My Saturday was spent a little differently than I’ve ever spent a day before.. I went to the wedding of a couple I didn’t know. At all. Actually, the only people I knew there were the ones I went with. [I went with my favorite family I babysit, to help keep track of the kids.] Well, I’d briefly met some of the kids’ aunts, maybe their grandma, on various occasions, but that’s it.

All four kids were in the wedding. The youngest two went right before the bride, and I got to stand at the door [it was an outdoor wedding at the bride’s parents’ home] and make sure they went out at the right time. I had to pull Liz [she’s 2] inside once or twice, and she wasn’t too happy about that, but we looked out the window at everything going on outside, and she was alright. So finally Liz and Eli’s turn came, right before Shelly. Then I ran back down to the basement so as to give Naomi [the wife of one of Amy’s.. nephews? or is he a cousin?] the chance to go out and see most of the wedding. I stayed in the basement then and watched her small son, Ethan, and also Liz when Amy brought her back down after she did her part.

So.. after the wedding, we left to go back to Troy for the reception. We got some punch after finding seats, and Eli promptly knocked his off the table with his elbow while coloring. Oh well. I followed Liz around for a while, keeping track of her and making sure she didn’t run into the cake or anything drastic like that. We went over by the doorway and saw her cousin Mia there. Mia’s probably 6 or so, and she wanted Eli [age 5] to dance with her. Well, he didn’t want to.. not right then anyway. So Mia looked at me, held out her hand, and asked ever so properly, “Would you like to take the offer?” And I did. We held each other’s hands and danced around.. jumping and just having fun. And.. not really caring what anybody thought of us!

Soon it came time for all the wedding party to go out and be announced as they walked back into the room. And then.. food! The bride and groom had taken pictures with numbers for each table. Yes, so now they have an entire set of like 25 pictures of them holding numbers… So when our number was called, we got to go line up for food. And honestly, I think our table was like the first one after the actual wedding party. The food was spectacular. Well, okay, the entire wedding was spectacular. And oh-so-creative. They had a table full of candy where you could go fill up a back of whatever mix-and-match pink and green candies you wanted. And strawberry punch, purple salad dressing [over a salad that included pansies], strawberry butter…

Liz wanted to be up close when they cut the cake. I did talk her into sitting down at least. They played that “Sugar, sugar.. you are my candy girl..” song. So fun. 😀

Another unique aspect that I’d never ever seen at a wedding.. they played a video of Joey’s proposal to Shelly. It wasn’t super close.. I think it was back a little ways and then zoomed in. But it was so fun. So creative.

Anyway, after we had some cake, Liz and I left to go back to their home. She fell asleep on the short ride home and then wanted to play when we got there. I talked her into reading with me though, and she ended up going to bed shortly after. She was exhausted.

So I don’t really know just exactly why I went and wrote out the whole story of the wedding on my blog.. the wedding of people I had never even met before. Except that.. I loved the close-knit feeling I got there. The whole atmosphere was amazing. I have a really close-knit family, but I don’t get to see most of my cousins very often. To know that most of these cousins live right around here and get to actually be friends that do stuff together was fun. And I guess it’s kinda weird, but by the time Liz and I left, I felt almost as if I were a part of that same family too. Is that weird? The closeness really drew me in. I loved it.

I’m sure I missed a lot. There’s no way I can perfectly capture all the details or even really describe in words what that closeness was. Except to say that it was Jesus’ love lived out in their family — immediate and extended. They just happen to almost all live really close together too.