I'm laying on the recliner in my quiet house this morning, listening to the clock tick, and trying to untangle all the thoughts and feelings of the past 7+ days. The suitcases have all been unpacked and put away, the laundry washed and folded, but my mind keeps replaying and rehashing a myriad of thoughts and feelings and experiences. The short version is that my sister got married last Friday, and my girls and I spent the week before the wedding in Arkansas, helping get things ready. The long version is much more nuanced and layered with feelings and emotions, half of which aren't mine to share and the other half of which are rather sacred and personal.
Rachel is the sister next to me in age (there's two brothers between us, which makes her a little over 9 years older than me), but growing up, I don't remember us being especially close. My next older sister was the one who was like my second mom -- we shared a bedroom and she combed my hair and I cried sadly when she went off to teach school in Virginia. Somewhere along the line though, Rach and I became close. Maybe, it was when I grew up and we were the same size and shared dresses and shoes. Maybe, it was when we lived in the same community after I was married. Maybe, it was after my mom died and Rach became my main source of connection with the world I had moved away from. For sure, it's been the last couple of years, watching her and Steven's story unfold and realizing how much alike we are in some ways and how very different in others.
I feel so, so privileged to have been able to spend that week in Arkansas before the wedding. God worked out a ride for my girls and I, so we didn't have to drive out alone, and Chris was way more than generous with encouraging me to go and leave him and the boys behind. Forever grateful. It was such a good week.
I'll share a few pictures, but I won't even try to do justice. It's not my wedding to share for one thing. Also, I couldn't begin to tell it all. Rach is a woman of unbelievable creativity and sentimental attention to detail and the wedding was so perfectly her, it makes me get tears every time I look through my pictures again.
The venue was a little ol Arkansas church built in 1907.