Yesterday was our 8th anniversary! Hard to believe it has been 8 years since we began this crazy adventure together!
We typically don't do a lot to celebrate our anniversary besides just going out to a nice dinner. This year, however, we decided to change things up!
While we were on our trip last week, Chad had an epiphany about holidays we celebrate. Typically we have parties for birthdays, which is great, but there is really no work involved in what you are celebrating. It is basically . . . "Glad you lived another year!" On the other hand, most people do far less for their anniversary, which is one holiday that deserves some major celebrating. Marriage takes a lot of work and another year isn't guaranteed, especially in our culture today. We have a huge celebration for the wedding and then don't usually throw a party again until you hit 25 years. :)
As we talked about this, we decided that we wanted to really celebrate that we've made it another year and reflect upon what God has taught us and how He has blessed us. We want our kids to grow up maybe not remembering our birthdays, but definitely knowing our anniversary and the importance we place on the commitment of marriage.
So we threw ourselves a little anniversary party! We invited a small group of friends over for dinner to help us celebrate. We have been friends with these people since before Katrina . . . that is still how things are measured here in NOLA. :) We were all in seminary together, we have served Christ together at Edgewater, we made great memories together before we started having kids and now we enjoy the madness of parenthood together! We've walked with each other through times of joy as well as some pretty tough times. We've gone from no kids to 8 kids and two of us in the process of adoption.
I say all that because the history we have together is what made our celebration last night so special. We told funny marriage stories (my favorite is our 2nd anniversary when I met Matthew McCononaughey!) as our kids ran wild all around us. We shared wisdom with each other that we've learned in our years of marriage and parenting.
The most precious time of the night for us was when our incredible friends gathered around, laid their hands on us, and prayed for our marriage, our kids, and our ministry. We were so humbled and grateful to have them intercede on our behalf, to thank God for His work in our lives, to pray for our journey to get our son in Africa, and to ask God to continue to make us look more like Him.
At one point Ava came out of her room where all the kids were playing. She whispered to Chad, "What are you doing?" Chad told her that they were praying for us. Then, in her dress up clothes and big yellow hat, Ava knelt down, put her hand on her Daddy's knee and prayed with us for a few minutes. Absolutely priceless.
This is why we felt led to have this anniversary party. We want our kids to see us celebrating marriage, praying with our friends, honoring Christ with all we do. This is the legacy we desire to give to them. The night couldn't have been a more perfect way to celebrate 8 years together!
I thought I'd put some pictures on here from our years together. Unfortunately we didn't get a digital camera until 2006 and we don't have a scanner. :) So there are no old school pics.
This is when we went to Houma and fed gators . . . the craziest thing I've ever done!
Going to Drago's on our 3rd anniversary.
We gutted a house on the first anniversary of Katrina and I found this newspaper on the front porch. Katrina was such a hard, but growing time for us.
Christmas picture 2006.
We did college ministry with international students from UNO.
Our first SAINTS game!
August 9, 2007 . . . The day we found out we were pregnant the first time. I had a miscarriage a month later, which is the hardest thing we have ever endured. We know we'll meet our sweet Ashton one day!
December 20, 2007 . . . we found out I was pregnant again!
Family of 3! Ava was born on September 1, 2008 during Hurricane Gustav. We evacuated to Shreveport to have her. God healed Ava of her heart condition . . . our miracle baby!
Ava's 1st birthday!
April 2009 . . . Ava's going to be a BIG sister!
Chad and I on our first mission trip together to East Asia in June 2009.
Family of 4! Our sweet Grayson was born December 12, 2010.
Grayson's baby dedication at Edgewater in May 2011. We are so blessed!