My husband and I celebrated thirty years of marriage last week. Because our big anniversary fell on a Tuesday, other than cards and flowers, we didn't do anything. We are planning a vacation in September and will celebrate then. Nothing big, we're just going to do what we love most...hiking in state parks enjoying God's beautiful creation.
I started to make a hand made card to celebrate our anniversary using a card from Pinterest to case as usual. I was almost done with that card when I saw this old photograph just laying on my counter. It was already worn, faded, and cropped to fit an old photo frame that broke. Months ago, I put the photograph on my desk thinking I would re frame it someday then I forgot about it. I picked this old photograph up, covered in layers of dust, and thought "Look at those kids!" It seemed like it was only yesterday we tied the knot, how could it be thirty years already? I knew then, that I would have to make a different card and I would have to use this photograph. Don't worry, I have a nephew getting married soon, and I will give him the other card I made!
I created a frame card by using Spellbinders Nestabilities to create the circular frame. Then I glued the photograph to the inside of the card and added a circular frame around it to cover up the raw edges.
For the front of the card, I used heart patterned paper, then cut "30 Years" out of pink paper with my Cricut Express Machine. I added one heart behind the number using a MFT heart die.
It's a very simple card, but it says it all, and my husband really, really loved it. I was so happy I saw the photograph at the last minute, and changed the direction of my card and made it more personal.
On our anniversary day, I woke up to these beautiful flowers and a lovely card with a hand-written note.
So what is it like to be married for thirty years? It wasn't always easy. The early years were the most difficult as we were plagued with financial problems, health problems, and extended family issues. Then when our kids went to high school and college, we went through other difficult trials that those years bring. But we prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and God answered those prayers beyond measure. Through it all, the good and the bad, we stayed committed to one another. Were there times I wanted to bolt? You betcha! But God would never allow me to harden my heart long enough to do that.
I will say, the past five years have been the BEST years of our entire marriage. Many marriages suffer and fall apart during the "empty nest" phase. Ours seemed to blossom and flourish. It all started with our very first vacation that we ever took alone together. It was a short trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. It was that trip where we seemed to fall in love with each other all over again. Not that we were ever out of love, but our marriage prior to that trip was mostly trying to build a life: establishing careers, renovating and building a home, raising children. This trip, it was just about us. Spending time together, exploring together, having fun, with each other, alone! It was this trip that started our "Road Trip Adventures" that I write about every Wednesday in my travel posts.
Since that trip, we've made it a priority in our lives to get out and explore on a regular basis. Some years, we were able to take more costly vacations, and some we weren't. But whether the money was there or not, WE DID SOMETHING! Lately I've been writing a lot about staycations: how we're having fun every weekend exploring our own hometown. You can find fun, free things to do with each other anywhere that hardly costs a dime.
Looking back over the past thirty years and how many times I may have wanted to bolt, or how many times I've questioned whether I made the right decision, I'm so happy, so grateful, that God kept pursuing me and never allowed my heart to remain hard after an argument. I'm also grateful I'm married to someone who is so forgiving and is always the first to humble himself and say "I'm Sorry", because trust me, forgiveness and saying "I'm Sorry" is very, very difficult for me. And if he wasn't the one to almost always say it first, I don't know if we would still be married. God certainly knows what He is doing when He picks a mate for you! He puts the right personalities together!
Have a Great Day! Amy
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