Tuesday, February 10, 2015

OUR 40TH ANNIVERSARY


I have managed to sift through pictures, download the wonderful ones my DIL took with our good camera, and put them together in a slide show.  Everything about the celebration went really, really, well and I am so glad we decided to go ahead and do this.  We debated all over the place as to the size and lavishness of this event, and I am soo glad now that we decided to keep it simple.  Back when we got married 40 years ago it was a very difficult time for my mom and dad.  My father had just recently decided he wanted to, shall we say, "move on" and had left my mom and moved in with a woman that he finally later married.  My mom was only in her early 40's and she spent a few years as a single mom (there were still 4 children left at home including my youngest sister who was only 5) before she married my wonderful step father whom she spent the rest of her life with.  But I am regressing horribly.  The point of this was to tell you my parents were in the midst of a pretty ugly divorce, and basically had no money for my wedding.  I was a VERY young (just barely 20) single mom myself and while still living at home had only managed to save a very small amount.  My hubby was freshly out of college and was supposedly just spending the summer in California before going back home to South Dakota to look for work and begin his life.  He was working that summer, but had not managed to do much more then support himself and get along.  Looking back at this no wonder my mother was horrified when we announced we were getting married.  To top it all off we had only known each other 3 months when we made this decision too.  We no doubt looked a little nuts.  However, let me tell you the pluses, lol.  We were both new Christians.  And we had both (like two weeks before we met) had prayed that we might meet someone who shared our beliefs whom we might be able to spend the rest of our lives with.  There was no doubt in either one of our minds that we had met just such a person.  We were both really ready for this step despite our young ages (he was 23) and knew that WITH God the rest of the "details" could be worked out.  So the first thing that happened was Jeff looked for a more permanent job and one that would provide a much better income and chances for advancement.  I did the same.  That was pretty quickly established and so then we set the date and moved forward.  We were going to have to pay for the entire wedding ourselves and unlike soo many couples in these days it seems, we never even considered not marrying because we didn't have the money for a big wedding.  It was all about the marriage, not the wedding. Things began to fall into place.  My mother's wonderful friend (who was a strong Christian and mentored me for the first few years of my Christian life) offered to make my wedding dress.  My aunt Carolyn offered her back yard for the reception, and got the wedding cake and some decorations for us.  My sweet grandmother put in money towards the food.  My girlfriends mothers made the bridesmaids and flower girl dresses and threw me a shower.  With our new paychecks we furnished (with thrift store and garage store finds) the basics we needed to get going, got an apartment and hubby moved in.  My point is we kept the wedding guests down to a VERY small number and did everything very inexpensively, and did without many things.  A professional photographer for one. But looking back I honestly just could not have been happier, and was soo excited to start my married life that it was all I could really focus on.  God blessed us in almost every way He could it seemed.  I only worked the first few months that we were married and then hubby landed a really good job and provided us with enough income that I quit my job and stayed home with our son.  I was pregnant by this time with our second child as well.  I never did go back to work full time.  I dabbled here and there when I wanted to, but the Lord blessed us financially and I never really had to.  I tell you all of this to tell you that in the back of my mind there has been a part of me that thought that maybe some day I would do it up big.  Have a large reception and invite everyone I would like to and have a DJ or a band (didn't have that the first time either) LOTS of flowers (we had to stick to plain white carnations) and maybe even take a nice "honeymoon" type time away as well.  We spent two days in Big Bear the first time with a car that was barely running, lol.  Sooo when our 40th anniversary was coming it seemed like this might be the time to finally do all of this.  But as we began to asses what this would really cost, the idea became less and less appealing.  Suddenly it was taking on the feel of a wedding reception, and I had already had my fun (and expense...mercy) doing that when our daughter married.  We then debated doing nothing at all and maybe just taking a trip away somewhere.  And then when we couldn't decide about that either so we thought maybe we should just have a nice dinner somewhere and call it a wrap, lol.  We finally decided (seriously with only 3 weeks to plan!) that we would have a very simple reception following a renewing of our vows inviting only family and people who had been in our wedding.  My son provided us with his churches fellowship hall to use and that gave us tables, chairs, linens, coffee makers, refrigerator etc. to use for free.  We decided to go with a "taco truck" for food.  And oh my was THAT ever a good decision btw.  They came to the hall, set up right outside the door and made tacos to personal order out of chicken, carne asada, pork or fish, rice, beans, chips and several different salsas, and quacamole, cheeses and all the fixings.  It was beyond tasty let me tell you.  Everyone loved it and honestly we ate way more then we probably should have (me at the head of that list) and still had enough left over to send home with a couple of my sons for their families.  They provided paper plates, napkins and forks too.  Then, we had a dessert table with cupcakes, cookies, and some candy.  To drink there was ice tea, lemonade, water, coffee, and several different soft drinks as well.  I did want ROSES, so we got white and red roses for centerpieces and to sit around as well.  Now I have to tell you that other then to say WHAT I wanted, I really did NOTHING else for this party.  My son James and his wife Larissa pretty much TOTALLY put the whole thing together.  They searched for the food and booked the taco truck and negotiated all the details for this.  Bought the flowers, made the arrangements themselves, had a friend who did the cupcakes and got the cookies and candy somewhere, don't even know where.  Decorated and set the whole thing up, and my son not only put together the slide show with the jumbled bag of old pictures I gave him, but also had to somehow darken and improve several of the photos that were faded and very old looking as well.  They framed and hung some of the pictures to sit around too.  And this was while they worked their own SUPER busy lives that consist of running the ministry of that church and all that is involved with that, working their 4 kids including an 18 month old baby and homeschooling the other 3, not to mention of course just day to day running of the house of such a large family.  How they did this honestly I don't even know.  And they were both relaxed and unstressed, and happy about it all.  I can tell you very seriously. if they had not stepped in and done this for us, none of this would have ever happened.  We provided them with the money we were willing to spend, and they worked very easily within that budget btw.  To say that I was grateful really just doesn't say enough.  I was thrilled with it all.  Soo now having told you all that, I will tell you about the day, lol.   Most of us went first to church service where James is starting a new study in the book of John.  It was soo good, and 6 people went forward to accept the Lord as their savor, and begin their Christian lives which set such a nice tone for the day.  After that we drove the short distance to the fellowship hall where the Taco truck was parked and the food was ready to eat and everything was all set up.  Larissa had left church a little early to get over there and handle that.  We all enjoyed our lunch and each other.  After the lunch we did the ceremony.  It was very special.  My son was hilariously funny at times as well as serious, and it was just perfect in my opinion.  After that my sister Diane gave a little speech as did my brother in law Greg and we all enjoyed a toast with a delicious sparkling cider in cute little glasses.  Then it was dessert time and again we just chatted and visited the afternoon away.  It was just soo nice.  A girl friend of mine (the one whose mother made the bridesmaid dresses)  and who was one of my bridesmaids, came and I had not seen her since Melody's wedding six years ago.  I spent a great deal of my time catching up with her.  We have been friends since we were 9 years old.  I have another friend who was also a bridesmaid whom I have also been friends with since I was 9 years old but she was not able to come. I still see her quite frequently though, so that's good.  All in all it will go down in my memory book as one of the best days ever.  And you know it struck me again how very little money (or the lack of it) has to do with a wedding.  Now don't get me wrong....I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with whipping open the check book and celebrating a marriage with a spectacular wedding.  My daughter's wedding was an example of how well I fit into that way of thinking.  What I mean is how it seems to me that soo many of the young people today think it is the ONLY way to get it done.  That somehow you MUST have all of these things.  That an elaborate (usually out of the country!) honeymoon has to be taken as well and so they save for years or hope that somehow the brides parents have set money aside for just such an event.  I honestly can't tell you how many times I have heard, "We can't afford to get married, so we are just waiting till we can."  Meanwhile they are already living together.  How is it they seem to have the money for a "marriage" so to speak, (the day to day living together) but can't marry for lack of money for the wedding itself?  It's really kind of sad.  That they think they are somehow cheated or deprived if they don't have the big wedding.  Well I have rambled WAY WAY too much, sorry, so I will now show you a few good photos on the day, and both the slide show my son put together for us, and the one I put together of the day.  (they are both reasonably short btw)  I do have to include some of the better pictures here so they will be documented in the books I make as of course the videos don't show there.  Enjoy, and blessings to you all!  Debbie

CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS PICTURE!  ALL LOOKING AT CAMERA WITH SMILES ON OUR FACES AND DRESSED NICELY ETC.  IT WORKS FOR ME, LOL



MY OLDEST SON JOE AND HIS WIFE LEAH

MY MIDDLE SON JOHN AND HIS FIANCE JESSICA

MY YOUNGEST SON JAMES (SINCE IT WAS HIS WIFE TAKING PICTURES I DID NOT GET ONE OF THEM TOGETHER!)

JAMES AND HIS OLDEST DAUGHTER CAPRI

LARISSA AND JD

SOME OF THE GRANDS...CODY, CAPRI, JEFFIE, TELLA AND JD

LITTLE VINNY ENJOYING A CUPCAKE

AND DOZING IN HIS STROLLER RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A NOISY LOUD GROUP, LOL  (NONE OF MY KIDS WOULD HAVE DONE THAT!)


RIGHT AFTER THE CEREMONY

KISS TIME

LOVE HIM

video

This little video gave me such a fight, lol, but it is on.  You can hit the full screen button on the right hand bottom side and it will go larger so you can see,  But remember, these are old UNPROFESSIONAL pics and the quality is not too good.


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


























15 comments:

  1. OH! Congratulations! I loved reading your testimony. The Lord is sooooo good and you have recounted many, many of His MANY blessings!

    A very happy anniversary to you ALL,
    Kelley~

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  2. I agree with you ... who doesn't love a big elaborate wedding, but at the end of the day a couple who has a small modest wedding is just as married as the couple who had the big elaborate wedding. ;-) I just love that picture of you two with your kiddos. That should be framed.

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  3. I think it sounds perfect! Happy Anniversary and wishing you many more happy years together. Oh, and little Vinny with the cupcake and the I Steal Hearts shirt is totally adorable : )

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  4. This post has left me wearing a smile! Warm congrats on 40 wonderful years...every gal's dream! Loved seeing the pictures and reading your thoughts. Here's to another forty!

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  5. Beautiful!!!!! Just beautiful!!!!
    Congratulations!
    XO Kris

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  6. Congratulations on your 40th. May God continue to use you for his service together for many more years! Beautiful family photos, and my goodness, that little Capri looks just like her daddy!!

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  7. L.O.V.E.D.!!! this post! Your love story and your videos are wonderful! Congratulations on the celebration of 40 years of marriage. That is truly a blessing from the Lord. Thank you for sharing all of this with us!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  8. I think this is so wonderful Debbie, Congratulations 40 years is just wonderful. I love your photos and your movies.
    I am so glad you had such a wonderful day. I am glad you celebrated it. So precious.

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  9. Congratulations on your 40th! I love the photos. I agree with you on the living together bit that everyone seems to be doing in these days. They spend more time and effort on the weddings than the marriage. I can identify with all the styles in the photos. You are I are of similar age as you know. :) So glad you had a wonderful celebration Deb.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

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  10. I have to agree with your little rant...lol. Loved looking at your old photos (we will be celebrating 40 years this year as well) My bridesmaids had the same big floppy hats and my husband the blue tux (even the style of the bridesmaids dresses were the same) I just loved this post and your testimony of God's faithfulness, so glad it was such a wonderful day for you guys

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  11. Debbie, I loved this post so much!! The story of your background and your courtship, the details of your wedding, the description of this special anniversary celebration, and, of course, the wonderful pictures over the years...all of it! You have a beautiful family, too. Congratulations to you both...may the Lord continue to show His faithfulness to you!

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  12. Happy Anniversary, Debbie, to you and your honey of 40 years. That is a wonderful milestone. I prefer simple celebrations, always.

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  13. I left a comment, but somehow it didn't go through. What a beautiful story of 2 young love birds heading out into life, with just their love for each other and their new faith in God. A journey of 40 years together, with so many chapters. This is a beautiful testimony Debbie. It brought tears... and a huge smile!! Congratulations to both of you with many more to come. :)

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  14. So sorry my first comment didn't show, so here goes...I was so blessed by the videos, you have a beautiful family,I loved reading of how God's hand was in bringing your wedding into fruition, and as I visit with you I also see how God is still directing your life, just as He is faithful so are you! To have your son James officiate at the renewing of your 40yr. vows is the cream on top! May you and your Dh have many more years of happiness. Thank you for sharing this and for your friendship.
    Love,
    Sue
    p.s. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for my Mom!

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  15. Oh Debbie, I so enjoyed this very special post! Congratulations on your 40 years together! I feel blessed to have the privilege of stepping into your life, past and present, for a few minutes this morning. I love how you shared your heart, and how you gave your family so much credit for making this such a wonderful event for you and your husband. It is truly a story also, of the faithfulness of our God, in leading and directing each of your paths through this journey of life. Thank you for sharing every
    beautiful, well thought out detail! The video was a priceless gift for you to share on your blog! What a lovely family you have!!!

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I am so glad that you would take the time to comment on my thoughts and feelings, it is such a blessing to me!