Whirlwind wedding weekend

Last weekend, my youngest brother, Jon, got married. I went with Jadzia to San Antonio to attend the wedding. It was a whirlwind trip.

We flew down Sunday morning and arrived around 11 a.m. We hung out at my Nan’s house. Jadzia enjoyed playing with Hayden in the yard. It was a beautifully warm day, and the adults were eating outside on the back porch. Jonny seemed at ease.

One of the highlights of the day for me (besides the marriage) was being introduced to the Nintendo Wii. The baseball and bowling games were a lot of fun. Justin, Jon and I played those two games along with my cousin Alan. Justin pretty much dominated.

While Jadzia had her nap, we boys had to head up to the church to get ready for the wedding. Once there, I learned that the nuptials were taking place several hours earlier than I had thought! I was a little worried about Justin’s wife Becca having to deal with her two boys plus Jadzia… But it all worked out well.

Yoli had spent two late nights sewing Jadzia’s dress. It turned out very well. Jadzia was very happy to wear her “ballet,” as she likes to call pretty dresses.

Jadzia was given a little basket with white cloth petals so she could be the flower girl. Hayden had a pillow with a decoy ring (Justin had the real one). Both kids practiced going down the aisle several times.

When it came time for the real wedding, things were going well until Hayden neared the end of the aisle, where the photographer was waiting. He got a little freaked and ran back. Jadzia kept going to her Nanny, who was calling her forward.

The ceremony was simple, short, and lovely. Jonny seemed a bit nervous in the way he spoke and looked. But once the official marriage stuff was all over, he was back to himself again.

The reception afterwards was a lot of fun. My aunt Karen and uncle Oliver cooked the food, which was delicious. There was some music and dancing. Jadzia was one of the primary dancers. At one point, she was dragging Hayden all over the floor, until he finally had enough and took off.

After everything was over, it was time to get home and get some sleep before the 3:30 a.m. wake-up for the return trip home. But I snuck in a little Wii time before hitting the hay.

Seventeen hours to St. Louis

The part of this plan I had been dreading from the beginning was the voyage back to St. Louis. In concept it had potential for disaster written all over it: spend 17 hours in a little car with a 2-year-old, your parents, no TV and no CDs.

Truth is, it wasn’t so bad. Jadzia did get a little bored and stir crazy at times, but we stopped somewhat frequently for bathroom breaks and food breaks.

In fact, I think I set foot in more McDonalds that Monday than I have in any other single day of my life. Most of these stops were for the potty, but we did eat lunch at a McDonalds. Later in the afternoon we stopped at the McDonalds in Vinita which spans I-44; it was once the “world’s largest” McDonalds. We had some real ice cream (which delighted Jadzia to no end) cones. This was another opportunity for disaster: Jadzia + melting ice cream cone + nice interior of Dad’s car. But there were no problems.

One other noteworthy part of the trip was that we ended up partially disassembling the car seat Jadzia was sitting in. It was a fancy Eddie Bauer model with this extra head pillow at the top. But that pillow was keeping Jadzia’s head too far forward and she couldn’t fall fully asleep. So, at one of our McDonald’s stops, we took the seat out and determined the pillow had only 4 screws holding it on. But we had no phillips-head screwdriver. I asked several plumber/utility-looking fellows inside if they could loan us a screwdriver, but none of them obliged. In the meantime, my dad scared up a little flathead and that was good enough to do the job. Jadzia slept much better after that.

All in all it was a weekend of adventure.

About Josh Renaud

I'm the Emperor of the Renaud Empire, which is to say that I'm the husband of a Boliviana and the father of three daughters and one son. When I'm not conquering lands and expanding borders, I'm a newspaper designer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Find me on Twitter (@Kirkman) or Google+.
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