Welp, we did it!!
A few weeks ago, the entire Demos family gathered in San Diego to celebrate Jordan’s parents’ 35th wedding anniversary. We’ve never taken a full family photo that wasn’t at a wedding, so we knew this was our chance! So naturally, we sent everyone a copy of our Portrait Session Style Guide (shameless plug!) and
mandated scheduled family photos for the first full day everyone was in town. Because everyone knows that the longer you’re on family vacation, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to fit into the clothes you brought FOR family vacation, and the more likely it is that someone will have stormed away from family vacation. Plus, we’re Greek. So we didn’t want to take any chances! Thankfully, neither of those things happened.
Every day the rest of the week was pretty much the same. Wake up. Drink coffee. Play Settlers of Catan. Eat lunch. Go to the beach. Come home. Play Settlers of Catan. Eat dinner. Play Quiplash. (So fun! TRUST US on this one!) Play a late-night round of Settlers of Catan. Sleep and repeat.
The exception to this was Tuesday night. We sent our parents away for a few hours and, when they came back, the walls of the rental house were decorated with pictures from the 35 years of their marriage. Music from 1982 playing in the background. We cooked them dinner and ate under the string lights (Parenthood style, because in our minds, our big, loud family is that show). Then, we went inside for the main event. For weeks leading up to the trip, each one of the kids wrote Mom and Dad their own personal thank you letter. That night, we read them out loud.
Here are five excerpts from Jordan’s letter:
1. When it comes to education, you never used your private school backgrounds or academic accolades as feathers in your cap, notches in your belt or intellectual bludgeons to hit others with who were less fortunate than you. Instead, you’ve always downplayed how smart you really are and exemplified the old adage that “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
2. When it comes to money, no matter how much you had, you never let us forget the value of a dollar… or the value of giving our hard-earned dollars to others who fell on hard times, and needed it more. We wore Wal-Mart jeans, not because you couldn’t afford something more expensive, but because you didn’t want possessions to come at the expense of life lessons.
3. When it comes to friends, you showed us that loyalty matters more than popularity; that quality matters more than quantity; that you measure success not by how many friends you have today, but by how many people would show up to your funeral; and that second chances and forgiveness aren’t for weak back bones. They’re for tender hearts.
4. When it comes to family, you’ve been fierce, faithful shepherds of us all — even when we’ve wandered or strayed — never resting until your entire flock is back together in the same place.
5. When it comes to your faith, despite a few bumps in the road, you’ll end the game of life perfect on the only scoreboard that matters: all of your children and grandchildren love Jesus, because you showed us how.
As we wrote about last year when we shared about our vow renewal in France, of everything we have in this world, one of the most sacred and special is the 250 years of marriage that our parents and grandparents fought for and passed down to us. It’s a legacy of love, an inheritance more valuable than all the money in the world. And as their children, if we love each other and our children the way they’ve loved us, that legacy of love will multiply to thousands of years… and touch generations to come.
Mom and Dad, we love you.
Mom and Dad, the West Coast kid and the Southern belle.
The Five Kids
From left to right: Stefan (#3), Nick (#1), Caelen (#4), Jordan (#2) and Musa (#5).
Poor Mom. All those tries and NONE that look like her.
So we married them.
This is Nick, the best big brother anyone could ask for, his sweet wife Anna, our adorable niece and nephew, Olivia and Luke, and our future niece, too!
A huge thank you to our friends Cole and Nicole for driving down to take the family shots we were both in –– including these!
Our sister, Caelen, who looks like Jordan, and her husband Austin, who our niece and nephew have named Funcle. Because, well, he’s the fun uncle.
Our little brother, Stefan, and his beautiful wife Meagan. They just got married a few weeks ago. Congrats to the newlyweds!
Our nieces Luke and Olivia and our little brother, Musa, who’s a star college soccer player at Jordan’s alma mater. Musa gets his speed and vertical leap from Jordan. Just ask Jordan.
Mom and her boys. She calls us
The HER Greek Mafia.
Happy 35 years, Fran and Harry! We are so blessed!!