Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Road to Greenville

My mother, my grandmother, the boys, and I set off from Birmingham for Greenville, South Carolina, the site of my cousin's New Year's Eve wedding, with a minivan packed to the absolute gills and a supposed 4.5 hour drive ahead of us.  9 hours later, having survived Atlanta 5 o'clock traffic, having filled and disposed of many a vomit bag, and having kept the boys' mouths so full of Cracker Barrel butter mints that they were physically unable to cry anymore, we arrived, tired and disheveled, to a bellhop who asked "There's more?" after having overflowed his first cart with our luggage and assorted necessities.  But we were there!  And thank goodness for that!
The boys and I spent our first morning in Greenville exploring the Children's Garden, on the Reedy River downtown, with my beautiful goddaughter and her mama.
 The children had so much fun together.
 And, most importantly, burned off a lot of energy, which primed them for the ever-dubious hotel nap.
And then, the Mister got to town!  We were all so excited to be reunited!
Every bit of the after-rehearsal dinner was beautiful, but my favorite part was the toasts.  The groom's two big brothers, rather than taking the traditional roasting route, gave sweet toasts, mentioning that they each found themselves looking up to their little brother, as a "pillar of morality" and an all-around great guy.  They said they would have to leave the crazy stories and the "dirt" to the groom's roommates and friends.  But when the other groomsmen started toasting, instead of "dirt," we heard conversion stories.  TWO of the groomsmen attributed their conversion to Christianity to my cousin's influence in their lives.  And, perhaps even more impressive, each of them said it was not because of any direct conversion effort on his part but rather because of the example he gave them of one living his life with Christ.  Wow!  I was floored.  How many people have led two people to Christ, solely by their example?  And especially at such a young age.  So, so awesome.  
The groom and my brother.
After the dinner, we returned to the hotel, where a team of babysitters had been caring for the pack of ten cousins all together in the hospitality room.  The scene was so funny, with children asleep looked like a cloud of sleeping gas had hit them!
Did I mention he takes that scooter everywhere?  Yep, this is how we roll now.
 Mama and Daddy had a wonderful brunch for the almost-married couple at a cute cottage downtown.
It was so much fun to get to spend an extended amount of time with all the cousins we rarely get to see.
 And the gorgeous day made it just perfect.
Inspired by his Daddy's mad hand-walking skillz, Little Guy spent some time working on his handstand.  He can actually stay up for a second or two, which I find to be simply amazing.
We all had a great time enjoying the good food and good company.
And passin' babies 'round.
Then, it was back to the hotel for a little pre-wedding rest!
Wedding post to come...


Julie said...

I cracked up looking at Andrew imitating Jacob's handstand - how cute! What cute pictures of all the kiddos!

The Steffens said...

OMG NINE HOURS with two babies? You poor poor things. That sounds treacherous. but glad you made it to the other side where family and good weather awaited!