Monday, August 12, 2013

Karen's Wedding/Trip to D.C.

Just a few days after Grace's epic birthday party we took the whole crew to Baltimore for Karen's wedding.  (Remember how she and Tommy got engaged at our house on Thanksgiving?? They finally got married!)

Originally just Reid and I were gonna go.  But ticket prices dropped, and arranging childcare felt more overwhelming than just taking the kids with us--so we made a big ole vacation out of it.

Day One:

My fear of flying is greatly subdued when my spouse and all our dependents are on the plane with us.  It's almost enjoyable actually.  The girls did great.  James finally fell asleep.  The people on our rows actually liked kids--it was an ideal flight, really.

We landed, got the rental car (which Grace was so in love with she asked if she could use her allowance to pay for us to always drive a rental car because they're "so clean!!") and headed to Alisa's house where all the Allreds, plus a delicious picnic dinner, awaited us.  We chatted about how green and lush and warm and beautiful everything was.  And I was starting to feel a tinge of why-don't-i-live-in-the-east??? when Alisa started talking about the lice, the ticks, the humidity and the spiders.  Thank you for the reminder!!

Day Two:

While everyone else made themselves useful in wedding preparations, we ditched and took the kids (minus a napping James) on a really quick trip Gettysburg.  It was beautiful, informative, and sobering, and I'd like to go back someday when we have more time!!

Outside of the Gettysburg museum
Inside at the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting
Day Three: The Wedding

Okay, before I show wedding pictures, I must tell you about the dresses my girls wore.  I knew I wanted to make their dresses since shopping for dresses overwhelms me and sewing them soothes my 200-year old soul.  But it wasn't until Karen chose the color peach that i knew exactly where I wanted to go with this.

You see, that is the same color that my sister, Melanie, chose for her wedding 23 years ago.  And it just so happens that Julia and I, being the sentimental beings we are, held onto our handmade (by our mom and grandma) peach Bridesmaids dresses all these years.  And it just so happens that of the many ugly styles of the late 80's that have made their way back into our current clothing repertoire, these dresses were not among them.

So, I cut and cropped and unpicked and sewed, and unpicked some more, and....voila! Upcycled bridemaid dresses!

Julia's dress (well, the bottom half) became...

Abby's dress

And my Pollyana-inspired drop-waisted pirate-sleeved dress became...

Eliza's dress!

Since Grace was getting baptized just days after we'd get home from the wedding, I decided to throw a peach sash on her ivory baptism dress I'd made for her and call it a two-fer.
And James, though completely uncooperative with the camera, looked quite dapper in his black tuxedo that I bought 8 months earlier in the costume section at GoodWill  (such foresight!)

The wedding was beautiful.  It was so nice being inside the temple with Reid's parents and all of his siblings. (Tom's wife, Jana, was greatly missed.  She was at home with 2-week old twins!!)  Karen looked out-of-this-world gorgeous.  And the words of council that Tommy's Grandfather gave were worthy of being written down.  I really hope someone did, since I can't remember a bit of what he said.

The girls loved all the excitement around the event.  I'm so glad that we abandoned our plans of leaving them here.  I think Karen liked having so many of her nieces/nephews around her.  Tommy tolerated it, too. :)

Alisa did the photography for the event (8 months pregnant and all!) so I just snuck in beside her, after she posed people, and took a few shots.  Of course her's turned out about a billion times better.  But I don't have hers, so here are a few of my shots of the day:

Day Four

We slept in, ate donuts, recovered from a pretty tiring day, went on a picnic, took the kids "fishing", enjoyed being with family, and didn't take a single photo.

Day Five

My little brother and his wife were in DC that weekend for a get-a-way, and Alisa was kind enough to let them come crash at her house all Sunday.  Jared and Kristie are great and all, but really it's my little niece Alia that i was dying to see! :) Oh, that girl is so stinkin' cute!  She's 4 months older than James but talks like a 5 year old.  She is chubby, and sweet, and reminds me of everything I loved about my sweet round baby girls!
And Jared claims that he's just as excited to see my kids.  That's nice, 'cause they sure do like him.

Alisa has the world's awesomest tree swing in her backyard.  The kids made it look so easy.

 Reid made it look...ahem...less easy
I was perfectly fine not swinging at all, but my kids insisted.  I, of course, complied.  And screamed like a child the whole time!  I'm so brave.
While the kids played in the sandbox, got ticks and lice and Lime's Disease i'm sure, we adults just chatted about life, and how much easier parenting was before we had kids.  

 The conversation soon turned to baked goods, as all good conversations do, and it turns out that Alisa, Kristie and Reid ALL believe that they make the best chocolate chip cookies.  There was only one way to find out for sure!

The three contestants with their goods laid out in front of them

We all did a blind taste-test and cast votes to determine the best cookie. I honestly can't remember the outcome.  Six dozen cookies later, I think it'd be fair to say we were all winners.  

Day Six: 

We were really excited to show the kids Washington D.C.  Sometimes when Reid and I are really excited about something, the kids feel the need to balance our eagerness with some apathy and grumbling.  But, unless my memory fails me, they were all pretty pleasant this day!
Abby holding the entire Washington Monument in her hands--scaffolding and all.
Eliza, Abby, Ella and Grace in front of the ever-impressive Lincoln Monument
Grandma with her grandkids, including a very ornery Kate and James

These girls aren't angry, they're just trying to look like MLK...who actually looks angry.  Rightfully so. 
Being silly at the FDR monument

Korean War monument.  I'm telling myself that Grace was pensively gazing at the reflection and thinking about her grandpa Ashworth who was in the Korean war.  There's a chance she was just tired.
I'd never seen the Martin Luther King monument before.  It's really breathtaking.  Grace learned quite a bit about him in school this year, so that made it even cooler. Abby loved the Lincoln monument, especially after all we'd learned about him at Gettysburg just days earlier.  Eliza liked the reflection pools.  And James liked to cry lots until we gave him another snack.

As for me, I can safely say that everything I currently know about FDR I learned walking through that monument.  Why didn't any of his MANY accomplishments ring a bell? Seriously--did I go to school?  Where did all of that info end up?   Why can't I access it when my children ask me questions?  Someday they're gonna ask me why they even have to go to school.  Heaven's knows i won't have an answer for that!

We also went to the Museum of Natural History, but i didn't get any great photos of that.  We were pretty tired and hungry by that point.  We headed back to Alisa's house, via back roads and scenic byways, passing beautiful estates and charming cottages all along some verrrrry windy roads.  If I hadn't made the car stop to puke on the side of the road, it would have been my favorite part of the day.

Day Seven

We spent the morning at Alisa's house.  My children (one, in particular) caused all sorts of hurt feelings, which is how we knew it was time for us to head back home.  We were so thankful that Alisa's family put up with us for as long as they did!

It would have been nice to come back home and spend a few days relaxing, but we had exactly 48 hours before family and friends would start arriving for the big weekend--Grace's baptism!!!

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I have a peach dress from Melanie's wedding too! Which is the first thing I thought of when you said Karen had picked peach. My dress was also made over this year for my daughter's prom...she just couldn't handle the extremely puffy sleeves - and there was enough material to make new sleeves, pockets, and some extra :) (I did not make the changes.) And I hate to admit this but she liked the back and buttons so much that she turned it around and wore it backwards and it worked!

You have a beautiful family. I'm glad I get to read about your adventures. Keep up the excellent work, cousin!