- July 11th, 12:16
Hi friends!!! I have just realised that - shockingly - I have not posted here in over a month!! Terrible behaviour, simply terrible, I say. But I do have a good excuse. I have not(and still don't!) had Internet in my flat, so posting is just a little more difficult than it used to be. Could I post from my phone? Well, I guess I could...but I type so slowly on my phone and then I just couldn't be half as long-winded as is my wont. Couldn't have that now could we? But now I'm ensconced at the Starbucks a few minutes away from my apartment, enjoying my chocolate and cinnamon tinged coffee...and I actually do have a bit of time to write!
So I could write all about my new apartment and what it's like living alone again...or I could talk about my super hectic and crazy work life...or I could even talk about all the books I'm reading(Wheel of Time re-read - currently on The Dragon Reborn! Just started another John Owen book last night...Communion with God!!) or the TV shows I'm watching(Just finished watching Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer last night...on to S2!!)...or I could talk about something even more awesome. Like...you know, Laura and Caisson getting married last weekend. Yeah. I think that wins.
So I don't think it's even possible to do last week justice. But I shall try to paint a picture, and even though it may be slightly dim and ill-formed...it'll at least give you an idea of the glorious week that was had as Laura and Caisson came together as husband and wife!! I flew to Tampa last Wednesday and then drove to Gainesville for the beginning of wedding week festivities! Bachelor party that night with Caisson and the gang(didn't know any of the other guys going into the week...but no worries, as expected - they were all awesome and most quality guys!). Thursday - woke up feeling a little tired(yes, I am apparently not in college anymore and not used to going to bed after 2AM...) but enjoyed a sweet brunch with all the guys and all of Laura's bridal party(Maryanne was one of the maids of honor, as is proper...and I knew some of the other girls too - all very top-notch ladies!!). Thursday afternoon involved disc golf played with none other than Rob G! And Laurie and Jonah. And Maryanne. And some of the rest of the wedding party. And after that...dinner at Outback with Aunt Bev and Aunt Linda and Mom and Dad and Maryanne and Laura and Caisson!! I feel like I'm just speeding through the events here, but trust me...if I don't, there is no way I'll get through everything!!! But seriously, sitting at Outback with the family, talking about life and being all together. Truly special. And speaking of special...after that dinner, got to go over and see Rob and Laurie and Dan and Betsy!!! It's been...wow, I don't even want to know how long since I've gotten to hang out with all of them. But we got some quality time over coffee and brownies and...again, truly....being with some of my best friends in the world, talking about all manner of things...really, just being together. Knowing them and being known by them. God has given me some amazing friends, y'all - and that night with them. Marvelous. And so of course, another late night(think I made it to bed by midnight though!). Then Friday. Got to hang out with Dad a bit and get food for our lunch at Maryanne's place...sweet lunch there with the whole extended fam!! Then afterwards, me and Maryanne got to go for a walk on her route(hurrah - now I finally know where she's at when we're talking on phone!)...afterwards...rehearsal and rehearsal dinner!! Again, I will make this brief - but it was a joyous time. Getting to hear the toasts and honor heaped upon Laura and Caisson by all of their dear friends and family. Wow. Oh so encouraging. Oh so wonderful!! Steve and Vickie arrived that night as well(and Steve's parents!!). And Uncle Jeff and Brittany!! And so all of us together...beautiful. And that night ended with much dancing and revelry and it was awesome and I got another late night...because I got home and did I go to bed straight away? Of course not. Me and Rob had ice cream and talked and talked and soon enough it was midnight. Oops.
Saturday. Wedding day. This day was a blur and even now almost can't believe it really happened. My baby sister's wedding day. And so I got to see Laura at various points in the day(got to pass her a journal from Caisson while everyone was getting ready!) and I eventually put on my tux, etc. And the day sped on, and all of us proceeded up the aisle and then up walked Laura on Dad's arm...and...yes. As is good and right and proper, Laura and Caisson were pronounced man and wife in a ceremony whose beauty shone oh so bright...and I'm not even going to attempt to properly describe it, but it was beautiful. Oh so beautiful. God our Father has bountifully blessed their union and I pray that He continue to bless their life as they adventure together in this crazy world. Oh thank you, God - for all the good that You have done!!! And afterwards? Why even bother? But it was more joy and laughter and fun....much dancing(I got to dance with Mom, hurrah!!) and talking and love and smiles and purest happiness!! And eventually Laura and Caisson left and we were all still rejoicing. Oh so much rejoicing! The family went back to Tampa, but me and Maryanne(being somewhat younger, maybe me not quite as young as Maryanne....) stayed in Gville to enjoy being with the rest of the bridal party(again, an awesome group! Love y'all - Maryanne, Ara, Emily, Jami, Taylor, Joel, Dan, Adrian, et. al....) a little longer. We went over to the apartment complex and played volleyball(Oh yes I love vball!! We also had the sweetest team ever, hi-fiving and yelling after every point, whether we'd won it or lost it...we were pretty hilarious, f'real). Then we ate pizza and sat by the pool and enjoyed the fading summer sun as we reflected over a beautiful day... But of course, it wasn't over because me and Maryanne still had to go back to Tampa! So we made our farewells, hugging everyone goodbye...then we left Gainesville. Fueled on sweet mocha, I drove the two hours back to Tampa and we made it to bed sometime a little after midnight.
And the next day...we may or may not have been pretty tired. Still went to Hope Bible for church and it was glorious! Worshiping God together with everyone and glorying in the goodness of our Lord and God and Savior! And then, after church...we were spent. Enjoyed some Best New York pizza for lunch with Dad and Mom and Maryanne...and we all rested. Soon enough, I had to leave for airport, but we won't dwell on that part. For me right now, as I sit in Starbucks in Houston...I reflect back on the events of a week ago and I smile. Smile for joy, smile for love. Oh Lord, my God - you have blessed me and my family so. And I can ne'er cease thanking You. You, my Lord - are all my hope and all my joy. My true and greatest love. Now and forever. My heart sings to You, my Father - my Lord and My God!
Amen and Amen.