“The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person.
You know they're right if you love to be with them all the time” ~ Julia Child
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For as long as I can remember, I've asked couples who've been married a very long time. “What's your secret for a happy marriage?”
I've always loved their responses. First, a reflective pause, followed by a faint smile as their mind reflects. Before they speak, their face always softens, and a twinkle fills their eye. A few of my favorites?
“I married a woman who's incredibly competent.”
“In all of these years, we never once went to bed mad.”
“She knows she'll always get her way, so I appreciated when she started to be nice about it.”
“I can't help it; I've always just loved her so.”
“Communication and more communication. We've always talked about everything. Right honey? Let's talk about it more tonight.”
“I knew he was the one. Deep down, I just knew it”
“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short” ~ Andre Maurois
Those nuggets of wisdom have floated through my mind this past week. A time for celebration as my parents marked their 30th wedding anniversary.
Not long ago, they passed along several boxes from the basement. Many of which had been tucked away for the past twenty+ years. Slowly but surely I've been sorting through, with untold hours spent lost in the photo albums they contained.
How fun it is to look back at pictures of them over the years, with the filter of an adult instead of that of a child. Their beautiful examples of how to truly love another person, being played out over and over again, through quiet life lessons, the kind of which can only be caught, not taught.
I think of their wedding picture. The moment the four of us become a family, in a small-town church, on a beautiful spring day. Afterward celebrating in a corner booth at
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” ~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney
I look at the pictures from the early years and wonder how they juggled it all. Work, parenting, and the demands that came with being full-time college students. This season when money was especially tight, they studied late into the night, worked during the day, and farmed on the weekends
I smile as I remember home remodeling project, after remodeling project. They always made time to capture from our high school years, sports events, proms, and fun with friends. Of course, there were harder times as well, like teaching me how to walk again after a terrible car accident.
There are pictures of relatives who came to stay, gardens that were planted, fluffy kitty cats who loved to be cuddled, grandchildren splashing in kiddy pools, friendships being forged, card clubs, and promotions celebrated at work
I've come to treasure these unexpected collages. Ever mindful though of the truth, that our lives are far greater than the sum of the pictures that seem to freeze time, as well as our memories.
Each glimpse of a long-ago day, each unplanned kiss and silly hug, also serving as a reminder of the passage of time. That I want to enjoy, be present, and pay better attention
right here, right now
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day
So I never have to live without you” ~Winnie the Pooh
If you think about it, thirty years of marriage is a lot to process. A multitude of moments lived, of gestures made, words spoken.
Certainly, they haven't always been kind. Mistakes have been made. Seasons, no doubt, that have been darker than I'll ever know. Pangs of regret, perhaps, are inevitable. And yet, when I glimpse at the pictures and think of them today, love, optimism, anticipation, are all that seem to endure
How grateful I am to have witnessed such an incredible love story. I've never known a more beautiful example of how to care for another person, or witnessed a couple with such a level of intimacy. Their quiet expressions of love, demonstrated by the kinds of examples that are caught, not taught.
Last night we were surrounded by incredible friends. A time each month to catch up on the lives of people we love, everything from the big events to the more mundane. As I gathered up a small bouquet of my mundane details, and what I wanted to share, I can't help but think of them again
Letting their example lead the way when it comes to success. It isn't about what happened when everyone was watching, but instead, how well I lived and showed love in the smallest moments of every day.
“There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps” ~ Ronald Reagan
If there's anything that reminds me of my father, it's pancakes. These are really good
In this recipe, bananas make the batter sweet and airy. Almond meal and spelt flour hold them together. Almond and coconut milk are incorporated to make them moist, nutritious, with an added hint of flavor.
A bit of shredded coconut and chopped almonds top them off
~ Adapted from Love and Lemons
Coconut and Almond Banana Pancakes
- Dry ingredients
- ½ cup spelt flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- a pinch of sea salt
- Wet ingredients
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- ⅓ cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp of maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil or ghee, for greasing the griddle
- ⅓ cup finely chopped almonds
- ½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened + more for serving
- for serving: maple syrup, sliced banana
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
- In a blender or food processor, blend the wet ingredients until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined (Be careful not to over-mix)
- Set your griddle, or large skillet to a low-medium setting and grease with coconut oil or ghee. Ladle in the batter based on your size preference.
- Sprinkle the almond and coconut crust mixture onto the tops of the pancakes.
- Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes (until the bottom edged are lightly browned) and then carefully flip them. Cook for 2-3 more minutes and then transfer them to a plate.
- Repeat until the batter is finished.
- Serve immediately with extra coconut and chopped almond sprinkles, banana slices, and a drizzle of maple syrup