Everything is hazy. My brain feels fuzzy. There are two possibilities, the last 120 hours either really happened or they were a total hallucination. If I told you that 3 days involved an airplane, a wedding, 25 tornadoes, food poisoning, an ambulance, a cute red headed baby named Violet, a flying biscuit, and racing laps around the airport in a ford Taurus, you'd probably say, "dream!" And, I'd have to agree with you if the pictures didn't say otherwise. I did go home for an extended weekend. I did go to a best friend's wedding. I did see my family- and niece, for the first time! I did meet some of my best friends at a restaurant called the Flying Biscuit.
Is it far from the truth to say that I was also in a quasi dream state? No. Two words. Jet lag. Dangerous amounts of caffeine powered me through the day. At night, I stared at the ceiling and fantasized about different ways of putting myself to sleep. They are as follows: being shot with a tranq. gun, a night cap (I was very close to resorting to this. If it hadn't been for the image of being caught raiding the liquor cabinet and then sent to rehab, I probably would have.), anesthesia, somehow bludgeoning myself unconscious (This solution was a little too grim for even me to creatively explore how I would have made that possible), counting sheep, reading Moby Dick, ingesting Tylenol pm and/or cough syrup and/or Benadryl, eating a huge State Fair sized turkey leg, watching the golf channel, drinking chamomile tea, a lavender scented candle, riding in a car, riding in a car while drinking chamomile tea and burning a lavender scented candle, allowing someone to put me into the sleeper position... hmmm choices choices
Lauren's ceremony and reception got a huge A+. The wedding was held at this picturesque castle-like villa in the country, the food was amazing, she was beautiful, of course, and everything ran without a hitch. But, and this is a big "BUT", the 12 hours before the event had us all a little worried that there might be an apocalyptic melt down. Bless her heart, she planned that wedding with such perfection. What's the expression, "When you want to make god laugh, make plans."
I flew into Raleigh on Thursday night. The following day, the bride's maids had lunch and got manicures and pedicures. We met the rest of the wedding party that night at the venue for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. It was a beautiful day- clear blue skies, warm weather. It was so good to see the bride and groom and their whole wedding party together. Everyone seemed to really enjoy each others company. Things started to unravel that night. To Lauren's great credit, there was no bridezilla moment.
Megan, Lauren, and I. We've known each other since we were 5 and 6 years old.
Lauren and the bride's maids the night of the rehearsal dinner.
I had been in and out of sleep Friday night when another best friend of mine, Megan, woke me around 4am to say that she needed to go to the hospital. I had heard her getting up several times that night, but I didn't grasp its severity. By the time I got up, she was dehydrated from the vomiting, shaking, pale, and complaining of a tightness in her chest. It had food poisoning written all over it, but there was no way to be sure. Was it food poisoning or, was it a virus? The food had been catered most of the day and, therefore, we had all eaten the same thing. We cross checked everything we had eaten.
We were just getting directions to the nearest hospital when someone ran out to say that another girl in her room woke up displaying the same symptoms as Megan. There were now two very sick girls and the owner of the Villa ill-advised us in trying to find the hospital in the middle of the night ourselves. An ambulance would be a safer, direct route and the girls would surely be treated immediately.
As the ambulance drove away we all stood in the foyer shaken by what had happened, worried for the girls, and undeniably worried for who was next. Whether it had been food poisoning or a virus didn't seem to matter much at this point. It was the night before the wedding and we had all shared food and the entire day together. I was secretly praying that it was food poisoning and not a virus. My sister was bringing my two month old niece to the Villa in the morning and I couldn't bare the thought of exposing her fragile immune system to a contagion. God only knows how Lauren felt. It was the day of her wedding. If she was scared to her core, she didn't show it much.
If the night before wasn't enough, the next day North Carolina experienced a freak storm in which 25 tornadoes touched down. One in our county. At this point, we looked out the window and saw tornado force winds hurling at least a dozen chickens and various other livestock (Just kidding! Okay, no flying livestock. I couldn't resist)
Somehow everything that had centrifuged in the last 12 hours began to come together again a few hours before the ceremony. The girls were back from the hospital and well enough to be in the ceremony, the power was on, the guests had arrived. It was a beautiful wedding.
I spent what remainder time I had with my family who had driven in for the weekend. I met Violet, my niece. It was understood that I would be the appointed baby caregiver that weekend (I'm not sure I would have been given a "Best Baby Caregiver Award" for my efforts. I tried so hard though! ). I held her, fed her, changed her, slept with her, and woke up with her at night; I certainly wouldn't have had it any other way. I only relinquished Violet from my arms when I had to bathe or, okay, eat... and I did so begrudgingly.
Violet woke up in the middle of the night. I certainly couldn't sleep and neither
could she so we had a photo shoot. I think the flash shocked her.
She has some of the best expressions =)
Violet slept with me Saturday night. She has this habit of rubbing her face
back and forth on your chest when shes fighting sleep. My
sister doesn't think so (less sleep time for mom) but I find it adorable
I love how she sleeps with her hands above her head <3
Bath time in the sink. I love the disconcerting look on Violet's
face. She is not thrilled with this idea, but going
with it none-the-less. She is the most well tempered baby
I know. She lets you play with her without so much as a peep.
Like mother like daughter
It was so hard to say good bye to my family on Sunday. One of the toughest moments of the entire weekend. I had dinner with some of my best friends from college at the Flying Biscuit that night. At this point, I was in a nearly comatose state from the exhaustion. I was also in a little bit of a stupor after saying bye to my family, but they came with smiles and laughter that brought me out of it.
It was great to go home, but the whole weekend had been tough. I think sheer happiness, peppered with a little sadness, mixed with a whole lot of sleep deprivation, spliced with a dash of stress in being home for the first time in 7 months exacerbated every emotion in me. I felt the need to explain to total strangers that I wasn't *normally* this emotionally unstable, but really, what was the point? As tough as the weekend had been, I'd go back and do it again because seeing everyone back home had really been something like a dream.. minus the chickens.