Tag Archives: marriage

He is my Valentine


he's my valentine30-umpteen years ago he stood at an altar and made an awful lot of promises to me about faithfulness and love in sickness and in health, through good times and bad. There is no way either of us could ever actually have comprehended the bends and twists and bumps in life’s roads. But those made-in-innocence-and-passion proclamations are turning out, one day at a time.

It isn’t so much that he promised me then, on a day of breathless anticipation, but that he keeps making promises, writing our future with the words he says to me, the things he does for me. And I know I can believe him because of all the years and all the love and all the ways he has quietly, but oh-so-faithfully held my heart, covered my brokenness, cheered me on to my best successes and been so very true in love.

There were obstacles. Things could have gone differently. But…He chose me. He married me. He keeps choosing me and the embers glow with white hot love, stronger as the years increase. He is my lover, my husband, my truest and most trusted friend. He is my heart and he is my home.

He is my Valentine.

My Dave, I am yours and you are mine.

“Place me like a seal over your heart,
    like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
    its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire,
    the brightest kind of flame.” Song of Solomon 8.6 NLT

May you love and be loved so, my friends and family. <3

Celebrating September Love

Happy 11th Anniversary, Dave & Tara!

dp and tp

Our firstborn daughter married the man of her dreams 11 years and two fantastic sons ago.  They are still acting like newlyweds and spreading the love around! In fact, in two days, they’ll be putting on a concert, Decades, featuring love songs from the 1940s – right on up through the present.  Deets can be found at dtp.eventbrite.com. And there will be food.* 

A sample…

Happy Anniversary, Dave and Tara. Thank-you for the 2 outrageously cute grand-boys, the love you are living and all the joy yet to be! So lucky God gave you to us! How can we ever thank Him enough?

hunter and kai sept 14

Hunter and Malakai after the candy store (taken by Aunt Stormie)

Happy 8th Anniversary, Rocky & Jovan!


Almost exactly one year ago, you lost so much in the floods that ravaged Colorado and you have been hard at work, tearing out, throwing away, cleaning up and re-building. And the number 8 in the Bible signifies new life, the old is passed away, new beginnings {all things are made new} and wow – that is SO right on for you two! God is just doing new-wonderful things in your life!

anni j and gs

The 3 little women with their beautiful mama

So glad Jovan started crushing on you when she was only 14, Rocky. So glad you fell for the woman she became. Thank-you for the three extraodinarily stunning little grand-girlies you have shared with us. So much life and love yet to experience and you’re doing it well!

anniversary 2


September is such a lovely month, isn’t it? Lovely and love-filled!

* The Comida Truck will be at the Decades Concert. So good food, too. Hope I see you there! :)

32 years – some snapshots

Happy Anniversary to a man I so don’t deserve, but thank God for everyday.

What was I thinking 32 years ago today, at exactly 8:05 pm, just before I married Dave, as Sharon was spraying my hair into place?

what i was thinking just before i walked down the aisle

Relief…we got through the wedding ceremony so we could tear into the next 32

years of crazy-beautiful-strange-and-sweet LIFE!

better to marry A {very} few of our stats:

kiss that sealed the deal

Love can last.  It can grow.

We were like newlyweds for the first 25 years or so.  Then we found out, like so many have, that marriage and deep love is fragile.  Our vows said “I choose you this day…” but we couldn’t even have grasped what that choice would actually mean.

Today you wrote to me:

Until you’ve laughed and learned and loved and listened; year upon year upon year… Until you’ve wiped hot tears off the cheek of the one you love, until you’ve been through the agony and wonder of childbirth, until you’ve walked through the fires of hell side by side, hand in hand, heart in heart, until you’ve stared death in the face (both spiritually and literally) and said, not today; then you don’t really know what 32 years together can bring.

Now we know what that choice means.  And still we choose.  I love you.  You.

32 years of marriage
32 years of marriage

Happy 11th Anniversary, Tristan and Stephanie!

Eleven beautiful years!  Well-done, you two!

I hope you never forget, Tristan, how pleased we were to get YOU as our first son by marriage.  I know it had to be terribly overwhelming to join this humongous, loud bunch, but we loved you instantly and thought you had amazing taste to marry our daughter!  I hope I have let you know often enough.  We do thank God for you.

And I hope you will never forget, Stephanie, how pleased we are with the choice you made and how you have chosen to love and grow with Tristan.  And are making a family of love.  We could not be prouder of the woman you are, and our daughter, too! It is all further proof of your keen sensibilities and superior perspicacity in so many many areas, including love and marriage.

You two chose well.  You have done well.  You are doing so well and we love you.

Congratulations on the 11th anniversary of the day of your marriage.  Be blessed with many, many more!

A Magical Day, part three

Ok, so where were we?  It was a magical day, sunny and bright and joyous.  It was family and….

It is the wedding day.  The THINGS are in place:

A casual, vintage scene has been set.  Welcoming!

On the right, you can see the jars hanging from the tree with subtle (and non-fire-hazard) illumination.

This pretty little sign was painted by Mairin Bierer.  It hung across the aisle before the bride and her attendants came to walk it.  We were all family.

Meanwhile, back at the barn…

The centerpieces included old books from the bride, French labels with romantic quotes and song lyrics, milk-glass containers, candles, dusty-green sprays…

And here is what the bride and groom and their people are up to…


A Magical Day, part two

First the bride’s sisters and her mother met weekly to put together a fabulous wedding shower for her.

As soon as that was over, we met weekly to create and glue and make and dream and talk and laugh and plan and gather supplies and create timelines.  It was a very DIY vintage-y wedding, for sure.

It is hard to recall who exactly saw which idea first but along the way we had giant paper flowers, and old frames with lace.  Tredessa brought a big stack of old lace curtains over and we created “lace balls” by using a glue mixture on the lace and forming it around balloons.  When it was dry, we popped the balloon and voila: a lace balloon ball to hang from the ceiling.


 UPDATE: tutorial for making lace lights.  They used kids balls, but essentially the same.  http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/12095885/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u292&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery19

Tredessa really liked the idea of a barn for a wedding and in short order her old roommate introduced us to a family who’d built a small barn on their 17 acres.  They used the downstairs of the barn for the owner’s hobby of hand-carving wooden carousel animals (which are amazing!) and the upstairs for family celebrations.  It was perfect!

We realized that to have a wedding ceremony, a celebration dinner, and photobooth and a dance floor all in one spot would be a tight, tight fit.  So Dessa decided to pray about finding a nice, small church for the ceremony and the next thing you know, New Horizons Christian Fellowship opened right up for us.  It was so cool, right across the interstate from the barn!

Here are some of Ellie’s photos {www.lilacphotography.com} showing the “things” of the wedding

We used things we have, antiques and vintage items to decorate at the wedding.  This old typewriter was at the guest table.

I have to say I have some talented kids.  Stormie designed and printed the super-cool wedding programs with the full love story on them.

Jovan created the flower mobile that hung over the guest table.

The wedding party on a framed poster.  Jar candles on a rustic candleabra for ambiance.

A felled branch was wrapped in white satin ribbon and candles in jars, along with lots of glass and heavy crystals embellished the “tree” we created.  The whole backdrop was draped in cottons and canvases creating a living room atmosphere.

The sidewalk to the church was lined in the trademark-Rhoades-family luminarias.  We used framed lace at both the church and the barn for the dinner celebration.

The gift area was comfy and merchandised with antiques.  Mercury-glass love birds on an old window from Tredessa’s grade school, touches of home.

Left, Tristan playing at the wedding.  Right, Tredessa and Ryan scattered photos of great-grandparents around the reception, witnesses to long love, a nod to their heritage.

An old brass and crystal chandelier got a coat of white paint for the wedding.  It hung right over the bride and groom during dinner.

Here is a look at things we made and the progression of the wedding as we were getting it set up.

The Nest

This is in no way related to my recent “flying away” post.  But there does seem to be a bird theme happening.

{Isn’t this beauful?  It is by www.cutarts.com}

We have always been an us.

On July 23, 1981, we became a family.  Me + Dave + Tara.  And we started adding to our collection.  We were avid collectors, apparently, for we added 4 more in less than 4 years.  By the time of our 5th anniversay we were 7.  Me + Dave + Tara + Stephanie + Tredessa + Rocky + Stormie.  A full, loud, happy nest, a family!

The numbers have changed over the years,  especially as kids turned into high schoolers and then college students and started getting married, and they have gone up and down, then slightly up again and even had a few cousins sprinkled in here or there and children of the faith added to the mix.  But the house, the us, has always had other people besides me and Dave breathing in some adjoining room, or another.

Stormie bought her own, first house yesterday, signed the final papers. 

And just like that, pouf!  Our nest is empty.

This was the goal, right?  This is why we taught them to tie their own shoes, be good citizens and get out there to fulfill their destiny for God in their generation.  We were populating the earth with godly seed, right?  Making sure to produce history-making, Holy-Spirit-filled sons and daughters, prophesying, praying, singing and worshipping, spiritual activists and icnonclasts for Jesus?  Wasn’t this the very goal of it all?

Stormie at her new house, images from www.maydae.com

She will sleep in her new house tomorrow night for the first time (today painting and polishing and preparing for the moving van tomorrow, all exciting rites of passage).  It is a sunny spring day and I am here, at home, on the couch and I can hear the distinct tick-tocking of various clocks throughout our home (I also, apparently, collect clocks) and they seem louder now.  They seem to fill a bigger quiet than before, understanding the expanded space they will now inhabit.  Children on the next block, rambunctiously enjoying spring break echo exactly the sounds of my own little ones – wasn’t it just yesterday?

We’ve spent 30 years building this nest for these people.  And now they are building their own.

And it is good.  And it is God.

And we have always been will always be an us.

Dave + me.  And all the storage and space I always thought I needed….and the mutt.

google image

NOTE TO KIDS:  Dad says to call if you’re coming over in case one or more of us is naked.  Yes.  He really did say that.