Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ready for Happily Ever After

It seems only logical to follow my last blog post up with a post to showcase some engagement photo layouts. I do envy today's generation that reaps all the benefits of living in a digital age. Marybeth and Philip have more engagement photos than were taken at mine and Steve's wedding! And they are all stunning. I had fun with my favorite 4, printing them out as 5 x 7's, and I completely went off the engagement grid by pairing them with a camping line. But I knew when I saw these photos that Simple Stories Cabin Fever would be spectacular. 

I want to share here some words I penned for Marybeth on her January birthday:

I met Miss Mary Elizabeth Perry of Memphis, TN on May 12, 2016, but I had first heard of her two years earlier. Sometimes good things come to those that wait. I have never had a daughter, and have never regretted having only sons. And for years I have prayed for the women my sons would date, and court. On May 12, 2016, I knew that God had answered my prayer with Philip. It was love at first sight. Steve and I waited anxiously, albeit nervously, in the lobby of the Grand Floridian as Philip and Marybeth drove down to Walt Disney World from Nashville. When we got the text that they were getting close, we moved outside to the porte cachere. The first photo below is the first photo I ever took of MB, and what followed were four days of together time, of family fun, of getting to know one another, of staying up until 3 AM, of laughing hard, of sharing meals, all while we traipsed around the Happiest Place on Earth.

It was a gamble for me to invite her to join us. It's a little unnerving, on both sides, to meet someone for the first time and feel the weight of potential future commitment. MB is a delight to be around, and she offered me several gifts over those next 4 days. The first gift was just the absolute thrilling joy of having another girl on the family trip, someone who would break out in song with me, someone that would race to see the princesses with me, someone that always smiled and jumped INTO the selfie. The second gift was seeing how much my son loved her. That first day we stayed at Magic Kingdom until after 2 AM. We made it to our hotel about 2:30 AM and as we approached the hotel door, I heard my son say, "Babe, give me the keys. I want to go to the car and get your hairspray." Somewhat silly you may say. But I knew in that moment that the boy that would walk quite aways into a parking lot at 2:30 AM for a can of hairpray was a boy that was in love with this girl by his side. And, seeing how they interacted together over the next 4 days, it was endearing to see such a bedrock of commingled friendship and affection, of tenderness and jesting, of loving and of liking one another. The third gift that she gave me was just the gift of being herself. It was easy to see that she was a confident and fun girl, and completely comfortable being in her skin. She embraced all experiences and enjoyed the adventure. She said yes to trying new things. She was up and at it early each day, and went hard all day long, enjoying every moment of it all. I still chuckle when I recall her pushing back at Andrew's teasing of Philip by jabbing her finger toward him and spurting, "QUIT IT." The fourth gift that she gave us was of loving Steve and I. It was such an honor to meet her, to spend time with her, and to see her wanting to get to know us and opening up her heart to us, and inviting us to open up our heart to hers.

Four days went all too fast. Since that May trip, I've had the absolute pleasure of seeing MB again in August in Dallas, in September in Nashville, in November and then again in December in McKinney - a handful of days - less than 30 in total. But she is never far from my heart, I miss her every day, and I look forward to having the rest of my life to spend time with her and to continue to get to know her. This is the first year that I've been able to celebrate this beautiful joy of a woman on her birthday. Steve and I are so thrilled that she is now a part of our life. Happy Birthday Marybeth Perry! May God pour out His lavish grace on you every day, and may this next year of your life be one full of joy, of wonder, and of adventure! I love you and you are such a blessing to us!

And now Miss Marybeth Perry has been Marybeth Grimsley for one whole week! Yes, the engagement photos have turned into wedding photos. And I love that I have another girl in the family. I am no longer the only Grimsley girl! The last seventeen months of their dating, courtship, and engagement have been such a time of happiness in our family. 

We are just thrilled to have a front row seat to watch them live out their very own Happily Ever After. They are so happy together.

Philip & Marybeth, Happiness Found Togther, True Love, Ready for Happily Ever After ~ Engagement Photos ~ April 2016

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation
Paper: Simple Stories
Titles: Silhouette Cut Files, Ballerina Script, Arial