Saturday, August 23, 2014

Grandparents and Babies and Skies

Oh my goodness. Loving this precious picture! 
So gratful for our wonderful and awesome grandparents, Grand Daddy and Nana!! 20 of their great grandchildren gathered around them (all of Mom and Dad's grandkids) and we laughed and told our Father, thank you...
And in 20 years, each face will be even cuter then it is now, because we'll look back and say, "Look at you! You were such a baby..." and I'll still be a completely smitten Auntie. 
Oh, and sometimes the sky is so breathtaking you have to stop and capture it.
God is awesome!
And, then, little grandbaby smiles.

Kendall, you joy my heart!!!

Have a beautiful day, lovely person.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Troy and Amanda, Married

Dearest Lovelies,

A wedding. It is one of the most glorious events in the world. It's a Little Picture of The Big Picture, and it gives you another tiny, breath taking glimpse of the unsearchable love of Christ towards us.
A wedding is watching the actual faithfulness of God happen right in front of you, watching Him prepare a table in the wilderness. It's seeing your friend, happy in the love of her man, being given a good gift from Her Father, Who knows her and Who loves to give those good gifts to His children.

He is a good, good Father. Blessed be His wonderful name...
And so, we recently went to one such event. It was a great blessing.

We begin with......

The rings, firstly. They are stunning.

And then, a napkin! THE napkins, of course, which were charming. Peacock feathers abounded.

Oh, and I got to go down to sunny Florida early! I had the honor of being one of Amanda's bridesmaids, and so I drove down early in the week with Uncle Larry, Amanda and Angela (who were also bridesmaids) (Oh. Amanda and Angela, I mean. Uncle Larry wasn't, of course. I don't think the teal of the frocks would have complimented his rugged complexion.)
So down we drove (with an unorthodox amount of bag and baggage) and had a significantly fun time. It was such a blessing being with these two godly girls and our fantastic Uncle!

What an incredible week with the S. family. We felt so at home and loved and are grateful to God for precious friends like these. It was a week filled with parties, preparations, praises, pew moving, pounding waves, and the incredible joy of answered prayers!
Getting ready for the big day is one of the funnest things to do, ever.

This is the before picture, obviously.
"I love the chairs up like this. Let's leave them."
Oh, and there were these GINORMOUSLY huge pews that had to go, so after about 20 women haggling with these beasts forever, trying to shove and maneuver them down various hallways, "up trees and under furniture", we eventually decided to chunk it outside and walk around the block and take that bad boy right through the front door.
So that was special. We must have looked like a bunch of physios on a therapy walk.
When we finished our list, we celebrated at the beach!!! Ah. There is just something about waves and endless water.

We had a fantabulous time together, (Gracie and David were able to join us, which was blastful, oh and 'Manda's behind the camera) and then this glorious storm came up (see threatening clouds in leftish distance) so we all took shelter from the driving rain under various junk we had brought along. All was well until the lightening bolts (which were awesome and beautiful!!) became close friends and we made a dash for the car.
They later told us Jacksonville is the lightning capital of the world. 'Preciate the heads up!

After it passed...long walks, on the hard wet sand, overcast skies and whipping wind. Mostly everybody on their own, heads bent looking at a trillion shells in rows that went on forever, so many different shades and shapes, some broken, yet beautiful...

It is glorious when you take a walk with God on the beach.
Here're the girlies!! We got to stay at a neighbor's guest house and it was incredibly special being together. There were lots of talks, stories, journal entries, not much sleep, ;)  nail polish fumes, lots of laughter, and a lump in your throat as Emily and Gracie and the rest of us, on her last night in FL, told and listened to stories about Mandie. She is a virtuous woman, and we're so grateful for her...

So. This week was just, well, super special and fun. Love these girls!

Then..."he!!" arrives, and we see, for the first time, our friend together with her man!!!
They look really, really happy.

And he looks slightly proud of his wife to be. :D

Oh my word these are so precious I'm almost crying looking back over these...God is so good, so faithful.
'Manda and Birdie work on corsages.

"Here is the Mother of the Bride's corsage, all ready and in water.  I know, it's a little hefty.  You can't make these things too large. "
Me, making a sweet 'wittle one! Daisies are such dear flowers.

"Yes, they only get one daisy. No more. They'll get over it."

Oh, and my word, the wall of school pictures behind me were absolutely golden! It must be hilarious to have yourself, toothless in the 90's, permanently affixed on the wall in a public place. I love it. These frames of joy were like a decade by decade showcase of the panache and good taste of young adults. To see again the times of my childhood-the understated elegance of baggy cut off overalls with leg warmers.

I am so grateful velvet scrunchies and wind suits are no longer a part of our lives.

Seriously, though, I think the only reason that last decade of the century is so persecuted by my juniors is because they just wish they could wear the color wheel on their sweat suit. I know, it was awesome. Oh snap!
"Meanwhile, back at the ranch" Mandie, Troy and a few of the family hang out in the sanctuary.
Troy's late grandmother was an amazing quilter!! Wow. She quilted this beauty before she died, for his future wife. 
"Excuse me, Miss. What DO you need???"

(what happens when I fall asleep in the car and Emily has my camera...she makes me laugh!!!!!)
The rehearsal begins.
Two precious women with their two precious babies!!
What a blessing these two godly ladies are...such faithful mothers, loving wives, godly daughters of the Lord. So blessed to get to watch them and be with them...

Oh, and their two littles were adorable in the wedding, by the way.
I just have to say, Amanda's new family, the T.'s, are THE sweetest family ever. They were so loving and absolutely hilarious, and kept us laughing and crying the whole time. Their love for the Lord, their family and others was beautiful. The S.'s and T.'s are each so blessed in the other.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

And then-

It's the wedding day.

It always surprises me.

You wake up that morning, everything looks the same, sun's up as always...but-then you realize-it's THE day!
The day someone you love has been waiting for, preparing for and that you've all been praying for. It's the day two lives will be created into one life. It's a holy day and you jump up, all excited and start attacking 'The Master List" that always finds itself being made, and then the hustle and bustle that you remember with fondness begins...
Sparkling grape juice to toast with and sip on as we got ready!

Angela, Mandie's Maid of Honor, made a lovely toast.
Bride's Maids and Sisters
Mandie's beautiful veil...
Hair time! Gracie, you did a lovely job with some lovely hair.
There were yummies present. One must be sustained whilst one curls ones hair.
Amanda's beautiful bracelet and ring, both from her great grandmother...aren't they incredibly exquisite?
Beautiful, beautiful girls - Margaret, Amanda D. and Rosemary!!!

And they're so beautiful on the inside, too.
I love it when journals are passed around, and moments are taken to preserve the memory and record of days.
The Bride!
Let us just say Troy needed someone to "fetch my smelling salts!!" to keep from falling over when he saw her.
General delightful chaos!

"I believe you lost a daisy, my dear?"
She and her Mom...
Mothers, daughters, sisters, nieces, grandmother...
"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband..." proverbs 12, 4 a

Brittany's here!!! Love that girl so much....
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." Isaiah 61:10

 And then, they were married.

God was so glorified, and I think pretty much everybody cried. Not for sadness, of course, but just watching God's faithfulness and beauty happen right in front of you. It was truly awesome.

After the ceremony..............
 Terry teaches his little girl the fine art of airplaning. LOL.
With their nieces and nephews...

Angela, you and I look really weird here. Sort of a cool shot, though.
Precious Rosemary!!!
Brothers Hilarious keeping things even lighter then they already were!
"It's 'de kiss. Always make it like it's your first kiss, and your last kiss..."
Terry joins the bridesmaids...
Yes. This was a really fun photo session. Brothers, it.
With their amazing parents....
LOL, this shot is goldeness!! You know how you can hear people's laughs when you look at certain pictures?
Receptions are SO fantastic. Especially when the room is filled with so many amazing friends....
It's Uncle and Auntie!!!!

Ah. Love them so much.
And Sir Cracker!!!

Showing us his prowess with sign language here.
Love these moments. And junked out cars are so good!
There they are!!!!! Goodbye, darling new couple!!!

And so, they were married.