Marrying Xavier, surrounded by God, friends, family and gorgeous summer light was such a joy-filled experience and something I hope I will always remember in such a clear way. I hadn’t had much time to think about the honeymoon beforehand so the only thing I had anticipated about it was that there would be tears as we left the wedding. Being an emotional and sentimental person, I figured that the emotions that had been bottled up inside of me would escape as we drove off and left our friends and family behind us. (This was a realistic expectation coming from the girl who has cried on the eve of every birthday from age 4-20 because I “don’t like change”.) We watched the glow of lanterns light up the faces of those around us and then drift off lazily into the nearly black sky. We ran through sparklers that seemed as bright as our future and got into our adorable little car that had been tactfully decorated with window decals (thank you wedding party/Sandy!!!!). The doors shut and the noise of the people was instantly dulled. As we drive away honking, I could hear the cheers and bottle rockets still going off in the distance. It was a feeling of completeness that I noticed first. Like the feeling you get when you finish an exam and know you’ve done well. We kept grinning at each other, holding hands and peering at the sky around us as the last little speck of lantern floated into the distance. At this point, everything was so happy that I couldn’t even imagine crying. As we drove to our hotel we talked about the day and all the things that had happened to make it so sweet. When we went in, the receptionist got SO EXCITED. Like, not even kidding, I thought she might have hugged us if it weren’t for the half wall. She told us that she had never gotten to see a bride and groom come in and she was so genuinely happy for us. Little things like that seem to have stored themselves up in my heart because I haven’t forgotten the deep impact of them. Other things, like how Xavier is so thoughtful and sweet really started to be obvious to me in a whole new way. He didn’t seem to have an agenda, but instead broke out some fancy chocolates and sparkling juice and just asked me to sit and chat with him for a bit. As he took out the millions of bobby pins in my hair, we continued our conversation from the car about all the wedding moments long into the night. My heart was bursting at the seams with thankfulness for all that God had done in both of our lives and for how He orchestrated August 22nd to go exactly to His plan (which was so much better than anything I could have dreamed).
I felt like we were living in a dream when we arrived the next day at the “cabin” my parents had rented for us. I’ve talked about it to several people but just for the official record… this place was NOT a cabin. It was a three bedroom, two bathroom, home with a full kitchen, Jacuzzi, laundry room, paddle boat, two person kayak and personal fire pit on the beach (it also had window seats in almost every room… it was perfect). After a tour of the home, the gracious woman letting us stay there made it clear that she would love it if we stayed for a full week instead of the five days that had been originally agreed upon. One whole week of living in a beautiful mansion, exploring the gorgeous lake and just being the best of friends… it sounded too good to be true. Then we unpacked the car and found what Xavier’s parents had given us for the honeymoon. First they packed a box full of our favorite snacks, then they left a piece of paper with details about a variety of restaurants that they had gotten us gift cards to. We were overwhelmed with amazement at the ways God had blessed us and so ready to enjoy the week.
This is getting long and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of the many memories and moments that I want to cherish (flashback to writing classes when I was told that I needed to be less “wordy”…) So I should probably save the rest for another time and end this post with some photos!