We missed you at our wedding! …

Hey _______ , here’s what you missed.

This letter will give a glimse for those who missed our wedding, but is specifically written to my Mom’s mom, my sweet Mimi, who was too busy partying with Jesus to attend.

Whoa, this is incredibly emotional. One of the first things I thought about after you left — You weren’t going to meet my future husband or watch me get married. And boy that was tough to think about. I wanted to wear your dress, that I tried on in high school, but holy smokes your waist was way skinnier than mine back in the day. All those softball hall-of-fame records keeps you in shape,  huh? So instead later on in life, you decided to make the best food on the planet and make us all fat. I see how it is ;). But I still fell in love with this dress and I felt beautiful, inside and out in it.


When I got the phone call about you being in the hospital and that I needed to go to Grand Rapids as soon as possible, little did I know that my future husband saw me on that Spring Day of Worship talking on the phone … Later that day to message me on Facebook for the first time ever to see how I was doing. Talk about the Lord’s sense of timing?? It was this sweet man and his family who drove me down from Grand Rapids after spending time with Papa and the family . This time spent with him was the first time ever flirting with him that day, The first time he was ever in my Snapchat *cue the butterflies*

And then on July 16, 2016, you missed one of the greatest days of my life (please pinch me, I still feel like I’m dreaming!) … Although I didn’t wear your dress, I knew you were with me. (No, I don’t believe you were watching nor did I feel your presence) But I knew you were in my thoughts and I could only imagine what it would’ve been like for you to be there. You would have your Mimi chuckle, behind your lovely smile. You’d smell like your fresh white linen button down that you’d always wear, with a hint of hairspray and perfume — like Mimi. You’d always wear the nice perfume – one of Vanilla Fields, that’s far from the “grandma smell”.


You knew your strength did not come from yourself, or the mountains. You knew your strength would come from the Lord. I needed that reminder in remembrance of you. Truly, I thought getting a tattoo would give me some closure of your death and every heartache that came with it. Boy was I wrong and I knew it. No, I don’t regret getting it. I 100% wanted it and still 100% love it. But it took a bit of therapy to work through everything that happened. Heck, I don’t even know if you’d like tattoos. But it was worth 100% of the pain that felt like a bunch of swear words to get it. But I knew you were a part of my wedding day and now a part of my daily life as I lift my head and find my strength from the Lord.



Psalm 121:1-2

I look up to the mountains — does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!


Hey Mimi,


Here’s my husband.

He’s very sweet, loving, and patient with me. He’s mellowed me out (in a good way) but I can still be *that* annoying granddaughter! He’s very handsome and half Argentine, actually! Papa seems to like him & so do Uncle Jay & Uncle Aaron. And I love him. And I think you would too. He’s musical and can sing, even though he’d probably deny his singing capability 🙂 He loves the outdoors, so clearly you’d like him. Oh, and he loves food and is passionate about what the Lord wants in his life. And I think that is truly remarkable and inspiring and simply dashing.


See? I can still be 100% me, weird, crazy, sassy, witty, punny. And he still loves me and adores me! Truly a Christmas miracle :’)

Here’s our Bridal Party.

bridal-partyThey’re a crazy fun bunch. Some from when we were 2 years old, some from college and some in between. But they’ve all impacted our lives in significant ways. I wish I could tell you how, individually, but well 16 BOOKS LATER … maybe we’d scratch the surface of how amazing and important they are to us. You would’ve been honored to meet them and they would’ve been blessed to have met you. They’re incredible human beings who have taught Nico and I so much. They continue to do so even to this day, even if at a distance (or across the U.S. or in Japan). I look forward to worshiping Jesus by their sides one day — then you’ll meet them and greet them as brothers and sisters.

Oh, and we still absolutely love this picture of all of us. Because they’re our best friends and they were all willing to spend our special day with us. And it brings me to tears how much each of them mean to me and my beloved husband.


kissing-at-alterNico and I got married. My rings are absolutely perfect for me. We kissed in front of people (the only excuse ever!, ahhaa!). Nico’s dad performed the ceremony, and it was SO lovely.

Daddy and I danced together and I could’ve sobbed the whole time (did I?) but of course you know dad, never not cracking jokes. We both agreed to do something funny at the end – and it was so us.








Dancing with Nico was one of the most magical things because… he gets me, knows me, yet still loves me and wants to spend the rest of my life with me?! How crazy?? I fall in love with him more and more every day.loving-him-from-behind

Dear Mimi,

I wish so greatly that you could’ve witnessed this beautiful day with beautiful people. I felt like a princess in my gown, and I wish you could’ve stayed to see it. We miss you a lot. We have hope to see you soon enough, but it doesn’t make it any easier down here without you.

Until we meet again,

Mrs. Leah Rachelle Longhin


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