Today my husband and I celebrate 29 years of marriage.
Where did the time go? We blended two families together-6 kids! We are now 11 grandchildren, 3 great-grand children, and a significant number of significant others (all whom I am glad to say we love dearly). It was a great deal of hard work and sacrifices along the way…
but let me go back 29 years…
After dating for almost 2 years, we decided to plan a vacation with the kids. After much research we chose a houseboat on Lake Mead in Nevada. It sounded like a great idea! By this time we knew we were going to get married and in fact had matching wedding bands made. It had come down to settling on the specifics of a wedding. Lake Mead, if you don’t know, it just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada-and as you probably do know is a hot spot for weddings. It wasn’t much of a leap at this point to decide to elope and allow the houseboat, with all of the kids to be our honeymoon.
Without saying a word to anyone, we made a plan. We didn’t even tell the kids until we were enroute for fear they would not be able to keep such a big secret. At the time we worked in real estate so the only person who knew was the printer who in advance of the wedding printed up my new business cards. It was how we would spread the word to our co-workers. We told the kids to be sure to pack one nice outfit but due to the rush of last minute preparations I did not follow up on their chosen wardrobe. As a result, we were a bit of a rag-tag looking group for the wedding which did not matter in the slightest. I grabbed the newest dress I had which my sister had given me for my birthday the month before.
Needless to say, most of preparations for this trip were focused on the things we would need for 7 days on the houseboat. We purchased 56-6 packs of soda (okay, a bit of overkill and math isn’t my best subject anyway), blow up tubing and toys for the lake, sunscreen, food, games, and all of the expected things one might need in the middle of a lake in the brutal desert in mid August.
As we made our way on the just under 4 hour drive to Las Vegas we announced to the kids of our pending nuptials. At this early stage in our relationship we were in no way the idea of a blended family but they took the news rather well we thought. Perhaps they were just anxious to get to the vacation on the lake. Who knows. There were no cell phones in those days so no worry of them tipping anyone off. We would make the appropriate calls to family after the ceremony.
When we arrived in Las Vegas, I settled the kids into our two hotel rooms at the Landmark Hotel (we almost cried years later when this hotel was imploded). Thommmee made arrangements including a limo to pick us up and take us to a cute wedding chapel-the limo ride a real treat for the kids! Our group somehow managed to pull ourselves together and before we knew it we were standing before a minister reciting our wedding vows . There was no Elvis look-a-like or any other corny theme (well, just my cheesy fake flower bouquet).
It was just simply a beautiful moment.
We were soon off then to a buffet dinner in a hotel I cannot even remember.
With a whirl of activity and before we knew it, we were honeymooning on a lake in confined quarters with a group of kids. I couldn’t have asked for more perfect honeymoon! The kids still talk about what a great trip it was.
29 years ago already and it has been a beautiful journey. Of course that is not to say it was always easy or even fun, but it was our journey . When people see us with our family now there is not usually a mention of a blended family. We don’t consider them your kids or my kids but our kids-our family. We believe that God has blessed us and brought us to where we are today. We are grateful, we are thankful.
At 25 years we renewed our marriage vows.
It only gets better!
Happy Anniversary to the most amazing husband-my husband-my Thommmee. Here is to the next 29 years!