I have returned!

Man, what a vacation. It was great. Two weeks in North Carolina, and a full agenda:

  • Jaime’s Wedding. Okay, if you’ve never been on the outside of the wedding, let me tell you it’s way more stressful that way. Of course, I kind of used the “I’m the bride!” excuse to get out of doing a lot of things and I had my sister do my hair and I did my own make up and had a friend custom make my dress. Anyway, the wedding was great, even though not everything went exactly according to plan. It was a bit cold. I’ll have to post some pictures to show what I was wearing in (I think) 50-60 degree weather. Cold.
  • Jaime’s Reception. Thankfully, all (almost all) photographs done inside. On that note, I wish I’d had her photog for my wedding. He was WONDERFUL. His pictures were gorgeous. How do I know already? He took pictures after the ceremony, created an awesome DVD with motion and music and brought it to the reception a couple hours later. Lighting is so crucial. And skill 😉 . Oh, and doing everything twice. Three times. Okay, no more than five times.
  • Jaime & Russel opening gifts and leaving on their honeymoon. Bienvenido a Miami for them. Bienvenido a nap time for the rest of us.
  • Thanksgiving. No stress. Just yum. Since Jaime and my Aunt Melony, Uncle Jeff and cousin Zach were all gone, we fit around one table at my gramma’s. This is unprecedented (in my experience).
  • Bridal retakes. After seeing Jaime’s bridals, and looking back at my not-so-stellar bridals, Mom asked if I’d like to put on my dress and take new bridals. Good thing we didn’t get it preserved yet. My talented photographer friend Kim and her talented photographer sister Linhda (a little link love there, free SEO 😉 ) took new bridals. I’m completely in love with them. Here are Kim’s favorites: 1, 2, 3, (4th coming soon). Between the two of them, we got almost 600 pictures. They chose their favorite shots; there were 101 of those. Now the only tough part will be printing them and figuring out how and where to display them. I’m thinking a 24×36 print in my living room. With a mirror on the opposite wall. Yes, Kim?
  • Baby’s “First Christmas. Since we won’t be able to be in NC for baby’s first Christmas, we celebrated on Nov 25th. It was fun. Hayden got a lot of cute clothes and noisy toys. I got a lot of cute clothes. Ryan got some clothes and some DVDs. And perhaps the only thing someone reading this blog might actually care about: a camcorder. Now there will be sound!! And lots of it, thanks to Nana and Papa’s and Gummy and Paw Paw’s gifts.
  • A business trip. Since we were sort of near by, Ryan and I drove to Greensboro, NC so he could go visit a company they’re thinking of working with. Tax write off?

By the way, it’s really difficult to watch your little sister get married. Emotionally, at least. At the actual ceremony, I think I cried harder than anyone. Immediately afterwards, I couldn’t stop crying. In retrospect, it may be the fact that I’ve never had someone “grow up on me.” As the oldest, I left home first, got married first. I’ve always done the leaving, the moving on. It’s not that I think Jaime’s left me in the dust or anything. She lives like 30 minutes away now, tops. It’s that she’s really growing up (and this months after she’s graduated from college and got a big girl job). And as they drove off from the reception, she was gone.

Mom told me that the hardest time that we left was when I left for college. My parents thought, “What have I done?” Mom said my sister Jaime summed it up best when they were leaving the airport: “We were four, and now we’re three.” And oddly enough, even though I’ve already “left the nest,” that’s exactly what I felt then.

Actually, it was very difficult for me to leave this time, even if I didn’t cry as much as I often do. It was hard after watching Hayden bond with my family* so much and feeling so much at home there. We stayed so long that I almost forgot I had a whole life here in Utah. But I do and I’m back. For now.

*FYI: in addition to my sister Jasmine and my parents, I also have two aunts, two uncles, one cousin and two grandparents in NC (all my mom’s family). Now in Utah from my mom’s side, I have one aunt, one uncle, seven cousins, two sisters, one brother-in-law and, of course, one husband and one Hayden.

And yes, I could have blogged in North Carolina. But it was a vacation.

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