Friday, December 20, 2013

17 Years Together!

 Tom and I celebrate 17 years of matrimony today.
What a special blessing this Sacrament has been in our lives.
What a special blessing this man has been to me.
 God knew way back when we were born (2 years apart)
that someday we would be for each other!

December 20, 1996
 I like this picture cropped on us...kind of funny, kids heads around us
Our life together!
Through ups and downs
I couldn't be happier.
  The Hands of a Bride and Groom (prayed at our wedding by good friends, Jim and Bonnie)

Beloved Bride:
Please take your groom's hands in yours:
These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that held yours today at your Wedding Mass as he promised to love you all the days of his life.
These are the hands that, God willing, you will place with expectant joy beneath your heart one day until he, too, feels his child stir within your womb. These are the hands that look so large and clumsy now, yet will be so gentle when he holds your baby for the first time.
These are the hands that will work long hours to earn the money for you and your family. These are the hands that will get nicked and bruised from fixing things around the house to make you more comfortable.
These are the hands that will caress your body throughout the years, to make the passion of love come alive in you.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek, as they raise your face to look into his eyes, eyes that will be filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.

Beloved Groom:
Please take your bride's hands in yours:
These are the hands that held yours today as she gave you her pledge to love you, and accepted your ring at your Wedding Mass.
These are the hands that are smooth and young and carefree now, but will become lined and rougher in the years ahead, from thousands of dishes washed, tons of laundry cleaned, and hundreds of meals prepared.
These are the hands that, God willing, will hold you in the joy and excitement, each time she says you are to have another child, that together you have created new life. These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness, disciplining them, diapering them, baking for them, praying for them, and wringing themselves in worry when trouble comes.
Perhaps these are the hands that will comfort you when you are told you cannot have a child and will convince you that together you can create new life in other ways.
These are the hands that through the years will caress your body in the passion of love. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your face and wipe tears from your eyes, in wonder and awe that you would cry for her.

Beloved Newly Weds:
These are the hands of the Sacrament of Matrimony. These four hands are your armor and shield against the evils of the world. These four hands are part of God's Plan for renewing His Church. These hands can reach out to the lonely and discouraged, bring hope to the destitute in mind and body, heal the abused and hurting children of the world, and teach your friends of wonders of married love. These hands are the hope of a troubled humanity. For these are the hands that can change the world. God Bless you today and each day of your married life.

 It still makes me cry when I read it. So many of those things have happened and come true. We also said our Vows on the Crucifix. (I can post it if anyone is interested) The Crucifix we used came from Medjugorje and hangs in our home today.

I met my husband almost 18 years ago (January 13th). We were set up on a blind date. My now sister in law set us up. I was working at a Montessori school and she was a teacher there and dating Tom's brother. They both wanted me to meet "Tom". I was not interested at all. She must have mentioned his name every day, until finally, New Years Eve I went on a blind date with another man and had fun and thought "what the heck, I'll go".

The other man went out of town on business expecting to come back and go out again, but I went out with Tom and he's the last man I dated.

 Tom called and we talked a little while and found out our birthdays were only a day apart (mine is Sept 9th) and set up a date. He showed up and my first thought was "Wow, you are tall!" (a whole foot taller than me at 6'6")

I was not really wanting anything serious having gone through a divorce and waiting for my annulment to finalize, so I laid it all on him, Angels, Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacraments, Medjugorje, Miracles, you name it. I thought he'd get bored and not call back, but he loved it and we talked until 3 in the morning. He ended up having a huge conversion back to the faith and we fell in love.

Met January 13
Engaged March 29
Married December 20, 1996

 Here we are now...
A blessed life


  1. What a beautiful love story, thank you for sharing it. The prayers, I've never read those before and they are so perfect for a marriage ceremony. You know God put you two together if after laying it on the line Tom fell in love instead of running for the hills - it is something important to instill in my older children about not being afraid of who you are and what your faith means to you. Happy Anniversary!

    1. We also did the Hands on a Crucifix prayer...from Medjugorje, where the couple puts their hands on the crucifix and the priest prays...oh, it's beautiful...I need to find it and put it on here. It reminds us to look at Jesus on the cross throughout our marriage and remember our's beautiful.

      Our 2nd date we went to Mass, and at Communion time, I was like, "Now, you know you can't receive, right?" He was like, "Oh, yeah, that's right" and it made him think and remember.

      Tom had big decisions to make. He said he thought about it, and said, well, if he was going to be with me, he had to change some things and he wanted to be with me, and he was ready for changes. He called a priest and went to Confession and the rest is history!!

      Grace. It's all Grace. And timing. God's timing.

  2. Such beautiful pictures! We just celebrated 5 years on the 13th! Happy Anniversary to you both!

    I was wondering if your family gave you a hard time about getting married so close to Christmas...I know some of our family did, but it was the best time for us with John Paul still being in school :)

    1. My husband and I got married near Christmas, too--on December 27. But he was in Navy flight school and that was the only time he was going to have off.

      I actually love December weddings--and my sons must as well. Our firstborn got married on Dec. 19 and son #3 just got married a few weeks ago, on Dec. 7! I think it's such a wonderful time of year to get married. :)

    2. Kari--Yes, I think everyone did, mostly because they wanted us back from our honeymoon in time for Christmas! We only had enough money for 3 nights. We left the day after our first night in Tom's house, and came home Christmas Eve morning. Everyone was happy. It's actually one of the things I regret. If we'd had more money, I wish we could have been gone for a whole week.

      We did it Christmas time because I was an assistant teacher (at a Montessori school) and we only had Christmas break, we didn't want to wait until June to be married.

    3. Laura!! You have an Anniversary coming up too! Yay! There are a lot of blog people that have December Anniversaries, so fun! (see my above comment on our why!) I hate winter, so it's the only reason we picked December!

      I saw your sons wedding pictures, beautiful day, beautiful wedding, beautiful mama!

    4. We only had a two night/three day honeymoon. We used the money we got from our wedding for the honeymoon, because that's all we had! We had thought of staying one more night, but I ended up getting food poisoning from a pizza restaurant, so we had to leave. We only went a couple hours away...very grateful for that!

    5. Awwww, now that you have kids though, and see no time alone for a vacation in you wish you could have gone longer? I do. But it is what it is...someday, maybe our 25th?

      So sorry you got poisoning is the worst!!

      It was hard planning a wedding with Christmas so close, I was wrapping presents while getting ready for the wedding...crazy!!

    6. OH, and happy Anniversary Kari!!! God bless you both!

    7. Thank you! Now that we have kids I enjoy just going on "mini" vacations with zoo's and botanical gardens...usually places that are only one to two hours away. I'm sure I'll want to go further when they are older, but right now I'm happy just not getting too far from home.

    8. Oh, I know. Three years ago, Tom's folks paid for all of us to go to Mexico, and it was wonderful...but Tom did not like it at all. It was scary with so many kids, especially at the airport and traveling from the airport to the resort. He said he'd never do it again.

      We do still dream of going to Florida someday, but never seem to be able to save anything, when we start to, something breaks that needs fixing. LIke the washer or the van or whatever...

      We are OK with little things like you said!
      Wait...don't you LIVE in Florida? That's where people from MN dream of in the winter....

      Easy for you to talk, (haha!--just teasing you)

      I'll try to catch up on your bloggy this weekend...hope you are feeling better and the kiddos too? Keep up with those fluids! (Do you like any of those crystal light drinks?)

  3. What a beautiful story!! I love the way you are looking at him in the second wedding picture, so sweet... Mark and I were also married 17 years ago this year and we were married on the 26th of December! Christmas weddings are fun!

    1. I know, that is my favorite picture we have from our wedding. We had a terrible photographer, but hey, she was cheap.

      26th? Yay!! Happy Anniversary, God bless you!!

      My parents were married on the 28th.
      (it will be 45 years)

  4. Happy Anniversary! What a great story on how you met. So true that having God as the center of your life and marriage is the most important thing to a long marriage!

    1. Oh, it sure helps, that's for sure!! Thanks Allison!

  5. What a beautiful story! Happy Anniversary!

  6. I love your love story, Jamie Jo!
    Such a beautiful a beautiful family!
    Happy Anniversary!

    1. Thank you Billie Jo. Yes, everyone's love story is special, isn't it?

      We had a nice night.

  7. I don't think my comment worked ... So, here you go again. If it did work, then I guess you get double the anniversary blessings :-)

    Happy Anniversary, Jamie and Tom! God bless your marriage and your beautiful family!

    1. Sarah!! I have not seen you in blog world since...since Facebook!! Thank yo so much!

  8. Happy anniversary to the wonderful couple! Wishing you and Tom very happy and joyful years of togetherness ahead :)

    I loved the pics. You know which ones I found the most adorable?? The pics of you and Tom as toddlers (2nd one from top) :)

    And guess what? Today on 21st Dec, my Mom and Dad are celebrating 25 years of their matrimony! :)

    1. Oh, Manju, how special, Happy Anniversary to your parents!!

      I love the old photos too. Something special about beginnings.

      Thank you so much!

  9. Happy Happy Anniversary! I love that last picture of your family. I also love the short dating and short engagement and wedding right away. You have been blessed. All those big and little blessings. fruits of your love.

    hope you get a dinner to celebrate or just a little time with no interruptions!!!

    1. Thanks Christine! Hey, when you know, you just know, why wait? Less chance of sinning, I think. (If you know what I mean--it's easier to wait a short time)

      We went to La Casita, the place we had our first date! Tom wore a turtleneck, like he did on our first date. (I hate turtlenecks, especially on guys--it was a joke)

      I think.

  10. Loved this! Happy Anniversary.

    You looked so beautiful on your wedding day...and in that close-up with your husband--Jamie Jo, you are gorgeous!

  11. So did the other guy ever call? That is SO funny! Happy anniversary to you 2 love birds! We had met and married within 11 months, too. We have too much in common ;)

    1. And BEAUTIFUL wedding pictures!!!

    2. Oh, Patty, you are the first person to ask that!! Yes, he did and he was surprised. He wanted me to go with him on his business trip! (he went to Florida!) He tried talking me into "dating" both of them. But by that time, Tom was pretty serious and we'd already decided to be exclusive. (haha) His mother set us up, I met her at a retreat. She wanted me to "convert" him. haha!

      Those quick wedding/engagements are the way to go, why wait? If you know, you know.

      We DO have a lot in common. Love you!

    3. LOL! This is so interesting!

      I didn't get it - "She wanted me to "convert" him."

      What did she mean by 'convert'??

    4. Manju--let's just say he was not really leading a virtuous life, not going to church or anything. SO she wanted me to change that. (as if that is possible) That is up to God. I have to admit, I always told my "dates" on the first date, that they would not get any action with me til marriage and some would be intrigued, some were like "Oh, yeah, I'll get you" and this guy, I don't know, I think I'd have had a hard time controlling myself from him, he had the attitude of "I'm going to get you"...he was handsome and rich...God saved me from him. That's terrible to admit that....I always like the "bad boys" til Tom.

      Tom's response when I told him he'd get no action from me til marriage? He said, "I'd expect nothing less from you" I was so shocked at his response, best ever I'd heard.

    5. Oh, and I think I fell in love with Tom right there...

  12. So cool!

    At the same time, funny, because I did the same thing to Dennis on our second date! I laid it all on him on the type of girl I was--a virgin, "strict" catholic, "good girl"...I used all the phrases to try to chase him away because I didn't want to get into a serious relationship with him and get hurt....he said he was happy because he was tired of the "party girls", yet told me he had no intention of ever becoming Catholic. Two years later, he decided to make that his new faith!

    1. It's grace, right Becky!!? God used us, to help deliver grace to our men! Amazing story of your husbands...

  13. Happy Anniversary! 17 years is a long time. What a blessing! Merry Christmas and God bless!

    1. It is...yet seems like yesterday...Merry Christmas to you too! I hope you are feeling good!

  14. How wonderful. Many blessings to you two.

  15. Just enjoying your love story - a fresh start. Amazing what God can do when you are a new creation in Christ.

  16. You two have created such a beautiful life together. Congrats.


Thank you so much for stopping and commenting!


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