[Caution: cheesy lovey-dovey post ahead. May induce nausea.] We celebrated ten years of marriage today (May 31). We always enjoy doing something special together on our anniversary, but this year it seemed a little bit extra special. This year Candice and I both felt like we had passed a significant milestone. We’ve been looking at pictures of the past ten years and remembering what we did on each anniversary. We talked about friendships and trips and memories made together. We picked out our favorite moments from our married life, like the time we had a dance party in the car the whole way to a hotel in Ft. Worth, only to be told they wouldn’t give us a room because we were too young—you had to be 21 to stay at their fancy “Residence Inn”. Or the morning our sweet boy came into the world in a hot, tiny room in the Cambridge hospital. We reminisced about places we’d been, like the white beach where we spent our 5th anniversary or the boys’ school in Belize where we went on mission trips. We remembered our favourite meals, like the time we had out-of-this-world guacamole made fresh at the table, not with lime juice but orange juice, while sitting on the riverwalk in San Antonio (2nd anniversary). Or the fresh tomato salad served out of a house on the side of a mountain outside of Chamonix, France. It’s been so fun to look back. It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years! It went by too quickly, but as we were going through the years we realized how much we had shared and how many memories we had to laugh about. Time has only made things more meaningful… the more history you have with someone, the more you’re bound together with them, whether it’s friendship or marriage—the latter, of course, is not altogether different from the former. I can’t imagine what we’ll be saying after 20 or 30 years (Lord willing)!
We were talking the other day about our wedding… we had Domino’s pizza for our rehearsal dinner. We always laugh about that. Apparently we cared so little about anything at that point except being together that we didn’t care whether we had a nice dinner. We now realize that we could have had something a little more memorable or symbolic, but we were practically kids, and by all indications we were about as concerned with “ceremony” as any other 19 year old. We tell people we “grew up together” when they ask how we met, because we really don’t remember “meeting” as 8 year-olds at church. But there’s another sense in which we really did “grow up together” after we got married in that, at some point along the way, we grew up to be proper adults with a family of our own. We learned a lot along the way, but what we learned, we learned together. We never really had the chance to learn to live on our own and become independent… I moved out of my freshman dorm room directly into our first “married housing” apartment at East Central University (where, by the way, the rent was $300 a month with all bills included! Can you even imagine?) Before I asked Candice to marry me, I asked a wise man what he thought. I could tell he thought I was crazy, but he didn’t say, “Don’t do it, you’re only 18 for Pete’s sake!” (We definitely heard this a couple of times, but mostly from people who didn’t know us well or were not thrilled with their own marriages.) Instead, he said, “Well… everybody’s got their own story.” Our story, of course, is not everybody’s story and probably it’s not always the best way to do it. But, it is our story and that’s what matters. We actually really enjoy hearing other people’s stories about how they got together—somehow the stories always seem to suit the people just right. And I think ours suits us as well.
As for our anniversary this year, we had a great day. After weeks of rain and grey skies, the weather turned beautiful. We ate lunch outside, made homemade ice-cream, and had a very special dinner out at a fancy place :).
Here’s where it all began:
We were 16 here, and this picture was taken at summer camp outside the church’s Falls Creek cabin about three weeks after we started dating. And here’s where it all “officially” began:
That was ten years ago. And here we are today.
I wrote this to Candice today, but I think it’s okay to share it here:
“My love, your friendship and love have been the great treasure of my life. I am shocked at how quickly 10 years can pass when they are filled with continual laughter, love, and companionship. We’ve been given a precious gift that few have tasted and many would count as priceless: the chance to spend a lifetime with your one true love. It’s not by chance, though… it’s from God. If anything at all is without doubt to be the purpose and gift of God, it is us together.”
Happy anniversary, honey. Here’s to another decade, and many more!