I am still reeling from the week of my daughters wedding. The sun was shining, the grass was green, the flowers in full August bloom, and my oldest daughter was the picture of beauty. She had wanted to do everything on her own, but with her current health issues stemming from a bad thyroid full of tumors, we are amazed at all she was able to accomplish.
She made a simple, beautiful dress, cut flowers from her own garden, and her sister and I helped with the cakes. Her new inlaws arranged most all of the food, set up tables and chairs, and welcomed my sweet daughter into their family with open arms.
So Ashleigh has a husband who works hard and promises to love her forever. We have another son, and he has a pleasant, fun family. They danced into the dark night hours, after the sun went down, in the coolness of a perfect summer evening. We have never seen so many smiling faces in one back yard in our lifetime!! Other than tired feet by midnight, I can report it was successful, and another step in her life.
Because the family gathered for the wedding, we were happy to have all of our children together, not only in one state, but in one town, in one yard, in one house. That makes my mothers-heart very happy. It meant a week of dinners together, beach trips, breakfast out, laughter and chaos. I loved it all. We snapped pictures unplanned, and set up photos for the memory books that I can't wait to start developing and savoring all the good times it will remind me of. We appreciate how much our new son in law has brought into the family, and we are grateful that she has found such a nice man to share her life with. He promised to love her in sickness and in health, and he's no stranger to the health issues ahead for them. I believe he will be her continued support and she will get well sooner because of his love and devotion to her. What a great feeling for a mom to have.
But having the kids all here meant numerous goodbyes in the end. I absolutely HATE saying goodbye and watching them pull out of the driveway. I cry and sink into a place in my mind that takes some climbing out of - every time. I know we will be together again, but it's so hard to get everyone together at the same time each time, so this almost felt magical. The end is just hard to swallow after all the times of togetherness.
Menial things have happened during the week too. We got a new young goat pal for Milton and her name is Francine. Or Frankie if you want to be on a nick name basis with her. Mere says it's a weird name for a goat. Like Milton isn't??? Our bunny Oliver has cemented himself into Bella's life as the most important part of living each day. She never cares if he leaves his little turds on her lap. To her, it's just a part of loving that adorable bunny.
We still are waiting on the homestudy to be completed to send our dossier to Ethiopia. It's soooo hard to wait on something you have absolutely NO power to change. I guess that will be the preparation for the long referal process wait. I told my niece last week that we have 10 kids, and this one is the longest "pregnancy" ever!!
My dear friend, Robyn, flies out of town in the morning. She totally wrapped our hearts with hers about 2 years ago, becoming more like another daughter than a friend. I cried when we said goodbye, but I am happy for a new life for her. We wish her the best, but we selfishly wished she could have found the best here so we didnt' have to say goodbye to another loved one.
Today we discussed how we can get out (in time) to New Jersey for the birth of our third grandson. Since I was able to be with them for the first two, I really want to be there for this one too. I have an image in my mind of what he will be like, but is there anything more beautiful than being one of the first to welcome a new little life into the family?? I hope to be posting pictures of the newest in about 6 weeks or less!!
Life is good. But life is hard. Our Pastor spoke today on "Keep Calm and Carry On." I think I will be adopting that motto for my life the next few weeks. It's a good one to think about.
And, for the record, I would MUCH rather say HELLO than GOODBYE. Anyday.