Claire & Ryan's Wedding!

So less than two weeks after Elvia's wedding, we headed back to NC - for her sister Claire's wedding.
Claire has been special to us for her whole life.  We share the same birthday (I'm a lot of years older though.)  And - 
we share the same proposal anniversary (ten years apart.)  How fun is that?  I'm sure that was critical to Ryan's planning of the proposal. ;)  Ha ha.
Though Claire has 2 sisters, I didn't growing up.  So I just kind of always pretended they were my little sisters whenever we were together.  Claire was a bridesmaid in our wedding ten years ago and then, a little over a year ago, she moved to Dallas to begin her career in pediatric occupational therapy - at our favorite hospital, Scottish Rite!  
We loved suddenly getting to see her all the time - we ate lunch at the hospital a lot, took naps in her apartment, and spent the night when we could.  Plus, she would come see us for a lot of weekends and we always loved our weekends with Aunt Claire.  
Last summer, she began sort of dating this guy - a doctor from the hospital - a pediatric orthopedic surgeon (another field that has become close to our hearts.)  It was so so so fun analyzing the early mysteries of the beginning stages of dating.  I loved when she would come spend a weekend with us and we would hear all about this Ryan guy.
He had taken a job in another state but just before he left, Will and I were able to interview meet him at lunch at the hospital one day.  He passed our initial screening. ;)
A few months later, he proposed!
And then he & Claire asked Will & I to be in the wedding when we were all on a double date in Dallas one night.  (R & I - not Will & I.)
I have been anxiously waiting for the wedding weekend - could not wait to see my boy walk down the aisle as a ring bearer!

Finally - the weekend was here!  Will & I picked up his tux and he said, 
"Mommy!  What if I look so handsome in my tux that Aunt Claire tries to kiss me?"
Yes.  That could be a problem.  He did look handsome.  (Love that confidence!!)

They got married at a really old cotton warehouse turned event room.  It was very Southern & beautiful & perfect.

So - I apologize in advance for the photo album to come - I can't help myself & I don't scrapbook so this is all I have!

Rehearsal - 
Will & the flower girl 

hanging out with Tio Juanito & Debbie 

checking out his special pillow

He loves his Aunt Claire

Rehearsal Dinner - the tribe

Will loved seeing Aunt Elvia again & hung out with her & her new husband of two weeks whenever he could

Cookie & Tio Juanito - best friends since age 6.

Will called everyone to order for the slideshow

Will told me he wanted to toast & "tell everyone about the time Dr. Ryan & Aunt Claire came to Dallas to run my race (Dallas Marathon.)"  He kind of forgot his memory to share when he had the microphone but he did tell them he loved them.  Precious boy.
Then I rambled a bit.

We have a tradition of doing a prayer breakfast on the wedding day.  This was a precious time to gather with the bridesmaids and pray over the day and the marriage

We headed to get ready together and hang out before the wedding -
I loved watching these three do each other's hair.  They reminded me of monkeys.  

Just before the ceremony - Claire & her daddy

Finally, Will showed up!  I was so excited to see him

 He was a little nervous at first with all these dressed up girls but he quickly was back to his regular self.

 Hanging out in the bridal suite
 Precious new little friends
Our family

Sweet little loves

Claire & I

At the reception, they had a buffet table representing each state in their lives.  (Wisconsin, NC, & KY)
They had traditional food from each state along with a beer or cocktail pairing.  It was such a creative (& yummy) idea!

At one point, we did use a little bit of Apple for entertainment purposes

Ellie with some of our favorite Scottish Rite nurses & Child life specialist

This was a fun surprise for Claire & Ryan -
some of Claire's Guatemalan friends that were able to be there for the wedding sang a song - by the end of it - everyone was up clapping & singing along.
"This is the First Day of the Rest of our Lives."
Such a fun way to get the dancing started!

Will dancing with Daddy

Ellie & Cookie

For months, Will has been telling me that he would dance with me at the wedding ...
but "only after I dance with Aunt Claire first, Mommy!  Sorry, Mommy, but she's the bride!"

Immediately after the ceremony, Will asked Aunt Claire if she would dance with him.
She assured him that she had to dance with her new husband and her dad first but he could be third.
So he very patiently waited & did not take her eyes off of her.  He was not going to let her forget that promise!
And boy did they dance-

It started off innocently enough...

 But then it started to get a bit more wild & exciting
(also notice all the people watching - Will loved that attention!)

And yes - that's my child with his legs wrapped around the bride dancing!  

Claire eventually had to go back to her husband - 
so Will began working the room.

At one point, he told me he was so "sad for all the girls that are being left out."
So he remedied that by asking any girl he noticed sitting down to dance with him.
We noted that he tended towards beautiful women in their 20's.
Ahem.  I'm going to have my hands full with this one someday!

Sweet Ellie dancing between her grandparents

 Finally, Lovie got a dance with Will.

This guy was pretty enraptured by his daughter

Finally, despite a long nap, Ellie fell sound asleep with her Lovie.

And Will kept partying on.

Around 11:30, he did get tired at last - but he perked back up for the big send off.

Ellie slept thru the send off.

 And on the way back to the hotel, after midnight, we had a very memorable conversation with Will & the young couple riding in our car as Will began to ask some very important and candid questions about childbirth.  That was unexpected.

Hanging out Sunday with the tribe (minus Claire & Ryan)
I do believe Ellie has decided that she and Kate are going to be good friends.
 Running off energy before the airplane

What a fun wedding season we've had!

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