The Object of My Affection

It will be thirty-one years next month since Thom and I sent out this wedding invitation.

(designed by my sister Constance, poem by Langdon Smith).

In his wedding vows Thom borrowed this passage from Robert Browning, “Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.”   I thought they were sweet words, but I was slender and pretty, with my whole life ahead of me; I could hardly imagine growing old, let alone growing old in concert.   Now I understand their import, and cannot believe my good fortune in having found such a wise old soul in such a young man.

Thom gave me the world.   With him I made my very first trip overseas, back in 1987.  We spent five weeks exploring Britain and Ireland.

We loved traveling so much we went back to Europe the next year.  That was to be the trip of a lifetime, so we hit all the must-sees:  Rome, Florence, Venice,  Paris, The Swiss Alps, Munich, Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona.

But instead of the trip of a lifetime, it became a way of life.

Travel is still a vital part of our life journey together.  I now see myself as a global citizen.  I wonder at the similarities between cultures, and celebrate the diversity.

We have shared this gift with our children.  We took them back to all the hotspots of Europe.  But the kids were good travelers and, with their encouragement, Thom and I have gotten more adventurous.  We have taken them to the Australian Outback, the Amazon, and Turkey.

I’m not surprised that both kids have grown up to be writers, storytellers, artists, and travelers, who are bilingual and trilingual.

Should I ever question my choice in a mate, I need only look at my children.  Through their eyes I see a better world, and am a deeper participant in life.

Dear Thom…

…You have always been and will always be the object of my deepest affection.

All words and images copyright 2014 Naomi Baltuck.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Object



  1. Roy McCarthy says:

    You’re making me cry Naomi, that’s a lovely tribute to your family. Well done.

    1. Dear Roy,
      Thank you so much!

  2. Love, exciting and new. You have lived and shared beautiful experiences. May the joy continue.

    1. Thank you, Richard. Best wishes to you and your family as well!

    1. Thank you for the visit, and your very kind response.

  3. restlessjo says:

    Oh, Naomi! Talk about “lump in the throat” 🙂 What a beautiful life you have made for each other and your children. Love the “scribbles”- the gladiator fight that was so cool! Long may you have each other.

  4. Naomi says:

    Beautiful and inspiring! I love the pictures and journal entries from your children. What a wonderful life their parents have given them!

    1. Dear Naomi,
      thanks so much for the visit, and your really sweet comments.
      Bea still keeps journals of all our trips, and is our trip historian.
      My brother works with people who travel abroad every year, and they always leave the kids at home with the grandparents. So much of my joy has been sharing the experience with them, and it has taught them to be good travelers both at home and abroad. The nature of our travels have changed–we spend less time at parks and can linger more at museums. In Britain it was a huge sacrifice to choose Legoland over Windsor Castle, but the kids needed a fun day to just run around. By making it enjoyable for them while they were little, we were making it a positive experience for them. Now Thom and I have to work to keep up with the kids!

  5. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    I knew as soon as I saw this post title that it was going to be a goodie – as always, Naomi. Your fortune and happiness abounds and makes me realise I should have travelled the world instead of the psyche – seemingly I took neither road!

    1. Dear Laura,
      It’s never too late! And with your talent as a photographer, you can capture it all. I do think that photography helps you see the world through, well, a different lens, and even a venture down the block becomes a trip to another world.
      Thanks you so much for the visit and, as always, for your very kind encouragement.

  6. Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful tribute. Love that you’ve kept the children’s notes and diaries. I tried each time we traveled to have the kids write diaries and it never worked. They too are travelers.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. We compiled journals each trip from the kids’ writing, from post cards of their favorite experiences, and photographs from our trips, but we couldn’t always keep up. Bea now keeps a detailed journal whenever we travel, and she is much better at it than I. Eli records his experience in his sketchbooks.
      It’s wonderful to hear of your kids’ adventures, isn’t it? (Although, I admit, I always worry until I know they are safe at home again.)

  7. scillagrace says:

    *sniff* Well-matched: the theme, the text and photos, and obviously, you and Thom. Spreading your passion for the “job of life” is a great wedding gift to the rest of us. Happy Anniversary!

    1. Dear Scilla,
      You are so good with words and connections! Thank you so much for your kind wishes.

  8. Elyse says:

    Happy Almost Anniversary to you both. What a wonderful way of life!

  9. Mary Brugh says:

    So lovely, Naomi. You have found life’s enchantments!

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you, Mary. It is not something I take for granted–every day I thank my lucky stars. SO good to hear from you. I hope you are well, and that the New Year is treating you right!

  10. tobyo says:

    awe! very sweet. happy anniversary!!

    1. Hi Toby,
      Thanks for the sweet comment and good wishes. All the best to you too!

  11. Amy says:

    So very beautiful and sweet! These are precious photos…

    1. Thank you, Amy! This was a really fun post post to put together–a little walk back in time for me. I appreciate your visit, and taking the time to comment.

  12. Carol says:

    A beautiful post! It made my heart sing, the outer corners of my lips turn up, my eyes water and my feet do a little jig. What a wonderful love to live a life with!

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Dear Carol,
      You are so sweet! Thom and I are very different, and we both have our quirks, but they seem to mesh well. Thanks so much for the visit, and for your very generous response!

  13. niasunset says:

    So beautiful post dear Naomi, Blessing and Happiness to you all. Love, nia

    1. Dear Nia,
      Thanks so much for your visit, and your kind response.

  14. I l.o.v.e. your wedding invitations. Darn, I can’t find my Kleenex. I always find it heartwarming to hear of a wonderful love story. I love to hear of successful family lives. Many, many more to all of you.

    1. Dear Tess,
      Thank you, thank you! And best wishes to you always.

  15. A grand love story, one for the Ages!! ❤

    1. Hi Mary,
      Thanks so much for your very sweet comment! It is always good to hear from you.

  16. Rebecca Hom says:

    Beautiful. Thank you, Naomi, for sharing this gift of heart. Continued joy to you both in this light of love.

    1. Hi Rebecca,
      Thanks so much for the good wishes. All the same to you and yours–it was a treat to meet your daughter at the Forest Festival.

  17. Happy anniversary, Naomi. Thanks for sharing the lovely story of your (ongoing) life with us. You and your family have been very blessed and may those blessings keep on coming.


    1. Hi Janet,
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for your very sweet comment. I know we are lucky, and it’s not something we take for granted. Every day I count my blessings. Blessings and joy to you, and may the New Year bring you all good things!

  18. diannegray says:

    This brought tears to my eyes, Naomi. Beautiful, romantic, loving, awesome! 😀

    1. Dear Dianne,
      Thank you so much for your really generous response to this post. Best wishes for the New Year!

  19. Pat says:

    Beautiful post – but that is to be expected because it springs from a beautiful relationship. Congratulations on making your long-term relationship work through all the changes and trials of life. It isn’t always easy but it sure is worth it.

    1. Hi Pat,
      Thanks so much for your kind comments. We are a good fit–I pull him off his beaten path, and he is my anchor. Sometimes we are definitely working against the force of nature, but it’s always an interesting ride and you’re absolutely right–it’s well worth it.
      Best wishes,

      1. Pat says:

        When I read “I pull him off his beaten path, and he is my anchor” I smiled big. What a wonderful way to describe what I know so well. It describes my relationship with J.

  20. You are RICH with love, family and memories….and it looks like you do a hell of a good job as a wife and mother!

    1. Thank you, Jo! You are really sweet. I am lucky to have such great material to work with, so fortunate that we all love the same things. And while I love my writing and storytelling, nothing is more important to me than my family.

  21. pattisj says:

    What an amazing life you have, the world is truly your oyster. I am quite content to experience it through your lens, so keep on! Congratulations, happy anniversary.

    1. Dear Patti,
      Thanks so much for the visit and for your good wishes–it’s always good to hear from you, and this morning you started my day off with a smile.
      Best wishes,

  22. Congrats to you both ♥ Your happiness resonates through your photos and words. ♥

    1. Dear Paula,
      Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks so much for the pingback!

  23. findingmyinnercourage says:

    Inspiring, beautiful and the lump in my throat has caused the tears to flow from the beauty of your life. Continue with happiness in abundance.

    1. Thank you so much for your generous response! Have been enjoying your blog!
      Best wishes,

      1. findingmyinnercourage says:

        Keep blogging Naomi!

  24. socialbridge says:

    Great post and may you have many more happy, happy years.

    1. Thank you so much! I hope that the weather has calmed down for you! Loved your last post.

      1. socialbridge says:

        Thanks! It’s rough enough tonight but not anything as bad as expected (so far!).

      2. Fingers crossed! I’ll be thinking of you.

      3. socialbridge says:

        Really appreciate it, Naomi.

  25. suzanne rico says:

    Aw, Naomi–now you’ve got me all teary-eyed!!!
    Congratulations to you–and what a lovely marriage you have. xo

    1. Hi Suzanne,
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment! It is always good to hear from you. I hope you and your guys are all well. Loved your last post!

    1. Thanks so much–that’s so kind of you.

  26. Arlene says:

    What a wonderful love story! Happy Anniversary and congratulations on 31 years together! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    (I love the pics of Europe too).

    1. Dear Arlene,
      Thank you so much for the really sweet comment, and your good wishes. It’s always a treat to hear from you! I hope you are well.

  27. Aw, that’s so beautiful! Teared right up in my cubicle.

    1. Dear Britt,
      That is really sweet. Thanks so much for your visit, and your really generous response.

  28. Sheila says:

    I love your wedding photo. That’s great that you gave your kids the adventuring, creative way of life while showing them the world.

    1. HI Sheila,
      It was a fair exchange. We gave the kids the gift of travel, and they gave us the precious gift of seeing the world through children’s eyes!

  29. Happy Anniversary! I hope its great. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

    1. Dear Darla,
      Thank you for your good wishes, and thank you for coming along on the journey.
      Best wishes to you,

  30. Tina Schell says:

    Oh Naomi, what a lovely tribute to your husband and your family. SOOOO sweet, I loved it and hope they did too 🙂

    1. HI Tina
      Thanks so much. My husband is a sweet quiet guy who I think is tickled to read about himself in my posts. I believe he accepts and appreciates the posts about him as love letters, which they are.
      Thanks so much for the really lovely comment!

  31. Stunning post, Naomi. May you and Thom have many more happy and adventurous years together. xx

    1. Thank you, Sylvia. We’re almost ready to start planning for the next adventure. Now that the kids are grown up, it gets trickier and trickier to incorporate all their plans into the family trip, but so far we have managed. As long as they want to travel with us, we are delighted to do anything we can to make it happen.
      Thanks so much for the lovely comment and good wishes. I wish the same for you and your sweetheart!

  32. That is so beautiful, Naomi, it brought tears to my eyes.

    1. Dear Sarah,
      You are so kind. Thank you so much for your generous response!

  33. When I was a kid I used to write a diary when I went on holiday for the first day or two and then I’d forget until I arrived back home. The boyfriend never keeps a diary apart from religiously whenever we are on holiday. It’s then really strange that I’m the one having to wait for him to stop writing not the other way round. He never lets me read them so I’ve no idea what they say.

    Congrats on finding a perfect love. 🙂

    1. Dear Kate,
      Thank you for the visit, and for your sweet comment. I think it’s interesting about your boyfriend being the one to keep a journal. I have to admit that since Bea started keeping a journal on our trips, I tend to taper off until I am so far behind that I never do quite catch up before the trip ends. I always love her journals, and keeps track of details that I couldn’t keep in my head long enough to write down each evening.

  34. ShimonZ says:

    1987 doesn’t seem so long ago to me… not long ago at all… But to see what you’ve done with the years, I am giddy with happiness. May you have many more years together. And may many of us continue to find those great riches in what you have to share with us. It is always such a pleasure reading your posts. Your stories are like blessings.

    1. Dear Shimon,
      I am so touched by your very sweet, very generous words. They are music to the ears of a storyteller.
      With love,

  35. Reblogged this on sarahpotterwrites and commented:
    As it’s Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to cast my vote for the most romantic post written by a fellow blogger this year 🙂

    1. Dear Sarah,
      Thank you so much for your extremely generous response, and thank you for sharing it. I hope your Valentine’s Day was a good one.

      1. Yes, Valentine’s Day was OK — although we were too busy to do anything particularly celebratory. We saved a bottle of champagne until the next day, as my son visited for the weekend.

  36. reocochran says:

    This was an excellent story, starting from the beginning quote and through till the end! Good use of “object,” too! Smiles, Robin

    1. Hi Robin,
      Thank you so much for the visit, and for your kind response. It is always good to hear from you.
      All the best,

    2. Thank you, Robin! So good to hear from you!

  37. Objects that warms and inspires the heart. Love everything about your post. The words of the wedding vows truly beautiful. Wishing you and your family loads of love, joy and laughter everyday.

    1. So good to hear from you! Thank you so much for your kind words and, as always, your encouragement. I know that you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your beautiful family, because at your house every day is Valentine’s Day.
      Blessings upon your home and everyone in it!

  38. Madhu says:

    Shimon says it well Naomi. Your stories are like blessings. So moving and heartwarming. Stay happy 🙂

    1. Dear Madhu,
      Thank you so much. That is the nicest thing someone can say to a storyteller. I appreciate your visit and your taking the time to share your response. Best wishes to you and your family!

  39. Your hearts began with overflowing love. Transcending and creating more love called children. Thank you for including me in your trip down memory lane.
    May your hearts continue to flourish with love.
    Happy Anniversary!!!

  40. Jamie Dedes says:

    A dear homage to a dear family. I totally enjoy the diary entries. I saved all those sorts of things from my son too. So fun to go back and take a look. A lovely post, Naomi.

    1. Thank you, Jamie! I love to rediscover these little reminders of a very sweet time. The other day I found a handwritten illustrated coupon on a scrap of paper that entitled me to one game of Skip-bo with Beatrice Lily Garrard and an unlimited number of additional participants. I might just cash it in on her next visit home!

  41. curi56 says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:

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