Twenty years ago….

…I married my high school sweetheart, the guy who stared at me in math class for months before he finally got up enough nerve to ask me out.  

On our wedding day, fresh from our first year of college, we were 19 years old, sure we could take on the world.  We chose to ignore our parents’ gentle warnings to learn a bit more about the world and each other before we committed to the permanency of marriage.

After a three day honeymoon on the Oregon coast, where we drew each others names in huge extravagant hearts on the sand, we returned to our bunnyhole: a tiny basement apartment minutes from the college our daughter is now attending.   Rent was $175 per month, and plumbing pipes ran across the ceilings of both rooms.  

Equipping the place with a table from my grandmother, a couch from John’s folks, and my old bed from childhood, we settled in happily, surrounded by wedding gifts from both our huge families.  

The morning after we returned from our three day honeymoon, I started school and my husband started work.   He would work to support us until I graduated.  I returned the favor until he graduated.

 At Christmas time we wrapped the ceiling pipes in Christmas lights for a homey glow.   The tiny tree took up a huge amount of floor space.

One February morning we woke to puddles of water under our feet.   The spring thaw was letting icy water into our bunny hole.   Within days we had moved to our second place apartment, this one on an upper floor.

It was in this second place a few months later that I looked at the pink plus sign on the white stick.  Ready or not, we were becoming parents.   Our first daughter was born while I was still in college, three months before I graduated as an RN.  

I brought her to lectures with me, nursing her on one side and taking notes with my other hand, determined to graduate.   And graduate I did, becoming a nurse just in time to send my husband through college.   He would graduate 3 weeks after our second daughter was born.

Many adventures later, here I sit, still grateful I married that boy who stared at me in math class.   I am blessed beyond measure.   Happy Anniversary, sweetie.   I’d do it all again any day.  

Except this time I’d skip that dumb argument early on about whether it was proper or not to keep the cereal in a drawer.

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  1. Happy Anniversary! 20 years is an accomplishment these days. You are a great role model to your children and what they see in you will help them when it is their turn to find their "help-mate" to walk down the aisle with.

  2. Congratulations!

    Isn't it funny to think of the silly things we thought were worthy of argument when we were young. Thank goodness we grow up a little in 20 years! 8^)

  3. Congratualtions to both of you!

  4. happy anniversary. 🙂 i didn't know you were a nurse! how cool! i'm sure that's come in handy over the years!

  5. Congratulations! You both looked so cute and happy! I love wedding pictures!

  6. Such a sweet post. Happy 20th!

  7. That is such a sweet story of what must have been many many hard and beautiful days. Wow, you graduated from college when your daughter was three months old! You are inspiring.

  8. What wonderful memories. Congratulations on your anniversary!

  9. Sweet photo! Congratulations on 20 years! Cereal in a drawer??

  10. Happy Anniversary! Such a sweet story!

  11. Happy Anniversary! and many more to come……..

  12. Happy Anniversary!!!!

    Do you keep the cereal in a drawer?

  13. In that apartment we had more drawers than shelves, and I wanted to keep the cereal boxes in one of the drawers to save the shelves for dishes, etc. But hubby thought it was just wrong to keep cereal boxes in drawers! It was our first big argument. So silly!
    I wish I could say we only argue about important things thses days!


  14. Congratulations, Mary and hubby! Many happy returns of the day. 🙂

    My 21st anniversary is coming up in Oct.

  15. Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was a really sweet post!! Thanks for sharing it with all of us!!!! TWENTY YEARS!!!! Praise the LORD!

    Random question…can you tell me the names of those African American hair care books that you had mentioned awhile back??? THANKS!!! : )

  16. A 20th anniversary and a first child off to college– sounds like the makings of a very nostalgic week. Are the photo albums (and/or shoeboxes) out? =) Happy anniversary, and may God bless you with many more!

  17. Happy Anniversary!

    I luuuuuv reading stuff like this.

  18. Congrats! My high school sweetheart and I hit 20 this year too, and have fond memories of making our first home in a tiny basement apartment with me in the navy and her at Idaho State.

    Here is to 20 more great years!


  19. Happy Anniversary!

  20. Happy Anniversary!!

  21. Ahhh, Happy Anniversary! You guys look wonderful in your wedding picture!
    Wow…I was the opposite…not getting married until 32 (and hubby 34) the first and only time for both of us! But I think our maturity was probably not much more than yours was at 19, sad to say! 😉 Hopefully, we've matured a bit- hopefully!

    I loved hearing your love story… sometimes it builds character when we start out in those humble abodes, doesn't it?


  22. Aww! Happy Anniversary! I loved reading this. 🙂

  23. Happy Anniversary, Mary! Just like the others here… I also love reading this very much. Thank you for sharing, dear…

    And guess what? You are the Blog of the Week! Come and check it out :). Have a great weekend!


  24. Very sweet! So glad you are happily married! What a blessing for anyone!

  25. Aww, that was so sweet, thank you for letting us read it!

  26. Congratulations on 20 years. May God give you at least twenty more.


  1. Insparenting says:

    Blog of the Week

    As it is time for Blog of the Week, the award goes to Mary (Owlhaven). She’s been married to the guy she met in math class when she was 17.
    I choose her as the Blog of the Week because… Yesterday was their 20th Wedding Anniversary! That is …