Although it really does seem like Bill and I married just a bit ago, in truth 25 years have flown by...wow! Today I am going to share several things about us as we approach our Silver Anniversary.
1. We were both 20 when we met. I turned 21 before we married. Bill turned 21 a few months after the wedding.
My thoughts about getting married young~let's see, I strongly recommend this. Marriages fail all the time and age is not the sole factor. I must say growing and maturing as a couple has been pretty neat and the crazy thing is that by October our 4 kiddos will all be 18 and up. I think I will expand on this topic in a separate post in the near future because there are millions of reasons marriages fail and but a few why it succeeds. Age alone is not the key either way.
2. Bill and I are from completely different parts of the country. He is from the Southwest/west and I was from the Midwest.
I chose to move west before I met Bill. This was not a drastic change or hardship but something thrilling and exciting for a girl from the flatlands! The moment I saw the Rockies I was hooked. The bonus was sunshine almost all the time. I never realized how much I missed seeing the sun for six or seven months of the year until I was able to see it all year!
3. Although from different parts of the country, we had several things in common and I know that these things are things that allowed for us to be so compatible.
He was from a small town~well actually he lived outside the town a bit. This is the same for me. He comes from a large family and so did I. Neither of us really were brought up in any particular faith and instead were raised with common morals and values. Neither of us are an oldest child or youngest child.
4. Bill and I actually told those around us that we were going to wait five years before we began having children!
Discussing things like children, finances, and occupations etc are very important before a couple gets married. Bill and I did not really talk much about anything aside from us~and the whirlwind that comes with being in love. For the record, neither of us were against children. Our oldest was born 10 months after we were married...just so you can smile 25 years later!!!
5. Bill and I are not a couple that you would forget if you met us in person. I am not suggesting that we have magnetic personalities or anything like that. You would not forget us because to those meeting us for the first time you would take note of something pretty different about us. He is truly tall to my short. He is a good 15 inches taller than me. Yep...when he is sitting we are far closer in height if I am standing.
The way I tell the story now for dramatic effect is that I married for height not money. Now to my readers I must tell you that this is so far from the truth. I decided to marry Bill from the moment I saw him. He took my breath away. No kidding! I knew in that moment he was mine and boy I am ever so glad that he is. Now for the kiddos my children without Bill may have been a bit on the shorter end of the height spectrum but with Bill the boys are all 5'10 and my cutie pie Fourth~she is about 5'4".
6. I was raised in the generation of a woman bringing home the bacon and fry it up in a pan (this link has the video of this commercial halfway down page). In spite of this, when we had our first Bill and I decided to split the work...he would cover anything outside the home and I would care for the home and children. The decision happened in a flash after we had our oldest cared for one afternoon and the care shocked us.
I can tell you in no uncertain terms that staying home and being a homemaker has been an area that I have been most attacked. I have been called a mousewife, a doormat, and even have been asked don't I want more, implying that this role is something less than noble or important. This decision made Bill and I totally reliant on one income. This has proven to be a saving grace for us in recent years as the adaptation to less was just kicking up what we had already been doing.
I will not try and cross and offend anyone here. I appreciate that many women must work as they are the sole breadwinner in the family. It took me several years to appreciate or let's say reprogram my own thoughts on being a housewife after being raised in a modern woman attitude of the 70's and 80's. That said...forgetting all about the money or wages earned or the cost of a woman working needing two vehicles, wardrobe etc...being home gave me something I could not put a price on today. Being home raising my children allowed ME to be the person that saw each child's first steps. It was me that heard each child's first words. It was me and the values Bill and I wished for our children that was placed in front of the children and not a caregivers values or wishes. I watched precious moments of each of my Little's lives. I saw love and kindness between the siblings and was able to guide and correct behavior that wasn't wished for. I had my goofs on a schedule that did not require constant to and froing . Before we made the decision to homeschool, we were homeschooling. I realized with my kids I had a captive audience and took every moment as time to enlighten and educate them. Now to what I look back and realize...this is the advantage of a primary caregiver. I am ever so thankful that I had these years to be at home and be the one to influence my own children.
7. We hold hands...after all these years when we go somewhere we still hold hands. When we drive, we hold hands. We hug each other when we part, and hug each other when we return. When we walk about the property we hold hands...although for me this is more as a safety mechanism. If I see a snake I want to climb a tree or something and here in the desert, Bill is pretty much the tallest tree around!!
Marriage is more than a contract, or a bedroom convenience. Marriage is more than having children and raising them. Marriage is about two people becoming one. Marriage is about a daily commitment to the other person above all others besides God. Marriage is about ensuring the needs are met of your spouse and they will ensure your needs are met. Conversing daily about everything and anything under the sun makes a marriage strong. Learning new hobbies or at least sitting together while reading unites the bonds. Your marriage is something that should be raised above all else in your life. Sometimes it is hard to do so but even a small gesture each day to maintain your commitment can be done. I will say with no amount of shame or pride that I am not a perfect wife. I have had bad days/weeks/months etc. Bill is not a perfect husband. We do not even think about marriage that way. Oh before I forget as I know as Bill reads that he is not the perfect husband he has said 'WHAT? in humor. I grin with your what , Bill. You are perfect for me~hope that helps :)!
8. We have never owned a new car. Never.
To even maintain the challenges and struggles the world adds to a marriage why add unnecessary debt that holds you down? Cars are one area that you can buy used and end up with a pretty amazing vehicle. I remember in Germany buying an Opel that seemed to be the car for the newest arrivals and as soon as you could you upped to a newer used car and sold the Opel to the next family. We are a Ford family and although we have had other makes and models over the years I prefer Ford. Between the kids and us we have 3 Ford vehicles.
9. Although we love our extended families, we really worked hard at establishing and maintaining our own family~even when it was just Bill and I.
We did attend holiday events at other members homes but for the most part we established the traditions for us. I will totally respect the kids when they establish this with their spouses. Bill and I have a goal of one meal a month with all the kids that can get off work and we will have a large gathering in November so we afford them the same chance that we had to really become a family independent.
10. Do you want to know how much money we have spent over the past 25 years raising four children and living? Many people are guarded with personal and business information and believe me...I usually am. But for today to wrap up these ten things about Bill and I ....privacy is off. Scroll down and I will share the numbers as I have kept our checkbooks and banking in careful order.
We have spent~
the past 25 years
Seriously? You kept scrolling down? I guess I better tell you right now then. We have spent everything we made over the years. Does that surprise you?
To those with beautiful planned out retirements with huge savings...I pray you appreciate we too had these plans and then Sometimes Things Happen.
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."