Twenty Years

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It is truly amazing how quickly twenty years of marriage has flown by.  The first decade was spent having and raising young children and seemed to go by at somewhat of a normal pace.  The second decade has gone by in the blink of an eye.  It feels a bit strange and surreal; like a couple of years went by but definitely not ten.  It seems like we went to sleep one night with young children and woke up with older teens.  We now find ourselves embarking on being empty nesters with two adult children.  I really am having trouble wrapping my mind around this time warp.

Let’s back up over two decades for just a minute.  I’ve been told that my marriage and what we have is an anomaly; truly unlikely and almost statistically impossible.  The hubs and I met my junior year, his senior year of high school.  We became best friends and then started dating.  After dating for four years (on and off), we got married at the young age of 20 and had a baby right away at the age of 21.  Being together since the age of 16, getting married young and having a baby at a young age.  Any one of these factors alone sets us up for failure, but all three?  Impossible.  Right?  Well, somehow we made it.  Not only have we made it this far but we are happy; seriously happy.  We are just as happy now as we were way back then, maybe even more so.

I don’t know that there is any one “secret” to my marriage.  I am just as awestruck as anyone looking in from the outside, to be honest.  I feel incredibly grateful for what I have and I definitely try not to ever take it for granted.  I will say that getting married young and having children young as opposed to waiting until we were older and “set up” in life had its real advantages in our marriage.  In those early years, we truly fumbled through life.  We were so young and had absolutely no idea what we were doing.  I think when you get married young, you expect each other to change.  You expect each other to grow.  This expectation allowed us to come together and actually grow up together.  Neither one of us had the answers.  We just figured it out as we went, but we did so together.  It was an adventure.  It was our adventure that turned into an absolutely beautiful life with an amazing marriage and two awesome kids.

What will the next twenty years hold?  I have no idea. I do know that it will lead us into a brand new season in our lives.  We will have two adult children, become empty nesters, put our children through college and watch them spread their wings and start their own lives.  Then it is us again.  Back to the beginning, in a weird sort of way.  We still won’t have the answers but we will figure it out together.  It will be our next adventure.

* Steve, I cannot thank you enough for sticking by me all these years.  I absolutely love doing life with you.  I cannot wait to see what the next twenty years hold for us.  No doubt, it will be something beautiful.  I love you with all my heart.  😉

 

 

A Heavenly Birthday

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Today would have been your 84th birthday if you were still here on earth with us.  They say that time heals.  Maybe it does.  I still just feel emptiness in my heart.  I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I don’t think about you.  I miss the days when I could pick up the phone and say, “hey granny” and hear your voice on the other end reply, “hey bébé”.

I’m going to admit something here that haunts me everyday.  It’s three simply words that continue to mull over in my mind…I didn’t call.  You died in the midst of my mom’s tragedy.  You were sick.  I didn’t want you to know about mom because you would get upset and worry making your sickness all that much worse.  So, what did I do?  I didn’t call. I didn’t call because I wouldn’t know what to say when you asked about mom and dad. I didn’t call because I didn’t want you to get upset.  In my heart, I thought I was doing the right thing.  I know now that I was wrong.  So what if you asked me about mom.  I should have called.  You needed to hear my voice in the midst of all that you were going through. For that, I am eternally sorry.

I love you with all my heart and miss you like crazy. Happy heavenly birthday, Granny!

PS – My deepest apologies for the heavy post.  You can read the “One Year” tribute post HERE that is a bit on the brighter side.

One Year

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One year ago today, I lost one of the most influential and monumental women in my life; my Granny.  This amazing lady was not just a grandmother to me, she was a second mother.  I was her girl; her “baby girl” to be specific.  She called me this every single time we talked.  You see, she had three boys, but always wanted a girl. Then I came along. This changed her world. I was special to her.  My Granny loved me with a special kind of love that I’ve never experienced anywhere else and never will again.  I could do no wrong in her eyes.  We had such a special bond and it was irreplaceable.  I had the special privilege of growing up next door to her and lived there my entire childhood.  I spent just as much time at her house (or more) than I did my own.  Her favorite story to tell was the day I “ran away” to her house with a paper bag filled with one pair of underwear, one shirt and one shoe.  I think it made her feel so special that I wanted to be at her house rather than at my own.

My Granny taught me what hard work looks like by working in seafood factories, sewing factories and even working in my grandparents own seafood business where my Gramps caught blue crabs and she picked them to sell to restaurants.  She taught me to never give up.  My Granny did this manual, difficult work up until the day she got sick (and even afterwards at times).  She taught me what true marriage looks like.  Granny was married to my Gramps for 56 years.  I will never forget the one line of advice that she gave me at her kitchen table (that’s where all the good conversations happened).  She said that a successful marriage is made up of two things; compromise and selflessness.  If you can do these two things, your marriage will last forever and she was right.  My Granny taught me what true sacrifice looks like.  She gave absolutely everything for her family.  She never went to the doctor or took care of herself in order to focus on everyone else.  Granny served her husband and took care of him and the entire family.  She was the glue that held everything together at home.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my Granny and miss her dearly. There is a hole and emptiness that will never be filled but I do have the memories, joy and the incredible influence that she had on my life. She will truly live on forever in my heart.

Date Night Selfies

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After being married 18 years, having a fun date night can sometimes mean going to a good restaurant for dinner then going home, sitting together on the couch and watching New Girl. We tried to take selfies but Steve couldn’t stop making faces and I couldn’t stop laughing. We managed to finally get in a “normal” one in the end.

What 18 Years of Marriage Looks Like

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This is what eighteen years of marriage looks like.  Our marriage is officially an “adult”. We have been through some of the best times and some of the toughest times.  We dated young (high school), got married young and had children young.  We experienced our “typical 30’s” in our 20’s by getting married at 20 and completing our family by 25. This was both good and bad.  We were too naive to know any better (bliss) yet too rushed to really enjoy the small moments especially with our children.  The great news is that when our children are off setting up and living their own lives, we will still be young (for the most part).

Today, many couples wait until they are finished with college and fully setup in life before pursuing marriage.  This was definitely not the case in my life.  I met my husband (Steve) the first day of my junior year of high school and we’ve pretty much been together since.  We got married at 20, had our first child at 21 and the second at 24. This means that we now have a senior in high school and an 8th grader.

Starting your relationship at the age of 16 means that you automatically expect there to be change.  You expect that each other will become different as time passes.  We were opposites and it worked.  We complemented each other yet molded and changed over the years to mesh quite nicely. Essentially, we grew up together.

Looking back I can definitely say that we have each changed; me more so than Steve.  I was a very reserved and shy teenager. I remember like it was yesterday him telling me, “I’m going to change you”. Of course, I immediately told him that he was crazy, but to be honest, he was more right than I could have ever imagined at the time.  Now, I am outgoing, bold and almost aggressive at times; totally different than when I was 16. So, yes, Steve has changed me.  He gave me confidence in myself and hope in the future.

Steve has changed a bit as nearly two decades will do that to a person but he is still that same sweet fun loving person that I met in sixth period on the first day of my junior year of high school.  He was and still is a lover of life, lives in the moment and makes me laugh in almost every situation.  I fell in love with him for his good looks and his sense of humor.  This is still the case 18 years later.  Happy 18th to my wonderful husband.  I would not do this life with anyone else.

This is what 18 years of marriage looks like.

Check out our story here.

The Wedding Plate

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We decided to do a major clean out of our kitchen cabinets and drawers which was a huge effort and was way past due. Surprisingly, my husband is the organizer in the family. Messy and overflowing cabinets bother him much more quickly than it does me. So this means that I cleaned out the pantry and he cleaned out everything else. As he spent hours scouring through cabinet after cabinet, I ran errands. When I came back home I noticed an old but recognizable plate displayed on our counter. I immediately said to him, “aw it’s our fine china from our wedding.” I was totally correct but I found out that this one wedding plate had a much deeper meaning to him and therefore was the reason that he decided to display it on our counter.

You see, we were very young when we got married. We were young, naive and totally clueless. When putting together a wedding registry, the lady at the store told us that we absolutely much pick out a fine china set. Not knowing any better, we followed the direction of the clerk and picked out this pretty design. Looking at the price tag, we both said that there was no way that anyone would spend that much money on a set of china. Well they did. We received one set and it was from my in-laws. What this one wedding plate reminded my husband of were those times of innocence and being totally clueless. That may sound negative but it was completely the opposite. We were truly naive, clueless and broke but we were blissfully happy. Times were simple back then and we were madly in love (and still are).

The plate now sits on our counter as a friendly reminder to not get caught up muck of the day-to-day grind, enjoy each other and enjoy all the small simple things. That’s how marriage and life is meant to be. I guess sometimes ignorance can be bliss. Who knew that a simple wedding plate could change our entire perspective.

* My husband is the sweetest and I was incredibly blessed to have him as my husband then and still to this day almost 18 years later.