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The date was March 21,1992 and I was twenty-four years old. It was a Saturday and the first day of Spring. The day started out clear and mild with a slight chill in the air. The sun peeked over the hillside as it arose and shone through the budding trees while I sat with my cup of coffee. After greeting the day, I jumped in the shower, carefully shaved my legs from ankle to upper thigh and my underarms. I relished in the day as the warm water beat down on me and ran down to the tub floor, taking with it the glorious thick lather from my freshly washed hair. I lathered up my favorite bath puff with sweet, floral scented soap and savored the fragrance the bubbles left behind.  My mind raced and no matter how much I tried, I could not wipe the smile from my face. Today was the day!  In just a few hours, I would say I Do to the man who stole my heart almost a year before to the day during our first date. Today, my new life was about to begin with the man of my dreams. 

 

24 Years & Counting

Wow….walking down memory lane and seeing these photos again, I think “Were we really that young and trim?”

I quickly dried and rolled my hair using 2 sets of hot rollers. Big hair was still a thing back then and I had long, thick layered hair that I styled with those rollers almost every single day. But today, it was to be styled in a semi up-do, swept to the side with ringlets and curls and a hairpiece laden with iridescent sequins and pearl accents among silk and organza leaves and flowers. My cousin and I had custom designed and made the hairpiece to go with my one of a kind designer wedding dress and the wedding bouquet, which I also made. The dress was a dream dress. Winter white satin brocade with tiny embroidery all over, a high collar, long sleeves and a fitted bodice. It was adorned with beautiful crocheted lace and hand-sewn iridescent sequins strategically placed for sparkle. It was beautiful with belle of the ball elegance.  I had taken in washing and ironing from relatives and family friends for 4 or 5 months to pay for this dress. I found it at a small bridal shop in town as was fortunate to get a great deal on it.

While the heat set in the curls, I applied my make-up. Today, it had to be just right….not too much, not too little….drawing attention to my best feature…my eyes… in colors that I knew worked for me.  And it was everything it should be. I removed the cooled rollers and styled my hair…teasing, back-combing , putting the curls just where I wanted them, spraying it with hairspray to keep it in place. Big hair, remember?  I had practiced this style numerous times to get it right. And it was perfect. I put on my favorite fragrance that I usually wore….a sultry, yet soft and sexy scent that made me feel sexy and beautiful.  I put on my earrings and other jewelry I was going to wear for my big day.  I threw on some comfy clothes, gathered my dress, satin high-heeled pumps, bouquet, my travel outfit, and suitcase filled with all the clothes I was taking on the honeymoon. My dad, step-mom and I got into the car and headed to the church. The wedding was to begin at 10am. 

Once at the church, I went to the room where I finished getting dressed and waited as people streamed in and out to wish me well, ooh and aah over how I looked, the decorations in the church…anything and everything. Someone came to tell me my groom was there and that he looked so handsome. I beamed at the thought of seeing him waiting for me at the altar in his suit and tie we had carefully selected together and the look on his face when he saw me in my dress for the first time. Yes, I was a traditionalist and wouldn’t let him see my dress or see me the day of the wedding. My dad softly knocked on the door of the room and came in. Of course he made me cry as he told me how proud he was of me, what a good man I had been blessed with and how beautiful I looked. Dang it! I dabbed at my eyes, blew my nose and prayed my make-up didn’t smear.

Then it was time to make my way to the front porch and the double doors of the small country church where my uncle and my soon-to-be  uncle-in-law were waiting to open those doors for my entrance. That’s when the nerves set in. I had visions of tripping in my heels as we walked down the aisle or of getting my feet tangled up in my floor length dress and kissing the floor face first. Because we were having it video taped, I just knew my face plant would end up on America’s Funniest Home Videos. I realized all the guests would be looking at me.  YIKES! I barely remember that walk, except for squeezing my dad’s arm to signal him to slow down. And my soon-to-be husband….I remember him standing there facing me with our pastor on his right side and his best man on his left. Then I was there at his side, with his sister on my other side as my matron of honor. Our pastor was performing the ceremony, reading scriptures and a poem about love, talking about how wedding rings are round and have no beginning or end and saying all the things we had rehearsed the night before.

It was really happening. I wondered if I would even be able to squeak out the words “I Do!” as the nerves intensified. Suddenly, my mind was on the kiss. Why? Because the love of my life had jokingly said he was going to dip me when he kissed his bride. “Oh my…if he does, I hope he doesn’t drop me.” Yes, that’s what I was thinking as the smell of my man’s cologne wafted to my nose and my knees got weak from feeling him so close to me. Then it was time to take our vows, exchange rings and have the kiss. No, he didn’t dip me. But he had that sly smile like he was going to. Our pastor then turned us to our guests to introduce us….”Ladies & gentlemen. It’s with great pleasure I introduce to you for the very first time, ……..”  and he hesitated. We both looked at him and realized he had forgotten our names. After all these years of being our pastor, of spending more time with both of us and our families at our respective homes, he couldn’t remember our names. Trying not to burst out laughing, I wondered if we should help him. No need. He recovered a snippet of the info in his brain and continued “…..Mr. and Mrs. Bart Moore.”  We were married! After a small reception, we whipped away in the best man’s jeep to retrieve our car which we had hidden to keep it from being “revenge wedding pranked”. (That’s a story for another day.)

That was 24 years ago today and it’s been more than I could have imagined or hoped for. In these 24 years, we’ve moved a couple of counties away from our small home town where we were both raised. We’ve established a home, become parents, lost loved ones to disease and accidents, had health crisis’ of our own, changed careers, started and grown businesses and have been church members and ministry leaders at 3 churches. We have made a life together. We’ve weathered the storms, laughed, cried, and embraced the uniqueness of one another.  This man who changed my life forever still makes my knees go weak and the smell of him takes me to places we won’t talk about. It’s true that love grows stronger and deeper every day. Experiences happen that test you and your relationship and life changes moment by moment, day by day.  But that love…real love….is a strong foundation that everything gets built upon. It ages like fine wine.  As the Holy Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:8, “Love never fails.”  Honestly, I would not change one minute of our life together.

OK…So I told y’all all this to lead up to something just for you to enjoy while we celebrate love and life. In honor of our 24th wedding anniversary, I’m offering $2.40 off shipping costs and $2.40 off your purchase total on all orders over $24.00. All you have to do is make sure there is $24.00 worth in your cart before shipping is applied, enter the promotional coupon code 24HappyYears at checkout and my system will do the rest.  *Offer excludes gift certificates and expires Sunday, March 27, 2016.

Until next time….enjoy the Ahhh moments!

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*Please note that due to a substantial increase in orders over the last 6 weeks, the fact that I make products to order and do it all solo, personal & family illness and various situations beyond my control, current turnaround times are around 3-4 weeks to get orders fully processed and filled.  I’m working on a new setup and process to reduce this time-frame. Your patience and understanding is appreciated while I make those changes and fill orders as fast as I physically can in the meantime. 

 

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