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A Year of Milestones | Five Benchmark Birthdays + a 50th Golden Anniversary

Celebrating life's events with joy with those we love

· Family Life,Event Planning,Anniversary,Heritage,Wedding

The past 10 months we've enjoyed several milestones in our family: Our son turned two years old, our niece 21, my mom 39 ;), two people turned 40, + recently, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Here are some images of their wedding in 1968:

My parents' wedding day in 1968
My parents' first kiss as husband + wife 1968
My parents signing their wedding certificate 1968
My stylish + talented mother made her wedding dress 1968; she was proud of the train
My parents' original maltese cross cake; Mom's colors were red, green, + gold
My parents cut their original wedding cake 1968

The date of January 19, 2019 for the celebration was significant as the anniversary of my maternal grandmother's death. She would be happy that we all came together as a family to celebrate instead of grieve. We walk into her legacy in our own ways.

I'm thankful at how God brings full circle our paths. A turning point for my parents involved when my dad became a Christian when he was 28 years old, and I one, and my parents celebrated 10 years of marriage.

I married my husband when I turned 28 years old, and we welcomed the advent of our son when we celebrated 10 years of marriage.

For their 50th, we celebrated with a party at the same venue that they had married in 1968, formerly Renton Lutheran Church, now Luther's Table, a community cafe and music house in Renton, Wash.

My parents cut the cake at their 50th anniversary party
Post cake feeding kiss 2019
Celebrating their toast 2019
The toast 2019
Paleo gluten free cake by Nuflours with original wedding topper from 1968 to 2019
An important life-changing friendship 2019
My aunt's 50th side cake 2019
Mom's love tree + prossecco from All Things Wine 2019
Mom's stem rose + cake server 2019
Message cards + treat table for guests 2019
Venue + guests 2019

I had enjoyed LT for years since it opened for a myriad of community, civic, and educational causes, and live music. Through photography, I connected there with other local organizations that partner in the community to care for others in need.

These organizations gave me a sense of community + connection, + a place to live out my vocational ministry where traditional houses may not have recognized the value.

My dad shared how God helped them through their marriage, and how faith in the Lord saves us.

Dad sharing their story 2019
Mom tearing up 2019; it wasn't always easy
Hug 2019
My parents' original wedding bells from 1968 to 2019

Then we danced and sang to live music with my son.

Roses + the band 2019

We ate flatbread, drank wine, tea, + whatever cake was left. After parties make the BEST parties.

Mom playing with her 5-0 balloon from G 2019
Flowers galore 2019
Watching the band 2019

My parents worked with me on the design of the invitations, the pre-family portraits, the venue booking date, the cake flavours (spice cake/chocolate filling 1st layer; white cake/strawberry filling 2nd layer; white vanilla coconut icing both layers), + my mom + I designed flowers whilst Dad played with the baby after our lunch at the table + bench that we designed, built, + aged after a Parson's table from 1930 (not pictured). We sourced our flowers + accessories through our local Safeway + QFC. I enjoyed these special moments shopping + designing with my mom.

Floral tape, corsage, boutenieres, + ribbon with detail 2019
Bouquet by my mom 2019

I also surprised them with images that they hadn't seen of their wedding day with digitized slides on a slideshow. The baby assisted with that, too. Water damage had destroyed many images.

Mom + Dad watching their slideshow 2019
CD of scans from 35mm slides by Omega Photo Lab 2019

Watch my parents' feed cake to each other + toast here (with some coaching from me).

Watch my parents' 50th anniversary dance here.

I'm thankful for this special story to me about how life comes full circle, that whatever seeds you plant or shoulders you rub, can come back in a living way to thrive, heal, + restore.

Besides, don't my parents look gorgeous? They shopped together for their ensembles.

Gorgeous parents at their 50th 2019
Couple "engagement" portrait 2019

If you feel lonely in a season, you can know that there's a connection somewhere even if waiting for you just around the bend.

My son's 2nd photography engagement 2018

Special thanks to Tom + friends at Luther's Table for playing + supporting the event, to Nuflours Bakery of Seattle, Wash., who worked with me with ease + enthusiasm on a short time horizone, + for the beautiful + tasty gluten-free + paleo cake modeled after their original + designed by my toddler + I, to Omega Photo Lab of Bellevue, Wash. for scanning the 35mm slides for my parents' slideshow, to All Things Wine of Renton, Wash. for the delicious prosecco, for my aunt V. for making the 50th side cake, and for aunts V. + D. bringing G. a gift so that he could play, + to guests for giving my parents memories to cherish.

Special thanks + pride to my parents for not giving up, for giving us an example to follow, + for circling back to the value to invest in heritage of people with faith, hope, + love.

Special thanks to G, my wonderful + joyful 2-year-old, who co-designed the event, flowers, + cake with me, rode to the "choo-choos" in the sky (skyscrapers) to pick-up the scanned slides, + helped Dada purchase + carry the balloons. He certainly was patient with my event planning frenetic energy the past few weeks. Besides, he's the best company. Love you, G!

Baby taking over on photography 2018

What circles do you wish to come true today?

What connections do you yearn for?

Mom + Dad's 50th anniversary "first dance" 2019
Mom + Dad's 50th anniversary "first dance" 2019
Mom + Dad's 50th anniversary "first dance" 2019
Listening to the band 2019

Kindly,
Dena

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