My dear Miss Madelyn Rose,
It is a quarter to 5 on the day of my wedding. I woke up an hour ago and was pretty awake, but I'm getting drowsy now. I may go back to bed at 5:00, but wanted to be sure to have time for one last letter to you before I go and change my name.
You asked in your last letter for me to tell how I was feeling before I get married--I don't remember all your questions, but I will put down what I think you wanted and if you have more questions, feel free to ask!!! :-)
This past week has been busy for me, but not in a hectic way. Though I've been busier than I planned for, it hasn't been in a bad way. Sunday Monday and Tuesday I had long lists of things to do, and I marched down them at a steady, comfortable pace. I did what I could comfortably fit into each day, and didn't stress about the rest of it. Just the fact that I was working steadily but not hectic-ly helped me relax. I've spent time organizing the wedding stuff, getting the final boxes of things out of my room and into the apartment, purchasing the final few items, and making/recieving calls about the wedding. Although I was busy with wedding stuff this week, I count myself successful in my goal of getting the major work done in advance so the final week before the wedding could be restful. It has been.
Richard has a friend in town, Ben, and I've spent time with the two of them nearly every day since Ben got here on Sunday. I went out to dinner with them Sunday after church, Monday they had lunch at my parents house and we attempted to get the marriage certificate (which didn't work), Tuesday we really did get the marriage certificate (which, because Texas has a 72 waiting hour period, means our legal wedding date will actually be September 17, but oh, well). I've really enjoyed spending time with the two of them--and find I like Ben even better in person. :-)
I also have family in town, which has been fun. The kids are even cuter than I remembered--and Caitie is thrilled about being a flower girl (her sister is equally thrilled about being one of the "audience" :P ). They were over a couple of different days, which was quite enjoyable. I wish we had more time together, though.
Wednesday was my day "off" from wedding stuff. The only semi-wedding-planning-crazy stuff I did was program planning in the morning and evening for an hour or so each time. After that (in the morning) Richard, Ben and I went to Costco to pick up most of my wedding flowers. They are soooooooooooooooooo pretty!!! I love just looking at them! We stopped there for hotdogs (I still wouldn't eat a hotdog except in an emergency, but the last few days I've had a hard time remembering to stop and eat at all, so it classified as an emergency). I enjoyed spending the extra time with them. They are so funny together!! After that I went home to drop the flowers off then headed out to my very first ever manicure. It was at a nail salon that does organic/healthy nails, and so the atmosphere (and smell!) was much nicer than other salons. I had my finger nails and toe nails done. It was so nice! They massaged my hands and lower legs as well, and while my feet were done I laid down (it was a recliner chair that went all the way back) with a warm neck wrap. I could feel the little bit of stress I had fading away. It was SO relaxing.
While I was there Mary, the lady who has taken care of my flowers, brought the final flowers to me (SUCH customer service!!! Amazing!). It was supposed to be just Daisies, but she threw in orchids, a bouquet of the wedding flowers, and some extra greenery just because she's wonderful like that. I am going to recommend her to ANYONE I know that wants flowers, she is worth the drive--and can even have them delivered to a different store.
I went home after that to deliver the second batch of flowers. I'd planned to spend a quiet evening at the apartment (Richard and Ben were at his parents house), take a bubble bath, curl my hair, do a nice quiet time, and tidy up a bit to help me relax. But my out-of-town family was visiting, and I enjoyed their company so much, and didn't feel as much a need for solitude as I'd expected, so I stayed home and started curling my hair while they were there. Amanda was, in the meantime, doing her job as the Matron of Honor and putting out some little fires for me--I had accidentally forgotten my phone at home, but I'm glad that I did! She's been most helpful. :-)
And that has been my week so far. It's been a good week, a fun and relaxing week.
Grace asked me yesterday if I was feeling tense and stressed, or jittery and excited. I told her I didn't fall into either category--the words that best describe my emotions are Calm, Serene, and Happy. Of course, it is a little strange to think that the nailpolish that I chose yesterday as Sophia Rhoades, will be the same nail polish that Mrs. Richard Rohlin will be wearing in just a few more hours. It's strange to think that after all this long time our waiting will be over. But I'm not afraid or nervous. While today is a very important day in our lives, it is only the public announcement and celebration of a private commitment that happened over a year and a half ago.
I'm sure that as the wedding draws closer I will experience some jitters, which is good and right. It IS a big deal. But I'm confident. I know what we are doing is right and good, I know it is God's will, and I've had 579 days to think it over. I know that Richard is a good man, a kind man, and that he will be good to me. I know he will treat me with gentleness, care and respect. Fear, on my part, is entirely out of place. There is a verse in the Bible, I forget the reference, but it says that "Perfect love casts out fear." I know my love for Richard is far from perfect, but it is all-consuming. Any room for fear is taken up by the great love I have for him.
So far as family members go, they are all over the map with emotions. Dad is grieving the loss of his daughter, though he is happy for me at the same time. Faith is a basket case (or so I've been told). Mr. Rohlin is stressed--I can imagine that Mrs. Rohlin is probably somewhere between Faith and Mr. Rohlin on the emotion scale. Grace is more like me--taking it all in stride, though I'm sure she's cried a bit. Mom is the same way. Josiah is pretty much oblivious. As for Richard, he mentally checked out about a week ago. He's a basket case. I'm really glad that Ben is there for him--I wouldn't want him to be alone this week. It isn't that he is down AT ALL, he's just so incredibly excited and jittery that he hasn't been able to focus on ANYTHING the last week. It sure is a good thing he took the week off work. Chris Griffith promised me that Richard wouldn't be doing any driving the day of the wedding--which is great, I wouldn't want him missing a turn and missing his own wedding!!
Well, it is nearing 7:00 now, and I need to get going on wedding prep. I think that I will print this out and give it to you tonight, oh Miss Deliverer of Letters--you will be able to hand deliver your very own letter. I bet you weren't expecting that!!