April 3, 2017

35th Anniversary

Forgive me for a self-indulgent post that is designed mostly for my wife. But our children and grandchildren will enjoy it later. Today is our 35th wedding anniversary, and so in honor of that. I thought I would share a few photos which tell our story.

But first, a story in song for my wife. The beautiful "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran captures what's been in my heart from the very beginning. I haven't been as moved by a song since I was a kid. (Stephanie, this song feels as if I wrote it for you.):

I found a love for me
Darling, just dive right in and follow my lead
Well, I found a girl, beautiful and sweet
Oh, I never knew you were the someone waiting for me
'Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was
I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own
And in your eyes, you're holding mine

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favourite song
When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight

Well I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I'll share her home
I found a love, to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own
We are still kids, but we're so in love
Fighting against all odds
I know we'll be alright this time
Darling, just hold my hand
Be my girl, I'll be your man
I see my future in your eyes

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
When I saw you in that dress, looking so beautiful
I don't deserve this, darling, you look perfect tonight

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
I have faith in what I see
Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
I don't deserve this
You look perfect tonight

We had our photos taken before the wedding, but I remember sneaking away for a few moments just the two of us. How I can see you in my mind like it was yesterday. Just as beautiful as you are today. Little did we know what we were getting into! You married perhaps the world's quirkiest man. Yet, through all the good times and the hard ones, God has been so good to us!

Our first apartment. Country Woods in Brea, California.
Upper level on the right side.

Happy days in that apartment- just you and me.

It may have been exactly on our 1st wedding anniversary that we found out you were pregnant. I know we were in Florida at Disney. This was the role I always knew you were meant to play- Mom. And you did the role of parent way better than I ever did. Still do.

Our first home purchase.
Our eldest son and daughter were born here.
This photo was taken about 20 years after we lived there.
That wall was only a fence into a courtyard, filled with lush shrubs and flowers.

Broke but happy. Two more coming soon.

Life took us away from our parent's homes and lives, but we loved our time in Northern California. It was almost like starting fresh. Little did we know Colorado was on the horizon. Trading the beach for snow? That couldn't have been what I agreed to!

Our first Colorado winter...

...and almost a year later.

(Nope, I'm probably not moving from our house until I have to. So, no photo necessary.)

The world's four best kids.

Career changes galore for me, and you went back to teaching at just the right time. I wouldn't trade these decisions, but I know there's been times when it has been hard on you. Thank you for doing all this with an incredible amount of grace and steadfastness. I know you, and you would all attribute it to being obedient to what God called us to do, but I'm grateful. Certainly, our children have to see you as a role model- and rightly so- but they also have to see two parents who so love Jesus and want to honor Him with their lives. Now, our grandkids get to watch that as well. And I'm thrilled that so many of them have chosen to follow Jesus as well. Even at such a young age, their parents are raising them well!

Lavender fields in France.

One of the absolute delights in our lives has been discovering the world together. Funny, how when my career changed, I thought those days were over, but in reality, we've done more traveling than we ever thought possible. And taken our young family on some pretty great adventures. 

The Mediterranean Sea.

Paris st Christmastime.

Italy for our 25th!

One of our favorite places just calls for a bottle of wine.

Exploring Germany.

Of course, there's been many other places near and far as well as the ones above- and I hope and pray there are many more adventures ahead for us. That "bucket list" is pretty endless. My wanderlust in fairly insatiable. 

Our parents certainly modeled incredible marriages for us.

As our parents celebrate 60 plus years of marriage, my only hope is, should the Lord grant, we'd get to do the same. I've often taken our life together for granted. But I'm finally waking up. Sorry it's taken so long. I love you so- and I am so thankful for who you are and for all of the things we've been able to share. Many more than I can say, and many more that I would never share publicly. I love you more than I may ever say...


Debbie V. said...

Happy 35th - may you celebrate many more together. Lovely family.

Len Yokoyama said...

Belated congratulations on your 35th Anniversary!!! You both look as amazing today as you did back then...May God continue to bless the both of you!