Love and Gratitude

Love and Gratitude | happyliving.com - image via kaileenelise.com

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
(Denis Waitley)

I have cultivated a careful system of routines and habits to help me lead a happy, healthy life. But there are times when that system is put on the back burner, and the only things that remain are love and gratitude.

The past two weeks are such an occasion. I have taken a break from my usual healthy habits – no vitamins, no exercise, questionable food choices, too many drinks, and not enough sleep. All those routines that keep me feeling happy and healthy have gone out the window, but all for good reason.

Last weekend, 54 of our closest friends and family members traveled to Austin for our wedding day! It was a special occasion to have so many people who are important to us in one room – and we loved how everyone got to know each other during the various events and activities throughout the weekend.

Our actual wedding day was not the perfect scenario we had been hoping for – there was crazy thunder and lightning, with terrible storms that flooded our venue and caused a lot of commotion. Our DJ said it was the worst weather he’s experienced in 900 weddings. As one of my grandmothers put it, “the day was certainly dramatic.”

Even though there was a lot of behind-the-scenes madness, we accomplished our #1 mission, which was to get married!! And our guests seemed to have a wonderful time. Some of the highlights: our ceremony went smoothly, our readers did an excellent job, the speeches were thoughtful and touching, our first dance was a lot of fun, and there was an epic dance party to follow. We had so many reasons to feel love and gratitude that day – even more than we would have if things had gone according to our plans.

After the wedding, my husband and I headed to Las Vegas for a mini-honeymoon. We had a great time hanging out just the two of us. We ate, drank, gambled, took in a show, and most importantly, we enjoyed our first days as a married couple. It was an excellent diversion and a wonderful way to start our marriage! Yesterday, we flew from Las Vegas to Ohio to celebrate Thanksgiving with my new in-laws. It was a delicious feast with wonderful company. And tomorrow we are gathering with more friends and family for a hometown reception.

As I said, these past two weeks have been anything but ordinary. Our schedule has been packed with friends, family, celebration, and love. We faced some incredibly stressful circumstances on the day that’s supposed to be the most magical of all. Our routines have been tossed by the wayside for parties and fun, late nights and love. And I think that’s how things are supposed to be – there are times for craziness, times for routines, times for celebration, and times for the ordinary.

Through it all, I choose to live with love and gratitude.

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