When Bigg and I decided to have a Handfasting ceremony, we didn’t know exactly what it would look like. We knew there would be some kind of chord, or ribbon and some people would tie them or wrap them around our hands and say cool stuff to send us on our married journey. Details were for later.

Well, crap, then later came. And suddenly we had to get our shit together and bring all these ideas to life. Enter the Google. Anything you need to know? It’s there. As in, Handfasting traditions and ribbon color meanings. Each color was assigned to a person or a group for a reason. Strength for our Highland Game friends; Purple was power for my cousins whom are so dear to me; Brown represents home for my daughter, etc. We laid them out on our beautiful table as they were blessed and watched over by the first Buddha my dear friend Veronique gave me. Enough folks have asked what all the colors mean, so here goes (in order):

Red (Mama Wanat): Passion, Strength, Fertility

Green (Hawkeye, Matt’s Dad): Finances, Charity, Health

Yellow (Jerry, my awesome Bro): Charm, Balance, Confidence

Brown (Zandra): Earth, Grounding, Home

Black (Jason & Jane Clevenger): Strength, Wisdom, Success

Orange (Guy & David, Hawaiian Uncle’s): Encouragement, Kindness, Attraction

Purple (Stacy, Paul, and Denise, my wonderful cousins): Power, Sentimentality

Pink (Amber & Brian): Honor, Truth, Romance, Happiness (And pink is their daughter Delia’s favorite color;)

Gold (Jenn minus Clay): Energy, Wealth, Intelligence

Silver (Becky & Mike, Matt’s sister and BIL): Treasure, Values, Creativity

White (Jeff & KCon, two of my pilots): Concentration, Meditation, Peace

Blue (My wonderful Uncles, Dennis & Ron): Devotion, Sincerity, Patience

And that’s it. All the colors, all the meaning.

Every blessing we received was special. From fun and funny, to meaningful and thoughtful. From lighthearted to deep connection, they were all amazing. You all can’t imagine how many times we heard throughout the day how wonderful our family and friends are. But ya, we knew that. Duh. Heh.

As much as I abhor singling someone out. I need to. Cuz she doesn’t understand what she did for me that day. But first we need to roll back the clock a bit…

Last November, as some of you know. Matt and I hit a brick wall. We were done. The moving truck was scheduled. The anger had passed and there was deep, deep sadness. As I’ve mentioned before, my dear friend Veronique was the one who shook some sense into me and told me I HAD to forgive. Words don’t matter, only love. Forgive. Don’t let this go. We made it, thanks to her and a few of my other dear friends who didn’t judge or take sides, only loved and supported. Jenn & Clay, Amber and Brian. So amazing.

When Bigg and I decided to marry, I called V and told her she needs to be here. We wouldn’t be here without her. We’ll fly her in, put her up. Include the Hubby if we can. But she is really the guest of honor because this would not be happening without her. Well, life can be a cruel Bitch and V died of Cancer weeks before the wedding. There were signs of her on our day; a painting she gave me when I moved away, one of the first Buddha’s she gave me when I was struggling in Texas in my environment. She was there in spirit, but not as we had planned.

Veronique's Flowers

When my friend Jenn (minus hubby Clay who was working but was able to stop by McBob’s later) stepped up to the plate with her Gold Ribbon, something powerful was about to happen. It was felt. She doesn’t know this. But when she stood before us, there was more than just her standing there. There was the love of Veronique; and the words of those important days and how we all came out of it; and a glass angel that was Jenn’s mother’s who had also passed on from Cancer and all the love Jenn has for her came through to us. There was a connection to all of these amazing ladies who held us up when we most needed it.

Each person, group, or couple held an important role in our special day. We’re so amazingly thankful for you all. But Jenn, you were given the duty that day to bring more than you’d imagined. And I thank  you.

Our ribbons are in our basket, bound by all the love we received. The glass angel is right next to it and is impossible to not feel the love every time I pass by and touch it . That is exactly what we were hoping for on our day. Thank you all.

Ribbons Tied

Oh, I’m SO going to bless this union.


Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to jep6095@gmail.com At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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