Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Renewing All The Vows

Last Sunday, Tim and I stood in front of the congregation in church and laughed our way through our vows. Just like we did over 15 years ago. Vowing to love each other forever and ever and ever.

When we decided to get married all those years ago we just sort of jumped in full of love and cluelessness. We were driven by hope and passion and that all-in kind of love. We dreamed of a big family and traditions and having fun and being together forever. But we were clueless about how exhausting it can all be and how marriage can be tricky and getting older is weird and that jobs just don't get offered and money is always an issue, always. We were clueless that parenting teenagers would involve all this damn phone/texting/instagramming bullshit. We were clueless about how being a parent makes you feel worried about so much and feel so god damn vulnerable. We were clueless about how fast it all goes.  

Last Saturday night Tim and I were in the middle of our normal weekend miscommunication that leads to a fight and mean text messages sent back and forth and then apologies and "we didn't mean it we are just so tired" explanations. It's become just what we do every weekend. It's not a great thing but we have kind of gotten into a rut. We haven't been on a date night since last January. Yeah, almost a year. And we are both really tired and possibly a bit cranky.

After looking at our schedules, we realized we didn't have anywhere to be the next day until 1 p.m. A free morning with everyone home is pretty unheard of around here, so Tim and I were psyched.  

"Can we please go to church tomorrow?," asked Lucy.

"Yeah, let's go," chimed in Peyton.

Tim and I looked at each other nervously. We haven't been to church in a while. "Um, you know we have to go if our kids are asking us to go to church, we have to go," Tim whispered. I knew he was right and it wasn't that I didn't want to go, I just wanted to be together and do nothing more.

That's how we found ourselves in front of the congregation renewing our vows. Turns out our church was honoring marriages that were celebrating five year increments, you know five, 10, 15, 20 and so on and so on. The minister asked the anniversary couples up to the front of the church. Tim and I were the youngest couple there. Whaaat? We joined friends of mine that I volunteer with every summer during Vacation Bible School, Tom and Jan, who were celebrating their 50th. There were couples celebrating 40 years, 30 years and then us, 15. Together we all said our vows aloud as we looked at our respective spouses.  

When I held Tim's hands and looked into his eyes I started laughing and he smiled. It was just like it had been 15 years ago. Except we are older and way more tired and wrinkled and vulnerable. But we are also sort of dumbfounded that so many of our dreams have come true. We have the big family and the traditions and love that goes on forever and ever and ever. We are a little bit less clueless but still hopeful.

Staring at him all these years later and looking down the aisle and seeing couples that have been through so much more and loved longer I felt inspired. Then I looked up to smile at our kids in the pews only to see Lucy on her phone. Cursing technology (in my head) I took a vow to not let technology crush our dreams, or exhaustion or lack of date nights, or being too busy for traditions, or Saturday night fights.

After church we headed straight to the pumpkin patch for our annual pumpkin picking and hayride tradition.

Yup, Lucy had her phone because duh. 

I jumped in the picture because we had just come from our impromptu vow renewal and we were feeling all romantic and inspired.

The loves of my life and my dream come true. Seriously.

And then we went straight to Wade's flag football game because it's not a weekend in October without someone playing a football game.

After the game, we all went to the annual Halloween Hoopla hosted by my in-laws. My in-laws are an amazing example of love and marriage and family and being there and having fun.  

These Star Wars costumes make it look like it's 1982 all over again. And I love it.
Grandma goes all out every year. 

I promise stuff doesn't have to be all complicated and expensive and involve a charger...kids have a blast playing pop the balloon.

And painting pumpkins.

We are actually kind of constantly renewing our vows, our beliefs and our dreams and our love. Each tradition, each family dinner, each holiday party, each game where we go to cheer each other on, we are renewing all of it. All the love, all the hope, all the dreams.

And it turns out Lucy wasn't playing on her phone in church after all, she was taking pictures of our vow renewal. There's hope!


  1. Oh, I love this post so much. I'm glad you were able to do this, and it makes it so special that it was spontaneous and filled with smiles, laughter and a family day after. <3

  2. As I struggle through the last bits and pieces of ending a marriage, it does my heart good to see ever afters in the works. <3

  3. Oh I loved this. You are so deliciously you!

  4. So, so good, friend. Sometimes just slowing down and seeing what's in front of us makes us realize that we have what we've always wanted. And your children are beautiful.

  5. OH Angela, I have so many feelings about this. I love it. I love that you spent a FULL day just basking in love.
    Right before we did our in-vitro cycle John and I were in NYC and we went to Mass at St Patrick's. It happened to be "world marriage day" and so we stood like you did, to renew our vows with hundreds of couples from all over the world. We hadn't been married in the church because John's divorce was never annulled so I always say that that day was "real wedding" in the church with God blessing our journey...4 months later we were finally pregnant.

    Bless your beautiful family...your love, your smiles, your traditions and crankiness.I love it all about you.

  6. The reception is held in the main hall. The wedding venues Chicago are gorgeous and perfect for a wedding. I have been to several weddings here but it hasn't gotten old. The place is absolutely beautiful and the views are breathtaking.