This year, Bob and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Bob is a CPA and he loves numbers, so by the numbers, that’s three kids, one daughter-in-law, three houses, ten cars, and five schools. But, it’s also one beloved dog (now gone), two miscarriages, three car accidents, and four tough diagnoses. I think the beauty of a long marriage is the joys and the challenges merging into one hot mess! When we got married, my dad gave us some great advice. He said, “When things get tough, always make the choice to turn toward each other. Never turn away.” Although that advice has been difficult to follow at times, we have always tried to abide by it. Through all the ups and downs, the constants have been love, prayer, and commitment.
Bob and I got married when we were 22. We waited five years before having our first child, and we felt like we kind of grew up together. I can remember when we had our first child, I saw a whole new side of my husband, and I think I fell in love with him all over again! He has been an incredible father to our children, and they all adore him. Becoming empty nesters has reawakened our flirty, adventurous side, and we’ve really cherished the sweetness of our mature relationship. (And, yes, we’ve kinda fallen in love again!)
Like most couples, we’re opposites in many ways. I’m the extrovert. Bob’s the introvert. I’m excitable. Bob’s steady and calm. Recently, I heard a relationship expert talk about the one word that says a relationship is meant to be. The word? Easy. As in low drama, easy flow, and acceptance. I shared recently that when our kids were younger, we used the word picture of a coin to teach them about relationships. We told them that the “heads” side of the coin represents a person’s strengths, while the “tails” side represents their negative qualities. You fall in love with a person’s strengths, but eventually, you realize you’re married to their weaknesses! What you begin to understand is that weaknesses are simply strengths taken to the extreme. Bob and I came to realize that differences in the way we see and approach things are largely a matter of temperament and personality type, and we can make a choice to focus on heads rather than tails in our marriage. The longer we have been married, the more I have come to appreciate his strengths, which are my weaknesses. The beautiful thing? The longer we’ve been married, the more the edges of our coins have softened. I’ve grown in my areas of weakness, in direct proportion to how much I’ve grown to value and appreciate his strengths. I think he’d say the same.
To celebrate our big 30th anniversary this year, we decided to take the biggest trip we’ve ever taken. We’re leaving tomorrow! We’re going on an Oceania cruise along The Riviera! We leave from Rome (where we will spend a few days first) and travel to ports like Florence, Saint-Tropez, Provence, Barcelona, as well as cruising along the Amalfi Coast. We are very excited! If you have any recommendations for our visit to Rome, I’d love for you to leave them in the comment section below. 🙂
I haven’t taken time off since I started Empty Nest Blessed back in November 2015, even when we’ve been on vacation! But I want to take the next few weeks to focus completely on him and on celebrating our marriage. My husband has been so supportive of everything related to Empty Nest Blessed, and I am so grateful to him for that! I want to honor him by giving him my undivided attention for a couple of weeks. I will miss you all, but you can rest assured that I will be taking good notes for future travel articles and posting plenty of pictures to Instagram (especially my Insta Stories) and Facebook. I hope you will follow our adventure!