I'll just say it, I remember when they were born. Granted I was still in middle school, but I feel like, while it may date me, it intertwines us as part of each others lives. Now, watching them beat myself and half of my cousin's down the isle, I can't help but think of how impressed I am by their ability to be BRAVE: to join the marines, to raise little Ryker, to commit to each other, so young and so confidently.
I grew up with Rushes, hunting and fishing with their families. Their sons Coley, Whitney, and Dayton appear in our family photos on my parents' walls at home. Smiling next to my brothers and I. Holding up stringers of fish and playing at sunset in the beautiful film photos my mom took of us. I remember going on road trips with my mom, Dori, and Kateri. You guys, she was alway this beautiful. Big eyes and dark curls. I remember thinking what a stunning little girl she was. While I didn't see them much when I left for college, the Rush's were like family.
Tyson, however, is family. I used to babysit him at my aunt's house after going swimming at the city pool. I've watched him grow up at every family holiday party over the years. His Grandma said that, as a kid, he used to line up his socks in his drawer perfectly. Unlike anyone in our family had taught him. While the thought of him joining the military scared her, she knew he would thrive under the structure it instilled. He went on to graduate high school and join the Marines. This year he will be stationed in Japan, and we are so incredibly proud of his strength and bravery.
On Saturday, our families joined together officially by its youngest members. Kateri and Tyson. They exchanged vows in the shade of an old pine tree at the Fort Peck Hotel. With words like "forever" and "I promise", they committed to love each other through everything and create a life together with Ryker. It was a gorgeous evening that ended with friends and family dancing under the stars.
I have to give a shout to the fact that Kateri and Tyson were blessed by their very talented family on their wedding day. The stunning flowers and event design were the work of Kateri's brother, Dayton. While her hair and makeup was artfully done by Tyson's sister and cousin, Aiyana and Octavia. Plus, plenty of man power and help from the other members of their families. Check out the killer arch they created, day of, out of cottonwood boughs.