We are coming upon our 33rd wedding anniversary. Who knew that a country girl from Colorado would meet up with an island boy and find her happily ever after?
When we first met, I was a little wild to say the least. In fact, he calls our story The Taming of the Shrew and if you ask people that knew me BL (Before Larry) they would wholeheartedly agree with him. I was cocky, loud, spoiled and somewhat selfish. I did have my good points though; I was energetic, hardworking, fun loving, brave, optimistic and strong. He came to Colorado from Canada to go to college and we met very soon after he arrived in Denver. We had both recently graduated from high school and we were both on our own for the very first time (him in a foreign country). I worked and lived on a ranch and he spent his days at school. I often wonder how it was that two kids from entirely different areas of the world crossed paths with each other. I’ll tell you how, we met at a bar…….he asked me to dance and I told him to come back in a little while, because I was busy talking with my friends. Who the hell does that when a handsome young man asks you to dance? This cocky spoiled girl did and yet he came back again and this time, I of course said yes. And the rest is history!
Along the way, we found out that we had many differences; I came from a broken home and his parents had been married for 25 years at that time. I came from a ranch in the foothills riding horses and cleaning stalls and he came from an island playing soccer and hanging at the beach. I was the oldest in my family of 3 and he was the youngest of 5. He was taught how to manage his own money and I couldn’t balance a check book. My family opened Christmas gifts on the evening of Christmas with a lot of organization to gift opening, his family opened gifts at the ass crack of dawn and there wasn’t a lot of organization to it. He was a mechanic and I was a cowgirl who didn’t even know I had to check my oil. I rode every horse I could find and he didn’t have a clue how to get around a barn (but he learned quickly and became a great rider!). He came from a family that hugged a lot and I came from a family who was much more reserved. He knew how to hem a pair of pants and I didn’t know how to thread a needle, even if it could save my life. He knew how to cook and my idea of making a quesadilla was to throw Velveeta on a tortilla and fry it up. He knew about high tide and low tide and I knew about the changing colors of the Aspens. He has an amazing singing voice and I have the worst voice you have ever heard. He can navigate his way out of the bush and I get lost coming out of a hotel room. He can look at something and visualize what it can become, I need to see proof with a drawing and formal plans and pictures would be even better. He is a Canadian and I am an American.
We did have some similarities though; we both were brought up with excellent work ethics & believed that if you work hard, the payoff would be worth it. We both loved sports (although he was a much better athlete), and I was a way better cheerleader than I was at playing the sport. We both knew what we wanted for our future. We both loved music and just clicked when we danced. We both did gymnastics and could do back handsprings across the lawn. We both thought I had a great sense of humor (lol). We both wanted children. We both believed people come into our lives for a reason and they come exactly when we need them to. We both believed in finding the silver lining in challenges we faced. We were both kind and compassionate and loved our families with all our heart.
As you can see, we had more differences than we did similarities but we fell in love and were prepared to make it work, whatever it was going to take. We didn’t know how it was going to work though, didn’t know where we were going to live or where our life would take us, but we knew together we would figure it out. It also helped that his family accepted me and my entire family like we were always in their life and that is something I will be forever grateful for.
We have had our fair share of hard times for sure, but he has taught me so much in our 33 years of marriage; not by lecturing, nagging or bullying but by walking the walk and talking the talk. He shows me every day what compassion and empathy looks like. He is helping me to be the person I was meant to be. I have never heard this man bad mouth anyone, even when he is angry or when people have hurt him or the ones he loves. He taught me how to love fiercely and what it means to love without conditions. He has shown me what having faith means and shown me about having a grateful heart and how to be gracious in the face of adversity. He has never asked me to fit in any preconceived box, but encourages me every day to be true to myself. He taught me to be more flexible and helped me learn that giving without expectation frees you up to give merely because you want to. He taught me that its ok to cry and to let people see my vulnerable side. He has taught me how to love completely and he makes me feel safe. I never question whether he will be faithful to me. He has taught me to loosen up a bit and to not take things so seriously. He has taught me to cut people a little slack and to not be so hard on people. He has helped me to become the mother, wife and friend that I am now. We embrace the journey we are on, celebrating successes and when challenges or struggles come up, we ask ourselves if it’s going to matter in five years and if the answer is no, we move on fairly quickly. And if the answer is yes, we work through it. We make a consistent effort daily to continue to choose each other. We are a good team, we work well together and help one another when things get to be too much. We step in and take over for each other when needed, we don’t think about it, we just do it. We try to major on the majors and minor on the minors. He brings out the best in me. We are strong believers in personal development and try to embrace opportunities to better ourselves. (You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep and the books they read and we have benefited from Landmark training and reading self-help books like the Five Love Languages, Personality Plus, How to Win Friends and Influence People to name a few). These have helped all of our relationships, not only our marriage but how we relate to people in general. We have raised 3 amazing children who bring us immeasurable happiness.
He holds himself to a high standard and because of him, I feel I am a better person than I was before I met him. He gives because he loves to give, not to seek thanks or appreciation but merely for the sake of giving. He wears his heart on his sleeve and when he hugs you, you know he means it. His integrity is his guiding light and he stands for what is right in his heart, even if it means standing alone. He puts up with me, I am not the easiest person to live with and for that, I am thankful. He pushed through when many others would have pushed away from me. He puts his family first and he puts time and effort into letting them know he loves them, not by telling them, but by showing them every chance he gets. He praises and promotes me every day and he is now my biggest cheerleader. When he gives you his word, you can be sure he will keep it no matter what. He leads his family by example and I know that nothing will cause him to cross the line where his values and morals are concerned. He is smart and I don’t give him nearly enough credit for his talents. He treats everyone he meets with respect and I can’t say that about too many people. He is the father that I always dreamed my children would have. He makes each of them think that they are his favorite and even though he has worked away most of our married life, when he was home, his family was the priority. I like to call him a silent leader, he doesn’t speak huge volumes, but when he does speak people listen. He puts thought into what he says and speaks from his heart. He is wise beyond his years and is the gentlest man I have ever met. He makes people feel important, because he genuinely feels they are important, there is nothing fake or phony about him. He knows what his values are and uses them to guide his daily life. He will not compromise his morals, there are boundaries and he does not cross them. He doesn’t feed into gossip and believes in calling people out on their bull&*%^. He is kind but firm, he is not a pushover and he doesn’t belittle people, kindness is just a way of life for him. He holds me up when I am weak and vice versa. He makes me think twice before I speak (I don’t always do it, but he reminds me). He never complains while coming to every doctor appointment with me and he holds my hand or holds me tightly when I am scared about my MS and my future, he helps me to be brave. He holds me accountable and helps me make changes when I need to. He is an incredible example of love, patience and kindness.
Don’t get me wrong, he is not perfect by any means; he snores extremely loud every night but it hurts my heart thinking about never hearing him snore again. He is sometimes too nice in my opinion, and I give him a hard time about it, but I wouldn’t want him any other way. He sucks at giving directions using way more words than are necessary which usually just confuses people. He is the safety police and that sometimes keeps him from enjoying himself fully. He wants to be sure that everyone is having a good time which also means he doesn’t end up enjoying himself like he should. He over thinks things and second guesses himself way too much.
Look, the bottom line here is that it was likely our destiny to end up together, something or someone sent this man to me just when I needed him and I am so thankful that we found each other. I can’t imagine where my life would have taken me had we not been at the Gold Rush on the same night and if he hadn’t take a 2nd chance to ask this cowgirl to dance. I’m sure that we will have many more ups and downs, but I know we will weather the next 33 years like we have weathered the last 33 years, with humor, grit, determination but most of all with the love and knowledge that we will make it through whatever life throws at us!
Happy Anniversary to us! Xoxo
Below are some things that remind me of my amazing husband