Twas the Week Before the Wedding

Twas the week before the wedding…….oh what a week! So many feelings these days. So many good times. I want to share with you a few pictures, memories, and thoughts from some of these last days before Chelsy gets married, moves out, and begins her new life in Kansas.

Our family has been blessed to be all together quite a few times lately, and we treasure every one of those memories. Of course, we will all have many more good times together after Chels is married, both without her and when she and John come back to visit, but these days of everyone (four households) living within ten minutes, and getting together without anyone missing, and all that…..well it’s going to be different once Chelsy moves away.

Chels made soft pretzels for us “one last time” before she leaves. They were as yummy as ever. Oh, how we do love that girl’s cooking! John will definitely be eating well.:)

So many people have been asking how I feel about it all… sister and best friend moving away, and all that. That is another post for another time (and I do promise to share more later), but for now suffice it to say that I am soaking up these last days living under the same roof with her, having all the married siblings living within 10 minutes of the home place, all going to the same church, etc. Times are changing, but it is good change, prayed for, and really one of the very best things that’s happened in my entire life! I can’t tell you how happy I am for my dear sis to be marrying such a good, good man who she fits so perfectly. God is good.

It’s been said that,

“If you want to know how rich you are, find out how many things you have that money cannot buy.”

The past week- Christmas season + the last days before my dearest older sister gets married and moves out of state- has been a time of realizing how very, very rich I really am. Like the quote says, “in things money cannot buy.” Money can’t buy big happy family dinners, or close family relationships, or a peaceful home, or siblings who are best friends, or a loving church family, or good friendships.

This tribe…….no matter how far any of us move, our hearts will always be close. There is much to hold us together:

The memories we share, and the ones we have still to make.

The way we were together so much growing up– school together, Sundays together, family meals together, play time together, field trips together, music together.

The love we all have for the same Heavenly Father.ย 

The individual differences we celebrate– extroverts and introverts, classical music lovers and bluegrass music lovers, organizers and mess makers, coffee drinkers and tea drinkers (and the 3rd class of hot chocolate, with our cultured sis in loves bringing new drinks of chai and boba:), gluten eaters and gluten free-ers, spenders and savers, and so on and so forth.

The little idiosyncrasies we all share– throwing dinner rolls + potatoes + ketchup bottles at the table (it’s like eating at Lamberts every day!), speaking our minds (sometimes too freely), the strong love for all things dairy (bring on the butter!!!), our abhorrence of “substitutes” and certain packaged foods, that habit of losing sunglasses, drowning our chocolate cake in milk, a love of good deals, the need to go without a coat (for all males at all times of year), that terrible tendency to be late, and the list goes on and on.


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  1. Aw, it must not be easy! I also have a sister just older than me and I often think of how things could change anytime……. so, thanks for the reminder to enjoy those great times while we have them. I have already learned that a new normal can become normal amazingly fast!
    -Cynthia from Costa Rica

  2. Allison, such a sweet post. I’ll be praying for wedding week that you can enjoy every little moment, and won’t be overwhelmed by the many emotions: joy, a twinge of loneliness, excitement, enthusiasm, hope and peace. My sister is in a relationship, and it’s a lot harder than I thought-and not for the reasons I thought! The hardest thing for me is just missing our “old times” like staying up late to talk, share, and enjoying each other’s company. That sadness at knowing she’ll be moving away is overshadowed by the joy I feel for her though, and that makes it easier. You don’t know how very much your posts do encourage me though to see the bright side of things, and to enjoy the moment. Thank you!

    1. Oh Haleaka, blessings to you as you embrace this new season! I hear ya, but it is really such a blessing when that right guy cones for your sister.

  3. This is such a sweet post, Allison. Thanks for sharing! <3 Little similarities and differences in families are so neat, and special. As well as crazy little family traditions, and memories; those are some of the best. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love the quote you shared — so true!
    I have a somewhat “large” family (9) and my older brothers have gotten to the ages where they are seriously considering relationships. Its such an amazing thing to watch!
    We’ve also made some great memories together this year, especially! Getting stuck at the top of a Ferris Wheel for an hour with my oldest brother yesterday? Not planned (for us OR those running the thing!), but at least it gave us some good, uninterrupted sibling time ๐Ÿ˜‰ And selfies to document the occasion ๐Ÿ™‚
    And WHAT is with guys not wearing coats?!!

    1. Yes, Grace! I agree that those crazy and unplanned memories can be the best.
      And I really don’t know- some combination of farm boy/country boy/tough guy stuff I guess?:) Last night Denver left the house with a short sleeve shirt. In 4 degrees. And yes, I scolded him!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it!
      Yeah….it is a little different but we grew up on it and LOVE it! I guess maybe it’s a Mennonite thing? We literally drown the cake in milk, and we think it’s incredible! It’s also healthier than eating cake with frosting or ice cream (although that’s not why we do it).

  5. Sis. I LOVE this post. So beautiful.
    I’m gonna miss so much! Esp throwing all those things across the table. John + I will do our best to carry on the tradition but you know we will only be two and there’s only so much one can throw across a table for two. =) You’ll have to come down to Kansas for dinner rolls, LOTS. =)
    Love you…

    1. Oh sis! I will miss all that you add around here, but it we will just look forward to the visits all the more for the times we miss each other dreadfully. Your home will have plenty of delicious food to throw! I definitely see you and John carrying on that Bontrager tradition.:)

  6. Well spoken. I know there are many mixed feelings. Seems the girls usually move away and the guys stay put. I thought since John has a business in ag and works from home he might move up to the farm with you all.
    Hoping for a live stream of the wedding.

    1. John and Chelsy have decided to live in Kansas for now. Chels is a very flexible gal and would be happy anywhere!
      The wedding will be livestreamed- check my family’s blog for details later today.

  7. Aww! What a wonderful time! I’m the second oldest of 10 so I definitely relate to much of this! If you don’t mind, what part of Kansas is Chelsy moving to? I love Kansas. We had such a great church there in Manhattan!

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