Mother of the Bride
Kinley is engaged to be married to Mr. Ethan Brown on May 6th, 2017.
I’m pretty sure she was just born and so my timing must be off, somewhere.
On New Years Eve, 2016, we went bridal gown shopping with all of the girls (minus Sydney because she’s living in Florida) and let me tell you, I battled the thought of having six daughters for so long but when occasions like this come up, I’m always a bit overwhelmed with emotions.
“Come one girls, get in the car! We are going to be late!”
“In the back.”
“Right here Mom, you’re talking to me.”
“Oh, right, where is Whitney and Brighton….and our bride?”
When we were all in the car I turned around and said, “Girls….(“Here Mom goes again…”) This is a day we will all remember! Look how much fun we are going to have shopping for wedding dresses! I feel so blessed to be with you all on this special day.”
And with that, I slowly backed out of the garage while one of them got our music going. You see, we can’t drive anywhere without music. We have our favorite play lists and I’ve always prided myself on raising kids that appreciate the best hits from all generations. We decided which order we’d stop at the bridal stores, and we were off!
I’m not going to tell you that every dress was perfect or that the kids never got annoyed with one another, but I will say that it was a perfect day. We laughed and I was a little teary just coming to grips with the realization about what was happening. It was like her first day of Kindergarten, all over again, but in her woman body. I remember being excited that she was starting school because she was SO positively ready to take that next step in her life. And as we prepare for her big wedding day, it feels pretty much the same way.
Kinley is sure in her choice of husband. Ethan is going to be a wonderful addition to our family and I’m so proud of them both. Together they are building a unit that I believe will last through all of the crazy experiences this world can throw at a married couple. They will be wonderful parents someday and I couldn’t be more excited for them! They dance and sing together, they enjoy many of the same things, they are patient and kind with one another, and I’m most impressed by the time they take to genuinely tell one another that the love each other and do small acts of kindness, everyday. Of course they drive each other crazy at times (let’s be honest, who doesn’t) but they find ways to work through their problems. As a mother, I couldn’t ask for more.
Kinley tried on a ton of different dress styles, and by the end of the day she was determined to have someone make her dress. Honestly this stressed me out a bit because the woman she chose lived in St. George, and I kept having thoughts of a box showing up with her dress … that she didn’t like. I would rather her find a dress that she could try on right from the beginning so she could see if it was absolutely perfect. Well, we didn’t find that, but we had a great time trying!
That night we rang in the new year in a pretty chill way because some of us have been sick. Jon bought cazoos, party hats, and confetti guns – along with lots of food. We played scategories and toasted in 2017 with a little dancing, our traditional running in the snow without shoes or socks on, and watching the ball drop.
Well now here we are on January 5th already! Jon has been struggling with his back going out – even to the point that we took him to the emergency room to check for kidney stones. After many hours and tests, it came back negative. Although this may seem like a relief, we were very surprised and now I’m more worried about him because back problems have always been a struggle for him. He’s visited the chiropractor now and set up tests for an MRI to get more information.
Yesterday Kinley, Brighton and I went to another dress store. She wanted to try on more styles to see what dress cuts would work the best for her so she could begin the process of getting her dress made. To be honest, when I saw the dress shop that she made an appointment with, I was scared. It was beautiful…. too beautiful for words. But let me try.
The bridal store is in Salt Lake City and it looks like a boutique for wedding dresses. It was an old vintage house that had been remodeled for the bridal store. There were lots of windows around the outside walls, and beautiful dresses hanging on racks around the perfectly staged room. There were dressing rooms in the center of the big open area and to separate sitting areas where the bride could come out and stand in front of you on a beautiful stand, surrounded by mirrors. They interviewed Kinley about the type of dress that she was looking for and we were shocked to hear that they had an almost exact replica of the dress on Pinterest that she’s been wanting made! They brought us water, and the show began.
The first dress they brought out was the one from Pinterest and I could hardly relax as she tried it on because I was scared of the price tag. It was beautiful, to be sure. She was beautiful. As she spun around, asking for our feedback each time she tried on a new dress, I kept picturing her doing the same thing in her white baptism dress and holding her in her white baby blessing dress. Times flies…
And then it happened. Kinley walked out in a dress that settled the busy room into a hush. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at my baby girl in the most beautiful gown that seemed to be made for her. Every bridal dress is beautiful for someone, but this was Kinley’s dress. It was simple and elegant. It fit her body perfectly in all the right places and it was easy to imagine her wearing, perfectly.
Kinley’s face flushed red and she became teary… and Brighton and I began oooooing and ahhhhhing…. I saw for one moment that Kinley saw her own beauty. This world is so harsh on women and their self-esteem, but for that special place in time, I saw that she saw what I see every time I look at her. She looked pleased, excited, and at peace. I wish I could bottle that feeling up and give all of my girls a dose of it each morning before school. A mother’s prayer is that their daughters feel confident in their own skin, knowing what they know, that they are truly beautiful.
And then I had to ask the inevitable…. “So, what does the dress cost?” and when she told me, I wasn’t surprised. We deserved it. That’s what you get when you find a dress that was hand beaded in Israel. And so we talked for a moment about how much she’d budgeted and saved in other areas. Our venue will be an on old park with huge trees and cobblestone walkways, and it was really cheap – SO we decided that since she saved money there, we’d better spend it here 🙂 but I really didn’t want to say yes to a more expensive dress unless she was absolutely, positively sure that THIS was the one. When she agreed that she was sure, she tried on her other dress options again. When she walked back out in the dress of her choice, we all felt magical again, and so it was done.
The cute girls helping us said, “Kinley, do you say yes to the dress!?” and so I quick got out my cell phone and video recorded her… “Wait!” I said, “Start again!”
“Kinley, do you say YES to the DRESS?!”
And so, with a huge smile and spinning on the top of the platform, she exclaimed, “YES!”
Maybe someday I can post that video, but not yet 😉