Wander project the Wedding


Sunday, was the wedding of the century, well at least for my wife and I. The first wedding in our Nuclear family and the second in our family overall (my niece was married last September). My sister is planning another wedding now, although my other niece wasn’t aware of the planning that was being done until my sisters notified her of her September nuptials, 2020! I didn’t have much time for family at the event, lots of moving pieces and as the MC, I spent a lot of time focused on telling people what was next. I did get to meet quite a few of our new extended family members, and that was delightful. We ended up with nearly 80 people at the event overall.

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The pictures today are of the stuff leading up to the actual ceremony. It is of the dogs. My daughter and my son-in-law both love animals. We had the actual wedding and the reception at a petting zoo for the two of them! But their dogs are really important to them. Their two girls attended the wedding. Our former neighbor’s dog was the flower girl, and my dog was the Ringer Bearer. Since my dog’s nickname is Bear, we called him the Ring Bear for the ceremony. He was wearing a tux! Well it was a mini-tux that fits gently around his collar. Raven also was invited to the ceremony. My brother’s daughter (our niece) was responsible for helping Raven during the ceremony.

The twins walked the flower girl and the ring bear down the aisle for the service. The rings were in a bag around the Ring Bear’s neck (gently tied). The dogs were amazing during the ceremony, but for this initial part we are talking about getting ready. The dogs, other than Dylan all wore Tutus. Don’t ask me why that was something my wife and daughter decided on a long time ago. The flower girl’s escort was a twin, who threw the flowers for the flower girl. The processional was fun. We had an injured father (the groom’s father had broken his foot) and an injured mother (the groom’s mother had hurt her arm). The processional was also short one bridesmaid who was in a car wreck on the way to the event on Saturday.

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wander project the first wedding


Today I am sharing pictures of the actual wedding. I promised I wouldn’t share these until after yesterday. The actual wedding occurred in May. Well the legally binding ceremony was in May. The delightful reception with toasts and delightful interactions was yesterday. But the civil ceremony was held in the Courthouse of Franklyn Maryland. I was expecting a judge, a bench and a service in a courtroom. Instead, we got a nicely lit room, comfortable and perfect for a wedding. No judge required and not standing in a courtroom. The entire process took longer waiting than the service did. We didn’t wait that long either, and I just wanted to point out that the wait was longer than the service.

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Oh yeah, and the wait to go into the room wasn’t long either!

Frederick Maryland is an old city, and we enjoy going there. We went to Frederick once a week for the Twins and a game they were involved in playing. We would drop them off and wander off to restaurants. We held the reception/grooms/reseal meal the night before (Saturday) that I shared pictures of yesterday, in Frederick. The restaurant was Dutch’s Daughter, I figure with a name like Dutch. We drove up and parked behind the courthouse and walked into the building. We stood and waited for the folks (witnesses) that were coming. Then we checked in with the country clerk. We didn’t even have time to sit before we were off in the room.

The ceremony was beautiful, and I have many pictures that I will share later. I did promise my son-in-law that I wouldn’t share them until after the event of yesterday. The lighting in the room was soft, I was worried that the pictures wouldn’t turn out, but they turned out so well.  I will share more memories of the event yesterday, but today I am a little fried. I was on my feet for around 8 hours and talking for a whole lot of that time. I did manage to convince the twins to speak and welcome their new brother at the ceremony. They, the twins, were the highlight of the event. Without a doubt they gave the best speeches of the day!

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wander project a long road walked


(please note this blog is normally 3 days behind)

Last night was the last event before the Wadding today. Wadding of course comes from the wonderful movie Father of The Bride starring Steve Martin. It was the rehearsal dinner. This is my only post today, but I am focused on the wedding and need to get the day rolling now. I like to take odd pictures, and the truck parked next to where we parked was odd. The play on words as I walked towards the restaurant made me laugh. I think of Butchers Block, I think of Butchers knife, but I do not think of a Butchers Hook. I know, it is an odd picture. I took it because I couldn’t take the picture. Then, as I turned towards the restaurant to follow the twins, I noticed I had lost my wife.

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She is the maid of honor or mom of honor in the party and was kind of important. I turned around and saw my next picture opportunity. Yes, I am having our hair done in the parking lot of the restaurant. No one was willing to French braid my hair which was upsetting I have to say. I thought that my 9 or 10 remaining hairs would look wonderfully braided — no one else though that. In the long run it may have just been me.  Sadly the reality of the hair that has left makes braiding the remaining hair a lot riskier. We walked into the restaurant in Frederick Maryland. We have lived in this area for eight years now. In that time we have probably been to about 20% of the restaurants in the area.

The one we went to for the rehearsal dinner, was a place we had never been. The twins said “it looks like a mansion.” Our room was upstairs, and the main customer dinner seating is on the main level and the lower level, There are private rooms upstairs. It was an amazing room. The overall layout was a fireplace at one end of the room and the tables in the rest of the space. There was a moveable wall that could open the room up to seat two or three times as many people. The buffest was in the annex style room or bonus room on the backside of the fireplace. I gave Dutch’s Daughter 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp. You can see that review here. Now, we have to survive today (the actual Wadding!)

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wander project daughters


The movie “Must love dogs” applies to my daughter. She loves dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and fish. She had a Neon Tetra tank when she was little. I had to routinely sell the Tetra’s she produced to the pet store. The tank started at 20, and it never had less than 40 with my daughter care. She loves animals of all kinds. So it wasn’t surprising to my wife and me, that her finance was a huge dog lover (and animal lover). First, he is huge, well past 6 feet tall. But he also loves animals with the same passion our daughter has. Today they have two dogs, Tamsyn and Serenity. Serenity is not named for the emotional control brought by being serene. She is named for the spacecraft in the old Firefly TV show!

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I mean who doesn’t love Nathan Fillion?

My future son-in-law was nervous the first time he came to our house for dinner. By the end of the meal, we had already started a great friendship that continues to grow and evolve. The two of them are very cute together. Not that cute truly matters in a relationship. It is all about caring and concern. The two of them have that in spades.

The pictures today are from our daughters 9th birthday party in 2001.

The last two pictures are from the basement bar area. I have to say when you are talking eight loud nine-year-old’s, a little cognac makes things easier.

November 2001 was the beginning of a return to the new normal. Just a beginning. We had gone through the Y2k crisis the year before. Then sadly in September, the world watched a horrific even unfold. I lost a really good friend in that 2nd tower. But the world was beginning to move to its new normal. This was our daughters last birthday as a single digit. It was an amazing day.

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wander project daughters


Today I have more pictures of the kids in the pool. It is now short four days to the wedding. Starting tomorrow, family and friends start to arrive. Life is expressed in the hours before a big event. We review all the steps that were taken. We look for all the mistakes we made. Did we do this right? Were we right to do this? But it is also a time when you begin to draw new lines. A wedding is something that changes both sides of the couple and the families. We are suddenly bound to a new group of people. New traditions enter the world we have been living in. Doors that we never knew were there, are thrown open and the wind allowed to blow through our lives.

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There was a time when my daughter was little, and we had first moved to Indiana that she struggled. We left her friends in Cincinnati Ohio. She was close to the couple that serves as the Twins God Parents. She, our daughter, had a lot of friends. One who later moved to Chicago, they are still Facebooked friends to this day.  But other friends faded from memory. She was lost to the vagaries of time and distance. We live now in a world where you can have friends you never meet. But that world exploded long after we were in Indiana. I don’t know if our daughter reconnected with some of those friends. Or if they are lost to the tendrils of memory that we hold.

To end today with a story that teases my daughter and my wife. When our daughter was little, and we had moved to Western Hills, she was in a Daycare that was south of our house. We, after my wife came home because her job was far too much. Kept our daughter in a daycare/preschool as the Gamble Nippert YMCA. If you are playing along at home the Gamble in the name, was the Gamble or one of the founders of the mega-corporation Proctor and Gamble. She came home one day excited that she had met a new friend. “His name is Neck” she told us. My wife looked quizzically and said did you mean “Nick?” Our daughter shook her head no, “Neck.” They argued for a time, but neither side was going to budge.

His name was Nick by the way.

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Wander project Daughters


Today I have more pictures of the kids in the pool. It is now short four days to the wedding. Starting tomorrow, family and friends start to arrive. Life is expressed in the hours before a big event. We review all the steps that were taken. We look for all the mistakes we made. Did we do this right? Were we right to do this? But it is also a time when you begin to draw new lines. A wedding is something that changes both sides of the couple and the families. We are suddenly bound to a new group of people. New traditions enter the world we have been living in. Doors that we never knew were there, are thrown open and the wind allowed to blow through our lives.

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There was a time when my daughter was little, and we had first moved to Indiana that she struggled. We left her friends in Cincinnati Ohio. She was close to the couple that serves as the Twins God Parents. She, our daughter, had a lot of friends. One who later moved to Chicago, they are still Facebooked friends to this day.  But other friends faded from memory. She was lost to the vagaries of time and distance. We live now in a world where you can have friends you never meet. But that world exploded long after we were in Indiana. I don’t know if our daughter reconnected with some of those friends. Or if they are lost to the tendrils of memory that we hold.

To end today with a story that teases my daughter and my wife. When our daughter was little, and we had moved to Western Hills, she was in a Daycare that was south of our house. We, after my wife came home because her job was far too much. Kept our daughter in a daycare/preschool as the Gamble Nippert YMCA. If you are playing along at home the Gamble in the name, was the Gamble or one of the founders of the mega-corporation Protoc and Gamble. She came home one day excited that she had met a new friend. “His name is Neck” she told us. My wife looked quizzically and said did you mean “Nick?” Our daughter shook her head no, “Neck.” They argued for a time, but neither side was going to budge.

His name was Nick by the way.

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wander project daughters


Each child in our lives is unique. They are baubles — small bits of glass that both reflect and refine that light around them. As a parent, we are given a lump, a clump of sand. It is our job to get that sand into a container. Not a finished container, and not yet glass, rather we take the grains of sand and put them into a holder. A place holder truly nowhere finished nowhere near the glass. We, along with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors, begin the creation of glass. But the majority of the glass that is to be made is done by the child. They consider the exclusion of impurities or the acceptance of the impurities. Glass itself is clear, without color and the impurities at times can add color.

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The addition of color is wholly the child. As a parent, we work on polishing some parts of that glass of that creation that is our child. We buff those places that we can see. We do not touch the inner parts of the child. That resolution comes from within. We offer the impurities that we added to our polished glass bauble, but we do not force the impurities. There is a path to forcing the changes. Each child polishes their view of the universe and in that view moves towards the reality of reflection. That is truly the Their goal to create a perfect bauble that The reflects everything. The very refraction breaking the path of the light to send it off into the infinite.

As parents at times, we watch our children and wonder why they polish one part of their reflection more than others. We offer them proffer advice. Do this, we tell them. Listen to our words, and we are your parents. This gift that we give you will guide you. It will allow you to take the shape that you were meant to take. But as parents, we only see the shape we believe the child should take. We do not see what the sculptor wishes, what the artist within the eye of the child sees in the glass before them. We can only proffer what we know worked for us. We do not know what the glass will bring for our child. Some of it we know, we can predict what will occur. But we also have to accept the perfect reflection created in the glass by the artist that is our child.

(all pictures are of my daughter’s friends. Taken by my daughter!)

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