Heirs of the Magi News Flash!

***Heirs of the Magi News Flash!***

Cassie's Journals have now come to an end with the start of the Magi Ascension storyline on June 15, 2018! Ethan and Ehlana will now be taking over the Heirs of the Magi daily updates as Cassie prepares to move on to college - and you can read all about her story by picking up a copy of Magi Ascension - Part One! Ethan's and Ehlana's roles in the Ascension of the Light is just beginning now too; so their journals will offer a different perspective on the events going on at home while Cassie is away at college!

Happy reading this summer; and I hope that you enjoy this new 'chapter' in the Heirs of the Magi story!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cassie's Journal - May 30, 2017

The new and improved Inn is officially open for business today; though the first weekend is booked for local families – some of them picked by lottery for free stays at the Inn.  I’ll have more on that with my weekend updates; but that has been fun news for those lucky couples today.  Also in the business news around here, while the new apartment building opened for early move-ins last week; it is officially open now; so Aunt Leanne and Claire have another round of ‘old’ rentals to deal with; and they do have long-term plans for those spaces – including some remodels that will turn some of those apartments into luxury lofts that would be a new addition to the rental market around here – unless they decide to try and sell them as condos or something instead.

While those stories were big around here with the adults; baseball team names were announced today too; so that was news in our house too – and around our school for some of the teens and kids that found out about that before the end of the school day.  Ethan and Aiden are happy to be on the Bakery Blizzard team; Ehlana and Naomi are not as happy to be with Vicky’s Hair Herons; though they probably got the best name for their division.  Rowen and I are members of Emerson’s Erosion; and we definitely didn’t get one of the coolest team names this year.  Michael and Tim are okay with being on Landry’s Lasers; and Mom and Dad are with the Real Estate Roughriders this year.  I’ll include all of the other team names eventually as the season goes along; but won’t bore you with the entire list here in this report.

Ehlana and Naomi had their practice tonight, and had great weather for it; but my music practices were all cancelled this week because of exam studying.  Exams was the word of the day for all of the students at our school; though end-of-year testing is not quite as serious for the primary grades.  We did review all day in our classes; and then we studied from the time we got to my house from the school until eleven o’clock.  Food was available for all of my study buddies – burgers and jumbo dogs on the grill; three cold salad options; and a dozen jumbo bags of various snacks.  Mom and Dad fed the twins, Naomi, and Aiden first before Ehlana and Naomi needed to be at their practice; and then Mom was at that practice while Dad kept the food coming for the hour or so it took to fill the bottomless pits that are the stomachs of most of the guys in my class.

The studying went well-enough tonight; and I had fun doing a lot of tutoring for my friends.  Rowen, Michael, and I have gotten pretty good at that now, and our friends are used to how that works out best for all of us; so things are looking good early for this round of exams.  With a bit over a year to go until college for most of us, that is a much bigger deal; and I’ll do whatever I can to help my classmates to succeed.

Okay, I won’t cheat to help them; but you know what I mean. ;^)

Studying until eleven meant a late start to my ‘real’ work and studying – especially when Michael and I needed a half hour to clean up from the study session; and then had a visit with Dad in the office before Michael went home and I came up to my room and got to work.  It was a bit past-midnight by then, but while I used a time phase when I could; it’s now heading toward four-thirty.  I have kept up with the work on my to-do list, though; so I’ll just keep using some self-healing every morning and hope that I can keep doing that for another couple of weeks without burning out.

I will be too fried if I don’t get all of the sleep I can – even when it’s barely a nap; so it’s time to wrap this up and get on with that too-short bit of down time.

This has been a good start to our all-important exam study week, and I hope that trend will continue as my schedule fills up again through the end of the week, but that’s all for now; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cassie's Journal - May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!

Okay, that doesn’t really work, but I still think that we do know how to commemorate and celebrate Memorial Day here in my little home town; and we’ve had an awesome day – even with the parts that were solemn and earnest as we remembered the sacrifices made by our ancestors.

My day began with Tai Chi by the river to a glorious sunrise; an awesome breakfast with my family that Michael joined us for – while giving up a gourmet breakfast at home to do that; and then we needed to grab our saxophones and get to the falls to meet up with the band for the parade once we’d taken our turns to get ready and help with the breakfast clean-up.  While a Memorial Day parade is no place for Disney songs and merriment, I was still fired-up about getting to do another parade with our marching band – and felt a bit nostalgic too knowing that we’ll only have one more parade together before we disband the band.  Our status as not-really-famous musicians did not change the normal parade order; so the Piper band led off the parade as always; and we brought up the rear and provided music for the spectators to listen to as they followed after us and walked to the cemetery.

Writing about the parade as if it was an adventure feels wrong to me too, but I still loved every minute of the parade; getting to share that with Michael; and being able to do our part to make the day memorable for everyone joining in for the holiday.  The service at the cemetery hasn’t changed much from year-to-year – at least since Mom and I moved here, but it was moving, heart-felt, and heart-warming.  This year, Michael and I did the story time walk-around with the Johnson clan, and that was particularly-special for me because I got to do that while carrying Brianna around.  She couldn’t show off with so many people around, but she was fascinated by the stories; and I helped out with some quiet expansion and details to answer some of her questions.  There are some family overlaps with the stories that are told every Memorial Day, but many are also unique to each family; and it’s also about as close as we get to keeping an oral tradition alive – something that I believe we should do more of in our society.

While that was an awesome way to wrap up our morning, it was time to get to work for a while after that.  Michael and I split up after helping to get some of the Johnson clan kids home to Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s so that we could help our respective parents with getting our picnic contributions to the park.  Including getting set up for the picnic and making those deliveries at the park end of the process; that took more than an hour; and then we were two of the volunteers helping out with the kid control through until after we all finished eating too much and generally having a blast of food and fun for another hour and a half.  After that, it was the post-lunch clean-up that kept us busy for a while; and then we got to have a couple of hours to actually do nothing but play with our family and friends.  The weather was perfect for doing that with the temperature hovering around eighty; and we joined in for a lot of the games that were going on around the park – including playing one full inning of a baseball game that had been set up to work like that – with players joining in for just one inning each.

The national moment of silence was observed, but the picnic really was a fun celebration in honor of our ancestors' sacrifices, and while this never gets talked about at the Memorial Day services; that does include the Magi that originally journeyed here and made this town their home.  That’s something that I wish we could celebrate openly – especially when you think about how difficult that journey would have been back then; and how remote the odds of survival had been – especially after they lost their last Magi Master.  Surviving the centuries since then, and doing that while remaining firmly in the Light is remarkable; and all the more incredible considering the fate of all other Magi of the Light elsewhere in the world.

That’s a bit heavy for where I wanted this update to go, though; so let’s get back to the news of the day.

We played at the park until four-thirty; and then it was time to get to work yet again – this time to haul everything home again and help our guests ready to head home again.  Part two of that was fairly-easy at my house because the Rice clan was already packed; so loading the vehicles didn’t take long.  They all wanted to get on the road too because the traffic was sure to be awful tonight; so I didn’t even get to spend much time saying goodbye to Dawn, Jillian, and everyone else.  That did give me a chance to do a couple of visits to say goodbye to the Proctor side of our family and the guests staying with Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne, but those were too-short cameo moments too; and I did not get to spend nearly-enough time with Jaimie, Kaitlyn, Jayden, or the rest of our cousins – including the members of the Johnson family that have been here all weekend.

All of the guests for our combined families were on the road by a bit after six; Michael and I split up again so we could have dinner with our own families – and help out with the chores for a while.  For Michael, that included a visit to the Inn to help out with getting rooms cleaned once their guests had left; though Miranda did have a small crew helping her out with that so it didn’t take much longer than my work did helping Mom with cleaning our guest rooms and getting the laundry started.  Michael and I did get together again for a while after that; and we biked the full path around town with Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, Aiden, and Sophia.  We didn’t have time to really take it easy and enjoy the adventure, but we did have fun for an hour; and then Michael came home with me so that we could do a Magi lesson with Mom while Dad worked in the office and the twins did some studying.

The lesson was entertaining; Michael and I followed that up with some alone time in the lounge; and then we took care of getting the twins tucked in before he went home and I came up to my room to get started on my family business work and studying.  I need to keep ahead of that this week while we get started on the full-immersion exam studying; so I’ve again needed to stay up late to do that – and likely will keep doing that through until we’re done exams a week from Friday.  I don’t have any news worth mentioning for the work and studying, but will mention that all of my family is home safely; and most of them had tough trips tonight with too many traffic and accident issues.

No, none of them were involved in any of those accidents; but the slow-downs caused by those accidents added hours to all of those trips – regardless of whether they were heading north, east, or south when they left here.  Since I’ll get to experience those holiday weekend trips while at college starting in a year and a few months; I’ll just be glad that I haven’t needed to do that much so far in my life; and I’m sure that we had it much better tonight while doing our chores in the comfort of our home.

I don’t know if the same could be said for the work and studying; though I was comfortable and had Mandy to cuddle with while I worked.  She’s getting a lot more sleep than I am, so it’s time for me to wrap this up; and head off into nap mode too.  This has been a really great day, and while Violet and Dillon might insist that Saturday was their best day of the holiday weekend; I’ll pick this one for me because Michael and I actually got to have some play time to go along with the work.

Then again, I have no idea what they’ve been doing today; so maybe I’m wrong about that! ;^)

I shouldn’t have gone there; since I’m now wishing that I’d kept Michael for a sofa sleepover.  We should definitely make time for some of those sleepovers – or more camping adventures now that the weather is nicer; but that might not happen until after exams are done.  My mind is wandering all over the place now, though, and that’s a sure sign that it’s past-time for me to crash; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Cassie's Journal - May 28, 2017

It isn’t very often that the Sunday of a holiday weekend feels anti-climactic; but I did feel that way this morning – or I was just too tired for my own good.  Both could be possible; and I’m that tired again tonight as I write this – though it isn’t quite as late as it was yesterday thanks to it being a holiday weekend and the extra day I’m taking off from the usual bedtime work and studying.

We’ve had a nice weather day here except for an afternoon sprinkle that rolled through and barely even dampened the ground before moving on again.  I only know that from watching through the windows at the Inn; since that happened while we were in the thick of the second buffet sitting.  That’s getting ahead of the story, though; so let’s back up and cover the news of the day from the beginning.

Tai Chi by the river was especially-awesome because we had bonus exercise buddies; we then had extra breakfast guests as we hosted a family and friends breakfast at our house – just as Dillon’s parents did the same at their house for his side of the family.  I helped out as much as I could, but had to juggle the work with getting ready for church and being there early for the teen praise team warm-ups.  As always, the Memorial Day weekend Sunday service is one of the few toned-down and somber services we have each year; so this is one weekend where the teen praise team does not attempt to ‘rock the house’ – or even have any music that is moderately-upbeat.  Remembering our past and the sacrifices of others is important, though; and I’m glad that Michael and I did our part to help our congregation out with that – even if some of our visitors likely thought the seriousness of the service was a bit much.

Spending a lot of the rest of the day at work doesn’t exactly give a person the opportunity to switch from somber to celebration, but while I worked; most of my family had a play afternoon and evening that started with attending the noon buffet with most of the wedding guests.  The parents picked that buffet so that all of the guests that were heading home today could do so without staying late and then having long drives; and then it also left the rest of the day open to play for everyone that is staying for the holiday parade, service, and picnic tomorrow.  I worked some of the tables for my family, and Jake and Stephanie helped to host that meal as Best Man and Matron of Honor; but they also worked most of the day too – including the prep work for the first buffet.

While I worked except for a couple of short breaks with Michael when we could fit them into the lulls in the buffet action; my family spent the day playing.  They biked the paths; played at the park; went canoeing; and had a pot-luck dinner at my house – though that meal didn’t include the Johnson clan because they were at the Inn for the six o’clock buffet so that the store owner members of their family could have that meal with them too.  Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne were among a handful of members of our family that went to both of those buffets; but they were only able to do that because they had help for feeding their weekend guests at lunchtime while they were busy with the post-wedding buffet lunch that was mostly another chance to thank everyone for coming to Violet and Dillon’s wedding.

Jacob and Miranda still have about half of the rooms at the Inn in use tonight for wedding guests that are staying until sometime tomorrow; and we still have all of our guests here for another night – including Jillian; since she decided to stay with Dawn instead of going home with her parents today.  Since I’ve been busy; that worked out for Dawn – and they had a pretty good day today too that apparently included doing a bit of flirting with the local or visiting boys.  That isn’t as easy for the local boys as it was for them a few years ago because most of the guys their age – and mine – are in relationships with local girls, but they are both beautiful; and get a lot of attention from the boys – even if they’re only allowed to look! ;^)

Moving along and getting back on my train of thought, my point for mentioning the guests still at the Inn was to explain why we didn’t get out of the Inn as early as we might have after that last buffet because Michael and I again had to get the library stocked and ready for the night and another self-serve breakfast while the Inn is closed for the day tomorrow.  I haven’t written about the work going on during the day for the guest rooms, but that’s been a bigger deal this weekend with twenty-eight guest rooms now – whether that’s the staff cleaning those rooms or the extra laundry that goes along with all of those guests using up towels and other amenities.  I haven’t done much with that this weekend; but I expect that I will help out now and then this summer.

Before moving on from the work at the Inn, I should also add that we sold-out all three buffets despite having the much-larger capacity; and that pushed us to the limits again today to keep up with sittings of six-hundred and fifty customers at a time.  Sure, we did great for tips today, but for those of you who haven’t worked at the Inn or pub; we definitely work our tails off for every cent of those tips!  We finished the last clean-up of the dining rooms by ten; Michael and I needed another forty-five minutes to get everything done upstairs; and then we headed for our homes for the night.  Jake and Stephanie had stayed until we were all done after sending Jacob and Miranda home once the worst of the last buffet rush was done, but they drove back to their apartment while Michael and I walked to his house together – and then did our goodnight hugs and kisses on his front porch.

That little delay meant that I didn’t get home until a bit after eleven o’clock.  Most of my family was in bed and sleeping by then, but the teens were hanging out in the lounge; and I joined them there after stopping in for goodnight hugs and kisses with Ethan and Ehlana on my way up to my room.  Dawn, Jillian, and I moved into my room after talking with Chris and Martin for a while, but then we had some girl chat time while they played video games; and then I needed to hit the shower before getting ready for bed.  Silkie had been donated to Dawn so she’d have a cuddle buddy, but that gift came with responsibilities, so while I grabbed my shower; Dawn and Jillian took Silkie out for a bedtime walk before getting ready for bed too.  They had fun with that; we had a bit more of a chat before splitting up for the night; and then I hopped into bed with Mandy and got started on my bedtime computer checks.

While I haven’t done any major family business work, there were two little jobs that needed attention; and I took care of them before dealing with a handful of family and friends emails – including responding to a travel email that Violet had sent out to everyone to let us know that she and Dillon had arrived safely at their beach-front hotel.  I don’t expect to be exchanging a lot of emails with them over the next week, but I’m sure they’ll have a wonderful honeymoon; and I’ll wish that I was on vacation this week instead of working and studying for exams.

Tomorrow is a holiday, and the Inn is closed; but it isn’t a day off for most of us.  Michael and I will be busy with the marching band tomorrow morning; we’ll be drafted to help out with the meals and work at the park tomorrow afternoon; and then we’ll have piles of chores to do at home to clean up after our guests head home – which for Michael might include helping with cleaning guest rooms at the Inn.  We will hopefully get to have a bit of fun with our families and friends too, and I’d really love to ride the full trail around town tomorrow too; but I’ll have to keep you posted on how that works out for us.

Right now, I’m really only interested in some quality nap time; and I will at least get to have a couple of extra hours of down time more than has been the norm over the past week or so.  Being on the work side of holiday weekends so much of the time is tough sometimes, but I am glad that I’ve helped to make this a great weekend for a lot of people; so there is some reward for all of the effort – and the tips were pretty good too.

Yeah, I’ve mentioned that a few times in the past; but don’t knock the power of the tip for teens – especially when I use most of that money here in town to pay for things like haircuts and dresses for church services and weddings! ;^)

Okay, I’ve really had enough for today, so let’s call it a night; and I’ll head off to dreamland now while you flip a digital page and read on – or don’t; and pick up the story of my life another time.

Until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cassie's Journal - May 27, 2017

Congratulations, Violet and Dillon Jacobs!

Mrs. Violet Jacobs – now that’s something I didn’t think much about before today, and while that might be considered old-fashioned elsewhere; it is still the norm here for our brides to take their husband’s last name – a tradition that I plan on following when Michael and I get married in the not-so-distant future! ;^)

Before I get to the rest of the wedding-day news; I’ll give a big thank-you and shout-out to Mother Nature.  Yes, we’ve had a fair bit of rain and some spectacular thunderstorms roll through here today, but when it really counted most today; she gave us sunny skies and a complete break from the rain for about three hours this afternoon – enough time for us to get Violet to the wedding without getting wet; see her happily married off to Dillon; and even have a short blast of wedding photos done at the park before getting our newlyweds to the Inn where they could stay dry through until they headed off on their honeymoon after the reception.

Okay, with that said; let’s try to do the rest of this update in some kind of order – starting with my early-morning wake-up call.

That came too-soon after starting my nap; I used some self-healing to make up for the lack of sleep; and then got ready quickly and met up with Michael for the walk to the Inn.  We were there early too so we’d have time to get the prep work done for the holiday weekend breakfast buffet, and while that was more work for us; working the dining room for breakfast buffets is a bit easier for the servers while we just need to deal with drinks, refills, and clearing away dirty dinnerware and cutlery.  Yes, there is the occasional rebel diner that doesn’t want to get in on the buffet, but I just feel sorry for most of those poor, deluded souls that miss out on the great food that Jacob puts together for his special meals.  That meal was very popular, and while we didn’t sell out the main dining room; we did have a big crowd; and I was kept busy helping Miranda through until nine-thirty.

Michael and I had an extended break then, but we didn’t really stop working – we instead helped out with getting the combined small dining rooms set up and decorated for the wedding reception.  While a lot of that was planned out, we were also winging it in a lot of ways today because it is a holiday weekend; and we couldn’t just close the Inn and give Violet and Dillon all of the dining rooms for their wedding.  They did want to have more than one hundred and fifty guests for the reception, though; so we settled for having some overflow into the main dining room – even though they wouldn’t be able to be in the same room for parts of the reception.  As much as was possible, Miranda made that a kids and teens kind of overflow with some supervision for those kids, but there were also some extended cousins and local friends that ended up in the main dining room too.

That’s getting the story a bit out of order already; so let’s get back on track.

Michael and I helped with the decorating until eleven; returned to the kitchen to help with the lunch prep work; and worked there until twelve-thirty when we were set free to go home and get ready for the wedding.  While he went home to do that; I was on the edges of controlled wedding chaos when I got home – partly because the thunderstorm going on at the time was a bit worrying for some of the parents and girls in the bridal party.  Back-up plans were already being used for the bridal party photos by then, but I wasn’t involved in that while I used the shower in Mom and Dad’s room to get cleaned up; Mom helped me with my hair; and I got dressed there too while my room was bridal party central for Violet.

This is likely a good time to actually mention the wedding party; since I haven’t really done that in my journals.  I have mentioned that Jake and Stephanie were best man and matron of honor for Violet and Dillon; and it should be no surprise that Dawn, Isabelle, and Andrew all stood with their sister and brother.  Dillon didn’t include Chris or Martin in the wedding party, but only because he and Violet set limits on the size of their wedding party; and he chose to have Josiah and his best college friend, Ray, for his final two groomsmen while Violet only had room for her best college friend, Heidi for her third bridesmaid.  Rounding out their wedding party was Ethan and Ehlana as their ring bearer and flower girl, and yes; twins are absolutely adorable for that particularly-special wedding job!

As I mentioned, the skies cleared in time to get Violet to the church on-time and without getting more than the soles of her shoes wet, but there wasn’t time for many outdoor bridal party photos.  I left for the church fifteen minutes before they did; and Michael picked me up for that little hop so that I didn’t try walking there in my heels.  Walking would have been as fast by the time he found a parking spot, but his parents wanted the van at the Inn for later anyway; and it gave us extra options for seating if needed after the ceremony.  Michael and I didn’t need to be seated in the sanctuary because we were part of the music for the wedding; and we needed to rush a bit to get his guitar tuned and then into the sanctuary to our ‘reserved spots’ in the seating that’s normally used for the praise team.  That did give us one of the best views in the house for the ceremony, though; so that was a great bonus for us!

Our new, expanded sanctuary hasn’t been filled to capacity for any weddings since the expansion, but Violet and Dillon did have a big turnout for their wedding – particularly for the Jacobs’ side of their new, combined families.  That might sound a bit strange, since the Proctor family is one of the best-known and connected in town too, but Dillon’s Mom has taught at the school since college; so she has a close relationship with nearly every family in the area through the school and the kids she’s taught over the years.  From my perspective, Dillon was a perfect combination of nerves and joy when he lined up at the front of the sanctuary with Jake and the other guys a few minutes before the bridal party was invited to begin the processional.  He also looked great, but at the risk of insulting our happy newlyweds; Jake was gorgeous in his tux!

For the record, Michael is not jealous if I tell him things like that about his brother; and there’s a big difference between the love we share and my appreciation for Jake’s hotness! ;^)

Now where was I?  Oh right – the wedding ceremony!

Ethan and Ehlana didn’t steal the show as they led off the processional, but they were awesome; and certainly had everyone in the sanctuary smiling as they walked side-by-side to the front of the room and then sat with Violet’s mother and brothers – and with Uncle Rick once he’d escorted Violet.  Heidi, Isabelle, and Dawn followed them; Stephanie was stunning in her matron-of-honor dress; and then Violet lit up the room with her beauty and brilliant smile as she happily walked with her father toward her future.  That’s a bit melodramatic, but I was probably just a bit whimsical by then; and it is how I was feeling at the time.  Dillon looked a bit dazzled by then too, but he held it together pretty well; and Jake only teased him a bit while they watched their amazing girls complete the processional.

The father-husband hand-off was of the traditional style; and Violet and Dillon went with a mostly-traditional ceremony too.  That might have been obvious to anyone based on the tuxes and Violet’s amazing, flowing wedding dress, but traditional in our church does not mean the ceremony is much longer; since the additions only add maybe five or ten minutes to the shortest version that would come in at about fifteen minutes not including the intermission for signing the marriage documents.  All of that was a bit of a blur for me, but it was special to watch my cousin and Dillon getting married while holding Michael’s hand and sharing all of that joy with him.  Their wedding vows were simple and heart-felt; Ethan had fun delivering the rings to Stephanie and Jake; and then it was time for Michael and I to add our contribution to the ceremony during the papers-signing intermission.

I am not going to say much of anything about the wedding song we picked out and sang for Violet and Dillon.  This day is supposed to be all about them, and while the wedding guests loved our music; I only want to add that doing that duet with Michael was another one of those moments of pure joy for me that makes me glad to have such a great memory so I can remember it forever.  While we only had the one song to sing; we continued to play the piano and guitar for the rest of the intermission; and then I gave up the keyboard to one of our regular church pianists for the recessional music.  Violet and Dillon were introduced by Pastor John, but before I miss mentioning it; his parents were both involved in the ceremony too – just as they are for nearly every kid that they’ve also baptized.

One thing that’s helpful for weddings when thunderstorms are a risk is that everyone is encouraged to rush around a bit; so the meet and greet after the ceremony was short and sweet; Violet and Dillon were whisked off to the park for the wedding photos; and Michael and I went over there and were put into the first batch of pictures so that we could move on and get back to the Inn to help out with the major dinner rush and reception dinner that was going to keep us busy for the rest of the night.  We brought clothes along; changed at the Inn; and were working hard by a quarter-to-four.  That meant missing out on most of the wedding fun at the park and the rest of the action going on before the doors ‘opened’ at five-thirty for the reception, but I was too busy to think about that at all – and that’s something that Miranda and Jacob are used to dealing with; since they didn’t even get to take the day off for Jake and Stephanie’s wedding.

What is new, though, is their ability to host weddings at the Inn without closing it to the public, and while that will normally still be restricted to using the small dining rooms; there will be off-season times when they could use the large dining room for the wedding reception and the small ones for normal Saturday night business.  We do get some fall weddings around here that are booked for after harvest; so that might work out great for some families that have needed to have their receptions in barns or houses in the past – or in the fellowship hall at the church.  I guess they have the occasional reception at Sheldon’s, but that’s usually for family or close friends; since they don’t have space for large parties.

Rebecca, Jenny, and I were all put on the server crew for the wedding reception, but we worked the main dining room until we needed to switch out and begin taking drink orders for the wedding guests.  I’m glad that we got to at least have that small part in the reception, but we were also very busy; and my fun came in the form of hundreds of little cameo moments that came along with the work as I helped to serve the Head table and the ‘VIP’ tables closest to the bride and groom – including the parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  There was a reception line and a social hour before we began serving dinner; and then I had two hours of non-stop action as I delivered each course of the meal and kept up with everything else – like drink refills and clearing away dirty dishes.

Buffets are fairly-normal for weddings or parties at the Inn, but Violet and Dillon had opted for plated meals with four options that were pre-selected.  That makes for a bit more work for the servers; but it is less work for the kitchen.  That’s relative when we’re also pushing capacity while still expanding the staff to accommodate the extra dining space, but it did work out tonight; and it is easier for the guests too when they don’t have to try and fill plates for kids at a buffet when those kids are also dressed up in their best clothes.

I should move this along; since this could take all night to write if I include all of the little details.

Dinner started at six-thirty; we cleared away the desserts by eight-thirty; and then there was a break so that everyone could mingle while we got set up for the entertainment.  The weather again helped us with that; and Miranda and Stephanie made a quick change in plans and set up the big screen and everything else they needed in the main dining room so they’d have more room for that part of the reception fun.  That was possible because the dinner rush was pretty much done with by then while everyone wanted to get home or back to campsites during a break in the thunderstorms; and the bigger room allowed Violet and Dillon to have everyone in the same room for the speeches and roasting without crowding an extra fifty or so people into the smaller dining rooms for that.

Again, that was more work for us, but we got it done; and then I still kept busy delivering drinks or helping out in other ways while Violet and Dillon enjoyed the show that included trips down memory lane in multi-media forms that included childhood and teen photos and videos to go along with the stories that were offered by their friends and relatives.  Violet’s Woodvale friends had a particularly-great presentation about her life in Woodvale before Dillon stole her away from them, and I was really happy that they could get involved with that when there was no way for Violet to include all of her friends in her wedding party.  I won’t cover all of the details for that either, but that was a really awesome hour and a half of fun for everyone – even for those of us who were working.

Violet and Dillon had another little break then to get changed before heading for their airport hotel and honeymoon; so that was also a chance for the guests to take washroom breaks and get drink refills and snacks.  We weren’t doing a midnight buffet or anything, but there was a desserts and snacks table set up for anyone needing another hit of food.  Violet and Dillon returned to do a round of visits to all of the tables; dropped off thank-you gifts; and then they only had their immediate family and wedding party with them when they went outside and hopped into their car.  They hadn’t wanted a limo because they wanted their car at the airport for when they get back next weekend; though they would have had one if they’d wanted it.

That did mean that Dillon needed to put in that driving time, but since we still had hours of work to do after they left; I won’t feel too bad for him – especially when they have a week off while I’ll be working and then getting ready for exams while they’re away having fun in the sunny south.

The reception did wind down then, but I was busy and didn’t get involved much in the goodbyes and the rest of the fun.  I was on the clean-up crew for the small dining rooms first; moved on to the main dining room after that; and then wrapped up by work day at around one-thirty by the time Michael and I stocked ‘the library’ with everything our guests will need for the rest of the night and their self-serve breakfast.  Some people might think that wouldn’t be a selling point for staying at the Inn, but Olde Bakery treats are involved, and it is a complimentary meal; so I actually think it’s an awesome bonus for the Saturday night guests.

By then, I was really tempted to bring Michael home with me for the rest of the night, but we do already have a house full of guests; and we weren’t quite done for the night then because Jacob and Miranda had a van load of gifts to drop off at my house for Violet and Dillon.  They’d helped out with that because my parents and a few other volunteers were booked as designated drivers, so Mom and Dad didn’t get home much before we got there and unloaded the minivan with help from Chris, Martin, and Dawn.

Now that’s something I nearly-missed mentioning – Dawn’s date for the wedding!  Don’t get scared, because she invited Jillian to be her ‘date’; and Jillian came here today with her parents.  They’re spending the night in town too, but Jillian’s the only extra guest we have here; and she’s bunking with Dawn for the night.  Chris and Martin didn’t bring dates, but they could have; and just decided not to do that when it also meant that those dates would have needed to be here for five days on a holiday weekend.

Michael went home with his parents, and if you’re wondering why I didn’t include Rebecca in that; it’s because Lucas picked her up and she’s out at the farm for the night.  I had a bedtime visit with my family after he left; some bonus girl chat time with Dawn and Jillian after that; and then they went to bed and I grabbed a shower because I needed to have another one after all of the work.  My day could have been over then, but I did my bedtime computer checks; dealt with some family business work; and then got started on this update.  Since all of that was in ‘normal’ time; you can guess how late it is now – and I’ll only have time for yet another nap before we’ll be up and going again for Tai Chi and a major family and friends breakfast.  We’ll also have the holiday weekend service at the church, and the teen praise team is leading the music for that; so Michael and I will be even busier with that too before we’ll then spend the rest of the day helping out with three holiday weekend buffets at noon, three, and six o’clock tomorrow afternoon.

Why and I not sleeping right now?  I have no idea; which means that I probably should be doing that instead of this!

Even with all of the work, this has been an awesome day; and I am glad that I’ve been able to help make it so special for Violet and Dillon – even if I couldn’t share as much of the fun with them as I’d have liked.  The holiday weekend busy is going to resume in a couple of hours, though, and I have pretty much covered the highlights for my day; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!