12 Years of Marriage : 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a


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When I came across this picture, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself.  I bet you are laughing at me already:) I know, I look pathetic in this picture — pathetically in LOVE!  This moment was captured by our dear friend & Groomsman Anthony P. 12 years ago on November 13, 2004.

Well, Mr. T and I had this thing called LOVE all figured out (I mean look at that picture of us 12 years ago:).  We were going to experience this “feeling” of great jubilation and sheer bliss for the rest of our lives.  And as long as we “felt” the LOVE, we were going to have a perfect marriage…Ladies & Gents, we were in for a big surprise.

Brides and Grooms-to-be, I truly do hope and pray you will experience the “feeling” for the rest of your life.  Chances are, from speaking with many friends, family, and those who married before me, the “feeling” of LOVE every single day of your life for the rest of your life is very slim.  Here are a few things I have learned from my journey of marriage, it may or may not be helpful to you but take it with a grain of salt:)

 I learned that feelings will come and go, but the ACTIONS rooted in LOVE will get you through almost anything — even an imperfect marriage like ours.  I also learned that people will change.  My husband and I change every single day.  Our daily experiences, our interactions with others, our feelings & emotions, thoughts, etc. change every single day…and it effects our marriage — positive or negative.  Also, I learned that men process information differently from women.  I’m complicated and Mr.T’s well…simple:)  Another thing I learned is our relationship with each other changes as it matures through the years.  For example…

Here we are in our early 20’s…that’s the 1990’s.  We dated 6 years before we married.

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Remember the early days of dating?  Well, when I look at this picture, I see two young naive people.  Two people who thought they knew what love consisted of…LOVE=butterflies in your stomach.  Those were also the days we would speak on the phone for hours…sometimes to the point we were mumbling words that made no sense…talking literally in our sleep.  Silly me, I would get so excited when he paged the number “10” on my beeper (yes, old school pagers were in:) cause that stood for Mr. T’s name (btw, his name is Tan)

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For you old schoolers, remember when you could spell LOVE upside down with the numbers 31707?  lol!

Well, below is the most recent picture of us.  When I look at this picture, I see two people who love each other with all their hearts and had to work extremely hard to make it work, sometimes even making mistakes.

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2016 Anniversary Date

  There were days when we were not on the same page about life but those were the times we had to work harder to try and understand the “why’s” of it all.  Or the times when children came into the picture and we became strangers because somehow life was about the kids. Instead, we had to try harder to find time to talk and get to know each other again.  How about when we got so comfortable in our marriage that we forgot how to treat each other with kindness and respect.  Often strangers were treated better than how we would treat each other in the home.  But we re-evaluated our behavior and worked harder to build, encourage, and help each other become better people.  And when one decides to make a career change for a better future (however long it may take – inside joke)?  Well, it just meant we had to work harder and pray harder to somehow find harmony and peace through the challenges of change.  Looking back, I do not regret going through the 12 years filled with tears and laughter.  We may have been tempted to walk away at times because the “feeling” of LOVE was lost but I am so grateful to stick it through because it opened my eyes to what LOVE (in action) truly means.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Cor 13:4-8a)

Well, Mr. T…Happy Anniversary!  I am so grateful for you and how much more beautiful you have made life.  May we celebrate 100+ more Anniversaries:)

Love, Ann

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If you enjoyed this post, feel free to read “Growing Old With My Valentine”.

Growing Old with My Valentine

{Photo courtesy of my God daughter, Mary P}

If I am not the first, then let me be the first to say…Ladies, marriage is no fairy tale (in my experience).  However, it is one of the best decisions I have made for my life.  My Valentine (Mr. T) and I are going on 9 years of marriage.   Although we are not perfect people in any way, we are perfect for each other.  In all honesty, I can not wait to see what will unfold as we grow OLDer together.

Since it is the Season of Love right now, I thought I would share a little of my own experience about Love and Marriage and to also thank my Valentine.  If you are yawning right about now and just want to go straight to the tutorials, feel free to click {here}.  Trust me, you won’t hurt my feelings.  I know that most guests who come to visit my blog are here for the tutorials.  So again, I totally understand:)  Feel free to click {here} and enjoy the tutorials.

Well, here are my 8+ years of experience with Love & Marriage in a nutshell…(and still learning)

ME to WE.

I use to be a free spirit and a dreamer.  After my college days, I use to take off and traveled whenever and wherever I wanted (Thanks to my dear friend Linh P. who worked at an airline:).  I figured that I will  continue to do what pleased ME and made ME happy  – even after marriage.  I mean marriage was one of those things that was suppose to make ME happy all the time right?  Well, through a lot of self reflection and some growing pains, I quickly learned that marriage was not about ME, but about WE.  Because of my husband, I am still a free spirit and a dreamer.  However, not the youthful selfish one I use to be, but a more mature one that considers others.

Definitely not a LOOKER.

When the make up comes off….o my goodness…I do not look the same.  My husband has literally seen me at my worst.  After giving birth to three of his kids and making a decision to be a stay at home mom…Mr. T does not come home to a bombshell.  There has been days when my quickly tied up ponytail ends up on one side of my head.  Also, what is a fairly new mother to do when you receive a new stretched body that doesn’t fit old clothes anymore?  Of course! You go put on your husband’s oversized Tees and his sweat pants. I mean, that’s what I did.  But Ladies, do not let yourself go.  Learn to take care of yourself even after children.  Your husband does not care that you still look how you did when you first met, but he genuinely wants you to take care of yourself.  I am still in the process of learning to take care of my new body.  I just want to thank my Valentine for showing me the importance of staying healthy and feeling good about myself so I can care for our children.  He may not have always been eloquent with words but he learned quickly how to rephrase his sentences to a sleepless grumpy spouse:)

Growing OLD Together

I remember the day My Valentine told me about his belly.  From the sound of his voice, he was very disappointed that his belly hung over the seatbelt. What was a loving wife to do?  I laughed of course!  Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed that hard but that was a milestone for us.  It was a sign we were growing older…together.  My husband use to be an athlete and quite fit I must say.  But that was our younger years.   As we grow older, our bodies are inevitably going to change.  Yes, we will look different.  His belly incident encouraged us to get healthier, but even so, he is not going to have his youthful body.  And that’s okay.  I love my Valentine’s aging body just the way it is.  I honestly don’t care about his strong biceps (that he use to flex and call snakes:)  but I do care that he stays healthy to enjoy the rest of our lives together.

The other day we were talking about our grays.  Our hair is slowly changing colors (thank God for hair dyes) and we know we are transitioning into a new season of life.  Our children are quickly growing and we are continuously changing physically.  As a woman, I dread the aging process but I am slowly learning to embrace it:)  But because of my Valentine and the love he puts into action, I confidently know I will be loved regardless of how I age.

I just want to take this time and Thank my Valentine for loving me, for making me a better person, for accepting my imperfections, for loving me at my worst, and especially for giving me three beautiful children.  Because of you, I can confidently grow old and know that someone will still love me…for me.  Mr. T, I am so grateful for you.  I LOVE YOU and Thank YOU for being my Valentine!

I know…this is a little mushy.  But because of him and his encouragement.  I made my very first video tutorial, the {TANYA} headband.  It was named after him with a feminine twist of course:)  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

If you got this far, thank YOU for reading!

Happy Valentine’s Day!