Saturday was Daniel's wedding to Kelly Hammond. We started "wedding week" by traveling to Iowa. Last weekend we were in Connecticut, so Monday we drove back to Pennsylvania. We had things to do there before continuing on our way on Tuesday. That day we drove to Ohio and stayed overnight with my parents. On Wednesday we drove on to Iowa. We saw quite a number of these "wind farms" in Illinois. We went through all the "I" states except Idaho.
We stayed in a hotel in Dubuque and then drove the 21 miles to Bellevue where Kelly lives. This is definitely Iowa's best-kept secret. If you think Iowa is just flat cornfields, you've never been to northeast Iowa. It is beautiful, beautiful country! This is a picture of a picturesque church on the road to Bellevue.
Kelly's brother is in the Air Force and was trying to hop on an Air Force flight from Japan, along with his wife who the family had not yet met. He got to Guam and was stuck there for days. Every time he would call he would think he got a flight, but then it would get cancelled or there wouldn't be enough seats. You can imagine that this was quite an emotional roller coaster for the family. By Thursday he still hadn't gotten a flight.
Thursday the Connecticut/New Jersey/Virginia DeValves arrived, in a 12-person van bursting at the seams. Laurie, Keri, Shannon, and Katie set to work right away making fruit pies while all the guys went to the reception hall to set up tables and chairs. The girls had their bachelorette party on Thursday night.
Friday the guys went out and did guy stuff for the bachelor party....canoeing on the river, etc. All the ladies went to the lodge and decorated. In the evening we had the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. Kelly had ordered for us catered sandwiches and cheese and fruit platters from a local store. The sandwiches were a local tradition...turkey and stuffing sandwiches. They were pretty good. Daniel and Kelly invited all the out-of-town guests as we knew there wouldn't be much time to visit at the wedding. Two of John's three brothers and their families came to the wedding as well as both my brother and sister and some friends from Niger. Some of us ended up on the front steps of the church, talking and singing.
Meanwhile, we heard Kelly's brother got a flight and might arrive in time. A lot of people were praying he would! I think by then he was flying from Japan to Alaska.
Friday evening during rehearsal Kelly stubbed her toe and it was bleeding and was quite painful. You may think this is a minor detail, but it's really an important part of the story!
Saturday was the day of the wedding. We were all at the church, ready for the 11:00 wedding, but we heard that Kelly's brother was on his way....on the road....due to arrive at any moment, so we delayed the start of the wedding. The aunt and uncle who picked him up at the airport pulled up at the church with him and his wife at almost exactly 11:00! He ran into a building next door where his uncle works and got dressed and shaved. He had to shave since he can't wear his dress uniform and look scruffy! Talk about a last minute thing! Everybody was so excited and thankful he made it in time. He ran downstairs to see Kelly and then the wedding began.
It was a beautiful, beautiful ceremony. I don't have pictures of it....we'll have to wait for those. Kelly was gorgeous in her dress and Daniel looked so handsome in his suit.
After the wedding we were standing in the receiving line greeting all the guests. Somebody accidentally bumped into Kelly's toe, this time really ripping the toenail. She got through all the pictures with family and then family left to go to the reception. We thought the bridal party were having pictures taken, but then Suz called me and said they'd taken Kelly to urgent care because her toe was so messed up.
Obviously when they saw this bride come in, they took her in right away. Apparently they asked if she wanted two shots to numb it or did she just want them to yank the toenail, she said to just yank it. So she held on to Daniel, the nurse distracted them, and the doctor yanked.
The reception dinner was delayed about an hour, but that was ok. Once Daniel and Kelly arrived, we had a great reception. The food was good and people (ok, mostly the young people!) had a great time dancing. The other crazy thing that happened is that the sound system kept overheating. So just when people would get into a dance, the music would suddenly stop. The system was in a closet and no way to bring it out where there was air circulation. So my nephews rigged up a fan to blow over a bag of ice to cool the system. That seemed to do the trick!
The bridal party decorated the car. They stuck a tree branch in the trunk, so when Daniel and Kelly drove off, the branch was dragging behind them. They only got five miles down the road into Bellevue when the police pulled them over. I guess the policeman laughed, but told them to get rid of the branch.
We came back yesterday. We have a trunkload of their stuff and so do Suz and Theo. We plan to go visit them next weekend before we go back to Africa so we'll take it to them then. Their car was also stuffed with stuff.
It's hard to imagine myself as a mother-in-law, but I'm sure glad to have Kelly as well as Theo as my new kids!