A Day of Chaos; Now in Order

Ahhhh, the ups and downs of sleep deprivation. Much emotion, chaos that ends in relaxation and wisdom. And the biggest surprise…wisdom came from my recent teenager.

The morning:

  • 4:15 alarm
  • 5:00 arrive at pool, launch Lync for conference call with Paris
  • 6:40 back on the road home with a round about trip to Top Pot
  • 7:00 back online
  • 7:55 rush to pool for second practice
  • Back online
  • 9:26 realized I was to be a pool 10 minutes ago
  • Rush to pool
  • 9:45 with 15 minutes to next meeting, time to shower
  • 9:58 back online
  • Work until 11:10

Out the door for swim “Dream” seminar hosted by USA Olympian Ariana Kukos. Parents stayed for introductions and stories of her swimming career, and returned early for a chat with the her mother on parenting an athlete.

Now to the office:

  • 1:50 arrive in the office, really cafeteria as 10 min to close and need lunch
  • Meeting
  • Meeting
  • Meeting , somewhere in the third meeting Bailie fell asleep on my office floor
  • 4:50 last email sent, rush out to Tam O’Shanter for swim meet

Arrive at swim meet at 5:20, only 20 minutes late. Downpour. Thunder. And the pool is emptied. By 5:50, the meet is cancelled. Now on to the joy of traffic. Not home until 7. Quickly made soup…

And as we started to gather at the table, Bailie pulls out the dominos for Mexican Train. Relax. Breathe. Enjoy dinner and impromptu family time. At the icing on the cake. Final comment before bed from the teenage: “I am amazing and no one can take that away from me.” Now that is wisdom. And an inspiration for a simple poem:


Thunder. Down pour. Another clap of thunder.

Whistle. Cancelled (swim meet).

Traffic (hideous).

Dinner. (Simple) taco soup. Mexican train night ensues.

Hunting (Officiant)

The tough conversation. What do we really want to say – or want said – in front of our loved ones.

He suggests a simple: “Do you?” “Yes.” “Do you?” “Yes.” ((and the ceremony ends))

I say: Don’t expect the photographer to capture any great pictures. And what would our Mother’s think? (My gut says they both wish the ceremony was in a Catholic church).

Eventually, I located a book that I read years ago. It was about rituals from birthday parties to funerals – and everything in between. It was good to reread the wedding chapter. And share it with Bill. It helped us come to the conclusion that we wanted a pre-wedding gathering. A happy hour of sorts. Which fit nicely with the venue as there was a garden tour at 6:30 each evening. A tour in the garden that WE were getting married in.

And as the weeks wore on, the ceremony thinking cropped up in conversation here and there. Most of it seemed to involve a certain scene from the “Princess Bride“.

Some where along the way, we started researching possible for an officiate. Most options were referrals on wedding websites. It just all seemed so impersonal. And commercial. I felt like I was shopping for a Santa to surprise my family on Christmas Day. Then Bill had a brilliant idea. He brought up asking his friend John. I immediately agreed. Luckily, so did John (at least that is what Bill told me).


Step-Dad In Training

The pre-marital bliss didn’t just affect Bill and I; Bailie’s life was going through more changes. Everyone was curious about how she felt about the changes. And instead of treating her life a teen and “getting out of her life”, people, both young and old, were compelled to ask her for her opinions and thoughts. No surprise, she really didn’t want to talk about it – or like being asked. She felt a little on display.

As her parent, I heard her refer to Bill as her step-dad-in-training when other kids felt compelled to ask who was with her mom. That was a good sign! She wasn’t afraid to tell Bill he was in training – and even tried to train him a bit to her way of thinking (or serving her needs). He happily helped (or took over) making her lunch for school (something she has been doing herself for three years). He took over some of her chores (especially unloading the dishwasher making her very happy). He bought more crusty bread to go with dinner. And if they were ever shopping together, she came home with more treats than if she would have went with Papa.

And she kept her smile. And most of the time, continue to joke around. And we even caught her singing sometimes in the shower or in the car. Singing has always been a way to know she is not just content, but happy.

Afternoon @ the Frog

In effort to start solidifying wedding day plans, I wanted to venture to Willow’s Lodge to check out the early summer gardens and eat my first meal prepared by the Barking Frog staff. Plus, I was excited to share the space we had chosen with Bailie. It took A LOT of arm twisting to convince Bill this was a worthwhile adventure (ha ha!).

Luckily, we had an open Saturday in early June. No swim meet. Okay, no all day swim meet – it was Fairwood time trials in the morning. So after the final swim, we headed out for the day with a 1pm lunch reservation. And, to my disappoint, we arrived to find out brunch was served. No sampling of the dinner menu for me.

As we reviewed the menu, my little frown turned upside down and a smile developed. Although the food selection was not a sampling of the dinner menu, we enjoyed:

  • delicious beignets, lightly dusted with powdered sugar and still warm
  • thin, shoe-string French fries, golden and crispy
  • gooey, cheesy, yummy mac and cheese
  • perfectly grilled cheeseburger

(Yes, all menu choices were heavily influenced by the 13 year-old at the table.) We paired with a few different wines and then washed it all down with a scoop of each of the day’s homemade ice cream selections.

Full to the brim, we ventured over to the Willows Lodge garden.

Ideal ceremony location picked! We likely will stand up instead of sit, however.
Ideal ceremony location picked! We likely will stand up instead of sit, however.

Luckily, we met Jillian. She was setting up for another event, but was much more interested in brainstorming with us. She answered every question we had. She showed us chair options. She shared her thoughts on what worked well with other events she has worked. I checked out the gardens to start to think about flowers that would compliment the natural background. Oh, and Bailie fed the truffle hunting pigs who call the garden home. We took photos so we could go home and review if needed.

Satisfied with our data collection, we headed down the road to a few local wineries – Darby and Dusted Valley. We came home with a few new bottles to sample – and a wine club membership. Bill liked Dusted Valley as much as I did back at our final Walla Walla Girls Weekend stop.