We did it. We survived our first road trip as a family of three. (We did have some passengers that were along for the ride...my mom and brother. They definitely helped us out.) Of course, we were not without some battle scars...bags under our eyes, stained clothing and one tired baby.
And this wasn't just a short road trip. Oh no, we decided Mason's very first road trip would be none other than Chicago. Normally, a six hour drive which turned into a seven to eight hour drive due to potty and feeding breaks. Despite the diaper blow outs and spit up, Mason was a champ. He managed to sleep most of the time. We did have a few unhappy noises and faces at times, but once he found his thumb, all was right in his world.
The reason for this road trip...celebrating my best friend's wedding. Laura and I have been friends since high school. So many wonderful memories of adventures that we have been through together over the years. No matter the time that passes we can always catch up right where we left off. I admire her so much. She found her way to Chicago after college, not really knowing anyone and made her place there...she has made it her home.
I was so excited to be able to stand by her side this weekend, so excited when I received her invitation asking me to be a part of her special day. So relieved that the timing worked out where I would be able to make it and not be too pregnant or that Mason would be too young.
But, this trip wasn't without its challenges. Trying to coordinate a long trip with a baby is tough. Making sure I packed enough. Coordinating times to nurse and times to pump. Having your baby take a bottle which has been a struggle. Making sure baby gets some sleep so as not to disrupt all the events. The long drive. I was worn out even before we left just thinking about everything. But despite all this, I knew I didn't want to miss this. She had stood by my side two years ago and I wanted to be there for her, to witness her special time.
I'm so glad that despite all my worrying and struggles, we made it and survived with flying colors.
And the wedding was absolutely stunning. Like out of a magazine stunning. Laura was beautiful. Her dress was perfect. The colors and how all the details were thought out and meshed flawlessly. Laura did an amazing job planning it all, but I knew she would...she's my creative friend :)
Our sweet Mason, he did great. He had his breakdown moments, but for the most part, he went with the flow and was a huge hit with everyone. He did get to spend quality time with his Grandma during the wedding and later that evening which he enjoyed.
Here are some snapshots from the day:
[Me and the Bride]
[The whole family]
[Bridal party table at reception]
[Dessert Bar which consisted of about 4-5 round tables. Amazing!]
[Groom had Superdawg brought in later in the evening. We really enjoyed these famous hot dogs!]
[Mason saving his energy for the reception.]
[The next morning at breakfast]
To Laura: You are beautiful, inside and out. Thank you for always being there for me, for being a constant in my life, for the many laughs that we have shared and even for the shoulder to cry on at times. I am so happy that you have found "your lobster" (sorry, just had to include the Friends reference). I wish you and Joe a lifetime of happiness. Seeing the two of you yesterday, seeing the joy and love radiating on your faces not just during the ceremony but the entire evening, I was content. Content that you are happy, that your love story is strong. Marriage is not always easy, but just remember this day, the moment of your vows and hang on for the ride because it is a ride. Sometimes exhilarating, sometimes bumpy but knowing that you have a partner by your side makes it all worthwhile in the end. And Joe will be right there by your side. Walking along with you. Hand in hand. Hold on tight Laura, it's a wonderful ride.
With all my love, Jayme
[At the salon]