15 Years Ago....

As I sit here this morning bundled up in my softest, warmest sweats, with a fuzzy throw across my lap after what was apparently the coldest night of the season so far, I'm thinking back to the weather 15 years ago today.  I always think back to the 1996 weather on January 13, because it was the most perfectly crisp, beautifully clear, amazingly sunny winter day one could begin to imagine.  The week before, the weather had been beastly...frigidly cold (somewhat like today...), with heavy snow falling and treacherously icy roads, driveways, and sidewalks.  (I remember that because my Woodland Heights shower was that day at Becky E's house...and I was flabbergasted at the number of people who showed up...including my crazy best friend from Arkadelphia!!...despite the frightful weather...)

With Mother and Daddy :)

Billy with his mom and dad

And we had been warned...over and over...by an older co-worker about getting married in January.  "You'll see," she said often, "This date will be a mistake.  You'll deal with ice and snow and bad roads and your anniversary plans will be cancelled and it will be horrible...IF you even make it through the wedding without a blizzard."  Bless her heart.  Her parents had married in January, and their long-awaited 50th anniversary celebration had had to be cancelled due to snow and ice, after our friend had put much time and money into the party plans.  I have no idea what will happen with our 50th (should we even still be around then...:)), but in 15 years, we've never had a weather-related anniversary catastrophe yet. :)  (Of course, part of that could be that we rarely make "big plans" for our anniversary to begin with...:))

Shoeless bride with maid of honor (Tauna Marie) and bridesmaid (Liz Stephens)

My adorable niece, Brianna :)

But January 13, 1996, was clear and beautiful.  Almost *warm* by January standards in Arkansas...but not warm enough to cause me to get overheated in the dress we'd all fallen in love with.   The ceremony and reception were beautiful and full of wonderful memories.

Mother and Granny Kitty (so classic!)

And now fast-forward 15 years...four wonderful children, moves from an apartment to townhouse to a house we never planned to be in this long!, assorted jobs, health issues in varying degrees of severity, deaths of four grandparents and a parent, a NICU stay, two children who have been victims of violent crime, 3 automobile accidents (2 minor and 1 more major)...oh, and a death threat about this time last year...we've had lots of  "for better" and a fair batch of "for worse" for 15 years!  And with God's grace weathered it all and come through, I think, stronger than ever.  

I am so thankful for my sweet husband.  He spoils me terribly, he puts up with my limitations and eccentricities, and he is an amazing daddy to our children.  He truly lives out in so many ways the admonition of Ephesians 5:25, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for her..."  I am thankful for 15 years and looking forward to many more (and maybe even a blizzard on our 50th...Ha! :))

Billy's amazing groom's cake...he's never quite gotten over the fact that he only got one bite!

Happy Anniversary, Billy!   I love you!!


Kelly said...

Happy, Happy Anniversary, Jen and Billy!

t marie said...

Oh, it WAS a perfect day! So much fun...doing hair and make-up, my run-away nephew (who graduates in May), silly glasses, Billy's amazing groom's cake, your 3 tiered cakes, and my BEAUTIFUL best friend.

I love the example of your marriage. What a blessing you two are for the world to see.

I love you! (And I miss you.)