Tag Archives: siblings

Wedding Collages

We do not have our official wedding photos back yet but here are some of our favorite informal ones!

Wedding Party Collage
Clockwise from the top left:
1. Groomsmen looking sharp: Mark, Chris, Clay (the best man), and Ben.
2. Cool, secret-agent-like ushers: Luke, Brian, Conner, and Cliff.
3. Lovely bridesmaid (and new sister-in-law!) Shanna.
4. Beautiful bridesmaid Laura.
5. Officiant Jon, looking relaxed.
6. Us with our attendants and ushers, looking a bit formal.
7. Personal attendant Rene, a rock star at organizing and assisting (note the way she easily holds three phones, a water cup, and a bouquet!)
8. Glowing matron of honor Sara (my favorite biological sister)

Wedding FunLeft to right from top left:
1 & 2. Getting dressed: Mom safety-pinned my dress straps because she did not trust the snaps. She told me to have someone check them if I felt anything tear or give way. Sara added that I should get help if I felt stabbing or bleeding and we cracked up.

3. Mom kisses Ben, my brother, after helping with his boutonniere.

4. Clay is a good sport about getting drafted to hold a bouquet.

5. My side of the family.
6. Brian’s side of the family. Interestingly, both grandmas pictured are on our dad’s sides, are named Ruth, and were born January 17 (one year apart)! Crazy, huh?

7. One of Brian’s favorite wedding day photos of me. I was laughing at the groom and groomsmen antics while they were posing for photos.

8. Josh, my brother-in-law, with Eli, my nephew. Eli’s ensemble is a white onesie with attached gray vest and purple tie because my sister is creative and handy with sewing! She added a purple band to his favorite hat (because he doesn’t like sun in his eyes or sunglasses).

9. Wedding party picture. I think our instructions were something like, “Okay, now act silly… or really excited… or something.”

10. Brian with his grandma Ruth.

11. The five of us girls grew close during our years in senior high girls’ Bible study with Andrea, our youth pastor’s wife. When the first one of us got married in 2007, we decided this photo would have to be our special tradition. Five years later, this was the fifth wedding.

12. Jon prays with the bridesmaids and me right before the ceremony begins. He told me, “This has been the most relaxed, special, fun wedding.”

13. A kiss from Dad as we wait around the corner from the sanctuary.

14. A high five from my brother, Luke, right before he and Conner open the doors for our entrance.

15. “You may kiss your bride.” At the reception, a dear, long-time family friend quizzed me, “I have to ask, was that a first kiss? Like, the first kiss?”

I smiled, “Um, no. It wasn’t.”

“Dang, I lost a dollar!”

16. My parents kissing after we drove away in a shower of bubbles.

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Engagement Party

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Brian’s aunt and uncle hosted a lovely, fun engagement party for us. We were able to introduce several of our family and relatives for the first time and everyone seemed to have a terrific time!

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Ping-Pong Proposal

If you noticed that my last two Lows & Highs posts left out a day, you may have wondered about my counting skills. The omission was intentional because, as someone wise told me, “That day deserves its own post.”

Brian proposed on December 11.

The Disclaimer
If you don’t like proposal stories, it’s cool if you want to stop reading now and join in on the next post. If you have not already read Ping-Pong Ball Sweetness, please do because it gives some context.

The Set-up

On Tuesday, December 11, I was on my way to work when I received a text message from Brian that he sent me an email and the link inside would explain. When I got to work and read the text, I opened the email to read, “Abby, Here’s the start of a little something to celebrate your graduation. Love, Brian.” When I followed the link inside, it took me to a YouTube video that was set as private and I could not view it. I sent off a text of my own and Brian had the video fixed a short time later.

The Videos
The video was of Brian explaining that he wanted to do something special for my upcoming graduation, so he made me several videos. Every couple hours, he emailed the link to another video. The six videos featured him in different locations that are meaningful to me around my hometown: The campus building where we have weekly college student Bible study, the adult ed center where I volunteer, my parents’ house, and so on. In each place, he told me something he notices and admires about me.

Mid-afternoon, Brian sent the fifth video and texted me, “I just hit send on the next one. Hopefully these have made u smile all day.”

I replied, “Oh, they have definitely made me smile! If I didn’t already want to spend forever with u, the videos would have convinced me.”

“That reaction makes me smile. I’m glad I’m sending them all in one day instead of piecemeal.”

Around 3:30 p.m., he sent the last video where he sat in his office over four hours away and said even though I said I did not want graduation gifts, he had some help and a present was waiting for me at home.

I worked the next hour in suspense until I could leave for the day. Since I was sure Brian was waiting by his phone to hear my reaction to his gift, I sent him a text that I was on my way home but had to stop at the store for a few things first and would let him know when I got home.

The Question
At home, I entered through the back door and saw a path lined with ping-pong balls, leading through the kitchen to the living room. I shed my bags and coat and followed the path to where Brian stood waiting in a ping-pong-ball heart.
Surprised, I asked, “What are you doing here?” as I walked over to greet him. Yes, it was a silly question. As Brian pointed out later, I should have known as soon as I saw the ping-pong-ball path but I was surprised to the point of being flabbergasted because I came home expecting a nice bouquet of flowers or something similar. My memories are blissful and a bit hazy after this point. He got down on one knee to propose, and then pulled out a ring box and opened it but I could not take my eyes off his face. After I said, “Yes, of course” and we were hugging, he said something about putting on the ring. “Oh, yeah, I didn’t actually see it before.”

He showed it to me again and helped me put it on. Then he told me my plans for the evening had changed and our parents were meeting us for dinner at six. What he did not tell me was that his sister and my sister, brother-in-law, and baby nephew were also meeting us! It was a sweet surprise and we had a terrific time celebrating with our families.

After Brian and I recounted the story of how he proposed, my mom looked over and told Brian he did a good job, “You gave her a story.”

Brian made this video to announce our engagement.

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31 Days of Random Questions – Day 24

aka Lows & Highs: 10/17-10/23/12

What was a low point from your past week? What was a high point?

Low: Fall allergies are giving me headaches and congestion, which can make it hard to be alert and focused.

Only a few hours old!

High: I am an aunt! My nephew, Eli, was born on October 18 and looks adorable in the photos! I get to meet him on Saturday. He and my sister are both fine and went home the next day.

Question asker’s note: You can change “past week” to “today” or the weekend when asking family or someone else you talk to all the time. I have dear friends who share lows and highs over dinner with their three kids and anyone who happens to be visiting.

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31 Days of Random Questions – Day 19

How would you describe your family in one word?
Lively! We are an active, almost-never-bored*, story-telling, teasing bunch. At gatherings with the extended family, the party starts when we arrive. We got a little livelier yesterday when my sister had a healthy baby boy! Eli is my parents’ first grandkid and, boy, are we all glad he is here!

*Bored was a bad word when we were growing up. Mom used to tell us, “There are no such things as boring places, only boring people. If you’re bored, you must be a boring person…”

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Drawing a Blank

On an April 9th in the 1980s, I received what I thought was the greatest birthday present ever: a baby sister born the day before my second birthday. Decades later, I still hold the same opinion.

I tend to remember random events and stories and experiences in vivid detail for a very long time. A couple years ago, my mom (ever the scientist) quizzed me to see how far back I could remember. I was able to recall an entire conversation I had with a family friend before I was two. As I rummaged through my memories, looking for milestones, I grew puzzled. “Mom, I don’t remember going to the hospital to see Sara when she was born. I remember Sally* still in her package but I have no memory of going to the hospital and I know I was excited about seeing her.”

A sheepish look crept across Mom’s face, “Oh. Um, there’s a reason for that.”

“What, you didn’t let me go?”

“Well, you had a cold so when Dad went home [from the hospital after Sara was born], I told him to give you 1/2 teaspoon** of Dimetapp. When he brought you to the hospital, you looked worse. You were kind of lethargic and your eyes were a little glazed. I thought you might have meningitis or something and thought to myself, ‘Oh, no, we’re all going to be in the hospital!’ I asked Dad if he gave you the Dimetapp. He said, ‘Yes.’ I asked, ‘How much?’

‘1/2 tablespoon.’**

So you don’t remember because you were overdosed on cold medicine.”

Units matter, people.

*Sally was the doll I received the next day. She is on the far right in the earliest picture of Sara and me.

**Edited because my mom says it was 1/2 teaspoon/tablespoon instead of 2.

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