And Just Like That... 28 Years Together!

And Just Like That... 28 Years Together!

This Friday Joe and I will celebrate 28 years of marriage! 
When did we get to be this old?! And what’s even better… We not only love each other a ton, we LIKE each other too!
We make a pretty dang good team. We have been through so much. From the early moments of married life, trying to learn more about one another and getting used to living together, to having and raising six babies. From waking up in the middle of the night to sounds no parent wants to hear… the impending sick kid making their way down the hall to your room vomiting all the way. To the joy of having our oldest two daughters getting married, to becoming grandparents. Some days being married so long seems like it was just mere moments, time tends to fly so fast. Joe is my rock. He works so hard and is a wonderful father and husband. He makes me laugh every day, which I love and I need so badly! I am so lucky to have him!
A few things that have helped us grow closer/have a strong marriage:
Weekly date nights have helped us spend quality time together and keep the flame alive. At one point when our kids were pretty young my cute mother-in-law suggested one way we could save some money is to skip our weekly dates, I remember telling her that that was one thing I couldn't sacrifice because I needed those dates and one on one time with Joe each week. 
Consistent church attendance, daily scripture study & prayers with the family and prayers as a couple every night. There is something to be said about connecting with each other and with the Lord. We feel stronger as we connect with Him. 
We love vacationing together. We love to get away, just the two of us. We decided a long time ago that we would travel together now because we don’t know what the future holds. And with a family history on both sides of the family with Alzheimer’s disease, we want to make as many memories as we can now. These vacations have been such a blessing and a much needed break from the craziness around us. They’ve truly been a time for us to reconnect and focus on our relationship. 
Communicating about the tough stuff, including finances. Yeah, I know, this is NO one’s favorite subject. But when you talk about the hard things, and learn to listen to each other and respect each other even if you disagree, you are strengthened. There is power in giving and seeking understanding to others. As one of my sweet friends said, “that’s when the magic happens”. I wish that we would have had some classes on how to communicate before we got married, as it is such an essential skill. We’re still working on it, but we’ve come a looong way. 
We hope you enjoy some of our favorite memories and thoughts about the life we've built together.
Joe’s highlights:
I remember throwing the moves on her when we were first dating and we were outside and she was paying attention to the stars as she was a city girl and really never saw what clear skies and the stars looked like. She made the comment “look at the stars” and I looked into her beautiful Hazel eyes and said "I am not looking at the stars,” then I pulled her in for a kiss. Pretty romantic, huh?  Well if you ask her, that's probably about the extent of my romantic streak. 
I have enjoyed being with her through all the good, bad and the ugly times but with each other they have been bearable and usually pretty good even when it's been hard.  We have had many good times together as well.  I remember when each of the kids were born and how she would just forget about all the pain and turned her attention to her beautiful kids as she held them in her arms.  Taking Vacations together has always been memorable.  The last couple of cruises that we went on to the Southern Caribbean were a lot of fun and we had a great time just being with each other and spending time without having to worry about cooking, cleaning, or where we had to be.  I enjoy being with her all the time. 
Family vacations where we have had to drive for long road trips are always good as we started the Harry Potter books and would listen to them with the whole family.  We’ve really enjoyed spending time together.  We also made a family tradition of going out to eat with the kids on their birthdays.  It was always fun to let them pick which restaurant they wanted to eat at and be together with  the whole family. 
Our anniversary trips together have always been a highlight of our marriage.  We usually only get away for a day or two and would just go out of town and enjoy a restaurant and maybe a movie and usually sleep in and have a late breakfast/brunch and just enjoy being together. 
Alissa's highlights:
Waking up to a possessed car! When we were newlyweds, I woke up to strange noises coming from outside our house. When I went outside to inspect, I realized that our Honda Prelude lights were alternately going up and down for no apparent reason. I’m pretty sure it was possessed, though Joe will tell you some kind of technical car repair mumbo jumbo. He got it fixed right away and all was right in the world.
I hope I never forget the look on Joe’s face when our first baby was born. As with most birth stories, labor is difficult. After the relief I felt when I knew our sweet baby was here safe and sound I looked up at Joe, who was standing at my side holding my hand. He had tears streaming down his face and was so happy and proud of our sweet little Jaci. I knew our world would never be the same. We had similar experiences with all of our other kids as well. Joe’s a great dad! It’s been so fun to raise our kids together. We’ve had lots of laughs and of course we’ve had frustrations and stress as anyone does raising kids. But it’s been wonderful to have him by my side through it all. 
Joe still makes me laugh every day. I love that about him, especially on extremely stressful or hard days. I also love that we can be together and not need to say a word, I’m comfortable around him. He’s my safe place. He balances and compliments me where I’m weak. I think there’s a great benefit to being married to someone who’s different from me. I love that Joe still holds my hand, opens doors for me and kisses me goodnight every night. 
We hope you’ve enjoyed a little peek into our life together.