It’s that “most wonderful time of the year” – yes it is Christmas but for us it is also the time to celebrate once again our wedding anniversary! 21 years ago – December 20, 1986 – on a beautiful clear winter evening – in a candlelit cathedral – Dan and I began our lives together.
And every year since then we have been diligent to celebrate that momentous occasion with an annual anniversary get-away. We take time away from daily life to –
- thank the Lord for giving us each other and to recommit our lives to Him and to one another.
- to talk and share our hearts, hopes and dreams with each other
- to laugh, love, play, relax and enjoy being together
- to keep that spark of romance alive in our marriage and “fall in love” with one another all over again!
These anniversary celebrations have happened – no matter what! Just like our marriage vows we have committed to celebrating – for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health – as long as we both shall live! No matter how crazy life gets, no matter how full the holiday season is, no matter how broke we are, even if I am in the midst of debilitating morning sickness or we have a tiny little newborn we still take time out to celebrate our anniversary.
Here is a glimpse of the past 2 decades of anniversary celebrations –
- 1987 – A weekend away to the California coast – Half Moon Bay & Carmel – horseback riding on the beach, an excursion down 17 mile drive, shopping and enjoying delicious meals
- 1988 – A 2 week trip across the country to my parents home in Virginia
- 1989 – After the recent arrival of an extremely colicky baby – our 1st born Michelle – we still managed to have a “night off” for dinner and a movie
- 1990 – A bed & breakfast get away to North Lake Tahoe (best memory – sleeping through the night – with no baby to wake us up!)
- 1991 – A weekend adventure to Monterey – shopping, looking at Christmas lights, eating out & a great hotel stay
- 1992 – With the upcoming arrival of baby #2 – I “kidnapped” Dan for an early celebration in South Lake Tahoe
- 1993 – Despite being “great with child” (baby #3) we still managed an overnighter to the cutest little bed &breakfast in Jackson, CA. We decided on baby names during that trip
- 1994 – With 3 small children (and 1 still nursing) we decided to get a room at our local Hilton and stay close to home. But it was a refreshing break together – sleeping in, talking over coffee, and enjoying a leisurely day
- 1995 – This may have been one of the most difficult years of our married life – baby #4 had just arrived, we were in a stressful time with our employer and life just seemed to be a time of unrest & uncertainty (looking back all of which strengthened our marriage) We once again got a room at a local inn for a night & actually rarely left the room
- 1996 – 10 years! We had a grand celebration of the first decade. We had a large party with friends & family and then headed down to San Diego for a glorious four days of celebrating. It was awesome!
- 1997 – A “for poorer” year – after a life altering job loss – we were broke. However thanks to the generosity of several dear friends we were able to get away for a night to a bed & breakfast in Sacramento
- 1998 – Baby #5 arrived just 2 weeks before our anniversary so we did another local celebration – dinner, movie and our home anniversary suite (while shipping the rest of the girls off to friends)
- 1999 – My CM business was booming, Dan was settled in at the new school and life was good! We were able to spend 3 days at the most exquisite bed & breakfast in Monterey – the Grand View Inn – it was “picture perfect” in every way!
- 2000 – We spent a fun filled couple of days at Hume Lake Christian Conference Center and were joined by my sister Caroline & her husband Mike who had just moved from Tennessee to California & have a December 22 anniversary. (they are celebrating 23 years together this month! Happy Anniversary Caroline & Mike!)
- 2001 – Our 15th anniversary – I wrote about here last week. We renewed our vows in a beautiful & meaningful ceremony
- 2002 – “Great with child” #6, we stayed close to home again – however this time we splurged on a night at the “Wine & Roses Inn” an elegant local hotel and restaurant.
- 2003 – We had some frequent flyer miles due to my traveling & speaking all across the country so we flew down to San Diego for a warm wonderful weekend together (along with Joy our nursing baby!)
- 2004 – We headed to a bed & breakfast in Napa Valley for a few days of shopping, massages, great food and enjoying the sights & sounds of that beautiful part of the country at Christmastime
- 2005 – A trip down the California coastline – Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Solvang, Hearst Castle – enjoying every minute together
- 2006 – Alas after several years of a “for richer” era – we were back to counting our pennies. This was our 20th year anniversary and despite very rocky and changing times with my business and being uncomfortably pregnant with baby #7 (excited…but tired & sick) we were determined not to forsake our commitment to celebrating our anniversary. Our “get away” was to our friends home who were going away for the holidays. We enjoyed their lovely warm home watching movies and snuggling by the fireplace and splurging on a dinner at a nice restaurant
That brings us to this year – 2007 – our 21st wedding anniversary. We are still counting every penny and embracing our “for poorer” vows which has led us to celebrating this year in our very own home. The school my husband teaches at has a “no personal days off during finals” policy during our actual anniversary which is next Thursday. So we are celebrating this week. Dan took the day off of work and the girls are all staying a couple days with friends (they are actually at 4 different places – well 5 if you count Michelle being in Australia) and we have baby Daniel here at home with us as we celebrate our 21st anniversary. The girls cleaned the house spotless and left us a card with some money from their hard earned babysitting jobs so we could go out to lunch or dinner. Last night, we enjoyed a wonderful evening together over a home cooked meal – talked by a warm crackling fire and got an incredible nights sleep. (It seems amazingly quiet here with just the 3 of us and Daniel actually slept 7 hours straight – that was a first!)
Today is all ours to do as we please – perhaps a little “window” shopping, maybe taking a walk or a drive, enjoying a leisurely morning over coffee and the newspaper, going out to eat and maybe even a movie – but no matter what we do we will enjoy just being together, remembering our love and the commitment we made to one another 21 years ago.
I hope that those of you who are married – whether you are on your 1st, 21st or 51st anniversary that you too will always take time out to renew your love and commitment each year to your spouse. For those of you who are about to get married or are newly married I want to challenge you to make this commitment – no matter what – to always celebrate your anniversary in a meaningful and purposeful way! (in case you are wondering how I could remember all the things we did each year – I have a special “anniversary album” that has it all recorded with pictures and words so I will never forget)
If you want to see some photos of this happy married couple over the years click on the photos tab & go down to the last slide show.