This past week, Roy, Sophie and I journeyed to Newton, KS for the wedding of the beautiful Caroline Graber to Mr. Christopher Saxl. It seems only fitting that a week-long vacation based on marriage would leave me feeling so filled with love.
We left last Saturday, stayed the night in St. Louis and continued to Newton on Sunday. Sophie did quite well on the car ride, thanks largely to suggestions I received from all of you. Things that worked best to distract her: stickers, food, orange juice, and a last minute magnadoodle purchase.
We arrived at the house we rented and were overwhelmed by how nice it was, how stocked with food, and our good fortune to be able to spend a whole week. We walked around the campus where Roy and I met and coudn't believe how young the students were. I mean really! They must be allowing younger and younger students into college these days.
Tuesday night we went to Brad and Rachel's, where we were treated to a delicious meal and wonderful company. It was amazing to see Rachel again and it was as though we picked up where we left off... even though where we "left off" 10 years ago was a completely different place. Owen was 9 years older than when I last saw him, and Sophie made a good friend (and dance partner) in Lauryn.
Mom and dad arrived late Tuesday night and spent most the rest of the week with us. My brother Jeremy, Sister-in-Law Stacey, and Niece Ella joined us for too short a time, but those moments were pure quality and joy.
We had friends over that night for burgers and a little birthday celebration for Sophie. I have almost no pictures of this event, but I know my brother got a few of all the kids. I will post those when I get them. It was wonderful to see my cousin Jen and her family, as well as the people I have gotten to know so well over blogger. My only regret of that week was that I didn't get to spend more time with this group.
Ah, but the reason that took us there... the love filled wedding of Caroline and Chris.
The wedding took place in a beautiful barn in Hesston that Carrie decorated with birds, lanterns, and white lights. And Sophie made a good friend in Carrie.
Kansas was plagued with rain. We set up tables and chairs at the reception site, only to return the next day to find the ground under the tent saturated with 3 inches of water. I called Carrie to give her the bad news, and she took it was the grace I have come to expect from my best friend. "I guess the worst part is, I can't blame my dancing on the grass." We bridesmaids dressed ready for anything.
And Carrie was a stunning bride.
So this love... this love that made my heart feel huge... I got to watch my best friend marry a wonderful man who I know will treat her right and make her happy. I saw friends I haven't seen in 10 years and it was even better than I expected. I loved on my brother, sister in law and neice, even though it was only for a little more than a day. Mom and dad spent quality time with all of us, left with Sophie after the rehearsal AND the wedding so Roy and I were able to stay out late. And I met wonderful people. Chris and Carrie's friends and family were fantastic, and I was so grateful to be able to get to know them.
I'm crazy tired and behind on sleep. Sophie is all out of whack with her schedule and we hit the ground running when we got back into town. But my soul feels both heavy and light with love; like a hot air balloon carrying in its basket dozens of people who have filled my life with joy.
Is there a better way to celebrate a union of two?