Catching up on the month of June here, with a post about my niece's wedding in Arizona.
The Rice girls all traveled to Flagstaff two weeks ago, making this our first out-of-state trip with no dudes involved. I took all four of my daughters with me, while Sam stayed back at the Rice Ranch with alllllll the boys. (More on how they fared later in this post, haha.)
I have a little confession to make here : for those of you who don't know me in real life, I have several very real phobias that I have dealt with from the time I was a child. When I say phobia I don't mean "that sort of freaks me out" phobia. I mean "panic sets in and I revert to a crying, non-rational, shaking from head to toe, mess of a woman" phobia.
One of those phobias is having dental work done. But that is for another post.
The other phobia involves flying. But only in airplanes. I have wonderful dreams about soaring through the air on my own, and I am always as happy as can be while doing so.
So I'm pretty sure my fear of flying in an airplane has something to do with being trapped in a large metal object that makes loud noises, coupled with the fact that I have zero control over that metal object. When it's just me alone in the sky with my arms extended, hair flying behind me and no loud noises other than an occasional bird chirping, I'm good. At least in my dreams I'm good.
But put me in a plane and all H-E-double -toothpicks breaks loose. It's not a pretty picture.
I always regret this metamorphosis after my meltdowns occur and I am safely on the ground. Meltdowns meaning - begging Sam to signal the flight attendant that she needs to come back here RIGHT THIS MINIUTE and explain to me why the plane is making that noise or so help me God I am going to run to the cockpit myself and alert the captain.
You think I'm kidding ?
I wish it were so.
Once during an overseas flight Sam actually did capitulate to my begging - I think he felt 17 hours listening to me crying and gnashing my teeth was too much for any man to endure - and he got the pilot to come talk to me. A nice old pilot who looked and talked like a British grandfather came to the back of the plane and actually SAT DOWN next to me and gave me a hug. He then proceeded to give me a lesson on aerodynamics and turbulence and how our plane was, at that moment, basically flying itself. That's how modern these planes are. He patted my knee and told me all would be well, there was NOTHING to fear, and then returned to the cockpit.
And I kid you not - five minutes later that plane DROPPED several thousand feet (at least it felt like it!) and everyone screamed and all of our dinner trays flipped over and the flight attendants all went running frantically to their seats while the fasten-your-seatbelt signs all lit up. A few minutes later things calmed down and a flight attendant came over to me and informed me "that NEVER happens" and we apparently flew over another plane and hit an air pocket.
That's when I started screaming hysterically and demanding they let me off at the first available stop.
Okay not really, that last sentence didn't happen, but I thought about it for sure.
So yeah, flying is not my thing.
Fortunately, several years ago I discovered there IS a cure for my flying phobia, and now I never leave home without it ...
I'm sorry if you non-flying-phobia people don't get this, or if you are gasping in disbelief that a pastor's wife who claims to looooove labor and delivery (so much that she feels "high" while giving birth au naturale) has to pop some (prescribed) pills to board an airplane, but there you have it. Praise the Lord for modern medicine, and pass the drugs.
I'll spare you the drooling, speech slurred, stumbling through the airport pictures of me, but suffice it to say we made it to the valley of the sun without any frantic dashes to the cockpit.
Oh, and Lily doesn't like loud noises on airplanes either, as you can tell by the photo above. My sister sent us home with headphones and a portable dvd player for her, and we were both as happy and as high as a kite on the flight home.
Well, Lily was happy, I was just ... high. And snoring contentedly as far as I can remember.
My brother and his wife went to Arizona for our niece's wedding too. He's a very warm fuzzy guy, as demonstrated in the picture below.
Okay, maybe just fuzzy.
This is a picture of Abigail and my mom at the rehearsal dinner ...
... I have no other pictures that are blog worthy, but let me just say the food was DELICIOUS. With a capital D. Nom nom.
This is my darling niece, Grace ...
... not the one getting married, though. In case you wondered. My sister has five children, the youngest four whom she adopted, and her oldest daughter Brittany was the one getting married.
Here is my little brother with my beautiful mom...
And this is Charlie, my sister's little boy ...
And here is the lovely bride-to-be ....
This was the wedding ...
Jeff is pictured above, and he married my niece. He is a riot, and he promised me they would come visit us in Oregon some day soon.
Mackenzie is on the far right, the prettiest bridesmaid I've ever seen !
My niece Grace is the flower girl on the left, and her sister/my niece Jade is on the right ...
And Charlie was the ring bearer.
And this was my absolute FAVORITE moment of the wedding ...
I think it's karma, because when Brittany was the flower girl in my brother's wedding (my son Jason was the ring bearer) she STOMPED down the aisle glaring at everyone, causing quite the scene.
I actually don't believe in karma, but if there was such a thing ... it would have been that moment when little Charlie threw himself face down in the grass in protest of marching down the aisle in front of everyone . TOO STINKING FUNNY.
Anyhoot, here's the kiss ..
Congratulations, Jeff and Brittany !
The weather was gorgeous, the setting was lovely, and I was so glad my girls and I could all be there for it.
Miss Lily was thrilled to dress up and pose here with Kenzie's bouquet....
... and later played many rounds of the beanbag toss with my nieces at the reception. She also tore it up on the dance floor - probably 50 wedding guests caught those moments on their cameras, but my phone died before I could capture even one :(
Here's my brother with his lovely wife Lori, who also happens to be one of my best friends in life !
And here are all of us girls ...
Josiah flew to Flagstaff for the wedding and flew home afterwards, but I look too fat in the picture we took with him, so I'm not posting it. So there.
The day after the wedding we drove back down to Chandler to my sister and mom's house. I grew up in Arizona and do NOT miss the heat - but I do miss Arizona sunsets ...
Miss Lily and Miss Madison enjoyed sleeping in at the hotel ...
... we spent two more days visiting my sister and my mom ...
Sam made sure to send lots of pictures every day, reassuring me that all was well back home at The Rice Ranch...
... whew !
And before long it was time to head back home.
Hope, if you are reading this, thank you for a wonderful vacation ... you may be taller and prettier, but you will always be my "little" sister, and I miss you like crazy.
p.s. sorry that I'm mom's favorite, but it's true.
Goodbye, Valley of the Sun !!