Castles & Vows

Thursday, September 22, 2011 by  

Medieval castle, misty castleOn our anniversary we renewed our vows at the 14th century castle where we wed years ago (below). The weather was glorious, the English gardens in full bloom, our hearts were full.                                           Groom smiles at bride, knowing smile, romance, roses

This summer, we enjoyed more than 1,300 miles of pristine landscape in the United Kingdom from Edinburgh, Scotland to Lancashire, North Yorkshire, The Penines, Northumberland, and Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England.
England & Scotland 2011   English countryside, Scottish countryside, waters edge
It brought back wonderful memories from years ago…
English wedding hats, English wedding attire  English wedding hats, wedding, hats

Wedding guests, hats at wedding, dress blowing in wind  Prince Ali, prince walks the bride down the aisle

Flower girl, flower girl getting ready, English flower girl, curler in little girls hair  Groom hugs bride, loving embrace, couple embrace, loving hug, groom and bride

English castle, boys playing ball, medieval castle, boys at a wedding Blowing bubbles, maid of honor, bubbles

Bride and groom dancing, 1st dance, couple dance, joy dancing as newlywedsWe were so pleased to celebrate our union with our family and friends

We married in the United Kingdom and again a month later in the United States. Our maid of honor, best man & bridesmaids flew back and forth for the weddings, both of which took place near sunset on the eves of full moons – that was just a pretty bonus from the Heavens!

I am also very grateful to my wonderful seamstress – who made sure every gown, dress, suit/outfit I wore at the Miss America years earlier was fitted to perfection. In England, she made sure the bustle was perfect! After all, she created it. And she made my gown glisten in candlelight and against the setting sun.
Seamstress, Seamstress dressing bride Seamstress helping bride, seamstress and bridesmaid helping bride

Castle, top of castle, castellation, couple on top of castle, battlement Moat, children playing by water, waters edge, castle moat, boys by river

On our anniversary this trip back, we really enjoyed seeing our daughter & Goddaughter running playfully along the centuries-old wall we walked up together as newlyweds.

Castle wall, children running, children run along castle wall  Castle wall, fortress wall, medieval wall

Best man, England, best friends, brothers, rings, wedding rings, holding wedding rings  England, horse and carriage, horse in window Bride and groom on a bridge, couple on bridge, smiling newlyweds on bridge, groom holds bouquet, groom holds roses

Viel blowing in wind, bride and maid of honor, child watches bride England, English medieval window, ivy covered window

English medieval castle, walking to the moat, wedding party walking together  England, English countryside

And although we enjoyed journeying throughout the Kingdom… (2000 years! Read the sign below:)

Red door on chapel, Scotland, red door   England, lion, tower, gates

Castle gates  Scotland, chapel, medieval chapel

…taking carriage rides & visiting local farms where our kids could grind wheat & hand-feed horses and little lambs…

England, watering horse, child gives horse water    English farm, farmhouse, flowers at farmhouse, flowers

…and enjoying quaint pubs, 500-year-old canons, Scottish castle ruins, England & Scotland 2011

family, friends & a romantic summer to remember…
…I must say my favorite part of this year’s anniversary was not the trip to Europe, but rather what we did on the “next wedding anniversary” a month later when we returned (yes, we celebrate both).

We took our little one and her friend to see the Winnie-the-Pooh animated classic in the movie theater. As we sat with the girls between us, Phillip reached over their seats to touch my arm. I smiled at him in the dark and whispered, “There’s no where else I’d rather be than celebrating today with our family and Winnie-the-Pooh.”

Later that evening, my mother watched Little Petal as we went out to dinner.

One-lane bridge, bridge, road over lake, one-lane road over lake No parking sign, no standing sign, no parking or standing sign Lake, lake at sunset, large lake, lake and trees

(These are photos by day/sunset are so you can see the roadway. It was pitch black when we were there. I’m sure we would have given our teen an earfull if he did this…)

On the ride home, Phillip turned onto a long single-lane road over a large lake. He turned off the engine and jumped out of the car, motioning me to follow him.

He put his arms around me and looked up, pulling me close. Stars pierced the pitch black sky; the only sound ~ the chirping of the summer crickets. The water was still, the air was warm. He kissed me and took my breath away. I felt like a teenager, blithe and carefree. With every beat of my heart, he kissed me more passionately.

Suddenly, car lights in the distance were heading our way. Our car blocked the entire single lane, and the oncoming driver would never suspect someone stopped on this quiet, dark roadway.

We scrambled as fast as we could to get into the car as the lights drew closer and closer. I grabbed my skirt around me and ran as quickly as I could to the passenger side of the car, heart pounding with excitement, fear, naughtiness.

We took off just in time and laughed giddily – I think from the nerves and the rush.

The Bright SpotTM – my husband, the love of my life! Go grab your Honey and smooch him/her! Take out some time and write down your special thoughts about why you love your wonderful someone. Renew your vows and commitment to one another. Castles and moats are great backdrops, but it’s the authenticity in your words and heart that make your relationship deep. Enjoy the little things like an afternoon movie with your kids or a romantic kiss by the lake. If you are single with kids, tell your kids how special they are to you and celebrate your commitment to each other. If you are an adult, tell your parents or grandparents how much they mean to you. A vow is a pledge or promise to the one(s) you love. Life’s so short, do it today.

Bride, groom, boys running with bride and groom through path    Romance, hug, loving couple, tophat  xo, b

And a double Bright SpotTM just for YOU!! Thank you to all of you who read this site. 2 million page views & counting in one year because of your support & interest in these stories, our albums, links, and the weekly interviews from our Live, call-in radio show “Let’s Talk!” archived on this site for your convenience. And thank you to everyone who commented/sent e-mails on the story that follows – about how the tragedy of 9-11 affected our family and how our young son unknowingly inspired many in this nation and abroad. Thank you all!!


Immigrants, Aliens & the All-American Girl

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by  

My parents were immigrants.

parents' wedding photo

My husband is an immigrant.

Husband with dog

 couple marrying

married couple dancing

My cousins are immigrants. My friends are immigrants. They all came here seeking the American dream.

My parents became citizens, started with nothing and worked day & night to make that dream a reality.

American-born, they taught my sister and me to honor this country to the core, fly the flag and pledge our alligence. My parents are the greatest patriots I know and I’m proud to be an All-American Girl. We are teaching our children the same rooted values and love of this great nation. When I was selected as Miss Connecticut to represent my native state in the Miss America, I was very honored. (See “Our Photos” above for Miss CT pics, or click on “My TV Website” in the navigation bar above for more related news/videos/press releases & charitable work as Miss Connecticut.)

flower basket and flag  Miss CT newspaper cover

For Memorial Day, we went with our children & friends to the Intrepid aircraft carrier in New York City.

Intrepid Intrepid in Legos helicopters fighter

It’s Fleet Week and NYC is electric!

Fleet Week sign

My Mom was excited about the Intrepid – she told me that on its LAST voyage around the world in 1971, it docked in Portugal, England, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Scotland & Norway & she told me that she took me on the Intrepid in 1971 in Kiel, Germany with my Grandfather & we all had a wonderful time & she remembered it well. I don’t remember, I was little, but how cool is that! 

helicopters fighter  navy plane

We honored the young…

Soldiers Wreath

…and our elders who fought years ago for our freedoms like this World War II fighter pilot who flew this very plane!!

meeting ww2 vet

Child and Veteran and Dad

It was a very special day to remember.

Then we headed to Mars.  We took a space shuttle and landed on the Red Planet.

Our teen son

Some of us were ready to meet the Aliens…


…and clearly, some of us were not!

man stunned by alien                                                  (I mean, really, what is up with Phillip here????)

shake hands with alien

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower  – And to top off this marvelous day, this All-American Girl threw caution to the wind when it came to boring, ole calories and I ate my All-American apple pie with whipped cream…oh, yes, AND the Boston Cream pie – hey, if you’re going to indulge, do it right! Yum!!

Eating pie  pies

For an awesome look at our phenomenal history, watch “America: The Story of Us” – a 12-part series, action-packed, incredibly edited, unbelievably riveting, a powerhouse epic – you will be amazed in the 1st minute of the series, I promise. God Bless America!!!!