Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My best friend's wedding (and the crazy fun and precious reunions therein)

A quick summary of my long weekend in Longview would be this: LINDA GOT MARRIED!!!

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Linda was an amazing bride. I mean really, I know this girl. She doesn't like to plan. She hates decisions. She doesn't give orders. And she's... umm.. been teased for being a procrastinator. AND since I'm now experienced at this whole wedding and bridesmaid thing I know that generally being a part of wedding is very stressful and hard work, even though it is of course amazing to be there for your friends and family.

Linda floored me. She was decisive, she was organized, she was disciplined... and she intentionally took out time for her family and friends.

The wedding was so fun. I was up front as the maid of honor, spending part of the time just feet from Linda and Bill and just marveling at how surreal it was to see Linda with this man - fulfilling the dreams that we used to talk about during our high school overnights in Papua. I was struck at the solemnity of being a witness to this huge covenant being made before my eyes.

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And the other half of the time I was trying to subtly shift my weight from one foot to the other in an attempt to reestablish blood-flow to my toes, which were trapped in too-tall heels. Hah!

Weddings for me are the best chance I have to see my dear friends that are scattered everywhere. It was awesome because of us four girls from our college girls group have all been in each others' wedding and this was the final one. Since we are all so far apart now we just reveled in each others' company, revelled in being goofy, in being KNOWN.

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We helped put together the flowers:
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And we put together a bulletin board for Bill and Linda's photos:
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And we went shopping for the bride, which was a bad idea because we went in to Target for two items and came out with a LOT more then planned... like sandals for ourselves, some clothes that were on sale, food that looked good in the moment... d'oh!

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We "helped" with the slide show
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But don't kid yourself, we really didn't work that hard... we also got in some great girl time. We creatively video-chatted with Ana's husband and her baby boy, who is adorable:

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And spent some time praying for each other and talking about the stage of life that we are all now in - marriage, pursuing families and careers and looking to the future.

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Here's a few more of the rehearsal and wedding and last-minute car-decorating/trashing:

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It was fantastic. We had a crazy group of Papua and Moody people that took the advice of a local and went out to find some good Texas barbecue after the wedding. Turns out the good Texas barbecue spot is a hole-in-the-wall former gas station. Our group came in and literally ordered every item of meat they had left. They shut down the restaurant for us and put a "sold-out" sign on the door, but people still walked up and peered in the windows looking disappointed. Because we'd ordered way too much and were all hyper from being hopped up on sweet tea, we excitedly would flag them in and give away plates of food and containers of baked beans and even an extra sweet tea we had. It was hilarious.... there was much craziness!

Then we retired to the hotel and tried the hot tub (which was too hot) and the pool (which was too cold), and finally gave up on those ideas and went back to the guys room and played games until 1 in the morning.

Wedding mini-reunions are always wonderful but too short - I just wanted to continue the conversations I got to have and to really see how these people that are dear to me (but that I never get to talk to) are really doing. After these sorts of things I always long for heaven and a time when there are no more goodbyes and no more distance.

I had forgotten that I would have to say goodbye at the end of this weekend but Isaac (who knows me so well) was totally prepared when I finally dissolved into a flood of tears. He's a good man. :)

The truth is that I'm still recovering from both sleep deprivation and the pain of goodbyes. It sucks to have such great friendships and have people be so far away... and I think the same about my family. But - just to comfort myself a little here - Linda only lives a couple of hours away. Thank God for that amazing act of drawing our paths close together again!


Melissa said...

what a beautiful time that must have been! it makes me happy to read about such a wonderful reunion with good friends like this.

Togenberg said...

It is a powerful thing to be known, and to be seen, beheld in fair and loving eyes. Friendship like that is really gold. It is.

I hope you do do the counseling program at Wheaton. It strikes me strongly that you'd be an excellent therapist. And while W is rather too conservative for me but it's a great school, there's a lot going on there that is very strong. I think of a therapist I know who did an MA there (her PhD at Penn State?). Anyways that would be a great place for y'all


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