1. Today Brian and I are celebrating 19 years of marriage.
I picked Bri up at work to go out to lunch, since we couldn’t get a sitter for tonight. Deliciousness at Love Muffin Café, with uninterrupted conversation. He asked if this is where I thought we’d be 19 years ago, knowing the answer was no. And yet, I love where we are.
2. When I dropped him back at work, his friend Lenard called out hello, and knowing it was our anniversary, asked how many years. When I said 19 he looked shocked. I’d like to think it’s because we barely look 30 (ha!), but I suppose it’s because so many marriages don’t make it that long. I have no advice for others---every marriage is its own mystery---but I do know a key element that’s contributed to ours: laughter. This man has always been able to make me laugh.
I know in this post-modern age, we aren’t supposed to be all Mrs.Bennet-match-making-obsessed, but even the latest treatise on women and the workplace, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, acknowledges that the decision with the greatest impact on your happiness as well as your career is whom you choose to be your partner. I’m forever grateful to my 24 year old self for having gone with her gut and her heart on that decision. Best decision of my life.
3. Say what you want about Sheryl Sandberg (everyone else seems to be doing so) and her TED talk, or Barnard Commencement speech or her new best-seller, she’s gotten people talking. Regardless of where I’m in agreement and disagreement with her, I’m grateful to her for having raised the topic of why women aren’t in more leadership positions.
I’ve had plenty of lively conversation over the past two weeks, on hikes with friends (who had already read---months ago--- the articles I had just “discovered”) or over wine at dinner last week at a table of just women, who had each made very different choices and each had something to contribute to the conversation. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by people from whom I learn things, who share their insights and experiences.
4. I haven’t finished this month’s book club pick, Eva Luna (though I’m still determined to!) but see the last sentence above for why I try never to miss our gathering.
5. Instead of Eva Luna, I have been reading The Secret Garden every night with Sean (and Nolan usually joins us). It is often the sweetest moment of my day.
6. I love St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s a challenge. It falls in a week already full of celebrations so that it is easy to overlook even in a proud Irish household. And, if you read my post on Saturday, you’ll understand why I couldn’t quite rally this year. My sons, however, fully rallied.
Sean and Nolan set leprechaun traps, and Aidan served as a waiter at our church’s largest fund raiser, their annual Corn Beef and Cabbage dinner. I did manage to make Mom’s trademark 7-layer bars and rainbow jello for the dinner.
The recipe for Rainbow Jello couldn’t be simpler, but the challenge is finding the time to stay at home to do it. I started it with kids help, but finished it long after everyone else had gone to bed.
I used one large box each of five kinds of jello. You can see I didn’t wait quite long enough when I added the orange or yellow layers---they tend to mix with the previous layer if you do that. I recommend waiting a full 45 minutes between layers.
Last year we made it as one large dish, but since the whole thing is about the pretty rainbow look, and there’s nothing pretty about a jello mold that’s already half served, it’s worth serving in individual clear cups.
8. Speaking of Irish, I found this book at our local library: Essentially Irish by Josephine Ryan and so enjoyed it. I wish I could pin most of its photos to Pinterest. How my mom would have enjoyed it. Maybe one of you reading this could help me (Mary?). What is the Irish term for the large dining/kitchen cupboard/cabinet/buffet as featured in this image?
10. Here’s to my next 10 on Tuesday not attempting to fit 10 different blog posts into one. Kind of like Nolan fitting FOUR birthday celebrations into 3 days. Clockwise from the left: his family celebration the night of his birthday, his celebration at school (cake by Ms. Tiger), his friend party the day before, and his church celebration on the day before that (at least that one he had to share with Aidan!).
Aidan had gone up to the front of the church for his blessing the previous Sunday, and Nolan became shy & self-conscious when it was his turn. He *might* have taken a swing at his brother up on the altar when Sean tried to put him at ease by joining him. It was hilarious but everyone’s laughter made him even more self-conscious, and he ended up burying his head in my shoulder.
I get teary every time our boys go up though, on the threshold of a new year in their life, and we all recite the blessing. I’m capturing it here---so I don’t forget it:
Watch over thy child, O Lord, as his days increase. Bless and guide him wherever he may be. Strengthen him when he stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he falls; and in his heart may thy peace which surpasses understanding abide all the days of his life.