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Catching up......

Posted by JudyS on 1/02/04 at 13:23 (141165)

Hi everyone - finally, after too many weeks, I have a quiet moment to sit in front of my computer!

I really have enjoyed reading all of your descriptions of your Christmas holiday and want to thank whoever it was who asked to begin with. The writings were heartwarming and beautifully descriptive!

As you know we've been heavily in to major remodeling. We had John's office party here on Dec. 16 and were putting furniture in to place as the first guests were arriving! It's been quite a whirlwind since then as we've had a dozen members of our own and our midwest family here. My mother, my sister, her husband and her three grown children plus our boys and their girlfriends - what fun! It's a very rare moment indeed when we can all gather under one roof.

The indoor remodel is 95% done - we have yet some baseboard, door/window trim and crown molding to do. Plus I have to stain the wood pieces. I will try to publish 'as is' photos today or tomorrow. Then......the outdoor stuff commences!

But the seriously awesome, huge news of the season is that our older son and his fiance went off and eloped! We were quite happy and quite sad at the same time. They'd been trying to plan a small and simple ceremony but the bride's mom was intent on piling on bigger and better ideas (now THAT'S a whole 'nuther story!) so the kids just said no more. As a mom I am sad that I couldn't attend the 'big moment' but I sure understand their intent and their right to do as they pleased. And yes, we took a moment to say exactly that to them as we felt they needed to know that decisions like that will definately cause some hurt feelings.
In spite of hurt feelings, however, I was secretly pleased that they took the bull by the horns and 'just did it'!

Re: Catching up......

Julie on 1/02/04 at 16:28 (141172)

Judy, was this the son I got to know on the phone when he was in London in 2001? If so, please congratulate him for me. I think he and his girl did the right thing. It's too bad you felt (understandably) hurt, but it was their day, and they did it how they wanted to do it. I wish them all happiness.

Re: Catching up......

marie on 1/02/04 at 16:37 (141173)

Ahhh....weddings are over rated.:) The important thing is that they are happy with their decision.

Is this the same son who was worried about his stuffed animals?

Re: Catching up......

Carole C in NOLA on 1/02/04 at 16:42 (141175)

Judy, congratulations and I'm glad you are taking the news of your son eloping so gracefully. In a way it's so romantic; young love and all that.

Sounds like you had your hands full over Christmas. Did your guests leave yet?

Don't forget the last 5% of your remodeling! To me the crown molding, baseboards, and door/window trim make a house that is sturdy and functional, into an attractive and sometimes even elegant place to live. It may only be 5% of the work, but it might be 50% of the satisfaction and gives a room a nicely finished look. I love the elaborate crown molding and door and window trim in some of the old homes in New Orleans.

Carole C

Re: Catching up......

Dorothy on 1/02/04 at 17:57 (141183)

IMHO, reading about how so many weddings in increasing numbers are costing 20,000 and up, I think they have left behind the public declarations of love and fidelity and moved into performance art and showtime. Our friends and family said ours was the loveliest wedding they had ever been to and it was very simple and classy. Our wedding was also the last day that my mother walked and she did so in great pain; she was quite ill before that and only moreso after. It was a charmed day for lots of reasons. I love to see the section of newspapers where weddings, anniversaries and obituaries are listed. I especially love to see the 50th (and even longer is not all that uncommon anymore) anniversary pictures coupled with the wedding picture of the same couple. They make me cry. Anyway, lots of those weddings before and during WWII and into the fifties were simple - bride in a suit or simple dress, groom in dark suit, one couple as witnesses or attendants - and look how long they lasted and look at those happy smiles. You can't buy that stuff in any wedding shop! And the obituaries that break my heart with their obvious poignancy - husband or wife of a long marriage passed away and then shortly after the other passes on. I love these long 'pair bonds' but, oh, they grab the heart.

Re: Catching up......

wendyn on 1/02/04 at 19:54 (141189)

Congratulations Judy!!!!

Re: Catching up......

Bob G. on 1/02/04 at 21:53 (141196)

Cool! I am so happy for you all, Judy...happy New Year!

Re: Catching up......

Rick R on 1/02/04 at 22:35 (141198)

My daughter and her 'boyfriend' went to New York just before Christmas and came back engaged. My wife did bring up the posibility that they were eloping. It sure would have been cheaper for the old man!! Having thought it through, it is indeed so much more important that they get with a soulmate with whom they share true love than the process of formalizing the relationship. Congratulations this is a joyous event indeed!!


Re: Catching up......

Kathy G on 1/03/04 at 09:23 (141218)

Hi Judy,

It's good to hear from you! I'm so glad your holidays went well and you're almost finished your remodeling. Carole's right; that final 5% will pull it all together.

It must have been great having your whole family together! You must be tired but it's probably a happy tired.

As for the elopement, I say more power to them! First of all, it was important from the outset that they let the bride's mother know that she wasn't going to boss them around. Secondly, after seeing the amount of money my daugher-in-law spent on her wedding in September, I commend them for saving. Don't get me wrong, the wedding was beautiful but man, the money that was wasted could have gone a long way toward a down-payment on a house! I just cringe! Yes, I have been accused of being overly practical but I can't help it!

Then again, I have never been a 'wedding' person. My own wedding was tiny; we had about twelve people attend (and most of them were family), got married in a simple evening church ceremony and went away for the weekend. People told me I'd regret not having a big church wedding but it's been 31 years and I haven't regetted it one bit. I had seen what was involved with my sister's huge wedding a few years before and had decided there was no way I was going to go through all that!

So now you and I are now mothers-in-law! Isn't it a stange feeling? Suzanne beat us by a year but she knows exactly what I mean. I just can't believe I'm the 'mother-in law '. I just love my daughter-in-law and I hope we'll always remain close and that I don't become one of 'those' mothers-in-law that you hear stories about. Luckily, I had a great mother-in-law and I intend to do my best not to become someone she dislikes. It's a whole new territory to be explored but so far, I like it!


Re: Catching up......

JudyS on 1/03/04 at 10:47 (141229)

No, Julie - you spoke with our college-age son while he was studying in London ... The newly-married one is our 33-year-old. But thank you anyway for the lovely wishes!

Re: Catching up......

JudyS on 1/03/04 at 10:49 (141230)

Nope, Marie - not the same 'stuffed animal' son! What a cute contradiction that would have been, huh?

On the other hand, he does have the very best girlfriend a parent could wish for so, even at their age of 23, I wouldn't mind a bit if they eloped!

Re: Catching up......

JudyS on 1/03/04 at 10:53 (141231)

You are so right about the big-wedding thing, Dorothy! We'd done what many parents have and offered to help them buy their house instead of putting money in to a big wedding. They'd wanted a small, family ceremony from the start but her mom wouldn't have it - hence the elopment.

Hey - did I mention that John and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week?

Re: Catching up......

JudyS on 1/03/04 at 11:01 (141233)

Yes, Kathy, I agree - the title of Mother-in-Law is feeling strange indeed!
It's critically important to me to make sure that our new 'daughter' know that she is important here (they live 500 miles away near her family) so I go out of my way to make her feel welcome, included, etc. The tough thing is that I am a very affectionate person so I'm always doing the hugging thing, etc. She appears to feel awkward with that - even though we've know eachother for four years! But I have no fear - I'll ease her into things and she'll be a champion hugger before she knows it!

Re: Catching up......

Lari S. on 1/03/04 at 13:13 (141237)

Judy, I have to agree with Dorothy and Kathy G. about weddings. When they start getting out of hand, it's just all glitz and show. When our daughter (my step-dau) got married a year ago November, we tried to talk them into eloping and giving them money for a down payment on a house. It was a no go. She said she didn't think he would ever ask her to get married, so she was going to have a wedding to remember. They had been living together for 4 years in a cramped 800 sq ft house, and the money would have made a nice down payment on a bigger place. We got to where we would cringe when the phone would ring and additional monies were needed for a 'have to have' that she or her mother had thought up. (Mom couldn't contribute $ due to her husband's business having a hard time, so her contribution was ideas. A lot of their business associates were invited, but we were limited to 4 invitations since we live in CA and they live in TX where the wedding was!) Over $35,000 later, she had the wedding show of her dreams...

Anyway, maybe you can have a nice party to celebrate their marriage and completing that last 5% of the remodel.

Re: Catching up......

Carole C in NOLA on 1/03/04 at 13:26 (141241)

Congratulations, Judy, on your 25th anniversary!!

Carole C

Re: Catching up......

marie on 1/03/04 at 23:17 (141291)

Congratualtions...we celebrated our 24th this week.

Re: Catching up......

Kathy G on 1/04/04 at 09:45 (141322)


You and I are the exact opposite on hugging. I am not a hugger or demonstrative person which probably comes as no surprise to any of you because I truly believe that my New England background has something to do with that. Or maybe my English/Irish blood. Or maybe I'm just a cold fish!:D

My daughter-in-law comes from a warm Greek family and they live in NJ. Judging from the people I met at the wedding, many of whom weren't Greek but were from NJ and NY, they all hug everyone! I mean, I was getting hugs from total strangers!

My daughter-in-law had adjusted to me, not the opposite. She and I hug when she's leaving, sometimes, but less and less. Heck, I don't hug my own daughter and son when they arrive or leave! It's just not me! They know how much I love them and I think she realizes the same.

Funny how different we all are in that regard, isn't it? My two sisters are so much more demonstrative than I and my mother always said I was just like my father. Shaking hands was his idea of intimacy!

Re: Catching up......

JudyS on 1/05/04 at 10:21 (141396)

I couldn't agree more, Lari! When the kids first announced their engagement they were very vocal about wanting a small, quiet ceremony. My son kept apologizing to me for not planning a bigger one! I never could figure that out because we'd continued to tell them that what THEY chose was what they should do - it was their day and all they had to do was tell us when and where. I think that what the other mom wanted/demanded was somehow imposed on me also!
Your story about those four invitations reminds me of another......
A dear friend of mine and her Morman husband divorced after raising four children. She'd converted to his church before marrying him and they raised their children as Mormans. However, the church looked quite severly on their divorce and she was 'excommunicated'. When her children were each married in the Morman church, she was not allowed to attend!

Re: Catching up......

JudyS on 1/05/04 at 10:25 (141397)

Thanks Carole!

Can you believe it - I failed to mention that our younger son graduated from college in December also! Wow - there's WAY too much going on!

And I even managed to hit a grand slam in my softball game the other day! That was a first....and probably last... I'm sure my kids will have many more degrees than I will home runs!

Re: Catching up......

JudyS on 1/05/04 at 10:40 (141403)

Congratulations on 24, Marie!