Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Here and gone...


This past Monday afternoon, two vehicles traversed across the great state of Illinois. One was headed north, the other headed south. After spending two wonderful weeks along the gulf coast, I (Jessica) am back home again. But, Josh and Joseph were not here to welcome me home as they are now arrived down in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the CAPE-NM convention. As you might guess, Josh will be recording the sessions given at the conference - but as you might not guess, he is also presenting one of those sessions!

For those of you who are curious and haven't heard, the event that called me away down south for the last couple weeks was the wedding of a long time friend of mine. The new Mrs. Lautenschlager and I have known each other for over twenty years (best we can figure we were around 3 at the time we met - neither of us remember it, though!). It has been with great joy that I have watched as God brought Amy her perfect match during this past year, and I eagerly accepted when she asked me to help her with her wedding. Of course, I wasn't surprised when her request was that I manage all the food for the reception! :-) However, it didn't take me two whole weeks to prepare for it...

The first event down south was the Vision Forum Father & Daughter Retreat in Georgia. Josh was in charge of all the AV stuff for the event this year, so I went as his assistant. By God's grace all went well.

Following that conference, I spent a week in Louisiana enjoying some warm southern hospitality. The Valenti family entertained me quite wonderfully. From visiting an old sugar plantation along the Mississippi, to walks in the park and around the neighborhood, to visiting a lovely little British Tea House, to a drive down into New Orleans, the days were diverse, relaxing, and fun. Oh, and I dare not forget to mention the many varied discussions that we enjoyed - including the one eschatological discussion that lasted until 3:00 am...

The time flew by quickly, and soon the Valenti's were kindly driving me to the half-way meeting point, where Amy and her fiance, Zach, were to pick me up and take me back to Alabama for the next week.

Staying with the family of the bride for the week before the wedding is quite a fun thing! There are a thousand important little details that need to be taken care of - and yet, there are also still the regular meals to be cooked, eaten and cleaned up! There were gifts, visits, shopping, luncheons, hair-do's to practice, programs to fold, decorations to prepare, and yet we also took time to relax (like visiting Dauphin Island and the very neat Fort Gaines on a rather stormy day)! Eventually, however, the wedding day arrived and all the details settled down into their places. The day was beautiful and full of rejoicing! And the only major food catastrophe was that I somehow managed to forget to add the shrimp to the Alfredo sauce. Oops!

I'm quite sure that I brought back with me the requisite number of cuts, bruises and burns for a trip like this one, and also that I logged considerably less than the requisite number of hours of sleep. But I also know that I have come home far richer in hugs, smiles, edification, laughter, new friends and memories than I in any way deserve to be! Thanks be to God!

5 comments:

Tara Janelle said...

Sounds like you had a fun time Jessica! Glad you are back in Illinois!

Nathan & Jeanine DeLadurantey said...

I'm so glad that you could take that trip down South - BUT, I'm sooo glad you're back.
Sure was fun talking again.

Jeanine

anna said...

Glad you are back Jessica...
I look forward to seeing you again!
It looks like you had a wonderful time and I sure did miss ya!
See you tomorrow YEAH! ;)

~ Anna

Anonymous said...

Wow! What an undertaking! You definitelt have a gift! Glad you're back home. I missed seeing you in the back row with one of your nieces or nephews.--Mrs. Webb.

Sherrin said...

Wow! I am sure your friend must have been very grateful to have you to help! I am presently organising my wedding and I can imagine that it would make a huge difference to have such talented friends!