Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'm so excited!

I have my first quilt in my shop. Baby quilts were really why I started the shop. I'll never be a millionaire at the rate I work, though -- it took me several weeks to make one baby quilt, but I guess it was never about being a millionaire.

Anyway, I was so excited, I had to share. If you want to click over to my shop, you can see all the photos. (Of course, my camera battery died right after I finished quilting and I had to wait for new ones to arrive before I could list it, because photo shops -- they don't exist any more!).

And by the way, those sweet, tiny baby toes in the photo of my header of my shop belong to Margaret's littlest blondie (and did you know Margaret's blog moved? Surprise, surprise!)

I just love these colors!

And do double click so you can see that pretty hand-quilted flower. 

photo by Geoffrey

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The small, small, small, small, small world story

Funny stories come from weddings...who did what, who said what, who drank what. A lot of them are funny but most of them are not unbelievable. Well, maybe some are, but those are not the kind I like to repeat.

This story is the most unbelievable story of a small, small world. A long time ago, I posted about how remarkable it is that a little boy and a little girl were born in separate cities, never to go to the same schools, never to meet until a friend introduced them in their senior year of high school. One never knew the other existed until then. They lived in parallel universes. Then they became engaged and got married.

And, yet.

On the day of the wedding, my first cousin Jenny and her family were in the parking lot at St. Charles, walking from their car to the chapel when she saw, walking with her family from their car to the chapel, one of her very best friends, possibly her oldest friend. Her friend's name is also Jennifer. This friend I remember from days when I was younger and visiting my uncle and his family at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, when my cousin Jenny was a little girl -- Jenny is quite a few years younger than I am. Jennifer was often around their home, and when Jenny was an adult and getting married, Jennifer was at bridal showers and was a bridesmaid at her wedding, and then a few years later appeared at baby showers, birthday parties, probably Tupperware parties, or maybe it was Pampered Chef by then.

So, Jenny sees Jennifer in the parking lot and says, surprised, "What are you doing here?" And Jennifer responds that her husband's cousin's daughter is getting married. "Remember, Taylor? The little girl who was my flower girl?" They had been in each other's weddings and Jenny, pregnant at the time with her first child, did indeed remember that little flower girl, as she has been so taken by her darling shining curls and dimpled cheeks that she had named her baby after her, Taylor.

A picture of a picture from Taylor's mother's house -- Jennifer and our Taylor

After Jenny and Jennifer recovered from their mutual surprise, they realized that Jenny had known Taylor for a very long time, and Jennifer had known Joshua since the two had started dating. But since Jenny's married name was not familiar to Joshua (guys are clueless about stuff like that) and Jennifer had married into Taylor's family, no one connected the families, until the day of the wedding.

So my son married Jennifer's first cousin once removed (by marriage) and Taylor married Jenny's first cousin once removed, and neither knew it until they arrived at the wedding. But, what was so sweet about the story is that they were both at the wedding of the little girl after whom Jenny named her daughter. And her daughter Taylor was there as well.

Sadly, the photographer didn't get a photo of the three, or four, but she got a picture of Josh taking a picture of the two Jennys and Taylor.

My cousin Jenny on the right, and Jennifer (looking no older than on her wedding day!) on the left.

Jenny and her daughter Taylor.

So, that's the end of my unbelievable small world story, which ended so happily because a family just got a little bit larger and the love a little bit sweeter.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

He was dancin' like a fool

I know I promised only two more wedding posts, and this is one of them. It's silly really, and my husband would probably blush (only slightly) to know it's out -- I didn't ask, I'll ask for forgiveness ;-)

It was the end of the night and there were probably only 25 of us left before the DJ shut down, but this song came on and Doug had the dance floor to himself. If you're a real-life friend, you know this is vintage Doug.

If not, meet my husband.

Joshua was taking the video on his iPhone and that's his laugh on the audio. And other than taking off his jacket, vest and tie, Doug was in good shape (not drunk!).


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sunny Tuesday Daybook

In the garden...

...What's in the garden? It's been so long since I've done a Daybook, and yet, the answer to this question is essentially the same -- weeds and whatever perennials came back. I didn't even plant annuals in pots this year, so the yard, though green from all the rain, is rather bare. The orange day lilies brightened things up a bit, and the hostas are blooming. Our roses took a hit this past winter, so they are not blooming much -- hopefully they'll be stronger next year. Hopefully I'll feel like gardening at some point this year. Between the wedding and my broken old body, gardening just isn't a priority.

Noah took some photos at the botanical park up the street though, so I have a few pretty pictures.

I'm thinking about...
...sometimes a lot and sometimes almost nothing. I go back and forth between worrying about everything and blowing everything off. I don't know if that's because it's summer, or brain fog. I often worry that I have memory issues, but I can usually remember something when it matters, so I think it's just summer and I need a break from thinking.

I am wearing...

...a yellow floral skirt and orange v-neck with sandals. I've been wearing the same summer skirts for three years and I'm tired of them, but they haven't worn out and I am too lazy to sew more.

I am reading....
...Crash: A Mother, A Son, and the Journey from Gried to Gratitude. I just started it two nights ago, but so far it's a riveting story. I have stayed up way past my bedtime for two nights just because it keeps me interested and I don't get drowsy reading it.

I am creating...
...I have several projects, as always. 

I am altering a ball gown -- if you can believe that. It's a gorgeous gown -- I'll get photos before I give it back to its owner. I'm doing it as a favor for a friend. It looks like Cinderella's gown and the young girl who is going to wear it is just slightly bustier than the gown (a size 0/1). So I am creating a v-shaped center to the front of the dress, which will involve beads and sequins. I know -- another dress? More beads and sequins?But it's so beautiful and my friend's mother bought it for $22 at a thrift store in Brooklyn.

I am making a rosary for an auction at Ohio Dominican University -- my husband's employer and Noah's future university. More on that later.

I'm sewing a scapular, and a baby quilt.

So, there's always a project to work on. I just go from one thing to another. And, of course there's always something on the knitting needles. This is what I just finished:

In the kitchen...
...tonight: brats on the grill and I'm headed to the farm market for some yummy summer produce.

At the school table...
...still doing math and English every week day. And I need to make some big decisions about next year.

Around the house...

...not much unless you count loads of dirty laundry as much. Noah and I had orientation this past weekend and laundry backed up. He is going to Ohio Dominican University and commuting from home -- at least for the first year. I was impressed at orientation. I'm not sure what I expected but compared to Ohio State -- this place is like sending your child away to good friends. The faculty are very involved and almost all classes are very small. It's what Noah needs.

Pic of a pic -- I look like a short little old lady, but I am 5'6" and Noah is 6'4":

Plans for the rest of the week...

...cooking for a family at church on Thursday is all that's on my calendar. Happy face.

A few of my favorite things...

...the farm market during the summer
...pink baby sweaters
...citrus iced tea

Prayers sent heavenward...

...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day
...for all priests and religious, especially our priests Fr. Sill and Fr. Schmit, and for Fr. Howe
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers

Photos for the day..

...doesn't this look refreshing?

Linking up with Jenny at The Littlest Way

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yarn Along Baby Sweater

It's been a long time since I've done a Yarn Along. Now that life has calmed since the wedding, I feel like I can splurge on a little blog time. 

Some of you may have noticed the new Etsy shop box on my sidebar. I'm putting all my (anxiety-driven) knitting time to good use by selling my hand knits in a shop. They are all newborn-sized (or close to newborn) hand knits and they are such a pleasure to knit...sweet colors, soft yarn, tiny little sleeves and leg cuffs. Fun, fun!

The item I'm knitting now is the Puerperium Cardigan (my Ravelry page link). Isn't it sweet? I can't wait to knit one for my own grandbaby, but in the meantime, I'll just get really practiced. The yarn is KnitPick's CotLin Dk in flamingo and I have sweet white pearl buttons to go with.

I just today finished listening to All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. I took a couple breaks from it because war stories can be depressing, but by the time I was about three-quarters finished, I couldn't stop listening. It was difficult, however, keeping track of the different time frames (it jumps back and forth during times of WWII) while listening, so I plan to read the actual book. It was really that good.

Hooking up with Ginny and friends at Small Things.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Wedding Party

party: n. A group of people taking part in a particular activity or trip, especially one for which they have been chosen. Oxford University Press

The definition of the wedding party used to be much more clear than it is today. When I was growing up, I understood the wedding party to be the "village" that supports the bride and groom as they plan and execute their wedding -- as in the definition found above. Today the wedding party is more likely to be "a social gathering of invited guests, typically involving eating, drinking, and entertainment" Oxford University Press

My experience with the wedding party, as it related to Joshua and Taylor's wedding was definitely the latter definition. Other than measuring girls and scheduling fittings for their dresses (and one or two bridal showers) I saw no participation from either the guys or the girls. In fact, it really wasn't until the rehearsal that I realized how poorly prepared this generation is for participating in a wedding, not to mention wedding etiquette. Our manners have flown out the window. Buh bye!

Doug and I talked about this the night of the rehearsal when I was rapid-fire typing up a "what to do" sheet for the groomsmen. How did our children not just naturally learn how to be a groomsmen, like my brothers and I did (right now I'm just speaking to their role in the actual wedding, I'll get to their role before the wedding later)? Well, we realized our children had only been to a very small handful of weddings themselves. Many weddings today are "adult only" affairs, unlike those of my childhood. When I was a kid, and a teen, if their weren't 20 kids running around the dance floor, it wasn't a wedding. Today people tend to want dignified affairs without kids dancing in their bare feet. Call me a hillbilly, but where's the fun in that? 

Or maybe it's because weddings have gotten so wildly expensive that any extra bodies aren't wanted. Our caterer fed all the children under age 12 a plate of chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese at no charge (if you're local to central Ohio I can't say enough nice things about Berwick Manor -- the caterer they chose for the reception), so extra children were not discouraged at all. And fortunately, the bride and groom and the bride's parents were in agreement with Doug and I, that children belong at weddings.

The reason could also be that many people in our culture either don't have traditional weddings anymore (the destination wedding!), or they just don't get married at all. Whatever the reason, I think we have raised a generation of adults who don't have a clue as to what to do at a traditional church wedding, something I think is very sad (and makes you wonder why we are surprised when our own Supreme Court doesn't understand the definition of marriage -- we're off the rails, folks).

I hope that your experience is different and your children have been to dozens of traditional weddings and know just what the role of the bridesmaid and groomsmen is. If not, you might want to chat about it around the dinner table some night (or get invited to some weddings!).

Joshua and his best man chatting and waiting for the wedding to begin. I have to say, Jon was the best best man ever, as he took Joshua to Eucharistic Adoration for an hour before they arrived at the wedding chapel.

The job of the bridesmaids and groomsmen, from the moment they are asked to participate, is to help the bride and groom plan and execute the wedding, not just to show up and be pretty (that comes later). Though the duties will vary depend on how elaborate the wedding, and how many bridesmaids there are, in general the bridesmaids might: go with the bride to find a reception and/or wedding venue, help her find a dress, help her find (or make) bridesmaids dresses, throw a bridal shower or bachelorette party, help her make or find decorations and/or flowers, address invitations, and even help to write Thank You notes. An out-of-town bridesmaid might not be able to do as much but she would need to be in town for at least the rehearsal. The Maid of Honor will need to be the bride's right hand the day of the wedding (help her dress, fan her, hold her hand, talk to her, feed and water her -- whatever it takes to keep her calm and feeling well), hold her flowers during the vows and ring exchange, sign the marriage certificate, and give a short (but sweet) toast. 

On the day of the wedding, the bridesmaids need to be supportive in any way they can. Taylor chose the have all the bridesmaids at the school with her and someone came and did all the makeup and hair. Whatever the situation, the bridesmaids should be on-hand to help in any way they can. It's the bride's day, not the bridesmaid's day, so the bride should be calm, cool, and really shine with the help of her "court." At the reception, the bridesmaids should help the bride in the restroom (assuming the bride has a long, full dress that needs to be held up), get people out on the dance floor and generally be happy to meet and greet (not sit like a lump at the head table). In the case of our wedding, the bridesmaids were very agreeable and fun the day of the wedding, but they didn't do much ahead of time. The bride's mother held a shower (a no-no if you are a real stickler for wedding etiquette) because no one else stepped up to the plate. There were many aunts on both sides of the family, but apparently no one felt inclined to host. My aunt from Cincinnati helped host the shower that the bride's mother held, but because she lives two hours away, mostly all she could do was help pay for it. The bride's mother also coordinated a "bachelorette party" -- really just a nice dinner out two days before the wedding with the bridal party. Again, no one stepped up to the plate, so the bride's mother did.

Faith and her co-junior bridesmaid, Madison.

Waiting...one of my favorite photos.

The groomsmen don't really have many duties before the wedding (other than getting measured for and shelling out for the rental of a tux), but they could organize a bachelor party (a tasteful one, please!). Again, none of the groomsmen or best man stepped up to the plate for my son, so my husband organized a dinner -- wings and craft beer -- at a local restaurant and invited all the uncles, male cousins, and male wedding party members (minus the junior groomsman). They spent several hours watching wide screen TV coverage of every sport possible, sampling a variety of chicken wings and drinking craft beers -- what more could a mature, Catholic man want? ;-)

The junior groomsman and flower girl -- brother and sister.

As I mentioned, the night of the rehearsal we realized that none of the groomsmen had a clue what to do at the wedding, so I rapid-fire typed up a "to-do" sheet for them to read while they were waiting for the wedding to begin. You can find it here if you have a need for specific and traditional instructions. (Our groomsmen all acted as ushers.) The best man needs to be the groom's right-hand man, stay with him, talk him down from the ledge if need be (wink), and just be, well, the best man. He also needs to sign the wedding certificate, be sociable at the reception and give a nice toast. Josh's best man gave an excellent toast -- one that included God. Amen!

The groomsmen were also all great sports and danced the night away, both with the bridesmaids and the moms and the other guests. No one drank too much, and many of the guests commented that the wedding party seemed to be having so much fun, yet it was the family-friendly kind of fun. 

What the groomsmen did during the reception after the rain stopped and before the sun went down. The dads were both out there too, taking a break from responsibilities!

That's about all I have on the topic of "the wedding." I do have two more posts, one a video of my husband dancing at the wedding -- it's a hoot. I hope I can get it to load. And another -- a small world story.

Until then -- here's a photo for Kimberlee -- I promised. It's the whole gang.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Once you have grace, then there are all the details (and lots of pictures)

The wedding photos finally came in -- all 1121 of them). Yikes! I promise to just give you a glimpse, but I wanted to chat about our "strategy" with this wedding and what I would and would not recommend as a result of the outcomes.

First -- the entire wedding party (please do double click for a really good look):

I know that I am a little biased, but I think they are an awfully beautiful bunch (my biological children are: the groom -- Joshua, the junior bridesmaid on the chair -- Faith, the groomsmen fifth -- Geoffrey -- and fourth -- Noah -- from the right). Now I also also have a child by marriage -- the bride -- Taylor.

They are also a big bunch. I admit I also had a very large wedding party, so I really can't criticize them for that, but if you can keep your wedding party small, it eliminates a lot of other issues.

What we did and how it worked out.
  • We chose a church and reception venue that had a significant meaning for us, in this case my son's (and husband's and other sons') high school chapel, and the commons at the school for the reception. It was nice to not have to get in the car and go anywhere in between the Mass and reception. My husband and I were also married there, so it really felt like home. We also chose a priest who is a personal friend and because this chapel is not a parish, there was no trouble getting permission from our pastor.

Mother of Mercy Chapel at St. Charles Preparatory School

Walter Commons at St. Charles

Because the Commons is not a hotel or reception facility (it is open to other groups for social events, but its primary purpose is for the school), we were easily able to help share the cost. Doug and I paid for the facility and the bride's family paid for the food.
  • From our family's perspective (the bride and all of our extended family are Catholic, but the bride's family is not), the Nuptial Mass was the most important place to really focus on details. We paid for a very good cantor, something I think is worth a lot of money. (If you're local to central Ohio, I can't recommend Johnny Steiner enough). His singing of Panis Angelicus was worth all the money we paid him. We kept the Mass fairly simple, but put our focus on a few special touches.

It was a bonus that he was Joshua's choral director while at St. Charles.

My sister-in-law (my brother is behind her), who is also Joshua's Godmother, played Ave Maria by Norbert  on the violin during the Mary devotion.

  •  I made the bridesmaids and flower girl dresses and the bride's veil. Though this was a nightmare some of the time for me, I don't think I would have changed it, even if I had to do all the work again. First of all, the dresses were modest (at least compared to what you find in bridal salons). They were also inexpensive. Each dress cost me about $30 to make. I ordered the fabric in bulk from Joann when it was half price and I was able to use a coupon for the entire order. Unfortunately I have a lot of fabric left over because I was afraid we wouldn't be able to get more and I over-ordered. I didn't ask for the girls to reimburse me, because they are almost all college students and they really appreciated not having to spend $250 for a bridesmaid's dress, that (admit it) they wouldn't wear again. In hindsight, it would have been nice if they had made a $30 - $50 donation to the groomsmen fund because the tuxes were $170 to rent for each guy (and that was the least expensive tux they could get locally).

Yes, that's Faith on the left end -- as tall as almost all the other girls.

  • Taylor's grandma did all of the flowers. They were all silk flowers and she shopped every time Michael's or Joann's had a sale and just kept collecting purple, ivory and grey flowers and greenery. I don't know how much she spent, but it was her contribution to the wedding and the flowers looked very nice. I like fresh flowers, especially for bouquets, but I know many brides spend over $1000 for flowers and in a couple days they are dead. For practicality alone, silk flowers were smart. The flowers on the tables at the reception were silk as well, and they had three different centerpieces scattered throughout the room. They also purchased these stands for the bridesmaids' bouquets for the head table -- very pretty.

My husband giving the invocation.

  • Many couples pay for someone to set up a candy bar for a sweet take-home treat for guests. The bride's mother did it herself and it cost a fraction of what she would have paid someone.

  • We were permitted to set up our own bar because the venue allowed for it. That saved a lot of money that would normally be paid to the caterer. The caterer allowed the bride's family to hire a bartender provided by them, and he poured the beer and sangria, and kept track of how many drinks each person had -- there was a limit. We decided we didn't want to offer hard liquor because we didn't want to have to worry about people getting drunk and driving. The bride's family bought inexpensive domestic beer because that's what they like, and we bought a keg of beer from a local microbrewery that we thought our guests would enjoy. I also made 6 gallons of Sangria, and we offered soda and had a coffee bar, as well. Champagne was purchased for the toast.

  • The one disappointment of the reception was the cake. The bride and her mom shopped bakeries and chose a family favorite, which was one of the most reasonably priced at (unbelievable!) over $550. Though they had the cake pictured below (two layers of vanilla and strawberry and one layer of chocolate raspberry, plus a half sheet of white cake, there was not enough cake. I've decided maybe I need to go into the wedding cake business -- $550 for a wedding cake. Ridiculous!

  • The kids wanted a DJ for dancing. As it turned out, the dancing was very popular. We had guests who said they hadn't seen so many people dancing at a wedding reception in years. The kids had a really good time, especially the wedding party -- they danced until 11 pm when the DJ's time ended (thank goodness).

Josh and Taylor danced to Stand by Me.

Taylor and her dad danced to You've Got a Friend by James Taylor.

How Sweet it Is also by James Taylor was the tune Joshua and I danced to. Originally I wanted Let me Call You Sweetheart, because I used to sing that to all the babies when I was rocking and walking them, but the DJ didn't have a good version. It was a good thing, because I would have blubbed through the whole thing.

I have one more post about the wedding (I hope you're not getting tired of it yet), and it has to deal with choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen, and their responsibilities (or what should be their responsibilities)

photographs by The Belgard

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Grace under pressure

Earnest Hemingway said, "Courage is grace under pressure." I'm not sure how I feel about that statement.  I think grace is grace is grace. And the key to grace is our openness to the gift. 

When I started this little "mini-series" I really wanted to talk about weddings and how complicated they can get without any intention. And how, depending on which "side" you're on, you can see things one way, when they are really another, or vice versa. And all the different personalities involved really make for some interesting situations. It takes a lot of grace to keep yourself in check in many of those situations and with many of those personalities. I'm not certain if maybe this is one of those events you have to live through to really get. And, yes, we've all been brides, but I don't personally know anyone who planned and executed her own wedding. I won't say "it takes a village" but it does take a willing family, or community of people, all in it for the same reason.

Since Friday's Supreme Court decision, however, I am looking at this whole wedding, in hindsight, from a slightly different perspective. We could never have known it ahead of time, nor planned it in any way, but Joshua and Taylor were married on the last weekend that marriage was defined, in the United States, as the joining of one man and one woman. 

Yeah. I feel like they made a little history, by the grace of God.

Backing up a little, Josh and Taylor were engaged a little over two years ago. Joshua asked and Taylor said "yes" the night before Doug's father died, and though we knew he was close to the end, none of us knew just how close, and Joshua wanted his grandpa to know that he had chosen the woman with whom he would spend his life. Joshua Paul is named after his grandpa Paul, and they have very similar personalities -- they were two peas in a pod. So, it became important for Joshua to let grandpa know that he was "set for life," so to speak.

This is before they smeared frosting on each other's cheeks and noses.

Thus the two-year engagement, because they were sophomores in college at the time. I would never recommend it, just for what it's worth. That's way too much time to spend planning a wedding, in my opinion. Pinterest alone will get you bogged down in so many ideas, you may never be able to come up for air. In fact, I would go so far to say, if I was doing this all over again, I would have never even looked at pinterest.

When Josh and Taylor decided to get married at St. Charles, Taylor's mother and I and a few others, include the prospective bride and groom, met with Sister Margaret at the school. Sister Margaret, besides being a Franciscan sister and the school's senior English teacher, runs all the weddings that take place in the chapel. She is an incredible woman, and just between you and me, I call her Saint Margaret -- she is a gem.

Here she is pinning on Joshua's boutonniere.

At the end of that meeting, where she essentially told us what was needed and ran us through a quick version of the Mass, she prayed with us, and though I don't remember the exact words, what I took from it was "the more details you include in your wedding, the more things can upset your day -- keep it simple." And those are the truest words I can take away from our wedding experience. If you are planning a Nuptial Mass, you can plan a party or a fancy dinner afterward, but really, everything after the Mass is just...frosting.

Speaking of frosting, the bride and groom choose to use the wedding topper that was on our wedding cake 30 years ago this November. That's our cake knife, too.

"You will reciprocally promise love, loyalty and matrimonial honesty. We only want for you this day that these words constitute the principle of your entire life and that with the help of divine grace you will observe these solemn vows that today, before God, you formulate." ~Saint John Paul II

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

All Grace

"When you lean on grace, you surrender control, and that's not very appealing to many people, including Christians." 
Dave Burchett, Stay

When my son Joshua and his girlfriend Taylor became engaged, after three years of dating, starting in high school, we were very happy for them. It's wonderful knowing that a child, your child, has found the right person to be with for life. When Taylor converted to Catholicism, we were even happier. I think most of us will agree that the fewer issues a couple has that can become points of contention, the better. Taylor and Joshua are both pretty laid back, they rarely fight, and when one has an issue, the other is likely to give in, let it go. They are really one of the most perfect couples, as the compliment each other so well.

So, thoughts of a wedding ahead were fun, though we all, well most of us, agreed that with a wedding date two years away meant we were in no hurry to get the items on the checklists crossed off. The mother of the bride was anxious to get the ball rolling, but as the mother of the groom, I really felt my roll was to be cooperative and shut up. You know the old saying, "Wear beige and keep your mouth shut"? I admitted from the get-go that I was not very good at either -- I never wear beige, and I have been known to put my two-cents in rather frequently. I'm a mom. We do that.

Josh and Taylor decided they would be married at his high school, in the Mother of Mercy chapel, a "perk" available only to alumni (where Doug and I were also married). The school has a gorgeous Commons as well, which I proudly admit my husband raised the money to build. It is formerly the courtyard of the school, but when they built it, they closed in the wings of the building with an added a fourth wing (which is why in pictures it looks like the walls are the exterior of the building -- they used to be). It's three stories high with high windows and a glass roof. It's actually amusing to think of high schoolboys eating lunch in this space every day, as it is gorgeous for a special event. We scheduled the Chapel and the Commons, and Josh and Taylor asked one of my husband's classmates, who has become a dear family friend, to celebrate the Nuptial Mass. Those three tasks, which we agreed to pay for as well, started off the plans with what we thought were the most important aspects.

Meanwhile Taylor picked out a gown, and decided that she didn't like the dresses available off the rack as most of them were strapless, and she wanted a more modest dress for her bridesmaids. She had chosen most of her bridesmaids at the time, but added two more later, for a total of six adults, two junior bridesmaids and a flower girl -- quite a gaggle of girls. As she couldn't find dresses for all the different sized girls, and most bridesmaids dresses run in the $200-$300 range (outrageous!), I offered to help Taylor find a pattern and fabric and sew the dresses myself. Truly, I had no idea what I was getting into, but I wouldn't know that for quite a while.

"But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift." Ephesians 4:7

I had also offered to make the bride's veil, even before I offered to sew the dresses, so I knew I had to get my rear in gear, so to speak. The dresses slowly but surely were finished, and by early May the last dress was finished. I felt I was doing my part in the wedding plans, and God gave me the patience to get the job done -- an amazing feat I will say. I have always believed in God's grace, and I was surely shown that His grace doesn't come before you need it -- only when you do. It's faith that is required to set forth and know that God will be there to rain down the grace as needed.

Faith on right, and the other junior bridesmaid, Madison.

As the day of the wedding got closer and closer, I was busy sewing hundreds of beads and sequins to the bride's veil and trying to keep up with some of the tasks the bride's mother asked of me. But during those last weeks just before the wedding, I admit things got a little hot sometimes. The bride and groom came to me often because they felt the heat from the bride's mother, who herself was feeling the weight of the to-do lists. There were some very hot moments and I think on occasion we all lost it a little bit. The mother of the bride and I met one Saturday morning with Taylor and she gave me a list of things assigned to me, which were all manageable, but I admit after a 3-1/2 hour meeting, I really was starting to have my doubts if all expectations were reasonable. Somebody was bound to be disappointed, and it wasn't me.

"but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me."  2 Cor 12:9

To be continued...

Monday, June 22, 2015

They're Wed!

It's over, they're wed, and it was a glorious day despite pouring rain almost all day. The rain stopped just around 4 p.m. when the guests arrived at the church. Praise be to God!

I have a lot more photos and stories to tell. Today we're recovering and family is still in town, but I'll be back, just wanted you to know it's over and it was as glorious as anything on earth could be!