I’m the oldest for four girls. It’s goes me, Jayme, Jenna and Betsy. There’s like eight years (or something) between us.
Last weekend, my baby sister Betsy got married at my parents house on possibly the most gorgeous day West Michigan could have offered up. In fact, I think Tim Allen is voicing himself into a wedding version of a Pure Michigan ad right now, featuring Betsy and Matt’s day.
They got married on my parents property, specifically in front of the neighbor’s amazing old barn. A place I remember playing in and around my entire childhood. Never in a million years could I imagine it could clean up as well as it did.
All four of the kids were involve-ish.
At the last minute baby Paul refused to walk down the isle, flopping on the grass like a angry drunk.
Gage the “rain barrel” ring-bearer also refused to walk, until 30 seconds before his turn (as in, most bridesmaids were already on the move towards the barn) when he got the bright idea to blackmail me hardcore like the criminal he’s turning into.
Him: Mommy I’ll only do it if I can have a Sprite.
Me (panicking): sure buddy, you can have a Sprite. Just smile real big and hold the little pillow in front of you with both hands.
Him: Mommy I want two Sprites, one for each hand. I’ll only walk for two Sprites.
Me: YOU CAN HAVE TWO SPRITES, LET’S JUST DO THIS NOW WITHOUT INCIDENT.
Him: Mommy I want alllllllllll the Sprites. Every single one of them.
Me: (starting to get really pissed at this point): FINE YOU LITTLE TURD! YOU GET ALL THE SPRITES. JUST GOOOOOO.
Later that night, my sister-in-law Susan, who bless her heart for helping with the kids that evening, mentioned she found countless half empty Sprite bottles throughout her minivan.
Piper and Nola were involved too, reading a short little poem. Listening to Nola’s little high voice speak these simple and true words *might* have made water come out of my eyes, even though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.
But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you I like.
~Written by Fred Rogers, 1971
The day wrapped up with a cocktail reception in the barn – complete with a 3-piece folk band, a trolly ride to the bride and grooms (and my) favorite brewery, a few more toasts that made me cry again (thanks Jenna), dinner and dancing over looking the beautiful city of Grand Rapids, and an unexpected selfie with my favorite Spartan.
You know it’s going to be a good night of dancing, when the party kicks of with the MSU fight song…
Betsy, I gotta come clean here. The first time I met Matt, I was guarded and unsure about him. He smiled so much. He was beyond sweet to you, and even helped mom get dinner on the table. He played with my kids like he actually wanted to spend time with them.
Who was this guy? Was he for real? Did he really want to spend his rare Saturday nights off work eating takeout pizza with our family?
I found out quickly he was for real. He really was that nice, that kind, that loving and considerate. Matt is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met, and you really did hit the jackpot – not that I’m surprised.
You guys deserve each other, poor fashion sense and all. I mean, look at his sunglasses.
Congrats hobos, I’m beyond excited for the two of you!