Saturday, March 11, 2006

A new sister, fondue, and dancing with abandon

I am writing at the end of a long day--a long three days, in fact. Dave and Karen are now officially married! It was an absolutely perfect day, today, and I wanted to write my thoughts about it before I went to bed and forgot anything important.

The "event" began Thursday night with a bachelorette party for Karen. I had experienced an awful week, was trying to get things finished for work (so I could go on vacation this upcoming week) and also get ready for the wedding. By Thursday evening I was very physically and emotionally tired, with stress of work weighing on my shoulders.

We went to Simply Fondue. I've decided that fondue is wonderful--but only for the dessert course. In an instant-gratification world, I'm surprised a place like that has even made it. In an hour's time, I probably managed to cook 6 bite-sized pieces of meat, 2 slices of vegetable, and two stuffed jalapenos. Surprisingly, it filled me up! But I still say that the chocolate fondue is really what it's all about. No waiting for anything to cook, and options like Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Tirimisu!

There were 11 people at Simply Fondue--mostly sorority girlfriends of Karen's from college. I am a person who has very few good friends, and meeting so many (and trying to remember their names!) was very trying for me. I felt very overwhelmed and inadequate. By the time we made it to bed (at 2 in the a.m.), I was grateful for the rest.

The next morning began with a brunch with all the girls from the previous night, plus several more girls, plus all the women in the family! It was another overwhelming time for me. All the girls were wonderful, but I felt very out of place. Not because of anything they did; I was still stressed about work, and out of my comfort zone with so many new people.

After the brunch, I helped Walter and Mary decorate for the rehearsal dinner. It took awhile to get the sound to work on the slideshow I had put together of Dave and Karen. I was so excited about the slideshow, and very nervous it wouldn't work! I left for the hotel dead tired. My head was in a fog, and all I could think about was getting some sleep. I had to e-mail some things to work first, and couldn't get the internet connection to work. I could have cried at that moment. Walter let me borrow his computer and get done what I needed to, and I stumbled to my room and flopped on the bed to take advantage of the little time I had left before the rehearsal. Then Jon knocked on the door. He had class that morning, and just made it into town. I set aside my hopes for a short nap, and it turned out I needed Jon more than I needed sleep. He listened to me express my stress, and he made me feel wonderful and capable. We went to the rehearsal together, and just having him there made me feel much more confident around those girls that I did not know. No longer was I the odd girl out. My husband was standing right over there, and I could look to him for support any time I needed it! There was someone there who loved me and accepted me, and I didn't need to worry about anyone else!

The rehearsal was fun, as they always are. Everyone moved to the dinner, my slideshow went off without a hitch (and people really seemed to enjoy it!), and then came the speeches. The speeches were filled with memories and tears, and they were wonderful. Mary spoke about how adding Karen to the family was like having another child. The others would be no less loved, and it would be impossible not to love the new addition just as much. I have been a Norvell long enough now that I cried through the speeches. The rehearsal dinner was perfect: a wonderful mix of fun, laughter, meaningful moments, and tears. I got to know Karen's siblings, Mike, his wife Rachel, and Sarah. They are all very neat people, and seem to be more "small group of friends" people like me, so we got along very well. I also found out I have a shy blog audience (ahem, Vendsels!) who need to now make themselves known in the comments! No fair reading and not commenting! And I'll try to do the same for you!

At the end of the evening, Jon left for the bachelor party, and I went back to the hotel for a wonderful 10 hours of sleep. The next morning I woke up not thinking at all about work, much refreshed and ready for a full day. And a full day it would be.

Bridesmaid plans started at 11 o'clock. Karen was the perfect bride: very easy going and willing to delegate. We all got ready with plenty of time to spare! The photos were fun, and all taken before the wedding, which I think is a fabulous idea. I felt much more like myself, not like the little recluse I had been the past two days. The wedding began at 5 o'clock, and it was beautiful. Karen looked gorgeous, Dave was in tears most of the time, and every song had meaning beyond the marriage of two people. Dave and Karen left in a white horse-drawn carriage to go to the reception location a few blocks away. We all met them there to enjoy barbecue, cake and dancing.

I love weddings with dances. I don't have any other opportunity to dance, and I enjoy it. I think lots of people who enjoy music feel the need to dance. I always thought that since I have no idea how to dance, I would like conducting, because I could still move with and respond to the music. However, I am not a conductor. So, despite my lack of knowledge, I dance. Normally at weddings, Jon and I dance a few songs, then we let others do all the funny stuff and look ridiculous. But tonight, in honor of Dave, we decided to make the most of every dancing opportunity. Jon was my first inspiration to enjoy every dance and not worry if I knew what I was doing or not. Little Sarah was my second. She was the flower girl, and at 7 years of age has no inhibitions or worries about how she looks. She twirled and jumped, clapped and rolled on the floor, and she loved it. It reminded me of the story my parents tell of me with the Junkanu dancers in the Bahamas when I was a little girl, and got to dance on stage in front of everyone.

So I decided that tonight I would dance with abandon. Who cared if I had no idea what the song was, or how to dance to it? Who cared if I was only one of two on the dance floor? Who cared if all I could do was jump and twirl? If I was at a loss of what to do, I looked to Little Sarah and followed her lead. We jumped and twirled together, and it was great. I had the most fun I've ever had on the dance floor. Sarah Vendsel (I would call her Big Sarah, but she is by no means big) was my lone dance partner at one time, and she wore me out! I could not keep up with her!

Sarah, along with her brother and sister-in-law, are very neat people, and I hope that somehow we are family now, because I would love to call them brother and sisters. I think I'll call them that, anyway.

And I can officially call Karen my sister, and I'm so blessed! I'm telling you, I love my brother, and am glad I had a brother growing up, but I sure like having sisters now that I'm grown up. They're so fun to talk to and do stuff with. And I just like the idea of adding to our family. I love my family (and feel very much a part of the Norvell family) and love being able to be a part of inviting someone new into it. I hope Karen feels as at home in the Norvell family as I have.

I have now officially used up the 10 hours of sleep I had last night, so it's time to head for bed. I promise to put up any pictures I took onto my website soon. Well, maybe after vacation. Good night, and blessings on Dave and Karen as they start out on this most wonderful adventure.


  1. I am the first to post my blog comments to your WONDERFUL tribute to the weekend wedding events! are an awesome young woman...I was so very impressed with you during the festivities...and disappointed we didn't get to spend much time together. I have tremendous respect for you and for your husband, Jon. I was struck by how loving the Norvells are. Also, as I gazed upon you, Sarah, Rachel and Karen on the altar, I was blessed to see these beautiful, Christ-adoring young women standing together. I had a surge of motherly love for my adult children like I had never before experienced.

    I am so thankful to God that Karen has such excellent examples to follow in you and Jon, Rachel and Mike, MAry and Walter. Our prayer is that the Lord will find Sarah's perfect soul mate for her, and reveal him soon. After all, she did catch the bouquet!

    I'm hoping to have a mini Norvell dinner after Dave and Karen return and get settled. Looking forward to it!

    Much love and gratitude...thank you for helping to make Karen and Dave's wedding day so very special!

    And speaking of feeling "out of place"...that may feel true to you, but you were the epitome of grace and beauty, my dear!

    Love, Angie G....

  2. Carolyn Dickinson3/15/2006 1:53 PM

    Angie G ... we haven't met, but we love the same people. I'm Lydia's mom. Thank you for your sweet blog comment. Ldia doesn't see in herself the inner beauty that others find in her. Lydia is blessed to be in the Norvell family, and I know Karen will be, also. To God alone be the glory for His goodness to our children and their mates.

  3. Lydia,
    Thanks for the rendition of the wedding; it is so sweet. I'm sure you realize that in your weakness God's strength is perfected. I am grateful you have Jon as your husband and that he is sensitive to your needs.
    Love you,

  4. What a fun vacation we have just had!!! I am soooo glad we decided to do something together because it was absolutely perfect! I treasure our couple friendship very much! We will have to do this again! :)

  5. Perhaps we'll meet one day, Carolyn! I'm glad you read my comments. Your daughter is an amazing talent...looking forward to visiting with her more in the future. Karen LOVES her!

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  7. Lydia, I'm glad you had a wonderful day! Friday was a good little kitty while his mom & dad were off having fun. It's always an exciting thing to be a part of a wedding (especially when it's not your own) & the stress of the day doesn't seem so bad. As for the kitty, I think he's jealous of penguins. Just my hunch. But I think I verified this while watching March of the Penguins...he attacked the screen. Ok, he put his lil paw up there & meowed at them. Ha ha!

  8. Lydia! I LOVED meeting you and John; I am tickled pink that you are Karen's sister-in-law, and that definitely makes us family in my book. I promise to give up lurking on your blog and comment with abandon! I noticed your quietness on Thursday and Friday and identified with you -- (although you were so gracious and sweet)-- I must say that I, too, was somewhat overwhelmed by Karen and Dave's wide circle of friends and fighting a yucky cold that weekend -- reflecting on it later, I regretted not spending more time getting to know all the bridesmaids. I have a friend, Meredith Boyd, who has this incredible spiritual gift of encouragement --she immediately makes anyone within 5 square feet of her feel like the most special person on earth. I fall so far short of this --if I could go back, I would have done more to get to know the other bridesmaids. I definitely wish we had had more time together but I will look forward to getting to know you through your blog.

    Your slideshow was AWESOME -- you are definitely talented in all things graphic and computer-ish. :) I was impressed with your dancing skills, too. It was a lovely day, and I wish Karen and Dave many blessings and long life together.

    p.s. I slept in this morning, and had a dream that relived the wedding in a bizzare, dream-like way. At one point, all the bridesmaids were spelling "NORVELL" with our arms and legs while the groomsmen spelled "VENDSEL," and Walter and Mary were performing a skit on pool floaties in a swimming pool which had been placed up on stage in the church. What in the world?! :)

  9. Lydia -

    Rachel's the PR person for our marriage, as you heard at the rehearsal dinner, so her post counts for me, too, but I'll leave an additional one anyway.

    I was so glad to have met you and your husband, and am truthfully kindof sad that you guys are in Ft. Worth and we are in Philly. I think we would find that we are kindred spirits upon spending more time together. Hopefully we will have some time like that in the future. If not, I'm glad there's still this forum to communicate.

    Also, I categorically hate pictures of myself, and I am eternally grateful to you for not putting any into that slideshow. Thank you so much!

  10. AAAhhh....were is the AUSTIN POST!!!!!

  11. Hey Lydia...Mike takes great pictures when he doesn't know the camera is aimed at him! He's ruined many portrait photos in his 27 years of life...much to my displeasure! Looking forward to having 4 Norvells to dinner sometime soon! Have you ever eaten roast lamb? One of my specialties...