Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Birthday to my Robert

Life has been the best since we met. Everything just falls into place. I didn't set out to fall in love when I met him. I was going to 'find myself'... I thought I was going to find myself in solitude. Instead, I met Robert.... and in finding him, I found myself.

He brings out the best in me~ he supports the things I believe in, he feeds my passion for life. Robert's been the best father to the kids I had before him and the two we've had since. So often the older kids will call with some little emergency or other and they ask me to put Robert on the phone. Usually it's a car thing, or a plumbing thing, personal man-to-man questions, or general fix-it-need-Robert-now thing. With me, it's the 'need-money' thing. Only kidding kids!

Fall 1995~ At Robert's family's farm, overlooking the Monogahela River.

On our first Christmas together, we went out to a local tree farm and cut one down! We went through snow that was higher than the tops of our boots, used the tree farmer's dull axe and chop-chop-chopped the tree down. Then we dragged it out to the truck, trying desperately to retrace our steps to avoid getting even more snow in our boots. We laughed the whole way home.

December 1996

A couple weeks before our wedding we went to a company Holiday Party.

This was a much needed break, as I had been working non-stop on my wedding gown. Start to finish, the gown took 3 weeks to make, including the mock-up to make sure it would fit right before I cut the bridal satin & velvet. I knew what I wanted to make for a gown, but finding the right fabric was a bit frustrating. Finally one day, Robert came home and told me to get my coat & shoes on; he thought he had found the fabric I was looking for. We rushed to the store, and he proudly showed me his find. It was exactly the cream colored satin and the velvet I had been dreaming of.

I think I must have looked pretty funny at times during those 3 weeks. Fabric everywhere, thread strewn throughout the apartment, beads here & there. One time I discovered that a thread had been caught on the hem of my shirt~ but only after I had been to just about every room in the apartment, and through the hallway-living room-kitchen-hallway rounds several times. And I swallowed more than just a few beads while I was sewing them to the gown.

The family has a running joke with me whenever I have a big project planned~ that I am probably finishing it only moments before an event. My wedding was the start of this. I finished the veil only one hour before the ceremony, and I had worked on it in the truck on the way. (So when the oldest got married, he asked me if I was completely finished with the outfit I was making to wear, or would I be working on it in the car on the way).

We were married on Christmas Eve 1996, outside in a gazebo. In New England. As fate would have it, it was not a cold evening, and instead of snow, we had a gentle rain that seemed to stop during the brief ceremony. At least I don't remember the rain. All I remember is being there with the love of my life, with the kids and a few close friends. And cars honking as they drove by, because we were in the town square (well, it was really more triangular).

We had written our own vows, and the Justice of the Peace did her thing (honestly, I only vaguely remember what she said... all I remember is listening to Robert's vows) and then....

Married at last!

Our first dance as husband and wife

Since then, we have had a beautiful baby girl, Sarah

And then we had William

We've been through graduations


Jim's wedding to Steph, which brought a beautiful daughter-in-law into our family

Now we're getting ready for Mariko's college graduation(at least one of them... she's going to medical school in the fall), and then next year will bring Steve's college graduation, and Doug's high school graduation. Phew!

So many milestones that we've shared. Through it all, Robert's been the mainstay for us all. And through it all, we still act like newlyweds, which carries over to the way the older kids treat their sweethearts~ with love, respect and admiration.

Happy Birthday Robert~ Thank you for always being here and loving us all.