where wildly different is perfectly normal
The Big Two-Oh
The Big Two-Oh

The Big Two-Oh

The big two-ohIt’s kinda cool when you find someone you can be weird with.

It’s kinda awesome when you get to marry that person.

And it’s really a freaking miracle when you look up one summer’s day and realize you’ve been weird with this other person for 20 years.

July 6, 1996. I was a child bride. Young, innocent. No years on me whatsoever. My groom? Some years older but still young and innocent. Married in a maple grove, in a tiny chapel that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Our friends provided the music; it was a wedding and a concert broke out. Full of love and confidence that our lives would be better having the other in it.

Flash forward 20 years.

July 6, 2016. Not so young and innocent any longer. He is silver at the temples (yum), I have an appointment for highlights. Six addresses, five vehicles, four job changes, three states, two sons, and one dog later. Not hardened by life but certainly seasoned. Many peaks and valleys, though the valleys were more numerous and felt eternal. Hard work, full of blood and sweat and many, many tears. Still full of love and confidence that our lives are better having the other in it.

Our first anniversary we ate our cake topper on a train, headed to Colorado to find a place to live.

Our second (or was it third?) anniversary we spent apart, as I was in Vermont studying flute repair.

Our fifth anniversary we didn’t sleep. Neither did the little bugger keeping us awake.

Our eighth anniversary I had food poisoning from our dinner out. Puking while 9 months pregnant is unpleasant, but at least he waited another week to be born.

Our tenth anniversary we went to Disney World, just the two of us.

Our twelfth anniversary we went to Vegas and renewed our vows with friends. And Elvis.

Our fourteenth anniversary found us replacing an HVAC motor. And walls. And doors. Because nothing says love like a/c and having the basement contractor fix an oopsie.

Our fifteenth anniversary was spent in a nearly empty house while we continued to pack for a cross country move. The house we built, the home we loved.

Our eighteenth anniversary had us contemplating the future, in all its various permutations, and realizing we needed to move. Again.

Our twentieth anniversary finds us in our dream home, with a dream career for one and dreams of a dream career for the other (that’d be me, for those of you keeping track). It finds us peeking down the path of life and seeing that The Empty Nest is an actual thing, and might be ours someday. It finds us still together, tempered by the fire of life, and grateful to still be hand in hand.

Happy Anniversary, Tom. I’m grateful to be your wife, and can’t believe you’ve put up with me all these years. May this be only one of many anniversary milestones.


  1. Crazy Chicken

    Awww, that’s so sweet. Happy Anniversary!

    Do you get the situation often when you crack a hilarious and witty joke and the person looks at you blankly?
    Yes, me too. All the time.
    I’m left thinking, ‘how did they not that get?’ They’re left thinking, ‘gosh she’s weird.’

    But not when the other person is my husband. Our weirdness is reciprocated and celebrated and valued. 25 years on.

    Have a great day!

    1. Jen

      I distinctly remember a joke when we were first dating. We were waiting in line at The Berghoff (a restaurant in Chicago), and he looked up and saw the Xerox building, and said, “Oh, it’s a copy of the one right next to it.” And that has been our marriage. LOL!

    1. Jen

      Or a husband who was frantically calling the OB ward as I puked up an entire Mexican dinner. 🙁 I also had mono for our 1st Valentine’s Day; I’m a real winner of a wife. LOL!

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