Three Birthdays and a Wedding

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

Okay, I’ve kind of fallen down on the job of keeping up with the blogging portion of my site. With both hands to the sky, I am sorry and I will be better about it moving forward. Let’s see the last time I posted, while very real for me, it was mostly a downer. And yes, I know that is okay! But there have been many positive developments and milestones that have taken place in recent months. So the tone of this one is more celebratory. Which is great because my annual case of Seasonal Affective Disorder came early this year! How about you?

I turned 35 this year (back in June) and I feel like that is a pretty big deal. I know this doesn’t make me old but it does make me feel like the ground I stand on has become more solid and sometimes the things I say or do stem from real experience and reason. I celebrated with my little family by going to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to experience the Tibetan Buddhism exhibit, Awaken.

It was a relaxing time that started with a slow morning at home, then lunch at the café located in the museum, and then off to start the tour. Each room housed artifacts, tapestries and relics dating back to the 15th century. That is amazing in and of itself that these pieces of history and totems of spirituality have been kept and preserved so well that we can enjoy them in 2019, over 600 hundred years apart from their creation.

A vocal audio track of monks chanting played throughout out the exhibit, echoing down hallways and bouncing the sound around each room. My son, about 9 months old at the time, contributed his own vocal stylings to the dismay of some of the other patrons, making us “those” parents. Hey, we need to soak up some culture every now and again too. And honestly, if our son gets the opportunity to experience new sights and sounds, that is the most important part of our outing. We did scurry through some of the tighter spaces to allow others to focus on the displays without distraction.

After we wrapped up our culture quest, we stopped and picked up some gelati to have at home. I wish I could adequately describe my son’s face the first time he tried gelati. His facial expression contorted from a sour, pointed down frown to a bright-eyed “that was delicious and more please” smile. It was a good day.

Fast forward to late August, MY SON TURNED ONE! My incredibly sweet little Bug made his first trip around the sun and we are in awe of how much change can come with one year. He nearly shared a birthday with his Dad but managed to hang out in my belly for three more days, putting their birthdays very close together. We celebrated Dad with dinner and a homemade chocolate and peanut butter cake the weekend before we had a big party for the baby.

When my little guy was very small and I still knew practically nothing about how to deal with an inconsolable baby, wailing at the top of his (mightily impressive) lungs, I just started singing Baby Shark to him in a panic and he loved it. He started to smile and bounce along a little bit. When he was upset about being on the changing table, Baby Shark was sung. When he was tired and hungry, we sang Baby Shark until the bottle was warm. So naturally, when he turned one, we threw a Baby Shark themed party at our house.

Ahead of the party, I went a little nuts with purchasing decorations and saving menu ideas. Days ahead of the party, I made shark fin spoons to be placed in cups of blue jell-o. The night before I sat at our dining room table assembling streamers that had some sort of toxic smelling metallic paint on them that made me dizzy. The day of, I carved a shark out of a watermelon and my husband’s cousin saved my bacon by cutting the fruit to fill it. Still sweating from getting things done while down to the wire, we opened the door to let family and friends in, all there to celebrate our sweet Ezra.

Our home was filled up with so much love that day and he was beaming with excitement all afternoon long. Keeping with the shark theme, he had a blue cake adorned with sea life and sharks, of course. So when it was time to have his first taste of birthday cake, he traced his fingers over the icing a bit as we encouraged him to go for it. He mostly played with the cake, smearing it on his hands and face. Blue icing up the nose! A room full of adults and a few children clapping along with him as he enjoyed the cake and the undivided attention.

Now mind you, no napping took place before the party began. So we were amazed that he partied, ate lunch, ate cake, had a bath, opened presents before finally melting down as guests were leaving. He took a nice long nap on Mom after a big day of being a one year old, celebrated by so many people that we love. It was a great day.

Now since having my son is forever the best day of my life, my wedding day was a close second. Following the family birthdays, we were also planning a wedding. I think I am still dealing with some post-planning stress disorder from all of the big event planning that us introverts just aren’t naturally equipped to do.

We wanted to keep it simple. Ha. Ha. Ha. I mean it was, but there is no such thing as a small wedding. We tried. Seeing as we are not members of a church we decided to have our wedding at St. Joseph’s Villa, a local non-profit. Their chapel is a 1930s piece of Romanesque artwork adorned with gilded murals and stained glass that take your breath away. Plus, bonus karmic points for anyone planning a wedding there, your money goes to benefit their cause of community outreach.

The night before, we took turns setting up decorations and testing sound. That night, I didn’t sleep more than four hours and in the morning I was a nervous mess. Thankfully, I had a melting down child and sleep deprivation to distract me. My husband is amazing because he just dealt with all of it and kept calm for everyone because that is just who he is, our calm.

We parted ways only for a little bit so that I could have my hair done and then back to the chapel for pictures! While posing for pictures, our photographer, a close friend of ours, made monkey noises at me and Ezra to get us both to smile. That is where my nerves were. It helped.

When it was time, my Father and I stood ready to walk down the aisle. He looked me straight in the eye and told me that I could do it. I nearly lost it because that moment was so beautiful and made me believe that I could make it down the aisle just fine. And of course my best friend was waiting there for me, so I was very ready indeed.

Have you ever been so wrapped up in a big life moment that everything just seems to warm to a glow and you are moved to say and feel everything with spirit and conviction? It was that kind of red letter day that I’ll keep tucked in my memory for a lifetime. We exchanged our vows, officiated beautifully by my father-in-law, and then kind of took sigh of relief and walked down the aisle toward the big chapel doors to tell our baby that Mommy and Daddy were married.

We ate and celebrated with friends and family and enjoyed each moment fully. We are still enjoying being able to say husband and wife and he really loves calling me Mrs. Carpenter and I love it too. Our hearts remain full. It was an amazing day.

Now with birthdays and wedding behind us this year, we are just enjoying being a married couple, parents to one amazing child and getting ready for Christmas. I'm not sure what is ahead outside of that but I will do a better job of keeping you posted.

Thanks for reading.

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