Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Year of Lilacs

I got married on May 27, 1995. During all the many preparations, I went to a florist, of course. The florist's name was John Turner-Grey, and that boded well for me because it sounds British and you know I'm all about that. I told him that the wedding was supposed to have sort of a 1920s English garden party feel, in a non-themey sort of way. He was greatly interested (he was a true artist), and we talked about altar flowers and bridesmaid bouquets and boutonnieres until finally he said, "And what about your flowers?" I said, "Well, I just want something small. Maybe a bouquet of lilies-of-the-valley?" "Hmmmm. Pricey, pricey," he answered. (OK, I just picked two big bouquets of them in my yard yesterday, so someday someone will need to explain floral prices to me.) Then he said, "What is your very favorite flower?" "Lilacs," I said without hesitation. "But I'm sure they won't be available this late in May." "You just leave your bouquet to me," he answered.

On the morning of the wedding, I went to the church to get ready. John Turner-Grey was there to meet me. He was very excited. "You've got to see your bouquet," he said. "It's the most beautiful thing I've ever done. I went to the library and researched bouquets from the 1920s and made one for you. It's out in my truck!" Well, I couldn't wait to see it. I opened up the front door of the truck, and there on the front seat were all the bridesmaids' bouquets and mine put together. At least...that's what I thought. "There it is!" he said triumphantly. There it is? Yes. The biggest, hugest, most ginormous bouquet of lilacs you have ever seen was on the front seat. My heart sank. What happened to "I just want a little bouquet"? I couldn't hurt his feelings though; he was so happy and proud. So, I thought, "I'm gonna go for it!" I carried the bouquet. It was indeed gorgeous. And I think it sealed forever in time the fact that my trademark flower is the lilac.

May 27, 1995, was a great day. It was the start of Darren's and my new life together. I look at that picture and think, "Look at those two babies! They have no idea!" and it's true. We have weathered much together since that beautiful spring day thirteen years ago. We have built our home, our faith, our careers, our family together. We have gone through heartache together. We have roadtripped together. We have bought cars together, oh, so many cars together. And three houses too. We have watched countless movies, eaten countless meals, laughed and cried and been bored together. We have fought and fought well together. :-) We have stood by gravesides together and welcomed our two daughters into the world together. Eight long years of praying and pleading with the Lord brought us this:

We of course had to celebrate her first birthday by having her picture taken in the lilacs. (Oh, and don't worry about Elaine. Her lilac time is coming eventually!)

Sometimes I like to look up those anniversary charts and see what gift year it is. No matter what though, I'd usually prefer travel for my gift. I've tried to convince Darren that year 4 is really Hawaiian vacations or I'm prepping him that year 15 is trips to Tuscany. I looked it up this morning and found that year 13 is lace. Unless we're going to Belgium for lace, I'm not that interested.

However, a couple weeks ago for Mother's Day, I come home from shopping for the day and there was my dear husband and two girls waiting for me with these:

I had asked for two lilac bushes, one for each of the girls, but because Darren always goes above and beyond, he bought a third one. He planted them along the fence where I can see them whenever I look out our kitchen window. I'm looking forward to watching them bloom and grow each year. I like to think of one of them for each of the girls and one of them in honor of that lilac bush I carried on our wedding day. Little did I know how that would take root and grow in my life.

Happy 13th anniversary, Babe. I thank God for you. I love you. Thank you for the lilacs!

Oh, and if anyone's wondering why I'm writing my May 27 anniversary post on May 23, it's because....drum roll please....we really ARE going on vacation! Just the two of us. For the first time since 2002. Not Hawaii or Tuscany, but Door County is good enough for me. We have a lot of good memories there together. So, I'll be closing my laptop and leaving it home until my return next Friday. Don't worry (I'm sure you were)--I'll have tons of things to write about when I get back, not the least of which is that Lucy's flower fairy birthday party is the morning after we come home. I like to mix it up like that. I spent the bulk of last evening dissecting silk flowers and twisting pipe cleaners and using my hot glue gun in order to make little flower fairies. There'll be pictures of course, and we're due for a remodelling project update as well. See you then!

Edited to add: I definitely need a break from blogging. The other day, I was sitting at my laptop, wearing a pair of shorts. Elaine accidentally wrote on my leg with marker, then Lucy joined in on purpose, and in a moment of insanity, I let them draw freely on my thigh. They had a great time. I then had some sort of brainwave for a blog post about it and was going to take a picture of it until I realized...hello. I almost took a picture of my thigh and posted it on the Internet. This.must.stop.


Melanie said...

Ha! That would've definitely been time for an intervention - if you'd posted that shot of your thigh all artsied up but it would've been hilarious. Happy Anniversary, a couple days early! It was so cool to see your wedding pic - looks like you had a perfect day and I can just smell the lilacs!
P.S. I've now watched the first episode of Cranford - LOVE IT!

Heather said...

Oh, lilacs are so wonderful! What a great anniversary gift - hope you guys have a relaxing getaway.

Ann-Marie said...

Wow. That was SOME bouquet! I think it was beautiful! Happy Anniversary! (in a totally un-anniveray-themey-way)

P.S. - Lilacs ROCK!!!

Ann-Marie said...

And, yes, I realize that by saying lilacs rock I chip away at the ethereal beauty of that timeless flower.


I want to see the thigh shot! Puh-leeeeze!

Juliet said...

What a young couple! Beautiful picture of the both of you. And yes that was a beautiful bouquet! Ann-Marie wanted lilly of the valley for her wedding...hers was in September...too pricey too.

The month of May has been crazy and my blogging has fallen behind.
I think summer are busy for everyone.