Four weddings and a funeral

…or more accurately, one wedding and four dead cockroaches.

This is the story of our journey to Crystal and Paul’s wedding.

Usually for Christmas Caleb buys me some lovely jewelry and I buy Caleb nothing. And then in the following months I make him feel guilty about wishing for a present when my love should be present enough. But this year for Christmas my true love gave to me … nothing. And I bought him a sweatshirt and an Onion book. This gave me a great opportunity to make him feel guilty about something else … my lack of present.

It was on this note that we headed out on our family vacation … to Crystal and Paul’s wedding in San Diego.

It was a wonderful time with our family. But my success in getting presents just didn’t get any better even as we met up with more and more family members. We had a second Christmas with Caleb’s family. And the kids got bead kits, and make your own hair band kits, and disgusting science kits. But mommy was still coming up a little bit dry. Fortunately Lisa was nice enough to buy me a pink wig. She only bought me this wig, of course, because she knew there was no way I’d remember to buy my own wig which was a required uniform for Crystal’s bachelorette party. So in a way it was quite a thoughtful gift.

Here I am partying with the Wright sisters. I’m not sure I’m ready to make this my facebook profile but I do think I look pretty cool. And Lisa did throw an awesome party.

I was not the only one who got to dress up for Crystal’s wedding. In fact, both kids got exciting new clothes for their exciting roles in the wedding. Leo was the ring bearer and Lucy was the flower girl. While both kids were excited, Lucy’s excitement was prolonged because her dress came early in the mail. Every day when someone would visit Lucy would run to them excitedly and say, “do you want to see my wedding dress?”

Here is the bride and Lucy trying on her “wedding” dress before the wedding.

I have one more thing to say about Lucy’s dress before we move on to the details of Leo’s outfit. Those lovely flowers that you see on Lucy’s dress actually make quite a nice food tray. Food fell on them all night long and Lucy could just pick it right back up and eat it.

Now on to the ring bearer’s suit. When it was time to head out of town we realized that we had forgotten to buy a suit for Leo. Fortunately there are stores in San Diego. But where do you buy suits for six year olds? …

Did you figure it out?

Well we couldn’t. So Caleb called the store where he buys his own suits and they told him to go to Kohls. Now if you never go to Kohls, this is usually how it has worked for us in the past. The price tag is really expensive but when you go to the register it is 50%-70% off. So when we saw that Leo’s suit cost a jillion dollars we were not too upset. Unfortunately, there is probably no incentive to ever put a little boy’s suit on sale, so it did, in fact, cost a jillion dollars. No joke.

Leo was excited about his suit, but he was even more excited about something else in his outfit. That’s right, you guessed it … his hair gel.

Here he is all moussed up with Grandpa Ken.

And daddy getting him ready.

After all this excitement and anticipation, I did not expect Lucy to throw a fit on the day of the wedding when getting ready. It went something like this. We put the dress on and Lucy says: “what pants am I gonna wear?” I, of course, explain that you do not need pants with a dress. But this doesn’t make a ton of sense because that is not what I usually say. Usually I say, put some pants on. I do this because I’m way too lazy of a parent to teach Lucy to be ladylike and I figure if she wears pants she can climb trees and do whatever the heck she likes and I can just keep doing whatever the heck I like, not teaching her manners. Live and let live. But in this case she totally freaked out. “Yes pants. YES pants. YES PANTS!” So eventually we found some pants that would not be too obvious and sent Lucy off to the wedding.

Here she is in her pants. You can’t even tell.

This was an awesome vacation because not only did we get to work on looking good, we spent lots of good times with our family and also using our brains.

Great Grandma Alberta stayed with us and came along to a number of San Diego sites. She braved Sea World with us where we probably walked 3-4 miles around the park. I was tired after that but 85 year old Alberta was ready to walk on out to dinner soon after we got home.

As to improving our brains we also got to spend time with Mitch, a real scientist. Mitch promised to take us to his lab where he programs robots. But that just never seemed to happen. Instead, Mitch spent his time making fake boogers with Leo.

We also experienced nature and checked out the seals in La Jolla.

Me and Caleb got to improve our brains as well. The house we were staying in had a number of puzzles in a it and we decided to do one of them. I mean, two of them. I mean and then come home and buy three more puzzles on our way home from the airport. Who knew that jigsaw puzzles could be so addictive. (Actually, they don’t seem so addictive now that we are home. We haven’t even opened one of our new ones.)

Here is Merlin with his young friend, Arthur. Booyah!

But it wouldn’t be a blog post if you did not make fun of the groom. Paul and Crystal joined us one day for puzzling. And Paul has a funny technique. He picks a piece he wants to find and then looks for it and adds it to the puzzle. This was working ok for Paul until he hit a tricky spot and he just couldn’t find the piece for hours. Finally when there were four or five pieces undone Leo looks under the table finds a piece on the floor. You guessed it. Pauls piece! This strategy only works when your piece is not hidden on the floor.

Despite puzzling over puzzle strategies, Paul seems quite more successful with his marriage choice. Here is the blushing bride and groom.

Finally after a week of merriment it was time to go home. As we were lolling around for a final morning with Crystal and Paul waiting for our 1:20 flight Caleb decided to look at the internet and our 1:20 flight was really an 11:55 flight. So we had to RUSH. And then there was a long line. And we made it through the line with 15 minutes to spare. And then there was security. And we were almost to the front of security when we heard an announcement. “Stop screening. Waiting for the CDC”. Images of the movie “Contagion”—flu breakout, making humanity extinct—are floating through my head. What’s worse a breakout of the flu world wide or missing my flight? I really want to get on the this plane!

But then we made it through. Right to the plane. And back to our FREeEeEeeEeEzing cold house. (Those eEeEs are shivers if you cannot tell). And to a bunch of dead cockroaches on the kitchen floor. I know you were wondering when these four dead cockroaches would show up in the story. Caleb had actually given me the best Christmas present after all. He put down the roach poison before we left. I have never felt so loved when looking at a welcoming committee of dead bugs. Thank you my love! It is great to be back in our bug-free home.