Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Celebrate Good Times!

Friday night, we started our celebrations of our third child's marriage. We hosted a small, family party at our home. We borrowed tables and chairs, put up some fun bistro lights, and set out the candles and flowers. Friends and family made food, everybody helped prepare the yard and it was really fun. It was important to me that we have time together as a family to mark the fact that in some ways, we are now all part of the same family.

Saturday morning, Sam and Madison got married in the Washington, DC Temple. It was glorious. Truly glorious. Seeing all the people who came down to be with us inside the temple to share a sacred event was uplifting to me in really deep ways. We were surrounded by smiles that represented common experiences, understanding, love and support. It was a moment of actual joy to look around the sealing room and see our family and friends. Everyone there had a part to play in helping our Sam get to this moment, either because they directly influenced him, or they have been a support to Eric and me.

The beautiful couple was well-prepared to take this step, and both of them were poised and radiant. It happened in the temple because life actually is eternal and it matters how you do things here on earth. By being sealed together in the temple, rather than simply marrying in the usual way,  these two declared that they believe their marriage is more than just an experiment or a lifestyle. It's a covenant relationship that changes everything. It's deeper than partnership or convenience or even romance. As a parent who believes the same things they do, it's particularly joyful to see them start off under these circumstances. It doesn't mean things will be easy or perfect, but it does change the color and tone of the whole idea of marriage. If you're interested in learning more about the temple, you can look here. 

After some pictures and the drive home, we geared up for the party. We hosted a traditional reception at Savage Manor. It's right in the neighborhood, is familiar and really beautiful. I was so happy when I found out it would be available! It was a great night in every important way, with roses, dancing, amazing food and a real feeling of freedom and celebration. We went all out to throw this party, and, as the night progressed, I looked at all the details I'd managed to put together, realizing with sudden clarity that it truly was for the joy of it, not to show off or to compete in any way. I can honestly say that those things never crossed my mind. My focus for all the planning was giving Madison the wedding she'd always dreamed of, and in the process making a place for those we love to come together. 

I danced as long as I could and loved the feeling of freedom and fun it kindled in me. I danced with Sam, then with my dad, then with Ashlyn, Jeff, Corinne, Annabelle, Sara, Measu, Evan and anyone else who came up. The dj did a great job and had an assistant there to show us some moves and that was so helpful at getting past inhibitions--he was awesome! I really do love a good night of dancing and weddings are great for that. The endorphins were definitely flowing, and all the good song lyrics felt true as I sang along. 

Best of all, I think that my Sam and his beautiful new partner for life were happy and felt duly and properly celebrated for their decision to marry. There are all kinds of weddings in this world, and if you get to pick the kind you want, then make it happen, it brings a special kind of sweetness to the beginning of life together. It can be simple or grand and still be just right, if the focus is in the right place. That's how I felt about this day and evening. Things were just right. 

If you noticed in this post that there aren't many pictures, you'd be right. My friend Felicity was the photographer that day, and I decided to actually experience the day, rather than just observe and document through the lens of my camera. Conveniently, my phone died on my in the morning, so I had no excuse to be less than present. It was a bit strange at times, but in the end, I felt a certain kind of freedom at not worrying about capturing a moment. Sometimes I'm tempted even to imprison those poor moments, stubbornly trying to get pictures because I'm afraid I'll forget, and this time, I just let them happen...just as they were, beyond my control, imperfect, and yet, gorgeous. 

This was one of about 3 pictures on my phone
 at the end of the day,
enhanced with some app special effects.


  1. Madison is lovely! And so is your writing. I often wish, as I think my own big thoughts, that you could read my mind and translate it into words. For now I will just enjoy and learn from your elegant reflections, and maybe someday I can summarize my own observations so eloquently. Miss you! Congrats, Sam!

  2. Ditto, Jessie. Kellie...beautiful said and celebrated!


Thank you for sharing your insights!