This Weekend in 2011 Was A Big One For Us

I want to thank every one of you that took the time yesterday to check out my blog of our wedding anniversary, that watched the video I posted on YouTube, for the likes on Facebook, and for the kind words and well wishes.  Ray and I appreciate every one of them.

It was a very special weekend for us that started on Friday, September 30, 2011, with us getting married and concluded the next evening with our outdoor reception on Saturday, October 1st.

I promise that I’m not going to get too political here because I’m sharing another video of the reception, but I honestly never thought that I would have the chance to get married in my lifetime.  One, while the tide is turning and more and more Americans believe in marriage equality, there are still about 40%+ of Americans that don’t think I have that right.  Luckily, judges in Iowa believed that I did have that right!

Secondly, princes usually only live in Disney movies.  Ray and I are not perfect and we are definitely not “princes”, but we love each other.  We’ve both lived other lives before we met in February 2009 and that maturity has made our lives together more fulfilling.

Meeting Ray and falling in love with him almost four years ago fulfilled my life and it made Miss ABBA’s life more enjoyable.  She loved the extra attention Ray brought to our family.  As for me, not only did I find someone to love, but it also gave me the chance to be a “dad”.  While I loved being Miss ABBA’s dad, I had all but given up on the dreams of adopting or fathering a child.

With Gretel, Ray’s daughter, who was seven at the time, I’m now a dad and I’m living “The New Normal” without ever once having to change a diaper or having a baby throw up on me.  On the other hand, Gretel is now 11-years-old and I know in a few years that we’ll have our fair share of headaches and heartaches when the word “dating” comes up.

One year ago, we had our reception for our family and some of our closest friends.  Actually, that number totaled about 175.  At first, it was going to be for 100 people at the Hotel Blackhawk for brunch at the Bix Bistro, but that plan fell apart when communication with the restaurant manager collapsed as we neared our invitation mailing deadline.

I’m a firm believer in fate and our reception, which we had in our back yard, turned out more beautiful and more magical than we could have imagined.  We chose all the colors and decorated everything, we had the food catered, and had a bartender.

And, to top it off, Miss ABBA stayed healthy last summer and fall and she got to celebrate with us and enjoy the leftover food.  Also, we asked our family and friends not to bring gifts.  However, we said Moscato and liquor were acceptable.  We ended up getting 65 bottles of Moscato and 20 bottles of liquor!  We were stocked for the winter.  Okay, a few winters.

One of the words I used in my post today to describe the reception was “magical”.  That wasn’t my word.  It was a word that I heard a few guests use and I had to agree with them.  So, here’s the video of that special weekend one year ago with a few from the wedding, but most are from the beautiful reception.

My friends, thank you again for being there for us and for the sweet, kind words.

Anthony, Ray, & Gretel


24 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by DogmomDiva on October 1, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Anthony and Ray, I felt really blessed to be able to attend your reception..and lucky that I was visiting Cindy and Bruce at the right time to be able to attend..I think it was much more beautiful and friendly in your lovely back yard than any old hotel could have been..Many years of extreme happiness for the 3 of you…

    Barb & Carl


  2. Posted by JanetRobinson on October 1, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Great videos both today and yesterday! Congrats to all of you! You are all blessed!Loved it!


  3. Loved the video! The colors, the lighting, the love that surrounded you that day was captured so beautifully. It looks like it was truly magical!


  4. Posted by Scott on October 1, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Wow a year already…that’s great!


  5. Posted by Dorothy DeMay on October 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Congratulations, Anthony and Ray! I’m sorry I missed congratulating you yesterday, but my happy thoughts and prayers are sent for you both for many years of happiness together as you raise your daughter together. Thank you for sharing your slide show. I love Bett Midler and that song, especially.


  6. Posted by Elaine on October 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Great words today, Anthony. May You have many more wonderful years together.


  7. Posted by Kathy Hyson on October 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Wow…magical is the word to use…absolutely magical…beautiful! 🙂


  8. Posted by Kathy Markham McCoy on October 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I’m proud to be an Iowan who celebrates love. So glad you could cross the river & make your dream of marriage come true. Thank you for sharing the journey with all of us.


  9. That looked like a fantastic reception. True love is a rare and precious gift. I hope you two have as many years together as my late wife Diane and I had. My best to you both always!


  10. this is amazing Anthony !! brought tears too my eyes


  11. Congratulations on your one year anniversary and best wishes for many more years together.


  12. Posted by Brigitte on October 1, 2013 at 9:54 am

    What a beautiful day you had! I am coming to you for some tips if I ever get married again!


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