She showed up.

When I first saw this picture in a private message from a friend, I was mortified.

I don’t want anyone to see that picture – EVER!

But the more I looked at it and allowed myself to remember the events leading up to that moment in time, the more I wanted to write about it and post on it.

This picture captures my heart and its outpouring while in a hard place. It was utterly overwhelmed!

Returning to the classroom last fall after a 12 year hiatus, I had no idea that my eldest daughter would become engaged and set her wedding date for the weekend immediately following the last day of school.

It was a blessing, though, as the extra income allowed us to set a modest wedding budget for her, and now that we are on the other side of the events, everyone can enjoy their summer!

I had no idea the new issues that would stir in my heart as I began my journey as mother of the bride. There were lies about my own wedding that I had believed. You don’t deserve a wedding! I needed to name and process those. There were painful parts of my story to face, yet again, and strong feelings to understand.

I am barely coming to terms with my own marriage, and now my daughter is getting married!

It’s been a full, full year.

I am grateful to Katie and her father for all of their hard work and planning. It was a mercy that I truly couldn’t be deeply involved, and they were a great team. Scarlet and Stephanie came through as maid and matron beautifully, and my parents and sister-in-law pitched in heroically at the end.

I taught and planned and finished the school year and worked on the end-of-year school program. These are significant areas of wounding in my past life, so the struggle was even greater for me to stay present and focused and fighting forward.

The program was wonderful, and the students passed, and we could finally celebrate a wedding! Our school principal, Mrs. Pflugradt graciously instructed me not to come to work on Friday and just be mother of the bride that day.

Wedding weeked kicked off Friday with a leisurely morning for me, followed by a walk to the Elks Lodge to check on the decorating and meet my girl for lunch. Things were looking beautiful.

It was merciful to be spared tablecloth drama and to have dear sisters and friends covering those bases! It was strange to move up a generation from bride or bridesmaid to mother of the bride. That is definitely a different role.

Steve and I took Katie to lunch at one of her favorite downtown restaurants and shared final words and thoughts about who needed to pay what and how much. After lunch, I walked across the street to Ten Thousand Villages to see if I could find a necklace to go with my dress while Steve drove Katie where she needed to be.

I found a beautiful, fair trade, sequin necklace to wear!

It was time to get the siblings and head over to rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Things went fairly well at rehearsal, and the picnic dinner was a wonderful choice for all of the children we had (both little and big!).

Wedding Saturday was full. Really full.


From early morning nails (yes, I am getting a donut out of a box!), to lunch with Steve’s family who was in from out of town, to afternoon dressing and grooming of younger siblings, it was intense. Good, yes, but intense.

We had to be at the church by 2:45 for pictures, and some significant melting-down was beginning to happen by a certain child.

From 3:00 until the wedding at 4:30, things went non-stop, and I was wearing high heels.

Then the music started, I was escorted in to light a candle, and just like that, the ceremony was over, and we were in the basement waiting for guests to clear out so that final pictures could be taken.

This set the stage for MOBzilla’s appearance.

After pictures, the little girls rode with their reception attendant for the evening, boys rode with Caleb and Dana, and Steve and I rode together to the reception.

Upon arrival, I was directed to the front porch to wait with the wedding party to be announced. Little girls were fussing about being hungry, it was hot, I overheard murmurings of guests wondering where they were supposed to sit, and then it happened.

My best friend of over 30 years emerged from the front doors to the porch where I was standing with a plastic cup of wine in hand.

I looked at the cup and looked at her and something inside began to stir and abruptly snap.

My guests are drinking wine at my daughter’s wedding from plastic cups!

We all have our little quirks, and one of mine just happens to be that wine is to be drunk from wine glasses. I will go to great lengths to ensure that this happens. Of course, if it is an extreme situation (like an airplane ride), I will make an exception, but not at my daughter’s wedding where my husband was assured that glassware would be used!

A grip of my husband’s arm and stage whisper into his ear, and next thing I knew, wine glasses appeared. But that first hour. . .

By the look of the bar tab, I don’t think the guests were as bothered by plastic cups as I was. A friend later told me, People don’t care what they are drinking free alcohol from.

We began to be introduced, and I walked in to the first glimpse of the reception while a string of observations flooded my head and came out of my mouth to my husband’s ears as we stood in the back corner.

They served wine in plastic cups! We didn’t reserve enough tables for family! The DJ is botching everyone’s name! Of course he is, because you chicken scratched them out, and if we had known that the DJ would just pull out the paper and read from it without communicating beforehand that he hadn’t practiced and couldn’t read them, I would have written them out in kindergarten print! The kids are making a mess of the chocolate fountain! There is chocolate coating my son’s face and tux! I can’t do this! I’m leaving! This is a disaster!

Yup. That’s the MOBzilla face.

My gracious husband listened and asked how he could help me de-escalate. He listened to me, brought over a glass of white wine in a wine glass, and left me to have conversation in the food line and around dinner tables with real friends, and MOBzilla was appeased, and I was once again just plain MOB.

And it was an experience.

This experience was actually experienced by me in its fullness. Dancing, talking, eating, hanging out with friends, this all happened without me snapping photos to document it later. No MOB selfie, even! For pictures, I am at the mercy of our lovely photographer friends.

10261961_10101441569146228_3073534482906224262_nI will enjoy savoring and remembering as pictures begin to roll in. Until then, I wait. Thanks for grace and for waiting with me.


This is the father-daughter dance. You can look closely and see me in the upper left with my BFF.

8 thoughts on “MOBzilla

  1. Debbie Graham

    Oh, Julie…(reaching for a towel bc the kleenex is all over the floor in wads now) this is my new favorite post. When you said ur bff emerged, I just imagined Mary standing there with her warm, assuring smile, letting you know that everything was going to be alright, without saying a word. Breathe. Plastic cups or not, your daughter knows she’s loved. And liked.
    Andres and I dated almost 9 years before being left with no choice but to elope after both our families said they wouldn’t come to ANY wedding of ours and my very own parents said they had plans that day… Both our families are still waiting for us to break up. Literally. NINE years. I didn’t deserve a wedding, apparently… Regardless, we’ll be celebrating 10 years this year. Our famlies are still bitter and hateful, but Andres and I don’t have time or room for that… Just looking at the pics that have been posted, it’s so obvious that you and Steve are doing a great job. A Family Dance?? How Heavenly! Your kids know who they belong to and they know they are so, so loved. Prov 13:22 reminds me of you and Steve…and Mary… “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children…” Y’all are leaving a legacy of love, not just with your kids, but with your friends, too. Thanks, Julie. =)

    1. mommypancis Post author

      This made my heart smile and hurt all at once. It is nice to have friends who remember us from the “olden days” and who can picture Mary and me as who we were.

      I am sorry for the pain caused by family relationships and lack of acceptance. Families are so messy, and ours is no exception, but we have chosen to face messes head on and work through the pain to get to the place where there is joy. I’m sure there will posts on that in the future! I can’t imagine not accepting one of my children.

      You are an amazing, beautiful woman. Keep fighting for your heart, and one of these days we will raise a glass to toast the warrior-princess who lives inside and the love that you share with that man of yours.

      Congratulations yourself and big hugs.

  2. Elizabeth

    such fun to read this post and get a glimpse of your weekend. i totally understand! love it! you look beautiful as does your lovely daughter. happy hearts to laugh at life and know the richness of God’s love and the support of your family and friends…

    1. mommypancis Post author

      Thanks for being a real-life heart friend on my journey. You have seen where we have been and where we are. Can’t wait to get together and process where we are going. You are also one of my “plastic cup” exception friends, as I remember our hotel slumber party fondly 😉 Love you much.

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Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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