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Happy Anniversary

January 21, 2010

I was going to write a post for today, January 21, 2011 and wanted to find the picture of us kissing that first night we met.  I found this post and also found, well, I couldn’t say it any better.  So in lieu of new – REPOSTING:


Our Wedding Day

Immediate and first recollections: The day we got married in Minnesota, 16 years ago today, it was about 15 below zero, raw and grey.  I remember I was having panic attacks at the church I was so nervous.  The basement where I got ready was freezing and it had the typical church-basement feel and smell.  It was all so strange and unfamiliar.  My “bouquet” of calla lilies was almost as tall as me.

After the ceremony, we stopped for a toast at a little bar down the road on the way to the reception (which was held at Spanky’s, a bar where there were pool tables, dartboards, foosball, and so on).  Strange venue for a wedding reception, maybe – but it was relaxed and fun (and inexpensive, hey, I paid for this myself!)  We had a caterer, a DJ, kegs and a bunch of uncomfortable older relatives who probably thought, “a reception in a BAR???” or “this will never last”.  Ha.

A Bar for a Wedding Reception?

In our defense, not only was it what we could afford, (other than the church hall and we were NOT about to have a reception some place where you couldn’t drink, smoke, listen to rock, and dance!), it was what we were into at the time; we were in a couple’s dart league out of that bar.  Spanky’s was the place my daughter dragged me off to that first fateful night so I would get out of the house. She was trying to pull me out of my depression caused by the devastating break up nearly a year earlier from my almost-priest, the first “nice” guy I had ever gone out with. 

It is where we met, my David and I.  In front of God and everybody, this is where on that first night I fell unconsciously, completely, hungrily, wantonly into an all encompassing David-kiss before climbing into the backseat of the car to be driven home by my daughter and her then boyfriend, Doug.  That kiss was needed for way too long.  Earlier that evening, before many light beers and dancing with strangers, Spanky’s is where I spotted my David and turned to my daughter and said “that is the kind of guy I want.  I want him.”  But I thought he was taken, all the more compelling, and safe.  Did I mention he was wearing a purple tux and that he had just been best man at his friend’s wedding?  I conversely, had been hanging curtains when my daughter spirited me away without even allowing me a chance to change.

First Kiss September '93

The Dating Game

After that initial night came a time of excruciating first and early dates, the ‘getting back into the game” and “getting to know you’ stage.  Going bowling with the insulating group of friends in tow, or clinking glasses of wheaty visen and slamming boots of beer (down thirsty throats and on wooden planked tables) in between shouting out “HOI HOI HOI!” at the Northeast Minneapolis German restaurant called Gasthof zur Gemütlichkeit.   This landmark is where we over-indulged in shots of sweet Apfelkorn and snuff snapped at high velocity up our noses off the ingenious, spring-loaded, wooden snuff board.  These were loud rowdy nights of screaming laughter, polkas, and drinking games, in a convivial establishment where the guy who made me ring the bells while he sang “My Ding-a-Ling” strolled amongst the tables and dirndled waitresses offered endless drinks of fun in a shot glass or who were more than happy to hit you up yet again with their menthol or regular nose-burning snoose. 

Accordianist Mark & The Kaiser


  1. Please leave license and credit card for deposit.
  2. Das Boot can never touch the table until it is empty.
  3. After drinking, you must flick the glass with you finger before passing Das Boot.
  4. Always drink Das Boot with the toe facing out.
  5. If you get splashed in the face, you must drink again.
  6. The person who drank from Das Boot immediately preceding the person to empty Das Boot must purchase the next fill.
  7. If you break rules 2-4, you must drink again.
  8. Never clink Das Boot with other glassware or slam it on the table.
  9. If you break or lose Das Boot you will be charged $50.00!

Arrested Development

Let me try to explain this wild behavior at age 40… I had Adrienne, my darling daughter, when I was 16.  I married young and had two more children, wonderful sons Collin and Jesse, by the time I was 22.  It didn’t leave much time for growing up normally or doing the things one would do at that age. 

Those first years with David were like a gift I never imagined receiving.

Back then it was like I was able to make up for my lost youth, my lost love, my lost time.  This was a hazy almost frantic period of nearly-nightly mini-celebrations at favorite establishments followed by harrowing drives back to St. Paul from Northeast (or Nordeast if you’re a native) Minneapolis for late night/early morning burgers and fries, then home to my house, or to his, then up for work with a blinding headache and no clean clothes.  The later was sometimes remedied by jauntily wearing a man’s suit jacket over a plain, white T – jacket sleeves rolled up.  Pair this with the work-skirt from yesterday (as well as from last night’s revelry), hastily a
ired out in the dryer and smoothed against my alcohol poisoned, quaking legs, this was the strange and slightly desperate ensemble sometimes worn to my job at the Archdiocese. How did we survive???  Improvisation and luck, apparently.

Of course inspiring mornings like these are what lead to bringing a change or two of clothes over, “just in case”.  They are what precipitate absconding not only with his heart, but a drawer, a section of the closet, a place in the holder for one’s toothbrush, and the space for one’s car in the drive.  Soon you are cleaning and simultaneously reorganizing his house, therefore redecorating a bit – small things at first, like getting him to move the cat litter box out of the dining room (EWWW!)  Larger things (like his roommate) came later…

That sounds sneakier that it was.  Throughout our nearly 2-year dating period I told him right out loud I wanted to marry him.  You see, I had no doubt about him or us, none.  For me, upon seeing his sweet face, his tall lanky form, his blonde, blue-eyed self with the neat clothing and short, military haircut, for me truly it was love at first sight.  When I saw him in uniform (he’d been in the Army, then enlisted in the National Guard) I honestly thought I’d swoon I thought he was so hot.


I realized I’m not mentioning the other times. I could write a book of my early memories and the activities surrounding them there are so many, bear with me while I reminisce a while: 

Going to his parent’s house that first Christmas – they gave me a watch and Mackie perfume he’d picked out.  Our first drive and stay up to the cabin (whoooo son!), playing endless rounds of “dirt” or other games with various friends, my mom, Adrienne, Doug, Steve…; all of us going to the Brown Derby Blues bar, singing karaoke at his mom’s 50th, him getting his “Clam” ice fishing shelter, excitedly setting it up in the dining room and then making plans to go on my maiden ice-fishing escapade.  Him teaching me how to bowl or fish, how to drink beer in tomato juice for breakfast while fishing, being introduced to bachelor food like pizza rolls for the first time; Steve, David and me listening to head-banger music as we drove down to Mankato for the routine and designated Guard weekend.  We had overnighters in St. Cloud (with his long-time Westside Lanes teammates from the Masters league) for a bowling tournament, his 300 game, his 300 ring.  David explaining what a birdie, eagle, or bogie is, showing me how to hold a golf club, how to drive a boat for a skier, how to drive a golf cart; how it is to be included, how to trust and how to recognize love.

This was us these 16 years ago.  I am crying for the joy of it as I write, remembering how I felt when we got married that day.  I knew I had finally WON something, in fact, I knew I had won the grand prize.  Maybe that is why I was so nervous on my wedding day, afraid the fates would be jealous and snatch it all away.  But they haven’t, I think they are rejoicing too.  Happy anniversary David, I love you.

ILY David

Our Wedding Dance


I’ve seen the seven wonders of the world.
I’ve seen the beauty of diamonds and pearls.
But they mean nothing,
Your love amazes me.

I’ve seen a sunset that would make you cry,
And colors of the rainbow, reaching cross the sky,
The moon in all it’s phases,
Your love amazes me

Don’t you ever doubt this love of mine,
You’re the only one for me.
You give me hope,
You give me reason,
You give me something to believe in –
Forever faithfully.
Your love amazes me.

I prayed for miracles that never came,
I got down on my knees out in the pouring rain.
But only you could save me,
Your love amazes me.

Don’t you ever doubt this love of mine,
You’re the only one for me.
You give me hope,
You give me reason,
You give me something to believe in –
Forever faithfully.
Your love amazes me.

David and Jennifer

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jodi D. permalink
    January 21, 2010 11:53 pm

    Beautiful–it’s all I can muster… I am so happy for you.

    I am glad I was part of those early, crazy-fun days! Oh the joys, heartaches, love and growing encompassed all of us.
    I love you guys 🙂 Always! -Jodi

  2. Kathryn Pedron permalink
    January 22, 2010 8:41 am

    We all strive for extreme love and affection. When I had mine, we called it “scanners” = the ability to look inside someone’s mind, and see yourself there. God has chosen you and David. You are my joy. Jath

  3. princessrunninglips permalink
    January 22, 2010 9:12 am

    beautiful, jen…i don’t know that i’ve ever seen such unadulterated joy on your face in a picture before…aren’t you beautiful though…god bless you both love from prl

  4. January 22, 2010 10:13 am

    Sweet, sweet post! Better yet, you married on my son’s birthday, the year he turned 2!

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