Thursday, May 28, 2015

Our 21st Wedding Anniversary

Twenty 21 years ago today on May 28th, 1994 I married Jerry at the young age of 19 years old. We have been together a total of 25 years and I wouldn't change a thing. We have built an amazing life together, through the good times and the bad. Marriage is one of the hardest things in life, it's a constant giving of yourself to another....supporting, loving, encouraging and there are moments it gets tough....especially marrying young. But when you truly love someone with your whole being you find you don't need "reasons" to just know in your heart it's right and meant to be.

"Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses"   Ann Landers

Jerry was a volunteer fireman for many years so we were able to rent the fire hall for our reception and take pictures on the fire trucks. :-)

Our dear family and friends surrounded us that day to join in our union. Sadly as I look through our wedding pictures, there is a smiling face we miss very much. To the right of Jerry with the black hair is Patrick; Jerry's younger brother. We lost him a few years back at the age of 39 and miss him every day. He gave the most touching toast to us at the table that left me in tears. I will never forget those words or what he meant to me as a brother in law. No matter how many years pass by, he will always be in my heart and I will honor his memory forever.

"Sometimes when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated"  Lamartine

We had an amazing honeymoon in the Poconos and I can't believe how fast 25 years have gone by!

Of course we look exactly the same ;-) I had someone ask me about our love story and I had posted it briefly when I started my blog. I just now realized I only finished part one which you can read here. I had said there was a part 2 but apparently I had introduced my girls...this was back when I started blogging :-) So after you read this link continue on below to find out more ;-)

"We loved with a love that was more than love"  Edgar Allan Poe

Our love story: Part 2

So after Chip tried many times to get me to go out with Jerry, I finally agreed to a group date at a local restaurant and a dance place called Profiles for kids under 21. That place no longer exists
Jerry was nervous but also quite the gentleman. We got along better than I had expected and the dates progressed from there. He told me on our first date that he was going to marry me and I laughed at him.... little did I know.....

Our love was not without challenges as we are very different in a lot of ways. Somehow the old saying of opposites attract must be true. There are many things here in between but to respect others I will not post all that on my blog as it is tough times we'd rather not mention it and we have moved on. When you are a teenager there is always heavy drama. Then you grow up and realize some things don't matter like you once thought and the world does go on. Jerry and I can drive each other crazy...but there is no one else we'd rather be with. We dated for 3 years before getting married.  So many people thought we were too young and wouldn't last.... but look at us now. We even made it through me going away to college and living in the dorm rooms. After a semester I transferred to a closer school, but wanted that experience and Jerry was so supportive!

My thoughts are when people enter a brand new relationship, it's always fun and exciting and you do things for each other to make them happy and feel good about themselves. The problem with many people today is they give up too easily and don't take their vows seriously. It's almost like marriage doesn't matter anymore because some think if it gets hard I'll just get a divorce! We shouldn't enter marriage with the thought that it could end. We certainly shouldn't enter into marriage where there are red flags of physical abuse, cheating, drug or alcohol abuse....which for me is a deal breaker. We have to first have respect for ourselves and confidence to know exactly what we want in our own lives before bringing someone else into our lives. Marriage is a partnership and through the years it changes and grows by nurturing it, not letting the stresses of life take over and make us forget what's important. Some forget to make their spouse a priority.... I know there are some exceptions to this, for instance when perhaps a person changes after the vows are said and my heart goes out to those who struggle every day. I have friends in some of these abusive situations and if they are reading, please know that I pray for you every day to find the love that will release you from the hatred that lies in the heart of some people. We all deserve to find our true loves and I feel blessed every day that I have.

Sometimes I think people spend too much time analyzing their relationships and not enough time nurturing them. And forgiveness....that's a real hard one. None of us are perfect and true love is unconditional love. We all make mistakes and while we can be hurt....we have to look at the bigger picture. But we also need time to heal....

"The first duty of love is to listen"   Paul Tillich

Boy does this quote hold so much truth! Listen to your spouse and I promise you things will be o.k. We all need to feel valued and appreciated and at times we may not agree on everything our spouse says, but that's o.k. We are different people and that will happen. Focus on how that person makes you feel. Why did you fall in love with them in the first place? What is their way of showing how they love you versus what you think they should do to show they love you? If they feel they are lacking something in the relationship and you don't listen and respect may find they will turn to someone else who will. Realize we all have faults and people don't change because we think they should. We can accept them or we can move on. But don't drag them down with high expectations of what you think they should be.

"The course of true love never did run smooth"   William Shakespeare

I get asked all the time, what's your secret? How do you stay married so long? My thought is how do I not? I gave my heart and love to this person and together we have 2 beautiful, amazing girls. We want to show them what true love and respect is. That yes, things get hard or mom and dad may argue, but that it is still o.k. and they will still be together, they are only human. We all get stressed from the trials of life... but having someone that will stand by your side is golden and there is no better feeling than knowing someone has your back. So my biggest advice is to NEVER take that person for granted, don't give up so easily and show them every day you love them and respect them.

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage"   Lao Tzu

Jerry, you and I know how many years of challenges and happy times we have faced. We are different in many ways, but alike in many ways as well. We love our girls more than anything and together we are creating a family life they will take many good memories from. I am proud to be their mom and I love being your wife. It's all the little things you do to show me how much you care. You spoil me.... and make me feel like I matter. You support me and I support you to the well being of our family and our love story. I can't imagine life with anyone else and I look forward to many more anniversaries. I love you always and forever.

Don't forget to stop by and enter my giveaway! $50.00 to shop at! I will draw a name on June 2nd :-)



McVal said...

Happy Anniversary!!!! Loved your love story...

Billie Jo said...

Happy Happy Anniversary!!!!!
Such a lovely happy couple.
Then..and now!

Carrie B. said...

Congrats on 21 years and wishing you many more to come! I loved seeing the photos and reading about your story. I also love your words of wisdom and you're so right about needing to spend less time analyzing and more time nurturing. Love that.

Happy Anniversary and blessings to you both. xoxo

Nonnie said...

Happy Anniversary. I love your love story, the wedding photos and the quotes about love. You are a beautiful couple raising two lovely and sweet daughters. Your long hair! Beautiful!

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Dear Jill, What a beautiful post and Happy Anniversary to you both. I loved reading your love story and seeing your gorgeous pics. You both still look the same with that special love in your eyes. A beautiful couple then and still today. Your girls are blessed to have you two as their parents and they are wonderful daughters.
Wishing you both many more wonderful years together filled with many blessings, love, health and happiness.

Sending hugs your way. CM

Barb said...

Hi Jill!

Oh my goodness, beautiful then, but even more beautiful today!!

What good advise . . . every newlywed should read this post! Congratulations on 21 years of marriage, that's quite an accomplishment these days! Your pictures are just beautiful, your wedding dress is amazing! I hope you saved it for your daughters!


aimee said...

VERY wise words Jill! May God bless you with many more years together! Happy Anniversary:)
Blessings, Aimee

~ Noelle said...

Happy anniversary!!!!
Here is to many many more!!!!

Camille said...

Happy Anniversary to you both!! What a blessing you are to each other and to your girls. Hugs to you! Camille

Vee said...

And a Happy Anniversary! You were just a couple of youngsters and you still are! =D

Drew Watts said...

Wow, that’s a huge milestone. Many congratulations for the togetherness of such a long term. We also had hosted 25th wedding anniversary in June at one of the best Los Angeles event venues. They have never had any grand party so we think that this surprise party would give them happiness.