Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Am Blessed beyond belief

My life is so blessed with family and friends. Julie, Gavin & Landry. David, Rena and kids. Stephanie (Turtle) and son. Stacie, Ryan & Dawson. Adam, Heather, Ian, Alyssa, Aidan, Alexander, Liam and soon, Henry Adam. There's also Sydney Grace who lives in heaven.

The pictures are of my namesakes: Aidan Kenneth (almost 7) and Dawson Kenneth (one year). Aidan was at NASA space camp sitting in the "spinning chair" controlled by a computer. The look of concentration on his face is in character for him. Dawson is obviously enjoying his birthday cake.

I am blessed.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 23, 1969

...the best day of my life

In Austin, Texas any August day is hot. The 23rd was especially so. My father-in-laws tux was delivered without pants. Thirty minutes before ceremony, the organ broke and the musician had to transpose to piano. None of that mattered. Still the best day of my life.

Happy 40th anniversary to the one and only love of my life.

Love and blessings,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Refrigerator Art

...this is the good stuff

When you walk into anyone's home and you want to find out what's important to them without ever asking a question, what do you do? Walk into the kitchen and look at the refrigerator! Refrigerator art--it's the good stuff, better than any pricey painting or print hanging in the living room.

When I meet with couples about to be a blended family--to begin the process of planning a wedding ceremony--I always take with me paper, stickers, crayons and markers to keep the small children entertained while the adults chat.

Last night I met with Nicole and her five year old daughter, Leona. The groom couldn't join us, mainly because he's currently on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. Anyway, Leona was overwhelmingly charming, articulate and imaginative. In most cases the children take their artwork with them, but Leona held them out to me and said "I made these for you". (that squishy sound you hear is my heart melting)

We made plans to include the child in the wedding ceremony. Should make for a very tender moment. In December as Nicole and Tim become husband and wife, Leona will be entering the new family to make it complete. Stay tuned for more pix at Christmas.

Thanks, Leona, for the artwork and for the sweet hug you gave me.


Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Back Where It Belongs

...third finger, left hand

If you saw my April 29 entry you know that I recently had to have my wedding ring cut off my finger following a hand injury. It took a few weeks to heal and the swelling to go down so I waited til just recently to have the ring repaired.

I'm happy to report that I picked up the ring and took it home to my bride so she could put it back on my finger, just as she did on August 23, 1969. Can't prove it, but I swear I sleep better at night knowing it's back where it belongs.

We're about to celebrate anniversary number 40. Forty years! But then, who else but my bride would put up with me that long?


Monday, August 3, 2009

Space Camp For Kids's real, and it's NASA

May not have pictures to post for a few days, but grandson #1, Aidan Kenneth, is in Houston this week for NASA Space Camp. Unbelievably exciting! Can't wait to hear about it.

Heather is there with him, but she doesn't attend the camp. It's kind of like school mixed with summer camp. He goes there every morning at 8am and is done by 4pm or so. This gives Heather and her mom free time during the day to explore Houston. Or shop. Or sit by the pool.

Aidan has an unquenchable thirst for learning which is a good thing. But it also means that the word "why?" comes out of his mouth about 8,000 times a day. That's okay. He's happiest when he's being fed a continuous stream of anything to do with science, math and space exploration. He continues to insist that he plans to be the first man to walk on Mars, a goal he started to mention two years ago.

Aidan will be 7 years old in November.

Way to Go, Aidan! And about that Mars thing- take extra undies, it's a long trip. And if you get to Jupiter, make a u-turn. You went too far.

Ken (or as Aidan knows me, Granddaddy)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Taj Mahal

...the perfect setting for a proposal

When the mother of the bride tells me they plan to serve a whole roast pig at the rehearsal, I have to figure this will be an interesting event. Then to find out that the groom proposed to the bride in front of the Taj Mahal in India, well, I just couldn't wait to be involved.

If you're thinking there is big time ethnic diversity going on, you'd be incorrect. Both families are Texans from Wylie, and the bride & groom are in grad school at Texas A&M. They just happen to be well traveled and absolutely thirsty for knowledge and experience.

Richard and Brittany were actually the proverbial high school sweethearts at Wylie High School.

Too bad I don't have pictures of the rehearsal dinner but even a picture wouldn't do justice to the main course. Seis Lagos clubhouse was a wonderful setting and the roast pig was done to perfection in a "Chinese box" by the father of the groom. Nothing says "good time" to a southern boy like me quite as much as roast pork.

Wedding day included the usual pre-ceremony butterflies and tears (from the bride and the groom). A few more tears during the ceremony. The bride was stunning, as you can see in the pictures, and for some reason her dress and hairstyle brought to mind images somewhere between a classic 1940's movie, or maybe my hippie days in Austin in the mid-1960's (cue Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)

Except that the groom had to respond to certain questions in the ceremony, I'm not sure he heard a word I was saying--he was totally focused on his bride. It's okay, Richard, everyone else was, too.

An interesting element in the ceremony was a "knot tying". Literally. The couple decided to add an interesting twist to an ancient Celtic tradition called handfasting--they tied a figure-eight knot as a symbol of their commitment and unity. When viewed on its side, the knot forms the math & science symbol for infinity. Nice touch and I liked it. The knot is now part of their keepsakes.

I have to give propers to Sharon, mother of the groom, who was my initial contact and the one responsible for much of the planning (since bride and groom were in grad school). Her regular emails and phone calls to me were a blessing and kept me in the loop for planning. When I know someone is handling all the myriad details of a wedding, it allows me to relax a little and just concentrate on bride, groom and ceremony.