5 Happy Years

Almost two weeks ago now, John and I celebrated our fifth anniversary. We had decided when we first got married to renew our vows every five years because it seemed important to us to take a moment to step back, re-evaluate where our marriage is at, and be mindful about what we need to do to keep it healthy going forward. Having gotten through five wonderful years together, it’s a decision I’m glad we made. Even in five years, the tarnish of life has a way of building up and a celebration and renewal is a way of bringing out the can of silver polish.J&M pre ceremony

We had a grand old time with some of the best sports on this planet–just about all of our guests went along with our request that they play 1940s dress-up with us to varying degrees. Our backyard proved its worth as a sparkly party venue. Flame and fireworks were enjoyed safely. Food was nommed. The weather was perfect. Basically, I think everyone should be so lucky to have such a celebration of their marriage, whether they’re just getting married or whether they’ve been married for the better part of a century–it was a blessed evening.

To share a little of the joy with you, and for the benefit of some of the guests who made requests, here are a few resources for partying like us hound dogs.


We used a Grooveshark playlist through John’s tablet, hooked up to some computer speakers that have nice sound. Here’s our jivin’ rockabilly playlist.


We tried to stick with easy finger foods, but failed. Still, there were a few winning recipes that make generally great party foods.

Apples with Caramel Cream Cheese Dip (minus the peanuts)

Cider Cheese Fondue (don’t use a Crockpot and don’t use pre-shredded cheese)

Sweet & Sour Meatballs (Crockpot style, no black magic involved)

Lemon-Blueberry Tarts (this crust in cupcake wrappers topped with jam and lemon zest)

There were many more recipes, but some of them only exist in my head. I think my mother-in-law’s deviled eggs (known to the family as “floppy eggs”) were the most popular, but I don’t know her secrets.
Redeax lights


We don’t have a ton of electricity available to the backyard, but we managed to beg and borrow massive amounts of white Christmas lights to surround the fire pit, which gave the area a magical glow. In general, this event was a case study in Pinterest projects. If you’re interested in planning a similar event, feel free to bop around the Pinspiration board my valiant design team and I used.

You may call me Lady Walshe.

One unexpected but delightful side effect of this party was presents. I can’t express strongly enough how much all of these incredibly sweet and thought-filled gifts mean to us, but the one that got the most laughs and is likely to drive everyone else in our lives crazy the longest is the gift of twenty square feet of land in Scotland. Yes, that’s right. John and I are now Scottish landowners, legally entitling us to the honorifics “Laird and Lady of Glencoe.”


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