October was a busy month. We had a ton of fun but it was crazy exhausting. Starting with my birthday on the 5th we had obligations every single Saturday night through the middle of November. ::yawn:: I’m tired again just thinking about it.
But beyond the birthdays and Halloween celebrations two very exciting things happened in our family. My dear cousin Kelsey got married to her college sweetheart Kyle. I love them both so very much. Kelsey is so warm and smart and thoughtful and Kyle is such a sweet and funny guy. Thanks to the football schedule Michael wasn’t able to go to the wedding with me so Tracey was my date. It was a blast just being with my sisters, mom, grandparents and cousins.
I got to see this moment with Kelsey and her dad Kit (my Mom’s first cousin and a really great human being) just before she went down the aisle. It brought tears of joy and sadness to my eyes.
I am so happy for her and Kyle that they get to spend the rest of their lives together. They’re going to have a blast doing so. I know we had a blast celebrating with them!
And then the following weekend we packed up the car, all piled in and headed to the border for Michael’s cousin Kifah’s wedding in Canada.
After leaving late and stopping 1.1 million times we finally arrived to the rehearsal dinner. Hours late. We were so out of it I took no pictures.
But that night we stayed up late catching up with our cousins Fadi and Diana and my BIL André while the little ladies played with their cousin Mila. Knowing we had to wake up early and be dressed up fancy all day did not deter us from staying up late, drinking Crown Royal and solving the world’s problems. Well, except for D, she’s pregnant with their second baby, and she was the only one smart enough to get some rest.
We woke up at the crack of dawn anyways (thank you tiny human alarm clocks) and got all dressed up for the wedding at noon.
Cedella had been trying to wear her black sequin party dress and matching black patent shoes for weeks before the wedding and I wouldn’t let her. (Of course now that the wedding is over she hasn’t attempted to wear either piece since). She looked so pretty and grown-up. My precocious darling three-nager.
And Isora in her pink fluffy ruffles and white bow. I die from the cutemess.
Iz and Mila had a very similar style of dress on. It’s so cute to watch two little people navigate all those ruffles.
Mila and her gorgeous mother Diana. Totally stunning. Beauties inside and out.
Izzie and Izzat. I love this picture. The girls were all properly obsessed with their older cousin. And he was so sweet and attentive and caring towards them. He is such an incredible young man.
Cedella and Aunt Jacqueline the Mother of the Groom. This woman has the biggest heart and the biggest smile. So much love for her.
With her Teta Hilda. My darling and stylish MIL. The girls adore their silly and playful and fun loving Teta. And so do I.
How beautiful is this picture? I need to frame this one asap. Cedella just loves her grandparents so much.
And so does Isora. She fussed for Teta during the ceremony and wouldn’t stop until my MIL was holding her.
The most excited flower girl EVER.
The beautiful bride Fatene and her father.
How to keep a three-nager occupied during a boring-old wedding ceremony? Fruit snacks and camera phones. Works every time.
The four of us in our fancy gear. We fancy up rather well if I do say so myself.
The Mansour Boys. A seriously good looking crew.
After all the “I Do’s” we had the chance to grab a cup of Double Doubles from Tim Horton’s and go back to Fadi and D’s house for naps and a rest up for the big night. But soon it was time to put our gowns back on, drop the kids off at the hotel with the babysitter and head over to have some adult wedding fun.
We walked into the reception hall, shots were waiting for us, the bar was open, the room was bathed in purple light and the incredible hors d’oeuvre table was waiting. Time to party.
My Aunt Jihan, MIL Hilda and me, feeling as good as we look.
My FIL John was in his element. Surrounded by his cousins, brothers, sons and all of the ladies in the family. I’ve never met a person beside myself who truly enjoys a wedding like my FIL.
The happy parents….Aunt Jacqueline and Uncle Mansour.
The happy couple. Kifah and Fatene. The were absolutely glowing.
Fadi delivered a perfectly funny and heartwarming speech to his older brother. Well played Fadi.
And Uncle Mansour, who recently had a health scare, delivered a speech in Arabic that had everyone in the room crying. I’ve never wished I understood the language more.
The love of a mother for her son.
And the second the DJ says GO! the dance party begins. Everyone rushes the floor for their chance to dance with the bride and family.
My FIL John is a fierce debke dancer. He loves to lead this traditional Arabic dance as often and as wildly as possible.
John dancing with Fatene for the first time.
And Michael’s first dance with Fatene.
My loves, my aunt Sabah and her daughter, my cousin Talia. These two ladies mean so much to me and my girls. Though I think Talia and Michael have some big bro/little sis issues.
There are no pictures of me dancing because we were so busy enjoying ourselves. We ate and drank and laughed and visited. And then we drank and ate and danced some more. It was SO much fun. At some point we had danced and walked so much I made Michael go get my flat shoes, and normally I hate doing that, but it was that necessary to keep going.
I had not met the lovely bride before the day of the wedding so while I was so excited for the two of them to be getting married I really wanted a chance to talk with her. Her sister gave a heart wrenching speech about how they are physically separated and how guilty she felt for not being there to help her sister plan and prepare for her big day. When that speech was over I really wanted to welcome Fatene to our family and let her know that despite the miles she has many sisters now…all of the Mansour women, to be there for her where her family cannot be. She really opened up and said some lovely and sad things. I know that we will be quick friends when we get the chance to spend more time together. And I can’t wait for all of us cousins to raise our children together.
At around midnight we went back to retrieve the girls from the babysitter in the hotel room. And this is what we found. Three sleeping angels.
The next day we went visiting at Jacqueline and Mansour’s. And there was food from the second we walked in to the second we left. Meat pies and zataar and labneh and tons of sweets and wedding cake. But more importantly we had more time to spend with our lovely family. And these little cousins got more time to play.
Cedella has such a deep affection for Izzat. They spent so much time together while he visited and she misses him now that he’s returned to Arizona. Thank god for Skype, right?
Cedella (age 3.5) Mila (age 2) and Isora (age 1.5). They are the perfect age to grow up as the best of friends. God I wish we lived in the same country!!
Their faces and their love for each other is priceless.
Being goofy with their Jiddo as usual.
Isora never met a calendar or photo album she didn’t love.
Though it was truly a whirlwind weekend we had such a great time. The hospitality of Fadi and Diana and the entire family knows no bounds. It’s so amazing to have cousins that you love but that you get along with so well and enjoy as friends. Our visits are too few and far between. Can’t wait to see them at Thanksgiving!!