(Jason gave our scanner away, but I promise I'll scan a few pics! I mean, who doesn't want a good laugh?! It was the '90's, okay! Poofy was cool...)
Anyway, yes, the temps felt as though we were teetering on the edge of earth and hell, but the day, the people, the occasion and memories teetered on heaven in my book.
I was 21 and a half (can you hear a 5 year old saying that? "I'm 5 and a HALF") and had no clue what I was doing except that I knew I was in love. I knew it was with Jason. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him and I had no idea what that all meant or what it would look like but with God as our anchor, I wasn't really worried...nor am I still.
But, even though I was still in college and thought it was strange that our parents were letting us board a plane to Maui all by ourselves like grown-ups doesn't mean I didn't take the "I do" seriously.
I meant it.
I still mean it.
You know, Paul in the Bible talks about when you suffer in your body, you are done with sin. I've never broken a bone, oh, I've been sick here and there, but losing my father-in-law and son was the suffering Paul spoke of for me, at least. I loved him, too, but seeing my amazing mother-in-law without her very best friend broke my heart...still does. Standing with my husband as he grieved his dad and friend was a lot for a young wife to process. Loving and losing Noah taught me to hold on a little tighter to Jason while at the same time, holding him loosely with all my trust placed in the God of the Universe. It taught me to try to love Jason the way God intended him to be loved. It has helped me blow off the little things and cherish what really matters. It reinforced my "I do." Unfortunately I'm not "done with sin" but my eternal perspective has certainly changed my here and now perspective and what is important...and I believe that is time spent with people, the very ones God created and has brought into our lives.
People congratulated us recently for sticking to it for 18 years. I didn't know not sticking to it was an option. The "D" word has never been part of our vocabulary...even our unspoken mental vocabulary. Jason's parents were in super duper love until the day his dad, Steve, died a little over 13 years ago. My parents are still in super duper love today. Neither of our parents had perfect marriages, and ours isn't either, but something about the two of us together just works. We had good examples. And we've made up a lot of it as we've gone along, too.
- Maybe it's that we both give and take?
- Maybe it's because we have both always said "sorry?"
- Maybe it's that we don't sleep with other people beside each other?
- Maybe it's because we are best friends, and are that first and foremost?
- Maybe it's a result of the five-course meals I make up every night while sporting an apron, a double strand of pearls with a vintage brooch from bebe&boo, and nursing a glass of wine? Oh, and the foot rub Jason gets when he walks in the door...
You can see from the expression on Jason's face below that the previous statement must be the real reason we've lasted this long...
We aren't perfect. We've had our share of coasting, surviving, and even barely breathing...but one thing I know is that I'd rather coast, survive and barely breathe with him.
And when communication is low, we have to try...
And when life is too busy, we have to slow down...
And when our hearts get calloused, it hurts but it's necessary to get out the sander or even the knife and start cutting away at the build up of keeping offenses, replaying past hurts, and unforgiveness...
And, whether we think we need it or not, and whether we have cash or not, good marriages need dates...healthy marriages need time away from kids, if applicable...and that's just what we did, thanks to my folks who took the kiddos overnight.
We went downtown and had a wonderful stay-cation. A few months back I resigned from being the women's pastor at our church. As a big, fat, thankful "thank you" our awesome church gave me a very generous gift certificate to a swanky boutique hotel, Hotel Teatro, and to our very favorite restaurant, Vesta Dipping Grill, where we have spent 5 or 6 of our last 9 anniversaries.
Randomly painted pianos were placed along the 16th Street Mall, so Jason plunked out a few tunes he recalled from elementary school days...
And ladies, or even guys, if your spouse is a techy like mine, and is on the computer or fancy phone more often than not, it's absolutely okay to say, "Hey, Sweetheart, on this our 18th anniversary weekend, will you please kick your mistress the iPhone to the curb? I don't need to tell you I'm a heck of a lot more fun than your phone!"
We shared our Vesta night with our old roommates, Drew and Gina, who were also celebrating their anniversary. We've got 15 years on them, and we've taught them everything we know...so, you know that the reason their marriage rocks is because of point number 5 above!
Anyway, random post, but was pondering how grateful I am for one day at a time with Jason, and so thankful those 6577 days have added up to 18 years. I do not take them for granted.