Tag Archives: holiday wedding

Back to the Real World . . .


Rob and Rinko are on their way back to Tokyo (Kawasaki-Shi, to be more precise). They will spend one night in San Francisco with her uncle. They’ll be home in the early hours of Thursday, Japan time, and back to work just a few hours later.

It’s so quiet here without them! My heart has grown larger with the addition of a new family member plus conversations about starting a family in a few years. Even his younger brother Fred is pondering marriage and family. They were always “late bloomers” and that has always been a good thing for them. Fine young men.

The wedding was “whimsical and wonderful.” It was Lin’s first visit to Texas, though she has been to California and New York. Rob made most of the wedding decisions (in spite of anyone else’s advice). You will probably guess which parts gave me pause!

Lunch before the wedding at Golden Corral. This was a sentimental choice because of multiple times Rob went there as a teen and young adult. Lin was quite happy, as she is with almost everything. An amazing selection of fried foods, but there were raw veggies as well. It was a little awkward to sit with my ex Bob and our younger son Fred, but we managed to reminisce about some of the good old days. His wife did not join this party of a dozen or more.

In spite of my worries otherwise, Rob did actually wear a tux. I walked him down one aisle, then Bob walked Lin down the other aisle. Not until it was time to get Rob did I see that he really and truly would not be wearing shoes. That felt awkward to me but it made him happy and Lin didn’t mind. He goes barefoot whenever possible and just has flip flops in his backpack when necessary for restaurants, etc.

The wedding took place at Northwoods UU Church in The Woodlands, TX. It is where the boys grew up and I was a member for 15 years before they ordained me in 1993. Rob and Fred were there for that occasion, too, so it seemed like the best place for Rob’s wedding. We had plenty of time after lunch to walk through the building and grounds that we had all helped build in 1984-85. Lin and I even took a walk in the neighborhood until it was time to get ready for the main event.

I helped Lin with her wedding dress. Since the room didn’t have a mirror at all (I had asked ahead of time) it was good to have brought a full length mirror where she fussed with makeup and headpiece.

During the ceremony, the minister read a “love letter” written by Rob and Lin. With a reference to Rob’s longstanding nickname as ThunderRabbit, it concluded with a reference to rabbits happily playing in a field with plenty of ice cream and pizza available. At that point the congregation was signaled to put on their rabbit ears to surprise Lin and Rob.

Family photos after the ceremony, cake and sparkling cider and other goodies afterward.

Karen and Bob had provided the cake, some of the drinks, and the flowers–a bouquet for Lin and a boutonniere for Rob. Karen had loaned a pearl necklace to Lin. Karen left after about an hour of the reception and retrieved the pearls. I ran out to my car to get new pearls to give Lin–necklace, earrings, and 3 bracelets. I had bought them on sale plus they were less expensive river pearls,  but had held them back because I knew Karen had loaned her some. I thought these were interesting with their irregular shapes, and felt just right for Lin. She was delighted and I was so glad to have bought them for her.

After cleanup and lockup, fifteen of us migrated to Dimassi’s for dinner. We had already had dessert first! Jon wisely didn’t eat; I overdid it just to taste some of the delicious Greek delicacies. The party finally broke up and dispersed in several directions. What a fun time!

21 days and counting . . .


Wedding 3 weeks from today! I reserved the sanctuary, kitchen, and two rooms for the bride and groom to get ready. This will be in Rob’s home church, Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church in The Woodlands, TX, on Dec. 30. His long-time friend Christina Branum-Martin will officiate. The church will still be decorated for Christmas, a lovely background for a wedding. My sister and her husband also married on Dec. 30 and I remember how pretty everything looked.

I called Bob Nugen, Rob’s dad this morning, and asked him to arrange lunch for about 15 close friends and family and to get some flowers–corsage, boutonniere, and bouquet. We marveled together that Rob would actually get married. We speculated on the chances of a grandchild someday.

Lunch before the wedding will substitute for a rehearsal dinner the night before. In the afternoon, guests will bring their own tasty beverages and snacks for noshing and remembering old times we’ve shared. The ceremony is planned for 5pm, followed by a reception. The movable party will then travel to Austin for New Year’s Eve weekend. Just a simple, happy occasion!

I put the Christmas tree up today and will continue with the decorating prior to Rob’s and Lin’s arrival on the 22nd. Rob is likely to remember many of the ornaments, including some made by his grandmother. Decorating will be more fun than it has been for years! Gifts will have to be small and packable  if they will make it back to Tokyo.

In just four weeks they will already have come and gone! 😦

Ten days can go by in a big hurry, especially when the time is divided between Houston and Austin. A lot of Rob’s friends will travel some distance to catch him when they can even if they can’t make it to the wedding. Memories will last much longer, so I’m making a point to remember this preparation time.

Mother of the Groom


My older son Rob has been living in Tokyo for almost 9 years. I visited him the first year, thinking I should hurry over there before he came back. But he stayed. He taught English at first; now he is a computer programmer.

The big news is that he married Rinko Hayashi (known as “Lin”) last summer. I have met Lin only through Skype. Her father is Brazilian and her mother Taiwanese. She and her siblings grew up in Rio until she was 10 and her parents divorced. Mom decided to relocate to Tokyo, where her sister was living. So Lin has a rather international perspective simply from life experience.

Lin wanted to climb Mt. Fuji and was looking for a companion to go with her. A mutual friend knew that Rob had made the climb and was the adventurous sort who would gladly go again. That’s how they met. He has always preferred adventure to security. He has been a risk-taker on numerous occasions–on skateboards, roller blades, bicycles, barefoot, etc., and has the scars to prove it!

Lin and Rob are coming to the States for Christmas and New Year’s! They want to have a “real” wedding ceremony and celebration so we’re trying to work out details among all the interested parties. Rob is so laid back he thinks everything will just fall into place. But he proposed New Year’s Eve for the wedding, when it’s hard to find reservations for anything and there are multiple competing interests. Should the wedding be in The Woodlands at his home church? Or should it be in Austin, where there are places to stay? Can we manage two places even though they’re 3 hours apart?

Questions, questions! Many couples take over a year to plan a wedding. I have officiated many, many weddings, but I’ve never been the mother of the groom. A colleague of mine and long-time friend of Rob’s will take care of the ceremony. I have to balance practical concerns with the dreams of simple elegance on a major holiday weekend. How much motherly advice is too much?

Lin wants to buy a dress after they get here–between Dec. 22 and 30–because they are so expensive in Japan. I will advise her to wear whatever makes her feel beautiful. Most of all I want her to feel welcome in this strange country of ours. Welcome to the family, Lin!