Archive | June, 2012

So I Think I Might Cry cry cry cry

27 Jun

Can I share with you a secret? My family and I have an antiquated dependency issue. Familiar? Ours is to do with technology and today it’s causing me just a wee bit of frustration. The issue? Our VCR is exhibiting wonky behavior. AND TONIGHT IS SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE!!!!! I know I’ve discussed previously our obsession with this particular Reality Gem. It’s back for the summer and this is the time our precious Video Cassette Recorder chooses to act up!?!??!? Verily Causing an upRoar it is! And here’s the deal – episodes don’t stream to the net until 30 days following their original air date! WHAT IS THAT ABOUT!?!??! The angst is immeasurable at this point and so I’m asking for words of solace. Empathize anyone?

THAT offending button is offending me!


Ten Days to Ten Years: Day 10

23 Jun

Okay, dear friends, In writing about our wedding day for the past nine days I’ve done my best to spare you a lot of mush, but today is our actual anniversary, and so like it or not, it’s about to get sappy around here.

Happy Anniversary, dear husband,

From the moment you first gently put your hand on the small of my back as we entered Pietro’s over ten years ago I knew that you would be the one to gently encourage and push me, to guard me, and to have my back in all situations.  The first time I was sick after we began dating and you made me take cough medicine I knew you would always take care of me, and go out of your way for my comfort.

And when I joined you for dinner at your family table and we sat chatting for hours with your parents before you and your dad got up and cleared the dishes I knew our life would be full of openness, long talks, kindness and responsibility.  On evenings when I would go on a rant and attempt to gossip or overdramatically speculate you didn’t take my bait or let me dwell on the untrue, and I knew that you would bring out the best in me and not let the worst flourish.  When you pulled out The Lord of the Rings trilogy to read aloud to me I knew our children would grow up with beautiful imaginations and a love of learning.   And as you joined me in my desire for a Sunday morning Divine Service wedding it was obvious that the foundation for our marriage would be the forgiveness of Christ who united us.

I know it’s impolite to say this, but, “I was right!”  You, and our life are all those things and more.  Thank you.  Thank you, thank you.

Jerry, I love you, thank you for loving me.  Thank you for this decade, and thank you in advance for all the decades to come.


Okay folks, mush out.  (But I do totally dig that man.)

Ten Days to Ten Years: Day 9

22 Jun

So, are you wondering how we’re going to celebrate our 10th Anniversary?  Thanks to the generosity of our good friends, in July we’ll be returning for a couple of days to the cabin where we spent our honeymoon.  The cabin which we had to evacuate due to a forest fire.  Yup, it was a good honeymoon.

But tomorrow will be loading PB&Js into the picnic basket, and kiddos into the minivan and returning to the scene of the party.  Our reception was at a gorgeous local park.  This time there will be no big band, or catered meal, or excessive layers of tulle to navigate on trips to the restroom.  We also won’t have the same crowd, but the five new guests we’ve invited are pretty cool, and I’m sure they’ll make quite a splash.


Ten Days to Ten Years: Day 8

21 Jun

When we got married I was 26 and Jerry was 38.  The odds were stacked against us.  We had just narrowly passed the Gross Factor Equation Exam.  You remember that one from College Algebra, right?  It’s something something like

2(woman’s age) – 11 ≥ (man’s age)

See, I knew that would come right back to you, after all, math is just like riding a bike down the street toward the railroad crossing at 10 miles an hours with an approaching train traveling 36 miles an hour.

So, as I was saying, the numbers appeared to be stacked against us, especially this glaring statistic:

Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride.

What? That’s not actually a real stat?  Egh, whatever, facts, folklore, they’re all the same to me, and I had the dresses to prove it:  I’d been a Maid of Honor not once, not twice, but the dreaded three times.  And with my sister’s 2001 New Year’s Eve engagement and pending 2002 New Year’s Eve wedding, I was looking at my fourth line of duty.

And I don’t know if there’s a wive’s tale that speaks to the number of roommates that one marries off before she herself is destined to a life of spinsterhood, but I was at a whopping five.

That’s why at my wedding I just had one attendant who was securely attached to a fiance.  No need to run up any one else’s tally, right?

But, all those beautiful women who did me the honor of making me their honored maid flew miles and miles, some even with teensy newborns, to celebrate my very own take-that-you-silly-old-legend wedding extravaganza.

Thank you, Misty, Angie and Stephanie for your years of standing up for me with or without the yards of silk and satin.

And here’s one that I couldn’t have guessed that hot, steamy June day – after my sister’s nuptials I wasn’t yet finished with my role in the wedding party.  Seven years later, my good friend Audrey, who at my own wedding could be seen sitting at the back left corner of the table of high school girls, got married, and there I stood, yet again witnessing the happy occasion of the joining of husband and wife.

So, who’s next?



Ten Days to Ten Years: Day 7

20 Jun

Wedding are just chocked full of happy memories,  like this:

What caused that sea of genuine smiles? This dear, sainted man.

And that’s thing about those happy memories, many of them are tied to people who are no longer with us.  Who knows what Pastor Krieger was saying, or even why he had the mic, but the man who gave me the nickname Chirps, and scolded me when there weren’t enough a Capella stanzas is sorely missed, gentle ribbings and all.

As is this beautiful woman on the left, framed between her two daughters.

Just a few weeks after I moved to town I was invited over to her condo for a cocktail party with the caveat, “they’ll all be talking about you anyway, so you might as well be there.”  Grace was the perfect hostess, the evening was full of lively conversation, delicious food, big guffaws (Pr. Krieger was there), and the most delightful Old Fashioned I’ve ever imbibed.

She wasn’t the only one who opened her home to me in my first days in Michigan.  This kind, generous couple hosted me for supper right before my interview.

Norma was on the interview committee, and she and I left their house just a minute or two late with these parting words from Norm, “You just tell them you’re late because I made you stay and drink a beer.”  I did.  Tell them that, not drink the beer, and Norm’s excuse instantly broke the ice, and calmed my nerves as I sat down with the room full of people I now happily call my friends.  I don’t know if he ever knew what a wonderful gift he gave me in that simple sentence.

The people below also gave us a great gift.  Well, to be fair, we bought it from them, but the thought, care, and maintenance they put into this house, now our home, is something for which we will always be grateful.  My apartment lease was up three weeks before our wedding, so as the final days of school were wrapping up, and our last minute wedding plans were ramping up, we threw in the purchase of a house.

We had no idea when we discovered this house with it’s custom designed pantry and spacious sunroom that the seller would be one of the music leaders of West Michigan.  We had an instant bond with them, and they graced us with their presence at our wedding, and the initials AS carved into each of the handmade kitchen cabinets still makes me smile.

Do you remember those beautiful seventh grade girls that helped me pick out my wedding dress?  Well, one of them just got engaged.  Sadly, she lost her father before he had the chance to walk her down the aisle.  Her Dad is the man on the right.

Losing part of your family is always tragic, whether it happens unexpectedly, or after a extended illness at the end of a long life.  My Grappa was able to make it to our wedding, but it was the last big event he was strong enough to attend.  He was too sick to make it to my sister’s wedding just six months later, and died a month after that.

We saw him near the end, lying thin in a hospital bed, but this is how I will remember him.

As two became one, Jerry’s family became mine, and that means that the losses of his family became mine as well.  Nearly five years ago we lost Jerry’s brother David in a single car accident, and just this year their dad died after a battle with Alzheimer’s.

The holes they leave are huge, but larger than any emptiness is the thankfulness we have for the time we had with each of these people.  They shaped our lives, brought us joy and laughter, and remind us to appreciate those still with us.

Okay, weepy sad time is over.  Let’s think back to the beginning of this post, shall we?  Happy memories.  Happy, happy, happy.  Here, just in case your mind’s eye needs a little trigger:


Ten Days to Ten Years: Day 6

19 Jun

Did I mention that it was really, really hot that day?


Ten Days to Ten Years: Day 5

18 Jun

Before we had children I lived the most luxurious life.  I used to get my hair cut.  On a regular basis.  And highlighted.  At a salon.  By “My Stylist.”

Man, those were the days.

Despite the fact that our wedding was on a Sunday morning, My Stylist agreed to come do my hair and make-up in my office at church during the Sunday School hour.  She picked out the make-up, I purchased the suggested items, and then brought them along for her to apply.

She did a nice job, yes?  When she quit the salon while I was pregnant with Thomas I happened to be scheduled on her last day of work.  I cried.  It was the hormones, I’m sure.  That was about the time I gave up getting my hair cut.

Anyway, see that blush she selected?  I love that blush.  Notice how I didn’t use past-tense on that last sentence.  That’s right.  I still own it.  And not only do I still own it, I still use it pretty much every time I wear makeup, which might not be as often as it was back in the first days of our marriage.

Yep, I just snapped that picture.  It’s the same exact blush, not just the same color purchased after the first blush ran out.  Nope, that’s the original folks.  Save me your lectures about the dangers of using old make-up, I’m not really interested.  I’m hoping to stretch this cheek color out until at least our Silver Anniversary because I like the role of blushing bride.

Ten Days to Ten Years: Day 4

17 Jun

Happy Sunday!  We were married on a Sunday, you know.  And a Sunday morning, at that.

It was lovely.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  A packed church, marvelous hymns, bold singing, faithful preaching, historic liturgy, and Jesus – present there for our forgiveness as we began our lives as one in Him.

*Hugemongous Happy Sigh*

Oh.  Okay, I’m back now.  Sorry, sometimes I get lost in my happiness.

Don’t worry, I’m not so lost that I’ve forgotten that today isn’t just any ol’ Sunday.

Happy Father’s Day!

Now, we weren’t married on Father’s Day, but don’t think that’s going to stop me from showing you the important role our dads played in our nuptials.

My dad gave me a way, and he didn’t even flinch when I started belting out the processional hymn “O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth” really loudly in his ear.

All these years we’ve bemoaned the effect the hog sheds had on his hearing, but in this instance it might have worked in my favor (Please take this moment to insert all of your “raising pigs parallels raising Christina” jokes.  I can take it.            Okay.  Are you done now?)

Jerry’s Dad pronounced us husband and wife.

It’s something not every couple can say, and it’s certainly a memory we cherish.  Plus, don’t you just think he looked adorable in his vestments? Especially the green.  I’m pretty sure it was during the Trinity season that he acquired the nickname Pastor Yoda.

The excitement of the day might have blurred my memory, but I think he probably said, “Husband and wife, now pronounce you I do.”

And of course I got a dance with my Dad.  I’ve never really known him to dance, so this was pretty awesome.

But even more awesome that all the processing, pronouncing, and dancing is the impact these two men have had on our lives for way more than just a day, or even a decade.

They, along with our mothers, brought us to the font to be washed in Baptism, reared us in homes ruled and forgiven by the daily use of God’s Word, and compelled us to receive Christ each week in the Divine Service.

They, along with our mothers, showed us daily how to serve each other in love, and have not exasperated their children, but brought us up in the training and instruction of the Lord.  They have led us both by quiet example and adamant truth.

And today we thank our Heavenly Father for the gift of our earthly ones.


Ten Days to Ten Years: Day 3

16 Jun

When I married at age 26 I instantly became a great aunt.  I had always heard that marriage ages a person, but until it happened to me I didn’t exactly understand what that meant.

This is CJay (or Cody as we called him back then) and his mom, and when we got married he had just finished second grade.

Just to put things in perspective, that’s the same age our oldest is right now.

Today we went to CJay’s graduation open house (BTW, Congrat’s CJay!!!  We’re so happy to see the direction your life is in!), and if you do just a little bit of math that means that in ten years we’ll be the ones throwing the open house.  Crazy.

In addition to gaining a great-nephew that day, I also happened upon a great extended family.  Here’s the group picture of the Robertses at our wedding.

The family has changed a lot in the last decade.  There have been some very happy additions, as well as some tragically sad losses.  It’s amazing what can happen in just ten years.  We’ll see what the obligatory bulletin board of pictures portrays in 2022.


Ten Days to Ten Years: Day 2

15 Jun

One of these things is not like the others.

It’s just good that this picture wasn’t cropped closely.