Monday, March 29, 2010

25 years and counting!

[caption id="attachment_555" align="aligncenter" width="219" caption="Bride to Be"]Bride to Be[/caption]
25 years ago today, I was preparing to walk down the isle and start the adventure of marriage with my best friend...I had no idea of what the future held, but I knew that I was meant to spend it with Daryl...[caption id="attachment_557" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Daryl sees his bride for the first time..."]Daryl sees his bride for the first time...[/caption]
Here's the story of how we got together, in case anyone is's a very unusual story to say the least. We probably first "met" in church nursery as our parents went to the same church! We attended the same church and small Christian school, Daryl being one grade ahead of me. The small school we attended was great at one thing...developing strong clicks...and we were not in the same clicks, ever. But we did end up taking one class together, Chemistry (I know, funny...) and we were also in choir together. At the time I had two close girlfriends, Hildred and Kimberly. One night after a choir concert, Daryl ended up sitting behind me on the bus ride back to school. We struck up a conversation that included sharing about our families (ours are very different family back grounds to put it mildly...ever seen "My Greek Wedding"?). Our conversation ended up lasting far beyond the trip back to school and included tips on how Daryl could get Kimberly out on a worked, as he did go out with Kimberly, once, but that wasn't meant to be...he also later took Hildred to the Junior/Senior banquet (in Jaguar XJS no less...).

Our friendship, although a complete secret, continued through the end of that year. It involved doing things together (rollerskating, biking, playing video games, bowling and such) but mostly just sitting in his car, on OPPOSITE SIDES - ie as far apart as we could possibly get..ewww yuck!! LOL! And having deep conversations about what we hope to accomplish in our lives, our dreams and aspirations...funny, we both wanted 5 kids... And, then, halfway through my senior year, he stopped by school and found me to say goodbye - he had enlisted in the Air Force and was leaving the next day for boot camp. We had been so good at keeping our friendship a secret that not even my best friends understood why he would come to say goodbye to me!

Like any good friend, I wrote a letter to him while he was in boot-camp...scented stationary just to get him teased by his fellow bunkhouse mates! We also recently found a letter he wrote to me from boot neither of us remembered him having written!

Then it was my turn to to college in Iowa. When I came back to Washington for summer break, Daryl was stationed in Tacoma, so we were able to get together again...this time he taught me how to play golf...he was dating a girl and I was dating a guy from college, but we were still good friends who enjoyed doing things together. The next spring break I took my boyfriend home to meet everyone, and this included Daryl...we played ping pong all kind of made my boyfriend jealous because it became obvious that Daryl and I had the same sense of humor and had a good friendship...

The next months were life changing for me...I got engaged, and then broke the engagement...resented God for silly now that I look back...I was trying to live out my dreams of getting married regardless of what God might have planned for me...I made it back to Washington State, and the first person I looked up was Daryl (he was supposedly in a relationship)...and I singed his ears telling him all the rebellious behavior I had been and was participating in....and I was so surprised that he didn't write me off right them and there... also found out at this time that he had also broken up his relationship.

After a few months of rebelling against God, and finding myself contemplating suicide, I went back to church and recommitted my life to Jesus...I even told God that I was through looking for marriage...that I wasn't going to look at another guy for the rest of my life...if He wanted me to get married, he'd have to drop him in my lap....I was not going to be looking...

About 2 weeks later, after church, my brother was driving his girls back home to Eastern Washington and asked if I would go with him...Daryl and I were talking at the time (by now a few people knew we were friends) so I asked if he'd like to go too..and he said yes. So we rode with Tom over and back, only on the way back, Tom decided to take the adventurous way home...mostly old logging roads...driving like a crazy man! I was sitting in the middle, between Tom and Daryl, and I reached over to grab hold of Daryl's arm so I wouldn't crash into Tom...only it was the first time we ever touched...ever...Daryl looked at me, I looked at him,, and we simultaneously said "NO WAY"...this happened more than once and Tom was beginning to wonder if we had lost our minds...

After we arrived at my house, Daryl and I stayed awake talking in my parent's living room for that we were alone, we could talk about all the things that were going through our minds in the car that resulted in the numerous outbursts of “no way”....”well”....”no way”.... We talked about how we both had the same sense of humor, we loved to hang out together, we both wanted a large family, we both thought women shouldn't work once they have children if at all possible, we both thought marriage was for life, divorce was never an option, we were both believers, but we kept getting hung up on appearances...Daryl had always wanted to marry a petite, brown-eye, brunette (I'm his height, not petite, blue eyed...I was a brunette, but 1 out of 3 isn't good stats)...and I always wanted to marry someone tall, dark, and handsome...(again, 1 out of 3 isn't great). We spent several evening/early mornings going over things, but we just kept coming back to appearances and that we just didn't find each-other attractive “in that way”...we'd been friends too long it seemed....

But then one night, we started talking about wanting to have a marriage that lasts through the years, that being married 20, 30, 40 years, what would keep a marriage happy and healthy would be all the things we did have...and that what we looked like now would matter very little if at all down the road...that was the turning point...somehow God got it through out immature brains that what really mattered in a marriage was exactly what we already had...unconditional, intimate friendship. At this point we talked about where this was headed, and we both realized that we were either going to get married, or our friendship was over...there was no going back. Soon we got over our shyness (it took a tickle fight) and experienced our first kiss...a few weeks later, on my birthday (Dec 12) we were officially engaged, much to everyone's surprise...and just 3 ½ short months later we were married on March 29, 1985. Well, almost everyone's surprise...two people, one of whom was my father, after my broken engagement, asked me “what about Daryl” and to both I replied “Over my dead body, he's not my type”...needless to say I was not dead the day we watch what you say!

So that was how Daryl and I came to be married, but that was just the beginning...a lot has happened since then, and neither of us are the same people we were when we married, and we have shared many good times and trials through the years.

One thing I want to leave with anyone who reads this store is this – God has a plan for YOU – and His plan is always perfect! And, His timing is perfect too. When we try to write our own story in our timing, we will only find hurt and pain and lasting consequences. We had never heard of “courting” or “having God write your love story” as many people, us included, are now encouraging their children to embrace. We came pretty close to the ideal though - we got to know each other very well, with no strings attached and we weren't out to impress each other...and that was the best foundation for a great marriage there is...and we are still best friends to this day, and whenever possible we still do things together, at home and away!

I pray that God allows us another 25 years to spend enjoying our friendship and love!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring has Sprung early around here!

We are enjoying an early spring up here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest...I saw daffodils in bloom nearly a month ago, my tulip buds are showing themselves, our lawn is starting to need to be mowed, and we did some spring cleaning inside as well!

Here's some signs of spring around our place:

[caption id="attachment_533" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Future Berry, beautiful bloom now!"]Future Berry, beautiful bloom now![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_532" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Waiting to be added to our gardens..."]Waiting to be added to our gardens...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_534" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="These beauties never completely stopped blooming this winter, and they are in full bloom already!"]These beauties never completely stopped blooming this winter, and they are in full bloom already![/caption]

Spring is for cleaning, and just for fun, last Saturday our livingroom was messier than usual, so we took a before photo, and then had it cleaned all up in 30  minutes!  Here's the before and after photos:

[caption id="attachment_535" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Before (notice Esther is enjoying dumping out her toy bin???)"]Bedfore (notice Esther is enjoying dumping out her toy bin???)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_537" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="After - 30 minutes X 2 women = CLEAN!"]After - 30 minutes X 2 women = CLEAN![/caption]

We've been so busy this year, we've been doing homeschooling, music lessons, art lessons, a trip to my mom's house (with 2 kids),  and many other things.  We've also been busy seriously looking at deeper things.  We made some drastic changes to how we live our lives years ago, and have pretty much stayed the course we plotted out back then, but over the last few years we've been coasting along and gently breezes have blown us a little off course without our even noticing it!

[caption id="attachment_538" align="aligncenter" width="178" caption="One change is Esther started sucking her thumb..."]One change is Esther started sucking her thumb...[/caption]

So we've been re-evaluating some things, and looking at other things with "new glasses" for the first time!  We have decided we need to watch far fewer videos (Saturday nights after baths is all we are doing right now), play more games (we re-organized our school/toy/game-room last week), read out loud more (we just started reading The Magician's Nephew as a family, with the older member taking "parts"), and in general spending more time together doing things together!

[caption id="attachment_539" align="aligncenter" width="276" caption="Another big change is Esther is learning to climb the stairs...first time we've ever had stairs...time to buy a good baby gate!"]Another big change is Esther is learning to climb the stairs...first time we've ever had stairs...time to buy a good baby gate![/caption]

So, that is my "excuse" this time for not blogging in forever, once again!  If you can get on facebook, you'll find me there...I'm not on as much as I have been in recent weeks, but I try to do little updates there from day to day...I'll leave you with some before and after photos of our school room make-over:

[caption id="attachment_541" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Before..."]Before...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_542" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="After (Westside)"]After (Westside)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_543" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Eastside"]Eastside[/caption]

Soon we willl be tackloing some long awaited projects...finish painting trim inside and outside the house, and putting in the back yard lawn!  Those are HUGE projects, but I'm sure we can get them done this year!