We had the honor and privilege of attending our second wedding in two weekends. The venue was perfect for an outdoor ceremony followed by an indoor reception.
Driving on the beautiful back roads of Vacaville, California, we turned into a gravel road and were instructed to park in the open fields of this spacious ranch. Neither of us have been here before though we have driven by this location several times in the past years.
As we walked towards the crowd, we found our seats under some shade as the sun was beginning its descent. The gazebo was the focal point of the proceedings. The ceremony was concise and I am sure the family members in the first couple of rows were very thankful for that as they sat in the hot sun.
As we turned our attention to the reception, I saw an old friend standing in the shadows. She was a volunteer and I knew that I would catch up with her soon. During a break before the bride and groom reappeared, I stepped outside and bumped into my friend.
Then she told me some amazing facts about the Joyful Ranch.
I have been learning how to be a better husband and displacing my selfish needs in exchange for enhancing my wife’s life and well-being. Most men need to improve their thought process in their relationships with their wives, fiancé, or girlfriends (whichever situation you are at the present time).
So what am I doing to improve my marriage?
Dating my wife each week of course.
We spend our Wednesday afternoons enjoying each other’s company. Dates do not always have to cost money (great news guys)!
The other day, we decided to stay home and watch a movie on Netflix. We agreed to watch Beauty and The Beast as we had missed it at the theater. It was fun to see the human actors and actresses reenact the movie.
As high school kids are graduating into the next phase of their lives, many will carry life experiences that have transformed them so far in their young lives. Some are just happy to walk the stage or receive their diploma.
Yet there are others who have tried new things in their younger years and may not realize the impact it will have in their future careers, relationships, and thought processes. I feel excited for many of them as their journey is much different these days.
I share similar emotions as teachers of many of the graduating students. While I may not have been a full-time instructor (I commend those who have the tenacity to teach our next generation), I do reflect upon many of the special children that were in my care from a different type of background.
The brisk sunny afternoon was the perfect welcome for the annual Christmas party that was about to begin. Relatives near and far converged upon this particular home which enjoyed the perfect backdrop of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Oakland hills greeted this extended family to a party expected to be filled with laughter, stories, and love that transcends four generations!
This much-anticipated family party was about to begin!
We attended the funeral service of a dear sister in Christ who was suddenly taken home at the end of August. She was only 55 years young and was full of life. She had a conversation with her brother the night before she passed and everything seemed normal.
She leaves behind a humble and wonderful husband and two grown daughters who are just beginning their lives in the world. Nothing prepared them for this unexpected loss. I was very shocked to hear this news (as many were as well) and could not wrap my mind around the finality of the situation.
Have you ever had the chance to stay at a Ritz Carlton Hotel in any location? If you ever want pampering, this is a great oasis to visit. A bit extravagant, their rooms are immaculate, spacious, and a beautiful view that creates a dilemma to spend your entire stay in your temporary home or use it merely as a restful haven.
As the end of another year draws near, many reflect upon what they have accomplished from their New Year’s Resolution List (OK, stop laughing). Others ponder on the missed opportunities in life and defer it to next year’s goals instead. Sure, there are six more Fridays to Christmas Day (didn’t mean to panic anyone) or for some, seven more weeks until 2015 is over!