We had our 32nd anniversary yesterday and my daughter just had her fourth today. Well, it only took me four years to add more pictures to my website that I promised readers waaayyy back when. Better late than never!🤷🏻♀️
To see the original wedding video and read more about the details of the wedding day and venue in Georgia, go to our previous post here:
*All photos ©Haley Dawn Photography & property of this site thentherestwo.com
To contact Haley: https://www.haleydawnphotography.com
Thanks for visiting!
If anyone knows me well, they know I love Easter!
No I mean I really LOVE Easter!💗
I was thinking about this the other day as we had a few sunny days and all this spring decor had me thinking about Easter and why I liked it so much. 🐥🐇
Well for one, I grew up in southern California where it was always WARM and SUNNY, 😎 so Easter had us buying new, spring clothes with all the beautiful colors.
My mom sewed almost all my clothes and Easter was extra special as we browsed through huge pattern books and admired all the pretty pastel fabrics.
Then, what followed was looking for the accessories: white shoes, purse and little white gloves, with lace.
I loved my little, white gloves so much that I wouldn’t take them off when eating chocolate in Sunday school. 😂
And occasionally I had a “bonnet” or kerchief.
We had so much fun coloring Easter eggs.
And then there were the HUGE, SEE’S Chocolate Easter eggs beautifully decorated with pastel flowers. They were almost the size of an ostrich egg and usually filled with a rich creamy filling. That big ol’ egg would be rationed to last me 2 weeks HA.
Oh, I just loved waking up to big, stuffed Easter baskets, putting on my Easter best, going to church with the family, singing all the special music, smelling the flowers in the air, then enjoying a big Easter spread.
Just lots of really warm memories.
Now, compare that to my first Easter in Indiana.
I was so bummed when I realized my pretty, new sun dress was going to be covered by a winter coat, and it was way too cold ❄️ to even want to take it off for any pictures.😒
Year after year.
Why did we even bother getting new clothes for Easter?🤷🏻♀️
Yep, Easter in the midwest has pretty much always been cold, rainy or overcast. Sometimes it even snows! Just makes you feel all cheery inside when looking forward to spring. (Insert sarcasm) 😒
Then, I grew up and my own kids came along.
I’d try to dress them in cute, little outfits but worried their little legs would freeze off, so I added tights, a sweater,
a parka. 😞
And we still tried to provide an Easter egg hunt…most were INDOORS.
But I mean, who wants to hunt Easter eggs INDOORS? 👎🏼
And guess who else likes little, white gloves?👇🏻
He just had to have a suit.
So, my thoughts going way back to sunny California have always brought fond memories. ☀️
As I reflect, I can say one constant has remained.
That Easter really has NOTHING to do with any of this.
Not weather, not new clothes, or a big yummy meal, not even another “holiday”…
That it’s all really only been about Jesus.
Easter always caused me to reflect on what Christ has done for me, personally.
Rereading the resurrection story and the hours Christ submitted to his father’s will just grips my heart every time. I try to slow down taking in each detail of what really took place.
The torture, the betrayal, the extreme love and sacrifice for all mankind.
Every year of my life, even as a kid, I tried to imagine the scene, and it always moved me to tears.
No matter how I try to contain myself, the tears always flow.
Because I know no one could ever love me that much, nor willingly sacrifice their life for me.
And so it’s not the new clothes, the candy, the sunshine…not even being with family.
It’s about pure love. Unimaginable tenderness for ALL mankind.
You never have to earn this love nor question his love for you.
He came as a baby
to die as a young man.
For you and for me. ❤️
He created us and He wants to see us again with Him someday.
Hope you have a very blessed Easter!
What are your traditions on Easter Sunday? Please tell me in the comments.
As the holidays roll around, I often talk with people and hear about how stressed they are trying to please their family members at this time. It makes me reflect on family dynamics and why people act the way they do, or get so bent out of shape at this time of year. I just heard a lady (while at the hair salon) speaking about how she works SO hard, is super busy, then has to cook a huge meal while off work…yadda, yadda, yadda, BUT this year she was choosing to stay home, just her and hubby, and she thought it sounded glorious. Why is the holiday season SO stressful for us…women, especially?
I believe it’s because some family members have preconceived expectations about how things should go. I hear friends say that their family members don’t understand their hectic life or work schedule, that they always are the one to cook and never get help, they mention they don’t get much time with one side of the family over another, or they ate 3 huge meals in one day just to please everyone. Geeze!
Why can’t people talk with each other and just be honest explaining their reality like grown ups should be able to?
As I grow older, I reflect on these situations and have created a series of posters entitled, “The older I get…” All are observations I’ve had while talking to people or while encountering certain social situations.
So, my own kids are now married. And I refuse to be that parent that pressures them (silent or not) into feeling they have to meet my needs or be somewhere that causes them undue stress. I don’t want to apply that kind of pressure to anyone! I haven’t liked it myself, in the past, and I don’t want it for them. No holiday, or get together is worth that feeling of guilt, or the added stress of trying to please everyone. You can end up resenting family holidays. I mean, even if it doesn’t seem fair at times, I refuse to put that pressure on my family because I’ve seen what that kind of hurt can do to relationships. It causes problems or misunderstanding for years! And I don’t want that! I want my family to visit me because they love me and want to be around me. I don’t want anyone feeling stressed over trying to make an engagement because they fear my disapproval. That’s not love, nor dying to one’s rights, nor is it even enjoyable when they do show up because it’s begrudgingly. Am I right?
I have seen so many family splits over such stupid nonsense.
I know of occasions when my own mother felt she didn’t have an adequate home (not completed due to constant remodeling nor enough beds for everyone), and she would ask if I could house family coming in from out of state. That really never bothered me because I liked hosting them and just being together all in one place was fun to me, and it brought joy to my parents. However, I always felt bad mom worried about many a holiday season. She wanted things to be just perfect, nice and cozy, creating good memories for grandkids she wasn’t able to visit with all that often, and I understood that. But, to be able to just do what you can, and be okay with that, and everyone giving grace to each other and just being thankful to be together…that would be more enjoyable. That’s what truly mattered, still does.
So, you can’t make it one year, or you’re cramped and everyone sleeps on the floor, or you’re not a good cook, so you get takeout, or you can only buy a few gifts…no biggie. It’s really not important and it’s sad people don’t realize that sooner. We really need to let go of OUR wants, OUR expectations, OUR needs, and try to put ourselves in the OTHER person’s shoes.
Not everyone has the same upbringing, not everyone celebrated Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas the way you did. Not everyone understands your traditions, norms, or your family’s customs. And guess what? That’s perfectly fine. We all are unique. We were all raised differently. And that’s okay, too! There is no perfect way to do things. Why do we think everyone should be like us, do like us, sound like us, think like us, celebrate like us or just conform to our ways? The way “we’ve always done it!!”
Life is a mix. A mix of people…ideas, wants, and needs. We all need to just chill and learn to enjoy one another because time is shorter than we even realize, even at this moment.
I’ve seen many a family go through extreme crisis, and I bet they would tell you that just being with their special loved one, doing nothing extraordinary, or having any great plans would be just fine. Letting go of any differences. In fact, I would bet they would be happy to just let go of everything and just be.
Because, being there in the moment with their loved one, would be gift enough. ❤️
My Dad was an original CHIP.
Does anyone out there remember the TV show, CHIPS? (Now I REALLY “date myself” I’m never going to have young bloggers following me.)😜
It was the 70s and the show featured two handsome cops who were part of the California Highway Patrol… AKA CHIPS.
Funny thing is we were watching that show all while living with our very own CHIP.
Dad was a patrolman on the Anaheim Police Department. (Orange County, CA)
He initially was a young patrolman and even trained in hopes of joining the first helicopter division.
Then came the Harley.
My Dad was COOL!😎
He looked handsome in his neatly pressed uniform, shiny helmet, and tall, black boots.
I eventually came to hate those dreaded boots.
After dad’s long work shift, he’d grab an apple or carrot, a book, or the latest Reader’s Digest, then he would proceed to ask me to pull off those big boots of his.
First, it was hard for a skinny, little girl to manage this task.
Secondly, I knew what was about to transpire.
Those feet had seen a long, hard day of policing, and once I struggled to get them off, nothing but “FRITO feet” smell encapsulated the room.
It was BAD folks! Really bad!
But oh how I LOVED those occasions when he picked me up from school, and we pulled away fast on that thunderous machine…it was thrilling I tell ya!
Everyone turned their heads to hear where that sound was coming from, and with me on the back, boy did my chest swell.
Like, my dad was cooler than theirs kinda cool. 😉
As we’d lean into a curve, I thought we I would surely fall off!
He could possibly put a knee down if he had to.
On one occasion he didn’t put a knee down but went flying through the air with just his handlebars. Later, the fellow patrolman relayed it looked like something out of a cartoon.
As part of the patrol drill team, they had been practicing for the Anaheim Parade and just as we were heading out to go see our dad, we got a call he had been in a wreck. Not on the highway, but during the drill team practice.
I guess the other officer said go left and dad thought he said right.
OOPS. (Was I supposed to tell that story, Dad?)
Speaking of Disney parades,
I absolutely loved when he got us into Disneyland for free. (I was obsessed with everything Disney!) It’s what I thought heaven would be like.
At times, Dad worked undercover like when they were trying to break up drug rings.
I distinctly remember him dressed up like this. And I was so interested in seeing how the other guys had dressed on this particular occasion. 😂
Dad worked many a graveyard shift, too.
The other side of the job made me aware of the sadness and dangers associated with it.
It was the hippy era, and with that came the drug culture and a lot of shattered lives.
Sadly, dad had to take the life of one of those individuals who had robbed a store. I will never forget it. I would ask him from time to time, what he was feeling at the time of the shooting.
What he said that day.
What exactly happened that day.
What it felt like to take a life.
Then later, came to realize, wow, I could’ve lost my dad that day!
I remember seeing 8 mm footage of Dad and his fellow officers making busts. Stoned out kids were part of a large mob trying to climb the Angel stadium walls. The were trying to get into a Jefferson Starship concert after being told tickets were sold out.
While intently watching the film, I inquired about a nicely dressed couple (a standout in THAT crowd). He relayed that they were looking for their missing daughter and showing her picture around.
I also remember thinking, how sad it must have been for those parents. And dad telling me about runaways coming to California and all the trouble they’d find themselves in.
Then, there was the Charles Manson saga, and police stops as well as escorts for dignitaries like then Governor Reagan, famous actors and comedians all while checking in on the elderly and less fortunate, like Jake.
Dad met Jake while riding around the county.
Jake, was a kind, gentle soul; his skin all leathery brown and wrinkled from working in the sun.
He lived in an old shack with a worn out floor, part dirt. I still remember looking around his home with all its unusual contents.
One time, he gave us some old marbles. (I still have them today.)
(Isn’t that something how the mind remembers smells from so long ago?)
Jake would come out to greet us and as soon as he opened the worn, screen door many a dog, all shapes and sizes, would come barreling out.
I loved the sight of it!
I loved dogs or any animal for that matter. I always wanted to be a vet, but sadly, I was the most allergic person in my family. So trips to Jake’s ranked right up there with a visit to Disneyland.
One particular day Dad took us to Jake’s, and he let us have two dachshunds. I couldn’t believe it! I was in heaven!
Oh, Mom wasn’t too happy about dad going against the doctor’s orders, (ie severe asthma and eczema) but his reply to her was, “She’s so miserable without a dog she couldn’t be any worse with a dog.”
(Secretly, I’m kind of glad dad did a no-no.) To finally own an animal, some of my best memories.
There were some other tragic memories forever etched in my mind, too. Like the day I vividly remember dad coming home on lunch break to wash his hands and they were covered in blood. (Mind you, this was before the awareness of self-protection from communicable pathogens.)
He had just come from down our street. A little boy had run out in front of a car while chasing a ball and was killed. I remember passing his home, as I had every day, on my walk to and from school. I remember looking at the pavement and then thinking how sad that family must now feel.
And, my Dad had been there to try and help.
Yes, dad saw a lot.
I’m hoping to have Dad either guest write or share his many stories with me, so I can share them with you here. Many are pretty adventurous and hilarious.
(Some, while he was on the police force and others just getting into mischief like only he could do.😊😁)
Yep, the cool CHIP…he was my Dad.
Do you have wild stories with your dad?
PS Encourage my dad (in the comments below) to share more of his stories!!
I was 23 and selling everything I had.
About this time, 31 years ago, I was preparing to live and teach in China. I really didn’t know exactly where, yet, just somewhere in the Mainland.
But, I almost didn’t go.
I got scared.
Midway into the interviewing process, I found out I would be teaching adults.
Most likely it would be professors at a university. Say whaaaaa?!!!
Yeah, I started re-thinking this E N T I R E thing.
A lot of unique things happened up to this point, and I really felt I was to go to China, but then I heard this little tidbit. 🙂
Not only was I going to a third world country, didn’t know a bit of Chinese, nor any Asians, at all, but now felt this was really stretching it for me.
I had just graduated with an elementary education degree and knew nothing of teaching adults. Much less professors…YIKES!
But, I believed God had called me to do this.
That’s part of the fascinating, unfolding story I will probably share later.
So, I had to trust that He knew what he was doing.
I had always believed the saying, “Where He calls, He will equip.”
And now was my time to step out into the deep and
“DO IT AFRAID”.
TO BE CONTINUED…
PS Oh, and I might add, my boyfriend at the time had just proposed to me…
but I would be gone for a YEAR!
Read about our long distance courtship here:
The Wrong Place at the Right Time
My Dad entered the Marine Corps as a young kid from a small town in Indiana.
Boot camp was in California.
He was one of three brothers who went into the Marine Corps.
On leave, one weekend, he and some other Marines went looking for a church service and ended up in the wrong church.
Wrong, because he was looking for The Church of God based out of Anderson, Indiana, and the church he visited that day was a totally different denomination, The Church of God out of Cleveland.
Now, you may not think that is a big deal, but those two denominations are WORLDS APART and you would quickly know upon entering the doors.
A person might even be a little overwhelmed by it all; especially, back in the 1960s.
But, Dad saw a cute girl singing in the choir and ended up coming back. 😉
My Grandma then felt sorry for the young Marines (so far from home) and invited them over for lunch after church.
And, the story unfolds….
Two Kids Got Married
They were married April 13, on a Friday.
They’ve always joked about it being Friday the 13th….the reference being bad luck. (for all my overseas friends/blog followers. 🙂 )
Mom wasn’t even finished with high school yet.
Mom’s brother Donnie was the best man and her sister Mary, the Maid of honor.
Mom’s colors were turquoise with yellow accents. And dad wore a sharp, white tux he had made, to perfect proportions, in Okinawa. (Interestingly, where my brother is now deployed as a Colonel with the Marine Corps.)
Dad said he had been paneling the reception area the day before the wedding. 🙂
And another little tidbit Mom has always shared…her organ player got upset about being put behind some drapes and ruined the music on this day. HA
Then they headed back to Indiana where my Mom met her in-laws. She would always relay the story of how she was so nervous; a timid, young girl meeting an entire family at the airport for the first time, and on her honeymoon none the less!
Life Moves On
Dad was still in the Corps and Mom was now pregnant with me, the first child. She was carrying me while Dad was on board ship during the Cuban Crisis. Mom said she was so worried as she watched the news and heard talk of America possibly going to war with Russia. It was a very serious threat at the time.
Later, Dad returned to do some construction work and then became a policeman. He attended college, at night, majoring in criminal justice to earn an AA degree.
Mom would go back to finish her GED and then become a stay at home mom. Later on, she attended night classes for secretarial work where she worked for a temporary agency from time to time. (I remember her taking notes, in shorthand, during church. Does anyone remember that? I always thought it looked so cool!)
Later, in 1966, my little brother would be born (the Col) and we would move back to Indiana in 1974 where dad had been raised. (He being the outdoorsman from a small town…yeah, he was SO OVER California by then.)
There’s so much more to the story….
To be continued..
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to MOM AND DAD!