We Did It

And it wasn’t half bad, for a wedding planned in two weeks.

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I wish that I had taken more pictures of the tent all lit up at night, because that’s when it was really special. We had the propane fire pit on and the twinkling lights and all of the candles. It created quite the ambiance. You almost forgot you were at a humble backyard wedding.

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The fireplace full of candles was my idea, probably born from something I saw in my many hours spent reading wedding photography blogs or scrolling through Pinterest.

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Ditto for the blanket basket.

My mom, Meg and I have thrown a lot of parties but never a wedding. We had a few reservations – mostly that the backyard setup could not be the venue that the brides and their families wanted it to be – but it turned out to be a beautiful, drama-less, charming little wedding that the brides seemed thrilled with.

We’re All Insane

Current project: planning an entire wedding in 15 days.

12 days ago, Meg sent a text message to me and our mom that was something along the lines of “Jenna’s fiancée just found out she has breast cancer. They’re moving up the wedding. I offered to host it at the lake.”

Jenna is Meg’s best friend from high school. She’s been with Roxy for three or four years now. They got engaged last fall and were planning on getting married next summer. But: cancer.

Roxy needs to get on Jenna’s insurance. But also I think that they both need a something happy to focus on. So we’re planning an entire wedding in 15 days.

It’s a little insane but also fairly doable. My mom hosts a lot of big parties. My cousin’s bridal shower. A rehearsal dinner for a friend of mine. Another cousin’s graduation party. This is not unheard of for us. We know the formula. Now it’s all about execution.

Saturday is the big day. A tent has been ordered and twinkly lights have been pulled out of storage. We’re fluffing tissue paper balls and baking sugar cookies and cutting table runners and scrutinizing sangria recipes and washing votive candle holders.

The event is catered (thank goodness) and the brides handled invitations and Jenna’s family is chipping in, too. We’re just providing the venue, fully decorated and ready to go. Music on the speakers. A table for the cake. Candles galore. And, my favorite touch: a basket of blankets for the inevitable under dressed guests.

Well, the venue and the manpower: me and Meg and Mom and my dad (sort of) and the party helper that my mom is hiring, plus my Grandma (she’s making the blankets) and the neighbors, who have offered up everything from their houses for the brides to get ready in to their golf carts to drive elderly attendees to the ceremony.

It takes a village to throw a last minute wedding.

A village. A lot of past experience. A stuffed craft closet. A stockpile of white candles. So much tissue paper. And a touch of insanity.

Happy, happy

Lately, it seems that it is easier to be genuinely happy in big ways and in little. Here are a few of the little.

  • Premier League soccer matches on Friday afternoons, which make for great background noise as I (pretend to) work.
  • Ann Patchett’s new book, which I haven’t started, but have on my nightstand.
  • The Night Manager, which I also haven’t started but am also very much looking forward to enjoying.
  • The perfect new workbag, a gift from Lucy for dogsitting her pup.
  • My clean-for-me office.
  • Sunny fall days.
  • Greek cuisine.
  • About requesting a very low-key birthday.
  • Feeling accomplished.
  • Brady, always.
  • The gorgeous flowers that I planted in Lucy’s garden last weekend.
  • The gorgeous flowers that I bought to plant in Lucy’s garden this weekend.
  • The promise of a November sister soccer-watchin’ road trip.
  • This weekend’s visitors: Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed.
  • Rosé.
  • The technology that allows me and Lucy to keep in constant contact despite being an ocean (and a 6 hour time difference) apart.
  • Newly short hair and nearly mastering how to properly style it.
  • Cheese.

On the same day that I posted about my dad’s successes with his new medication, he had some incidents of bad heart rhythm and, when my mom told me about it, I could hear the heartbreak in her voice.

It was a setback. It’s happened a few times since then, which is troubling. But he still feels more good than bad.

Naturally, my own relief and excitement has been tampered a little bit. It was a reminder, I suppose, to appreciate every good minute even though what you want is a whole good month or an entire good year.

He’s acting like the Dad that he was when he got out of the hospital – energetic, happy – and it’s encouraging. I still feel like things are getting better. I just feel that way cautiously.

While I still do my fair share of worrying about my dad, life looks pretty good to me right now. It seems that I have finally captured that calm that I have been chasing since the beginning of the year. And, while it doesn’t make for good blogging, it makes for a good existence.

Good News

My dad came home from the hospital a different man.

I almost don’t want to write about it. This medicine has made such a difference in the week since he has started on it that I am terrified that it will stop working. And it could. But for now, it’s been very good. His heart is in the right rhythm. He feels good.

If you had asked me a month ago if my father was acting like himself despite being ill, I would have told you that he was. He was always still my dad! But, seven months after he nearly died on the bathroom floor, I had gotten used to the muted, low-energy version. Now my dad is my dad, volume turned up full and, my goodness, what a difference.

After getting released from the hospital on Saturday, he’s done more chores around the house than he’s done since February. He golfed on Sunday and wasn’t out of breath.  He’s making all of his horrible jokes and he’s staying up past 10:00 pm and he’s acting like the Dad that I didn’t even realize that I was missing.

It’s such a huge relief. We’re all so cautious – this might not be forever (what is?) – but after seven months of unsuccessful trial-and-error, this is a victory. A very sweet victory.

Fingers Crossed

My father was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday only to find out that he wasn’t told to discontinue a medication that he needed to discontinue. Which put him a day behind on the rollout of this new medication. Which means he’ll be in the hospital until at least Saturday morning.

To say that he is pissed would be a very big understatement.

And to say that my mother is trying to compensate for his anger with excessive cheerfulness would also be a very big understatement. But, hey, we all cope in different ways!

If you couldn’t tell from my last post on the subject: I have been somewhat nervous about this whole process from the beginning. All it took was for Meg to slip “if Dad dies next week” into a sentence to send me into panic mode. There has been a lot of willing myself to be calm and get a lot of rest and making a conscious effort to under-caffeinate myself so that I don’t habitually down coffee right into a panic attack.

Dad is certainly first priority right now but, I’ve got to say: taking good care of yourself is (surprisingly) worth the effort. I am feeling quite resilient right now. And optimistic about Dad’s new medication.

Not so optimistic that I’m not knocking on wood while I’m typing this.

But still optimistic.

(Fingers crossed.)

New Season, Old Problem

We took my mom out for dinner last night to celebrate her birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!) and we were just finishing up with our meals when the restaurant was empty enough that I could see the tables across the room.

Way across the room.

Where my hockey coach/former, uh, whatever sat with his family.

Let me tell you: I made exactly zero effort to get out of my seat to say hello. Or to catch his attention and wave or anything of the sort.

No. Hell no.

Things between him and I have been awkward since his last grand attempt at something fell flat (again) and then they got a hell of a lot worse when he started dating this girlfriend that he currently has.

This new(ish) girlfriend was with him at our end-of-the-season party and, not only did he not introduce her to me (what the hell was I going to do or say?)  but he actively ignored me. Did not speak a word to me. Did not say a thing. Wouldn’t look my way.

Which said all that I needed to know. I unfriended him on the Facebook. I deleted his number from my phone. Not because I was upset on a now-we’ll-never-be-together level at all but because I don’t need that shit in my life. I will not be “friends” in any sense of the word with somebody who is going to treat me like that.

So, yeah. I basically expunged him from my life in April. Ignored him in public in August. And, in two weeks, we’ll start hockey season again. Should be great!

It’s going to be a long season.

I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself.