Thursday, June 28, 2012

Continue in Love

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now continue in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
John 15: 9-12

Last weekend, on June 23rd, my sister got married. "Continue in love" was their theme.

And I couldn't think of a better summary of the weekend either.

Starting with the bachelorette party on Thursday, where I was reminded that there is just nothing like the love between good girlfriends.

Soon after my own wedding, I had been invited to meet some friends for lunch one Saturday. I was debating internally about whether I would go or not, thinking of the things I need to get done and not really wanting to make the drive to the city. But when I mentioned it to Jason, he told me I had to go because if I didn't, I would slowly loose contact with my friends, and that it was important to keep them. What a wise man. 
These girls were great, and although I felt a little bit old around their fresh  21 year old faces, it reminded me of my own sweet friends who I need a meet up with soon (you know who you are!!).

Friday morning began the beautification process (and it's quite a process isn't it?) with a group nail appointment. 
I think this is when it (finally) started to feel real to me that my sister was getting married! I'm not sure why it took so long for it to sink in, but I loved seeing the excitement on her face as she prepared for her day.

That afternoon, I went to our downtown to see if I could help at the reception site, and primarily to set up the slideshow I made for the rehearsal dinner. As I was driving there, I thought a lot about how special it was that the wedding was all happening in our beloved hometown. Anyone who knows me has likely heard me talk about my hometown pride, and the fact that my family has lived in the county for five generations. Eden's wedding was filled with some of our most beloved places. The ceremony was in the church we grew up in overlooking the village where my grandparents lived and raised my mom, and her reception was at the beautiful old theatre in historic downtown.

The rehearsal dinner was at our favorite hometown restaurant: R&M Sandwich Shoppe.  Not only is the hoagie shoppe rooted with nostalgia for all of us and still family owned after 40 years, it also has the best sandwiches. Jason would rather have a hoagie than just about anything else from any fancy restaurant you could name. After setting up, I had a little fun  exploring since we had run of the place.
Yes, I'm a big dork, but I sure did have fun. :)

Next we ventured to the actual rehearsal which was the perfect mixture of laughs and tears.

Laughs brought to you by: 
Slow chicken dancing down the aisle
(slow chicken dancing might just be the next dance sensation, you should try it!)
Further bonding with team-bridesmaid:

And practicing our "wobble" for the reception.

But, there were also sweet tears with the realization of the realness of it all. William's dad was particularly sweet and got choked up a few times. 

The rehearsal dinner was filled with lots of love. William and Eden wrote really heartfelt letters to everyone which was so sweet.

In the slideshow I made, the last slide before each of their baby pictures was a simple line that said "And he/she was very loved". 
This fact was very apparent on that night. The air was thick with love.

After a few last minute wedding errands, I headed over to my parent's house to spend the night with the bride. It was just our original family of five resting in the house that built us on that night, and it was just as sweet as it sounds.

Eden and I slept in our original childhood bedroom in our respective twin beds. We stayed up way too late talking about nothing and everything, both too nervous/excited to sleep. We also spent the night together the night before my wedding, and as we were talking that night Eden said she was excited about "all the sister moments" that my wedding day would bring. Her sentiment touched me so that I had her quote printed in our wedding album. So, all night as we talked I kept saying "that can be my quote". 

I don't know how quote worthy I was, but that night was something I'll treasure. Those walls have seen millions of sweet (and not so sweet) sister moments. From saying our goodnight prayers together and telling Jesus to "save some for himself" to cleaning frenzies while pretending that Mrs. Lisa was on her way to pick us up for an adventure. All the way to making fun of Eden for being scared of storms and stubbornly crying alone after she would flee to Mom and Dad's room, and that one night when she really tried to choke me. It's true, a sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost, and I'm so thankful for mine.

And we awoke on June 23rd, to the day she would be married!

The morning was a blast with hair, makeup, and plenty of laughs.

And suddenly, the moment was upon us, it was time to go get pictures and get married!

I so wish I had pictures of the ceremony to share (but it may have been awkward to carry my Cannon down the aisle with me), so we will have to wait on the pictures from the real photographer, but it was such a beautiful God-honoring ceremony. The bridal party walked down the aisle to "Oh how He loves us" by David Crowder, and I got to walk in to the epically awesome "I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way that He loves us!!" Yes, it was very hard not to throw my hands in the air and sing like I typically do during that beautiful proclamation of truth.

One of the officiants elaborated on the "continue in love" theme and noted how Eden frequently testifies about the love of God, and how when you are around Eden and William you can feel their love for each other, their love for God, and their love for you. My Dad also did a part in the ceremony that included communion to unify the families (which was really cool), and also a heartfelt prayer. It was really sweet, and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

It was on to the reception at the theatre which was SO fun!! They had a candy bar, popcorn, and glass bottle cokes which were adorable and an absolute hit!

Dad and Eden danced to "In my life" by the Beatles, which was perfect since that is the song that plays in my head when I think about the places from my childhood. There was some awesome dancing including the Wobble and an incredible "Time of my life" dirty dancing lift between William and his brother. It was just a great night. 
Before long, it was time for them to ride off together as husband and wife.

And right now, they are still on their honeymoon, and it's killing me to not get to talk to her about everything!! (Hence the long post maybe, bless you if you made it to the end).

Congrats to my sweet sister and new brother-in-law! 
Love you guys!