Straight to True North

Happily Fourteen Years After

Something old. Something new. Lemons and lemonade.

For our fourteenth anniversary, the lead up to it wasn’t magical at all. Jenni and I had been miscommunicating and being frustrated with each other. She was also depressed that she was ill and not sure if she’ll be able to enjoy our anniversary. And Bruce and Violet both had colds, which meant that we couldn’t join Jenni’s family for the family Easter gathering. My grandma was in recovery from sickness, and my mom stressed out about how to take care of her. There was just a rainy cloud over our household.

Life sucks sometimes. God is good always. While we feared a repeat of my 40th birthday where our plans were adjusted because Bruce had a cold, he healed well enough to go back to school. I had taken two days off for our anniversary to celebrate while the kids were at school. We’re both quality time people, so we easily spent the first day just running errands and getting groceries for the week. Even after we delivered Bruce to his Monday ballet class, we drove to Target and Fred Meyer to hang out at our haunts.

On the actual day of our anniversary, we ventured west to Hagg Lake. I’ve heard of the lake from a coworker who trains for marathons there and from the guys in my weekly bible study. It sounded like a simple place to visit—not too far and outdoors.

The lake was deserted since it was not that warm out. We looped the entire lake and visited each recreational area. We felt that the park had potential for the kids in a future trip. We came home to our own Hawaiian pulled pork meal, reminiscent of our honeymoon trip to Maui. After we dropped the girls off in their ballet class, we walked with Bruce across the street back to the Fred Meyer we visited the day before. We enjoyed a celebratory Taco-Tuesday dinner with the kids and called it a night early as our bigger plans weren’t until the coming weekend.

Things starting getting crazy around Thursday. It was Bring Your Child to Work Day and I was going to join Jack for the Avengers Endgame premiere in the evening. Vernier put on an awesome day with science experiments, coding, breakout box solving, and making ice cream.

After eating dinner with the kids, I said a bittersweet goodbye to Jenni before joining Jack and his crew for the movie. We finished after midnight and I didn’t get home until after 1am. Thankfully, I also had the Friday off to watch Avengers Endgame with Jenni and Tracy. I only got five hours of sleep before helping the kids get to school.

I’m grateful to see the movie twice. We spent the rest of the day watching spoiler talks and discussing our favorite parts of the movie. The kids went to Battle Ground for the weekend with Jenni’s parents shortly after school. We turned in early again.

Saturday, while Jenni was at her ballet performance rehearsal, I rode my bike up to Tracy’s house to deliver food that Jenni had prepared for her. When I returned back, we enjoyed a simple afternoon together before dressing up for dinner on the Portland Spirit. They served us a three-course dinner while cruising a beautiful evening along the Willamette river to Milwaukie. The return trip allowed us to learn about Portland’s history as the captain described the history of the bridges we went under and took in the city lights.

The evening wasn’t done yet! Movie, dinner, and now, dancing. We visited the Norse Hall for the Portland Swing Dance Club’s fourth Saturday dance.

At first, we were saddened that our grand ambitions for our anniversary weren’t going to happen due to sickness. But we vowed to be with each other, in sickness and in health. God saw us through it and gave us a relaxing week to celebrate our fourteenth anniversary. We revisited our favorite stories of our marriage and dreamed about what the future holds.

God has given us so many great gifts the last fourteen years and we’re looking forward to what He still has for us.