Monday, July 22, 2013

Wedding Weekend Recap

So, truth... In the weeks leading up to this trip we were kind of uncertain about our decision to go. We really wanted to support Lauren and Alastair, but financially, logistically, and emotionally going to New Orleans didn't make a whole lot of sense. But from the moment Nonnie arrived to take us to the airport, little details kept falling into place that I can only see as God's affirmation that we had in fact made the right decision.

Loving detail #1:
Nonnie came over at 7 AM to take us to the airport. The second Caleb stepped his toe across the threshold to get in the car, Mia very happily called out, "Bye Daddy!" (No "bye Mommy"; No "bye Olivia.") We were thinking, "Wait, kid! Not yet! You still have a good 30 minutes left with mommy and daddy! You need to freak out a little and shed a couple tears." But nope, she was ready to get rid of us. There was an initial sting when I realized that she doesn't need me like she used to, but I took a deep breath, and that was that! Because of her reaction, I was able to enjoy myself a lot more knowing that she was totally fine without us. I know... I know... Nonnie's the best, and Mia would have been fine anyway, but it was still good to leave Mia on a high note.

Olivia was an angel on the flight down! She didn't nap, but she didn't make a peep. She mostly just did this...
and this....
... and this.
And of course once we landed, she did this...
(Sorry all the pictures are fuzz-city. My camera battery was DOA, so everything was taken with my awesome, brand new (3 models ago) phone.)
Loving detail #2:
When Caleb walked out of la salle de bain in Nashville, he ran into one of his coworkers who happened to be on our flight. Scott and his wife were gonna be in New Orleans for the weekend too, so we cabbed it to the hotel with them and made plans to unpack and then meet for lunch. We checked in, dropped off our stuff, and decided to go exploring. We strapped Livi into the Bjorn, and off we walked.

Loving detail #3:
Lauren had planned everything perfectly, so the church was literally three steps around the corner from our hotel.

View of the bell tower. Yep, it was that close.
As we walked by, we noticed they had a 12 o'clock Mass, and (cue the bells and check your watch) it was 12 o'clock! So we ducked into the church for an impromptu Mass. 
gorgeous, right?
Do you know how amazing it is to attend Mass with two parents and only one child?! One small, very mellow child?! It. Is. Heavenly! I might have shed a few tears. And I am NOT a crier. But that's not all... There was benediction after Mass! *a few more tears* It was a beautiful reminder of the real reason we had trucked out butts almost 600 miles south with a baby. For Christ. For the love of Christ. To support Lauren and Ali in their sacramental union that is the sign of Christ's love for us.
So with souls fed we embarked on the trek to feed our bodies. Caleb's buddy Scott and his wife asked us to join them at Napoleon House, and uh, good call y'all! It was delicious! After lots of good food, drink, and laughs, our personal tour guides showed us around the French Quarter.

Livi's first look at the mighty Mississippi
When we were sufficiently hot and tired, we went back to the hotel to get ready for the rehearsal dinner.
not super thrilled she has to wear this dress,
but she got lots of compliments

Pawpaw was the evening's designate baby holder.
Loving detail #4:
After getting all pretty, we found out that there had been a little miscommunication about les enfants at the RD and that Olivia wouldn't be able to stay. I was bummed at first, but it actually worked out for the best. We went down to the restaurant for drinks, and about the time Olivia started to melt down, dinner was being seated and it was time to head back. Caleb's aunt generously got us dinner to go, so we ended up eating our delicious dinner in the room with our baby asleep next to us. It was very peaceful and kind of romantic. Definitely preferable to cajoling an expired infant into staying out even later. And we dodged foggy heads the next morning.

My only specific request for the trip was breakfast at Cafe Du'Monde, so that's where we headed Saturday morning. Grease and sugar with a side of caffeine? Please and thank you.
on our way to breakfast
After a yummy beignet breakfast, we walked across the square to the St. Louis Cathedral. No Mass this time, but it was still amazingly beautiful.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Mia and Nonnie were living it up at the aquarium. (I'm still not sure if she even cared we were gone.)

The rest of Saturday was pretty low key. We went to lunch at the Red Fish Grill, and then took a family nap. By the time everyone woke up, it was time to get ready for the wedding.

Loving detail #5:
When the babysitter arrived I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Since we didn't know her at all, I had had some anxiety throughout the day about leaving my baby with a total stranger. But as soon as we met Megan, we knew there was nothing to worry about. This girl was perfect. I gave her the basic instructions for Olivia and then peaced out to the wedding. Livi is such a good baby that I was expecting her to be nooooo trouble at all. Bu-ut, when we dropped in after the wedding so I could nurse and put Livi to sleep, that wasn't exactly the report we got. Megan's first words were "She was pretty hysterical." Yikes! I felt SO bad for this poor girl! And then it took me the better part of an hour to get Olivia even close to asleep. Finally at 8:00 when I was noticeably frustrated with the baby, Megan told us to leave and she'd call us if she needed us. I didn't want to torture her any more with my screaming kid, but we left because this mama needed a drink! After a drink (or 2 or 3), some dinner, a dance, and this....
thanks to sweet Megan for making this pic possible
... we were back at the hotel bidding farewell to our hero of the night. Really... that girl. She was amazing! We would have given her 10 times our promised rate if we had it.

Bright and early Sunday morning we hopped on the plane and boogied back to Nashvegas. Livi did great on that flight too, and she actually slept this time.

Oh yeah! God's final little nugget of love for us:
The weather was actually bearable! I was expecting 100 degrees and 100% humidity, but it was more like 90 and 90! I can handle that.

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