Saturday, Jun 22
I thought that June 21, 2003 was pretty much the perfect day. Until yesterday.
To celebrate our Tenth Anniversary, we gathered at St. Mary’s Church in Old Town, Alexandria at 11am. A few friends and a few family members joined us. We brought flowers from our garden to place in front of St. Joseph, Our Lady, and St. Therese in thanksgiving for the many blessings their intercession has brought to us as a couple and a family. The priest who facilitated our marriage prep and who has been a dear friend of ours since my days teaching at St. Mary’s School, Fr. Dennis Kleinmann, was kind enough to perform our little vow renewal ceremony for us. Going back to St. Mary’s and to Old Town is always a homecoming for us. It’s where our story began!
We listened to a reading from Sacred Scripture, prayed some intercessory prayers, had our rings re-blessed, renewed our marriage vows, and received a beautiful blessing. Part of that blessing was something to the effect of, “May your wife be a fruitful vine…” which inspired some laughter and belly shaking.
And with at least a couple dozen extra pounds on each of us, getting our wedding bands off also served as comic relief. “Yes Father, we are taking this seriously. But neither of us can get our rings back on our fingers!”
The three ladies you see in this photo are moms of children who I taught at St. Mary’s over a decade ago. The three of them are so dear to me, and I felt so blessed that they were able to join us. Their love and prayers have been such a blessing to us as a couple and a growing family.
The children received a blessing too. This moment was the highlight for me. Once we were two, now we are seven! Deo Gratias!
On the way to Old Town, Social Butterfly said, “Are we going to your wedding, Mommy? Yeah. I’m going to sit in the pew and say, ‘Go Mommy! Go Daddy’ at the wedding.”
The girls wore the flower girl dresses that our nieces wore on our wedding day. My sisters and sisters-in-law handed down many, many sizes to us, so we had just the right outfits for Dimples and Social Butterfly to wear on this special occasion.
Never a dull moment with this crowd!
More in love than ever, I tell ya!
Then it was off to Murphy’s Irish Pub for lunch. Of all the places we could celebrate in Old Town, this one may have been the –shall we say, simplest– but for us, it was the most sentimental.
This is where we shared a few pints the day after we met. And it’s where we held our Rehearsal Dinner on June 20, 2003.
Full hearts, exhausted children — and parents.
Fragrant white peonies will forever remind me of the day we wed. I simply had to have a little bouquet for this special occasion. I stuck the pretty little picks I wore in my hair in the bouquet too.
Keepsakes and remembrances…
Little objects that evoke memories of the sweetness and simplicity of our beginnings.
Our nanny and her best friend were kind enough to take the kids to the pool all afternoon so that we could enjoy a quiet, empty house for a few hours. It’s the little luxuries at this time in our lives that can mean so much!
Then we enjoyed a delicious dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants.
The longest day of the year.
My favorite day of the year.
The best day of our lives.
Lord God and Creator, we bless and praise your name. In the beginning you made man and woman, so that they might enter a communion of life and love. You likewise blessed the union of this couple, so that they might reflect the union of Christ with his Church: look with kindness on them today. Amid the joys and struggles of their life you have preserved the union between them; renew their marriage covenant, increase your love in them, and strengthen their bond of peace, so that surrounded by their children they may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing.