19 Years Later

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1996

Happy Anniversary, Marco! Can you believe it has been 19 years since our wedding? The day was perfect. The temperature was an ideal low 70s and the New England leaves were just starting to turn into their gorgeous fall foliage colors. That morning, as I got ready, I scarfed down Dunkin’ Donuts and prayed I wouldn’t stain my dress. Spoiler alert, I didn’t!

Katie Beth, our flower girl, was so tired. It was nap time and she looked at me before walking down the aisle and said, “Auntie! Hold my hand!” Her dad rushed over and took her hand and walked with her. I love that memory; she was my buddy.

I walked down the aisle to Over The Rhine Rhapsodie … and there you were. My best friend. Oh the butterflies!

5 children, 3 states, medical emergencies, work trips, vacations, major job changes, leaps of faith, fights, laughter, death, and more. I hasn’t been easy. I can’t even put into words our journey because it would be a book. It is all worth it to be with you. I hope you feel the same.

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2017

So, Mr Gardner, here’s to another 50 years. You’re stuck with me. I was wrong on the day of our wedding. I thought I couldn’t love you more than I did in that moment, but I was naive. That was such an innocent love. Now, I love you madly and deeply and so much more than I ever thought was possible. There are still butterflies. No regrets. Happy anniversary, my love.

~Andrea

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Happy Anniversary!

Just over 16 years ago Mark and I decided that our friendship had grown and so we decided to date. That lasted exactly one week and we decided we wanted to get married. A few months later we made it official when Mark put a diamond on my finger and we told our families.

We were met with mixed reviews. Some felt we were making the biggest mistake ever. Some thought I could do better. Some thought Mark could do better. Some thought this was a great idea. Mark would be good for me; he would help me mature. I would be good for Mark; I would help bring him out of his introverted shell. Others didn’t care because they were too caught up in the romantic notion of 2 friends being destined for each other.

To the nay-sayers, well I I want to say to you I hope your hearts have developed a happier attitude about life. To the supporters I want to thank you. I still remember who you are.

On October 3, 1998 Mark and I vowed to stick it out, be faithful, love each other always, support each other….you know, marriage vows. It was a beautiful day. It was in the 70’s and the sun was out. For an autumn day in New England I couldn’t ask for better weather.

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The verse included in my vows

I thought it was an omen….silly me. So naive. Weather on your wedding day doesn’t determine the out come of your marriage. It is all about attitude. That’s OK though. My 21 year old self believed in romance, love, and good weather.

I still believe in those things but I also know a large dose of determination and hard work also need to be added.

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Our wedding day….Ah, so young. Photo Credit: Guy Williams

The years have been everything I could imagine and also filled with surprises. We have had hard times, but honestly those can not compare to the joys. The good times and The laughter far outweigh the tears and stress.

I do not have any regrets. I married the man of my dreams. He may not do things the way I want and he may play games (achem RISK) that I just can’t understand the appeal to. He also is funny (yes, Dear, I am admitting it publicly), helpful, loving, hard-working, he is an amazing dad, he respects and encourages me (and the kids), and he kind of worships me. I love him, not dispute his quirks, but including them. I choose to love every aspect, even when I am angry.

On that note, I am so glad I said “Yes.” I do not regret it and I know it was the right decision.
I know we have a long road ahead and it will be filled with tons more laughter and love.

I love you Mark. Here’s to another 75 years together 😉
(yes, that puts us over 100…Gotta think BIG!)