Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Decade in the Making!

Today is James' and my 10 year Wedding Anniversary!

We had been together for 4 years when we decided to marry. On Monday, May 22, 2000 we went to Alexandria (VA) City Hall to get our marriage license. We were given the name of a Justice of the Peace who would perform the ceremony. We contacted her and were informed that she was available the coming Friday... Wedding date set!

On Wednesday the 24th, we sent out an email to friends and family that basically said,

"If you're not busy on Friday morning at 10, we'd love for you to attend our wedding."

I had ordered a cake for the wedding from one of our favorite bakeries and prepared a number of brunch items for the small reception we had at our townhome in Alexandria. We had half a dozen bottles of champagne, coffee and orange juice.

We were instructed to meet the JofP at a small park near our home. I wore a simple cream colored dress, James in a dark suit and Maddie, as my attendant, wore a beautiful cream colored, tea-length dress. Maddie's hair was in a fancy 'up-do' with flowers throughout. She was beautiful... and so happy. We all were!

Our guests met us in the parking lot at the park. My parents, friends from work and our neighbors, The Hagner Family, were in attendance. The Justice of the Peace neglected to inform us that our ceremony was going to have a 'rodeo' theme... she showed up wearing a black and white yoked cowboy shirt, black jeans and boots. At least she was memorable!

Our group walked about 50 paces to a meadow shaded by maple and oak trees and the ceremony began. Lucky for us, young James Hagner, our neighbors's son had just gotten a new watch - he timed the event. He informed us that our wedding ceremony was exactly 2 minutes and 39 seconds long. When I play the lottery, 239 is one of the numbers I always play!

After having the official signatures placed on our license, we were legal! We all returned to our house and my Mom helped me serve the brunch. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed it on the back deck. My Mom and Dad took Maddie with them when they left - she would spend the Memorial Day weekend at the beach. We continued sipping champagne with our friends until 4 PM when we decided it was time to hit the road.

We booked a 3 night stay at the Chateau at Nemocolin Woodlands in the Laurel Highlands of Southeastern Pennsylvania. One of the highlights of our visit there was when we toured Kentuck Knob, a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

So now, here we are 10 years later... with two exquisite daughters and two insane dogs. We have owned 5 homes in 4 different states and travelled as a family to Europe, Asia and Africa. Our blessings are too many to count.

Our plan for the next 10 years is to (at some point) stop our gypsy ways and settle down! Having lived in so many different places and so many different types of homes, we are going to build our next home ourselves. (With an architect, not with our own hands!!) That will be the place where, hopefully, we will enjoy the many decades to come.

I wish I could offer pictures of our wedding day - but there is only one. There is also only one photo of our guests on that day and it's in a scrapbook packed away in our storage unit... Someday I'll get them scanned and posted.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We'll be having a cookout with a champagne toast on Saturday to celebrate our anniversary! Cheers!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

Today is an extremely rare rainy day here in Southern Orange County. It's a good thing, as I don't feel compelled to be outdoors or 'making the most of daylight'! I've been juggling a few projects here at home - all of which keep me bound to my computer. Since the move, we no longer have an 'office' and my desk is now located upstairs in my bedroom. The difficulty in this situation is that Josie's world is located downstairs in the Family Room... her art supplies, Barbies, the TV. You get the picture...!

I'll have to backtrack a bit to report what's been going on lately. First off, Mother's Day!! I enjoyed a 'Mother's Day Tea' hosted by Josie's pre-school class on Friday, May 7th. All the Moms were treated like royalty! We were served ice tea, cookies and heart-shaped brownies by our children. We were also treated to a live performance of the 'Butterfly song'. Finally, we were given the most beautiful art creations known to Moms - paintings of butterflies, little books entitled "Let me count the ways I love you" and drawings covered with X's and O's !!

The following day, Saturday, I worked on a photo book for the teachers of Josie's class. Gotta love how iPhoto makes creating the book so easy! Collecting the photos from the parents and getting them in chronological order was a bit more challenging. The book is about 80% complete - I have only to add photos from the school's Family Luau being held this coming Saturday.

While I worked on that project, James and Josie headed up to 'Farm Day' at James' alma mater - Cal Poly Pomona. Josie had a ball - there was so much going on! They had pony rides, a dog show, tours of the gardens and tractor rides!

By looking at these photos, one would think we only have one daughter. Maddie keeps her weekends jam-packed with activities that revolve around school and her girlfriends. We were quite pleased to have her around the house this past weekend. It was nice to have a helping hand while I tried to get the house straightened up and laundry done. Another plus is having Maddie on hand to update my iPod with the newest songs. I heard some good ones this past weekend and all I had to do was yell "Oooh, I like that one!" and she hooked me up! Nice!

On Saturday evening, Fred joined us for a barbecue dinner and a nice pit fire after dinner. Maddie's friend, Hailey joined us a bit later. We roasted marshmallows, made S'mores and enjoyed the laid-back comfort of not having to go anywhere or do anything... very nice!

Yesterday, James and Josie took off for Disneyland. I'll tell you, those two are really getting their moneys-worth out of the annual passes! I don't have the patience for weekly trips to Disneyland, so James is more than happy to pull 'Dad Duty' when Disneyland is an option!

I have one more project to finish up this week, then I should be able to get back to my routine of blogging at least once a week... I'm finding out though, Facebook is also jamming up some of my free time. It's like reading mini-blogs by all my friends and I get sucked in. Only thing that bothers me about FB is some of the cryptic messages that some folks post.. Frustrating! I feel like I'm missing out on some personal joke. Anyway, if that's all I have to complain about these days then Life is Good!!!
Hope everyone has a great week ahead!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fairies and Flowers

Busy weekend for us here in the OC! Josie and I attended a birthday party for her friend, LoLo. We really had a great time! It was a beautiful day and the party was outdoors. There was also a visit from a special guest:

Tinkerbelle flew in to help LoLo celebrate her birthday! She did face-painting, balloon sculptures and played a parachute game with the kids.

Everyone at the party was so warm and welcoming! We really enjoyed our time with LoLo's family and friends!

Maddie stayed busy this weekend by performing her community service hours at a local nursing home. She always has such a great time when she visits with the residents. She puts in a minimum of 6 hours at each visit and doesn't really consider it 'work'. This time, her friend Madison (Maddie E) was along. The two of them had a lot to talk about once they finished their day.

These final photos are for my Mom. I promised I would send her some photos of the really unusual petunias I found out here. I know that in years past, yellow petunias were a bit hard to come by where my parents live. Well, not only did I find yellow, but I found a beautiful pink and yellow variety with crinkled edges. So, here they are Mom!

Busy week ahead - it's Teacher Appreciation Week. Hug a teacher! On Friday, Josie's class is hosting a Mother's Day tea. Should be a lot of fun! Till next time.... Have a great week!