Gaining a sister

This weekend, we were so thrilled to celebrate Win and Tracy’s wedding!

I didn’t take my big-girl camera, so these are the few phone shots I got from the weekend, but rest assured that it was a very joyful and exciting occasion. We are so happy for Win and Tracy!

Beautiful day for a wedding! #tracyftwin
Saint Mary’s Chapel.
Rehearsal time! #tracyftwin
Rehearsal madness.
Rehearsal #tracyftwin
Men during rehearsal.
Wedding ready! #firstselfie #wildhair
Took a big hair risk.
Hello there, Pratt men! #weddingday #tracyftwin
Sneaking up on the Pratt men.
#tracyftwin
Sweet.
Love them!! #tracyftwin
The newly minted couple!

Back in the Triangle

This weekend, I journeyed to the Triangle to spend some quality time with some much-missed friends. We had a shower for Kathryn, the beautiful bride-to-be. I skipped back to Durham and got to see three great films at Full Frame with Jonathan; stayed up until 2 (super-late for me these days) with him and Brittney, discussing the beauty/terror of whales, Radiolab stories, and dramatic break-ups. They are great. Everyone is great.

A small selection of photos:

The rest of the weekend’s photos are on Flickr.

Keeping the company of old friends is so renewing. This weekend, I realized that I’ve known Catherine, Kathryn, and Jonathan for six years now. To date, their friendships are the oldest ones that I’ve consistently maintained. (Including Emily, who wasn’t there but should have been. Durham feels absolutely desolate without you, dear.) I posit that a large part of the joy of old friends rests in the lack of having to explain things. You don’t have to explain your background, your family, your fears, your aspirations. You laugh about the old inside jokes, of course, but what is almost richer is the moment where you forget those old jokes or stories and then a word or a gesture sparks something and you suddenly resurrect the old days together. Your eyes widen and you say, “Ohh, I totally forgot about that night,” and then you experience it all over again.

There is much more I could say about these people, about how we’ve evolved together and separately, but all I need to say now is that I love them and I am so thankful for them. It is a considerable mercy that North Carolina is not too far away.

Family love: Win

I am writing a series of posts about why I love my immediate family. This is the sixth installment. All high-quality photographs from a wedding are courtesy of the brilliant Meredith Perdue.

Windley, Brother

If I was nervous about meeting Windy, I was even more nervous about meeting Win. He was, after all, Guion’s only sibling. What if he didn’t like me? What if he objected to my dating his only and older brother? What if we fundamentally didn’t get along?

As I was pleased to discover, it is impossible not to get along with Win. He’s probably the most likable person you’ll ever meet.

We love him!

Win is gentle and understanding. He listens far more than he speaks, which is such a commendable quality (and one that I could do well to emulate). You would think that more reserved, withdrawn people could have a harder time amassing a large circle of friends, but nothing could be further from the truth with Win. His quiet nature is magnetic to so many people. When we travel into Win’s territory — Raleigh — we are mobbed by his countless friends, his warm community that can’t get enough of his company. And for good reason.

The reader

I have always been fascinated by the interaction between Guion and Win. In many ways, they are very different. Guion talks almost constantly; getting a full sentence out of Win is a great victory. Guion possesses his parents’ endless social energy; Win seems content to be alone or to be with just a few people. Guion could get dressed in the dark without a thought to what he was wearing; Win has a well-cultivated wardrobe.

And yet. Despite these marked personality differences, their interests are almost identical. Both brothers are musicians, award-winning brewmasters, creative writers, former YoungLife leaders, and soccer players. Hobby-wise, you could not find two more similar people.

Love my bro-in-law

All of these brotherly overlaps and similarities aside, what’s been important in my relationship with Win are the things that the two of us have in common that I do not necessarily share with Guion. For example, Win and I share a love of literature and classic novels (something I have long tried to instill in Guion, but to no avail). We can talk with great enthusiasm about our love for dogs. (Our only point of contention is the family’s springer spaniel, Aoive, whom I love, but the Brothers Pratt are not so sure about.) He teaches me a lot about theology and principles of loving one’s community. As many ways as he resembles my husband in his interests, I love having conversations with Win that lie outside of those shared interests.

I am excited about the opportunity to have more of those conversations in person, because as of last week, Win is an official resident of Charlottesville. He will be participating in the Christ Church fellows program and we could not be more thrilled about having him in town.

Win welcomed me into the family with genuine warmth and a degree of trust that I did not deserve. He is willing to sacrifice his time and energy for the people who matter to him (as he so heroically displayed this past week when he drove to Lynchburg to retrieve my purse). He has always made me feel like a valued sister, and so I continually hope that he knows how much he means to me as a valued brother.

I light up when he introduces me to his friends as his “sister” — not “sister-in-law” — because that’s exactly how he treats me. No divisions. No qualifications. Just family.

Monday Snax

All filled up
NC State University graduation at the RBC Center in Raleigh.
We love him!
We love Win! So proud of the graduate.

As you can see, we had a very happy and Wolf Pack-y weekend in Raleigh celebrating Win’s graduation. We love hanging out with Win and with the Tillman-Pratt family and we got plenty of time to do that this weekend. Win’s the best bro-in-law ever and I’m excited to find out what he’ll be accomplishing next year! More photos on Flickr.

Snax with sweet tea and North Carolina-style barbecue:

People of Pharping. I can’t believe my little sister has been hanging out with these people; these photographs look straight out of Nat Geo to me. (Grace Farson)

Welcome to Pyongyang. To the great surprise of many, photographer Charlie Crane was granted unique access to the capital city of North Korea. His photographs of Pyongyang are chilling; the place looks just as cold and artificial as you would expect, and yet the faces of the North Korean people he captures are haunting. They appear so starkly alive in this superficial atmosphere. Highly recommended. (Behance)

Spring: Strawberry-Picking Season. It looks like all of the gorgeous young moms and their babies from our church went strawberry picking last week. The photos, and the babes, are delicious! (Cramer Photo)

Let’s Live Here. I mean, duh. Lush French chateaus for everyone! (Miss Moss)

Les Flaneurs. This looks like such a charming place to live. (My Funny Eye)

A Pool with a House. I’m not much for houses with backyard pools, but I could definitely make an exception here. (Wide Open Spaces)

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. This is one of my favorite blogs. Designer Matt Dorfman shows the different book and magazine covers he creates for his clients. So fascinating, especially to see the final design that’s chosen and why. I think this cover is genius. (Matt Dorfman)

Sketchbook Series: Mattias Adolfsson. If I could draw, I’d fill up notebooks like this, too. Beautiful and fascinating! (Book By Its Cover)

Tea Leaves Ready for Harvesting Are Yellow-Green. Fun tea fact! This blog is great. Short little entries with great photographs from all around the world from a man who’s discovering the greatness of tea. (Discovering Tea)

Franklin and Gob’s Formal Portrait. Just because it’s awesome. (The Bluth Company)

The Mighty Fruit Bat. I’ve always wanted one for a pet. So fuzzy and so aerodynamic! I bet she would gently eat papaya from my open palm. Just like Stellaluna. (Folkloric)

In High Cotton. Speaking of fuzzy! Sheep are pretty cute from a distance. (Boulderneigh)

Dog Wants Statue to Play Fetch. OMG. So much laughter. Poor puppy just doesn’t understand! (Paw Nation)

What Your American Girl Doll Says about the Rest of Your Life. Hilarious. I had Kirsten and Kelsey had Felicity. I definitely judged girls who had Samantha; Samantha was the worst. How about you? How does your prediction match up? (The Hairpin)

Off to the Old North State!

The Triangle, the Mecca of Civilization.

Guion and I are taking a long-awaited trip to the homeland, specifically the Triangle, for the weekend. I’m so excited. We have about a hundred people we need to see in two days, so we’ll be running a mile a minute, but we won’t even care, because we’re going to eat at Carrburritos, aka The Best Restaurant in the World, on Friday. I’ll be staying in Durham with Emily for a women’s weekend and Guion will be in Chapel Hill with Granddad, so we’ll be rushing between the points in something of a reunion frenzy. My regular posts will probably be late this weekend, but we will return freshly invigorated and attempting to bring some of the glorious N.C. weather back with us. Have a great weekend, because we certainly will.

Love,
A.