An epic week.
Its hard to even comprehend how blessed I feel.
A week ago Friday, I flew to Texas to meet Scud in Houston. We drove to Bryan-College Station to visit with some of his college buddies. It was wonderful to re-connect with some of his friends, and meet some new ones. These guys were in a bible study all four years at Texas A&M. And I get to be friends with their wives!
On Saturday, we went to the AGGIES football game where we got to watch Johnny Manziel play most likely his last college game at Kyle Field. That kid has an incredible arm and he knows the game. (Now if he could just grow up!!).
It was an amazing visit, and a bit too short.
We left Sunday around noon and after a short hour drive, we met up with Harry and Audrey Slye. Harry was Scud's YL campaigner leader and had more of an influence on my sweet husband than probably any other person has or ever will. What an incredible blessing we have had knowing and being loved by this godly couple.
From there we spent the night and had a quick but great visit with Scud's sister and her family in the Woodlands.
Monday morning Scud dropped me off at the airport and he headed to Tyler to visit his sweet mom for a couple of days.
I landed in New Orleans and quickly met my new friend Barb, arriving from Berlin, Germany to attend the Young Life College Summit. Due to travel times and when the conference was to start, we both had to arrive a day early-which turned out to be the most wonderful opportunity to discover the French Quarter in this city.
The jammed packed summit was indeed what every Young Life College staff person needed: some great input of ideas, inspiring teaching and a phenomenal story by a gracious woman who was the victim of rape and has used it for good. Not to mention the incredible fun that we had. Our first full summit evening, we had dinner and then were led on a "Second Line Parade".
Second Line Parades are a common occurance in NOLA, but not many of us had ever heard of one. Initially they were parades that led a funeral procession through the streets with a brass band leading the parade. Eventually, these parades became common scenes at weddings.
Well, imagine 200 YL College staff folk, running after the brass band that led us, singing and hollering all for JESUS, through Bourbon Street-perhaps one of the darkest streets in our country. Usually people surround this street to drink way too much, to indulge in things they never would have anywhere else, and here we were having the time of our lives running through the neighborhoods celebrating Jesus. People lined the streets to look at us. I wish I had a picture to show you, but I was too too busy having fun to stop for a picture. I'm not sure I will ever have that experience again, but it was something I will never forget.
I got the full dining experience in New Orleans: from amazing Cafe Au Lait and beignets at the famous Cafe du Monde, to tasty shrimp Po boy sandwich, to seafood gumbo and jumbalaya, and even a Hurricane at Pat O'Brian's.
And one of the highlights of NOLA was a visit with my niece and nephew, who are in their second year of pediatric residency, and second year of med school at Tulane. It had been way too long since I last saw Gabriella or Miles.
I returned home late Thursday night and Friday began a full day and a half preparations to stage a surprise (to just her) engagement party to our son Todd, and his new fiancee, Katy!!!
Todd knew EXACTLY how he wanted this day to go and planned many details. He flew Katie and Nate down from Seattle and his two college roomies and best friends, Dave and Macha drove from LA with their families to join the celebration.
Katy's family lives just an hour and a half from Woodleaf in the Sacramento area and drove up for a memorable day celebrating their sweet daughter and our son.
Todd proposed at the LOOKOUT TOWER by Woodleaf. If you've been an intern, or on summer staff or work crew, you know the beauty of this spot. Dave and Macha hid and captured everything on camera!!
Then they drove to our house and we surprised them with a party.
And then I captured this picture of our children and for the girls, their spouses, the new fiancee and hopefully the almost fiancee.
The past nine days I've been in three states, hardly slept much, and am exhausted now, BUT I have been blessed beyond belief. My joy is overflowing. Blessings upon blessings. I am indeed grateful.