day 060 – to my mom

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Mom, I am so thankful for you! You had so much fun helping to plan my wedding, and it was perfect and beautiful in every way. You have taught me so much throughout my life to prepare me for my new role as wife. You’ve taught me how to cook, how to clean, how to remove various stains, how to drive, how to coupon, how to meal plan. You’ve counseled me as I’ve counseled others, you’ve walked me through twelve years of homeschooling, you’ve driven me to all of my CLEP exams and encouraged me when I’ve failed and rejoiced with me when I’ve succeeded. You’ve stayed up late with me, quizzing me on verses either for AWANA or the Bible Bee, never letting me throw my hands up in the air but pushing me on to endure. You’ve always sat up and laughed and talked with me and my friends – because they’ve been your friends too.

I have always had a constant example from you as I’ve watched you juggle new babies in our family, always being available to teach VBS and co-op and AWANA year after year, while in your free time preparing meals for other new mothers or for a family who needs it. Our house has always been full of children, many not our own, as you’ve extended your hand to single, tired, or busy mothers who needed the help.

You’ve always made a point to make our childhood fun and memorable – chocolate chip pancakes on our birthdays, little gifts on the kitchen table on Valentine’s Day, notes on index cards if we rise and leave early in the morning for work, trips to Six Flags every summer (with tickets you somehow managed to get for free, year after year), sitting on the couch when we were little as you taught us to read, and so many other memories I can hardly name them all.

I’ve watched as you have supported daddy in all of the job changes, cross-state moves, church relocations, new endeavors, financial trouble, and car issues. You two have always been best friends, and your kids can see that. There’s such comfort in having a home where mom and dad are still so much in love.

I love you, mom. I might have moved half way across the country, and might not get to talk to you as much as we used to – but I often miss our conversations at the end of every day. When you’d tell me about the most recent deals you got at CVS or to share a funny story about one of the boys, or I’d vent about a situation at Dunkin’ Donuts or a trouble with a friend. I am thankful on a daily basis for the foundation you have given me and for the wisdom I’ve gleaned from you these last eighteen years.

Don’t lose heart, mom, there’s five more after me who need to know all that from you as well.

“…her children rise up and call her blessed.” – Prov. 31:28

more wedding pictures – family

here’s a few more family shots from the wedding:

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My parents and siblings.

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Sean’s family

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Us with his parents

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Us with my parents

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The Castille siblings

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My paternal grandparents

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My maternal grandparents

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Sean’s adopted grandparents

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Sean’s sister-in-law and her family

(all photos in this post courtesy of Jason Manion Photography)

the reception

(as in prior wedding posts, none of these photos were taken by me. credit goes to Jason Manion, Allison Young, Denise Reynolds, Renee Stokes, and others.)

Aaaaand finally, I’m back! This last week has been crazy busy with the visit of my brother from New England, a road trip to the Midwest for the wedding of some friends, and the beginning of a new job (more on all of those adventures, soon!). But here I am to finish re-capping our wedding – that was now almost nine weeks ago! Ah! Two months have just flown by!

Like I’ve mentioned before, our ceremony and reception was held at Maranatha Family Ministries in New Hampshire. It was a beautiful day and the afternoon was full of dancing, food, laughter, fellowship, and the company of dear friends and family. Most of the decor was assembled and decided upon between my mom and I (like 200+ tiny homemade jams for favors, and the wrapped silverware, etc.) – however, we can’t take any credit for how the end product actually turned out! We handed off our materials and over a dozen of our friends, family, and Maranatha staff members transformed the rustic reception area into a lovely atmosphere:

As Sean and I were making our way through the food line, we were surprised when the groomsmen came from all directions and tackled him to the ground! They stole his shoes with the purpose of filling them with “Honeymoon Money” from our guests :D

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Shortly after the groomsmen’s feat, Sean’s brother Josh and my dear friend Katie delivered the Best Man and the Maid of Honor speeches, respectively. Their messages were sweet, personable, and funny:

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Our first dance was to “A Thousand Years” by The Piano Guys. It was a little clumsy as everyone looked on, but we didn’t mind:

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IMG_4861We were amazed at the amount of people who were willing to share in our rejoicing that day (250+), and were overwhelmed at the love we received through all of our friends and family. The Lord truly has blessed us, and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wedding day. During the entire weekend, we watched as people who have never met each other and might not have had much in common save a mutual love for our Savior come together and serve wholeheartedly in order to make the wedding an extremely memorable event. Friday night, even, was spent worshiping in song in an outdoor chapel by firelight. Isn’t that a neat picture of the church? So many different people coming together, yet all united in Christ.

Sean and I left via limousine later that evening (hubby’s idea :D), having greatly enjoyed the day. It was all just perfect and went on without a hitch.

(stayed tuned for more pictures soon!) 

 

 

day 045 – Potts.

This last week I’ve been working with Sean at Potts Meat Processing – a small but growing deer, beef, and pork processing plant where he’s been employed for the last three years.


(my talented hubby designed this logo…)

So basically, I’m a butcher. Kind of.  Sean does the actual cutting (with two other men), but I along with two other ladies, package, seal, and organize the meat and return it to customers. It’s stinky and messy and some of the things that come through are fatty or slimy or bloody and….yeah. If anyone knows me well enough, this might come to quite a shock that I would be doing something like this!! And I still don’t know WHAT I was thinking when I suggested the idea to Sean earlier this year that I might be able to work with him during the busy fall season. But, here I am, and I am so thankful for the work and the opportunity to learn something new.

The atmosphere is fast-paced and the people I work with are Christians. The conversation is always hilarious and it’s fun to be able to talk while we work.

It’s definitely great to be with him all day. This is just for a season, and there are many new adventures coming our way, especially over the next few months! :D

day 042 – fragrance

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.

Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

– 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

the ceremony: order of events & photos!

(All the photos in this post are courtesy of Jason Manion, Denise Reynolds, Emily Knepper, and others. Honestly, I have a whole mix of photos on my computer and I don’t even know anymore who took what. Sorry if this isn’t proper etiquette!)
 
The ceremony was held at the newly built chapel at Camp Maranatha. It was new as in, the laid the flooring the day before. I think our big day was incentive for them to finish the project :D
Sean and I spent hours both together and with our parents discussing the ceremony schedule and what we did and didn’t want to include. We had many unsaved family members and friends in attendance, and wanted the ceremony to be explicitly Christ-centered and a clear Gospel message shared. The entire reason for our marriage is Christ, that we ultimately might conform to His image as we glorify Him together.
^^^ the program Sean designed and assembled. The front was drawn freehand (even my signature)! He’s so talented :D

^^^ during the rehearsal on Friday afternoon…excited for what the next day will bring!!!

At 11:30am on August 17th, with our 250+ guests seated, we showed a slideshow of photos of Sean and I. Shortly after noon, “Just The Way You Are” by The Piano Guys began, as our families were seated…

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…and then with the opening lines Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul, worship His holy name…the bridal party began making their way down the isle…and finally, it was my turn:

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I joined hands with my beloved at the front, as my father gave me away and then stood forward to officiate the ceremony between Sean and I.

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We started with prayer and then Sean’s father, Jamie, stood at the front beside my dad and gave a charge to his son to embrace a multi-generational vision for his life, to love his wife and children well, and to serve the Lord all the days of his life. Specific Scripture passages were then read by my 10-year-old brother Ben and Sean’s 11-year-old nephew Evan.

One of the groomsmen, Daniel, led the congregation in singing Be Thou My Vision while a family friend, Allison, played on the keyboard. This hymn is mine and Sean’s favorite, and it was amazing to be able to sing it at our wedding.

My dad then shared a brief message on the Gospel, headship within marriage, and what “covenant” means. He shared a few funny stories…

…and we shared our vows and exchanged the rings:

…closing prayer:

and that was it!

….oh, you’re waiting for the kiss, eh?

if you insist:

happy? :) yeah, me too.

“God Gave Me You” by Dave Barnes played as the recessional for the bridal party to make their way back down the isle. In this picture I spotted a co-worker of mine I was surprised to have been there! Also notice the groomsmen’s spiffy shades…

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When we made it back into the foyer, my dad reminded Sean once more that “you better take care of my baby girl, or else.”

All in all, it was a beautiful ceremony. The receiving line went on for over an hour afterward as our guests made their way down to the reception, and that was a time of sweet, albeit brief, one-on-one moments with many dear friends and family members.

~beka

day 038 – of plungers and skirt steak

Sean said tonight as we were eating dinner, “We’re going to be like that newly married couple who talks about our food all the time” as I was taking pictures of our meal. Cooking is exciting when you find something that works, and you want to brag about it :D We brought a ton of packages of skirt steak home from work yesterday and with the Art of Manliness’ help (along with my man’s assistance which involved him running around the house opening windows as our home filled with airborne Creole seasoning and smoke because the pan was too hot…) we made this with these biscuits and mashed potatoes. Ahhhhhh SO GOOD. See:

While Sean was at work this morning I tried to see how much I could accomplish before I needed to brew a second pot of coffee (I made it until about eleven). Started off by making a double batch of these babies to freeze for the Fall when work gets heavy and we’re starving yet have no energy to cook anything. I ate one in between Skyping my dear friend Hannah who’s serving the Lord in Thailand and scraping a melted pillar candle off the top of my stove that collapsed into a pink greasy mess with the oven set to 450. Ha.

I also helped milk three cows with Sean’s brother and the three little Russians (you’ll hear more about them later, too, I’m sure), called my mom, and started a batch of Greek yogurt in my crock-pot with milk from aforementioned cows. Mmmm…raw milk:

Oh, and plungers. I can’t forget about the plunger. I had fun attacking our shower drain this morning while taking breaks to eat Sour Patch Kids (thanks mom!) and drink coffee. Can’t forget the coffee.  Our shower’s been all clog-y and gross for the last couple weeks so I poured a concoction of salt, baking soda, and vinegar down the drain and let it sit for ten minutes.

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Then, I washed it all down with a pot of boiling hot water (that I nearly spilled all over our bedroom floor :P)…and plunged away. A blog post I read somewhere said to talk smack to the drain…I tried it. I felt better. However, the drain is still clogged. It’s better than it was before, but still clogged. Blah.

What I see right now:
-my coffee (i’m never going to sleep tonight)
-a pocket knife
-two SD cards…one that needs to be returned to my mother-in-law
-a sink full of dishes
-my cast iron skillet that Sean just brought in from outside. (don’t ask why it was outside. in the rain. something about catching a steak almost on fire tonight? can cast iron catch on fire? :P)

What I hear:
-rain that is not falling on my cast iron skillet anymore, but that is watering my little ivy plant on the porch I’ve dreadfully neglected, reminding me that God is the One Who lets the rain fall. And maybe He’ll be the One to keep my ivy plant alive.
-the John Piper sermon Sean is listening to. He’s one of my favorite authors but I was never really able to listen to him…he talks so slowly. But the more that I listen to him, I understand why he talks to slowly – there’s way too much concentrated wisdom in his sermons for him to talk any faster. He’d lose everyone! Sean is wicked into it:

“God’s absolute being means all the universe is by comparison to God as nothing. Contingent, dependent reality is to absolute, independent reality as a shadow to substance. As an echo to a thunderclap. As a bubble to the ocean. All that we see, all that we are amazed by in the world and in the galaxies, is, compared to God, as nothing. “All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness” (Isaiah 40:17).” – John Piper

Some things to do this week…
– unfollow all wedding-related boards on Pinterest
– answer emails
– begin assembling and writing thank-you notes for wedding
– figure out meals for next month (any ideas?)
– run 3-4 days
– unclog that stupid drain

~beka