Love

Of course I’m blogging today, it’s Valentine’s Day… the most romantic day of the year and what kind of a romance writer would I be if I didn’t acknowledge this day for lovers?

When I decided to start a writing career I could have chosen a different direction… children’s books, science books, text books… any number of genres were open to me as long as I had the drive to write about them.

But I chose romance. Why? Because I’m a sucker for love and the happy ending. I enjoy nothing more than getting swept away as the hero and heroine find their way through a sticky maze of conflict to end up in each others’ arms and find that fate meant all along for them to end up together. *sigh*
 
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I know, I know, I’ve been missing in action. *sigh* Life in the Pierce house has been a little out of control. This is the first week in the last couple of months I didn’t manage to pre-load my posts. Shame on me.

Anyway, here’s part of what’s been happening. MY DAUGHTER, BEAUTIFUL GIRL, GOT MARRIED! I know, right? *sniff sniff*

Mr. Nina and I were realizing it was just a year ago this month that our future son-in-law, Lover Boy, asked Mr. Nina for our daughter’s hand in marriage. They were on the golf course doing the “guy” thing where it all began.

Fast forward to a year later. My daughter (and her fiance) was a crazy-woman doing all kinds of crafty things for her wedding. They made all of their wedding invitations. She created gorgeous table numbers with baby photos of the two of them. She made all the place cards. She made a “card cake” for the gift table. She made allllll kinds of things. But the day before the wedding (when her mother assumed everything was finished) she hadn’t done the BIG things. Oh, like pick up all the flowers for the wedding. Find her wedding rings … yeah in the craft/laundry/dishes mess that had become her livingroom floor over the past two weeks. Create the soundtrack of music that would be played at her wedding. Pack for the wedding weekend … just to name a few things she hadn’t done THE DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING, ONE HOUR BEFORE REHEARSAL!

So two days before the wedding when her future mother-in-law took several family members and my daughter to a spa for mani’s and pedi’s, we thought it would be relaxing. Only, the nails Beautiful Girl had been nurturing for a month (for the “ring” picture) got cut off by the manicurist! Cut off! Which meant a quick trip to the salon the next morning for nail tips. And THEN I found out everything that still needed to be done.

The laundry list of stories that will be retold in the Pierce house is long. (Because we never do anything easy.) But include:

– Beautiful Girl 30 min late for her own rehearsal
– Sex toy party thrown by her bridesmaids in her wedding suite
– Forgotten wedding veil that required a 40 minute road trip at 1 am
– A light mist that turned into a full blown rain 20 minutes before ceremony
– Makeup person doing funky things on bridesmaids that needed to be remedied
– Beautiful Girl plugging her ears singing “la la la la … I can’t hear you” as they’re doing her hair (because she was done making decisions)
– Moving the wedding indoors and starting 30 min late

All of which ended with a beautiful, heartwrenching ceremony that had everyone in tears. A fun reception. And a couple of kids who couldn’t be happier. Crazy, wonderful times. (And I’m glad we survived. LOL!)

 

Where it was supposed to be

Where it actually was

The Pierce Family


THE HAPPY COUPLE
(Photo by KATE BAKER PHOTOGRAPHY)

I’m feeling very nostalgic this week after attending the funeral of my dear friends’ mother. Technically the woman is my brother’s mother-in-law. But since he literally married the girl-next-door, this woman was for all intents and purposes, she was the neighborhood mom to all teenagers.

I don’t remember a time in my youth when this family wasn’t part of the landscape of my day-to-day life. My brother spoke eloquently at her funeral about being a young teen and hanging out at the house, raiding the pantry and cleaning the leftovers out of the fridge. Another friend of mine talked about all the crazy times the gang spent at their house. This woman and her husband were married 55 years. There are all kinds of memories that make me smile about this gruff truck driver coming home to his wife and three girls. Despite his prickly exterior I never had any doubt they filled his heart with unconditional love. I was too young to see the difficult times that no doubt clouded their marriage, but still, they were able to weather every storm.

My brother has been married to his wife going on 29 years. We even have pictures of them, complete with minister (my younger brother), wedding dress, bridesmaids and groomsmen in their backyard getting married … long before they were even officially teenagers. I’ve watched these two go through some wonderful times and some very hard times. And what I’ve come to know is that loving someone for a looong time isn’t always easy and definitely not always pretty.

Thirty-seven years ago this fall I began dating my husband.

We’ve raised three babies to young adulthood. Gutted and remodeled two homes. Buried eight grandparents and a father. Persevered through three major job losses, four family divorces and a sibling’s affair. Survived the diagnosis of a life-altering chronic disease. And lived in the middle of nowhere for over twenty years. And currently counseling a child to get herself and our grandson out of a terrible living situation. Yeah, romance isn’t the happy-ever-after-ride-into-the-sunset the romance novels seem to tout for their heroes and heroines. Romance in real lives is smiling despite the fact you never managed to squeak in a shower and saying “I love you, you’re beautiful” even though there are dirty dishes in the sink, laundry piled on the bed and baby puke on your pants.

Through all the hardships of daily life I still believe in soul mates and forever loves. In my immediate family we have 5 couples who have been married nearly 30 years. 2 nearly 20. And now another generation begins the journey into marital romance with 4 weddings in the coming year.

I’ve been blessed with one of those marriages that romance novels promise. How could I not be a hopeless romantic at heart? There are no flowers on my counter or diamonds dripping from ears, but there’s a guy sitting in the chair next to me as I work tirelessly at my computer who laughs at my corny jokes, doesn’t roll his eyes (too much) at my lack of geographical acuity, holds me when I cry and is willing to discuss (with a straight face) whether vampire assassins make worthy romance heroes. And just being with him makes me feel romantic.

There are many moments in our lives together that hold a special place in my heart. Moments that bring a tear to my eye when I talk about them. Moments when we were first dating. Moments when our babies were growing up. Moments of quiet when it was just the two of us away from the noise of the world. All of them hold a certain kind of romance that makes me smile when I think of them.

This week I watched a man openly weep as he said goodbye to a woman who no doubt was the other half of his soul. I listened to his daughters talk about their parents’ love with a lump in their throat and a tear in their eye. And it just brought home a stark reminder that no matter how hard life gets, it’s important to cherish my marriage. I can only hope when it’s all said and done that my children will have all those wonderful memories of their parents.

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