It’s been a while since I’ve written one of my Love Stories Series blog posts. But, no doubt, I’ve returned with my all-time favorite: My parents. Karen and Paul are getting ready to celebrate 45 years of marriage. And, while there’s no doubt their marriage has been one with its fair-share of trial and tribulation, my parents remain an example of what it means to be married in the truest sense.

How They Met

My parent’s first met at the home of my mom’s best friend, Ruth. Later we would all know her as Aunt Ruth. She earned the title for her pivotal role, and for the wonderful example of life-long friendship and support she has provided my mother. Ruth was hosting a Halloween party. My father arrived dressed as a nun. My mother was wearing a pair of scrubs and stethoscope she had looted from my grandfather’s supply. My father and mother caught each other’s eyes. And like magic, sort-of, my father decided to ask her out.

What happened next is a story with several variations. But none of the following facts can be disputed:

  1. My father showed up at my grandparent’s house, and was greeted by no fewer than six of my mom’s seven brothers. And he still went to the door.
  2. My father showed up with ANOTHER woman, and asked my mom if she would mind if he dropped her off on their way out to dinner. (It was on the way.)
  3. My mom agreed!!!
  4. They dropped my father’s early afternoon date off before going on their evening date (here’s where there is some dispute. My father denies she was a date, just a friend. My mother says she couldn’t have been a friend, or she would have met her again at some point.) I believe they both have valid perspectives. Neither of which matter, but do provide ample teasing on the part of their children. Mostly of my father and his “player” credibility.

They Fell In Love

My mom says she knew pretty quickly that she loved my father. My father claims it took a little longer.

The Proposal Story

My father proposed to my mother in his parent’s kitchen. On a side note: my Richie proposed to me in my kitchen as well…apparently there’s something genetic on my mother’s side that makes a man wanna commit for life in view of kitchen appliances. My mom and dad were at my grandparent’s house checking on things while my grandparents were on vacation. My dad, ever-so-suave, pushed my mom up against the fridge and asked, “Would you want to marry me?” Apparently, she did.

The Wedding Day

My parents got married on December 19, 1971. My mom wanted only to pick out a dress. She let my grandmother do pretty much everything else. My grandmother even registered my parents for their china and silver. My mom claims she just didn’t care, she only wanted to get married—in a pretty dress. You can’t blame her. And in an age where Pintrest wasn’t even a blip on the horizon, weddings were a pretty standard affair. Their venue was already decorated for christmas. My mom’s favorite decoration: a motorized Santa that would reach out and grab a passer-by’s booty. If you want to read about a few of the things that went wrong on their wedding day…read this blog about their wedding where I wrote about every wedding has “problems” and that’s what makes the memories.

Check out these images from their wedding album! I remember spending so much time as a kid thumbing through these pages. My parent’s were always willing to sit down and talk about their wedding day, and what little girl wouldn’t have just oooooohhhh’ed at that dress!!! I still giglle a smidge at my grandmother’s boufant.

My mother and grandmother getting ready. My mom fixing my grandfather’s tie. If you don’t chose to get your photos printed or to get yourself an album, let me just say that I love having these pictures to look through. I remember looking at them every year with my parents on their anniversary. And this year will be no different. It’s so much fun to see the way things were. The way my parents have changed physically, but still show the same love and commitment for one another.

My mom with her parents, and my parents with both sets of grandparents. I am so lucky to have access to these photos. I miss my grandparents so much. And seeing these pictures… well. It’s a treasure.


I love that my mom chose fur muffs instead of bridesmaid bouquets! And, her bridesmaids all sewed their own dresses!!!


My grandfather is holding the dark green velvet cap my mom sewed herself! This is the font door, that only six months before my father had walked up to to take my mother out for the first time. I recognize it. It’s the house my grandparents lived in for most of my childhood. A gorgeous old tutor on Nottingham Way in Hillside. I hope whoever gets to live in that big old house today has filled it with as much love as my grandparents did!

The church ceremony. It was the Advent season. And my mom was slightly horrified (and then laughed) at the huge banner saying “REPENT” on the alter.


Exiting the church. And that’s my Uncle Paul on the left. He was seven years old. Nineteen years younger than my mom, who was the oldest of nine. They look so happy! And they were!



And there, on the left. Well, that’s the Santa that would get fresh with you if you walked too close!

Karen & Paul’s Life Together

My parents are going to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary next week. In fact, we are throwing a party. I will be blogging their winter rustic pine cone anniversary party. Here they are at my wedding last year, surrounded by the family they’ve created. We like to get a little bit goofy!

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Photo by Idalia Photography
View More:
Photo by Idalia Photography

2 Comments on “Love Stories: Karen & Paul

  1. Definitely learned some ‘neat stuff’ about two of my favorite people in the world! Thanks for sharing and the pictures are terrific. One minor correction (or I was left out of the loop) I don’t believe ANY of the bridesmaids made their own dresses. If they did I owe a big thank you to the kind seamstress that sewed mine for me. Your a a very good wordsmith, Jeanne – and a terrific niece!

    Liked by 1 person

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