Month: June 2011

Fairytale Wedding

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A fairytale wedding
Lisa Baniewicz
Full House

Weddings can be full of surprises. I think it makes the fairytale atmosphere much more exciting. At a recent family wedding, during the rehearsal the bride-to-be ran down the aisle and jumped into the groom’s arms. This surprise was only a glimpse to the fun and laughter that lay ahead.
Surprise number one: It all began when the bride arrived in a golf cart. The flower girls, my 3- and 5-year-old daughters, couldn’t contain their excitement. They tackled her to the ground. They thought she looked like Cinderella, a real-live princess. Any woman in heels and a wedding gown standing in grass couldn’t possibly keep her balance with two children gripping on for dear life. Cameras snapped and laughter erupted. Luckily, all three white dresses were grass-stain free since this was only pre-wedding picture time.
To add to the excitement, the wind that day was more like towns in tornado alley, not the Southwest. I told my husband I felt we were partially responsible and somehow brought it with us from Kansas.
Surprise number two: The wind was so strong; during pictures the bride’s long, flowing veil flew off her head and kept going … and going … and going. Coming to the rescue, the maid of honor safety pinned it back to her head. This sounded awfully painful to me, but it got the job done.
Surprise number three: jumping on board with the wind theme, my mother-in-law shouted, “Look at me!” She struck a pose similar to the famous Titanic scene at the bow of the ship. With arms outstretched, she leaned forward in my father-in-law’s arms, and let the wind whip through her hair. We can always count on her to get the party started.
After pictures, everyone took their seats and the bride disappeared until her grand entrance. Surprise number four: She disappeared for so long, the groom began to wonder if she changed her mind. Later she told us she didn’t feel any need to rush and decided to sit down and have a drink. Smart girl.
When the bride was finally in sight, festivities were underway. My 3-year-old and 5-year-old walked slowly down the aisle delicately dropping flower petals that mostly flew away. When they reached the front aisle, their grandmother motioned them over. My 3-year-old, (never known for being quiet anywhere except during sleep), announced she wasn’t done yet. She turned her basket upside down and shook it and hit it with all her might. Mission accomplished. She took her seat.
My son, also in the wedding, was petrified for two reasons. He had the responsibility of walking the maid of honor down the aisle (a first for him), and giving well-wishes to the bride and groom via microphone in front of everyone. He pulled it off like a pro. I think this surprised him.
After tearful vows, the pastor announced my brother-in-law and new sister-in-law husband and wife. After they kissed, the bride pumped her fist in the air and shouted, “I’M A BANIEWICZ NOW!” Cheers and laughter erupted and by far this was the biggest surprise of all.
Afterward, the reception included a heartfelt speech by the best man, my husband, and another heart-warming speech from the groom to his bride. There were Native American hoop dancers, (a nice Southwestern touch), animal masks (Not sure why … maybe in relation to all the party animals?), and traditional bubbles during the bride and groom’s dance. The last surprise was the only unwelcome one — Cinderella’s curfew. The fairytale wedding came to an abrupt halt at exactly 10 p.m. due to the town’s noise ordinance. So much for the fairytale ending at midnight. At least she got to keep the fabulous dress!

Compliments of the Atchison Globe

Pushing My Luck

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Pushing my luck
Lisa Baniewicz
Full House

Lately I’m a magnet for police officers. This isn’t my usual way of life but for the past week I’ve had a few run-ins with the law. At least I think that’s what criminals say. The first was heart stopping. The kind when you immediately wonder what you did wrong the minute you see a police officer driving behind you. Only this time I thought something else.
In my own little world driving home the other day, without a soul in sight (or so I thought), I heard sirens. I looked in my rear view mirror to not only see a police car, but also lights flashing and sirens blaring. My first thought was, “Wow! What’s the emergency?” I safely pulled over to the side of the road to allow the officer to pass. The joke was on me because he didn’t. He pulled up behind me. My thoughts quickly changed to, holy crap, has he mistaken me for a criminal? Those lights and sirens surely couldn’t be for little ol’ me.
When the officer walked up to my window, he was kind but got to the point rather quickly. He wanted my driver’s license and proof of insurance. He was quiet for a minute, but it felt like eternity. This made me nervous and things clearly weren’t looking good. Still thinking he obviously had the wrong person, I looked at him in disbelief and said nothing because I couldn’t form the words (it’s rare that I’m speechless, but in hindsight I think it couldn’t have come at a better time). Then he pointed out the speed limit sign up the road (my next string of thoughts were not appropriate for print). He proceeded to review the speed limits on the street I was on and where they increased. Had I been a bit further down the road I would have been under the speed limit. Unfortunately, where I was pulled over I was 9 miles over and had been for a while. In his words, “With no intent on slowing down.” I believe he would have been correct, except I had to slow down to make a turn at the next street. I decided to keep this bit of information and my itinerary to myself. I still wasn’t sure how this was going to end. Luckily God thought I had suffered enough and knows I’m a quick learner.
A few days later, I was picking up my children from school when a mishap occurred in front of me. While I was parked, another driver pulled out in front of me to make a left-hand turn. They almost hit a police car with not one, but two officers inside. It actually wasn’t close, but nonetheless, definitely not the car you want to pull in front of.
Nothing happened and the cars continued on their way, or so I thought. The police car looped around the block and pulled up beside me. This time I was with my children. Great. While in their car, the officers tried to get my attention. I didn’t even know they were talking to me. I never think I’m “ma’am.” That word makes me feel old. It took a few times for me to grasp that I was the “ma’am” they were talking to. Darn. I must be old. They looked like they were in their 20s.
The driver asked me not to park so close to the corner next time and reviewed the story of the car that pulled out in front of them. I wanted to say “yes, I recall.” It happened approximately two minutes ago, but wisdom won out and I kept my sarcasm to myself. I thought a simple “okay” would suffice and offered that instead.
I have a feeling I need to take my safety driving measures up a notch … or two … or eight. I’m currently paranoid of any car that even remotely resembles a police car. I’m thinking a bicycle might be the way to go. Is there one that seats a family of seven?

Compliments of the Atchison Globe