But, oh! What an amazing week I have had.
Last Thursday we picked up Jackie, Robert, Josalyn, and Evelyn from the airport. We traveled home to Salem where our dinner was mostly ready to go. (I love crockpots) My mother, sister Suzanne, and my nieces, Malia and Lauren, came to enjoy our dinner with us. We ate in the backyard. Perfect evening.
The following morning we arose early and went to the Portland Temple. This was a special preliminary visit, a precursor to the wedding to follow, as Erica entered the House of the Lord to receive a special endowment of blessings from the Savior. Such an amazing experience. What a delight to be able to share this time with one's child who has prepared herself, has kept herself unspotted from the world in order to enter in that holy place.
We returned to Salem that afternoon to make final preparations for the Reception. We met Derek's family at Copper Hill at 6:00pm and with their help we had everything ready for the party to start at 6:30pm. Talk about miracles....
What a wonderful event. It was delightful for me to greet all our friends that came to honor Erica and Derek. I loved it. And what a crowd! I thought we would have lots of leftovers. What was I thinking? Every delicious morsel was gone, except one tier of wedding cake which I selfishly held back so I could take it home. (Mother of the Bride's prerogative...)
After the whirlwind of a party, we quickly "un-decorated" then headed home with our huge load. Grateful for the chance to unwind, the family gathered to watch Erica and Derek open their lovely gifts. Fun times. Silly times. The first gift opened was a set of Elvis drinking glasses. Hmmmm.....what were we in for?
Saturday morning: SLEEP IN! That was on all agendas. What a blessing. Rumor got out that our daughter, Jackie, an Esthetician with skills, was in town and willing to remove stray hair. Believe me, more silliness!
At 1:00pm we gathered up everything needed for the rest of the day and drove to the Wedding luncheon at Macaroni Grill. Perfect. What a lovely, relaxing way to prepare for the next, most important part of our wedding weekend, THE WEDDING itself.
The Temple Marriage and Sealing Ceremony was the most sacred event I have ever witnessed. Many tears of joy were shed as a beautiful bride and a handsome groom commited to each other not just for this life together, but to spend all of eternity together as husband and wife. They were radiant. They were blessed with an abundance of the Holy Spirit to sanctify this significant event. I will never forget this special day with them.
After the ceremony, Erica and Derek came back "down to earth" and emerged from the temple, ready for whatever life would give them. They were met by loving family and many photographers. By this time on Saturday evening, the crowds had dissipated and we had the temple grounds to ourselves for all the pictures we could want.
After changing from their wedding clothes, they drove off together in their little red Toyota. A fitting end to a perfect weekend. A fitting beginning for the rest of their lives.