It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written; the past few months have been so busy and crazy. I have really missed writing and have so much on mind lately to write and share, but first an update on the last couple of months. I have started my maternity leave now, but previously Phil and I both were busy with our jobs, working with Young Life, our church, and preparing for our baby girl (sometimes stressful but mostly fun). The biggest events were our trip to Florida for my brother-in-law’s wedding, the car accident that I was in at the end of January (there will be a separate post on that later), and my baby showers.
Phil and I had been looking forward to his brother, Tim and his fiance, Faith’s wedding, in Florida for months. However, we didn’t actually know if I would be able to go until a few days before our flight was supposed to leave. Phil was in the wedding and so he planned on being there no matter what, but as I was entering into 32 weeks at that point I needed to wait and be cleared by my doctor. We had already been strongly advised against driving that far, so we bought plane tickets with insurance and prayed I would be able to go. I was cleared on Friday and on Tuesday evening, February 11th we headed to the airport.
After arriving that night, we stayed with friends of Tim’s and then slept in and relaxed the next day, while waiting for more of Phil’s family to arrive. Phil’s mom was able to find a beautiful 9 bedroom vacation home in Celebration, Florida. So not only were all siblings and significant others able to stay there, but we also had space for both sets of grandparents, and their aunt (without even filling all the beds). The home also had a pool and hot tub and a large room upstairs with pool and foosball.
It was so good to all be together and we spent a lot of time outside in the pool and hot tub and on the porch. Aside from an occasional rain shower, the weather was warm and beautiful all week long. Having so much space was nice because it allowed us to host other friends as well. Phil’s family has known Faith’s family for years (through Sandy Cove) so seeing everyone was like a family reunion for all of them. Her family is even bigger than Phil’s (11 kids excluding in-laws and grandbabies) and, in their words, even louder than his family haha. Thursday morning, both moms took Faith, all of the sisters, and sister-in-laws out for brunch at an adorable tea house. On Thursday evening, when the guys went out for Tim’s bachelor party, the rest of Faith’s family came over to our place to eat dinner and spend time together.
Friday evening was the rehearsal dinner and since Tim loves “Lord of the Rings”, Mom Denner decided to use it as the theme. We had the rehearsal dinner at a church with a beautiful courtyard and fountain. The whole Denner family went over early to help prepare. Phil has such an artistic and creative family and his mom is a natural at hosting and pulling off whatever ideas that she comes up with. We decorated with lanterns, greens and moss, and a grazing table for the meal (see photos). After everything was set up and decorated, those of us that weren’t in the wedding continued to help in the kitchen while the others rehearsed. Afterwards we enjoyed a fun dinner and evening together.
Tim and Faith’s wedding took place at Clearwater Beach (about 2 hours from where we all stayed) late Saturday afternoon. It was warm and breezy and the sun was over the ocean water. Faith’s dad walked her down the aisle, but also officiated the wedding (he is a pastor and her parents and sisters are missionaries in Bolivia). After the ceremony the bridal party took pictures and then we took a family picture; which was an adventure in itself as there were over 30 of us! We all then headed over to the church for the reception where we enjoyed appetizers and a light dinner, dancing, speeches, cake, and more photos! We ended the night with a beautiful sparkler send off.
Sunday was a relaxing day and Phil and I had the opportunity to see my dear friend, Yoelmys, from high school and meet her family. We also spent time with our siblings and some of Faith’s siblings at the clubhouse pool. We ended the day out on the porch, with the family, before packing and heading off to the airport. It was so hard to leave the warm weather and Phil’s family, but we also felt so refreshed upon returning to Philadelphia and work the next day.