January 3rd was the day…our beautiful niece Elise married the man she loved. You know from another post that we call him Sam, Skeeter, Slinky, Spunky…basically any “S” name Bryan can think of at the moment…cause he is bad with names…but we like him or we wouldn’t call him anything at all…lol.
Elise was a stunning bride in a long gown of lovely lace that was custom-made by a long time family friend. Stephen was a handsome groom in his charcoal grey suit and black tie. You could see the love in his eyes when he saw her Dad walk her down the aisle of the church. The ceremony showed their love, some laughter and was very moving. A nice touch was the audience witnessing them having communion together, for the first time, as a newly married couple. I half expected them to sing at some point, as they both have great voices and can play the guitar, but they didn’t. It was probably too much pressure and I don’t blame them for that… decorating the church and reception hall, rehearsing it all, making sure the flowers, cakes, people and clothes are there and hoping everything goes smoothly is pressure enough.
The reception hall was nicely decorated with a netting canopy of white lights sparkling overhead. It was rustic chic with doilies, flowers, books, candles and pictures on the covered tables. They had a fun dessert bar, punch, hot chocolate and of course a pretty and tasty wedding cake and a chocolate tux grooms cake. There was a small dance floor that everyone enjoyed…and the Father/Daughter dance was so sweet. I did really well until Elise’s Grandmother, her Mother’s Mom that they call Granny, and I sat for a moment after it was all over. We had been cleaning up the reception hall and I sat to chat with her a minute. She held my hand and said “I have thought about you all day and how hard this would be for you to watch…knowing you wouldn’t have this special time” and tears started to roll down her lovely face. I cried then…to have her think about me was so unexpected and humbling…she is such a sweetheart. I told her it was a little hard but I had done better than I thought I would…and how I loved Elise and Stephen and wanted them to have a beautiful and perfect wedding day. I also said I know Lauren would have loved to have been here to have helped Elise plan her wedding. She patted my hands….we dried our tears and we moved on. (*I also know in my heart… Lauren would have loved Stephen as we all do…and would have wanted to be there for her “little cousin” Elise and watch their love story unfold.)
I wish for them a lifetime of love, happiness and laughter…
and a few babies…when they are ready for them.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Andrew Matheny
Lauren was the first grandchild on the Alston side of the family.
She loved her little cousin Elise and she was so happy to welcome another girl in the family…cause she already had a little brother and 2 boy cousins. She enjoyed playing with her…showing her new things… singing and putting on plays together. I’m sure there were times Elise might have thought she was a little “bossy”… and well…she probably was…lol.
At our Alston Family Christmas a couple of months ago…Elise came in all excited. I was standing in the laundry room…which is a pass thru from the garage to the living room…when they came in…Elise and her boyfriend. She had a huge smile on her face and saddled right up to me…she put up her hand for me to see…her ring…she had gotten engaged. I hugged them both and told them how excited I was for them. She was worried about how to tell the grandparents…Mimi especially…without giving them a “heart attack.” I said…”Girl…lead with your hand out front…show’em that pretty ring…just tell’em”…then we both giggled. She finally worked up her nerve and told them…of course they were happy and excited for her…no heart attacks for anyone. Mimi asked how and when it happened. It is a sweet story…the guy did it up right…made it real special. He enlisted the help of the friends…a married couple…who had introduced them at church one day…to help with the excuse to “go out to dinner”…so they would be dressed nice…when they took pictures and video. They all went out to eat at a nice restaurant in Lufkin but then drove back to the church in Nacogdoches where they met. He played his guitar and sang to her…then whipped out the ring he had hidden under the front pew and proposed…on the altar of the church. Wow… so unique…thoughtful…meaningful… and special.
As they told the story and showed us all the pictures…it hit me…tears started rolling…I tried to hide them…to stand at the back of the group…so maybe they wouldn’t notice…I didn’t want to ruin their joy and excitement. I wouldn’t get to have this moment…with Lauren…when she squeals and shows off her ring and tells us how “he proposed.” It is… another “loss” to deal with.
Elise had been dating him a few months when she brought him to the Alston family Christmas in 2012. We all liked him immediately…and we knew if he could take our joking and picking on him and giving him goofy nicknames…then he would fit in our family just fine. And as we have seen them together over the last 16 months we knew they would make a great couple. They both love the Lord…are musically talented…great with kids… volunteers…camp counselors…help each other study in college…know how to work hard… and are positive people with great attitudes.
I want them to know how excited I am for them…
and I truly hope I didn’t steal their joy that day.
I love you guys…
Elise Alston and Stephen Matheny (Aka: Skeeter, Sam, Slinky)
and Welcome to the family, Aunt Suzie