Thursday, October 28, 2010

Christian Wives, Spouses Have Model in St. Bridget [2010-10-27]

I love this quote from the pope: "May the Spirit of the Lord give rise to the sanctity of Christian spouses, to show the world the beauty of marriage lived according to the values of the Gospel: love, tenderness, mutual help, fecundity in generating and educating children, openness and solidarity to the world, participation in the life of the Church."

Mark and I visited San Brigida in Italy this summer and saw the cave [St. Bridget] lived in for something like five years in the 10th century. Beautiful part of Italy!

Christian Wives, Spouses Have Model in St. Bridget [2010-10-27]: "Pope Reflects on Life of Co-Patroness of Europe"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Couples to Behold: Michelle and Forrest Higdon

Forrest Higdon is another friend of Mark's whom he's known since Forrest was in middle school, or somewhere around there, and Michelle is his beautiful wife. I was blessed to be able to witness their wedding four years ago, not too long after Mark and I had first started dating.

One thing I admire about this fabulous couple is their spirituality. I could be wrong, but I think they met through church while they were in college (Catholic fraternity and sorority?). They also volunteered in our current church's youth program, Life Teen, for a while and participated in a small faith-sharing group Mark and I led several years ago. It's such a beautiful thing to not only be able to share your faith with your spouse but also to grow in your spirituality together as a couple. While some folks go their own way in their search for God, Michelle and Forrest demonstrate well the value they place on growing in it together.

Another great couple we're blessed to know!

Michelle and Forrest Higdon, March 2010, Crilly Couples' Shower

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Couples to Behold: Lauren and John Knaus

Mark grew up with John and I've known Lauren since 2006 / 2007 through the Catholic 20-Somethings Ministry.  They got married May 8, 2010, so they're still newlyweds! :)  I've been around since the beginning of their relationship, so I've been blessed to witness them grow together as a couple.  Mark's group of guy friends and their girlfriends / wives often travel together, so we've all been on several trips together, from Miami to Dallas to the Texas Hill Country, and we spend a lot of time together here in the great ATX.  I think it's safe to say that we'll be a constant in each others' lives forever since this group of guys is so close and has been together so long!  I pray we have a lot of life together to look forward to!

One of the things I admire about Lauren's and John's relationship is how, as a couple, they place value on familial relationships.  John's dad was his best man at the wedding.  They live within 15 minutes of both sets of parents.  Lauren was just talking a couple of days ago about how important her family continues to grow to her.  While I know there can be an imbalance for couples when it comes to extended family, I think Lauren and John have found that great level that works for them and nourishes their relationship as a couple.  Having that support system can make a huge impact!

Another great couple to know!

Lauren and John Knaus, February 2010, Payne Engagement Party

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Couples to Behold: Debbi and Mike Apperson

Funny as this may sound, I actually don't know Debbi and Mike all too well.  I've only met them a couple times, the first time being a ski trip we all went on earlier this year; we ran into them a month after that at a hockey game.  Mark has known Mike for years ... they probably grew up together, like so many of Mark's current friends.  Even with only having met them a small handful of times, I admire Debbi and Mike and know their relationship has something to teach me and Mark.  Probably the greatest aspects of their relationship I've taken away from knowing them so far is that they have fun together and really seem to understand one another.  Just witnessing the way they interacted on the trip, I could tell how well they go together.  A great couple to know!

Mike and Debbi, Keystone, CO ski trip January 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Couples to Behold: A Series on Our Married Friends

I believe strongly in encouraging couples in their marriages.  I know marriage can be difficult and how important it is to have that support system to reaffirm your vocation and encourage you to be the best spouse you can be.

Therefore, I'm going to start a series featuring our married friends: Couples to Behold.  I want to highlight the quality I admire most or think is one to honor in the marriages of our friends.  If you know me well and you're married, chances are that I'll probably be featuring you here, so if you'd rather not be included, shoot me an e-mail!  Otherwise, look for your fabulous faces in the weeks to come. :)

We're blessed to have in our lives many married couples to admire.  I hope that this series will not only encourage you in your own marriages but will help you look at the married couples in your own lives and honor them, too!  We all need affirmation from time to time.  You never know when it makes all the difference to someone.

Halloween 2009, "A Scottish Couple"

Monday, October 4, 2010

My childhood future husband

Meet: Brian Stevens.  He had an athletic build, brown hair and looked mostly like Jared Leto:

Jared Leto when I was in high school

Brian was someone I dreamed up when I was a high school-aged girl, the man I was going to marry.  He only ever existed as a figment of my imagination. 

Being dreamy high school girls, my best friend, Angela, and I decided we would predict the men we would marry and make a notebook of our future weddings.  I came across this notebook this past weekend as I was going through some old boxes from my childhood.  Ha! 

The first page of the notebook has the details of what our future husbands and lives would look like,
 including the number of children we'd have (Mr. Stevens and I would have three), while the next several sheet protectors held torn out bridal magazine pages of wedding and bridesmaid dresses we liked and hot honeymoon destinations of the time.  Apparently Jamaica was where Mr. Stevens and I would go.

I wish I could give more details I'd dreamed up, but I've since repacked the notebook -- you know, so my future children can have some good laughs later; meanwhile the box it's packed in collects attic dust.  Instead, I'll happily turn toward dreaming of my real, wonderful husband.

He does have brown hair (thankfully shorter than Jared's) and an athletic build.  We honeymooned in beautiful Belize and pray to be blessed with any number of children someday.  My wedding dress was much more beautiful than the big bows and puffy sleeves that adorned the dresses in my notebook, as were my bridesmaid dresses.  I still donned the gloves I'd always dreamed of, though. ;-) 

God blessed me beyond my wildest imagination when he chose Mark for me long ago.  No dreams of any boy-crazed teenage girl could have ever thought the God-fearing, strong, handsome and funny man I now call my husband would have been set aside for the silly, hopeful and sometimes awkward girl I was.  Mark got a real kick last night out of seeing my old yearbook pictures -- I think fourth through seventh grade provided the most laughs.  Gotta love those middle school years.

Thank you, Jesus, for having a plan, for knowing in what magnificent ways you wanted to bless me, for loving me so much as to save Mark for little old me.  We look forward with great hope to continuing to watch your plan unfold!

March 2008
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