A few months back, I (Eric) was watching Annika dance and the thought occurred to me "Annika probably won't ever get to be a flower girl." For a moment I was sad as I thought it would be something she would enjoy. Two weeks later my cousin Nicole, who went to Point Loma right after me which allowed for an unique bond as the only family near her in proximity during college, called and asked if Annika would be a flower girl in her wedding. Honored, Kara and I were equal parts excited and nervous knowing our daughter's ability to be stubborn at the worst times.
Weeks leading up to the event we found out the other flower girl bailed leaving Annika as the lone FG, only adding to our nervousness. Then came the white dress in the mail which hung in Annika's closet tormenting her for weeks (what's with you women in white dresses?). Then we started showing her the scene of the FG's coming down the aisle in our wedding video (side note: why is it your own wedding video is always awkward to watch?), which means I have a certain Chris Rice song engrained in my head having heard it 30+ times.
Finally came the weekend of. The venue was a beautiful golf course in Rocklin... but the wedding was outside and it happened to be the two hottest days of the year. At the time of the wedding it was 103 degrees. Yawzah!
Annika, despite four 90 minute car trips in two days, constant attention from everyone in sight, and the ridiculous heat that almost sent her mom over the edge, our litte champ was in her element. She was an angel, talked with everyone, and most importantly, did her job perfectly. It wasn't until after the ceremony when we tried for the last photo opp and she knew the babysitters had dinner that she finally broke down. All in all, she surpassed our expectations.
Cousin Nicole, your wedding was great, you were beautiful, and thanks for allowing our little peanut to be a part of your special day. We are so excited for you and Matt and can't wait to spend more time together.
Getting ready for the rehearsal, but who is helping who?
My lovely ladies!
In her element!
Annika loved having matching flowers as Nicole, and never has she smiled on command more than here.
I am a lucky man!
We had a decent wait until the ceremony began, Annika kept on saying, "Come on, let's go, time to walk..." to which Nicole kept on saying "Seriously, right?"
Final comment: There was a little walkway down to where the ceremony was, so I was responsible for getting Annika down there and then letting her walk on her own to where Kara was waiting in the front row. This left about a minute up at the top where it was just Annika, Jim (Nicole's dad), Nicole, and me. As we started our decent down the path and to the back of the aisles, as I let go of Annika's hand and watched her go down the aisle in a white dress, I realized that it will only feel like a few days before she won't be the flower girl but, Lord willing, she will be walking with me down an aisle...
Just as this thought hits me, Annika stops walking and all my attention reverts back to finishing the task at hand. With every bit of me willing her to keep walking I see her look to her left, smile at my mom, and continue walking down and around the corner. Little stinker.