Monday, October 4, 2021

25 years- the one about us

 

On this day twenty five years ago, I married this man...my husband, best friend, the one I laugh with, live for and love. (We basically got married as babies.) We were nineteen when we got married, but in this picture below, we had just graduated from high school. 

We met when we were in high school, in the youth group. I was the new girl at the church he went to and I never really found my place there, but I met Todd, so it was worthwhile. There were a small handful of people I hung out from there who were nice to me, but he quickly became one of my very best friends. From the start of our friendship, he loved to mess around with me. I remember one night a bunch of us were going to TCBY and he ran and jumped onto the hood of my car while I was driving. He put a dent in it, but I think he got it out the same night, because I'm pretty sure I told him my mom was going to kill him when she found out. 

There's something about being best friends before you date someone that bonds you for life. I remember the first time I realized that I loved him. We were at my sister Lisa's house with my mom, hanging out with my niece and nephews while their parents were out of town and we had been jumping on the trampoline with the kiddos. Mom called them inside for their baths and bedtime and we stayed out there and laid on the trampoline and looked at the stars. I'm totally being creative here...I don't remember if we were actually stargazing, but he said something to me and all I could think of all of a sudden was that I loved him and could see us spending the rest of our lives together. 

Being mature and eighteen, I put all that into a letter and made him wait to read it until he got home. He called me and told me he loved me and the rest is history. We broke up for a short while when I went off to college, but we quickly got back together. He proposed on a night in October...maybe around the eleventh? I'd come home for the weekend and was at home unpacking when he brought me a gift...an oversized flannel fleece shirt was dark gray. I told him thank you and that I loved it, but he was adamant that I try it on and I'm pretty sure I got aggravated because he wouldn't quit bugging me about it! I tried it on and was like, "Oh, it's perfect, thanks!" and then I noticed a box bulging in the front pocket. At that point he came over to me and asked me to marry him, and my mom got to see the whole thing. It was really sweet. (Side note: I eventually got rid of the shirt because part of it burned when we were having a game night with his parents...an ember jumped out and flew onto my shirt. I wish I'd kept it.)

We went out to a nice dinner that night at The Peabody downtown and planned our wedding for a whole year later...which I never recommend. We ended up changing the date to the fourth, because Todd's dad was a fireman at that point and we had to work around his shifts. I really, really wanted a Christmas wedding, but I was quickly talked out of it, because not only is December crazy, but both of us also have December birthdays. October was the next best time. We picked a month when we knew it would be cool so that we could enjoy a honeymoon in the mountains. We had a week long honeymoon, then we came home for a week, then left once more for SIX weeks.

At that time, there were two parts of the family business...medical equipment repairs and office furniture installation. Todd had a class to go to in Versailles, Ohio, so we started our journey there, then moved onto New Jersey, where my sister Terri lived at the time. I loved seeing her there, because they lived in a hundred year-old home that was rich with history (and ghosts, supposedly). It was while we were there that we visited New York City for the first time, and we both HATED it. From New Jersey, we headed northeast to Portland, Maine. Todd had two weeks of school there for work, with one week off in between. It was while we were there that we saw all those little neighboring states and basically had the time of our lives. It was the trip that was unforgettable and I'm grateful we had all that time to travel.

We were supposed to have moved to Huntsville, Alabama to open a second branch of the family business, but that was a failed attempt and we stayed here. We even went so far as to travel there one weekend and pick out an apartment to live in! I'm so glad that never happened, though.

We started having kids after about two and a half years of marriage and were done within four years. I'm glad we did it that way, unintentional as it may have been, because it was fun being parents and young at the same time. We were easily able to keep up with all the boys and we were active with them without being worn out. The one downside to that was that we had very little money, but we had everything that we needed. The Lord has always been gracious to provide for us. This was one reason why we always camped for our vacations, which I'm glad for because those experiences provided us with TONS of great memories.

As every other married couple, our years together have been filled with joy, sorrow, laughter, tears, good and bad. We've learned some things over the years, the biggest of which was the learned behavior of showing grace to each other. We've learned to communicate about things a lot better and most of the time, we're able to talk without arguing or bickering. The older we get and the more we're married, and the closer I grow to Jesus, the less we argue. I don't focus on things about Todd that I want to change, I do focus on myself and how I can change and draw close to Jesus when times are hard. This is not to say that either of us is more to blame than the other when we're irritated with each other. It just means that I can remember what I have read in Scripture about how to treat people and I can apply it in that instant.

He may or may not do the same thing, but I only focus on myself and my own relationship with Jesus. I used to let every little thing eat away at me, but who wants to live like that? Have you witnessed people act like that? They're miserable human beings! It's much easier to admit how imperfect and flawed we are and to move on with life. We've not gotten everything right over the years and we've both goofed BIG TIME, but we knew that the "d word" would never be an option for us. We knew that once we were married, we would remain married until the good Lord decides to part us.

The Lord has also shown me that I am not responsible for Todd...I am not his judge, I am not his Holy Spirit, I am not in charge of him. I keep track of myself and he keeps track of himself. We have also learned that in order for us to love each other well, it is good for us to be apart sometimes. He has a side of life that I rarely see and I have a side of my life that he rarely sees, but we both support each other wholeheartedly. This doesn't work for everyone, I know, but for us it works. And we actually prefer it this way! It's good to apart sometimes.

Like I said, we have gotten a lot of things wrong, but we've gotten a few things right. We've stayed faithful to the Lord and we attend church every chance we get. We raised our boys to do the same. We've raised gentlemen who communicate well and who know how to work hard. We've raised sons who are strong and kind and Todd has taught them how to treat their future wives. Certain areas in our marriage could stand for room to improve, but other areas of our marriage are great. I'll wrap this up with some picture and favorite memories from the years.

The year we turned forty was the same year we celebrated our twentieth anniversary, so when Todd found out he had to travel to Long Island, New York for work, we jumped on the opportunity to travel to celebrate and added me on and some extra nights. The first thing we did was go to church in Brooklyn, at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. It was a dream for me to be there and hear their choir and it was a dream for Todd to see their tech booth...and we sat RIGHT behind the tech booth! We saw a lot of the city, ate delicious food, walked ourselves half to death, took in a Broadway show and had lots of fun quality married time. ❤


He will forever be my favorite wedding date. Nobody makes me laugh harder than this man...and also, nobody frustrates me like this man. On this night we attended the wedding of a family member...and at the reception Todd and my brother in law sat beside each other so they could watch a football game. I'm rolling my eyes.


We love any and all of theater. On this night we were seeing a local production of a popular play. I remember it being really good!


A little wrinkly around the eyes...a whole lot still in love and also in like. It's important to like each other! I remember someone telling me to always keep working at marriage, because one day our kids would all be gone and if we didn't have that foundation, it was going to be a long few more decades.

When I talk to newly married people, I have a few pieces of advice I always offer.

Don't manipulate your man. Don't try to guilt them into something and don't make them feel bad when they have hobbies.

Try not to go to bed while you're angry...but sometimes it is best to just go to bed. Kiss, say that you love each other and reassess the next morning. Everything always looks better in the morning light.

Entertain often. It forces you to get things done at home.

Date all you can. We weren't great at this, but we're at the phase of life now that practically every night is date night.

Keep the Lord at the center of your marriage and grow closer to Him together. Otherwise, you have one growing closer to the Lord while you're growing more and more apart from the other.

Laugh at everything. Don't take life too seriously.

Give 100%...both of you. It should never be 50/50...it should be each of you giving 100% at all times.

The only perfect person ever to walk this earth was Jesus, so accept that you both have faults and lavish grace upon one another. 

Todd, on the slim chance that you're reading this, I love you! I'd do it all over and over again, if I had the chance, even knowing what I know now. 

To anyone still here, thanks for reading! Love to all. ❤

10 comments:

  1. Great post, lots of wisdom! Congrats on your anniversary.

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  2. What a sweet post with lots of good advice for all married couples. Congratulations and hope it is such a special day for y'all!

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  3. Thank you, Marilyn! I'm looking forward to a yummy dinner out tonight. Have a great day!

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  4. Great post and excellent advise. Happy Anniversary and I hope you have many more together.

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  5. Thank you, Cathy! I always appreciate your encouragement.

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  6. Such a sweet post!!!! Love reading your story and the advice at the end is perfect!

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  7. What a great post - one of my favorite, I do believe! I just loved reading all your great memories...as well as advice and an honest look at marriage! It is hard work but what a gift a godly marriage is!! I hope you guys have a wonderful anniversary!! By the way, I just love that photo of you guys in New York! You must have had a great trip - you both look so happy!! And I never would have guessed your hair was once so dark:) Such fun photos! Happiest anniversary wishes!!

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  8. Thank you, Jennifer! You are absolutely right...a godly marriage is such a gift. Thank you about the picture of us in NYC...funny story about my hair...I went a little wild with color one time and dyed my hair a reddish purple color that I was talked into and I loved it, but the grow out was horrible. So, I tried to fade that color on my own and put new color it, in the process damaging my hair and having it accidentally come out BLACK. I hated my hair in this picture, but it was a process to get it normal again. I went back to blonde highlights eventually, but I'm tired of keeping up with them all of a sudden and am thinking about just letting them grow out, or putting a darker color on top the blonde to get me back to my natural...which is pretty dark. It'll be different, but I don't want to be coloring my hair the rest of my life. Ha! Thanks for the anniversary wishes!

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