Love, Family, Miami


Our trip to Miami this last weekend was super not about me. I just love this photo so much that I had to post it, so bear with me while I indulge my lust for giant beach hats (while it rains and rains outside my window) for just another minute.

Sometimes travel for family is honestly more like a have-to and not a want-to. Sometimes it is just something that needs to be done  because family is family and we bend over backwards for them. There may be some fun elements but it still falls pretty squarely in the “chore” category of travel.

I am very happy to say that this trip to Miami, back to where Kamel spent a lot of his childhood, was one of the best trips Kamel and I have had together, hands down. We had so much fun with family, so much fun being included in Regina and Lara’s wedding, so much fun just being in the heart of it all. It was such a happy, beautiful, loving weekend.

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This was the first time while being with my in-laws where I really felt, “Yeah, this is my family.” Joining another family is hard. It’s not easy to learn new social landscapes, make room for a whole slew of people in my life, balance the creation of my little family with the involvement of my core family and Kamel’s core family. It has been a journey, but I felt like this weekend it finally felt comfortable, loving, like a language I didn’t learn growing up but that finally I understood.

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(So pumped that we got to witness the intimate cake cutting.)

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(And then mooched contraband cake bites. As you do.)

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Weddings are such an overflow of emotion. There is so much build up, so much history, so many people, the blending of families, the pomp and circumstance, the preparation, the money, the emotional investment – that any wedding I have been to I end up crying every single time. The declaration of love and the first step into a life together is incredibly beautiful and overwhelming, it reminds me of the way I want my own marriage to be, it reminds me to keep working at it, to keep loving the journey.

Regina and Lara really love each other. They love the bad stuff and they celebrate the good stuff about one another, and that is so beautiful. And yes, they are two women. It just so happens two vaginas were wed in holy matrimony (trust me, there was a lot of Amens and Lord Hear Our Prayers up in that ceremony!). And not everyone at the wedding was supportive of that and I don’t get it. I don’t understand how anyone could be there, witness all of the happiness, all of the love, all of the good living that is ahead for them, I don’t get how anyone could see all of that and find any bad in it. I don’t understand how there could be any negativity associated with all of that goodness. Like, I am legitimately baffled. I know the political bullshit, I know the “family values” crap, I know on paper why people seem to be so offended, but in real life, when it’s broken down to 2 people living their life and deciding to spend the rest of it with the person they love – I do not get it. And all of the soap boxing and defending-of-marriage word slime really and truly makes no sense, none.

So that is my moment on the Wow, Yeah, What?! Train. And really, there was no politcal agenda. It was all love, all family, all sunshine and giant hats, all Miami Beach, all sunscreen all the time.

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This was an amazing weekend, and I want to thank Lara and Regina for including us in their day! And I want to thank all of Kamel’s family, who is now my family, for including me in their lives, in the all the craziness, and for loving on Gabe as much as they all do. We really and truly did not want to leave.

19 thoughts on “Love, Family, Miami”

  1. I enjoyed seeing the photos pop up on Instagram from this weekend. And these photos, too! The joy is obvious and totally contagious.

    P.S. Congrats Regina and Lara! It looks like a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple!

  2. What a beautiful weekend! Gabe’s sunhat is super adorable, the brides were beautiful, and the photos are great. I especially love the one of Gabe playing with the phone at the wedding. So sweet. I’m glad that you had such a good time and felt so loved by Kamel’s family. It’s nice when things like that click into place.

  3. It was an amazing weekend! also, can we talk about champagne happy hour @ the beach! hahahaha (You and Regina, both!)

  4. Wow…that looks like paradise! And the coolest family ever. And Kamels sister could be his twin!! And the wedding dress is GORGEOUS. And you looked gorgeous! And Gabe looks like he just goes with it and loves everyone! I cant say enough about all these pictures and all the happy and love!! You guys are so lucky <3

  5. Aww… I am so glad that it all went so swimmingly. This post gave me warm fuzzies. You are looking like a hot mom! And my favorite photo is Gabe making eyes at his abuela. So precious! 🙂 Also, is that a new tattoo? Because I don’t recall ever seeing it! 🙂

  6. Beautiful wedding and fun wedding times. Loved seeing all the pics in my instagram feed. Can I just say you were smoking hot in your dress (where does it come from?) and those super smokey made-up eyes (how does one do those?).

    P.S. Don’t try and find logic in the way the haters hate or the way “family values” gets thrown around. You’ll end up in a tangle of hypocrisy and bible cherry-picking that is deeply unpleasant. Nothing logical about it.

    1. Thank you!!! The dress is just a bridesmaid dress from the dessy group/alfred sung collection I believe. This one! And it fit amazingly. I didn’t even wear a bra.

      With the makeup – I paid someone to do it, I don’t know shit about how to do any of that fancy stuff. I just know I love false eyelashes so BRING IT ON. 🙂 I told her to do a cat eye but it ended up more smokey, less dramatic cat eye, but it was still super fun!

  7. What a beautiful wedding! Both brides were gorgeous, but I loved Regina’s outfit. Also, baby suspenders? Are you kidding me? Your kid is adorable and you are totally a hot mom.

    And now I’m even more ready for the snow to pack up until December.

  8. Congratulations to Regina and Lara! Looked like a beautiful wedding and I wish them all the happiness in the world!

    Also, the picture of Gabe with his grandparents is absolutely adorable.

  9. LOVE all the happiness in these photos! I kept seeing all the gorgeousness pop up in instagram and knew that your blog post would be even better. The brides seriously look so pretty and so damn happy and you, Lauren, are totally doing the hot mom thing! Glad you guys had such a wonderful trip!


    second can we please talk about your hat? hahahahaha it totally deserves to be the first pic! hahahah. This post filled my heart with so much love all over again… sooooo much love!!!!. I had SUCH a great time being with you guys and all the family. I am grateful kamel, gabe and you were a part of it, it meant so much to have you standing by my side and looking gorgeous!! hahahha.

    Still trying to wrap my head around everything that happened and still discovering this new life path we’re going through. I love you 3 so much and i cannot wait till see you again in JUNE!

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