Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our colorful start...

Tomorrow (August 12th) Chip and I will celebrate our 15th wedding annivesary and so I thought it would be fun to share a few photos and thoughts of how it all began. Fifteen years ago it was 1995; I was 22 and Chip was 27 years old. We had dated since January 1994 and were engaged in June that same year. We thought that we had been through a lot- both good and bad by that time, and we were ready to take on the world. Together.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I had no fears or reservations- only excitement and happiness inside! It felt like one of the most "right" things to do- I think I can speak for both of us when I say that. {Right, Chip?!} We had counted down the days, planned and prepared and looked forward to whatever life held for us from that day on.
The day started out overcast and quickly turned into Minnesota summer showers. I held my breath and hoped that the sun would come out just long enough for us to pull off our poolside/garden ceremony that we had set up in Chip's parent's backyard. I got my wish along with some major heat and humidity too! The rest of the day went just as we had planned. Family and friends surrounded us and shared the moments with us in which we vowed our love to one another and invited God to be at the center of it all.
Now, fifteen years later I can honestly say that it has been nothing like I imagined wedded life would be. Chip and I have not only been through some of life's darkest trials together, but we've faced things I never even dreamed. I had entered into a commitment with Chip thinking it would just be "us" forever- there were no kids in our future. We were both so surprised when on our first annivesary we learned that those plans had changed. Teagan arrived and changed my focus and heart toward kids. Then came Brock and Wyndham and a few moves across the country and the purchase of our first home and some financial worries {for me anyway} and then medical crisis for Wyndham and soon after, we even said our good-byes to Teagan forever- this side of Heaven.
In my wildest dreams, as we stood hand-in-hand on our wedding day, I never could have pictured how things would play out in the story of our life together. To think that we've been blessed with Isabella and Ava and Crew and now any minute another little baby will join our story, seems surreal at times. There have been moments where life felt like it couldn't get any sweeter... and other times when we were ready to give up on hope and each other for the simple fact that it just seemed as though it would be easier that way.
Thank goodness for me {and hopefully Chip would say for him too} I married a man who doesn't give up even when the world is stacked against us. He has no desire to "take the easy route" in life and I've seen him at his best sometimes when presented with challenges that would make others throw in the towel. He is fiercely competitive at his very core- but inside that same heart of his is a passion and love for me and all our family that shows itself so clearly- and makes my worries melt away whenever I am at my final straw too. He seems to know just how much of the world we can carry, and never tires of bearing more than his fair share through the years.
I consider myself to be blessed beyond measure when it comes to having Chip at my side. When we first met I would have told you that we were 'all wrong' for each other. But thankfully God knew what He had in store for us. I am so glad that Chip was persistent and bold and ready to romance me and then assure me that I was the right one for him all those years ago. I am thankful time and time again that God spared Chip's life- when our world crashed in and around us. I don't know that I would have survived such a loss without growing bitter and allowing my heart to grow cold for the rest of my days.
I have learned that marriage is hard- even on the good days, but is more than worth fighting for, even if we only lived 'bad days' from here on out. I would want those days to be with Chip and feel humbled and privileged at the same time, that I get to spend my life with him. Although I have no idea what the rest of our story will tell from this day on, I do know that it will be wrought with beauty and blessing and likely more challenges too. I look forward to whatever our future holds- as long as Chip is at my side. For 15 years now, my faith has grown, my love has deepened, my belief in us-with God at the center-has only affirmed that no matter how winding the path may be, it will never be more than we can bear.
* * * * *
To Chip, my husband and best friend,
May you always know that my heart holds nothing but love for you- even when the outward me has a hard time making you believe that as truth. I swore my love and devotion to you nearly 15 years ago and I meant every word. I still do and probably owe you many apologies from that day forward too. I know you love me with all your heart and there's something still so magical and wonderful and comforting in that. I don't take you for granted and hope I never will.
I thank God that He brought us together and planned things we never did. It has been a wild ride, but as the journey continues to unfold I know you and I are meant to live it together. For better; for worse- until death do us part.
Happy anniversary to us. Thank you a million times over for asking me to be yours. I am forever changed for the better.
All my love, Jody


PA LaPresti's said...

Beautiful pics! Happy Anniversary!!!! Hope you two have a wonderful day! :-)

Deb said...

That's just...well beautiful! I wish you a wonderful day tomorrow and a future bright with love, success and happiness! Happy Anniversary

Jody said...

Maybe Chip and I will celebrate by bringing another baby into this world. That would be like coming full-circle, huh?!

Jessica said...

Happy Anniversary!!!

Jennifer said...

aww, so sweet!! have a very happy anniversary!!!

we had a baby born on our anniversary (ellee). i would recommend it, it's pretty neat. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh no you never let go...thru the calm and thru the storm! I LOVE that praise song. So appropriate with your post.
Congratulations and best wishes and may you enjoy many, many, many more years together!!

Heather said...

Happy Anniversary!! I read your blog a lot, but have never commented. You are an amazing family! Your faith has inspired me. Best wishes with the new baby!

September said...

Happy anniversary! May God bless you both in the years to come as well as your new addition!

Southern Gal said...

Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary!! I enjoyed your pictures!My parents had a baby on their anniversary...go for it!

patricia e said...

Happy Anniversary Jody & Chip~! What a beautiful love story ~ thanks for sharing :} How's the itching? Has it calmed down any?

Keshka said...

Happy anniversary:) What a beautiful post!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!! What a beautiful post!!

Lauren said...

Beyond beautiful!!!! Happy anniversary!! :)

patricia e said...

Will Chip be posting an update on the delivery here? Please say he will. We all want to hear how you and the little one are doing asap..
You know, just cuz inquiring minds want to know these things.

I'm sending blessings and love from Burlington, ON Canada

Karey said...

Happy anniversary. What a lovely tribute. Those of us that married wonderful men need to stop every so often and count our blessings. And tell them.