When I was little, I wanted to be Cinderella. Like many girls, I dreamed of finding my prince and living "happily ever after". I imagined the dress. The flowers. The church. I knew my "big day" would be my very own fairy tale and that my groom would be more wonderful than anyone I could imagine in my dreams. Years later, at the age of 19, I met the man of my dreams. On an ordinary day in mid-September, we were introduced in the dorm cafeteria by a mutual friend. And though we had a few "starts" and "stops", our "happily ever after" had already begun.
On August 1, 1992, I married my husband, a sweet boy with kind blue eyes who made my heart beat fast whenever he looked my way. To be sure, we were just kids. I was only twenty-two years old when I walked down the aisle, and Marty was twenty-three. We lived in married student housing at Iowa State University. We worked part time at minimum wage jobs, attended classes full time, and pinched pennies. We ate lots of raman noodles and macaroni and cheese. And we were happy.
Together, we graduated, got our first "real" jobs, and started a new life in Texas. We lived in a tiny apartment. We started a family and saved for our first home. We changed diapers, spent Saturday afternoons at the "duck park", and lived on almost no sleep. We seldom went out on dates. Instead we snuggled up on the couch, watched movies, and counted our blessings. And we were happy.
Twenty years have passed since we said "I Do". Today, we are still saving our pennies. We spend our weekends at soccer games, dance recitals, and play performances. We sign report cards and attend parent/teacher conferences. We have gotten creative in order to steal private moments together. And we are happier than ever.
I have no idea what the next 20 years will bring. But, as long as I have this man at my side, one thing is certain. I have my "happily ever after". And for that, I give thanks to God.