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My son's wedding and the details

I Met My Daughter-In-Law To Be For The First Time Over The Phone

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My son's wedding and the details

Wedding Details of my sons wedding

My head felt a little flush and my stomach got a bit tight. I was nervous, but at the same time I felt calm and happy for my son.  It was all so surreal as my son introduced us to our future daughter-in-law over face-time, a phone app, for the first time.  What would you do?

We chose colors, wedding details, and worked to get to know each other as much as possible over the phone that summer.  It’s been a year since then, and looking back, it was a wedding day of miracles, growing love and much joy.  

Let me share our story with you- it’s quite remarkable.

Dallin decided to leave Utah to attend law school at Creighton in Nebraska.  While he was there, he met Brooke.  

They dated;

Got to know each other;

Became very good friends;

They found they were beginning to love one another, and so they nurtured it with healthy dating.

Continuously working hard to lay a solid foundation of respect, trust and honor as the base; knowing that would make it last- happily.

It was becoming apparent, that both wanted this relationship to be a bond that would last forever.  

On a Sunday, as usual, Stan called to facetime Dallin.  Well, Brooke happened to be sitting next to Dallin. 

Stan, my handsome hubby, asked who the pretty gal was.

Well…. Dallin, who is more private in his social life than some of our other kids…kinda spilled the beans that he was seriously dating Brooke (very serious it turned out), and their love story for us began. 

Luckily for us, WE ADORE HER!!!  She is truly a blessing to our family and we couldn’t be happier to have her as a Groneman.

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO DALLIN AND BROOKE

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

For me, it was an interesting experience because Brooke was working very hard to finish her schooling, preparing for the Bar Exam in Omaha. and working a part time job.  So, as much as she wanted to be involved, she could only do so much!

Ok, a little mom-in-law brag here: Brooke has a Bachelors Degree in Phycology, an MBA, a Juris Doctorate (specializing in Patent Law), and currently finishing a Masters in Biology as I write this post.

Anyway, back to my story. During that time, Dallin had traveled to Colorado to clerk for a judge as part of his schooling.

Meanwhile, I’m back here in Utah figuring out the details for the wedding and reception, as they decided to have it in Utah, and her family would travel here to participate.

 

MY GIRLS SAVED MY SANITY 

I am so blessed to have two daughters and 2 daughters-in-law, Brooke now joining the clan to make three. 🙂

Ohhhh SO much to do from arranging from what everyone would wear to decorating the reception center, to what to serve for refreshments, to countless other minor details. Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed, particularly not knowing Brooke well and wanting it to be ‘perfect’ for her.

My girls stepped in, and were angels!!! 

For example, one particularly exhausting day, after running from store to store, we finally found blouses to match the skirts I had been made from discount cloth that I found at a local fabric store.

Tawni and Ashley stayed until the very last minute, so we went to grab a bite to eat. We visited, laughed, and it was so nice to just relax. They are so good to me.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

For the refreshments, I had a tight shoestring budget, but I also wanted it to be nice.  Danitra, one of my daughter’s, crunched numbers continually. 🙂 

We chased down donut trucks and other food trucks to try them out, to see if any of those would work— huge sacrifice I know—yummy:) (Isn’t my grand daughter adorable too!)  I look back on that time with fondness.  We always have such fun together. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

As a way to highlight Brookes colors, we settled on a sweet treat.We purchased the candy sticks at the Peppermint Place in American Fork. They have candy sticks in bulk in SO many colors and flavors! They really are the nicest people to work with too.

In American Fork at a candy store that is a dream of a kid – of any age – called The Peppermint Palace, they carry candy sticks in bulk in SO many colors and flavors! They really are the nicest people to work with too. And if you go during certain hours you can watch them decorate candy too!

Candy sticks were sweet additions to the centerpieces making it extra special. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

SHE CAME!

Brooke had been trying to find/make a wedding dress work for weeks back in Omaha.  With her heavy work and school schedule it was very frustrating for me to watch her go through that so far away.  That was one thing I couldn’t fix for her.  We lucked out (actually a miracle happened), and she was able to fly here for 2 1/2 days and boy did I cram in everything!

On our way to the airport, Stan, Delsi and I stopped at the Draper (Utah) Cold Stone Ice Cream Store. These wonderful store owners are who we had chosen to cater Dallin and Brooke’s wedding reception after Danitra and I had looked at all the choices.

Cheryl and Seth were AMAZING, and I would recommend them to everyone for any occasion you have!

We were able to taste so many of the ice creams, if not all off of them!  I mean they didn’t hold back, they were so kind and wanted to make sure we were happy with our choice.  We narrowed it down to 10, including a choice for those who have special dietary needs too! You’ve got to come the Draper store folks! 801-706-5867.  

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

We packed the containers of flavors we chose in dry ice and drove to the airport to pick up Brooke.

However, as the three of us stood there waiting for her, we watched others with their signs waiting for friends and relatives to arrive and realized we hadn’t brought anything to distinguish us.

Remember, she hadn’t met us in person before!  Sssooo, my ever resourceful handsome hubby Stan did this!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

We found each other easily and headed straight for Debbie’s place.

Debbie owns Dessert Edge Cakes, they are DELISH, and extremely affordable too!

You get to taste the cake, choose your design and she is FABULOUS to work with!  www.dessertedgecakes.com  801-485-0354.  Tell her I sent you:) I wish I had a reason to just order a cake to eat it right now!!!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

I ABOUT KILLED HER  IN THE DETAILS

The next day I was so excited to take Brooke to see the venue.  I had made an appointment for us at This Is The Place and we arrived in the morning.  What I didn’t realize is that Brooke hadn’t been to an elevation of 800 feet and we are at 5,500 feet.  So after showing her around some of the park after seeing the reception building, I get a call from my son asking me why I was trying to kill his fiance.  WHAT?  

She was too shy to tell me, but she was getting physically ill from the high altitude….oooppss….lesson learned.  

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

The next day was dress shopping.  We found her PERFECT dress at Petal’s & Promises Bridal in Logan 435-753-8022.  She looked just radiant and it was YES to the dress.

Picking out flower arrangements and many other details were worked out also.

It worked out so perfectly that Dallin was able to drive over from Colorado to join us.

Our family had the best time ‘helping’ pick out the final six flavors of ice cream – yummy!  All the siblings and grandkids sat around the table with spoons in hand as we tried each one of the flavors, some a few times, just to make sure we knew what it tasted like. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

THE BIG DAY ARRIVED

Dallin and Brooke chose to be married in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Brooke with her mom, family and maid of honor. We are SO grateful to have these wonderful people as a part of our family too! 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

I want to give a side note here to all those who have parents involved, namely mom’s who are unable to go into the temple to be with their daughters for the ceremony.  I found out, that day through miraculous events, that there is a special room at the Salt Lake Temple, in the visitor area on the south side. A room where guests wait for the wedding couple.

This dressing room has mirrors, and is really nice. And it CAN be used for brides to come to AFTER the ceremony, to get into her wedding dress, with the help of her mom, sisters, or whomever she would like to help her, so that they can also be apart of this very special occasion.  

The bride can then go out the south doors, or can be taken to where her groom is waiting at the traditional area to exit out the west doors facing the temple usual.  If you have this situation, call ahead and make arrangements for the comfort of all.  It made our day delightful to do this, as I was able to be Brooke’s escort in the temple, and then I was able to leave her with her mom, grandma, twin sister and friends to change into her wedding dress. This made everyone feel as included as possible. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

The couple with me, Stan and my beautiful mother-in-law Meredith.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

WHAT’S A FIRST LOOK?

Brooke wanted the photographer Steve (amazing by the way) and works for James Erick Photography (801-678-6240) to do a ‘First Look’.  Steve was terrific to do anything and everything he could for us and didn’t flinch at the curve ball I tossed at him. Steve took it in stride and made it happen.  He was professional, patient, approachable and just nice the entire day and evening. We loved our pictures like these!

My son's wedding and the details

etails of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Ok, sorry back to the wedding day.

Well, I hadn’t had a chance to explain the ‘First Look’ to Steve, but as I hinted he quickly put it together for us.  Brooke came out one door, she was with her mom, sister and friends at the south door which was convenient. While Dallin had his back to her when he came out the traditional door.  He had not seen her in her wedding dress, so this was the ‘First Time’ or ‘First Look’ – and his reaction was priceless. 

My son's wedding and the details

etails of wedding and reception fr bride and groom.

After family pictures were taken, they had the usual one taken areound Temple Square as a couple…..

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Stan, our kids, a few others and I ran to the reception place to get things ready.  We had chosen The Heritage Building at This Is The Place in Salt Lake City                801-582-1847 (you know how much I love that place if you follow my Instagram, lol).

 

THE RECEPTION

The Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Bar was a HIT!  Ice cream of the guests choice, from the six flavors Dallin and Brooke chose – from the ten that we chose (remember they were out of state so we selflessly tasted all the scrumptious ice creams and picked the ten out for them) and they were even labeled with ‘Groom’s’ and ‘Bride’s’ Favorites for fun! They guest could have their ice cream in a delicious waffle bowl with a choice of four syrups such as chocolate, caramel, strawberry, etc.  Then the toppings, and these aren’t all of them!  It really was the best bargain AND we got to take the extra home!!!  

Ice cream of the guests choice, from the six flavors Dallin and Brooke chose – from the ten that we chose (remember they were out of state so we sacrificed and tasted all the scrumptious ice creams and picked the ten for them) and they were even labeled with ‘Groom’s’ and ‘Bride’s’ Favorites for fun! The guest could have their ice cream served in a delicious waffle bowl with a choice of four syrups such as chocolate, caramel, strawberry, etc.  Then the toppings, and these aren’t all of them!  It really was the best bargain AND we got to take the extra home!!!  

What did we do with the extra ice cream and waffle bowls?  If you’ve read about our 2nd Sunday’s, it happened to be one that weekend, and you can read all about how that came together HERE

The Strawberry Mango Banana Sorbet was the Gluten-free, Vegan Free, Dairy Free and AMAZINGLY YUMMY!!!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

In Utah, it’s not unusual to have a traditional receiving line, which we did.  This means the parent(s) of the bride and groom, sometimes siblings and special friends; along with newlyweds, greet guests who come to see them, as they stand in a line for a specific time during the reception.  It’s a wonderful chance to thank those who took the time to come for their kindness, to spend a little time and share their special day.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

SHOW OFF:) 

Stan collected pictures of Brooke and gathered many of Dallin’s to put in a slide show along with music for the guests to watch so they could get to know them a little bit better as they enjoyed the reception. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

KIDS ARE WELCOME

Receptions that have a traditional line, or a dinner, or whatever the case maybe, and involve toddlers or kids can be difficult because they become bored.

We wanted the kids to have something to do, so the parents were comfortable to stay, visit, relax.   To enjoy their time with us, those they met there and each other. 

I LOVE having my grand kids a part of anything possible!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

My daughter-in-law Ashley made all the grand daughter’s girls dresses.  They were just adorable and as sweet as could be- Perfect for the day! She would love to make little girls dresses, and matching items for the boys for your special day.

You will find Ashley here: Aria’s Little Lovely Dresses 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

WHAT DO WE DO WITH THESE KIDS?

So to solve this issue we had a KIDS AREA!  

We had wonderful gals who agreed to stay the length of the reception in the Kids Area so I didn’t need to worry about that at all.  They were there to help them, get out the supplies, food and look after them as need, but the door STAYED OPEN and parents were gotten as children cried or needed anything.

We had a video showing:

Choose one that is very family friendly and that a wide age range would enjoy.

Toys such as:
Lincoln Logs

Cars & Floor Road

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

You gotta feed ’em Food: 

I LOVE these cups!  They have lids, a way to mark the kids names on them and it’s easier to keep from spills which is IMPORTANT for those of us who cannot risk a slip or fall for injury!  Check out these drinking cups for the kiddos HERE

Goldfish Crackers are always a hit with kids of any age.  You can easily find them HERE

Annies Organic Fruit Snacks are a healthy treat to have on hand, they are HERE

Granola Bars are good to have also, check these out HERE 

 

Keep ’em busy with Things to Do:

Clipboards solve the issue of what the kids have to color on for the coloring pages and whatever else. I have a link HERE

HERE is a coloring book for young kids to take out the pages for each child to color for an idea you can see.

Dot-to-dot is always a hit, and pages come out easily for passing out. You might like this one HERE.

HERE are word searches and more.

Oh don’t forget crayons HERE

And lastly for this activity it’s great to have colored pencils, especially if you have coloring pages for olders kids and even adults, I have a link HERE

Adjust for ages and you can have coloring pages for ages up through adult too:)

——————

Back to Dallin & Brooke

THE CAKE CUTTING

Always a fun part of the reception.  I’ll let you guess if they made a mess…:)

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

THE FLOWER TOSS *See more of the flowers below

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

THE GARTER TOSS

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

FIRST DANCE AS A COUPLE

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

And now it’s time to leave for the honeymoon.

I would suggest one thing that I learned from that night. 

I had purchased bubbles with HUGE ratings, ‘perfect’ 5-Star, all of that. Yet you can see here we are without any bubbles :/

May I recommend THIS for your event, in addition to the bottles of BUBBLES.  It’s good to have THIS as a backup to add to the pageantry…. you know….to look marvelous for the pictures.  THIS is what my grand kids love to play with and it really works! I definitely would have had it in addition to the BOTTLES OF BUBBLESif I would have know about it.  Better safe, then…well…without bubbles, lol. 

Regardless of the failing bubbles, the couple looked amazing, and off they went to Italy!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Stan and I can’t tell all the family and friends who helped in countless ways, how grateful we are for making Dallin and Brookes wedding remarkable.  We appreciate all the kindnesses and generosity that were shown in large and small ways; it all made such a difference. 

 

THE FLOWERS

We loved our flower lady who made the most incredible bouquets, Boutonniere’s, mother’s corsages, and all the other arrangements involving flowers.  Her name is Pat and she has a charming shop by her home called Berglund Floral.  You can reach her at (801) 444-2026.  Pat is extremely easy to work with and her prices are very affordable.  I hope you give her a call.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

SMELL THE ROSES, THEN SPREAD THE LOVE

I apologize for the terrible quality of this picture, but it was that important that I share this with you.

At the venue, there was a HUGE fireplace with a ginormous mantle that would show in the pictures behind us.  I needed to do something with it, and since we were decorating, it needed to be on a shoestring budget, but also very attractive and nice.

I started looking for ideas and came across Sam’s Club and that they sold roses in bulk – who knew?  Right!

They were wonderful to work with and they delivered them on the exact day I needed them and they were GORGEOUS!!!!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Pat worked her magic and made a stunning display to put on the mantle using all the roses I purchased.  You can see how talented she is to incorporate inexpensive artificial greenery and flowers with the roses.  It was perfect.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

After the reception, I had dozens and dozens of roses left over—-what to do with them all?

Actually, I had a plan all along.  

See, I had been saving up bottles the few weeks prior to the reception as I emptied them when cooking.  Mayo jars, pickle bottles, fun salad dressing bottles; all sorts of things. I soaked them and cleaned off the labels, having them ready for this event I knew was coming. 

While cleaning up that night, I had everyone keep the longer ribbons attached to the square vases holding the candy sticks and other vases.

Arranging the roses, greenery, and ribbons it turned out like this. 

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

Can you guess what I did?

I took them to a local care center!  They loved them and enjoyed them more than we ever could have.  

If you have left over flowers, corsages, boutonniere’s or any decorations that would be appropriate to cheer someone else up with —PLEASE, don’t hesitate to drop them off. Or better yet, take the family, friends, or just you go on it say HELLO and make some’s day a little better.

 

LET’S BACK UP A LITTLE

The night before the wedding, Brookes family came into town and we were able to meet them and get together for a very casual dinner.  

Derek and Tawni (my son and daughter-in-law) were so gracious to host this event at their home. They made everyone feel very welcome and comfortable.

Because they have a wood burning brick oven on their deck, they chose to make homemade pizzas.  It was so delicious and really a nice evening.  Stan and I are very grateful to Derek, Tawni and everyone who helped make that night so yummy and fun.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

COOKIN

Tawni, and her helper, were prepping in the kitchen – don’t worry, we didn’t leave it all up to those two, we helped too:) Tawni made several flavors of scrumptious pizzas. 

Derek does a fantastic job baking up the works of art that Tawni makes, I mean they are AMAZING – we caught him taste testing.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

We brought salads and sides.

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

And PIZZA is Served!

My son's wedding and the details

Details of wedding and reception for bride and groom.

I hope you have enjoyed this wedding post.  Best wishes for many years of happiness and health to the happy couple.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Me & Stan at musem

34 Years!

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Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

Despite telling Stan no twice when he asked me to marry him…even after watching the second half of ‘Gone With the Wind’ with another guy on tv, today is our 34th anniversary and we still REALLY, REALLY like each other, and deeply LOVE each other too.  See, back 34 years ago when a tv show played; particularly one as long as that, it was broken into two nights.  I watched the first half with Stan, and the second half on a date with another guy the next night – which Stan called my house several times during the show, I might add…



So, how did we meet?

We both worked in a small shopping center.  Stan worked in a shoe store next to the ice cream shop I worked in. My Grandma Shirley purchased shoes from him and kept telling me I should give him a chance and say yes when he would ask me out.  I had other guys I was interested in, along my own future plans for a career, travel, etc.  Grandma won, so after Stan had asked me out – again – I said yes.   As we began to date, we saw each other ever day at work, after college classes and whenever possible.  

We were married in the Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) LDS Temple (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) on a Monday morning.  So that began, our now history, and our future.

Together we have three sons, two daughters (all start with a ‘D’ so we can really sound da, dah, da when frustrated), two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law and six grand-kids.

Like every marriage, we had to learn (and daily continue) to work as a partnership.   There have been hard times financially, health problems, difficulties working with loved ones, and a myriad of aspects that life brings.  Over the years we have had countless joy filled experiences, such as fun times camping, traveling a bit, working together in church and community positions, and have always kept God and family as the focus and foundation of our marriage.

anniversary pic 6A few funny stories for you –

When we were married ten years, Stan had traveled to New York for business and had enough travel miles for me to join him.  It would be the very first time I had the opportunity to leave the kids and be with just Stan.  My mom, our angel, any time we had the chance to go on a trip like that, used her personal vacation time from her work to come and stay with the grand-kids so I could go, as that was our only option.  Huge shout-out to my mom Connie everyone!!!  Anyway, back to my story.  I was positive the plane would crash and we would both die leaving our kids as orphans.  It incredibly cool to see a place vastly contrast as New York City compared to Utah, yet the whole time, I kept thinking, “I’ll never see my kids” convinced we would die in a fiery plane crash on the way home, then get teary eyed.  After arriving home safe and sound; probably a week or so later, when ‘one-of-those-tough-mom-moments came along, I thought, “I can go happy now – now is good!!!”

Many years ago Stan had business in Florida and I was able to go with him on that trip. When arriving I saw a few raccoon in the garbage cans scrounging for food.  I told Stan how funny it was to which he replied, “I lived here as a boy and there are NO raccoon’s in Florida.”  (yea, whatever)  Later we went to the beach.  I am not much of a swimmer so after playing in the water for a bit, I sat so that the water came in and out, always coming to about my waist while Stan swam in the surf.  That night as we walked to dinner, I became very uncomfortable. I told Stan I hurt and we realized that the water which had seemed so soothing going up and over me (also in and out of my swimming suit) contained not only ocean water, but tiny bits of coral from the reef not far off the shore, had obviously made teeny weeny cuts.  Oh, I wanted Desitin (baby diaper rash ointment) and in the worst way.  Being a mom, and this was a few decades ago, it was the only solution I could think of.  So as we now started to look for a convenience store, knowing there was no way I could sit on a plane the next day for several hours, we walked over this little bridge in a park hoping to find a store, suddenly countless glowing eyes came out of no where and towards us!  There was enough of a street light, that as they came closer we were able to see that we were being surrounded by a gaze of raccoon!  I punched Stan in the arm and shouted, “I told you there were raccoon’s in Florida!”  A policeman came right about then, probably thinking I was nuts, and told us they were very friendly because people fed them like you would ducks in the park, and asked us please not to do the same.  I gritted my teeth in pain, assured him we wouldn’t and asked him very nicely where we would find a store as we nervously went through the raccoon.  Geez…..and yes, we did find the Desitin….

anniversary pic 8We had the wonderful opportunity to go with a company Stan worked for to Cabo.  One night we decided to walk along the beach and it just so happened that a wedding ceremony was being preformed. They had it beautifully set up with torches, a backdrop that fit the scene perfectly and the bride and groom looked amazing.  We watched from afar, so as not to be in their way, thinking how romantic it all way.  It was a very dark night, not a star was shining, but you could hear the waves lightly crashing onto the beach and the rocks on the shore.  All of the sudden a huge wave engulfed Stan and me with such force, it pushed us all the way to where the wedding was happening! As the water hit, it shoved us down and we rolled right into the guests!  We stood up and realizing we were now standing in the middle of the wedding guests and the ceremony mid progress, we apologized and burst out laughing.  We couldn’t stop laughing, as we made out exit – as quick as possible.

anniversary pic 5

Here is our advice for a lasting marriage: not in order of importance, except last 5 are critical.  These do not take into account situations of abuse, etc., which please seek professional help.



  • We agree on the important things – religion is number one, politics helps, and so on.
  • We don’t take ourselves too seriously.  Life is just easier that way.
  • Pick our battles – always ask yourself before beginning a fight or tossing the first angry word:

                  1- Is this going to matter in a week?  If you answer yes, then –

                  2- Ask, is this going to matter in a month?  If you answer yes, then –

                  3- Ask yourself, is this going to matter in 6 months?  If you answer yes, then –

                  4 – Will it matter in a year?  If you answer yes, you’d better make sure you are being honest with yourself and not            —————prideful or selfish and handle with caution.

We keep romance alive and this is very important (this is from Stan and insists I must put it, but I’m blushing: “We still have fun in the dark”).  The physical aspect is important.  All who know us will recognize the picture of us standing at the Grand Canyon can see that I am trying to get Stan to quit patting my backside as he is always doing. Annoying sometimes, but mostly I know he is still attracted to me.  Make sure to keep the sexual bond strong and healthy between the two of you; take the time, go to a hotel, whatever you have to do.

  • Don’t let the kids get between you.  They will to make their situation easier.
  • It took two of you to bring a child into this world, it take two of you to raise them.
  • Be unified with your spouse in front of the kids.  Discuss later and change direction/course later if necessary.  Do not talk this out in front of them. 
  • Both must let go of selfishness and turn ‘me’ to ‘we’. A good marriage NEVER revolves around one of the spouses.
  • The BEST gift you can give your children is to LOVE your wife/husband.
  • Never criticize or put down your spouse to others.  It is demeaning and serves no purpose. When you have an issue, take it to them in private and have a constructive conversation.  That builds trust and respect.
  • Do not allow, extended family, friends, coworker, not ANYONE to come between you and your spouse in a way that would detract from a wholesome and thriving marriage.
  • Serve the other regularly, meaning daily.  Not including the regular stuff like dishes, etc.  Do something such as a small treat, wash their car, etc.
  • Date regularly.  Try to have a date once a week to keep the relationship strong, even if it’s after the kids are in bed at home.  While on the date NO talking about kids, bills, etc.!!!  That’s a rule!!!
  • BE HAPPY AND FUNNY with each other.  It’s OK to relax, be spontaneous and impulsive.  Sometimes even in a ‘discussion’ it can help temper down the level of frustration.
  • Tease and let the other laugh.  Make it a point to laugh EVERY SINGLE DAY with your sweetie.
  • Be loyal and worthy of trust.  There is nothing of more value and of higher importance than knowing your spouse can trust you with their emotions, their secrets, their love, their life.  If their is a breach in this relationship, please seek help immediately, both the offender and the victim.
  • Allow the other space for hobbies and outside interests, however DO NOT ABUSE THIS KINDNESS.  A bit of time to be an individual, developing with your own talents, apart from the family strengthens the relationship and helps rejuvenate the husband/wife.  With this being said, it should NEVER so much time or money that it is at the expense of the spouse or the family which is selfless and righteous part of the marital equation.
  • Enjoy the hard times as much as possible and REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES! Write them down and read them when the going is tough to help pull you through.  Do not forget!!!
  • PRAY TOGETHER every single day. 
  • Pray FOR each other and how you can best help your sweetheart and how you can be a better spouse.
  • LOVE your sweetheart and treat them as they CAN be and they will become that.  Remember, to lose yourself, and love as God loves are the greatest gifts YOU can give.
  • Keep God and His commandments as the foundation of your marriage, for the highest success. He wants you triumph, be married for your life, be HAPPY and be a treasure to each other.  There is NOTHING more important than family, and it begins with husband and wife.  anniversary pic 7

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

How Do You Choose A Spouse

Wedding couple

 

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman

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Wedding couple

How Do You Choose A Spouse?

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Wedding couple

For this post, I am suggesting ideas of how to choose a spouse:

  • What do you look for?
  • What qualities should there be?
  • What traits should you have?




To begin, NO one – NOT me, nor you, nor any potential spouse is going to be perfect, it’s just not humanly possible.  HOWEVER, there are definite characteristics and attributes to look for when seriously dating someone. 

It is critical above all, be an honest person yourself.  You know, ‘walk the walk’ and ‘talk the talk’.  ‘Do what you preach’, that type of thing.  You want to find a person who is honest, yet it begins at home.  It’s difficult to have what you’re not.*

  • Marrying a person who lifts, edifies and makes you want to be a better person provides the highest level of success.  *You must be giving the same back.

Let’s look at these attributes a little –

Lift:  To be there to boost, revitalize, restore strength.  To be compassionate and loving enough to let go of any selfishness and ego. Willing to do that for their companion, would be truly respected and held even more dear by the other.  It must come from both partners of course.

Helps you be a better person:  How a person spends their time is a HUGE indicator of what they are inside.  Do they look for ways to serve?  Do they want to learn to better them-self?  Do they take on hobbies to improve the quality of life for others?  How they are bettering them-self, will in almost all situations, help you to stretch to improve yourself also.  Again, you can nudge each other to get off the couch, turn off TV, or look to help others in small and simple ways.

  • I heard once, many years ago, and the longer I have been married and watched other couples, the more I completely agree with this statement:  Marry someone who loves God above all else and everything will fall into place.  If God is first, all righteous desires and actions outweigh any bad choices that could be the downfall of the marriage and family.




Edify:  This means to teach in moral religious knowledge.  Does the person you are looking at to marry hold religion sacred and important as you do?  Do they read the scriptures?  Pray?  Continue to learn so they can discuss, ask questions and grow in understanding?  Do you?  Putting God as the main component in your personal life and in your relationship as a couple will be the strongest foundation you can possibly have.

 Is he or she made of  GOLD or DIAMONDS?

 GOLD is beautiful and highly valued the world over.  However, did you know that pure gold alone is too soft to use for anything practical or useful?

When considering a husband, or wife, are they able to stand on their own when challenges come their way that confront their beliefs?  Would they crumble and be soft like pure gold?

 

DIAMONDS are recognized for their strength as well as their beauty.  In fact their durability is undisputed.  Did you know that a diamond rates the highest on the scale of hardness, surpassing even the finest high-carbon steel?  Why?  How come they are so stable and strong?

It begins with how they are made.  Diamonds come from deep in the earth’s crust and are formed through incredible pressure over prolonged time. 


That is what we want to be and what we want in a spouse.  Someone who demonstrates strength of character to DO the RIGHT thing, ACT MORALLY, HOLD to VALUES time and time again.  Even when it is not convenient, awkward, embarrassing or not popular.  We must do that and look for someone who lives that way also

 

  • Ask God if the person you are looking to marry is a right one for you.  He knows every single person’s heart and true intent.  He loves you, He loves them.  He wants what is best for both of you.
  • If you are looking for a spouse, do not be consumed in finding Mr. Right or Mrs. Perfect.  Enjoy life!  Continue your education.  Go on to do great things and it will happen in it’s own time.  Life is good. Life is Beautiful. Life is Rich. Life is to be LIVED. LIVE and BECOME BETTER. Then when a right person comes along, it will be glorious!

 

Now, with all that said, what if a husband or wife acts in an unethical or immoral way, whether we have chosen as wisely as possible, or not.  Is there hope?  Every single living person has their God-given agency to do as they wish; that is part of the plan.  You can ONLY control yourself.  You cannot force, coerce or manipulate another person.  The beautiful and merciful part is though, that you can do so much though.  Reach out to God first and ask Him what His plan is for you.  Then go to work to make yourself better, as good as you can be.  That you can do! The miracles and blessings will flow like a river towards you and your family; that I can promise.  You will be amazed at the direction of wonder and delight that you never expected, all because YOU love God above all else.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

For More Posts On This Topic:

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman

Butterflies & Marriage

Eye To Eye In Marriage

Happily Every After




Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After…

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Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

 Is there a happily ever after? What can contribute to making it more of a reality? 

Too often young girls grow up fantasizing every detail of their wedding.  Their colors, their dress, and the life afterwards will be one of ease and much like that of home with her parents—–which is not reality. Young men are too often caught up playing video games, adventure and thrill seeking, or other distractions to focus on furthering their livelihood and potential as a husband and father. In my novel “A Mother’s Shadow”  Emily prepares for her future by learning to run a home, cook, sew, works hard to earn money and furthers her education.  Harry chooses a career and then is self disciplined to further his education on his own; much as we would by doing on-line courses for a high school or college degree. Why are these extra efforts vital?  Does it matter?  How can training be so important? Is it important for a young woman to plan for a career even if she wants to be a stay-at-home mom? Should a young gal look for a young man who cares about furthering his future and being able to take care of his prospective family, or just for his good looks?

First the young lady –

  •        A woman will have a much higher chance of making a wise choice in a husband when she has self confidence in her abilities and skills. This comes with education and learning.
  •        What if the perfect man doesn’t come along and the gal needs to get an apartment, pay the bills and live on her own? She’ll need to have a good paying job and an education is essential.
  •        What if the husband needs to continue his schooling after they are married?  She can work to put him through school if they feel that is the best solution.
  •        What if the husband becomes ill, or tragedy strikes?  The woman will need skills to fall back in order to support her family.
  •        Learn the essential skills of saving money.  Practical skills include:  cooking, sewing and basic mending, budgeting, gardening, cleaning and running a home.*



Now for the young man –

  •       The husband can support the family, allowing the mother to stay home IF that is the choice of the couple.
  •       The husband feels confident and more self-assured when he can take care of his wife and children.
  •       If the man has practical skills and know how, he can do side jobs to earn extra money as needed when unexpected expenses come up.
  •       Learning how to take care of basic repairs, such as: changing the oil in the car, basic plumbing, yard work or unclogging a drain, are money savers and enable him to take care of the home.*

(*Obviously girls and guys can learn all kinds of skills, and develop a variety of talents. There is no gender specific check box.) Let’s make a list of some of the benefits of earning a high school diploma/GED, completing a technical eduction and apprenticeship or obtaining a certificate, earning an associates, bachelors degree or any other additional schooling:

  • This is probably the most competitive job market ever in the history of the world.  The best prepared people generally win the best positions.
  • Pay is generally equal to what a person is qualified to do.
  • Educated people who apply themselves garner respect.
  • One’s self worth is enhanced when goals are achieved.
  • Competency develops a heightened sense of personal responsibility for self and family.
  • Proper training and the application of knowledge enables people to climb out of poverty and destitution.


But what if I can’t afford an education?

  • There are so many options available!  Call the local schools, community services and ask around.  It will amaze you how many options and avenues will open up to you with astounding possibilities to further your education.
  • One is Kahn Acadamy which offers on line classes for FREE!  Subjects include:  Math, Sci­ence, Eco­nom­ics and Finance, Arts and Human­i­ties, Com­put­ing, Test Prep, Coach and Resources = it’s free for any­one.  What a tremen­dous oppor­tu­nity!   Find out all about this amaz­ing site HERE This type of resource will help pass tests and course placements to reduce costs and time in school.

Making God first and foremost is essential for a couples long term success together.  Invite the Lords blessings to know what His will is.  Then, by doing what He directs, you will achieve more than you ever dreamed possible.  The happiness of accomplishment is enhanced tremendously when we accept divine direction from our Heavenly Father. So yes, life will – without a doubt – bring ups, downs, twists, turns and curve balls.  However, by having the proper priorities, setting and and achieving goals and preparing in every way to take responsibility and work hard, the pathway to wonderful times will open ahead of us and despite bumps in the road we can live ‘happily ever after‘! 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

For More Posts On This Topic:

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman (available on Amazon), click HERE

Teaching your children how to work, be responsible, handle money and to be independent –

Click here: Part 1

Click here:Part 2

Click here:Part 3

Click here: Part 4

Consequences ARE Necessary, Click HERE




Tulum 2

Eye-to-Eye in Marriage

Tulum 2

Eye to Eye in Marriage

Stan and I are celebrating our 33rd Anniversary – I’m telling you, that came fast!     I believe strongly that marriage is ordained of God and is the basis for a strong, successful family; as well as vital for a thriving community and prosperous country.


 It is imperative for the wife and husband to maintain their individuality, while equally crucial to be companions with shared righteous goals.     My soon to be published novel, “A Mother’s Shadow” addresses marriage and I’m thrilled to share an excerpt:  Some years back, my husband and I went to Tulum, Mexico. In one area, the ancient ruins have high walls on either side of a narrow path. These walls are comprised of chiseled and stacked rocks, which stand parallel to each other and flanking the constricted corridor. Interesting carvings are found atop the two facing walls, which resemble the faces of a man and a woman gazing at each other.    

A narrow path separates the sculptured man and woman with just enough space for a person to walk between them. What if the couple had the ability to draw closer? Could the gap fade away, until they were literally eye-to-eye? What does it take for a man and his wife to close the gap and be one in purpose? To be one as a benefit to each other and to their family?      What sacrifice is required? Obviously, anything which is selfish or unholy; however, one should also contemplate what other vices or distractions draw spouses apart, emotionally and spiritually.

Consider a portion of The Screwtape Letters: A Devil’s Diabolical Advice for the Capturing of the Human Heart by C.S. Lewis. In the book, Screwtape, a high ranking authority under the devil, writes letters to his apprentice Wormwood, giving instructions on how to lure the patient he has been assigned (a human man) from the Enemy (God) to “their side.” Screwtape addresses one of his letters to Wormwood concerning the man’s relationship with his mother.


“Build up . . . in that house, a good settled habit of mutual annoyance: daily pinpricks. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother . . . . Make sure that they [his prayers] are always very ‘spiritual,’ that he is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rheumatism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards as her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions, which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees. . . . His ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment’s notice from impassioned prayer for a wife’s or son’s ‘soul’ to beating or insulting the real wife or son without qualm.”


“When two humans have lived together for many years, it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy, he will not (realize) the immense improbability of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her.”   

Couples quarrel, each supposing he or she is correct and justified, seldom choosing to focus on the mote in the other’s eye, while generally forgetting the beam in one’s own.     It is good to ask the following question: “Does this happen in my home?”

Unfortunately, for many, this is a daily occurrence and even considered normal. One should be on guard, however, as irritations, provocations, and self-interests can lead to the gradual and almost undetectable erosion of a marriage.     A person striving to be a model of all that is good, will want to make amends, heal hurts, and transform their own weaknesses into strengths for the sake of their loved ones.Tulum 1

 

I hope we will work in our marriages to forgive, (in cases of abuse, get all possible help from authorities) let go of disappointments and come closer to each other, until truly eye-to-eye.  To be one in purpose and goals in regards to raising resilient children who love God; while making our homes a place of peace, love and a refuge from the storms of life.  A home where the husband and wife can find comfort in the other,  each will work to be a happy and content spouse,  strive to be a trusted and loyal friend and buoy the other to meet another day of life’s battle. 

These are elements of an example we want our children to see, so they can emulate it in their own future families. As we strive, with clear focus and intent to make God a partner in our marriage, all else will fall into place and there will be unimaginable joy and love.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

For More Posts On This Topic:

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman (available on Amazon), click HERE