If you’re here on the blog specifically because it’s Thursday, then it’s likely because you read this week’s Cheers to Monday and are curious about The Rest of the Story! I can’t wait to tell you all about it, so feel free to scroll on down to the good stuff!
If that’s not the reason and you’re just here for fun, here’s what you missed in that post, to get you all caught up 😉
“This past Wednesday was Kim and Sam’s three year anniversary, which just seems crazy to me because I remember so clearly how exciting that season, and that specific day, felt! First off, my best friend, roommate, and brownie-making-partner-in-crime was marrying the love of her life in a incredible ceremony marking the Lord’s sweet faithfulness and restoration. Amazing enough, right?! But on top of that, THAT DAY was the first day that I got to see Luke in person! AHHHHHH! Yes, we had gone to high school together many moons before, but since then, hadn’t spent any time together in person. At all. When we started “talking” that spring, it was over Messenger and then phone and finally Skype, but we still hadn’t re-met in person yet…until the morning of the wedding! No pressure! ??”
The Good Stuff
I remember being SO giddy the morning of September 14, 2013 because I think I knew, even then, that it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of day, for all sorts of reasons, and now, it’s part of what makes the autumn season such a magical one for me. As you already know from CTM, it was the morning of my best friend’s wedding! It was one of the those days where every single thing feels right and good and full of sweet expectation. Driving out to the venue with Kim, listening to worship music and talking about it finally being THE day, I remember feeling so tangibly the blessing and presence of Jesus.
The day itself was bright and sunny and beautifully FALL, and when we got there, everyone quickly got caught up in all things wedding….talking with the florist, hugging the sweet photographer, checking on the reception tables, crowding into the getting-ready house with makeup bags tossed open and strewn all over the floor next to curlers and hairspray cans, and then all piling into the living room and peering out the ceremony-facing windows to watch as Sam and Kim had their first look (one of the most emotional and beautiful moments I’ve ever seen).
Afterwards, while they were off taking pictures, the rest of us girls stayed in the house to finish getting ready, and that excited butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling I’d been having all morning started to get stronger and stronger! The reason? In just a little while, I would be standing, face-to-face for the first time in YEARS, with the man I’d been talking to and getting to know for the past almost six months. EEEEEEEEK!!! (Please see screenshot below for a taste of my excitement and my #nerdstatus with a countdown 😉 )
What had started off as a (Jesus-ordained) “generic hello” that spring from an old friend from high school, had blossomed into a deepening friendship with a man I was falling in love with and praying about regularly. Prior to the Lynch wedding, we’d spent the last 24-ish weeks messaging, texting, Skyping, and eventually, phone-calling, filling up hours and hours asking each other questions, sharing goals, flirting (there was lots of this), and teasing about/enjoying the idea of a relationship and where it could lead. We’d known that we would be seeing one another in October, but the more we talked, the more we felt like that was just longer than we wanted to wait! What other dates might work? Would he maybe want to drive all the way down to Virginia from Connecticut to meet sooner….at my best friend’s wedding, where all the people I loved and knew well from my college and post-graduation days would also be?
As it turns out, yes, he wanted to do that very much, and while I was in a room full of girls finishing my makeup and hair, on that already magical and exciting September day, he was in a car in the very same town, just minutes away from the place where I was!!!
I was SO nervous, like heart-beating-out-of-my-chest-shaky-legs-sweaty-palms-a-little-woozy nervous. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening after all the talking and hoping and planning! I remember getting his text updates throughout the morning, telling me where he was in the drive, etc, and then checking my phone one last time to see that he had JUST PULLED IN AND PARKED RIGHT OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE I WAS STANDING IN! I looked out the window just then and saw him get out his car, looking handsome and nervous and wonderful, and I thought I might just pass out or throw up from all the anticipation, which was made exponentially worse because I wouldn’t actually be interacting with him until AFTER the wedding! AH! Because of the timing of it all, all of us bridesmaids were tucked away until the start of the ceremony, which meant that poor Luke had just arrived at the wedding of two people he didn’t know, attended by a whole crowd of people he didn’t know, all in an effort to finally see a girl he was trying to get to know. Thankfully, my other best friend Erin, along with her husband Justin, were also guests at the wedding and had agreed to be Luke’s first Lynchburg Virginia friends, and were waiting for him at the back of the ceremony site with a saved seat. She’s just the best.
Shortly after, all of us ladies were lined up at the top of the hill, getting ready to walk down the aisle and prepare the way for our stunning bride-friend! This is embarrassing now, but if my memory is correct, I was SO nervous that Luke would be seeing me then for the very first time, that when it was my turn to walk toward the front, I refused to look at him at all until I got all the way to my spot and situated. After that, though, all bets were off, and I skirted the fine line of being fully present at my best friend’s wedding while also eye-flirting and smiling too much at that one wedding guest on the back right side. Haha I had it REAL bad ❤️
After the ceremony (and having to walk back down the aisle, right by him, AGAIN), I finally made my way towards the back of all the chairs, where he was standing next to Erin and Justin. AHHHHH! We exchanged an awkward/excited/expectant hello and a side hug, and then I’m sure I said a lot of nervous and rambly things all in a row like I have a tendency to do when I’m nervous! It felt so strange to me trying to merge the past six months of long-distance talking and flirting and being vulnerable with the man that was finally standing right in front of me! Luke was a true gentleman from the start, though, which made that merging much easier, and he willingly went with me everywhere that day, to the table to meet work friends, up to the buffet for dinner, out back for the cake-cutting and cupcake munching, and out to the side of the dance-floor to people watch. (I remember at this point trying to subtly stand closer and closer and closer to him, until our arms were juuuuust touching. My flirting game was strong, y’all). In fact, at the end of the night, after Kim and Sam had already left and it was time to clean up, he stayed with me then too, and I had one of my very first real-life glimpses of his servant’s heart…as I went around to the tables and took down centerpieces and tablecloths, I looked up to find him doing the same (at a wedding of no one he knew, remember), and even helping the band pack up their equipment and cart it out to their truck. SWOON.
He was my ride home that night, and I remember sitting in the passenger seat next to him before we left the venue, at the end of a very long and wonderful day, nervous and completely exhausted and so very excited for the rest of that weekend ❤️
PS – Thanks to my friend, Brett, who’s a photographer and was there that night shooting with Ashley, Luke and I’s very first picture together, ever, was snapped right after the sparkler exit, and I love it so much because of all the newness and possibility it represents. It’s the one at the very beginning of this post 😉