People who are happily married tend to have a lot of anniversaries. So we had one - our eighteenth - on Sunday.
We were married August 20, 1988 in the Salt Lake Temple, almost six years after our first date, five months after my husband returned from his two-year missionary service in Japan (the longest two years of my life, but well worth it), and one week after my graduation from Brigham Young University. (If I finished college before getting married, my parents promised to give us a car, so I did and they did.)
I often spend some of my Sunday time doing genealogical research, and it so happened this weekend that I discovered some roots of my family tree that tap into the royal Tudor family of England. And I thought it was kind of interesting, because despite that being unknown eighteen years ago, my wedding day still felt like a celebration befitting a princess.
The morning wedding ceremony was private and beautiful, with close family and friends in attendance. That evening, many more joined us for a wonderful reception at the historic McCune Mansion in Salt Lake City (pictured right), complete with a harpist, a buffet dinner surrounding an ice sculpture of the temple, a ring exchange ceremony, a beautiful cake adorned with fresh flowers, and dancing accompanied by a live band. Afterward, a horse-drawn carriage whisked us away, fairy-tale-style, to our "happily ever after".
We honeymooned in scenic Star Valley, Wyoming, in a private cabin generously loaned to us by a friend. And we did live happily ever after.
In the past eighteen years we have ridden the rollercoaster of life together, and there's nothing more wonderful than riding with your best friend.
We celebrated this weekend in our typical style of celebrating things with a string of several mini-events. We attended the Dallas Temple on Saturday, followed by a lunch date, and then Saturday evening we went out to dinner and came home to watch Beetlejuice. I remember the night before my wedding, staying in a hotel in Salt Lake City with my parents and my brothers, and we watched Beetlejuice on the television because I was too excited and nervous to sleep. So it was funny to watch it this weekend as a nod to that memory, and it was also funny to watch the scene where all the dead people are sitting around in the waiting room, and you can tell how some of them died. (I once blogged about a thousand years from now, when we're all gone and we sit around in the afterlife yakking it up about the details of our life and death, and this scene reminded me of that. It also reminded me that I promised to haunt my husband if I die before he does.)
On Sunday morning we had muffins for breakfast, because I remember on my wedding day, as my mom and I were running late and trying to get to the temple, she kept insisting that I eat something. The last thing I wanted at the moment was breakfast, but Mom grabbed a quick muffin in the hotel lobby and kept trying to force feed it to me so I wouldn't faint during my wedding. So I like to eat muffins for my anniversary breakfast because it's another funny memory of that day.
After church we had a family dinner featuring salmon (because at our reception we had salmon mousse) and white cake with raspberry filling (like our wedding cake). My wedding dress, a framed invitation, and the satin pillow that held our wedding rings during the ring ceremony were used as decorations. We put a television in the dining room and played our wedding video while we ate. Our son picked out some roses for us the day before, to help us celebrate "our family's birthday", and these also adorned our feast.
And, as usual, the celebration is not yet over. We have a trip scheduled to return to the honeymoon cabin in Star Valley next month. And truth be told, it seems like the past eighteen years have been an on-going celebration anyway, and it will continue that way (awwww).
After all, a temple marriage is one that is sealed "for time and all eternity", instead of "'til death do you part". That has always been important to me, but when mortality hits the radar screen it becomes all the more valuable to me, to know that cancer isn't signaling the impending end of our marriage. It'll just be a temporary separation, like it was during Jared's two-year mission in Japan (except this time I get to haunt him), and then we'll be reunited again. We will share many, many more anniversaries, long after cancer or gravity or whatever else finally claims us and sends us back from whence we came. On our eighteen thousandth anniversary I think we'll have muffins for breakfast again, and we'll ask for a replay of our wedding day on the heavenly Jumbo-tron (or whatever the angels record our lives on), we'll have another family dinner (maybe invite some of the Tudors - preferably the ones who didn't behead their spouses) and then we'll go off to haunt the honeymoon cabin again.