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Quite a big year for me – 2011.  I turned fifty in June and was married for thirty years on 1 August!

Thirty years is a long, long time.  Longer than I’ve been single before our marriage.  Many people have been married for far longer than that and I admire them for it.  Marriage to me is a process of finding the middle ground.  A process of giving and receiving and sometimes fighting my way forward in the dark because I do not have all the answers (although I would like to believe that I do 😉 ).

Sometimes we battle together on the same side and sometimes we battle each other.  We overcame many problems and situations that could have finished our marriage but didn’t.  When I look back on the past thirty years I can see the Grace of God and His guiding Hand like a golden thread weaving our marriage together.

We have invested thirty years of our lives in marriage and each other and we received great dividends for our effort.  We had four amazing children and scored another four amazing children!  On top of that we were blessed with three beautiful grandsons who bring us joy every day.  We are happy together and when we were sitting on top of the mountain last weekend with the snow and beautiful scenery around us we were on top of the world.

So I came back with beautiful pictures and couldn’t wait to do this weeks layout with them!  In the end I decided on paper from Paper Explosion to match the ruggedness of the mountain and the colours of the scenery.

This layout was inspired by a layout that I did in a class with Melani de Groot a few years ago.

The cards are ATC Affirmation cards from 7Gypsies.  I cut five of the cards square and rounded the corners, then embellished them with hardware from Tim Holtz and FabScraps.  The photo turns, postage stamp tape and script tape are also from 7Gypsies.

I printed small pictures (the same size as negatives) to put in the negative strip on the right page of the layout.

Maybe we will be blessed with another thirty years together, who knows?  In the meantime I have to cherish what I have and be grateful for it.

Back to the battlefield then…

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