Monday, June 8, 2009

6 Years

Today is my 6 year wedding anniversary.

It got me to thinking about how much our lives have changed living away from everyone we know and love for the past 6 years.

We met at the end of January 2002 and had our first date on 02/02/02.

He was told by the company he worked for that he had to move to Arizona to the corporate office or lose his job. This was October 2002. We had been dating for 8 months.

He called me at work to tell me this news. I was upset by the news but also by the fact that he told me over the phone while I was working. He said we needed to talk to which I replied that there was nothing to talk about. I wasn't about to pick up my life and move to away from everything I knew and loved. Plus I had a daughter, 7 years old at that time. Long distance relationship was also out of the question for me.

I cried at my desk at work and told my two good friends in the office about it to which they replied: Well he just won't go! To which I replied: Sounds to me like he's serious about going.

Later that night, we talked...a lot. I had made the decision to go with him under the condition that we make a commitment to each other in marriage being that I had a young daughter and would not risk picking up both of our lives for him to have it end when we move (it happens).

We planned a wedding, I left a job and working for a company that I really loved, sold my condo & bought our house in AZ all by June of 2003. I had refused to move sooner than that because my daughter was having her first communion that April and I wanted her to finish 2nd grade at her school before we moved which gave us the summer to get settled in AZ.

Here's a picture of the room we were married in...I loved it! It was so beautiful.


There were velvet benches and seats around the room for the guests. The chairs were for our parents and grandparents.

The 3 of us boarded the plane with my 3 cats in tow. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I've never lived anywhere else.

My daughter made friends easily. For me & him, it was much harder. I made every effort to know my neighbors (something that can be hard to do in AZ, believe it or not, because you hardly ever see anyone out of front of their houses).

I worked part time for the first time in my adult life. Until we had my youngest girl.

I have been a stay at home mom since she was born almost 4 years ago.

I will tell you that one of the hardest things was being in the hospital with my newborn baby with no visitors. I was happy to have the new baby but so sad that my mom wasn't there to see her like she was with my first one.

But this is our life. We don't like being so far away from everyone but this is the way it is now.

Last June, we went to Vegas to renew our wedding vows with Elvis. This was the first time since we were married that we were away from the kids (his dad and stepmom flew in to stay with the kids while we were gone).

It was so much fun to do that I'm thinking we might have to do that every 5 years!
Elvis walked me down the isle! He was so much fun! He sang 3 of my favorite Elvis songs, too.

6 years has taken us far away from our family longer than I'd like.

It has given us a very small handful of new but great friends.

It has given us another beautiful daughter to love and made my oldest a big sister (something I will never be)

It has taken us places we might not have ever seen (the Grand Canyon, Sedona) and given us the opportunity to take road trips together to California & Nevada that we wouldn't have done otherwise.

It has introduced us to creatures that we have learned to live with but don't necessarily like!

In 6 years we have seen death touch our family 6 times, one that effects our lives daily.

It has taught us that like it or not, we only have each other to count on.

It has shown me that even when we don't like each other, we still love each other.



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99 comments:

  1. What a great post. And what a story! It's always emotional to reflect on all of the things, good and bad, that have taken place since we've met our spouses.

    Hope you have a very Happy Anniversary. How will you top Elvis from last year?!

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  2. congrats... isn't it great to look back and see all that has happened?

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  3. Awesome post and congrats!

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  4. Happy Anniversary!! I don't know if I could be that far from my family, they all live within an hour from our home. I totally support you from afar!

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  5. Happy Anniversary! I picked up and moved in with my now-husband on a whim after only a month of actual dating. My family was horrified and angry, but now they like him more than they like me. And I think it was the best move I ever made. :)

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  6. Happy Anniversary! This was a wonderful post. I admire your strength. I have lived in the same area my whole life and we may be moving. My husband is getting out of the Navy and job hunting. Prospects here are not good so we may move. It will be a sad day if/when it comes.
    Thanks for sharing. Hope you enjoyed your anniversary.

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  7. What an amazing story. And happy anniversary!

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  8. Happy Anniversary! Stopping by from Harriet's Comment Challlenge.

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  9. happy anniversary! dropped by from harriet's challenge!

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  10. Happy Anniversary..love the pic with Elvis. What a great way to add a special spin to your wedding.
    stopping by from Harriet's for the comment challenge

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  11. Happy Anniversary! I wanted to elope to Vegas and get married by Elvis! And I have a secret desire to pick up and move across the country. Something about just 'starting over' sounds so refreshing!

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  12. Thats fabulous! and with elvis no less :) perfect

    tracy

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  13. Happy Anniversary!!! lol I thought your hubby was the one who dressed like Elvis! Ha! It's so nice to spend your anniversary in such a memorable way... ;-)

    ~Daisy
    http://inlovewithdaisies.blogspot.com

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  14. Happy Anniversary!! I love the Elvis pic.. too cool.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying Hi.. I am glad you did..

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  15. Happy Anniversary! Beautiful story!

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  16. Happy Anniversary!! Love your love story! The Elvis is great!

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  17. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog! We actually have a lot in common. I live in AZ too and my 6 year anniversary is in a couple weeks. I also have a y 4 year old. And believe it or not I am going to the circus at the end of the month too! Crazy how much we have in common. I do have to agree with you though, making new friends, especially with your neighbors can be tuff when it's a million degrees outside and no steps a foot out their door.

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  18. What a journey! Thanks for sharing

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  19. Happy Anniversary!!! We're about to move away from everything to Arizona too. I've heard that about people not coming out of their houses. That'll be hard. We're a front yard kind of family.

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  20. first happy belated anniversary 2nd nice story....sometimes we just need to take the plunge and it works quite fine

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  21. Happy Anniversary Rhonda. I just had my 6th year wedding anniversary on Sunday! But it wasn't so great of a day well spent. You can read about it on my blog if you'd like.

    Arizona sounds HOT but my sister in law lives there and says it has it's great parts about it just the same.

    Oh, I followed you from MBC, but I did awhile back so you won't see my image until you pass several 'member' pages back; I think like 4 or 5 times by clicking 'Next', then you'll see me.

    Congrats again! You look very pretty in that dress.

    Toodles,
    Sarah

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  22. Love the Elvis vow renewal! That is so totally fun. Happy Anniversary! I have also moved away from all of my friends and family. It's going on 10 years and I still miss them. We have great friends here, but it is hard watching all of my siblings get to visit my mom, dad and grandma any time they would like.

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  23. Happy belated Anniversary :)
    That's a lot of changes to go through in a short amount of time. I'm living in Phoenix too, and other than the people I work with, I really don't know anybody. It's hard to meet people!

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  24. I can relate. We left our families for Europe and now Hawaii. Sometimes I feel like my girls are getting cheated out of grandma and grandpa. But we have built a very strong small family that relies on eachother. It has it's perks. Hugs, Jen

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  25. (((((Rhonda)))))), You looked beautiful walking with "Elvis"!

    I really enjoyed reading this entry. You were very brave to take the plunge and leave a place you loved for the man you loved...I think it's wonderful. Not too many people would have comfortable making such a sacrifice for love.

    We were a military family, I hear you when it comes to picking up and moving. Thankfully we're settled now; my MIL moved to our area last year and our kids are in heaven. Hopefully my Mom will make it down someday too...and then my Dad. LOL

    Stopping by from SITS and wishing a day of all things happy!

    ~ Sandy

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  26. Sweet post! It is amazing how some of the hardest things in our lives teach us the most.

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  27. Rhonda, you two sound like you're in it for the long haul and I applaud your devotion to each other.

    Congrats again on your SITS day!

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  28. My Husband and I got married in Las Vegas almost two years ago. Some people were against it, but eloping and running off to Vegas was the only thing we wanted to do. Having just the two of us there was the best and most romantic thing we ever did! I wouldn't change a thing! Great pics :)

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  29. Hi www.greedygirlsguide.com checking in from SITS

    Great story glad it all worked out. You were brave to take the leap but you landed on both feet with a loving mate

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  30. Sounds like a real love story to me. I think you'll be celebrating many more anniversaries.

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  31. Happy belated anniversary! I loved that last line - "even when we don't like each other, we still love each other." That's so true of marriage. Congrats to you both, and happy SITS day!

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  32. Wow, what an unusual wedding story! Glad it's working out and am happy for you. Congratulations. Time goes fast but lots happens for sure.

    Happy SITS day!

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  33. Happy Anniversary...how cool is it to have Elvis walk you down the isle. That room was gorgeous!

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  34. What a good story! It's amazing how things work out, isn't it? I've only been married for four years, but I can still look back and she how God had a hand in it all! Amazing!

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  35. Coming over from SITS. WOW, what a brave woman you are. I can't imagine moving away from all that I have ever known. I'm so glad you guys are happy and I hope even more friends will come out of their homes for you! :o)

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  36. That is such a wonderful story - coming from one who is allergic to change, your story is inspiration!

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  37. Happy Anniversary! Looking back at your life can give a better perspective on it. Great post.

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  38. Congrats on your anniversary. Happy SITStas day!

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  39. awe, thats a sweet post...
    Its tough picking up and moving someplace new, but you've made it into an adventure!

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  40. Great story! Happy Anniversary! Happy SITS!

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  41. Love the post and the picture! What a fun time to reflect on both good and bad and you can see how far you have come.

    Happy SITS day!

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  42. When I met Charlie I was living outside Joplin, Missouri and I planned to move back to the Chicago area after finishing the fall semester at college. I decided to stay and finish school there at that time, but I asked him if he would be moving to Florida with me when I finished school. He said "of course!" He thought I was joking and that's how I ended up here. Some days I love it here and other days I hate it. We have thought about moving to Broken Arrow to be closer to his job when Alec gets out of school, but that would put me further from my oldest and my granddaughter. We have thought about moving back to Joplin, but when Alec goes to OSU, that will put me further from him. So, we will most likely stay where we are. I have found the older I've gotten, the harder it has been to make friends. And I miss having friends.

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  43. Beautiful story!! Congrats on your anniversary and on SITS day!

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  44. Stopping by from SITS. Congratulations on being the featured blogger of the day. What a sweet reflection of your past 6 years. Funny how things turn out....taught me to never say never. :)

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  45. We live far from family too. It's hard, especially hard for kids not to have their grandparents! But friends become even more important and special, and I think I'm forced out of my comfort zone...which for me is a good thing.

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  46. Our stories are very similar....

    I thank god everyday for bringing my husband into my life. My old life was sad, dark and lonely.

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  47. Great post. My hubby and I also renewed our vows on our 5 year anniversary and I agree-we plan to do it every 5 years!

    It is so difficult to make friends when your older. We moved within the same state and find it difficult.

    Happy SITS day!

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  48. Looks like a fun anniversary.

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  49. my 5 year is coming up next month...you just gave me a great idea!

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  50. Stopping by from SITS! Love this post!

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  51. Your wedding venue was absolutely gorgeous!

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  52. Great post! And good for you- with the whole marriage thing, good mommy

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  53. That was pretty neat!

    Happy SITS Day.

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  54. Good post! Happy SITS Day! (LOVE ELVIS!)

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  55. Wow....quite a lot going on in six years. Anyway.....congratulations and happy anniversary.
    :-)

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  56. Congrats!! Your story is quite a beautiful one. Very sweet. Getting married in Vegas always seemed really fun to me.

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  57. I hope you had a wonderful anniversary!

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  58. This post really got to me. Moving is hard. So hard. We did it about 7 years ago and we are finally settling in, finally finding some real friends. It felt like it took forever. Glad that it's getting better for you.

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  59. Beautiful things can happen out of a horrible past... I am a firm believer in that. You look beautiful in the ceremony with Elvis... I've always wanted to do that in Las Vegas, it sounds like fun.

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  60. Happy Anniversary!

    Loving the Elvis wedding.

    LBM xxxx

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  61. Celebrate your love every day! It is precious.

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  62. Chills - because you are so right, whether you like each other every minute of every day is not what matters - what matters is the love that is always there.

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  63. Congratulations on six years!

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  64. Happy Anniversary.
    Happy SITS day.

    The west is indeed beautiful. I am a transplant from NJ.

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  65. Wow, I can't even imagine how hard that would be.

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  66. Congrats! For a second there, I thought your husband got married dressed as Elvis!!!

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  67. thank you for going down memory lane and inviting the SITS girls to get to know more of your story!!!

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  68. stopping in from SITS...

    What a great story! Gives me hope that leaving everything and starting new (which I am planning on doing in a few years going to London for grad school) is possible and successful!

    -robin
    www.robingillis.blogspot.com

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  69. Happy Belated Anniversary! I'm glad you've stuck together through the good and the bad.

    P.S. you look great in that photo! :)

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  70. Happy Belated Anniversary. I always say things happen for a reason. Even when we really don't understand why at the time. Things always fall into place one way or another. I glad to seeit has happen for you. i have been with my husband for 17 years. There are always ups and downs but getting through them together only makes you stronger.

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  71. What a happy 6 years you have had! And I wish you many many more to come. Thanks for posting about your hard times along with the good.

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  72. It's amazing the different paths that life takes us on. You never wind up where you thought I'd be.

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  73. Stopping by from SITS. What a great post. :)

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  74. Awesome story! I especially related to the part about it being hard to make new friends after moving and experiencing the birth of a child but being far from family. You handled it with class.
    HAPPY SITS DAY!

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  75. This is a great post. You seem like such a strong woman! I hope that your SITS Day is great!

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  76. This is so wonderful! I am going to include is as a Fib Five Friday post on my blog myhouseholdjunk.com

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  77. This was so sweet. You have given me an idea for my anniversary. Thanks!

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  78. You look lovely! Here's to many more Anniversary renewals of vows!

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  79. I can realate to being homesick! Thanks for sharing your story!

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  80. That is such a great story. I can't believe you moved, good for you!!

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  81. Wow!! Inspiring! I'm glad you stuck to your guns though and insisted on a a guarantee that you weren't doing all of that for nothing!

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  82. Such an amazing story...and Elvis, well that is just awesome.
    Happy SITS day! :)

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  83. Wow, my husband and I are planning on moving away in the next couple years, and the one part of it that scares me is being so far away from my family. I've always been totally surrounded by family. It may be difficult sometimes to be so far from home, but it sounds like you have a wonderful little family and have gotten some great experiences out or it.

    Happy day SITSta!

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  84. Great post. I enjoyed reading it. Congratulations on being a featured blogger.

    Stopping by from SITS

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  85. Happy SITS day. I loved that you guys renewed your vows that way. How fun!

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  86. Congrats on being the Featured Blogger! WOW! What an honor!!!!

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  87. I know how it is to move somewhere and not have friends. My best friend moved away 3 years ago and miss her like crazy. Then I just moved away 2 months ago and it's already getting to me. I'm just glad I have my fiance.

    Happy SITS day!

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  88. OK now this did bring tears to my eyes. On your first featured post, I commented that I was about to become a single mom. I will soon be relocating from Vegas to the Phoenix area, just me and my daughter. Changes can be hard but hopefully we'll make new friends.

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  89. Oh I'm so jealous of the vegas vowel renewel!

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  90. Your wedding venue was BEAUTIFUL!!!

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  91. Congratulations! What a great story and wonderful experience! My husband and I just had our 7 yr anniversary!

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  92. What a touching post. Sometimes we need to make such tough decisions but they make us stronger and shape who we are! Happy Anniversary to you :) Vegas looks like a blast!

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