Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy 17th Anniversary

Tomorrow ( August 19th) is Gary and my 17th anniversary. In honor of our special day, I thought I would share a blog post about our wedding story.

Gary and I first met while we both worked at Fred Meyer grocery store, I was 16 years old at the time. After a couple of years I went to work at the mall, but we ended up having Biology class together in community college. We started to get to know one another more when Gary tutored me in Biology - for some reason even though I aced Bio in high school I could not do well in college Biology- I aced the labs but had a very hard time sitting through lectures. Gary did a great job tutoring me on a unit about synaptic connections and to this day it is one portion of my biology class that I actually remember. Despite Gary's help, my inability to sit through painfully boring lectures made it so I never passed the class - not even on my second and third attempts, and my poor biology grade remains the lowest grade on any of my transcripts to date- yikes!!

Time went on and I hadn't run into Gary for quite a few months. I was on my way home from work one evening and needed to pick up some groceries- instead of going to a grocery store nearer to my apartment, I decided to stop in at my old work place for groceries. Gary still worked there, but he wasn't working that evening. I was leaving the store with my purchases, and as I was leaving Gary happened to be coming into work to pick up his pay check. Since we hadn't seen each other in quite some time we thought it would be good to get together, so we exchanged numbers, and made a plan to hang out the next evening.

From that evening on we saw each other every single day- we became engaged about 6-7 months after we started dating and about 10 months after that we were married.

It is clear to me that God brought us together- although we have opposite personality traits, we complement each other very well. Gary and I are best friends, and love being together. There is no on else on this planet I enjoy being with more than my hubby!!

We planned our wedding for mid August, we wanted an outdoor reception, and in Portland,Oregon, mid August was the most likely chance for no rain. Gary was a new Christian at the time and neither of us were attending a church, so we decided to get married down in Corvallis, Oregon, at the oldest courthouse in the state. My sister and her college sweetheart were married there earlier in the year, and I thought it would be neat that we were both married in the same place.

So early in the morning of August 19th we made the drive down to Corvallis, along with my Mom, sisters, Gary's parents and brothers, and our maid of honor and best man. I was a little concerned that morning as it was sprinkling- but the sun came out soon enough. I was really into antique white and dusty rose at the time (my Victorian phase) so these were our wedding colors. It was such a beautiful day the judge suggested we have our ceremony outdoors. The courthouse garden was beautiful- the courthouse itself looked like it had been decorated for a wedding, the stairs were lined with beautiful flowers. I couldn't have asked for a prettier place. The judge went above and beyond his duties of a simple ceremony and even gave a little talk about the importance of marriage- he did a really nice job.

Here are a few pictures of the ceremony.

In this picture we are exchanging rings.

You may now kiss the bride. :)

Here we are after the ceremony.

Only our Parents, siblings and my good friend Tanya my maid of honor, and Gary's good friend Todd his best man, were at our ceremony. I really enjoyed that it was a small and private wedding. We all went out for brunch afterwards, and then Gary and I left on our honeymoon- we did things a little backwards, and had the reception when we got home.

Our honeymoon was very fun- we took a week long trip all around Oregon. We are both outdoor enthusiasts, and were excited to explore Oregon. We camped out the majority of the time, and stayed in hotels a couple of times as well. The first night we camped in Bend, Oregon. The next day we hung out in Bend then started our drive to Crater Lake -our second evening destination.

Here we stopped at a beautiful Water Fall along the way- perfect spot for a kiss. *^-^*

Crater lake was beautiful!

Our next destination was Goose lake on the border of Oregon and California. Now these were pre-internet days, and I only had maps to plan out our trip- on a map Goose lake looks like a big beautiful lake, so we thought it would be a very nice place to camp. Now I'm not sure what Goose lake is like during other parts of the year, but that August it looked like this.

We could see that there was water way off in the distance, and I have this OCD thing about touching a body of water when I am at that body of water. If I am at a lake or Ocean or river, I want to touch the water. So we decided to hike on out- and it was a long hike- through dried up river bed- along the way we saw animal tracks that looked a lot like a large cat - it was a bit freaky because we were way out past were any people were. We hiked for quite some time, then soon we got to a more mucky part. We were convinced that if we believed in a thing like primordial ooze (we are creationists so we don't) that it would look a lot like this.

We got river bed muck all over our nice new hiking shoes- I thought it was pretty cool though, so I never cleaned it off my shoes, it dried up into grayish powder, which to this day a little bit remains on my hiking shoes, which I have saved even though they stopped fitting after I had children and my shoes size went up by a half size. My shoes and these pictures are a fun reminder of this cool adventure we had on our honeymoon.

Gary brought his camera and tripod with him and set the timer to get a picture of us at Goose Lake. Looks like I am holding a can of Pringles- which to this day is our favorite road trip food- every road trip we take we bring Pringles.

After Goose Lake we drove through Southern Oregon, and even dipped down into Nevada for a few hours. We were trying to find some cool spot, but took a wrong turn and ended up on this road for a long time- we could see no end in sight, and after driving on it for a very long time we decided we would turn around and go back so we wouldn't run out of gas in the middle of no where. Before we turned around we pulled over to get a few picture of our Trooper (one of my most favorite vehicles ever) it was covered in so much dust. Glad we didn't get stranded out there- what did we ever do without cell phones and GPS!! This was a very memorable part of our honeymoon. We pretty much just drove all day that day, stopping along the way in Denio, Nevada- a tiny little town, for lunch. We ended up that evening clear in Ontario, Oregon.

We did a lot of driving on our honeymoon, and we listened to the soundtrack to The Lion King for a large portion of the time. We loved the Lion King and saw it in the theater when it came out that year- I can't wait for it to be re-released in October.

Our next stop was Wallowa Lake- this was a fun place to camp- the lake was beautiful, and the deer were so tame you could pet them- which we thought was pretty cool!

We visited the town of Joseph and watched a reenactment of the famous Joseph Bank robbery, we also had fun going through the different historical museums and buildings.

After that we made our way through Eastern Oregon, spent the night in Pendleton, and then back to Portland.

When we got back it was time for our reception- we held the reception at my favorite childhood campground- Oxbow Park on the Sandy River. The location was so pretty- My sister and brother in law got there early and helped us decorate. We picked up our own food - we had ordered all of our food from the Fred Meyer store were Gary still worked and where we first met. We were friends with everyone from the deli and bakery, and they did a very nice job on everything. We had live Celtic Music - wonderful musicians Brenda and Jim - I just found their link!! The music was a nod to my Celtic heritage, and was perfect for our outdoor forest setting. Our friends and family joined us for a nice afternoon of good food and music by the river.

Here we are getting ready to cut the cake.

The cake was very good- a simple white cake with raspberry filling. We set out disposable cameras for everyone to snap pictures, which was fun, and we ended up with all sorts of nice photos.

Our wedding and reception were both simple and beautiful, we stayed within our budget and had plenty of money for our honeymoon. I liked that our wedding was simple and very down to earth- it allowed the focus to be on what was important- our marriage.

As Christians our marriage is very important to us-

22.Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23.The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man." 24.For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become on flesh.
Genesis 2:22-24 NIV

I also love the passage in Ephesians 5:22-33 that talks about wives and husbands.

6."But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 7. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be untied to his wife, 8.and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. 9.Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Mark 10:6-9

We are both committed to having a life long marriage, as well as a happy and loving marriage. This following passage is a good one to read about love.

4.Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5.It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

This verse is filled with so much wonderful advice! I just love it!

So that is our wedding story- we sure look young in all of these pictures!!

To my dear and wonderful husband Gary- I love You! Happy 17th Anniversary!!


  1. Who is that dashing young man you are with? lol
    April, I am so glad you and I have gotten to spend all these days together. You are an inspiration to me. I appreciate all the work your are doing with this blog, with our children, with dealing with me.
    You are the love of my life and I look forward to many more days and moments together.
    I Love You

  2. It was fun to see your pictures! Your honeymoon sounds great, there is so much to explore in Oregon! Happy anniversary, and prayers for many more happy years!

  3. What a lovely wedding! I enjoyed all your pictures. Your wedding dress was beautiful!

  4. Happy anniversary! You two make a cute couple. I enjoyed reading about how you met. May you have many more!

  5. Awwww!! I love this! You guys are so sweet :) Congratulations on 17 years of marriage.

  6. Thanks everyone for all of the positive comments!!

  7. Happy Anniversary! Your post brought a tear to my eye! So Sweet! Stopping by from Homemaker by choice blog hop! Blessings!


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