Many happy returns

A lot has happened in the past month so there has been little time to post.

To celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, I was something special, something extravagant. We had been through so much together. Three children born, two children in heaven, five homes: two apartments, two houses and our home now where we hope to stay for a long time; two attempts at owning a dog, two batches of chickens, two successful ventures at owning cats. With close to five years dating experience prior to marriage we learned a lot about each other, how to communicate, how to love each other, how to hurt each other and how to forgive each other, so we entered our early marriage years with wisdom on those matters, ready to conquer the world as a team.


As single young adults, we gave our lives to God. As a dating, discerning couple, we consecrated our relationship to God. As a couple married in the Catholic Church, we answered his call in this both glorious and lowly vocation.




So now what? He knows almost all my stories (I still surprise him from time to time). I still learn things about him since he talks so much less than I do and doesn’t feel the desperate need to share every single detail. We anticipate what the other will say. We anticipate the other’s reaction. We do things intentionally to arouse that reaction. “Look, you socialized her,” he said to me, when our daughter repeated something very feminine I said to her on a previous occasion. I know my husband doesn’t care a lick about so-called gender socialization, but he knows I consider our child-rearing to be a grand experiment and am thrilled to discovered what traits common to their respective sex our children naturally develop. I’ve successfully managed a reaction out of him, although the occasions are considerably more rare.


We know each other now. It is no longer a whirlwind of romance and transition. We seamlessly and wordlessly navigate the wild and chaotic movements of our herd from leaving the grandparents’ house after swimming to rushing bedtime. My grandmother marvels at his involvement with the home and kids. I’m grateful for his patience with my weaknesses and his generosity in serving our family as chef and groundskeeper. He even loves me enough to write a post praising me.


It just ain’t right to be so happy.


So I wanted to us to do something spectacular to commemorate the milestone. Sangria on the patio at Galletto’s? Sounds wonderful and chic…and expensive. So an intimate after hours (read: after bedtime) party at our home.


The menu:

Stuffed mushroom caps

Chicken teriyaki skewers


Fruit, cheese and cracker platter

Fried calamari

And a caramel, shortbread chocolate cake made by my mother, baker extraordinaire.


To drink: Sangria


On the table: Stargazer lilies: 0855_B2DSC_0285

the flower he had delivered to me for Valentine’s Day while I was in college in Minnesota, the flower of our wedding, the flower he gave me for this anniversary.


The guests: Nearly all our wedding party, excluding the party of our wedding party who moved to Ohio after his own wedding party. What a blessing to still have these people in our life. I learned early that friendships are passing. How joyful to be proved wrong. My parents, my grandmother, and two couples who mentored us in many ways.


The evening went late for us tired parents of young children, but it was a beautiful evening and I cannot imagine the day could have turned out any more perfect.

I like the old phrase “many happy returns.” To me it means, “let the blessings keep on comin’.”  I’m grateful for the sentiment.  To my Husband of five years, many happy returns.

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