Monday, July 29, 2013

{ of weddings }

Mike's sister Amaryah married her Lawrence on July 20, two days after our fourth wedding anniversary.

In true pregnancy-brain fashion {or is this just a sign that we're slowly exiting the "honeymoon/take-a-photo-of-every-milestone" phase?}, I didn't take a single picture on our anniversary outing. My mom was in town, so she watched Lainie while Mike and I went to my first midwife appointment. We got to hear Jellybean's heartbeat for the first time, which was sweet, and then we had dinner at a restaurant on the marina. We came home and ate ice cream while watching Downton Abbey with mom. I joke that we've transitioned from traveling to islands to celebrate our marriage {Honeymoon: Oahu. First anniversary: Lopez Island. Second anniversary: Kauai.} going to medical appointments for our children {Third anniversary: Lainie's last surgical follow-up appointment at Children's Hospital. Fourth anniversary: Jellybean's first midwife appointment.}.

There are, however, some decent photos of us from Amaryah's wedding two days later. That'll do, right?

Amaryah + Lawrence had a beautiful wedding, one of the loveliest I've seen. The ceremony and reception were outdoors, and the weather was gorgeous. So was the bride!

:: the reception area ::
:: the ceremony area ::

:: the whole family ::

:: exquisite centerpieces! ::

:: lace mounted on embroidery hoops, hung above the dance floor ::
:: Mike and I did this...a lot...all evening. Baby girl wants to walk everywhere. ::
{Side note: I can't decide how I feel about the fact that I comfortably wore a maternity dress at 12 weeks pregnant.}

:: three generations ::

:: all the food was miniature and SO delicious--but between feeding Lainie and myself, I only got a photo of the tiny burger. ::
:: lots of fun lawn games, which Lainie thoroughly enjoyed ::

:: ignore my freaky blurry hand...I love this photo of Lainie. ::
:: first dance ::

:: I kid you not--beneath that crazy red wig lies my husband. ::

:: Mike and Amaryah dancing with Estella, their cousin's daughter ::
It was such a lovely wedding celebration. Retrospectively I am totally a first-time mom, taking far more photos of my cute little baby than of the bride and groom and wedding festivities! All the more reason to look forward to the professional photos, right? And I'm sad not to have any pictures of the ceremony, but since we were sitting in the front row, I was completely occupied keeping Lainie quiet and happy. {Consumed by Lainie--just during the short ceremony: Two pouches of baby food, cheerios, part of a lollipop, and various sips from one water bottle and one sippy cup.} She was a little angel...a very hungry little angel, apparently...until the very end, when the pastor was doing the "by the power vested in me..." formalities just before pronouncing them husband and wife. At that precise moment, Lainie set down her lollipop and yelled, "BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!" You have to admit, her timing was impeccable!
We are so thankful that my mom came over for the weekend specifically to help with Lainie during the wedding and reception. Partway through the reception, she took Lainie home and put her to bed. Mike and I were able to dance and par-tay and enjoy the rest of the reception without trying to entertain a very tired little girl, which was a huge blessing. Thanks, mom!!
What a difference four years make. When I think back on our wedding, I want to blurt out, "You were such a kid!!" We both were--not that we're terribly mature and grown-up now, but it's just crazy how much has changed since then. How much we have changed. In good ways. Marriage does grow you up. Having a child does grow you up. And while I was all misty-eyed over the wonder of Lawrence and Amaryah starting their journey as husband and wife, I am speechlessly amazed at what God has done/is doing in my own marriage. How He continues to grow us together. Continues to grow and deepen, mature and solidify and strengthen a love that I thought was pretty amazing when we said "I do" in 2009.
I used to be afraid of losing the butterflies-in-the-stomach, crazy-in-love inloveness of newlyweds. Everybody is, don't you think? Afraid that if it goes away, you'll be left with nothing...certain that the only other option is a lifetime of boring staleness, looking back with longing on that mythical "honeymoon phase." That is such a lie. SUCH a lie. Being newlyweds is great, and I loved that season, and every newlywed should soak it up! But the love that grows from that...after a beautiful, sacred, breathtaking thing too. Love isn't static. It isn't something you achieve and then struggle to protect and maintain as-is. With Jesus at the center of a marriage, love constantly grows and changes and becomes deeper and more beautiful. It's not all sunshine and roses {or rainbows and unicorns, as Mike would say}. It's not all easy. But it is so rich. And I am so thankful for the four years I've had the great privilege of being Mrs. Mike.


  1. Wow - simply gorgeous wedding. I *love* your dress and would not have even guessed it was maternity, I would want to wear it al the time! Happy to hear your jellybean is doing well, and Lainie looks so sweet in her poufy dress.

    Well said thoughts on marriage, it does just keep getting better, deeper and more beautiful. Many happy years wished for you two! xo

  2. Oh my! Aren't you all the classiest (and cute!) lit' family ever!!! (Happy 4th Anniversary!) And what a gorgeous looking wedding and reception (those flowers are just exquisite!!!)and of course Lainie is so adorable! That's so sweet and awesome your mom was able to come and help... bet Grandma and Lainie didn't mind at all! =)
    And what you said about marriage.... sooo good and true and inspiring! Indeed with Jesus at the center, marriage and love just gets richer!