This was taken on our honeymoon in 1995, (twenty years ago if you're not quick with Math). Looking at those fresh faces I thought,....... if "experienced us" could hang out with "newlywed us", what would we say?
Enjoy the Bologna and sunflower years. Your bank account will be meager, when it's existent, and a typical meal will be a bologna sandwich or Spaghettios. That's ok. You can eat that stuff now and your waistline will be totally uninfluenced (That won't always be the case). You'll get tired of eating the same old cheap and convenient cuisine but you'll be satisfied nonetheless. "Love is all you need".
Life is simple.
In the beginning, the things of life will fit -each in its proper place; like those black and white checked sunflower placemats with matching cloth napkins Meme made
......and that giant sunflower arrangement that decorates the middle of the sturdy old table you inherited from Granny. (We still use that table). You have everything "sunflower", don't you Kristi? You even wear "Sunflower" perfume.
Life is sunny.
You'll both take full loads in school while working. You'll hang out with your families who live nearby (a lot) and still find time to adore each other like you do now on Sunday nights cuddled on the couch watching the X-Files wondering why Mulder and Scully can't just quit arguing and profess their love for each so they can work another alien sighting/weird happening without that tension.
It's just you two for now. Squeeze all the time you can out of life while you're alone. Sit beside him in the truck. You'll trade that Dodge you're so proud of to save on gas and make room for a car seat. The Burden two will grow to five in the next thirteen years.
Your love for the three Burden additions will be foreign to anything you've yet to experience. To borrow from Max from "Where the Wild Things Are", you'll want to "eat [them] up you'll love [them] so".
Once you've held each of them in your arms for the first time you'll never be without them; even when you get a sitter or they go to visit the grandparents. They'll ALWAYS be on your mind. On dates you'll be talking about how close they are to taking their first step or sharing your amazement on how they pretty much went from eighteen month clothes to 2T skipping twenty four months.
On later dates you'll talk about their grades, how disgusting they keep the bathroom and how you caught them all three hanging out together and didn't hear a single insult.
The good news is you'll never stop dating. Committing to dating will be one of the best ways to battle the 'busy' that silently invades marriages. I know. I know. Commit makes it sound so routine; forced. You get to fly by the seat of your pants right now. Quicker than you expect, you'll outgrow your flying pants.
Plan your dates.
Stay up late on Fridays, or any other day you feel like it. Down the road you'll be wanting to go to bed at nine, or whenever it gets dark.
The three bonus Burdens you'll meet are a big part of the reason why you tucker out before ten and strangely, they're also the reason you're up sometimes at two and can't sleep. They'll make you gray from worry, but your heart will grow a thousand sizes.
Sleep in on Saturdays.
Because when you've been married for twenty years like us you'll be up at the crack of dawn even on the weekend because of the full day ahead and because your body will be trained in getting up early by that point.
Enjoy your cheap pillows and your easy sleep. In twenty years it will take six pillows from Bed, Bath and Beyond to aid your rest which will still be interrupted by coughing kids, middle of the night stomach viruses and restlessness.
Helpful hint: At some point in your marriage you'll both be snorers. Whoever gets to sleep first has the advantage. Because whoever sleeps first, snores first, making it a little harder for whoever's still awake to find rest in the noise. Slightly nudging the snorer will usually you give a five-ten second reprieve, but that's about it........ Of course you'd never think of poking asleep each other now.
Laugh. Laugh with each other. Learn to laugh at each other. Life gets too serious quick. Worry, a different kind from the kind you know now, makes itself a part of the family DNA before the babies even come along, and especially after they're here. Laughter is the best arsenal.
Well, except for prayer. You guys don't pray that much together yet. With each year that passes you'll better understand your need not only for prayer, but how very desperate you become for more of God in your life and in your marriage.
You'll learn how gracious God is. You're starting out thinking you've got this thing called life figured out. Most days you'll know better. Marriage will find its harmony when you understand that even though y'all were smart enough to pick each other out, you'll need help living in holy matrimony.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17
The equation where God is first, works out much better than the equation you have now where he's a variable that sometimes you include and other times leave out.
It's a good thing you'll be leading the youth there in Iredell soon. You'll have no idea what you're doing. We have a thing called Facebook now that you should be mighty glad hasn't been invented yet. Facebook would have loved to have a picture of the night you (Jason) will put your foot down, literally.....on the back of Josh's head while he crawls around on the floor interrupting your lesson.
Due to the archaic times you're living in, you'll be spared being outed online when you drive the wrong way on a one-way busy street with a van full of teens in Mexico. (#we'regoingtodie, #tellmymomiloveher). It wasn't really that bad.
Anyway, I'm glad you'll choose to obey, serving in a capacity where you feel inadequate. God is going to use that obedience to shake your world soon. Your family will grow not only by three. You'll add to your family by the hundreds as you serve in church In the years to come.
I know you're probably looking at us with our aged faces and much thicker waistlines wondering what we can offer besides some spilling of the beans on your future. (By the way, what do you think of Jason's beard?).
We don't have so much to offer. The older I get the more I know that I don't know. Much of life is still a mystery. But we leave you with the promise that your future is beautiful.
Not every day of marriage will be easy like it is these "sunflower" days you're living. Right now you're crazy about each other. There will be days you're crazy.....Period.
There will be trials and victories, blunders and bliss mixed in with the mundane. "These" are the 'days of our lives' (By the way, You can go ahead and stop watching that garbage. Your own story will be better than Bo and Hope's).
Believe it or not, you're going to love each other more deeply than you do now. The hugs will still come when Jason walks through the front door every afternoon. Everyday will be filled with "I love yous". You'll still be best friends. You'll never lose your love for the 90's greats like "Dreams" by the Cranberries, but you'll also add a hundred new love songs.
Twenty years from now love will STILL be in the air.
Gosh it's good to see you again.
You're still the one my soul loves. Happy 20th anniversary.