A Celebration of Us

Well, tomorrow is out 20th Anniversary as husband and wife. What can I say, except that time flies when you're having fun. And that is the beauty of our life together. It is so much fun living and laughing with Donna. There have been some trials along the way, though none critical, thank God, but even if there were, I'm convinced we'd have pulled through them.

So what to remember about the last twenty years?

Living on the East Side of Milwaukee until a series of muggings happened in our neighborhood and literally outside our window. Did I mention we had a prowler walk in while we were home in our apartment too? Well, you all probably know that story already.

There was the time the Blue Angels flew over our apartment there and I hit the deck, as I thought we were being bombed. Donna thought it was hysterical.

Donna's short lived first job at a bakery that lasted a week. Then she found SEWCIL which eventually turned to Independence First. The many friends we met there, esp. Steve, Jill and Liz (wherever she is now).

Our first Packer Game together. It was Pack vs. Buffalo Bills at County stadium. The Pack got stomped by Jim Kelly/Thurman Thomas and the no-huddle machine.

Dressing as Jolly Green Giant and Little Green Sprout for Halloween for the Intelligraphics Halloween party.

Many Brewer games, including one or two that we were kicked into.

Our second apartment in Waukesha. Teeny tiny, but all we needed. It allowed us, with Dad's help to save for our house.

Working 3rd shift at SEWRPC for 6 months. BRUTAL.

Numerous trips to cabins, including Morningside Resort, Hackensack, MN, and Pine Forest Lodge in Mercer.

Driving to Maine and denying Donna her lobster, because I didn't like it. (Sorry hon!)

Getting our house.

A very pregnant Donna driving our Honda Accord onto a pile of rocks during road construction of College Ave. "I beached it!" she cried into my shoulder. Did she ever beach it!

Watching Sarah's birth and the absolute, undeniable miracle of God that is childbirth. Seeing the courage of my bride through all those contractions and with no drugs, was eye opening.

The tough months after her birth where we both kind of thought WTF?

Our first cats Bogie and Jezebel. Black and White joy they were. Still miss them.

Watching Ben's birth and learning not to tell your wife to quit thrashing when she complains that she's too hot. Next time I'll just say "Yeah, you're right."

The Matteos years where I had the kids at night and we'd spend time listening to Tricia Yearwood's "Under the rainbow" while Ben would run around and around until the part where she said "Under the rainbow" and he would scramble through Sarah's legs. Frighteningly cute!

Building a fence with my brother Rob (and his family), and Steve (and Jill) in an all weekend downpour. I like to call it "Fencestock" after the mud filled music fest.

Numerous house projects with Dad, the funniest being when a hammer fell off a ladder ONTO my safety glasses which were on the ground. We laughed SO hard. I said "Imagine what would have happened if those were on my face when that happened." Funny stuff, but you probably had to be there.

Many times with our good, good friends the Kreys and the Barretts. Nothing like good friends when you're far from family.

Well, I could go on and on, but I just want to say that from my perspective, it surely doesn't seem like twenty years. I have been incredibly blessed by this woman and her family. She is the worlds best companion, certainly one of the top 10 cooks, and she has a great singing voice. (Well, two out of three ain't bad.)

Seriously though, my hope for the next twenty years is that we continue to be as compatible as we are now. She respects my needs for the outdoors, working out, and isolation and I respect hers for cooking, reading and down time. The thing that I think has carried us the furthest of course is our faith in Christ. We weren't always on the same page, but we sure are now, and it is the foundation of our marriage.

That aside, the biggest thing I've come to learn is that a successful marriage is built on selflessness. I am convinced that the biggest cause of divorce are two people who worry more about their needs than the needs of the person they claim to love. Call me crazy, but that's what I see from the twenty-year chair. Maybe it'll change, but I think not. No one ever got divorced because their spouse did too much for them. So that's my anniversary soap box moment, at no extra charge.

Peace people. Thanks to all of you who have supported us over the years as individuals and as a couple. You are our friends and family and we couldn't have done it without you.

Blogging off...


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