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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

40 and 19

That's how old Paul turned yesterday. And how many years we've been married today. Just amazing how time goes by and how things change and how things stay the same.....

Paul's birthday and our anniversary are inextricably entwined. We got married the day after his 21st birthday. We looked like babies and people couldn't believe we were getting married!

I've been telling Paul for a couple of months that we should have a party for his 40th, because that's a big one! And he's been putting me off. Then it was "I want to do something *meaningful* for my birthday..." but he didn't know what that was. And finally, a week before his birthday, he said that a party would be nice. And the meaningful part? He wanted, instead of gifts, for guests to bring a poem, a prayer, a reading, or a song to share.

The guest list was necessarily small--I had only a week to prepare! But Paul declared it "just what I wanted!" I made cheese fondue with veggies (I woke after midnight and remembered: I'd meant to also serve grapes and apples with it, which I think would have been scrumptious!) and bread, and for dessert we had Strawberry Lemon-Lavender Shortcake. Paul made mojitos and also shared some of his birthday scotch.

And we had poetry (one original poem, written just for Paul!), a reading, songs, and a reflection on turning 40 from someone not too far ahead of Paul on that.

One of the guests had a series of birthday questions that got us telling stories from the past. Our first Christmas together. Worst gifts received (I don't think anyone came up with a best gift--seems the worst are the most memorable, huh?) and family traditions of birthdays.

The day we got married looked a lot different than the day I'm looking out at right now--it was a hot, central California day. We had a few pictures taken outside, but in the shade and quickly before we melted! Memories from our wedding day:

Paul wore a white tux. And he'd just had warts removed--quite violently!--by the dermatologist. Which produced blisters. And blood and white tuxes don't go together well.....word was sent to me before the wedding that he had blood on his tux and I sent word back: cold water! (Doesn't anyone besides the bride know these things?)

Feeling like I was about to burst with happiness walking up that aisle at the end of the ceremony. And it shows on our faces in the picture!

Paul wanting to skip out on the reception--too many people he didn't know, too many hands to shake and names to forget. My mother said we had better not dare!

The friend who sang at our wedding--he forgot words to the song but just made up new ones and made it sound just as good.

And we pre-recorded us singing together to play at the wedding....and right now, I can't even remember what that song was! I think I need to find the tape of our wedding and listen to it.

Paul, a lot has changed since that day 19 years ago. But my love for you endures. I love you more deeply than I did, I love you not with a 20-year-old's love but with all the experience we've had together, the good and the not-so-good, the joy and the pain. Through it all you have loved me and I have loved you. Happy Anniversary!!!


ElizO said...

Happy birthday, Paul, and happy anniversary, you two. One favorite poem--how to pick! I guess I only read kids poetry, mostly, but there is some great kids poetry. How about "Honey, I love" by Eloise Greenfield? My favorite stanza:

I love
I lot a lot of things, a whole lot of things
Renee comes out to play and brings her doll without a dress
I make a dress with paper and that doll sure looks a mess
We laugh so loud and long and hard the doll falls to the ground
Honey, let me tell you that I LOVE the laughing sound

DebD said...

Happy Birthday to Father and Happy Anniversary. Many Years!

Laurie said...

Happy Birthday and Anniversary. Beautiful post! I think some scanned-in wedding pictures are in order.

Jennifershmoo said...

I agree -- pictures, please. Happy birthday and anniversary! 40 is a big one, and it sounds like you're next? I'll be there in three more years, and Greg is hitting the even bigger 5-0 this year. Yikes!

Elizabeth said...

Elizabeth--that's a sweet poem! I like it! Thank you for sharing it.

Thanks, Deb, and Laurie and Jennifer you'll have to wait for pictures--our printer/scanner has a bunny-chewed cord. No scanning here until we get a new one!