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Big Easy Wedding

Three weekends ago, I roadtripped with my extended family- my mom, siblings, aunts and cousins- to the Big Easy aka New Orleans aka NOLA.  We left out on JJ’s birthday to enjoy of a weekend of celebrating my older sister’s wedding!  I was very excited to say the least.  It had been a while since I’d seen my sister and even longer since I’d seen her fiance, whom I had bonded with met three years ago.
Plus, I was looking forward to the food!  I celebrated Thanksgiving with them one year.  Let me just say his family can throw down.  They also know how to treat company right!  They opened their arms and welcomed me and Moo (then a baby) into their family with nothing but love and happiness.  So, I was also looking to see some familiar faces and catch up with everybody.
At first, I wasn’t sure how well the actual traveling part was going to go because we had four little kids with us.  13 hours in an enclosed space sitting down isn’t exactly their cup of tea.  However, to my pleasant surprise the kids did very well.  No major meltdowns at all.  Now, it did end up taking longer than 13 hours to get to New Orleans because we made several stops along the way to get gas, for food, to use the restroom, etc.
Let me tell you riding in the back seat of a passenger van is like being on a roller coaster.  You literally bounce and rock over every little bump in the road.  That was good for JJ because he sleep peacefully in his carseat for almost 8 hours.  He likes being rocked and bounced to sleep.  But for me and my little sister it was a game trying not to get a neck sprain or not bumping your head.  I got some sleep but in intervals.
The best part about riding in the passenger van with everyone was that we had some good laughs.  My aunts kept us rolling with funny stories from their childhood and stories from being a mom.  We laughed until we literally cried.  And I totally forgot how good loaded hash browns from the Waffle House could be!  Y’all I went in one in Alabama and I was in pure heaven.  If they would have had more than one cook and the wait wouldn’t have been so long, I was going to order two more to go on the road.
Anyways, we reached New Orleans and everyone got to meet my sister’s fiance for the first time.  I think he was a little overwhelmed at first to be meeting everyone all at once but they loved him instantly.   They loved him even more after he cooked a delicious spaghetti and meat sauce complete with fresh peppers and seasoning for us.  After lunch, we divided up.  
My baby sister and I went with the maid of honor to pick up our dresses for the wedding.  I was the matron of honor by the way.  Then we had to go pick up shoes.  That almost turned into a major problem because the DSW we went to didn’t have the shoes my sister and the maid of honor needed for the wedding in stock anymore.  But we found a similar style and just agreed that I would give my baby sister my shoes so she could match the other bridesmaids and that would leave me and the maid of honor wearing the same shoes.  That was perfect because our dresses were also different from the other bridesmaids too.
That night we all went shopping.  We had to get flowers for the bouquets and some other stuff.  I was definitely feeling tired and ready to pass out by that point.  But with the help a cocktail, I made it through a late night session of putting together bouquets and wedding favors.
Me and the maid of honor before the wedding
The wedding turned out great the next day!  Everyone was super emotional and there was definitely some makeup retouching.  At one point I had cried and dabbed at my eyes so much that my lashes came off during the reception.  I’m so happy that my sister has found her soul mate.  I’m even happier that she has a life partner who understands her and accepts her for who she is-flaws and all.  That was something she has been wanting for a long time and now she has it!
The ceremony. My mommy was the officiant!
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