How cute were we?  All young and dumb and clueless about pretty much everything.
Two kids focused on silly things like guest lists and registering for plates.
Basically planning our wedding, (a.k.a. an epic four hour party complete with In-N-Out.)
Not really thinking about planning our FOREVER.
Our pastor did his best to prepare us.  I just don't think we really, REALLY, listened.  How could you when you are young and dumb and super excited for your honeymoon and new house?

Life doesn't prepare you for life.

Thankfully we were serious about this FOREVER thing.  Even if we didn't know how we would get there.
Or that it would involve work.
Lots and lots of work.
Which, when you think about it, is ridiculous.  To be good at anything, you need put in time, effort, commitment, dedication, and hard work.

This marriage thing?  It's the best kind of work.

As we march toward our fifteenth anniversary, I can truly, honestly say that I both LOVE and LIKE Jason so much more than I ever thought I could when I was that giddy girl in a white dress promising him forever.  This past year has grown us in ways we were wholly unprepared for.  Through the chaos that is our million little children, finances, transitions, facing the unknown, and now a job change, we have made a choice to invest in each other.  
Invest in doing the hard work.
Little getaways.  Date days. 
Praying for each other.  Loving each other.  Serving each other.  
When it is easy.  When it is hard. 

Those plates that we registered for?  They came crashing down.
That four hour party? It was amazing.
It doesn't compare with what we have now.

(Even though the dumb Civil Wars broke up, the lyrics are still true.)

Some good books to help you do the hard work:
Sacred Marriage

Read some recent marriage posts here.


  1. you two are the cutest then & now.
    this is my fave civil wars song (darn them) heading to buy the printable now

  2. Amen to that! Sometimes I wish we could catch a break, but realize that is not what He has planned for us. He planned to show us how to get us through them, that's for sure. Keep smiling!

    Ps... Love the new look. My lame computer at work just shows red boxes but on my phone I see the simple greatness. :)

  3. what a great post! i really needed this right now... we are in our 11th year of marriage and this year has been so, so hard. i've just gone back and read your posts on marriage and love the inspiration, i'll be checking out those books too! happy anniversary!

  4. Totally love it!Such an amazing post...I enjoy every posting that you do. Cheers

  5. Isn't it amazing how much more we come to love our spouse? You're right...all the nitty gritty details and big stuff of life can be insane yet make you appreciate the person who chooses to stay beside you through it all even more. Congratulations on 15 years!We'll hit twelve this summer. Funny, we've been together half our lives at this point.

  6. great post! it is such hard work. the liking and loving part is so so so true. love that little printable too!

  7. Great post! I totally bought the printable the second I saw it...and I NEVER do that! My hubby and I love that song! Thanks!

  8. Congratulations! Fifteen years is quite an accomplishment these days. My husband and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary and I would absolutely still choose him. Life happens, love remains. :)

  9. So great to remind people that marriage is the best kind of work. I have seen too many of my friends enter into marriage with rose colored glasses only to give up and get divorced. My husband and I will celebrate 16 years in May (we were 21 and 22 when we married) and I can't imagine doing life with anyone else. He is my best friend and ally in this life. We do our best to keep Christ at the center and to communicate honestly about everything. We also make time for each other, even as we raise two very busy kids. Thanks for sharing this today and CONGRATS to you on 15 years!

  10. This is great! I am getting married in 2 months and this is so good to read. My fiance and I have gone through so many hard things in our dating life. I am so blessed that I have found someone who has already demonstrated his willingness to to the work. Congrats on your 15 years!!

  11. Your timing is always amazing... Ok, so it isn't our wedding anniversary, but today my husband and I have been a couple for 25 years. Thanks, not to mention the printable is now going to be a gift. :o)

  12. This is so wonderful! I've only been married for a year and a half but this still rings true. (PS. Yes, the Civil Wars are DUMB for breaking up. We danced to "Forget Me Not" at our wedding for our first dance)

  13. And I still think of you two every time I hear that Shania Twain song. :)

  14. What, what? The civil wars broke up?? I just found them. So lame. Marriage is crazy. I am so thankful I am with my guy. Our premarital council was bad... Besides we were 20 we knew ALL about forevers. And that small insignificant word sickness. Yea like no big deal everyone gets the flu why is THAT in the vows. Ha! Youth :) so thankful to be celebrating 17 years :)

  15. Isn't it funny how it just keeps getting better?!? I love my hubby more now than I did back then too! :) Have a great week!!

  16. I think it's very important to not just love your spouse, but to actually like them too. My hubby is my all-time favorite person and I just love being around him. Praise God for the good marriages! I'm glad you included links for strengthening the marriages too- good job!

  17. yeah to 15 yrs, and for every pain and joy that makes you who are together for his glory.

    we just finished the sacred marriage dvd series with a small marrieds group we mentor. it was fantastic. where was that 16+ years ago?!! next we're going through a song of somolon series (sure we could have used that, too :-) ).

  18. Happy anniversary Julie! You are an inspiration. My husband and I just celebrated 10 years together this past new year's eve and just two weeks ago, we both got that same Civil Wars line tattooed (mine on my forearm and his on his chest) as a symbol of everything life has given and taught us already. Marriage is the absolute hardest and most beautiful thing. Congratulations again!!!