Looking Back: 17 Years of Marriage

This weekend, John and I are celebrating 17 years of marriage!   So, I thought I’d dedicate this post to the man I married 17 years ago.

On our wedding day, John’s sisters told me that I would never be bored.  They were so right. This guy keeps adventure alive in our house!   I’m so glad I took that great big leap of faith and agreed to marry him on a sunny day in Glendalough so many years ago!

  1.  Our Engagement:

Ireland was a big part of our beginning.  Our first time together in Ireland was when John visited me and my family for Thanksgiving– we were visiting my sister, who was working there at the time.

When John asked me to date him.  I said “No, but I am rooting for you”.  Can you believe that?  Well he had dated one of my best friends, so that was  a strike against him.  I  was also really involved in traveling around the country talking about chastity — I wasn’t sure I had time to give to dating, so that was another strike against him.

I told him there were 3 (seemingly impossible) things that had to happen before I would date him, including my already mentioned friend would have to start dating somebody else — and she was considering the religious life at the time!  Somewhat miraculously, all 3 “must happens” did happen upon my return from Ireland.  So I decided I had to be open to dating this guy, and I finally said yes.

A few months later, we ended up back in Ireland.  This photo was right before he asked me to marry him.  Maybe one day I’ll share that story — it was a funny one.  And we honeymooned in Ireland too –so yay for Ireland!

Right before we were engaged in Ireland. We were such kids!
Right before we were engaged in Ireland. We were such kids!

2.  Our Wedding Day:

Our wedding day was absolutely beautiful.  Of course, life is so busy that I still don’t have my wedding album together, so this was the only picture I could find.  One day, when I am old and gray, I will get that album together!  Sadly, that day is not too far off. 🙁  You’ll just have to take my word for it — it was a perfectly beautiful day!

Sigh! :)
Sigh! 🙂

3.  Our Second Honeymoon in Italy:

We went back 13 months after we were married for a second honeymoon in Italy during the Jubilee Year of 2000.  We got tickets for the Sposi Novelli section of a papal audience with John Paul II.  The only catch was that we had to be dressed in wedding attire to attend.

At this point, I was expecting our first child, and so I couldn’t fit into my actual wedding dress!  I ran down to St. Vincent de Paul the night before our trip,  found a wedding dress for $30, and we had the best time running around Rome in our wedding garb.

Here’s a picture in front of the Trevi Fountain in my $30 wedding dress.

We had no idea what this crazy life called marriage was going to bring us.
We had no idea what this crazy life called marriage was going to bring us.

4.  Meeting John Paul II on that same trip.  I haven’t washed my forehead since then — not really.  He was so tired and sick at this point that this simple kiss seemed to take all the energy that he had — he was selfless, that man! John Paul II, please pray for us!

I wish some of his holiness could have rubbed off on me :(
I wish some of his holiness could have rubbed off on me 🙁

5.  Then we had our first baby — a girl!  Honestly, it’s amazing that they let us take her home from the hospital — we had no idea what we were doing.  From the beginning, John was an amazing husband, but to see him as a father –it made me fall more in love with him!

I chose well, and my kids are so blessed to have him as a father.  He is always open to new adventures — and he’s up for the challenge of bringing our kids along with us on those adventures.

I love that about him, and our kids have benefitted from that “go-getter” attitude on numerous occasions!  Honestly, I would hardly leave the house, let alone the country, if it wasn’t for my husband.

World Youth Day, Toronto 2002.
World Youth Day, Toronto 2002.

6.  And then we had a couple more kids:

Attacking El Murro, San Juan, Puerto Rico

And another:

Hitting a market in Malaysia

And another:

Costa Rica 2014
Beach fun in Costa Rica

And another!:

Positano 2016
Getting a bear hug in Positano, Italy

7.  And here we are, 17 years of marriage, 6 kids later, and so excited for whatever the next 17 years has coming our way!

17 years and 6 kids later, Trevi Fountain.
17 years and 6 kids later, Trevi Fountain.

Marriage is the biggest adventure of my life.   It started off with 2 people who didn’t know a whole lot about what they were doing — and now we’re 8 people who still don’t know a whole lot about what they are doing.  We’ll make room for more, if they come, but so blessed to look back on what an abundant life we have had — love begets more love.

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with Kelly. 

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4 thoughts on “Looking Back: 17 Years of Marriage

    1. Hey Julie!
      If I recall correctly, You were the first person to know about our engagement, remember? Ah, good times. God bless you guys!

    1. Gretha,
      I must say my parents were wondering why they spent so much on a dress after seeing my $30 option I picked up on the fly — ha! I have no idea where it is now, but I have to find that thing.

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