If you know me, than you know that I DO sweat the small stuff. I try not to. But I just do. I spent hours, I mean HOURS on a slideshow (the one seen below) to make the perfect ending for our renewal. I envisioned it with tears and laughter, you know the typical wedding stuff. I kept coming up against road blocks meaning the slideshow wasn't timed to the music right, it would not burn to a disc, blah blah blah. I'm a persistent person when I want something but even persistence has a limit. I finally managed to get it burned to a disc and it ended up being the wrong kind (it was a CD instead of a DVD) so it was never shown to our guests. (My bubble burst.)
I planned for a cake, all in white and I was going to add my own tropical flowers to it. Well when I went to pick it up (30 minutes before our ceremony) it was not finished. I mean a layer of white frosting with a little cake still showing and that's it. That was my first inclination that this night might not go off as planned. (There went another bubble...)
During this cake fiasco Chris received a call from our friend, Dot while he was waiting in the car. She was picking up the beef fried noodles that I had ordered ahead of time. Apparently the noodles were not made and when they finally gave them to her it was a single order. Not a tray like I had asked for. (POP!)
Shortly after that we received another phone call from Dot. She was picking up the order of 50 Lumpia for us. Well they were never made. Order was taken but apparently not received by the master lumpia maker. Lumpia is not an easy thing to make so an order that big needs advance notice. (Wait for it...wait for it....SPLAT!...ANOTHER bubble.)
Now my reasoning behind telling you all this is simple. The night before, right after my slideshow "meltdown" I prayed for the Lord to help me focus on the real reason that we were doing this and not on the details. And HE did just that. He cleared my vision from all the "bubbles" that were clouding it. We had a beautiful ceremony. We dedicated our marriage and our children to the Lord. It was a moving time for us and I'm thankful for every "pop" that happened that evening. Another funny thing that happened right after we finished and blessed the food. A massive swarm of termites came out to join us....just as we were enjoying the sunset. And I just laughed. Like I said before, this will be a day I will never forget.
In the photos below is the McManus family (minus 3). They have been such a blessing to us. Pastor Nina is the Principal at the boys school and a wonderful woman of God. I tell her that she moves me to tears whenever she speaks at church. (I joke and say "Insta-tears...just add Nina!") Pastor Steve gives the most eye opening and soul searching sermons. He leaves me reflecting on his message throughout the week. Their 2nd child, Shannon is our babysitter but more importantly, the beautiful voice that lifts us up to the Lord on Sundays. She is a sweet soul and I wish that I had more time on island to spend with her. Katie, the oldest, ah, what an inspiration! She is a strong, single momma and goes to school on top of that! Her family pulls together to help her with the baby so she can finish school. They are truly a beautiful family, a model for which to follow.
This collage is filled with what Dot calls "my peeps". The friends we've made on island that are more like family. Without Dot, I probably would not have done the renewal. She gave me the prompting to see how important it was and the encouragement to see it through to the end. She was my go-to girl with the planning and picked up all our food. Her husband, Dale was the "Lumpia Superstar" that saved us from our lumpia woes. Tori was my sounding board when the bubbles were bursting. She's a great listener when I've got a complaint! Chantelle was my "Martha Stewart". I gave her a vision of what I wanted for the balloons/kite theme and she completely ran with it. She went beyond what I even envisioned with her beautiful photo kite creations. Meredith and Rick they are the family that "moved away" but are still there for us. Rick graciously took on the role of videographer for the ceremony. Jen swooped in and saved the day. My cake was looking sad, sad, sad but with her expertise it was transformed into an edible masterpiece. Mrs. Sablan, Logan's teacher, was my kiddie corraller. She loved on the little ones during the ceremony. Without all of "my peeps" it could not have been done. We are so very blessed to have each and everyone of them in our lives. God hand picks each person that crosses our path, even if it's just for a moment. I think He did a spectacular job in His choices.