Follow on Bloglovin>
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

The lost bouquet

 

 The Lost Bouquet by Frugalista Blog, wedding, anniversaries, marriage, bridal

 

If you’re like me, you pretty much obsessed over every wedding detail since you were five.

Of course, by the time I was 25 things changed. Like, I wasn’t going to have a horse-drawn carriage or a dress with a hoop skirt. The 80s of my childhood consisted of a lot of Princess Diana wedding dreams. Then my teens and early twenties took me to an obsession with Jackie Kennedy. So much so that I found a very similar wedding dress like the one she wore when she married John.

And in my typical fashion, it was on sale!

That’s pretty much where my Jackie Kennedy vision ended. Except for the wrist length gloves and strand of pearls I wore. But there were no dignitaries, senators, or heads of state at our wedding. And we also had a budget, so no old Bouvier money to pay for the jazz band I ordered.

I found a florist that I simply fell in love with. She created a ‘Martha Stewart’ type portfolio of lush foliage. And actually, Martha Stewart had only just started her Weddings empire in the early 90s, so all of this seemed ahead of its time. I kept in mind the orange blossom and narcissus flowers Jackie had used, but I also had a theme of hydrangeas throughout. Hydrangeas everywhere!

When we headed out for pictures the morning of the wedding with my bridesmaids, I was tucked in the backseat of my dear friend, Melissa’s Subaru Outback. My dress spilling over me, I dare not move, but the flowers had arrived and I wanted to see my bouquet. She brought it to me in the car and I carried it on my lap in its delicate cool-petaled glory. It was fragrant and felt just the right weight in my hand. I arrived at the park that had the rose garden we reserved  for pictures and for my groom to get his first glimpse of his bride.

It all went perfectly well. The clouds hung over us like they were about to rain, but held off, not sprinkling but creating a reflective veil of lighting for the photographer.

I felt fabulous in my dress. I felt terribly uncomfortable in my shoes! But that’s another story. They sure were adorable. Everyone looked beautiful. I held on to my bouquet tightly. It was an anchor for the day. Giving me something to do with my hands, drawing me in to its delicate, sweet scent. Scent is a powerful thing. It settles back in our ole factory glands and burns itself in our memory vault.

I had the florist make a mini bouquet for the bouquet toss at the reception. It was a sweet little nosegay of similar flowers so I could spare my bouquet and have it as a keepsake.

By the end of the festivities and cake cutting, garter throwing and first dances, so much was happening and time was running out to get changed and to our honeymoon suite. I felt like Cinderella at the ball. I didn’t want it to end, but the clock kept ticking and even though I wasn’t going to turn into any pumpkins, we had to keep a schedule. I knew my bridal party would look after all the cleanup and details that bridal parties do. All our bouquets were on the cake table to add to the floral decor. I needed to change and run off with my husband for our wedding night. Things like where to store my petticoats and paying the caterer were left to all my ladies in waiting of moms, aunts, bridesmaids, sisters, etc. I knew things would be handled.

The next day at my parent’s house was a wedding breakfast. An all day open house that gave us time to soak up each others company and bask in the post wedding glow. For friends and family that traveled from afar to be with us, this was an extra special day that gave us that time to share without so much of the craziness of the previous day’s events.

I saw many of the centerpieces from the reception displayed throughout my mom’s living room and patio.

“Where’s my bouquet?” I asked her.

After going through each and every box, vase and display, my bouquet wasn’t anywhere. Not one of my bridesmaids remembers picking it up.

Strange, because most of the flowers made it back to my parent’s house. How could this particular piece not?

I didn’t get too upset over it. Heck. Lots of things could have gone awry for the occasion and that was such a minor thing. So many of my cherished people were working so hard to make this day a success, what was a little detail like ‘we lost the bride’s bouquet’ going to really add up to in the end?

Anyway, we had a two week honeymoon ahead of us to New England to see the sights of Cape Code, Vermont and the shores of Maine. There wasn’t any need to worry about some dumb flowers.

After returning from my honeymoon, I still needed to get some last few personal belongings from my apartment I shared with my roommate, also a bridesmaid. I let myself in when she was at work, and packed up my final box of whatever. I noticed her bridesmaid’s bouquet sitting on a side table. It was drying and looked like a still life reminder of the fabulous event that had just happened two weeks prior. I felt a let-down of sorts.

It was over. All the planning and dreaming, magazine clippings, dress shopping, fantasizing was done. I had had my wedding that I wanted. It was a dream come true.

I was jealous I didn’t have a bouquet of my own drying on an end table.

One year later, celebrating our first anniversary, we had planned a weekend getaway to Victoria, B.C. We were going to visit the gardens and have high tea. It would give us that feeling of the wedding that took place among the gardens and flowers a year prior.

The night before we were to leave as we’re packing, James tells me to close my eyes and he wants to give me my present.

I’ve had presents and surprises from him before. Mountain bikes. Hmm, that didn’t go over well. Ice cream cakes. Okay, sweet, but I’m lactose intolerant. I figured this would be something charming and funny in his typical style.

I didn’t cheat. I kept my eyes shut. But I could smell it before I could see it. The fragrance hit the back of my sensory triggers and brought me all the way back to the beautiful day a year before when I married this man.

There was my bouquet. Not the same one from the wedding, but an exact replica he had the florist recreate.

I cried.

Its petals were cool and soft. It had the same weight of the first one, anchoring me in place as a bride. Orange blossom, freesia, roses and narcissus wafted above.

I couldn’t stop looking at it, smelling it and holding it. Much like a little girl getting a new doll, I was enraptured with my bouquet! I also, was unbelievably overwhelmed with gratitude and fulfillment that the man I married could see into my feelings and heart so much to know this mattered to me.

It meant more than any jewelry or crystal, paper or clocks, that any anniversary list could have.

I kept that bouquet for 16 years. I only just threw it away after going through a revamp of my living room. It was disintegrating and dusty. I didn’t preserve it professionally. I didn’t need to.

I had had my fill of my flowers, I had my memories and pictures. And I had my husband who cared so much about me and understood sentimentality like I could only hope.

It was a dream come true, that I hadn’t even dreamed in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My son got a loft bed. And then my heart broke.

My husband doesn’t build things. He is handy. But he doesn’t just start crafting things in his wood shop. I mean the crap pile of tools and things that need to go to Goodwill that makes up our garage. However, he had promised Owen a loft bed and he was going to build it. Like Noah. Just kidding.

Owen has been so excited for his new bed. He’d been talking about it for months. He and James drew up the plans together and he was so anxious for it. It was promised for the new year and I really didn’t think it was going to come to fruition.

Well, long story short. James built the loft bed. And he did a great job! An entire weekend he spent sawing, measuring and drilling in the garage. This was weeks ago and there’s still saw dust everywhere. But that’s beside the point, right? Right.

The frame was immediately up in Owen’s room as soon as it was assembled. It’s about 5 feet off the ground. The kids and the dog, wasted no time checking it out. The cat does too! Both Emma and Owen are enjoying the bed above the ground, and the space under the bed for sitting and reading or playing games. I join the fun too and heave myself up the little ladder. Nothing makes you feel your age more than having to climb a ladder and expertly swing your leg over on a bunk bed without getting your arms and legs in a tangle. Holy crap, I was never meant to be a fire fighter.

Was it weird to have my son suspended from wooden 2×4’s 5 feet off the ground that my non-carpenter husband constructed? Yes. But the amount of bracing and bolts in the thing assured me it’s not going anywhere.

That night Owen is more than excited to go to bed and try out his new sleep digs. All his bedding is ready. He’s lined up his stuffed animals and pillow pets along the wall and railing as an extra barricade.

I don’t bother climbing up there. One, I’m scared my weight will be the tipping point for the wooden slats to bow without yielding. Two, it’s just really hard to get up there.

Owen doesn’t care. He’s snuggled in and ecstatic to go to sleep! I get up on my tippy toes and he leans to the railing for me to give him a kiss. He kisses me on the cheek. “Love you, good night, sleep well.” Is what he always says. I kiss him on his cheek, and steal a kiss on the top of his head, I rub his head a little extra and fluff his hair. Giving his arm a squeeze and leave him as I turn out the light and shut the door.

And then it hits me like a curve ball. No more can I lean down and kiss him goodnight or kiss him good morning and lean in to smell his head and put my nose in the curve of his neck. How did I not see this coming? Had I remembered this, the last night in his old bed, I would have done extra snuggles. I felt completely blind-sided. I hadn’t prepared for this stage of the parenting game.

My heart was broken. A little something died in me.

I know that sounds melodramatic. But he is my baby. My very tall, gangly limbed 10 year old baby. He’s a mama’s boy. And a little piece of his childhood went away with that old twin bed he’d been in since he was 2.

With all the excitement of the new bed, the wondering if James was really truly going to build this thing, I had forgotten about the sentimental aspect of what the old bed meant.

You always think of the transition from crib to Big Boy bed. It’s a huge deal. And seeing that crib disassembled and all packed up off to a Craig’s List recipient gives your heart a start, of course.

But I didn’t think of the Big Boy bed to No Longer a Boy but Almost a Teenager bed.

I see the horizon already of puberty and adolescence with Owen. His moods are changing. His sleep habits are evolving to where I need to wake him for school and he’s no longer MY alarm clock. He gets angry easily and pouts more often. A sign of the surging testosterone in his body. Oh help us. We braced ourselves when Emma went through this hormone tornado, and is STILL going through this. But the first couple years seem to be a different storm.

The cusp of child to pre-teen is even more difficult than full blown teendom. It’s confusing. It’s vexing. He’s a little boy still, you think. How can this be?

I’ve noticed a few changes over the months. Less cuddles on the couch. XBOX and hanging with his friends has replaced our sessions of Harry Potter movie watching. A trip to Barnes & Noble or a coffee shop for a treat with mom is not as fun as getting to play Halo at the neighbor’s.

For some reason, this has been harder than when Emma approached teenage-hood. She was always independent. Ditching me at a play place or preschool to go off with her friends or make new friends. Owen was my apron string clinger. Mild mannered, even tempered and my little shadow.

Funny, what I would pay today to get one more session on the couch of his chubby cuddles watching a Harry Potter movie. He’s all angles and corners now! No more baby pudge anywhere! He’s all his dad. Lean, tall and not an ounce of fat anywhere.

My takeaway from all this – I’m climbing that stupid ladder to his bed to kiss him goodnight. Sometimes I’ll lay next to him and give him an extra squeeze. He lets me. It’s not a pretty sight watching me arrange myself at the top, but I figure, while I’m able- I will climb it.

In a blink he won’t let me up there anymore, I know. He’ll be hairy, deep-voiced, and all hormones and in high school. Let me put it this way- I won’t WANT to be up there.

So I take what I can while it’s there. Parenting is so much hindsight. Well, here’s some foresight for you from me- breathe in the backs of the head right at the neck when you wake them up in the morning. Or, ha, realistically, when they come in to wake you up!

Oh, and if you think I’m climbing up there to change the sheets, no way. Owen knows that’s his job now.

 

 My son got a new loft bed. And my heart broke.

Give my regards to Broadway

Okay, maybe I never got to Broadway but I did get back to my high school theater.

This past weekend I performed in an alumni play at my high school for a fundraiser. I hadn’t been on that high school stage in 22 years.

I got to perform with more than a dozen other former students that spanned 30 years of  high school graduates. In one word, it was- incredible.

Here’s something that might surprise you. I loved high school. I know, weird huh? I loved high school because I was a theater geek. And proud of it. I spent hours upon hours rehearsing. I spent weekends until almost midnight running through dress rehearsals and tech rehearsals.

Would I have rather lived in the theater during my school days instead of going to Chemistry or Business Law class? You betcha.

I wasn’t popular, but I loved when people came up to me and said they saw me in the show. I made friends with everyone- jocks, brainiacs, band geeks, cheerleaders, wavers, stoners, whatever. They all did some type of theater for an English credit at some point. For the kids that figured out how much fun it was, they stuck around. And then we just became a family of theater kids. Our director/coach/teacher was a woman we called Gorne. Just her last name was enough.

So here we were, in 2012. All in the name of Gorne, who asked us to do this fundraiser for the Speech and Debate team, something else she coached and yes, I was a part of that too. She found most of us through Facebook and probably our parent’s phone numbers that she still had in some address book somewhere. Yes, I’m friends with some teachers on Facebook. Is that weird?

These are the teachers that made an impression. That treated me like I was a person. They recognized that I wasn’t just a teenager or a student, but a living, breathing, dreaming soul with the world waiting for me. They helped me make that step into the big scary world  and gave me the confidence in myself that kept me from hiding under the covers every day of my first semester of college.

When a bunch of us convened at the Little Theater, that’s what we call the school’s performance hall, to pick up our scripts, I recognized a few faces. Hugs and big hellos were exchanged and it was great to see friends that I had only seen through Facebook and hadn’t had the chance to see in the flesh for the last 20 years. A few faces I recognized immediately as alumni from grades that were before my years. But I knew who they were because when I was in junior high I would come to the high school to see the shows. I fell in love with those performers. They were my idols and inspiration to do theater myself.

One girl, Cindy, was in a performance of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes during her senior year. I loved that show and her in it. When I was face to face with her for this show, I told her how much I admired her. Here we were, both in our 40s, just regular folks, and I felt like I was 15 again idolizing the big campus Senior. She was sweet and humble of course.

The connection we all had, even if we were the class of 1983, 1990, or 2012, was that we wanted to be there for our teacher, Gorne, and for the love we have of that Little Theater. It’s like coming home. Writing this puts a pit in my gut even. It brings tears to my eyes. Because the feeling of being in that Green Room, doing our before show chant (it’s a secret) and walking through the back stage door for Gorne to give us that arm squeeze of encouragement, made me swell with emotion. Taking our places in the dark wings of the back stage, tip toeing around to our props and waiting to hear the audiences reaction, was almost enough to get me to sobs. It felt so good. I couldn’t believe that what I loved most about my youth was being recaptured in a way that wasn’t disappointing or a let down. It was just as much a thrill and a feeling of  family as it was back then.

I pulled myself together, shed a tear or two, but not much since I didn’t want to ruin my false eyelashes, and I swallowed that vomit-nervous feeling, and went on that stage to the bright lights I love so much. It felt good. And best of all, there in the front row, were my kids cheering me on. Does someone have a Kleenex? I’m all verklempt!

The crazy collaborative alumni cast of TUNA DOES VEGAS 2012. Can you find me?

My big Texas makeup for the play.

Vera and Pearl on the plane headed for doom. Well, Vegas. Yes, we played the hell out of those oxygen masks in a very theatrical, dramatic way!

Thanks to Gorne, and the whole cast for making this a truly remarkable experience. I’ll do it again in a heart beat!

A Good Parenting Day

Gosh darn it. Every now and then one of those squeak in there. I usually fill my blog posts full of gripes and complaints about my family. It’s easier to bitch and moan and make jokes. But yeah. I’ve got good kids. Most of the time. This will be a complete braggy type parent post that some of you may roll your eyes at. And there are no cuss words either. Some of you will rejoice in this, and some of you will be disappointed. Can’t please everyone.

The Pinewood Derby for my son’s Cub Scout troop happened over the weekend. The kids and James, and James, (mostly James) have been obsessing over these cars. Sanding, painting, weighing, graphite, more weighing… Owen had his title to defend, this was serious business.

Last year Owen won and had still been recovering from some stomach bug. He had probably lost a couple pounds off his already svelte frame and wasn’t feeling so great. I was in Chicago celebrating my brother’s 50 birthday. I remember the text I got from James to say Owen had won. I was thrilled and sad that I missed it.

This Derby was special for me. My first to watch. I braced myself for Owen to be eliminated early. Just to keep myself from being disappointed. He kept winning. Heat after heat, he edged out faster than the other cars. It’s funny watching the different reactions from the boys. Some a little aloof and not really invested emotionally if they got eliminated. Some heartbroken to see their opponents car inch over the finish line before theirs. Crying silently into their dads sides, hiding from their friends to not show the tears.

Owen was aware of this. He knew that sometimes losing is a part of winning. There’s losers for there to be winners. He maintained his composure, not boasting, just smiling.

One heat, there was a tie. An absolute dead heat where none of the dads or judges could tell who won. Owen looked directly at me as if to say, what happens next? Heck if I knew. This was a Pack first. The competition was getting faster. No more cars where the wheels fell of mid-track. No more cars where the gloppy paint job of some 2nd grader would slow it down. This was the big leagues. The bullet trains of Pinewood Derby cars. They decided to have a rematch.  Owen’s car won.

In the final round, it was the same story. A dead heat. Owen’s car and his opponent. A rematch would determine the winner. Funny, I don’t think the ol’ days of Pinewood Derby’s had iPhones, FlipVideo and camcorders to give us the photo finish! You could tell Owen was beaming. He was full of happiness. All the scouts shook each others hand in good competition. There was cake to celebrate. I asked if Owen wanted a piece. He told me no, he was too excited to eat.

By this time I needed a cocktail. It was only 3 in the afternoon, but all that cheering and tension had put me on edge.

Awhile after with milkshakes and cheeseburgers and friends to celebrate (and a margarita for mom) we went home to XBOX, Spy Kids and of course a hot pot of tea.

Later that night, it seems like sometimes when I just want the kids to go to bed, they do things like get along with each other, or read quietly to themselves. Which makes it hard for me to push them to get their jammies on and then I get distracted. That night Owen asked me about 9/11. The kids seemed enthralled in my memories of that day. So I spent 30 minutes telling them of all the events that unfolded while I watched on TV with Emma as a baby.

They said that in school they don’t teach them about the Pentagon or the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. We talked about the innocent moms and dads that died that day. How dads went on business trips and didn’t come home.

Both kids were getting teary eyed. I wrapped up my stories and sent them to bed. I didn’t need nightmares keeping them up.

Both children hugged me tenderly and told me how great I was. Part of me is thinking, how unbelievably sweet. The other half of me is thinking, I can’t be this good. My tears rolled down my nose onto Owen’s blond head.

I rubbed his back like I always do and kissed him goodnight. He thanked me again for being ‘the best mom’. One of those reasons for achieving ‘best’ status was that I let him snack a lot and play video games. (hmm, I think this just makes me lazy, but I’ll take it.)

I kissed Emma goodnight in her bed. She was peaceful and content. No sassing, no drama. No complaints. Just an ‘I love you’ while her eyes were closed and she was already half asleep.

It was a good parenting day.

The final race at the finish line. Owen's is the Batman car on the bottom. I don't know how James got this shot. A clear winner for sure.