A few years ago, my husband and I and all our kids got hooked on the series “Lost”. It was truly addicting with all its 'fast forwards' and 'flash backs'. Very creative writing. (and no - I won't try to suggest that my writing can come even close to that kind of creativity, lol) But I guess if you have the story in your head, you can do that; jump around from future to past to present. And that’s what I’m going to do here, a bit. (This is my life I'm sharing, after all, as it pertains to how my paths were created by lack of proper diagnsois and then finally finding that I had celiac.) While there have been many valleys along my journey, it’s those peaks that give a person a chance to breathe in deeply and say ‘ahhhh’ life can be good today – and increases the strength to build on what will come tomorrow. This post is about one of those peaks: My Wedding (Its kinda ironic that as I’m writing about my newfound love, he's in the other room cussing at his computer, lol – But – the excitement of ‘new love’ does fall into that steady comfort of ‘married couple’ kind of thing. lol - Should it be any other way?
At the time I was diagnosed with celiac in September of 2000, I had been married for over 18 years (and things had been going down hill). 2 years into the gluten free life, and much increase in physical and emotional health, I found myself separated - And - by that following summer I was officially single. But that’s another story. This is about that climb back up. I met Steve in 2005. I had been on some of those dating websites for over a year(ish). At first it was ‘for my kids’. They told me, “Dad’s engaged and you haven’t even started dating!” haha I wanted to show them that I could move on. So I did something that was incredibly uncomfortable for me – but increasingly fun. And I went on many ‘first dates’ – and a few that lasted a bit longer than that. My girlfriends teased that I was too picky. But – I was NOT going to force something that didn’t feel right. I was fine on my own. I didn’t need a boyfriend. But of course, sharing my life with someone else would be nice.
I had been on course to finally finish something I started over 20 years earlier - getting my teaching certificate. My general education classes were complete and I was getting ready to start my 2 years in the Early Childhood program. I had to quit my job as a teacher’s aide – and my contract was about to expire on the dating website I was on, so I was going to let that go for a while too and just focus on school. But then I got an email from Steve. So ‘unenthusiastically’ I agreed to meet him. The chemistry wasn’t immediate, but it sure was there by the end of the date. And we’ve been together ever since (except for that time when I broke up with him – for about 4 hours, haha).
I was hesitant to commitment – and avoided any talk about long term – but – it was obvious we were in it for the long haul.
He proposed on New Year’s Eve 2006 (or actually after we rang in 2007). And of course, I said “yes” …. But…….
I wanted to finish my education; was facing a semester of student teaching before graduating that May. And – I wanted to get a job – and settled into it – which I did – yay me! That all fell into place nicely (for a few years, anyway – until the whole state budget issues, blah blah blah – but that’s a valley and this is about a peak!).
And on September 27, 2008, we got married!
My son walked me down the aisle. Such pride, I cannot even explain!
Steve and his son practiced a dance to surprise me with - "Shake a Tail Feather" - that they then taught my son the night before the wedding - when he came home from school. It was GREAT! I laughed so hard! Steve even did a cartwheel!
We made the invitations, did all the decorating (thank you to all the kids for all their help!), the flowers (which I couldn’t have done without my daughter), the cake (o.k… so we made the topper a bit too big, but I’m not a cake decorator or florist), Steve's son was the D.J. – We did it all!
So touching to have such love and support from my girls
Toasting in our new life together, with speeches from our 4 kids who have been nothing less than supportive and accepting.
Our 2 boys - Very funny in their overly dramatized speech. We all got a good laugh.
And I made all the food! - Completely gluten free, of course! Tons of mini french bread rolls, baked and then frozen, ready to pop in the oven. Texas potato casseroles premade and frozen. Several pounds of thinly slice ham (o,k... I didn't have to 'make' that, :) The chicken came frozen from Sam's - bags and bags of frozen precooked wings - EASY and yummy! Mini cheesecakes of all sorts and mini brownie bites, all made ahead and frozen with crusts from crumbled gf cookies (K-Toos, vanilla and chocolate). Cake layers, both white and chocolate.
Food for almost 100.
And we partied - and danced - for hours!
And thank goodness for girlfriends!! - Who heated and served the food while I was busy getting married - and then cleared it, bagged it all up, and even clean up when everyone was done! Amazing!
Just some homemade cakes all dressed up. My daughter came over the night before so we could figure out the flowers - which all turned out nicely!
Ham, chicken, potato casseroles, green beans, frenchbread rolls and salad.
Gotta say - I was pretty proud of how these turned out! Between these and the bread rolls, my mini muffin pans got a real work out over the weeks before the wedding.