Monday, April 20, 2015

A+C Ever Grateful, Ever True

Adam and Courtney's Purdue wedding was documented by photos taken on or around many of the well-known campus landmarks. We are a family full of Purdue grads, and we are proud and loyal Boilermakers. I wanted to share one more wedding post to wrap things up, although I can't promise that there won't be a mention or a photo in a future post or two. Weddings are just so much fun!

The Boilermaker Special is the official mascot of Purdue University, and celebrates the University's renowned engineering program. (And Adam has an engineering degree!) It was only fitting that we gather the wedding party for a photo on the Special. Toot toot! The Boilermaker Special makes appearances at home and away sporting events, and occasionally shuttles a wedding party around campus. Boiler Up!
The Stew Crew.
Gettin' silly.
The wedding party posed at the 'Gateway to the Future.' An appropriate spot for a new bride and groom to stand on their wedding day.
On the steps of Hovde Hall.
For spring commencements, graduates walk up the steps of Hovde Hall, through the building into Elliot Hall of Music where the graduation ceremony takes place. If I counted right, there are 13 Purdue graduates in the photo!
The bell tower, site of Adam's proposal to Courtney. We're so glad she said yes!
Following the ceremony, they even made a quick stop at the famous Chocolate Shop. Harry's Chocolate Shop. For years, I thought they sold chocolate there. They don't. :)
It is a campus icon. The pastor even posed for a photo behind the bar. She's a good sport. And a Boilermaker.
The guys.
The girls.
The last official stop on the wedding day campus tour was the Purdue Memorial Union for the reception. Courtney's maid of honor and long-time best friend, Chellsey, entertained us with her speech recounting some of the memories they shared together over the years. 
She told about the close relationship she shares with Courtney, and when she first started to realize that there may be something more than friendship between Courtney and Adam.
Chellsey is such a good friend to Courtney and Adam. She planned an awesome bachelorette party, helped Court with lots of little details, and was the designer of their beautiful wedding invitations and programs. She is a talented girl!
Courtney's sister, Britney cleverly wrote her speech on the back of one of the Courtney spirit heads we had used to decorate the rehearsal dinner room.
Her sweet speech was thoughtful and touching, and brought a tear to little sister Courtney's eye.
Britney shared her love and support for Courtney and Adam on their wedding day, and will be getting married herself in a little over a year.
And though sisters grow up and get married, they'll always share that special bond between siblings.

Best man David started out his speech by explaining how he was speaking for all 4 of Adam's older siblings and spouses, and the love they have for Adam and Courtney. Sort of a 'best man by committee.' He told how the 4 brothers had long ago decided that #2 would serve as best man for #1, #3 for #2, #4 for #3, then #1 for #4. He got a laugh by saying that Adam may never get his opportunity since Jonathan has no plans for marriage.
He then pointed out for all the single ladies, a guy who is "super-fun, gainfully employed, home-owner, who does NOT live in his parents' basement!" All in good fun, and with Jon's permission, of course. :)
David shared about the early secrecy of Adam and Courtney's relationship, the grace with which Courtney has joined in on Stewart family game nights (which can get a bit cut-throat intense), and some of Adam's quirks that Courtney will have to endure lovingly embrace.
He told about the closeness he and Adam have always shared, their nicknames "Big" and "Little", their combined seven broken arms, and how David used Adam's cuteness to his advantage when he would send Adam to me to say, "Mommy, I love you, and can David have some friends over?"
When David entered high school, Adam even started sleeping on the floor in David and Andrew's room until Andrew finally moved to Adam's room and David and Adam became roomies.
David shared a fond memory from his college years when he coached the local youth swim team, including Adam and some of his friends (who were present at the wedding). David knew all of Adam's times by heart, and hoped for his success even more than he had for his own when he was swimming.
He talked about Adam and Courtney being awesome individuals, and being even better together. He said that they can "get through anything, conquer anything, and achieve anything, together."

He closed the speech with the following:
In Purdue's fight song there is a line which says, "Ever grateful, ever true", which refers to how those singing feel about the university. I think it is a great motto for a marriage as well: ever grateful, ever true. First, be ever grateful for each other. As I mentioned above, you are both wonderful individuals, so don't take each other for granted. Thank God that you get to spend the rest of your life with someone so awesome, and make sure to tell each other how grateful you are as well. And lastly, be ever true to each other and your marriage. You can do this in a number of ways: be honest, work hard for one another, grow your faith in God together, and love each other unconditionally. May God bless you with health, happiness, and love, and to your marriage, may you always remain ever grateful, ever true.
I think he put it just right (and I can say that, since I'm his mom). :)
It was a beautiful wedding, and a special day in a place with many fond memories for our family. The wedding will be another treasured memory. A marriage is, as we know, more than just a wedding or a day. It is many days of give and take, love and laughter, mountains and valleys, sweat and tears, and lots of prayer. Adam and Courtney are on their way, as they seek to be grateful for the blessings God has given them, for the love and support of family and friends, and for the ways they bring out the best in one another. May they remain true to their God, their wedding vows, and their commitment to love and to cherish all the days of their life. 
Ever grateful, ever true.
Photos by our friends Sarah and Rachel 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A+C The Dancing

I've been on a little blogging break, which I'll write about later, but I have a few more thoughts about Adam and Courtney's wedding.

This post is called

The Dancing.

(Warning: post includes a ridiculous amount of really fun photos.)

Jim and I didn't dance at our wedding reception. We didn't have a first dance, a father-daughter, nor a mother-son dance. We spent four hours greeting our guests in my parents' front yard on a hot July evening in the longest receiving line ever. We had music played by our friend the band director on the living room piano that we carried out into the driveway. I didn't even think about dancing. But that was a looonnnggg time ago.

Dances are a special part of weddings, and it's fun to plan the music, the moves, and the celebration on the dance floor. Adam and Courtney's first dance was to Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran.
So baby now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are.
So sweet.
Courtney danced with her dad to I Loved Her First.
How could that beautiful woman with you
Be the same freckle faced kid that I knew...
I loved her first, I held her first,
And a place in my heart will always be hers...
And I prayed that she'd find you some day
But it's still hard to give her away
I loved her first.

Adam and I danced to Let Them Be Little. He was the Little in our family. The youngest. My baby.
So, let them be little, cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little.
Bouquet toss.
The scrum.
The victor! Courtney's cousin, Whitney.
Time to fetch the garter.
Ready...
the toss...
the drop...
and Big Jon picked it up. Here's hoping it will bring him luck with a lady. :)
The anniversary dance brings all the married couples to the floor. Those who have been married a long time...
and those in the early years.
Aunt Janet and Uncle Steve.
Some cuties watching.
Courtney's grandparents were still dancing,
and the DJ asked them to share some advice with the newlyweds. I think they said, "Hang in there."
Nana and Boomie were the last couple dancing… almost 58 years.
And now the dancing begins.
Cousin Carter danced with the bride.
Big Jon and cousins Sam and Dara.
Andrew, Darci, and Haleigh.
Andrew's got moves.
Some of the little boys prefer gaming to dancing.
This is a phone photo of our three special pregnant ladies. Sammi (and Tyler), due in July, Kristin (and Kyle), due in June, and Shylah (and David), due in September. So excited for these three! Good friends and soon to be mommies together.
Some more dancin'.
 And watchin'.
Courtney's cousin James, and his friend Grant did a marvelous job seating the guests at the wedding. They're not bad dancers, either.
Go Courtney!
Shylah has a little dance with George, son of friends Bret and Amy. Good practice.
Sam and Dara.
Chellsey, Megan, and Courtney. CMC.
This looks like a dance we learned in gym class. :)
Or a little like the square dancing we did in the barn. :) Jon and David are having fun making an arch for the dancers. Swing your partner!
Darci and Shylah look on...
and the brothers join in.
More moves by Andrew.
Big Jon and the bride.
Clark with a Vegas souvenir prop.
Cousin Evan's turn.
And there's Big Jon...
who loves to dance.
Wishing the happy couple love, laughter and blessings as they continue dancing through life.
All photos (except the phone photo of the moms-to-be) by