Monday, February 25, 2013

The Weekend I Realized that Wedding Planning Can Be Fun

There have been a few parts of wedding planning that were unequivocally fun: creating the registry, choosing readings for the wedding Mass, and the food tasting.

We did our food tasting with our parents while Frank's family visited mine in Chicago last weekend. Oh. My. Word. It was fun.

They brought us two kinds of soups... two kinds of salads...

And three entrees for everyone to split. YUM.

How are we ever supposed to choose just two?

And let's not even get started on the wine. Four glasses... each.

We did have to try out all our options! ;)

As amazing as all the dishes were, and as hilarious as it was to hear my mom haranguing the chef ("Mom, I think he knows the bread rolls should be served warm..."), the really amazing part was seeing our parents together. This weekend was the first time they've ever met, and it couldn't have gone better.

Frank and I were a little apprehensive about the meeting. Our parents raised us in very different ways and we weren't sure they had much in common. But we shouldn't have worried. From the moment they met, both sets of parents took the same position: "You're our new family." And they proceeded to get along like a house on fire. The food tasting was the perfect grand finale.

We did so many fun things with them while they were here. We took them to our family's favorite Sunday brunch place, we visited our rehearsal dinner site, and on Saturday night Frank and I did a "triple date" with the parents at a fancy restaurant downtown.

The mothers wanted to shop for their dresses together, so I accompanied them to David's Bridal and enjoyed my ring-side seating as they tried on every mother-of-the bride dress in the house. Seriously... the attendant counted up 15 dresses apiece. Caroline and I kept busy zipping up dresses and finding different sizes. The moms couldn't stop laughing at the funny corsets they had to wear, while Caroline and I kept telling them how glamorous they looked!

Of course, the best part of the weekend was seeing Frank. Man, I'd missed that guy!

We loved introducing our little siblings too. Ethan and Joseph are 7 years apart, but they bonded pretty quickly over being the two youngest groomsmen.

By the last day of the visit, they were arguing over which of them will be the better uncle. Don't get ahead of yourselves, kids.

We went back to the Shedd Aquarium again this trip. Frank insisted because "Ethan has to see it!" Ethan has a huge interest in aquatic animals, fish, and marine life. Sure enough, Ethan was completely enraptured. He gazed in awe at every little thing, and took tons of pictures. When we asked if he was having fun, he just nodded, "Yeah... This is amazing." Mum said, "I think Ethan's in seventh heaven!" He sure was. We were so happy we took him there.

The rare moment when we managed to steal Ethan away from the fish
Ethan took a million pictures at the Shedd of all the different fish. At first we were like "Eth, put the camera away!" But then we say the pictures he was taking ... and our minds were blown.

And that was through the glass, and with nothing but his iPod!

So, that was our lovely weekend in Chicago. Looking back on it, I'm grateful for so many things.

The more time I spend with Frank and my family, the more I'm convinced that moving to Chicago is the right idea. My family is incredibly close-knit, and I think they're the coolest/most fun people in the world. I realize more and more that I never wanted to move away from them, and I can't wait to move back.

On top of that, Frank fits in with my family so perfectly. He's become a true big brother to my little siblings, and my parents look on him as a beloved son. I didn't even realize, until I found him, how much I needed a man who would genuinely love my family and want to spend as much time with them as I do.

But I found him and, man ... life is good. I can't wait for these next three months to fly by!


  1. Oh my goodness, your dad looks like Scott Hahn!

    Looks like a great weekend! You two are super cute :) God bless!

    1. Thanks, dear Sarah! And you're right, he does! Somehow I never noticed that!

  2. I love this recap of your weekend :) I can't wait to see your beautiful wedding! Everything will be golden...especially since you can tell everyone gets along so well from this weekend.

    1. Thank you, Katrina! You know how it is... I've been having a few little moments of panic about the wedding recently, but I know from seeing other brides go through it that it will all turn out perfectly.

  3. I really like Ethan's photographs.

    1. Isn't he crazy talented? He's actually started a little photography business if you want to check out his Facebook page - geeksquadof1. He'd be thrilled to have more followers!

    2. okay, I will! :)

  4. Wow! Mine and Adam's mom are actually pretty good friends, since we grew up together, but even they don't get along that well. Glad to hear you all had such a fun visit!