The D'Angelos...Sweet and spicy.
When people use phrases like "salt of the earth," I chuckle to myself a little bit. Because if they don't know the D'Angelos, they don't understand the meaning of that phrase. They aren't your typical sweetie pie family though and that's what makes them so perfect. They are the ultimate blend of sweet and spicy. Any of the four of them can make you snort-laugh one second and then feel 100% good about yourself the next.
A little history: Johnny D (as he is most affectionately known) has worked for my dad for the past 15 years, which means I've known him for more than half of my life. He is still the only person that hugs my dad on a regular basis (if you know my dad, this is a big deal). "I can tell that deep down he needs it," Johnny told me the last time I saw him. He buffalos through awkward moments with humor and grace and kindness in a way that no one else does.
Except for maybe Christy, his wife. I can't explain how one person can be that funny and that nice all at the same time. Her smile is warm and welcoming, but you stick around for her jokes.
Their marriage is so centered on helping others—they both work two jobs. But each of their second jobs are ones of service. Christy directs the children's ministry at their church and John works for a funeral home, which I think is the creepiest and kindest job in the world. He does the difficult work of transporting bodies to the home, but the very rewarding work of being present on the day of the funeral to comfort grieving family and friends. I can't think of better people for these roles.
On my wedding day, this couple was a God-send. They had no reason or obligation to be there to help, but I don't know what we would have done without them. Johnny was literally vacuuming water out of the ground and Christy completely ran the show of the day. Her presence was crucial for me and she happily did it just because she wanted to help.
They have been there for every major event my mother has ever pulled off, helping move chairs and tables and cracking jokes to keep everyone laughing. I can't articulate well enough the gift they have as a couple of putting people at ease and encouraging others. The way they live their lives bears great witness to their character.
Their children, Tony D and Vinnie D (as they are also affectionately known by everyone), already demonstrate qualities they've inherited from their parents. They are fun and fiery, and can't handle a conversation that doesn't end in laughter. It was such a joy to watch them as a family and be reminded that people like this exist in the world.
They basically live at their campground during the summer so we took photos of them there. It is clearly their happy place and I couldn't get over what magical memories their boys are going to have after growing up there!
D'Angelos! I love you guys like family and every moment I spend with you all is so well worth it. Thank you for inviting me into this season of your lives!