“I do” or shall I say… “I did”…

fred barbara first photo 1991
First photo taken of us at my sister’s house… 1991!

Twenty one years ago today I said “I do” to the sweetest man on Earth, my husband, Fred Stroud. I remember that day well! We were so excited to get married, we didn’t want to wait for an evening wedding… we were married at noon on a hot August day. We had a beautiful wedding in Summerville, SC – we left the reception on the way to the John Rutledge House Inn (Charleston, SC).  It was such a treat to spend the first (luxurious) night in Charleston!

John Rutledge House Inn Balcony, Charleston, SC [image]
John Rutledge House Inn Balcony, Charleston, SC
[image]
After we checked in and put our bags in our room we had family meet us at the inn to sit out on the veranda. Spending time with my husband and family at the most beautiful inn was such a treat! As was the breakfast the next morning… we had slept through it and there was a knock at our door, they brought us breakfast in bed… it was scrumptious and so beautifully delivered. Something I’ll never forget!

John Rutledge House Inn Suite [image]
John Rutledge House Inn Suite
[image]
I swear, if this isn’t our room it was one very similar… When the bellman was showing us the room, he told us to “feel free to walk around the hotel and enjoy the beautiful art work, such as the piece above the mantel“… it was a piece that my dad had painted!!! He snuck down early that day and asked them to hang the painting… what a wonderful gift! Here is a photo of it… it’s not a good one… reflections make this a tough one to take a photo of… so disregard the reflections, and the fact that I had to crop off the frame, this is a watercolor by my dad, Joe Fidler… (frame cropped to get it somewhat square, sigh…).

Painting by Joe Fidler
Painting by Joe Fidler

From the moment I met Fred I KNEW he was the one. There was something about him. We clicked. Is it cliche to say that we’re soul mates? Well, we are, I can’t think of any other word to describe it. He is an amazing man, and I pray that I am as wonderful a wife as he is a husband. Something tells me I got the “lucky end of the stick”… ha ha…

Fred, 1992 - I love this guy!
Fred, 1992 – I love this guy!

Here’s to you Fred! You’re the best! I feel so blessed…

Charlie and his dad... Fred!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

F L A S H B A C K

O NE   Y E A R   A G O..  You see this man? He is the love of my life!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…  The great escape on our wedding day… 19 years ago…

You See This Man? He Is The Love Of My Life!

You see this man? This man is the love of my life. When I first met him it was love at first sight. I thank God for him every single solitary day. I am so thankful to have met him, I still cannot believe it! Fate had me dog sitting for a friend at her house, when Fred pulled around the corner in his sporty BMW with a big smile on his face. I grabbed the puppy and had him leashed up in no time (didn’t know the dog had NEVER been on a leash, or had never gone for a walk…) and was taking him for a “walk”, that little puppy pulled me right into Fred’s driveway and sat at his feet. If that isn’t a sign… ha ha… That was Easter weekend 1991. I woke up on Easter and walked out to get the newspaper. I saw a large gift bag hanging on the front door. I thought to myself how lucky my friend was to get such a thoughtful gift on Easter. I set it on the dining room table. Walking back to the house after getting the paper I thought, hmmmm, WONDER IF IT COULD BE FOR ME?? Nah… Well?? Check the bag for a card… and there it was… To: BARBARA, whaaaaaat?????? A huge stuffed Easter bunny in the bag so beautifully presented. What a wonderful beginning… we have been together ever since the day we met. I cannot imagine my life without Fred. He’s wonderful in every single way.

Today we’ve been married for 20 (TWENTY!) years. It seems like just yesterday we were planning to meet at the chapel. That we were both nervous and hopeful that all of our planning would work out as we had hoped. Fred was at the church washing windows early that morning. He wanted everything to be perfect. And it was!

We had the best time at our wedding. That was too much fun! We had the best honeymoon ever tucked away in a cabin in the woods. It was magical.

I hope you have found someone who captures your heart and makes you smile. I am so fortunate to have a husband who is truly my best friend AND the absolute love of my life bar none. I consider myself the luckiest woman in the world! I would take this kind of love over any amount of money or any other possible “possession”. Things are things. Things can be replaced. You tire of “things”.

I will never tire of Fred.

He is hands down the sweetest man I have ever met.

August 22, 1991

So thank you for coming into my life Fred, here’s to the next twenty years… and twenty after that! I love you so much… Barbara

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Woohoo! To the love of my life… it’s your day!

Fred on Monhegan Island...

Don’t you just love this photo?? It was taken several years ago, our first trip to Maine, Monhegan Island to be exact. If I were to give this photo a title it would be INNER PEACE. Good one, eh? This is one of our favorite places in the world. I think we are destined to become island people… all of our favorite places are islands. On our first trip back from Monhegan, sitting on the wharf waiting for the Laura B. all I could say is that I didn’t want to leave. Not in a “I don’t want to leave because I’m having too much fun” kind of way, but more of a “this is where I belong and it’s difficult to leave” kind of way… We both felt that from the first year our feet hit the ground. While in Maine you just feel so content. So happy. So relaxed… It’s life… The way it should be…

Back to the reason I started this post…

WOOHOO FRED!!!! Happy Birthday!! If I could give Fred one thing for his birthday it would be  a trip to Monhegan, although the season is over, the inn is closed and let me just say… WHERE WOULD WE EAT? Ha ha… So Fred… I wish you the happiest birthday ever. A year full of happiness and no worries, I am blessed beyond belief to be your wife. I love you so much!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Eat, Pray, Love… what would you do with your final hour?

Image via http://www.imdb.com

Something to think about… (thanks to WordPress for the topic) WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAD ONE HOUR TO LIVE? Hmmmm. Not something I like to think about… I would want to spend time with my husband, I would want to talk to my family (after all I only have an hour, not enough time to jump in a car and get to Summerville OR on a plane and get to Michigan!) and I would want to take a few minutes to write a letter to those who have made my world a much better place. I would want them to have something that shows them how much I truly loved them and how deeply I felt about them. Then I would just want to be close to Fred and say goodbye to Charlie…  I. WOULD. PRAY. Oh, and if I was so lucky as to have a box of See’s dark chocolate caramels in the house I would go ahead and eat them, well, I would save Fred a few, but what the heck… might as well. I would still want to quick brush my teeth at least. Then I think I would set the house up for Fred, make things exactly as he likes them.  Personally I’m hoping when we’re very very old, once we’re no longer healthy, that we fall asleep in each others arms and wake up in Heaven. If that happens, no one needs to be sad for me I will be thrilled! What would you do with your final hour? By the way, Eat Pray Love was a good movie if you need something to rent! Until tomorrow…

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