Thursday, March 02, 2017

Our trip to California for my sister's wedding

Last month – on the 22, actually – we did something we had been spending months and weeks preparing for: We traveled to the California desert to attend my youngest sister’s wedding. She and her longtime partner, Allison, finally tied the knot – after 20 years together! We were so excited and happy to see the two of them get married. Even before Millie married Allison, we knew her as Millie’s friend, and she’s been a part of my family for a long time. And even before it became legal last month, I considered Allison to be my sister-in-law and the kids considered her to be their aunt.

So on February 25, 2017, Millie Colclasure and Allison Warner were married. It was such a beautiful wedding. I got to be a part of the "bride tribe" – one of the maids-of-honor. And I’m a 42-year-old married woman! But I still got to be a part of her bridesmaids. Two of my other sisters were there, too, as bridesmaids: Jeanette and Elizabeth (Liz). Both of them are also married and a little older than a typical bridesmaid. But there we were, her sisters, a part of the ceremony to witness her marry the love of her life.

It was truly amazing and beautiful to witness the joining of the Warner and Colclasure families. We love everyone in the Warner family and I even call Allison’s grandmother “Nana” just like everyone else. (So does Millie.)

My son, Jesse, was the ringbearer for the wedding. It was the first time ever he has been a ringbearer! He was so adorable and it was so cute to watch him walk down the aisle carrying the rings. My daughter, Trevor, was also a part of the wedding: She got to be one of Allison’s bridemaids. I was very happy that I and my children got to be a part of the ceremony.

We had quite an adventure getting from Eugene, Oregon to Palm Springs, California. Before we left, though, there was all this drama going on about the arrangements we had made with some people to take care of Trevor’s animals while we were gone. The whole thing stressed me out. On the day of the trip, I freaked out so bad that I thought of not going. It was either not going or putting the animals into the back of the van and taking them with us!! Fortunately, family and friends calmed me down and I was able to think logically again. (I guess I don’t handle stress well!) We made new arrangements and I set up back-up people in the event that didn’t go as we planned. Then there was more drama and I had to deal with THAT and after everything got squared away in all of the arrangements we had made, we were FINALLY able to leave.

We had planned to be on the road all night but that didn’t happen. We had car trouble in Medford. We ended up having to get a motel room in Medford for the night and then getting the van fixed the next morning. We had to get a new part for the van (OF COURSE!) but after that was cleared up, THEN we were finally on our way! Again!

The rest of the trip was uneventful. I posted updates about it on my personal Twitter account. And I took A LOT of pictures – both on the trip there, while we were there, and on the way back home.

The kids LOVED California. Jesse had been in California before, when he was one (he was born here in Eugene), but I’m not sure if he remembered much of it. They really soaked up the sun and checked out the palm trees. They had fun walking in the sand and going hiking with their cousins in the Thousand Palms Canyon.

I was so happy to be back on my home turf. Seeing those beautiful mountains and those amazing palm trees again made me feel like I was in Heaven. I never realized just how much I missed all of it. And it was good to see family again, too. I hadn’t seen them for years! Kids had grown so big since I last saw them. I was sad I didn’t get to see everybody, but I was cherishing every minute I spent with the family I did get to see. There were lots of hugs, tears, laughter and we all took lots of pictures.

It was just an amazing and awesome experience. It created a lot of happy memories I will cherish for years. Same with the kids.

I have not yet downloaded all of the pictures from the trip (though you can see some of them on my personal Twitter account!) or pictures from the wedding but I will upload them all soon. Meanwhile, the picture shared here is one I got from my sister on FB. It was great to see family again, meet new family and make new friends. I was sad to leave but we all decided that we should make plans to go out and visit more often.

So we are back home in Eugene, Oregon. I have been spending the week getting EVERYTHING unpacked, sorted and put away. We ended up with a pair of shoes and a sweater that didn't belong to us and found out they belonged to other family members! Oops! I have also tackled a mountain of laundry, restocked the house with food, and got the kids back on schedule for school and sports. Jesse is happy to be back with his basketball team again! Trevor turned in all the homework done while we were away and the people who took care of our animals were thanked and paid. We have also enjoyed sharing and looking at all of the pictures taken from the trip and the wedding. I have also been taking a little time here and there to sort through the ton of email I had waiting for me.

Many thanks to the people who helped us out for this occasion: My sister, Millie, Allison, my other sister, Jeanette, and our friends Kim, Miette, Julie, Tim and Oscar.

I may have returned to Oregon, but I left my heart in California. I guess I’m a California girl for life, no matter how long I live in another state. I’ll be California dreaming for a very long time – at least, until I will get to go back again. I hope that will be soon.  

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