Friday, May 01, 2009

We've Been Invited!

All FIVE of us!
Not that the fifth could really be left behind, but isn't this the cutest?

It's my cousin's wedding - in July - in Ohio. That means a long 8+ hour car ride, with stops every two hours so I can use the restroom and the kids can stretch their legs...taking the total time to 9.5+ hours. It means seeing how many people Nana's house really can sleep, and how many shifts it takes to eat breakfast. It means keeping Daniel on a tight 'leash' so he doesn't get anywhere near the swimming pool. It means packing and unpacking. It means trying once again to find that elusive balance in spending time with both sides of my family while we're up there.

And it also means going swimming at Nana's. It means seeing all of my Ohio family - who I miss a ton. It means Daniel gets to see Uncle Randy and Brenna gets to see her cousins. It means using our GPS and our car DVD players. It means Amish country - which means more pretzel mix and Amish doughnuts. It means staying up late talking and getting up early so I don't miss anything. It means huge family dinners and maybe even some nothin'- else-like-it Ohio sweet corn. Oh, and Nana's strawberry jam and Grandma's infamous pies, of course. It means the peaceful back roads of a state that's in my blood. It means the breeze that blows, even on the hot days. And the great big fluffy white clouds. It might mean floating boats down a crick or walking to the cemetery. It might mean a cookout or time around the fire pit at 'Randy's campground'. Oh, there's so much to look forward to!

And you know I'll love every minute of it! I wouldn't miss it for anything but doctor's orders. I have twelve cousins on this side of my family. Of those twelve, Mandie is the one who insists we stay in touch. She keeps up on Facebook. She reads my blog. (Now there's a way to butter me up!) She makes every effort to come see us each time we're home in Ohio. During our last visit, we had about a 2 hours window on a Saturday late morning that was still free. Mandie and her fiancee, who live in Pittsburgh, had driven in the night before for a weekend with her parents. When they realized our time schedule, they took their hot dogs BACK OFF THE GRILL to come see us at Nana's. That's a girl who values family. And one who recognizes that we drove 8 hours to get there - so she'll make the extra effort to drive 20 minutes for a quick visit.

We're honored to be invited and to share your wedding day with you. (Although I think cousins are technically on the 'have to be invited' list.) I hope it's a special day, full of all the things that mean the most to you. Don't lose sight of the fact that it's just one day - the first of a lifetime commitment. Though wedding preparations take a lot of time and energy, so does a marriage. It's the days beyond the celebration that need your attention most. Prepare for the marriage with as much intention as you do the wedding. Take counseling seriously. Read a marriage book together. Talk through every scenario and challenge you can think of. And commit to each other fully. May divorce never be an option on the table in your home. Michael and I are here if you need us. Just one Facebook wall post away. : ) We love you and are looking forward to seeing you soon! Blessings!


Anonymous said...

Mandie's engagement is in the local MJ online newspaper today. Just click on the word "engagement" from the left hand column. What a nice couple they make !
Congratulations, Mandie.

TurtlesButterfly said...

Julie your post made me cry b/c it was so sweet. I especially love your note to Mandie and second your advice. I also laughed a lot at your comments on my last post.