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1: words to take with you

2: No one else is capable of knowing or loving you more than yourself. Love yourself FIRST, including your flaws and splendors, pearls of wisdom and unknown mysteries. All of what you are contributes to the rich textural experience of life. Give yourself the freedom to be who you want to be. Then it becomes easy to love another. Cousin Gretch

3: Remember to ask yourself, "What do I love?" and take the time to listen with your heart. Laugh a lot! (I knows thas easy fo' YOU! but keeps it comin' morning', noons, an nights!) | If you experience any grey and uncomfortable, maybe even constricting, never-mind feelings/thoughts - any whatsoever - ask yourself these 4 questions, taking time to feel into the answers. If you do it with enough regularity, you will begin to see that it is the unquestioned mind that is the cause of all suffering. . . . 1) Is it true? 2) Can you absolutely know that it is true? 3) How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? 4) Who would you be without the thought? Sing and Dance! A LOT!!! Eat popcorn with budder.

4: SING A NEW SONG WITH YOUR LIFE! Love, Auntie C

5: You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

6: Try to make the time for each of you to maintain a hobby that is satisfying and brings you joy. Also, make the time to regularly meet up with a group of your friends for dinner or a movie Then you each will always have new things to talk about, It will help keep things fresh! Your loving Aunt Cathy

7: Never leave the house without an umbrella, as you never know when you may get caught in the rain...or when you will need a quick-fix birthday gift for that matter... -PROOM

8: Here is my best relationship advice for you and Sam: 1. Read Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, with Sam and remind each other how much you love and appreciate one another often. 2. Don’t take yourselves too seriously and laugh often! 3. I challenge the advice that some people give to never go to bed angry. I believe that getting some space from an argument (by going to bed or taking a walk) can help to cool anger, clarify thoughts, and help each of you to see the other person's perspective. The very best of luck to you! Love always, Audie

9: Remember who you are is what you love. Keep fighting for our English language that you love so much. Get a foot rub. Give a foot rub. Eat a wild apple. Sing a lullaby. Love, Mummah | Krink, Pick a Christmas tree with a top that makes you happy and a bottom that is reassuring. You love Frasier Firs. When your kids ask you to talk the Steiffs, help the little animals get along with each other. When you're upset, climb under your couch cushions and invite a pig-pile.

10: Dearest nana, How can I forget that day when you visited Big Sur? The fact that Sam proposed to you in a place so close to me actually makes me feel less sad when thinking I won't be able to join you on your day. I am so happy for you and I am sure I will be the happiest one in california on June 12. You will have a beautiful wedding and will be around by all whom you love and who loves you and you will have a happy journey with Sam, on the ground mostly, and will start a family in your lovely house! How cool and how exciting is the whole thing? I am just so happy for you! Love and best wishes, April

11: To the Other Half of my Brain: quite simply, I couldn't live without you. Give yourself time to wait for compassion. With enough time, it always surfaces. "Heal the part of the world within your reach." You have so much light to bring into the world. Please remember even when you're not doing that (VBDs), you are 100% worthy of rest, respect, love & joy. Be gentle with Caroline. Her well-being is important to me. I am so proud of you and so excited for you and Sam. I love you both to pieces. Your sister, Jo!

12: A Sailboat In The Moonlight Carmen Lombardo / John Jacob Loeb A sailboat in the moonlight And you Wouldn't that be heaven A heaven just for two A soft breeze on a June night and you What a perfect setting For letting dreams come true A chance to sail away To Sweetheart Bay Beneath the stars that shine A chance to drift For you to lift Your tender lips to mine Some things dear That I long for are few Just give me a sailboat in the moonlight and you A chance to sail away To Sweetheart Bay Beneath the stars that shine A chance to drift For you to lift Your tender lips to mine Some things dear That I long for are few Just give me a sailboat in the moonlight and you I'm so excited for you and Sam! Fill your lives with moments like the one in this song. Love, Cousin Em

13: Highlights of the N-C Chronicles "yahoo! you write to me-this is so exciting! I was starting to feel like I was missing a limb or something...' -N "i felt round and bright orange when you called back tonight." -C "i look forward to being vulnerable in the near future. i will let you know how it goes. -N I couldn't be so true if I weren't being received by a person such as yourself. It felt amazing to be heard, really heard.' -N "Oh I hopehopehope you and the cowscowscows are happyhappyhappy. Or at least Present." -C "Congrats on making it through your Masters program! I'm so proud of you! You went far far away, worked so hard, made lots of friends, stuck with sam, managed your relationship with your family members, you were a fucking teacher, holy shit....I hope you feel very fucking accomplished! You are one amazing, smart, and sexy woman!" -N "wish I felt good enough to roll out a red carpet for you; in the meantime I'm your bumbling but loving friend." -C "if i was going to be anyone's valentine though i would want to be yours!" -N

14: Caroline shows me that strength can be gentle. I have a picture of her hanging in my living room, as she contemplatively and determinedly walks against the current in a gorge in Ithaca. When my life gets hard and I feel as if I'm in over my head, things are coming at me from all directions, I look at that picture and remember how to hold my ground, and how to take small steps forward instead of thrashing about and losing my strength.

15: Dear Caroline, I think the reason it is difficult to come up with “words of wisdom” for you on the event of your marriage is that you really have it all figured out already!! So I would say just keep doing what you are already doing: - being hugely smart and imaginative, able to write poetry and teach writing and play Bananagrams | - using a well-developed sense of humor (think weird accents and telephone messages, laughing A LOT) - exercising musical talent with singing, composing, fiddle playing (e.g. singing at Becca's wedding, fiddling at reunions, creating musical CDs) - being at once a “free spirit” and possessing “goon power” with children/people (think of yoga on the front lawn and 4 y.o. Nate following you around swooning) - looking great in a bikini (and everything else you put on) - having reverence for nature (walker/hiker with impeccable bird identification skills) - cooking creatively and deliciously (think vegan cupcakes, wedding cake) - possessing a loyal, loving, and thoughtful nature (known by all who have the good fortune to move in your orbit) Keep enjoying the “everyday,” small things in life with your new husband/best friend and you will be forever happy -carpe diem! Much love, Phyllis

16: Dear Caroline, I think a book of advice is a wonderful idea! Some friends did the same thing for me, and I loved reading how different everyone's advice was. Words of Wisdom?.......Hhhhmmmm......I'd like to think that after fourteen years of marriage I can claim to be an expert, but relationships continue to change and evolve just like the people in them. I realize that sounds like stating the obvious, but you will find plenty of surprises along the way. For instance, when you get married, you really do not know what kind of a parent your spouse will be. You can guess based on his or her values, but you do not truly know until the circumstances are in front of you. Even though I think you have known Sam for more than half of your life, you will find that major life changes will bring out new sides of both of you. Sometimes the relationship continues along smoothly without missing a beat, and for many people, marriage requires work and adaptation. The work is all in how well you two communicate. My Words of Wisdom begin by saying that you should practice open communication at all times. Hopefully, you both are already good at expressing excitement for life and passion for your individual and mutual hobbies. It is also important to be able to tolerate sadness in one another and stay supportive when crisis hits, because it will. When you disagree with eath other, always listen as much as you assert your own position, and finish the argument same day. Don't let festering feelings linger on and on. It becomes so much more difficult to get back in sync. Argue with respect, not passion. I believe that passion should be reserved for your hobbies, the talents that make you the interesting person you are. When you have hobbies in common, those activities can be the lifeblood of the relationship. Whether it is music or something else, keep doing those things together and plan to immerse your children (if you decide to have a family) in the passions you have in common. It helps to keep your relationship exciting and always new. When you build your family life around certain acitivities (for us it is skiing), we find it takes us back to the infancy of our relationship. Skiing makes us feel younger and invigorated every time we get on the slopes and experience it together or with friends and our kids. And finally, I will also say that it is vital that you nurture and continue to pursue passions that differ from your spouse. Especially when/if you have a family, the demands on your time will increase, and sometimes the things you 'used to do' fall to the side as you maintain a household and consider other peoples' priorities over your own. It is easy to think you will get back to it tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and then what you used to love is relegated to memories. Remember that Sam adores the woman you are today, partly because of your passion for birds, art, writing and many other hobbies that are individual to you and maybe not to Sam. You probably think now that you will always make the time to pursue them all, but you may not. My other Words of Wisdom are to keep the passions that are unique to you, keep them alive and well practiced. They will serve as a healthy outlet for you as well as a source of enormous pride for your spouse. Above all, open communication is the key to a good marriage. We wish you both every happiness. Love, Rebecca.....with Skip, Maggie and Nate

18: Always remember that underneath the busyness of daily life, you are a wise soul in the flow of Life. Coming home to that remembrance can be a salve for the most hectic of times, the sometimes achingly chaotic nature of relationships, and the not-knowingness of certain chapters, the craziness of certain moments. You are of that flow, in that flow, and always, always held by that flow. Oh, and as your great Uncle Bob would want me to tell you, "Remember, no one ever just goes to LOOK at puppies." Congratulations, Caroline! Wishing you a life of the deepest joy, growth, laughter, and love! Much love to you for this journey, Your cousin Laura

19: "Pearls of Wisdom" from Auntie El 1. Offer up baby squid for dinner when you feel desperate to go out for a meal. 2. Have a stash of money that is always yours to do with however you want 3. Make sure you accompany your husband on any purchases or bargain hunts for the house or you'll end up with a roof like mine that you'll have to look at for 20 years! | 4. Threaten to sue if your husband tries to put a Kart track in the backyard. 5. Threaten to have him locked up for good if he gets the notion he can build a bubble. And definitely no ski lift up the back hill. Remind him that it isn't even his property. 6. Discuss the meaning of the word vacation on a regular basis or you may find the longest trip you take is to the end of your driveway for the mail. 7. But seriously, be a team at the financial table-- no one should be in the dark about anything. It's very empowering to make decisions together. 8. Lastly, admit when you are wrong. It doesn't happen very often, I know (you may have the Robinson gene), but it can have amazing results. Perhaps a hug.

21: 1.Don't assume your loved one knows how you feel unless it has been explicitly stated and it's corollary, don't assume he knows he should do some task unless it too has been explicitly stated. 2.Figure out what things are the most important to your spouses happiness in the domestic setting and go along with it (if you can). For example: If the kitchen counters are clean and the dishes put away or in dishwasher, the rest of the house can be a dump and it will elicit no comment from Mr. Wonderful. 3.Don't argue to win, argue to solve an issue. It's corollary? Sometimes you have to back down. Oh, and no name calling. Ever! 4.Don't introduce anything major to the domestic setting without discussing it first. For example: don't bring home a dog unannounced, or a cat, or a big bird...you get the idea. 5.You will soon be part of a team that will take on the world together. If the members of the team respect each other (oh, and love and admire) it is the best way to tackle this wonderful thing called life. The operative word here is TEAM. (work together towards the same goals etc. - It sounds so corporate, yuk). 6.And finally, men care a lot about sex. (and a lack thereof can manifest in some icky ways and vice versa) At some point you may not care as much as they do (now that may be years, but you will likely get there now and again) and at those times, figuring out a workable "maintenance program" can be very helpful in maintaining domestic tranquility. 6b.Ask for stuff (and I don't mean minks and diamonds here) during the "after glow". They can be quite amenable at these moments. With much love and anticipation of the big event, Amy

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  • By: Joanna M.
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  • Title: Blank Canvas
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