Mother of the Groom Wedding Week Recap

Emery’s Wedding Season

This wedding season has ended for us and the younger Ben has stepped into his “husband shoes”. My head is still spinning at this reality, soy suegra de tres, hijole! I hope I can share the wedding season days and the wedding day with you and not be all over the place.

Wedding Planning

The weeks prior to the wedding we discussed in detail all the big parts and the minute details of the ceremony and reception. We were covering all our bases, we all had our assignments. It felt weird helping to plan from far away, definitely out of our comfort zone. A groomsman had to step out of his attending duties to attend to his very pregnant wife. Okay, Emery made an adjustment. Meanwhile, we figured out how to cut expenses with DIY projects, and the supplies for decor that we were bringing were set apart ready to be packed. Life in San Diego was so calm for us, unnaturally calm. The glitches and problems in projects were solved. Projects were complete and boxed. The Monday before the wedding burst into our lives and we had only to get through the maze of preparations for the trip. This shouldn’t be a surprise to you and I’m not trying to scare the upcoming wedding planners, pero, every last minute detail from the flowers being ready for pick up five days too early, to the macarons not being perfectly shaped, hit a bump.

Monday- My dress needed an easy tailoring fix and I took it to my dear friend who stepped right in to help me. Pero no fue fácil. I had to run to the fabric store, she couldn’t go herself. Thank God for facetime and good courteous help at the store. La senorita helped me find a certain kind of lace for a proper adjustment. The clock was ticking, I had my hair appointment at noon. A three hour slot for color, with lowlights and haircut. This was to be a tribute to my sister Patty who would have  been with me, but couldn’t. Ves, she always wanted me to do the highlights in my hair but I just never wanted to, somehow this ocasión seemed right to me. Patty was extra as far as a good presentation and this middle child of mine is too. Pero, after all that work, the lowlights in my hair were so low they weren’t visible! When I looked real hard I sort of saw a different color splash. I was so nervous about the change that she had been quite conservative with the “lowlights” . The hairdresser, my friend said, “well at least it softens and adds texture to your hair.” Not being too savvy about good hair or bad hair I smiled and said that my hair looked nice, y vamonos, to the next task.

Then in my fresh new cut and color I rushed over to Emery’s new place. He asked his Tia Sandra and I if we could make his place look clean, cozy and inviting for when he brought his wife home. Hijole! We did, because Emery is that child that asks and receives.

Ahora si I could zoom over to see about my dress. That night was filled with chores and errands.

Tuesday was for my much needed manicure and pedicure. I’m embarrassed to admit that usually it takes a special occasion or a trip to get me to do this much needed grooming. When you’re an abuela, the hang nails are overlooked and the arrugas might be appreciated. But for a soon to be mother in law to be, hijole my hands and feet also needed a complete makeover. Of course we made an occasion of it  and got together to do this, I was feeling pretty good as I looked down at my freshly done toes, que bonita. Derrepente, the pressure of responsibility changed for me when Cita, my niece, announced, “I’m handing over the ring to you, don’t let it leave your side, don’t forget to bring it and do be careful with it.” Immediatamente after my pedi and mani  I went shopping for a different cross body purse. 

Wednesday we were loaded up and on the road to Washington. Eighteen hour drive? No problem. “Sense and Sensibility” was not making much sense as I drove and listened at 1am. While Ben rested, or slept with not too much rest. Ouch! Oooh! Hijole! Twenty hours later we had arrived, we were ready to face the onslaught of work upon arrival to Everett WA. Ready to organize the wed…ding…zzzzz.

Ahora si, after some rest we could tell the wedding trolls “bring it on!” Rehearsal dinner, bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces and baked penne ala mexicana- all done with that purse on my body or at least very watchful eyes on it. Here’s a good place to mention that a 2nd groomsman had to step out of his wedding duties, having just been married himself, it was too much. Heavy sigh, it wouldn’t stop Emery. Luego, somewhere right smack in the middle of the rehearsal dinner, Cita did it again! She hands me the grooms ring and says “Rosie, you’ve got to hold on to this ring too, it’s Emery’s ring!” Ring duty was stressful. I’m still wary every time I put my purse down! El anillo! Que trauma! 

Bride and Groom at the Rehearsal Dinner

Y aun asi,  despite all our energy, enthusiasm and preparedness, life happened, those trolls snuck in. All those expected and unexpected bloopers happened. Like a building up of a great wave to ride, that last week of things to do and the anxious expectation of big changes, and the oopses piled up like a holding wall.

Sunday morning showed up bright eyed and bushy tailed. We were up by 5am and out in the car by 5:45am, a thirty minute drive to the venue with not an ounce of coffee in us, but the adrenaline was moving us into action.

Wedding Day Set Up Crew

We were the wedding party/ set up crew, with the groom right there setting up with us. Her church fam and our out of town guests were there ready and willing to help make the wedding day beautiful. Y así fue, It was a beautiful day lined with sweet moments. I did feel those bloopers though. “I thought you were doing that?” and “Did anyone bring scissors? A knife? Trashbags? Hay! What would become of this reception?!  I ran around here and there at the beautiful Blue Boy West Golf Course and Event Center like I knew what I was doing. The only thing I really knew was that my boy was getting married. After a while I went upstairs to the dressing room where the bride and her entourage were getting ready. Bam! I walked into one of the things that scares me most, getting all dressed up and glamourous, who was I kidding! All this girly glamy stuff made me want to run, córrele Rosalba! Then, in the far end of the room was my soon to be daughter In-law.

Em’s Mo

I peered into her morning makeover, in this case it might be more appropriately called a “natural beauty enhancement.”  Monique is a natural beauty. Her family calls her Nikki, she prefers Mo as a nickname and I have taken to calling her Ems Mo. She sat there sweet, innocent and beautiful. I felt her nervousness. I wondered about the Jewish beauty, Queen Esther in the ancient days. She had a whole team preparing her to meet the king. My son solo es un príncipe 🥰

I took a couple of blurry pictures with my ancient IPhone 7 of this beautiful girl, then went to get my dress on.

Did I mention that my friend fixed it and I was comfortable and felt pretty when I was all done up, hair, makeup, jewelry and shoes?

Ben, mi hijo, was ready to get his first peek at his bride. Up until this point I had kept it all together, not allowing the threat of changes to steal my peace.  When I looked upon my ‘Lil Em,” so grown up, a man ready for his bride, my resolve cracked a bit. I went up to him, and gave him my informal blessing and told him how much I knew God was in this whole wedding and marriage. I couldn’t hold back the admonishment that he should make sure to take good care of this beautiful wife God helped him find, a treasure indeed. We hugged and I prayed and I held back the tears. I was so proud to be that man’s momma.

I know my big sis is proud of him too. I wish again I could share the pics with my ama and my sisters in heaven, they too will be just as happy for him. Por su puesto que his tata would remind him “El que se casa, casa quiere” He who is getting married (casa) must be looking for a home (also casa) of his own. (sorri, en espanol it makes total sense) And I could almost hear my apa saying “Echale ganas!”

The Other Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Greene

This young couple gave all the glory to God for this moment in their lives. The flower girls were sweet little peas and the wedding boy basked in the wedding day, es que, he too loves Ems Mo.

The bride’s daddy held on to his princess as he walked her down the aisle and prepared to give her away. Senior Ben, yikes! Read a beautifully written prayer/blessing for his son from his heart. Just before the vows, the song; Growing Old With You  was executed beautifully, con mis hijos y nuera and other church fam members performing on stage blessing the newest Greene pareja. After the I dos, Emery reached for his wife hungrily! The pastor announced Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Greene, and the senior Benjamin Greenes, that would be me and my flaco had to resist the urge to stand amidst the cheers and clapping, the other Benjamin Greene and his wife walked triumphantly down the aisle. 

The Reception:

At a Greene celebration you will most likely find my salsa, we can’t have it no other way. Rosie’s salsa and chips to hold you over until the Taco cart ensemble is ready to serve. That sounded muy fancy, but those street tacos were as Emery and Thomas would say “fire!”

My baby, el Thomas, was the very best man! Y, in his unique stilo shared his heart about his love for his brother with the guests. Luego, his big brother Jonathan, spoke such beautiful words and blessings over his brother. Mi hija is so happy to be gaining another sister. Ben, the very fresh husband, sang a song to his new bride. y lo digo again, I am so glad God made me their Ama. In a whirl they went away under the sparklers. Pero, a warning: make sure you buy the right sparklers to prevent an accident. We had a close call.

En Conclusion: The Greene’s didn’t always “keep cool” but Jesus was among us and God’s peace sustained us throughout the season. Daniella was a great wedding coordinator. Mo and  her team did a beautiful job decorating at the church, did I mention that the rough gruff groomsmen had to pitch in and do their share of creativity with those centerpieces? They did a great job and everything looked beautiful. Hopefully Daniella will share some wedding day pictures with you. I’ll say this, a beautiful couple for sure. Felicitaciones a Mr and Mrs. Benjamin Emery Greene y que Dios los Bendiga siempre.

  The Wedding Day Approaches

Solo ocho dias. 8 days to go till I lose my hijo, not really, but yes really. My little Emery is gonna be a husband in one short week, a twinkling of an eye! Pero, wait! Are we ready? Of course I was ready for marriage. I was a very mature 22 year old bride to be. Everything for Ben and I was gonna be perfect. This young Ben is ready to fly, and all I can do is pray. I’m not ready.

The Wedding Vows:

I kinda want to sit him down, like a time out and make him read his vows and ponder on them and feel them, I did just that, as I pictured his handsome face looking into his bride’s eyes, bright and yearning.

“I, Benjamin Emery Greene take thee, ___to be my wedded wife (su mujer, Hijole! Is all that I will allow myself to think and write) to have and to hold from this day forward, (Oh God give him the wisdom, the passion, the grace to cleave to his beautiful girl always) for better, (Dios mio, let there be muchos “for better” days) for worse, (and please, oh please give my hijo strength enough for both of them when “the worse” days show up, maybe I should warn him, that they do up sometimes unexpectedly, and other times our foolishness invites them) for richer, (Asi es! Gods blessing pressed down, shaken together and overflowing! We do have a generous Father)  for poorer, (Hijole! Let this young couple learn to have joy even when Starbucks is out of the budget)  in sickness and in health, (Dios mio cuida a mi hijo y a su mujer, oh that my grandchildren would also thrive :D) to love and to cherish, till death do us part, (Jesus draw them always to you and each other, that they may grow old together) according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith.”

The Check List

Y por su puesto that my brain is exploding with all the details that can easily be forgotten. Conversations that seem random, but they’re not. De veras, they matter, I never really touch the real check list.

Me: Daniella, did they remember the plates for the appetizers?

Daniella: I’ll check

 Me: What do you think of using this scripture? Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” 

Daniella: I’ll make a sign with it.

Me: I’m gonna change the menu again. I am not comfortable making  “Pasta al limone”  I know Colleen says it’s easy, but I’m not used to following a recipe. You know how I cook, I tweaked it before I could get through with it, it was ok. Thomas liked it. Cita said it needed more lemon and it needed to be saucier. I’m not comfortable.  I’m gonna do Mexican. I’ll make enchiladas, verdes y rojas. Pero…

Daniella: Mom, just make your pasta bakes, you’re comfortable with those. 

Me: Yes, ok I’ll do that instead. We need to figure out the appetizer table. 

This conversation is getting more and more involved and tangled as the day gets closer. Y, the conversation with self is also endless. I wonder if my dress is ready yet? I’m glad I found shoes. I can’t believe that on Tuesday will be our last opportunity to sit at the dinner table together, asi es, our last time with Emery as a single man, mi hijo is going to the altar of marriage, que voy hacer? I just heard my daughter’s words again “Mom you have other children” Ya se, ya se, I haven’t lost a son, he’s not cutting me out of his life, but I kinda feel that loss right now as I’m also hearing my older sons words after Daniella was married “So how’s life without the princess in the house?” Bofetada! Hijole that transition was too hard for me. I’ll talk about the rehearsal dinner instead.

Rehearsal Dinner

Primeramente,  who instituted these edict rules such as a fancy “wedding rehearsal dinner” U yu yui, De veras? What stress just before the big day, but I guess it’s nice to say thanks to all hands that help make this day beautiful for the couple huh? According to the rules, it’s dinner for the wedding party, but with our church family, it’s all hands on deck! So our dinner party is much larger. Y mi hija, who is rich in creativity, is in DIY mode, she’s gonna make it beautiful, she only needs me to make it tasty and inviting, and I say, then let me cook Mexican food! Were having a nice Italian dinner, made by me, a strong latina woman. Breath Rosie, it’ll be delicious! Our family and friends, who will be gathered will love it, verdad que si? Because they love us. Relax, (what does that feel like?) the wedding is gonna be beautiful. 

En conclusion

There isn’t a conclusion, but I’ll keep you posted. I’ve gotta pack, I’ve gotta get my nails done and a petti. Mi hijo is getting married en ocho dias

Seasons of Life – The Next Chapter of Motherhood

One Life Transition at a Time

I am pro marriage. I’m pro marrying at a young age. You know, where a young man can experience life with the wife of his youth. We married young (sort of, though not as young as our kids).
Having a good marriage, a good husband and beautiful kids, I should have leaped at the chance to see my own children experience marriage like us, in God’s path. I did not. When love came courting our two adult kids I wanted to pull our welcome mat inside. Maybe because I was still adjusting to parenting adult children. Maybe because I loved our crazy, cozy family of six, (my goodness! I was barely adjusting to my first born being “Mr. Independent” Isn’t there a rule in life that says “one life transition at a time”?). I was afraid of the unknown, that fear is a part of life and you face it, right? But the rejection I perceived, that was a different demon. Love’s sweet song came and it screamed at me.

I would be forgotten

This winter marks ten years of our children marrying and starting their own families, apart from me. (My daughter would say “Not ten mom. I’ve been married nine years”). Pero, I’m counting the year before, when they made a choice for their life partner and marriage. Facing the reality that my two older children were gonna leave me and embrace another family was wrenching! (I was so emotional, some would say que exagerada! but the loss I felt was no exaggeration) I ached at the thought that when they married into “the other family” I would be forgotten, an afterthought. Listen, I want you to feel me here, please. My son (our first born) was getting married at the end of January 2012 and then the following week my daughter (our only daughter) would marry.

Two Weddings, Two Bridal Showers and Two Rehearsal Dinners

The public display of engagements rocked my world as they declared their love and commitment. I entered into work and planning mode. The details of both weddings overwhelmed me in one sense but kept me from melting down in another. Two weddings, two bridal showers, two rehearsal dinners. I pressed in.

A problem with the venue? Sorted out. A problem finding the most beautiful dress in San Diego? Mission accomplished! A mix up with the invitations? Fixed. Favors? Agreed upon. Feeding the 200 guests? No problem. An issue with the mother of the groom? (wait! that was me) An issue with the mother of the bride? (Also me). As the wedding mines exploded (Man, issues came up even throughout the wedding day!), we navigated through the rubble and put on two simple (HA! not in my eyes) and sweet weddings with two beautiful brides and dashing grooms.

Then life stopped moving, both my kids were gone. The whirlwind had settled and we were left with the guests, their noisy congratulations and the clean up. While I was unraveling I couldn’t see my Benjamin’s sad heart (Which is usually hard to do with quiet, in control people anyway) until I heard it.

Who Gives This Woman to be Married…

My husband, Steady Eddie (I call him a cold blooded Englishman, because he seems so unmoved and unemotional most times ) was giving his only daughter away to another man. I had teased him through the years of raising our daughter about him loving another girl. She was the apple of his eye and I saw how much he cherished her.
Ben tried to prepare himself for the part of the ceremony of “who gives this woman to be married to this man”. He searched for a song that would declare his heart and found the country song “I loved her first”. This is how he was going to give her to her new love. He would publicly declare his love and release her. (What?! such a public display of emotion) I wondered if he would go through with it.

On that February morning I saw just how difficult this give away was for him. When our pastor asked, “Who gives this woman (que woman! our little girl!) to be married to this man?”

I Loved Her First

Ben stood up and walked to the front of the pulpit and before all guests he sang . My unemotional husbands voice cracked as he quietly sang “I loved her first, I held her first, and a place in my heart will always be hers…” and it seemed like everyone in the room ached with him. I had been so busy trying to survive, that I never looked over at Daniella’s daddy until he gave her away.

When it was all over, we entered another stage of our lives and we moved toward adjusting to the quietness of our home. Now, I could see that we all (my two little boys felt her absence as well) were feeling a void. I wrote this as I relived my Benjamins part in his daughter’s ceremony:

Bens Little Love

Ben wanted a daughter; so sweet and soft.

Ben held his breath, he hoped and he prayed.

He peered at his baby, a wee little girl.

Immediately a new kind of love forged between

father and daughter as he held her first.

His eyes bright with awe as he looked at this bundle

Sweet little mouth, tiny little hands, wispy strands of hair

She wanted momma, and he patiently waited

She wanted up and he anxiously lifted her

She wanted more and he graciously gave it.

What a pleasure it was to give to his daughter

She took all that he gave

Our sweet handmaid had eyes only for him

Then one day, she grew up and loved another

He loved her so much, he must step out of the way

She still was his princess, always his princess

Ben’s Princess Remains…

After a decade, the three beautiful little grand-princesses prancing around us have brought joy to us for sure, but it is quite evident that Ben’s princess remains in her place within his heart. By the way, she’s giving back now. Three beautiful grandsons (I know I should describe them as handsome, but to Ama, they’re also beautiful!)