Wedding Memories

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It has been nearly a week since my middle son was married. For some reason it has been a week that has flown by. We have spent time “slothing” this week and also trying to catch up on things that did not get done in the weeks before the wedding.

There has also been time to reflect on last weekend. So many of those memories just bring a smile to my face. Whenever I see a photo posted on Facebook to do with the wedding it brings the joy right back.

I am going to share a few of my favorite photos of last weekend with you. Most of them I did not even take as I was too busy being mom of the groom. So credit for these goes to pretty much everyone else. To be honest I am not sure who took which photos!

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I loved the fact that this wedding brought family from Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and other parts of Iowa. For my husbands side of the family it was the first time in a long time that this many of my nieces and nephews were able to be in the same place at the same time. Only one niece was missing, as she was on a mission trip to Korah, Etheopia. (The three guys in tuxes belong to me!) This is the standard photo taken of this bunch. Ever since they were born we have been lining them up according to age. (They did make the comment that the guys on the left seemed to have more hair that the guys on the right!)

It was such a blessing to watch the generations come together before, during and after the wedding. Our grandchildren connecting with their Great Grandparents was something that made this Grandma’s heart full.

Watching my husband care for our youngest grandson was truly a joy. He has a gift for dealing with our grandchildren….maybe that is because he has been growing older but not quite growing up?

I also must confess I did enjoy the mother/son dance. They let me choose the song and my choice was, “I Hope You Dance.”  It has long been my hope and prayer for my children.

The smiles on the faces of my children and their families was a gift that was precious indeed.

 

20180714_185706.jpgWhile all these photos are precious I truly loved the one that someone took of the newlyweds as they watched the video of their lives.

I love the way my new daughter-in-law rests her head on my sons’ shoulder and he has his arm around her

It speaks of trust…… It speaks of protection…..It speaks of love.

My prayer and my hope is that they never forget that feeling. That through the ups and downs that come with being married and navigating life together….this moment comes back and is fresh in their minds through all the “stuff”.

I pray their hearts and minds stay faithful and that they look to the example of their grandparents and parents. It was an incredible witness at the wedding that there were four sets of grandparents and two sets of parents in attendance…..all still married to the spouse of their youth. It was a witness to the perseverance of love and trust through all the things that life throws at you.

May this weekend find you remembering the joy of your youth. May you remember what it was that you loved about your spouse when you first met them. May the “bumps” in the road of life smooth out as those memories come to life again.  And above all…..I Hope You Dance!

“I Hope You Dance”

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance, I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’

Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance, I hope you dance
I hope you dance, I hope you dance

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful Busy Days

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I had really intended to write a blog post this past Monday…and when that day passed I thought sure Tuesday would produce a piece of writing….nope. Then came Wednesday and now it is Thursday and time to actually sit down and get this done!

My only excuse for taking this long is that last week was really busy due to son #2 getting married Saturday night. It is also due to the fact that my husband declared Monday to be a day of “sloth”. (You have no idea how I enjoyed that day of sloth!!)

I confess we “slothed” like the best of them. Other than returning tuxes and a roaster we did absolutely nothing……and it was wonderful.

Last week we kind of hit the ground running. Tuesday was spent retrieving the cupcakes that I had baked a few weeks earlier and stored in a large walk in freezer that a friend offered. (She is a gem!) I also went to the grocery store to get those last minute groceries that I needed to have for the rehearsal supper Friday night.

Wednesday, with help, 400 cupcakes were decorated and stored in 11 tubs. Of course we had to sample the various frostings that were used and also the extra cupcakes that we ended up with. We had 5 varieties: Lemon Gluten Free, Red Velvet, White Almond Raspberry Filled and some unfilled, Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. No one became ill and they were declared a success.

 

Thursday was spent delivering cupcakes and several rustic crates for decoration, to the event center. We also loaded our pickup with chairs, a gas grill, paper products, condiments and so on to take to a brand new shed on the home place of the bride’s sister. (This was in preparation for the rehearsal supper).  Time was also spent setting up and a bit of decorating was done there.

I found out later that our new daughter–in-law had texted our son, her groom, commenting on our loaded pickup…..yes….we resembled a cross between hoarders and the Beverly Hillbillies minus grandma sitting on a rocking chair on the top. In our defense it was a 40 minute trip one way from our house to our destination, and we wanted to make that trip count……we have become master packers!

The Friday schedule included decorating the church and the event center. Then it was 20180713_141636.jpgtime to get our nails done. It was a lot of fun spending time with the bride, bridesmaids, flowergirls, personal attendants and the moms. I then headed back home to get the baked potatoes in the oven for the rehearsal supper, pack the food and get ready for rehearsal and the supper to follow. I am eternally grateful for siblings who came and helped us as we hosted the supper. They grilled, set out food and kept things running smoothly.

Saturday dawned cooler and clear…..a perfect day for a wedding. Hair appointments were first thing in the morning, then helping with the children (all the nieces and nephews of the bride and groom) who would be ring bearers and flower girls. Photos were taken and before we knew it; it was time for the main event….the wedding and reception that followed.

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It was a sweet time of gathering and celebrating. There was so much packed into that week that we are still processing all the details. It would seem that it would be hard to take it all in, but we found if we took an hour at a time we really had time to enjoy every part of the week.

I will be posting more and reflecting on that oh so sweet time……once I do a bit more “slothing” and get those thoughts in order.

(Oh….I also need to let you know that I did not take many of these photos. They were taken by various people who attended….I was much too busy being mom of the groom!)

“For some reason when you are busy…
you are never long enough where you are…
and never arrive soon enough at where you need to be.”
~Faye~CG~

Anniversaries, Sheetrock & Love

 

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Today my husband and I celebrated 37 years of marriage. It really doesn’t seem like we got married that many years ago but the calendar assures me it is true.

We have had many well wishes by way of cards and by way of social media. The question kept coming up as to how we celebrated that many years. I was a little hard pressed to answer that one as we didn’t really do anything special…..as the world would see special.

Instead of going out, having a fancy meal, seeing a movie or doing the recommended popular anniversary stuff we spent our day on home renovations. For a long time we have had a couple closets that were never finished.

For some reason or another those closets just never made it to the top of the list of to do projects….until today. The drywall for the closet has been hanging out in our garage for quite some time. Today was the day it made it out of there and into our closet.

Putting up sheetrock in a closet might not be the “normal” way to spend one’s anniversary but for me it spoke love. My husband really does not love home renovation projects.  He knows they are necessary, but it is not something that is high on his list of things he likes to do. (I am not sure if it is even anywhere near that list of things!)

We are not quite done, as there is still mudding and taping to do (not my favorite things!). Then will be the priming, painting, and building of shelving. I cannot wait to organize things in that closet when it is done.

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It was a good way to pass the time today. It was too wet for my husband to be in the field harvesting soybeans. It also kept our mind off wanting to get in the car and head 4 hours away to our son and daughter-in-law.

We found out this morning that we had received a very special anniversary gift…. a brand new grandson! The little guy arrived at 4:27 this morning and weighed 8 pound and 3 ounces. We are so blessed.

There are no pictures yet, as that will have to wait till I can post one with me holding him! I cannot wait to get that bundle of joy in my arms and to hug the new mom and dad. There was something so cool about the fact that life has come full circle around here. From a wedding day 37 years ago to a new grandson today.

Life is so full of the small joys of closets being finished to the big things of new grandchildren. Everyone of those joys is a blessing. It is a blessing to be loved enough that my husband drywalls a closet because he knows I would like it finished. It is a blessing to anticipate the joy of holding that new grandbaby.

May this week find you seeing the blessings in the big things of life and the small things of this life. May joy surprise you in unexpected ways. May you enjoy the “fullness” of life.

“… it’s a blessed thing to love and feel loved in return.” 
― E.A. BucchianeriBrushstrokes of a Gadfly

“Blessings sometimes show up in unrecognizable disguises. ” 
― Janette Oke

 

 

Doing Life….Together

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My husband and I had the opportunity to go to a wedding this weekend of a cousin. It was a great time spent with family that you don’t always get to talk to. It was so much fun reconnecting with some of his cousins.

Lots of childhood stories were passed around the table at the reception. Stories of games played at family gatherings, tales of “remember when…….”, time spent comparing memories each cousin had of the same event in their past, and stories of uncles and aunts who pulled pranks on newlywed couples (also known as Shivareeing….and nope I am not sure how to spell that!).

The sense of family and being together was like a warm blanket wrapped around our hearts and souls. The feeling of belonging to something that was timeless brought a contentment that is hard to explain. As talk and laughter swirled around that church fellowship hall it was neat to just stop and look around to absorb the joy of relationships.

So many times in life, busyness gets in the way of relationships and so it is good to have an event that celebrates that very thing. It is good to be reminded that these cousins and siblings have been there your entire life and you can pick up the threads of your childhood anytime you get together.

There is something special about the bond of siblings and cousins. They know pretty much everything about you and still love you….they have to because they are family! They know your strengths and your weaknesses and if you have stayed in touch they will always have your back. It is indeed, a good thing when your family also becomes your friends.

Talking to a cousin or sibling will definitely keep you grounded as they never, ever forget all the brilliant (and stupid) things you did as a kid. They will not let you forget that you shot your brother in the back with a BB gun (this would be my brother in law). They will never let you forget that you put a shotgun shell through your mom’s living room ceiling (another brother-in law ….though my husband usually gets the blame for this one). The stories of roller skating in Grandma’s basement, playing in haymows and remembering certain favorite toys at uncle’s and aunt’s homes are such sweet memories.

I always have so much fun just listening to these stories of my husband’s life. We have been married almost 36 years but every time we get together with his family it seems I learn something new about his childhood.

Maybe that is part of the beauty of relationships…..there is always more to be learned about another person, another facet to their life. I have a feeling it may take way more than my lifetime to really know everything about this man God gave me.  I think that is a good thing.

 

 

A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost
Marion C. Garretty

Bars That Don’t Last

 

 

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I spent last week baking sheet cakes for my nephews’ wedding, delivering cakes to the Events Center, attending the wedding,  cutting cake at the wedding, and the weekend recuperating from cake making, baking, taking and cutting.

I say recuperating because in my haste to get the cakes into the event center on Thursday, I tried to make a new doorway. Yup, I was not paying attention and tried walking through a solid pane of glass. (In my defense…..it was right next to the actual doorway.) My nose did not fare too well. If you have ever heard the term “bled like a stuck hog” that would adequately describe it.

I was fortunate that my sister and niece showed up right as I did this. Yes, it did hurt my pride that they saw me doing a stupid thing, but it was really a God thing that they showed up when they did as I was not feeling too good after that. It is amazing how a person (me) can hurt like that and beat themselves up more yet because of pride and hating to look stupid.  I think I will be memorizing the verse at the bottom as a reminder.

I spent some time laying on a bench in the restroom; waiting for the cut on my nose (from my glasses) to quit bleeding and then waiting for the lightheadedness to pass. Normally I can take a lot but this one really knocked me silly for a time.

The rest of the day (and the next day) was spent applying ice and essential oils to my nose in the hope it would not swell outrageously; and around my eyes in the hope of avoiding a “raccoon-like” appearance.

By the time the wedding started ,on Friday, it did not look too bad; other than the cut on the bridge of my nose. My kids, who are detail oriented, did notice immediately and needed to know what happened. I told them I had tangled with a pane of glass and lost.  After being properly sympathetic they did a lot of smirking. I can’t blame them I probably would have also!

When leaving the reception, after the dance, my nephew graciously pointed out which were the doors and which was the glass pane that I should avoid. (I love you too Spencer!)  And yes, I do love my kids and those nieces and nephews. They are wonderful people and have the funniest sense of humor….slightly twisted…..but funny.  Life would be pretty dull without them.

My kids – those who could make it here for the wedding – came on Saturday to spend some time.  And it was a great time! I wanted to make something simple for an afternoon snack so I chose an all time favorite……Caramel Rice Krispy Bars.

These bars are amazing and really take the regular Rice Krispy Bars up way more than one notch. Another plus is the fact they are so very easy to make. (after my marathon cake baking and face smashing experience I was all for simple and easy.)

Caramel Rice Krispy Bars
1/4 cup margarine
6 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
(Note: you will need to make this twice.)
14 oz. pkg. caramels
1/4 cup margarine
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Melt 1/4 cup margarine and marshmallows. (I do this in the microwave)
Add cereal and pat into buttered 9×13 inch pan.
Melt caramels, 1/4 cup margarine and condensed milk. (also in microwave)
Pour over layer of Rice Krispies in pan
Refrigerate for 30 – 40 minutes
Prepare another batch of the cereal mixture and put on top of caramel layer.
Keep refrigerated

I would have taken a picture of a bigger bar and put it on a plate for a nicer presentation; but the photo I used is definitely what your pan will look like very quickly when you serve these.  They do not stick around very long and any caramel left in the bottom usually gets scraped up and eaten.

No cakes were harmed in the
incident with the
pane of glass.
Faye K.

For am I now seeking the approval of man,
or of God?
Galatians 1:10a

Weddings

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This past weekend we were privileged to go to my nephew’s wedding. The location they chose was absolutely beautiful….The Mighty Oak Lodge.

As we sat on rough-hewn oak benches underneath the wide blue sky I had time to look around and ponder in a “Somewhere North of the Moon” kind of way.

Thoughts on marriage, life, family, love and perseverance swirled through my head as the couple promised respect, love, and lives to each other. I wondered if they, like me 35+ years ago, had any idea what the next decades would bring. I have a feeling they don’t and perhaps that is a good thing.

Marriage is the start of a journey, a lifetime of learning and a great adventure. It is a blending of hearts and traditions of two families. It is a choice to wake up every morning and remind yourself to honor, respect and love.  It is a promise to God, each other and to oneself. It is trust covered in grace and love.

Looking back at the journey my husband and I have been making; reveals laughter, tears, joys, heartaches, memories so precious and all rolled up in the word Love.  I wish the same for my nephew and his bride as they start their own journey.

We made the 9+ hour journey to get there and when we drove on the yard by my in-laws it was filled with vehicles and campers. Four states were represented on that yard. Four states that love brought together.

My sister-in-law asked that I take a picture of all the cars and campers on their yard……

 

To her, seeing all those vehicles that arrived full of family, spoke Love. I told her I would not have missed this weekend and this wedding day. The reason it was important to me was because it was family, it was relationship. And yes, it was love.

Sitting on those wooden benches gave me time to think.  Material things can be bought and paid for; but love must be given, shared, accepted and returned; to flourish. As I sat next to my grandchild and my husband on that bench, I realized that in life, these are the moments that count. This was a precious gift. This was love.

My brother used to tell me that “the joy is in the journey”.  He was so right. May your journeys be joyful,  May you choose to love and may you look back on your life and know it was all worth it.

“Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

 

I do need to thank my son Joe for taking the picture of the big tree for me. I had forgotten my camera and he stepped in and used his phone.  (You know…..one of those phones that are smarter than me).