Celebrating 20 Years of Marriage
An anniversary celebration trip is something every couple looks forward to. It’s a big deal to be married for 20 years; it is definitely a mile marker. But when you get married in the year 2000 that means your 20th anniversary falls in the middle of a pandemic. A lot happens in 20 years! As a very young married couple we had hopes and dreams like everyone. Many of those dreams have been realized and many are still to come.
The ups and downs of every day life in marriage build us up as we choose each other again and again. We have been growing up together in the midst of this marriage. We were married at age 22 and started a family at age 25. Raising three kids is no joke and has shaped us into very different people than 20 years ago, better people. Grateful seems almost too empty a word to describe how we feel about 20 years of marriage, but it also seems just right. God has blessed us with each other and we are ever grateful.
The Big Anniversary Celebration Trip That Wouldn’t
For years we had been dreaming about where we would travel to for the big 20th anniversary celebration trip. We went through various scenarios and finally landed on Scotland as the perfect place for us. Guide books, blog reading, Instagram photos and personal recommendations gave us all the things we needed to create the best itinerary. We set everything up and began counting the days. Literally 3 weeks later the world came to a halt as the coronavirus swept across the globe. We held onto the hopes that by September we would be in the clear, but it wasn’t meant to be. That itinerary has been stashed away for another time.
Months went by before we even attempted to talk about an alternative. It felt wrong to plan a vacation while everyone else was hunkering down in safety. Travel began to emerge over the summer as families ventured out, first nearby, and then even via airplane. The idea of an actual adventure began to formulate. We waited, watched, and researched. Then we formulated a plan and got so excited and expectant. We chose a place where all of our activities could be outside and we could appropriately social distance. There wasn’t a thing we didn’t think of or have prepared. But…one week prior to the trip we had to cancel because the awful forest fires were bulldozing through the western states and in the area we had planned to visit. I cried and got angry and then was so depressed for about 3 days. That itinerary has been stashed away for another time.
The Little Anniversary Celebration Trip That Could
Honestly I wanted to force a square peg in to a round hole with this anniversary celebration trip. I wanted to make something big happen. John pressed in and made other suggestions, suggestions I was not content with. I had lost sight of what we were celebrating; the trip became the celebration instead of the marriage. Ugh. Why do I always fall prey to my sinful heart? So, I shoved myself out of my pity party and we last minute booked a stay in the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC just a few hours drive from home.
It was a glorious 4 days away. The weather wasn’t perfect and the accommodations were just alright, but we were together and alone and relaxed. We had time to focus on us and talk about the past 20 years and dream about the next 20 years. Reminiscing on the many incredible trips we have had reminded me that we have seen and experienced so much. In the midst of all that talking we did 3 hikes, visited a winery, drove miles and miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway, meandered through downtown mountain towns, and ate so much good food! Everything about the long weekend was completely “us”.
Our bucket lists continue to grown and our interests continue to expand, of course. The future is bright and Lord willing we have many more years to celebrate and enjoy traveling together. The lesson learned is that we love to travel because we love to experience new things together. After all we have been married nearly half of our lives already!