Martin and Donna's Wedding

The newly married couple are today flying to New York, having spent an amazing week in the sunshine of the Dominican Republic. 

(Not that that kind of honeymoon makes me envious in any way. Oh no.... having had the opportunity to spend a week on a Caribbean Cruise for our honeymoon, but ended up in a teeny weeny, cold, damp apartment in rainy Wales ... why on earth do you think I'd be envious?

And anyway, that's 25 years ago. Who even remembers that? Yeah, as the Builder knows, I do. And the kids and I bring the whole saga up regularly. Oh yes....  We're so good to him, aren't we!)

Anyway. Our newly married couple. The ones who are honeymooning in the Dominican Republic. And then in New York - yeah, them ...

The bride's family. Her mum and dad have been our friends for a long, long time, and don't y'all find that, as you get older, old friends become even more precious to you. I will have a photo of the bride's mum with her hat too, so you will see her whole gorgeous outfit. 

Our friends' children become precious to us too, don't they? I'm sure they have no idea, but they are so often in my prayers.

The bride's sister was the chief bridesmaid, and her two daughters were also bridesmaids. This whole family made me smile so much through the day. The wee boy .... well, y'all know me and wee boys, and this fella made me completely fall in love. The girls were not only beyond bonny, but they were so pleasant to speak to, and were full of beans all day. Delighful. 

How's this for a capture? Most of the photos here were taken by our friend, Domhnall Twin, who was also clicking away at our own wedding last year. Again, thank you, Donald, for these photos.

I must say I was blown away by the whole 'look' of the bride. The whole Audrey Hepburn look suited her to a tee. Donna, your choice of dress was spot on!

And just to prove that the wedding party had a husband too ...! A wedding just isn't a wedding without an array of kilts, and this wedding didn't disappoint.

I do love a fella in a kilt. (Do y'all remember the Builder at Catherine's wedding? No? .... hang on - just let me find a photo ...


Forgive me. I realise this is a total gratuitous use of a photo of the Builder in his kilt, and right in the middle of a post about someone else's wedding. Unforgivable, Anne. 

But what's a person to do?

Okay, back to the wedding.

This was our table. It was so good to be able to catch up with our friends from home. Good food, good company, and many good laughs ... what more could you ask for at a wedding!

'Twin', the Builder, and the minister who married the couple. There was a quite cool connection between the Groom and the minister. Apparently, when Rev MacDonald left school (or was still at school, maybe?), he had a part-time job at a local Cash 'n' Carry, and who worked alongside him but the man who was marrying here. The Groom recalled them having their lunchbreaks in the Rev's bright red Fiat Panda.

Betcha they looked really cool, eh!

But isn't providence amazing! As is island life :)

I told you I'd show you a photo of the bride's mum. Her outfit was absolutely gorgeous, and I'm not sure the photo shows the gorgeous colour properly. Here she is with Twin, lest any of you are confused as to whether this fellow became her husband somewhere between the first photo and here. 

Many of the guests at Donna and Martin's wedding had been at our own wedding. Again, it was so good to catch up with them all.

What was I saying about 'old friends'? Us three were converted around the same time - in the 80s. I'll tell you a wee story, actually, about Christina, the bride's mother, Donna - the bride, and me. When Donna was a newborn baby, myself and another friend (who's now in Glory) went to visit mum and baby. These were my pre-married days, and I did not 'do' babies. I had no idea how to deal with a baby, and as far as I was concerned, every baby looked the same, and because they didn't converse with me, I honestly had no clue what to do with them.

Well, Chrissie Mary and I had been sitting for a while with Christina, who had the baby in her arms, when Christina got up to go and make a cuppa. She duly plonked the baby in my arms. MINE! I just looked down at this .... baby .... lying across my lap. Aghast.... Horrified.... they don't even come close to how I felt. The sweat was beginning to form, and I glanced up at Chrissie Mary with a "Save me" look, and simply held both arms out straight - baby lying across them - and said, "Seo. Gabh thus' am beabaidh" ("Here, you take the baby")

Oh the relief to have baby-free arms once she took the wee doll.

And, oh, how things change over the years! It's amazing that this same 'get this baby off me' person became the broody baby-hugger I turned into! 

I don't know if our bride even knows that story! I must tell her some day. After their honeymoon. You know, the one that's not in Wales.

No kilt, but still so bloomin' handsome. 


Friends. And sisters. What great gifts.


Clothes Shopping and My Board of Fashion

The Builder and I were at home for a wedding recently, and I'll show you photos of the bride and the wedding itself later. But as y'all know, a wedding means a dress. A dress means shopping. And clothes shopping - for me - means a problem.

Indeed, not a problem, but many problems.

On the Saturday before the wedding, I spent the morning in a car garage with the Builder, trying out cars with a view to changing our own, and the afternoon dress shopping. I don't need to tell y'all that I loved every minute of the morning's 'shopping', but oh boy, the dress shopping. Oh. Boy.

I tried on about five hundred and seventy-three dresses, and I took photos of every one and sent each photo to my Board of Fashion so they could decide on the suitability of each one. 

My Board of Fashion consists of a friend, my sister, and my two daughters. They spent the afternoon online giving their opinions.

Our conversations varied, but normally, they went something like this:

Board member: Erm, no. That dress doesn't work. I mean ... do you like it?
Me: No, not really ... I'll try the next one on.

Board member: You look like you're applying for a job in M&S. Um ... and not as a model.


Board Member: For crying out loud, woman, stand up straight. 

I felt like Jane, being told off by Mrs Bennett. You remember the scene?

"Oh, sit up straight, Jane! Pull your shoulders back! A man could go a long way without seeing a figure like yours, if you could only make the most of it!"

Not that I think that whole comment applies to Moi. Not that I was trying to attract Mr Bingley. And not, I hasten to add, that I liken my sister to Mrs Bennet.

Well, not much anyway.

I thought this might work. It was a fit-and-flare (I almost know what I'm talking about here, don't I?) and whilst on the hanger, it looked like it might fit me.

Why do clothes on hangers still fool me? Even in the Petite section, clothes are not made for people like me. Ohhhh no. They are for ... and I quote: 5ft 3in and under. 

But herein lies the problem. The 'and under' part includes me. Three inches may not seem a lot to all you normal people out there, but three inches out of five foot is a huge 5%. I think that's right, and that's huge. Three inches off means the dress waistline may sit around my hips. That's not a good look. 

Believe me, I know.

Three inches means that the hemline goes from an 'elegant knee length' to dangling somewhere mid-calf.

Again ... not a good look. 

This particular dress gave rise to this conversation:

Board member: Are you for real? You're going to a wedding, not a funeral!
Me: A funeral?? This has pink flowers on it. 
*I proceed to quickly send a close-up of the dress, clearly showing pink flowers. Not funeral-ly at all*
Board member: Anne, I'd wear that on a Saturday for round the house.
Me: *gulp*
Board member: Can it actually be true that you're my sister?

On the final day's shopping - the day before we travelled home - I finally tried on my last dress, and changed back into ME clothes.

This was the dress my Board chose. It was navy, had a funny band at the bottom of the skirt which was odd and made it longer than it ought to have been, but my trusted Board insisted it was not to be taken to a dressmaker for the chop. I was to wear it as it was.

Who am I to argue?


Such Beauty

I took a wee wander round about here the other day, and can't resist showing you some photos from my wee walk.

I love love love the sight of bales. It's probably my favourite scene in all the world.

Well, except for the sun setting on the Atlantic. And except for my kids' faces. And maybe even except for dogs.

But apart from that, fields of round bales are my favourite scene.

It was around three o'clock, so the sun was beginning to lower in the sky. That always makes for gorgeously soft hues (though this photo is dressed up too :) ).

It was so peaceful. So totally and utterly mind-renewingly peaceful.

Everywhere I looked made my heart sing. At times like these, I forget I'm Scottish. A Highlander. Reformed. Presbyterian. A Niseach, for crying out loud ... and the Charismatic part of my soul gains the upper hand.

Except silently, so I guess I remain truly Scottish, and truly Presbyterian. No shouting, no dancing, no hands in the air. But in my soul.... they're all happening.

Such total and utter beauty, and I sing:

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

And then the jaw-dropping beauty of the creation is overtaken with thoughts of the Creator.

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

And how can I not sing aloud:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

...because He truly is great. Great above measure.


What I Enjoyed in Spain, Part I

This is supposed to be the first of my Spain posts, but before we head off to the continent, a wee word about our new baby.

Blog readers didn't guess her name; the Homeschool on the Croft Facebook page readers tried valiantly but failed; but just in the past hour, an Instagram follower got it!

Her name is Niseach!

(For the poor, uneducated, sad non-Gaelic speakers among y'all - and you have my sympathy - 'Niseach' is a person from Ness. And for those even more deprived and who don't even know what Ness is ... you dear folks. I sympathise. Not to have been born in the best place in the world is one thing; but never even to have visited this little spot of almost-perfection on earth ...well, I shall try and deal kindly with you ;) )

And so there you have it. She is Niseach. And she is a bundle of adorableness. 

And now on to Spain. My next blog post will look at the two eating places we'd definitely recommend. This post will look at three great memories from our holiday.

1. The balcony

I loved sleeping to the sound of the sea. I loved wakening to it, and stepping out onto the balcony to be met by a view like this. 

(If you look closely, you may be able to see Gibraltar in the distance. This was the only time we caught a glimpse of the Rock during our week on the Costa del Sol.)

Everything seemed to move slowly in these parts, and these fishing boats dawdled around here, right in my line of vision, for the best part of this gorgeously warm and calm day. I think those on the boats were simply enjoying the beauty around them, and who of us would want to rush in these kinds of conditions?

I loved sitting to read on that balcony with my cuppa and the sea air and sea sounds filling my senses.

2. Mijas

I took a half-day trip to Mijas, about fifteen miles from where we were staying. What a gorgeous little town! It was quintessentially Spanish from top to bottom. 

I hopped on a Tuk Tuk along with three other visitors, and it was most certainly a well-spent five Euros. Our driver was lovely and considering the width and steepness of some of the streets, this is probably the only way I'd have seen some parts of the town.

The church on the hillside (you see it?) is closed all year, except for a couple of days around Easter, when villagers walk up the hillside to a Mass. The building is set in a most stunning place, but my heart kinda aches when rituals are all people know rather than the glorious, free Gospel of Christ.

There is nothing more beautiful than Christ in all His liberating beauty.

This is what many of the streets looked like. 


Isn't this beautiful! The flower pots on the wall are supplied by the local council, all blue because this is the colour of the municipal district. It was all so pretty, with all the streets immaculately clean. We saw a couple of residents sweeping and scrubbing their own steps, and so that explains how beautifully clean the area looked.

3. Fuengirola Street Market

We all visited this street market, the largest of its type on the Costa del Sol. I wouldn't spend more than a morning here, but I would definitely go again if we go back to the Costa del Sol. It's busy, but because it's outside, it doesn't feel like a crowded shopping centre. The selection of stuff is huge, ranging from, erm, rubbish (am I allowed to say that?) to some lovely leather goods and crockery. Our bus guide told us that most of the vendors don't accept haggling and that the given price is what you ought to expect to pay, but DR bought a leather bag, and the sellers at that stall most certainly expected and welcomed haggling.

At this point I'd like to point out that I may have spent the past twenty-five years married to the Builder, but there are clearly some things about him I had yet to learn. One is that he is amazing at haggling!

Who ever knew?! While I cringed in the corner and smiled apologetically at the stall holder, he held his ground, threatened to go to another stall he'd seen where he was 'bound to get a better deal', and eventually took the price to about half the original asking price.

Who'd have thunked it, eh?

I was also chuffed to bits to discover that our Spanish classes have not been wasted....

After careful consideration, I figured that this van belonged to the local Police.

I amaze myself. I'm almost trilingual. 


An Addition ...

We have a new addition to our family...

Have you just squealed? I mean reeeeaaaallly squealed?!

She's nine weeks, and she's a Cockapoo. 

But really, she's just gorgeous.

We're taking things slowly to begin with ....

Today, we introduced her to the very dangerous tennis ball.

She took quite some time sussing the thing out, before she realized she was not going to be attacked by this spherical, yellow, inanimate ....thing.

Once she realized this, all was well with the world.

And she did what she does best: she grabbed it and ran like the wind.

('ran' being used loosely here. She is still at the adorable 'lollopping' stage!)

One more thing: She has been named, so dear readers, you are not getting to name her, but would y'all like to guess her name? Leave your guess in the comments ... :)


A Graduation and the Costa del Sol.... All in a Day's Work

Last Saturday - or was it the Saturday before? My days are all rather topsy-turvy right now - we began our day in London...

DR arrived off the train from Cambridge, where he'd spent a week at the Wilberforce Academy. A quick change later, and he appeared resplendent in his Morrison tartan kilt. 

It was the date for his graduation, and we were all - minus Catherine and John - there to join him in his celebration. It's not often we have everyone all spruced up, so I may as well show y'all some photos of us at our best :)

The graduation was held in the Barbican centre, so all the outside photos have a whole lot of concrete as the backdrop.

Anyway, we weren't there to view the architecture, but to celebrate ...

Calum enjoyed the day so much, and delighted in being able to share in DR's joy.

I love this photo of DR with the Builder,

and then the obligatory one with both parents.

Five years of studying, DR, all seemed very worthwhile all of a sudden! Indeed, according to yourself, the studies still ahead of you are now something to look forward to. It's amazing how success spurs us on to wish to learn more. 

Well, we may have begun our day in London, but we ended the day on the gorgeously warm Costa del Sol, and spent the next week resting, relaxing, and eating in warmth. 

Gorgeous, delightful, delicious warmth. 

Instead of my blethering on about DR's story, I think I'll give him a blog post soon where he can tell his own story. He, somewhat like me, loves to talk ;) 

More of the Costa photos will follow too. I wish to re-live the holiday, so you guys will just have to come along with me. Deal?


Catherine: Loved, Loved, and Loved Again

On our recent trip to Northern Ireland, I was struck by something ... that something kind of has to do with Catherine but really, it has to do with something much greater.

You see, when we arrived at the airport, and these two fellows saw Catherine, they almost devoured her with their love. (Calum is sandwiched in between the Builder and Catherine in this photo!)

The photo captures something of the love by which Catherine was surrounded the whole time we were there.

She loves the Builder, and it shows.

He loves Catherine, and it shows.

Wouldn't y'all say?

There's her father, and her brother ...

...and her husband.

Everywhere, she was enveloped with the love of these three men folk in her life, and I couldn't but think of the beauty of the relationships God has given us in this world. A Father to protect her and care for her and love her unconditionally and lavish all good gifts on her. A brother to come alongside her and adore her. A husband who will love with an incomparable love.

All three of these precious relationships are pictures of the infinitely more precious relationships we can have in Christ.

When we are in Christ, we can say the words, 'Our Father in heaven', and know that our God truly is our Father. How unspeakably precious to have the Lord of Heaven and earth, the One who rules and over rules, who loves us and is able to supply all our needs in Christ Jesus ... as our Father! What a privilege and a joy to be a child of this Father! Much as Catherine delights in being the daughter of the Builder, that pales into insignificance compared with her being a daughter of our Heavenly Father.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God" 1 John 3:1

 Our Saviour also calls His people His brothers, and after He rose from the dead, He told the women at the graveside: "Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me." (Matthew 28:10)

The disciples had forsaken Him in His time of greatest need, yet He calls them His brothers. What an infinitely kind and loving older brother we have in Christ. Catherine delights in the love of her brothers, but how much more can we delight in the love of our older Brother.

And then, there's Christ as our Husband. 

There is no relationship on earth to compare with marriage, and no relationship at all - on earth or in heaven - to compare with our being the bride of Christ. We adore Him, we see glimpses of His beauty and we are overcome with love. We can absolutely say: "His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend" (Song of Solomon 5:16).

But most amazing of all is that Christ looks at us - at His bride, presented to Him in eternity, before the world was ever created - and He delights in us! What love He has to look on us sinners and, instead of ugliness, He sees us through the eyes of His eternal and infinite love and He delights in us. He adores us! 

Our Father. Our Brother. Our Husband.

Catherine is hugely blessed to have these three relationships here on earth. But her greatest blessing by far is that she has these three relationships with the Lord our God. 

The first three relationships, good as they are, are imperfect. But our relationships with our Lord are perfect, because they are covenantal, and are of Him. 

The first three relationships will all come to an end. But our spiritual relationships will never end. Indeed, they will come to their greatest fruition when all the others are ended, and when we behold the face of our Beloved, when we sees Him face to face, and we shall "know even as also I am known" (1 Corinthians 13:12)

What a thought!

Related Posts with Thumbnails