Friday, November 11, 2011


When we went to Steve’s parent’s house for Christmas three years ago, I took this picture of Nathan in front of his Grandpa Smith’s photo. 

And as I look at this picture again today on Veteran’s Day, I am thankful that Nathan has a grandpa who flew fighter jets in the Air Force, fought for liberty and made sacrifices that preserved the freedoms that Nathan (and all of us) enjoy today.


Thanks to Retired Lieutenant Colonel Ken Smith and thanks to all the rest of you who have served in our Armed Forces. 

We are grateful for you.  We are grateful for the gift of yourself that you so freely gave to this great country.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Beaming-er Bride. Grinning-er Groom

Just what is this crazy groom doing?
Why is he peeking around the door?
What (or whom) is he peering at?
It turns out that there is a certain someone on the other side--
someone whom the groom seems to have an inordinately strong interest in. 
Someone who is dressed in white--glowing, joyous, beautiful!

Since Nathan and Meagan opted not to see each other before the ceremony,
this was as close as they were able to get to each other—
holding hands around the door.
It’s such a quirky, creative shot; it makes me smile every time I see it.

And in other pre-ceremony shots . . .
How did my little girl ever turn into this exotic young lady?
I’ll never know how that happened.
But I’m everlastingly grateful for these miracle years we’ve been
blessed with since her 15% chance of survival cancer diagnosis
almost ten years ago.  On that nightmarish diagnosis day,
I never dared to dream that Sarah would live long enough
to be a bridesmaid at her beloved big brother’s wedding.
Here’s the bride.
And her bracelet. 
And her be-flowered and bedecked bodice. 
Beauty everywhere you look.
And even more beauty inside.
One Hawley. 
One used-to-be-Hawley.  
One Smith. 
One Hawley-soon-to-be-Smith. 
Four sisters of various varieties.

One of the many things I loved about the ceremony was
that it included a segment of worship
featuring drums, bass guitar, piano, and vocalists.  

Nathan and Meagan said, “Worship is a big part of our lives
and we want it to be a big part of our wedding, too.” 

One bridesmaid did double duty as a
one of the two ministers officiating the
ceremony played the piano, and the other
ceremony-officiator sang. Meagan and Nathan
hang out with multi talented folks!

It wasn’t just a wedding.  It was church!**

And after church (and the wedding), we had some happy folks!
Have you ever seen a beaming-er bride?
Or a grinning-er groom?
Of course, amidst all the spontaneous spurts of excitement,
every wedding must have its
official formal shots of the bridal party . . .
. . . and pictures with family members.  (Nathan with his Dad and Grandpa.)
Here’s Meagan with part of her new family—my sister, Debbie,
my brother-in-law, Rev. Randy Mantik, and their son, Caleb.
Don’t let Debbie’s demure demeanor deceive you—
she can flat whip up on a set of drums.  Plus, she
has the most gorgeous alto voice you have ever heard!

The bridal couple with Steve’s Mom and Dad,
his two younger brothers, and his sister-in-law who all live in Charlotte.
The exquisite bride with her really, really fabulous Mom and Dad,
Rev. Frank and Rev. Sheri Hawley.

I can’t tell you what a joy it is to Steve and I
to have our son marry the daughter of
some of our best friends! 
He’s got good taste—in a wife and in in-laws.
Although I don’t even know the ring bearer,
I had to post a couple shots since he is so stinkin’ cute!

The bride and her wacky bridesmaids.
DSC_0532 2
The bride and her new husband’s wacky groomsmen.
Lovely, lovely ladies.
 Lovely, lovely bride.



Lovely, lovely day.
**A brief word of explanation about the expressions of worship during the wedding:

The Smith and Hawley families are both part of a faith tradition that utilizes modern music, active participation, and physical expressions of joy and worship in our church services; this includes among other things, raising our hands while singing or praying. 

Raised hands represent surrender.  Think about one’s instinctive reaction to a bank robber--arms up is the universal sign of surrender.
Raising hands also signifies praise and adoration.  If you’ve ever seen a pop or rock concert, the audience often stands with their arms raised.  In the same way, we raise our hands to express praise and worship to God--who deserves it a whole lot more than any rock star.
There are many verses in the Bible about this practice; here’s one of them:
Psalm 132:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD.
So there you have it. A big serving of Wedding Wednesday accompanied by a little side dish of Worship 101.

Thanks for stopping by and making Wedding Wednesday such a special day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sherlock Holmes. Sunlight on Wood. Three Magazines. A Sleeping Dog.

Although the things listed in this post’s title may seem a bit disparate, in my (not always logical) brain, they really do coexist quite peaceably.  In fact, that’s exactly what they all have in common—peacefulness.

Sherlock Holmes

Last week I came home late from a meeting and found two of my favorite people just peacefully hanging out.  Or maybe I should say that there were three people hanging out because Sherlock Holmes was there, too.


Many years ago, Steve’s parents gave him a leather bound volume of Sherlock Holmes stories for Christmas which contains the complete works in the original typeface with the original spelling. One of the many reasons Steve loves the stories is because they utilize underused and underappreciated words like indubitably and disputatious.


Since Sarah is an inveterate lover of words, she also loves Mr. Holmes, his rich vocabulary and his mysterious and intriguing escapades.
She also enjoys peaceful moments with her dad.


Sunlight on Wood

To me, one of the most peace-producing sights in the world is sun-spattered wood.  Love it.



Three Magazines

Even though magazines don’t usually bring peacefulness to mind, these two pictures just make me smile--in a peaceful sort of way.

We don’t read or watch TV during our evening meals,  but lunches will usually find us with reading material of some sort.  Here’s the aftermath of a placid Saturday lunch for the three of us when sandwiches, magazines (and peace) were on the menu. 



A Sleeping Dog

And finally, the most peaceful picture of all.  

Snowy.  By the front door.  Guarding the house.  While asleep. 

He is such a (peaceful) multi-tasker.


So there you have it.

Four scenes of hitherto unconnected peaceful things.