Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful #32-The Anniversary Edition

Ten Things of Thankful
This week, The Counting Mutant and I will celebrate being married for 24 years. I kind of like the number 24. Not too big. Not too small. It is just right.I met the Mutant at the lowest season of my life. I spent years working at being the perfect Christian girl and failed miserably which you can read more about in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. I thought the perfect way of celebrating would be to write a special addition Ten Things of Thankful.


I am grateful for that first date: Chinese food, frozen yogurt and Robert Downey Jr’s A Pick Up Artist. I watched in horror as my beautiful plan of pick up a guy and drop him was played out on the big screen. He surprised me with a gentlemanly kiss and goodnight. He showed me honor among men existed.


I am grateful for singing: those first few months were filled with awkward moments. My church produced a Christmas program each year called The Singing Christmas Tree. Yes. It was the first year I was able to be involved and I invited the Mutant. Because of choir practice, we had to work together. He taught me that dating and friendship worked together.

The Mutant was really into Norman Vincent Peale and the Power of Positive thinking. Both of us wanted big possibilities in our lives and together we challenged the other to grow as a person. Leave the past behind and create a future. Through this, I learned to put feelings into a logical perspective and allow them to control me. He taught me about balance and healing could be found within faith.

Our spontaneously planned wedding. Mutant was in his final year of university when our original long term plans of a wedding fell short. Mutant decided he needed to spread classes out for a extra semester because he was burning out. This meant our grand summer wedding plans were not going to be free and relaxing. School would still be in play. On the eve of Thanksgiving I was laid off from my job. On our drive home we decided to just go for it. Mutant’s Dad was kind enough to help us out and within six weeks we were married. It was the wedding I had dreamed of. Every year I am grateful for my Father in Law’s generosity. He taught me that dreams are possible.

Our first nine months was a honeymoon. Mutant had a few classes, I found a job and we lived on The Central Coast. Weekends were ours to flitter away walking along the beach or taking a drive. No stress. He and I together were family. Whether we had kids or no, we belonged together. He taught me that normal is more than simply a setting on a dryer. It can be in life.

The LA years: After the Honeymoon months, growing up was hard. Counting Mutant was laid off with in the first six months from the accounting firm who recruited him from college. 1990 ushered in a recession and we were one of the first ones to fall. He found a new job after a few months which provided an MBA eventually. I hopped around the area teaching in preschools, finishing my preschool career with Disney. Floods, riots, fires and an earthquake shaped the way we tackled life. Just because we thought something would work out didn’t mean that it would. We learned to adapt and improvise. He taught me how to dance in life.

Once the Mutant had his MBA, he went looking for a bigger and better job. The thing he kept hearing was, “We wish you had a CPA.”
With a new baby and one on the way, we packed a truck and moved to the Central Valley town where we met. He spent the next two years logging hours and passing the CPA exam. Once an Official Counting Mutant, our journey began anew. He taught me that Do-Overs are possible

Leaving this Central Valley town, we landed in the Bay area where the girl was born. Finally we rested at Mammoth Lakes. For the first time in my childhood, I felt at home. Fall colors. Snow 20 feet high. Sub-zero temperatures for the boys to walk to school in. Spring green-it is a real color, not simply a crayon-and summer thunderstorms. We were there two adventurous years. He taught me that California could feel like home.

The dream job is still a job and jobs don’t always work out. So, we packed a truck and three kids in tow we journeyed back to the land of Do-Overs. Mutant got his real estate license and used his CPA experience in commercial real estate. Things moved along well until the mortgage bubble popped. In all of our 11 years here, through feast and famine, our kids have seen miracles, learned the value of hard work. They understand what value and worth look like. He taught us all about self-reliance and how faith keeps it motivated.


In all of our 26 years together-24 of them married- we have seen plenty and scarcity. Fire, floods, crime, job loss, suicide, earthquake, riot, injustice, laughter, dancing, promises fulfilled, friends, family, love and adventure. Each day is a new mystery with that deep quiet well of a man. I never know what he is thinking or feeling. Never will I really know what makes him tick. BUT the biggest lesson Mutant has taught me is that life is an adventure and it is worth living well filled with love.

20 comments:

  1. That is a great story and it sounds like you two have a great relationship. You've been through so many different situations and changes! I really hope that the life changes our family is experiencing right now work out as well as yours seem to. never fun in the thick of it though, is it?

    Great pics and a great story - so much to be thankful for here!

    Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Something we learned from our New Married's class at church was this: Those awful times, those- you went camping and it rained. There was a hole in the tent and the car wouldn't start- are the things you laugh about later. Those are the moments that bond. Before glue bonds two things together it feels sticky.
      So WHEN they happen, look at each other and say, "I'm feeling sticky." It helped keep the awful in perspective.

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    2. That's so true - and the Hub and I have some DEFINITE winners in the laugh about it later department - several have made it to the blog because they just are good life lessons. I love the "sticky" thing. How funny - and humor is a great way to diffuse the situation when things are getting tense.

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  2. Aaahhhh! Sniff, sniff. - Mutant

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  3. What a wonderful story! Love your wedding picture - you were such babies! Your lives have certainly been an adventure, something that might break some people, but it's obviously made your bond even stronger.

    By the way, the music dept. of a little Christian college a stone's throw from my house does a Living Christmas Tree program every year, but we've yet to go to it.

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    1. We were! I look at my own 19 year old and it puts just how young we were when we met in perspective. I would do the Singing Christmas Tree again in a heart beat. Heads like ornaments bobbing around on a giant evergreen tree is something to see.

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  4. This is just BEAUTIFUL and so uplifting. Thank you for sharing it with the TToT, Rebecca. You guys give me hope and inspiration.

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  5. What a lovely tribute to the CM and your years together. What valuable lessons you have learned together. Reading between the lines, it sounds you you struggled through some rough times that would have split weaker couples apart.
    I thought this before, "If we can survive this as a couple, we can really make it." And it turns out we could (though we're only on seven years). I wonder if you've ever thought the same.
    Also loved seeing the pictures through the years.

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    1. Yes. Those words have rolled around my head often. It has not been an easy journey, but the idea of facing this life without him takes my breath away. We became best friends while dating and that is what kept us together.

      Friends of ours told us their motto a few years ago, "Forever, Always, No matter what." They put it in their vows. It really transcends the ideals of marriage. It is work. It is hard, but what a great ride in the end.

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  6. awwwwww.... ( lilt that awww up toward the end and you got what I said out loud as I finished reading this!) Great love story... Dyanne is right... BABIES! SO happy for you... its great to see a couple so many years together weathering so much. CONGRATULATIONS! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

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    1. Thank you!!! I heard the lilt perfectly and it gave me a warm fuzzy.

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  7. I loved every word and moment of this story! I love happily ever after tales, it's not about the money or the material successes, it's about facing it together day by day and year by year and love continuing to grow stronger. It sounds to me like you two are going to be ok no matter what life throws your way, and that's the best possible lesson children can be taught. I wish you another 24 years together and more, filled with blessings, laughter and love!

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  8. We just celebrated our 29th anniversary this month. What a gift to be married to someone who is still your friend and love after so long. Congratulations!

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  9. What a loving couple! I hope my husband & I are at least half as happy as you are when we get to that point! :)

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  10. This is so, so beautiful Rebecca! You guys have been through so much and still look so happy together. That's success right there. Nevermind money or jobs... I think a happy family who want to be together is the biggest success in life. :) We're celebrating 7 years married in April (13 together) and I only hope when we've been married for 20 + years we can say the same. :)

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  11. AW! What a gorgeous story and I wish you a very very happy anniversary. The photos are wonderful - you two were married young! I love that your father in law came though for your dream wedding, too.

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  12. Sweet anniversary story. Hope you had a great day with your man.

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  13. OHMYGOSH what a history you two have shared! I love it when God leads us through the ever-changing seasons- as we grow stronger in who we are and who He wants us to be!! I love that you had "Mutant" to share it all with! And I adore his little comment up there!! PRECIOUS!!!

    Such a beautiful story!!!

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