Ten years ago, JP and I entered into the Sacrament of Marriage.
We celebrated our anniversary on May 26, 2017. It was a beautiful day, and we are so thankful for each other, and for God growing us in love this past decade. We started the week off by watching our wedding video, and looking at pictures from our relationship, and some of the notes we have given to each other over the years. Turns out back in the day we celebrated “month-versaries” of dating, and got each other a card for each month we had been together. We talk in those cards of all the “memories” we had made in the past one month, or two months, and it’s pretty dorky and funny, but also kind of sweet. Ten years in we now believe we actually do have some great memories together… so feeling pretty legit.
But, without further ado, here are some highlights from the actual anniversary day.
We drove up to Green Bay, which is where much of our early relationship took place, with plans to take the kids to several of our “Love Spots” in the area. We thought it would be good for them to see us celebrate our relationship together for the first part of the day, and it was really cool to have them along, visiting places we never knew we would be bringing our three kids a decade later.
We went to Zesty’s where we had part of our first date, and got ice cream.
Then the kids sat on the bench where we sat and had one of our first conversations. I remember I had my mom scheduled to call me so I could have an excuse to “bail” in case things weren’t going well. I forget what the code word was, but I clearly didn’t need to use it. I liked the fella’.
We also took the kids to Scray Hill, where JP and I went on a few dates to overlook the lights of the city. It’s also where he proposed at night on a vacant lot, which sounds sketchy, but actually wasn’t. Turns out, the proposal location is still a vacant lot! (Side note: JP does not enjoy selfies, but he humored me with a joyful spirit throughout this part of the day.)
JP went to St. Norbert College in De Pere, and De Pere is where I (Lorelei) grew up. So St. Norbert played a big role in our relationship as well. We took a walk there, also on our first date, and JP cheesily picked me a flower from a bush. Much of our early relationship, looking back, came with a side of cheese. Maybe it does still, cause we went back to that bush and took a picture.
About this point in time JP and Lissie start acting a bit fishy. I knew we were planning to visit the church where we got married (which was the Catholic church Old St. Joes on St. Norber’ts campus. How we ended up with a Catholic wedding looooong before I was Catholic is a whole ‘nother story. But was also a grace I didn’t even know I was receiving at the time.)
The time was nigh and JP suggested we head over to the church. Once inside, Lissie looked at me with a smile and said “Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom.” I take her, and she admitted Daddy told her to do that to keep me busy for a minute.
We finshed up, and I couldn’t find JP. Turned out he was inside the church, and he asked the kids if they wanted to see what it was like when Mommy and Daddy got married. Then he handed me my actual wedding veil, and a piano player started to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D. (At this point I’m very impressed with my husband.)
He took his spot down the aisle, and the kids ran and took their seats. I walked, once again, to the place where we married each other, and JP, I kid you not, ten years later, had tears in his eyes.
Things looked a littled different from my end than they did ten years ago. First of all, there were two humans who we created sitting by JP. And, my husband was holding our infant daughter as I walked to meet him. It was all surreal and beautiful and very cool.
I figured he would have some sort of love note for me or something, and I turned to smile at the kids. But when I looked back, a Priest had popped out from behind a wall, and he said we were there to affirm our wedding vows.
So we stood, in the empty Church with a Priest and our Children, and affirmed that which we promised to each other ten years ago that day. For richer and poorer, in sickness in health, until death do us part. It was a most wonderful surprise.
After that, one set of Grandparents babysat the littles for the evening, and we put the camera away while we went to enjoy a fine bottle of wine and the Chef’s Table at Chives in Green Bay. Highly recommend it, especially for special occasions. We were joined by a good pair of friends, and ended the night with some awkward karaoke.
It was wonderful to be able to spend a day just celebrating all that has happened in this first decade of our marriage, and to realize how far we’ve grown, and how much our love has developed and matured from those early days.
The Sacrament of Marriage has been a huge gift to us. One which I think we are just beginning to really appreciate, and to understand for what it is meant to be. We are both looking forward to what the next decades bring.