On this day 23 years ago, I woke up and stepped on the bathroom scale and promptly burst into tears.
It was my wedding day.
I had been fighting a few pesky pounds ever since starting birth control pills the month before, and my dress had been altered to fit to me several months before that when the excitement of wedding planning had my weight at an all-time low. I knew fitting into it was going to be a challenge.
Yes, this is how vain I am… the morning of the day I was to marry the love of my life, my first thought was if my dress was going to zip or not.
I had been out late the night before visiting with family and out-of-town guests, so I was overtired and overwrought with excitement, and my nerves were pretty much shot. This was the final straw.
My mom found me in a puddle on the bathroom floor, and I think she thought I was having second thoughts about the entire marriage.
She said her best calm, motherly voice, “Tell me one thing. Do you want to marry Paul?”
Through tears, I cried adamantly, “YESSSS!!!”
“Well, then,” she replied crisply with her relief barely contained. “Nothing else matters. Get up, wash your face, and let’s get ready to go.”
So I did, and that was that.
Funny how 23 years later, I often find myself handling my two daughters’ dramatic outbursts much the same way.
As it turned out, my dress barely zipped, and the lace the seamstress had artfully sewn over the chest for modesty’s sake was pretty much pointless (gotta love birth control pills; I didn’t last on those very long) but somehow we managed to wrangle me into the dress, and I walked down the aisle and said “I do.”
This morning when I got up and stepped on the scale, 20 pounds heavier and 23 years older, I couldn’t help but think about that hot, humid August day in 1995, when I once and for all joined my life with a guy I had met on a blind date only two years before.
We had no idea what we were getting into, but I was as sure then as I am now that he’s the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.
And here we are.
I’m still fighting a few pesky pounds and trying to contain the overabundance the good Lord gave me, and now Paul is the one who has to deal with my emotional meltdowns, but I can say with complete confidence that after creating three kids and five homes together and surviving all the ups and downs and highs and lows that life has thrown at us over the years, I would do it all over again… but maybe without the bangs.
I’d love to tell you that we planned a romantic getaway to celebrate our 23 years together or even a nice dinner out, but we spent most of the weekend working on the house, and we’re exhausted, so we decided to stay in last night and have friends over to enjoy the backyard and the pool, which was fine by me.
In years past, I would have moved heaven and earth to make sure we had a proper anniversary celebration, but I guess one the things you learn with time and age is that the ordinary everyday moments are what make a life together — not the milestone celebrations.
Sure, those are nice to have when it works out, but they aren’t so important in the grand scheme of things. I know too many people who have had their marriages cut short, usually by that beast we call cancer, so I try not to take even a day for granted.
Today we’ll be going to church and probably out for lunch afterwards, as is our usual practice. The teenagers will likely opt to grab take out and come home — they aren’t as fond of dining out as Paul and I are, which never ceases to baffle me. I guess we’ve made it too commonplace for them, but for me, any meal I don’t have to cook or clean up is a win.
Later this afternoon, we have family coming to stay the week and help us with some painting. See, that’s what happens when you come to visit us — we put you to work! But seriously, we’re excited to see them and spend time together.
I actually think this is the perfect way to spend our 23rd anniversary — doing the ordinary things, going to church, spending time with family. Fortunately the rain has finally moved out, and it looks like a beautiful hot, sunny week ahead — perfect August weather.
It always comes back to the weather with me, doesn’t it?
Speaking of the weather, it’s only getting hotter out there, so I better get outside and get my run in if it’s going to happen today.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a blessed Sunday!