Sunday, June 12, 2011

Anniversary Thoughts

Nineteen years ago today, in a small Baptist church in North Ogden, Utah, two families came together to see one family's mom marry the other family's dad.  I look back on that event and wonder at our audacity to even begin to think that just because two high school sweethearts had been reunited after thirty years apart they could marry and create a happy and successful life together.  Yes, it truly was an audacious act, full of risk, for the two of us to marry.  Sometimes, in the early years when we were trying to blend two families who are totally different together, I think we asked ourselves what were thinking when we thought we could actually pull this marriage off.

Jim wanted to go to Las Vegas and get married.  I insisted that we have our families with us as we took our vows.  Since two of his children were living in Utah at the time and since my children would all be in Utah visiting their father for the summer, we finally agreed to get married in my former church home in Utah.  Since my oldest daughter was graduating from college on June 12, we decided to also get married the same day.  I joked that we would all only have to get dressed up once.

For some reason, only one photo remains that shows the two families coming together as one.  Unfortunately, it has been somewhat destroyed after sticking to the glass of the frame it was in.  But there we all are.  The groom is holding a baby while the bride holds her flowers.  We are surrounded by the configuration of children and their spouses.  The baby is Caleb, Jim's first grandchild. 

We all look so young.  Much has changed since that day.  The children have married and brought their spouses into our lives.  We've added 16 more grandchildren.  We've lost a child to death.  

The two of us supported each other immensely in our careers. We've retired together.  

Some may ask, what has been the secret to the success of this marriage?  For my part, I would have to say there are many reasons we have been able to create a life together that is happy, satisfying, and,  I hope, a blessing to others.  First, he is the love of my youth.  To me he will always be that young man that I fell in love with when I was only 16 years old.  He was then, and remains my true love.  I can always trust him and his character.  He has always treated me like a treasure.  I know of no other man I have ever respected and admired more on both a personal and professional basis.  

Love and respect, plus a commitment to building a team and having some good laughs along the way is the secret to a good marriage.  To the young who are searching for a marriage partner, I would say: Marry a person with character.  Marry a person who treats others with respect.  Marry a person who is humble and serves others.  Marry a person who is wise.  Marry a person who has a great sense of humor.  Marry a man who honors his parents and his elders.  Marry a person who will be there for you no matter what.  I married such a man, and I have been blessed.

Happy Anniversary, Jim!  We've made some wonderful memories together, and I think we need to make more for many more years to come.  I love you.

Our Wedding Day

At the Statue of Liberty
Before a Canon Game
Go South!
A Carriage Ride in Central Park

At the opening to the new science wing
to South High School
Eating out
Our favorite thing to do

Graduation Day with Principal Wessely
and a few of his family members
A photo taken during year one of marriage
Fifty Year Reunion
East High
High School Sweethearts 50 Years Later


  1. Happy anniversary! I, too, am in a second marriage, though not to a fellow I knew before. It's pretty different the second time around.

    We were married on a sailboat with only our eight kids, the minister and his wife, and the boat owner and his wife. It was the only way we could think of to have it just the way we wanted it.

    Thanks for your loving post.

  2. What a lovely post. Congratulations on 19 years of happiness. You both look so nice then and now. I know how quickly the years go by. My husband and I will celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary next Friday – I can’t believe it has been so long. Sixteen grandchildren! Many laughs and happiness there with all these grand kids We have two grandsons (4 and 2 years old) and are expecting a 3rd grandson in July. Thanks for coming to my blog.

  3. Congratulations to you both. Nothing like a good love story. We celebrated 37 years and he's my Honey and best friend. We're blessed as you know.

  4. What a great post! I loved it. It's happy and celebratory (I use that word about once every 40 years, I just realized), and...wonderful. Love the photos. Love the fact that your "recipe" for a good spouse fits my husband to a "t."

  5. Awwww.. happy anniversary. I know looks aren't everything but I do believe you have both gotten better looking with time. I swear! Hope you get to eat out somewhere fabulous on your big day.

  6. What an awesome story and tribute to your true love! Happy Anniversary!!!! Blessings, Joanne

  7. A great story, wonderful advice and very fun to see the pictures that tell the tale.

  8. Happy Anniversary to you both. Mike is my second husband--we met and fell in love a long time ago (but after h.s.) but it was not to be at that time. We met again and have been married for almost 18 years now. SOme things are just meant to be.

  9. Happy Anniversary you two. What a wonderful love story and what a lovely combined family.
    Keep enjoying each other for many more years to come.

  10. I enjoyed this post so much! I thoroughly enjoying looking at the photos. You both look radiantly happy. Congratulations!

  11. Happy Anniversary to you and Jim, Sally! My husband and i were also high school sweethearts - began" going steady" in 10th grade. We got married after college - will celebrate 45 years of marriage this Aug. You have quite the blended family! Hope you both had a wonderful weekend doing something special.

  12. What a wonderful and uplifting post. Congratulations to both of you for two decades of love and support for each other. It is heartwarming!

  13. Happy Anniversary to you! You both look happy and great together! I really enjoyed seeing the pictures and think it is amazing all the members of your family together!

  14. Happy anniversary, Sally and Jim! What a blessing it is that you re-discovered each other and have had so many years of happiness. May you have many more! I love your advice on what to look for in a spouse. It's all so true! Wonderful post!

  15. Happy anniversary! I'm in the 12th year of my second marriage and I know it was meant to be. But I so agree with what were we thinking in that we could merge our families. That didn't work out so well for various reasons I've alluded to in my blog but things are definitely better now that all the kids are grown.

    Love the before and after pictures, you hothead look wonderfully happy!

  16. How wonderful that you two got a second chance! Happy Anniversary!

  17. Wishing you both the very happiest of anniversaries. You deserve every bit of happiness you bring to each other. The thing that really stood out for me in the first picture is how full of joy everyone seems. Especially you. I'm inspired by your marriage and your writing.

  18. Audacious? No. Brave, yes. And wise? Without a doubt. I loved seeing your photos and reading this wonderful story. Congratulations!

  19. Happy Anniversary!! I am so happy you married your true love!

  20. I never tire of hearing about your wonderful love story. So remarkable that you had a second chance. Congratulations!!

  21. Very sweet post and great pictures (o:

  22. You guys have gotten even more beautiful with age. What a fabulous post. I so enjoyed reading this. You have made my evening.

    I've been wanting to catch up with everybody, but having a hard time. I think I'm getting my equilibrium back again.

    Thank you for sharing the lovely story of your marriage, Sally. I am truly happy for you both. What a blessing that you ended up together so happily.

  23. Happy anniversary. You both look happy together. I think your advice is true.

  24. Awesome post .... Made me smile BIGTIME... Love reading about the love your two have for each other... I laughed when you said that Jim wanted to go to Vegas to get married but you wanted the families there... George wanted to go to Gatlinburg to get married --but "I" wanted the families there.... Funny, huh?

    Love all of the photos. You both look better and better ---as the happiness oozes out of you.

  25. Happy Anniversary! I wish you and Jim many more happy years. You are blessed to have each other. I sometimes forget that I have never met Jim. If I ran into him at an airport, I think I'd recognize him. I think I know him through the loving things you have written about him in your blog. One of these days I will come visit and see if he lives up to his reputation!

  26. Congratulations on your anniversary and on finding your true love.

  27. Happy Anniversary!! My best friend just met a former boyfriend at her class reunion last fall. They are getting married now! I hope her marriage is as good and long as yours!


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