Friday, November 22, 2013

RIP 35

The hallmark of a seminal moment is if you can tell people where you were and what you were doing when the event happened.  I can't tell you were I was or what I was doing on November 22, 1963...but it was a life defining moment for me.

My first recollection of the event was sitting on the floor next to my father's feet and watching the funeral procession on TV.  I was two weeks shy of 5 years old. Even at that age..the memory is burned in my brain and it is one of the most vivid memories of my young childhood.  I believe that that is the moment that my fascination with JFK began.

I always wanted to read every book I could find about him and the events leading up to that day.  In high school I wrote a term paper about the assassination and all the conspiracy theories.  That was 1976 and the theories were flying fast a furious at that time.  I really truly believed that there had to be more than one gunman.

Over the years as more information has come to light, I'm leaning more towards the lone gunman theory.  The sad part is...we will never know and so there will always be speculation.

I am still fascinated by the Kennedy family and their place in history.  One of the most emotional days of my life was the day I first visited Arlington National Cemetery and was able to view Kennedy's grave and the eternal flame.  It was 1987 and so I wasn't that far removed from those days in the late '70's.  I most recently visited the grave in 2009 and while not as emotional, and viewed with a new and more mature perspective, it was still very moving.  And the same thought occurred on both occasions...what if?  The big question that always hangs in the air whenever you think about Jack or Bobby or John Jr.  50 years have passed and we still ask what if?

Today I will offer up a prayer for our 35th president and his family.  Today I will not ponder what if...I will only be thankful for the life of a man who was dedicated to public service and for the ways in which he was able to positively affect the country and people he served.

RIP 35.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Wedding

I have tried at least three times to write this post.  Each time I sit down to write it, the words just won't come.  I just cannot find the words to express all that the day held and all that it meant to me.  Very foreign feeling for me.  I am never at a loss for words.  I decided that my Facebook post from the morning of the wedding really expressed exactly how I felt that day.  This is what I wrote when I woke up that morning:

So THE day is finally here. It's one of those milestone days you dream of when you hold that tiny little human being in your arms for the first time. You dream of first words, first steps and the first day of school. Learning to drive, graduation, going to college...getting married. There is no way to prepare for how fast this dream becomes reality.

Today my baby girl marries the man of her dreams. I love you Beth
, and I am so, so happy for you and Adam. Happy Wedding Day!

Pretty much sums it up.  The day came too fast.  She was a baby in my arms and then she was this...

A gorgeous, beautiful bride. 

It was very overwhelming...but equally as awesome.  Everyone told me the day would go fast and it sure did.  Which is why I made the decision to not take pictures.  I knew there would be enough other people taking pictures and I just wanted to be "in the moment".  I am so glad I decided to do that.  So, none of these pictures belong to me.  My wonderful best friend, Debbie, who is also my sister-in-law, took the pre-ceremony pictures.  She did an excellent job.  Some of these pictures are hers.  Some are from my wonderful relatives who came from all over the country to share the day with us. Some are from my oldest daughters friends.  I am publicly thanking them here for helping me to remember the day.

I hate having my picture taken.  If I do have my picture taken I hate for anyone to see it.  But, I decided that for this day I needed to get over myself and just be ok with it.  Another thing I'm happy about.  Which is why I'm sharing this picture:
Just a funny silly picture of Beth and I when we were getting our hair done.  I obviously don't have the talent to make the "duck" lips...but I tried.  And honestly...I love this picture.  I decided that this day was only coming once in our life and I was going to make the most of it. I wore makeup, which I applied myself without too much trouble...thank goodness for YouTube!  I gave a speech and yes, it was probably long by wedding speech standards.  But I had things I wanted to say to my daughter and promises to make to my new son-in-law.  So I said what needed to be said and no one called the speech police so I guess it was ok.  I used to love to dance but since I've gained so much weight I've always been really self conscious about dancing.  Well, that night I danced.  I honestly had so much was one of the most AWESOME nights of my life.  I'm so happy that I didn't let my insecurities get in the way of making the most of the day. 

So, here are some pictures of the day along with my observations.  I hope you enjoy!

My beautiful kids: Stephen, Beth and Sarah.  Love them!

Dan seeing his baby girl for the first time.  There were tears...
Escorted by my wonderful son Stephen.  We had to navigate two sets of stairs...I told Stephen his only job that day was to make sure I didn't fall! :)
The Maid of Honor, my beautiful daughter Sarah
 And when this happened...I cried...hard.  I had a hard time holding it together while he walked her down the isle.  I was having visions of the little tomboy with crooked glasses and a dirty face.  She's come a long way baby :)
Adam when he turned around and saw Beth for the first time.  Priceless.
Saying their vows.

First kiss.

Mr. & Mrs. Adam Dixon

Beautiful couple
Bridal Party
Father/Daughter dance to "I Loved Her First".  I cried during the whole thing.  I think I may have cried the hardest during this dance.
First dance to "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun.  Beth and Adam love movies so all their songs were from movies.  Which made the following hilarious when you know that it was done to the theme from Mission Impossible:
I love her face in this picture.  She had no idea what he was going to do.  I wish I had a video of it.  He did some great Mission Impossible moves around the chair.  It was awesome!
Last but not personal favorite picture of the night.  The last Coach/Daughter picture.  After all the years of Dan coaching Beth in softball we have many Coach/Daughter pictures.  Several years ago I made Beth an album with all the pictures.  This was her have a last softball picture with her dad to add to the album.  It was very special.

Well, thanks for sticking with me through the picture tour.  I learned an important lesson on my daughter's wedding day:

Life is too short not to dance and have fun.  Everyday should be like a wedding day.