I really don’t know where to begin on this season of celebration for me and my family. I think I will start with this – I am so blessed to have the family, friends and community that I have around me. It really is an understatement. I am grateful for my everyday life and the fun moments of celebration.
February 23 will be my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary! WOW, I just can’t believe that much time has passed. We have a strong marriage – not perfect by any means, but strong. We have invested in our personal relationship and invested in our family’s relationships with our time and finances. We are so very proud of the three children we raised – Angela (22), AJ (18), and Joey (18). This is a moment to reflect on where we have come from and dreaming of the future. There has been marriage counseling and couples bible study groups that we have invested in. In doing so, we have been able to navigate life together. We are in an era of “dating” again now that the kids are mostly raised – that job is never completely done. Angela has graduated college and working in her field of study (graphic designer/communications/photography). The boys are in their first year of college. AJ is studying marine engineering with ambition to join the Navy. Joey is studying writing with a desire to write in the gaming community or films. I love watching them own their future and work toward their dreams.
I have just returned from a grand vacation celebrating our wedding anniversary. Tony and I went to Hawaii and stayed at Disney’s Aulani resort on the island of Oahu . Neither of us had ever been to Hawaii. It is winter in California and is a bit chilly! I know my California cold isn’t the same as east coast cold. The average temperature where I live is 58 (high), 42 low. The average temperature in Hawaii is 80 (high), 66 (low). In Hawaii, you can wake up at 6:00 a.m., put your bathing suit on, and feel great! Our activities for the week included: hiking in the Manoa Valley rain forest and bamboo forest, catamaran excursion, private poolside cabana, snorkeling, paddle boarding, rented a car and drove around the island, and a hike at Wiamea Falls. It was so much fun to be away from our daily responsibilities and just enjoy our surroundings and each other. It was a great time of relaxation and adventure.
When we returned a week later, we had another surprise. Angela organized a re-model of our bedroom and bathroom. Angela, along with forty or so friends and family contributed financially and with their time in this stunning gift to Tony and me. I have never had a “pretty” bedroom. When we walked into our room it was like walking into a hotel room! The walls had been painted, new furniture, light fixtures, photos that I had taken printed and framed, baseboards…. you name it, they did it. I am overwhelmed at the generosity of everyone! There is so much grace in this gift, that the only way to honor the extravagance that was poured into Tony and me, is to pay it forward. And, Angela being the daughter of a scrapbooker, took photos of the transformation knowing I would want to scrapbook this endeavor.
And, the surprise continued for me the next day. Angela, Tony, AJ, & Joey, surprised me with a twenty fifth wedding vow renewal ceremony! From buying me a dress, to new perfume, a new wedding band, themed party, and friends and family to join in the celebration. Angela designed save the date cards, invitations, wedding program and a timeline of our life together. Along with setting the party room with my wedding dress, veil, album, cake topper, and original wedding invitations, and so much more.
When I spoke my wedding vows twenty five years ago, I did so with joy and excitement. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow. Now, that I have lived this commitment for twenty five years, I understand even more the words I spoke. We didn’t know what life path would be revealed to us and how we would handle it. We sought out Jesus in our marriage and tried to do the best with what we know how to do. I thank God that He gave Tony to me! It is because of the man Tony is, that I can still speak those vows with a deeper love and excitement for our life together.
I love John Denver music. There are several songs I could quote, but I think this one speaks to me today: “And talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in. How sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care. How long it’s been since yesterday, what about tomorrow and what about our dreams and all the memories we share?” – Poems, Prayers and Promises.
Blueprint: Big and Little Cousins (Feb2016)
Designer Digitals: Canvas Cardstocks Paper Pack No. 02
Maplebrook: Pacifica Kit
Seatrout: Anniversary Waltz Silver 25th add on embellishments, Anniversary Waltz Bundle
Font: Archer Light, Archer Medium