Yesterday was our special day!
We began the day before dawn with a drive up to the beautiful, peaceful grounds of the Carmelite monastery. We watched the sun rise as we drove along through the foggy morning mist. The early seven o'clock Mass was most beautiful, as it always is. It seems like a little taste of heaven to hear the sweet voices of the unseen sisters singing morning prayers.
After Mass, we renewed our vows and received a special blessing. As the priest knelt before us and prayed the Te Deum, truly the thanksgiving in our hearts was overflowing.
My husband is naturally very wise after twenty-five years of marriage. Knowing that breakfast at a restaurant is not really my cup of tea, he managed to locate a bona fide bakery out in the middle of nowhere as it were, and we gleefully stuffed ourselves (and the bride and groom each other) with cinnabuns and 'bear paws'. It was so delightful to have found this little family-run shop with fabulous home-made baked goods, and to top it off there was a prominent cross on the wall and brochures for a local CPC. Don't you just love it when you find such a right place at the right time!
When we got home Josiah gave us our present: an oil painting he did of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I love how he captured such a feeling of tenderness with the Infant's hand resting on His Mother's shoulder.
Isn't she lovely!
By the afternoon we were in much need of a nap, during which the children made us dinner and started on our cake. After supper we went out for a lovely long walk in the dark through the neighborhood while the party fairies worked their magic. They weren't quite ready for us when we got home, so we were sent upstairs for a few minutes, which worked out fine and gave me time to change. When they finally called us down it was my turn to surprise them...
Ladies, I freely admit this was a bit tough. In fact, after twenty-five years and carrying eight little ones it looked quite doubtful for a while - you know, like the Grinch, I got stuck only once for a minute or two with that pesky zipper... But then I did it! Ta da!
Jonathan toasted us and directed his siblings to "stand around the table like olive plants". :-) That's our original cake topper, serving knife, and the same bride and groom glasses we toasted out of twenty-five years ago.
It seemed just perfect to celebrate our anniversary with a party fashioned entirely by our children.
When we started out in our vocation of marriage twenty-five years ago we really had no idea of where this path would take us. We had no concept of the heights of joy or the depths of sorrow that we would encounter together. We were young and naive and frankly quite clueless about what a life of sacrifice and giving and forgiving that married love entails.
But we did know one thing. We knew we wanted to do life together, wherever it would lead us. We knew we wanted to love each other and be together every day of our lives, whatever those days would bring. In sickness and in health, in joy and sorrow, in good times and in bad, for better and for worse. We knew we wanted to love each other forever and we knew we never wanted to be apart.
And after twenty-five years, we still do.