Fifty years of marriage is a remarkable achievement. Mom and Dad are pretty great people as individuals, but they are even more amazing as a couple. They've set an amazing example for me in terms of having a marriage that has been defined by love, generosity, compassion, and respect for one another.
When I was a kid, like most kids, I sort of took my parents for granted. As I've gotten older I've come to realize that the way that they live their lives- dedicating themselves to friends, family, the church, and their community- truly is exceptional. They never turn down people in need, and although they have each had a lot of success in their professional lives, the starting point for how they have always measured success has been in terms of whether they were simply being good people.
When I was a kid and my parents volunteered at church or school events, hosted holiday celebrations, assisted sick friends or neighbors, provided help to struggling students from Mom's classes, or helped people out in countless other ways, I just sort of thought that was the sort of thing that all adults did. As I got older I realized how much work and effort had gone into the things that they did. There are plenty of other people (sometimes, sadly, myself included) who have good intentions, but just don't find the initiative or energy to follow through. But my parents always walked the walk.
They did it because of their strong religious beliefs, but also just because my parents both genuinely like other people. They have a great ability to see the best in people, and they take a lot of joy in forging connections with all kinds of other folks.
Bottom line- my parents are great, and I love them a lot.
So this week, in celebration of 50 years of great marriage, our family went to the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort. Amy, Raylan, myself, and my parents went down to San Antonio on Wednesday. Ryan and Jamie joined us down there on Thursday afternoon.
We got there on Wednesday and took Raylan out to the water park that adjoins the hotel. Raylan got to try out his first small water slide and splash around in the kid pool. My parents met up with us and we did a little swimming. We intended to meet up with my parents that night for dinner, but Raylan managed to slam his face into a sharp corner and cut open his lip while running down a hallway at the hotel, so we retreated to our room and ordered a pizza.
|Amy on a walking path on the resort property|
|Papa helps Raylan work the bucket on a mini frontloader.|
I think it was a mind-blowing experience for both of them.
|Dad, Mom just wrote my name with light. WITH LIGHT!!!!|
|This robot had a face on a screen that told you whether you were making|
it happy or sad. I spent a lot of time trying to keep it happy. I'm
apparently a very needy person.
|This thing was awesome. Raylan colored in a picture of a truck.|
They ran it through a scanner, and....
|... it appeared in a moving 3D mural on the wall behind him!|
|The water exhibits were outside. Raylan managed to not get himself |
soaked until right as we were getting ready to leave. :-)
In the evening Ryan and Jamie arrived and we all went out to dinner at Alamo Cafe. (Both Jamie and I used to eat their when we were in college, and Amy used to eat their when she was a little kid and her family lived in San Antonio). We had a good, fun meal. Raylan was really excited to be eating with the whole family in a new place.
|Amy and I introduce Raylan to a little piece of our respective histories|
|Raylan's first toast!|
|Uncle Ryan shows Raylan how to throw a penny into a fountain|
and make a wish. Critical skill!!
|Kids playing at sunset on the lawns and golf course|
|Raylan's first s'more! (he liked cooking it but wasn't crazy about|
the roasted marshmallow)
|Random shot of our suite. Mom and Dad were very generous with us.|
Thanks, Mom and Dad!
|Between Dad's hat and Amy's hat, I could generally spot my people|
|50 years after my parents got married!|
|Band. Lawn. Sunset. Muy bueno.|
|Somewhere in this picture Amy and Raylan are waiting in line |
for the bounce house
Later we all went back down to the water park for a good while. More lazy river. More tube shoots. More sweeeeeming.....
|Raylan shows off his floating abilities for Mom|
|Dad, Amy, Ryan, and Jamie, camped out on lounge chairs|
and possibly thinking about ordering a beverage.
|Raylan was very excited to pack up his backpack to go "stay with|
Grandma and Papa" on Saturday night. At their hotel room. About 3 doors down from
|I love my wife.|
|And now I'm gonna hang out with you for the rest of the night, right guys?|
On Sunday we worked out and then packed up and headed home.
It was a great trip!
Thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks for including us in your celebration, and thanks for once again showing me and our family so much love.
We all love you very much and are so happy to have you in our lives.