I can safely say, 19 years ago today was a day very different than present day life.19 years ago we were 25 and looking forward to our new and exciting adventure as husband and wife. 19 years ago we were focused on ourselves and our big day.
The day dawned bright and cold in Manhattan, Kansas. Saturday, November 27 was the culmination of a special kind of Thanksgiving weekend. We spent the week with family and friends, celebrating the upcoming union of our two families. Stan and I were married with the blessings of our families and my uncle as our officiant.
19 years ago we exchanged these wedding vows...
Deacon Ed Macauley (better known to us as Uncle Ed): Stan, do you take Jennifer for your lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?
Stan: I do.
Uncle Ed: Jennifer, do you take Stan for your lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?
Me: I do.
Our rings were blessed and as we exchanged rings we said these words...
Take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
I was told over and over again that our wedding day was picture perfect. So, to me, November 27, 1993 was the picture perfect beginning for the two of us in our fairy tale world.
Spring forward to the present....
Last night Stan told me to sleep in. He told me he would take care of getting the kids out the door. I thought it was a little unfair to him that I got to sleep in, after all it is our anniversary, not just mine, but someone had to be responsible for helping get the kids out the door and on their way to school. Stan volunteered to be the responsible parent for the morning and I easily acquiesced to be the one who stayed snuggled in bed.
Claire came in at 7:15 to wish me a happy anniversary and say good bye for the day. I easily fell back into a blissful sleep wrapped in the warmth of the downy-ness surrounding me. At 7:45 I heard the thundering sound of puppy paws bounding into our room. I opened a sleepy eye to see Bella staring up at me. I wished her a "good morning" and that was all the invitation she needed to decide our bed is where she deserved to be. All 40 pounds of pure puppy energy came bounding into our bed. I rubbed her furry ears as she plopped down beside me, snuggling in...happy for a warm and comfy place to sleep. It was after she snuggled in I realized she smelled like shampoo and as I was stroking her fur I noticed she was damp. Hmmmmmmm.... Lucas popped his head in as I was drifting back off to sleep with clean, damp puppy beside me and he escaped before I could ask what happened with Bella and why she was wet. I was now slightly awake so I swung my legs out of bed, slipped into my robe and slippers and went to find the answer to why Bella was wet. I stepped out into the hallway and was greeted with a cheery "Good morning!" from Stan and a kiss from Lucas with Stan quickly asking me to go back to bed. I did as I was asked, gladly hopping back into my warm bed with a sweet puppy by my side. I was rewarded for my "obedience" with breakfast in bed...all of my favorites delivered to me from Stan. It was then I got the story about Bella and her latest, and not so greatest, shizzard. Welcome to 19 years of wedded bliss and our new fairy tale world!
But I wouldn't change a bit of it.
19 years have passed since we exchanged vows, becoming husband and wife. Not all of our years have been the fairy tale of our wedding day. We have experienced nearly every part of our vows. We have experienced the better, the worse, the richer, the poorer, the sickness and health. Some years have been years that truly tried our souls. And then there have been years we been abundantly blessed. Every year is part of the story of our lives as husband and wife and now mom and dad.
So today we won't be spending the day preparing for and getting pampered for the biggest day of our lives. Today we will spend the day shuttling kids around, baking a gingerbread house for Zach and his girlfriend to decorate. Today we will spend the day waiting for the Comcast guy to show up, feeding all of our animals and cleaning up shizzards. Today we will spend the day taking care of all of our kiddos and living the life of our new fairy tale.
So, here's the truth about fairy tales...they change, they morph and they can shift to fit whatever stage of life we're living. Our fairy tale has changed. It's not just the two of us anymore and I wouldn't have it any other way. Life now is the new and improved fairy tale story...Fairy Tale 2.0. and it's sometimes messy, sometimes painful, sometimes chaotic and sometimes out of control but it's a life that I wouldn't trade for anything because it's my fairy tale....it's real life ~ one where faults are accepted and expected and where we come together as a family and just enjoy our very own fairy tale.
Oh, for the love of my children...