Post Wedding Crash: Behind the Scenes

As Esther, the baby of the family, got married, we thought it fitting to post our reflections in opposite birth order. So take it away, Jewel!

Jewel here: Well, that wedding weekend certainly flew by. I think I might have emotional whiplash! The festivities began for me on Thursday morning with Esther as we drove to Newark to get fellow bridesmaid Amanda. From the time we left to the time I got back after the wedding I felt like I was on a walking escalator thing. There were plenty of moments of down time, but I still always felt responsible for things, and like Janna and Mom, I would often get up to go make sure something was being taken care of. Some of my favorite memories are times with the nieces and nephew. Watching Era walk around the garden contentedly and smile at me every time she walked up and down the steps. Archer pulling his dress shirt out of his pants 30 seconds after we had tucked it back, including right before walking down the aisle. When I scolded him and told him he had to keep it tucked in til he walked down the aisle he said mournfully: “I just keep doing it!” Watching Miriam dance with such joy and abandon. I think my very favorite-est memory is that of Esther walking down the aisle. She looked so beautiful and happy. It was an amazing, very full of “acts of service-style” love weekend that left me exhausted but very very content. Here is a photobooth picture of Miriam that makes me smile.

Martha here:  The wedding was busy for our family – Archer and Era were in the ceremony as flower children, I had to walk Era down the aisle because she refused to hold Archer’s hand, I was reading Psalm 8 during the ceremony, and of course Bradley was the OFFICIAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER(tm). Continue reading “Post Wedding Crash: Behind the Scenes”

I’m actually moving!

Dear sisters,

Kevin and I are actually moving to La Crosse, WI! We’ve been out there twice to look for housing and get to know the area and it still hasn’t quite hit me that we’re actually doing this. Today is my last day of teaching, Kevin defends in 15 days, we pack up and move in about a month. For some reason La Crosse doesn’t seem that far away, even though it is 869 miles away from Alfred, NY. I can imagine it being our home really easily because we already have friends there. It’s a nice sized city of 50,000ish people, 90,000 counting the surrounding sprawl. It’s easy to navigate and we’ve walked through beautiful parks, cute neighborhoods, university campuses and along the riverside. There’s so much nature to see all around La Crosse and I’m really excited to explore. During our last trip there I took a few pictures to give you a taste of the city.

This is an overlook in Onalaska, a suburb north of La Crosse. This wide part of the Mississippi is called Lake Onalaska, though it just looks like a fat river to me :-).

Continue reading “I’m actually moving!”

Sister Selfie

Hi, friends. We’re all together for one evening before we scatter again. Posts will be sparse for the next week or so as we work, visit state-side relatives, and do final wedding rush, and then we’ll be back with pictures, news, and thoughts on our times together and apart. Love from all of us.

On having it all, or not having it all

Dear sisters,

There has been a lot written recently on women “having it all“–that is, being able to have a fulfilling career and being a present, involved mother with a strong home/family life. It’s a hard balance to strike. I never considered myself much of a career person. I pictured my mothering days as ones in which I would stay home, or maybe work part-time. The circumstances of my life have led me a different way, and after some struggle and adjustment, I think it’s a good one. My job is in general rewarding and fulfilling, and I’m thankful for it, and that I can always support my family through my work.  Still, I have moments when I don’t want to work full time, when I start to resent how much time it takes, and that I could be doing so many other things at home with that time. I have been thinking a lot recently about how much I have to juggle on a daily basis to keep everything in my life going as it should be. Most of the time, it’s manageable, but there are times when it feels like it’s not. In this crazy full life I have, I am learning to be gracious with myself and my loved ones, and to stop worrying so much about all the little things, and focus more on the big things.

So, what are the big things? Continue reading “On having it all, or not having it all”

On the Road Again

Marcus and I took yet another road trip this past weekend. It is so difficult  not to go somewhere every weekend! We love summer in Buffalo, but we also love visiting family. Even if we visit each of our families only once per month, that’s still 2 weekends a month away from our apartment! Not to mention that I have immediate family in Ithaca, in Alfred, in New Jersey, and in Ireland!! Makes it difficult to stay home. But regardless, this past weekend wasn’t JUST to visit, we also got some good wedding planning done. I’m getting extremely excited for the day. We have the ceremony laid out, the seating arrangements done, the decorations well underway, and the biggest thing remaining is to practice our first dance! I just convinced Marcus this weekend to do a first dance salsa with me, so we’ve got lots to do in the next three weeks on figuring out the steps and song 🙂

Anyway, our road trip got me thinking to all the different games, music, and conversation I like while on the road. Driving places with Marcus is pretty fun. We mix it up listening to music, talking, or occasionally him letting me nap. I thought I’d give you a sampler of how we keep ourselves occupied! I’ll start off with some of our latest road trip soundtrack songs: Continue reading “On the Road Again”