>I do. Again and again and again….

>Twenty-four times. 
We are celebrating our wedding for the twenty-fourth time.
Can you believe it?

Don’t laugh, we were like, 12, and it was the 80’s.  ’nuff said.

Well, I can. 
Though, as with any couple I suppose there were those years or eras where I wouldn’t have.
Believed it could be at twenty-four, I mean.  
Twenty-four years speaks to a life together. 
By which I mean, it speaks to so much more than a year or a few, more than a decade and more than a really big event and terrific party.
Twenty-four is, really, a lifetime.
Hopefully it is a but a beginning of a lifetime and we have many many more years to be together, but even so, it has been a lifetime.
I mean, it’s so much much more than counting. 
We have grown up together.  Really.
We are completely different people now than we were then.
And the really happy news is that we like each other better than ever, really LIKE each other instead of only put up with each other out of inertia.

But I don’t think you can really get to that point, and still be happy, if you are just going through the motions and just taking the path of least resistance: inertia. 

I think it’s SOOOO easy to fall into that pattern. 
But, rather than that, I think that you have to be intentional about marriage. 
Or else, sooner rather than later, it’s dead in the water.
Empty.
If you’re not intentional about marriage, that relationship that is snoring next to you or tapping their toes against the table, right there….then the “it” between you two is just empty, a shell. 
And that is just too hard.
We’ve been through our tough eras – phases where we were changing and it was so hard (because change is so hard) that it was only an extra-ordinary vow, actually said out loud long years after the wedding vows – of “Not now, this time is extraordinary, not real time, no big decisions now. period” that got us through it.  That and surely a heaping dumping truckload of Grace that we waded in,  unaware. 

Now, here we are. 

Twenty-four years of saying “I do” instead of “I don’t” or “I won’t.”
Not always easy that.
“I do” is a tough one to choke out sometimes; it can be a sort of sacrifice almost.
But not always, sometimes it’s just a gift given and taken as well. 
Twenty-four.
And we are different.
Not only older, grayer, saggier, more tired, but we are funnier, wiser, creakier, more comfortable, more forgiving, sometimes irritable, sometimes moody, sometimes quieter, more able to laugh at ourselves and each other, less serious and more.
But we are braver.  We are more determined.  We are more each other than we ever knew we could or would be. 
We have lived with each other longer than anyone else. 
Think about that…weird and yet, not. 
We are not only invested, we are part and parcel of each other at the same time that we each are more individually us than we began. 

Odd that, as we grow more together we grow even more into our own unique selves. 
Maybe that’s just how it’s supposed to work.

Even so.

I wouldn’t change a thing.
I do.
Twenty-four times over and over and over again. 

Happy Anniversary my Tom. 
I love you so. 

>Real Love: Happy Anniversary

>

It’s my mom and dad’s 55th Anniversary!

I know! I’m so impressed too!
It takes quite a bit of something to be able to stay married and love each other after so many years.
Heck it takes quite a bit of something to do so for the first  year…much less the other fifty-three!
Of course, I hope to be able to celebrate such an anniversary someday myself.

I’m so proud of them.
Because I know it’s not always been easy; life isn’t set  up that way.  But even so, they made the commitment and followed through and the rewards, I would say, have been great.
They are still companions and healthy enough to live together, read, go out to dinner at their favorite spots, fuss at the dogs, and yak about their kids together.
They know each others quirks and weaknesses and strengths.
They take care of each other, in small ways and big.
And really, it’s a gift and example to all of us, their kids.
Because we get to see how love can look over a lifetime.
And what we see is that it’s beautiful.
Because it is.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
I love you!

>Song on a Sunday: Anniversary Edition

>This is something of a blast from the past, but it has special meaning to me today.  This was from an anniversary of ours four years ago…spent at the high school talent show….because our two oldest boys were playing together.  Right there, how cool.


So, because I’m sentimental, and because I like this low-end video…very, literally, home movie-ish…I’m posting it.  Listen closely at the beginning, they wish us Happy Anniversary.
Sweet boys to remember a sweet special day.

Happy 23rd Anniversary to my dear husband Thomas.  
What a life we have!

>I do. Twenty-two times

>

I do.
Twenty-two years ago.
A lifetime, several maybe….
We were SO young, and didn’t even know it.
But then again, not so much maybe.
We had dated for…ever.
Seven years.
In some ways, we practically grew up together…
seven years, springing into adulthood.

{It was the eighties, don’t judge me.
And yes, we were young!}

We’ve been through so much:
times when we weren’t sure we’d make it,
times when we couldn’t imagine not.
Eras.
Just like any “old married couple.”

That’s what we are now….
Foolishly, perhaps,
it surprises us.

We used to be that young couple….
Now we are the old one,
the one with how many kids?

But here’s the secret, shhhhhhhh:
Now, it’s so much better.

We might be that old married couple…
Not as shiny, or smooth, or skinny….
But we are molded into each other, part and parcel.

It surprises us both, how so long ago it was such a fragile event, really.
It wouldn’t have taken much, he says, for it not to have happened.
A little more fear, a little less hope…
a different choice, or two.
But then again…maybe not.
Seems like it was meant to be.

Twenty-two years.
Lifetimes.
And we can, even now, look at each other with deep wonder and say
“I love you so.”
“And, ever, I do.”

Happy Anniversary Honey, I love you!