Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar

Twenty-five years ago today, which would have been a Thursday night, John and friends were having a bachelor party (and the less said about that the better!) while my friends and I celebrated more sedately at the family home of one of my bridesmaids.  We were married two days later, on August 12, 1989, which means that we are marking our silver anniversary this week.
Yes, we have been married for a quarter of a century.  It sounds even longer when you put it that way, but no matter how you put it, it is an accomplishment, and nowadays it seems like a rare one.  John and I both have definite ideas about the importance of marriage and commitment and what has to be done to maintain that, and luckily those are issues we agree about strongly.  I told John I would probably be writing a “marriage tips” blog post some time this week, and asked him for his input, and I didn’t disagree with anything he said.
Sometimes it seems like it’s been more like half a century, and sometimes it feels like we were married yesterday.  No one going in truly understands what “for better, for worse,” really means.  Like everyone, we’ve had joy and sorrow, bitter arguments and harmonious agreement.  There have been long stretches when we couldn’t stand each other, when love was something we DID, not something we FELT.
You love your kids unconditionally from the moment of their birth.  That’s biology.  Loving the person you are married to is a decision and a commitment that you must renew every day.  You might know that intellectually when you get married, especially if you’ve been lucky enough to undergo some kind of marriage preparation, but you can’t and won’t understand what that’s like until you are in the middle of it.
I vividly remember saying to John, when we had been dating all of six months, that it didn’t seem like enough just to SAY “I love you,” anymore:  I wanted to LIVE it.  That’s what marriage is, and we didn’t know how hard, or how rewarding, it would be.  Those romantic early days were wonderful.  I love remembering them.  And I’m happy to say that we still like romance and spending time together and that spark has never gone out.  But love sustained and nurtured over twenty-five years is  stronger and richer and deeper and profound in ways we could not have understood back then.
John and I were only 22 and 23 when we took this life-altering step, when we yoked ourselves together forever.  We were young and we didn’t know a lot of things but we knew that we believed in marriage and that no matter what happened we would not break the vows we made.
Just see how young we were:
Wedding Couple
And we were surrounded by friends who were just as young, almost all of whom are still important parts of our lives:
wedding group 1
wedding group 3
wedding group 2
The Entire Wedding Party
And of course by family, many of whom are gone now:
wedding group 4
Emily and I were talking yesterday about why Catholic wedding ceremonies are supposed to take place inside a church.  I’ve been to some lovely outdoor weddings but as I sat this morning at Mass I was thinking how grateful I was that I still attend church every Sunday in the building where my parents were married, where I was baptized, were we were married, where four of our kids were baptized and two have been confirmed.  That’s a blessing.
wedding couple 7
wedding bride
wedding couple 6
wedding couple 4
wedding couple 8
We haven’t decided yet exactly how we will celebrate on Tuesday.  There probably won’t be dancing:
wedding couple 5
wedding kids
But there may be cake!
wedding cake
 
 
 
 

My Big Baby

This will be short and sweet today because we are having a birthday party here tonight which means I have to actually clean the house.  And bake a cake.  In addition to all that other stuff.
It’s a measure of just how crazy things are around here that poor William turned 11 on March 5 and had to wait until tonight to have his party.  And just a family party at that (which translates to probably 16 of us).
So today, in honor of my baby boy, I will post TEN INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT WILLIAM.
1.  William weighed 13 pounds and 5 ounces at birth and was 24 inches long.  He was my first vaginal delivery after three C-sections.  All three local news stations interviewed us, and the story was picked up nationally.  I got emails from all over the country.  Later one of the clips somehow ended up in an episode of Animal Planet entitled “Extreme Births.”
2.  William is an extremely picky eater.  I guarantee you that he is pickier than your picky eater.  His favorite food is “the rolls at the Great American Steak and Buffet.”
3.  William loves animals.  “I love all God’s creatures,” he once opined as a small child.  I think he has become a bot more discriminating since–he hates hippos and pigs, he told me today.  But by far, his favorite animal is the cat.
4.  William is obsessed with Aliens, or as they are apparently correctly called, xenomorphs.  All he wanted for Christmas was Kenner alien toys from the 1990s.
5.  William hates everything to do with school, even homeschooling.
6.  William loves to play on the computer.  He loves Roblox, and he creates awesome stick figure movies.  He also spends a lot of time watching YouTube reviews of toys he hopes to get.
7.  William is VERY stubborn.  If he doesn’t want to do something, he pretty much won’t.
8.  William owns a Roomba.  It is a prized possession that he wanted for years, and inherited from his great-grandmother.
9.  William and Lorelei play very well together.  She is happy to follow his lead about the kind of games they play.
10.  William hates shoes.  We just went shoe shopping to replace the battered Crocs he had been wearing for months, and it was agonizing.

In his Daddy’s heirloom dress for his first trip to Mass–about one week old.

On the beach at Tybee Island this summer