Photo by Adrian Garcia.  This image is subject to LASDI© by Life As She Does It. Please do not reuse without linking credit.

Photo by Adrian Garcia.  This image is subject to LASDI© by Life As She Does It. Please do not reuse without linking credit.

Every year somewhere around the 4th of July, The Hubster and I go camping on our Annual Beach Date Trip.  It's only one night, but it has become a tradition I look forward to so much, that when we are leaving the beach from one trip, I am already talking about the next one to come the following year.

I am a girl who thrives on tradition; the history of things excites me.  I can't explain it.  I'm the one who buys a beat-up torn-down table because it is that way.  I've had someone ask me as I made a purchase like that how I was going to refurbish it, to which I replied, "I'm not.  I absolutely love the cracks and weathered appeal.  It tells me all about it's character."  The person looked at me like I was mad, and it made me smile.

Building traditions is like that for me.  I believe it creates the legacy we live in the present and the one we leave behind.  I don't think anyone is going to remember things I said or did in 100 years, but perhaps I can build traditions in our family that continue to be passed along from generation to generation and that may make a difference both now and long after I'm gone.

It is crucial to part of that legacy that The Kiddos and Grittles (GRAND Littles) see The Hubster and I make time for one another; that we still date each other.  It is vital to the lifeline of their own marriages and relationships.  Hence, the Annual Beach Camping Date Trip!

It's pretty simple, really.  We take our tent, which we set up in the back of the truck instead of on the sandy beach.  There has to be a thermos of wine and two plastic wine glasses.  We take along hot dogs and tortillas to wrap them in - and don't forget the skewers to hold them over the fire!  

Ah, the fire.  It's essential to a successful night, and I mean ESSENTIAL.  We go around the beach collecting wood and shells to create a pit for the fire.  We roast those wieners, sip our wine, look up at the stars, and listen to the roar of the ocean waves (and maybe a little Enya).

We play verbal games that remind us of how rich beyond riches we are.  We play "What's the Top-Five Most-Beautiful Places We've Ever Been" game, and "Top Three Favorite Restaurants", or "Best Family Vacay Memories".  We talk about our wedding, which by no coincidence, took place on the beach.  We never let any sad or unhappy memories interfere with our date - we have enough of those during our regular-life days together!  #Reality

One of our favorite games is something we actually do on our regular days together, but this time with a twist.  On normal days at dinner together, whether we are by ourselves, with The Fam, or with friends, we play "The Pit and the Peak".  This game is where everyone goes around saying the worst part of their day first (The Pit), and then to end on a good note they must say the best part of their day (The Peak).  

Since no worst part of any day is allowed to be discussed on this date, we call it "The Beach and the Pit".  This is where we sit around that fire pit we built in the sand, and talk about all of the best parts of our marriage - the things one has said or done for the other in order to edify them; the times that stand out to us in a great and fond way.  Now sometimes things are repeated from the same game the year before, and that is more than okay.   And there are the new moments from the time we left the beach the year before to the present that we talk about.

It is so easy for we, as mere humans, to cling to the bad.  It is, in fact, easier to place any good on a forgotten shelf if something bad occurs.  We all do it, really.  But life is too short to allow that to happen, so I will fiercely fight for the memories of the happy things - the good parts - even if it means I fight fire with fire by sitting around one and forcing those memories to the surface.  It is the best medicine for those regular days that bring reality back into play.

Do you have beat-up torn-down memories in your own history that tend to make you feel like you need a refurbished life?  Do you allow them to make you feel cracked and weathered or know that it builds character in you and can create a good-and-long-remembered legacy you can leave behind?  Does it make you look back and feel like a mad person or make you smile?

Real life is not always beachy and full of fun and games - trust me, I know.  But it is definitely what you make of it and what you allow it to make of you.  Don't put all the good on a forgotten shelf.  And mark out those times to remember the peaks - even if it means you must fiercely fight to do so.  And in order to see you are rich beyond riches, let the fondest pit be the fire.





Christmas is coming!  I love the Christmas season.  I don’t really have a standout favorite thing about it.  Well, that’s not true.  I LIVE for Countdown to Christmas on The Hallmark Channel.  But rather than have to decide what I like best about the holiday, I choose to like all of it equally: the decorations, the Christmas music, the lights; ALL of it!  But there are certain branches of Christmas that kindle special memories and spark a few flames in the heart.

We are definitely a family that stands united and that stands on tradition.  For us, Christmas starts the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Every year we go pick out the perfect-not-perfect tree. When The Kiddos were Smalls, we went together as a family and it would take us hours to find the right tree.  Even though they all liked something different, we wouldn’t leave until we all agreed on one.  The Hubster and I would nearly always agree on the tree we liked, and of course, each Kiddo would choose a different one.  At that point, it was time for all of us to go to each tree everyone liked and “sell” the others as to why that would be the Christmas tree for the house. 

But no matter which one we ended up deciding upon, we knew what awaited us when we got home.  Christmas-tree-decorating-day meant The Hubster climbed into the attic and brought all the packed-up Christmas boxes down for us to deck the halls, and it also meant cinnamon popcorn and homemade eggnog.  We turned on Christmas music (the classic kind, of course) and away we would go.

Now that The Kiddos are Talls, they still hold that day as the day for putting up the tree and getting their ornaments up in their own homes.  And so, still, do we.  Now each year, The Hubster and I go and pick out our own tree knowing it’s a reminder of times gone by.  For the last few years the tradition has been for Aunt Lu to come with us and help us choose.  The three of us still do the walk-and-find.  My choice is not always what most people would want, though. 

When I go a-tree huntin’, the big winner is always one that stands up straight, because I believe we stand up straight when we’re confident about life.  We shake the tree, and if the needles fall off right away, it doesn’t get picked.  That means it’s not healthy enough to last, and I intentionally choose health for The Fam so that we can last and be together as long as we can.  To pull a tree out and see if it’s rounded all the way around or flat on one side, and that the trunk is large enough to be grounded into a tree stand, is a big deal.  My goal for my family and myself is to be sure we are grounded, and well-rounded in everything we do.  I especially like the ones that are a little imperfect; the ones that maybe have some sort of gaping hole or seem to have some branches that jut out further than the others.  I like the ones that are blemished in ways that show the flaw, though it may be a little hard to see.  Isn’t that how we are as mere humans?  We try so hard to look a certain way or stand out, knowing each one of us is imperfect on the inside, though it may just barely be enough for anyone to see.

Once we find the precise tree, we place vintage ornaments on it with the greatest care.  Each one gets unwrapped and hung in just the right place.  Now I know some of you have that ornament OCD The DAUGHTS talked about in her blog, The Untidy Tribe, but as for The Hubster and I, we just put them on the tree where we really believe they belong.  If that means a couple hang close to one another, then so be it.  Even with that, there is a parallel to what we feel for our family and community not just at Christmas, but every day – we want to hang close to one another, believing we are in the exact right place with the right timing for each season.

Christmas is coming!  How have you stood united with those you love?  What traditions have you kept or created to give a sense of who you are and the legacy you build to tell your story?  Do you embrace your imperfections, no matter how you decorate the outside?  How do YOU choose YOUR Christmas tree? 

“Oh, Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches.”




I am not known for being a Rule-Follower.  The Hubster is a Rule-Follower.  One of my closest friends is a Rule-Follower.  In fact, several people I know are Rule-Followers.  They are the type that HAVE to follow the rules or else they get all freaked out or their throats close up.  I've seen upper lip sweat occur at the very thought of breaking a rule.  Everything for them has to be 'by the book'.  For each person, it's a different book, with different chapters.  

I'll give you an example:  If Adrian (the aforementioned Hubster) is making pasta (a rarity in our home, as it were) and the instructions on the box say "bring six cups of water to a boil", he will measure out exactly six cups of water, because that is the rule, whereas I would simply fill the pot about halfway or so and move on.  He goes 'by the book'.

So then, who is the author of this 'book'?  Who decides what the acceptable rules are across-the-board?  I don't mean the lawmakers, though there are still some old rules on the books that say "Humming on public streets is prohibited on Sundays" or "Bowling is forbidden", both of which are still documented as actual laws!  I wonder what my Rule-Follower friends and relatives will do when they find out they've not only broken those rules, but broken the law!   

There are the rules of the law, or the laws of morality, and the every-day-back-of-a-box-of-pasta kind of rules.  But who gets to say what is going 'by the book' in this life, and what is not?  Who is the author?

Though I am not exactly a renegade, I do believe in a more bendable point-of-view.  I'm a bit more colorful in my thoughts and behavior about getting things done, though I find the black-and-white way of looking at things quite fascinating, and necessary to the life/people balance.  There is room for both or else we would all be exactly the same.  Can you imagine how boring THAT book would be?

I guess that means we author our behavior ourselves, whether it's exactly 'by the book' or perhaps not.  And though the Book I try live by (written by the Author of my life) is not one that everyone shares a belief in, I have a confidence that we, as individuals, do share the belief that there are seasons in life that bring us emotions we must deal with; sometimes there are wonderful seasons, and sometimes there are dark or stormy seasons.  And those seasons are almost never black-and-white, and there are no rules to follow, or how-to's when we deal with them.  There is no 'by the book' process to our emotions.

This is one life we've been given.  We have one life to live, whether we live it within the measurements of every single rule, or a tad bit outside the boundaries of the rules, how we do it creates the legacy we live and leave behind.

Though I certainly don't have all the answers, I do strive to make my legacy something that will make an impact. 

I have lived a life with the wonderful seasons and the dark and stormy seasons, and my 'by the book' is finding light in the dark in order to survive, while not taking this life for granted or letting it slip by me in sorrow or self-pity.  My 'by the book' is my own - one that I authored.  It is called 'A Life Of Flavor', presented by Life As She Does It (me, She Gar-C!).  It is a book of finding joy in life's hard times.

In the long run, whether we think in black-and-white or in color, how we deal with the peaks and the valleys is what creates our distinct flavor of who we are and how we live our lives.  Do you find joy when the hard times come upon you?  When a loved one gets sick, or a job is lost, do you try to see the light through the darkness?  It's never too late to try.  Never.  

Whatever is your distinct 'by the book' - BUY THE BOOK!  

Click on the photo below to purchase Life As She Does It presents: A Life of Flavor! (published by LUCID BOOKS)



If You Build It, They Will Come

*Photo credit  HERE

*Photo credit HERE

Lord knows (as do I) - I haven't always made good decisions.  Or right decisions.  Or righteous decisions.  In fact, looking back I would venture to say a lot of the decisions I've made were quite the opposite.  I would venture to say it took me a long time to understand what learning from my mistakes meant.  I say that because perhaps I made the same mistake more than once.  Or twice.  Or more than twice.

Don't get me wrong.  I mean, I've definitely done some good things in my life.  Take a look at my children and you will know that's true.  (I do good work, Y'all.)  But the lovely and well-grounded human beings they have become came through trial-and-error, not through making all the right decisions.

What I have learned over the course of my life - whether good or bad decisions were made - is the power of the legacy you build.  The very children I speak of are positive proof of that.  And so are their spouses.  

"What do you mean by that, She?"  "How could you possibly have had anything to do with the people your children married?"  I'm glad you asked those questions!

When my children were small, I never knew the power of a praying parent.  I did all the things to take care of them physically: I brushed their teeth, helped them with their homework, bathed them, fed them, put giant helicopter bows in their hair.  (Well, not the boys.  Well, sometimes the boys.  But just for fun - perhaps that can go into the bad decision pile.)

Thinking about how fantastic my son-in-law and daughter-in-law are obviously makes me grateful for their parents - because just like me, right or wrong they did their best - and it happened to work!  But for me, personally, I now know it's about building your legacy; building an example, building tradition.  Children THRIVE on it.  They watch you.  Ohhhhh BOY, do they watch you!  And they remember EVERYTHING.  And they carry on traditions.  And they really don't want to disappoint you as parents.  (Even if you're not a parent, you're someone's child, and you know exactly what I mean.  And even if you are not close with your parents, you STILL know what I mean through that loss.)

By the time I learned the value of building these things and building my children up in prayer, I thought it may be too late.  But it wasn't.  I got started immediately after I came to realize that something like praying for your child's spouse, even when they are young and long before their True Loves come along, is valuable to the legacy they themselves build as they grow - and also who they choose to do life with.

I learned that if you build it, they will come.

I know, I know.  There are some of you that just can't believe that building prayer up for your children in their lives is truth; that it's worth the effort.  There are some of you that are believers but still don't understand you can be building your legacy and that of your child's through every decision you make and the consequences that stem from them.  There are also some of you that simply think I stole this idea from an old (but classic and awesome) baseball (and legacy!) movie and I'm just crazy.  But I have proof.  I believed it.  I built it.  AND THEY CAME.  And they have been beautifully built into our family and our traditions and our prayers as well!

Do I want to choke my kids out sometimes to this day?  YOU BET.  Do I know they sometimes imagine doing the same to Adrian and me?  Uhhhhh, YES.  Is life easier now?  No.  Can I go back and undo the poor decisions?  Nope.  But I can find joy in just about anything now.  And I can look upon my children and their (hand-picked, prayed-for) spouses with a grateful heart.  And I know that life is good, even when it isn't.  

And I know that if you build it, they WILL come.  It's never too late to get started.  


“The past is a pebble in my shoe.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe  (Past failures remind us of the importance of the choices we make today.)

"Outlive your life!" ~ Max Lucado

"The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance" ~Proverbs 1:1-33


Tis The Season: A Birthday Blog

Photo Source: https://drnorth.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/picture-of-the-week-26-happy-birthday-shirley-temple/

Photo Source: https://drnorth.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/picture-of-the-week-26-happy-birthday-shirley-temple/

Some people, when it’s their birthday, are infamous for saying, “Oh, it’s just another day.”  I will NEVER be one of those people!  I have a pulse!  I am breathing!  I am happy I was born!  I feel wonderful that I get to celebrate it!

I have been through so many different seasons in my 43 years.  Hills.  Valleys.  Ups.  Downs.  Highs.  Lows.  Like EVERYONE ELSE!!  But I can say this with all sincerity – I don’t regret one moment, nor do I have any bitterness.  How could I??  Those seasons have led me to the most incredible, charmed and joy-filled life!  And it’s brought me to a time spent with each and every one of you beautiful, crazy people!  I may not be the wealthiest woman in the world, but I am definitely RICH.

Thank you to all those people who have been in my life and made a difference – both in a negative way AND a positive one.  For the ones that weren't so enjoyable, I thank you for thickening my skin and giving me balance, wisdom, and growth. 

For those who have left me with a positive imprint of you on my spirit - even though we may have come and gone in each other’s lives, I still love you.  That is what a season does!  It comes and it goes...but we still celebrate them with each change.  Well, this is the month of MY birthday, and not only do I celebrate the fact that I have been given this brief life here in this world, but I celebrate YOU!  At some point, you have helped me turn lemons to lemonade.  I've been knocked down, and you never let me be down for long.  You've been a shining, triumphant example to me in some way or another.  You have shown me life-survival tactics.  You have taught me the value of family, friendship, and most importantly – the gift of TIME.  You have generously shared your love with me.  You've carried me through seasons.

I challenge you to ALWAYS celebrate this life you've been given, through every single season.  None of us know how long we have here.  We are not promised tomorrow.  Even if you’re in a valley, I encourage you to remember that those valleys are what leads you to the top of the hill!  The seasons in your life – good or not-so-good – mold you and prepare you for what is to come next.  The seasons shape your legacy – while you’re here, and for after you’re gone.  And I, for one, want to be celebrated for what I leave behind for the lives of others……and for what I can contribute while I’m still here!!  To everything, there is a season…

Happy Birthday to me!! SHE!!

This image are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

This image are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Blue to the Bone

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/two-hearts-red-heart-love-symbol-631344/

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/two-hearts-red-heart-love-symbol-631344/

When Chelsea was born 21 years ago today, I knew the second she came into the world she would be a force to be reckoned with.  She didn't cry.  She had to be tapped on the bottom with the doctor’s first two fingers before she started to sound like a sweet little lamb.  (It wasn't the last time she would be tapped on the bottom for her rebellious nature!)  But that cry had a certain tone to it – it was different and I knew it right away.

Every night when Chelsea was little, she and I had a ritual after her night-time bath.  I would blow dry her hair and sing a song I knew from when I was a kid called Blue to the Bone.  I have no idea where I learned it or how I knew it – just seemed like it had always been there.  When the blow dryer would go, I would sing it to Chelsea and by the time the song was done, her hair would be dry.  One night, she started to sing it first.  Her voice sounded just so pretty – and she was so stinkin’ cute!  So I started to sing with her, only I added harmony.  Much to my surprise she held her own and a beautiful sound emerged from the lovely acoustics of the bathroom!  (oxy-moronic statement much?)

For my birthday one year, Adrian got a friend of ours, Vic Mignona, to record us singing this song.  He had a recording studio in his home and he does a lot of professional production work, among other things.  Vic added some music and even had Adrian add some bass to the end chorus!  (Picture “Daddy Sang Bass” a la Johnny Cash!)

It was a wonderful gift, as was Chelsea being born.  I still listen to it and when I do, I can’t believe my Little Lamb is all grown up.  She has been through very hard times with grace, and it has pushed her faith to the limit.  But that little rebel never let those times make her blue to the bone.  Instead she created her own song in life, realizing that the decisions she made would create her legacy – understanding life is not always beautiful harmony, but to make the most for every bit of it and be thankful for the opportunity to have a purpose here in this life.

Happy Birthday, Chelsea Dane.  I love you.  Thank you for making my life better.

Here is the recording of Chelsea and I singing Blue to the Bone (featuring Adrian singing bass at the end): 


Phyllis & Ellie

Copyright 1976 American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

Copyright 1976 American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

It doesn't matter who you are or where you've been.  A friendship that stands the test of time means there was a solid foundation that it rested upon.  I believe there is a season for people that come and go in your life…that they were meant to be there during a time that you needed them, whether you think so or not.  Maybe it was to teach you something, or maybe it was just because you needed that caliber of love and encouragement you were given.  But then there are those that no matter what happens or where you are in your life, you know they will always be there – be a part of your life…a special part of your heart.

 There once was a woman with a calling.  She had a love affair with what she believed was right in her faith and followed it.  She gave up the world as we know it to serve and felt that at that time is was very right.  As she progressed in this calling, she met someone who felt the same calling to the same faith to the same place in her soul she felt was right.  And they became friends.  They became the kind of friends I just talked about – the loyalty and love ran thicker and tighter than any circumstance they could have ever faced.

 The rules of the faith they followed changed their names, though their spirits remained the same.  Their kinship continued to grow as they did.  They each faced trials and tribulations that brought them to places in their life most of us understand, but hope we never have to go through.  And with each moment of perseverance they had to face, they were molded and changed into different people – and their friendship remained. 

 At different times, they were roommates, friends, sisters(both in their faith and to each other), women of faith, strength in numbers, healthy and viral, and sensitive to each other’s needs – and not just under the cloak of a habit…it was more than that; meaningful and intentional.  And then, at other times, they were alone, distant, found themselves following different spiritual paths, strength in their individuality, and – sickness found each of them, though each with a different name.

 As their families grew, names were given to them based on the originality of who they were.  One’s nephew called her by her birth-given name, Phyllis.  The same nephew became the other’s godson, and as a child was unable to pronounce the name everyone knew, so in his child-like way, he called her “Ellie” – as close as he could get.

 Phyllis and Ellie went in different directions as life took them to the places they landed and became comfortable…but their friendship never wavered.  From the time they were 14-year-old-girls until well into their prime, they remained strong on the foundation they had built.  As life happens, one had to deal with Alzheimer’s and the other, Cancer.  Sometimes the things life brings you can tear down even the oldest of friendships – but only if your foundation isn't solid and tangible.  Phyllis and Ellie stood strong.  Often they would be there for one another if they could, but for Phyllis, Alzheimer’s took over her mind,  and then her body so she did the very best she could.  Ultimately, the disease took her life.  Ellie fought Cancer and still fights as I type this story, but has not let it get the very best of her.

 Ellie went to be with Phyllis during her last few hours here on earth, and though Phyllis struggled for so long with not remembering, she knew Ellie was there and the last things Ellie said to her.  And with the peace that Ellie feels for Phyllis’ passing and not suffering any more, her heart aches the loss of her friend.  She knows she will see her again someday.  She knows the foundation is still the solidity of their life together…and that it helped create the widely-loved, strong woman she is today and will continue to be until she sees Phyllis again.

 At Phyllis’ funeral, Ellie said to her godson – Phyllis’ nephew- “I guess there is no more Phyllis and Ellie.”  To which her godson replied, “There will ALWAYS be a Phyllis and Ellie.” 

And he’s right.

 Who is the Phyllis or the Ellie in your life?  As you build your legacy and this short life passes you by, be still and decipher who that person is in your life.  Who do you have the solid foundation with that God has built Himself into?  Remember the people that have passed through and made a difference – good or bad, it’s shaped you and given you wisdom.  But always be there for the one that has helped give you solidity.  Don’t just let a habit take over……be meaningful and intentional and allow it to mold you and create the person you ultimately become.  Enjoy every moment to its absolute fullest because one day our last day will be here.  And that foundation and what it has become will be the legacy you leave……just like Phyllis and Ellie.

Mommy, Will You Marry Me?

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

They're the words most girls dream of......the proposal that takes you into exciting nuptials and wedded bliss true love stories are made of; unless of course, they come from your six-year-old son.

When Cameron was about that age, we were in our usual bedtime ritual of bath, brush the teeth, put on pajamas, read a book, say our prayers, tuck that little chubby boy with his curly locks into the sheets and coverlet like he was a sausage-in-a-biscuit, kiss his forehead and say "good night".  Just as I reached the door and my hand felt for the light switch, I heard, "Mommy?"  "Here comes the excuse train to avoid sleepy-time.", I thought.  But instead when I answered, "Yes?" I received this response: "Mommy, when I get older, will you marry me?"  Well, if that doesn't just make you melt, you've no heart in your chest. I know some of you are thinking I sat down on the bed and cautiously explained all the reasons that didn't make sense or how in real life, that would never happen - and if that's what you're thinking, then you're wrong.   "Of course I will" was my response.  He smiled with heavy eyelids, nodded slowly, and faded off into slumber.

You don't forget those moments.  Not ever.  Cameron is 19 now and even as I type this, it is vivid in my mind, food for my soul, and brings tears to my eyes.  Since that moment, I've seen Cameron grow into a man any girl would love to marry.  He has heard devastating diagnoses and taken them with grace, come close to death a few times and testified accordingly, has such a strong faith and is not ashamed to say so, and climbed more mountains than any thrill seeker - and made it to the top every time.  He's so handsome (he's ROCKED both a 'fro AND a faux-hawk), strong like an ox, and his heart is just the right amount of tender.  And this is not the biased writing of the mother of a Momma's Boy, either.

Well......yes, it is.

Now Cameron and I have a very special relationship.  We've stood by each other through thick and thin.  But a few years ago, we were in the car together and I was feeling nostalgic and taking a stroll down memory lane.  "Awww, Cam.  Do you remember when you were little and you asked me to marry you?"  He smiled wryly, and put his hand on top of mine on the middle console of the car.  "Yyyyyeeaa...about that, Mom......I don't think it's gonna work out."  (Not exactly left at the altar, but dumped just the same!)

It is a cute follow-up to an adorable story, I know.  But the story doesn't end there at all.  Cameron continues to do whatever he feels he must to take care of me, protect me, and truly love me.  He is proud I'm his mom, though my mistakes have been many; and I am proud of him as my son, though the frustrations have been, too.

I pray for him daily.  I pray protection from evil and all wicked intent, and I pray he continues to grow in strength in his faith.  I pray he finds the RIGHT woman to marry, one whose faith mirrors his, so that their union is strong and clean.  I pray I can hold those special memories in my heart and mind for as long as I'm alive.  And I pray my legacy is great in his heart and mind as long as he's alive....and I pray he rises up, and calls me blessed.

And of course, I pray he's Mr. Right for the girl of his dreams - that he does whatever he feels he must to take care of her, protect her, and truly love her......and that his proposal leads them into exciting nuptials and wedded bliss true love stories are made of.

Don't take one trial or test of faith for granted.  Even the worst of days are meant to raise you with moxie and help you learn to relish the good ones.  And when a proposal is presented to you, be sure to carefully consider it before saying no.  It could be the transfer of some of your journey to someone else's path, all while building the legacy you leave behind.