To Love You NOW …and Forever

The sun glimmers over the sea and casts a glare on her phone screen. She puts one hand over her eyes and brings the screen closer so she can see. As Sophia thumbs through photos of wedding venues she feels the phone vibrate and sees a message from her Maid of Honor, Alexa.
“Don’t you just love this style!” and an attached picture of a long sleeved lace gown pops up when she taps the message.

It is a lovely dress but not exactly what she what she wanted. She has to talk to Alexa about that later. Her thirty-minute lunch break is over.

As she walks back to the office her phone begins buzzing again. It’s Matt. Why does he have to call her now?
“What do you want?” she quips.

“Nothing sweetheart, I just wanted to see how your day was and if you want to get dinner together tonight?”

“Yeah, sure. What time? 7 o’clock. Okay. Bye. I love you.” She rushes as she hangs up and walks into her office.

Wait, she did not have time to meet with him tonight. She already made plans with their wedding planner to select invitations.

“I can’t see you tonight. Meeting with the wedding planner.” She texts him quickly before her work phone starts ringing.

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That was the 4th time this week that she had cancelled plans with her fiancé. She knew he was getting upset, but she didn’t have any choice. Their wedding was coming up in less than 7 months.

You, dear bride, have surely been in Sophia’s shoes before. You are overwhelmed with wedding decisions and are overcommitting your time. Have you realized that it is often at the expense of your relationship?

The day will be a whirlwind of people, dresses, cameras and a very important kiss with your new husband. You are promising the most important person in the world that you will love and support him for the rest of your life. It is such a deep and powerful commitment. Arguably the most important decision you will ever make.

This is your wedding and you are the princess. You deserve the best and you should make sure that you’re creating a day that will be one of the most beautiful days of your life.
That does not mean that you have to become a mean, unpleasant person for your groom to be around. Of course, problems will arise and you should make sure that you get them resolved. Be strong and assertive to get what you want. You are not going to make everyone happy but you and your groom should be happy. You have the power to make this process an enjoyable experience!

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1. When you act out or lose your temper, apologize. Sometimes admitting that you are wrong can be calming and bring peace back into your life. Saying sorry gives you the ability to step back and analyze the situation more objectively.

2. Take time every day to nurture your relationship. Send an encouraging text on Monday morning and make a home cooked dinner on Thursday night. Do something to make sure he knows that he is the most special person to you.

3. Take some time talking not talking about the wedding. When you first started dating you used to talk about the books you were reading, or the music you love. You would talk about a work project, a place you wanted to visit, or a new restaurant you wanted to try. Take a day trip somewhere, or if you don’t have that much time, make a dinner reservation and talk about why you love each other.

4. Ask yourself one question: When this wedding is all over, how do you want to remember it?

I want you to remember the excitement of planning a glorious party. Remember the joy of spending time with your friends and family planning this huge celebration. Most importantly, remember the love that kindled this fire. You have forever to spend with your favorite person. Make sure that forever starts now.

melody of a life

Some play music, some sing along to it, dance to it, or simply listen to it.
But for Grandma, music was an integral part of her soul. Everything she did, skate, dance, nurse and love her family was done with the beauty of a symphony.

My first memories of her are picking her up at the airport. Her curly hair was always so neatly done. Before we could even get to the car I would be begging, “Grandma what did you bring for me this time?” and once she would begin unpacking her suitcase the most beautiful dolls would appear for my sister and I.

I remember going to visit grandma and grandpa in Fair Oaks as a child. Hanging on the wall in my grandparent’s bedroom was a huge painting, ‘The Dancer.’ The slender figure of a sassy lady with a beautiful red leotard posed. She seems to eagerly await the cue of the music. Dark hair neatly styled at her shoulders, red high heels fastened and shoulders back ready to charge onto the stage. Grandpa’s portrayal of her gregarious personality in this painting is impeccable.

The perfect harmony of strength and grace can be found on the ice. Feeling the power of a skate blade against the ice filled grandma’s spirit with joy. No one was more fitted to all of the twirling and dancing to the music than my grandmother. Her love of music and performance made her a natural figure skater.

All the way to the very end, music had a hold on grandma’s soul. We would sit in her bedroom and turn the CD player on. Once the notes reached her ears she would stop whatever she was doing and her eyes would be filled with love almost to the point of tears. She’d jump up, grab your hands and start dancing around the room smiling and laughing.

In her last days a reverend would come and play hymns for her on his guitar. One night as we sang along to The Old Rugged Cross I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the life she had led.

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Her life was a song of devotion to her husband Dave and their three children.
It was a melody to each hurting patient she cared for in her days as a nurse.
It was a chorus of encouragement to every soul that crossed her path.
Never has someone lived a more beautiful song than my Grandmother Jean.

here’s to traditio…

Before we delve into every nook and cranny of wedding plans I want to set the stage by going over all the rules.
Rule number one: you need a groom.

Thats pretty much it!
Granted, there are pages and pages of traditions in the books of weddings past, but following those traditions are absolutely not essential. Maybe wearing the dress your mother wore is something that you’ve always dreamed of or walking down the aisle of the church you grew up in might be the only location you can even imagine getting married at. Just know that if you don’t particularly want to serve a cake or if you can’t stand the thought of having a veil covering your face, don’t do it!

cakeThe most important question to ask yourself is, when you look back on your wedding, and all of the planning, what do you want to laugh about? Nothing is ever a sure thing, but set a benchmark for yourself. Search your heart for what really matters.

Remember that some of the things that seem so important to you now may not be the memories you end up cherishing.
So get out there and throw a party for all of your friends and family (or don’t!) just keep everything in perspective. You have found the person that you can’t live without. In 50 years you’ll be sitting on the couch together reminiscing about that time your car broke down in a blizzard, your first dog together, your ten grown children (or whatever floats your boat) and the support you’ve given each other for the last half century. The color of the bridesmaid’s dresses in the wedding pictures will likely be faded to gray anyways.

oldiesAnd in the spirit of weddings (and tradition) I’ll end each blog with a toast. Here’s to love, commitment and not getting caught in the weeds! Salud!