more golden things

Oh, 2020. Although it feels like 17 months ago now that the calendar changed, I remember how much hope you held. And now? Well, now I think you’re kind of a jerk. And it’s only June.

In hindsight, how many times have we heard ‘don’t get your hopes up.’ And how many times do we do exactly the opposite because, things! They hold such promise! And I turned 40 at the Grand Canyon! And Connor had a golden birthday! And my dad turned 70! And Connor finished middle school! And Alyssa graduated from college! And we were going on trips!

And that’s where that word that rhymes with zovonatirus broke everything. Because we had a grand family trip planned (after the other trip CJ and I had to cancel) to one of my very favorite places in all of the entire universe (which my familiarity of travel-wise is fairly small, but still) … Colorado. We were planning on leaving this coming Monday.

And while it is really, really difficult to put my hopes back down about a hot air balloon ride in the middle of Rocky Mountain country (wut?!), there is still cause for celebration. And this is where I’ll peel my temper tantrum-throwing body off the floor to share something really sweet.

These two? They’ve been married for 50 years. 5.0. Fifty. Weren’t they adorable? That was February 14, 1970. The day my dad proposed. And for the record, my mom was still in high school.

Now, I can’t sit here and pretend I know the secret to a staying power like theirs because … I’ll just say that I will likely NEVER be married for 50 years (yo! potential husbands! we are running out of timmmmme!). But, just like Forrest Gump, I know what love is.

And it’s what they’ve got.

My devotional actually led me to the love chapter this morning. You know … the one they read at all the weddings. I’ve been especially taken with The Passion Translation as of late and the seventh verse hit me in a special kind of way.

Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. 1 Cor. 13:7 (TPT)

I should have asked them what the trick is to tolerating the same human being for that.freaking.long but after watching them for the past forty years, I have a few ideas. I’ll be as brief as I can (grab a pencil and some paper, too. it’s a golden list. duh.)

  • You become best friends
  • You know every good and bad and even terrible thing about the other and love them anyway
  • You compromise (often). This is also known as sacrifice. Which is also known as do the hard thing sometimes because you choose them first
  • You find things you both enjoy so you can keep that date thing a real thing
  • You opt for shared interests in TV when going out isn’t an option for whatever reason zovonatirus. This might include such gems like Law & Order: SVU, NCIS, Chicago Fire and America’s Got Talent. And, when the time is right (is it ever?), Hallmark Christmas movies
  • You wear matching jackets occasionally. These can include both spring jackets as well as mauve-colored leather. I’m still so proud of my dad for being that bold
  • You share in major decision-making … home, kids, work, finances, etc.
  • You celebrate each other’s successes. And you still celebrate even if you are struggling
  • You make each other coffee. That’s a total given, right? But you also know how the other takes their coffee; which is more important
  • You take care of the other when they’re sick or if they’ve had not one, but two, major surgeries and they might be a little ‘difficult’.
  • You show each other affection. Even if your kids think it’s so, so gross. Which they will. You talk openly about how hot and bothered the other makes you. Again, so gross. But looking back, it’s something I am so grateful for (except for a few interesting moments. ha!)
  • You find out the other’s love language and love them that way; even if it feels weird and foreign to you
  • You take care of each other’s feet. And if you have the money, you go get pedicures. Together. This is an actual thing
  • You pick a side of the bed and it’s yours forever and ever, amen. And, if you’re super nice and it’s cold, you warm up the other’s side before they get into bed. 50 extra credit points for that
  • You find a comfortable couch just in case you lost your spot in the bed (that can be due to coughing fits as well, to be clear)
  • You side with each other when your kids are trying to play one of you against the other. Or you at least apologize when your daughter(s) are far too convincing
  • You know that there is literally no one else on the planet that you would want by your side for the rest of this life. And you act that way

Quite frankly (dad! lol), I could go on and on with what I’ve witnessed in a marriage that spans 50 years, but here’s the very simple truth …

You just don’t give up. That’s it.

How many times do you think my parents failed each other? I’m guessing at least a few. But both of them; both of those young and adorable ‘children’ decided on June 12, 1970 that they were choosing each other. They were choosing to be each other’s safe place of shelter. And they were choosing that regardless of anything this completely questionable and seemingly unraveling world could throw at them, they were going to make that choice to fight for the other day in and day out forever and ever amen.

Love never gives up.

I love you and your love, D & C. I pray that some day I can have something like you do, if only so that I can show you that I DO know what love is. It’s what you’ve got, even if I have to break up your arguments over how to operate the FF button.

Cheers to your golden day. And to many, many more. ❤

wordless wednesday

Because it’s quick and easy; and because I haven’t posted since July (what the what?!) … I present to you a special birthday celebration edition of wordless Wednesday. Without further ado – which, by the way, I’ve literally always wanted to say but I usually just keep on talking which sort of negates the whole purposes of not further a-doing something. Oh, oops. – here are just a few selects from our little family gathering up in the absolute middle of nowhere in Michigan this past weekend. It was … everything. Continue reading

world photography day

Seriously, if I could count the number of memos I miss about certain days and events that I could really get on board with … well, it would be a big number. The good news is that I did, in fact, hear that yesterday was dubbed as ‘world photography day’ but the obvious is that I missed posting about it in time. #sadtrombone

It’s all good, though. I am still 100% cool with getting on board with the old clichés as well like ‘better late than never.’ Continue reading

the many faces of baby mae

You know how it’s super boring to see photos of babies gently sleeping? Wrapped so neatly in cheesecloth? Nestled sweetly in a basket? I agree!

That’s why when I went to visit baby Mae earlier this week, I tickled her feet and picked at her ears until she was wide awake and ready to make some faces at my glass. Don’t misquote me … I said glass.  Continue reading

wordless wednesday – a thank you

On this fine Wednesday, we pay tribute to our veterans. Just two days ago, I was honored to have been asked to take some photos during a service in remembrance of my Uncle Jim, a veteran of the United States Army. He served our country from 1964-1967, stationed both in Germany and Vietnam during his tenure. Continue reading

happy birthday, grandma

I watched the tears roll down my dear cousin’s face last month as she watched our grandma learn the names and roles of everyone in the room. The whole family (like, literally) was home to celebrate Alyssa’s (my favorite oldest niece) graduation. Sidenote. Whaaaat? How can my six-year-old niece be ready for college? #sad

Continue reading

#rundarenrun

So, there’s this guy … his name is Daren. Some may call him Forrest, but that’s only part of his story.

When I first heard about Daren Wendell, I’m pretty sure he was in the middle of a run somewhere. Sure, lots of folks run. I even run sometimes. I know … hard to believe. But, Daren runs for a purpose; to bring awareness to the world’s water crisis. And for every $40 he is able to capture as a result of his crazy pursuits, he ensures clean drinking water for another human being. For life. For.life. Continue reading