Y’all hold on to your hats…this one is long-winded!
Ever had a moment when you felt like God winked, patted you on the shoulder and whispered, “watch this?” Well, that’s exactly what he did to us yesterday. Last year we received a call from Nancy, Kaitlyn’s Mama, about a wedding at Pineola Farms. Strangers discussing a wedding for a special little girl turned into the strangest connection that only God knows, and I instantly felt like we were old friends. We talked a few more times and grew a little closer. Six months ago, we met the most amazing couple. When they stepped out of the truck, it was love at first sight…and I don’t mean for them! With the biggest smiles on their faces and the best manners, they greeted us including a few “yes, mam’s” and made us feel really old, but also made us realize that we will, one day, be just where Nancy was when she made that call. For the first time, we connected with Mama first and fell in love with two children, not a bride and groom.
Okay, here’s where some of God’s puzzle pieces started to form. Over the last year our heart’s have grown closer and closer to Jay’s HOPE Foundation, a charity with a mission to improve the quality-of-life of children with cancer and their families. Once we got involved, we sort of dove in and we’ve, unintentionally, pulled Delise & Paul, our friends at Pineola Farms, in with us. We’ve collaborated on a fundraiser that will be an annual event and even participated in Egg Hunts and Christmas parties. It’s one of the most rewarding things we do.
As the months passed, we started to learn more and more about Kaitlyn’s family. Not only did Nancy & Shane have one beautiful daughter, they had two! Their daughter, Ashlee Shea, WON her battle with childhood cancer in 2002. We refuse to say lost…something our friend’s at Jay’s Hope have taught us. Kaitlyn describes Shea as her best friend and Nancy & Shane have done a wonderful job of keeping Shea’s memory alive all while raising another beautiful daughter. Are you starting to see how God’s showing up and maybe showing out just a little?
Finally, after months of planning and enjoying each other as much as any Bride & Mother-of-the-Bride ever have, all of Kaitlyn’s dreams came true. The Memory of Ashlee Shea, Kaitlyn’s Maid of Honor, was represented through a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Resting on a pedastal right beside Kaitlyn were daisies and sunflowers because Shea is their “Sunshine” and she shined down brightly, even twinkling the crystals in the chandeliers above Kaitlyn’s head as she and Cam said their vows. We all know Shae was watching and right there with us because her presence was felt all day.
Enjoy this first look at their fabulous wedding at Pineola Farms. It was filled with not only gorgeous details, but lots of emotion so be sure to read the captions on the some of the pictures so you can shed tears with us. We’ll have more soon and who knows, we may have another piece of the puzzle in this fabulous thing we call life.
Kaitlyn chose to use her Great Grandmother’s broach on her flowers as her something old.
She had a first look with Dad and then gave both her Mama & Daddy gifts and a sweet letter.
What a super-sweet group of bridesmaids!
They chose not to see each other, but met at the corner of the house to exchange gifts and pray together before the ceremony.
A prayer and a little minute with Sissy’s memory before going down the aisle.
Kaitlyn had a piece of her sister’s bandana sewn into her dress so she would be at her side.
Cam wrote a song and sang it for Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn danced with Daddy to a song he sang to her as a little girl and then she surprised Mama by having the DJ read something she wrote about her and then they danced to “Mama’s Song”.
We were so blessed with two wonderful families. We can’t say enough good things about the children these two Mama’s have raised.