It’s been 15 years already?

Today marks 15 years of marriage for my wife, Sandi, and I. Looking back on it, sometimes it feels longer than that. Other times, it feels shorter.

Regardless of how long it may or may not feel, the fact is Sandi and I have set ourselves apart in the world of marriage. Most marriages end after just a few years. Some make it as long as we have just to call it quits. Still, others never call it off. Whatever the circumstance, what Sandi and I have, by the grace of God, is quite an accomplishment.

Anyone that has known either her or I knows that we have had our share of trials, tribulations, struggles and challenges. But on the same plane as those we have also had an extraordinary number of successes, achievements, accomplishments and victories. You have to have those in order to make it in marriage for any length of time.

So I enter today thinking about 15 years of marriage, and almost 19 years of being together, I like to think of those times when we have had our act together, when we’ve been able to hold each other’s hand overlooking the carnage of the battlefield upon which a great victory we’ve just had. I like thinking of those moments when all we could really see was the joy in each other’s face as we realized that we did, indeed, make the right decision saying “I do”.

I love you Sandi, more today than yesterday but not nearly as much as I’m going to love you tomorrow. We’ve grown together, taught each other, lifted each other and supported each other. We’ve done a lot of everything in our 15 short years of marriage and as I look to the future, I can smile knowing that we have so many more years ahead of us to spend loving each other, enjoying each other and becoming even better best friends.

Happy anniversary

Today is my anniversary. Well, my wife and my anniversary actually. No, not our wedding anniversary but the anniversary of when we actually started dating – September 20, 1991.

I remember it fondly, albeit not as clearly as I would like (it was 18 years ago – I can barely remember what I did last week). I remember hanging out outside the history building at Newark Memorial High School (I think it was the 400 building, but I could be way off) at brunch with my then “woman in hot pursuit” and my eventual wife, Sandi Millet. We had been talking since the beginning of the school year and had been moving closer to becoming a couple, though by this point – all three weeks into this fledgling relationship – we hadn’t so much as held hands.

What I remember about this day the most was that right before the end of brunch bell rang, I hugged her to tell her goodbye. As we separated from the hug there was a bit of an awkward pause between us. It was this pause that set us on our road to destiny as Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gonzalez. As we stared at each other, still in each other’s arms, Sandi leaned into me and gave me the biggest, most awesome kiss a 17 year old boy could ever hope for. Ever.

I was shell shocked. I walked to my calculus class stunned, amazed and in awe. As I got to class my best friend at the time, David Watkins, asked me why I looked like I just got hit by a truck. All I could muster was “She kissed me”. Yes, I was stupefied.

So today, 18 years later, I bid my wife, friend, lover and favorite woman in the world a happy anniversary. I am so glad we spent that brunch together. And I am so, so, so, so glad we ended up together, and stayed together, to get to where we are now. I love you babe.

For the men: How many times has your wife asked you if you “remember what today is”? How many times have you actually remembered? I have a challenge for you.

Try to surprise your wife one of these days with remembering something that to you seems mundane or otherwise not as memorable as you would think it should be and gently mention it to her. Something I have learned about my wife is that she loves it when I remember things that are special to her. Like the anniversary of when we started dating. I dare you to show your wife you love her by remembering a date that is special to her that you may have historically not remembered in the past.

13 years of (mostly) pure wedded bliss

13 years is a long time for someone that is just over 30 years old. It is a decade and a third. It is how many years come after a dozen years. It is a long time to be married for most folks and it certainly is a long time for me.

I have been working on my first (and only) marriage for the last 13 years. I got married at the age of 20 to my high school sweetheart who, at the time, was 18 years old. The story is here for those that really want to read a short blurb about how we got hitched.

While I wish I could say that our marriage has been rosy all over the place all I can really say is that we are both entirely too stubborn to throw in the towel. Because of this stubborn streak and an unusual desire to not be another one of those “divorcees” we have stuck it out. Sometime against our better judgment, sometimes amid tears and packed, sometimes amid the worst a married person could bring to the marriage.

We have pretty much done it all. And we have laughed and cried and fought and screamed and hugged and loved and hated and loved and hugged and loved each other throughout this entire ordeal, erm, marriage of ours.

We have had some pretty great years together (1995, 2000, 2002, 2005) and we have had some pretty bad years (1995, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008). But we have always had each other. I have loved more than I have ever loved before and have been more frustrated than I have ever been before. I have felt loved, abandoned, cherished, betrayed, honored and taken advantage of. In essence, I have been part of a human relationship.

I love you Sandi Gonzalez. I am so thankful that you said yes (even if you didn’t know what you were getting into AND even if you would NOT do this all over again). I am proud to be your husband.

Happy Anniversary my lady. You mean the world to me and I am so happy that I can say we made it to 13 years.

Celebrating the weekend kidless (mostly)

Tonight my wife and I are supposed to be having a little bit of alone time together. Not a long time (the kids are due to be picked up from grandma’s at 7:00) but time enough.

I am planning on getting off of work early to begin the celebration. Celebration? Yes, celebration. See, this weekend marks our 13th wedding anniversary. So we are celebrating our anniversary this weekend. Starting tonight.

So it should go without saying that my posts this weekend will be scant at best. There is actually a lot going on this weekend but for tonight, it is just me and my wife. And Taco Bravo. And no kids.

50 years of marriage

Today I had the pleasure of attending an anniversary party. I was a great party for a great anniversary. My aunt Connie celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary to my Uncle Manuel. Yep, you heard me. 50 years.

50 years is 17 years longer than I have been alive. It is half a century. It is five decades. It is enough time for three generations to pass. It is, in a few words, a long freaking time.

As I was at my aunt’s house I couldn’t help but wonder how many people nowadays enter into matrimony with their beloved with an expectation that their marriage will last until death. I think more people are of the mindset that they will stay married as long as the other person doesn’t screw up and makes them feel good about the marriage.

I know that views of marriage today are not what they used to be. In the 50’s, when you said “I do” that meant “you did”. There were not a whole lot of “re”marriages. Now it seems like you almost have to go through at least one to get to one that will work for you. It is a little sad really.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that I have had my share of questionable moments in my marriage. A lot can happen in (almost) 13 years. A lot of bad decisions can be made. A lot of nasty thoughts can be hatched. A lot of feelings can be hurt.

I can say, too, that I have never really wanted my marriage to end. I have considered what life would be like as a divorcee. I have considered what it would be like to be on the business end of one of those “it’s not working out” discussions. And I have totally contemplated being on the giving end of that very conversation.

There are no situations though in which I have actually thought about being single again. Am I weird for that? Are there people out there that really give marriages the level of priority it deserves?

Well, I know my aunt and uncle do. To you two, happy anniversary. No, wait, happy 50th anniversary.

50 years of marriage