We started out our summer going to several weddings and throwing some showers...
We went to Austin for my college roommate's wedding...but, unfortunately, I didn't have a working camera...and these are the only ones that Cate captured:
Lindsay and Jim are precious together. I love the way that Jim cares for Linds...the way he watches her when she tells a story...the genuine interest he takes in her is, maybe, what I love most about watching the two of them. He loves her very deeply-it is so evident. And I am so thankful for that. They were married on Lake Travis (man! I wish I had pictures!) It was such a beautiful wedding-the venue, her dress, every detail of the entire evening was so elegant yet comfortable and fun...so Lindsay. (We love you two and are so thankful to be in your lives!)
We spent the whole weekend with the Shipley's at Bella & Pop's house. It was so refreshing to be able to just hang out and relax with such dear friends. We ate well (thank you, Bella!) rested a little, and played Settler's of Catan MUCH!! Cate and I kept Ryan and Charlie up late one evening re-telling just about every story that we could remember about the other. I've known Cate since 7th grade...since we were 13! (I just did the math here...wow...that's half of my life!) so, there were lots of stories. Lots of stories the husbands had never heard before and lots that they had :) Thankfully we're not the same silly girls that we were in high school-or even college, for that matter. The Lord has grown us both so much and I'm thankful for the ways that He has used Cate to refine me. I'm also thankful that my best friend married someone that my husband adores. (I guess it was kind of a pre-requisite, but I'm glad that Ryan wasn't just "pretending" in the whole screening process :) I can't imagine spending weekends with the Shipley's and feeling like I had to check in with Charlie constantly to make sure he was "okay"...in fact several times he'd disappear and I'd later find him playing pool with Ryan. I don't have a picture of them from that weekend (remember...no working camera!) but here is one I stole of their18 month old, Eli, from their blog:
And one of us from Cary's wedding...which was well over a year ago. (Put an Apel/Shipley photoshoot on the agenda for our October visit, okay? This is just ridiculous that I can't find any pics of all of us!)
(I know, I know...back when I had long hair and our babies were SO little!)
The following weekend, while garage saling, I found a super deal on a point and shoot camera that Chelsea talked me into getting. (My BEST gs purchase of the summer, Chels! Thanks for making me go back!)
And later that evening, we went to Charley and Lauren's wedding. This precious couple is oh, so dear to our hearts. Charley first walked into our little Moss Street rental house for Hope Group back when I was super fat and pregnant with Asher and we squeezed about 30 people into our 900 sq. ft. home.
We loved him so much that we made him stay in our group for a few years. After he got back from Fish Camp one summer, he started telling us about this girl, Lauren, that he'd met. He told me that I would love her and that in some ways we were a lot alike. (I thought he was just trying to warm me up to her...) But, we quickly got to know and adore Lauren (and Charley was right...on more than just our wardrobe choices...we hit it off instantly), soon after they got engaged, and she was a staple in the Apel home this past Spring.
We're so proud of them-for their maturity and boldness- (we were definitely not there when we first got married) as they desire to love and seek after Jesus with their lives.
She even become "our Lauren"...you see, when a college girl tends to spend a lot of time in our home loving on our kids, helping me prep for dinner, folding laundry, knowing where the clean dishes go...the kids and I just sort of bond to them..and they become "ours". Kind of like our Emily, our Blaire, our Madeline...I guess we're sort of possessive that way. (Sorry Charley, we love you and all, but I think you understand...and you are married to her, so you've got that going for you!)
And oh, how we miss her! It's sometimes tough living in this transient town where you invest so deeply in relationships and just when you're completely comfortable...and never want them to leave...it's time for them to move away.
Whenever McKlayne couldn't see Lauren, she'd say, "Where's my Princess Lauren?" She wanted to be next to "Princess" Lauren all night. Her "princess" obsession is only growing...
Speaking of Em, we got to reunite (and share some news) with her (I stole some of these pics from her Facebook.)
McKlayne quickly found Aunt Kelsey among all the strange faces.
And the kids danced the rest of the night away.
They decided that they LOVED weddings....or at least when they get to dance at receptions.
And we had to peel them off the dance floor when it was time to leave.