Saturday, August 17, 2013

the best days

While in Ohio, we've been a part of several weddings and vow renewals.  They never get old to me.  The buzz of excitement mixed with the stress and anticipation of planning and details turned in to one magical moment.

I really like when my hubby does the officiating.

He just has this way of making each ceremony personal and unique to the couple getting married.  He follows in the footsteps of our close friend and pastor in California, Adam Ayers, who married us almost fifteen years ago and carried our ceremony in the same way.

Tonight, Chris performed the wedding of our next-door-neighbors-turned-friends, Josh and Kelly.  It's a day we've waited for since we first met them in 2010, and fervently prayed for after they announced their engagement last year.  Josh and Kelly are as kind as they come and are so fun to spend late nights around a campfire with.  They even gave us a going away gift basket at their rehearsal dinner!

Kelly looked stunning as she walked down the aisle of Frostville Village Church.  Photos of the happy couple hung from the edge of the pews, and the bridal party wore shades of pink and yellow.  The organist alternated between Beatles and Sting ballads to Elton John and Bon Jovi.  Josh beamed as his bride stood in front of him.

This was one of those events where we only knew a handful of people in the room, but the common thread was love.  Josh and Kelly are adoring of their family and friends and equally adored.

Three weeks ago, Paul and Pam Voigt celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a surprise-to-Paul vow renewal at the Bally's gym where they met.  The aerobics room was transformed in to a ballroom, and the star couple looked radiant.  Paul was indeed surprised, and we all cheered as they took turns publicly sharing their affections for each other. 

Pastor Jeff from our church led the ceremony.  The rest of us sat on workout equipment in semi-formal attire and took bets on how soon Pam would start crying (after she said she wouldn't).  What fun it was to celebrate with this family!  Paul endured a bout of cancer this year, which made this event especially joyful.

I'll be honest, Paul and Pam spoil us.  We've been invited to many of their lavish occasions over the years.  Pam knows how to throw a party!  From limo rides to Italian feasts and pool parties at their home, we are truly blessed by the Voigt family.

Back in April, we had the honor of being in Dan and Rachel's wedding.  I was a bridesmaid, Chris was the minister.

Rustic chic!

The bridal party stuck on mustaches before entering
the reception site.

And now that we've announced it on Facebook, it's official.  It's actually old news in Ohio, but I haven't mentioned it on my blog before:  Dan and Rachel are moving to Seattle with us!

I'm squealing through my teeth as I type these words.

The whole story starts with a dream that Dan had a year ago (while he and my husband were on a missions trip in Nicaragua) about the four of us planting a church in Seattle.  I don't recall the details, but I'll never forget the conclusion.  It was so strong a presence that Dan mentioned it to Chris, and told him he needed to pray about moving back to Seattle.  We hadn't known Dan much longer than his dating relationship with Rachel, but we all became fast friends.

Dan and Rachel fell in love, got engaged, married, and now they're sleeping in our guestroom!

I've never walked with two friends from the start of dating to the marriage part before.  I mean, I've known the friends and have been there for the highlights, but not spent every week with them as they navigated through their relationship.  This was a really sweet, funny, tender, cra-zy journey and certainly one that hubby and I were delighted to be in on.  Being friends and mentors to Dan and Rachel these past two years have been amazing.  

And now we get to plan our future together!

These are the best days.

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