Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Better than wood or silverware

Seriously, who comes up with traditional and modern anniversary presents?

On the 26th, we celebrated our 5th anniversary. Now, as Jon and I are both romantics, our track record has not been very indicative of our feelings or commitment over the last 5 years. Our lifestyle just has not afforded much in terms of time, creativity, extravegance or sadly, romance. We've been two poor college students providing for a family of four. Money doesn't buy everything, the best gifts are free, etc. Yes, that's true. But we've pretty much exhausted the free or nearly free gifts over the last seven years. At this point it got to:

the night before our anniversary

Me: So, tomorrow's our anniversary! :]
Jon: Oh! oh, no! What are we doing?
Me: Uh, what?
Jon: We're supposed to be doing something for this one? Remember? Back in April, we decided that we would celebrate our wedding anniversary this year instead of our first anniversary.
Me: Oh. Oops.

We kind of dropped the ball on this one too.

We've talked for years about the grand ideas and schemes and plans we have for each other for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc. I'm hoping that in six months we will finally be able to start. Rainchecks just aren't as fun to wrap or receive after so many consecutive years.

Despite the lack of gifts, outtings, etc. it was still a big milestone for us. We cooked dinner together at home, just the two of us. We ate by candlelight and then went to starbucks and talked for a little while. It was certainly a humble 5th anniversary, but it was still bursting at the seams with love, devotion, and hope. We've gone through so much together over these last 7 years. I hear comments every day about teenagers getting married. Marriages that fall apart are not a result of a lack of age or experience. It's more complicated than that. But at the heart of it, it's usually a lack of God and a lack of understanding what marriage really is.

People these days, at any age, seem to think that marriage is about happiness. I have no idea where that came from, but let me set the record straight. It's not. And if you think that's what you're aiming for, you're well on your way to being a statistic. What makes a person happy changes all the time. If you're only in it for your present happiness, that's not a commitment. That would be incredibly selfish. Marriage is not about getting what you want or being happy all the time.

I can't sum it up into one pithy sentence, but the abbreviated form I can come up with is that marriage is about sacrifice. It thrives on trust, commitment, love, friendship, etc. But day in and day out it is about sacrifice. And, especially in this day and age, it impossible to do it right without God. We're not perfect. We mess up, sometimes really, really badly and He is the only one who can bring healing and second chances. Luckily God gives clear cut instructions on how to nurture a marriage, how to keep it healthy and strong, and then when you follow Him, He blesses your marriage.

Just a couple of days ago I heard that Miley Cyrus got engaged. She's 19. Everyone seems certain that it's a divorce waiting to happen. But if her relationship doesn't last, I believe it will have less to do with how old she was and more to do with how she treated her relationship, the length of time it lasts depending solely on whether it was about 1 person, two, or three.

Jon and I have had our fair share of challenges and struggles over the beginning of our relationship. But by God's grace and guidance, what could have destroyed us, and has certainly destroyed older couples, has only strengthened us. We both look to the light with hope that we can enjoy much less stress and more normalcy in the near future, but even if that doesn't happen for quite some time, or ever, we will end each day thanking God for the many blessings He has heaped on us, starting with each other.

To celebrate, here is a little walk down photo-memory lane.

 A couple of months after we started dating. At Kennywood. 2005

 At Prom- 2005

 Me with Ella. She's 3 months old here. I don't think I have any pictures of Jon and I together from this time. 2006

 Cutting the cake at our wedding. 2007

 The most modest 1st anniversary in history. Me, 2008

 Our cake 2008

 Jon 2008

See, we had just had our second daughter 2 months previously. The fact that we were both awake and (mostly) functional for our anniversary was an accomplishment in and of iteself. Here is newborn Lorelai -2008

 At our stepbrother Nate's wedding to his beautiful wife Amber. If I look red here it's because I have a 105 degree temp and I'm about to spend the next 18 hours severely dehydrated. 2009
 We went to Niagara falls to celebrate our anniversary. This was before you needed passports so it was a lot simpler. 2009

 Family vacation to Disneyworld, after our cousin Michael's wedding to another lovely bride Amanda. 2009

 We can't wait to go back!


Celebrating our sister's 21st!   2010

One of the last pictures in 2010 before we moved.

In January 2011, we moved all of our stuff into storage and moved in with family while we both went to school full time and looked for the right place. Over about 8 months, I lost the habit of taking a ton of pictures. No pictures were taken until mid summer 2011, when we moved again, but they are of the house and the girls.

Jon has brought it to my attention that since then, I primarily take pictures of my cats, or rather one bad cat in particular.


 Fat kitty 2012



 Who sleeps like this??? 2012


He may have a point. Eh well. 

Cheers to another 5 years of happiness, sadness, peace, and challenges, but most of all, someone to share it all with. I love you, Snufflekins. <3

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