We returned a week ago from a 2+ week trip to Delaware for the wedding of our son Michael to his bride, Stephanie. We had a wonderful time celebrating the wedding, having time together with dear friends, getting to know Steph’s family a little better, and sharing in the excitement of what God is doing in and with their lives!
We left Tampa and headed first to Columbia, South Carolina, where we attended the Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony for Chaplain Captain Michael Langston. Chaplain Langston has been instrumental in getting the resources of Military Ministry in front of the new Navy chaplains and he has been a real friend to the ministry. It was an honor to share in his retirement dinner and roast, as well as the ceremony the next day. The new head of the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center is Captain W. Kyle Fauntleroy, who attended chaplain school with Rick back in the 80s.
We drove next to Virginia where I left Rick and I had the joy of attending the “bachelorette weekend” in Dewey Beach, Delaware with Stephanie, her bridesmaids, and the mother of the bride. The girl party rolled sushi, rode jet skis, shopped, and sunned at Rehoboth Beach. It was such fun to be included.
The week before the wedding we went to Broadkill Beach, Delaware where we rented a beach house for some family time before the wedding and then the rehearsal dinner. Kathy Cleveland, her son Drew and daughter Abby joined us for the week of beautiful views, beach walks, kayaking, and a tremendously successful rehearsal dinner. There is no way Rick and I could have pulled it off without them, so the debt of love and gratitude continues. Later other Marine Corps friends, the Hamels, joined us from Wisconsin. All of our ties go back to flight school and our first days at MCAS New River, so I’ve come to believe that the hardest places produce the best friendships.
The wedding was a beautiful event from beginning to end. Mike and Steph were among the first[ of their peers to marry, so it was young and fun! It also pulled together many parts of our lives. Many of our relatives and friends traveled down from suburban Philadelphia and blessed us with their presence, we even met our grand-niece, Mary! Since our family spent 10 years in Dover, we had numerous local friends too, including Tim (close friend and middle school teacher), who thinks this is the first time two of his former students have married each other!
After the wedding we spent a two days with the non-honeymooning children (Erick, Amber, and Kaitie) and then headed back towards Tampa. We were able to stop in Atlanta for the Ken Boa Bible study that Rick loves and then we visited Callaway Gardens. We celebrated our 32nd anniversary and Rick was also able to make connections with Warrior2Citizen leadership while we were there.
Home again feels good, albeit, a bit quiet. What a blessed month we had!