Tuesday, September 30, 2014

All About That Scaredy Cat


Just another attempting at preserving bathtubs and little hands.
------------
(Months ago)

Chris books his plane ticket for a trip the boys and I can't make. I make a mental note that Ryan would be sleeping in our bed that weekend. Scaredy cat.


-----------

(Every other night since getting back to a normal life post summer travels)

I'm awaken by little feet and cries thirty minutes or so after whenever I finally fall asleep. Tuck him back in bed.


Two to three hours later, there are those feet again. Fine! Fine!


In our bed he goes.


When I wake up, I groggily lecture him/plead that he needs to stay in his room the next night until the clock turns green.


-----------

(The next night)

Same story, different night.


-----------

(The morning of the day before Chris leaves)

I wake up moderately refreshed, and I realize that there were no footsteps, no cries, no doors opening through the night. Relaxed exhale. Glorious! I roll over to see Ryan peacefully and sneakily slumbering in between Chris and me.


He's gotten really good at this.


-----------

(Bedtime the night Chris is gone)

I ask Ryan if he wants to sleep in our bed. "No. I want ta sleep in my bed."


Yeah, right. He'll come to our bed.


He wakes up at eleven for a drink. I plop him in our bed, and he falls asleep by the time I come back with a glass of water.


That was easy.


I shake my head at how much of a nut I am. A nut!


-----------
(The rest of the night)

One king bed. One five-foot-six mom. One toddler. Two feet of the bed occupied. And that's a generous estimate.


Feet are on my belly. The feet rotate as Ryan shifts to another side what sleepily requesting to go back to his bed. 


Umm, no. Who will protect me? The two year old? Okay no, but still! 

Arm in my face. Ryan stirs and says, "Can I sleep in my bed?" 


"Is this my child?! ... Just go to sleep, Ryan."


At five in the morning, I rescue Conor from his crib and loneliness since I stole Ryan from their room. We nurse.


Now it's one king bed. One mom. One toddler. One baby. Two and a half feet of the bed occupied. And that is still a generous estimate. 


-----------

"Mom! I'm hungwy! Mom! I'm hungry!" 

"Okay. I need to nurse Conor."  

Whisper to Conor, "Conor! Let's nurse! Please." Anything to stay in bed. 


I remember that I left muffins out for this. "Hey, remember those muffins we baked? You can grab one off the counter in the kitchen."


"OOOooooOOOooo," and Ryan's little feet gallop away. 


"Moooo-ooom. You wanna a muffin? Moooo-oooom. Let's read books. Pleeee-eeease"


Baffle at how of all nights, Ryan wanted to sleep in his own bed on the one Chris was gone. Somberly, I realize I definitely got as little sleep as if I had been a big girl and slept by myself.  

-----------
We go into the kitchen. I remember that Melissa recommended a song. Ryan is standing on a chair in a diaper. Conor is standing on the floor in a diaper. I go to the computer to go to my trusty not-record-player, YouTube.

I press play. I like the song. I turn to the kitchen. Baby dancing ... toddler dancing. Okay, I really like the song. 


And the day turns into a good one.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

27 Reasons I Love Lily Jade - GIVEAWAY


As I mentioned here, I did a lot of dancing at weddings this year - both actual dancing because our friends know how to throw parties and then the dance between being a loving, attentive bridesmaid and being one of two people that the kids want to be with because there is so much commotion, so little napping time and so many new people holding them and hey! why did my mom just walk by carrying flowers and not me??? That dance. Do you know that dance? 

It's a pretty good dance to get to do. I think it's kind of like my road trip mentality - sometimes your hair is being pulled either by a hairdresser or a baby or both, but that means that you have a dear loved one getting married and you have a little one which are both huge gifts in life. And! the fact that your friend or family member invited your children to the weddings is an honor and shows how much they love you and your family and children at weddings in general. So, it is a pretty good dance to get to do.

We are blessed with many, many people who were so generous and helped us, whether it be taking Ryan to get french fries or holding a sleeping Conor while I did my hair or taking over curling someone's hair so I could nurse.  I also had a little help from Lily Jade who designs diaper bags that are roomy enough for bridesmaid essentials and mom essentials. 

I already loved my Madeline before I used it as a bridesmaid, but I came to appreciate it even more after seeing how much I could store in it while not sticking out as the token mom ... because pumping definitely doesn't make me the token mom of the group, right? ;) Really though, I should probably get over it because motherhood is beautiful, period, but I do enjoy at least attempting to look young and my age even though I have two children grabbing at my chiffon bridesmaid dress. It's not an everyday or even an every year occurrence that I get my hair done and nails so it was nice that the high quality material also didn't dress down the bridesmaid look. Lily Jade's designs are sleek and sophisticated; any woman at any age, mother or not, could wear a Lily Jade designer diaper bag.

My Madeline all packed and ready to go for my brother's wedding.  

Bridesmaid with a baby reality.
Lily Jade was kind enough to send me a new bag - the Sarah Grace in Gold - that went perfectly with the Madewell dress my sister-in-law chose for the wedding day, and honestly, it goes well with every outfit that I own. I was a little nervous that it wouldn't be able to carry as much as I was used to since it looked smaller than the Madeline, so I was pleasantly surprised when I didn't have a problem packing what I needed for the day in there. I shouldn't have been though! With the washable and removable Baby Bag, the Sarah Grace has twelve pockets plus a removable convenience pouch for your phone and wallet. 

So here are 27 reasons I love the Lily Jade Sarah Grace as a bridesmaid with babies - you know, like the movie 27 Dresses

1) - 14) Easily carried my camera, scarf for nursing, wallet, phone, phone charger, diapers for Conor, diapers for Ryan, wipes, tissues, make-up, toy for Conor, airplane for Ryan, extra onesie for Conor, bobby pins (this really could have been 1-27 if I had taken a photo of everything I had in there)
15) Looked like it was for a special occasion like the other fancy clutches at the wedding
16) Could carry it on my shoulder
17) Could carry it across my body
18) People asked where I got my purse
19) Would have gone with whatever color dress the bride chose
20) 12 pockets made it easy to find bobby pins or whatever I needed in a quick pinch
21) A varied amount of pocket sizes so I didn't have to spend time jamming the wipes back in a too-small pocket
22) Babies love the shiny gold hardware - good distraction
23) Zipped so nothing fell out
24) The changing pad even made Conor feel fancy for the day
25) Easily wiped clean after wedding cake was smeared on it
26) Easily wiped clean after I spilled some of my Dirty Shirley on it (I know - very refined drinking tastes over here)
27) My date even complimented me on it.

I loved it. 



The bag doesn't come with a bed for a badly needed afternoon nap, but Ryan's Aunt Kaitlin patiently waited for him to finish his nap in the car. Our family is full of gems. 
Now, a month later, I still love it, and it looks as good as new! The gold material is very, very durable which is appreciated because it's often in harm's way when Ryan is wielding his latest sword/stick. 

I do want to note that I was thrilled to meet Landon and Meggan, the couple who started Lily Jade, at The Hundred Event. It was a true pleasure to meet such a loving, devoted, hard working and honest couple. 


And now for the best part - Lily Jade is giving away giving away a $75 gift card for use on their site to one lucky Cedars and Tiny Flowers reader! Just visit their site, then come back here and comment what you would use your gift card on! Which one would you pick? A canvas one? Metallic like the Sarah Grace? Did you see that it is on sale? Leather? This one is still on my wish list. I'm a sucker for anything camel and bags that I can wear on my back. There are also Baby Bags sold separately for $55. They are sold in medium and large in both red and khaki. There are other ways to enter via the Rafflecopter below, if you feel so inclined.

Oh and even if you are not a mother, Lily Jade bags are still the bag to have. Just read Sarah's post on how much she adores her Lily Jade Caroline in black as her purse as a teacher. 

If you'd like to read more about Lily Jade, visit GraceAnnaJanssenMerrick, and Audrey, . 

Which Lily-Jade designer diaper bag would you choose? And do you have any bridesmaid tips or funny stories?

Goooooooooood luck! I hope YOU win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. GO IRISH!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pop and Circumstance

Pop culture - music, movies, TV shows, we're going to talk about it all.

You know, Chris teases me that I'm all about the Top 40, but really, I'm just not a music person. I enjoy music! I love dance parties! However, I don't know lyrics, I don't know titles, I don't know band names. I can't sing a single note on key. But, when I do like something, I listen to it over and over, which is kind of embarrassing when the weather is nice and our windows are open, but not embarrassing enough to stop.

1) My friends had their friend from Canada visiting last month, and on Saturday she was casually playing her guitar and singing for a bunch of us. I couldn't believe how beautiful, calming and effortless her songs were. Like an idiot, I would tell her, "Oh wow! You need to record your music!" after each song. She politely chuckled each time not letting me know that, oh wait! She already did! I didn't find out until I saw a CD left for us and, oh, she was on the cover.

Well, Kathleen Claire  has now become our morning music, and Ryan quickly makes me forget that he woke his brother up way too early when he sings her introduction song, "Make me small, make me humble, make me new. Make me nothing at all besides in You." We aren't really fans of the typical Christian music; nothing against that genre of music, we just don't really connect with it. Kathleen's music is subtle, simple, and delicate. I'm not very good at describing music so listen to previews of her songs here or buy Kathleen Claire on iTunes if you are interested in supporting a Catholic female artist!

2) Since getting to know Blythe, I've been introduced to The Head and the Heart's music, and it has become my afternoon music. I can't get enough of their sound. Basically, indie rock + folk music married and had the best offspring ever.

Here are my favorite songs:
Rivers and Roads
Honey, Come Home
Winter Song
Ghost
Down in the Valley
Okay, okay ALL of their songs (not an actual song)

3) Don't let this negate my other two recommendations, but my song as of late is without a doubt, "Shake It Off" brought to us none other than Taylor Swift.

4) And don't let this one wipe away my first two recommendations either, buuuut "Everything is Awesome" from the LEGO Movie is played frequently in our household as well. 
Maybe I love the song because this walker/stomper gets awesomely happy whenever the song comes on. 

5) Two weekends ago, Chris and I watched Man of Steel together for a cheap little at home date. Now, I'm the biggest fan of spending time with Chris (quality time is overwhelmingly my love language), but I'm not always the biggest fan of watching movies with Chris because we don't normally agree on movie choices. He is more into depressing movies whether they be historical or not, and I am more into happy movies. We have not finished a movie a few times because I couldn't handle our choice for the night or I have cried-yelled at him. Don't I sound like the best movie watching partner? My poor, patient husband.  

Action films are usually a perfect happy medium because there is a better plot than my normal rom-com selections yet the guy still gets the girl in the end or if romance isn't really in the movie, it normally still has a happy ending. Man of Steel made me cry a lot, but in a good way. I mean, it's Superman. Watch it! 

Other movies that we have enjoyed semi-recently that weren't action films or romantic comedies:

The Tree of Life as I wrote about here.
Gravity
Children of Men

Do you have any good movies to recommend that you think we would both enjoy?


6) And Grace asked about shows. I have quite the trashy line-up of Grey's Anatomy and  Nashville that makes folding laundry, doing dishes, ironing, etc. much more enjoyable.  I enjoy Parenthood and Downton Abbey like pretty much every other woman in the states. I really like MasterChef even with all of the judges over-the-top scripted lines, and I have been watching old seasons of Top Chef recently. 

(I just searched through Hulu under my "Shows You Watch" section to see if I forgot anything, and all I found were Dinosaur Train, Arthur, Sesame Street and a bunch of other baby shows). 

Here are shows that Chris and I watch together:

Shows that we watch while doing other tasks: Parks and Recreation, Community, and Modern Family although P&R and Community aren't as good as they used to be. Ron Swanson is still the man though. 

Shows that we give our undivided attention: The Walking Dead and Person of Interest. Jim Caviezel is one of our personal heroes. I cannot wait for both of these to start up again. 

What shows are you watching? 

7) And this isn't really a pop culture thing, but painting my nails has become my frivolous pick-me-up. I used to never wear nail polish because I would buy the cheapest on the shelf that would crack 7 second after it dried. I didn't realize that there was a thing such as quality nail polish. I mean, how unimportant right?  Well, with its mom-soothing ways, it is an important thing for my sanity just like my mother-in-law is. I just paint my nails before I get on the computer after the boys are in bed if I'm feeling frazzled, and then they dry without me smudging them. According to a quick Google search, a bottle lasts 30-40 uses so I don't feel bad about giving myself a $0.20 manicure a couple times a week. 

Alexandra started me off with Chinchilly by Essie when she visited Conor and me in the hospital last October. What a sweet friend. Since then, my collection has expanded to a lovely red in OPI Red, the perfect neutral in OPI Tickle Me France-y, and my most recent polish as gifted to me by Chris' stylish Aunt Marie, the perfect dark, dark, dark purple or bwack as Ryan says in OPI Lincoln Park at Midnight. Next, I want to get the top coat that the beauty expert recommended here

Aaaaaand that is that. 

Happy Friday! We've been invited to a Michaelmas celebration this weekend - my first ever! I don't really know what to expect. Any tips? 

Head on over to Conversion Diary for lots of blog posts with seven items. 

Other posts from this week:
A Giant of a Wedding Post
There She Goes, Talking About Her Kids

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Giant of a Wedding Post

We had a baby in 2012. We had a baby in 2013. Well, 2014 was the year of the wedding, and we were generously and kindly invited to fourteen weddings. Sadly we were not able to make all of them as this also was the year we went to a grad school student budget, and we have not discovered how to be in two places at once. Marci and Mark, Lisa and Duane, Renee and Ryan, Britt and Matt, Chris and Kirsten, we so wanted to be at your weddings! I won't be able to give full, in-detail recaps of each wedding, but I did want to share some highlights from each day. 

PETER+LAURA
We started out the wedding season with my brother's wedding. Funny story - we've actually known my sister-in-law pretty much our whole life because she is my cousin's childhood best friend! I love thinking about that - they probably interacted so many times with nary a thought of each other and now they are husband and wife. I was honored to be a bridesmaid, and Chris was a groomsman! I really can't go any further without mentioning my college roomie, Ashley, and her fiance, Jeff, who saved our behinds by kindly watching Ryan and Conor during Mass and when we went on the party bus (wahoo!). They are nothing short of amazing.

Ryan was the ring bearer, and I was pretty nervous about it because the terrible twos were hitting hard at this point. I promised him more gummy bears than he could imagine, and we watched multiple YouTube videos of ring bearers walking down the aisle so thank you, moms who proudly upload those videos of your dapper and tuxedo-ed toddlers! Fortunately, my adorable four-year-old cousin could be a professional flower girl, and she pulled him down the aisle. I know I'm his mom, but it was so cute to see a giddy flower girl dragging a wide-eyed ring bearer down the aisle.
Ring bearer in the headlights. (My aunt's photo) Ryan wore the same tux that his Uncle Johnny wore to our wedding :)

It was such a sweet moment to see Laura and her dad walk down the aisle. My new sister-in-law looked gorgeous and her dress fit her personality so well! It was very touching that she invited my sister and I to come when she was trying wedding dresses on last May. My brother didn't have a hard time picking what to wear, ha.
Vows! (My aunt's photo)


Dreamy sword arch. (Photo snagged off of FB)
I always look forward to the sword arch at military weddings. Tradition and humor all in one. The party bus was a great time, and Laura's mom had packed the best ham sandwiches I've ever tasted in my life. You know how it goes when you are in a wedding? Things are ridiculously busy so food is forgotten, and then, boom the ceremony is over and you are staaaaarving. Thank goodness for smart moms who think ahead and slap some bread, butter and ham together!


New sister! And I'm still the only Corcoran sister with the Asian glow. 

The reception was sparkly and pink, and all 13 of my grandma's children were in attendance! I hadn't seen my brother's Naval Academy friends in years so it that was a treat. Ryan and Conor were exhausted and did not want to be with anyone but me, but we survived.

I've always prayed that my brother would find happiness and a wonderful wife so it was definitely a joy-filled day.

MARIE + BOB
I'm of the opinion that marriages set up by the ND rugby program are at the utmost top of the standard, but maybe that's because I have that group of guys to thank for meeting the guy I call Chris. Marie is Chris' best friend's little sister, and Bob has been Chris' friend and teammate for almost a decade. Marie is number two of ten, and their family is kind of everything - faithful, intelligent, athletic, artsy, hilarious. They are grand. When you combine Marie being from a big family + the 20+ rugby alum + the rest of the stellar invite list who flew in from all over, you know it's going to not just be a lovey-dovey, yay! we are so happy for you! wedding, it's going to be a great weekend. And great it was. 
Marie was stunning. Bob, you didn't look too bad yourself. (Photo from Facebook)


The best group of guys.

After a beautiful Mass at a breathtaking church in Chicago, we trekked out to the suburbs to a sports bar with the rest of the guys, and I'm pretty sure napless Ryan ate his weight in french fries while unintentionally trying to convince our friends to not have kids. At the reception, the boys were pretty restless, and they wanted nothing to do with sitting at a table. Things were looking pretty grim, but then this happened:

Long live weddings where big families run rampant, no one bats an eye when you push six chairs together to make a toddler bed,  and there are always at least a few friends taking a break from the dance floor to sit next to your kids. I might have had one, two, three White Russians while these babes slept the whole entire reception post-dinner. 

PAT+KARA
I was so sad to miss Pat and Kara's wedding, but it only made sense for Chris to go to the wedding since he was already going to be out in California. Pat is another rugby player, and Kara has always been so sweet to me ever since we first met my sophomore year of college. Since I didn't get to go, I can't give a complete recap, but Chris did tell me that they had a Queen cover band that was "wicked." Also of note, look at this photo:
The magazine-worthy high school sweethearts. 



AUBRY+MAX
Conor and I road-tripped our way up to Duluth, Minnesota the last weekend of June. There was no question as to whether or not I would make the drive or not. Aubs is one of my dearest friends from college, and it is a wondrous thing to clearly see God's hand in every step of their relationship. Plus, I can't believe that my friend who knows both the Catholic faith and the words to every rap song ever written found herself a Catholic rapper to marry. 
Photo from Aubry's blog and taken by Mad Chicken Studio

Aub's dress was perfect for her. Perfect. I remember sitting in a library room with her the summer we found my dress. I asked her what she envisioned for her dress down the road, and she wanted something simple, form-fitting, yet flowy. Nailed it. 
They gave credit where credit was due.


I guess iPhones aren't meant to capture groom's being hoisted up in celebration.


Aubry's family serves like no other family I know. For example, that busy, loving bride found me a house to stay in for the weekend. The whole day was brimming with meaning from getting ready with a rosary and music to one of the most intentional nuptial Masses I've ever attended to the rap the groom wrote for his bride. I think I was able to go to the wedding with a baby in tow and without Chris sans worry because children are seen as such a blessing to this family. Mass was full of babbling and squawking babies, as the bride and groom wanted. It really was an honor to be able to attend.

If you want to see more of their dreamy wedding, click on over to the photographer's complete blog post of the wedding. Do it

MEAGAN+TOMMY
I had been so excited for Meagan and Tommy's wedding for seventeen months! I did secure their wedding date, after all. But really, I've known both of them since our freshman year of college, and I still remember dropping Meagan off at Main Circle when she was going to hang out with Tommy when they had just become a couple. The whole shebang was so fun from the welcome pizza dinner to the darling bridal luncheon to the delicious steak house rehearsal dinner to the gorgeous Nuptial Mass in the Basilica to the neat locker room tour to the stunning reception at the Palais Royale downtown to the goodbye breakfast on Sunday. 

All of the bridesmaids stayed in the same house which was really wonderful. Since we didn't have to travel anywhere, Chris and I splurged and hired a babysitter for the bridal lunch afternoon and then for the rehearsal dinner. The babysitter we use is a really sweet and quiet thirteen year old, and as she left that night she told me, "I don't know how moms do it." Interpretation: your kids are a handful. Ha!

Marci, my friend and the matron of honor, ordered Gigi's Cupcakes for the bridal luncheon. WOW. 
Portrait of a nursing bridesmaid.




So there are four Saturday time slots at the Basilica, 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. It turned out that the 11am time slot that I luckily snagged for the happy couple ended up being the best time of that day because it was raining cats and dogs all afternoon. The reception pulled out all the stops with a live band and a late night snack, but my favorite part was the traditional singing of Piano Man at the end of the wedding. Okay, I was wrong, my favorite part was probably the the pom squad dance. Meagan was the captain of the pom squad senior year, and she was so in her element to be performing! Her ecstatic and confident was pretty adorable. I'm so happy I got to stay til the very end (thanks, Chris, for going home with the boys!), and I was really touched to be able to be a bridesmaid for Meagan.

DAVID+BECCA
We drove out to San Diego for David and Becca's wedding. They got engaged at the Grotto back in March, and then it was full speed ahead to throw the best backyard wedding ever! All hands were on deck with Becca being the oldest of seven and you know about the Harringtons. Both also come from huge and loyal extended families, and with a locale like San Diego, there weren't many regrets sent! 

There was so much heart put into it. Becca fell in love with this dress, so her mom made it for her. The flowers were made by family friends, sisters-in-law and cousins. The cake was baked and decorated by my sisters-in-law in a neighbor's kitchen. Cousins made the best punch ever (this reminds me that I need to get the recipe!). So many family members helped set up the dance floor and tables and chairs and lights. Neighbors opened up their driveway for parking. It really was a wedding put on by love. 

The crazy part about the wedding was that after a year of practically no rain, it poured the day of their wedding! There was no tent or back-up plan because it is SAN DIEGO! There is never rain the first week of August! But the rain let up by the time of the reception, and really, it was such a blessing. Everyone attending was so understanding, the rain brought the temperature and humidity down and both sides of the each family are full of people with servants hearts. With all of that, everything could go off without a major hitch, in spite of the rain - well, there was a very essential hitch, that of Becca and David. 
(Amber Fallon Photography)
(Amber Fallon Photography)
(Amber Fallon Photography)

(Amber Fallon Photography)
Every single Harrington was in attendance! (Amber Fallon Photography)

Ryan was the ring bearer with David's other godchild, Molly. You would think that since this was my second go round as the ring bearer's mother, I would have fed my child more than a half a bagel while I was frantically getting him dressed, but no. Once again, he was thankfully matched with an expert flower girl so he made it down the aisle, although he did hold the pillow up as a shield. My sister drove down from her training to help out for the day, and we would not have been able to do it without her! Kristina curled hair, got dresses, chauffeured us around, rewarded Ryan with his gummy bears after making it down the aisle, took care of the boys during Mass, took pictures; she did everything. I love you, Sis!

Oh, it was such a joy to see David and Becca get married. A highly talented choir sung at their Mass, the altar servers were her brothers, and they used her mother's veil with a gorgeous image of the Holy Family attached to it. And it was so neat to watch Becca while we were all getting ready. We were not making it a calm setting, but she didn't care that it was raining! She didn't care we were running late! She was just ready to marry David, and nothing could ruin their day as long as that happened. 

I do have to say that the best part about a backyard wedding is that you can put your kids to bed and not miss the party!! Both Conor and Ryan were asleep early into the reception so Chris and I danced the whole night on that full dance floor. Second best part about a backyard wedding? After all is said and done, you take out the hundred bobby pins in your hair while relaxing in the hot tub and then multiple people sit around one of the cakes that hadn't been eaten, each with a fork in hand. Extra points when it is spice cake. 
My favorite part of this photo is my father-in-law and brother-in-law behind David and Becca.

Can you believe my sisters-in-law made this wedding cake, and it was their first attempt ever? Oh, and there is evidence of Ryan's attendance at the wedding on the groom's cake, if you can spot it. 




Brad gave a truly great best man's speech. 
Funniest.

I love them.


The hobbit ring bearer, as captured by our talented friend, Dylan.
Okay this is my favorite photo because Becca has always been told that Johnny is a mini-David in both looks and mannerisms. Just look at how he is looking up at her!

Bridesmaids, but sisters first.



To see more of David and Becca's wedding, here is the photographer's blog post about the day

ANDREA+ANDY
Out of my cousins on my dad's side, there are seven of us girls born in four years. We've grown up very close, always doing everything together, and last month, Andrea was the third of us to tie the knot! 
Love my Corcoran girl cousins. 
My uncle's ice cream machine. It is legendary. Rich ice cream that comes out like soft-serve. Chris said it lived up to the hype.

Didn't my aunt do a lovely job with the cookie table?

Godmother and godson.


Chris' brother, Patrick, basically lived with us for a month. Isn't he a mini-Chris? He is the best with little kids.
Another cool sword arch! (Also, people taking photos with iPads never fail to make me smile)



I love family weddings, and the fact that there were so many this year was just glorious. Andrea and Andy got married in the family church in my dad's hometown. I helped Andrea with their invitations, and she was such a relaxed bride. Well, both Andrea and Andy were so relaxed! Their carefree and goofy personalities made for a very fun reception that included a crazy sock dance. Ryan and the rest of the great grandchildren loved the pond on the reception site. It's always a delight to see my family, and this was no exception!


To see more photos from the day, here is the photographer's blog post

BRAD+GEENA
Brad and Geena might win for most combined siblings at a wedding. Between the families, there are eleven boys and eleven girls - they could all have dance partners, ha! Ryan, Conor and I hitched a ride with Chris' mom & co. to Annapolis, one of my favorite cities, which is where Geena's family lives. The whole week beforehand was incredible because we basically just spent a lot of time with Geena's family. Dinner Wednesday night, paddle boarding Thursday, welcome party on Friday, we couldn't get enough of them. It's always so nice to be able to breathe when your visiting with people who adore children and understand them ... or understand that sometimes, you just can't understand them. 

It was another wonderfully handmade wedding. The week prior, we went to our family friends to make the Italian sausage for the welcome party. Geena's grandma grew all of the flowers for the centerpieces in her front yard. Chris' mom made the cake and the groom's cake (and she didn't kill me when I messed up the icing she had spent all night on. She's a saint). Geena's friend and neighbor designed all the paper products. All the decorations were made by Geena and her mom and MelEvery detail was thought out, but you could see where the emphasis was placed - on their marriage centered around Christ. 

Both Geena and Brad are loved by so many, and it showed the whole day long. Saying that I'm so happy for them doesn't even cut it.

Kimberly, the photographer, blogged about Brad and Geena's day hereMake sure you check it out! Kimberly and her fiance, Andrew, are something special. Other lovely write ups: from the bride herselffrom Mel, the most helpful girl you ever will meet, and from Alex, MOH and my Shake It Off dance partner for life. 
Aunt Jill gives and gives and gives! She volunteered to drive back with my mother-in-law from Annapolis to San Diego. I know! 
Sister bridesmaids.


These girls are treasures.

Godmother and godson.

Just some brothers of the groom and brother of the bride hanging out.

She was dreamy.
Mom and most of her girls (just missing Mary!)

I'm pretty sure Erin took this breathtaking photo of the bride!

Harrington sisters.  
Sweet Mary.
David was Chris' best man. Brad was David's best man. Chris was Brad's best man. My boys won't find a better set of brothers to look up to.

Alex, I feel like this photo perfectly captures our friendship. 

Brick is good. A perfect day.
Post reception, we Harringtons hurried to the rental to fit 30 people into a room to watch the DVRed Notre Dame football VICTORY with push-ups and all. Told ya it was a perfect day.
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Chris is going to the last wedding of the year this weekend. His best friend from high school is getting married! I'm sending my love with him, Katie and Matt! 

Okay, that's it! And they all lived happily ever after.

Has it been a busy wedding year for you?