June 29, 2016

Celebrating Twenty Five Years

Where shall I begin? Words seem inadequate in this case. I mean, how do I express through words the extreme love and pride I felt for my children this past Sunday afternoon? Perhaps photos will better convey my feelings. Yet even the best photo, I fear, would fail to illustrate the feeling behind the happy tears I shed when I walked in our door and realized what the four precious souls Steve and I brought into this world did for us. Here. Let me show you...

Here is the Snapchat I took as Steve and I set out to visit his Mum in her nursing home and grab some lunch Sunday afternoon.  I called the kids a few times throughout the afternoon, and was told they had macaroni and cheese for lunch and were playing a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Fast forward a few hours, and here we are returning home.
To a surprise, beautiful, intimate Twenty-fifth Anniversary Dinner planned, prepared and hosted by my four amazing children. With one Danish boyfriend lending a hand.
I was totally surprised.
And overwhelmed.
And proud.
As was Steve, who is holding a loaf of bread which the kids asked us to pick up for the grilled cheese sandwiches were we supposedly having for dinner. : )

It was amazing.
My children know me well.
They know I don't feel comfortable with a fuss being made over me.
They know my love of home and family.
We celebrated with our family and my dear mother, sister Margie, and her husband Chris.

Look what they did.
For their father and me.
All on their own.
And the cake?

You guessed it.
Peyton made it.
And Madison helped her decorate it.
They decorated it to resemble our own wedding cake.
And it did.
And it was delicious.

We cut it together, just as we did twenty five years ago.

Everything was beautiful...

We drank this...no one cares for champagne in this house...
and dined on delicious Baked Ziti, Garlic Toast and Tossed Salad.
Made by Peyton. : )

Then we opened our present.
They presented us with the most beautiful engraved silver platter.
And Kathleen...they specifically referenced The Brady Bunch episode for the idea!

After that we had cake.
And it was honestly better than any wedding cake I have ever had.

It was the most special afternoon I can imagine.
To see what our children accomplished for us.
To think these are the little souls we brought home from the hospital and celebrated with so much joy.
Now...on this day...they celebrated us.
It was perfect.
My family, my sister and her husband, my dearest mother.
My heart sighed for a moment missing my dad.
But somehow, I felt he was there.
Just as he was twenty five years ago.
And I know he is as happy and grateful as we are that through those twenty five years, the two of us became this...

The six of us.
Plus two dogs.
And a boyfriend named Nicolas.

Thank you, my children.

Thank you Madison for thinking of this, and for organizing it and for ordering and purchasing everything. And for helping Peyton with the cake.

Thank you Peyton for preparing the delicious meal and baking that amazing cake. And for helping Flynn get dressed and ready. Exactly as I would have.

Thank you Rhett for doing everything the girls asked you to do. For getting the drinks ready and emptying the trash. And for always going along with whatever idea the girls dream up.

And thank you Flynn. Thank you for being such a good helper. And for being such a grown young lady at our surprise dinner. And for helping set the table.

Thank you my children.
For one of the happiest days of my life. : )

June 27, 2016

Twenty Five Years

Two together! Winds blow south, or winds blow north, Day come white, or niqht come black, Home, or rivers and mountains from home, Singing all time, minding no time, While we two keep together. 
 Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
Walt Whitman, 1819 - 1892

On June 29th, Steve and I celebrate twenty five years of marriage. Twenty five years with my soulmate by my side. What exactly is twenty five years of marriage? For us, it is...

Waking with your best friend. A cozy apartment. Pulling a mattress out into the TV room on a hot summer night to watch movies. Dinners for two. A kitten. A first house. Praying for a positive test. Disappointments. Happiness. Baby bliss. Stroller walks. Christmas trees. Easter baskets. Moving. New babies. Chrism oil at baptisms. Late nights rocking. Trips to the beach. Trick-or-Treating. Training wheels and loose teeth.

It's getting older. And dieting. And sitting on the sofa with big bowls of ice cream. Moving again. And settling in. Losing hair. Coloring hair. Watching babies grow. Paying bills. Growing a business. Trips to Disney World. Fourth of July fireworks. Sunday afternoon football. Training a puppy. Having teenagers. Becoming our parents. Buying yet another washing machine. Christmas card photos. Visits to the doctor. High Cholesterol. And Blood pressure. And one more blessing. It's baby bliss all over again. Bibs and bottles and smiles and giggles. And long nights with sticky pink medicine and tears.

It's dreams come true. Turning forty. Happiness. Grief. Burying parents. Visits to nursing homes. Knowing each other's next word. Kissing goodnight. Another puppy. A child graduating. Wrinkles and gray hair. Not caring. Laughing. Snoring. Santa Clause. And the Easter Bunny. Homeschooling. Games of Four Square after dinner. Porch swings and sweet tea. Saying I'm sorry. Trips to the ER for stitches and kidney stones. It's grocery shopping together. Crying. Birthdays and chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. Holding hands. Family pews at mass. Games of Scrabble and Candyland.

Twenty five years together is holidays and everydays. It's meatloaf and fruit salad. Dreams fulfilled. Prayers answered. Hand holding still. Kids growing. Middle age. Feeling young. Being older. Missing loved ones. It's the blink of an eye. But just the beginning. A love story unfolding. It's the circle of life. Continuing. It's me and you. It's us. The six of us. It's our life. And it is good.

June 29, 1991
Twenty five years ago.
Yet only yesterday...

June 24, 2016

Random Photo Friday

Ahhh. Lazy summer days. We don't do much. We slow down. We rest. And we enjoy the laid back vibe that fills the air. Here are a few pictures of the past week to show you what I mean. : )

We celebrated Dad on his special Day with a few gifts...
some bought...

Some made.
Like these AMAZING Blueberry Muffins from Madison...

And this Delicious Strawberry Jello Cake from Peyton.

The rest of the week found us on the porch
snapchatting relaxing with our breakfast.

After breakfast, we spend some time outside.
With jammies on.
But fortunately, the jammies and sandals are both from Carters.
So. Matching.

Just keeping it real here, friends. : )

Evening tea with some Mickey Mouse cookies...

And the return of my summer guilty pleasure!!!!
Would you believe I have watched every single season since it began sixteen years ago?

Back on track after a week of vacation eating...

But it's really not so bad. : )
Madison and Nicolas made this delicious pizza for dinner one night, and I added a fresh fruit salad.

The weather has been perfect for evening bubbles...

Which is great because what better time for sticky bubble fun than right before a bath and fresh jammies?

Oh, and someone was happy to be home with her little Mocha. : )

Have a splendid summer weekend with your people, my friends.
Picnic, hike, watch a movie, go to mass, bake a pie, mow the lawn, swim, sleep, laugh, and love.
Whatever it is that makes YOU happy. : )
Thanks for visiting!

June 22, 2016

Magical Memories...Part Two

Our fourth day at Disney ended with the arrival of Madison's boyfriend Nicolas joining us from across the ocean! He finished his exams at University in time to spend the last part of vacation with us. And Madison was excited, as she hadn't seen him since February. We were happy to have him join us as well.

Madison was right...
He loved the shirt I got him! : )

Day five was the big day...Dinner at Cinderella's Castle in Magic Kingdom! We slept in and ate a late breakfast at our hotel before getting our little princess ready. Madison and Nicolas dined together in another restaurant and met up with us after for our traditional Main Street USA photo. But first...

On our way...

Flynn spied her favorites Jaq and Gus Gus while we waited to meet Cinderella...

Pure joy.

After visiting with our favorite princess, we went upstairs for dinner...

And it was amazing.

During dinner, Cinderella's friends come around to say hello...

And Flynn wanted me to get a picture with MY favorite princess...Aurora.

After dinner, we changed our little princess, met up with Madison and Nicolas, and had our traditional "Picture in front of the Castle" taken. : )

My littles.
Not quite so little anymore. : )

Young love.

We spent the evening in Magic Kingdom...our favorite...

And enjoyed the parade...

And fireworks. : )

Day six found us slowing down a bit...

With swimming...

And breakfast by the pool.
Followed of course by showers and fresh jammies and afternoon naps.
For all of us. : )

Then we got ready for an evening at Hollywood Studios!
She couldn't wait to meet Woody and Buzz!

Trying to get a good picture of me and Steve...

"For the Blog" you know. : )

First glimpse of Tower of Terror...
And you can see the flags flew at half staff all week long.

First up.
My favorite from the entire trip.
Being that I am a 1950's gal at heart. : )
At the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre, you actually eat in cars while watching old movies.

And they serve the BEST milkshakes. Ever.
I mean EVER.
I'm still dreaming about them.

After dinner the big kids went off to ride the scary rides, while Flynn and I waited in line to see her favorites.

And they did not disappoint. : )

Buzz loved her dress...

And she loved him.

Woody felt bad about her dress, until I told him she wore a dress with him on it last time.
He remembered!

Hollywood Studios.

Day seven. Our last day.
We returned to Magic Kingdom.
One more time.

We saw a parade.
Peter Pan.

And had a great dinner together at Tony's Italian Restaurant.
I always eat here.
Every time.
In honor of my Daddy.
He loved it. : )

These two. : )
We spent our last night walking and visiting and riding our favorites one final time.
And a few tears were shed as we left that magical park as the music played and fireworks filled the sky.

Suddenly it was Day eight.
Time to come home.
The kids released their Disney balloons with wishes before we headed out...

Then we loaded Disney's Magical Express for the ride to the airport.

Along with the wonderful memories, I brought home some magic to remind me of this amazing trip...

Because you don't have to be in Disney to feel the Disney Magic...

You carry it in your heart.
And into your home.
And home is the most magical place of all, don't you agree?