Sammy laid in bed thinking about the day and how perfectly everything went. She glanced at the clock that was now showing 12:34am and she heard the shower running in the bathroom as she smiled thinking about how everything fell into place.
Abby and Mike were married. It was hard to imagine that just a year ago, they didn’t even know each other. And now they were man and wife, together forever. Sammy would never forget the look of absolute love, adoration and bliss on their faces as they said their vows to each other and as they danced together for the first time as man and wife.
The simple ceremony was perfect for them, with just them and their children and grandchild standing with them. Gracie watched them with childlike awe as they held each other’s hands and vowed to love honor and cherish each other and to bring both of their families together, which Sammy thought was a meaningful touch.
The reception was just so much fun! There was no other way to describe it! The DJ played great music and had the small crowd of 56 people laughing, dancing and singing along. The couples danced and laughed together, then switched partners and started all over again. Gracie got her wish and danced with all of her uncles, real and honorary, her grandfather and her father. Sammy snapped pictures left and right to print out and hang them up for her.
Lynn outdid herself on the cake and desserts. She made Mike’s favorite lemon cake and Abby’s favorite red velvet on each tier, and the cupcakes surrounding the work of art everyone loved. Gracie and Emma kept sneaking cupcakes to eat until Joey caught them and threatened that they would go home if they took anymore. Reluctantly, the girls stopped and went to go play on the swing set Mike had made for Gracie when Sammy was still pregnant.
The weather could not have been more perfect. The sky was blue with white fluffy clouds and 60 degrees. The heaters were turned on to take the chill off the tent and the party continued until almost 10. Mike and Abby left earlier for the Hilton Hotel by the airport before they left for their honeymoon in the US Virgin Islands for eight days.
The caterer was left to clean up as the rest of the group packed up. Trish was in charge of seeing that everything was left intact. Emily volunteered and Mike insisted that she go with Jake and Sammy back to her house and that Trish could crack the whip if need be and not be afraid to threaten if the situation warranted.
Jake carried Gracie up to bed as Emily helped him get her changed as she slept soundly, after the sugar rush left her totally drained. She didn’t even open an eye as they tucked her in.
“She is something else Jake,” Emily said smiling at him.
“One of a kind that is for sure!” Jake whispered back.
They chuckled and went back downstairs to see Sammy already getting the large pots out to prepare the chilies for tomorrow’s get together. She had the pork shoulder slow cooking all day and set Jake to shredding it for the pork green chili. Jake rolled up his sleeves and got to work. Sammy pulled the chicken out and had Emily shredding that for the white chili. Emily kicked off her shoes and put on the apron that Sammy threw at her and started on the job.
Sammy turned on some music low and they talked and cooked for the next two hours getting ready for the next day. Securing the lids on the pots, they put them in the extra fridge in the garage. Too tired to do more than change into her pajamas, Sammy fell into bed listening to the quiet house as Jake showered. She was almost out when Jake came out with just a towel around his waist, Sammy licked her lips.
“Like what you see Baby?” Jake asked with a smirk.
“Oh hell yes and if I wasn’t so damn tired I would lick your abs until you couldn’t take it anymore. But I can’t even keep my eyes open,” Sammy groggily responded.
Jake chuckled and pulled on a pair of sleep pants and climbed in next to her and pulled her close to his chest, “Then sleep Baby. I love you.”
She mumbled her response and was out. Jake kissed the top of her head and smoothed her fiery hair back and he closed his eyes, thrilled with how happy everyone was.
Jake pulled up to the ranch house and helped Sammy and Emily with the giant pots. He set them where Lynn directed and quickly ran to Derek in the barn office where they could have two minutes of peace before one of the women in charge demanded their help. And just as Derek was reaching for the fridge to pull out two beers, his phone rang.
“I need you to change Matthew and then you and Jake finish with the chairs. Emily is going to put on the table cloths in 25 minutes!” Lynn informed him.
Derek rolled his eyes and put the beers back and smiled at Jake, “You got it Love. We will be back in in just a few minu-“
“Now Derek. And don’t roll your eyes at me! No beer until your work is done either!” Lynn scolded and hung up.
“How the hell do they do that?!” Jake asked.
“I’ve been married for five years and I still don’t know!” Derek said as they walked back into the chaos.
Three hours later, everyone was getting ready to dish up the piping hot soups, breads and salad. Sammy looked around to see all her new friends sitting with her old friends and family and her heart felt full. She never thought she would have this again after her mom died and Jake wasn’t in her life. And now she felt like life was smiling upon and God was giving her people to help make her life better.
They had Kevin’s game on and watched the local team go on for the win. Thankful that they were in town and were able to attend the wedding, Kevin was going to race down after the game and join them for dinner and dessert. He made it just as the desserts were being served and he quickly ate a bowl of each of the chilies. The group of friends laughed and joked as they ate dessert and drank coffee.
Monday came and the women all met at Sammy and Jake’s house so they could go shopping for wedding dresses. Sammy and Jake had decided that since it wasn’t really winter and not quite fall when they were getting married they picked navy, sage green and pale gold as their colors. The gold was proving to be a perfect accent color and combined both of their other colors perfectly.
Jake was surprising his fiancée and other women with a limo ride to the specialty store and then to lunch. The limo was the only vehicle he could find for the eight women. All of the ladies and Emily would be in the wedding, and it took some swift talking to convince Emily to be in it. She liked being in the shadows and the wedding would not be. Cliff had convinced Sammy and Jake to let a magazine cover the wedding so they could control how the pictures would be released to the public.