Alex and I celebrated 17 years of marriage on Saturday, July 20th.
I remember this day like it were yesterday.
I remember being upset over the silliest things - like the bakery left a tier off the cake.
I remember being excited over the silliest things - like going grocery shopping together.
I remember being so excited about moving into our first home together.
It was a tiny, single-wide trailer that sat out in the middle of a field off a dirt road.
It wasn't much but it was ours.
I had no idea what marriage really meant.
I learned 7 years in - it's work.
I learned 10 years in - any marriage is subject to the enemy's attack.
Even if you're believers and go to church together.
If you aren't caring for your spouse/marriage in the way God instructs and keeping Him at the center of all you do - it can all fall apart.
I've learned a lot over the last 17 years.
I've made a lot of mistakes.
In no way do I know everything there is to know about marriage,
but I'm thankful for a God that teaches me through His Word,
through my husband, through counselors, through family and through friends.
I continue to learn what it means to be the wife God wants me to be.
When you add children to a marriage - it's a challenge to keep your husband in a position
above those kiddos. They need so much from you.
But it's necessary for a healthy, happy marriage.
Alone time is a must.
I think about how we were feeling before this anniversary and we
were DESPERATE for some time away to focus on each other and nothing else.
Being Alex's wife is a precious gift.
I've said it over and over and will say it again -
he loves me well and he has my heart.
I love this man so much more than I even did 17 years ago.
Alex had a list of places that we could go for our anniversary - all places that would have great food, great shopping, ya know, things I love. I thought about the list and promptly told him I really wanted to go fly fishing together. His face LIT UP. Fly fishing is his favorite thing in the world.
I've never fished in my life.
My friend, Caroline actually taught me something during her first year of marriage. She's a newlywed and girly-girl but I noticed she was always going fishing with her husband and they both looked so happy in their pictures! Like she was actually enjoying this fishing thing. :)
It hit me one day that when Alex and I do things together - it's always things I love to do.
He would never ask me to go fly fishing for our anniversary because he would think that's selfish.
I knew this was the best gift I could give Alex and our marriage.
We started July 20th, 2013 remembering his childhood friend, Denny.
We both woke up with his family heavy on our hearts.
It was one year ago, on the 20th, that Denny went to be with Jesus.
We had a time of prayer together for his family and Alex
sent his sweet Mama and brother a text that we were thinking about them.
We'll never forget sitting at our anniversary dinner last year and receiving that news.
Alex was heartbroken.
We're so thankful for the hope we have in Jesus.
We know with certainty, we will see Denny again!
After breakfast, we headed over and I had a fly fishing lesson.
I was determined that if I was going to fish - I was going to do it well.
Alex was so excited that he bought me a pink fly fishing rod. HAHA!
It's hard to look fashionable in waders, so I just went with it.
Love this picture of Alex.
The Little Red River is beautiful.
He caught a few trout over the weekend.
And I caught my first fish ever!
A rainbow trout!
I don't touch fish.
Whenever a fish would tug at my line - I would freak.
I was cool like that.
It was almost like I had never been fishing before in my life.
I eventually stopped fishing because I rubbed a bleeding blister on my hand.
It was serious fishing business, y'all.
So I just snacked and watched Alex fish until it started storming and we had to leave.
This was back at the car after our first day there.
Alex had a permanent smile on his face the entire weekend.
After I caught my first fish, he said the only time he had been more happy and
proud of me was when I birthed our children.
It was so funny and sweet.
We went back to get a shower and head to dinner.
We stayed at this cute B&B.
The family that owned it was really sweet.
It was like staying with family.
The sweet owner was sitting out on the porch in a rocking chair when we
were returning from dinner one night.
She asked, "did you guys just get married??"
She thought we were on our honeymoon.
We couldn't stop laughing.
And she couldn't believe we had been together for 17 years.
We ate breakfast at the B&B and ate out for dinner.
We love Cafe Klaser.
It sits on the Little Red River and the food is amazing.
Alex could eat the stuffed steak every night of his life.
I had the bleu ox filet.
It had bacon and grilled onions in the sauce.
It was the best weekend we've had in quite some time.
We're so thankful for my Mama and sister that kept our girls.
Amelia had the best time at my parents and Sydney cried when
we made her leave Uncle Gerry and Aunt Joy's!
They took good care of our babies.
That was the best anniversary gift they could have given us.
I can't wait for us to go back.
One of our friends on FB saw one of our wedding pictures and said,
"one of the best love stories ever known."
I couldn't agree more.
"I am my love's and my love is mine..."
Song of Solomon 6:3