Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Ward Wedding Toast...Two weeks later

            I discovered a pretty surprising fact two weeks ago today.  It’s still fresh but I think I’m ready to write about it…  I am not good at wedding speeches.  It’s bit embarrassing to tell the truth.  In case you were unaware, I TAUGHT public speaking for almost 6 years, so you’d think I had this in the bag.  But when I grabbed the mic that Friday night, “My mind just drew a blank, like ‘La-La-La.’”  (Anyone? The Game, early 2000s?  No?! anyway….) 
But Hunter and Jane deserve better than that.   And it is not too late!  So, this is what I wish I’d said even though I definitely would have gotten choked up…maybe have had to hold up a shaky hand and ask everyone to wait a minute while I pulled it together….but this is what I would have said if I had the guts.

Photograph courtesy of
            Jane, I love you.  I have loved you since the moment you were born.  I have loved you beyond all reason and cherish every moment with you.  I am so sorry I have tried so hard to be your mother.  I am sorry I have tried so hard to be “cool.”  I am sorry I did not figure out sooner how to be more transparent and genuine with such an extraordinary little sister.  
I’m sorry that I taught you how to skinny dip and streak around town forest….well mostly I’m just sorry you got caught ;)
         I am not at all sorry that we are hardcore Disneyland fans, that we love hiking to Heublein Tower, writing each other letters, and reading the Baudelaires aloud (that was like my first sign that Hunter was “the one” for you.  A die hard Lemmony Snicket fan is a true gem).   
I am grateful for the way you cared for James when I was sick but had to go back to work.  I am grateful that you love each my kids like your own.  I am grateful for our mutual love of ice dancing and Downton Abbey.  I am grateful that we have finally found our groove of being genuine kindred spirits, best friends and sisters.  I feel blessed beyond all measure.  I feel like the luckiest.
And Hunter….let’s be honest….you are the luckiest;)  I kind of feel that Scout should give this part of the speech since she adores you as purely as only a three year old can. She knew from the moment she met you that you were a good man; that you were her friend; that you were family.  
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She has told me that she loves “how you play games… that you are funny and ….your beard.”  I think that is a pretty good list.  But I want to add some qualities that are so admirable about you.  And I’ve found there are a lot of things to admire.  I admire your humility, especially about your skill at lacrosse.  I admire your insight into athletics and the arts.  I’ll never forget how much you seemed to just “get” Jane’s artwork at her senior show.  You didn’t just politely glance at it, you analyzed it and appreciated it deeply.   
I admire your flexibility -both literally and figuratively.  (I mean I’ll admit I was dumbfounded when I heard you could bend over and touch your forearms to the ground…that’s, well, just incredible.)  But more than that, I admire how when you came to visit Jane and she had to go to an Artsbridge thing, you spent the whole day helping me with the kids.  Seriously, THE.  WHOLE.  DAY.  And it wasn’t like one of our best days, when the kids are angelic and I’m like extra sweet super mom.  It was like a real day in the life.  And you were so helpful and gracious.  
I admire how you always notice when Scout and Hadley reach new milestones.  You are always one of the first to celebrate me when Scout overcomes a speech hurdle or Hadley takes a wobbly step.  
Photograph courtesy of
So, with all those amazing qualities wound together, it’s no surprise you are an incredible couple.  My hope and prayer for you as you enter into the adventure of marriage together is that you always see  each other as God sees us, or to make it a little less daunting…try and see each other kind of like how I saw Jane the first time I held her as a baby…noticing each tiny detail, wondering at her unique personality,  and utter gratitude that her miraculous life was tied to mine.  I am utterly grateful again this time that I get to experience a newborn marriage of two people I love grow and mature.  

PS I think I need to give a shout out to Nick’s speech at the rehearsal dinner because it has now become James’ presedent for HIS obsession with eating frosted mini wheats without milk???!!!

PPS Anne and Pedro you are next. 


  1. Perfect, beautiful, honoring! Said late is still said! Mom

  2. Nice wedding, probably better life:)

    Peter | baldachin lampe