Thursday, April 23, 2009

Making Family History

Yesterday, I gained a new member of the family. My sister got married. I have a new brother-in-law, Colin, and my sister is the new Mrs. Amy Slade. We spent the day with my family, and with a whole new branch of the family, as well as extended family we don't get to see enough. It was one of those watershed days, where your life and family all comes into focus. One of those days that don't happen often enough.

The day was heavenly. She couldn't have had better weather. And the trees were just coming into bloom. All up and down the street were gorgeous flowering trees and a breeze came up early in the morning and blew some of the petals all over the driveway and the yard. It was like confetti over everything. Daffodils and tulips were everywhere. Dad is a wonderful gardener so you wouldn't have even known it was the first really warm week of the year. It was just the most perfect spring day I've ever seen--just what one would want for her little sister's wedding.

Probably so I could incorporate it into my blog, (grin) Amy integrated family history and the blending of these two families into the party. (thanks Amy.) For favors, she had the favorite cookie recipes from each of the new couple's grandmothers, their mothers and then a new recipe for Amy and Colin. They printed recipe cards of each for everyone as mementos and displayed wedding pictures of each of the couples. Literally, it was a sweet tribute to the families they come from.

We, of course, printed a bunch of giclees of the couple and of Amy's bridal pictures. You'll have to permit me for a minute to brag about how beautiful my sister is. These giclees we did were incredible. And we had a hard time deciding which to print. They all looked like a magazine shoot.

Ok. I'm done. But she is gorgeous isn't she? And the prints turned out so nice. I'm afraid that we got a little carried away, and that they will have more pictures of themselves than they will know what to do with.

Amy and Colin are both the youngest children in their families and Collin comes from a large family. So there were tons of nieces and nephews, in-laws and etc. The pictures that included the whole family were amazingly huge, reminding me of the turn of the century photographs you see of huge families. I spent the day pretty blown away by the changes in our family. We haven't had a wedding for 15 years and my family has pretty much stayed the same for that time. Now, our family relationships are changing, my younger sister is an adult, and the balance of nurturing will begin to shift. The span of a family never ceases to amaze me even though I work with genealogy every day. Life moves so quickly and passes from one generation to the next in what seems like moments. And all through it, those precious, sometimes choppy, always consequential relationships are really the only important things in life.

And there is nothing like a family wedding to make your life flash before your eyes. Yesterday I got to see second cousins once removed, great aunts, my uncles I don't get to see enough, previous teachers, old family friends, neighbors I used to see every day but haven't seen for 15 years, and lots and lots of the people who shaped me into who I am. I got to spend a little time thanking those people for the wonderful influence they have had on me, catching up on how everyone is and being grateful and overwhelmed at how blessed I've been. It is just amazing how much one life affects so many others, and how so many lives affect yours. As I head back to real life today, I hope I can let that perspective continue to guide my day to day actions.


Gramma224 said...

What a beautiful article about love, marriage and families! I wish I could write as well as you did. Sounds like it was a overall beautiful experience for everyone!

Janet Iles said...

The photos are wonderful. Your sister is very pretty. What a wonderful idea to honour the grandparents with sharing of recipes as the gift to those in attendance.

Michael Booth said...

I was under the impression that your grandmother's favorite cookie recipe was a top-secret! :)

If anybody was there, please post the recipes in this comment section ;)

Janet Hovorka said...

It was my great-grandmother's recipes that were secret :-) Sorry you are still out of luck.

But I will give you this one. Amy and Colin picked this for their cookie. I'd never had them. They were soooo good.

Try this:
Amy and Colin's Chocolate Bliss Bars.
2 cups butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
24 ounces chocolate chips
16 oz hot fudge sauce
7 ounce package shredded coconut.

Cream butter, brown sugar and eggs. Stir in dry ingredients then chocolate chips. Spread half of the cookie dough on the cookie sheet. Spread hot fudge sauce and coconut over the dough. Crumble the remaining dough over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

geneabloggers said...

Congrats to you - and to Colin and Amy. A very well written story and I love hearing about weddings!

Anonymous said...


Gorgeous photos! I love the incorporation of the family history element via cookie recipes - what a great idea! (And no need for a dessert table at the reception!) Best of luck to the happy couple.


Anonymous said...

Hi Janet

after reading your article, I felt even more sad not having been there. Good all the familys efforts turned out so perfect for this occasion. Just great article - smart lady.

Janet Hovorka said...

Oh Bea, we missed you! Hope you are home safe and sound. Come see us again soon.
Lots of Love,