many...we've just been friends for a very long time. ;)).  I remember when I asked her to come visit me in Nashville because I wanted her to meet this guy who seemed interested in me (who later became my husband) but who I was hesitant to date exclusively because of some other stuff going on with this other guy so I wanted her help, perspective, and objectivity.  As soon as she was alone with me after meeting Justin she gave me this dumbfounded look and said emphatically, "Stephanie!  What is there to think about?!?"  lol  She was right.  There was nothing to think about.  I'm just stubborn and bull-headed.  I could go on and on but I'll stop...for now. ;)

Thankfully, the drive back to Karyn's house that night was uneventful.  We were so worn out by the time we got back and thankfully, Aaron had all 4 of the kids in bed and asleep by then.  Karyn warned me not to tell him about the cheesecake.  He would be upset that he missed it.  Then what did she do?  She told him.  Go figure!  His reward for his services was getting to sleep in on a Saturday morning.  I'll have to blog later about the experience he had with them that night.  Funny stuff!  Part 3 is next....

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