Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Four Kids and a Wedding

Four Kids & A Wedding

For the second weekend in a row, we had another family wedding! This time, however, all four of my kids were in the wedding. The weekend was incredibly busy, and I just finished catching up on all the the things that got pushed aside, but we had such a great time celebrating the marriage of Alexandra and Zachary!


This weekend, we officially celebrated the marriage of our awesome cousin, Alex, to Zach. They got married before Zach deployed, but this was the big family wedding! My kids adore Alex, so they were thrilled when she asked if all four of them would be in her wedding over a year ago. It seemed like such a long time to wait, but before we knew it, the time was here!

Let me tell you...it is no easy task to have four kids in a wedding! Things didn't go perfectly, but then again, does it ever? Everybody made it down the aisle and back, and had a lot of fun at the reception, so I'm calling it a win!

The wedding celebration kicked off on Friday night! My dad ended up riding into Pittsburgh with us. It's a short drive, but he came along for two reasons: he grew up in Pittsburgh, so he could be my GPS, and Grant was sick and I needed a Liam wrangler! We all gathered at the church for the rehearsal, and ran through the next day's ceremony quickly. After the rehearsal, we drove to a nearby restaurant/bar for the rehearsal dinner. 


I only took one picture that evening, because as I always say, there's NEVER a dull moment. I had my phone on mute, but noticed my mom had called quite a few times, which is unusual. I went outside while they were rehearsing, and called her back. Turns out, she couldn't see out of the eye that she had surgery on a few years ago, so she thought her retina had detached. It had been bothering her all day, but she told me it was allergies.

I called Grant to take over, and he helped her find her surgeon's phone number. Her vision eventually came back, so they think she had a mini stroke. She repeatedly assured me that she was fine, and would go to the doctor, so I tried to focus my full attention on the wedding!

siblings

We had a fun night with our family, and didn't leave the city until well after dark. After a quick stop at Target, we arrived home late. I told the kids to shower, and head straight to bed because the next day was going to be a busy one!

Busy was an understatement! We woke up early, ate a quick breakfast, and I went over my list for the day approximately a hundred times. Once I was convinced we were ready for the day, we loaded up the car, and headed south of the city to the hotel where the reception was being held. 


After lots of traffic and a missed exit, we arrived much later than we were supposed to. The beautiful bride and the bridesmaids were nearly ready, and I had 30 minutes to get both of my girls into their flower girl dresses AND fix their hair. I don't know how we did it, but they were ready to go on time! Their hairstyles weren't as fancy as I had planned, but it worked!

flower girls

There was even a little bit of time to lounge around, and watch the excitement as the beautiful bride finished getting ready for her big day!

flower girl

flower girl

candid wedding photography

And then...it was time to go!

flower girls

The bride and her entourage headed to the church in the party bus, while I rejoined my boys in the car, and headed to the church with them. From that point on, it was a complete whirlwind! Liam was his typical overly active self, and would not stay in one place. After wrestling him in a tiny cry room overcrowded with the wedding party to get him into his tux, I spent the next 45 minutes chasing after him through the church.


Life with Down syndrome

Down syndrome

Down syndrome awareness

Down syndrome blogs

A few family members took over for me a few times, but they didn't know his tricks, and he escaped. At one point, he was found sitting in the open confessional, chatting on the phone. He dropped the name "Ella" a few times, so I'm just going to assume he was fessing up to constantly annoying the puppy!

Down syndrome

I managed to snap a few pictures of Dylan, Lexie and Lily waiting for the ceremony to begin, while chasing after Liam. Thank goodness they were ready to go and patiently waiting! I wish I could have taken more, but Liam is a full time job, and then some...

Candid Wedding Photography

Motherhood

Wedding

flower girls

life with Down syndrome

Finally, it was go time! Remember how I like to share the real moments with Down syndrome? Well... Liam almost missed walking down the aisle because he was too busy running away from me, then started crying when I picked him up and rushed him to the back of the church. He stopped crying, but refused to hold Lexie's hand and walk next to her like he did during the rehearsal. Instead, he walked a few steps ahead of her, saying hi to everybody he passed along the way. 


I missed the big moment of my four kids walking down the aisle. Other than the bride coming down the aisle with her dad, and leaving with her groom, I really wanted to see my four kids walk down the aisle. And I missed it, because they started walking down before I even made it to the middle of the church. I was really bummed, so I'm hoping the photographer captured the moment!

Wedding photograpy

I was, however, in the perfect spot to see Alex walk down the aisle. She was beaming with happiness!

Here Comes the Bride

Wedding Ceremony

During the wedding, most of my attention was focused on keeping Liam quiet and in a seat. He cooperated a bit better than expected, but it took a lot of work to keep it that way!

Life with Down syndrome

He did complete his ring bearer duty perfectly, and I did get to see it!

Ring Bearer

Ring Bearer

Ring Bearer

From what I saw in between opening packages of fruit snacks and keeping Liam silent, it was a beautiful ceremony! He still clapped after every hymn, but that's just the way he rolls! ;)

Wedding Photography

The ceremony came to an end, and an incredibly happy couple exited the church!

bride and groom

And this time, I did get to see my crew...kind of!

Ring Bearer

Flower Girl

flower girl

groomsmen

Everybody was looking forward to getting the party started! The church cleared quickly, the entire wedding party, with the exception of Liam, left in the party bus for the wedding photo location, and  Grant and I took Liam to meet up with them. 


It took a while to find street parking in the city, then walk through the park searching for the rest of the wedding party. Liam was a hot mess thanks to the 80+ degree afternoon, and the humidity from the rain shower that hit during the ceremony.

Life with Down syndrome

Meanwhile, the wedding party had an unexpected change of plans and returned to the church for pictures. They called us to bring Liam back, but by the time we walked him back to the car and drove back to the church, they would have been done. We returned to the car and cranked up the AC until the party bus arrived.

Wedding Party

Wedding Party

Wedding Party

Wedding Party

By the time we arrived at the hotel for the reception, everybody was exhausted!


Down syndrome blog

Life with a teenager

It was short lived...

brothers

We had about an hour of time between arriving at the hotel and the start of the reception, so we hung out in the hospitality suite, where the girls had gotten ready for the day. Everybody was drinking and snacking on appetizers. I ran errands for the wedding party, and tried to keep the one of the youngest members of the party entertained!

Down syndrome

Finally, the wedding party was announced as they entered the ballroom, and my kids' jobs were done for the day! It was time to have fun!

bride and groom

We trapped Liam in a highchair as quickly as possible, but he didn't really want to eat dinner. He just wanted to run!

brothers

Lily, however, was a different story. One thing about Lily: she can sleep ANYWHERE! Including a seat at a table.

Childhood

Childhood

While she slept, the bride and the groom checked all the wedding traditions off their list!

Wedding Traditions

Wedding Traditions

And Liam was the first one on the dance floor...and he danced until we left after 11 PM!

Down syndrome

We took a brief break to pose for some pictures! (Mom insisted.)

Wedding photography

Wedding Photography

Mom Life

Motherhood

We let the kids return to the dance floor, and they partied the night away with some of their favorite relatives! Of course, Liam had to keep us on our toes by escaping the dance floor every few minutes so he could race outside onto the patio, or climb the four flights of hotel stairs from the ballroom to the lobby!


By the end of the night, he had danced for 4 hours, ran outside at least 50 times at top speed, and climbed the steps just as many times. He had also danced with everyone on the dance floor, made friends with hotel guests that ended up greeting him by name on many of our running adventures, and made friends with everybody at the reception, including the DJ! He is absolutely exhausting, but his zest for life and love for others never fails to make me smile!

Dylan, Lexie, and Lily were too busy having fun to notice Liam's excursions, but thankfully, he spent more time on the dance floor, so I could be with my family!

Life with Down syndrome

Wedding Reception

Life with Kids

Wedding Reception

Wedding Reception

DSC_0330

Down syndrome awareness

Life with Down syndrome

Down syndrome blogs

Down syndrome

Down syndrome

Down syndrome blog

Wedding Reception

As 11 PM approached, they were still going strong! (HOW?!?)



And finally, one of them started to fade...

Kids for Real

Liam tried to revive her, but no such luck!

siblings

So he stole her basket and ran...

Down syndrome

...until Grant scooped him up so we could make our goodbye rounds!

Life with Down syndrome

flower girl and bride

Thanks to the late hour, our drive back to the city and then back to the suburbs was an easy one! Liam fell asleep within minutes, and everybody headed to bed when we arrived home. We were all exhausted, but content!

We had such a great time celebrating the marriage of Alex and Zach with my wonderful family! Being in the wedding party made the day even more fun and memorable for my four kids. It was a beautiful day for a wedding, and we are so excited for the happy couple!


Four Kids & A Wedding

WELCOME WEDNESDAY


Welcome Wednesday Link Party

Your Hosts! 

Whitney at Polka-Dotty Place / Bloglovin / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter 
Keri at Keri Lynn Synder / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 
Sarah at Sarah E. Frazer / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

<!-- end InLinkz script —>

10 comments:

  1. Wow! What a wedding party! And that is so awesome all your kiddos got to share in their special day! They all looked stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Liam definitely sounds hard to keep up with! It looks like you all had a good time though!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You did such a great job capturing the day! Looks like fun and exhausting all wrapped up in one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Becky! I tried...I just wish I had my new camera with me instead!

      Delete
  4. Aw, it looks like you all had a great time and it all worked out wonderfully, even if you got a full workout chasing after Liam! :) Love all the photos.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
  5. That looks like such a fun wedding! I only ever had one son in a wedding (that my husband was also in) and I thought that was exhausting! Kuddos to you mom. I'm sure the photographer got lots of great photos.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Liam was a busy boy! The kids look so cute all dressed up, and the bride looks beautiful.

    ReplyDelete

Let's chat! XOXO