Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I don't quite know how to say how I feel...

Last month I got to see my little sister marry the love of her life.  The minute she asked me to be her matron of honor, I knew exactly what I wanted to say to her in her toast.  I thought I'd share it with you all today.  Enjoy.

I'm an ugly crier.
For those who don’t know, I am Andrea’s sister Amanda.  You know, I’ve been in a lot of weddings (though this is my first time being the matron of honor) and I have to tell you, mostly matrons of honor tell the story the first time they met the groom.  So, I guess that means I’m supposed to tell you that story and tell you that I immediately knew that Ricky was perfect for Andrea and all of that.  Truth be told, I had no idea if he was perfect for Andrea that night or not.  I do know that when my son stuck his entire hand in Ricky’s pumpkin beer, Ricky didn’t even flinch and went immediately and bought himself another one.  No questions asked.  No hard feelings whatsoever.  So whether or not Andrea liked him, as far as my husband and I were concerned, we were going to keep Ricky around for awhile.

Actually, the story I really want to tell tonight is one that happened several years before Andrea and Ricky even knew one another.  Back in January 2006, our family took a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona.  We stayed at a resort on a golf course which had about every available amenity you can think of including, in the center of the resort, a beautiful pool that was gorgeously landscaped, huge, had tons of lounge chairs, fluffy white towels, and a huge water slide that made it look like it had been carved out of a mountain.  As St. Louisans are wont to do at the opportunity to swim in the middle of January, we decided to spend an afternoon poolside and all made our way down there as a group.  Well, everyone except for Andrea, who told us she needed to “get ready” before she met us down there.

I settled myself in on a lounger and opened my book, reading only for a little while before I noticed my sister making her way across the pool deck.  Let me tell you - she was decked. out.  Every inch of her was styled to perfection - from her bathing suit coverup to her flip flops to her sunglasses to her beach bag - everything matched, everything looked great on her, and everything looked perfectly together.  She took the chair next to me, settled in, pulled out a magazine, and leisurely began to flip the pages.  

About three minutes passed when she tossed aside the magazine and announced loudly, “I’m bored.”  She stood up.  Threw off the sunglasses.  Kicked off the flip flops.  And made a beeline straight for the water slide.  Where, she entertained herself by going down the water slide, SQUEALING with delight the entire time.  This went on for about an hour until she got bored with that and dragged me across the pool deck and made me go down about twenty or thirty times.

I tell this story here today, not only because I cannot pass an opportunity to tell a funny Andrea story, but also because I think it perfectly encapsulates Andrea.  It’s pretty normal for a little sister to look up to her big sister, but I am here to say that, though she may be my crazy little sister - I have always looked up to Andrea.

She is 100% able to pull herself together.  She’s graceful and poised and truly makes it all look effortless.  However, she also knows when to throw that all off and just have a really good time. 

And here’s the good news - though I haven’t known him quite as long as I’ve known her - I can say with some certainty that Ricky possesses these same qualities.  (Which is mostly convenient because Andrea needs someone to go down the water slide with her.)

Marriage - I’ve found in my long 5 and a half years - is a little bit like that.  You need to be able to be serious.  To pull yourselves together and remain poised when the occasion calls for it.  But, also, you have to know when to shake it all off, have a great time, and go down the water slide together.

If today is any indication of the joy you will share in the life you spend together, I think you guys are going to be just fine.  And so, I lift my glass to you and to your joy on this day and in all the days that follow.  I love you both.  Congratulations.

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