if i am allowed to live 72 years on this earth i will be forever grateful to my maker.
if i get to share those 72 years with the love of my life i will feel blessed beyond my worth.
my wonderful grandparents, yvonne and charles, just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. let that soak in for a minute.
72 years together.
can you imagine all the memories they share?
thick is their book of life.
the chapters that include me have been filled with love and warmth and the happiness that only a grandma and grandpa can give.
many of the happiest memories of my life i have shared with them.
they taught me the meaning of ohana. not simply by the numbers, [they have 4 sons, 14 grandchildren, and 19 great grandchildren (and counting)], but by their love.
in recent years life has had a way of preventing me from visiting them as often as i would like, and for that i have a heavy heart. my grandparents are the glue that binds my ohana. no matter how far away we all are. this anniversary luau was such a treat. not just because the food was SO YUMMY SO YUMMY in my tummy, but because it was so nice seeing all the family members and friends that we get to see all to little of these days. my spirit was lifted by seeing everyone that day, especially my grandma and grandpa.
i love my grandparents with all of my heart.
have a great day everyone, and if you’re lucky enough to still have your grandparents in your life call them and tell them you love them.

and now, a brief history to get everyone up to speed.
that last shot was my grandparents now, and this next one is them back in the day. i think it was a tuesday.
grandpa is originally from PRATT KANSAS but he moved out to san diego when he was young. grandma grew up in san diego and luckily, so did all of us. thank you grandma for providing the foundation for a whole ohana full of san diego natives.
i love looking through all my grandparents old photos. grandma has always loved photos. some of my earliest memories are of her with her DISK CAMERA everywhere we went. thank you grandma for sparking my interest and getting me started in photography. what you started as a hobby has blossomed into my families livelihood. i can never thank you enough, but i can give you lots of hugs. i love you mucho!

going back even further, here’s a shot of my grandma when she was a wee 5 months old. she didn’t know it back then, but she would go on to be the queen of sitting babies on her knee. she is the master of funny noises, songs, happy faces, and some kind of magic that makes every baby she holds feel comforted.
for the older kids she has a mental library of quick witted one-liners that staggers the imagination.
for example, someone walked by her at the luau and mentioned they were headed to the restroom.
grandma instantly responded…
“mention my name and you’ll get a good seat.”

here’s grandma at 2 years old. what a precious little girl. that smile is her trademark. she’s been sharing it longer than i can remember.

here’s grandpa in SAN YSIDRO circa 1929. he’s way over there on the left with a saw in his hands. grandpa has always been awesome at making things. he is very mechanically minded. he passed those mechanical skills on to all of his sons, and in turn on to a lot of his grandchildren. i used to love going over his house and watching him work. he’d even let me help sometimes. i’m sure i did more damage than anything else at first, but he always let me try. eventually i got the hang of it. thank you grandpa for never saying no, and for having the patience of a saint. i can never re-pay you for all that you have given me, so instead, i give thanks and hope that my character honors you. you are and have always been someone that i respect and look up to. i love you more than i have ever told you.

i finally made it to YOSEMITE (for the 1st time) and SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK last year and we took a photo in front of this same tree. I found this picture months later. how cool is that? my grandparents have always loved being outdoors. they used to drive their rv everywhere. they were always at LAKE JENNINGS and LAKE CUYAMACA. grandma loves to fish. i love to re-rock the bottom of the lake. who doesn’t like skipping rocks on a lake?

grandma sitting at the beach circa 1959. i never knew she was a pinup. now you know why my grandpa shacked up with her. wowzers!

enter my dad. grandma’s youngest of 4 boys.

dad was drafted during THE VIETNAM WAR and served proudly in THE U.S. NAVY aboard the USS ENTERPRISE and smaller RIVER BOATS. luckily, he made it back home safely. no one is more thankful for that than me. dad and i have never really talked much about his time in the service, but i see his pride every time he sees me in the same uniform. i’m glad we share that bond. if i had never served i don’t think i could even comprehend what it’s like being in a war zone. so far, i have been blessed by not having to be in quite the same situation he was in. i’m very proud of him for serving when he did. not that any war is good, but it must have been hell back then. dad, we still owe you and the other men that served back then a huge debt of gratitude. thank you. i’m so glad to have been lucky enough to grow up with my father around. i love you more than i say.

i’m not sure what the special occasion was, but i adore grandma’s scarf and glasses.

one thing that makes my grandma so special is that she’s still a kid inside. her spirit and her smile transcend her years. she has a giving heart that asks nothing in return. she is an absolute joy to be around. whatever you do though, don’t go over her house right after you eat because chances are pretty high that she will feed you again. no one goes hungry at grandma and grandpa’s house, especially if my uncle brian is over. :)

so, what do you do when you’ve been with the love of your life for 72 years? you throw a luau by the ocean with all the family and friends you can round up of course. we wouldn’t miss it for the world. april, as usual, had her sketch book in hand and scribbled this portrait of grandma and grandpa.

the years may have etched wrinkles and weakened muscles, but they have not taken any of the love out of these hands.

what i love most about my grandma’s smile is that it’s genuine. grandma has a gift of making who ever is with her feel the joy in her heart. she is my favorite person. that’s why we named rain after her.

seeing my grandpa’s face makes me smile. he is so comforting to be around. his kind and gentle soul puts everyone around him at ease.
my grandparents are the only two people that have ever called me davy. i’m not sure if they called dibs on it so no one else could, but whatever the reason they are the only ones. when i walk in their house and hear their voices say my name i know that i am in a good place.

another delicious cake made by shirley the cake lady 619-561-9377.

i never really knew my great grandparents, so i think it’s so awesome that rain gets to see hers. rain loves you lots and lots grandma.

congratulations on 72 beautiful years together grandma and grandpa! thank you for all that you have done for my family and all the other members of our hugantic ohana. you are proof that the blessings you freely share with others will be infinitely given back to you. you have blessed the lives of so many of us. kim, april, rain and i love you so much.

don’t forget to watch the slideshow below.
if you’d like, please leave a nice note for grandma and grandpa in the comments.
thanks for stopping by everyone.