Archive for the ‘Special Days’ Category

May: When everything got rolling

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

May 2005. The day my dress arrived.

Matthew 6:32 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

As I age some memories get fuzzy. My timeline becomes bemuddled, marking time based on around the relative time frame of important events in my life such as the births of my kids, the year I graduated, and of course when I got married. I think to a degree everyone does this, but knowing my tendency to drop memories or accidentally falsify them is what drives me to come here regularly, which brings me to today’s post. I want to remember May 2005.

So quickly Darren and I have aged together, just as we planned. Perhaps it was him reaching 50 that really struck me with the sentiments of “Wow!! Look at us now!!” He’s always saying, “God brought us together.” I don’t know why I don’t think this is the most romantic thing ever, I should, but I feel that it strips us of all conscious choice or attraction, much like when someone runs a marathon or beats cancer and gives no credit to the intense training or experience of the physicians. Yes, a million times yes, God orchestrated our union. He also knows the day of our death, and even goes so far as to say that the wicked are created for the day of judgement (Proverbs 16:4). He knows the choices you will make, reader, and the choices I will make, but still we have to answer for those decisions one day at the judgement seat (John 12:38).

Sorry but not sorry that I’m so full of scripture proofs, I do know that people don’t talk this way in reality…but then again, you’ve chosen to step into my mind and these are the thoughts in my head today.

May 2018


It was the last week of April that I said yes to the man that I plan on seeing every day of my life. I struggled a little bit over if I was in love with being loved or if my heart was really ready to lock the rest of my earthly life to this man for the best reasons of heart and mind equally. It’s a moment of confusion that I even now can’t write out in a way that flows nicely.

After I said yes, church leadership told me that if I broke off the agreement I’d be as bad as someone who is divorced, and that was worthy of being thrown out of the church which was everything to me. While that’s not based on scripture whatsoever and we did get excommunicated anyway, it was a misconstrusion of biblical principles that at the time worked to our benefit. We are still the same people, just with less superstition. Frankly, I’m glad we have the shared experiences that we did in that church.

May 2005 I ordered and received my wedding dress. I lined up a photographer, ordered my flowers and cake, we bought the rings and recruited my sisters to stand as bridesmaids, ordered invitations, booked the small chapel and invited the handful of guests we could imagine and set the date. By September we were married. The weather was perfect, everyone was smiling and the simplicity of the entire day was so us. May was all a blur and I’m so happy to have recorded the details here. Simply scroll way down in my archives if you’d like to look through that. It’s cataloged away, ready for me to revisit anytime I like. The entire thing was so simple that I can pull it up in my mind, despite my patchy memory and have a pretty good sketch.

2005

Another day ever fixed in my mind was the day that I met Darren. I cringe a little in embarrassment over what a hot mess I was, another story for another day. Headline: we had to be introduced. Subtitle: I walked right past him. Body of the writing: I knew him by his voice. My hair was really curly then and required at least 30 minutes of attention in the morning to look decent, time that I hadn’t had that morning. Maybe it was important that Darren saw me looking my messiest and still liked me. I remember he was wearing a leather jacket and had white sneakers and the biggest smile.

wedding day!

These years later we’re still the same people we were that day. We’ve grown together and developed connections beyond religion. We were in the right place at the right time. That first night in a yahoo chat room, and the conference room in an apartment complex where our church used to meet.

My heart is at peace when I get even a fragment of the smile he had for me then. I feel eternally blessed that I’m still here with the daily opportunity to say or do something to bring out happiness in him.

We don’t live each day as our last. We live for the day, and know that God will take care of the rest. We try to teach our kids the same thing–take responsibility, accept consequences and learn from your successes and faults to be a better person for tomorrow and for the people you’ll meet. Love others, but first love the Lord and respect yourself. These are the messages to live by, that I hope will stay with us for generations to come.

Carly Annalise Taryn: 10 Years Old

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

My daughter is 120 months old today.

I truly can hardly express what a delight she is and how blessed I feel to be her mother.

A close attempt is to show Then and Now photos, mainly pulling of course from old blog posts!

Diederick and Carly. Rarely in photos present day, because in part because they’re not in school together. Koen and Diederick play together more so than Carly and Diederick, perhaps due to varied interests. While that’s true, the two of them have gone through similar experiences as they’re growing up, for example, Carly homeschooled last year and Deeder’s doing it this year. Although both of them appear to have become better students through being at home, neither will remain in the situation of home based learning because the element of social isolation is very real and just not beneficiary to either one of them. Siblings and friends are good but not enterchangable, so while we are in a good school district we plan to have the kids pursue education with their peers.

Carly can most often be found either reading in her room, playing on her phone or outdoors with the neighbor girl exploring in the woods. In fair weather, she’s to be found outdoors coloring with sidewalk chalk or cruising the neighborhood on scooters with friends.
Carly also adores her little hamster Oreo. He joined our family last summer and under Carly’s attentive eye is doing quite well.

The little girl sleeping so peacefully in this swing just hasn’t stopped telling me exactly what she thinks about everything, even before she could speak actually–pushing away what she didn’t want and grabbing for items that captured her fancy even before offered. She gives me more than honest answers to what she thinks of my outfits and haircuts. Everyone needs a child like her–outspoken, opinionated and enthusiastic. She’s asked if she may do some guest posts here on Oraeley.com to which I’ve agreed, so that may be an upcoming event. Of course if she does get in some writing, younger brother Koen will want to follow in her footsteps as he is determined to try and exceed whatever she puts her hand to.

Happy birthday, Carly Annalise Taryn. Mommy and Daddy love you! We’ll always be here when you need us, to talk at any time or to pray with you if that’s what you’d like to do. Continue relying on God and following in His example. Make good choices in your friendships and come to us any time for guidance. We’ll do our best to help you along your path as you grow and learn more about what you want to do. Be happy and healthy, always smile and let your spirit shine. Love you forever and always, sweet girl!

2016. Our family!

33 years old.

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Happy birthday to me in 2 days. This year Darren and I are celebrating 13 years of marriage. My gosh. When I look in the mirror and smile, I see right there the person who was posting regularly here so many years back. I remember writing, “where will I be X years from now.” here I am, still typing and still alive very blessed in every aspect of life. Each day has been complete in it’s own way, some sad others brimming with joy. My youngest is 6 just a week after I’m 33. Her face is gorgeous, her spirit is so sweet and her laugh is priceless.

Darren works on my birthday as he did the year I wrote the post titled, My Nice Day
Life has kind of gone back to that place. I have my oldest home again full time with me, the difference is really great though. We’ve reached our goal of owning a home, and are not away from family anymore.

My goals are pretty much the same as ever. I want to be patient and kind, I want to keep fit and active, I always hope to pray and read my bible. Through the years I continue to remind myself that in order to care for my family and follow the appropriate paths in life I have to take care of myself as well. Stay happy so that I can bring everyone else up is really my number one.

Here’s to 33 years, and hopefully a few more.

The End of The First Week

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Willie's first day!Isn’t that face just a beam of sunshine? But wait! There’s a super shaky video to go along with. Woopteedoo!! This video is so shaky, that I extend the same caution as looking directly into the sun: don’t stair for too long or your eyes may dry out. Thankfully it’s only a few second long clip. I have no idea what my problem is, other than that I recall AJ grabbing my leg the whole while.
I hoped to get an adorable quote the first day of school, and write it down to treasure forever. I got even better: a blurry picture of my little boy jumping between the hedge shrubs with the biggest silly smile on his face.
The source of his glee? Oh, just that he’s now part of the big kids club. Membership requirement by his perception: riding the bus up the hill and back down with a backpack on, well there’s a lot in the middle, but what excitement experiencing that beginning and end to the first day of Kindergarten.

Willie’s answer to what his favorite subject was: “It was outside P.E. That’s the P.E where all the kids are playing around and Deeder teaches me how to play Four Square!!” In other words, my oldest was the good boy I told him to be by INCLUDING his kid brother in that FAVORITE game. That’s not P.E class, that’s recess. School staff isn’t out there hovering over my 3rd grader to make sure he’s including his Kindergartener brother, they may not even know the two are relatives. Could this be brotherly love?

I look forward to starting my volunteer time and watching the two out there, they also have lunch period together.
No, I didn’t hit up Willie’s answer, “I like outside P.E” by correcting him that this was called recess and define for him the difference. He has so much time ahead of him that I just am hoping that he’ll go along to love every day.

Oh! That pretty little lady who gets off the bus with Willie asking me why I’m taking pictures? Yeah, she gets last recess with him and begrudgingly informed me that they don’t get to eat lunch together.

Willie’s big sister has gorgeous writing as of this week, by the way. She’s told me that this year she’s going to be really good at writing and reading. Sounds like a wonderful start to me, perhaps she can teach me a thing or two!

As for today: It’s Friday, Friday night to be exact. The last day of an almost entire week of school for my sweet school people. Willie is accustomed to twice a week, not even half day, preschool. Time for some sleep.

T.E.N

Friday, September 11th, 2015

DSCN0996My heart has been excited for September 10th 2015 since September 10th 2005. Because it marks double digit anniversary with Darren. I couldn’t stop smiling that day. There was no appointment for a spray tan, plans to sit in a salon chair and have curlers in my hair or get my nails done. There’d been no painful exercise regimen gone through over the period of weeks that had made up my engagement. The dress that I bought through an Ebay seller for our day was gorgeous beyond measure in my eyes and went wonderfully with my sequin flip flops from Payless that I’d found (and still have to this day) the sun was shining and the sky was blue with hardly a cloud in sight.

Since we’re Christians I absolutely love tying Bible verses through our marriage, and I think Darren does as well.
He bought me a little wood cut out that says, “Love is patient…Love is kind…Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13. It’s shabby chic style, and the word above the those stenciled on pieces of 1 Cor is LOVE all cute and quilty. I’ll keep in in my office window sill or on my tea shelf next to my main desk.

Anniversaries are a terrific opportunity to reflect, be they anniversaries of jobs, home purchases, or in this case, marriage.
All the glory is to God, all the thankfulness for the blessings and just everything that has made us a stronger unit is His doing and worthy of praise. Everyone accustomed to Christianity knows that words, Husbands loves your wives/wives submit to your husbands.

This year my scripture meditation is Proverbs 18:22.

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
and he receives favor from the LORD.

As I celebrate TEN I don’t celebrate perfection. I celebrate being called a gift from the Lord, which is what I hope you do, reader, as you move through life and commemorate what the Lord has brought you to and through. Another time in scripture that God says that you’re a treasure even before you’ve done a thing is when you’re conceived and born, that’s what Psalm 127:3 says.

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

No matter who you are, whatever stage you’re in, know that you are worth being celebrated. Loving yourself at anniversary, be it 5 or 55, is part of honoring your marriage vows, believe it or not. If you aren’t appreciating who God made you, how can you honor and love the one that the perfect Heavenly Father has placed in your arms?

Honor her or him, with your whole heart. Treasure the moment, capture not just ever year, but take each, not knowing how the next will be.
Tonight, as I sat at dinner with my husband of ten years, I wasn’t excusively thankful for celebrating this monumental moment, I had more. Tonight I didn’t need a lot of words, or big huge smiles. What I needed was mutual appreciation, and we have that. I love the team that Darren and I are together as parents and partners under Christ’s headship.

DSCN0992Two lives coming together to make kids and a story together is huge. This is indeed a precious thing, thought of as common maybe, but to me, prized that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Yes, we can grow.

But God’s word says that this is already a good thing, before growth has been made or a check list of annoying behaviors minimized. I’m prized, I’m love by my Creator and that makes me even that much more able to treasure now, to love yesterdays and to be so eager to celebrate more and more of these anniversaries.
May the moments, days, months and years pile up. Many moments yet to be experienced, memories to be made, and photos to be taken.

Speaking of photos taken, the flowers above are from the flower shop owned and operated by the wonderful woman who did the flowers for our wedding, ten years ago. She’s been arranging flowers for weddings now on to 30 years. I know I took a picture of Cheryl Jackson with these flowers that Darren bought for me today, but I sure can’t find that photo right now! Anyway, I’ll add it if I do.

Congratulations, dear Darren, on 10 years. I love you and am so happy to be by your side. And to anyone else out there celebrating, God bless you as well.