I travelled to Oregon this week for my brother. It was NOT easy to make this trip happen...I had to leave Chad with the kids during a very busy week with his business and a very busy week with the kids schedules...it was an inconvenience to him and his parents/sis (who volunteered to take off work or leave early from work). They had to shuffle their schedules around and so did I...it added stress to an already stressful environment! But, it was the right thing to do. I cherish my brother and I value marriage...and it just wasn't an option to miss his wedding!
So, I got on a plane with Lillie Anna (who I thought was all better) and made the exhausting flight to Oregon. I was thrown-up on multiple times during my 5.5 hour flight (horrible, awful experience that I pray I never go through again) and then dealt with her Diahrea (which came back with a vengeance and led to her having a very raw booty) the rest of the week. Also dealt with sleepless nights...LA decided she wanted to wake up at 2am every morning - so I got to know the janitor in the hotel kitchen REAL well that week. :-/ This week, Lillie also got her back, top molars - I thought those didn't come in till the age of two??? It was kind of like our Thanksgiving trip...sounds awful, but yet somehow we still managed to have a good time. :-)
SO, on to the good stuff! :-) First things first....
The only picture I snapped of the two of them after their ceremony was with Jacob withOUT his shoes on. Oh brother! ;-p The ceremony was very sweet, reverent, and it brought tears to my eyes. They only invited their immediate families and one couple which was their closest friends. Afterwards, we headed over to a Japanese restaraunt where we met about 25 of their closest family and friends. The food was delicious, and after we ate, Jacob and Kate cut their wedding cake, and then stuffed eachother's faces with it. Gotta' love tradition. :-)
This lil' angel made me an aunt...oh happy day! I'm in love with her jet black hair and her loooooong dainty fingers. She is BEAUTIFUL and I intend to spoil that little bambino rotten! Jacob and Kate are great with her - patient, and attentive, and they are soooooo deeply in love with their little girl.
John, Akiko and Kate
This week, I had the great pleasure of meeting Jacob's wife, Kate and her parents, John and Akiko. John was born and raised in Portland,OR while his wife (Akiko) was born and raised in Japan. They met in Portland, fell in love, and got married...and later on, they had their daughter, Kate. It was neat to observe the two of them...to watch how their two cultures have meshed. John and Akiko blew me away by their kindness and generosity...they showered us with gifts and meals and were incredibly welcoming. I was also very touched by the way they were with one another...very tender, respectful and loving. Having been married for over 30 years, they're a great example to Jacob and Kate of what it takes to make a marriage work!
Kate is really an incredible girl with a big heart, a laid back personality and a VERY smart mind. She speaks 5 languages (3 fluently)...my jaw dropped when I heard that. She balances Jacob out well and the two of them are very cute together. I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to go up to Oregon to spend the week with her and her family!
Justin and Brook
Justin and Brook are my Nannie's sons. They grew up in Jonesboro (which is 2.5 hours north of Little Rock), so we saw them often throughout the year. I have so many memories of these two...they were the most attentive and protective big cousins a gal could ever ask for! They acted more like big brothers (minus the annoyance) and I never once doubted that I was loved and special to them. When I was a teenager, they moved to Colorado...and when I was in college, they moved even FARTHER, to Oregon. :-( Because of the distance, it's been nearly 10 years since I last saw Brook, and about 5 years since I last saw Justin, so I was practically bubbling over with excitement to get to hang out with them this week. We had a big ol' group hug before I left and I really hope it won't be another 5-10 years before our next reunion!
And when we weren't sitting around visiting with our loved ones, Mom and I were travelling the Oregon countryside. There were so many breath-taking, awe inspiring places to see. We visited Cannon Beach, Multnomah Falls, Hood River, the Columbia River, drove through the Gorge and saw different parts of downtown Portland. I don't know how you can see the snow capped mountains, the waterfalls, the beautiful evergreens, and the rivers and NOT know that there is a God.