It was a Saturday morning 8 years ago that I woke up with butterflies. I knew it was going to be one of the biggest days of my life! I had so many emotions running through me. My sister and I walked a couple doors down to the church to help start setting up. Then we ran to get our hair done. I still hadn't decided whether I wanted to wear my hair up or down so I left it up to my stylist. She did a half up, half down look. It turned out wonderful and I felt like a princess.
We met up with the rest of the girls a couple hours later back at the church. My Mom was busy getting all the decorations set up and in place. She had made them herself which saved lots of money and put a personal touch on them. I was just in Heaven and felt like I was floating on clouds that whole morning. The girls and I ate some lunch but I was so nervous I couldn't get much down.
A little while later we started the process of getting dressed. My dress was so beautiful but so heavy and the train was really long! I needed lots of help getting it on. My Mom did some last minute touch ups on my hair and make up. My Dad came in and checked on me. We took lots of pictures. My Grandparents, cousins, Aunts and Uncles all came in to say hi. I was actually the second cousin to get married on that side of the family and the first on the other. It was a big deal for everyone!
The girls and I went to the back of the church and got ready to head down the isle. I was so nervous by this point. They all decided they needed to kiss me, I don't know if it was more for my benefit or theirs. It was a special moment though and I'll always remember it. They all took their turns heading down the isle and then it was my turn. I was actually supposed to be hidden from everyone but attendance ended up being so big that day there were people sitting in the foyer and along the outside isles. So there were lots of people who got to see me before they were really supposed to.
Right before the doors opened my Dad and I decided to just walk slow and not staggered like we had practiced. Just too much thinking involved! So the doors opened and we headed down the isle. At one point I tripped and my Dad caught me from falling. I don't think everyone knew but I sure was embarrassed. I remember when Jeff and I finally saw each other it was amazing. He was so surprised and happy. You could see it all over his face. I was pretty happy, too! It was exciting to have my Grandpa and Uncle preform the ceremony together. I couldn't make up my mind about which one should do it so I decided to use both. It turned out perfect!
I can't really tell you much about the reception because that was all a blur. I remember cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet and saying hi to a whole lot of people. It was kind of overwhelming at the time. Eventually we headed out to the parking lot where Jeff surprised me with a limo. As we walked out everyone was blowing bubbles. It was my first and only time to ride in a limo and it was a blast! I popped out of the top and waved goodbye to everyone as we drove away!
The next morning we had breakfast with family and headed for California. We stayed in La Hola in a beautiful hotel. During the next few days was lots of laughing and a few tears. Jeff wasn't sure what he had gotten himself into but he hung in there and took care of me. It was a wonderful time to just hang out and spend time together.
I like what my Mom asked me on Sunday... "So 8 years and three kids later, how does it feel?" It feels great. I'm still very much in love. In fact, I'm more in love now than ever before! I can't believe how blessed we are. The Lord has always taken care of us and I know He will continue to provide for our family. I can't imagine what it would be like if He wasn't at the center of it all. That makes all the difference!!