Monday, September 2, 2013

To the Journey Ahead

Marriage is hard.

Don't you think it is amazing so many people commit to relationships to begin with?
Doe-eyed hope, is all I can figure.
Sometimes couples make the journey together, sometimes their roads lead them in different paths.

The best quote I ever heard on marriage was this: "In all our years of marriage, I never once considered divorce. Murder, yes. Divorce, never."

That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?

I chose pretty well in the life partner department, I will admit it. But even the last three or so years have wrung us dry.

You see, we got married ever so young. We were just children at 23 and 24 years old. We jumped head first into love, and marriage and then baby carriages. And marriage has been fun--and wonderful--and full of joy.

         ....just as darkness exposes light, we've had our portioned share of disappointments along the path. Deaths, career changes, family responsibilities, transitions, depression, addiction, repeated moves, and just life have taken it's fierce and often unkind toll on us as the years have passed.

I recently had a dear friend tell me that she wished she had a marriage like mine. And then she wisely corrected her statement, "Well, but I guess what I see is the blogger version of your marriage, huh?"

Yes, my friend. My marriage (and yours) has some blog worthy stories. Stories that will make you laugh and maybe even cry with their sweetness, but real married life is full of heavenly highs and the darkest of lows. We are real people, who are messy and chaotic and, therefore, produce messy and chaotic relationships. If we're lucky, we lay our vulnerable selves out on the altar, in full view of our partner to be received and appreciated and just loved.  For the most part, this has been our path together--and even though this has been our path, it doesn't mean that we haven't known our own kind of heartache.

And so we approached a crossroads.

The young, bright eyed children who married sixteen years ago are gone. Grayish haired (some more than others, a-hem) seasoned, middle aged adults remain to make a choice as to where our path leads next.

Three days ago Mountain Man and I stood on the beach of the Pacific Ocean as sunrise to recommit to the journey we started as children. As the sun rose, we ushered in the the dawn dressed in white and told one another the secret promises of our hearts.
A seagull was our witness.

And while the road may still be rough in places through the coming years, we've recommitted to traveling it together.

My face is all puffy because I had a cold. And I'd been crying. Stop judging me. ;)

This seagull did NOT try to peck out my eye, make a rude toast at our reception
or interrrupt. He was the perfect witness.

Picturesque, n'est pas?

I like waves.

Let's be honest, I'm vain and the only reason this picture made the
cut is because the damn humidity hadn't flattened my hair out yet and
it still looks good. OH, what I mean is--how did THIS picture get in here?!?

There's no enjoyment without a wicked sense of humor.
 Also, ear plugs and separate sinks don't hurt.

What's the best piece of advice you ever received, or gave to a newly married couple? 


  1. You lovely couple, you. In all your humanity and tears and snot and whathaveyou, yes. Just the most precious post. Thank you.

    As for advice, I apparently haven't been given any that stuck in my mind (or helped, either!). And I haven't often been a giver of advice either--divorced folk are best to keep the mouth shut, even if love has found a way in, again.

    If I *were* to give advice, it would be to love each other as you are, now. Not as you hope each other will be, or for who you were at some point in the past. I believe firmly that everybody deserves that, just to be loved for themselves. It's the greatest gift you can give, or receive.

    To many more! xoxo

    1. That IS the best advice. :) Love and be loved...xo!

  2. This blog reminds me of a dream I had a few days ago, only the ending was different. That's a little weird, but oh well.

    I'm really happy for you. =) I understand that relationships aren't what they really appear to the outside world, that its not all happiness and rainbows and unicorns, as much as we all wish it would be. But I can honestly say, that I hope my boyfriend and I can end up having an amazing story like you two do. I mean, sixteen years! That's just... wow.

    Also, I'm happy the bird left your eyes alone. Its not nice to poke someone in the eye, but according to the TV show Bones, people are a lot less scary once they've been poked in the eye. That's my advice since I'm not married. hahaha

    1. I will definitely beware the birds!!! Hahahah!!! Much love to you, Rachel!

  3. I've been thinking about vows, and how important they are to remember each and every day. I've been working on this lately. "Today I choose love" and all that...(although I know some days are much easier than others to do this) ; ) Thanks for sharing your recommitment story.

    1. I think there are so many vows that are important to remember from day to day--I just wish I had a better memory! :)

  4. I thought the bird pecked your eye out... didn't the bird peck your eye out? Or am I confusing this ultra-romantic renewal of vows with some other 'do' ... I have vague but horrifying images of brides with empty eye sockets and mascara the colour of ketchup...

    Whatever... CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!

    1. Not THAT bird--it was a different bird our first day there that tried to peck out my eye. That's probably why I was so astonished that THAT bird didn't peck our my eye. :) Seagulls may very well be the devil's calling card...

  5. This brought tears to my eyes. As you know, my own ex-partner chose to call it quits rather than work through the chaos and mess. Bless both of you for re-committing to all of it. And I wish you both all of the best.

    1. Thank you, my friend. I've been working on a letter! (I'll send it soon!) Thank you for your good wishes, and much love to you!!

  6. This is such a lovely post. As I'm still young at only 19 I always see couples like yourselves who inspire me to find someone who truly makes me happy.

    I've always been told to expect highs and lows, and also that arguments are always a sign of a healthy relationship...when I had a boyfriend at 13 we didn't argue enough so I ended it, haha!

    You seem like a truly lovely couple, and I'm glad the seagull politely witnessed :) They're not that well behaved in Cornwall!

    1. The day before a different seagull tried to peck out my eye--so I TOTALLY get you. :)

  7. I asked Ornery a few years ago if he might be interested in renewing our vows. His reply was, "They seemed to work fine the first time, I don't know why you would want to go through all that again!" Silly man. :)

    Anyway, I am glad you recommitted and decided to stick it out, although 23 and 24 doesn't seem so young. I was 19, Ornery was 20 when we stood before God and the handful of people who were still speaking in the family to commit to love and cherish one another.

    It has been an incredible 34 year long journey of building a friendship and helping each other grow up without losing the wonder of youth. Gray hair, pot-bellies, disappointments--none of it has dimmed the glow I still feel whenever I see him walk through the door. And he seems to feel the same about me. Go figure. :)

    1. Awwwwwwwww!!! I LOVE that! Such hope for the future!! Thank you for sharing that with me--it gives us something to aim for! xo!

  8. Thank you for helping feel less weird about not marrying "the man of my dreams". I love my husband; we are very good for each other and very good together; and my life with him is nothing like I dreamed my life would be. Part of me sometimes feels a little guilty that I wouldn't classify my husband as "the man of my dreams", because it sounds like my husband is "less than" or that I "settled". But I didn't settle; I chose. And I chose an amazing man who has expanded my world in so many ways. And since this is the Real World and not Disney World, he's not Prince Charming (but then I'm not really Snow White, either). Anyway, I'm thrilled to have found you from your guest post on Monastery and look forward to catching up on your chronicles. –Jennifer.Russian women for marriage