Our families doubled. Siblings and cousins flew in from across the country. Skyler and Reed met their new cousins. My sister met my step-kids. My step-kids met my nephews. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law met my sister and my brother. For an entire week, there was no meal that didn't involve feeding at least ten people, some nights twenty people. Within one day of all of this togetherness, I forgot completely that everyone hadn't known each other forever. It was the easiest merging of a group of people you could imagine.
Tim worked one night during the week, and we all piled into the studio to watch the news live from behind the scenes. This was a real test for Reed because he could not talk at all. He did great, except to loudly whisper: "MOM: WHAT IF I HAVE TO COUGH?" He didn't. Phew.
Tim's mom Ansley graciously rented a camp for us to all use for the week on Field's Pond.
Our Utah boys, Cameron and Grant, love the Maine lakes and rarely get out of the water.And Skyler spent hours in the kayaks, much to Ryder's dismay. Here he is trying to swim after her.
The night before, my mom, my brother Chris, and my sister Liesel hosted a dinner for the two families. Flank steaks and green salad and black bean mango salad plus a beautiful evening for conversation and intermingling.
And Chris made these popovers that everyone talked about all week.
Tim and I ran 3 easy miles in the morning, and then Hillary, Skyler and I drove to the Asticou. We settled into this awesome screened-in porch where we had a view of the Inn and everyone arriving. The girls got their hair done first while I kept myself busy working on the flower crown for Skyler.
Meredith arrived and brought us lunch. Suzanne and Ange arrived and brought snacks.
|Suzanne did Meredith's and Ange's hair while I relaxed. I was actually pretty relaxed.|
|What can't this woman do?|
The next hour or so was a blur. There were people being sweet to me and offering to help every time I turned around. I won't remember to mention every thing here, and I won't be able to adequately thank everyone, but it was just the feeling that I'll always remember. I was wrapped up in love and friendship. And the Asticou is a pretty magical place.
My sister and the boys arrived and went for a quick swim in the pool. Someone told me Tim had arrived. Meredith took Reed to find Tim and Ellis. Hillary helped Skyler practice her reading in the bathroom. We got Skyler into her dress, me into my dress. My sister zipped me up. Anna, our awesome photographer, captured all of this but I don't have any of these pictures yet. And then all of a sudden, it was time to go. The plan was to walk across the lawn and meet Tim in the garden and then begin the procession. What a beautiful day it was. What a beautiful feeling.
From up on the top of the hill, I spotted Tim, Ellis and Reed in their tuxedos standing in the garden and they all turned to watch us approach. It was too much handsomeness to handle. Tim and I wanted to have a moment to connect before the ceremony, and so we walked all together across the lawn, the two of us, all the kids, my sister, and Tim's brother Hamilton, a minister, who officiated the wedding. I clung to Tim's arm until it was time for them to head on down.
I hung back with Skyler and Reed while everyone else went forward.
I could see the ocean, the boats, all these people that I adore most in the world ahead of us, and I could hear Matt playing an acoustic version of Norah Jones' "Come Away with Me." It was all really happening, all the details we had talked about for so many months.
Having Tim's brother Hamilton marry us was an added gift and I loved every part of the ceremony that we crafted together. We had our mothers right in the front row. We both missed our dads dearly.
Having this spot to get married in made it feel like a dream. Truth be told, I never took my eyes off of Tim the whole time. I hardly even saw this incredible scene surrounding us.
My brother Chris made sure everyone was in the right spot. My sister Liesel was my best woman and held my flowers. Reed lit the candles. My nephew Cameron read a poem. My nephew Grant carried the rings. Skyler and Hillary both read pieces they had written themselves which neither of us had heard before. And believe it or not, the one detail I forgot was to tuck a tissue in my dress. I had nothing, not even a sleeve.
From Hillary's reading:
"When you are as giving as my dad, you need a place to give. Emilie gives him the place to do that. I can see that he also gives her that same place. They both have so much to give, and now they have one another to absorb all of their love and kindness. I could not have scripted this any better. Nobody could. Their love radiates everywhere they go."
"My mom has been there every step of the way in our crazy, adventurous lives. My mom is original. She always thinks of fun things to do. My mom is not only beautiful on the outside, she is even more beautiful on the inside.
One of the best things is seeing my mom happy and she is the happiest I have ever seen her with Tim. Tim is creative and makes everything fun. Tim is also very funny. He has a joke about everything. It’s hard to think of a sentence that Tim doesn’t have a joke for.
I love that we are doubling our family. I’m glad to have another brother, sister and step-dad. Tim completes the puzzle."
I'm not going to write out our vows here, but I am told there was not a dry eye in the place.
|I don't think it is reasonable to be this happy or lucky.|
Hillary took these pics, two of my favorites of the day:
|I mean, really.|
|my beautiful sister Liesel and her boys.|
|my mama with my sister and brother Chris|
|Sweet Ellis hugging my mom|
|Taylor, Mary, Hamilton, Alexander looking wonderful as always|
|Meredith looking stunning.|
|Thanks to Mary for the preview of some of the family shots. There will be more coming.|
|Kelly and I have been friends since 4th grade. 31 years.|
|Lindsay and Andrew! So stylish and extremely photogenic!|
|Sandi and Suzanne, the other newlyweds|
|the greatest friends|
|My mom with her sisters, my Aunt Ellen and Aunt Ann who made long journeys to be here!|
|so many beauties|
|My dear Susan and her husband Liam|
|my sister nailed the perfect toast.|
After dinner, Reed came up to me and said that he wanted to say something to everyone. I was totally surprised and had no warning that this was coming. I asked him if he was sure. He said he was. So, I clinked my fork on a glass to get everyone's attention and said that Reed had something to say. He climbed up on a chair and everyone got very quiet.
I told him to say it loudly, whatever it was.
His voice was so husky, and totally clear and loud. "I just wanted everyone to know that yesterday, today, and tomorrow have been the best days of my life."
My jaw dropped a little and just as I was about to start to cry, he said:
"And, does anyone want to go swimming with me after dinner?"
There were so many more moments to note, and I'm forgetting so much. I'm not adequately capturing the sense of joy and peace I felt. I'm forgetting to mention little things and thank people properly.
Just like Reed, I can say that August 1st was the best day of my life, and so is tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.
I am awash in love and gratitude. I'm having a hard time coming even close to capturing it all. I am blessed beyond measure.