Labor Day weekend was full of MUCH anticipation. Kim Dodson was marrying John Green. In Colorado. And Mike and I were going by ourselves. Ourselves. Anticipation!
Let me tell you the story of this beautiful mountain couple. Kim & I went to high school together, and during our junior year (I think), Kim (the Catholic) joined me at my Methodist youth retreat. It was a retreat for youth around the state of Illinois, and John and his Baptist youth group came down for the fun. John was Kim's crush of the weekend. Stunning John Green, with the beautiful green eyes. She would not soon forget. They reconnected maybe once or twice at the Illinois State Fair. Then Kim went off to college and traveled the world visiting literally every continent before she turned 30. John went to Colorado, became and architect, and waited for Kim to move there in 2008. They 'randomly' saw each other in a theatre lobby in Denver. They recognized each other instantly, reconnected, and fell madly in love. I adore the way God works.
So on Friday Aug 30, Mike and I dropped the kids off at my folks, caught our SW flight to Denver and headed west. We didn't anticipate the flight out of Denver in to the mountains on a holiday weekend, and so we were literally stuck in 4 hours of traffic trying to get in. This was probably divine, however, as we hadn't quite yet re-figured out how to talk to each other as a married couple instead of a parenting team.
We woke up Saturday to this view. I was delighted to receive a text from the bride asking for a little breakfast. I gladly accepted, ran to her room, and enjoyed a precious 20 minutes chatting with her before she was off to hair, make-up, family stuff, etc!
The wedding wasn't until 4, so Mike and I grabbed some good coffee *nothing says vacation like Sbux* and took a little drive up to the continental divide.
On the way, we passed A-basin, Kim's favorite ski spot.
Next we popped over to Breckenridge and rode the gondola to the top for lunch. It was hailing and cold at the top so we rode back down to rest before the big I DOs!
YAY! The time finally came! Kim was getting married!
The bride-to-be before the ceremony. She's wearing her mom's wedding dress that was originally made by her grandmother. It was updated and customized for this beautiful bride, and the history of the gown made the sentiment of the moment that much better.
Kim's sister, Karen, was a bridesmaid. And Karen's husband, Adam, was marrying John and Kim. Their oldest, Marilyn (6), was a flower girl. Benen (4) was with and aunt. That left Mike and I (willingly) in charge of this BEAUTIFUL baby, Rigby (15mo). He preferred Mike and sat on his lap the ENTIRE ceremony. Silently. Mike and I were stunned. I mean we did have goldfish and new cars, but still. He was a prince. We loved loving on him!
So the ceremony started at 4. Outside. The guests were pretty much in place by 3:50. It started to rain at 3:57. It was more than a sprinkle. We gowned and garbed in ponchos, trash bags, etc. The classy guests had umbrellas. Not our friends! At 4:10 we all headed inside while the grounds crew worked on getting the ceremony set up in side. Here's a shot of Chris & Julie Drury who sat at our table. Chris went to high school with us & is Kim's brother's good friend. Julie & Kim lived together at Truman. The rest is history. I should note this couple really enjoyed the open bar after the ceremony, and they were 'inspirational' on the dance floor!
John Green built the Arbor they got married under!
John also built this heart that originally held our table numbers.
I don't know who made this, but it's beautiful.
Dinnertime brought delicious foods like BBQ sliders, tomato cucumber salad, baked beans, & mac n cheese. The bride & groom wore aprons and we ate on these blue print placemats. It was very fitting as John is an architect. Note the place setting for the kazoo... and if you can read the writing, they advertise 'liquid encouragement' for the dance floor. The kazoos were also a blast on the dance floor, and now they are a blast in the toy chest. Even Millie can play it!
Side view of Mrs. Green's veil, back of dress, and green shoes.
Love this man.
Another reason this wedding was amazing is because I know so many of Kim's friends from other seasons of her life. And unique people like Kim attract really fun friends. L-R Marty (Kim's future sister-in-law and college roommate, Nikki (Our high school friend who tore up the dance floor), Kelly (Kim's friend from college), Mrs. Green, Julie (mentioned above), myself, and Rachel (Kim's friend from college that I just adore. She's also preggo with #3).
First dance with onlooker Marilyn Kelly, 6 years old.
For the father daughter dance, Kim & her daddy (whom I looooove) started by singing "Que sera sera". Bring on the tears again.
It's not necessary to explain that I cried during the entire ceremony. She asked Mike and I to write & read a prayer and I obviously cried during that, too. I cried because Kim is one of my favorite people in this great, wide world, and I've been praying for her 'someone' for probably about 17 years now. I cried because God is faithful and magical and His timing is providential. I cried because I see them as Greens together forever, and that makes me abundantly happy. Kimberly Rae, I wish you & John the best forever and always!
Ok... I'm not quite done yet! Sunday we drove from Lake Dillon to Ft. Collins to visit Steve, Trish, Delaney (6), and Will (4) Schuster. Steve is to Mike as Kim is to me... they've been great friends for.ever....but they are probably a little less emotional about it.
We stopped for lunch in Boulder and as we were approaching the city, we saw these people literally Boulder climbing. And then we passed 3 ambulances... ????
Boulder appears a fitting name for this area of CO.
And this is before all of the flooding.
Delaney & Will playing in downtown Ft. Collins before a delicious Mexican dinner.
How ah-dor-able is this pic? Mike-Will-Steve
Will is reallllly in to planes, so of course Mike brought some flash cards for him.
We loved our time with the Schuster clan. It's awesome when you grow up similarly to your friends from childhood. That's a bond that you just can't beat. We love Steve & Trish individually, as a married couple, and as parents. In our short 24 hours with them we planned multiple vacations =)
In all honesty we had an absolute blast, missed our kids like crazy, and can't wait to bring them to Colorado next summer.