Wedded Bliss

The invitation

The invitation

This Sunday my family and I were invited  to witness two amazing young people begin their lives as husband and wife. I will admit that I am a bit of a wedding junkie. They are by far my favorite social outings.  I think it’s because, barring any family drama, weddings are such incredibly happy events filled with promise and excitement. Plus I get to dance with my husband, always a treat. I would guess I’ve been to (attended or been part of) maybe fifty weddings in my lifetime but there was something special about this one, the ceremony especially, that made my heart extra happy, both for the couple and for those of us lucky enough to share in their special day.

Miss L, the bride, is a very dear friend of my son’s and has been a fixture in our home since grade school. She and Miss Dee played tennis together all through high school and her little sister attends third grade at the school where I work. We were all so excited when she and her young man Mr L, also a friend and classmate of  Mr D’s, became engaged last year and even more excited when we found that we were all invited to their wedding.

The Bride

The Bride

Sunday morning arrived dark and stormy thanks to hurricane Matthew, which had been dumping rain on us for two days but, miraculously, by afternoon the clouds had parted and the sky was a bright, clear blue. We arrived at the venue around four o’clock and discovered that, dispite the wet ground, the ceremony would be held on the wood lined brick patio around back. I was told by her grandmother that when the family arrived, the staff had been setting up inside but Miss L had nixed that insisting that the ceremony had to be outdoors. On my way to my seat, even as my heels sunk into the earth, I looked around at the green lawn, baskets of flowers and autumn foliage  and thought “Good call.” The setting made it all so much more perfect.

Turning in our seats as the music began we saw Mr L, who is now a new Marine, just finished his basic training walk up the stone path looking very handsome if a little nervous in his dress blues. He was accompanied by the minister. They were followed by his brother and six groomsmen, four of which were in uniform as well. As they took their place at the front, under a white pergola covered in climbing vines, the ladies entered. First came her little sister dressed in cream colored lace scattering  pink rose petals, then the bridesmaids in soft blush dresses each wearing a ring of flowers in their hair.

The wedding favors

The wedding favors

The music changed to Beethoven’s Cannon in D, my all time favorite wedding music, and we stood to watch Miss L enter accompanied by her mom on one side and her dad on the other.  All brides are beautiful, and she was no exception but it was so much more than that. Her gown, a simple off the shoulder ivory lace with a full ballgown skirt made up of yards and yards of tulle drifted around her and her mass of auburn curls tumbled beneath a veil crowned with pink and ivory flowers. She was breathtaking! A woodland princess about to marry her prince. I think what made her look so perfect, so magical, was that she stayed true to who she is, a very wholesome sweet girl without a lot of glitter and glitz.

And finally husband and wife

And finally husband and wife

I turned and caught sight of her groom and I couldn’t help but choke up. The look of absolute love on his face, his eyes glistening, seemed to caused quite a few sniffles among the guests. Since we were seated in the back row much of what the minister said during the ceremony was lost on the wind but watching those  two young people standing hand in hand against a backdrop of  green, gold and red trees, the lovely maidens on one side, the military men standing tall on the other and the sun glowing above us all, was enough to make my heart swell with happiness for them. When it came time for the vows and the rings, the bride and groom’s voices came across loud and clear and even though the breeze kept them from officially lighting the unity candle (they faked it for the photographer!) the ceremony was lovely. They kissed, we applauded and they danced back down the aisle ready to enjoy an evening of celebration as husband and wife.

On Monday morning the couple left for their honeymoon and in a few weeks they will pack up and move to South Carolina where Mr L is stationed. I’m going to miss having Miss L around all the time but I’m so happy for her and her new husband. When I first found out they were getting married I worried that they were so young and that they would be starting out their marriage so far from friends and family but after seeing them on Sunday and feeling all the love that surrounds them I’m convinced they’ll do fine.  This was just the start of an amazing journey that will last a lifetime, their lifetime.  I’m really glad I was there to see it all begin.



Love and Marriage

Our week started with a black cloud. Some very dear friends of ours, a couple who have been married for over 15 years, told us that they are separating. Not only was I was sad to hear this but I was also completely caught off guard. This couple had always seemed to have such a good relationship. I guess you never know what goes on inside a marriage and anyone who has ever been in a committed relationship knows that it is a work in progress and sometimes takes a lot of effort to keep it running smoothly.

I started looking at the other marriages around me. Both of my sisters have been with their husbands for over thirty years. My brother’s marriage was over after eight. My parents were together for 43 years. My in-laws divorced when my husband was 16. These couples are different in many ways but I am sure they all struggled with the same kinds of things. Why did some make it out the other side while others didn’t?imageMy Husband and I were lucky enough to celebrate our 21st anniversary this May. We don’t have a perfect relationship but who does? We get on each other’s nerves now and then but are not interested in trading each other in for another model! We still enjoy each other’s compay, are still very much in love and excited for the next 20 (or 50) years so I’d call that a successful marriage. I can’t answer what makes other people’s relationships stand the test of time but I do know that my husband and I have certain rules we make a point of following. Some were with us when we started our marriage while others have evolved over the years.  Here are some of the most important…

  1. Be kind. This seems like a given but I am always surprised by how mean couples can be to each other sometimes. Kindness cost nothing and this rule should be followed in all aspects of life, not just romantic relationships.
  2. Never complain about or make fun of you spouse to others or while in the company of others. Not only does this make those around you uncomfortable but it shows a lack of respect for your partner and your union. If you have a problem with your spouse, you should be telling them, not others and it should be done in private.
  3. Appreciate the best things about you partner and brag about them. Along the same vein, if they do something special, tell others whenever you get the chance. Nothing warms my heart more than hearing my Hubby tell someone “Nanc does a great job with…” or “My wife is really good at..” I make a point to brag about him too.
  4. Respect the things that are important to you spouse even if they are not important to you. I have a friend who is always making fun of her husband’s love of classic cars. She rolls her eyes and acts like this is the most childish hobby in the world. It annoys me to no end. My own Hubby is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles football team. I grew up in a non-sports home and knew nothing about football till I met him. It still isn’t one of my priorities in life but I know it’s important to him so I dress up and make snacks and cheer along with him. In turn, every year on Oscar night (a date he calls my Super Bowl) He keeps the evening free and even brings me cheese and crackers and a glass of wine to help me enjoy my experience! I know he couldn’t care less who wins the Oscar but I love that he knows I do!
  5. Realize that there are going to be things that you are never going to agree on and find a middle ground you can both live with. I am an incredibly neat person (obsessively so). Hubby, not so much. We agreed early on that I would not organize or straighten his spaces. This includes not dusting or vacuuming. His den, his dresser, his closet and side of the bedroom and the garage are his realm. The middle ground is that if we are having company or a family party, he makes a point of cleaning these areas himself, not because he feels they need dusting but because he know I do!😊
  6. If something is bugging you tell your partner! They can’t read your mind. Just because you think it is obvious doesn’t mean they do. People are wired differently and each have their own view of things. Stomping around being annoyed is just a waste of time and energy if he or she doesn’t know what you are mad about!
  7. Don’t forget the small stuff. My Hubby brings me my favorite chocolate whenever he stops to buy milk and I slip notes in his lunch box from time to time. Remember to hold hands, kiss goodnight and goodbye, dance, act goofy together, share a joke and above all remember why you got together in the first place!

I am going to end my list there but I bet those of you in the blogosphere have lots of other ideas you could add. I would love to hear them.

The Walking Man

imageYesterday I tested the strength of my marriage.  I already knew it was pretty strong because hubby and I have tackled lots of home improvements and nothing test a marriage like wallpapering together.  This was more a test of physical strength and patience….his physical strength and patience to be exact.

It was all because of pageant tickets. Each year, the night before July 4th our town has a pageant  to crown our town “Miss”. We are lucky enough to have our own historic  little theater which hosts the event and Miss Dee and I go every year to cheer on the girls.  This year is especially exciting because one of  Miss Dee’s best friends is competing.

You can buy tickets the night of the show at the box office but we wanted reserved seats. Those tickets are sold a few days before at our borough hall by some nice ladies from the Woman’s League. They are only sold for a few hours in the morning and since I am most definitly not a morning person, hubby offered to pick them up.  That’s where the problems started….

Hubby: When are the tickets on sale?

Me: Usually 9:00 to 12:00 right outside the Borough Hall downtown. Here is the money. They are $10.00 a ticket.

Hubby: No problem.  I will pick them up when I go for my walk in the morning. (Hubby power walks a few miles each day. He has really great legs too!)

Anyway, about 9:10 the next morning he sets out. Around 9:50 he is back without tickets.

Me: No tickets?

Hubby: They are on sale from 11:00 to 1:00. Not 9:00 to 12:00.

Me: Oops.  My bad. Sorry.

Hubby: No problem.  I will finish my work out then walk back downtown to get them. (“finishing his work out” means lifting some weights, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. For a guy who will turn 53 this year he is in very good shape!  I am in awe of his dedication, but on with the story…)

At 11:00 he walks back downtown.  Eleven-twenty he is back, still without tickets

Me: What happened?

Hubby: The tickets are $12.00 this year, not $10.  I’m short 4 dollars.

Me: My bad again! I’ll go back and get them.

Hubby: No problem.  Just give me the 4 bucks.  I’ll walk back.

Now, I would just like to note that we do own a car and he could have driven back downtown the second and third time.  Heck, I would have driven the first time but that’s me.

By noon I had my tickets.  Hubby did good too. He got us seats in the fourth row center!  He took a nice long nap that afternoon.  I think he earned it.  I also think it will be a while before he volunteers to pick anything up for me again!