When you first get married, you never really think about how long 23 years is. You are just caught up in the love and the now and how it feels right. But on this side of it, many years into a marriage, you have this incredible journey to look back on.
My husband and I met in Washington D.C. and started our lives together in Oregon, writing our vows on the coast and building our relationship on the snowy glades of Mt. Hood. Our first child was born in Massachusetts, just two hours from my husband's parent's home. They were with us the day that my son came into the world, the first and only grandchild that my father-in-law ever knew. We purchased our first home in Kentucky where I planted my first flower garden and began to collect antiques for our home. After that, a move to Illinois, gave us the opportunity to live near my family while experiencing the birth of our second son. A move back out west into the mountains of Colorado, where we spent many hours hiking in the front range, allowed us a chance to experience nature first hand. It wasn't long before we were then off to Georgia with the beautiful bird calls in the morning and the close proximity to the ocean. We now find ourselves once again in Illinois, a kind of coming home for me. I am a midwesterner at heart, having been born in Michigan and raised on cornfields, red barns, summer storms and small towns.
Over the years, this 23 year journey of ours feels full and rich because it has been filled with family and friends and spending time in the natural world. Those are the things that have been important to us and all that we have ever needed. So today, on our anniversary, we will celebrate it in much the way that we celebrate every day, a shared cup of coffee, maybe a walk in the prairie near our home, and time spent with our two boys.