Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Tale of Two Weddings

Most of my friends think it's a total riot when I tell them I've been married twice.  

Yes, twice.  

To the same man and within 2 months of each other.

Yes, we had a little "pre-wedding" legal wedding as many many military families tend to do.  The conundrum was the fact that once I graduated college, I needed insurance.  My dad was going to pay a monthly premium for my insurance but we had an easier fix.  I was engaged to be married to Jason in less than 2 months and it could potentially save dad quite a bit of money.  
Jason and I talked about it and saw no reason not to go ahead with it, except the fact that it wasn't going to go over well with my family who was spending LOADS of money on my big fancy dream wedding. 
So, how would we get around that little technicality? 

We just simply didn't tell them. 

 We were well past the "need their permission" stage.  (This IS Alabama).  
I called my dad and told him it wouldn't be necessary to pay the insurance premium afterall.  He of course started asking questions and my response was, "don't ask, you really don't want to know", or "don't make me tell you, you can't keep it a secret from mom!"  After relenting, he either "knew" or "didn't want to know" but gave up anyway.  
I was an intern at a hospital in Montgomery, AL.  Jason was in flight school at Fort Rucker, AL.  I fairly often made the trip to see him after work.  It was 1.5 hours and I'd stay for the night and get up around 4:30 am to be back at work the next day.  That's love, I tell ya!
On the day we decided to go ahead with it, we had made some decisions.  This would NOT be our anniversary.  That would be disrespectful to our big fancy wedding day.  This is a LEGAL wedding and I wanted it to remain insignificant in our minds so that my "real" wedding, the one with the big white dress, would always be the wedding day I remembered.  

It was a random weekday when I left work a little early to arrive in Enterprise Alabama before 5 pm.  I was wearing my work scrubs, Jason was in his flight suit from training.  We drove over to the Coffee county courthouse without telling anyone what we were doing.  Apparently that "need witnesses" thing  includes the people that work at the county court house, whether they know you or not.  Rings, totally unnecessary.  You think a judge must perform the ceremony?  WRONG.  Jason and I arrived at 4:30 to find the judge was gone for the day but his secretary could perform the ceremony once we paid our $60 license fee.  It's a bit fuzzy in my memory, in an attempt to keep it insignificant, but we held hands and said what she told us and then she declared us "married."  We walked out with a legal document and what's done was DONE.  We were stopped at the first red light on mainstreet when I asked Jason, "weren't we supposed to kiss or something?"  He said sure, and we kissed right then and there.  The rest of the night was just as ho hum.  We ate take out dinner with his roommates and the rest of the month continued as if nothing had ever happened.  We have NO photos of this day whatsoever.  I couldn't even find one in the same month.  This was pre-cell phone camera era so it would have meant planning to have the camera.  That would have shown intent and made it more significant.  It's probably best that there isn't any photo proof.  The official date was Dec. 2, 2002.  It's a date we have to look up each and every time we need our "official" wedding date for paperwork. We tried hard to keep it insignificant and we have so been successful.  Some years we might mention it off the cuff on that day, some years the day passes and we never even mention it at all.  

On February 1, 2003, we had our big fancy wedding.  I had planned this wedding for nearly a year.  I had the dress, the guests and the picture perfect location. I embodied bridezilla for nearly a month.  This would be the day we would spend our lives celebrating.  And for 11 years now, we have!  6 homes, 3 deployments and 2.9 children have happened in that 11 years.  
It's taken us places we never knew we'd be and it's been perfect for us.  I had Ruth 1:16 inscribed on his wedding band.

Where you go, I will go. Where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.

Still true.  I'd follow him anywhere.  For now, that's Texas.

For our 11th anniversary, Jason gave me the gift of silence and solitude.  He took the boys bowling and I had the day to myself.  It was quiet in the house.  I got a paraffin pedicure and a starbucks.  I didn't have to fix anyone anything or share anything either.  It was heavenly and the best present I could have gotten.  Roses, chocolate and diamonds can't touch a few hours of complete silence when you have 2.9 children.  Oh, how things change over the years!  This year, we didn't even have a fancy anniversary dinner.  We contemplated getting a baby sitter but we wanted hibachi and decided if we were going to pay a sitter and sit at a table with strangers, we might as well bring our own offspring.  It was a family celebration and it was just what we wanted. 

 I loved this guy 11 years ago and I love him so much more today!  
We missed our first anniversary Thanks to a deployment so we ate that one year old cake a little late.  Surprisingly, it was delicious, even over a year later!

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