Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wedding Photos-- The Ceremony and After!

 Is this not adorable? Zach and Blaise wore matching socks. And great socks they were!!!

 OK. These aren't in order. Jim and Elle chatting with our longtime pastor Father Ed, after the sacrament and before the pictures! We love Father Ed.

 Jim and his groomsmen! Three from grade school and high school. Two from college (University of Dallas! A great school!)

 The wedding party!! Two of my daughters are among the bridesmaids...

 My Boys!!! Three sons and one son-in-law!!

 My children (and grandson!) Three sons, three daughters, two daughter-in-laws, one son-in-law, and one grandson!! God is good!

 OK. Back to the Mass... Here is Jim waiting for his bride....(with Father Phil, his spiritual director, a wonderful priest!)

 The vows....

 Our whole family!!  God is good!  All the time!

 Our extended family, including my sister and her two sons, Matt and Luke, my brother with his daughter Monique and son Mitch, and Mike's brother Jeff, with his son Anthony.

It was a wonderful day, where the grace and glory of God was all over everything.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wedding Graces-- The Rehearsal Dinner!

Yikes! Just realized I haven't posted in about a month! Family events are the reason. In short, there's been a wedding in our family!!!

Such a time of grace and joy!

On the day before the wedding, the morning began with Liz organizing the creation of the bouquets, boutonnieres, etc.

Liz and Esther, the architects!

My friend Chris, who has had a lot of experience with these endeavors, volunteered to come help.
Wow. What a gift!
There were a few other helpers but these three are the ones who really pulled it off.

Then....rehearsal dinner at Paesano Restaurant. (Warning: large number of pictures :-)

My son Jim and his lovely bride Elle!

That lilac dress. Exquisitely beautiful and her favorite flower!!

Jim's shoelaces matched the color of his pants. Nice. Loved it.

Daughter Anne with her husband Zach and their son Blaise, the love of my life!

The outside patio provided lots of entertainment!


And... Blaise, again! Of course!

Daughter Anne and daughter-in-law Esther!

Jim with Father Phil his spiritual director who would be the celebrant at the wedding!

Son Mike with his wife Esther!
Jim and Father Phil!
Daughter Mary with her godson BLAISE! (Can't have too many pictures of Blaise.)

Yours truly with my husband Mike...
Daughter Liz with her longtime boyfriend Jonathan..

 My son John who would direct the music at the wedding the next day...

Elle's parents, two delightful and thoughtful people. Hope to get to know them better!

Father Phil with his dessert!

Jim with his best man!

The soon to be bride and groom with Zach and Anne and, of course, Blaise...

I think the beauty of weddings starts at the Rehearsal Dinner. For me, that is when the celebration begins.  We all come together. Everyone is smiling. Eyes are relaxed. Smiles are warm and genuine.

I've been told that there is a great grace on weddings. Of course. There must be. And that grace seems to descend starting at the Rehearsal Dinner.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Transplanted by the Lord?

How and why might the Lord transplant us?

Sometimes he transplants us because the situation (job, friendships, etc.) we're in is not healthy. Like a plant, there may not be enough sun (too much negativity). The soil might not be right. (The situation does not bring out the best in us, does not use our gifts, or leads us to sin.) Sometimes, we might not know the reason, but follow the Lord's call anyway.

God always wants what's best for us, but our ability to see (really see!) what he has in mind is terribly limited. It's like looking through a tiny hole in a solid fence when there's an entire world on the other side. We look though a glass darkly! (1Corinthians 13:12)

When we are pulled up by the roots, it's painful and scary. Placement in a new location or situation is disorienting. Like the plant, sometimes roots are bruised or broken. We need a lot of water (grace) right away or we can wither. We need to be tended to (taking care of ourselves), and treated gently.

But, in time, the fruit should be apparent. Here was my little hibiscus.

With time and care, it will hopefully flourish, just as we do when open to all the grace the Lord offers!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fun With Baby Blaise!

He has a nice touch. :-)
Having trouble getting these videos to work....still working on it.

My son John is loving trying to teach my grandson Blaise many improvising on the piano, throwing rolled up napkins across the dinner table, and, as pictured above, kicking a ball.

Could anything be more fun than babysitting for grandkids? Maybe not. It's especially fun when there are so many other adoring adults involved. And we all agree. Cutest baby in the world. No arguments. It's great.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sometimes You Just Have to Transplant

Some years ago I planted a dwarf hibiscus (Actually Hibiscus X Ruby Dot, I believe) along my front sidewalk. Dwarf should mean small, right? I thought it might grow to be a foot or two. Well. It became a good three feet tall and probably had a diameter of about the same. It sprawled over the walkway, blocking a good portion of it.

But it was beautiful, as  you can see from the above photo. It would cover itself with these blooms and they were magnificent, each one so delicate and only lasting a day or two. It was a great living metaphor for the loveliness and brevity of life.

But it blocked the walk. It took over too much space and dwarfed all the other little flowers I planted along the bed. In short, it didn't fit. It had been planted (by me) in the wrong location.

So I asked my friend Sally (horticulture major) if it was possible to transplant such a big plant.  She said, "Sure. Just dig it up and move it."

I thought I might kill it, but it seemed worth a try. I moved it to the back yard in a sunny location. At first, it looked hopeless. Just a few dead looking sticks protruding from the ground. (Mind you, that's how it always looks in the early Spring. But this seemed to be the case for quite a while.)

Then, lo and behold, there were little leaves starting to emerge. It had survived!!

Here's how it looks now.

I think it may like this location even better. There is a lot of sun and lots of room to spread out, without getting in anyone's way.

Sometimes you just have to transplant. Perhaps a metaphor for life here?