Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December - A Review (better known as "Blog Posts I Intended to Write...")

It’s so hard to believe Christmas is now behind us and we’re just days away from ringing in the new year. It seems like just yesterday, it was Thanksgiving! There were many things I wanted to blog about during the month, but didn’t because of time constraints (and more often than not, I forgot to take photos!) Now that things are settling down, I wanted to share some of the highlights from our December. While this may will likely be world’s longest post, I hope you’ll find it worth the read

• At the beginning of the month, I celebrated my 44th birthday. (You know it’s going to be a good birthday when your dear hubby serves you red velvet cake for breakfast!) Oh, I love that man! ; ) At work, I arrived to find cakes, cookies, chocolates and other goodies from my sweet co-workers. It was glorious! For dinner, Tom took me to one of our favorite local restaurants. It’s always a treat as they are known for outstanding food, and service that is second to none. (Even moreso when it’s a special occasion.) At the end of the meal, we were treated to a wonderful dessert, compliments of the owner. It was a lovely day!

• That weekend, Tom and I hosted the youth leaders of our church for a Christmas dinner. We used to serve with these great people and many are very good friends...we absolutely loved having them in our home…it was a great, great time!

• The following week…Christmas cards, baking and a little shopping.

• The second weekend was a busy one! Friday was an ornament exchange at work. It was great because several former co-workers returned and it was soooooo good to catch up. More baking on Saturday and that night, a surprise birthday party for our friend, Tracy Robertson. Yet another wonderful time (and I remembered my camera!)

On Sunday…our annual cookie exchange! Two friends who had taken part for years relocated since our last one - one to North Carolina and one to Ireland! Needless to say…we really missed them. We welcomed a couple of new friends this time, met for lunch, had a great time together and exchanged our cookies.

• It was also during this particular weekend that our local city officials were judging homes in our community for a Christmas decorating contest. For the second year in a row, our house was one of the winners! Tom had worked very hard and did a WONDERFUL job! I was thrilled for him because he absolutely LOVES Christmas! You need to know he never puts up lights to compete, instead it’s just an expression of joy (which makes winning even sweeter). The mayor and other city officials came to our house to present Tom with a plaque and a large, beautiful poinsettia.

Jesus, Mary & Joseph are on the porch, along with angels. On the far left, you can see the 3 wise men and on the far right, there is a shepherd tending his sheep. The photos below are the side and a little of the back yard.

Those candles were given to us by Tom's Mom. She used them for years at her house and they are truly vintage! We love them!

• Just a few short days later, our local newspaper featured Tom as one of four homeowners with beautiful Christmas light displays. As you can see, although we love all the whimsy of Christmas, first and foremost our display points to Christ. When the article was written, I was delighted to see the reporter made a point of highlighting that, both in photos and her story!

• Later in the week…it was time for more baking! We had set aside an evening and my Mom, my sister, Marcia and my niece Brooke all came over and we baked like crazy ladies! (As you can see from the photos...we take our baking very seriously! LOL) Several different kinds of cookies, buckeyes, candy, etc…soooo much fun!

• That weekend, two biggies…Tom narrated our church’s beautiful Christmas Program, “One of Us.” He did a great job, as did the choir and orchestra. It's been a couple of years since our church did a large Christmas program and we really enjoyed it. Later that same night…our kids arrived home! We could not wait to see them! Married life certainly agrees with both of them. We had a a great time “catching up” for an hour or so and planned a dinner together the following night. They’re so happy to be home and we’re thrilled to have them! Bless their hearts, they’re trying so hard to spend lots of quality time with BOTH sides of the family. = )

• The last few days before Christmas, more baking! This time - loaves and loaves of pumpkin bread, and also…this incredibly easy (and very addictive) snack, found on a great blog...Beneath my Heart!

• Since my first Christmas with Tom's family as his fiancée in 1983, we’ve spent Christmas Eve at the home of his sister, Nancy and her husband, Dan. They have a log cabin...so beautiful and cozy -- it’s hard to imagine being anywhere else. The fire in the stone fireplace and the Christmas decor make the house look extra special. We had a great time and if you saw the slides in the previous post, you know that the hit of the night was the digital frame we got for Bob & Millie. Nancy had compiled photos from all of us and grouped them into decades. There were over 300 of them! Bob and Millie absolutely loved it, as did the rest of the family. It was especially fun to watch Breezy as she saw many of her new family members as they looked “back then.”

After Nancy & Dan's, we came back to our house to celebrate “Our Christmas” with Brennan & Breezy. We had such a sweet time together and they absolutely loved their gifts. They surprised us with a beautiful wedding portrait. LOVE it!

• Christmas Morning at our house was quiet. Had my devotional time and then after a little while, finished wrapping a couple of things and we headed to my parents’ house to celebrate with my side of the family in the early afternoon. We enjoyed delicious lasagna and homemade lemon meringue pie, cheesecake, cookies, etc. (I love my Mom's cooking, but especially her desserts!)

As to our gift exchange, we did things differently this year. Because we’ve all felt the pinch economically, we opted to forego the usual gifts and instead each person brought only 1 gift valued at $10-15. They all went into a pile in the middle of the floor and we drew numbers to determine the order. You could choose a gift, but the person after you could either take it or choose a new one. Our family had an absolute blast with this! There were movie certificates, blockbuster certificates, gift cards for food, ice cream, Starbucks and even some board games in the mix. Besides spending only about 15% of what we normally would, there was so much less stress and time spent running all over town looking for this or that gift, which made for a much calmer, more reflective Christmas. Definitely helped me keep my focus on Christ like never before.

As we wrapped up our time at my parents' house, we headed to my in-laws to once again join the rest of his family for a little while on Christmas night. Every year, as we leave their house to head home, Tom and I simultaneously thank God for granting us yet another Christmas with them. Both his Mom & Dad are in their upper 80’s and every year is truly a gift.

• Saturday evening (the night after Christmas), Tom and I went along with Brennan, Bri, Bri’s Mom, Lisa and our friends, the Robertsons to Bethlehem Blessings at the Creation Museum. Despite very cold temps, we really enjoyed our time together there…we were especially partial to the vignette of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (played by a wonderful family friend) and the live animals.

• Sunday was a day of rest! (And boy, did we need that!) Hope you and yours have had a wonderful and special December celebrating CHRIST and making some great memories with family and friends.

• If you’ve made it this far and you’re still reading…I want to say THANKS! Leave a comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $10 St*rbucks gift card (a Merry Christmas gift from me!) If you share your favorite December memory in your comment, I’ll enter your name twice! Feel free to enter up until midnight (Eastern time) New Year’s Eve…I’ll draw and announce the winner on New Year’s Day!

Love & sweet blessings!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Family Christmas - 2009

Hope you and yours had a wonderful and special Christmas together! Ours was terrific! We had such a great time and very much enjoyed our moments together. (Wish I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow!) I'm hoping to post a few more photos later in the week of other highlights from throughout the month...
Blessings to you!

Friday, December 25, 2009

O Holy Night...

From our family to yours...may you have a most joyous and blessed Christmas! When things settle and you have a few quiet moments, please watch this...one of the most moving recordings of this song I have ever heard...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2009 Scripture Memory Challenge # 24!!!

Don't have too long...like many of you, I'm up to my elbows in Christmas preparations. Just wanted to check in to share my last passage. Like countless others this month, I decided to join Beth Moore in closing out the year with her favorite passage, Psalm 27:4 (NIV):

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

I couldn't think of a more perfect passage for closing out the year. This challenge has been a wonderful and incredible faith builder. While I have memorized scripture before, I've never done so a consistent basis. It has truly been life-changing! In a year of several twists and turns (my Dad's injury, job changes, the marriage of our son, to name a few...) I've never felt more peace in the very depths of my soul. Over and over again, the Lord has encouraged me, admonished me, humbled me and strengthened me as I read, re-read and committed these passages to memory.

I'm not sure yet if there will be an "official" Scripture Memory Challenge for 2010, but I personally have no intention of stopping! I'm hoping if you took part this year, you too will continue. If you didn't, why not give it a try? Think about it, only two verses a month. You can do it!

Blessings sweet friends!

Friday, December 4, 2009

...And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to my friend
Lea of Shabby Olde Potting Shed!!!

Lea and I have been blog buddies for quite some time and let me just tell you, she is a TREASURE! She's got a joy in the Lord that is contagious, and she's one of the sweetest encouragers you will ever know. She's also extremely talented when it comes to sewing, crafting, gardening, etc. If you don't know her (or even if you do)...stop by and say Hello!!!
Thanks to everyone else for taking part! = )

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cookies Anyone?? A Giveaway!

Greetings! Hope this Wednesday finds you well. If you read my post on Monday , you know I promised a GIVEAWAY sometime this week -- well...today's the day!! What's the occasion? Well, it's my birthday! = ) And since we all know everything is sweeter when shared with friends, I've decided to share the birthday joy and cheer with YOU!

I think you will agree that ANYTIME is a good time for cookies, but isn't that especially true at Christmas? Not only are they delicious and fun to bake, they make wonderful gifts! Just yesterday, a co-worker surprised me with a batch of her fabulous Pecan Puffs. They were WONDERFUL, and they warmed my heart all throughout the day!

, what am I giving away? How about this terrific Gooseberry Patch cookbook, filled to the very brim with yummy cookie recipes? (Talk about dreamy!) And how about this darling little snowman plate? Wouldn't he make a great gift, filled with home-made cookies!? (or perhaps filled with cookies in your own kitchen?) LOL!

All you need to do is simply leave a comment sometime between now and tomorrow (12/3) at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time), telling me the name of your favorite cookie. If you don't have a blog, please be sure to leave your e-mail address within your comment. The winner will be posted sometime on Friday! Here's hoping you win! = )

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2009 Scripture Memory Challenge # 23

(photo courtesy of Google images)

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
"This is the way; walk in it."

~ Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap!

Hello friends! Hope you’ve enjoyed a wonderful and special Thanksgiving weekend. Brennan & Breezy arrived back home in the wee early hours last Wednesday morning. After having a chance to sleep in, they spent the rest of the day and evening visiting family. It was soooo good to see them! They’re doing well…loving married life, and they were very happy to be “home.”

Like many of you (I’m sure), Thursday morning started early and the evening ended late, but with many blessings in between. At the dinner table, we gave thanks for the newest members of our family, for those of Thanksgivings past who are still missed, and those for whom God has graciously granted yet another year. We shared memories and lots of laughter throughout the night. (I wish I could tell you just how many times I was reminded NOT to pour the
gravy down the drain...LOL!)

After the last guests left, I did a bit more kitchen cleanup, and then headed off to bed. Had to catch at least a few winks before meeting family and friends for our annual Christmas shopping adventure at 5:00 am! We stood in several long lines, but got several really great deals. Though not quite as wild as last year, we did manage to capture some fun Target photos…

Here is Breezy, ready for Black Friday shopping!

My nephew, Blake and Brennan..."um, nice skirts guys..."

...and you thought those were just Christmas trees!

My sister, Marcia modeling these lovely "earrings"...aren't they just the perfect compliment to your favorite Christmas ensemble??

My niece, Brooke finds her long lost friend in the toy section! (No, she didn't really kiss him!)

They gave me such a hard time last year about not being in the photos...they insisted this year on "crowning" me the Christmas queen and snapping this one...

By 2:00 pm, I was ready to call it a day. I bid farewell to my crazy family and headed home for a blissful nap. That night, Tom, Brennan, Breezy, her mom, Lisa and I had tickets for A Christmas Carol at the IMAX (which was quite good, by the way).

From that point on, the weekend was much more peaceful and relaxed. I did do just a couple of errands late Saturday. Yesterday, we were invited to enjoy a wonderful breakfast with Breezy’s family, Breezy and Brennan before they headed back to SC. We left them with hugs and prayers and we’ve already started the countdown of days until they’ll be back home for Christmas break… ; )

Even though it seemed to pass too quickly, it’s was a great weekend. Hope yours was, too. = )

Love & blessings,

P.S. Almost forgot! Be sure to watch for a giveaway sometime this week!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as
You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our Heavenly Father,
- Harry Jewell

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am Thankful...

Greetings! How does this Thanksgiving Eve find you? Sleep-deprived? Stressed? With a To-Do list longer than your arm? Oh friends, I know… My state of mind is a glorious mix of busy, tired, happy, frazzled, excited, but most of all…blessed. I’m looking forward to giving Thanks with my family even more than usual this year.

Amidst the craziness of “getting ready” with all its many tasks, I've been thinking on these blessings from the year...

* Celebrating 25 years of marriage in September, with my dearest friend.

* Unforgettable memories of our family vacation this summer.

* The joy of watching Brennan marry his long-time best friend, a young woman who absolutely adores him.

* The joy of welcoming the delightful (and quite loveable) Breezy “officially” into our family.

* The gift of yet another Thanksgiving with both sets of parents. We are incredibly blessed.

* Gratitude that my Dad’s work injury, though painful and difficult, didn’t result in paralysis or worse.

* Growing closer to my sister through some shared struggles.

* Faithful friends. Perhaps more than any other year, I’ve been acutely aware of the blessing of the encouragement, support and faithful prayers of friends, several of which I’ve met through blogging.

* The transition into a full-time position on September 1st. -- truly a gift from God. Not only that? I work for three of the kindest, most wonderful attorneys imaginable. Couldn’t ask for better... (Didn’t have to, God knew.) = )

Tomorrow as I prepare and enjoy the Thanksgiving meal with my family and in-laws, I’ll do so with an overwhelmingly grateful heart. God has been so good to my family and I.

I pray you have a wonderful time celebrating God’s goodness tomorrow, savoring the moments with your family and/or friends, and making some special new memories. Remember those who are alone and consider inviting them to be a part of your celebration.

I leave you with a simple, yet beautiful prayer, by Mary Fairchild:

Heavenly Father, on Thanksgiving Day
We bow our hearts to You and pray.
We give You thanks for all You've done
Especially for the gift of Jesus, your Son.
For beauty in nature, Your glory we see
For joy and health, friends and family,
For daily provision, Your mercy and care
These are the blessings You graciously share.
So today we offer this response of praise
With a promise to follow You all of our days.

Thanking God for YOU

Monday, November 16, 2009

2009 Scripture Memory Challenge # 22

Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live in Him,
rooted and built up in Him,
strengthened in the faith
as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness.

~ Colossians 2:6-7

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LOVE in a Deep Dish Casserole! = )

The cooler weather of fall always brings certain recipes to mind…things like my Mom’s Ham and Noodle Casserole, an all-time family favorite. Nothing fancy, just old fashioned home-cooked love & goodness.

When we were growing up, Mom would always make our favorite dinner on our birthday. I asked for this…every time. Even for Brennan, this is a dish that says LOVE like no other. = )

As you can imagine, I was very eager to make this for Tom when we were first married. Armed with step-by-step instructions from Mom, I headed to the store for the ingredients. I got home and busily started preparing the meal. I could hardly wait until he tasted it.

The first step was to dice two thick slices of ham I had gotten from the butcher into bite-sized pieces. Since the next step would take about 20 minutes, I thought I should put the ham back in the fridge to keep cold until I needed it. I put the water on for the noodles, then chopped and began to sauté the celery and onions for the sauce. So far, so good.

By the time the noodles were done, the sauce was almost ready. I drained and placed them carefully in my brand new casserole dish. Soon, the sauce was done and I poured it over all the noodles. It smelled just like Mom's and the consistency was perfect! I was so pleased with myself.

I toasted and cubed the bread for the topping, drizzled it with melted margarine and placed it in the oven. I had talked so much about this meal, Tom was quite anxious to try it. Soon, 30 minutes had passed and it was time.
The table was set with our new Pfalzgraf dishes. I placed a generous portion on his plate along with some salad, and sat down across from him. I watched eagerly (and a bit nervously) as he took the first bite.

"Oh, hon…this is really good!"

I beamed.

He took another bite, "Wow, yes…I really like this…it’s delicious!"

Just as I was preparing to take my first bite, he said,

"...and what’s this called again?"

"Ham and Noodle Casserole"

"Hmm" he said, as he took another bite and gave particular attention to its taste..."that’s odd..."

"What’s that?"

"For some reason, I can't taste the ham."

Suddenly my mind flashed to the ham, in all its diced glory, sitting on the dish...still in the fridge. Oops. (So much for impressing my new hubby with my cooking finesse!) LOL! We both had quite a giggle and it’s been a favorite family story for years. To this day if I mention I’m making it, someone will inevitably say…”Don’t forget the ham!”

Hope you enjoy (and don't YOU forget the ham!)

Mom's Ham & Noodle Casserole

10 ounces of noodles (I use No Yolks) – cooked and drained

1-2 Cups of Ham (I use 1 pkg of John Morrell diced ham (drained) looks like about 1 ½ cups) OR get two thick slices (¼”) of lean ham from the deli and cube it

1 cup celery (finely chopped)

1 small onion (finely chopped)

¼ + 1 Tablespoon Margarine or Butter (I use I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter – Light)

2 cups of milk

8-10 Slices of American Cheese (torn into small pieces)
(I use Kraft 2 % singles but Land O Lakes tastes better)

8 slices whole wheat toast (cubed)

Saute celery and onion in ¼ cup margarine or butter until nearly transparent, add in flour and stir coating celery and onions. Add in milk slowly, stirring often until it begins to thicken. (Skim takes quite a while longer to thicken than 2 % or whole milk.) When sauce begins to thicken, add in cheese, stirring until all melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a casserole dish sprayed with Pam, spread noodles. Sprinkle ham on top. Pour sauce mixture over all and stir to coat evenly. Top with cubed toast. Melt 1 Tablespoons of butter or margarine and lightly drizzle over toast. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Serve with salad or other green vegetable. Approximately 6 servings for the average family, 4 if you live in our house! ; )

Sunday, November 1, 2009

2009 Scripture Memory Challenge #19, 20 & 21, plus one more for good measure!

I’m playing catch-up with the Scripture Memory Challenge. Since I didn’t blog for nearly four weeks, I missed both postings for the month of October. As of today, I owe you 3 passages, but (because you’re so special), you get 4! Stay with me here…

I absolutely love the Psalms! They’re among my favorite places to dwell in the Bible. Early last month, I received a daily devotional message by Lysa TerkHeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I was immediately drawn in when I read the opening passage. Her message centered beautifully around four passages in Psalms with a message that resonated with me for days…in fact it still is. As the excitement of the wedding, major changes at work and other everyday crises swirled around me, these verses have found themselves lodged in my head, but more importantly my heart. Like Lysa TerKeurst, these verses have become my daily prayer. Perhaps they’ll become yours, too…

A Morning Prayer

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

It is very early in the morning. Not many people are stirring yet.

Though my body begs me just to roll over and go back to sleep, my soul is stirring to get up and go sit with Jesus.

Though I can't physically see Him, I know He is present.

I decide to open my Bible to the Psalms and use the verses I read as prayers to start my day.

And the more I pray those verses out loud the less I hear all the nagging things of the world. A beautiful melody of truth starts to rise up and suddenly my worries fade in the light of God's truth.

His perspective on things that are troubling me starts to overshadow my anxiety. Like shade on a hot summer's day, I feel relief in His presence.

I know that He is preparing me for what I will need throughout this day. He is already standing in every minute of my day and He sees what I will face. So, He's equipping me to be able to handle what is ahead of me with His gentle boldness, quiet strength, and loving grace.

In Psalm 81:10b,
God instructs me, "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." He will give me what to say today. What to say in happy moments. What to say in aggravating moments. What to say in moments where I feel insecure and what to say when I feel completely confident. What to say in disappointing moments. What to say in response to questions.

He also reminds me that sometimes it is good to keep my mouth closed and say nothing at all.

All the words that rumble about in my brain and those that will proceed out of my mouth, Lord, You be the author of those.

Psalm 84:1 reminds me that God's dwelling place is lovely. So, I ask God to dwell in me richly. I want Him to be what radiates about me. I want Him to be my pretty today.

Not my hair. Not my outfit. Not my efforts. But simply Him and His spirit dancing invisibly about me... shifting a wrong attitude, guarding my words, and whispering constant truths into my heart.

Psalm 86:11 is what I ask the Lord to give me. "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart..."

Lord, may nothing separate me from You today. Teach me how to choose only Your way today so each step will lead me closer to You. Help me walk by the truth and not my feelings.

Help me to keep my heart pure and undivided. Protect me from my own careless thoughts, words and actions. And keep me from being distracted by MY wants, MY desires, MY thoughts on how things should be.

Help me to embrace what comes my way as an opportunity...rather than a personal inconvenience.

And finally, help me to rest in the truth of Psalm 86:13a, "Great is your love toward me." You already see all the many ways I will surely fall short and mess up. But right now, I consciously tuck Your whisper of absolute love for me into the deepest part of my heart. I recognize Your love for me is not based on my performance. You love me warts and all.

Have mercy, that's amazing.

But what's most amazing is that the God of the Universe, the Savior of the world, would desire a few minutes with me this morning. Lord, help me to forever remember what a gift it is to sit with You like this.

Dear Lord, I love You. All that I have read here is the desire of my heart. I know and confess that sometimes my actions and reactions betray my love for You. Please forgive me. Thank You for Your grace that is able to recognize this new day as a new chance to walk closer with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

If you’d like to subscribe to these daily messages (and I highly recommend it!) click here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Update: My hubby and I just returned from our church's outreach to the community called "Trunk or Treat." We've been doing this for 3 or 4 years now, and it keeps growing and growing. Well over 100 church members sign up to park their cars along the perimeter of our parking lot to pass out candy (tailgate style). In the center, volunteers provide free hot dogs, popcorn and other snacks and drinks. Tracts are distributed as well as New Testament Bibles. Christian music plays all evening over the sound system. It's an incredible opportunity to show the love of Jesus to an entire community. This outreach has brought numerous new families into our church, but more importantly, to Christ! Tonight, over 2,000 people attended and were shown the love of Jesus! We were thrilled and honored to be a part of it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Wedding!!!

Hello!!! There is sooooooooo much to share with you, I haven’t a clue where to start! I’m just going to dive in headlong, so hold on!!!

Last Saturday was the wedding…THE wedding, the one that’s been planned now for over a year. What an incredible day! It came together perfectly, wonderfully and beautifully. It had been unseasonably cold, rainy & dreary all week long. On Saturday morning, we awoke to those same cold temps, but beautiful sunshine! What a blessing. It truly set the tone for a wonderful day!

The entire wedding party met together at the church around 9:00 Saturday morning. Brennan and Breezy were seeing one another beforehand, so that many of the photos could be taken in advance of the ceremony. However, they shared a few special moments together, just the two of them (captured at a distance by the photographer) when he saw her for the first time as his bride. (I can't wait to see those photos!)

The original plan was to take many of the remaining photos outdoors. However, because of all the rain, mud & cold temps, they decided instead to make arrangements to use a local old theater instead. It was beautiful!

Special thanks to my sister, Marcia for capturing so many of these photos for me, all throughout the day (and even the night before at the rehearsal!) What a gift! Although I'm very anxious to see the photographer's photos, it was wonderful to have a huge array of candid shots (over 200 from her alone!) Thanks also to Dale Robertson who graciously shared his photos, as well. (Trying to narrow them down was no small task, let me tell you!)
The juniors, ring bearer and flower girl.

The WHOLE wedding party!

Beautiful Breezy

All the lovely ladies...

My two favorite guys...

Tom and I, just before the ceremony

Breezy's Mom, Lisa

Awaiting his bride...

What a great moment...

Brennan & Breezy planned a very meaningful and Christ-centered ceremony. At the outset, during a hymn, they had set aside a few brief moments for a time of prayer with us as parents, Breezy with hers and Brennan with us. It was very special and something we will never forget.

The service was officiated by pastors who are very dear to Brennan & Breezy. They did an amazing job, and their messages complimented one another beautifully. There was great emphasis on the covenant they were entering into, and the challenge to make their marriage mirror the relationship of Christ and the church. It was a powerful reminder to all married couples.

With this ring...

Signing their covenant

At the close of the ceremony, there was unmistakable, radiant joy that these two were now husband and wife!

LOTS of family photos after the ceremony. I love this one. = )

My Mom & Dad (He was wearing dress shoes for the first time since his injury...every time I thought about how bad my feet were aching, I thought of him. He was in a good bit of pain, but kept on smiling.)

From the decor to the favors, Breezy's family did an incredible job. They had worked on various items for several weeks and everything looked so elegant. Breezy's Grandmother made 40 of these beautiful arrangements! On Thursday, everything was brought to the church and we started putting it all together. As friends arrived from out of town, they all jumped in to help....it was a great time!

Here is the happy couple making their grand entrance at the reception!

The extraordinary cookie table! In keeping with Italian tradition, there were all sorts of cookies offered. (In addition to the beautiful cake!) Among them, Kolache, thumprint cookies, crinkles, Mexican wedding cookies, shortbread, biscotti and clothespins. With the exception of two cookies, all the rest were made by family friend, Brittany Robertson. She was baking and freezing for several weeks, and did an amazing job...they were INCREDIBLE!

The food itself was delicious... Italian wedding soup, salad, chicken & fettucini alfredo and Italian green beans.

Another HUGE hit of the day was the coffee bar. Bren & Breezy had arranged it through a local coffee house who came in and set up shop. They made coffee drinks and smoothies all afternoon!

My nephew, Blake and his lovely girlfriend Lydia

Remember how Brennan proposed? He wrote a play called "She Said Yes." Near the end of the reception (as a transition to their getaway), they had arranged for the same people who originally played the parts to re-enact the play. It went beautifully and the crowd absolutely loved it!

As the play ended and they prepared for the tossing of the bouquet and their departure...they took a few moments to thank everyone for sharing in their special day.

All smiles at the end of the reception, my beautiful nieces, Jordyn & Blaire.

And finally...a picture of my sister, Marcia with my lovely niece, Brooke!

A wonderful day, indeed. Hope you've enjoyed these glimpses of the wedding. Thank you for sharing in our joy and excitement for all these months. We wish Brennan & Breezy a lifetime of love, joy and happiness together.