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Marrying Keith 6- cake cutting, keith’s brother, and happily ever after

October 13, 2012
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Last installment of ‘Marrying Keith’!

Later in the night, after our fist dance, it was time to cut the cake!

Of course, since cutting the cake is a seriously important event lyke omigawd I had to have a very serious discussion with Keith beforehand… which made him laugh at me.
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And I was all no no no no, you don’t understand. That whole vow thing? That was just a formality. You could have had your fingers crossed. We suspect certain ex-husbands had THEIRS crossed. You have to repeat all your vows (it is permissible to paraphrase), then PINKY PROMISE ME and then seal it with the cake cutting! So he put on his serious face.

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He repeated his vows and pinky-promised on it.

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SIDE STORY: And this is going to sound all mopey but it’s totally not- I’ve just accepted the fact that insecurity is going to be a part of my relationship with Keith. I will always wonder if or when he might leave me, stop loving me, get sick of me, blahblah. I mean, it’s not just that I’ve personally experienced adultery and divorce; it’s that I’ve also seen it happen over and over and over again, same story every time. I feel like my generation has just become really good at justifying ending a relationship that has gone sour… and letting relationships go sour in the first place. I’m not sure how long I have to be married to be convinced I won’t be left, because I’ve seen 3-year marriages collapse, 10-year marriages, 17-year marriages… you know? I get afraid that I’ll be 39, going through a rough time, raising 2 Martin kids and Keith will say, “I haven’t been happy for a long time- I think we’d be happier if we weren’t married anymore.” I am NOT saying that it is within Keith’s character in the slightest to do or say something like that, but the terrifying thing is that I didn’t think it was in the other men at all to do that to their wives, either! Each affair, separation, and divorce I’ve seen has been a complete shock to me.

I know it’s not fair that Keith has to live in the wake of my past experiences when he’s done nothing but be consistent, committed, and work hard to make sure I’m happy. But he always assures me that he entered into the relationship with his eyes open- he knew what I’d been through and the struggles I have. He’s incredibly patient. All I have to do is tell him when I’m feeling insecure and afraid and he reminds me of how much he loves me, WHY he loves me, how happy he is, and how, even if one day he might happen to feel unhappy, he will never leave me. It makes me feel better to discuss actions we will take to secure a healthy marriage and ALSO the actions we will take if things go bad.

SO ANYWAY! Nowadays (post-wedding) when I have bouts of insecurity he reminds me that he PINKY PROMISED! And it has become a little joke.
So after the super serious pinky promise Melissa came over to help us cut the cake. This is Melissa:
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She is also the one who worked hard to make our very lovely cake.

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(loving on me)

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Friends Photos!
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To kind of wrap up the night the crowd gathered around the bonfire and Keith’s brother gave a really great heartfelt “best man speech” that Keith talked about for days.
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(SO many girls find out that Keith is awesome and ask me if he has a brother. The answer is yes. Keith has a brother. Here he is! No, you can’t have him. He’s married.)

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It has taken me three weeks to get all of these wedding posts up! Also- I’ve been married for three weeks already! Each day is happier than the day before.

I love my husband so so SO much. forever.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Marrying Keith 5- blue ginger and first dance

October 6, 2012
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After family photos we met at Blue Ginger for dinner.

Blue Ginger is an Asian bistro in Dublin and is the restaurant Keith and I went to celebrate our engagement. We thought it was yummy, so why not celebrate our being married there, too!

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I love him!

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Jamie and John

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Keithy got some sushi. I got duck dumplings, the same thing I got on engagement day.
I also tried to eat sushi for the first time in my life, but that story doesn’t end well.

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After Blue Ginger we headed to my parents’ house for our Fire Night Party (AKA reception).

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Melissa Foley (wife of one of Keith’s bandmates) made our cake!

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My mother (and dad) organized, decorated, set up, and put together the entire Fire Night Party. She did an amazing awesome job and I wish I had more photos of everything she did! (I just didn’t think to grab my camera and/or tell the girl who did our pictures what I wanted. =my one and only big wedding regret.) My mom had the yard all in pretty sparkly lights, she had beautiful autumn-like table cloths and centerpieces on the tables, she prepared make-your-own kabob tables with different meats and vegetables and people cooked their kabobs on the grill. Dad prepared sangria and filled his fishing boat with sodas, beers, etc. T.Matt put together my music mix and Ryan let us use his DJ equipment so the party had music! Dad set up a tent with foosball and the skittles game he made by hand, and also made a big bonfire and fire snacks (smores). Everything was super classy, sparkly, pretty, and yummy! My mother is right in her element when it comes to events. She doesn’t do anything halfway.

Keith and I had sort of been doing our own separate mingling as soon as we walked through the door of my parents’ house. So an hour or two into Fire Night I’d had a few +spiked sangrias to keep warm (and it totally worked) and I also had REFUSED to take off my super long heeled shoes because I loved them. I packed sneakers just in case, but… the shoes! They buckled at the ankle and had an adorable bow across the toes and… they just weren’t coming off, even though no one could see them and the heels were super thin so I kept getting stuck in the grass as I walked through the yard… Aanyway. It was about this time that Keith and I crossed paths on the patio as a song started and we took each other and started dancing.

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Now, Keith and I never had “a song”. We tried to have a song, but I always told him that the best couple songs were from shared experiences, not picking and choosing. By Wedding Day the closest I’d come to having a song that reminded me of Keith was Jack Johnson’s Better Together because Keith always seemed to sing it to me on late nights when we first started dating. But KEITH said the song that reminded him of ME was Red Hot Chili Peppers Hard To Concentrate… and so we just never pinned down a couple song. So anyway, on Wedding Day when this song played and we started dancing it took me a minute to piece together what it was because I’m really bad with intros… and also: sangria.

Then Keithy started singing it to me. The first song we danced to. The first song he sang to me. And it turns out it was Jason Mraz I’m Yours.

Sidenote: it’s funny that that song ended up being the song because it’s always been one that’s been kind of unofficially off limits for me because it belonged to my old high school friend/ fellow online journaler who is a SUPER SUPER CRAZY-FOR-JASON-MRAZ FAN (who ALSO happened to date the same high school boy as me, happened to get pregnant a little before me, left baby daddy a little before I left mine, fell in love and got engaged a little before me, got a job very similar to the one I got, HAPPENED to get married on the exact same day as me, who I think ALSO danced to that Jason Mraz song with her son on that day!!!) so I’m slightly concerned (but not really) that she will think I am stealing her life! Ha! But I promise- the parallels are a complete coincidence (and a little weird). Also, she’s not catty, so I don’t think this will be an issue. It’s just kind of funny to me.

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When Keith and I were first falling in love he’d say, “I love you so much I have that ache behind my sternum.” That’s how I felt dancing with him. That’s how I feel about him every day. (I am so fortunate.)

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I completely adore him.

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The next post is my LAST wedding post!!! It will be of cake cutting, Keith’s brother, the rest of fire night, and happily ever after.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Marrying Keith 4- family photos

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Keith and Uncle Phil

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Love that smile

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Keith and his “brother of another color and a different mother”, Xavier

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They man-love each other

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Keith’s bandmate Ryan (videographer and husband of photographer) on the left

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Keith with Ryan and his son

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Childhood Family Friends (Or as we call ourselves, “The Kids”): Tay, Hutch, Ash, Me, Adry, Ryan, Jamie, Jessie, Mer, Tori

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Supporting Mothers: Les, Sandie, Me, Mom, Pammy, Ginny

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Ash and I

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Next Post: Blue Ginger and Fire Party!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

T.Matt’s 24th!

June 2, 2012
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My awesome, intelligent, talented, charismatic, handsome big little brother turned 24 on May 31st. We celebrated the day of at Woodland’s Tavern in Grandview with music, drinks, and laughs.

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24 candles in a lemon meringue

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Me and Bruver

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Ryan, Chip, and Keith

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Chip and Mer’s Wedding

May 9, 2012
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May 5, 2012

Chip and Mer’s wedding was a GORGEOUS; a BLAST; centered on God, family, and friends; and everything a wedding is supposed to be.

First, the bridesmaids and bridesdude got to have a trolley ride to the beautiful downtown presbyterian church Mer chose to marry at. We enjoyed a short, sweet, meaningful ceremony before heading to The Columbus Museum of Art for the absolutely stunning cocktail hour and reception DJd by Mark Dantzer.

I only have a handful of photos that I stole from the internets to share.

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These were Duke and Ash’s place setting cards. Someone hand-drew one of these for each guest attending the wedding. I thought it was the most adorable idea for an art museum wedding.

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Me, Ash, and Hutchy

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Me, Adry, and Keith’s very first full family unit photo!

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I absolutely LOVE him like you wouldn’t believe. On a daily basis I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and it’s hard to contain. He is amazing. We had a great time together as a family on wedding weekend.

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And if I thought my life couldn’t be more blessed, I also have all of these folks whom I love dearly. Every single one of them.

As soon as someone posts some I will have to share some photos of the actual wedding and reception!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Sunday Lunch at The Sanders’… halloween edition

November 1, 2011
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Well… I got my festiveness and coordination from my mother, if not the art of hospitality and cooking.

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It’s the details that make the difference. Tay once said, “I like lunches at Teresa’s. It’s not just good food- it feels more special.” It’s because she thinks of all the little things like bat cloth napkins. I’m not even kidding. Haha.

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appetizer: homemade pita bread and dips…

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The perfect fall meal: roast, carrots, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, warm rolls, coconut pie, and pumpkin pie. I wanted Mom to get a candid picture of all of us enjoying each other, but she made us get all posey which always turns out awkward. But hey, it’s a memory!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

“The world was ours and we could do everything or nothing, all we had to do was anything because it was always us.”

November 6, 2010
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November 3 AP 307– Finding perspective.

November 4 AP 308– A random sweet and encouraging phone call from Ryan. Totally made me smile. He called just to check up on me and remind me that he’s considered me a sister since we were little and able to talk- we are family- and that I am amazing and he thinks I haven’t heard that enough. He caught me at the perfect time when I really needed to hear it.

I appreciate my “extended family” and Ryan. I love his sense of humor; he’s always makin’ me giggle. I love all the discussions we’ve had throughout the years, and how we grew up together within a close-knit group and now we can be there for each other as our adult lives unfold. I love how all of “the kids” have stayed connected, and it’d be AWESOME to make sure our kids stay connected, too, so that they can have what we have.

Anyway, thanks Ryan!

November 5 AP 309– Relaxing days with good company and DVR. I get to go to Nick’s house and be lazy and catch up on all my shows for the week. I would not be able to keep up with them if it weren’t for the fact that Nick lets me record them at his place. Also, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep by 10PM, which NEVER happens. Ever. I’m usually far too wound up. That’s what happens when I finally feel relaxed.

November 6 AP 310– HOOK! My ALL-TIME FAVORITE MOVIE EVER! I finally got it on DVD today and am watching it this second. Freakin’ love it.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Back at it.

September 4, 2010
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I’m ready! Getting back to APPRECIATING! Let’s do this.

August 29 AP 241– Les and Ryan/ Parks and Jordan families. Les: unconditionally loving and supportive and kind.  I appreciate her soft heart and her helpfulness. She listens, she offers feedback, she cares. She’s a great friend to my momma and she has been a constant in my life… since before I can remember. She is family, she always will be, and I love her dearly.  Ryan: shares Les’s birthday on the 29th. He’s a great buddy and we have shared many many many MANY laughs and GREAT times and great talks together over many years (…also since before I can remember). I really appreciate how he is one of those guys who doesn’t get bored or restless no matter what situation he is put in– he will find a way to make things fun and hilarious.  I have so many memories I fondly look back on and which make me smile.  I also love Mer and Tay and Pam and Tony, the rest of the Jordan and Parks families.  They are two of my favorite families in the world.

August 30 AP 242– DAD, Padre, Papa, Mr. Tim. I appreciate my dad’s wisdom and spiritual guidance.  I appreciate how he raised me firmly and gently and lovingly and tenderly all at the same time.  He had clear expectations for me and didn’t budge an inch, he held me accountable for my actions and attitude, but he also held me and comforted me and carried me and played with me.  He listened to me, and then he taught me.  I appreciate how everything is a learning experience with Dad- we take a trip to the Park of Roses and I learn about the process and crossbreeding to create hybrid roses; we go to a concert and I learn the history of Les Paul.  His brain is full of complex ideas and theories, and I appreciate hearing him share and discuss.  Dad reaches outside of the box always.

I appreciate Dad’s courage. Although I can’t relate to it in the slightest. When I have panic attacks he thinks it might make me feel better if he says, “Just think. What’s the worst that can happen? You will die.” But it doesn’t make me feel better, Dad, just so you know. It also doesn’t comfort me ONE single bit when you say, “If I get Diabetes I’m not going to stop drinking Coke. I mean, what harm will be done? I will die sooner? Big whoop.” Even though I think you might possibly be joking a little bit maybe, that still doesn’t comfort me at all. And I wish I was fearless in the face of death like you are. You see people at the end of their life every day, and you know their thoughts and you sit with them while they take their final breaths. You stay calm and strong for them, and you keep perspective about what really matters in life.  It helps me keep perspective, too.

I appreciate dad’s goofy sense of humor and his urges and encouragement to go bike riding and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. I appreciate that his family is his No. 1 earthly priority and he has worked his butt off to keep us whole and connected. I will ALWAYS appreciate the environment Dad created for my brothers and I to grow up in and learn, and all of the hard work that he put into it. He taught me to master my feelings; he taught me to lead my heart; he taught me about commitment; he lead by example. When I am too depressed or anxious to get up and get going I remind myself of what Dad told me: “It’s just a stupid feeling. You know what it right. Do it. Feelings are fickle and misleading.”

Time and time and time again and FAR TOO MANY times I have seen relationships and marriages crumble to the ground (including my own) because of “feelings” and “unhappiness” because one or more parties refuses to decide to be happy and do what’s right. You don’t find happiness- you choose it. And dang it, it takes BOTH people to make that decision and to make it work. (Side note: I truly LOATH that this generation is the technology and fast food generation that is under the impression that they are entitled to feel a certain way, and they are entitled to it NOW.)

Anyway, not to get off topic.  I just wanted to tell you, Dad: THANK YOU. And I love you.

August 31 AP 243– Diversity of beauty. I was just thinking the other day about how I don’t prefer a specific body type over the other, in both male and female.  (With the exception of unhealthy extra pounds, like myself. Meh.) I love long and straight figures, and apple figures, and hourglass figures.  I love short hair, long hair, blond hair, brown hair, light eyes, dark eyes, round noses, pointy noses, light skin, dark skin…  I pretty much think everyone is beautiful.

From Monroe

to Hepburn

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

I Appreciate Some More! Appreciation Project

June 9, 2010
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May 28 AP 148– Watching my brother receive his High School diploma, and all who came to support him!

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Each graduate received a white rose

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Mom put together this bag of noise makers, bubbles, and goodies for everyone who came to cheer Jacob on! I loved it!

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The group who came to see J walk, minus me and Jamie! Dad, Mom, Sandie, Pammy, Les, Tay, Mer, Jackie, Amanda, Ryan, Tony, Matt, Alexz, Hutch, Ash, Duke, Ginny, and Dave.

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Ash and I

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All of the graduates! WHoa! You don’t realize how big your class is until you are all together.

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Me enjoying my sound makers!

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Miss Tori Buccilla snugglin’ her momma

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J is walking up to get his diploma!

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Hi, J!

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Jamie is trying to use all of her sound makers at the same time

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Almost there!

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When they called his name we tried to be as loud as we could. The principal shook his hand and told him he sure had quite the support group. Yep!! We also cheered our heads of for Becca, but I didn’t get any pics that turned out :-(. She was too far away.

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And then we blew bubbles. And then we got in trouble.

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The grad!

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Jamie told me I could cut her out… so… don’t tell her I didn’t.

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This was the “grown up” table. We went out to Spaghetti Warehouse after the ceremony!

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Ash and I again! Because we are awesome!

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The “kid” table

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The whole group who went out together afterwards including Becca’s family

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Ash and Tori

May 29 AP 149– My mom worked super hard to put on an awesome grad party for my brother, and we finally got to see it come together! It was so fun!

VIDEO, Two Parts: I tried to do a walk-through of everything before guests showed up. The video is so grainy and I wish I had just taken pictures of everything instead. It’s hard to see all of the little details we worked to hard on :-(. Boo.

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Ben and Cousin Sammie

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J sitting with Pammy, Ruthie, Jackie, and Phares

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Hello, Diane

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Abby and Adry playing

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Playing Tag

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They are going to make a drop-dead adorable family one day!

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Jacob and his teenagery friends

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The Girls

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The Girls Plus Sammie

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Oh, it is love

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This is when they were excited… before Hutch realized she was in the prison of no escape.

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“I know Jacob Sanders”. When Jacob walked to get his diploma, as the cheering was dying down, Matt belted out, “I KNOW THAT KID!!!!” and everyone laughed. This shirt reminded me of that.

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My cousin Ben with his son Nic

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VIDEOS: Helium Fun Post Party!

May 30 AP 150– Our AMAZING “Family” Support Group. I love each of them dearly, forever! We will always be there for each other, encouraging and cheering and loving.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

DCN to Cypress, Sandie, and Lennox

February 24, 2010
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February 22 AP 53– The group of Dublin friends. I grew up in an itty-bitty Nazarene church in Dublin, Ohio. When I say I grew up IN the church, I literally grew up IN a church. I was in that little DCN building, which was nothing more than a sanctuary and a hallway, probably four times per week. You see, good ol’ Nazarenes like to have themselves some CHURCH Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, AND Wednesday nights. Plus, my parents liked to drag me along and make me help while they cleaned that church building once a week. It was my home away from home. The people there were my family. Then, when I was thirteen years old, the district shut us down. I can’t really begin to describe the kind of devastation I felt. It was as if… I was being ripped away from my home and my family. I remember, during the last DCN service, I slipped away to the bathroom to sob huge gut-wrenching sobs. It hurt.

So anyway, the DCN lot was left to try to find new church homes. My parents dragged Jacob, Matt and I to Cypress Wesleyan kicking and screaming. We hated Cypress. It was huge, it was impersonal, and my family wasn’t there. But I understand why they chose Cypress– it was huge and safe and they’d never have to watch their children endure the pain of another shutdown. So, after several weeks DCN families began to trickle in. Pretty soon the Parks’ began attending Cypress, the Jordans, the Dillons… so it started to feel a little more like home with all of the familiar faces. Twelve years later we all still attend and see each other regularly there.

(( SIDE NOTE: Cypress began to really grow on me otherwise, namely because of Pastor Holdren and Pastor Dale George.  As a young teenager I watched them week-by-week and the way they interacted with people, and I listened intently to the things they spoke about from the pulpit, and I decided that if two awesome men like that could be dedicated to a church like Cypress then it was worth giving a try. ))

So, I am thankful for the group of Dublin friends who became family at DCN and then traveled together to Cypress. Pammy, Tony, Ryan, Les, Mer, Tay (and Dave, too!), Ginny, Dave, and Ash. I love them all like aunts, uncles, and cousins. I know they will be in my life forever.

February 23 AP 54– Sandie. I can’t go on talking about my DCN family without giving a special mention to Sandie. Plus, she came to Ohio for a visit this past weekend and stayed until Tuesday morning. Sandie is a dedicated, generous, supportive, awesome friend. She and my mom met when I was a baby and have been great friends ever since. She moved out of state when I was a kid, but they’ve always kept in close touch like sisters. I also love HER just like an aunt, and her daughter Harriet like a cousin. She comes and stays with my mom frequently, sometimes for specific reasons and sometimes just to spend time. Dude, she drove all the way from WV just for Adry’s first birthday party– see the dedication of this friendship!? 🙂

February 24 AP 55– The Lennox/ movie theater experience. I love going to the movies, specifically at Lennox. I cannot really explain why  Lennox is MY place, but my movie-going experience is just not the same anywhere else. They could double or triple their prices and I’d be loyal. (Okay, maybe not triple, heh.) (Lennox, please do not double your prices.) I even stayed loyal when they stopped selling Reese’s Bites. (Lennox, please bring back Reese’s Bites.) I have so many memories in that theater– all of the midnight viewing camp-outs, ordering pizza and having it delivered to the theater, dates with Benjamin when we were teenagers, peanut butter chocolate milkshakes from Johnny Rockets, walks and talks and laughs…

I love everything about going to the movies– the smell of popcorn, commenting to your neighbor about all of the new trailers, feeling the rumble of intense action scenes from your seat… And tonight Ben and I are going to see Shutter Island.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal