Monday, May 2, 2016

Here Comes the Bride!

 Let's start with cake.
We've been discussing the baking of these cakes for weeks.
And here they are.

An hour before the ceremony I was cutting a hole in a sandwich baggy
 from which to squeeze icing because 
I couldn't find the other bags I thought I brought. 
We did find them later in a cooler left behind.

So, for the need to fall back and punt I was pretty pleased with the 
overall success.

The little figurine was a project Chelsea and Chadd did on one of their dates
to the pottery.
They wanted it to be a cake topper and then they changed from the "naked cake" idea
to a cake table idea and so we just placed it on the table.
It is still simply adorable.

Flowers, flowers, flowers!
So many wonderful flowers.

Susan from Divine Florals did an amazing job
at getting every flower to it's peak just in time for the ceremony.
Our friend, Deanna, went over and helped assemble the centerpieces.
There were 12 of those and many, many more smaller bunches.


We alternated small flower arrangements and mini candles 
on the head tables.

Here you can see them with the picnic boxes.
Chelsea wanted an elegant picnic theme for her wedding.
Chadd agreed.

More and more flowers in the ceremony area.
Flowers and burlap.
Burlap and Lace.

These "girls" girls.
In the "green room" where they spent the day.
Our facility was out of this world for convenience, attentive employees 
and creature comforts.
Hair and makeup apparently takes a lot of time for six young ladies
and one young flower girl.

So expressive...both Emily and J.

Speaking of J.  She was so adorable walking down the aisle with 
Emily and throwing rose petals to the right. 
Only to the right.
There was a baby in a carrier who ended up with rose petals 
on him and in his seat.
But she ended up using every last petal just as she reached the front.
I was so amused.  Also very proud of this sweet girl.

The only moment in the day that I nearly lost it.
Tears came and an ugly cry was a very real possibility
but thankfully the ceremony was very interesting and I was able to 
be distracted.

I may be biased but I see a very pretty bride here.
And then there is that handsome dude in the blue shirt and white
tie that he was instructed to wear.
He got all of his words just right!!

Pastor Mike did a fantastic job!
He has been in Chelsea's life since she was four years old.
In fact before he was a married man he used to accompany us on 
annual vacations to the mountains.
He knows Chelsea very well and personalized the message so well.

Saying their vows....
And then the Unity Cross.

This was a unique part of the ceremony.
Together Chadd and Chelsea built this cross while Pastor Mike
shared the story to go with it.
The cross was a gift from Chelsea's Aunt and Uncle.
So special!

They exchanged rings.

And next thing we knew they were pronounced married!
There they go....

A while later I caught up with them and found them simply joyous!

I will end this post for now.
I'm about to nod off.
Hoping to share more soon.

Thanks for your patience with me.
Deanna has also posted about the wedding at Creekside Cottage.  

I will leave you with a photo of the fun wedding party.
They were in between photos with the official photographer.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dear Chelsea

If I were to write a note to my darling, and only, daughter on her wedding day it would look something like this:

My Dear Chelsea,

We bonded during 5 months of bed rest while you were growing and preparing to enter this world.  I used to beg the doctors just to let you come instead of using all kinds of nasty medications to keep you safe and sound in my womb.  You see, from the very beginning I felt inadequate.  That someone else could do it better.  That they could keep you healthy and strong better than I could.  But over and over again the nurses and doctors told me that your place was with me.  That it was infinitely better to have you grow in my protective body as long as possible.  That stuck with me over the years.  They wouldn't let me yield to my fear of inadequacy.  The end result?  A beautiful, healthy baby girl who has brought us infinite love and joy over these past twenty years.  They were right.  I was enough for you.

And so over the years we have enjoyed getting to know you.  Being your parents.  You were the quiet girl with steely strength.  Everyone thought you were shy....but that wasn't really it.  You have shy moments but really you just don't need to be loud and obnoxious like the rest of us to be happy.  You are content to walk quietly in this world and make big changes as you go.  You are the one with a heart for others that puts me to shame.  You are that teenager who sent money to missions because you could and it would help someone but you wanted no one to know.  You are that girl who wanted to go to YWAM, flying 14 hours straight alone, even though it socially went against everything else you had ever done.  You spent hours in intercessory prayer as others went to the bars to minister to those caught in slavery in Thailand and did this even as the oppression of darkness hurt you so deeply.  Chelsea, you have reached out to your co-workers new and old to let them know that you care for them when you hosted them in our home or joined them at other events.  Your quiet strength and caring spirit have helped many new co-workers feel welcome.  And then there was this one co-worker.  Grandma Ruth trained him.  You weren't all that into him at first.  But many ten hour shifts together created a friendship first.  After a while you were spotted at work in his company more and more.  But you weren't an official couple yet.  You see, when you have as many relatives working with you as you do things are noticed.  Ha!  It wasn't long after that before we knew there was something special about this friendship and you were headed out to dinner.  A dinner that would set your current path in place.

We got to know Chadd.  We grew to love Chadd.  And it was through your eyes that we took this journey.  When we would all go to dinner together and you would be sitting in the car behind us with this guy we would be surprised to hear endless chatter coming from you.  Who was this talkative young lady?  Where did that quiet and reserved girl of ours go?  Laughter came easy and our times all together were just so much fun.  We quickly grew to understand that Chadd held the key to your trust and love.  He gained our love and respect as well by being so gentle with you.  His sense of humor and diligent spirit won us over.  We saw Jesus in Chadd.  He can be as quiet as you and yet there is no doubt about his priorities.  When we asked how the start of this relationship looked from his perspective he told us about a hike....the day before he decided to ask you to dinner for the first time. He said that the purpose of the hike was to pray and seek the Lord's will in beginning this relationship. That was meaningful.  This is who we wanted for you.  A young man who didn't just follow his eyes to a beautiful young lady, but the very heart of God for his future.

The evening Chadd asked Daddy for your hand and our blessing you and I waited anxiously outside.  I'll never forget the intense joy and relief on Chadd's face as he ran across the yard to tell you that the answer was YES!  From then on you couldn't wait for the time he would surprise you with a ring.  I guess we do things a bit strange around here.  There weren't many secrets but that's just how we roll. Chadd worked so hard to set up your birthday engagement day.  You wore the special white dress that  you really hoped to get engaged in.  And our hearts were joyful as we sent you off together that day.  We were not surprised or disappointed when we got the first pictures of the ring.  Your heart had found a home.  And you were ready.

Just over two weeks later the unthinkable happened.  Chadd was in that horrible accident.  Our joy turned to grief and agony at the result of that singular event.  There was a loss of life that has scarred all of us.  We can no longer be as care free as we were before that day.  He is changed,  You are changed.  We are all changed.  The grief has felt too much to bear at times.  However, even through those horrible times we have seen the grace of God dealing in Chadd.  Stretching him, growing him and making him a deeper and more mature man.  We have seen you wrestle with these events and watched you become even stronger and more determined than before.  Daddy and I knew that this tragedy would either end your relationship or forge a bond that couldn't be broken.  That bond is incredibly strong.  We are so proud of both of you.  And that is why the tears are flowing as I write.  To be brutally honest the life you have walked since July 16th and you will walk over the next years are not what we would have chosen for you.  We would have chosen joy and sunshine, happiness and ladybugs.  But our Heavenly Father knows best.  We would have wanted an engagement where your biggest stress was where to hold the wedding....instead of asking authorities where you were allowed to go on your honeymoon.  But real life is full of reality.  You have already come to terms with things that it often takes young people many years to realize.  And you have done so with amazing grace.

And so, we, without reservation rejoice with both You and Chadd today as you take the vows that have already been spoken in your hearts and acted out through your actions.  We celebrate Chadd's life, which was miraculously spared and we honor you for your dedication and commitment to this man.  We are going to celebrate the depth and mysteries of our Heavenly Father's plan for your lives. We will do this with your closest friends and family.... just as you wanted.

My dearest daughter, I will miss having you in my home.  I loved starting our days chatting about this and that.  But I am over the moon excited for you.  That you will have a nest of your own to love and care for.  That you will not have to suffer the frustrations of living with this creative and not so domestic mama.  But do feel free to visit and put things back to rights any time you wish.  :-)

Lets do this thing!!  It is going to be a very special and meaningful day.


Mom (Daddy too)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Final Preparations

Our out of town guests will begin arriving today.  We are so excited and know that with this happening time is going to fly by!

Chelsea and Chadd have been dealing with disappointment that it is going to rain and be quite chilly for their special day.  We have been scrambling to change up the location, seating and even appetizer areas to keep our guests warm and dry.  I don't understand why there must be so many disappointments for these two. 
 Chelsea said that of all of the things on her wish list, 
getting married outside was at the top.
But temps in the 50's and rain make it a very bad idea.
Should the forecast change in the next 48 hours we shift back to an outdoor set up but 
until then we are busily painting furniture, making more candles and figuring out how to do 
some pretty cool things.

The flowers were delivered to our floral designer yesterday.  Most of them are fantastic.
A few were less than perfect.  But that is where a true talent shines.
Susan is making some amazing adjustments and we are very, very excited!
Did you know you can paint flowers and no one would ever know it?
Well, when you can't get soft pink hydrangea you can get white ones and create pink ones.
By the photos Susan sent over you can't tell which is which.
Pretty crafty and sweet!

I think this is going to be one very special wedding.  
Two young people who have proven their commitment to each other and the Lord
are going to say vows that bind them to each other for life.

It takes me back to the day in the hospital when Chadd was being brought out of his coma.
As the medication lightened a little he would struggle to raise his head off the pillow
and search the room with his eyes for his sweetheart.
When he saw her he would visibly relax and go back to sleep.
Over and over he sought her out until finally he was fully awake and could just stare 
at her and then signal her to come stand by his side.
He couldn't speak at that point since he was still on the respirator.
As a mom this was when I knew, for sure, that it was meant to be.
His love and commitment to Chelsea was so pure and sweet in those moments
when he wasn't even really conscious.

They have been through so much that they are starting their marriage in 
a more mature place than many.
There is much yet to come that has potential to be very hard.
But we are sure, very sure, that they are up to the challenge in the 
same way they have gotten through up until this point.
The help of the Lord and the support of so many friends.

And so, we look forward to the marriage of Chadd and Chelsea on Sunday.
I'll be the one crying her eyes out.  
Not from sadness....but from joy of the depth of knowledge of 
ALL the Lord has brought them through and the hope of what 
He will do in the future.
And the tears will be reflective of thankfulness that God brought
this God-loving, special, thoughtful, tender and caring young man
into our daughter's life.
God is so good!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cuteness Overload....and Jon's New Ride

If I get this much joy from our little flower girl 
  apologize in advance for what kind of a 
grandmother I will likely be.

But when the "miniature human" as Jonathan likes to call her
is this cute, what is one to do but capture her image?

Just gets even better when you put her with Chelsea.

And then I told J to tickle Chelsea with the flower 
she had picked from the tree.....

She is so obedient.  Ha!

And thus ended the photo session.

Last night we spent a few quality hours picking up 
Jon's new Jeep Renegade.
It fits him to a "T".

There are so many buttons though.
It was 8:30 pm as we stopped at a restaurant for dinner.
Warren and Jonathan got out laughing like crazy.
Apparently Jonathan took the salesman's advice to heart and was pushing
buttons to see what they did.
They weren't out of the dealer's lot before he had pushed the 
"Call 911" button.
Good Grief!!
I cannot tell you how it warms my heart to see my 
guys enjoying time together.

So proud of our son for being responsible with his finances 
so that he was in a position to make this decision.
And for the gift from a relative that took some of the stress out of it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Rehearsal for a Wedding

Sunshine and warm weather made this a very beautiful day for Chelsea and Chadd's rehearsal and dinner.  Upcoming forecasts are predicting rain for Sunday.  The closer we get the more optimistic we are....but since there is a significant chance of storms we needed to have a plan B for the ceremony which was planned for out of doors.  And so we began our rehearsal at one end of the huge tent where we plan to have the reception.  Setting it up to be two separate areas will be tricky but the coordinator at the venue is very creative and full of solutions.  We are truly blessed!!

Warren cracked everyone up when he first responded, 
"My mother and I do".
Good thing we had a rehearsal. 
He got it right every time after that.
I do think he might have been a "tad" emotional. :-)

 I love every expression on the faces of Chadd and his groomsmen.

Practicing the vows.

J's first solo trip "down" the aisle.
I think it is her only solo trip down the aisle.
On Sunday she will come in with Emily.
That way we are fairly certain that she will do it.

 Big steps or little steps?
The dress is going to dictate that, I think.

We held the rehearsal dinner in this sweet room.
Chickfila brought two trays of chicken, we had purchased chicken and swiss rolls
from Costco and made fruit and garden salads.
We got Subway cookies and had a few other types that were known
favorites of people in the wedding party.

 A couple of our favorite people.....

The girls.  Well, most of them.  Chelsea photobombed this one.

 Then the girls let her in ....

 Emily noticed we were getting pictures and took her place.

The guys....

They are all very important people in Chadd's life.

Great guys.  All of them!!

It was a very fun evening.
Looking forward to Saturday and Sunday as we set up 
and then get these "kids" married.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

He Is Faithful

This is a Psalms kind of a day.  Not the happy sunny kind.  But the out of the deeps I CRY to you, Lord, kind of a day. I will not be that person who only shares my spiritual highs.  There are clearly low days too.  This was one of the worst.

He is faithful.

Yesterday, just nine days before the wedding, another repercussion of the accident was made known.

The timing couldn't have been worse.  We were just finding our stride toward joy for the big day.  Whoosh!!!  There went our feet.

But He is faithful.

We cried, and yelled and were as upset as we get.  I once again asked God why any of this had to happen?  Why on that sunny day did the accident take place????  

But He was faithful.

He led us to support in our community.  Someone who has walked this road and assured us that time makes these things better.  Anyone else saying it would have seemed trite.  But this was the voice of experience.

He is faithful.

In providing caring family and friends who don't have to know details to love us and reach out in support.

I know this battle is not against flesh and blood.  I know it is for the very hearts and souls of men.
I know who wins!  But it is that very One that I cry out to with the why's.  Why?????  And He assures me that I don't have to understand.  I only need to walk.  One baby step at a time.

Because He is faithful.

In the midst of the darkness of yesterday's yuckiness there came hope.  Hope for a healing and a brighter future.  Hope for a closer walk with the One who created us.  Hope for a strong marriage for two people who love each other so dearly.  Hope for tomorrow.  And the day after that.  

No doubt, He IS faithful.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Hearts in all shades of pink and cream.
Watch for them in wedding photos.

Added burlap and lace on a sweet basket.

Always trying to see the "after" in cases such as these.
The "before" isn't bad but didn't quite fit the wedding decor.

I have four more photos to print and put in the photo wall and then that will be done.
Three more cakes to bake and then those will be done.

The rehearsal is Monday evening.

We are in the final stretch now.