Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Atticus

We've been married for 24 years -- we're practically silver!

In honor of rerunning our love for 24 years, I'm rerunning a meme about our marriage. I've updated it from a post I did last summer.

Happy Anniversary, Atticus! I love you with all my heart.

1. Where/How did you meet?

In college -- i.e., in a previous life.

Don't believe in reincarnation? I do -- it's just that it happens during this life, not after. It's called redemption. In other words -- the people we met back then? Not the people we are now.

2. How long have you known each other?

28 years.

3. How long after you met did you start dating?

I knew Atticus only vaguely when I was a freshman. He was an ex-Marine who scared me. My best friend said he had the handwriting of an axe murderer.

I found out later that Atticus saw me in a play that year (I played the part of an 80-year-old woman dying of cancer) and said to himself, "I'm going to marry her." I was relieved to find out that he based this on my picture in the program rather than on how I looked onstage (although, it was a truly awful picture, proving that he's always had quirky taste in women.)

A couple of years later, he was in a play, and I thought he looked dashing rather than scary. I made my move.

4. How long did you date before you were engaged?

That depends on what you mean by date and by engaged.

5. How long was your engagement?

About three weeks. I said, "Hey, my parents will be in town for my sister's wedding. Should we get married that weekend, too?" He said okay.

I'm not kidding.

6. How long have you been married?

24 years, to everyone's surprise.

7. What is your anniversary?

The feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas (though clearly we had no idea at the time.)

8. How many people came to your wedding reception?

About 15.

9. What kind of cake did you serve?

One that served 15.

10. Where was your wedding?

In the courthouse. We were married by a judge (a valid marriage in the eyes of the Church, by the way, as neither of us was Catholic nor had we been raised Catholic. The marriage became a sacramental one six years later, when I was baptized; Atticus had been baptized in the Lutheran church as an infant. We didn't have to "do anything" about our marriage when I, and later Atticus, became Catholic.)

11. What did you serve for your meal?

Everyone ordered his or her own meal at a restaurant.

12. How many people were in your bridal party?
Two -- the matron of honor and the best man.

13. Are you still friends with them all?

My sister is still my friend, thank goodness. And, yes, we still stay in touch with the best man, who was a former college professor.

I almost had my best friend, Jack, act as my "man of honor" but ended up deciding on my sister.( I was, however, the "best woman" at Jack's wedding.)

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony?

I don't think so.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day?

Realizing I was actually married, that I was actually Mrs. Edmisten (although, I didn't change my name for seven or eight years.)

16. Any funny moments?

No -- unless you count our entire way of doing things.

17. Any big disasters?

No -- unless you count our entire way of doing things.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We didn't go anywhere right away, but went to Florida about six months later.

19. How long were you gone?

Long enough to get a really bad sunburn, eat a lot of shrimp, and go to Disney World.

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?
On the one hand, everything. I've sometimes wondered what a normal wedding would have been like.

On the other hand, nothing. God took the raw material of who and what we were, and here we are today, by His grace. Can I improve upon His handiwork?

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?

The side children always seem to show up on.

22. What size is your bed?

Big enough for both of us, a cat, and sometimes a child, though I sleep better without a small child's feet in my face.

23. Greatest strength as a couple?

That we both really love being home together, we both really love being parents, and we -- finally -- share our faith.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple?

Agreeing on the date night video.

25. Who literally pays the bills?

I sit down to do the paperwork, overflowing with gratitude that Atticus supports the mission of a stay-at-home mom.

26. What is your song?

Nat King Cole singing, The Christmas Song. Very sweet story behind it.

(Updated to include the story:)

We hadn't been married very long. We were on an *extremely* tight budget. It was Christmas time. I'd told Atticus that I thought Nat King Cole's silky voice singing The Christmas Song might possibly qualify as "perfect." He wanted to buy it for me, but the budget was so tight that even a new cassette tape (remember cassette tapes?) wasn't in the budget.

It was Christmas Eve, and I had to work. When I got home that night, I walked into a candlelit room, to the sound of my beloved Nat crooning to me about chestnuts and the season. My beloved Atticus had listened to the radio all day while he cooked our dinner ... waiting to hear that song ... and when he did, he hit the "record" button on the tape player. He had captured it. And me.

27. What did you dance your first dance to?

At our wedding? Or ever? If it's "ever" it's probably something that involved pogoing.

28. Describe your wedding dress:

It was a simple dress, probably not worth describing to those who enjoy such things ... I've never been good at describing much of anything about clothing. Most of the time, my eyes glaze over and I'm lost when it comes to talking fabrics, beads and accessories.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding?

At the time, I was sort of the same way about flowers that I was about dresses and fabrics.

But, if I were to marry Atticus again, I would want just a few roses, to thank St. Therese for her intercession over the years.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved?

No. They're simple, plain gold bands. I didn't want an engagement ring, either, because we didn't really do the whole engagement thing and I've never cared much about diamonds.

But, I treasure my plain, gold band. It's been through a lot with us.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie. Oh, did I say that already? Well ... here's hoping I get to say it for many, many more years to come.


Patience said...

Many blessings to you both :-)

Jean M. Heimann said...

Happy Anniversary, Karen and Atticus!

Praying for special blessings for the two of you today! Congratulations!

donnahowey said...

Happy Anniversary !!!

Beck said...

I love the story of your three-week long engagement - happy anniversary!

Matilda said...

Happy Anniversary to a very handsome couple!

Jennifer said...

Happy Anniversary! The Christmas Song story is so sweet. How romantic!

Just Being Sally said...

Happy Anniversary you two. The card is in the mail...after it's been purchased and signed by us sometime today...and stamped and addressed sometime tomorrow...and delivered to the post office sometime after that. We did note your day today on the way out the door! Hope it's a joyous day.

Liz said...

Happy Anniversary, Your story is a good reminder that it doesn't take a fancy wedding to have a great marriage. I'll try to hold onto that thought over the course of the next few months as we plan what will definitely be a fancier wedding than you had for my dd and her fiance (how I love saying that word about my soon to be new son!).

However, isn't God's grace a marvelous thing. It redeems our mistakes, it changes the people we were into new people, it makes up for the ways our parents went wrong it even rescues us from a society that's gone even more wrong than our parents in many cases. Knowing that grace is what's truly behind it all helps on the days when you feel like you can't possibly get it right. The fact is we can't get it right without grace. But as long as we are receptive to grace it will be right in the end.

I'm so glad that the Hound of Heaven tracked you guys down. Blessings to both of you on your special day.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Happy Anniversary to you both! I loved reading your story. :)

Jen said...

Happy Anniversary!

Christine M said...

Happy Anniversary! And many many more!

Danae said...

Happy Anniverary! Karl and I shared a good chuckle over your answers!

Diane said...

Happy Anniversary, Hon, to you and the Ex-Marine-With-the-Handwriting-of-an Axe-Murderer! Elena and I read this together and both loved it. I must have missed it the first time around...I think I would remember it. Ah, yes, I was traveling. Anyway, it is the perfect combination of sweet and smart (as in, so funny it smarts) and saintly. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story in your ever so enjoyable way.

May the good Lord bless you both with many, many more blissful years together!

Tim said...

I'm sorry, he still kinda looks like an axe murderer to me.

Even after all these years.

Wow, Karen, that's a lot I didn't know.

Happy anniversary!

(Not one of the 15)

Skip said...

Great "story!" Congratulations to the both of you! God is good!

the mother of this lot said...

I really enjoyed this post! Happy Anniversary!

Erica said...

Happy Anniversary, Karen! This is a great story! I love it!

Esther said...

I'm a bit late but Happy Anniversary Karen and Atticus!

Kristen Laurence said...

I love your stories, Karen. Happy Anniversary! What a good-looking couple you make!

Wedding Bouquet said...

Really that is so sweet, Bless you guys.
I am getting married next year.