Eleven Years

When we planned our wedding for September 15, 2001 we had no idea we would share the week of our wedding with what would forever be known simply as “9/11.”  I felt guilty getting married; it seemed so trivial in comparison to what was happening in the nation at the time, but life goes on.

And life has flown by for eleven years!  Like so many things – school, children, etc. – the moments can at times crawl by and it seems like we’ll be stuck in a situation forever, but then we look back and wonder where all that time went.

Phil and I are always joking, “how did we end up together?”  When he says I’m a city girl and he’s most definitely a redneck; when I love mushrooms and olives and he can’t get them past his throat; when I’d rather read or craft and he’d rather tinker on rusty junk.  But the important things – our belief in God and family, our appreciation of nature, the blessing of our children and the desire to raise them as best we can, our love for each other - these are what we have in common. 

Oh, and we both love cheese.  And bacon.  And going to bed really early because we’re both old farts.  I ask him, “what time will we go to bed when we really are old farts?”  It also helps that we make an effort to spend time together and we each think the other is HOTT (although I know he has poor eyesight).  

This week Phil took me by complete surprise and actually planned something for our anniversary!  He’s on shift today, but on Thursday while the kids were with their grandmother he and I took a day-trip to Nantucket Island, MA where we spent our honeymoon (and where I worked during high school, squirrelling away money that would eventually go for a down payment on our home).


We visited some of the same places as last time and had fun discovering new ones.  I got enough exercise to last for the rest of the year, wandering down cobblestone side streets and toting our lunch to a “just-around-the-next-corner” beach.  My poor back, hips and legs aren’t too happy with me right now but we had a great time.  I wish we could do things like that more often!

“Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.”
Song of Solomon 8:7a

Celebrating Ten Years & a Mini Scrapbook Album

Last week Phil and I celebrated ten years of marriage – woot!  Makes me feel like I should have some advice for all the newlyweds out there.  Truth is, I’m still taking it one day at a time, learning new things as I go.  You can’t possibly know everything there is to know about someone before you marry them – and this can be a good thing!

It’s strange to forever associate or wedding day with 9/11.  Yup – we got married on the 15th of September, just a few days after the attack on the Two Towers.  At our reception, we honored my grandparents on their 60th anniversary, who got married the same year as Pearl Harbor.  I felt so guilty getting married, continuing with my life almost as though nothing had happened.  But you know what?  Life Goes On.  There were a number of friends and family members who were unable to attend our wedding due to the lack of flights, and it’s a good thing we had already planned on honeymooning in nearby Nantucket, MA because we wouldn’t have been flying anywhere.

I spent my anniversary by myself.  Phil was working a 24-hour shift, and Meme had the grandkids.  I didn’t really know what to do with myself!  Were it my birthday, I may have done a little shopping, maybe gotten a small box of chocolate truffles.  I felt the need to somehow celebrate, but it didn’t feel right without my husband.  In honor of the fact that I had a carrot cake muffin on my wedding day, I had a piece of homemade carrot cake (recipe courtesty of Nourishing Traditions) and got an iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.  Then I drove around aimlessly, trying to figure out what to do. 

Later in the day, I decided to whip up a homemade gift for Phil.  I’m usually on top of these things – and had already gotten a special package deal from Omaha Steaks through Plum District -  but I like to do something special if I can.  Last year for Valentine’s Day I made a little love book from a deck of cards, so my idea for making a love jar filled with 365 thoughts and sentiments felt a bit too similar.  Instead, browsing around and inspired by some of my favorite craft sites, I decided to make a simple scrapbook album with one picture for each year of marriage. 

I didn’t go crazy matching and coordinating elements, but it still took a while to pick the pictures, print them, cut and assemble the book.  I interspersed the photos with the Bible verses, songs, and readings from our wedding, along with a couple others to fill the book.  I like how it turned out!    


We walked down the aisle, each of us escorted by our parents, to Bebo Norman’s A Page Is Turned.

My sister sang I Will Love You, by Kathy Fisher.  I forget where I first heard the song, but I fell in love with it and had to have it in the ceremony. 


One of my favorite passages in the Bible about the passion between husband and wife is in Song of Solomon, when the writer says “Arise, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me… My lover is mine and I am his… Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.”


Another favorite verse about love, loyality, devotion is found in Ruth chapter 1 – “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God…”

We danced our first dance to Kenny Chesney’s “Me and You,” special to us since we dated and fell in love listening to his songs.


I don’t remember where I found it or who said it, but I put the following quote in one of our wedding albums.  It really resonated with me; there were some people who tried to discourage our relationship, tried to tell us how our relationship should look, and when it all comes down to it it’s between us and God. 

“Marriage is the clasping of hands,
the blending of hearts,
the union of two lives as one.
Your marriage must stand,
not by the authority of the state
nor by the words of the minister,
But by the strength of your love
and the power of faith
in each other and in God.”

A Couple Gift Ideas

I’ve gotten lots of gift ideas browsing craft blogs, and wanted to share a couple that I’ve used recently.

For Valentine’s Day, I was trying to figure out something I could make for Phil that would both communicate how much I love him but would be relatively cheap.  I found this great idea using a deck of playing cards, and pounced – I was able to combine two of his greatest loves, playing cards and me!  You could make this for any occasion, and for anyone, depending on the sentiments you include inside.  Here’s a peek at the one I made:

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I’ll be going to a friend’s wedding in October, and luckily she’s not online so I can show the gift I put together for her!  First, pick something from the registry – behold, the humble pitcher:

Then, add a few extra elements that can be used with it: lemon juice lemons, a couple kitchen towels, and a wooden spoon:

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And I haven’t done this part yet, but include a recipe for lemonade…

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
1 cup lemon juice
6 1/2 cups cold water

Directions:
Dissolve sugar in lemon juice; add cold water.  Serve over ice.  Makes 2 quarts but can be adjusted as needed.

Variations:
Minted Lemonade Stir in 2-3 drops peppermint extract to 1 quart lemoade
Pink Lemonade Stir in 1-2 teaspoons grenadine syrup to 1 quart lemonade

Erin’s Big Day… including, of course, her dream wedding cake

So another wedding cake under my belt. I’d say literally and figuratively, but I didn’t stay for dessert. Erin, I hope the cake tasted good! I was surprised how well it all came together; the ribbon I picked matched the flowers perfectly. And of course fresh flowers always looks good – just stick them in front of flaws, and you’re good to go! That’s why I like LOTS of flowers!

It was a beautiful day for a wedding, and Erin’s was outside. I didn’t get a lot of pictures, but here are a couple from when the ceremony was starting:

I was dreadfully tired from working two really long days on the cake, getting up early to get ready and make sure everything was all set, nervously driving the cake to Dartmouth, and trying to be nonchalant in a group of total strangers (I just knew Erin’s fam).

Afterwards we went to Phil’s company clambake, where again I didn’t know anyone (well, some of them I’ve met, but don’t really KNOW)! There, I had some chowder and chatted with some people, but they weren’t serving any food (the stones for the clambake cooled off, so they had to get it going again) and we were hungry because we left the wedding early! We left for a fire dept. run just down the street, and when we came back the guys were badgering Phil to play horse shoes… so I took his keys and drove home (he works in Exeter, so home isn’t far).

Now, I’m just cleaning up a little and sharing pics of the wedding cake: