I married my first love.
Eleven years. It is strange to think and even weirder to say. My husband and I are celebrating our 11 year anniversary. It feels like we were married a lifetime ago and just yesterday at the same time.
My husband and I met at church when I was 16. We had a mutual group of friends that would hang out together. One of the activities from those early days was square dancing. Yes, square dancing. We were homeschooled, ok.
Matt was the outgoing flirt and I was the shy quiet girl.
To be honest, when we first began to hang out I didn’t even like Matt. But as time went on and our friendship grew I began to notice some things that I really admired about him. And eventually he won me over. We began dating in April of 2004 just after my 18th birthday. He got permission from my dad and everything.
I fondly remember the phone call I received from Matt when he asked me out on our first date.
He was nervous, and I loved that! Matt is extremely confident so to know that taking me on a date made him nervous was very flattering.
We began to date and grow more and more fond of each other and also grow as friends. One of my favorite things we did was go to downtown Portland for fabulous dinners at cute restaurants.
During the fall of 2004 I applied to go on a discipleship training school with Youth with a Mission. I would be living in New York for 5 months. I knew that I would miss Matt but I also knew that this was something I needed to do.
So on January 1, 2005 I went on my adventure and it is one of the best decisions of my life. Matt visited me in New York two times and sent me flowers 4 or maybe even 5 times. While I was away he was able to go on his own adventure to Cambodia for a mission trip. This was a great experience for Matt.
I am thankful that we chose God’s timing. He blessed that decision for both Matt and I. Matt made an epic marriage proposal about a week after I arrived home from my DTS in June of 2005. That story will have to wait for another time.
We were married five months later on 11/26/05, Thanksgiving weekend.
I was 19 and Matt was 21. Practically babies. Our wedding day was lovely! So many people came from near and far to bless us as we began our journey together.
We have faced a lot of things over the course of 11 years. Here are 11 random facts about us as we celebrate 11 years together.
1. Together we have gone to Fiji, Cancun, Thailand, Jamaica, Hawaii, Florida, New York, Idaho, Rhode Island, Georgia, Illanois and did a road trip across the United States in 3.5 days.
2. We bought our first home 6 months after we were married. The funny thing is we were not looking for a house. Our saying is that God gave us a house, another future story. We planed to fix it up and move out in a few years. But plans change and we are still here.
3. My husband is the owner of a Subaru shop that his dad started over 20 years ago. We are a total Subaru family and I love that!
4. We both have rather interesting families. And by interesting I mean awesome. I come from a family of 4 kids, my hubby comes from a family of 12 kids. Yes 12. My is part Swiss and I am a quarter Japanese and a quarter Okinawan. My husband has relatives in Switzerland and I have relatives in both Hawaii and Okinawa that we are in contact with.
5. We try to make everything a date. Even if it is just a trip to Costco. It is still time that we are spending together and that is what makes it special.
6. We have been together through the loss of both of our grandmas that we adored as well as the loss of my dad to cancer. I don’t know how I would have gotten through without Matt after my dad passed away.
7. Matt and I were in a serious car accident about 3.5 years ago. It completely changed our lives! I am very thankful that God kept us safe. The months of recovery were hard but we had each other and that is what mattered. It also helped us to slow down enough to have a baby. For that I am truly thankful!!!
8. Matt was my birth coach. Giving birth to my daughter is one of the most amazing moments of my life. We used the Bradley Method and it was such a special experience that we were able to share together.
9. During the year of 2015 Matt became very sick. He almost died multiple times and had two surgeries. Genevieve and I lived in the hospital with Matt on two separate occasions. It was hard, scary and tiring but we got through it. Almost losing Matt had really helped me to never take him for granted.
10. As part of Matt’s healing he has removed dairy and gluten from his diet. I had also cut out eggs and gluten from my diet because of nursing reasons. We are now a gluten free family and I don’t think we will ever go back.
11. Matt’s health is doing better than ever! Because of this we want to continue to grow stronger as a family. If you follow us on Instagram then you know we have been going on hikes every Sunday, rain or shine. This has been a lovely way to bring our nature loving munchkin outside and it has provided us with great quality time as a family and with the friends who join us. This black Friday we are choosing to #optoutside instead of going shopping. This is one of the changes that we have made as a family.
As we approach the holidays remember to count your blessings.
Life has its ups and downs. But beauty can be found in the darkest of times. Even if it is just a glimmer, it is there.
He is an amazing husband, father and provider. To say I am proud to be his wife is an understatement.
I love you Matt! Happy anniversary. Here is to many more years and many more adventures together! XOXO