Saturday, November 5, 2016

Small Town Wedding

It's hard to describe a small town wedding but you know me— I'm going to give it my best shot….  especially when it's my own, small town, that is.  Especially when it's the first born of my favorite brother. When this boy came to us October of 1992, I had just gotten married and lived about 3 hours away.  That was bad but not as bad as when Jeff and I packed up and moved to Texas adding about 12 MORE hours between us.  Now, I was excited about the move to Texas but I was NOT excited about being that far away from family, especially that little baby boy who had stolen my heart.  I kind of knew we wouldn't be back.  I knew Texas would become our home— and it has but all those years ago I determined that I would figure this aunt/nephew {and then later aunt/niece} thing out from 15 hours away.  Some things worked and some didn't.  I could have done much more and there are things I regret missing, but over the years something worked.  And we know each other.  And they know how much I love them.  I've been known to tear up at random texts or pictures they send— just to know I was missed or that they wanted to share something with me. I teased RJ at his rehearsal dinner that I was honored to get pictures of baseball injuries over the years.  I doubt I missed a one.  That counts for something, right?!  But the biggest honor was the question to Jeff,  "Will you perform our wedding ceremony?"  Honor.  To get to be a part of the months leading up to that big day and for Jeff to lead them through the covenant of marriage….. no words work.

Not even a set of pictures or videos can recreate an experience and they certainly can't stand in for what makes these kinds of things so very special.  As I watched my nephew get married that weekend in October, I was reminded of the only thing that makes life as sweet as it can possibly be— relationships.  No value can be placed upon them— they are simply God's grace to us in the form of people.  What joy comes from an event if there is no one with which to share it?  How much richer a life changing moment is when people who love you are there to celebrate it with you.  Relationships. His gifts to us— gift upon gift upon gift……And our family is undeservedly blessed to love many and to be loved by many.  You know who you are.  It’s all grace. YOU are grace.



Talk about grace.  Seriously.  This girl.  I remember when RJ called me-- or texted-- honestly feel like it was a real-live conversation but maybe not-- after their first or second date.  “She’s great.  I know you are really going to like her.” And he was spot on.  “Like" is a mild word, really.  We couldn’t have combed the world over and picked anyone more suited for RJ and the family.  This one is special.  Megan, I am so very thankful for you.

This guy keeps things lively-- he’s a favorite to have around.


I got to Soperton a couple of days ahead of my family which was such a treat. I had missed all of the wedding festivities being so far away so I was itching to get there!   This sweet niece of mine surprised us by coming home a little earlier than expected which made my night!  Blake cooked a yummy meal on his egg in his “man world” in the backyard.

Love her t-shirt.  It was the last day she could wear it.  Her energy around Nana’s house buzzed all day. 
You’ll see a lot of camouflage... because a lot of hunting took place.. even the morning of the wedding.
Jeff, Julia and Brighton made it in time for the rehearsal.


Three Favorites.
I couldn’t resist this pic of Blakes’s sweet little pose.

Jeff and I were married right here as were Blake and Adele.  Our church -- as any church - was not/is not perfect but  it’s my home church and so many significant things happened here for me.  This place is full of people who loved me well and   taught me profound things.  


If you are not from the South, I am not sure if you are ready for the next picture.  So brace yourself.  



I know.  Yes.  That’s a pig.  A real one.  And as the menu says “pik’n” pronounced “pickin”-- no “ing”.  Got it?  And the second “yes” is that yes, you PICK it OFF the pig and then you EAT it.  I know.  It’s a tad disturbing.  I cannot convince you that it’s yummy because I know you cannot get past the ears, and eyes and nose.  A true Southern girl just looks at the meat and nothing else.  NO lady, I don’t care where she’s from,  embraces the whole head thing.  Can’t.  

And there they go.  But it’s a party, y’all.

Love these two.
Cousins.
Proud mommas and daddys.
Many kind things were said at the rehearsal dinner but this childhood friend and neighbor, Blake, stole the show.  He’s a good and faithful friend.
Saturday morning I gathered these beauties {Confederate Roses} from Mom’s yard for the Wedding Day Brunch.

Mom, untangling the asparagus fern
Megan’s sister did her make up.  Something tells me they have done this a few times before!




I’ve often referred to my parents as a “gatherer of people”.  I am sure there is a cuter title or a better word but either way-- they are great at this.  Here they are in their element welcoming people to the Wedding Day Brunch-- all their friends and family and out of town guests.  I’ve seen this scene many, many times in my life-- Daddy greeting and saying a FEW--never too many-- and SOMETIMES, not always-- awkward words, but they are heartfelt, for sure.  {Oh... and momma looking on.  She’s fine to let him talk.  And doesn’t she look pretty in this picture?}  Their graciousness and generosity has come back 1000 fold-- and spilled over onto me and Blake and now we are getting to see it splash on to the 3rd generation.  Thanks, Mom and Dad, for all of the seeds sown into our lives by loving and blessing others.


Friends as LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER.  I don’t know Soperton without the Bowers’ family-- and so many other families.  But these two-- attached at the hip all growing up.  So. Many. Memories.  {Notice Brian has on NO camou.}
He’s worried I was going to stick him.  I was too.
Strike.  
Our amazing Arkansas family-- minus the littles.  RJ was cool as a cucumber all weekend but I sense a little anxiety in this picture?  
There is a story.  There was a cake.  It landed on the floor before RJ and Megan came in.  Bill had a grand time helping clean it up.  
RJ and his pretty momma
These next photos were made by Wendy from Apartment B Photography.  They were super sweet girls who worked HARD all day!

I can say this-- MY favorite pastor
My favorite picture of the whole day
Cousins-- Brighton was outside duct taping RJ’s trailer hitch. Yikes.

Julia and Ivey
Fun shot




These girls danced ALL night......in shoes that weren’t made for dancing.


Well, Soperton.  You were wonderful.  I’m not talking about the places, or even the food, but YOU--  friends and family, YOU were wonderful.  Thank you for loving our family and celebrating with us.  We all have much to be thankful for and RJ and Megan’s wedding weekend was solid evidence of that.  You know who you are-- we love you and are better people for having you in our lives.

RJ and Megan-- it was an HONOR to be a small part of it.  I am SO proud of both of you-- WHO you are.  It will be a joy to watch you over the years.   I just know it.  I love you both.