Morgan and Logan’s 4 Year Anniversary

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:

https://thentherestwo.com/2016/07/03/fall-farm-wedding-georgia/

*All photos ©Haley Dawn Photography & property of this site thentherestwo.com

To contact Haley: https://www.haleydawnphotography.com

Thanks for visiting!

My Parents Married 55 Years Ago

The Wrong Place at the Right Time

My Dad entered the Marine Corps as a young kid from a small town in Indiana.

dad at bootcamp

Boot camp was in California.

He was one of three brothers who went into the Marine Corps.

Hoffmans

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.

dad

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….

mom and dad 1960 revisedmom and dad revised

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.

parent's wdding8

Mom’s brother Donnie was the best man and her sister Mary, the Maid of honor.

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parent's wdding2

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. 🙂

parent's wdding5

parent's wdding3parent's wdding4

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

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parent's wdding1

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!

parent's wddingc

parent's wddingd

parent's wddinge

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.

1

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.)

me w parents young

me with parents youngus kids with dad young

4mom and dad recent

There’s so much more to the story….

To be continued..

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to MOM AND DAD!

Her First Wedding Anniversary

wedding couple

Yesterday was our 29th wedding anniversary but today is my daughter and son-n-law’s FIRST.

My husband and I reflected on our first and thought of how many, many years have passed.

Some years seemed very slow. but as we age

and age…

THEY.SPEED.UP

Almost too fast!!

Sometimes, it seems sad.

We’re empty nesters now because our son just got married in August.

My advice to young people. (Yeah, you know you want to hear it. ha)

Barn wedding in Georgia

Yes, have fun.

Yes to adventure.

But don’t be going, doing, talking, moving so often that you don’t slow down.

You may just risk burning yourself out. And then, it’s too late.

Always take the time to be purposeful. Purposely slow down and take in the moment.

Be present.

Put your phone down.

bride and groom on a farm

<script
Have meaningful conversations face to face.

You’ll never regret it.

I promise!

Someday, you’ll be right where I am thinking about how you could

have slowed down even more.

wedding-couple

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Let things go.

Choose your battles.

Schedule in reflective time.

Make a memory.

family wedding picture

If you want to see more wedding pics,  I wrote about the wedding day here:

http://wp.me/p5ntHO-aZ


*all photos ©Haley Dawn Photography & property of this site thentherestwo.com

29 Years Ago, I Married

1987 weddin day

Today I’ve been married 29 years.

October 23, 1987. The year of oversized shirts, big earrings, and mullets.

We met at church when I was home for the holidays; I was a junior in college, and

he was a sophomore.

He was attending school, here in Indiana, and I was in Missouri.

He studied business, and I was in education.

Can you believe an old boyfriend introduced us?

Fast forward…soon after we were engaged, I left to teach in China for a year.

I was 23 and he was 22.

Yep, an entire year.

me-teaching-in-china

(me and a few students)

Some people thought I was nuts to do so, but it all worked out in the end. 🙂 Obviously.

We both knew I had to go. Felt it was my calling, and I knew we’d both regret it if I didn’t.

I think it made us stronger, actually.

Long before we were serious, I had planned to teach there; so, off I went.


Communication was tough.

Oh, I did try to make a call this ONE TIME.

I had to “make an appointment” to get help with getting a call out to the US, and it had to be done through the government officials’ office. Three men sat around STARING at me as I uncomfortably began to speak. I constantly was trying to hear my fiance over the multiple Chinese voices I heard coming across the line.

I grew increasingly frustrated. :/

They were all  trying to talk over me as I struggled to hear my fiance’s voice; it was a true Chinese, party line!

I don’t know what happened but in the midst of that chaotic, but short call, abruptly the phone went silent. Ended!

Later on, I found out my hubby/fiance thought I hung up on him. Whaaaa?!

us-and-kids

Yeah, right. I finally save up money to call you, clear around the world, and in the middle of our conversation decide I need to hang up?

Anyhow, I found out that he really couldn’t hear me, thought I was in the middle of a big party, with a bunch of Chinese friends 🙂 , AND… I hung up the phone.

Clearly, that process was never attempted again!!

(I wanted to stay engaged. HA)

Plus, it was so expensive.

So, the only way we could communicate was by cassette tape.

Late nights consisted of me lying on my cot, head on a bag of beans (pillow) surrounded by a mosquito net, talking very low, into my handheld tape recorder. (I didn’t want to  disrupt my roommates, nor have them hear my conversations.)

Now that we were engaged, I had more serious questions.

I mean, we WERE still getting to know one another…

“How many kids do you want? What are your thoughts on where we should live? What did you do today?” Then, I’d rehash the day usually adding all the funny cultural differences and stories in full detail.

(I like lots of details.)

Then I’d WAIT.

Wait for weeks.

And another tape would arrive with all my answers. 🙂

It was fun, and a daily diary of sorts. It helped the time pass.

It was a lifeline, and  it helped me get through the year.

One Christmas tape, had me and my roommate singing all the familiar carols while adding our own hysterical lyrics that reflected living abroad.

Our families really got a kick out of that one.

We worked really hard on those lyrics.


me and tim

So, we still have all those tapes.

LOTS of them.

We haven’t relistened to all of them, in full, but a few years back I started to play one for my teenaged kids, and hubby walked in very confused asking whose voice that was.

He couldn’t quite wrap his head around it.

It was a time warp, really.

Finally realizing that low, “mushy” sounding voice was his own, he quickly asked  demanded we turn it off. 😉

I think he felt somewhat embarrassed as our kids listened intently, hardly believing what they heard.

I don’t think the kids thought that was truly him! 🙂


I remember times while living in China, I’d go outside and look at the moon (thinking about life) wondering what he, or my family members, were doing clear across the other side of the planet.

And thinking…we look at that same moon just at different times.


So, here we are 29 years later.

Still together. We’ve seen a lot of life.

We’ve weathered some really tough storms, too.

But, together.

That’s KEY.

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WE honestly grew closer, not further apart.

Through some of the toughest times that LIFE’s curve balls could throw.

Many of them my health battles.


BEST of FRIENDS, STRONGER!

That year apart just may have taught us a whole host of things that would later keep us grounded, and working together.

I think I’m just now realizing this as I type.

Perhaps, that year apart solidified a firm foundation for the rest of our lives and getting us through many more years together!

God has surely been with us the whole way.

family-wedding-pic

NOTE: I dedicate these reflections to you, honey. I thank God for the gift he’s given me in YOU!

Fall Farm Wedding in Georgia

My daughter got married on a beautiful fall day on a picturesque farm in Georgia. She was wearing an Alvina Valenta gown made of lace with blush undertones. She purchased the dress at Fabulous Frocks in Georgia.

Alvina Valenta blush wedding dress

The back was just as pretty with buttons going all the way down the train!

Backless lace and blush wedding dress

lace wedding dress

Blush bridesmaids

The bridesmaids had dresses made in blush chiffon, and the groomsmen wore charcoal gray.

groom succulent wedding boutonniere

Alvina Valenta Blush and Lace Wedding Gown

Lace and blush backless wedding gown.

Morgan really wanted a flower crown and we asked our wedding designer/venue owner if she could design one. It was her first attempt ever, and it turned out just perfect! ♥

Romantic wedding, flower crown.

wedding dip pin

This was a beautiful venue. The farm was picturesque and the farmhouse where the wedding party got ready was just as fantastic. It looked like something right out of magazine. Melanie and her team were phenomenal, and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them. Melanie’s decorating for our outdoor reception and within the barn were just beautiful! For more info go to: Sweet Meadow Farm

Georgia Farm wedding

candlelight tree branches for wedding decor

wedding flowers wedding aisle

Gold and plumb fall wedding decorations

We also thoroughly enjoyed our pictures by Haley. To contact her, find her business link here.

bride and groom on a farm

wedding table decor

To watch our video of the wedding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JulFPewaiEw

Make an Easy Wedding Ring Box

wedding ring box

When my daughter mentioned she was getting married, I went to work making lots of things. One of the items I made was this ring box; It’s so simple and easily adaptable.

wedding ring box

Here’s some of our wedding pics from that beautiful day in Georgia…

our wedding pics

For this wedding ring box you’ll need:

1 small box of any kind.

Paper, synthetic, or dried flowers

glue gun or tacky glue

decorative (thicker) paper

styrofoam to fill the empty box

2 small wooden discs

ribbon

Mr. & Mrs. stickers

Instructions:

First, find a small box.

I used an old cedar box I got as a graduation gift (from a local furniture company) when I graduated from high school. All the female graduates got one..it was the days of “hope chests”, remember those? OK, I’m old.

ring box

Then, I used the paper flowers to cover the wording on the box lid.

After gluing down the styrofoam within the box, I used scrapbook paper to cover it.

I added the Mr. and Mrs. stickers to the wooden discs and then glued the discs to the paper. I was going to paint the lettering, but found this to be easier. I also added some ribbon and a special keepsake pin I got while I was in China. (I’ve been keeping it since the 80’s for this particular celebration…some day. 🙂 )

It’s the symbol used in Chinese weddings.

Fú Fú (Double Happiness)

You see these signs all over the doors, etc..but usually in the color RED!

WikiDouble Happiness (simplified Chinese: 双喜; traditional Chinese: 雙喜; pinyin: shuāngxǐ) sometimes translated as Double Happy, is a Chinese traditional ornament design, commonly used as a decoration and symbol of marriage. Outside of China, it is also used in United States, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Make a ring box for your wedding that's easy!

ring box pin 2