Camping on the Arkansas River: The truth about our 35th anniversary adventure

Arkansas River

My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary over Father's Day weekend. Because 35 years together seemed quite a milestone, especially considering I was a week shy of 18 when we wed and he was just 21 — plus marital, financial, and medical BS throughout the entire year of 2016 that threatened us surviving to the milestone — we wanted to mark the occasion in some extra special way.

So for months we considered this and that, here and there, seeking sites and such we'd never experienced before. Then reality set in. Limited finances and limited paid time off for Jim — who started a new job not long ago — limited our options. Being residents of Colorado, though, a state folks come from around the world to see, there were plenty of touristy things nearby to choose from.

None felt right, none felt celebratory and special enough.

We soon found ourselves on deadline for making a decision and reservations. For some crazy reason, I suggested camping. In the wild. In a tent. Like we used to when our daughters were young. We hadn't gone in and we had never camped just the two of us, sans kids.

The idea of setting up camp for two, spending evenings under the stars, making s'mores for us — and sharing a marshmallow or two with Mickey (our dog) who we'd bring along, too — immediately felt right. Felt fun.

It was settled. I sought a site, made reservations. We pulled camping gear from the garage rafters, all stored since camping adventures with our kids. We added to the pile to pack in the car assorted leisurely pursuits. Games to play, the telescope for stargazing, binoculars for Big Horn Sheep searching, Jim's guitar for him to play, a couple books for me to read. We were stoked!

So my husband and I marked our milestone wedding anniversary by camping. And we hated it. Worst. Time. Ever...

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Matchy matchy! Plus GRAND Social No. 261 link party for grandparents

Matchy matchy

Jim and I went on a bike ride yesterday afternoon. This is how it started off:

bike ride 

Despite the matchy matchy apparel, we were delighted to get on our bikes and ride — and use our new bike rack (for the car) for the first time. The bike rack we bought for our anniversary last year. The bike rack which sat unopened for an entire year because Jim was hospitalized mere days after that anniversary, and we hadn't hopped on bikes since.

Yesterday the bike rack was finally opened and put to use. It worked perfectly for...

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Love and marriage: 30 years, 30 reasons

When Jim and I got married, we were oh-so young, with nearly all odds against us.

That was 30 years ago today.

In honor of our thirtieth wedding anniversary, here are 30 reasons why I think our marriage has lasted—despite the odds, statistics, and predictions:

1. We still celebrate our first-kiss anniversary.

2. When one of us says, "Isn't that the one guy from not that one show but the other one, you know, with that woman we don't like who was in that scary movie, but he's put on a lot of weight since the movie where he was a jerk?", the other one totally gets it...and answers with the actor's name.

3-5. Brianna, Megan, Andrea.

6. We love each other's moms as much as we love our own.

7. I'm willing to go to a Randy Travis concert with him; he's willing to go see Chris Cornell with me.

8. We agree that Flight of the Conchords is funny as <cuss>.

9. And that Saturday Night Live isn't anymore.

10-11. Bubby and Mac.

12. We don't share a bathroom. Or use the bathroom at the same time when we have no choice but to share (like when vacationing).

13. We don't share bank accounts or credit cards either.

14. We do, though, share a mortgage—and the agreement that despite our mortgage doubling when we bought our current house, soon followed by both of us losing our jobs and economic <cuss> reigning ever since, we love our home and it's totally worth it.

15. We agree that if stranded on a desert island with only one album, we'd want it to be Pearl Jam's Ten.

16. We have a spare room available for when insomnia, snoring or restless legs get to be too much for the sleepy non-snorer.

17. In the heat of rage-filled moments, we don't call each other nasty names that can't be taken back. (At least not out loud.)

18. We agree that if when we win the lottery, our moms come first when doling out the dough and that gifts of even amounts will be given to all our siblings, despite a couple of them deserving nothing.

19. I cook, he cleans up after. (Okay...I usually help, just to keep him company).

20. We both clean up after entertaining—and agree that it must be done immediately upon guests leaving, not in the morning, no matter how late the entertaining may have ended or how tired we may be.

21. When one of us screws up our finances—because, despite separate accounts, we are indeed joint—neither one lays blame. (At least not out loud.)

22. We agree a house is not a home without pets. And that those pets shall never again be birds or fish or more than two dogs and two cats at one time.

23. He patiently waits until I compose myself when I get verklempt and can't talk, whether it's when discussing a terminal family member or an unexpectedly delightful package delivery.

24. A few hours into the stonewalling after a disagreement, one of us will apologize—even if we know <cuss> well we're not at fault—just so we'll be friends again.

25. That third strand in our marriage cord stayed strong and kept us together when the other two strands, at various times, frayed, gave up or broke completely.

26. We agree that it's sometimes okay to hit the sack before the news. Or to stay up late on a weeknight because we must see what happens next on a series we're streaming through Netflix.

27. We agree that the majority of Christmas gifts should be opened on Christmas morning, not Christmas Eve.

28. We have similar stranger-than-fiction-and-Jerry-Springer families and histories few others would understand...or believe.

29. We take pride in owning—and aren't willing to pass to others—the title of Longest Married Couple In Our Families (even longer than our older siblings and our parents).

30. We grew up together. Like two intertwined saplings that grow together into big, strong—though entangled—trees, if you try to separate them, one or both will surely die. Or so I've convinced him.

Happy anniversary, Jim. Here's to 30 more years and 30 more reasons!

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

The key to a successful relationship is _________.

The Saturday Post: Zeppelin wedding song edition

As of tomorrow, Jim and I will have been married 29 years. When planning our wedding all those kajillion years ago, we knew right away that we wanted "Thank You" by Led Zeppelin as our wedding song. Our pastor, on the other hand, said, "I will puke if you play that song." Seriously.

So we relented and simply had my sister read the lyrics to "Thank You" as a poem during the ceremony. Our official song ended up being the generic but still lovely and fitting "The Wedding Song" by Paul Stookey...played on guitar and sung by our non-puking pastor.

In honor of our anniversary, here is the song Jim and I consider our real wedding song, albeit a more recent, more mellow version than the original. Just so no one will puke.

Happy 29th anniversary, Jim!

Today's question:

What was your wedding song?

The Saturday Post

Megan and Preston celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary this past week. Below is the video Brianna created for the ceremony, the video that had everyone in tears.

I'm sharing this with you because it gives a little more background on the adorable little kids who grew up to be the awesome parents of my sweet Bubby.

(Plus, it has some pretty cool shots of my three goofy baby girls!)


Happy Anniversary, Megan and Preston!

Gah! I still cry every single time I watch that!

Come back again tomorrow for another anniversary post, one of a different sort -- the sort with something in it for you!

Happy Saturday, everyone!