Saturday, February 23, 2008

2-22: Jimmy and Stephanie's Day

February 22nd, 2008 was a very special day.

That was the date Jimmy and Stephanie were joined in marriage in a wonderfully moving and joyous ceremony. The joy is continuing throughout the weekend as we enjoy family time together in Colorado's Estes Park. We trust that their joy will be full for many years to come.
For the significance of the date 2-22 check out the insightful essay Jimmy wrote here. He and Stephanie decided there could be no more appropriate date for their wedding.
So as not to keep you in suspense, here's a picture from after the wedding. In this picture, I see them smiling ahead at a bright future together.

Before I go any further, let me give kudos to Antonio and Lissa, photographers par excellence. Antonio took the pictures for this blog on his digital camera. Lissa took pictures for later development. ¡Muchisimas gracias!

Here is a picture of the venue, Stonebrook Manor, minutes from our homes. What a wonderful, peaceful location for an event. Check out their website here. Jimmy's friend, an elder in his church, presented them this wonderful gift.

Antonio took some great pictures of the beautiful bride. Here's one in the gazebo.

Jimmy with his mom.

Jimmy and Stephanie's pastor, Jeff, conducted the ceremony. In it, he told the remarkable story of their meeting and subsequent decision to spend their lives together. Believe me, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. We knew parts of the story, but it was very interesting to hear it from Jeff's point of view. He was very much a part of the story, as he introduced them shortly after Stephanie started attending the church. The sequence of events leading to their meeting reminded me of the six improbable fortuities in Milan Kundera's book, but in this case we believe it was the guiding hand of a loving Person bringing them together through innumerable improbable events.

One of the events that brought them together soon after meeting was climbing Mt. Bierstadt, a fourteener, together with some members of their church. (For you non-Coloradan/non-mountain climbers, a fourteener is a mountain that is higher than 14,000 feet in elevation.)

When Jimmy and Stephanie said their vows, we needed a few boxes of tissues, but only had one tissue among us!

Welcome to the family, Stephanie! We are so blessed to call you daughter.

Their unity candle and marriage license.

Just a fun picture they took after the ceremony.

The happy couple!

Steph's Mom and Dad, DeeAnn and Terry, with the newly married couple.

Kathy and Jim with Jimmy and Stephanie.

Here's a picture with Lissa and Antonio, who are not in many of the pictures since they were the photographers!

In the car headed to the house for the reception.

Arriving at Antonio and Lissa's for the reception.


Cutting the cake.

This is a sword made of Toledo steel, in the pattern that would have been used in the time of Columbus. Out families love symbolism. Jimmy was born in Spain, very near the place from which Columbus sailed to the New World, hence cutting the cake with the sword! (Not to mention the fact Antonio is from Madrid, where he and Lissa met, and the reception was in their home!)

Lissa and Antonio and their boys, Chris and Stefan, have been such a big part of our children's lives, ever since we all lived in Spain. Lissa followed us to Spain, where she met Antonio. We followed them to Colorado, where so many wonderful things have happened to our families, but that's a story for another day! Jimmy has many fond memories of fun times spent with their family. It was very special that they could be such a big part of the wedding.

Here's a nice picture of Jimmy with his old(!) and new Dad.

I like this picture of the two of us on the bridge at Stonebrook manor. Jimmy crossed a very important bridge into a new life yesterday!

A nice picture of Steph's folks, Terry and DeeAnn.

The mother and father of the groom.

I call this picture "Payback." At Lissa and Antonio's wedding, Jimmy had his eyes crossed in all the pictures. You can read more about this on the tribute Bonnie wrote yesterday.

As with any celebrity wedding, there are the inevitable paparazzi!

After the reception our families shifted location to Estes Park, to the exquisite, peaceful home of our dear friends, Jim and Sue. Their house is truly a "House of Peace." I'm convinced that it's not just the house or the location. It's the peace that is such a part of their lives. They are a true blessing to everyone they meet, and they have been an especial blessing to Kathy and me. They are now blessing our entire family as we stay in their Beit Shalom all weekend.

Here's a view from the back of Beit Shalom. Colorado weather is so marvelous, yet so changeable. We have been blessed with a truly great weekend. The mountains are snowcapped, but the sun is out, and the weather is clear here in scenic Estes Park this weekend.

This is a view from the loft office in which I'm putting together this blog.

Portrait of the Blogger in the Loft Office. (Jimmy came in and took this picture as I was finishing up. )

Here's the living room, directly below the loft office picture above. A leisurely afternoon at Beit Shalom.

Here's Hannah enjoying a private showing of The Miracle Worker!

Here are Chris and Stefan with Pam and Jill playing DDR.

Well, I hope this has given you a little glimpse of the immense joy we have all experienced in seeing Jimmy and Stephanie united. Many thanks to them for allowing us to be such a part of it. Pam was appalled that we were all going together to Estes Park after the wedding. How could she go with them on their honeymoon? Who ever heard of such a thing?

Our family's never been afraid of being different, and Jimmy has never hesitated to be an iconoclast, whenever an icon needed to be broken! So this is one of the best ideas ever. We are having a blast and getting to know Stephanie and her parents in the bargain. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

So now, we'll fade out from the new couple with a blurred vision of The Kiss.

Many blessings upon you, Jimmy and Stephanie. Love from all of us.....


Bonnie said...

I loooooooove the photos Dad. And your post was great !! I cannot wait to see the video to be able to hear it as well ... isn't it amazing how important our senses are in experiencing things ! Talking about the wedding this morning with you all was great but didn't make me cry. Seeing the photos though ... that was a different story. The video might throw me over the edge !! :D The edge of what ? yeah, I don't know either !!

I love what you said about our family not being afraid to be different. It's one of my favorite things about US !! I'm going to have to go look up iconoclast. I get it in the context of the sentence but am going to have to see it's meaning too ...

I just got an email saying you added more photos ... am going to go look at those now !!


Bonnie said...

You're right, I love the photo of you and Mom !!!

PS ... I meant to mention that I noticed the feedjit in your sidebar. Isn't that thing cool ? I love seeing where people have visited from !!

Mari said...

I'm here from Bonnies blog. What a beautiful wedding and what a great family. I can tell you are wonderful parents because Bonnie is so so great. I read the post from Jimmy and was touched and impressed by that also. Congrats to the whole family!

Anonymous said...

I have refreshed my memory of Jimmy's blog and remember clearly how impressed I was of Jimmy's walk of faith. Now I am blessed to see the outcome of his patience in such a beautiful wedding and such a fun celebration with the family. Congratulations to Jimmy and Steph, to Cath and Jim and all the Switzers and to Steph's family. This story of yours, Jim, is delicately embroidered with the love you all have for each other. How the blessing has flowed and is continuous. What a blessing to be able to share this great occasion. Thank you. Mary

jamestownboys said...

(one of Bonnie's friends :) )
What beautiful pictures of a beautiful day!!!
Congratulations :)

Anonymous said...

This is such a wonderful post (I don't really know the lingo! Was that correct?)! Anyway... It does create such a longing to be with you!
The pics are great (good job Antonio!)
Can't wait to meet you Steph! Jimmy, I always knew that you would find the perfect person! Our family has always known what an amazing person you are and we love you so much!
I am so glad you are ALL having such a wonderful honeymoon!
Love you all! Aunt Lori Lynn

Rory said...

Great post Dad! We so wish we could be there to celebrate with everyone, especially Bonnie of course. Can't wait to come back for another visit.

Karen said...

Your family is a real inspiration to me. I can see such love between you all, and Bonnie is carrying the torch for the family in Australia and passing on a wonderful family heritage to her children. Thank you for letting us share a bit of your family via blogland! It's so cool too that you know my cousin Ally in real life as well.