So, after a weekend out of town, we packed up and headed home on a Monday morning, then had a typical but short work week before the weekend rolled around again.

Saturday brought my brother’s fiancee’s bridal shower.

My mom texted me that Tuesday saying something like, “Your brother is driving me crazy with this shower,” and when I asked what was going on, she sent me screenshots of texts between the two of them just to make it easier. In short, he was asking her if she’d invited my future mother- and sisters-in-law to the shower, and she hadn’t–she’d only been given a small number of invitations and decided to cut it off at our family. My brother was telling her she could call them and tell them to come, and she was trying to explain that you just can’t call someone and invite them to something a few days before, in part because it looks like they were an afterthought. I told Paul that I had a very strong hunch that Brandon, in an attempt to be nice and include everyone, had gone and told these people they could come after my mom and I had both already told them on separate occasions it was gonna be a small shower and implied they weren’t invited, not realizing that it makes my mom and I look bad and that you can’t just throw people in at the last minute. Then, just after I texted my mom, Paul’s soon-to-be sister-in-law Katie texted, asking about when and where the shower was. So I called my mom and we came up with the plan to just honestly explain the situation to Paul’s sisters, and I made it a point to make it clear that they were welcome to come. Julie was at the beach anyway, and although Emily seemed like she wanted to come, she was at the mercy of her mother, who felt uncomfortable and thought it would be rude to come without a physical, formal, written invitation. I absolutely understand her discomfort because I’d be uncomfortable, too, but I do think it’s a stretch to say it would’ve been rude to go when they were told it was fine.

After all that, the shower went well and was nice. I feel a little left out among my fellow bridesmaids–they all already know each other and I’m kind of the odd one out, but they all seem like cool girls I could get along with. We were talking concerts for a little bit.

The shower made the wedding seem so much more real, too. It wasn’t until Kelly was opening blankets with their names embroidered on them that I had a moment where I thought, “Shit, my little brother is actually getting married. In barely over a month.” It didn’t really hit me until then, and Katie pointed out that within just over a year, three of us will be married. Said three couples have been together so long that it’s not really surprising and it’s pretty much already like we’re one big family, but the fact that it won’t be long before it’s all official is weird.

Katie and I also swapped wedding-planning stories. It’s nice to have an ally in the mother-in-law-law battle who understands what it’s like. Not to mention how similar Paul and Jacob are–we had so fun comparing some of their quirks. They’re definitely brothers.

I spent some time at my parents’ afterwards, mostly watching some Preacher I had my mom record for me and doing free laundry. We also got sucked into the Pens Stanley Cup highlights she’d recorded for Brandon, since he’s off at his annual two weeks’ training with the military. One of the things about being in Altoona when we won was that the news afterwards actually covered local news, whereas Pittsburgh news after any sports win, really, is pretty much about that win. I kind of missed it, honestly, because it’s part of the celebration. It was fun to watch reporters in screaming crowds on the South Side or quite literally chasing down players on the ice for interviews.

I also got my birthday present a few days early, which quite appropriately was a few Pens Stanley Cup 2016 shirts and some Wizard of Oz things my Aunt Gina had found.

Then it was back home before an Ohiopyle trip for Father’s Day.

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