Thursday, June 23, 2011

weddings and 16 years

Dave and I have recently been hit with the fact that May and June are wedding hotspots.

This spring we have been overtaken with wedding invites. Many are from my past Young Women who have now grown up (I have served in the Young Women at our church a time or two before...just never as the president before this). Others are our friends' children who have found the love of their lives.

Yes, I just said our friends' children are getting married.

How's that for making it sound like we're old?

We decided that we wanted to come up with a signature gift. Something that we can give everyone and something fun to help them start off their future families together. When we got married someone gave us a great crepe pan, spatula and recipe kit that has become part of our family. We have used that stuff into the ground and it has become one of our favorite family activities to make crepes together on birthdays or on the rare lazy Saturday where we can figure in the time. So we decided to give something similar to all these kids getting married.My point in bringing all this up is that all this wedding mumbo jumbo has brought me to a lot of pondering about weddings.

As each wedding invitation surfaces in the mail I marvel at how these young people can make such huge decisions. Some of them look like they're about 16-years-old! (They're not, but man they look so young!) How can they know all the variables that are coming their way? Do they realize how essential it is to pick the right person? Are they willing to put in the work and selflessness marriage involves? Do they have any clue what a rewarding and amazing ride they are in for?

Which leads me to overwhelming gratitude for Dave.

Because this very day marks the fact that sixteen years ago we were here:Making vows to stick together forever.
I know. Cheese ball.

As I look back I realize that we were mere children just like the ones in all these wedding announcements coming our way.(Yep, that's our wedding invitation.)

And that somehow, all those years ago, after so many prayers and much deliberation, I made the best decision of my whole life.

To get to spend forever with this man:And to create this family with him:
How could I know all those years ago that he would always be so quick to apologize...even when things are mostly my fault. How could I know that he would get to know me almost better than I know myself and that he could build me up and love me the way he does? How could I know that he would be such an amazing father to our children and that the intricacies of his heart are the best I know? How could I know that he would stick with me even through the tough times (because of COURSE there are those along with the good ones), that he would put up with all my quirkiness and that we grow together like tree-branches intertwining.

I guess I couldn't know it clear back then, but I sure felt it.

And every year on June 23rd (and all through the year for that matter) I contemplate over and over again about how I am the luckiest girl I know.

How I hope that some day down the road all these young girls getting married will feel as lucky as I do.

And that they'll make lots of crepes along the way:)

34 comments:

  1. What a great post! You two still look the same! Yes, the pics may be cheesy...but isn't it fun to look back on them?

    I must say, I cannot BELIEVE how many wedding gifts you have to buy! Oh my word! Fantastic idea to have a signature gift...especially one the two of you love! Happy Happy Anniversary. Glad you found the one your heart loves!

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  2. Beautiful post!! And I thought I'd share that my little girl (3 years old) was sitting beside me when I read this and asked who the prince and princess where. So sweet!

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  3. Wonderful post, Shawni!!! I remember seeing your wedding invitation back in our branch in Bucharest...! Happy Anniversary si LA MULTI ANI, FOREVER!!! :)

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  4. what a great post, and i agree you look as young today as you did then.. lucky you!

    The time passes so quickly, and i think back to how i have changed, how he has changed and how he have changed together.

    Heres to many more happy years! happy anniversary!

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  5. How can it be that it was 16 years ago that we were at the temple and then in the garden at Red Butte! What a great memory and how exciting to see what all that produced. Happy Anniversary!

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  6. It was a fun day! And I'm glad we were there to see it :)

    Newel sat beside Dave's mission president at church in Taiwan last Sunday ... small world.

    How is time passing so quickly??

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  7. Those pictures are so beautiful! Wow. Loved this post :) Congrats on the anniversary!

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  8. Wow, so I guess he's NEVER going to bald?

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  9. Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful bride you were and still are.

    I love the idea of a signature gift, not that I have all that many weddings to go to...but what a great idea.

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  10. I am a first-time commenter (just recently found your blog), and I just want to say thank you. Thank you for your joy in being a wife and mother. Thank you for your beautifully expressed reflections and simply your desire to be so incredible. I am a single 27-year old in SLC (working every day to maintain the hope and confidence that a Mr. Wonderful will still come along), and even though my heart aches for a family of my own, I really do rejoice in getting to learn from you as I work towards that eventuality.

    Thank you again,
    Shannon (also a Joy School graduate, and therefore one who is incredibly grateful to your parents!)

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  11. Congratulations! We were married 13 years at the beginning of this month, and I agree... looking back, it seems as if we were way too young but I couldn't be happier with the choice I made (with His help) in choosing the best possible person for me!

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  12. What a sweet post! I'm one of those young kids who got married just a year ago (in June -- holla for June weddings!) - and there's something about your blog & lifestyle & outlook that I just want to emulate!

    I told my husband the other day that it seemed like he'd like your husband's style (who seems adventurous and active and into traveling & seeing the world)... :) I just like you two. And I love that you guys are so in love and have grown so much together after 16 years. It's a blessing to us newlyweds to see marriages that are so good & that last & just seem to get better!

    Thanks for your positive example -- even to a 23 year old stranger in Salt Lake :) Happy Anniversary! You are such a beautiful couple!!

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  13. Happy Anniversary!! You were a beautiful bride :)

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  14. marraige is so beautiful! congratulations on sixteen years and may God bless you with so many more.
    your wedding pictures are beautiful and fun! i love the joy you can see in both your faces
    i also love that you say 'cheese ball'. my sister and i are all about saying that. and corn dog. for corny things! hehe
    -bridget
    www.delightfulbybridget.blogspot.com

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  15. What beautiful pictures and a beautiful post.

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  16. I must say y'all are a better looking couple now then you were 16 years ago. The years have been very good to both of you.

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  17. Happy Anniversary! We love crepes--what a great idea for a wedding gift. Living in our neck of the woods, weddings are few and far and between. But my parents go to a few every month out in Cache Valley, Utah, so they have a signature gift: a really awesome candy dish made by my dad, packed in a special origami box (also made by my dad). They always have a few on hand, which is just so organized and smart. I remember when we were married, we received no less than five hymnbooks with our names embossed on them. Apparently, a favorite signature gift!

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  18. I think you make the greatest couple! It has been fun to watch your family grow the last 16 years! You have both aged well! It must be the chocolate chip cookies:)! Love you both!

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  19. My husband and I have our 16th anniversary tomorrow! That means our temple wedding was the day after yours.

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  20. This post is beautiful. It's one of those I needed to read today...tough times, tough days...You are an inspiration and I believe, firmly believe in what you've written...it just takes a lot of work coupled with faith.

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  21. Happy Anniversary! We celebrate 15 this year and it just gets better with time and kids :)

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  22. Congratulations on 16 years. Wow, can it really be that long ago when you had us all wearing those festive flower crowns on our heads and those beautiful dresses of tan linen that looked just tad bit like they might have been re-made potato or rice sacks? Actually, your wedding was pretty darn classy even when you look back 16 years later. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday but it hardly seems real that Dave ever WASN'T part of our family and that you ever weren't a mom. You and Dave are as beautiful and handsome and wonderful as ever and I'm so grateful you found each other and that Dave brought so much to our family.

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  23. This is so sweet. It gave me chills. It's so true. You go into marriage not really knowing what you're getting yourself into, because really-how could you really know? But what you aren't prepared for, you learn to deal with. I feel like I'm always discovering new great things about my husband. We've only been married a month!

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  24. Happy Anniversary! We too have a signature wedding gift...Ice cream maker with recipes and ice cream scoop. I love your pics!

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  25. My husband and I just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on the 22nd. The thoughts you shared are just what I have been pondering this week too. I am so glad I went with what I felt and trusted in the Spirit that this was a good choice.

    BTW - here in Australia June weddings are in the middle 0f winter, so not such a popular wedding time!

    Happy Anniversary to you both!

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  26. Great post Shawni! Happy Anniversary! You're as beautiful now as you were then! Have the best day. love, Christine

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  27. oh those photos are precious! you guys look gorgeous and I don't think you've aged! the longer i'm married the more I realise how important it is to choose the right person to be with! happy anniversary!

    corrie:)

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  28. Thank you for a beautiful post :) I've been following your blog for a little while now and I am soooooo glad that you keep it :) I'm a young Mum and you are one of my examples on being a mother, wife and on being a good person. I have your book that you co-wrote with your mother and I love it!!!

    Thank you so much. You have definitely touched my life with your examples and ideas, down in Australia :)
    Love Jessima

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  29. Congratulations on 16 wonderful years. I come to your blog every day to feel the love you have for your family. Thanks so much for sharing so much with all of us.

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  30. Beautiful post Shawni. Thank you for loving my brother as much as you do. I think you're great together. Love you both.

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  31. Happy Anniversary! We were also married on June 23rd eleven years ago! We also have 5 children, Our two oldest girls are the same ages as your two middle girls, the younger even having (from the sound of it) very similiar bladder, etc. issues! Wierd! Despite the similarities in our families, I have much to learn from you! Thanks for your great example and willingness to share!

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  32. We were also married in 1995 (May) in the Salt Lake Temple. I could say the same things about my husband that you said about Dave (especially the part about always apologizing even when it's my fault...)! 16 years and 6 kids later, life just keeps getting better and better! (Love the idea of having a signature gift!) Great post!

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  33. I was JUST thinking about this same thing! How on earth do we expect such young people to make such HUGE decisions? But I was only 16 when I decided I wanted to marry my husband and I couldn't have gotten a better one. So I know it all works out. Great idea with the signature gift :)

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  34. oh my goodness - the pictures are to die for - that is fantastic! you guys both look so much like your young selfs yet the fashion of the mid 90's is so evident and the hair and outfits - absolutely LOVE it - thanks for sharing!!!! I sure hope we can make it to where you guys are - very inspiring!

    www.phillipspost.blogspot.com

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