Yesterday Justin and Mandie got married. It was a really pretty ceremony. There will be a site up soon with all of the pics so I won't post a ton here. Below you will find a video of Tate from yesterday morning and a transcript of my best man speech. It was a really fun day and Mel and I are very happy Mandie is now officially part of the family.
June 27th is one of the most memorable days in the history of man. It is the day that Helen Keller was born. Ross Perot and Tobey McGuire were birthed on this day as well. But today we come together to celebrate the birth of something even more significant than the birth blind and deaf woman, a wealthy aristocrat, and Spiderman. Today, the 178th day of 2009, will forever be known as the birth of Justin and Mandie’s marriage.
When they started dating at roughly the age of 7, I anticipated that this day may eventually come.
My brother is the type of person who excels in everything he enjoys. Anything he wants to do, he does well. He was never much of a baseball player because he didn’t really like it. He isn’t much of a dancer, as you will soon see, because he is not particularly fond of it. However, he is quite gifted when he puts his mind to something.
My brother was a great gymnast. He loved the sport and was excellent at it. Because of his prowess, we were able to travel around the nation for his various competitions. It was fun watching him flip around and contort his body in ways I could never imagine doing with mine. We called him monkey for a reason. He is even good at things he doesn’t particularly care for. For example, after gymnastics he was politely forced by my parents to join the Cal High diving team much to his chagrin. He went on to win many diving competitions and ended up winning the league championship and MVP. One of my favorite Justin moments was watching him win the league championships, while the top seeded diver from another school stood shocked. As the top seeded, 2nd place diver cried in to the arms of his mother (no joke), Justin simply walked away from the award podium and handed his 1st place award to my mom and asked if we could go home. He had already moved on.
He was a gymnast and is an artist. He is a great guitarist even though he only started playing a couple years ago. He loves guitar and is a gifted musician. He is one of the best photographers I have ever seen. I call him Ansel Adams, Jr. Actually, I have never called him that, but I should. He captures the world through his lens unlike any photographer I have seen. He won best portfolio at the Academy of Art this year where he attends school. He excels in virtually every area he wishes to.
He was a gymnast and is an artist and a lot of other things ending with ist. There was even a recent time in which his beard caused him to be mistaken for a terrorist, but we won’t get into that today.
It is his drive to succeed and his meticulous care for detail that make me confident he will have a marriage that is successful - a marriage that honors God and is an encouragement and challenge to those around him.
There is another part of this marriage as well – a beautiful young lady named Mandie. Mandie fits seamlessly into our family. In fact, if my parents could have traded Justin and I for 2 daughters, I am fairly confident they would have sent my brother and I packing and welcomed Mandie and Melissa with open arms. Luckily this scenario won’t have to play out.
I can distinctly recall the moment I knew Justin and Mandie were in love. There was a series of many consecutive nights in which I was kept awake by the dull mumbling hum of my brother talking. My bedroom was adjacent to Justin’s and after 2 weeks of these assumed late night cell phone conversations with Mandie, I complained to my parents. Justin denied my accusations. He told my parents he was asleep and I was crazy. Being the crafty brother that I was, I found the cell phone bill and showed my parents the detailed minute-by-minute account of their clandestine conversations. He had been caught. He was willing to suffer the unrelenting wrath of his brother and the scorn of his parents for this girl. He was in love.
Mandie is like a little sister to me and her blend of wit, charm, mathematical skills and overall pleasant demeanor will be a welcomed addition to the Bowen lineage. Not to mention the fact that she is a great cook. Mandie, Justin loves you so much and it has been really fun for me to watch you grow up and to see the positive effect you have had on Justin’s life. You are a great aunt and I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I think you are going to make a great mom someday as well.
Justin and Mandie – I know that you will enjoy marriage and it is going to be a lot of fun transitioning in to this next phase of life with you both.
In closing, I thought I would quote one of Justin’s favorite songs. It is a song that has really spoken to both of us throughout our formative years. The words are simple, but the message transcends understanding:
“You’re my brother,
you’re my friend.
You’re my beginning and my end.
You’re all around me when the world
Turns and walks away.
You’re my sunshine on a cloudy day.
You’re the rain that washes my blues away.
And I can always count on you.
Because you’re my brother
And my you’re friend.”
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
There has been some progress on the home front lately. As of now we are only missing a kitchen, bathrooms, furniture, lighting, and well...pretty much everything. We're getting there though. It's kind of like the Bay Bridge. You can still drive on it, but it always seems like they are doing work on it.
at 10:27 PM
Sunday, June 14, 2009
This has been a pretty insane week. It started off with good news. I got my job back, which means I will be returning to my school in the Fall. I will be teaching Freshman and Senior English as well as video production. I am really excited. Thursday was the last day I had students and Friday was a teacher word day. Friday night was the annual MSM All-Nighter. My day began at 6am on Friday and I went to sleep at 8 am on Saturday. I made all the preparations for the All Nighter while planning for approximately 50-60 students. However, 78 showed up. That was by far the most students we have had for any previous MSM event. It was insanse. We did a huge scavenger hunt, rented Pump it Up (very cool place), had a neon dance room, and walked to Burger King at 5:15 (mile and a half walk each way...pretty horrible after not sleeping!). We had a ton of student and leader involvement. It was a blast, but I am still recovering! Now that I am done with school, I am going to focus on getting the house down so that our new offspring will not have to be raised in the same house I was.
at 2:55 PM