The first event

There is a new chapter happening. The chapter of my life where my best friend gets married! I can’t say it hasn’t felt weird sometimes, and I think of some things that will change forever, but in my heart the change brings me peace. Last weekend we had the first of many celebrations, the engagement party.
I am glad to be close to the couple of honor. It means I get to see the ring right out of the box, and sneak a peek at the photos of the dress. But I am also glad to not be the center. I remember the stress and the hard work involved. It’s so nice to be there to party but not be in charge! I’m so glad to be part of the wedding party. I haven’t been in that many weddings, and so it’s still kinda fun for me. I love Cat’s family and I will be glad to continue our relationship by working together to celebrate Cat and Nano and their life together.
I honestly haven’t felt that emotional about it, except when I join with Cat in her excitement about the steps involved. It is really fun to plan and dream about what you want and what it will look like, especially for us visual types. I am full of joy as I think of how Cat will have someone to be with everyday and who will join with her in a life journey. And I’m happy for Nano too, I have yet to hear his whole journey, but I am realizing everyday that he is a gem. I’m glad to be able to grow to know him better too. It’s refreshing to be adults going through this process. Don’t get me wrong, there is something really fun about getting married at 22 and the fact that so many of our still good friends all got married the same summer and we can all reflect and laugh together about the journey we’ve had. Going through the process with Cat 12 years later is totally different. My love, respect, and knowledge of my friend is so much richer. She stood by me in my giggly youth and supported my marriage and ever since has been an inexhaustible listening ear. Cat’s process has more maturity and life choices marked out already. It’s really really nice. It’s exciting!
Time to party! We got together at the Chattanooga Choo Choo’s Victorian Lounge and hobnobbed. Met more folks. It felt like a neighborhood party too since so many of us live on the Southside. I love getting to see Cat’s parents and her little sis, Suzanne. Cat’s sister in laws are already thinking about showers (which is good because I’m such a procrastinator). After a good time catching up and meeting more people, a smaller group of us went over to the Chattanoogan. We continued the celebration as we met more folks around the fire ring out back that were at wedding receptions there. We were invited by a somewhat inebriated friend of the bride to join the reception and dance. Ha! We got up the courage and went. Danced through about 3 songs and Joel was bet $10 to go hug the bride, which he did without pause. That’s my man. Then we scurried out.
A signature start to what will be many a celebration. I sit patiently and wait for my friend, the bride-to-be, to tell me where to get my dress, what kinda shoes to buy, and anything (anything) else she might need. My wedding feels like another time. I mean it was. It was at the very beginning of my adult life. Living off nothing, with nothing but us. I hope to shake off my trappings and obligations and be there as Cat and Nano become one household. I thank God for these changes, and that it has changed me too. Although this post is full of my feelings, I thrive off of the joy of this event from everyone else too. Many of us have been waiting for this to happen (whether we knew it or not) and now that it has, we exhale and feel the page turn.

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