Awe, persistence, and delight.

I am quite fortunate to come from a family of lengthy marriages. My paternal grandparents were very much in love until the very end when my grandfather passed away from cancer. A few summers ago, I spent some time with my grandmother and she showed me a picture of my grandfather. He had passed years before and she told me how she missed him and how she would never understand why he had chosen her. But she felt lucky that he had.

My maternal grandparents have been married for sixty years now. Between countries and cultures and languages, they remain together. When I'm home, I can spend hours with them, just listening to stories of their early years together. Luckily for me, my grandfather is not one to spare any detail. This past visit, we had only made it to the early 1950s by the end of the afternoon so I brought him lunch the next day to hear more. I don't believe we made it out of the 1960s. I adore my grandparents and their never-ending arguments. They simply cannot agree on who my uncle's doctor was in the 1950s and will most likely argue it out for years to come. But it's astounding to realize that they have all those years of details and history that no one else knows or remembers. And I cannot imagine one of them without the other.

And my own parents' marriage I admire to the utmost. There's this mutual agreement that they are just fine the way they are. Well aware of each others' faults and limits, they not only accept those faults, but they find them endearing. When I read a description of my personality following an exam for work, I quickly phoned my dad to share it with him. The extent to which it described my mother was uncanny. He laughed as I read and tossed in his own examples. While the profile was actually a bit harsh in its description of anxiety, my father's tone was anything but. With a laugh and an "Oh yes, that is most certainly you, your mother and your grandfather," he affirmed the results without the slightest tone of judgment. 

Adrian and I have been married just over three and a half years. One of the joys of marriage is if we don't have it all figured out quite yet, that's perfectly fine because there are many more years ahead to continue working at it. In the years to come, I'd like to take a bit of all of these marriages I admire and integrate them into my own. That awe that Adrian could have picked me. That persistence of togetherness across countries and cultures and languages. That utter acceptance and, better, delight in each other's limits.

Yes. Awe, persistence, and delight. I'd like my marriage to be marked by awe, persistence, and delight.

A Backyard Picnic Party

A couple months ago, my good friend Meredith asked if I'd be up for helping plan her birthday party again this year, since we had such a good time planning her party last year! So of course I said yes. Meredith was hoping for a backyard picnic party and I was so excited to get planning.

It would appear our landlord was equally excited for this party because a few weeks before, he put up that lovely fence and repainted the back of the garage to match. I am so excited to have a backyard with a bit of privacy and it looks amazing! Points for a great landlord. 

I also have to mention that orange striped blanket. My mum picked it up for me as an Easter gift because she knew we were having this picnic party. And it just happened to be the exact colors we had chosen for the party. So thanks, Lydiebell!

I love how it came together. Meredith's mum, Edie, came into town for the weekend and she is absolutely wonderful. She and Meredith came to the house the afternoon of the party and worked alongside Adrian and myself as we got everything ready for the party. I love when I get to spend time with Edie. She is such a joy and so talented. She has a great eye for design and helped us make a bunch of gametime decisions.

In the second photo below, I printed out some glassine bags and filled each with a napkin, straw and utensils. I decided the bags in Photoshop and printed them at home on my printer. For further instructions on how to print your own, check out this post on DIY printed bags.

Meredith wanted to show a movie during the party so she thought to include a popcorn bar for movie-snacking! Such a great idea, right? We had planned to use our projector once the sun set, but we forgot about the motion-sensor lights that can't be turned off. Yelling "nobody move for the next two hours!" didn't work out so we ended up bringing out the TV at the last minute. As much as I think I have every detail covered, something always comes up and I learn to just roll with it. We made it work in the end and everyone enjoyed it so let's chalk that up as a win, no?

Lastly, we got the idea from Pinterest to offer pre-mixed drinks in jars. I love this idea and plan to do this all throughout the summer. Generally, Adrian ends up playing bartender at parties and while he enjoys mixing drinks, it's nice to not have duties during a party. With drinks set out in jars, anyone can grab one when they'd like and Adrian gets to just sit back and enjoy the company. Win-win. 

All-in-all, I loved this party. It was such a relaxing night of hanging out with friends and enjoying the beginnings of summer in the city. I loved seeing the picnic blankets fill up with friends, laughing and celebrating Meredith's birthday. Best moment? When the sun started to set and the strings of lights set that quintessential backyard summertime mood. 

This backyard picnic party just might have to become an annual event.

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