Twenty-Seven Years

Today is our twenty-seventh wedding anniversary. That sounds like a long time. Over half of my life.  

When I started thinking about our anniversary, my mind first went back to the day before our wedding. 

Family and friends together, lots of laughter. A simple rehearsal at Rolling Hills Church, dinner at AQ Chicken House, and the final episode of the T.V. series, “Cheers.”

My thoughts quickly moved forward through the wedding, honeymoon, raising three kids, all the places we have lived. It’s amazing how many memories can fill my mind in such a short few minutes. There are so many stories I could share.

But then, my train of thought changed. I didn’t need to write about the past. Nor did I need to think about the future. I only needed to focus on the day at hand. And what it signifies for us both.

This anniversary reminds me that forever is really about commitment. And that commitment has little to do with feelings. It is a promise that runs much deeper.

There is a phrase we often say to each other-You’re stuck with me! Yes, it is spoken in humor, but also carries truth. A truth understood from the day he proposed-this is forever. We are in it for the long haul.

Marriage has shown us our strengths and weaknesses. There is a balance created when we accept those strengths and weaknesses in each other. One would not be the same without the other.

I can’t imagine my life without Gart. Our journey has been quite an adventure. Filled with ups and downs, tears, and lots of laughter.

Here’s to twenty-seven years of marriage. I approach the day with a grateful heart. No worries about yesterday or tomorrow. Only resting in the promise that brought us to today.

Happy Anniversary, Gart! I love you! ❤

And don’t forget-you’re still stuck with me! 😉

No Pictures

I love pictures. I have loved them since I was a little girl.
My Grandma Mahar had a round metal container with a tight-fitting lid. I believe it was ivory-colored with gold stripes. But more importantly, it was full of photographs.

I would sit at her dining room table with this treasure box, take off the lid, and spread out the pictures. There were old snapshots, mostly black and white. There were also old school photos of my mom and her siblings.

Thumbing through the photos was like taking a trip back in time. Seeing the old cars, the clothes they wore-reading the notes written on the backs. Thinking about it now makes me smile. I can still see the container and some of the photos in my memory.

My love of pictures readily transferred to adult life, particularly when I became a mom. I know there are times my kids have rolled their eyes upon hearing once again, “Hey guys, we need to take a picture!” Of course, my next line made them smile. “Act like you like each other.”

This past weekend was our oldest son’s wedding. They had prepared a couple of decorative signs to greet guests as they entered the venue. One politely announced that the ceremony was to be “unplugged.” The idea was for guests to put away their phones and just be present in the celebration. So that’s what we did-no photos.

I started thinking about that fact this morning. And even though I love looking at and taking photos, I’m so glad I was “unplugged” for their ceremony. What a joy to be in the moment. Listening as they repeated their vows. Watching them smile and giggle, so happy to be starting their life together.

I will be anxiously awaiting the professional photos from the wedding. I’m even thinking about starting my own container of photographs. Who knows, maybe someone else would enjoy spreading pictures all over the dining room table with me. I can always hope. 😉

Imagine this lid on a deeper tin. That’s what held my Grandma’s treasures. ❤

In the Quiet

For Rob and Erin ❤

The house is quiet
Guests have all
Gone home
I am tired
A good tired
Resulting from a
Weekend long celebration
A momentous occasion
Symbolized by
Prayer and scripture
Rings and vows
Flowers and music
Beautiful bride
Handsome groom
Surrounded by friends
And family, making
A commitment to be
Faithful and true
In all things
Accepting each other’s
Strengths and weaknesses
As they join their
Lives together
The wedding
A clear reflection
Of their hearts
A beautiful beginning
Built on
Faith, hope, and love
A lasting reassurance
Forever present
In the quiet

“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” I Corinthians 13:7-8

Wedding Week

Well, it is wedding week for our son, Robert, and his fiancé, Erin. By this time next Sunday, their celebration will be added to our family album of wonderful memories. All the hard work and planning worth the outcome.

Of course, that outcome encompasses so much more than the wedding day. Yes, that day will be a beautiful reminder of a new beginning. But it’s just the beginning. There is so much more to come.

As parents, our roles are continuously transforming. Yes, we are still here to help and offer advice. But they are now adults, making their own way in this world. Walking more often beside us, instead of viewing us as the guides.

I must admit, this change brings some rollercoaster moments for me. Questions. Am I embracing my new roles with the same excitement as when I was first a parent? Am I providing enough support while giving needed space?

Truthfully, their questions are more important than mine. How do I know they have questions? Because I remember our beginning. The excitement and the uncertainties.

Right now, at this moment, I want them to know how much they are loved. And how excited we are to celebrate with them. I also want to remind not to sweat the details. It is going to be a beautiful wedding!

So, bring on the vases, lights, flowers, and music. The dress, the suit, the rings, the promises. Get ready for family and friends to surround and lift you up. Expect lots of smiles and laughter, and maybe a few tears. But most of all, enjoy your day! ❤

Come Together

When I was a child, I looked forward to visits with family. I was always asking to go next door to visit Grandma and Grandpa Mahar or walk over to Aunt Sharon’s house. I loved it when the family would visit from out of town. Everyone together, talking and laughing, catching up-all felt right with the world.

As an adult, I cherish family time even more. Through the years I have experienced the many reasons families come together. Births, deaths, graduations, weddings, funerals-No matter the situation, there is strength in being together. Whether it brings celebration or grief, each event is part of this life.

Yesterday, our family celebrated one of those happy times together-a wedding shower for our son, Robert and his fiancé, Erin. Our home was filled with family and friends, young and old, life-long and new. It was a great day!

The happy couple. ❤

We ate food together and played games. We smiled while watching Rob and Erin open gifts, thankful for all the expressions of love. We enjoyed each other’s company.

Lovely flowers thanks to my friend, Marina. 🙂

Yet, even in the celebration, there were also tears. Tears for those family members no longer with us. Thoughts of how much they would have loved the day. Thoughts of how much they are missed.

Our lives continue on, though we have no guarantee of our length of time. And we honor the memories of those who came before when we come together.

Boys to Men

Last night, I listened as my oldest son gave the best-man toast at his best friend’s wedding. He spoke with confidence and humor as he described their friendship and his genuine happiness for his friend.

It was one of those moments of clarity. The ones which solidify the reality of time and remind me how quickly it passes.

Robert and Jeremy have been friends since junior high. Before they were old enough to drive, we would take turns shuttling them back and forth to each other’s houses on the weekends. They spent many hours playing video games and watching movies. Student group activities and church camps also provided hangout time.

Their friendship continued through high school. After graduation, our family took them on a senior trip to Colorado. Together, they hiked to the top of Mt. Elbert, the highest point in the continental U.S. Quite an accomplishment for these two boys who used to use yogurt containers and empty monster cans for bb gun target practice in the backyard.

College meant living several hours away from each other. Keeping in touch and visiting whenever possible remained a priority. They even continued a tradition involving Christmas presents. One year involved a shovel and map coordinates, another required thawing a block of ice. Crazy boys!

I’m pretty sure these two have been mistaken for brothers a time or two. We felt like Jeremy was another one of our kids. And I’m certain his family often felt the same about Robert. That’s what happens with close friendships.

In five short months, their roles will be reversed. Jeremy will be making a best-man toast at Robert’s wedding. Both young men will be standing next to their lovely, precious wives. And believe me, Caitlin and Erin are special young ladies. They have to be to put up with these two. 😉

Once again, it will be a moment of clarity.

Another moment which solidifies the fact that these two boys have become men in what seems like an instant.

Another moment which will serve to strengthen their friendship.

Another moment which leaves behind a beautiful memory. ❤