Sunday, December 16, 2012


Bad scan, sorry. But I do love this picture. It was snapped as we were
introduced as man and wife at our reception by someone using one of those
throw away cameras. Monte had it blown up and turned into a black and white
picture for one of our early anniversaries. 

17 years ago today at 4:30 pm
on an unseasonably warm day in Indianapolis, Indiana, 
Monte and I got married.

Well, it was probably more like 4:45 pm because my brothers didn't realize that they were supposed to roll out the aisle runner before the flower girl could drop the petals and my dad could walk me down the aisle.

When they were finally alerted that they were "holding up the show", they bolted down the aisle so fast

and they were laughing

that the roll kept going off center and banging into the ends of the pews.

Which made them laugh more.

It is on tape. I've seen it.

But all that was AFTER my great-uncle Bob

who married us as well as my parents 30 years before

was talking with Monte in a little room behind the altar 
without realizing his microphone was already on.

Guests in the church looked all around and finally up as if God Himself was speaking
directly to Monte.

Again, on tape. 
Watched the whole thing.

17 years ago, I took on the last name Hartranft.


I could have written a book from the misspellings of the name on our wedding cards alone. You could definitely tell if it was from the groom's side or bride's--just from the spelling.

Rabbit trail:  our worst misspelling story was from a piece of junk mail we received while living in Atlanta. The mail was from the Holland, Michigan Bulb Company.

In VERY LARGE DARK BOLD PRINT the outside of the envelope read:


Yeah, it really did.

Two problems came from that one piece of mail.

1). We were out of town when that letter came and our friend was retrieving our mail. So for YEARS after that, our Christmas card came addressed to the HARTMANFARTs.

2). The Holland, Michigan Bulb Company sold the fictitious Hartmanfart name to EVERY company known to man. We got many letters for the Hartmanfarts. I lost it when the phone calls started.

Salesperson:  Is Mr. or Mrs. Hartmanfart home?
Me:  Listen to what you just said. Are you kidding me? 
There is no Hartmanfart!

Monte tried to role play with me to add a little humor to the situation:

Salesperson:  Mr. Hartmanfart?
Monte:  Yes, but the 'fart' is silent.

Back to our wedding.

17 years ago, we stood before my Great-uncle Bob who pronounced us

once we said I Do 

as Karen 
(my name is Karmen, my mom is Karen) 

and Monte Hatrack.

You can see Monte's shoulders tense up in the video. He still likes to ponder if we are in fact, officially married.

That seems like yesterday. Yet so much has happened since.


Two houses.

A baby.

A big move from Georgia to Ohio sight unseen with a one-month-old.

Lots of house renovations.

Another baby.

A dog.

So much living.

Yet if I close my eyes,

I can still feel the scratchy beading on the bodice of my wedding dress.

I can hear Vince Vivaldi playing "Christmas Time Is Here".

I can see my 3-year-old niece dancing at the reception. 

I can see my dear family members who are no longer walking on this earth. 
Like my grandfather, PaPa, 
who picked out a new tie for the wedding 
so it would match the bridesmaid dresses. 

I can see Monte singing to me

I said 'see', not 'hear'--that's key 

"You Are So Beautiful" and trying so hard to hit that high note at the end. 

I can hear forks and knives on the plates.

Glasses clanging in toasts to us. 

It was all so humbling to be surrounded by so many people that loved us.

But the most important one was the one I said I DO to.

And I say I Do again.

And again.

And again.


  1. What a great (albeit funny) post. You had me laughing so hard at one point I had to cover my mouth for fear of waking up the sleepers. Congrats on your anniversary. We're going on 33 next year.

  2. Sumita8:20 AM

    Happy Anniversary! You look beautiful in your wedding dress, Monte looks very handsome, and you both look so happy -- great post -- made me laugh and feel nostalgic and at the end made me go, awww... how sweet! You two are an awesome couple and a wonderful example to your girls of what love in marriage should look like! God Bless!

  3. Wow! 33! Congrats! I am sure you have many a story to tell of your years together as well.

  4. Sumita, Thanks for your sweet comments!

  5. Carisa8:06 PM

    This made me laugh out loud and run around the house with the laptop and read it to all and then show them your wedding picture. Always a great post, but the ending to this one, is the sweetest thing.

  6. Anonymous10:36 PM

    Karmen, I have re-read this post several times laughing hard with tears rolling down my cheeks. I just re-read to Nate and he was doubled over laughing. I forgot about your Uncle Bob. Happy 17!!! Love, G


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