The Hawaiian Nymans, Nelson & Ann Sophie:

Hawaiian Nymans.

The Chicago/Michigan Nymans, Lars & Margaret:

Lars and Mom.

The Florida Curington family:

Adam & Linnea with Autumn, Micah, Nelson, Isaac, Skylar

Florida Curingtons.

The Michigan Nymans:

Klaus & Brooke:

Klaus and Brooke.

The British Nyman family:

Hans & Katy, with Nicholas, Evelyn, Lizzie, Andrew, Thomas, & baby Jonathan in Katy’s front pack

The British Nymans.

From Indiana, Teddy Reynolds, & Michigan, Louisa Nyman

Teddy and Louisa.

The Iowa Bettis family:

Birgitta, Emerald, & Spencer

Iowa Bettis family.

“God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world….. so that we might have eternal life through Him.”       (1 John 1:9) May this God of hope bless you with peace and joy in 2018!

Newlywed Love (#124)

Newlywed Love (#124)

As Nate and Meg come to the end of their newlywed year, this post will be the last in that series. Future months might bring further chapters of their adventures, but for now we’ll put their love story to rest. Maybe we’ll tell a faster version at some point one month of married life per blog or maybe a series titled “Twenty years later: Middle-aged Love” or “Forty years later: Senior Love.” For now, however, it’s Happy 1st Anniversary!


November 29, 1970

Nate’s and my first wedding anniversary didn’t disappoint. The two of us began the day “snestling” in bed as we always did, this time wishing each other a Happy Anniversary. As the hours went by, we each found multiple notes here and there, full of rich sentiment.

A cardAnniversary card






The card reads: “I’ve never been happier than I am this day, our 1st anniversary as a married couple. Thank you abundantly for all the grand happiness of this year. I love you! Meg”

We headed back to the bedroom for a couple of “romantic interludes” during the day and planned a dress-up dinner at a classy restaurant that evening, a place we hadn’t visited since we were dating.

Round BarnNate had taken me to Champaign’s Round Barn in February of 1969, when he had been trying hard to win my heart. It must have worked, because when he asked me which restaurant I’d like to go to tonight, that one immediately came to mind.

We also made plans to have a very special dessert at home afterwards. As wedding tradition had it, Mom had saved the top layer of our wedding cake for this important day… in her deep-freeze… for an entire year. She and Dad had delivered it to us when they came for Thanksgiving.

Wedding cakeBack when we ordered our six-layer cake before the wedding, it was traditional for the inside to be all white. But both of us requested that the small top layer be made of dark chocolate. Now we couldn’t wait to feed it to each other, reminiscent of our wedding cake-feeding.

The plan was to use this private cake-ceremony as a symbol of that important day. We wanted to talk over the vows we’d made a year earlier, checking ourselves against them today. And we guessed it might be pretty romantic to feed each other – this time without an audience.

Throughout the day we chatted about all that was happening “a year ago at this time.” Nate brought up specifics I hadn’t remembered, and vice versa. Then, as we cuddled on the couch, we paged through our wedding album, checking to see if our memories were correct. It pleased me greatly that I had married such a sentimental guy.

The mail delivered quite a few anniversary cards, some actually with checks inside. So we took immediate advantage of that generosity at dinner. Nate ordered lobster, and I enjoyed filet mignon – something we probably wouldn’t do again for years.

Although I didn’t journal that night (being busy with better things), the next day I wrote about our cake-eating ceremony, using quite a few exclamation points:

Anniversary evening

The entry reads: “Nate’s prayer of thanksgiving (over our wedding cake) for marriage and me and us was so great —- Nate is so great. How very VERY lucky we are to have each other and mostly a marriage unified in Christ. So perfect is life. I’m in love with Nate and with Christ and with life, all at once. And I’m soooooo HAPPY AND LUCKY!!!!”

It had, indeed, been a wonderful day of love and loving, a springboard into what we hoped would be a 2nd year as good as the 1st.

“My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course. If your heart is wise, My own heart will rejoice!” (Proverbs 23:19 & 15)

Newlywed Love (#110)

October 20-23, 1970

As the days passed, we didn’t see or hear from either Cathy or John. Our history had been to check in with each other frequently, and it wasn’t unusual for us to get together 3-4 times a week.

But our last conversation had ended badly with unresolved tension over the differences in our spiritual beliefs. As Nate and I talked about it further, I got an idea that was probably from God. Never once had Cathy and I done something apart from our guys. So I thought I’d reach out to her just one-on-one, two wives trying to be friends.

Nate thought the idea had promise, so I called Cathy. We talked without any strain, and then she came up with a great suggestion… a way to spend time together while also being productive. As a team of two, we would home-make all our Christmas gifts.

Just CathyThe next day she came over for coffee, and neither of us brought up her amorous professor or the subject of open marriage. Instead we listed gift ideas that would be inexpensive and fun to make – candles, chocolates, simple sewing items, and maybe some knitted things.

Cathy had a natural ability to organize and troubleshoot (skills I lacked), so she would assemble our supplies, and I would develop the ideas of how to use them.

A few days later we began by melting chunks of wax in my double boiler, coloring them with stubs of broken crayons I’d gleaned from my school’s waste baskets. At the end of the evening, we had several finished products and were ready to run a test on one of them. Hopefully it would actually burn.

Which two...It lit right up, and our victory shout was loud enough to bring Nate from his paper-writing. Never mind that the candle burned down twice as fast a store-bought version. It had a flame, it was a candle, and we were thrilled.

Gradually we worked out an efficient assembly line and were churning out all kinds of candles, no two alike — some thin, others fat, and some hand-shaped in rough-looking balls. When they were all lined up on my pull-down ironing board, they were an impressive sight.

But best of all was that Cathy and I had deepened our friendship without a hint of tension. As we parted, we set a date to start making chocolates.

Fanny May“I know how to do hand-dipping that will look as good as Fanny May!” she said. Both of our extended families loved chocolate candy, and we couldn’t wait to get started on Phase 2 of the Christmas Gift Adventure — and to continue growing a new friendship.

“Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.” (Luke 6:31)