Friday, December 16, 2016

Twenty-One Years and counting...


In sickness and health, richer and poorer....and, well...we pretty much have been there, done that. Where did those twenty-one years go? I still remember everything like it was yesterday.
The engagement, the second engagement, the planning, the designing our invitations....the wanting to have our wedding close to Christmas because it was our favorite time of year...not to mention all the beautiful decorations, greenery and lights everywhere! It was perfect! I was working at a bridal store so I picked out the perfect dress...of course I had to make it my own by adding long sleeves and an even longer train. Picked out just the right brides made dresses for all of the girls in my wedding party...because...god knows...we had one heck of a bridal party!
I remember getting ready in my bedroom the morning of my wedding thinking...wow...this is it. And yes it was....true love! The way he looked at me, talked to me...just us being us. Having so much in common couldn't of been a fluke, could it? I mean, I never really looked at blonds before, but something about this boy made my heart skip a beat. We both were artists, both were twins, both came from families with 7 kids...but just the opposite (we had six girls and one boy and he had six boys and one girl). We both loved holidays...Halloween, Christmas, Easter....even the Forth of July was on that list. Oh...and when a good song comes on the radio...watch out because he could sing notes around most. It couldn't be a fluke, could it?

Walking down the isle at the church and laughing to my dad that the peel and stick anti skid shoe pad just stuck to the runner...and yes, it shows up on the video! ...our first kiss as husband and wife... The amazing reception we had......dancing till they turned the lights on to kick us out... The ice sculpture......the beautiful cake... the Christmas ornaments I made for our favors...and yes, the DJ calling you Andrew rather than Anthony. Sharing our wedding day with the anniversary of your aunt and uncle also meant a lot to us.

I remember being sick on our honeymoon in lovely Middleburg Heights, Ohio...yes...20 minutes from home. Also cutting down our first Christmas tree...it was huge and beautiful...and it was ours! I still have the gifts from the shower and wedding...one of my favorites...the nativity. It's a reminder of why we celebrate Christmas...but also of our life together was just starting off.
We found the perfect house...the yard was huge and the house...well...for a newlywed couple, the three bedrooms were perfect...one was a guest room and one was an art studio....but the kicker was the neighbor that greeted us that cold snowy day that we looked at the house. He became family to us. He was like a father/uncle/friend figure that was there for us when we started our married life off...all those years ago.

Who would have thought that me kinda sorta lying to our priest about wanting kids...yeah...I was scared stiff about kids. I honestly didn't think I wanted any...at the time. So in order for a priest to marry you, we were interviewed by my priest...the question came up..."will you welcome children into your life" (or something like that) and while Tony and I had a few moments alone, I told Tony I was going to answer that question with a no. He then quickly convinced me that I should think this question through because he may not marry us for this answer alone....hmmmm...lie to a priest? I know! I'll think of puppies! I looove puppies and would have a house full....kids...not so much....so yeah. I have already gone to confession about this...I lied to our priest. I welcomed children into our lives...and boy did I ever!
Something about actually being married, living in a (at the time) big empty house and, well....21 years later we have moved on from our "starter home" and into our "forever home" (until we get bored with it...or cant afford it anymore), with kids from 19, 17, 15, 13, 11, 9 and 8 in our lives along with heartbreaks of our many miscarried babies and our precious angel...Kenny's twin, Nick.

In those 21 years, I became a stay at home mom and Tony started his own business. Spending many hours praying...laughing, fighting, crying and dreaming together.
It's not where we thought we'd be twenty-one years ago, but it's been a great ride.
I couldn't of asked for a better partner to share all the ups and downs with.
We have learned that even though we have been through soooo much, it has made us even stronger, closer than ever. 
We've faced death eye to eye in the loss of our son, throughout the miscarriages and hard pregnancies, though short and long NICU visits, first words, first steps, first days of school for each kid. Through raising a chronically sick, special needs son who can be demanding, worrisome, stressful, isolating, lonely and scary to see the future of...
Through debt and also the feeling of paying off a bill...
Through laughing when something goes wrong because...I mean...how much worse can it get, right? Through late night calls to say not to stay up so late...oh...and don't forget the coffee.
Through the OMG how do you guys do it, you are so blessed....but also through the criticism of actually doing it with so much against us!
Through house hunting, moving (what a huge pain) and settling in a new house...new life. Crazy how things work. It seems so long ago...but just like yesterday...this crazy whirlwind of twenty-one years!
 We have lost so many people in these twenty-one years, but know that hopefully, each one is watching and waiting for us with a huge reunion in store.
Through dreams broken, but new dreams to come...

I am so perfectly glad that these twenty-one years happened with you by my side, and honestly...wouldn't change a thing...
Except....maybe...nah ;)
Thank you Tony for the life I have shared with you...the life that twenty-one years ago, I said "I do" to!
I love you deeply and passionately...with all my heart. Now I wish time would slow down a little so we would be able to enjoy our life, kids, families, friends and hobbies.

"All these years...and we still have the heat"....name the movie!