Backtracking... to a perfect day.

It makes a lot of sense to blog as you go along. Looking back and trying to catch up afterward is no easy thing, but making time during the chaos isn't easy either, at least for me anyway. So now that the wedding weekend has come and gone I'm looking back with amazement at how fast it all went considering the amount of time put into making sure all of the details were perfect.

The wedding was beautiful, but being a part of it, right in the heart of it, I felt as though I couldn't really get a full sense of how it all went, what the atmosphere was like, how everyone felt. Walking my beautiful daughter down the aisle with my amazing husband meant I couldn't see all the others who walked before us. If only I could've split myself in two—sitting in the front row watching Rachel and all the others, including the cutest ring bearer and flower girl, walk down the aisle with all eyes on them, and walked with Hannah and Boyd with all eyes on us. But of course life doesn't work that way and so we'll have to wait for the video and hope it captures the essence of the moment.

The sanctuary at Beth Torah provided a beautiful venue for Hannah and Dann's wedding—it's elegant simplicity required no further decoration. It was the place Hannah grew up as a Jew and is her spiritual home. She has always been surrounded by people there who care for her and her wedding day was no different. And then there is the wall of windows looking out to the glorious wall of trees beyond. The theme of the wedding was trees—Torah and camp—trees are a symbol that remind us of both. We couldn't have created a more perfect backdrop than the one God planted outside the sanctuary.

Hannah and Dann wrote their own vows that they read as part of the very traditional Jewish ceremony—the perfect blend of old and new. And, what they read was so touching and funny and heartfelt. Dann, the ultimate geek, gave us a peak into his inner self, and showed a little of the eloquence inside the man who usually writes "code" and how much he loves Hannah. And, Hannah, to whom this kind of writing always seems to come easy, came through in typical fashion with her great conversational style and even some humor. They both put a smile on my face and brought tears to my eyes.

And then there was Boyd. Such a talented man, who sings like an angel and with such feeling. As he sang Y'varechecha along with Tim during the ceremony with all our friends and family there, I was so proud to know that he is MINE. What a wonderful gift he gave to Hannah and Dann by blessing them literally with beautiful song. But he didn't stop there. At the reception he delivered such a poignant, meaningful toast that blew everyone away, and then followed that with a song he sang at our wedding almost 28 years ago. There was probably not a dry eye in the room. If I spent hours upon hours working to make the day perfect before the wedding, Boyd's contribution to the day was the cherry on top of the cake.

But there were so many other people that made the events so much fun. It was the enthusiasm of the wedding party—the sisters and brother of the bride and groom, the cousins and the friends who brought so much energy, fun and sincerity to the events of the weekend. They partied hard and cared so much about Hannah and Dann. They spent the wedding day practicing the dance steps to "Thriller"—a group of people who hadn't all known each other before but came together to celebrate the marriage of two people they loved, and then awed everyone at the reception. So many thanks go to them for the atmosphere they helped to create.

The musicians who played during the ceremony also have to be thanked for their contribution to the day. It was Rachel's friends and teacher from orchestra, people she's known and performed with for 7 years, who provided the musical backdrop for the moving ceremony. Having a connection to those people personally, people Boyd and I have worked to support through the orchestra parent group, created an even deeper layer of meaning to the music. It broadened the sense of community we felt.

There were many friends and family who came from great distances to share in our celebration and it was so wonderful to have them here and we appreciate the time and money it took to make that happen. But, there were so many people who couldn't be with us and they were missed terribly. The only thing that could've made the day more perfect was to have had their presence here with us, though we know they were here in spirit.

And so the weekend and all of the festivities are over—the rehearsal dinner at the Chinese restaurant, the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the KC barbeque dinner the night before the wedding, the ceremony and the reception. The decorations are all packed up, the flowers are wilted and gone or pressed between the pages of books, the gifts are unwrapped and waiting to be delivered to Indy in stacks on my dining room table, the leftover food sits waiting in the freezer, and the family and other guests have gone home to cities around the country.  The feelings will stay forever.

As time permits around all the work to do that was put off while the wedding priorities came first, I will post some pictures of the details that helped to make the day special for Hannah and Dann. Mazel tov to the newlyweds—I love you both so much!

A good man gone

My great-uncle, a man greatly loved by many people, left the world this weekend. He was loving and kind and generous and funny. Rachel snapped this picture the last time we saw him, enjoying the whole family being together.

He will be missed by many.

Night at the Royals

We took Hannah and Rachel and their "boys" to see a Royals game while Hannah and Dann were in town. The special night included a Hall of Fame game played by ex-Royal greats including George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson & more. That game was followed by a regular Royals game. It was a long night of baseball but the weather was perfect and made being outside wonderful. Of course, the company I kept was perfect, too. We all had a great time, nobody more than Boyd, who was in Baseball heaven.

Mom and her friends

It's been much too long since I wrote a post here. I'm going to try to catch up on the happenings of the past couple of months over the next several days.

First big happening was my mom's move back to Denver after 12 years living here. She had a lovely turnout of friends at an oneg just before she moved. What a great group of people make up our community!

Now she's getting settled in a new assisted living apartment in Denver and is being well taken care of. And, this Saturday is her 75th birthday. Sadly, we won't be able to be there to celebrate with her. So we'll be sending a few gifts and lots of virtual hugs and love to her new home. It's quieter around here lately and I miss my Mom. Happy 75 Mom!

Pearl: Guardian Dog

Next to Teddy Bears, dogs were on the list of Grandma Betty's favorite things. Dogs and cute, little children. Since I don't have any little kids anymore, I brought Pearl up to Betty's room for a day. Pearl surprised me. She didn't bark at all of the fun people she saw and didn't try to leave the room to go exploring all of the exciting new places to check out around the home. Instead she curled up on the end of Betty's bed and did what Maltese dogs do naturally–be a loving companion. I don't know if Betty felt her presence in that room at the end of her bed, but I thoroughly enjoyed her calm demeanor and comfort. Her soft, white fluff and warm, cuddly, little body made it easier to sit there in the room and give comfort to Betty. Thank God for dogs.

Betty Bear

My mother-in-law is a very kind-hearted woman who has spent her life taking care of others. Now we are taking care of her. She fell last week, fractured a vertebrae and has been declining in the hospital since then. Each day she has become less responsive.

I've brought family pictures to have around her in case she might be aware of them. I want her to know that everyone is praying for her. She's also the proud owner of over 500 teddy bears that she used to have crammed in a very orderly fashion into her teeny-tiny apartment. I've brought a few of those bears to the hospital to keep her company, too.

If anyone reads this silly ol' blog, please keep Grandma Betty Bear in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks.

More travel pics

I had such a nice, relaxing trip but haven't taken the time to post some more photos. Here are a few more of my favorite shots.

An iPhone is a very convenient way to snap pics unobtrusively.

A room with a view... in several directions.

Allison weighs herself at the Museum of Natural History.

Colin is a dinosaur aficionado.

Rachel is excited about the arrival of her pizza.

The Jacobs-Bolter Family in Times Square.

One of my favorite places on Earth.

I'll have shots from the trip home tomorrow. I hope.