Celebrating 26 Years of Married Life

Our Wedding on December 28, 1991
The 26-year-old tree from our wedding homily.
The 26-year-old tree from our wedding homily.

F.I.R. – Flexibility, Initiative and Responsibility. According to the pastor at our wedding 26 years ago today, focusing on these areas would help make a marriage strong. We even got a little tree to remind us, and we bring it out every year. He was pretty right-on.

And I still couldn’t ask for a better match. I am truly blessed to have my husband by my side in this life journey.

For our 24th anniversary, I touched on some other points that I have found helpful over the years. They still hold true, in my opinion.

Last year was our big 25th. As I mentioned in a post last April, we had decided to celebrate by taking 25 trips over the year. And we did 🙂 (Although the plans didn’t always go exactly as we had hoped all the time.) At the way bottom of this post I’ll show the list for those who might be interested. The links in that list are to posts from those trips.

An unexpected boon from this idea was the way it affects our day-to-day interactions by changing our habits and by enhancing current experiences (Ex: after living out of a suitcase for a month, we realize we have waaaaay to much stuff, so we are downsizing. And now when I go to a global buffet and see the Italian offerings, I know which delectable meats and cheeses to grab as my first course.)

Criteria?

    1. It counted any time we stayed at a hotel or went to visit friends and family and spent a night.
    2. Sometimes we went to places more than once for different reasons, and we counted those as separate trips.
    3. We were together (trips taken without each other did not make it on the list).

 

We tried to keep a list going in a spreadsheet, but I know a few of the trips were not documented (a few other camping trips or brief overnights on the way to other places). And we are heading out to Utah again in two days. Does that count?

We are celebrating the day by going to a West Coast Swing Dance club this evening. I’m pretty excited since we’ve been taking dance lessons.

Here is a collage of some of our happy memories from the past year. I hope you enjoy them. And thanks to all our family and friends who took time out of their schedules to celebrate with us and share these experiences.

 

And here is a list of most of our destinations:

Philadelphia  – WordCamp US (We officially started our list last December since that was our anniversary month
Niagara Falls – Ontario, Canada – celebrating my birthday with a getaway on 2016
Connecticut – visiting family and friends
Saratoga Springs – company Christmas dinner and visiting family
Utah – vising CJ and Lauren
Greek Peak – snowboard overnight
Toronto – visiting friends on our way to Italy
Perugia – work trip
Lisbon – work trip that we extended so we could live there for a month
Missouri – visiting friends
Utah – visiting CJ and Lauren again
Kearney, Nebraska – A stop on the Utah trip
Iowa – A stop on the Utah trip
Wyoming – A stop on the Utah trip
West Virginia – visiting our kids at camp
Connecticut – visiting a friend and getting our new car
Connecticut – visiting friends
Western NY – final stay at our old house before officially letting it go
West Virginia – pick up our son from his summer job
Connecticut – nephew’s wedding
Cranberry Lake – camping with friends in the Adirondacks
Southwick – local overnight camping
Saratoga Springs – visiting relatives
Brockport Rochester Wordcamp
Niagara Falls – Ontario, Canada – celebrating my birthday with a getaway on 2017

From Snow to the Snows — in June

Our final full day in Utah was spent on the ski/snowboard slopes at Snowbird. Yes, it was June 10. Let me say that again. June 10. And we were at the slopes. Can you feel hear my heart beating faster? Oh the joy of that day!

The altitude got to Chris a bit (on his fourth run of the day), and he was pretty wiped out after a mogul run 🙂

Lauren and I enjoyed the festival below as the guys boarded and skied.

We wrapped up a perfect day by heading back home and having a lovely dinner out. On the way home we saw a mini-cyclone. Since it didn’t seem to hurt anyone, we thought it was pretty cool. Later that evening we were treated to a view of the strawberry moon rising. So beautiful!

Sunday morning was sad. Don’t be fooled by those smiles in the pics. It was super hard saying goodbye to this incredible couple. We miss them so much already. That entire visit was a gift beyond words.

last day together
One last cup of coffee together. Then time to hit the road.

On Sunday, as we drove, I was forced to admit that if I ever do this trip again, I won’t even attempt to work in the car in Wyoming or Nebraska. The Internet was super sketchy–even with Cricket and Verizon hotspots. Thank goodness for good hotel wi-fi’s and a job with flexible work hours!

Sunday night was spent at a hotel in Nebraska — at a hotel that I will be fine never visiting again. Good news though. If you ever forget your key there, you can get into your room in less than half a second with a credit card 🙂

Monday found us spinning the tires towards friends/co-workers in Missouri. While the day started out nice and sunny, it changed. We didn’t experience any of the tornadoes that were appearing around the country that day (for which we were thankful), but driving was a bit tricky at times, and the hail was pretty loud.

bad weather

In the evening we made it to the home of the Jason and Kristen Snow. They are my co-workers, so many of you might have already met them if you have an upgrade and have used the WordPress live chat options. They also have a fabulous blog. They are nomads so we were lucky to catch them home. In fact, they left shortly after we did for their next Grand Adventure. How we love these two and their three dogs!

I’ve been told by many people in my life that they have never seen people like us. We work super hard then we stop on a dime and play hard. It’s all about balance. My co-workers seem to live by this standard as well.

We relaxed for an evening, slept, then all hit our work super hard for a full day. Barely a sound was heard as Chris did his art, I worked on mobile support for WordPress apps, and Jason and Kristen had meetings and worked on live chat and email support. One of their dogs cuddled close to give me moral support, and I loved it.

The company we work for is distributed, so the hundreds of workers at Automattic work all around the world, anywhere there is Internet. That is how I can literally work on the road as Chris drives. As long as I have Internet connection.

We get together with co-workers a few times a year (hence the Lisbon meetup I still haven’t written about, but I will. At least you know I was in Lisbon for that reason by this point if you follow the blog). But it’s a real treat to work alongside co-workers live in a small-group situation. Many peoples’ norm. Our anomaly. And we learn so much from each other. Very fun day.

Once the work time was over, we took the dogs for a walk to a family/dog-friendly brewery in the area. Talk about delightful! It was hard picking the perfect brew so we all got different flavors and shared sips.

I think my favorite story about this place is that they really celebrate mother’s and have a special day for moms every year. But they have that special day after Mother’s Day so there is no conflict with family celebrations. Love that!

One of the Snow’s dogs was interested in watching children play, another was resting, and the third spent its time eeking up on the bench and as close to Jason as possible. This cracked me up so I made an animation (staying away from the word gif on purpose to avoid controversy). Is this the sweetest thing or what?

Dog kiss

Seriously. Just look at the love. Heart melt!

dog love

We spent the evening at a burger joint that still has me salivating. But I forgot to take images. On the walk back home, we humored Chris by going on Rte 66. As the song says:

Well if you ever plan to motor west
Just take my way it’s the highway that’s the best
Get your kicks on Route 66…

The next morning we rose relatively early and went to a fantastic coffee shop before leaving. This place has bands and church services at times, I hear, and it also has the best muffins I have ever eaten. Can’t believe I didn’t take a pic. I’m seriously slacking on my job.

Our plan was to drive to Columbus and spend the night. We drove through some hairy weather again, saw a massive fire (I’m guessing from some of the super-scary lighting we saw), but pushed on through to get to Houghton because our car was making some interesting noises.

Remember how we were worried about its making it through the trip? Yeah. We remembered that, too. We churned into Houghton at 3 am ET after 16 hrs of driving (Chris totally rocks. I was working about 9 hrs of it. He did all the driving). After sleeping a few hrs, we crept off to our home in northern NY. And made it!!!!

Back to Mom, my lack-of-beach, and local rainbows.

Now we are closing the chapter on the out-west trip for the year and starting to plan our next life adventures. Starting with a new-to-us car hunt. Anyone have a Honda Fit and/or Chrysler Town and Country you are trying to get rid of? You know how to reach me…. 😉

Strong Winds in Utah

Snowballs in June? Gotta love it :)
This is why we did not go skydiving today. Too windy!!!
This is why we did not go skydiving today. Too windy!!!

So we didn’t go skydiving. But as you can see in this picture, at least it wasn’t a borderline call. It was very clear that it would be a poor choice for the day if we expected to  see a tomorrow (spoiler–we all wanted to see tomorrow). So no go. Now we have something to look forward to again in future visits.

But we got the local tour instead, and  it was fabulous. Ever since CJ was a baby, he was obsessed with trains so he took us to a treasure of a restaurant he found in Heber City. Trains everywhere (and yummy burgers). Even the servers had train hats.

After lunch we went up  Guardsman Pass, which had just opened after being closed all winter. The drive was a bit harrowing for those of us who have a hard time with heights (no guard rails, and lots of twists and turns with huge drop-offs), but CJ drove well, and it was breath-takingly beautiful.

At the top we enjoyed the views then went for a small hike further up and threw a few snowballs. Gotta love doing  that in June!

I think the most humorous part of the day might have been seeing several snowmobiles  hanging out on the side of the road. We wondered – is that in case there is a freak storm? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Snowmobiles in summer. Waiting for a freak storm?
Snowmobiles in summer. Waiting for a freak storm?