Monday, April 27, 2009

Kelly and Kyle

March 2009
My baby girl just turned twenty-four and she is getting married. Kyle proposed and gave her an engagement ring for her birthday and she is so excited. Kelly is the first of my three children to get married and Larry and I flew to Las Vegas last week for the wedding, because that is where Kelly and Kyle live.

I sent Kelly and Kyle both an email letting them know how much I love them both and the first time I talked to Kyle on the phone he called me mom. Kyle promised to love my baby girl and always take care of her. That is, after all, what I really want--for Kelly to be loved and happy.

Kelly has some close friends to help her get ready and whatever Larry and I can do long distance, we will.

April 2009
Kelly called one night and gave me a website so I could see a picture of the chapel they thought about renting, but now they are going to be married on Mt. Charleston and have the reception at the Mt. Charleston Lodge.

Kelly sent another website with pictures of the dresses she is trying to decide on. Then she made a final decision on a dress and my job was to track it down. I spent about four hours on the web and making phone calls only to find out the dress will not be available until May. Not soon enough, so Kelly and Nikki took a day to power shop. Finally a phone call telling me she found a dress that she loves.

I spent several more hours looking at bridal flowers and trying to find a local florist. I emailed the pictures to Kelly to see what she liked and then called to place the order. Another check mark on the list of things to do.

I made the favors for the wedding guests and took them with us to Vegas. Small white organza bags filled with Sixlets (my dad always kept Sixlets in his pocket when he knew the kids, especially Kelly, were coming to visit). Kelly thought this was a perfect wedding favor.

Nikki is making the wedding cake. Neither Kyle nor Kelly eats very many sweets so they have chosen a gingerbread cake and a candy land theme.

Weather! Who would think weather would be a problem in Las Vegas. It’s Wednesday before the wedding and it is snowing on the mountain and it is 140 with the wind chill factor. The wedding is going to be on Mount Charleston ( with the reception at the lodge. Forecast for Saturday is 650 so let’s hope the weather person has it right. A 5:00 PM wedding could be really cold.

It’s Thursday April 16th and it is really early. We are off to Vegas for the wedding. We are staying at the Silverton Casino and Lodge which is part of the Bass Pro Shop. Larry thinks this is the best idea of the whole trip. We arrived at 2:30 PM, picked up our car and missed the turn to our hotel. It’s okay because we are only one block off and going parallel to the freeway. A couple of turns and we arrived but the “Jill” the GPS navigator kept telling me to make a U-turn. Seems she thought we should be across the street.

We checked in, unpacked and waited for the kids to arrive for dinner. Kelly came through the door with a picture for me and Kyle had a kiss and hug for me. We stayed in the room and talked for quite awhile and then had dinner in the hotel. While we were sitting in the room we felt a jolt to the building and thought earthquake. The next morning we would learn it was a 3.1 with several aftershocks.

After dinner we discovered a 40’ Airstream trailer in one of the lounge areas inside the hotel that had been converted to a mini bowling alley. Two lanes and the pins were held up by ropes. We played several games and laughed the whole time. What a great idea. I wonder how much it would cost to find a trailer on EBay and convert one for the backyard.

Friday April 17th - Larry and I had breakfast downstairs in one of the restaurants and then did a quick tour of the Bass Pro Shop. The sales associate in the fly tying department asked us if he could be of any help. I told him Larry was looking for fly tying supplies for an upcoming fishing trip and I was looking for art supplies. I think I stunned him and he sort of backed away and said if he could be of any help to just ask him. We took pictures of the Bass Pro Shop motorcycle built by Orange County Choppers. We also watched the diver feed the fish in the aquarium that spans the entry into the hotel/casino and the Bass Pro Shop.

Larry had to work on a grant so I spent most of the day reading. I went out and found sandwiches for lunch and I read…and Larry continued to finish his grant writing. We went to dinner at The Salt Lick Restaurant inside the Red Rock Casino. Larry still has fond memories of the original Salt Lick in Texas that he frequented when he lived there.

Saturday April 18th – the wedding day and there is so much to do and the clock is ticking down. Kelly called a little frantic and said she didn’t want to throw her bouquet and give up her bridal flowers. I called the florist and they are making a smaller second wedding bouquet for her to throw so she can preserve her wedding flowers. Next it was time to pick up Jim at the airport and drop him off at his hotel, the Venetian. Kelly was getting her hair done so we went to pick up her bags and clothes. Back to our hotel so we change clothes and get ready. It has been a full circle around town and we are about to do it all again. Pick up Jim, the flowers, then stop to get Kelly where she is having her make-up done. Now it’s up, up, and away to the top of the mountain where prince charming awaits.

We arrived at the lodge and Kelly quickly changed into her wedding dress because we needed to get to the lookout point on Mt. Charleston where everyone was waiting for us. The phone rings and its Kim. There’s a problem with the cake and Nikki is in tears. Kim has it under control and now Kelly is worried about Nikki. Kyle calls and Kelly tells him we are on the way and to just keep talking on the phone.

What else could possibly happen? A traffic cop on the mountain just having a glorious day from his perspective giving out tickets to anyone and everyone. No, we did not get a ticket, but we worried about the unsuspecting guests who might get pulled over as they hurried to the lookout.

Kelly kept saying it’s just around the corner, but it wasn’t. Then Kelly would laugh and say this looks familiar, just a little bit farther. I think she must have been daydreaming when she was here before. Kelly tries to peer around the next corner looking out the front of the windshield as we continue up the mountain. We are looking for cars at every turn hoping this will be the lookout we are looking for and as we reached almost 8,400 feet we see familiar faces standing around a small turnout.

Larry is driving and Jim is riding shotgun in the front seat with Kelly sitting directly behind him. She ducked down quickly behind Jim when she saw Kyle to prevent him from seeing her until she walked down the pathway for the ceremony. The minister wants the wedding license and Kyle doesn’t know where it is. Kelly tells Kim that it is in her glove compartment. The photographer is all ready to go but we are missing a few of the guests. I have the bride’s wedding ring and instructions to hand it to Kyle2 and Kim has the groom’s ring. Finally at 5:30 PM, only a half hour later than planned, the wedding, is ready to begin.
The wind is picking up, the temperature is dropping, and everyone is looking for a jacket except the bride who is wearing a strapless gown and can only think about Kyle waiting for her on the other side of the walkway. 1 Corinthians 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant. And the two shall become one.
Pictures and more pictures then back to the lodge. Some of Kelly and Kyle’s friends didn’t make it up the mountain in time for the ceremony so they drove straight to the lodge. Dinner, laughter, and more pictures. Finally Kelly and Kyle could sit down and relax. I don’t think either of them had more than three or four bites of food because they kept visiting with their wedding guests, but love and adrenaline are probably all they need tonight. At one point Kelly asked me to hold out my hand and when I asked why she said she wanted me to hold her caterpillars. Well I pulled my outstretched hand back quickly and she laughed as she held out her false eyelashes for me to keep safe.
Time to cut the cake and we could only hold our breath. Kyle and Kelly are so much alike so we wondered if they would lovingly feed each other cake or would they play with it. They cut the cake and each took a piece, holding it up and smiling before smashing it into each other’s mouths. They were laughing and then took turns wiping the cake off each other’s faces before finally having to wash it off. Kyle and Kelly have found their soul mates and we wish for them a happily ever after life filled with love, laughter, and friendship.
Kelly’s dress is a long white strapless gown with a black satin band under the bust and down the back of the dress. She has white leather flip flops with rhinestones on each big toe. Kyle wore dress tan khaki slacks, a black shirt, and a black and grey stripped tie. Nikki caught the bouquet and Jim caught the garter. We even got a picture of Jim wearing the garter as a headband.
There were wedding bubbles for everyone to play with and the wedding favors to take home as mementos. Time to leave the newlyweds alone.
The only time I cried was when Kyle danced with me and said he really felt like part of the family and he loved me. A new son in the family and we are so happy.
Larry, Jim, and I headed back down the mountain to downtown Las Vegas and Fremont Street. Jim had never seen the lightshow and it was early, only 9:00 PM. We arrived just in time for the start of the hourly show. We listened to the bagpipers performing, street artist painting with spray paint, and took tourist photos of the iconic signs. We dropped Jim off at his hotel because he was meeting a friend later that night and we headed home to our hotel room to unwind.
Sunday April 19th everyone was having lunch with the newlyweds at a Mexican restaurant called Lindo Michoacán. After lunch, Kyle, Kelly, and Jim headed off to Bass Pro and Larry and I went back to our hotel room. The kids called about an hour later and wanted us to come bowl with them in the Airstream trailer. There was a waiting line so the kids played pool, drank ice tea, and we waited our turn. When Kelly and Kyle had to leave, Jim stayed with us to visit before we dropped him off at the airport. We splurged on the way back to the hotel for decadent In-N-Out Burgers for dinner.
April 20th - Monday morning we had a power breakfast before some serious Bass Pro shopping for Larry’s annual Canadian fishing trip. All those tackle boxes at home full of flies, feathers, fancy string, beads, and leaders would make one think you had enough stuff, but just like my art studio that I keep stocking with new supplies, so must Larry find new super duper, the fish can’t resist, flies. We stopped off in the shooting arcade inside Bass Pro so Larry could try his marksman skills and he scored higher than Kyle and Jim did earlier…lots higher! We spent some time lying out by the pool, soaking up the sun and the warmth in the afternoon and it felt wonderful. We stopped at Hooters Casino to get more signatures for Dave M’s t-shirt before heading off to Red Rock Harley-Davidson. It was a huge store but we were the only customers. Larry bought something for his bike but I just couldn’t make myself buy a t-shirt with skulls on it.
Last stop of the day was dinner with Kyle and Kelly at BJ'S Restaurant & Brewery across from the Red Rock Casino. Five days and it went way to fast. I didn’t lose a daughter I gained a son.

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