STAY TUNED!!! NEW POSTS COMING SOON!!!! (Promise!)
This morning's unexpected chopping down of a huge maple tree in front of my residence has me sitting and contemplating new blog topics for your wedding ceremony; for you and your beloved as a couple; some unique rituals and their history in wedding lore; and some fun items for your enjoyment.
STAY TUNED!!! NEW POSTS COMING SOON!!!! (Promise!)
As the saying goes, "You learn something new every day"... today is no exception. Do you know the origin of April Fool's Day? We celebrate it every year with pranks, jokes, and funny gatherings - but do you know the origin? Neither did I... until today...
According to the International Business Times:
"April Fools’ Day began in the year 1582, according to one legend, when Pope Gregory XIII (after whom the Gregorian calendar is named) moved the start of the new year from the end of March to the beginning of January. The change was made public, but not everyone got the memo, and those who didn’t and thus continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1 were laughed at. “Because they were seen as foolish, [they were] called April Fools,”....
Another myth is based on the same idea but suggests the change in the New Year happened at a slightly different time and place. It attributes the calendar change to France in 1564 -- rather than to the pope -- and when people celebrated the wrong New Year, others would paste paper fish on their backs, which explains why in France, the day is known as April Fish."
What are the best April Fools' pranks you have ever heard of/ been a part of/ played on someone? Here's the best one I heard of this year, from none other than The Smithsonian Museum.
Smithsonian displays Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet
Ack-ack-ack-ack! Today is National Spinach Day and who better to be the spokesman for spinach than Popeye! However, today got me thinking about what Popeye used the spinach for. It wasn't merely to get his daily serving of veggies - Popeye used his spinach to gain strength. When times are tough and nothing seems to be going right, what do you use to gather strength? In times of challenge, how do you become strong?
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
I'm Irish… and on this St. Patrick's Day, I would like to wish everyone bright and joyous tidings with a traditional Irish blessing (coincidentally, it is the closing to an upcoming wedding ceremony I am officiating on March 20th).
May the meaning of this hour be fulfilled through the days and years to come.
May the love of this man and this woman, their unity of spirit, grow deeper and stronger in the uncertainties and changes of life they will share.
Loving each other, may they love all persons.
Trusting each other, may they learn to trust life.
May their love reach out to the love of all, that their lives may bless all whose lives they touch.
May they find comfort together in shared hours of shadow, as well as in the bright sunshine of joy.
May they be to each other both strong and gentle.
May all who follow their lives with interest and affection have cause to rejoice not alone in their happiness, but in their brave and generous living, which makes life beautiful and significant.
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!
"Diagnosis is not the end, but the beginning of practice." ~Martin H. Fischer
Have you or a loved one ever had the challenge of random symptoms without a solid "cause"? For the past 2 - 3 months, I have been experiencing a range of symptoms, from rapid weight loss, to rapid heartbeat, to dry skin and dry mouth, to anxiety and tremors... now that the symptoms are all put together, and the GP (who is AMAZING, by the way) has analyzed the blood work, it turns out I finally have a diagnosis - hyperthyroidism (Graves' Disease)... For the past 2 - 3 months, I have been just simply been in the dark about everything, thinking I was "crazy" even though the symptoms were real and palpable. I haven't wanted to take any major amounts of medication because, deep down within, I knew I would just be treating "symptoms" of the dis-ease and not the root cause.
When the doctor gave me a diagnosis yesterday, I wanted to just hug him - it was like we found the Holy Grail. Now, it is up to an endocrinologist and myself to regulate this gland through medication, change in diet, and (I am hoping) some homeopathic and spiritual techniques (I AM a minister, after all). My mother always told me, "You know your body. You know when something isn't "right." Just be adamant about it, ask questions. You have a right. It is YOUR body." While my mother and I might not always agree, I have always heeded this advice. And I thank her for it. And I thank that still small voice within that told me something was wrong... and it was... and I am grateful... and now we can work towards healing...
Since I mentioned this to the Facebook world, the outpouring of love and support has been tremendous. Friends and colleagues have offered love, prayers, Reiki, support, and advice. Some friends have similar challenges - some I knew about... some I didn't... I am grateful, blessed and joy-filled with the outpouring. I have learned a great deal from this experience - and I will continue to learn. I trust in the Divine to guide me where I need to be and that I am held, whole, and sacred.
Trust your body... trust your still, small voice within... it will guide you if you listen... you are not alone. You are never alone.
Happy New Year! Today is the celebration of the Chinese New Year - the year of the sheep… um… goat… um… ram? Which one is it? You may have seen all of these animals in reference to this year's celebration… and they are ALL correct. According to a report on NPR today entitled Whatever Floats Your Goat, the Chinese word for the year is yang. "Some Chinese words are vague and not as specific as English words, so yang could refer to a goat, a sheep, or even a ram." While the goat is more commonly seen in China and Vietnam, the sheep is the symbol for Korea to denote this year's celebration. And according to an article on the China Highlights website:
"Actually, Chinese people are also not quite sure about that. In Chinese the word 羊 (yáng) is a generic term, and can refer to a sheep (绵羊), goat (山羊), ram/buck (公羊 male sheep or goat), 羚羊 (antelope), etc. There is a lack of clear definition on the zodiac "Goat" in Chinese history."
Now that the confusion has been figured out (HA!), let's talk about what this upcoming year symbolizes and the predictions for the year. Experts in Chinese astrology are calling for an 'unforgettable year." The overall theme for the year is "creativity and diligence resulting in prosperity." According to The Examiner:
"Opportunities to change the world for the better abound as long as humanity works together," the website writes. "Prosperity and wellbeing for all is possible as long as we actively move away from chaos."
Those individuals born in the Chinese sign of the Goat are described as group oriented, honest, creative, stable, gentle and compassionate. Many Asian families do not want their child born in the Year of the Goat - There is a popular Chinese folk saying 'Only one out of ten people born in a year of the Goat finds happiness' (十羊九不全), which means most babies born in a year of the Goat are destined for failed marriages, unhappy families, and bad luck. Most Chinese people also believe that babies born in a Goat year will grow up to be followers rather than leaders. While this may be an "outdated" notion, it has a real affect on Chinese society and financial markets.
As most of you already know, my husband and I got married in October of 2014. We had a wonderful time, received many wonderful gifts and monetary offerings to celebrate our wedded bliss. Now what? Now we are going through the process of sending out Thank You Cards… what is the protocol there? What is the proper etiquette for this tradition?
From many of the elders in my family, I have heard 6 months. On some internet blogs and posts, I have heard up to one year!? I thought you were supposed to be eating the top of your wedding cake on your one year anniversary!? Who to believe? According to the Huffington Post in their article, "Wedding Etiquette Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making,":
"You don’t have a year to send out thank-you cards. You have three months, tops. And for gifts sent before the wedding, try to get your thank-yous out within two weeks of receiving the gift."
OH CRAP! I am already over the three month deadline! How will people know that I am actually grateful and thankful? (Note: I am actually in the process of hand-writing the notes as well, since the pre-printed message is apparently "passé" as well)
How long did it take you and your beloved to send out Thank-You notes? Did you write personalized letters or did you have something pre-printed?
So, you just got engaged and everyone is asking the question of the hour, "So when are you getting married? When is the big day?" We all know that weddings, whether big or small, take planning (even though I went from engaged to married in 10 short weeks, every single day was full of planning, whether cake tasting, or talking to the DJ, or having a mid-week meeting with the caterer). Most of the time, if you go to a venue that you both really connect to, their "prime wedding dates" are already taken (sometimes, for the next 2 - 3 years!) Have you ever considered the opportunities that exist in having a winter wedding?
Just a couple of great reasons to consider a winter wedding:
When I think of winter, I think of pine cones, snowflakes, snowmen, cranberries, hot chocolate, candles and fireplaces. I think of the brightest color palette possible to stand out against a white snowy winter backdrop (evergreen, cranberry red, midnight blue, silver, gold). Have a hot chocolate bar; have the bridal party engage in a snowball fight for the pictures; include candles and fire for the prettiest glow. For more ideas, check out this link from Buzzfeed: 42 Lovely Ideas for a Cold-Weather Wedding
How can I best serve you in creating a ceremony for your winter wedding ceremony?
Every moment is a sacred moment. Every day is a blessing.
That statement is true in every day, in every way, we are receiving a blessing by being alive for another day. There are so many wonderful things in the world to be thankful for - and now, we have different "holidays" to celebrate and commemorate the plethora of wonders in our world.
You may have heard of Administrative Professionals Day (April 22nd), Sweetest Day (October 17th) or the wonderfully decadent National Donut Day (June 5th). But did you know that every day has a significance?
For instance, today, February 5th is National Weatherperson's Day. Today we honor all the weathermen and weatherwomen who work hard to predict the fickleness of Mother Nature. Knowing the weather patterns, even if not always 100% accurate, can assist with emergencies, evacuations, and, in my line of work, whether ceremonies occur outdoors or indoors. It affects travel, how we dress, and, in extreme circumstances, it can save lives (much as it did when Winter Storm Juno hit the Northeast at the end of January - by knowing the pattern and weather predictions, government officials were able to institute travel bans and keep people off the roads in hazardous conditions).
According to The Air Force News, Weatherman's Day "commemorates the birth of John Jeffries, one of America's first weathermen." John Jeffries was born on February 5th, 1744 and he kept weather records from 1774 to 1816.
Many couples opt for the Unity Candle ceremony (where two individual flames are united to become one, a flame representing the light of their journey together that should never be extinguished); or the Sand Ceremony (where a couple, or family, chooses a common vessel and different colors of sand - representative of the individual pouring. The premise is that, as long as it should take the couple or family to extract each individual particle of sand from the common vessel - that is as long as they should be together). However, there are many different and beautiful Unity Ceremonies that can reflect the unique relationship and love you share. From the Fisherman's Knot, to the Wine Box, to a tree planting, to a Celtic hand fasting… all these physical representations of your unique love can be part of your ceremony…. just ask your officiant!
For more Unity Ceremony ideas (including the "offbeat" and seldom considered), check out this link at Offbeat Bride
What ceremony best reflects your one-of-a-kind relationship? How can I, as your wedding officiant, best serve you?
An Ordained Interfaith Minister & Licensed wedding officiant.