April 7, 2009, John and I celebrated our 19th anniversary with a cruise to the Bahamas. We’d wanted to go to Nassau on our honeymoon, but we were just kids in 1990. John was a 23-year-old furniture delivery guy, and I was an 18-year-old single mom. … But still we had dreams, and as the years passed, we kept those dreams alive.

From year 1–18, we’d go out to dinner on our anniversary, and usually Nassau came up somewhere in the conversation. Beaches, sun, snorkeling, relaxation. Ahhh … and we’d always end with the same word: someday.

As year 19 loomed, I got a hair-brained idea. “Why wait until year 20?” I asked John. We had three teens and for the first time a little money in our savings. “Nineteen is a huge celebration, too. Our kids are old enough that we can leave them and know the house won’t burn down. We have friends who can check in to make sure they’re eating and not killing each other.” John loved the idea, and so we sailed away.

To be honest, our vacation was everything we dreamed of and more. We talked, we laughed, we ate, we sunned, we snorkeled, we kayaked, and we told ourselves we didn’t want to wait for another nineteen years to pass until we did it again.

April 7, 2010, we celebrated our 20th anniversary in a new city 2,000 miles from our former home with a new baby on tow. The baby was our adopted daughter — a dream we saw fulfilled after much longing and prayer. The move was another answer to prayer. We’d felt in our hearts we wanted to serve in ministry, and God fulfilled that desire by sending us to FamilyLife in Little Rock, Arkansas. Neither were on the radar when we kayaked near Gold Beach the year prior. And while life changes are hard, both were a result of where our marriage has led us over the years.

As we celebrated our 20th anniversary, we also shared memories of 19.

“It’s it amazing we did it then. It was perfect timing, really,” I told John.

He agreed. “It was like God’s special gift at just the right time.”

So what about you? Do you have a dream you and your husband have been talking about forever? Do it! Take the leap. Whether it’s year 3, 7, 13, 24 or 40 … love, marriage, and life together are worth celebrating. Don’t feel you have to wait for “notable numbers” to plan something special with your spouse. Like us, you never know what the next year will bring, and we can attest it doesn’t take a silver, gold, or platinum number to have the perfect holiday together!

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  1. Great reminder! My husband and I've been married for 8 years. Usually for our anniversary (before our kids came!) we either would go out for a nice dinner, or, occasionally, we'd go camping on the river we found when we were on our honeymoon.

    I mentioned to my husband last night that, just for fun, I priced trips to Dublin in the last week or so–with the timing for our anniversary next year (No. 9) He looked thoughtful, and while the price was quite high, he mused that we should save up for that. Our kids should be old enough by then (just over 1 and almost 3) that we could leave them with Grandma for a week. And why not make No. 9 just as memorable as the last 8 have been? Why wait for No. 10? 🙂

  2. I was just discussing this with a friend this morning, Tricia! Every 5 years we have planned on taking a special trip for our anniversary and every time something major has stopped us so we say, “try again in 5 years…” Our last vacation alone together was our honeymoon and while it was wonderful, we were not able to go where we wanted. A great reminder to seize the opportunity when we can! Thank you!

  3. Kennisha Hill says:

    This really speaks to me, Tricia. My husband and I celebrate five years this month and haven’t had a honeymoon YET!!!! It has been a LONG five years filled with so much busyness and financial stress that we just didn’t have the opportunity to do so. I’m going to talk to him and see if we can just GO SOMEWHERE! LOL…At least before baby # 3 arrives!

    Awesome article!