Posts Tagged ‘Golden Anniversary’

Happy 50th Anniversary

June 17, 2016

By the grace of God and love of family, we made it through thick and thin, sickness and health, outside interference, and just every day life happening to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. And we are so happy we did!


50 Years of Marriage

A close friend of mine told me what her Dad always says when people ask what’s the secret to a long marriage. “Don’t leave and don’t die.” I love that quote and used it on the elevator at MD Anderson this week. Lots of laughs from strangers who may not have been experiencing a very good day.

My daughter asked me over a year ago if we wanted a party to celebrate our Golden Anniversary. I told her the best party would be all 14 of our family members together to celebrate for a few days. She offered the house she and her husband own in Park City, Utah. We had to work around everyone’s personal schedules, including my care at MD Anderson, but we were all able to get together for several days, as a family, to celebrate our lives.


All 14 of us in Park City, Utah

The weather was beautiful, the house and grounds magnificent, and there were plenty of fun activities to enjoy during the week.

On Sunday we had a great brunch at Stein Erikson’s Lodge on the terrace overlooking the mountains. Then it was on to the “Sunday Silly Shopping” event on Main Street in Park City.


Sunday Brunch

On Monday, the grandchildren loved the ropes course and Museum at Olympic Park.


Ropes Course

We gathered back at the house where Troy decorated Thompson’s one-year-old birthday cake as Fenway Park. He used little plastic baseball figures that had been on his cake as a little guy.


Fenway Park Cake

Todd arranged for us to go back downtown for pizza galore. The proprietor said, “You guys rock!”


Yummy Pizza Dinner

Then it was back to the house again to celebrate Thompson’s one-year-old birthday a few days late.


Michelle, Troy, and Thompson

We all loved getting to celebrate our California baby’s birthday. We had a little cake for his very own, but he didn’t like that icing on his fingers.


Blow out the candle.

Tuesday was a big surprise when Tommy and I woke to the living area all decorated with gold and white balloons, party decorations and pictures of all of us through the years.


Golden Anniversary Decorations

Julie, Holly, and Michelle had stayed up into the wee hours the night before pulling together all the things they had each brought for the celebration.


Julie, Holly, and Michelle

After wonderful breakfast tacos, cooked by Scott, we headed for Park City Center for rides and miniature golf.

IMG_6456 (002)

In the afternoon we all headed back home for a rest while the caterers cooked and set-up a gourmet dinner in the Huebner’s backyard.


Ashton Welcomes Us

During the appetizers we enjoyed 60’s-70’s music. I took the opportunity to dance with my oldest grandson, Tyler.


Dancing with Tyler

We also took family pictures to commemorate this special Golden Anniversary.


Our oldest son, Todd, his wife, Julie, Madison and Tyler

They live in Dallas. Madison will be a Sophomore at Texas A & M and Tyler a Junior at Jesuit in Dallas.


Our daughter, Holly, her husband, Scott, Lindsey, Ashton, and Sydney

Lindsey will be in the 8th grade at Seabrook Middle School. Sydney will start 6th grade at Seabrook Middle School and Ashton will be in the 3rd grade at Ed White Elementary school. They live about an hour from us in Texas.


Troy, our youngest child, Michelle, his wife, and Thompson

They live in Long Beach, California, where they own and operate Olafson Creative. We get together with them several times each year.

We feasted on a gourmet dinner of salad, vegetables, elk and trout, fresh from the area. It was all topped-off with a delicious cake and happy singing.


Our six grandchildren and us

What an indescribably blessing our family is to us. As the evening cooled outdoors, we adjourned to the game room in the lower part of the house for beautiful gifts with emotion, gratefulness and love throughout. Troy read from a framed listing of the 50 things they all love about us. We all laughed and cried throughout the presentation. I can’t help but write a few of them for you.

  1. I love that you have made me a part of your loving family.
  2. I actually do love that you made us go to church and Sunday school. I realize now the great morals and ethics we learned.
  3. I love how Grammy taught me how to create–everything from little scrapbooks to crafts to quilts to gowns.
  4. I loved the Sunday picnics and playgrounds all over Houston.
  5. I love the two of you dancing the jitterbug, knowing you’ve been dancing together since you were teenagers.
  6. I love the warmth you show each other when arriving or leaving a family event. It may be as simple as Granddaddy gently rubbing Grammy’s back to comfort her or Grammy making sure Granddaddy has everything he needs to enjoy the special event.
  7. I love our family backyard wiffle ball games.
  8. I loved sharing the birth of our three babies with you, and I loved having your help for those first few weeks.

    Moms and Daughters continue reminiscing

    Then everyone geared-up for the action-packed Shuffleboard competition. It was close, but Tyler and Julie were named the champions.

    Wednesday and Thursday we slowly began to go back to our homes. We’d had so much fun together. It was great for the older grandchildren to spend time with baby Thompson. He did not lack for attention and love.


    Backseat baby entertainers

    It was hard to say good-bye to him and his mommy and daddy. California is a long way away.


    Goodbye at airport

    But how thankful we are to have all these babies and their parents. Thank you for spending those precious days with us all together.

    Tommy and I had our own little morning celebration on Saturday, June 11, 2016, our actual wedding anniversary date. In the evening we attended a Sunday school party with many good friends.


    Our Sunday school party

    They had a cake with candles and singing to conclude the special evening. Thank you everyone.


    Happy 50th Anniversary

    May there be many more. We love you all family and friends. Life would not be the same without you. God’s blessings on you all. Judy




Thanks for the Memories

September 6, 2013

A graduation, a marriage, birth of a baby, a new job, a move to a new town are all things that are reminders of where we were when we look back and remember. This past week-end brought back many memories of my career as a quilting teacher, designer, author, and most especially a part of Quilts, Inc.

In 1976 when I first interviewed for a job with Karey Bresenhan, owner and President of Quilts, Inc. I had a one-year old baby on my hip. I also had a 4-year old and 8-year old at home.  Karey wanted me to teach in her shop projects using the quilt blocks I  had learned from her mother,  Jewel Patterson. I accepted, and the rest is history. My family and I have grown up with quilting being a major part of our lives.

The Murrah Family 1976

The Murrah Family 1976

Starting to work for Karey Bresenhan in 1976 has expanded into 37 years of International Quilt Festivals and Markets all over the United States, Quilt Expos for 20 years in Europe, and most recently the Texas Quilt Museum.

All of these accomplishments were dreams of Karey’s that she turned into a reality with the help of a dedicated staff of long-time employees. Many of those have come and gone, but many have stayed for the long haul. It’s been a life-time of adventures. In 2014 Karey and staff will celebrate the 40th birthday of International Quilt Festival.

Quilts, Inc. Staff 2012

Quilts, Inc. Staff 2012

On Saturday, August 31, 2013 many of those long-time staff members were present to help Karey and Maurice Bresenhan celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary. The festivities started with champagne at the Texas Quilt Museum which is located in a pair of beautifully restored, historic 1880’s buildings in La Grange, Texas.

Texas Quilt Museum

Texas Quilt Museum

After a little mingling and greeting, family and friends were seated to witness the renewal of Karey and Maurice’s traditional wedding vows under two Double Wedding Ring quilts. You could hear a pin drop as the officiant started with “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, to witness and bless the reaffirmation of the marriage covenant of holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate established by God.”

Renewal of Vows

Renewal of Vows

After the ceremony, the guests departed for the Bresenhan ranch which is about 10 minutes away. We first went to their house for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served on the deck and in the house. The Texas evening was nice and the lighting and setting were enchanting.

On the Deck

On the Deck

But we hadn’t seen anything yet. The Creativity Center, where we hold our monthly leadership meetings, seminars, and Quilt Camps, was transformed into a Cinderella wonderland. The draped ceiling with twinkle lights, the red table cloths,

Creativity Center Transformation

Creativity Center Transformation

the plethora of family and friends’ bridal portraits with red and white vintage quilts,

Red & White Quilt & Bride

Red & White Quilts & Wedding Portraits

Red & White Quilts & Brides

Red & White Quilts & Brides Portraits

and childhood photos of Karey and Maurice placed on all the tables with their beautiful table settings were a feast for the eyes. Everyone was in awe.

Lovely Table Setting

Lovely Table Setting

Great music was playing as we all entered, and then came the Bride and Groom. What a beautiful couple.

Maurice Bresenhan & Karey Patterson Bresenhan

Maurice Bresenhan & Karey Patterson Bresenhan

Among the very special guests were Karey’s cousin, Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, who is Executive Vice President of Quilts, Inc. and her husband, Carlos Puentes, whose company has provided our enrollment system since 1995.

Carlos Puentes & Nancy O'Bryant Puentes

Carlos Puentes & Nancy O’Bryant Puentes

Willie Hart, who was in charge of Quilts, Inc. Show Operations for more than 20  years, is now VP of Special Projects. She does huge banners of quilts photo-shopped on buildings  for our shows.  She printed and mounted all of the photos for the Anniversary Celebration. Gene Reynolds, CPA, and owner of the company that has taken care of our accounting for many years, was among our Quilts family.

Gene Reynolds & Willie Hart

Gene Reynolds & Willie Hart

Bob Ruggiero, Director of Publications & Public Information who has been with Quilts, Inc. for 17 years, was the DJ for the evening. He played mostly tunes from the ’60’s for our dining pleasure and then for dancing. That’s me with Bob. I’ve worked in the Education department for Karey since the beginning. I am VP of Education and Administration.

Bob Ruggiero & Me

Bob Ruggiero & Me

In the last 10 years, we have added many employees who are coming up along beside us long-timers. Marvin Paz has worked his way up to assisting Ruth Polanco in Show Operations. Pokey Bolton came on board almost two years ago as Chief Creative Officer. The company is changing and growing, and lots of new things are on the horizon.

Marvin Paz & Pokey Bolton

Marvin Paz & Pokey Bolton

After a scrumptious meal catered by Bistro 108 and dancing, we adjourned to seating outside the Creativity Center to watch a fabulous display of fireworks in the Cow Field.

Those who spent the night were  treated to Sunday Brunch in the Creativity Center after beverages under the oak trees. I enjoyed seeing Trix Buhlmann-Epple from Switzerland for the week-end. Trix has worked with Quilts, Inc. Special Exhibits since we started doing shows in Europe. We couldn’t do without her.

Chatting with Trix Buhlmann

Chatting with Trix Buhlmann-Epple

With the celebration completed around noon Sunday, we drove out of the ranch and back home with many more magical memories of Karey Bresenhan and Quilts, Inc.

Leaving the Ranch

Leaving the Ranch

May you have many memories of love, loyalty, and faith.

Your friend, Judy

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