Happy 34th anniversary, Mom & Pops!

One might expect y’all to have more wrinkles and gray hair, especially after raising some of those particularly strong-willed kiddos like me. Haha! But you both still look so young! They say that having kids keeps you young, and that surely must be the case because y’all definitely don’t look old enough to have a child who’s in his 30’s!

I don’t know of another couple who’s more in love than you are with each other! Us kids are so blessed to have an example to look up to in your marriage relationship. It’s so endearing to see y’all kissing, holding hands, looking affectionately, speaking loving sentiments, and laughing at each other’s corny jokes (to the point of tears) as though you were still high school sweethearts.

But like seasoned veterans, we’ve seen God’s grace in your marriage as you’ve weathered the storms of life together. Crying together in hard times. Praying for wisdom and help from above. Reminding each other and us kids of God’s promise to “work all things together for good for those who love Him.” Your faith in Christ is solid and unwavering, and I’m so grateful for your godly examples.

You gave stability to our childhood home, and we never had reason to doubt your love and commitment to one another. In all my growing up years, I do not recall witnessing an argument between the two of you. I’m grateful y’all chose to talk through any disagreements privately, and that we didn’t feel the pressure to take sides with either parent.

So many marriages are torn down by an excess of sarcasm and put-downs that may be laughed at in the moment but have the ability to create hurts and wounds over time. Thank you for not allowing these things in your relationship or in our home growing up— and choosing instead to speak life, encourage, and build one another up with your words.

I love that y’all love working alongside each other. From day one you’ve been co-workers, beginning with running the car lot together, then the towing business, managing a gas station, becoming insurance agents together, and both of you getting your real estate licenses! It’s like you can’t get enough of each other! You just love being together, and this speaks volumes.

When it came to hobbies, y’all weren’t quick to run off in separate directions, but would rather do things together as a couple and with us kids! Family hikes or camping trips, bike rides or fishing on the lake. Hide and seek around the house, board games, and family devotions in the evenings. Weekend road trips to Silver Dollar City, or dollar ice cream cones at the local burger house. In the winter time, we’d beg y’all to take us on a “family drive”, just riding around in the van together, looking at Christmas lights. You gave us YOU— your time, your attention, your interaction— and that’s the best gift a spouse or child could dream of having. Being a wife and mama now myself, I look back on these memories and they mean the world to me.

You parented consistently together and strove to keep your household rules and expectations on the same page. You’d help out with the parent duties whenever they arose, whether it was dealing with a bad attitude or binding up a boo boo. When there was a diaper to be changed or a spill to clean up, whoever came upon it would jump right in and get to work. Neither of you had a 50/50 mindset. We saw you both striving to give 110%.

Growing up, we all knew how much Mom and Dad looked forward to their weekly date. Y’all made time together a priority, and it didn’t have to be a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant. Sometimes it was a drive-thru dessert date. Other times it was grocery shopping, looking at a piece of real estate, taking a drive around town, or a walk in the park. Whatever the case, y’all just love being together, and it’s so sweet to see!

I’m so thankful God’s given you these years together, and may He bless you with many, many more! I love you both!