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Archive for the ‘weddings’ Category

Didja see what I did there?

I was sitting here, this morning, checking things off of my to-do list and writing away like the studious little chickadee I am, and thought to myself “I should make this more fun with some pomp and circumstance and British accents”. So I turned on my teevee, and instead of the drooling press I was expecting, I was greeted with a very sweet, truthful and surprisingly faith-based ceremony.

I’ve been reading a few other bloggers who were bashing the wedding fever here in the States as pure flighty escapism, but I think it means something much deeper. Sure, Americans are goofy airheads when it comes to this stuff, and yes, we value royalty and celebrity in unhealthy ways. But I don’t really care about that, and I’m certainly not going to bash someone for wanting to watch a wedding (yay!) in Westminster Abbey (double yay!).

I think that we are watching this by the millions, because, as much as we want to relegate this spectacle to the crazies wearing giant British flags on their heads, this really does matter. There’s an old saying that goes, “babies are God’s way of saying the world must go on” and I think new marriages evoke the same feeling in us, even amongst the most cynical. Marriage is about believing the best in each other, about trusting in the good of a loving God and a loving spouse and about celebrating selflessness, a trait that is all too often mocked.

The Archbishop of Canterbury (who awesomely has his own website and made the amazing YouTube video, below) said that marriage is the best picture of God’s love for us – a statement which is humbling and overwhelming all at once.

So, as much as it would be easy to snark about our obsession with William and Kate, I’m resisting the temptation. Today I’m rejoicing that God’s love was on display, that so many are rejoicing the power of marriage and that love can actually overcome almost any prejudice.

God Bless, William and Kate!

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…that’s how wonderful love is.

Annie asked the other day if we should have high expectations in our quest for love – and I hold that yes, you must, but don’t ever settle for what you think the best will be – because when the best actually gets here, it’ll be way better. Like smelling my mom’s homemade bread for an hour as it bakes, and then getting to taste it, warm, soft and rustic, melting in my mouth – so much better than I could have imagined off of scent alone.

On Friday, a dear friend got married and I got to be a bridesmaidy. I danced with my love and laughed with my favorite photographer and hugged the teary, radiant bride. A perfect night.

This morning, my hubby and I took a break from busyness and went for a sunrise walk on the beach. We talked about big life stuff and little silly stuff. Like peanut butter and jelly – I can’t imagine having someone who would ever compliment me more or make life tastier – even in my wildest expectations.

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Seriously. What more needs to be said? When my September issue of Vogue appeared in my woefully inadequate mailbox (yes, the fall issue is what I lovingly call “the CostCo edition” because it’s like buying a case of peanut butter when one jar will do. I won’t be finishing this bad boy until roughly April 2011) I flipped idly through it’s gargantuan pages only to gasp in awe and wonder at this spread. Wellies! Beagles! Plaid! A distinct lack of what I thought was Tommy’s only style! What is that, you ask? Well, in my limited observation, it was vaguely dated polos who screamed, “I live on a boat, make way more money than you, but yet am compelled to wear a solid yellow shirt with a broad stripe of red down the middle to prove it, instead of just lounging on the deck in my overpriced shim-shams.” Nothing precise, mind you. Just the spendy but underwhelmed vibe.

Anyhoodle, Tommy has surprised me, and now I am lusting. And I really want to go on a picnic in an old car with an amazingly good-looking multi-ethnic family and several thousand dollars of great clothes. And a beagle.

Speaking of fashion and swooning, check this out:

Are you serious right now?!

Anthropologie’s fall catalog is all about horses and brown and I am breathless. I’ve always sort of dressed like a plaid-shirted ragamuffin, but THIS! This is Cowgirl Couture! This is my dream!

*Pant, hands flutter*

I want to frame every single picture. And be the model.

Also, far-left pic could have been taken on my parent’s ranch. Seriously. That is exactly what it looks like, beautiful girl in plaid and running horses and all.

Also – LOOK to the right! SHE’S CARRYING A SADDLE! This is the prettiest thing I have ever seen. Now you watch, a bunch of little hipster girls are going to try to have an “Anthro wedding” based on this catalog… but you, my dear readers… will know. We did the straw and plaid and horsey vibe BEFORE it was cool.

You saw it here first.

(Also, I’ve decided that I’m going to use my massive installment of Vogue to get sweet gams like these models. Holy arm-muscles, cowgirls! You must carry saddles and the September issue at the SAME TIME.)

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So, Adam and I are in the beginning stages of beginning a beginner’s group of married folk at our church. (Because we’re beginners, too, you know. January 2009! Holla!) I get very fired up about marriage, and I’ve written about marriage and relationships and all the mess and beauty of it a lot on Ye Olde Blog.  But I have yet to write a definitive “why” for how it gets me fired up.

Since we’re being asked quite often why we want to start this ministry and what it’s about, I figured it was about time to get my thoughts on paper. (Since I am a Christian, and this is my personal assignment to myself for my church, I’m going to mention God. Sorry if you’re squeamish, but I promise I won’t waggle my finger under your nose if you’re not sure about Him. We can still be friends.)

I think I began realizing how needed this ministry was when we got engaged. I was working in the world of Manly Men and got regularly teased (“First marriage? I’ll give it three years.”) or given advice (“You need a pre-nup.” “You’re getting married way too young, are you kidding me?” “Why don’t you just move in together and try it out first?”). I knew that this feedback was largely tongue-in-cheek or genuinely concerned and not meant to be hurtful, but after a while I wanted to scream, “Marriage is a good thing! How have we forgotten this?!”

Which I think is what bothers me most about today’s view of marriage. We have forgotten that it’s a good thing, and we don’t champion it like we should. In her book, “Committed – a skeptic makes peace with marriage” Elizabeth Gilbert refers to the ne’er-do-well heterosexual American couples who don’t care about marriage anymore and just flit around from relationship to relationship being skeptical of the whole institution and avoiding commitment in general. Her solution is to open marriage up to those who do appreciate it and want in – same-sex couples. While I’m not sure that her logic stands, it’s an interesting argument and one that needs to be taken seriously.

Why have so many young heterosexual couples become the ne’er-do-wells that Gilbert refers to? Why has marriage lost its sheen? More importantly, does it even matter?

I hold that it does. I firmly believe that one man and one woman are meant to marry for life, and that as such we are called to be living pictures of Christ and the Church. (The Church meaning collective Christians, not one church or denomination. Just so we’re clear.) Even though the Apostle Paul waxed eloquent on singleness, it’s not the kind of singleness we think of today. Paul’s singleness was a celibate, serious affair – not the “don’t marry, just party” style we roll with now.

I think that marriage gets a bad rap because, deep down,we are upset by how spoiled it has become. We throw zingers back and forth about pre-nups and age and maturity because we are tired of seeing God’s beautiful picture of love and relationship spoiled time and again.

I’m hoping and praying that this ministry can be a small part of changing that.

I want this new venture to be a safe haven for those excited about their marriages and for those who need help getting excited. I want us to compete with the world in the most incredible way – while so many search for love in hook-ups, we should be a warm, welcoming, living and breathing example of how God’s power makes the impossible possible – how two screwed-up, selfish people can become a beacon of hope to a desperate world. We don’t have all the answers, but we have a God who works in spite of our imperfections and gives us grace to move forward in love.

I get excited when I talk about marriage. I know that God has huge plans for this courageous generation of happily married folk who are swimming against the tide of pop culture. I know that we hold an incredible truth in our relationships, and I know that these marriages can change the world.

Our mission statement (as of this moment on my little soap-box) is to champion these marriages, to give hope to those who are trying to figure the whole relationship thing out and embrace the calling that God gives every married couple  – to love and honor each other as He does us. That’s not a big deal at all, is it?

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(This blog post was stolen from Annie Blogs. I have a blog-crush on her… and like a Kindergartner at recess, I show my love by thievery.)

What I’m [reading] = Common Sense, by Thomas Paine. Stop rolling your eyes, you.

What I’m [also reading] = Vogue, Backpacker, World, Horse & Rider, Real Simple…. Summer is the time for boat-loads of magazines, accompanied by frosty beverages and sandy toes.

What I’m [eating] = Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Trader Joe’s. Adorable little baby cookies, that are way too easy to eat by the handful. I need to stop.

What I’m [hearing] = BOCA 2010. Love me some A Cappella jives.

What I’m [writing] = A little of this, a little of that. A lot of queries. A few emails. This freelance gig is feeling real, and I am loving it.

What I’m [missing] = My great roommates. Chinese Food Fridays. Oregon summers. Texas food. Making lattes every morning for friendly farmers. Horses and doggies.

What I’m [loving] = These pictures from a great day. Life at the beach. Summer sunshine (finally!). Weddings. Love. Friends. Hope. Purpose.

What I’m [googling] = Writing gigs. I’m obsessed.

What I’m [watching] = The Bachelorette. Top Shot. Stossel. Of course, lots of cooking shows.

What I’m [surprised about] = How my husband is so incredibly patient with me. What a guy I’ve got.

What I’m [wondering] =Could these munchkins BE any cuter?!

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Mandy and Chris’ wedding rehearsal was last night, and they gave everyone in their bridal party affirmations about who they are and why they are in their wedding.  It was sweet and moving and beautiful and I was so happy to see them moving on to make their own family, supported and loved by friends and family throughout their journey.

Adam and I are just little wedding elves for this one, running around moving flowers and what-not. When they asked us to come up and be affirmed, Mandy said something that made me cry.

“We hope we have a marriage like you guys do.”

What can I say to that? Just a giant thank-you. I love weddings, because I love marriage and everything that it means.

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My People

Last night, Adam and I were curled up on the couch having a blissfully unexciting Saturday night – catching up on our DVR backlog – when Annie texted me. I read the text, laughed, showed it to Adam, and promptly burst into tears.

She texted from a wedding full of some of my favorite people – including, of course, the spectacular bride and groom. While my poor Hubs hugged and patted and tried to figure out things to say to stop the abrupt waterworks, I tried to explain. Which is silly, because these kinds of things really aren’t explainable. But I will say this – sometimes you have friends that come into your life for a season, sometimes you have friends that you’ve known forever but never well, and sometimes you have friends who are Your People. People who you get and who get you. People who’ve seen you do stupid things and love you anyway. People whom you’ve encouraged, laughed with and crammed into the backseats of small pickups with.  My People are the people who I can jump back into relationship with after long absences, and people with whom I can share without fear of judgment.

I was sorry to miss an incredible celebration – but I also know that missing one event won’t matter to My People, as much as I wish I could’ve hugged them in person.

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