Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm married!

Hey! I got married! That was pretty awesome.

It was a great day. A great week! We had friends arriving every day from Wednesday on and we had a blast with all of them. The kids loved having lots of grown ups around to hang out with, and since not many of our bridal party have kids, our kids were a pretty novel concept to lots of our visitors. John's groomsmen, especially, were pretty taken with the kids and really had fun playing with them and letting them tag along on their adventures. 

One of the biggest things that John and I wanted out of this wedding was to share it with our friends and family. The first time we got married, we eloped on the beach and while it was beautiful and fun we always regretted not having a "real" wedding. Luckily this time we were able to do everything we wanted to do.  My mom came in a couple weeks before the wedding to help out, which made everything better!

I had an amazing bridal party. My best friends from high school, my cousins, and of course my best bloggy friends were all there to stand up with me. And as a last minute great surprise, my best friends from Florida Mara and Laura were able to fly in at the last minute and be there, which was unexpected because Mara had a five week old at home. Her husband graciously offered to hold down the fort and take care of all five kids so that Mara and Laura could make a 24 hour appearance. 

After Sara died, a few of us started using a group messaging program together and literally communicate incessantly throughout the day. Not one day has gone by when I haven't talked to them. We were all friends of Sara's, and it meant so much to me that almost everyone made it to the wedding, even though they had to travel from Iowa, Texas, and Louisiana. Alece couldn't make it and we really missed her, but considering she's in Ethiopia on yet another missions trip, I think she gets a pass! And I even found a way to include Sara in the day, as well as members of my family who have passed away. It felt really special for me to have them all with me as I walked down the aisle. 

 (Picture of Sara on my bouquet. On the other sides are pictures of my grandfather, aunt, cousin, and Eli)
(Mandy, Candy, me, and Amie)

It was so great to finally all be in one place and hanging out in person! My bridesmaid Lindsey offered up her beautiful home to us, which was incredibly sweet of her, and gave us a great place to do last minute wedding craftiness, have the rehearsal dinner and to hang out and talk, watch movies, and sing karaoke until the wee hours of the morning. She's an amazing hostess and it was so great to see how well all of the girls in my bridal party got along even though some of them had never met. By the end of the weekend they were all friends on facebook and following one another on twitter. Hah!

(Clockwise from the top, Jordan, Kara, Logan, Lindsey, and Mandy)

Between everyone, they kept me from stressing myself to death with last minute details and we made it to the wedding day. I couldn't wait until it was time to put my dress on...I got married in jeans the first time and never understood the dress obsession until I found my dress, and now I get it. I kind of want to go put it on right now. It's not easy to feel like you look amazing after having six kids in six years but this dress definitely made me feel that way!


It went by so fast...and then all of a sudden I was standing there waiting to walk down the aisle, watching my kids go before me. Of course Seth ended up walking with me and my mom. No surprise there! And Ava ended up carrying Coen. We're flexible. It's all good. Somehow I made it to the end while my favorite song ever played and there was John and Jordan, my beloved cousin, who was officiating our ceremony and pulling double duty as a bridesmaid. It went by fast. Jordan said some really beautiful things and then we read aloud and signed our own personal copies of the Resolution from Courageous. At one point I was supposed to say something when John did and I missed it so I said "Ditto", which was incredibly classy. And then we were saying I do and Jordan was pronouncing us married all over again.

The reception was so much fun...I wasn't sure how it would go with five relatively small kids but they were all just great. During our first dance they all came out to join us and Ava and Jace danced together. And then they never stopped. All four of the older kids were on the dance floor for the rest of the night with short breaks to eat, have a drink, or sing some karaoke.  Coen fell asleep in the stroller and slept peacefully for the next three hours. Then he woke up in time to dance the last dance of the evening with me.

 (Evany doing the splits during a breakdance move)

After great food, some great singing and dancing and time with family and our friends, it was time for us to head for Chicago and catch a flight out to Orlando, where we took a cruise and visited with friends in Florida.

We missed the kids like crazy on our cruise but it was really nice to get away and get to sleep in and eat food that other people cooked! It was a great time together, and I'm so glad we went, but you'd better believe we were THRILLED to get home to the kids on Saturday! My mom had a blast with them, though, and I doubt they missed us as much as we missed them.

So now we're home again, gearing up to start school next month. We are looking at an amazing school for Seth and really hoping things will work out for him to go there when school starts. It'll take some juggling on our parts but I know it'll be worth it if we can make it happen! In other news, Coen is officially one and walking and Seth is four.  July is a big month in our house!


 This is the song I walked down the aisle to...I love every word.

I just want to thank you all for coming along on this journey with us. We appreciate it more than we could ever tell you.


(This should be a separate post but let's be honest; it's unlikely that I'll manage another post in a timely fashion)

Oh! I was just about to publish this when I found out that my friend Sarah's new book  31 Days to Lovely: A Journey to Forgiveness is available for FREE until midnight!  Sarah is a very close friend of mine who has one of the biggest hearts I've even seen. She has been such a blessing to me and her book is a lovely, convicting devotional about the importance of forgiveness in our lives. Oh, and I was very honored to be asked to write the foreword to her book. Hope I did it justice!

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