These next three weeks are going to be crazy so I will be slacking in the blogging about my moments of gratitude but I wanted to share some of the major points of gratitude I have been thinking about since Friday.
Friday morning dawned as a beautiful, busy day. I knew I had a lot to do to get out of the door and be on my way to Atlanta, GA for the weekend. In the midst of entertaining E-man, getting myself ready and finishing packing, Ross called to break some amazing news to me. The head of the Bible department called him Friday morning to offer him a position teaching an Intro to Bible class this fall. THANK YOU LORD! Summer is always an interesting time for us financially and with all of these weddings it has become even more interesting. God has provided just enough each month which is incredible but knowing he has a class to teach this fall, on top of me going back to teaching my normal piano schedule (plus 3 or so new students) and continuing to help out at Park Free - relief is in sight for our budget! While this does mean Ross is really under the gun to get his syllabus complete and books ordered for his class, we are very thankful for this last minute opportunity.
I am also thankful our travels were so smooth on Friday even though as we were descending it was lightning all around us. We made it onto the ground and off the plane (many times they will not allow the jet-way workers to do their thing in the lightning but we were able to de-plane!). We made it safely to the Bevan's home in the midst of a crazy thunderstorm. We saw several cars who had hydroplaned and being on unfamiliar roads, I was even more grateful to arrive safe and sound.
Taking quite a few strolls down memory lane with the Bevan's reminded me of what a blessed person I am ... I had some of the greatest friends a girl could ask for during the junior high and high school years. When Mr. B began teasing me within minutes of walking in their door, I knew it was going to be just like old times. We shared story after story with Ross about different 'Em, Andy and Bryant' moments (along with other people, too). We laughed a lot and even though I hadn't seen them in 6 years it felt like I had just come home after a brief 'trip'. It was so great to be together and I am SO thankful for the friendship of Bryant and Carlin (their kids) and others from my church youth group. I am also thankful for the many sets of 'parents' I had around me during those years - the parents of my friends - who were watching out for me and providing opportunities for good safe fun to be had - opening their homes to us, feeding us, etc. It was good to 'remember' the blessing of friendships which have helped form me into who I am today as a friend.
The Bevan's were gracious hosts and helped us plan our day on Saturday. We toured CNN and visited the Atlanta Aquarium - both well worth our time and money. I am always thankful for opportunities to learn new things and experience new places.
Saturday night we headed to the wedding rehearsal at the beautiful Little Gardens venue. It was great to meet Kim's Atlanta friends and Luis Miguel (her groom). Kim also put together the most thoughtful 'welcome' box for us. She is a very talented gift giver and it reminded me of how neat our friendship is and I'm thankful for that girl! :)
Sunday, the Bevan's gave us a walking tour of Roswell, where they live. It's super historical and eclectic. We walked for a couple of hours, enjoyed a Mexican lunch and then headed back to pack up and get ready for the wedding.
It was SO steamy and hot on Sunday ... I have never sweat so much from just being outside ... but I am thankful for shade, cold, clean drinking water, paper towels and an air conditioned house to 'take a break' in between rehearsing and the wedding. I'm thankful for the violinist - Daniel - who was SO easy to work with - we literally ran everything once and I think it went well during the ceremony. It was an honor to be a part of Kim and Luis' international wedding. I usually always tear up during a wedding and the moment I was most teary was during Kim's reading of her personal vows to Luis - at the end of them, she spoke to him in Portuguese and it was very beautiful. I'm only sorry we couldn't stay for the reception. What an amazing celebration and party Kim put together! I'm thankful for her friendship and I'm looking forward to visiting them in Portugal in the near future.
Our trip home was super smooth, too. We were so fortunate. We needed to get home last night because Ross had a big training day with his student leaders today and everything went just as planned.
We made some great memories in Atlanta, GA. I'm thankful for the opportunity we had to be there to celebrate and enjoy a new city together!