I am a couple days earlier than their actual anniversary but as a family we celebrated Momma Gay and Pepa's 65th wedding anniversary this weekend.
I really cannot wrap my mind around 65 years. Both of my sets of grandparents (all 87 years old currently) have been married at least 65 years and it is truly incredible. They are such amazing examples of love, commitment and sacrifice.
It truly deserves to be celebrated.
We all went to my parents house to party and as we have done on many occasions before, we had some professional family pictures made. There was a debate for some time about what we should all wear. We have pictures from years past where we are all decked out in church clothes, or all in white tops, jeans and boots and we just couldn't decide what to go with this time.
We ended up deciding on shades of blue. I think it turned out great. We had a big range from navy, royal, turquoise, bright blue, and baby blue and I love the way it all turned out.
The night started with appetizers and cocktails. As soon as everyone had arrived, Pepa wanted us all gathered immediately to tell us how their preacher at church had used them and their upcoming anniversary as an example of Christ's love this past weekend at church. He wanted to know which child of his had told the preacher about it but no one had. He was very touched by it.
The girls divided and conquered the food situation. Katie and I were in charge of appetizers and we served crustini's (bagel chips with a goat cheese/cream cheese mixture & caramelized onions), stuffed mushrooms, a cheese ball with crackers, grilled pepper shrimp with cocktail sauce, and bruschetta. I am sad I didn't get a picture of the beautiful table mom set or rest of the food, which was amazing. We had a salad, and grilled pork tenderloin and vegetable skewers. But, I think the biggest hit was the mashed potato bar. We set up a station and served it up in martini glasses like at a wedding.The boys were raving about it. We just mingled and hung out until the photographer arrived and then we took lots of posed pictures. I tried to snap as many as I could when I wasn't in them with my camera. I can't wait to see how the professional ones turn out.
I just love everyone in blue! Because we went back and forth so much about what color to wear, Uncle Jimmy showed up in a Hawaiian shirt just to get under my mom's skin :-)
I decided to take some pictures of just Kinley & Ty too. Pardon the abundance of pics but I just couldn't narrow it down. Throughout the night everyone was supposed to write a message on a rock for Momma Gay & Pepa. We are going to make them a rock garden in their front yard with all the rocks and sweet messages. Their yard is pretty much their most favorite thing ever so it fits them perfectly. Kinley loved decorating her rock. Ben wrote "I love you Momma Gay & Pepa. You Rock! Love, Kinley" on it for her. Isn't he creative!?!
After dinner, we all headed to the living room. First their three kids told memories, stories, or things they were thankful for to Momma Gay & Pepa and then one by one all the grandkids and spouses got up to ask them a question about their lives together. The questions ranged from:
"How did you know that each other was the one you were supposed to marry?"
"What advice do you have about raising kids?"
"How do you handle conflict resolution?"
"What do you love most about each other?"
"What were you thinking when you walked down the aisle to each other?"
"What was your favorite memory or trip you went on?"
"How would you describe your life in one word?"
It was so fun to hear their responses. They just lit up being the center of all our attention for over an hour. We filmed the entire thing and it will be so amazing to hear their memories and advice from their mouths for years to come. Kinley and Ty hung out in toy drawer while we were filming. The night was just so much fun and we all feel so blessed to celebrate 65 wonderful years of marriage with them. We can learn so much from their example and pray we follow Christ as they have and follow their example.