A few years ago, I wrote a post about Craig and I being together for 10 years, and how we were celebrating that. We will be celebrating 7 years of marriage later this year, so we’re not far off our 10 year wedding anniversary, which would mark nearly 15 years of us being together. Considering we have only just turned 30, it will be almost half our lives together! I think we are quite unusual in the fact we got together when we were very young (17), yet have been together ever since. We have completed all our major life goals together as a team – leaving school, graduating university, first jobs, second jobs, third jobs, moving in together, getting married, having a baby, buying our first house, having another baby…we’ve crammed a lot in!
When I look at our relationship, I do find it quite surprising sometimes as we are both from families of divorce. Our respective parents split up when we were both 7, and they have all since re-married, some recently and some, like my mum, have just celebrated 20 years of marriage.
Whilst her first marriage may not have worked out, I honestly do look up to my mum and step-dad and am in awe of how they have made such a happy marriage. Of course, there will have been hard times – and I’m sure, many hard times that even I don’t know about – but growing up I remember the happy times, the times spent together as a family unit, with many outsiders not even realising we were not all blood related. Whilst I may not call him my dad, I refer to him as my dad because that is what he has always been to me and my siblings, and we couldn’t have asked for a better one!
My mum met my step-dad is a rather cliché way – through a lonely hearts column in the local newspaper. I guess it would be today’s equivalent of meeting on Tinder or Bumble (not that I would know about these apps, being happily married, but I did have some fun with my sister’s account on a night out a few months ago….she was not best pleased with her “matches”). They went on a date, then went on another one, Mum introduced him to her SIX children and he wasn’t scared off! They went on another date, my step-dad ended up in hospital so came back to our house for the night as he couldn’t be left alone and then never left! 6 months later they got married, and have been raising us as a family ever since. My step-dad has been my dad in every way you could think of – he picked me up from school, he took me out with my friends, he helped me with my homework, he attended my parents evenings, he taught me to drive, he drove me to my school prom (twice!), he picked me up from friends houses when I was drunk, he scared the living daylights out of Craig the first time they met, he helped me move house, he walked me down the aisle on my wedding day and did a speech, he’s held my babies in his arms days after they were born….the list goes on and on and I have no doubt he’ll be putting up shelves, fixing my car and lending me money until he’s holding my babies’ babies in his arms.
Marriage is many things – it’s happy, it’s sad, it’s easy, it’s hard, it’s something to look up to and it’s something to be wary of. Children make marriage even harder, so I have no idea how you survive a marriage bringing up six children that were there when you arrived. I am honestly in awe of the way my parents have reached 20 years of marriage together. Now all their children have flown the nest, they are making the most of their time together by travelling here, there and everywhere, reliving a youth they never spent together and having an amazing time doing so. I for one am glad they are getting to spend this time together now. When Craig and I sometimes struggle to connect and find time for each other because of the kids, I know that it won’t be forever, that we should appreciate this time while the kids are young because it won’t be long before we sending our children photos of our glasses of gin in the family whatsapp group while we are gallivanting around the world!!
To help us celebrate an amazing 20 years together, The Gift Experience kindly got in touch and offered to let us choose a gift to celebrate my parents 20th wedding anniversary. I picked this gorgeous Vintage Bordeaux Wine which includes a newspaper from any date. I obviously picked their wedding date! I thought the gift was very appropriate seen as how a newspaper bought them together, and it was great having a look to see what was going on in the world 20 years ago. It really is the perfect present to celebrate 20 years of marriage.
Here’s to the next 20!