And there were robots

Well, there. Youngest daughter is not only married, but the occasion’s now been properly feted, and I can’t even tell you how trashed our house is.  Not the kind of trashed that comes from not cleaning up for a few days because you’re busy, I mean the kind of deep trashing that comes from three sisters doing their nails while searching for just the right earrings (everything from my scant collection was rejected, and in the end Megan gave Sam the ones she was wearing) while a father tries to find his cuff links and tune his guitar while another installs fairy lights all over a venue, while people drop things off, and pick things up and Pato and Ken cut signs out and Megan arranged props for the photo booth and Amanda’s trying to secretly tune a violin and there was rehearsal and sound check and all of my pairs of tights had holes and my hair was trying to come out funny and we cut and arranged all the flowers and made three kinds of salad for sixty people while there’s glitter goddamn everywhere and there’s a hairdresser doing Sam’s hair in the living room and auntie’s are being picked up and dropped off and another one is bringing over the favours and who did we think was picking up the samosas, and I baked six batches of brownies and then we had to figure out how to get a brownie tower and all the flowers to the venue and then it started to rain.   That’s what put us over the top, I think.

(A few quick shots of her shawl, what with you all caring about the knitting, I think. Pattern is Timeless, and the yarn is Shibui Lunar, beads are silver lined crystals.)

It was worth it. Every minute of it. Just look at that Bride shine.

I think it’s pretty clear, from the way I’ve chosen to live my life, that making and doing things for others is a love language for me, and it’s a value I know Joe and Ken share, and one that we’ve worked hard to instill in our children and those we’ve chosen to make our family.

I have never been more confident that I’m surrounded now by people who feel the value in it. From Sam, agreeing to have this party – one I’m not sure she wanted (hence eloping to Vegas) but going along so cheerfully to show us she loves us, and feels the love we have for her… to watching her siblings bust a move so hard to fill the day with things and people that she loves… to the gifts of music and time and energy and hand made things that were special for Sam, and for each other.


It was good for my heart too, to see her new husband Mike working to learn this language. He’s a good guy, that Mike, and I can tell his family shares a lot of these values, though the scale of our escapades might be a surprise to him. (Quite possibly, it was the flashmob that got him – when Joe brought out the guitar, and the gathered masses all broke into “You’ve really got me” with a lot more enthusiasm and less skill than The Kinks.)

It is in these moments that I am so proud of this little family – and I my only wish now is that we could learn to do it without trashing the house so completely. (I have washed the kitchen floor twice and I think the silver glitter may be permanent.)

PS. Amanda has been instructed to not even think about dating for a while. Or at least until I get the house clean.

152 thoughts on “And there were robots

  1. That’s exactly the kind of wedding party I’d have expected your family to put on. It sounds joyous, raucous, happy and so full of love. Wishing Sam and Mike a long, happy life together, amid family and friends. And for you, Stephanie, I hope the glitter disappears soon.

  2. A theatre friend of mine says glitter is the STD of the theatre because once you have it, it’s forever. This may also be true of houses post-wedding party prep.

    • Yes! And everyone who comes into contact with it passes it on! We made a costume with glitter puff sleeves ten years ago and we’re still finding glitter in the sewing machines!

    • New Orleans being, perhaps, the party capital of the universe, EVERYONE has glitter everywhere, all the time. It’s sort of suspicious if you don’t. And it is acknowledged that the only way to stop having glitter is to move to some other state. Just sayin’…..

    • I hear there are parents who don’t allow glitter projects in the house, because they don’t want to live with the glitter. I think they must be raising boys or at least girls that aren’t in to “fancy.” The amount of glitter that falls off my daughters’ clothes alone makes any glitter ban irrelevant. I’ve embraced it. A little sparkle is good for the spirit, I tell myself.

    • I do not hold with this philosophy because I too live in New Orleans and thus I love glitter, but there are those who consider glitter a sexually transmitted disease for crafts.

  3. Don’t cry because there was glitter.

    Laugh because it will be there until you replace the floors.

    {Congrats, darling Sam!}
    (THEY are watching…had to touch the house.)

    • I might have said, “Cry because it will be there until you replace the floors,” but there’s something about weddings that drains all the snark right outta me.

  4. Wonderful! The shawl and Sam are beautiful. I love her green hair against the white. Congrats and the best to Sam and to all of you. Hw grand to have nice things happen to nice people. And thanks as always for sharing.

  5. Oh! Real tears here, I feel as if I know your entire family and have watched them grown up so thank you for sharing this wonderful event. Is that Hank draped over your girls in one of the pictures? He would be all grown up too now, just as mine have somehow done the same thing.

    I am so very happy for you all. It looks like a lovely celebration with good memories to cherish. Very best wishes to Sam!

  6. The Kinks! Oh, how I dearly love them and have since my college days in the 1980’s. I love that you all bust out in song, and especially adore that it was a Kinks song this time around. What a lovely assortment of photos too. Thank you for sharing the day with the rest of us on the Blog.

  7. Thank you for this lovely, lovely occasion! It’s so gracious of you and your family to share your special times with all of us. As someone whose family has shrunk with time from too many to fit into any hall in Winnipeg to now, just myself and the two sons, a brother and an uncle, I love love love the grand family occasions, the weddings, the Christmases. This did my heart good, and was a happy moment in a hard week.

  8. Felicitations, salutations, and many wishes for continued joy in all your lives! Thank you for sharing your wonderful family with your readers. Every one of you is an inspiration.

    And glitter really is forever. When my husband-to-be was sexton at a church (many many years ago) he actually banned glitter in the Sunday school. Everyone (including me) thought he was being a big meanie. When I moved in with him (it was a very accepting church) and pitched in with the Saturday cleaning, I learned to share his opinion on glitter. It was still there, and continued to be there after several years of weekly cleaning.

  9. Smiling ear to ear reading this. Thank you for sharing so much of life’s lessons.
    For what it’s worth – I’ve been in my house for 36 years, and I’m still finding bird seed from the previous owners. The glitter will remain to remind you of these times.

    • I was just making sure her status was acknowledged in the comments! The World’s Best Knitwear Model in her very own wedding shawl!!

  10. Thank you for sharing the day, and the knitting, with us. Best wishes to Sam & Mike – may they have many, many happy years together

  11. Congrats to the bride, groom, robots, etc.! And, you know it’s a good party when “…there’s glitter goddamn everywhere…”, even in the dust buffaloes!

  12. Your writing has this uncanny ability to make me smile and get all chin-quivery at the same time. My mother called it a watery smile… Your family is amazing. Congratulations, and long life and happiness to the newlyweds.

  13. Glitter is forever, as it should be, and months of years from now, when you see it twinkling there, as you will, you will remember all the love of that wonderful day. Congratulations to you,to the bride, and to the whole harlot family.

  14. The shawl is gorgeous – almost as beautiful as Sam, but she glows! What a lovely party. Wishing them acres of happiness and joy throughout their lives. Blessings to you, Stephanie, the mess will be cleaned at some point and glitter can remind you of the joy of the day.

  15. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family.
    All best wishes to Sam and Mike.
    Mazel Tov!
    Nice shawl!
    The glitter will remind you of what a wonderful time you all had on this day forever and ever. Get used to it and don’t even bother trying to clean it up.

  16. Congratulations Sam and Mike! All the best for a lifetime of happiness together.

    Enjoy the glitter Stephanie. Who doesn’t enjoy a little sparkle in their cleaning up?

  17. You’ve gained another knit wear model! That is a magnificent party. It’s funny how much I was looking forward to your pictures. Granted with 3 daughters of my own ,wedding shawls are in my future, but it’s watching your family have good days and bad days, the highs and lows of life that help me get through my own. Thanks for making my days a little easier to get through. Congratulations to Sam and Mike!

  18. Beautiful bride, beautiful wedding, lovely shawl and lots of love on display. I expected nothing less. Just pretend the glitter is part of the linoleum.

  19. It’s not glitter, it’s fairy dust!

    If it’s keeping a neat and clean house versus being busy enjoying life, celebrating each other and making memories, the latter is always the better choice. You did well in raising lovely daughters, creating a gorgeous wedding shawl, and throwing a party that all will remember. Congratulations to all!

  20. A huge mazal tov to all of you! It looks like the most wonderful occasion. And that is a BEAUTIFUL shawl (and of course, a BEAUTIFUL bride wearing it!).

    Don’t get me started on glitter, though ……

    Also — more details about the robots??? That looked like a very well-trained one ….

  21. Congratulations to everyone! It is clear that the whole event was filled to the brim with love.

    Better get used to that glitter — once you’ve got it, you’ll never get rid of it.

  22. Congratulations! All of the pictures are wonderful, but that picture of Elliot in his little bow tie!!!! I am completely and totally dead from the adorableness!!!!

  23. Congrats to all!

    Your comment about your new son-in-law and the scale of your escapades – a cousin of ours got married recently to a girl from a small-ish family. She was concerned (alarmed?) about the size of the clan and they held a special get-together so she could meet many of them in advance of the wedding. We made it to the wedding, but geography kept us from the earlier gathering.

    On the matter of glitter – sorry, I hate the stuff, always have. It also now is messing with sewage plants and aquatic environments.

    Hubby one year opened holiday cards over our multi-ring address book. I once opened a card while standing over his backpack. It’s as though you’ve unleashed a virus and it laughs at you each time you catch site of another speck.

  24. Congrats to yo for surviving! Congrats to the couple! Congrats on yet another beautiful knit that I hope to someday do something as lovely, but as yet am too chicken to try. Great pictures.

    I am intriqued, and super curious about this ‘brownie tower’! Are there any pictures of it? If so please can you post one? Or at least describe it? Is it just a big stack of brownies or is there some artistic style to it? I have unmarried children and someday I have hopes….and I think a brownie tower would appeal to one of them.
    Thanks for all your posts, your posts are like morning coffee to some of us!
    Thanks for sharing your life, up and downs. The downs make you human and we know we’re not alone, the ups, lift us too. And the crazy is just makes us all laugh and we all need more laughter! Hugs and love TA

  25. My oldest daughter has managed to have s small piece of glitter on her face – even in the hospital when she was born! I don’t know how she did it. ( secretly I think she’s a bit magical – or a fairy. )
    The shawl came out beautiful, but the happiness on everyone’s face is even more so.
    As for a trashed house from this event, well, that just means you have a wonderful life. I would never want to live in a place that looked like a museum, after all, where would I hide my yarn?

  26. Oh my gosh, just beautiful. Beautiful shawl, beautiful bride, beautiful family and you might learn to like the glittery floor! Thanks for sharing!

  27. A big congratulations to you and your family. Sam and Mike deserve every happiness. Every time your family grows, you see how much love goes into it.
    Thanks for sharing all of this with us. Tell Sam the Blog loves her, and we wish her all the best.

  28. On your Instagram, someone commented on how much your daughters all look like your sister Erin – and they do – but no one mentioned how much Hank looks like you! And thanks so much for inviting us along to the party! Fun for all.

  29. Congratulations! What a fun and lovely family! And when did that baby turn into a boy?! So quickly grown up? Blessing and beauty on all y’all!

  30. Congratulations to you all and wishes for a long, happy life for the newly wedded couple.

    Was the robot in the wedding party? A flower girl, maybe?

  31. ” making and doing things for others is a love language for me, ”

    More people should speak your language. I love this quote.

    What a fun time you all had, it takes me back in time to some of my own fond memories of family times in the past and looking forward to more to come. With or without glitter!

  32. Your hair totally failed to come out funny. And wait 30 years and you’ll be sentimental about the residual glitter. At least you might as well be. Would have been a nice blessing, though — “May your love be permanent as glitter.”

  33. Congratulations to the happy couple and to both families! What a beautiful bride, a beautiful shawl and a wonderful celebration.
    Thank you for sharing with us.

  34. I want to be part of your family! Everyone looks so happy. Not many folks in my family understand that (for me) making and doing = love, so I’m envious of people with families that do. 🙂

    The shawl is divine, the bride gorgeous, and Elliott the bomb!

    Were the robots invited guests or did they come with the venue? I love the picture where it looks like the robot is holding flowers.

  35. OMG, what a beautiful post, day, celebration, everything!! Thank you for sharing!! Would it be possible to see a picture of the brownie tower? Also, does Mike get a hat this year? So Elliot knows he’s one of “his people”?

  36. Wonderful. Wonderful. I say embrace the glitter. You could try one of the lint rollers made of sticky tape (it still won’t get all of it). But really, just embrace it. Someday, years from now, you will spot a little bit of shimmer under a cupboard and be flooded with happy memories…….

  37. Thank you, the family and its extensions for sharing the most “family” parts of your lives. I don’t thing you can possibly comprehend how much inspiration, eye opening, mind expanding, and “right time right place” the stories of your life events have meant do us all: “The Blog” and our friends and families as we pass the kernels along in hope of spreading the inspo and expanse. Bless you, Stephanie and your sister and all those you both love. Thank you to Hank and “The Girls” for the permission to share their growth. All the best in the world for a long happy marriage to Mike and Sam. Such a beautiful party, the glitter was as worth it as the picot bind-off.

  38. Mazel tov to Sam and Mike, and the rest of the clan as well.

    The only thing as bad as glitter is that plastic Easter grass. We had to move to be free of the stuff.

  39. Sam is so lovely and absolutely radiant with happiness. I love the family photos. You and Joe have built something really good here. And Mike, welcome to The Blog. Get comfortable, you’re going to like it here.

  40. I an’t hardly be old enough, that Hank is a young man and Sam is married. Congratulations to your entire family, and blessings to Sam and Mike as they start their new life together. XOXO

    (ps. Elliot and that tie: all the heart eyes)

  41. It has been so lovely to watch your family grow up and expand. Your daughters are beautiful through and through. Well done, Stephanie! Thank you for sharing them with us. Also, Is that Hank? With a tattoo? I remember him as a little boy making gingerbread cookies. Time has flown!

  42. Glitter notwithstanding, it looks like absolute perfection in a messy chaotic loving and fun kind of way. Thanks for sharing your joy with us.

  43. Huge congratulations to the world’s top sock model Sam and her husband Mike. Wishing you health and happiness and unexpected pockets of joy throughout your lives together.

  44. It looks as if you all had a great day. Congratulations to the happy couple. I love the way the dots in the shawl echo the ones in her dress

  45. Congratulations to Sam, Mike and the whole family. And my, how everyone has grown up!

    Glitter on surfaces is just a step ahead of your upcoming winter celebration. Just think how lovely it will look by candlelight.

  46. Those 3 women daughters of yours could hardly be the girls who were teens you taught us to roar over, cry with, despair about parenting and garner clues on how to do it well. Two married – wow. The shawl is lovely – the lacy points just so fancy. ( Mike seems lovely too) That’s the sort of wedding reception everyone hopes to go to but rarely gets a chance to do so. No boring, staid event for your family. We’re trying to “glitter free” our holiday decorations due to a young puppy, so we know your glitter pain. Well done, yet again, Harlot!

  47. Oh, just marry Amanda off now, so you don’t have to clean the house yet again. Also, you really should have had 17 more daughters, since the ones you did have are obviously demi-goddesses. Congrats to you, to all the fathers, to Sam and Mike! (I will say Mike has the kind of expression that may indicate he’s just realized the sort of family he’s married into.)

  48. Congratulations to the lovely couple, and to the parents and parents-in-law! The bride is beautiful, as is the shawl. The children are darling (is that your nephew with the facial hair!?).

    P.S. My daughter’s favorite t-shirt is GLITTER IS MY FAVORITE COLOR (She’s 20; glitter is a life-long commitment in our house.)

  49. Seeing these girls all grown up makes me go back to the beginning of the blog, so I can watch it all over again. It’s been a lovely journey. Thanks for inviting us on board so often.

  50. Your family is so generous to let you share these special intimate times. i hope your style rubs off on many folks who think there is only one “right” way to do weddings, life, etc. I have been away from reading your blog for over a year and was so surprised to see your family all grown up –and sporting wedding shawls and baby clothes. Thank-you for putting yourself out there as an example of how to live with an open heart and mind; and letting others see how much intensity it brings to life.

  51. Thanks for inviting the Blog to the wedding. It was lovely. We all feel we know Sam, and wish The World’s Best Knitwear Model all the best. I am ready to begin my next wedding shawl this week and take heart from yours. Mine, too, is beaded, but I’ll be knitting in the truck as we go cross-country from Washington state to Maine. Beading might be difficult.

  52. Congratulations! It looks like a lovely, fun, memorable time was had by everyone. What more could a bride and her families want?
    On the glitter front, I think I ought to warn you that most of the glitter will disappear but some late night, a year or so from now, you will sit down on the toilet or hop into the shower and there on a leg or an arm or between a toe will be some wedding glitter.

  53. I swear she was just 10, what on earth happened?? Sam you look gorgeous, thanks for letting your mom have a party. Wishing you happiness and health.

  54. Congratulations to Sam and Mike. Here’s to a long and pleasing partnership, with lots of dancing and glitter.

    The shawl is stunning, so very worthy of the World’s Best Knitwear Model. Love the dress as well!!

    And Hank and Elliott – time is just flying.

  55. Dear Steph — I don’t reply on your blog very often but I wanted to write and tell you that I’m back, even though you didn’t know that I was missing. Channeling my inner Yarn Harlot, I fell for no reason whatsoever and broke my right wrist in mid-October. Since then I’ve learned that I have “chronic rotator cuff tendonitis” and “multilevel cervical spine degeneration.” I’m sure that neither of these conditions are related to how much time I normally spend knitting. I haven’t been able to knit AT ALL for 7 weeks and 1 day, not even with the lovely yak and silk yarn that I had wound in early October because I was going to start my own Love and Darkness shawl just as soon as I finished a kal sweater. It’s the pits but I decided today that I can at least starting reading knitting blogs again. It has been nice to catch up with you and yours — a wedding! — but I have to tell you that I am really jealous of the person who will be wrapped in your Love and Darkness this winter.

  56. Congratulations to Sam! It looks like everything was lovely—and in the grand scheme of things, there are probably worse things to have permanently stuck to your floor, right?

  57. Congratulations to Sam and Mike. May their love be as eternal as glitter!
    Thanks for sharing with us. We have, after all, watched that little girl grow and bloom. She’s lovely and the green hair adds to the radiance.
    Your celebrations always look to be such fun!

  58. Wonderful news and photos and thank you for sharing! I also LOVED that you used bobbles/dots in the shawl to match the dots/bobbles on her wedding dress!

  59. Congratulations! Cheers to the bride and groom for a long, healthy and happy life together! Cheers to the family for their love and support! Huzzah!!!

  60. I love reading about your family because you write about them so beautifully and it reminds me of my own mixed-up family, bound together by love and loss. Thank you so much for sharing Stephanie.

  61. Admiring the persistence you put into your site and detailed information you provide.

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  62. There’s a place I go to
    Where no one knows me
    It’s not lonely,It’s a necessary thing
    It’s a place I made up
    Find out what I’m made of
    The nights are stayed up

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