Saturday, September 10, 2011

our weekend away

i know i've said this before, but don't you just love weddings? my "little" brother james (who is no longer very little) got married last saturday to his beautiful bride jacelyn and i was so blessed to be there along with my sweet baby girl.

up until thursday (the day of departure) i was a wreck with the stress of a baby who wouldn't nap and an empty suitcase that i was unable to fill due to the aforementioned non-napping baby. i had visions of all the things that could go wrong during our flight (not anticipating a very Major, Awful Thing that Did Go Wrong on our way back home...) and was positive that i'd burst into tears if i so much as dropped ava's pacifier on the dirty airplane floor. in actuality, the departure and flight up north went amazingly well! God is so good in that nothing is too minor for Him to care about. i had a lovely, kind woman sitting next to me who held ava whenever i needed her to and my little girl slept and ate and looked around and made not a single peep the entire flight.

not only did ava sleep well while traveling, she also slept amazingly well at my parents' house. one night she slept 7 hours in a row, which is unheard of for her, and also took a whole bunch of 2 hour naps, which i attribute to the cool, fresh air. it was so wonderful to share her with my family, see her give out hesitant smiles and enjoy her as if she was my only child. we did a lot of bonding during those 3 days, and i loved being able to shower all of my attention on just her.

those days were so, so short though, and i spent as much of them as i could soaking up time with my family, most of all my mom and my sister.

 cherie and i even had a chance to do a quick starbucks run and hit up a grocery store where i bought a few canadian treats for my boys. because the rehearsal dinner was happening on basically the same street as 2 of my closest friends, i got to spend some time with RW and her adorable kids

(her daughter is samuel's age and i got such a kick out of her) and then got the quickest of hugs from leah.

 i hadn't seen these 2 ladies in almost a year and a half and i've no idea when i'll get to see them again.

the wedding was perfect. it was outdoors and the finicky weather cooperated beautifully, providing a sunny, but not too hot day. i've never seen my brother smile as wide as he was smiling the entire time.

 jacelyn was a vision in her elegant vintage style dress. so many of the details, such as the fabric flowers and reception decorations were lovingly handmade by the bride and she did a fantastic job.

both james and jacelyn are quite bookish, and one of my favorite details was the hollowed out book that the ring bearer (who was adorable, by the way) held containing the rings.

and instead of a lighting a unity candle, the couple transplanted a bonsai tree that james began growing when they first began dating.

ava put on her best behavior during the ceremony, by falling asleep in my arms. she awoke to eat once it was over, then fell asleep while in the moby during the reception, allowing me to enjoy the delicious food (.....though the decadent looking cheesecakes sadly were not enjoyed by me since i'm still off of dairy) she felt fancy enough to spot a wardrobe change halfway through, after spitting up all over her first dress, and was admired by many. i was able to visit with friends and cousins that i haven't seen in so long, particularly my sweet cousin miranda who's son was born only 4 weeks after ava.

i still almost can't believe that i made it after all and i'm so thankful that it all worked out. on sunday, the newlyweds boarded a plane headed to paris, france and i boarded a plane headed to san diego. however, before i got to board the plane, before we even got to the airport, the very Major, Awful Thing that Did Go Wrong occurred. you see, i am still a canadian citizen, but live in the united states as a legal alien, carrying a green card. because bringing ava across the border required her birth certificate and a notarized letter signed by josh, allowing me to bring her out of the country, i was so focused on all of that paperwork and not at all focused on what i needed to bring besides my passport. so when the grim and unsmiling customs agent asked what allowed me to live in the fine country of america, i gave him a blank stare before realizing, oh! i need to show him my green card. duh, like i haven't done this a hundred times before.

well, i opened my wallet to grab it and it wasn't there. i sifted through all of my cards and it wasn't there. i took every single item out of my wallet and my green card simply wasn't there. by this point my heart was beginning to race and the customs agent was beginning to become even more grim and unsmiling. he directed us to pull over and enter the customs building and my mind started racing with words such as deportation and illegal alien. and what would become of my daughter, would we be separated since she was an american citizen and i was not? and ohmygoodness, what about my flight? we had to catch that morning's flight because it was the only one headed for san diego until tuesday. Mr. Grim, who was by now extremely agitated informed me that there would be a $580 parole fee and that i most definitely could say goodbye to my flight. and then he left to go make sense of the mess i had made. and then i burst into tears. thank God my mom was with me and kept trying to console me, but i was pretty inconsolable, thinking about worst case scenarios as always, and wracking my brain, trying to figure out why my green card was not in my wallet like it was supposed to be. my mom then hugged me tight and prayed with me, that mercy would be shown and that a miracle would happen and that i would catch my flight.

and you know, that's exactly what happened. a female customs agent began working together with Mr. Grim and she seemed to have a bit more sympathy for my situation. i was fingerprinted and then paperwork was done up quickly, and i was then informed that the fee had been waived...but only this one time. i was lectured on how important that card is and i nodded and whispered "thank you" the entire time and finally we were out the door and driving madly towards the airport, my mom passing every single car she came upon. i raced through security and ran through the departure terminal, my little lady's head bopping along in her moby. i did make my flight i don't exactly know how this happened, but i had nobody sitting next to me, so was able to sprawl my diaper bag and boppy pillow and burp cloths all over the place without invading anyone else's space. ava did great on the flight home and i got to see my 3 boys pull up to take us home and i was thisclose to bursting into tears all over again, so thankful that i was home and was with my baby and that we didn't owe $580.

the end.


Grandma J. said...

Oh Heidi your story is so well written. All I can say by the end of it is Praise Him for caring for "all the little details". I attribute my calmness during that stressful time at the border to Him.
What a blessing those few days were - to see and hug my newest little grand, thoroughly enjoy the short time you were here and love the way James and Jacelyn's day turned out. Hugs to your boys for sharing you girls like that. XXOO

Miranda said...

I was so happy to see you and Ava! The wedding was so beautiful and romantic.

Oh my goodness the boarder part of your story freaked me out, even though things were ok in the end. I'm so glad that you and Ava made it home safe and sound and werent charged a ton of money. God is good

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Still waiting learn what happened to your green card? So sorry you had such moments of distress.

Julie said...

Wow! So glad God worked the details of your green card out! Im also happy that Ava traveled so well for you :o)

Anneliese said...

Oh Heidi.. knowing a little of how these things work and how easily that could have been my daughter... just makes my heart go out to you. I am thankful with you for your mom's answer to prayer and for how it all worked out in the end. Prayers for a good baby were answered too! PTL

kelly ens said...

WOW Heidi...PTL for the way He worked out that situation on the way home!
so glad you were able to be here and enjoy your brothers wedding :)

Jacelyn said...

Thank you so much for posting pictures of the wedding! We're still waiting for the official photos to arrive, so it's a lot of fun to see it from other people's points of view. :) Glad you got home safe.