Happy 31st, Mom and Dad!

Just a quick post today...it's been a wild whirlwind of a weekend down in South Bend and I'm still recovering, but I couldn't let October 6th pass without wishing my beloved parents a happy anniversary! 

Jodester and my Papa Bear are celebrating #31 today, and although they may be a bit older than they were when this one was taken... 

...they're still just as staggeringly in love. After attending eight weddings since their last anniversary, I've seen plenty of this stage: the bright-eyed, beautiful, dazzlingly excited newlyweds, ready to take on all the world has to throw at them. My parents, though, have been the best example of what happens after the wedding bells stop ringing and the bouquet's long since been tossed. Their marriage, and their relationship, look just as strong and beautiful after over three decades together. They're not only in love, they're truly best friends. 

They've spent more of their lives together than they have apart at this point. They've raised three children, and if I may say so myself, I like to think they've done a damn good job of it. They've seen each other through a little bit of everything...literally through thick and thin, richer and poorer, sickness and health. There have been some prime "for better" and "for worse" moments, of course, but through both they've managed to lean on each other...to be the other's partner, helpmeet and champion when needed, a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold through the worst life has thrown at them. 

There will be dozens more weddings in my future...it's that day and age for me, and I don't think the thrill of listening to a couple say their vows or watching a tender first dance will wear off for a long time. When that day comes for me, though, I know that I won't be thinking about or looking up to those newly-minted couples I've cheered on and loved for the last year. My beloved mom and dad will be the ones I look up to, just like I do now, for being the best parents and the best example of love in action...love as a verb, a constant choice, and a daily presence in a marriage. I can only hope that someday I'll make thirty-one years look as effortless and beautiful as they do. 

Here's to my parents! I can't wait to raise a glass and toast to 31 with you both!