Thursday, June 16, 2016

It's Our 10th Anniversary!!

Ten years ago today I married the love of my life! In some ways it seems like it was yesterday, and sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago. Either way, it's been the best ten years ever! Matty and I dated for almost five years before we got married, so this guy has been around for quite some time.

I've been working on this post for weeks . . . seriously. It takes a long time to go through over ten years of photos, choose a (somewhat) respectable number to share, and then get them in order. One thought that I kept having as I spent hours and hours going through these photos is that we have LIVED. And we have lived happily! The amount of places we've traveled, friends we've made, and experiences we've had together is unbelievable. If I'm ever having a bad day, I'll just go back and review my life in photos, because there's nothing to complain about. Sure, we've had a few struggles and sad times, but, compared to what I've seen in these pictures, they are like itty bitty blips on a giant radar of happiness!


**Disclaimer: This is where I go into the story of how we met and started dating. I'm breaking every blog rule in the book by going on and on and on . . . and then on some more. It's a long post . . but we're celebrating TEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE, and that's nothing to sneeze at! It could probably be broken up into like three different posts . . . but I'm doing it all in one. It'll be saved on the Internet for all eternity, and one day Lucy Belle can find it and read it and that does my mama heart right!

I worked at Stroh's Ice Cream Parlor for eight years through high school and college. One hot, busy summer night at Stroh's during the end of my senior year of high school, I looked up to call the next customer and there he was. Cue the cheesy music, cue the tunnel vision and light headedness . . . Matthew Kissel, complete and total stranger, was standing there and I knew right then and there that I was going to marry him. For real, my friend Bridget worked there as well, and she can vouch for this story. I was so lovestruck that I pointed out his gorgeousness to another one of my coworkers who happened to have her camera . . . and snapped an incognito picture of him!

That's my friend Liz on the right, pretending to pose so the picture wouldn't look so obvious. #fail

I had the picture at school with me one day, and one of my guy friends happened to see it and was like, "Why do you have a picture of Kissel in your locker? I grew up with him." 1. OMG, how embarrassing! 2. Tell me all about him!! I went to the Catholic high school in Riverview, and Matt went to the public high school and it turns out we had several mutual friends. And yes, he was currently dating someone so that was a bummer. Also, I was (and still am!) a year older than him, so I was graduating and going off to college at GVSU and he was going to be in Riverview another year. So time went on, I graduated, we conveniently ended up at some of the same graduation parties together and some get togethers when I came home from school to visit. 

Long story short (waaaay too late, and I really am leaving out a lot), we started officially dating in February of 2001 and haven't looked back since! Here's one of the first digital pictures I could find of the two of us. This was at his sister's college graduation in 2002.

So Matty graduated from high school in the spring of 2001 and went off to Kettering University. We did the long distance thing for 4 years. It was hard, but so fun getting to visit on the weekends. . . and the occastional week day when one of us would make the two hour drive to surprise the other one. I get the goosebumps just thinking about it! :) And there was never any "on again, off again" business with us. We were all on all the time. #soulmates

I wasn't going to include any college pictures, but Matty found this one and said it pretty much sums up a typical weekend at Kettering. Don't worry, mom, we were both 21 at this point! ;)

You might be asking yourself the following questions:
1. Why are there so many guys?
2. Why is one of them on Molly's lap?
3. Why is the table such a mess?
4. Why is Matty adjusting his belt while sitting on the couch.

The answer to all of those is: Matty lived in a frat house at an engineering oriented school. Lots of boys around, but not a lot of boundaries or manners. He spent 4 years with a close group of friends that he still hangs out with today. Matt Beaton is on the other side of Matty, and he was at our house with his wife, Erica, to hold Lucy about ten minutes after we brought her home from the hospital!

Anyways, because I truly could go on and on, I'm just going to fast forward to the marriage part! 

June 16, 2006 . . . a beautiful, hot, 80 degree day. Perfect for a wedding! We were married at Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Wyandotte. A beautiful old church with a nice, long center aisle to walk down. No jitters or nervousness at all. My dad says I couldn't get down that aisle fast enough!

This picture is really just to show off the back of my dress, which I LOVED. 

My favorite of all our wedding photos!

So that's the beginning of our love story. When I originally started this post, I thought I'd try to go in chronological order, but it was getting too hard. Instead, I thought I'd break the past 10 years down into categories . . . just for fun!

In our 10 years of marriage (and 5 years of dating), we've traveled to:

Mexico (4 times)

Las Vegas (3 times)

This one's from our Honeymoon! 

The Grand Canyon


Matty studied abroad for 4 months, which was way harder than just being separated by different schools! I went to visit for 10 awesome days. 



We also went to Switzerland, but apparently all of those pictures were on my old computer, which I decided not to dig out and go through. I had to draw the line somewhere!!

Mackinac Island (For my brother's wedding!)

South Korea

I did a post all about living in South Korea, which you can see here.

Houston, TX

Panama City Beach, FL

Louisville, KY

Traverse City (for the Beaton Wedding!)

Sunset in the vineyards!

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Gaylord, MI

My parents know how to pick a beautiful vacation spot!

 We've bought 2 houses:

We somehow acquired two dogs:

Snort has always been a vigilant watchdog. 

For as much as a pain in the rear end Sydney's been, how were we supposed to resist this face?!

Play hard, nap hard. That's their motto!

We have had many cars:

And our most important accomplishment . . . Lucy Belle!

We have made great memories with family:

We've had tons of fun with our wonderful friends:

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. There has been so much love, laughter, tears, changes, struggles, and fun over these past ten years that one blog post, long though it may be, can't really begin to capture it all. Marriage is hard work (that's my opinion, Matty always says it's easy), but we have found our groove and continue to build our life together. 

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life. I can't wait to see what the next ten years brings!



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