Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook knows that my husband and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary this week. We’ve seen a lot of friends and family celebrating anniversaries lately, usually with a Facebook post commenting on how they married their best friends, love them more than ever, are happier than they thought possible. Not wanting to just be a part of the crowd, we coordinated these posts, writing them in advance, then posting them at the exact same time (after changing our profile pictures to our wedding-day-selves).
No one believed us. Hmph.
We had our annual traditional Hobbit-style BBQ for our anniversary. When we celebrated our 15th anniversary, we wanted to share our joy with our friends, so we asked over everyone we could think of and asked them to bring a side dish and whatever drinks they wanted to have. We’ve kept the tradition ever since, even having a banner for our Sweet 16 (with birthday crossed out in duct tape and “ANNIVERSARY” written over the tape in black marker). It’s something we love doing now, and we have friends who hate to miss it at all. We average between 40 and 50 people every year, with at least a dozen children running around the yard all afternoon. And we always finish the day thinking of people we forgot to invite or wish we’d invited. (So if you’re reading this and wondering what happened, it’s likely you’re one of those people we tried to remember but just couldn’t.)
As an introvert, I’m usually quite exhausted by the end of the party, but having a few beers throughout the BBQ (and the fact that most of the party guests all talk amongst themselves, too) helps. Plus, something about entertaining on my own turf gives me confidence. Familiar territory, I guess.
I was going to do Hallie’s Five Favorites thing, and link to my five favorite posts about/by my husband, but couldn’t narrow things down well. But I did tweet a link to this old post on his old Travel Man blog, which he wrote for our 15th anniversary. Here’s one of my favorite parts:
The Travel Wife and I celebrated 15 years of marriage on August 14th and decided to host a pool party / bbq with friends. We ended up with about 30 people hanging out on the back deck watching the Travel Kids and friends frolic in the pool while I worked the grill for about 3 hours straight. No one left hungry!
Travel Wife and I made it through 15 years for several reasons:
- I am good at starting something and she is good at finishing something. So I get us going and just about the time I am ready to call it quits, she pushes us to the finish.
- We both learned early on in our marriage that you should edify your spouse – especially to other people. When I worked in a store, the cashiers loved the fact that when my wife called I always said “Hi, Gorgeous”. I still call her that to this day. Christmas time is a great time to work in my department because Travel Wife goes into “super baking mode” which means cookies and brownies almost daily for my coworkers. I tell people that my wife is like Michael Jordan (only not bald, or black, or particularly skilled at basketball) – just an all around awesome wife. I tell them that when in “super baking mode”, she is like Michael Jordan in the playoffs – a seemingly impossible increase in greatness and ability.
Another post of his that reminded me of another reason I love him was this one. A few years ago, when my aunt in Texas died, he made an incredible sacrifice for me by leaving a business trip in Ohio and driving back to Virginia, then leaving the next morning to make a 2-day drive to Texas for a funeral. I tell our girls that if the man they want to marry isn’t ready and willing to do something like this, he’s not worthy. (I won’t even try to pull a piece of it. Just go on and read it.)
My husband is my hero.
By the way, this is an old post of mine that relates to our relationship. One reason we’ve got such a strong relationship is that we don’t speak badly about each other around other people. I wrote for Sarah Reinhard just before our 17th anniversary:
Early in my marriage, I heard some advice that I scoffed at (a bit) initially. “Never, EVER say a negative thing about your husband in front of another person!”
“Never?” I thought. “Seriously?”
At the time, we were in network marketing, and some of the women I admired had decided to take this advice to heart. So I decided to try it, too.
It turned out to be easier than I thought. My husband and I heard a similar message over our years in the organization: speak well of your spouse – and only well – when in the company of others.
I talk in the post about how it affects the two of us, our children, and the people we know. It’s advice I think needs to be heard more often these days, when marriage is often deemed too hard to get through. (Hint: It’s easier when you can be confident that you and your spouse are on the same side.)
I am not completely happy with how Project Yummy Veggies went this year. It hasn’t been a total failure (which is good, because I needed some success!), but at the same time, I had to learn some lessons the hard way. First lesson: when you clip diseased leaves off one plant, clean those shears before you move to the next plant, or you’ll kill everything! I managed to kill off ALL of my zucchini plants because one got sick, and I tried to save it by clipping only some of the leaves. I also am not sure why my onions never really grew well, but was relieved to find that no one in this area has had any cucumbers worth speaking of. (When our very garden-savvy friends came over for the BBQ last weekend, she took one look at my poor cukes and said, “That’s exactly what ours look like!” What a relief!)
We’ve met our new priest, who is being called the “parish administrator” by the diocese. He’s on loan to us from Nigeria and spent the last five years in the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona. Our pastor will be retiring from active ministry, but will be a “priest in residence” for our parish, helping when his health allows for it. I hadn’t seen him at all since May when I stopped in our parish bookstore before Adoration last week. He was sitting there talking to the lady who was running the store that afternoon. I said, “Hello, stranger! How are you feeling, Father?”
He beamed at the girls and I and said, “Have you seen who’s playing the 12th Doctor?” *
I knew right then that he was feeling better. Yesterday was his birthday, and he’s looking better, but is still in need of prayers for healing and strength.
Be sure to go to Jennifer’s place to find more Seven Quick Takes participants!
* If you are a sci-fi fan and aren’t watching Doctor Who, you’re doing it wrong. My advice to the new Whovian-would-be is to give it a few episodes and push through. It gets amazing pretty quickly. And then it pretty much stays that way.