Mile High Weekend

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It wasn’t just the Colorado, Rocky Mountain elevation that gave us a high this past weekend. A harmonic convergence of family celebrations in Colorado fell onto the calendar this past Saturday as Madison graduated from her one year program at New Life School of Worship in Colorado Springs and Wendy’s sister, Becky, was wed to Courtney Oakes in Denver.

Wendy and I were up early on Wednesday and made the long trek across Interstate 80. We hit a huge spring thunderstorm in Kearney, Nebraska. It was only 50 degrees and the cold rain made it feel more like October than late May. Within a few hundred miles the clouds gave way to sunny skies and the thermometer climbed 35 degrees. We arrived in the late afternoon and spent the evening with Becky, Courtney and other members of the wedding party that arrived that evening.

Wend and I worked remotely on Thursday and then joined with the gathering family and wedding party members for a trip to Coors Field to watch the Colorado Rockies beat the Houston Astros. Of course, Wendy and I loved being at the baseball game even if it wasn’t our beloved (and beleaguered) Cubs.

More work for Wendy and I early Friday. Wendy then moved on to help Becky with the mid-day rehearsal and preparations for the wedding as I headed down the interstate to Colorado Springs to attend the family picnic for Madison’s graduating class. It was great to meet Madison’s roommates, classmates and teachers. It was heartening to hear one of her teachers compliment Madison’s attitude, participation and spiritual maturity. I had to head back to Denver for the rehearsal dinner while Madison stayed in Colorado Springs to continue moving into the apartment where she’ll be living this summer.

The rehearsal dinner was on Friday night at the home of Courtney’s parents. They have a gorgeous home with a wonderful back yard perfect for hosting the party. We enjoyed a great meal and got a chance to mingle with Wendy’s family members who’d just arrived along with meeting Courtney’s family.

On Saturday morning I enjoyed early morning coffee and conversation with Wendy’s dad. Her mom then joined the two of us for breakfast. Wendy was busy all day getting Becky ready for the wedding as I headed back down to Colorado Springs for Madison’s commencement service. On the way I got a phone call from Madison letting me know that she’d fallen while packing her car and hurt her foot.

I arrived at New Life Church for her commencement ceremony. Madison was in pain and couldn’t walk on her foot, but it wasn’t too swollen and I was encouraged that it wasn’t serious. Unfortunately, her injury kept her from crossing the stage with her classmates to receive her certificate, but they did ask her to stand to be recognized. After the ceremony she got some help getting up on stage to have pictures taken. After the service we had some cake and punch before grabbing lunch at Champs where she works as a server. I got to meet her co-workers and we enjoyed lunch together before heading to Denver for the wedding.

Despite her injury, Madison played photographer at Becky’s house as Wendy and her sister, Suzanna, got their make-up on and helped Becky into her corset back wedding dress. I got cleaned up and dressed at the hotel and then picked up Madison and headed to the wedding which took place at the Summit Conference and Event Center in Aurora.

The wedding ceremony was nice and the three Hall girls (Eden, Adira, and Sophia) were adorable in their white dresses as they stood up with Wendy (Matron of Honor) and Suzanna (bridesmaid). Mr Ed held it together as he offered a prayer of blessing over the couple. Guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers while the family endured the obligatory pictures after the ceremony. Then came dinner and lots of dancing. Madison was a real trooper. Even though her foot was killing her she hung in there and helped take a lot of pictures of the reception.

Madison climbed in Reggie (Wendy’s Nissan Murano) with Wendy and me and we took off for home this morning about 9:30. It was a long, hard drive back to Pella. Madison slept most of the way and Wendy got some shut-eye as well. We made it back to Vander Well Manor about 7:45 this evening to unpack. Madison shrieked with glee as we drove into Pella. She’s excited to be home and very quickly headed up to George’s to meet a friend.

I figured I’d write this post and get some photos loaded. It was a long, but wonderful weekend. We had a ball with family (old and new!) and are so proud of Madison. Madison has decided to stay in Colorado Springs. She will be living in an apartment with a couple of her classmates and plans to attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs this fall.

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