Monday, January 29, 2007


19 years.

That's how long Paul and I have been married. 19 years today. Yikes! How has that happened? 19 years have flown by--positively flown by. So today, we get a special 19th Anniversary Sleeping with Bread.

Our wedding in Grand Prairie, Texas. Yes--a Justice of the Peace.
Just the two of us and a witness. Just the way we wanted it.

Our wedding reception at my aunt's house about six months later.
I was all for casual, but my aunt refused to host a BBQ reception.

In the last 19 years of marriage, when did I receive the most love?

Wow... I'm not sure my non-detail-oriented brain will be good at this, but here goes. Over the course of our marriage, I have always felt that Paul loves me 100%. (I won't say that I think he's always liked me. I've had my unlikeable moments.) He shows that love through his actions more than his words. He's that kind of guy. The guy who goes out to get your Starbucks pretty much on demand. The guy who loves you through thick and thin--literally. As my weight has fluctuated, I've never felt insecure about his feelings for me. His affection comes without demand for change. He takes me as I am. For better and for worse. And when Paul does choose to express himself with his words, there is not a man out there who can beat him for picking and writing in a greeting card.

It has been said that you go into your marriage with all of your emotional baggage. It doesn't get checked at the door. That was true of me to the nth degree. Paul endured much of my emotional angst as I wrestled with my issues. It hasn't always been pretty. I once saw an episode of Oprah in which there was a contest to find the most romantic man. Some of the men were pretty impressive, I'll have to admit. But, as I watched these couples, I thought about what they would be like years from now. Would that man still be there? I've seen marriages fall apart and I can tell you, the romantic gesture is not what matters. Its staying power. Will your man stay with you through the crud. Paul has and I know Paul will.

In the last 19 years of marriage, when did I give the least love?

Only every day of my marriage probably. In your wedding vows, you make a lot of promises. Promises you cannot keep for the most part. Every therapist will tell you not to make always and never statements when communicating to your spouse. But that is exactly what wedding vows are: a list of always and never promises. You're doomed to failure. BUT... it is the big picture that matters. Although I have lost my patience with Paul, tried to change him, made him the problem when I was the problem, I hope I have matured enough that it is more the exception than the rule--my failures. At the end of 19 years of marriage, I hope it can be said that I loved more than I did not love; that I cherished more than I did not cherish; that I honored more than I did not honor.

This past Thanksgiving.


Veronica Mitchell said...

Happy Anniversary. What a handsome couple!

metro mama said...

Happy anniversary!

Beck said...

Happy anniversary! You guys are a beautiful couple - and your husband is SO talented. I'm loving the CD you sent!
I'm such a bonehead - I just realized the picture down below was clearly labelled "team mom". Der!

daisies said...

happy anniversary ~ i love that you two look so beautifully in love in all stages and can i say how beautiful you are : )

sidenote: we have a little city called Grande Prairie here in Alberta, Canada

Alpha Dogma said...

Happy anniversary. You looked lovely in all those photos. I can't believe 1987 was 19 years ago! Time flies!
I was so excited that you might live in Grande Prairie - then realized it was not the one in Alberta. Damn. I live close (by Canadian standards) to that city and would've loved to meet a blogging buddy IRL!

Em said...

Happy anniversary to you both!

atypical said...

Well, happy anniversary to you! 19 years is no small feat.

Congratulations. Here's to at least 19 more!


Mary-LUE said...

Thanks everyone! You're too kind (but I like it!)

chickenone said...

Great sleeping with bread post...

Happy Anniversary to a great couple!

L-Girl said...


Your words are really moving. I agree, it's not about NOT making mistakes, it's about the staying power. You two are such a wonderful LOVE story. A REAL one!

V-Grrrl said...

As someone who will celebrate her 25th anniversary in a few weeks, I can TOTALLY relate to this. I love your take on the wedding vows...

Wishing you many more happy years together.

Shari said...

Aww, you guys are so cute! When you were describing Paul, I kept thinking "that's exactly how I describe Brent!" Congratulations on 19 years of marriage . . . I love your vulnerability and realness in this post (and all your posts). Our 15 year anniversary is in March, and I can't believe how fast time flies.

I heard Gary Smalley the other day talking about the greatest thing he's learned in the last four years. He's been married for 42 years and he said he and his wife kept trying to change each other, even though his expertise is marriage. He said that a few years ago he went to his wife and apologized for trying to change her, and told her he would never do it again. It reminded me that I have to keep trying to be diligent in NOT trying to change Brent, especially because he's so good at loving me for exactly who I am.

Lamont said...

I love this! Our 15th is coming in June!

Sheila said...

Happy Anniversary!
Your post totally made me cry.
(course, i'm blaming the dayquill . . .)

sophie said...

Happy Anniversary! True love, I would say.

meredith said...

Happy Anniversary! You had my dream wedding :)

Mel said...

Happy Anniversary!
Many congratulations and continued good wishes for you and himself!

And I'd like to thank you for the wonderful concept of "Sleeping with Bread".
While I don't 'play by the rules' well and I've taken to posting on Friday vs. Monday--I didn't want to go without my thanks for the idea to look at what's good in my life/what needs to be looked at.
Thank you for that!

edj said...

Happy Anniversary! Sorry I'm a little late with this. I loved this post--beautifully written and expressing great sentiments. Here's to the next 19 years :) Hope they're even better.

Anonymous said...

Belated congratulations! I have a ways to go before I hit 19 years but I hoep to reach it and look as happy as you two.