Every Love Story is Beautiful but Ours is My Favorite

Five years ago we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on March 4th. For the 25 days leading up to our anniversary, I wrote out our love story year by year from March to March of each year. (Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes)! I then shared it over 25 days on Facebook. In this blog post I have compiled those 25 year of posts and added the last five years in one blog post to equal all 30 years. This is a very different type of blog post then anything I have written before. It is 30 years of my story, with quotes, quips and scriptures at the end of each year summary. It is a very long read, because 30 years is a very long time to be married. But in honor of our love story and 30th anniversary, I have put it all together in one post. I hope anyone who reads our story will enjoy reading it and ultimately learn more about my family and what 30 years of life, love and marriage can look like. Happy reading! To God be the glory! There is hope beyond all of this!

(1989-90) Year One

3/4/89 Our wedding day. All my dreams had come true at 17. I married my High School sweetheart of 3 years and I became a wife and soon after I was expecting my first baby. It was all I ever wanted! We were so young and naive but so happy. Our precious little bundle, Brittany Noel, arrived Dec 12th. The BEST Christmas present ever. Danny had broke his leg a short time after our wedding and had to have surgery and the recovery was long and hard and we only made it financially because we lived with my parents. We hadn’t figured out what to do with the rest of our lives, we didn’t have established careers, but we had each other. And in spite of all that, we had our precious baby and life was good, just figuring it out as we went along.

“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.” -Jennifer Smith

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

(1990-91) Year Two

Life was fun and we were young! We were so happy with our little family of 3 and soon expecting baby #2. We still lived with my parents. Danny landed a good paying job (for our standards at that time), with the school district and later with a larger company. We were excited about moving out on our own! We had good friends and were in a young marrieds life group (bible study). We welcomed the arrival of our 2nd child and firstborn son, Colin Michael, 4 days after our 2nd anniversary. A few weeks later we moved into our first apartment. We were so excited!

“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

(1991-92) Year Three

Here comes our troubled times! The times that made us who we are, the times that allowed God to come into our young love and lives and work His miracles. It wasn’t easy and it certainly didn’t happen quickly. We separated and I moved with our babies back in with my parents and started college a month later, with my parents devoted help with my children. Soon after our separation I found out I was pregnant with baby #3. Talk about throwing a wrench in things! But we know God works all things together for good 🙂

“There are a hundred paths through the world that are easier than loving. But who wants easier?” -Mary Oliver

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Psalm 3:3-6

(1992-93) Year Four

This was a time of devastation mixed with little gifts from God as I clung to Him and my Christian friends and family. I grew stronger in my relationship with Jesus Christ who truly sustained me through this overwhelming time of my life. The most precious gift this year was the birth of our 3rd child, Kyle Daniel. Danny asked me to give him his name for a middle name. I gladly honored his request. I continued full time this year in my prerequisites for nursing school. I involved myself in two different bible study small groups, these were the friends who stood by my side, prayed for me and gave me strength to move forward everyday in spite of my circumstances. This was a year of maturing, growth and healing in so many ways.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child. That may be the case, but the truth is that it takes a lot of solid, stable marriages to create a village.” -Diane Sollee

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

(1993-94) Year Five

Still separated for almost two years, Danny and I spent the summer months dating and trying to give our marriage a second chance. I knew in my heart that something was wrong. No matter how bad I wanted to reconcile and not get divorced, some things are out of your hands. We tried and during this time I conceived baby #4! But a few months after I knew that reconciliation wasn’t going to happen. So I let go and cut things off and we started proceeding toward a divorce. I started nursing school that fall. I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and my first trimester of nursing school! I gave birth to Bethany “Hope” during my OB semester of nursing school and returned to my nursing clinicals one week after I delivered at the same hospital. I had a network of nurses and friends that helped me because this hospital was also the L&D unit my mom worked in. I had so much support and love during that time and I felt the love of Jesus surrounding me. I was in a strong place. Starting to see the future with hope for new beginnings!

“No one has ever measured (not even poets) how much love the heart can hold.” -Zelda Fitzgerald

May the God of all “hope”fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with “hope” by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you “hope” and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’ Numbers 6:24-26

(1994-95) Year Six

A year of redeeming love, a year of miracles! God got a hold of Danny in only a way He can and Danny’s heart was changed. Some say people don’t change, but God can change people, it’s the only truly lasting change. (I have often compared it to a “Saul to Paul” type conversion!!) This was our road to Damascus. God had to do a work in my heart also, to forgive and trust and be open to what He was doing. I had already made all my own plans for my future and was happy and at peace with them. I had to let go of my plans and embrace what God was doing. Best decision I ever made. On our 6th anniversary we renewed our vows with our 4 babies and our family at our side. A new beginning! Not the one I thought I would have at this point, but God gives us so much more than we can hope for or imagine! He truly brings beauty from ashes. I was in my last semester of nursing school and working as a student nurse in a postpartum unit, life looked so bright. God had done the unimaginable and restored our marriage and family. And of all the times I have shared our testimony over the years, God has and will always get the glory!

“Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made everyday, made new.” -Ursula LeGuin

“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” -Robert Quillen

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” -Mignon McLaughlin

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oak that the Lord has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:2-3

(1995-96) Year Seven

A time to celebrate! Our marriage was restored. We lived temporarily back with my parents as we were purchasing their house and they were building their new home! (So I guess you could say they were living with us). I graduated from nursing school (whoop whoop!!) and started my first RN job in postpartum. THEN a Christmas surprise! It only seems appropriate with all these blessings that we would find out we were expecting baby #5 during this year! It was a little overwhelming but also exciting! Lots of changes. Counting it all JOY! My marriage was stronger than ever, full of love and growing richer and fuller than I could have ever known to be possible.

“Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together.” Barbara Cage

“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. Its the way you love your partner every day.” -Barbara De Angelis

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

(1996-97) Year Eight

I got a new job and was hired at the hospital were I gave birth to all my children. I was trained as a NICU nurse, I found my place in nursing. My career became dedicated to my passion, babies! We had a romantic second honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta when I was six months pregnant. We then welcomed baby #5 that summer, Connor Logan. A busy time in our lives, Danny was working in accounting for a large construction company, I was working full time in NICU, a new baby, kids in school, preschool, home day-care! Life was busy but life was good and full of love!

‎”No one can go back and change how it started but a new future for any marriage can begin the moment one person begins to invest in it.” -Fawn Weaver

“Marriage: Love is the reason. Lifelong friendship is the gift. Kindness is the cause. Til’ death do us part is the length.” -Fawn Weaver

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

(1997-98) Year Nine

Immersed in life! Working full time, school talent shows, brownies (pre-Girl Scouts), dance classes, music lessons, diapers. A busy life. A full life. Sharing good times with my best friend and husband. Happy times!

“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.”-Fawn Weaver

“In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything and two minus one equals nothing.” -Mignon McLaughlin

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your cares on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

(1998-99) Year Ten

A rough year medically, Danny was home on disability with severe vertigo, the first of several chronic conditions he would have to struggle through from this point forward. He became a stay at home dad and started earning his degree by attending college online during his disability. I had surgery to have my tonsils removed this year. Then we decided to have another baby (why not?) and conceived baby #6 this year. The kids were happy to have their dad home. We were busy as ever and added community theatre to the list of childrens activities this year. In spite of the rough patches and trials life threw our way, our family continued to grow in love, in size and in The Lord!

“The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. A mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.” -Fawn Weaver

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

(1999-00) Year Eleven

We welcomed our 6th baby and our 4th son, Caleb Aaron. Football and cheerleading were added to our busy repertoire this year. We continued in community theatre fun with all four of our oldest kids performing together in the play Peter Pan! So much fun!

“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.” -Simone Signoret

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5

(2000-01) Year Twelve

Some people called us crazy, many didn’t understand why, the comments we received were sometimes really hurtful, but this year we decided to try for baby #7. Yes, another baby! After all 7 is the number of completion! We conceived this year while Danny continued his studies online from home, being a stay at home dad. He added coaching pop warner football to his resume as he became a coach to our son. We had two cheerleaders this year for our sons team. Life became even wilder and so full and fun! We took an incredibly fun family road trip with my parents to Estes Park Colorado and even drove up to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore!!

“A good marriage is each for the other and two against the world.” -Robert Brault

“Marriage is our society’s most pro-child institution. If you want kids to do well, then you want marriage to do well.” -David Blankenhorn

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

(2001-02) Year Thirteen

We welcomed our 7th child and 5th son, Tristan Bradley. The other kids helped us choose his name and he decided to arrive much differently and he was delivered by CS since he saw fit to turn around completely into a breech presentation at the very end of my pregnancy. He was born 4 months prior to my 30th birthday and 9/11. He made our family complete. We added basketball this year when Kyle started playing and Danny was his coach. This was a happy time, a busy time. We were so in love with each other and our children! We had so much to be thankful for.

“A happy marriage doesn’t mean you have a perfect spouse or a perfect marriage. It simply means you’ve chosen to look beyond the imperfections in both.” -Fawn Weaver

The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

(2002-03) Year Fourteen

I changed jobs this year and took a staff position in NICU at Queen of the Valley Hosp (my most favorite place I worked throughout my career). We also bought a bigger home this year and moved just after Christmas! Danny completed his bachelors degree in IT and continued on for his Masters! He started his own IT consulting buisness and began doing contract jobs on occasion while he continued in school and daddy duties! Those contract jobs eventually led to the job opportunity and career he is currently in. We juggled sports, dance, voice, community theatre, performing troup, music lessons, school and still diapering and baby raising! Life was grand! We were rich in love and friends and family!

“The more things we can laugh about, the more alive we become: The more things we can laugh about together, the more connected we become.” -Frank Pittman

“Enjoy the little things in life… For one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” -Kurt Vonnegut

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

(2003-04) Year Fifteen

With our pregnant and nursing years behind us (14 years of being pregnant and breast feeding), we decided a little mommy and daddy time was in order and this began an amazing couple years of the most exciting trips we have ever taken. We started small with a 3 day cruise to Ensenada Mexico and we were hooked. Several months later in the fall we went to Maui and took Kim and Daniel (my brother and sister in law) with us, and had such a memorable time together in paradise. Then 5 months later, for our 15th wedding anniversary, we took a road trip across the country to New Orleans and from there went on a 7 day western Caribbean cruise to Jamaica, Grand Caymans and Cozumel. (On this cruise was when I cut my long hair) We had so much fun, we decided we had to take all the kids with us on our next cruise and began planning right away with other family members wanting to join us. These were some of the adventurous years.

“The best time to love with your whole heart is always now, in this moment, because no breath beyond the current is promised.” -Fawn Weaver

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

(2004-05) Year Sixteen

Danny graduated with his Masters degree this year! We had a huge luau celebration in our backyard! Biggest party ever! As a gift for his graduation, family pitched in and sent us to Cancun. Then within months, we finally got to take our kids along on a cruise, a 4 day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. We had so much fun with the whole gang. That was when we decided to buy a travel trailer and take a lot more family trips! We had begun the journey of home schooling earlier in the year because we weren’t happy with the public schools our children were enrolled in. So we hit the road, sometimes for two weeks at a time. We went places like Zion National Monument, Bryce National Monument, all over Colorado and Arizona including the Grand Canyon. We visited family in New Mexico and saw Carlsbad Caverns. We traveled through several mountain passes and my husband will tell you how much I loved to take the “scenic routes” on the map. Which with towing the huge rig we had, where often narrow and a little scary, but always so beautiful. What a beautiful country we have to explore!

“Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning – I might have it every day, but I still enjoy it.”-Stephen Gaines

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17

(2005-06) Year Seventeen

Those road trips led us to Arizona where we visited family after a fun trip to Tombstone, AZ. During that visit we found out that two of my cousins were in foster care and their social worker was looking for family placement. We felt compelled to take them in after having experienced a brief foster child placement in our home several months before. During that time we got emergency foster parent credentials to take in a boy that my husband coached on our two oldest sons football team. It was short lived, but we knew all things happen for a reason and we felt this was the greater purpose of that experience. So after several trips to AZ to visit with and get to know Dustin and Desiree, they came to live with us in CA and our family grew to 11 for a short time. This became very temporary when we quickly found out they had problems beyond our abilities to help. We had to make a hard decision and relinquish them back to AZ for specialty placement. As we picked up all the broken pieces it all caused within our own family. This was an emotionally devastating time on our own children and I took a stress leave from work and we spent some quality time loving on our kids and restoring our home.

“The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving just a little ‘extra’ every day, as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live.” -Fawn Weaver

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. Ecclesiastes 11:6

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

(2006-07) Year Eighteen

During this time of healing we took a trip to Texas where Kim and Daniel had moved the year before, to visit them and see their new home. It was during our trip there that we decided to go home and put our house on the market and make the move to Texas. I had been offered one of the two job offers I received before ever leaving town to head home. This was a time of confusion and sadness. We grieved over what we thought was a failed experience with our foster children. We sought The Lord in prayer and our house sold. So we picked up, packed up and moved to Texas that summer. We enrolled our oldest son as a freshman in public school so he could play Texas High School football but continued to home school all the other kids. Starting a new life in Texas was exciting and new but very difficult as well. Starting a new job, having a new home, new church, new friends, all huge changes. God knows how many bad choices we made along the way costing us financially. With medical issues mixed in, Danny had surgery on his foot and I had my gall bladder removed. In spite of all this it was a very happy and restorative time in our lives in which God was drawing us closer to Him. We learned about peace and contentment in the midst of life’s trials. Our lives were rich with love and friends and family. We knew that we were right where we were meant to be and things had turned out just as they were supposed to.

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” -Franklin P. Jones

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

(2007-08) Year Nineteen

Life in Prosper, TX was exciting and fun! Full of good people, friends and community. We enjoyed watching our son play football and excel and be promoted to Varsity his Sophomore year. We enrolled Kyle as a freshman that year so he also could play football a year behind his brother. The other kids were still home schooled. Brittany was singing occasionally in church and leading worship in youth. Our kids were thriving and we enjoyed being just down the road from Kim and Daniel and the kids cousins. I continued working full time as a NICU nurse and Danny worked as an IT consultant, self-employed and working contract jobs which included occasional trips back to CA to do jobs for the company that would eventually move us back to CA for a full time career opportunity. My parents moved to Texas from California this year, bringing our Texas family total to our family, two brothers families and my parents. We bought our house on Brittany Way this year and we were content with life and happy. Good times!

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” -Henry Ford

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

(2008-09) Year Twenty

This was the year of the State Championship in Football! Prospers first ever. My son was a two-way starter for the Prosper High School football team, it was his Junior year. We enrolled all our kids back into public school that year and Bethany was a freshman at the HS and the freshman team mascot (Edgy the Eagle). Kyle got moved up to Varsity for playoffs and all the mascots got moved up as well. It was so exciting to have all three of our kids down on the field during that ride through playoffs and all the way to State! The game was the last game to be played in the Cowboy stadium before it was torn down to build the new stadium. What a highlight of that year. We won state! Our son was integral in making that happen and all our HS kids were involved in the team that year! Brittany moved to CO for a school year to attend worship school at New Life church in CO Springs. She still pursued singing, music and writing. It was hard letting her go so far from home but also exciting entering this phase of life. They were all growing up and we were thoroughly enjoying these teenage years.

“A fool in love makes no sense to me. I only think you are a fool if you do not love.” -Unknown

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

(2009-10) Year Twenty-One

Brittany graduated from worship school, came back home and started working at the church and singing on the worship team. What a blessing and joy to see her and hear her each Sunday up on that stage! Our lives were full and brimming with joy. Our jobs were the same, although Danny started traveling a little more frequently to CA. The kids were all excelling in school and sports. Colin was a Senior, Kyle (and Sarah), Juniors, Bethany a sophomore, Connor in 7th, Caleb in 4th and Tristan in 2nd. All of them were now going to the great schools in our small town community. We traveled before the school year started on a trip back to CA and to Vegas with the 5 youngest kids. (This started a trend of traveling once each summer with Danny on his buisness trips).

“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.” -Fawn Weaver

(2010-11) Year Twenty-Two

Colin graduated from HS and his baccalaureate was held at our church. Brittany was the spokesperson and led worship for the event. It was very special! A proud moment to see our oldest children’s achievements. Brittany was also in a blossoming relationship with her soon to be husband Brady Williams. This is the year they met, got engaged and got married! We travelled to AZ to join our friends at the CO river for a vacation. ALL of our kids joined us on this trip including our soon to be son in law, Brady. In his honor we made a side trip to the Grand Canyon since he had never been. This was the last trip we all took together. I am hoping that will someday change. Kyle and Sarah were seniors this year and grew up fast after going through the tragedy together of losing Sarah’s dad in a car accident the summer before their senior year. With heavy hearts we attended his funeral and said goodbye to a great man, husband and father. We all learned how short life can be that summer and how important it is to seize the day and cherish every moment. Kyle had an amazing football season and was named Offensive Lineman of the year. Colin got recruited to play football for a private Christian University and went away to East Texas for a year of school and we took several road trips to East Texas to watch him play college football. Connor played middle school football, life was busy still.

We held a small, quaint, and beautiful wedding ceremony for Brittany and Brady in our living room in January of that year. It was charming perfection, just what the bride ordered! (The twinkle lights hung in the living room until we sold that beloved house). We gladly and with full hearts welcomed another son into our family and were so happy for our daughter, also being the first of our children to wed. Blessings abounding!

“A long-lasting marriage is built by two people who believe in -and live by- the solemn promise they made.” -Darlene Schacht

“There are few things more frightening to a man than giving away his heart. And there are few things more comforting to a man than to know the woman he gave his heart to, will protect it with her life.” -Fawn Weaver

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13

(2011-12) Year Twenty-Three

An exciting year for sure! Kyle and Sarah graduated from HS and Kyle proposed to Sarah that summer, who we adore and had already become a precious addition to our family. Colin moved home that summer to continue his education at the community college and started working for the school district. Kyle got accepted to the fire academy at the same college. Brittany was expecting our 1st grandchild!We took another fun trip to CA that summer with our 4 youngest (notice how the numbers on our trips keep decreasing). We spent 4th of July weekend at a hotel on the beach in Dana Point and took a trip to Disneyland. Bethany started her Senior year. Connor, Caleb and Tristan all played football this year and Danny coached again! So fun! Brittany gave birth to Availeth Joy, our first grandchild, in Nov of that year and all of our lives were better for it. Avey is so precious. What a Merry Christmas it was that year! Full of Gods riches and blessings in our lives!

“Love is the greatest gift when given. It is the highest honor when received.” -Fawn Weaver

“Marriage is a commitment- a decision to do, all through life, that which will express your love for one’s spouse.” -Herman H. Kieval

(2012-13) Year Twenty-Four

Kyle graduated as Valedictorian of his class from the fire academy and went directly into EMT school all before his wedding in July. We welcomed a beautiful daughter into our family that summer and were so happy to see their 4 year long romance blossom into happily ever after!

Bethany graduated from HS and started college. Colin started his job full time at Texas family fitness which eventually resulted in a General Manager position. Brittany and Brady were expecting grand baby #2 and we were enjoying life with our kids and granddaughter. I was at a new job, still in NICU, at a different hosp. We traveled to CA again that summer for vacation with our 3 youngest! (See a pattern here). Danny was traveling for work more than ever and we started discussing the possibility of moving back to CA for his career…something we never thought would happen!

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” -Sam Keen

“Where there is love, there is life.” -Mahatma Gandhi

(2013-14) Year Twenty-Five

This year was a roller coaster. We welcomed our 2nd grand baby (1st grandson) Benjamin Alton, into the world in May. A few months later in August Danny and I and our 3 youngest children moved back to CA after 7 years in Texas! (again with that number of completion). We chose Chino Hills because it is so nice, so close to Danny’s job in Pomona and right around the corner from my sister and only relative from my family, left in the immediate area. I was able to retire from nursing after 20 years with the move back to CA! A dream come true! (I do miss those babies though). Kyle was in Paramedic school and a volunteer fire fighter. Sarah was in her final semester and graduated in May with her Bachelors degree from SMU. We kept our home in Texas for a year before selling it and two of our adult children lived there. Colin proposed to Kyli in December. We have been so blessed by God as our family continues to grow. We were all able to go home to Texas for Thanksgiving and be all together to celebrate the holidays. We also celebrated Christmas on Dec 1st with all our kids while in Texas. We spent Christmas Day that year at our apartment in Chino Hills with our 3 youngest sons. That was the first Christmas in 25 years that we couldn’t be all together as a family on the holiday. In January, Bethany also moved to CA, so we had our 4 youngest children with us in CA.

“There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.” -Ronald Reagan

(2014-15) Year Twenty-Six

Colin and Kyli got married in April! We were so blessed to all be in Texas together for the wedding to welcome our newest member to the family. We sold our Texas home this year and let go of our Texas residency. Home was once again California! We moved to a larger townhome apartment in Chino this year. Danny’s job was going great and I was enjoying retirement. Connor was working hard as a shop mechanic at the same company as Danny. Caleb was a sophomore and Tristan was in 7th grade. Bethany only lived here a couple months and then moved back to Texas. Brittany was expecting her 3rd baby! We traveled to Texas for many visits this year and enjoyed the holidays in Texas in November once again.

“Show me a man who is smiling from ear-to-ear and living a beautiful life, and I’ll show you a man who is grateful for what he has and utterly in love with his wife.” -Fawn Weaver

(2015-16) Year Twenty-Seven

Tragedy hit our family hard this year when Brittany lost her precious son Elias who was born still, full term. We don’t always understand why things happen as they do in this broken world. She also had two other early miscarriages and now has 3 precious children in heaven. I spent some time in Texas with her family during that time. She conceived again during this year and we looked forward to welcoming another precious boy into her family. We bought our house during this year in Chino, California and finally got permanently settled in. Colin and Kyli moved to Ca this year. Soon after they were expecting their first baby! Colin took a job as a project manager at the same company Danny and Connor worked at. Connor moved into a superintendent training position. Caleb was a Junior and Tristan was in 8th grade.

“A successful marriage isn’t the union of two perfect people. It’s that of two imperfect people who have learned the value of forgiveness and grace.” -Darlene Schacht

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned. Song of Solomon 8:7

(2016-17) Year Twenty-Eight

This year we welcomed two beautiful grandchildren! Brittany and Brady welcomed Noah Eli in April and I spent nearly a month in Texas with my family and grandchildren! Colin and Kyli welcomed Jaxson Micah in June in California, their 1st child and our 4th grand-baby! Bountiful and bouncing blessings! Once again sadness hit our family when Kyle and Sarah who were excitedly expecting their 1st baby, lost him at 18 weeks of pregnancy. Sarah went on to sadly loose a second baby to early miscarriage. We now have 5 grandchildren in heaven to reunite with some day. She quickly conceived again after that! Caleb started his Senior year and then tested out by receiving his equivalency diploma. Tristan was a freshman this year in high school. Brittany came to spend the summer in California with her children since Avey had been diagnosed with JRA, she wanted to see if the climate helped Avey the same way it had helped Danny. Avey’s RA went into complete remission! So Brittany and Brady moved to California during this year and joined the numbers that were growing here in California calling this state home once again!

“Once we figured out that we could not change each other, we became free to celebrate ourselves as we are.” -H. Dean Rutherford (in a letter to his wife on their 59th wedding anniversary)

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3

(2017-18) Year Twenty-Nine

This year Kyle and Sarah welcomed their son Kirk Kyle to the family at Christmas time and we were in Texas to help welcome him. Soon after Colin and Kyli announced they were expecting their second baby! Caleb worked most of this year as a shop runner for the “family” company’s Tristan started a part time job at Pizza Hut an started his sophomore year. Brittany and Brady’s family moved from the San Diego area out to Joshua tree area in the desert as their occupations and lives changed as Brittany started Instant Loss, her blog and social media buisness that blossomed into a cookbook deal as she was about to become a published author. Bethany moves into her own apartment in Plano, Tx, we kept hoping life would lead her to California also.

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” -John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Song of Solomon 8:6

(2018-19) Year Thirty

Tristan studied hard and passed his CHSPE and received his equivalency diploma and started community college at 17! The days of having kids in school finally coming to a close! Colin and Kyli welcomed Jhett Colson into their family this year, their second son and our 6th grandchild! Life was looking pretty joyful and abundant. Maybe just the lull before the storm. Shortly after welcoming Jhett into the world, my life took a turn when I was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram. Since then has been a time of rest, treatment, doctors appointments, tests, consults and healing. We had to postpone my bucket list trip we had planned to NYC at Christmastime. But we had a wonderful holiday with ALL of our children and grandchildren in which we came away with family pictures! I have undergone 18 weeks of chemotherapy and will soon be having a double mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction just 8 days after we celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. This has been a hard trial and an onslaught to my health. Yet we head into this next year grateful to God that I am alive and that we caught the cancer early enough to treat it at stage 2. Life will go on. We have a God in whom we can completely trust in and rest in and that is where we are. Danny is working hard, taking care of me, carrying the world on his shoulders and trying to start a buisness opportunity for our family alongside the company several of them work for now. There is much on the horizon and a future full of hope! We are excited to celebrate 30 years of marriage and family and to take the time for me to heal. Then we look forward to taking some postponed and long awaited trips! We have thoroughly enjoyed all the 2-4 day weekend travels we have gone on these last couple years. Places like San Francisco, San Diego, Mammoth, Big Sur, Colorado, Texas, Beverly Hills, beach trips, etc. We plan to continue frequent long weekend trips starting with a celebration of our anniversary in San Simeon on the beach near Hearst Castle. But we also look forward to many other travels, visits with family, family weddings, welcoming babies as great aunt and great uncle to several now! We look forward to the future and all it holds.

So here we are in the present chapter of our love story! Celebrating 30 years of life, love and happiness! We would never have made it thru life’s ups and downs without a solid foundation in Christ and the love of family and friends! Marriage is hard, but nothing worth having is ever easy! Love is a choice! Oh it starts out as an attraction and a lot of emotion and fluff, but true and lasting love is a daily choice to lay down your life for another, to stay when life gets tough, to forgive when hurt arises and to love as Christ first loved us and gave himself for us as an example to follow. And through this sacrifice there is a coming together, an expression of Christ’s love, a richness, an intimacy that so few couples experience nowadays! It is in our nature to look back and think about what we would change if we could! My answer is nothing! I wouldn’t change a thing! What we’ve lived is what’s brought us to where and who we are! And where we are is happy, still married, best friends, rich with blessings, with our cup running over, and YES, “IN LOVE”….happily ever after, till death do us part! You know…to have and to hold, to love and to honor, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health (and we have seen it all!), forsaking all others, until death do us part! I wouldn’t have it any other way! Happy 30th Anniversary to my love!

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Proverbs 5:18-19

I have found the one my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4

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