This morning I pulled the John Legend song, “All of Me” up on my computer. My sis-in-laws sang this at my father-in-law’s wedding this weekend.
I’ve had this song in my head since Saturday. I have loved it since John Legend wrote it for his own wedding a couple years ago. “All your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.” I worried that listening to it this morning would bring more tears for what turned out to be a hard weekend for me (I’ll explain later). Instead it was a great reminder of what a truly special time it was.
This weekend, Jim and Natalie committed their lives to one another. They vowed that when times are good they will laugh and play and when times are tough they will hunker down and hold tight to one another. They vowed to never give up. And you know what, that’s something. Something huge. And my hot-mess of a family got to be a part of it.
Jim and Natalie have a total of 7 children. About half of these children are married and some, like me, have children of their own. A few of us have special diets and animals to consider. It’s not easy to accommodate all of us. But they did. They rented an extra house, flew family in and even spent their first night as husband and wife in a camper. Which, in retrospect was genius as this was the quietest and least disturbed place around. A part from all this, they planned menus and hired a delicious caterer, built an arbor out of reclaimed dock wood, arranged flowers, hung lights and lanterns and wrote their own vows. It was all beautiful and came together perfectly. My husband had tears of joy in his eyes because his dad was happy.
There were some tough times for me this weekend. Elle woke with a fever Friday morning so I spent the weekend caring for a sick baby who didn’t want anyone to hold her except for her mama and even her mama wasn’t good enough at times. Poor thing felt terrible. (Now big Luke has it and he says its awful, he hasn’t left the bedroom for 2 days.) I tried to keep her quiet during the ceremony which was a losing battle. If anyone had been recording the ceremony, you could have heard my daughter’s cries serenading us all. I much prefer John Legend.
This large family was all together, celebrating two of it’s patrons. As with most things in life, it was beautiful at times and it was ugly at times (mostly for me but there were probably others who didn’t appreciate her cries) but that’s how life is, right? In that group of 20 people, we have lost parents and siblings and spouses and one child. Some of us have known both the greatest joy and the worst heartbreak in all the world. We have cried behind closed doors and in each others arms. We have loved, we have lost, we have celebrated and we have grieved. On this particular Saturday, there we were, on the top of the dock at the lake house listening as our sisters sang “All of me,” holding back our tears for the joy and hope that love offers us.
And I was glad to be a part of it all.
This morning I went in to get Elle when she woke up. I could have really used the morning off (haha!, morning off.) I thought about the lines from the song, “Even when I lose I’m winning.” These words are relevant to parenting too. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing but then I look at these three and know that I’m winning.
It was such a crazy time that my phone was MIA the entire time. Here are the only pictures that I got.
Decorating the dock.
I helped with the flower arrangements, it was my only contribution, other than background noise for the ceremony!
The other love birds.
A rare happy moment from this sick girl.
“All of me” by John Legend. I like the song better without the music video.