Saturday, December 20, 2014

Todd and Shayla Get Married

We met Todd because he served in the 4's and 5's class at our church.  We'd wrangle our crew of kids from the van through the busy parking lot, into the church building, and down the hall to the kids wing.
Easter 2014 and Grant's 13th Birthday
Todd was there almost every week, with a giant smile and a warm welcome.  His warmth caused even the shyest child to soften up and come play and learn about Jesus.  We loved him instantly, especially Alli since she was in his class.

Over the course of the past six years, Todd has become part of our family.  What started as casual greetings and heart-felt "thanks for serving" each Sunday morphed into longer conversations in the hallway.  Then coffee dates with Curt, dinners at our house, and even missions trips together.
Curt and Todd heading to Haiti together.
Todd has come to band concerts. Soccer games. Water polo matches.  Finish lines of races. Birthday parties. He has lived in our home.  Celebrated holidays with our family. We love him like he's our own.  Curt has become "Father Stilp," I am "Momma Jodi," and the kids are all Todd's brother and sisters.
Finish line of Curt's first half marathon
Grant's 10th birthday party - a Nerf Gun War
We remember when he met Shayla.  Todd came back from a missions trip to Haiti all lit up.  We quickly learned it was not just because he had an awesome week serving Jesus in Haiti.  A gorgeous blonde haired, blue eyed, godly woman had captured his heart.

It wasn't long until Todd brought Shayla around to meet the family.  She was soft-spoken, lovely, and kind to the kids.  Alli was jealous that Todd had another girl in his life, but it didn't take Shayla long to win her over.

Todd and Shayla got engaged in February and immediately began planning a December wedding.  Shayla had a clear vision of a rustic winter wedding and she nailed it.  Every last detail was beautiful!
just a little of the wedding decor
A few weeks before the wedding, Paige came downstairs with her birthday present from Todd - a coupon for brother/sister date. She plopped it on the counter and said, "I want to redeem this."  I told her Todd probably didn't have time since he was in the thick of finals at school and weeks away from his wedding, but I texted him anyway to ask.  Even though he was ridiculously busy, Todd moved things around to take his little sister out on a date.

She looked forward to their date for days and came home beaming.  Todd took her out to eat first.  While they were dining he asked her to be a flower girl in his wedding, then took her to the mall to shop for her dress.  And bought it for her!  Can you say ADORABLE?  Now you know why we love him so much.

flower girl Paige
Shayla helped Paige and I shop for shoes.  We'd text her pictures of the options until we found the perfect pair.  We all agreed THESE were the ones to match Paige's pretty flower girl dress.  Paige prayed every night until the wedding, "Dear Jesus, Please don't let me mess up in Todd and Shayla's wedding."  Paige shared flower girl responsibilities with Shayla's little sister Kaitlyn.  They both gained a friend out of the process.
Paige and Kaitlyn
Shayla with her flower girls
dancing flower girls
The wedding rehearsal was on a school night packed with other activities.  This Taxi Driver couldn't get it all done so one of Todd's groomsmen agreed to be Paige's date.  Jared picked her up, kept an eye on her at the rehearsal, and brought her home.  It was really sweet!  This little Princess now knows how to be treated on a date.  Thank you Jared!
Jared and Grant at the wedding
December 14th was The Big Day.  Todd and Shayla become Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Todd Acosta.  They stood before family, friends, and God and declared their love, devotion and commitment to each other.  We clapped and cheered, celebrating the love they have for each other.
Mr. and Mrs. Acosta
first dance
beautiful bride and groom
Our family - including most of The Big's - spent the hours before the ceremony setting up the venue and making sure everything was ready.  It was really fun to get some extra time with Todd and Shayla before the majority of their guests arrived.
Sarai and Paige
Kate was the wedding coordinator and she did a wonderful job!
Todd with some of his sisters
Curt and Todd
Gucci shenangians during the reception 
The ceremony was "unplugged" - no photos or video except the official wedding photographers.  I can't wait to see their wedding album - I'm sure it will be beautiful! I took candids throughout the day and during the reception though and got some fun images of a really beautiful day.
Congratulations Todd and Shayla.  We are so happy for you both.  Thank you for letting us be a part of your wedding day.  We look forward to journeying with you as you embrace life as a married couple.
Todd, Shayla, Kate, Sarah, Sarai, and our kids
"May the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." - Numbers 6:23-25

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