Wednesday, July 12, 2017

20 Years Ago Today We Said "I Do" and 20 Special Marriage Mementos!

It's July 12 again which means another wedding anniversary for my husband and me!  
Two decades?????  20 years really?!?!? Hard to believe!  

If you have followed my blog awhile, these pictures and even this post may look familiar since last year on our 19th wedding anniversary this was my post. (Copy and paste is a wonderful tool, especially when I should be doing a million other things besides blogging!)  But, hey I love the post so much, why not keep reposting it? 

Ok, now on to this special edition of A Slice of Smith Life...our anniversary post with 20 special mementos...

20 years ago today we made a covenant and said "I do!".

Together, hand in hand, we have shared so much since first meeting on the beach in 1992.

Today we celebrate our marriage of 20 years.

This wonderful journey has been filled with many memories, blessings, trials, and joyful tears.

With 5 blessings, I continue to love growing old with you!

Everyday with you is a gift and so much fun too!

Happy Anniversary to us!
I love you!

Memento 1: This photo of the church's ceiling is one of our favorites. The photographer captured this beautiful shot during our wedding ceremony. 

On our way to the reception after our ceremony

Since my hubby and I met on the beach we had a beach themed wedding cake complete with realistic-looking and delicious candy seashells cascading down the cake. The cake was so beautiful! She also made the shells so realistic that some of our wedding guests would not bite into them because they thought they were real seashells!

A close-up photo of the candy shells on our cake. Thank you Nancy for your beautiful cake art!

On top of our cake was this cross uniting 2 wedding bands placed in the candy coral. This cross is now hanging in our home as a constant reminder of Who keeps our marriage and love strong.

Two are better than one: they get a good wage for their labor. If the one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man! For if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up. So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where a lone man may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.  Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12

In our home we have wedding momentos hanging or displayed in various locations. I always enjoy looking at them as a constant reminder of our marriage promises and gifts. To celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary here on the blog I thought I would share 20 wedding momentos that are dear to us that decorate our home. :)

Warning: long post with even more pictures.  I feel like I'm back 20 years ago as I make this post so scroll down fast if you don't have time to read everything and walk down memory lane with me.  Plus, 20 years ago I wasn't blogging, but if I was, you can be sure I would have our wedding posted in more detail and pictures :) 

Memento 2:  This is a pre-wedding picture that I thought I would throw in here.  This was taken on the beach in July 1995, two years before our wedding.  

Memento 3:  We have this poem hanging near our kitchen/dining room and it was written by my mother-in-law one night in the middle of the night when it just popped into her head, as she explained it.  She surprised us with this framed poem and read it to us at our rehearsal dinner.  She scanned my husband's and my foot prints from our birth certificates and placed them onto the poem.  Anthony's prints are in the top left corner, while mine are on the bottom right. We will treasure this gift always and it's one of my favorite wedding gifts!

It reads:  God Knew...

God knew what He was doing when He made these little feet.  

He knew it would be our destiny that someday we would meet. 

He knew that we would fall in love and eventually wed.

He knew the path we would follow and in His foot steps our feet would tread.  

Memento 4: Here is a Marriage Prayer that was a wedding gift from one of our friends (who is now a priest).  We have this prayer hanging in our bedroom and I love its simple, yet meaningful words.

It reads:  Lord, help us to remember when we first met and the love that grew between us.  To see the good within the other, and to solve our problems.  Help us to say the kind and loving things and to ask forgiveness of the other.  We put our marriage in your hands.  Amen.  ~N.V. Pearle

Memento 5: This was a gift that we have hanging in our apostolic blessing from then Pope John Paul II who is now Saint John Paul II!   

Memento 6:  The reason I post this picture is because recently I came across this blog post about Why Should Men Propose on One Knee? and I thought I would share the author's insights about this honorable and well-known tradition. Of course, my husband isn't proposing here, but it's a special memory and goes well with the article. :)


Memento 7: Here's the church ceiling picture, as posted above, framed on our wall.  I love this picture so much it gets two memento spots on this post! :) 

Memento 8: Going to the reception photo in a glass frame

Memento 9:  My wedding portrait taken by my Dad who is a professional photographer, but he hired his photography friend to take our wedding.

Memento 10:  Mr. and Mrs. Smith at the altar

Are you still with me?  Halfway there! ...  :)

Memento 11 & 12: Our wedding invitation that my parents framed for us.  Our invitation has seashells on the border to go with our beach themed wedding.  I edited the bottom of it to distort some location details, hence the funny looking print :)  Our wedding album sits on our dining room buffet and occasionally I'll see our children flipping through it. 

Memento 13 & 14: I love this bride and groom plate painted by our friends from college.  On the back of the plate they accidently wrote "Love one anoter" so we all had a good laugh about that.  I love the plate for the fact that they took time to make it so cute and unique with it's own "unique" spelling :)  The white candle is decorated with our wedding invitation that was glued on by a relative and given to us as a gift. We light it each year on our anniversary. 

Memento 15 & 16: Our unique starfish frame that was gifted to us that holds a picture of us cutting our wedding cake at the reception.  In the background is a picture of flowers that are popular in St. John Virgin Islands where we went on our honeymoon.  The picture on the right side shows the cross that was on top of our wedding cake and also hanging on our wall is a plaque with a beautiful marriage blessing on it.  

The marriage blessing is so beautiful I'll share a close up shot so the words can be read: 

Memento 17: Here's another unique and special gift that we have hanging in our foyer.  It reminds me of Asian artwork.  When you look closer, what do you see?  The drawing is actually each letter of my first name and my husband's first name.  Tracy...Anthony

Memento 18: Our "domestic church" was established in 1997

Memento 19:  Scenic pictures hang in our home from St. John, Virgin Islands, where we went on our honeymoon.  We would love to go back to this beautiful place.  Maybe one day...

Memento 20:   In 2010, Anthony was power washing our house and he surprised me by creating this special message for me on our driveway.  Awww...I love you too Anthony! :)

OK, so if you stuck with this post to this point, I'm impressed and I thank you for taking the time to read it and view the pictures.  If anything else, maybe some of my mementos will give someone wedding gift ideas :)

One tradition that we have done each year on our anniversary since our first anniversary is watch our video from our wedding. Now we did get married before the digital age so the color quality is...90ish, but the memories of our day continue to be with us each time we play our video. We did copy it onto a DVD to help make it last longer.   

It is a joy to now watch the video with our children as the younger ones have asked through the years why they weren't there to celebrate with us ;-) Each year we are not only reminded of our holy vows we took in front of our Lord, family, and friends, but we also get to see friends and loved ones that are no longer with us here on earth, which is sad. :(  You know I still get "butterflies" and filled with excitement just before I watch the part of the video where I'm about to meet my true love at the altar and begin our lives as husband and wife!  

Happy 20 year wedding anniversary to us!  I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow!   Thanks honey for making me the happiest bride and I look forward to at least 50 more years of wedding bliss with you! ;)

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Monday, July 10, 2017

A Simple Baptism Anniversary Celebration!

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Today, July 9th, was our oldest daughter's Baptism Anniversary!  We have been consistently inconsistent with remembering to celebrate each child's baptism day, but today we made it happen.  :)

I posted on my Instagram and Facebook pages with this comment:  

Happy Baptism Anniversary to our oldest! On 7-9-2000, she became a part of God's family and Church. She gets to pick a dessert and eat off the "special" plate. Since her Confirmation Saint was St. Cecilia, we got the St. Cecilia Shining Light Doll to add to our collection. And each of my children have an engraved baptism candle holder with their name and baptism date that my parents gave each of my kids.

 The special plate that my two oldest fought over on the day my daughter turned 17 and my son was confirmed. :)
Waechtersbach Plate, You Are Special Today, Cherry Red

The engraved candle holders make such practical and meaningful Baptism gifts that I have given them to others for gifts!

I displayed the scrapbook page I made for my daughter with photos from her baptism day. 

Here is a close up of the engraved name ("Rachel Anne") and baptism date (7-9-00)

Our 3 year old loves these Shining Light Dolls, but I think I like them more! :) 

So for our simple celebration we lit her baptism candle, sang "Happy Baptism Day to you!" and she got to pick what she wanted for dinner and which dessert.  We also talked about what our baptism means and why it's such a special day to celebrate.  

Do you celebrate your child's baptism day? I never celebrated mine growing up in our Catholic home, but it's been fun celebrating my kids' special day!

"I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." 

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary Celebration

On Friday,  June 23, 2017 we celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Since our homeschool is named Sacred Heart Academy, this is a special feast day for our family.

This feast is celebrated nineteen days after Pentecost. Since Pentecost is always celebrated on Sunday, Feast of the Sacred Heart will be on a Friday. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for this year was on Friday, June 23, 2017.  The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is celebrated on the Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It fell on Saturday, June 24, 2017 this year.
We also celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that follows the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  We prepared and ate some heart themed food and then went to a local Basilica Shrine to see various Saint relics.

We celebrated the day by making veggie and fruit platters that were inspired by Tiffany's post at Catholic Cuisine and my girls and I made sweet treats (cookies and jello hearts)   We read a little about the Sacred Heart of Jesus and its devotion before we enjoyed our treats.

The flames from the cookies are made from melted red and yellow hard candies as described in my Firepit Party Cake and Cupcakes post.

We've made jello hearts before for this feast day.

The photo of my 3 children was taken in 2005 when I first started homeschooling and there was a huge statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our neighbor's yard and so that's why I named our homeschool Sacred Heart Academy.

The two prints of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary were made by Catholic artist, Cameron Smith.  You can order these prints or any other of his incredible pieces HERE. These prints are hanging in our home and are just beautiful!

And in the morning on this feast day, my children were excited to see a double yolk in one of the eggs and my 13 year old daughter exclaimed, "Hey Mom, these yolks are like the hearts of Jesus and Mary together!"  (That definitely put a smile on my face. :) )

We took a trip to a local Basilica Shrine in our area and saw various Saint relics displayed in the church.  Amazing! And I was thrilled to see a relic of my favorite saint, Saint Therese of Lisieux!

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

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A "Birthday" Cake for Pentecost Sunday

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The Catholic Church celebrates Pentecost 50 days after Easter, so Pentecost is the official ending of the Easter season in the Church calendar.  So NOW you can finally put away those Easter decorations!?! 😉  Pentecost for this year was celebrated on Sunday, June 4, 2017.

What is Pentecost?  You can read Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost and/or read this meme that has a good summary:

There are many meaningful and fun ways to celebrate the birthday of the Church!  Some celebrate with a family bonfire like Kendra at Catholic All Year because Pentecost is Bigger than Christmas. (Maybe I can squeeze in a bonfire with my own family)

Our family celebrated with a “birthday cake”.

The cake was made using the recipe from the Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa can (it’s the BEST chocolate cake recipe that I use for chocolate cupcakes too!) and then I made homemade cream cheese icing.

The red flames are (mostly) red, yellow, and orange hard candies crushed up and then melted in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. I put the crushed candies on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil and sprayed with a non-stick spray before melting them. ( I used LifeSavers this year, but for last year’s cupcakes I used butterscotch candies)

The 12 white candles represent when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, but I should have included one more candle since our Blessed Mother was also present.

I found images on Google to copy and print to put on the cake too.

Here are some photos I put on my blog’s Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.

 The book that we read from at the “party” that is displayed is Mary: The Mother of Jesus.

Did you know this about the Old Testament connection to Pentecost?

Be sure to visit Easy Pentecost Activities & Explanations for Catholic Kids at Catholic Mommy Blogs.  Great list of fun ideas!

Peanut Butter & Grace has 9 Things To Do with Your Kids on Pentecost.  There was some new ideas I’ve never heard of like using 13 candles instead of 12 as I mentioned earlier.

Another easy way to celebrate Pentecost is to meditate on and be inspired by beautiful Pentecost art that Melanie has linked to at Association of Catholic Women Bloggers.

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Happy 13th Birthday to our Newest Teen!

It's hard to believe that 13 years ago on June 10, 2004 you were born!  Both your older sister and your older brother were born on Friday, the 19th, so exactly 17 months apart.  Your sister was born on Friday, May 19th and your brother on Friday, October 19th.  So it would have been nice if you kept the "19th" day birthday tradition going, but holding you in my womb for 9 more days would have been...well, not so fun! :)

You were loved from the start and what a surprise it was when you came into this world with a head full of beautiful, dark hair!  We were in awe of you, God's blessing, and we couldn't believe the amount of hair God blessed you with!  You looked like you had a wig!  Your big sister is wearing a pink t-shirt that says "I'm the BIG Sister" and your big brother is wearing a blue t-shirt that says "I'm the BIG Brother" in the photo.  I made these shirts for your siblings and wrapped them up for your brother's 2nd birthday.  At his party, they each opened the t-shirts and this is how we told family and friends I was pregnant with you!  It was very exciting to share our joyful news in this way!

Your big sister and brother loved peeking into your bassinet to watch you sleep peacefully!  They loved giving you lots of hugs and kisses!

This picture was taken just before your first mass visit.  You looked so beautiful with your pink and white lace outfit. It was a lovely day to bring you to our church for the first time!

Here you are at 4 1/2 months old, our Little Pumpkin.  You even had a pumpkin stem!  :)

Here you are at 9 months old with your brother and sister  and you still have a head full of beautiful dark (now with streaks of blond) hair!  I had to put bows in your hair at 9 weeks old and since you never lost your hair, as many people thought you would, we continued to keep the hair out of your eyes with pretty bows!

You have always been a big helper as you helped paint our new house!

You love being silly with your siblings!

You are such a great big sister!

You love God and your Catholic faith and my prayer is that you always will!

I love how you surprise me with sweet notes!  You have such a tender and loving heart!

 I love how you surprise me with silly photos that you take on my phone without me knowing!  :-)
I love watching you run, dribble, and kick the soccer ball.  You are athletic and competitive, yet humble and a team player on and off the field. 

For your 13th birthday, you wanted to keep things simple and sweet so we had fun shopping for clothes together then we went to the sound and beach with family and friends!

Happy 13th Birthday sweet girl! You now make the 3rd teen in our home! Oh my! You bring so much joy and love to our lives!  We are so blessed to have you in our family!

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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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