Happy First Anniversary!

FamilyRules

Hard to believe that one year ago today, Janet and I had 16 guests and a bride-to-be in our house, getting ready for the Flather wedding that would start later that day.  The night before, they worked out a system of 15-minute bathroom assignments that began at 6am, and ended with the entire bridal party, and support crew, heading out the door at 9:30am for photos…all on schedule.

As anyone who has planned a wedding knows, they are events filled with countless details, and memories that last a lifetime.  One detail that I remember vividly is the Father-of-the-Bride toast.  Writing the toast wasn’t difficult.  Saying the toast was an entirely different matter.  Each rehearsal ended with me crying about halfway through.  I’d be doing great, and then it would hit me without warning.

Seeing my hopeless situation, Janet agreed to share in the toast duties with me.  She would take the most “troubling” parts, and we determined that we’d just “wing it” from there.  I don’t have a clear memory of the actual toast, but I know I couldn’t have done it without Janet’s love and support.

In honor of the Flathers’ one-year anniversary, and just in case we missed something during the actual toast, here’s the original text.  By the way, I still can’t read it all the way through without welling up, and I wouldn’t have it any other way:

When Steven stopped by our house on that fateful night, about a year ago, I think we had a pretty good idea what he wanted to talk to us about. He wanted to ask our daughter to marry him. It wasn’t a surprise to us, but that moment is certainly burned into our memory. Obviously, Julianne said Yes! And, we couldn’t be happier for them. Steven is quite a catch, and he comes from a great family that we’ve gotten to know quite well over the years.

I’m pleased to see that Steven’s tuxedo doesn’t have any grease spots…yet…and I’m sure it’s killing him keeping it clean!

This is the NASCAR section of the toast when I thank all the people who made this celebration possible. Let me just start by thanking everyone who came here last night (and this morning) to help setup this hall. We had around 40 people here yesterday afternoon and evening, helping us convert an empty hall into this wedding picnic wonderland you see today. But, even before that, we had numerous work parties at our house, addressing invitations, preparing the candy, the candle holders, and all of the flowers. If you are a friend of mine on FaceBook, you’ve seen the pictures and updates.  We’d also like to thank many of you in advance for volunteering to help us convert this wedding picnic wonderland back into an empty hall tonight!

Although we have a picnic theme going, we could just as easily call this a “barn-raising.” The same way a community comes together to help one family build their barn, we are blessed to have just about everything in this wedding come from our own community of friends and family. Thank you for all of your help. We will always cherish the time we’ve spent with each of you as we prepared for this wedding celebration.

Someone recently asked us how we’d feel on our daughter’s wedding day, giving her away, and all. We don’t look at it that way.  Instead, we are adding a very fine son-in-law to our family. As parents, we all strive to see our kids grow into solid citizens. I can tell you from first-hand experience, Steven and Julianne are VERY SOLID CITIZENS. We are very proud of both of you!

So, Steven and Julianne, we raise our lemonade high, in your honor. May your love for each other grow as you greet each new day together!

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