and then i heard that one of my beloved cousins was getting married - the one whose daughter was born just a week before the bean. i was pleasantly surprised to find a save-the-date in the mail not long after hearing the news, since i hadn't been around at all and figured i'd probably been written off completely. and i'll admit it - when it came time to send in the RSVP, i wasn't at all sure of which box i should check. i mentioned my hesitation to the hub, whose response was pretty much "duh, of course we should go!" and that was that.
the bean got to pick out her very first pair of "high heels" for the occasion.
the day dawned cloudy, slightly drizzly, and not just a little humid. but rain is good luck, yes? we pulled up to the church a little early, and the first person we saw was cousin seven. do you love how all of our dresses somehow coordinated perfectly? yay!
as we entered the church, we were greeted by my grandma, plus all of my aunts and uncles. i don't think i'd seen them in two years - not since cousin r's wedding. it was really nice to see everyone, and i was relieved not to run into any of the people i was hoping not to see.
my cousin looked nervous but happy as he stood at the altar, waiting for his bride.
and when she was escorted in by her parents, the bean stared in awe.
before the ceremony, she'd spotted my cousin's daughter all glammed up in her flower girl's ensemble with her hair all done and the whole nine. "mommy, i want to do that!" she said in a stage whisper. she is so my kid.
the ceremony included a full catholic mass. i knew the bean was getting antsy, so i untied the ribbon from the multi-page program we'd been given, flipped it over, and handed her a set of markers that i keep in my purse for times like this. sometimes i am blown away by my own genius. also, her drawings crack me up.
the reception didn't start for several hours, so we went home and hung out until it was time to head out to pasadena. their venue was on the upper floor of the paseo colorado, and i was looking forward to checking it out.
cocktail hour was in full swing, and as we mingled and chatted with various family members the bean found a nice little cluster of kids her age to hang out with.
she looked like a little princess in the dress i'd found at macy's for like 60% off.
as for me, i'd chosen a lovely little frock by kate spade - via rent the runway. LOVED it (the bean was over the photo ops by then).
i always appreciate when party hosts think of little details like this:
and if that hadn't been enough, my mom had it covered too.
obligatory silly face selfies.
the bean's meal came out first - chicken strips with fries.
we hit up the photo booth before it got too crowded.
with the hub out on the patio with a cigar and about half the party, the bean got down on the dance floor.
we finally called it a day around 10pm. the bean was visibly tired, and we figured it was a good time to head home. on our way out, we ran into the happy couple. my cousin was...uh, extra happy, shall we say? he chatted with the hub about current events and life in general before giving me a giant hug and telling me how much he missed us. my cold, black heart defrosted just a little, and i finally admitted to myself that i really do miss my family. and then after confirming who held the keys for the drive home, he steered me to the bar for just one shot together. yikes. it buuuuurrrrrrned. i'm such a lightweight.
the next day, i got an invitation via text from seven to a barbecue at the bride and groom's house. the bean, still on a high from all the "new friends" she made at the wedding, was all about going. and after the fun of my own that i'd had with my cousins, i'd decided that maybe it was time to start attending family get-togethers again. at least the bean could get to know another part of her family that she'd never really known before.
we had a really great time, and with the news of my cousin r and her husband preparing to move back to california after quite a few years away, i'm hopeful for more quality time in the near future.
closure, yo. i think i's got it.