Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The 2012 Michigan Trip and Pre-Wedding Prep

So, yes, we did it!  We flew to Michigan for my nephew's wedding, then to the Atlanta area for the duration of our vacation, visiting Bob and Peggy for a week and then my kids.  Easily compartmentalized parts for posts!

First things first, let's start with what happened within the first hour of landing in Detroit, MI, on none less than sister Ruth's 56th birthday!  BIL Don picked us up at the airport and suggested, en route to the restaurant where we were to meet Ruth later, that we stop off in Ann Arbor for Astrid to see where I went to school at the University of Michigan.

OMG!  Bless the ground Don walks on because the thought never even entered my mind!  Astrid got to see my stomping grounds from 1963-67 as we drove around campus.  We even stopped at the Martha Cook Building where I lived my last 2 years:

You can imagine all the emotions that swept over me as I walked onto that beautiful piece of property
from 1915, one of UM's oldest women's residence halls.  
The statue of the woman in the back yard was unveiled while I lived there.
WOW.  Talk about memories!

Lucky for us, the student council group of women for this coming fall semester was eating inside 
and the president let us in to walk through the ground floor.
Astrid is the one who took ALL these outside and inside pics...while I went into a zone of elation.
Do you know what residents who live there are called?  Yup, Cookies.  :)

Thank you, Don, for a Gift I never expected...before we even got to the Farm!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The whole point of arriving at the Farm 3 days before the wedding was so Astrid and I could be put to work, helping out wherever necessary.  I had done the same thing 3 years earlier when Lesley got married there, 4 months before I moved to the Netherlands to get married myself.  Now her "baby" brother was going to experience his own wedding there.

 In case you need reminding, this is the Farm!
It's one of those places on earth where you feel you've been "therapied!"

 So many nooks and crannies.  So much to see and feel.
See what I mean?  Things that are now familiar to us but not "old hat."

By noon the next day came JAMES, the newest addition to the Mowry Family,
Lesley and Brian's firstborn, making Don and Ruth g'parents:

 G'ma got him first, of course.  Talk about a 7-month cutie!
(click any collage to enlarge)

Then G'pa....

...and Peter, the groom-to-be...

...and then, finally, moi!
And yes, you do see a tinge of red hair in the right light!  HA!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now that all the acquantainces were made with the "main attraction," it was time to get down to brass tacks and work on the wedding!

   My main assignment before the wedding day was to do the weeding around the area of the tent reception.
Astrid did odd jobs related to cutting wood and painting letters on the Bride and Groom discs.

Once the actual wedding day came, Saturday, 25 August, other tasks awaited.

The flowers arrived bright and early and were put into the air-conditioned atelier.
The wedding ceremony was at 5:30 in the afternoon and it was a hot day!

Ruth, mother of the groom, and Kate, mother of the bride, hung the nametags.
Andrea, the bride, had made pistachio-nut shortbread cookies in the shape of Michigan,
both upper and lower peninsulas, with table assignments on each nametag.

Inside the house, bride Andrea was frosting her own wedding cake!
As she put on the ruffles, she told me she had never done that before.
She also made the cupcakes and some blueberry-pastry lollipops.
Did I tell you she's a chef?!!!!  (She's also a hair stylist.)

Outside, the huge reception tent had been set up on Thursday.
Now it was time to set everything up in and around it. 
Kate, mother of the bride, helped Don, father of the groom (upper left).
Lesley, sister of the groom, helped Aaron, brother of the bride (bottom right).
It was a huge family affair!

Peter, the groom, set up the speaker system.

Astrid and I helped set up the tables for 130 guests.
I was remembering the proper set-up from Martha Cookie days.  HA!

 Shortly after lunch the hair stylists arrived and started their thing.
First all the bridesmaids, then the mothers, then the bride herself.
This was getting serious!

Meanwhile, Lesley, sister of the groom, was painting the parking signs
for the field next to the farm.  The guests would be arriving soon.

 Then, as a teaser, was the pre-wedding photo shoot.
Lesley's best friend Michelle, from Idaho, was the official photographer.

To be continued....

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

ADDENDUM:  Guess what, I found some more pics I forgot I had taken and will just add them here at the end of this post from yesterday:

Astrid and Ruth had their 58th and 56th birthdays, respectively, 2 days apart while we were there.  
The Dutch custom is to give dessert to your guests on your birthday.
Don made the cupcakes and Astrid frosted them as a compromise!
(Cupcakes are American and not Dutch.  Did you know that?!)

 Astrid did the calligraphy on the yellow squash for the wedding-cards basket.
Andrea painstakingly frosted all the cupcakes she had made.
And in between duties, Ruth attended to her darling g'son!

 In the meantime, sister Nancy altered Lesley's Best Lady dress.
Yes, Lesley was Peter's Best of the Best, as his 18-month-older sister.

 All this while the sweet birds came and watched, just feet away from the sewing machine!

To be continued....


  1. I just can't thank you enough times for the ways you documented everything! This is a brilliant collage of collages. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, dear sister. You know I HAVE to document these things. I do it for Astrid and me...and then, secondly, I guess I do it for the rest of you! You are more than welcome, of course!

  2. The thing is, I can't thank you enough for the work you and Astrid did, and the love you brought and bring, and the clear evidence of your love in these photos. The way you love our children, our grandson, our new daughter and son by marriage, and the farm, touches my heart more than I can say. I love you.

    1. The way you wrote this, Ruth, reminds me that in the end LOVE wins. Love triumphs. It doesn't matter what anyone else does or doesn't do, LOVE WINS!

      I love you, too. You and your family continue to stand with and by us. It means more than we can ever say. So, we're in the same boat, aren't we! :) Thank you!

  3. What a fabulous post! I felt as if I was right there on the farm. Precious! Welcome home girls!

    1. Ohhhhhh. Then you WERE right there with us, Robin. Thank you for your welcome home and for commenting....! Soon you'll be here with us and we'll make our own memories. :)

  4. Replies
    1. Oh, how sweet of you to stop by, Andrea, and comment. YOU ARE THE BRIDE! Not even 3 weeks old. I love it. Thank you. :)

  5. Goodness, what a fun packed and memorable holiday you have had!

    1. And this was only the beginning, Anne! Wait till I show you the rest. :D

      HA! Well, I hope you tell/show more about yours???

  6. Did we do this in only 3 days???? Thank you indeed, for this wonderful memory we can add to our GRAND selection, already. Being at the farm was for me like coming home. Having only 1 brother, this meant, meeting the rest of the family, who I deeply adore and love. We had so much fun, camaraderie. Jokes, I even could 'catch'.
    Seeing were you went to University was a delight, walk around were you graduated in 1967. Indeed, a big THANK YOU, to Don for making this possible.
    Thank you for all the work you put into this wonderful post. IHVJ MDJOZW.

    1. We have such great memories in those almost-4 days, don't we! The Farm is a very special place for the family, so I'm glad you could experience it again, this time for a longer period of time (not just a couple of hours!).

      I'm reliving it all through these images! :)

  7. i feel like i've been there with you guys with all these wonderful pictures.

    hats off to bil don for such thoughtful deed. i'm sure astrid got a kick out of seeing your old stomping ground.

    can't wait for hte rest.

    1. Thank you, Maria. We love these times with close family and are glad we can keep the memories alive with these posts. Don was a real trooper...not only in taking us to Ann Arbor but in making the cupcakes for the 2 birthdays. So fun! :)

  8. Ginnie & Astrid ~ all I can say about this amazing trip is that it must have been a "zone of elation" the whole way! Weddings & birthdays & babies on the Farm with Family, it just doesn't get any better! Glad you're safely home ... for now.

    1. You're such a sweetheart, Susan. Thank you. I sure hope Astrid and I can meet you and Larry one day. Wouldn't that be fun! :)

  9. What a time you had! I am so glad you share it with us.

    1. Oh yes, Mary. A great time! Thank you for stopping by to look!!!

  10. Oh my... that baby is absolutely adorable! And of course, the collage collection is superb... you definitely know how to put together a story in pictures!

  11. You must have been in heaven being back in Michigan in your old stomping grounds and at the farm with your family for such a wonderful event! I look forward to the rest of the story!!

    1. Oh yes, Mad. It's always a dream to be back on the Farm...and so therapeutic. Thank you!

  12. Oh so much.... I just love all of the pics and crave them... I need to put back link into my daily readings... There's so much to love about this trip. I'm fascinated by all of the work that went into the wedding by the family... So creative and beautiful!

    1. This is the second farm wedding, Jen...two kids and 3 years apart. Each wedding was similar but different. And there was a difference between the mother of the bride, Ruth, and the mother of the groom, Ruth. HA! Anyway, it was a real pleasure for Astrid and me to be there to see it with our own eyes! Thanks.