Wedding Reflections

Last weekend on Sunday, July 28,2013, My Youngest brother Got married, and I had the Honor of being a part of the Bridal Party, along with my Husband and youngest Daughter.

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As I sit here going through, and editing Photos from The day, and from Our trip to visit my Family, a few things keep running through my mind.

The Wedding was a Beautiful one, held in one of our Father’s Hay-fields.  The Morning of the Ceremony, However, It Rained. This added stress to the Bride and Groom. I am proud of my brother though. He faithfully watched the Radar, and the sky, and with the help of my father, the decision was made to wait it out, and sure enough, after an hour delay, the sky cleared, and the sun came out.  There is a lesson here. As they begin their married life, Through the years, they will have storms, rain will fall, but if they remember to dance through the rain together, the clouds will clear, and the sun will shine again.

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Another Thought from the day comes from my brother Himself. He posted this as His Facebook Status on Friday, August 2…“FB annoys the crap out of me some days, and there’s days when the only thing keeping me from outright deleting it is family and friends scattered about the country and world…..but I don’t think I will ever get over how awesome it is to see Hilary R. Settle sharing my name  if FB is still around when I’m 50, I’m still going to log on and think that is just awesome….I keep fiddling with the gold band on my finger….It holds a special meaning to me, not only is it my wedding band and a symbol of our love, but it was my grandfathers ring, the history I am wearing on my finger, and the future it signifies….it’s mind blowing, I only hope I can live up to being even half the man he was”

This is priceless. Our Grandfather’s love for Grandma came up during the ceremony as well, as My Other Brother was one of the officiants. What a Timeless example our Grandparents  left for us of a long and lasting love. We are their legacy, and I remember Grandpa welcoming my Husband into the family with open arms, and can only imagine the joy He would have shown at the wedding as David Married Hilary.

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There were many precious memories of the day, as there Usually are with Weddings. Aside from the typical First Kiss, First Dance, Cutting the cake type ones traditionally , There are a few that stand out for me….Like My Parents having all of their kids together for the first time ( spouses included) in a LONG time.

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and all 6 Grandchildren together…

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Watching My Parents Dance….

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Seeing the Love of my Life in His Uniform….

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Watching My Dad dance with His 3 youngest Granddaughters….

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Dancing with My Daddy….

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Watching Dak on the Dancefloor….

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and SO Many more…..

One of My favorite Moments came at the end of the night, as the reception was winding down, and my brother and His bride were getting ready to leave on their honeymoon. My Parents gathered all 4 of us siblings up, and my new sister, and Gave us Our Blessing. This is something they started when we were kids, and I have continued with my children, and it made me smile to hear it from my parents that night, even as a grown up, as we sent my brother and His new bride off to start their Life together. To me it was a wonderful way to send them off, to wrap up a beautiful day….

Numbers 6:24-26 

 The Lord bless you, and keep you:

The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto you:

The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Wordless Wednesday: The Horse Ride

While in NY visiting my Parents, one of the highlights was getting to ride my brother’s girlfriend’s horse…

*He doesn’t usually “do ” Hats, but the riding helmet stayed on without a fight*

*Patience has never been his strong point, but He did very well at waiting patiently for his turn to ride*

Trying Something new….Wordless Wednesday

A Few of my fellow Blogging Mammas do this wordless Wednesday thing weekly, and I thought it was a pretty cool Idea, so without further ado here is my first installment :

How we got through my cousin’s wedding without melting down:

“Spots”  (A webkinz bullfrog), a Tie, and a Social Story

when the sound of Laughter drowns out the rumble of Thunder!

It began like any other Monday. Quiet, Hot….triple digit Hot, the kids home on summer Vacation. Then the sky clouded over, and the Thunder began to rumble.  Not long after that, the power went out. I did what I usually do, and kicked into Dak meltdown prevention mode. Thunder storms wreak all kinds of Havoc on His senses, and the power going out usually only adds to his stress.

I gathered all three kids on the couch with the portable DVD players they got for Christmas, in hopes that watching movies would keep His mind off the storm that raged outside. This worked for about a half hour, then He decided that being between his sisters for that long, sitting still, was just to much. He wandered the house, pacing, and then disappeared into His room. I busied myself with household tasks. The power was out, so was nothing else to do. I stumbled across a box of toys I had put in storage months ago, and started to go through it. Buried in the bottom of the box was a gem, one of Dakota’s favorite toys when He was a toddler, a spiral race track with 2 small cars. I dug it out and headed towards His room and placed it on his train table. He ignored me at first, briefly eyeing the long lost toy before going back to lining up his toy animals on his bed. I shrugged, and left the room, the race track still sitting on the train table.

About 10 minutes later, I heard squeals of pure joy coming from Dak’s room. The beauty about the power being out is you can hear EVERYTHING! I tip-toed down the hall to peek in His door. What I saw brought a smile to my face…..

My Youngest two children, content, laughing, and having a meltdown free Power Outage during a Thunder storm! Thank the Lord for Portable DVD Players, re-discovering Old favorite Toys,  siblings, and MUCH needed Rain!!!

Of Earrings, Milkshakes, and Carousel Ponies

When our Oldest Daughter was born, my husband and I discussed the option some do of getting their daughter’s ears pierced while they are babies, and decided it would be best to wait until she got old enough to take care of them herself, and to understand she can’t pull them out of her ears. So I waited.

Fast forward to present day, I now have 2 girls. My Oldest has declared she does not, in any way, even want to think about the possibility of considering getting her ears pierced. This was stated in no uncertain terms sometime around her 10th birthday. There was a part of me that was disappointed, but I respected her decision. My Youngest turned 9 this year, and announced in March that she wanted her ears pierced. We told her she would have to wait, as we had jut entered softball season, and she can’t wear ANY Jewelry on the ball field, and so, she waited, not very patiently, but she waited.

Today, I surprised her with a trip to the mall, just me and her. No Older sister to boss her around. No Big Brother who mom has to watch like a hawk. No Autism, no meltdowns, just me and my Princess, and what a wonderful afternoon it was.

When we got to Claires, and she figured out what I was up to, she got a Little nervous and asked me if it would hurt, and wanted to know how they were going to pierce her ears.  I told her that yes, It would hurt, but that it would be over before she knew it, and the lady who did the piercing was very nice, and talked to her every step of the way and after the first ear was pierced, and all she did was flinch a bit “Ow that hurt”, she looked at me with not a hint of a tear and said “That wasn’t too bad, next!”

Her reaction to the first ear drew a crowd of mother’s and their daughters, with the moms saying “look, she didn’t even cry, are you sure you don’t want to get your ears pierced today?”

After getting her ears pierced, with Hello Kitty Earrings, we wandered around the store for a bit….

*Looking at all the earrings…*

*Coolest Sunglasses Ever!*

*4th of July Tiara*

*Headband which prompted an adorable little dance*

(This ended up coming home with us :P)

Loaded up with her ear care kit, 4th of July Headbands for her and her sister, and wearing our Mother Daughter necklaces, we headed out into the mall in search of a Milkshake….

*Watching the making of her cookies and cream milkshake*

While walking through the mall, sharing our milkshake, we saw these really cool masks in a store, and wandered in for a closer look….

*She insisted I try one on too, and on taking My Picture….I am glad she did :-)*

Our last stop before heading home was the Carousel, because well, you just can’t do a Mommy Daughter day at the mall without riding the Carousel. But the attendant was away on break, so we sat down at a table to finish our milkshake and wait….

When the attendant came back , he informed us that he had to go get some quarters from the office, and asked if we would mind waiting a few minutes longer. I explained to Him politely that we had already been waiting, and He said if we would wait, when he got back, we could ride for free, so we sat back down to wait some more. It was well worth the wait. I had not planned on riding with her….but with the help of the attendant, she talked me into it….

(Ok, Ok, so not the best photo in the world…but I was trying to fit BOTH us in the shot, as the Carousel was going round, with our ponies going up and down  opposite each other…LOL)

*My Princess*

After the Carousel, we headed for the parking lot, the way too hot truck, and home. As SOON as we walked in the door, Dak informed me that it was time to go outside, and sure enough, it was 5:00…He was right. We were back to the organized chaos that is home. The spell was broken, but the magic of the memories will last forever. It was a wonderful day spent with my precious princess.

A Sister is a Precious Gift

When I was little, I could not see, just what a Blessing God had given me when He gave me a Little Sister. She is 4 years younger than me, and well, let’s just say I was not thrilled with the concept. Oh we had our happy Moments, but Man did we fight!   My sister taught me a lot though. She taught me Patience, and how to love someone even in those moments when I don’t “Like” them very much. She taught me other things too, lessons I could not see growing up.

Fast forward to present day. I am now a mom to three wonderful children. two girls and one boy. My girls are 4 years apart in age, and my oldest, well she has days when she is less than thrilled with having a little sister to follow her EVERYWHERE. I hear my youngest wail “Mom she wont play with meeee” and My oldest snarl ” she wont leave me alone!” and I am taken back to my own childhood.  I hope that I can help my girls to realize the precious gift they are to each other, that they wont have to wait until they are grown to realize how much of a blessing having a sister is.

I am Thankful that my sister and I have moved past old hurts, forgiven each other, and are now friends. How much I have missed by not having her as a friend all those years. My sister is an amazing person with a gift for loving children and showing them God’s love. Her smile is like the sunshine, it warms all around her. Her sensitive, gentle spirit, which used to drive me CRAZY when we were kids, is in fact an amazing gift.

I hope that when my girls look back on their time together growing up they remember the good moments. that they cherish each other and realize what God has given them in each other….

“She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. 

She is your witness,

who sees you at your worst and best,

and loves you anyway. 

She is your partner in crime,

your midnight companion,

someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. 

She is your teacher,

your defense attorney,

your personal press agent,

even your shrink. 

Some days, she’s the reason you wish you were an only child.” 

~Barbara Alpert ~

“Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family,

but once the sisters are grown,

it becomes the strongest relationship. “

~Margaret Mead~

“An older sister is a friend and defender –

a listener, conspirator, a counsellor and a sharer of delights. 

And sorrows too. ”

~Pam Brown~

“There’s a special kind of freedom sisters enjoy.

Freedom to share innermost thoughts,

to ask a favor, to show their true feelings.

The freedom to simply be themselves. “

~Unknown~

“A younger sister is someone to use as a guinea-pig
in trying sledges and experimental go-carts.
Someone to send on messages to Mum.
But someone who needs you-
who comes to you with bumped heads, grazed knees, tales of persecution.
Someone who trusts you to defend her.
Someone who thinks you know the answers to almost everything.
-Pam Brown

I Thank God daily for my Sister, and for helping me see that she is one of the best gifts He has blessed me with. I pray daily that through all the trials of life, My girls will realize they will always have each other. Friends will come and go, Boys will break their hearts, someday they will spread their wings and fly, but their hearts will be forever entwined, bound by the gift of sisterhood, and that they will see what a Blessing it is that no matter what life throws at them, they will always have each other, to laugh with, to cry with, to remember the moments of childhood, and share the moments of life with.

A Marine and a Princess

It has been an interesting week around here. Much needed rain has confined my kids indoors, and forced them to find ways to get along more than usual. Today was no different. I found myself fighting not to laugh as I once again had to try and explain to Dak that his sisters are really, not evil…..

Dak: “I am a Marine” (as he comes out of his room wearing one of Daddy’s old Uniform Blouses and armed with a toy Pistol)

he looks at Shawna “Your the Alien”
Shawna: “I am NOT an alien, I am a Princess!!!!!”


and so the day of dress up and pretend play went. The fact that they were, for the most part, getting along was a pretty big deal, but the fact that Dak was not only participating in Pretend Play, but INITIATING it, well that is HUGE! My Oldest daughter was in on it all too, as a knight, but well, she is good at hiding from the camera, being a teenager and all.

The moment didn’t last very long, as Dak quickly moved on to drawing pictures at his desk, and the girls to playing Barbies, but it was one of those precious laughter filled moments that I will cherish. Even now, as I type this, the sweet music of my children’s laughter fills the house. How precious it is, and I am thankful that God gives me days like this as a reminder that , while yes, the bad days are well, horrible and feel impossibly hard, it’s days like today that make it all worth the fight.