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Wedding and Such

Disclaimer:  Any typing, spelling or quality errors are entirely the fault of my iPad.  I'm not used to writing blog posts without my laptop and I refuse to take any blame if you aren't entertained, amused or delighted with this posting. Also?  This is a loooong post.  The first one of these I've done in a long time.   I'm not even going to proofread it before posting, so let the chips fall where they may.  I'm reckless like that.

This weekend I came to Albuquerque for my nephew's wedding.  Todd has been living here for a few years, since his first positing in the Air Force. I don't this he particularly likes it here, the seasons can be pretty harsh in both summer and winter, and the landscape is barren.  However, he was enjoying life as a single young man when, as he so romantically puts it, he met Vanessa who put some kind of black magic spell on him to make him fall for her.  It clearly worked. 

The date they picked for the wedding happened to be a three day weekend for everyone in my family (as public servants we usually get all the same holidays), but not everyone was able to make the trip.  Both of his parents (my sister and brother in law), his brother and sister and I booked a hotel and plane tickets and made arrangements to come down. We left Redding at 2:00am, drove two hours to the airport in Sacramento and had a very easy and event-free flight to New Mexico.  Part of the reason the flight was so easy for me was thanks to the makers of anti-anxiety medication because I am not an easy flier.  Every bump and rattle on a plane leaves me sweaty and committing my soul to baby Jesus, but I seem to have that fear a little more under control now. 

 Have I mentioned yet that none of us had met Todd's finance Vanessa yet?  That poor girl had to meet her new in-laws the day before her wedding. Anyone who has spent any time around my family knows we can be a rambunctious lot, which I think can be a little intimidating.  However, when Todd and Vanessa met us at the gate, it was like we'd known her for years.  She's a good fit, both for my nephew and for this family and her sense of humor and spunk will serve her well.  Plus, she's a cop in the Air Force, and can hog tie any one of us with little effort, even at 5'1, so a healthy dose of fear will keep the rest of us in line.

We had a really nice lunch at a fantastic Mexican restaurant near their house, and sat and talked for a long time, getting to know her and it was really wonderful.  The key moment for me was when I watched her face when she looked at Todd while he was talking, and vice versa, and they clearly adore each other. How could you ask for anything more?

We spent some time at their house meeting her brother and sister and being mauled by a pair of wild dingoes that may or may not have been pets of theirs.  The girl dingo took a shine to Vanessa's niece's stuffed animal, so we spent a lot of time holding the girl and the stuffed animal over our heads and out of reach, like we were fording a mighty river with a precious bundle balanced on our heads.

After a brief respite back at the hotel where we sutured and bandaged our wounds, we headed over the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner to meet the rest of Vanessa's family as well as some friends of theirs.  The Hard Rock here is actually a huge casino/hotel/event center, and they will be getting married there later today.  Dinner was a little disjointed because the staff sat us at a long, curved row of tables which made talking a challenge, but we had a really nice time.  Poor Vanessa on the other hand, got totally stiffed with dinner because they forgot to bring hers out, and when they finally did, her chicken was ice cold and we all shrieked as she was about to take a test bite of her potato salad. I can imagine few things worse than the bride being poisoned the night before her own wedding.  My sister, a powerful force of nature when someone in her family has been wronged, made the waitress bring out another meal, but when it arrived, Vanessa noticed the chicken on the bottom of the plate still had her fork marks on it.  Basically they pushed the food onto a new plate and tried tricking us.  

A weird moment in the evening came when the waitress approached our group and said a man at the bar wanted to buy all of the gentlemen at our table a shot.  He had been engaged to be married and had recently found out his fiancé was also dating his best friend.  Awkward!  He wanted someone else to hopefully have a nice evening and so we toasted Sad Stranger as he made his way off to another bar. 

My sister had a nice bit of luck because as we were leaving the casino, my nephew (the 13 year old) said she should play a certain slot machine.  She plunked down her money and doubled it in about five minutes, so she cashed out and gave him the winnings.  I'm going to have to have that little psychic pick out a machine for me later because Uncle Matt would love to have some luck of his own.

We haven't seen much of Albuquerque because we've been so busy, but it hardly matters. The important stuff is why we're here anyway, and I look forward to the wedding this afternoon. It's a strange feeling to watch these kids grow from tiny babies to adults with lives of their own.  I look at how far my family has progressed from where we started, and not to get overly sentimental or anything, but it's very humbling to know that what started as a tiny little group has grown into a tribe of noisy, funny, smart people that I couldn't be more in awe of.  

Today will be a busy day.   Hopefully my next post will be filled with lots of great pictures of the wedding, and then we pack up and head home first thing tomorrow morning.  I hope all is well where you are.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 12th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a whirlwind weekend but a grand one! Yay for good family :-) Enjoy!
Nov. 13th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
It was a grand weekend indeed!
Nov. 12th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
YEAH! Lovely!
And lovely to hear you smiling.
It is very strange and wonderful to be old enough to remember changing someone's diaper, and then to be seeing them get married.
Nov. 13th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
There were moments during the weekend when I kept having this disconnect between the man I saw getting married and the little kid I still can sort of see when I look at him. It was weird, but in a good way!
Nov. 13th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
New Mexico

Thanks for posting today. I am feeling so sad that I am missing it! I've been able to text Todd, Vanessa, and Shannon. Shan sent pictures and the whole event looks lovely. No Crying today, Uncle Matt!
Nov. 13th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
Re: New Mexico
Too late. Tears were shed!
Nov. 13th, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
Wedding and family
You sound so content in your writing... Can I join your family? They sound like a great bunch and you sound like a blessed man who appreciates it.
Nov. 13th, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Wedding and family
Thank you, anonymous! There's always room for one more member of the family, so sign up now!

I am indeed a blessed man, and I appreciate them all more than I could ever say.
Nov. 14th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
Yay for a lovely weekend and a special family event! :-)
Nov. 15th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
Totally yay. Such a great time!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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