On Being An Honor Attendant

(All photos were taken by my amazing photographer sister, Drew, and then edited by me.)

Back in early winter, my youngest brother (Jon) came home for a brief visit. We met up at my mom and dad’s house and he ended up asking me if I’d like to take a brief drive with him to return a movie. I love spending time with the little booger and thought it’d be fun to talk and see how things were going for him…so off we went. He had just recently become engaged and I knew we’d have a lot of wedding planning stuff that we could chat about.

Not even a minute down the road, he looked at me and said that he needed to ask me something. I immediately thought…Yikes! What did I do wrong? It didn’t sound like anything good would come of this particular conversation.
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But then he went on to say “I was wondering if you would like to be one of the attendants in my wedding…I’d be honored to have you be a part of our wedding day” and my heart just melted. This was my little “baby” brother asking me to be part of his special day. Of course I would! I made sure that he was sure that his fiancee, Kathy, was fine with it (I knew she had a lot of family and friends herself that she’d probably want to be in the wedding as well.) He then went on to explain that Kathy was completely fine with it, but that I had misunderstood what he had said.

He didn’t want me to be one of Kathy’s attendants in the wedding…he wanted me to be one of his.

Words really can’t express my feelings at that moment.

Jon is 10 years younger than me. When my 40-year-old mom and 44-year-old dad made the announcement that they were expecting a new baby…I went completely nuts with happiness. I remember screaming and laughing and dancing around the table with glee without realizing that both my mom and dad were still pretty much in shock over the news themselves and were closer to tears than they were to laughter right at that moment. I more than made up for the happiness factor that day.angie2

After Jon was born, he became “my” baby and I made sure that everyone knew it. In my mind, my older sister (Janine) had had a “baby” of her own already (my brother, Jeff) so I was the next in line and Jon became mine. (I guess I thought that mom and dad would just have to have another baby so that Andrea could have hers sometime down the road.) Jon rarely slept in his crib because I would usually sneak him out and have him sleep with me. He was my bud even when I was a teenager and he was a squirrely little boy. When I married and moved away to another state, he came and spent several weeks each summer with me.

I am part of a very special family in which all of the siblings love each other deeply and in different ways…but Jon has always had a special place in my heart as the baby I had longed for with all of my 10-year-old heart.

So, at the age of 36…I was preparing to stand up as one of my brother’s attendants! (I jokingly told everyone that I was going to be a “groomsmaid” while my brother kindly called me his “honor attendant” instead.) I remained excited about this right up until the moment I realized that I was going to be the Old Fart of the group.

That’s when I began the whole “I need to work out and lose weight!” routine…something I did fairly well with until this summer when I was surrounded by kiddos again for 24 hours a day.
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And then it was almost time for the wedding to be here and I realized that I would never be able to lose all the weight I really wanted to…but I could begin lotioning-up my dry skin; get my nails done-up pretty for the big day; update my haircut and highlights; power shop for an amazing push-up bra and slimming girdle (I kid you not!)…and basically tried to make myself look as non-embarrassing as possible as the Old Fart of the Day.

My next main worry was my hair for the wedding.

I have terrible, no-good, awful, horrible hair. When I was little, my mom had no idea what to do with it. When I got a bit older (and interested in boys and wanting my hair to look nice) I had no idea what to do with it. In my late teens, I ended up going with a short hair cut just because it was easier to handle…and I now look back at photos from then and cringe. On a daily basis…it’s a naturally curly, frizzy, very dry, coarse, extremely thick rat’s nest mess of hair that I usually try to straighten into submission.

And I usually lose that battle.angie9

On the day of the wedding, Kathy arranged for her hairdresser to come to the church to do everyone’s hair up in a fancy do. I fretted and worried and stressed all day long about my hair. I just knew that everyone else was going to have a beautiful hairdo…and mine was going to be a frizzy disaster. I ended up hiding out in the sanctuary, taking pre-wedding photos of every detail I could possibly find until Kathy came and told me that no more excuses! It was time to get my hair done. There was no more getting out of it!

Her hairdresser was a miracle worker. I basically left my hair in her hands and told her to do whatever she wanted to it to make it look as good as it could. I absolutely and completely loved my hair for the first time in my life. Adored it. I seriously would have married it if I could have. Buh-bye Bill…Hello Pretty Hair!

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And so, while it is usually rare for anyone to see a photo of myself on this blog…(I always hate every single one I see of myself)…today, I am happy to show off my one-day-only beautiful hair.

On one very special day of my life. 🙂