Sunday, September 22, 2013

Celebrating A Decade Together!!!!

We did it.  We want to shout it out from the loudest rooftop "We did it!!!"  If you knew us at the beginning of our marriage, you would understand how much of a triumph this is!!! On the night of our anniversary, we were looking at each other across the dinner table.  Our eyes were glossy and fighting back tears-----words couldn't really come out.  It was a beautiful moment where we just looked at the gift we've been given and our hearts were grateful.  We are happy.  Blessed.  Cheers to ten years!

So, Patrick asked me to marry him on the beach in Cape May, New Jersey.  Since it was all a big blur for me, we decided to take our anniversary weekend and re-enact the whole thing.   We started with a fancy dinner at the Virginia Inn's Ebbitt Grill.  I remember being SO NERVOUS at dinner---I thought for sure he was going to get down on his knee right there in the restaurant!  I waited and waited....I couldn't even focus on what he was saying....

The entree was served, and still he didn't get down on his knee.  Oh no!  It's not going to happen...

Wait!  What about dessert?  Yes, a good friend of ours had put his fiance's engagement ring in her ice cream?  Yes!!!  Then, Patrick suggested I order pistachio ice cream which was his favorite.  Wink, wink....yes, uh huh.  It'll be in the ice cream.  I didn't even like pistachio icecream and still ordered it.

Okay, play this cool.....go slow....he's watching.....

Forget that!  ...where is that ring???  Oh no.  It's not there.  Play it cool. I was crushed.
I was disappointed that he didn't ask me.  It isn't going to happen, is it??  After dinner, he takes me on a drive a long the beach.  We get out and he rushes around looking for something.  "Patrick, what are you looking for?"  Nervous and anxious, he says nothing and just has me sit on a log on the beach.   Oh my gosh, this is it!!!  He's going to do it here.....he first reads me a beautiful poem he wrote....and then...oh my gosh, he's kneeling!!!!....

....woo hoo!!!  

Shock comes.

I don't say anything.  I just can't believe this moment is happening.  Is this for real?  Is that a diamond in his hand?  I'm afraid to look at it....oh my gosh....

He asks me again.   Clears throat.   "Will you marry me?"

I guess I woke up because I kissed him and I said...


...and it's like the clouds burst forth!!! 
[angels singing....]

Being dramatic. :)   This shot was from our sunrise the next morning from our getaway.   Ha ha...It was a wonderful evening.  We both just laughed about that night.  A funny part was that Patrick was nervous and anxious because apparently he couldn't find the circle of candles his mom set up for us which was a block away.   So, he improvised and just did it right there!

On this anniversary trip, my husband of ten years (and one morning) wanted us to go see the sunrise. 

It was breath-taking.  We prayed there together on the beach together thanking God for his mercies that are new to us every morning.  It was such a nice getaway.  Our hotel was right on the beach with a great view.  Our gawking friend thought so, too!

Then later that day, in Wildwood (one town over from Cape May) they were having a car show and Patrick really wanted to go see that!

Then we headed back on our cruise (yes, he took me on a cruise!!!...okay, sort of, it was the ferry LOL) but hey with a view, and a mimosa, it was still beautiful!!!

Boys, being married to your father has been the greatest joy of my life.  We have been very intentional and have worked very hard the Lord has blessed us with a marriage that is filled with sacrificial love.   Your dad has made me so happy, and we're just getting started!!!!  Happy ten years my darling.  I love you.

We're looking forward to our big trip in a few months!!!   Special thanks to Ms. Karen who watched the boys.  We came back and the first thing the next morning they said was, "Where's Ms. Karen?"  They didn't miss us at all. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Goodbye to Summer - Bucket List 2013

This post is a bit late, but I'm also mourning the loss of summer a little late, too.  I started putting on a cardigan in the morning and I felt this rush of sadness that our summer days went by so fast....

....I needed a recap!  Kudos to us for doing our summer bucket list.  We made several trips this for summer getaways, but when we think of summer, we think....

Every day in the neighborhood.....

Baseball Game


Endless Pool Days

Berry Picking

Water parks

Picnics at the park 

Lemonade Stand


Summer Sweet 16 to our neighbors :)  Isn't she beautiful?

Cousin time

What can a summer be without crabs and beer?


Also this summer -- the youngest Ring ever...rides a bike without training wheels!
Kudos goes out to Caelan Ring.  

Now that Micah has started first grade (next post) our fall bucket list is already underway!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cultural Dinners

Every couple of months our family hosts a special cultural dinner.  Patrick and I think about a place that we would like to teach our kids and plan the event accordingly.   In honor of where we thought we were going for our 10 year anniversary, we chose Greece.  He does the maps, geography and fun facts while I work on a scrumptious meal. Doesn't that look yummy?

A simple yet classic greek salad, with homemade hummus, grilled zucchini, chicken with a greek seasoning (thanks Scott & Susan for telling us about it!) and closing the meal out with yummy pita and feta cheese.  Patrick pulled out his laptop and showed the boys a map.... husband of mine spouted out facts he knew about Greece, and actually spent time talking about Paul's journey through Ephesus, and Corinth in the bible.  Then, we talked about about how the Greeks believed in every kind of God....

As the kids get older, every family member will be responsible for doing their own research on the city or country we choose.  Since Tristan enjoys music and singing so much, maybe one day he'll be in charge of finding a CD featuring music from the country.  Hopefully, it’ll become so much fun, that the friends of my children often ask for invitations to the event as well.

 On our top 5 list we chose some interesting places we've been, where food might be fun to sample:
Soryda                    Patrick
   Italy                       Beijing
Kenya                      Alaska
    Paris                       Thailand
  Laos                       Hawaii
              Ecuador                   Cambodia             

These dinners have inspired both the kids and me to learn new things about new places and cultures. It creates excitement over learning and appreciation for different cultures and people.  Even if you're making tacos one night, you can seize an educational opportunity by choosing a South American country and just talk about it a little....Hope this inspires you!