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Weekend in Review

August 23, 2005

Took off Friday evening about 6:30.  Munchkin did great.  She slept almost whole time; both on the flight down and the flight back up last night.  Went to Cali for my cousin’s wedding.  It was a great trip, I’m very glad we went.  Kudos to Steph for convincing me it was going to be worth the effort.

It was a whirlwind weekend for all of us, especially for Elizabeth.  Elizabeth got to meet both of her great-grandma’s, an aunt and an uncle, 2 cousins, an aunt and uncle once removed, 2 cousins once removed and a whole bunch of other people Mommy and Daddy barely knew.

The wedding itself was cool.  Well, it was hot outside, but the event and reception were enjoyable.  The wedding was held at Empire Mine State Park.  Made for a cool venue.  Then the reception was at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Grass Valley, CA.  Cool (slang and temperature) place: old stone building with a ton of history.  Grubbin’ food, enjoyable time with the extended fam and yummy Belly Flops on the table.  Oh, and did I mention that Jared and Joci’s first dance was to MxPx’s "Do Your Feet Hurt"?  That was hilarious.

But the evening held two big-time highlights for me, both involve my daughter and dancing.

First off was the bride/bride’s father dance.  The bride’s family is very much Irish, so the father-daughter dance was to a beautiful Irish ballad.  I was holding Elizabeth at the time.  So we danced.  I held her close and spun and rocked back and forth and she actually focused on my eyes.  I hugged and hugged her and could only think of the possibility of someday dancing with her much as this father was now dancing with his daughter.  And Elizabeth looked up into my eyes and was smiling.  And I cried.  I cried a lot.  I love my daughter so much.  Here is this little tiny girl that is now starting to recognize quickly her mother and her father and I don’t even know how to begin describing the emotion of envisioning your daughter’s wedding day.  I wish I could make this longer to convery the amount of joy and happiness that I felt at that moment.  But alas, words escape me.  Perhaps those parents in the readership know what I mean and can help out.  Anyway, then in the midst of all of the emotion, I see a couple of flashes go off.  Apparently my family had noticed the moment that I shared with my daughter.  I’ll post the picture when I get a copy.

The second big time highlight was, surprisingly, during the money dance.  I had the idea, but Steph actually vocalized it and encouraged me to go with it.  Scored a ten spot from my dad and got in line for the groom.  While the best man originally got a very funny look on his face, I explained that I would like my daughter to dance with the groom.  He got it and took the ten.  I got up to my cousin (who I had seen earlier, and he had then expressed his surprise and elation that Steph, Elizabeth and I had made it down to see him get married) and he was a bit hesitant (he had said earlier "babies scare me").  But I insisted and he took Elizabeth in his arms.  He rocked back and forth with her, staring down at her.  He was in awe.  "She’s so beautiful… man, I’m so glad you guys came.  I know I’ve said that a lot, but it really is true…"  It seems as though he started to get a little choked up.  Which made me get a little overwhelmed.  Then Joci noticed what was going on and came over.  She watched and coo’ed and softly touched Elizabeth’s head.  All the while Elizabeth was looking around, apparently happy as can be.  Then my family and other folks noticed and came over and took pictures.  It got way more attention that I had inteneded, but I’m glad I got to connect with my cousin in that way and that he got to hold Elizabeth.  I am very happy for my cousin.

It won’t be an easy road for him and Joci.  They both graduated from the Air Force Academy.  As such, they are required to work for the Air Force for a certain amount of time after graduation (I think 5 for Jared and 10 for Joci since she’s a pilot).  They graduated only a couple of years ago.  So after their 2 week honeymoon, Joci goes to her station in Spokane, WA and Jared to his station in Montana.  Jared used all of his time off for the wedding and honeymoon, so it’ll be a while before they’re able to see each other again.  They obviously have accepted this, but still, it sucks.  I pray the next few years go real quick for them.

Anyway, there’s my weekend.  ‘Twas a good one.

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