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Once Upon a Time

Something big happened last weekend. Our baby got engaged.

Like most Sunday mornings we walked to church together, the three of us chatting on the way. She had no idea that while we walked, I hardly dared open my mouth for fear of giving anything away.

While we sang and worshipped, the Hoppen elves went to work (longest church service ever.)

Her sisters decorated the area where the ask was going to happen. They dressed our little guys in bowties and blazers and things were set in motion.

Meanwhile the boyfriend, almost fiancé, waited at the highest point on the property here at Maranatha. Aka, the prayer tower.

The stage was set but there were no actors here. Everyone was playing their role from the heart and the show was about to begin.

The little boys met their Auntie Liv on the walk back from church with an invitation to take a walk to remember. I watched through misty eyes as she ran ahead. Our little girl on to one of the biggest events in a girl's life.

(photo credit: Aubrey Grace Photography)

It went beautifully. The tears and smiles were abundant as they made their way back to friends and family. Hugs and tears all around.

Craig and I could not be happier for Olivia and this guy we call “Big Landon.” We feel incredibly blessed that he is going to be our son-in-law.

I don’t have a big lesson here this week. I do know this. I am full of joy that I was sober through this beautiful day and the journey leading to it. So if I were to encourage you at all today, it would be with these words of encouragement:

Be present in these moments, as present as you can possibly be and for me that means being sober.

I rejoice in that more then you will ever be able to understand. Don’t waste any more time trying to get out of addiction. Whatever that looks like for you. Whatever is holding you back from fully embracing this life. Get help, reach out, just do it.

It will be beautiful, I promise.

Forever grateful,



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