I didn’t breathe…

This was me on Saturday at my niece’s wedding. It was 90 degrees in ND on a hot summer night. The gym (where the reception & dance were held) was air conditioned, but it just couldn’t keep up with having over 300 people, the humid weather and doors opening. The humidity isn’t the reason why I didn’t breathe. I didn’t breathe because I was running around, trying to make it all perfect, and I failed to fully take it all in. The day went by almost as fast as my own wedding and I didn’t stop and take a breath.

My oldest sister’s oldest daughter got married Saturday. My husband and I were asked to be a host couple, and I offered to bake cupcakes. My love language is “acts of service,” followed by “words of affirmation.” People who know me will totally understand. I like to “do” and to help. (If baking was a love language, that would be on the list too. We made around 400 cupcakes with homemade frosting.) I’m not sure what a typical host couple does at weddings, but my planning & control freak sides take over and I become the Energizer bunny. I helped with my nephew’s wedding a few years ago also. The reception was in the same place, so I was somewhat familiar. It’s an old school, no longer used as a school but as an antique shop and community center. The gym is beautiful and makes a great wedding reception venue. The town itself isn’t really even a town anymore. They don’t appear on the list of ND town census. There is literally one street. I think there are 2 or 3 houses.

Big dark thunderstorm clouds loomed on the horizon as we took some family pictures outside. The temperature dropped a few degrees, and it appeared as though we would get drenched, but the rains stayed away. The wedding was beautiful. My niece was stunning and her groom had the biggest smile… just as it should be. She had planned everything, had a budget, an itinerary, and a vision of how things would look. It all looked magical. Everyone seemed to have a good time. It was hot, but we had lots of bottled water for the guests. There were snacks and bars and hundreds of cupcakes.

“You should really sit down.” I’m pretty sure I heard that phrase 20 times that night. In my mind, a good event is one where things are tidy and there are extra paper towels and toilet paper and the garbages are taken care of. The snack table is refilled, the lemonade is cold, there is plenty of water and the tables are cleared of plates & cups and half eaten bars. That was my job, at least in my head. For as many times as someone told me to stop running around, my niece and her new husband said, “thank you.” A sincere, loving, heart felt appreciation for what was being done… so they could just enjoy their wedding.

One of my aunts sent me a note the next day. She said, “I watched you scan the room and take care of every detail.” I didn’t do this for recognition or praise. I did it as an act of service. A few years ago, after my brother-in-law’s farm accident, we didn’t know if he’d get to walk his daughter down the aisle… but he did. I also

did this for him and my sister, so they could also enjoy the night.

I did dance a few songs with my husband. (We can two step to almost anything.) I wish I would have stopped a little more though, just to breathe deep. I should have taken it all in. I should have absorbed that love and joy and newness of marriage.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you stop and take a breath amidst the chaos. May you look for the good and focus on the blessings. The more you focus on the blessings, the more abundant they become. They sure were abundant for these newlyweds. Wishing them many years of wedded bliss. I’d do it all again, but next time, I’ll breathe more.

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