Tuesday, August 6, 2019

14 Years of Us. A Walk Down Memory Lane.

Today we celebrate fourteen wonderful years of marriage. The above photo was taken the night of our wedding rehearsal. After a fast paced and hectic day of final preparations Chris and I found a quiet moment at the end of the evening.   In only a few short hours we would be making one of the biggest commitments of our lives. The two of us sat there with such anticipation and hope for the future, but honestly we had no idea the life the Lord had planned for us! It's so fun to look at this picture and think, "If they only knew!" 

 The above photo is my favorite photo taken on our wedding day, 08.06.05. After our wedding reception we headed down to Kauffman Gardens, near the Plaza, with our photographer to capture some outdoor photos of just the two of us. So, here we are newly husband and wife. I'm so thankful we decided to do this, because these are some of my favorite photos of our wedding day. It was a hot August day, and when we were done with pictures we were hot and thirsty. We spun through the drive-thru at Culver's and got an ice cold drink. Chris and I still laugh when we think of the moment the employees opened the drive thru window to hand us our drinks.   The stunned look on their faces as they saw us in full marriage regalia as they asked, "Did you just get married?" They must not get many "just married" couples in the drive-thru line!

The original "selfie" taken in 2005 on our honeymoon, where you had to point your camera at a mirror and take your picture in the reflection.  As I was sorting photos I realized, we have been doing this ever since.  So glad the Smart phone has made it easier!

We honeymooned in Chicago, IL. Dinner at Gino's Pizza, a Chicago favorite.

Our family grew by one. Baby Max was born in 2007. Watching our family grow has truly been one of the highlights of these early years of marriage for me and I count each one a grace of the Lord Jesus. Chris and I laugh that we never could have dreamt we would have five kids someday, let alone all boys. We truly have loved these early years of building our family. They have been precious days full of wonderful memories.

All our boys have loved to "ride high".  This was a phrase coined by Max to ride atop his dads shoulders and each subsequent son has carried on. This was the very first "ride high" ride of our five boys, and I know I will be sad in a few years when they are all too big for this. Chris is a pro and can even get two to ride high at once!

Taken in October 2009, one of the most beautiful falls I can remember, the trees were glorious! Two short months before baby boy #2, Cooper was born.  Recalling our life together as I write this post has been such a reminder of God's goodness to Chris and I.  He has extended us so much grace.  
"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above" James 1:17

Taken July 4, 2012. We had experienced our first loss, our first valley of sorrows in this life, a miscarriage, a few months before this photo. Chris was my rock, comforting me, and helping point me to Jesus during my time of grief. I'm so thankful to have him by my side in the good times and bad. 

Before we had kids, I had an inkling that Chris would be an amazing Dad, but our kids really hit the Dad jackpot! I picked well! Our boys love him and look up to him, and I am so thankful that they have a wonderful example of a godly man and father.  My prayer is they will follow in his footsteps as he pursues Christ.

There is no one I would rather have by my side on this parenting journey. We have fun doing this parenting gig together! The above picture accurately dipicts parenthood, someone always seems to be crying or need cheering up, or a little coaching to fall back into line, but together we got this.  Together, Chris and I can handle anything. As we begin to head into the next parenting stage, the teenage years, it's been neat to start to see the benefits of our parenting take root. Our oldest boys are growing into wonderful young men who love Jesus, and genuinely want to live their lives for Him.  Chris, thank you for leading our family well.

When we were dating I remember thinking that if Chris were the man I would marry, that I would always have lots of fun. Chris always has a way of making me laugh, and I love to laugh. And I was right, 14 years later and I am still loving life and laughing along the way. I'm so thankful I get to do life with my best friend.  We have prayed from the beginning that the Lord would grant us a marriage characterized by oneness, one that is filled with friendship, fun, adventure, and a deep love for one another.  On this 14th anniversary, I believe I can say confidently, Jesus has answered that prayer.  May He continue that for the next season of marriage.  

From the very first meeting, Chris and I have been doing ministry. As you may know, we met while serving on a church staff. One of the constants of our life, is serving Christ and His people. I absolutely love this picture as it highlights our life, ministry and marriage. Chris standing by my side encouraging me to lean into my gifts, believing in me before I believed in myself and doing it together. Chris has been my greatest cheerleader and champion. He makes me believe I can do anything, and with Him next to me rooting me on, I'm willing to step out of my comfort zone and try just about anything.

 "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be." Robert Browning

Happy Fourteen Year Anniversary, Chris! I love growing old with you! I truly believe that the best is yet to be.  

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