Not too far south of Joplin, I was fortunate enough to attend a cousin's wedding last night with my family.
For one night, at least, it was a blessing to be surrounded with the people I love, and celebrate the beginning of something new - a marriage between two young people who are committed to spending the rest of their lives together.
My own family made the drive down from Kansas City - about 2 1/2 hours - picked me up - and then drove the rest of the way to a small Missouri town called Nixa. There, we met up with extended family and friends to witness the marriage between my cousin, Tyler, and his beautiful bride, Kristen.
The simple, yet beautiful wedding was held outdoors, and it was a beautiful backdrop.
Kristen's mother walked her down the aisle, as Tyler looks on...
I may be prejudiced, but I think Kristen is one of the most beautiful brides EVER. :)
After the ceremony, we celebrated with food and dancing, and then watched as the happy couple cut the cake:
My 5-year old nephew, Robert, was celebrating as he ate his cheese in a rather unique way:
It was a wonderful evening, and as I felt a tiny twinge of guilt at one point as I thought about what the people of Joplin are going through, I quickly chased that thought away, knowing that we NEED to celebrate life.
Cheers to you, Tyler and Kristen!
May you have a long and happy life together!