Not like this past weekend.
On Saturday my baby sister got married. It's ridiculous for me to refer to her as my "baby" sister, as she is nearly 30 years old and we are only 5 years apart. But, she is my little sister, and always will be. And this past Saturday was one of the biggest days of her life.
Rachie got engaged earlier this year, and since then, I have been an active observer of her wedding planning. Make no mistake, she did all the work, but I thoroughly enjoyed weighing in on her flower options, her drafts of the wedding program, her potential cake flavors, her bridesmaid dresses (which had to accommodate my ever growing stomach) and even her wedding dress. It was fun - far more fun than when I was doing it for my own wedding and feeling all of the accompanying stress.
The lead up to the wedding was huge. I checked the weather incessantly, I checked her registry incessantly, and privately, I freaked out that I would have some pregnancy complication that would keep me from traveling. In fact, from the second I found out I was pregnant, my first thought was - but what about my sister's wedding? I just had to make it to that day. HAD to make it. With no complications or bedrest or God forbid, early delivery that could keep me away. I would be there no matter what. Just make it to October 5, 2013.
I made it, thank God.
My sister and I are very close. We talk on the phone every day, and though we are both older now, I still feel like I need to look out for her a bit. I have learned over the years to bite my tongue and not dish out unsolicited advice or talk down to her (which I am generally, though not always, successful at), but the fact remains that I care about her in an altruistic way. Not like a child, per se, but not like a normal run of the mill friend either. Her happiness is my happiness, her pain is my pain. I so wanted this weekend to be perfect for her - to be all that she hoped it would be.
The weather was perfect. It was 83 degrees and sunny. Perfect.
My sister was beautiful. I mean REALLY beautiful. It's not like she isn't always beautiful, but for every girl, there is a part of you that really wants to look your best of your life on your wedding day. She did, and then some. Her make up was perfect. Her hair was perfect. Her dress was perfect. But more than that, she was beaming with happiness. Just look at her!
The ceremony was beautiful. It was in a church, right on the Atlantic Ocean. My mom and my dad walked my sister down the aisle, and I don't know about everyone else, but I had to hold back sobs (like really, ugly, big sobs). My sister and her husband wrote their own, short vows. The ceremony was short (the best kind), yet felt complete. And, my kids were the best ring bearers ever (and the cutest guests, in my opinion).
The reception was a blast. All of the bride and groom's closest family and friends were there, which, notwithstanding the wonderful centerpieces and personalized printed menus, is the most important thing. The cocktail hour was on a lawn overlooking the ocean. The food was plentiful. The dancing was fun. The speeches were both entertaining and emotional (including my own - which I managed to deliver without the aid of any alcohol to calm my nerves).
It was just a great, great day. My sister and her husband were overjoyed. And so was I. So were we all.
But I'm not going to lie - in the aftermath, I am exhausted.
I had forgotten how all consuming and tiring these types of weekends can be, particularly when you are on the front lines. But adrenaline kicked in, big time. For three full days, I cast away all of my stresses and physical limitations. I forgot about work duties, blogging (ahem), and contractions. I threw myself full force into the festivities and the planning and the luncheons and the nails and the hair and the preparations. I prayed to the weather gods that the sun would hold, and it did.
The universe itself was on hold, it seemed. Because on Sunday, like clockwork, I came down with a cold. I started noticing the Braxton Hicks contractions again. And down came the rain. The real world has returned. And my due date looms.
But what a wonderful escape. It's not every day that your only sister gets married. It's a milestone for her, to be sure. But it's also a milestone for me. Because I got to see my little sister blissfully happy and get married to the love of her life. And that makes me blissfully happy in turn.
Congratulations, Seth and Rachie!