July 1, 2011

  • Celebrating Six Years!


    Celebrating 6! 144

    Our anniversary day deserves a post all its own. :)
    It was a day so lovely I keep thinking back to it and smiling…and smiling!

    To a girl whose love language is quality time, a whole day with my man just exudes affection and devotion!

    The day was so blissful and carefree,
    and full of young love remembered and enjoyed all over again!

    There were the usual questions and planning and deciding about where to go…
    Somewhere new?
    Somewhere we’ve been before?
    Stay more local?
    Drive several hours?
    Pursue a dream anniversary trip to Italy?
    The last one was merely a thought. :)

    We finally decided on Savannah, Georgia.

    Ahhhh, I love me some Savannah!

    So off we went!
    First though, we took the wee girlies to my dear friend Linda’s house.
    She had offered to keep the girls for a whole day, and even overnight if need be!
    Linda is one amazing friend!

    10:30am – drop off girls, and leave for Savannah!

    We spend several days a year in Savannah – it’s close enough for a day trip, but far enough away that it doesn’t happen too often.

    Sometimes it’s a shopping trip, since there are so many fun places there to shop.
    Sometimes it’s to take friends and relatives that come to visit.
    Sometimes it’s for a date.

    It’s ALWAYS fun. :)
    It’s where Olivia was born.
    It’s where I’ve found great deals on craigslist.

    Yeah, you understand. I rather like Savannah. :)

    And I especially like Savannah when I’m on a date!

    We started by hitting Panera for lunch, always a favorite spot. Not too much money is spent there, but it’s such a cool atmosphere and their food is always good.

    Well, almost always. For the second time in a row (several months apart) I ordered the Thai Salad, thinking it was the Asian Sesame Salad. Both times I was almost crying by the end – not from disappointment, although it’s not my favorite, but from the very poignant flavor which brought tears against my will. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t really like hot spicy things in my salad. I surely will remember by next time…

    We also visited a camera shop to see if they could repair our camcorder [negative, we'd have to buy a new one. :( ] and then to World Market to look for outdoor rugs. Just the little things that remind us  of the reality of real life. :)

    And THEN we were carefree! Off we went to Tybee Island!

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    I love the ocean.
    I love the calmness about it.
    I love the rest that the sound of the waves bring to my soul.
    I love being there with my children.
    I especially love being there on a day that is not so busy, with Ben.

    [Tybee Lighthouse, with an old Battery built beside it]

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    There was no sand castle making that day.

    This was a Castles in the Sky sort of day! :)

    This was a walk-along-the-beach-holding-hands day.
    A lay-on-the beach towel flannel-blanket-and-talk day.
    [we forgot beach towels]
    A feeling-like-we’re-kids-again kind of day.

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    A lovely day!

    After a few hours there, we headed to down-town Savannah.

    I had secured some restaurant coupons months ago, the kind where you spend $45 and get $25 off, and so we were hoping for a really nice meal. Appetizers, dessert, drinks, [we always just order water with lemon :) ordering things we usually just think would be great...

    The restaurant ended up being an awesome little building, but basically a hole in the wall with a very basic menu and cheap food. It was decent food, but there was no way we could have ordered $45 worth of food without getting most of it as take-out! We seriously wondered how this little joint ever found its way onto the internet!

    They did have some interesting features though...
    Such as fried crawdads...
    Such as spiked ketchup...
    Such as a cool little window we sat by.

    [The Man]

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    [The Girl]

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    Can you guess his and her personalities by these  ^^ pictures? :)  

    We had enough of daylight time left over to walk around the city a bit…
    I love old Savannah. It’s such an ancient city.
    Ancient for the United States, I should say. 1700′s is old for the U.S.

    [The old Savannah Cotton Exchange, right by the river]

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    [how neat would it be to study at such an amazing place?]

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    [darling little restaurant signs]

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    [I love the ferns that grow out of the sides of the old brick walls]

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    [ not sure what this is, but it looks regal. :) ]

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    [of course, a walk down River Street...]

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    [also of course, always a free praline sample]

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    [I love window boxes and old stone/brick work]

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    [so old!]

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    [We didn't walk in the residential area very much, but there are amazing houses in down-town Savannah.]

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    [I am so fascinated by doorways]

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    [How would you like to say, "I live in the house with the pink shutters." ? :) ]

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    And we found little places to set my camera on self-timer…
    We had to some at least a few pictures of US!

    Probably at least a few other people can relate to how hard it is to get a good picture of just the two of you?
    Yes, us too. Lots of the kiddos. Not so many of us.

    So, self-timer pictures are less than perfect. Angles and rule-of-thirds and such aren’t exactly as I’d like.
    But I do like the pictures. :)

    These got a little blurry, the focus was a bit off, but I liked the angle from being shot on the ground.

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    celebrating 6!

    And we finished off with a venti iced white mocha for the ride home…

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    There is truly something wonderful about being able to say, and truly mean it:

    “We are more in love now than we have ever been any year prior to this, including our wedding day!”

    About knowing that, if you had a choice, you’d make the same decision.

    This was our 6th anniversary, and honestly, this past year has been the best out of all six. 
    I think it’s been the hardest in some ways, and yet God has done amazing things for us. 
    When I married him, I didn’t know how I could love him more, my heart felt so full.
    Six years later, I look back and wonder if I even loved him, our love has grown so much.

    God has done some wonderful, deep things in us, and I have never been as secure in our relationship as I am now. There are whole new levels of trust and communication that have been built. He has won my heart in ways that were never open to him before, and it feels like our souls are more united that we’ve ever experienced.

    So, to spend a whole day together, Ben even taking off of work, was simply wonderful!
    In his words, “To have a whole day where we could just be together without constant interruption is almost heaven!!” :)

    Even the driving time was sweet… He spent over a hour talking non-stop ~ reminiscing about our journey  and how God brought us together.

    How he remembered the first time he ever saw me (I don’t even remember the first time I saw him) and how he thought, “This could be interesting!” He had not been expecting any attraction/romantic interest while we were at Bible School together, and on day #1 he already had to go outside and walk around to clear his mind. :)

    He told me about calling me dad to ask if he could date me, and how he dialed the number several times by kept hanging up because he was so nervous. About how heartbroken he was when I told him no. How almost a year later he dared to risk to ask me again, and how God did lead us together…

    I was in tears by the end, it was so sweet to hear all of that from him! His memory is impeccable! And when he talked it was as if he entered into the emotions of everything all over again!

    I am so grateful to God for our story, for bringing us together, for the unique way that He led us
    I am so grateful for the gift of marriage that He has brought to us!
    Even when I was single and independent and didn’t think I needed a man…
    God knew I did.

    Ben is the perfect opposite of me in many ways.
    Sometimes opposites are hard work.
    But a huge positive thing is that my areas of greatest weakness are his areas of greatest strength.

    I love Shakespeare’s words… about commitment, about growing old together, about love that doesn’t give up in the face of disappointment or pain…


    Shakespeare’s Love Sonnet 116:

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove:

    O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

    Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever love


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    Ben is such a good sport about my ever-clicking camera, and even about the little self-timer deals. I was thanking him for being such a sport, and he just smiled and said he knows how much it means to me, and how I look back at a picture and am transported to the memory that is associated with it. I had once told him that, to help explain why I love pictures so much. They don’t have to be perfect pictures, but when I see a picture I am right back there in that moment. I’m thankful he understands!

    And now we both can be transported back to the moment of the Celebration of the 6th…

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Comments (31)

  • Oh you guys. I shan’t weep a flood over my computer keys, but this is precious. I can’t imagine you marrying anyone else… Ben fits into our family like he was born into it. Thanks for making me miss you all over again and cheers to being always and forever one of my favoritest couples in the whole world.

  • Goodness. I loved every word and every picture…
    What a heart wrench-er post. :]
    You leave us who are not yet betrothed in deep depression. Just kidding of course.
    But it’s a wonderful post.

  • ok.
    i’m not a sister, but even i feel a bit teary eyed after reading this lovely anniversary post! marriage’s that last are such a rarity, and when you read of people who are in it with God being the focus and the reason for the love, it is really, really a blessing.
    so happy for you that you got that day away…quality time is THE BEST!! (said the same-love-language-girl)
    SUCH lovely pictures too…someday, somehow, i so long to go to Savannah. the history and romance of the south so intrigues this girl!
    have a great weekend, and ENJOY having your parents there!!

  • Thanks for the lovely, inspiring post. It’s always so refreshing to read about other people who are still in love (even in spite of being such opposites). And so glad you could have such a wonderful anniversary. I’m a quality time girl so I love these kinds of gifts too and can totally relate to how special it is to have a WHOLE day with your man. :) Hears hoping to many even more wonderful years!

  • aw so sweet! I’m in love your pictures, I don’t care if they’re perfect, when it comes down to it, I too believe it’s the memory that counts…really love that arch entry you found! Savannah sounds and looks like such a cool town! I love quaint old places like that! oh and you look so lovely too-love that middle picture of just you. Looks almost like a catalog/model picture, the lighting is just so awesome and you look like you’re having a wonderful time.

  • this was such a wonderful post Clarita. i loved hearing about all the wonderful moments that were provided for you and Ben, about how your journey has come this far, and about how your love has grown and changed over the years and become such a deep and emotionfilled thing. thank you so much for sharing this beautiful time with us…

  • Happy, Happy, Happy Anniversary!!!
    What a sweet post!  Such a fabulous couple you guys make.  It is so nice to see two people so in love.
    I would Love to see Savanah someday. It looks so quaint and pretty.  And to spend a day at the ocean…how wonderful!
    I know what you mean about pictures taking you back to a moment…songs do that to me too.

    I love the pictures of you guys. I agree with Gabrielle…the middle one of you is just gorgeous.
    Such a sweet sister you have too. ;)

    Enjoy your weekend! Happy 4th. =)

  •  Congratulations!! I must say that sonnett 116 is my favorite!

  • Oh I love it! You took time to describe the feelings and details of being six years . . . and how God has led . . . and how wonderful it has been and IS. Your self-timer pics are beaUtiful and fun. Yup, we know all about those. :) ) I love all of your old, historic-place photos too. (I haven’t talked to you about it yet, but we had some *troubles* with going on bunny trails and not finding the old stuff in Baltimore til the very end . . . and then hardly had any time for pictures. Sadness.) So glad you had this day away and thanks for telling about it!

  • Oh, and I *like* the three pictures of each of you. I certainly can see your personalities shining through! Great idea! :)

  • I love Savannah and Tybee Island!  And I love love love your Anniversary post!  Happy 6th!  :)

  • I haven’t met either of you in person, but if I were to guess your personalities by the “Man” and the “Girl” pictures I would say this:

    of the “Man”: He’s quiet, sober and serious, but to those who really know him he is a burst of  loud laughter. He is a leader that is confident and trustworthy, A Hero that protects, loves and confides in his Heroine. A shelter and haven for his daughters and his beloved.

    of the “Girl”:  She is gentle but high spirited- full of LIFE that she pours into her Husband and daughters. She’s a beam that shows no darkness. She is frisky: showing energry of that of a little girl. Her beauty is that of Rubies. Her compassion and care are seen in the lives of her family.

    of the “couple” :   Their marriage is a “Mystery”

    Happy 6th Anniversary  Ben & Clarita!!!

  • What a fun way to spend your anniversay!  May God bless you with many more!

  • @GixerGurl - Your description of the Man is absolutely to the “T”! I am amazed! Of the Girl, I pray it is so! Your words felt like a blessing to us ~ thank you! ♥

  • This is such a touching post Clarita! Loved hearing about the beginning of the love story. It is so evident that you two have a beautiful relationship because of the way you have made the Lord the center of you marriage.

    What a lovely couple you are inside and out :) Happy Anniversary!

    PS I’ve ALWAYS wanted to visit Savannah! Little bit jealous here ;)

  • @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown - I think you would LOVE Savannah…. There are so many places that are a photographer’s dream. Not to mention it’s very romantic… :) It’s only 10 hours from you! :)

  • @redladybug18 - Savannah is SO amazing. :) I hope you have the opportunity to go sometime! And yes, we did have the time of our lives that day.  :) It was absolutely wonderful!

  • @Elizabethmarie_1 - I often think that of you too – how much in love you and your husband are, and how refreshing and inspiring that is! I just love to see that in other couples! And I do hope you can visit Savannah sometimes ~ you and your man would be in romantic heaven. :)

  • Such a blessing to share in your romantic day! May the Lord continue to bless you both. Happy Anniversary!

  • That was SO much fun to read.  It made me feel all “Aww…” towards my own man!

    I LOVE that you are more in love now when you got married.  I LOVE that you can get away and feel that romance and just enjoy each other.

    Your anniversary get-a-way sounds just wonderful.    Jeremy and I have had some more like that and some that weren’t quite that magical, depending on where we were at in our relationship, but I always am SO glad when we are at a place that we just enjoy it so much!  I can def. say, as well, I am MUCH more in love with Jeremy now than when I married him. Amazing, isn’t it?

    Also, now I really want to see Savanah. It looks absolutely lovely and full of history and interesting things. Thanks for the little tour!

  • so agree ~ it gets better every year. Happy 6th , looks like “good” times.

  • Happy Anniversary!!! I love seeing people being so happy and so in love! Just this afternoon David and I were talking {again} about how much fun we have and how much better it is now than the best was. It’s so exciting and fun that it is that way! I love the pictures of the two of you~ And yes totally get that … the we have no pictures of ourselves and the how hard it is to do it with the self timer and how it transports you back to the moment ~

    I loved these lines:

    Sometimes opposites are hard work.
    But a huge positive thing is that my areas of greatest weakness are his areas of greatest strength.

    So, so, SO true!

  • beautiful Clarita. i remember those days like yesterday… so excited to see what God is doing with you as a couple

  • i LOVE savannah!!! :) happy anniversary! i loved the pictures! they turned out GREAT for self timer.

  • awe, this is such a romantic post, and the reflections that you shared here take me back to SMBI days…. Wow, it’s amazing to see how God brought you two together!   I think you guys make the most beautiful couple! Beauty that reaches to the core of who you are.  May God continue to bless and strengthen your relationship!  Happy Anniversary Ben & Clarita!

  • You documented your day beautifully!  You two are so perfect together and just so fun to be around.(:  Cheers to 6 wonderful years together!

  • this almost makes me cry!! why? because we went to savannah on our honeymoon and i would looooooooooooove to go back. i think, in so many ways i would appreciate its beauty more now then i did back when. so many great photo ops!
    i so remember the brick buildings by the river walk!!!! wow, every picture here was a gift. so thank you! i love all you had to day about love and marriage as well. the pictures of you 2 are so darling and priceless to you im sure.
    id love to meet the 2 of you in real one day. i love the example you set of a young, healthy-relationally, couple in love.

  • oh and i agree with gixer girl, i saw the same personalities shining through! :)

  • @baileyandme - Oh, I thought of you when we went back on Monday (my family was here for the weekend) and we passed the little red telephone booth outside the Irish restaurant… And I remember you said years ago that you saw the Julia Roberts film being shot there?? I wish you could go back! Plus, if you go back, we’re only an hour away, and we’d LOVE to have you come by… :)


  • Awww…beautiful, romantic, heartfelt, and meaningful! And you are still a radiant bride, 6 years later!! It makes me sooo happy to see you happy!!!! So honored and privileged
    to call you FAMILY. Cheers to many more years together, embrace every moment of it! It’s a gift!

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