It became very real last Saturday. If all goes ahead as planned, all three Welch children will walk down the aisle in 2020. Lindsey and Noah return from their honeymoon soon. Danny and Karen will trek down an aisle in Kansas City in June. And…then there is the firstborn. There’s a ring that’s been given, but no plans finalized as of yet. But the stated goal is 2020.

I think this engagement was the worst-kept family secret in the history of our family secrets. It’s been just over a year since I first met Christine, Jeremy’s fiancée. I will never forget the moment. Christie and I were attending The Gathering, the first one of 2019. Jeremy walked through the back door, and I knew immediately something was up. The look on his face was something I hadn’t seen in a long while. There was this sheepish smile, and he radiated joy. He was hiding something. And it was a good thing.

Before I met her, I knew something was up.

After I met her, I begged him not to mess this up.

In the past year it has been our joy to get to know Christine. I think Jeremy has enjoyed the year as well, since that look on his face has not gone away yet. He is happier than I have ever seen him. Everyone likes this side of him. And I guess Christine does, too.

So after much planning and maneuvering around other family events (weddings and engagements), Jeremy popped the question down at Pt Vicente around sunset last Saturday afternoon. There had been two engagements in the past six months in our family — and two parties following those life-changing moments. But were the parents invited? Nope.

But this one was different. We got an invite to celebrate with their friends last Saturday night. This was Jeremy’s thing, so Mom became a valuable asset to have in the food preparation side of things. Hey, we don’t care. Lindsey was out of the country, so we were more than willing to help out.

In my memory, only Christine cried that night. Maybe I did just a little. Not much. She was completely surprised that Jeremy had pulled off a party after that tender engagement moment. We were able to meet her parents and close friends. It was a lovely evening to celebrate life. And love.

I think the grin is now permanently etched on Jeremy’s face. He is so happy. Christine is so happy. And all parents know what that makes Christie and me. Very, very happy. And exhausted. Three weddings in one year is either a great sign of God’s blessing or a cruel joke manufactured by our children to send us to an early grave. I have chosen to see it as a sign of God’s blessing.

I am so happy for Jeremy and Christine. I am so happy for Danny and Karen. I am so happy for Lindsey and Noah. I’m so happy that I am an emotional wreck, but that comes along with parenting. These are wonderful days which we will cherish and enjoy one at a time. God is so good. And this church family has been so supportive. I am one blessed dad and pastor.

Grandchildren can’t be too far behind, can they?