My Greatest Adventure

2004 - Rio de Janeiro

As I sat in the bathroom crying, he pounded on the door and yelled, “Patricia, open the door and let me in, this is not cool.”  All I could think of at the time was, “You are such a big bad wolf.” ( I believe there were other words involved in my thoughts, but I don’t want to post those words).

Our first year of marriage was a real eye opener, but we made it.  I learned to not lock myself in the bathroom and my husband learned not to be so harsh in his words.  We had some remarkable arguments.

19 years later, I have never locked myself in the bathroom again and he is far more sensitive and gentle.

He ate a banana while I was in labor.  He was hungry, I was in pain and I would not let him leave the room.  I yelled at him for eating the banana because it smelled.  He kindly got rid of the banana and attended to my every need.

When each baby arrived, he changed the diapers, did the laundry, got up at night.  But then he begged for my time…..he missed me.  I learned that my marriage had to stay a priority and that I needed to pour myself into the marriage and not forget about him.  I was so tired, I felt like everyone needed more of me, I felt out of shape and less beautiful when those babies were born, but my husband reminded me all the time of how beautiful I was.  I made an effort to be his wife, he made an effort to make me feel beautiful. We dated, we stayed up late to be alone and lit candles and drank wine. Sometimes we left the kids with friends and family to get out together.

He was traveling and I was at the hospital with his dad.  It was our anniversary, but neither of us remembered. The doctor came in and said, “It’s bad, Cleo, you only have just a short time to live.” I called my husband, and said to come home. I listened to him cry and my heart hurt for him.

After his dad died, I would lay next to him and feel him sob at night.  The grief was difficult to bare, and he was stressed.  I had just given birth to my second child, and we were both depressed and filled with sadness over his dad’s death.  Friends came by our side and helped us through a difficult year. We started a babysitting co-op with two other couples.  We would trade off watching each others kids to have a date.  We needed it during those years to cope with the stress and to keep our marriage a priority.

I called him while he was at a festival in California.  We were about to move into a new house where our wonderful family of four could comfortably live.  I said, “Um…Stephen, I am pregnant.”  It was an unexpected surprise so he got on a plane and came home. Stephen doesn’t necessarily enjoy surprises so this was a bit of a shock.  When Isabel was born, she was beautiful and for some reason, the third child was an easier transition on the family and our marriage. She was a blessing!

We celebrated 10 years of marriage with a six day trip to Paris.  We flew first class on frequent flyer miles. We celebrated 15 years of marriage with a trip to Greece on frequent flyer miles and we have had many adventures in between.

Today, its our 19 year anniversary.

He is my best friend, my biggest fan, my manager, my editor,  my counselor, my golf buddy and sometimes my pain in the butt.  He is amazing, spirited, funny, smart, grouchy, wise, but most of all, he is faithful.

I remember walking down that aisle  and feeling the thrill of marrying my best friend.  That day was the beginning of my greatest adventure.

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13 Comments on “My Greatest Adventure

  1. such a beautiful post ,beautiful marriage, beautiful people…….beautiful God

  2. Okay I know this this is a bit overdue, but happy anniversary! This post is awesome. So inspiring. You guys are beautiful. You have a beautiful story!

  3. It is so good to hear from you Mike! We hope all is well and that we could reconnect. The NW is beautiful in the summer you know.

  4. Wow. 19 years. I remember that weekend. I remember that day. I remember dancing with someones crazy aunt at the reception. Blessings to you all. I’ve enjoyed keeping up with you all by “lurking” on this blog. But I couldn’t not comment here. Congratulations on your anniversary. Marriage is really hard. I know. And you know my story and all I messed up. I’m proud of you all. For not messing up. Or maybe better said… for never giving up even when you mess up. Miss you guys.

  5. Congratulations, nice story, where is he taking you this year? ha.

  6. Happy anniversary!!! Loved the post. I have one coming up tomorrow, Aaron’s & my 5th. I’m just hoping I can say as amazing things about him after 19 years as you have. Here is to another 19 incredible years!!!

  7. well said!!
    so nice to mix the whole picture in a short package…and fabulous picture!

  8. Hey Friends, thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I had a lot of fun writing this post and remembering these moments!

  9. beautiful Beautiful Post!! You guys continue to inspire me! I love learning from you. xoxo

  10. Wow. What an inspiring post! You just kicked my rear … big time!

    Thanks for sharing this!

  11. Your stories always touch my heart. Congratulations on a job well done.

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Sandra Jones Counseling

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