Saturday, September 17, 2016

20 years......

(arial view of our wedding party and our families)

This week you get to reminisce with me about our engagement and wedding.  This past Wednesday, we celebrated 20 years of marriage.  It really doesn't feel that long but when I see my 19 year old, I am reminded it is true.  Time flew and with it we have made many memories, some good and some we would rather didn't happen.  But that is life, isn't it?  So, here is our story.....

We began dating a few months after he graduated from Liberty University and I was a freshman at Washington Bible College.   I still remember that first date.  We both helped coordinate events for our church's singles group.  So, when he called and asked to talk to me, I thought it was just about another event coming up.  My dad just smiled as he handed me the phone.  I should have known it was not that at all.  He asked me out, I said yes, and we were off to downtown Annapolis for icecream.  It was fun.  We started off dating here and there, nothing regular, but that all changed within a few months.   

We had many memorable dates and trips together and gradually but steadily fell in love with each other.  Funny when I look back on it all.  We had grown up together.  His parents and mine did much together.  I was a student to his mom in Sunday School and his dad in our Christian school.  But, he is 4 1/2 years older than me.  I didn't give him much thought as a kid.  He was the weird guy who grew plants and read tons of books.  I don't even think he knew I existed much. But, here we were dating and falling in love.  Funny how God works.  A couple of years after we started dating, he asked me if I would marry him.  It was snowy and my birthday.  And, I said yes.  

(our engagement picture)

A month later he was gone.  Before you think it was a tragic ending, it was not.  :)  He is a remodeler and he was asked to go to France to help with a chateau remodel.  So, off he went to work there until we got married.  Our whole wedding was planned via phone, email, and snail mail.  There was no texting, facetime, skype, and email was really new.  LOL!  So hard to remember those days with all we have today.  Our kids are positive it was totally weird.  But, that is how we did it and it all worked out very well.  I had so much support here back at home with wedding plans and keeping me from missing him so very much.  

We didn't have much money so creating an inexpensive wedding was a must, but again, we had a very supportive and helpful family and church and the plans came together without breaking the bank.   My mother in law made my dress and his vest and bowtie.  I made my flower girl, ring bearers, and sisters wedding gear.  I also designed the cake and then took it to a local Safeway to have it made.  My college friends and church threw showers.  His family and mine played heavy hands in all the little details and making decorations.  Our church family volunteered to help with the food preparations and serving.  Another did all the photography.  And others helped in so many other little ways.  It was amazing.

About 2 weeks before the wedding, he came home and we finalized all the details and found our first home together.  

The date dawned beautiful.  It was warm but not too warm.  There was plentiful sunshine.  All the details were done.   My dad walked me down the aisle after the cute little flower girl and ring bearer.  Daddy gave me away, and we said our vows.  It was beautiful.  I cried.  That is just me.  :)

We had a simple reception catered by our church family.  We had the typical toasts, songs, and other things that most receptions have.  We did the meet and greets and had a great time with our family and friends. And, of course, there were pictures; lots and lots of pictures.  :)  And, then it was time to go.  One of my bridesmaid's fiances had a convertible mustang.  He was our chauffeur as off we went to my house to prepare for our honeymoon.  I remember the thrill of driving through my hometown with my veil fluttering in the wind behind me.  I was so happy.  It was glorious!

(his family)

(my family)

And, we were wed.  We traveled up the east coast and explored Quebec City, Acadia National Park, and Massachusetts.  It was a lovely honeymoon even if was cloud covered the whole time.  I remember seeing a newspaper with a heading, "The sun may make an appearance today."  But, it was a lovely way to start our married life together.  

And the rest, as they say is history.  Its been a blessed 20 years.  We've been blessed with 6 children here on earth and 1 in heaven.  We've lived in 7 different houses all in the same county.  We've had a plethora of animals, cats, dogs, and fish.  We've had our share of ups and downs.  But, I wouldn't trade one moment of it for anything else. 

(photo taken at the spot he asked me 20 years ago)

Thank you for reading as I reminisce.  I am so thankful for all we've been through and done for the past 20 years.  Praying for many many more.  Happy Anniversary to us!

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