August 16, 2018

15 Years of Marriage in a Nutshell

I cannot believe Jerry and I have been married for 15 years already (and together for 19)! I feel like we look WAY younger than we are (but we didn't get carded at all today when buying drinks, so maybe we actually do look old).

We didn't really do anything special for our anniversary (old-school dinner and a movie), but I did spend some time this morning thinking about my favorite memories over the last 15 years. We were married on August 16, 2003 (the weekend of "the blackout" that wiped out the power of most of the east coast and into the midwest).

So, here are my favorite memories and a photo to represent each one for the last 15 years. Jerry is amazing (I really can't even describe just how amazing he is) and I don't know how to express it. We've certainly had our ups and downs over the years, but I could not be any luckier to have met him when I did.

2003 - Yeah, yeah, we got married in August. But my favorite memory from 2003 was actually moving in together--we bought our own house and it was super exciting for us to do something new together. We'd been together for over four years at that point, but we never actually moved in together until the wedding.

Our first house

2004 - Well, if I don't say that we had a baby, then what kind of mother am I? ;) The baby was due in July, so we prepped the best we could by way of advice of other parents (thank GOD that Pinterest wasn't a "thing" back then). Jerry and I were TERRIFIED of being new parents and so scared that we would "break the baby".  Eventually, Jerry was always playing the song "Junior Senior" and dancing around with Noah like he was a rag doll. Looking at the video now, it's probably sketchy as to whether it was safe or not. But Noah turned out a'ight!

Just after Noah was born

2005 - I was pregnant with Eli in 2005, and Jerry came with me to an ultrasound when I wasn't very far along in the pregnancy (I'd had some spotting and cramping, and the doctor wanted to make sure everything was okay). When the image showed up on the screen, all you could see was a tiny sac that looked like a grape--the baby wasn't even big enough to be seen. But Jerry looked at the screen and thought the grape-like sac was the baby's EYE. He said (really excitedly): "Oh look! There's it's eye! It's blinking!!" The doctor turned his head away to hide his smile while I explained to Jerry that he would have to wait a little longer before seeing the baby's eye, hahaha.

A positive pregnancy test

2006 - Just seven days into the new year, we welcomed Eli to our family. We were pro's at parenting by this time, so we let Eli pretty much raise himself and we trusted he'd turn out good. We did all right! He's a great kid.

Jerry and I with the kids on the day Eli was born

2007 - The kids used to get SO EXCITED to watch for Jerry to get home from work. They would watch out the window for his truck, and then wait for him to come inside so they could jump all over him. There was one day in the winter of 2007 where Jerry came home and threw a snowball at the window. The kids burst out laughing, and he threw a few more. We have a video of it, and Noah's voice was adorable as he turned around to tell me, "Daddy is--he's throwing some snowballs!" Even now, we say that phrase a lot when it's snowing.

Waiting for Jerry to get home from work

2008 - We went to Double JJ's Ranch with the kids, and my mom came along so she could watch the kids and let us have some time to ourselves. We didn't do anything special (just going down the water slides a thousand times each!) but we had a great trip.

Going down a water slide

2009 - This is a small memory, but very distinct. I took the kids to a splash pad (it had a few inches of water with a big fountain in the center) and was watching them play. Jerry got off work and surprised us by showing up. In true Jerry-style, he ran up to the kids and threw himself down into doing the "worm" in the water, totally soaking his clothes. The kids thought it was hilarious, and I loved watching them laugh. He is the very definition of a fun dad.

Jerry lying in the fountain

2010 - The year I broke my face. After putting the kids to bed one evening, I fainted and fell flat on my face, breaking my jaw completely through in five places. It was horrifying. I spent six days in the hospital, and had two reconstructive surgeries. This is actually a favorite memory of mine because Jerry was SO caring (despite everyone at the hospital thinking that he punched me in the face and broke my jaw!).

He stayed home from work for a couple of weeks (thanks to my family, who made that financially possible) and took care of everything that I needed--giving me my meds on schedule, blending up smoothies (my jaw was wired shut), driving me to appointments, and just generally making me as comfortable as he could. Jerry is known for being a jokester, which I LOVE, but he can get serious when he needs to (although, he DID make me laugh really hard which was nearly impossible with my jaw wired shut!).

My broken jaw

2011 - In April, we went on a vacation with my family to Tennessee. We road tripped it there, and when we were out in the middle of nowhere, I saw a really old school bus--rusted, windows busted out, looking like it'd been there for decades. I made a comment to Jerry that it looks like it's from a horror movie, and I went on to describe a scene that I pictured. Later, when we were passing by the bus, Eli (in the back seat) told Noah that there were skeletons on the bus from kids that died there and that he could see them if he looked really hard. Hahaha! Kids are always listening.

Broken down school bus

2012 - One summer day, Jerry and I decided to go to the Metropark and recreate some photos we'd taken in 2009. We both looked so different, and it was fun to make the same poses in the same spots. We also pretended that we were taking cheesy senior photos, and we had a blast with the poses we came up with!

Kissing at the park

2013 - Just after the new year, Jerry and I were on a plane to Miami to meet up with 11 strangers I met on the internet. You all know the story (if you haven't seen the documentary, then watch it! It's on Netflix now. I was SO young in the interview... sigh). I ran from Miami to Key West on a Relay Team, while Jerry drove down with the "Wolfpack" spouses. We spent a few days in Key West, and we had a BLAST on Duval Street each night. We felt like a couple of young 21-year olds!

From Fat to Finish Line

2014 - One Saturday morning, I decided that I wanted to drive up to Cadillac, Michigan (because bipolar) for a 10K race they were having on Sunday. Jerry thought it'd be fun, too (he's used to my impulsivity). So, several hours later, we made the drive up to Cadillac--playing music and singing along in the car. The race was such a blast--unlike ANY other race I've done. And best of all, Jerry and I each won first place in our age group! (Granted, we also came in LAST place in our age groups, because the race was so small that we were the only ones in our group.)

Jerry and I with our first place medals

2015 - I was sidelined from running due to a stress fracture, but Jerry and I were signed up for the Detroit Free Press International Half-Marathon. So, we decided to go, and just have fun with it--walk most of it, high-five spectators, eat the bacon and drink the shots of bourbon one of the spectators was handing out, and just enjoy the scenery. We had SO much fun! We walked over the Ambassador Bridge, high-fived border patrol, walked/ran along the river on the Canadian side, went through the tunnel back to the U.S. (where we got a selfie of one of us standing on the U.S. side of the border and one of us on the Canadian side). That was one of the funnest races I've ever done.

2016 - This is another memory that sounds terrible, but something good came of it. Our cat, Chandler, who we adopted from the shelter just after we got married and moved in together, had to be euthanized in a moment's notice. I thought he just needed an antibiotic, and I had a friend visiting from out of town. Jerry took Chandler to the vet and I went for a walk at the park with my friend. A mile into my walk, Jerry called me, and I could tell he was crying (which was a rarity).

When he told me that we had to make a decision right NOW, I was overwhelmed. But he told me what the vet said, and there wasn't even time for me to get there. So, Jerry stayed with Chandler while he was put down, and I'd never heard him talk with so much compassion as he did when he told me about Chandler. I was so grateful that he was able to be there in that moment and to be strong when I really needed him. It was a huge heartbreak for both of us.

Jerry with Chandler

2017 - Jerry and I aren't exactly what you would call gardeners. Our landscaping (if you can call it that) consists of things I don't know whether are weeds or actual plants. Anyway, our hostas were getting way too big, and I asked my neighbor to show me how to split them (she's amazing at gardening). She showed us, and it looked super easy. But when we tried to do it, we screwed it all up SO BADLY that we were both crying with laughter. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was the hardest I've ever laughed in my life. We were doubled over, wheezing and gasping, with tears running down our faces, unable to say more than one or two words at a time. (Kind of like when we tried to do yoga when we were fat!)

Digging up hostas

2018 - So far, my favorite memory of this year is probably going to Ben & Jerry's in Vermont specifically to order a Vermonster--an ice cream sundae with 20 scoops of ice cream, bananas cookies, brownies, hot fudge, hot caramel, nuts, whipped cream, M&M's, and sprinkles. We'd seen in years ago on the Food Network, and Eli (who has a sweet tooth as big as mine) asked if we could get the Vermonster one day. Well, "one day" finally happened this past April! We ate the whole thing, minus the bananas ;)

Eating the Vermonster at Ben and Jerry's


  1. Well that was fun! Good idea! Happy Anniversary!

  2. So beautiful. True is the meaning of love. I'd be glad when i meet my special someone.

  3. I love this!!! Inspiring and endearing.

  4. Such a fun post! Happy anniversary to you both!

  5. Happy anniversary Katie and Jerry! I love your gardening memory as I too have failed miserably at the 'easy' task of splitting hostas.

    I love your 2014 first place memory. At the Mark Mellon 5K in Gaylord in 2013, my brother-in-law, father-in-law, and I also had one of those:

  6. This was SO sweet and SO much fun to read! Happy Anniversary to you both!

  7. Love this post! I like how you had a photo and memory for each year. Wonderful!

  8. This was a really neat post! I love to read about you talking about your family, if that makes sense. You all seem to really care about each other and enjoy being together. I realize your life isn't perfect, but you're definitely lucky in a lot of ways.

  9. Such a cute post, good idea. I want a vermonster now!! Lol Happy Anniversary!

  10. A very happy anniversary to you both! It's so much fun reading about each year of your years together, and shows two people really can complete each other. Here's to another 15!!

  11. This was really cute. :)
    Happy anniversary!

  12. What a fun post!! Happy (belated) anniversary to you, both!

  13. Wow I didn't realize you guys had been together 19 years! That's awesome :) Congrats on your 15th wedding anniversary :)


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