How long ago my last post seems--as though a lifetime of living and a full capacity of changes have transpired in the intervening 7 weeks. In that time, we spent two family vacations together...
We turned 24 together...
We attended two bridal showers together...
We planned, we organized, we stressed, we talked, we laughed, we cried, we stayed awake, stayed awake, stayed awake (keep calm and don't sleep!). Not just you and I, of course--you and I and Mama and Melanie and Susanna and Sarah. Somehow in the past seven weeks, we lived life fully, crazily, intentionally, and beautifully.
I'm still smiling over the "Hen Party" (the Brit term for a bachelorette party) you all threw for me.
And I'm still crying over the speech you gave at my wedding.
Wedding? Did I forget to mention that somehow--by the grace of God and a whole lot of cheerful elbow grease from my dear family and friends--Joel and I were married on August 30? Yes, I know you were there--my rock as always--but you know I just can't help mentioning it in case anyone eavesdropping on this letter might not realize.
A more beautiful, precious day I couldn't possibly fantasize. Everything about that day was an emblem of love--the incredible love I felt from you and Papa and Mama and Melanie and Susanna and Micah and Jonah and Sarah and so many other dear family and friends. And of course and especially, the day served as a covenant between Joel and I and God of our love and commitment to one another.
Yes, I know you know all about that too. And the honeymoon in the San Juan Islands; I showed you pictures of that perfect week, didn't I? The week in which hardly anything went wrong and God blessed us above and beyond what we could imagine? While I was relaxing and enjoying marital bliss, there you and the rest of my family were back home, packing up wedding decorations, packing up wedding supplies, packing up wedding clothes, packing up wedding rentals, packing up wedding purchases, packing up borrowed wedding items. And then you packed me up, lock, stock, and barrel--packed my room, my clothes, my books, my junk, my dishes, my gifts, my everything, so that by the time Joel and I returned from our honeymoon, my room was cleaner than it had been in months and strangely empty. What a labor of love that was, and it continues to awe me.
And then, after a lifetime of happily dreaming over brides and flowers and dresses, and three months of bustling employment and overloaded schedules, the long-dreaded morning dawned, and suddenly I was saying goodbye to all of you. I cried intermittently throughout the cross-country trip. I am overjoyed to be Joel's wife and to be with him at long last, yet heartbroken to be 3000 miles away from my family. It is a wonderful, beautiful, happy time, and a sad, difficult, bittersweet time too.
I have a Maryland driver's license (with my new last name!) and address now, a cute little yellow house to call home, a welcoming and kind church body, and the most wonderful, amazing husband with whom I am madly in love. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be delighted to share hundreds of pictures and scores of memories from the whirlwind wedding weekend until anyone still reading this corner of the internet cries "Please! No More!"(yes--"One Bright Corner" is officially resuming weekly Tuesday posts).
That can wait, however. I'm writing you this morning because I love and miss you and Papa and Mama and Melanie, Susanna, Micah, and Jonah. Thank you so much for all the love you poured into me and all the sacrifices you made for me. I love you all!