Culture, Life

Then and Now – 11 years of love

Anniversary - Then & Now

November 15th, 2003 – The day we were married. Who would have ever thought that there would be a man who could put up with me? My step-dad told me on our wedding day, while I was anxious and flustered, “Staci, you couldn’t have found a better man than Daniel”. And you know what? He was right. He is my friend, companion, adviser, helper, teacher and lover (and unfortunately, as well as gracefully, my punching bag every so often). All this rolled up in one. He is the one that I philia, storge and eros, and always will be. I am the one he philia, storge and eros, and always will be. How can I be sure? As I responded to a comment from my beautiful blogger friend:

We have been through some serious rough patches (especially in the first year, and me not knowing about certain health issues I have), but have always stuck it through. I am dead set against divorce, unless there is some type of abuse of infidelity, and I have full assurance and trust in my husband that would never happen. There have been temptations along the way, but my strong convictions in my faith, spiritual beliefs, God and morality are what serve for me a foundation that can’t be shaken.

Marriage is tough. Anyone who says it’s a walk in the park, full of ooey gooey feelings and romance all the time, hasn’t been married, at least not for very long. These past few days I have been posting about the ancient Greek words,’philia, storge and eros’ for our one English word, ‘love’ . It has helped me to appreciate ever so more the true meaning of this word and the many facets of it. So even in a culture, where true love and the entirety of its meaning seems to be declining, or at least mis-understood, we have gone 11 years and will go another 11. And if we should survive beyond that, 11 more, and so on. We have decided to be counter-culture and to stick it out. Through thick and thin. Through good and bad. In sickness and health, we are one.

What are your thoughts on marriage?

80 thoughts on “Then and Now – 11 years of love”

  1. Awesomely wonderful! First off…Many heartfelt wishes on your Anniversary. Stay Blessed!
    I love your thoughtful words on marriage and love…beautifully elucidated. Not only 11 and further 11… have many other 11 queued up to mark your blissful marriage anniversaries. Prayers Assured!

    1. Oh Reva, you bless me. Really, you do. Thank you so much for your beautiful and kind words. And thank you so much for your assured prayers. They are so appreciated.
      Hope you are well and having an amazing, and relaxing weekend.
      🙂 ❤

  2. Love ❤
    Many blessings to you both–
    I have been married 14 years. You are so right! It is no walk in the park. I sometimes laugh about single people wanting to find love — If you only knew how hard it is! I say.
    But there are treasures for sure.. just not a lot of park walking. ❤ 🙂

    1. Hehehehe. Yes, it definitely isn’t a walk in the park, is it Laurie. Wow, 14 years for you. Good for you and your husband. I’m so glad you two have stuck it out, through the good and the bad. Only someone that has been married a good length of time could truly agree with this ‘walk in the park’ statement. But it truly is a blessing, isn’t it.
      I love what you said here: “But there are treasures for sure.. just not a lot of park walking.” Often times it’s more like a hike up a mountain. It’s tough and we sweat, but the view once we’ve arrived up top is breathtaking.
      Thanks again Laurie. Beautiful comment you shared here.

  3. Staci – On this special day, best wishes go to you, that this wonderful love u share, Happy anniversary to you and your husband. May God Bless you both with success and health, happiness, In this occasion I like to share one of my musical clip.

    1. Hi Mihrank. Thank you so much for your wishes and kind words. And thank you for sharing your nice video clip. I’m interested to know what language it is in, because the title makes me think it should be in Spanish, but I know it’s not Spanish. Where are you from Mihrank?
      Blessings to you.

      1. Good Afternoon Staci – Thank you for your kind words and compliments, it means a lot to me. I am originally from Israel and I speak 7 languages. The clip is not in Spanish, but in Turkish language. I hope you did enjoyed the melody.

        Blessings to you;

      2. Oh wow. Israel. And seven languages? That’s amazing. Did you start learning languages at a very young age? I speak 2 1/2 languages only. I say 1/2 because I’m not fluent in Spanish, but can speak, understand and read a good amount. I’m fluent in English and Portuguese. What other languages do you speak? I’ve been to Turkey, by the way. Are you living in the US now? I noticed you said, ‘Good Afternoon’. For me it’s after 9:00pm right now. Bless you. 🙂

      3. Thank you Staci – Our school system and curriculum in Israel or Middle East is much stronger with higher standards. Language is essential in our schools whether private or Public. Students must complete to learn, write and speak fluently 4 languages before the graduate from high school. I am residing in USA. Here is my email address

        Turkey is historical country and important, as you may know in 1915. One and Half million Armenians were mascaraed and deported from Turkey.

        I enjoy their tradition and music.

        Many Blessings


  4. Congratulations, Staci. Blessing to both you and your husband. James and I have been married for 51 years, and there have been good years and not so good years along the way. But then life is like that, is it not?! Hug, N

    1. Thank you so much Natalie, and WOW! 51 years. WooHoo! Good for the two of you. That’s so wonderful. I’m sure there’s been both good and not-so-good. Thankfully, you both stuck it out. What a blessings.
      Love and hugs, N.
      🙂 ❤

  5. I’m so happy for you dear heart!! You both look so happy and so beautiful. May you always cherish and respect one another! ❤ Happy Anniversary! ! 🙂

    1. Awwww, thank you so much Lorrie. You always say such nice things, and it’s no different this time. We had a great anniversary celebration. My in-laws had the kids for the night, so we were free to do whatever we wanted, and even sleep in. And believe me, that is a very rare occasion that this happens.
      Blessings to you.
      🙂 ❤

  6. Congratulations and happy Wedding Anniversary! Marriage is the lifelong union of two soulmates… it does not necessary needs a wedding ring, because the “real” marriage is decided by Destiny (God’s will, in other words) you are a beautiful couple!

    1. Thank you so much Frederic. We had a wonderful time. I agree with you – marriage is the lifelong union of two soul mates. Because ultimately, when that union happens, the two become one.
      I like how you mentioned the wedding ring thing, because in India married couples don’t show their marriage commitment like that. From what I know, a married woman uses a red tika dot on the top of the forehead to show she’s married. Interesting the different customs of different cultures eh.
      Thank you for your kind words Frederic. And you a beautiful man.
      Love and blessings.
      🙂 ❤

  7. Congratulations on your anniversary! True love like a good marriage takes effort and commitment. It is refreshing to read a truthful piece on what marriage really is. It seems we share a lot of views:) my wife and i celebrated 12 years last May, we will be learning the rest of our lives but marriage is certainly smoother today than the first few years!

    1. Well said Chris, and I think it’s wonderful we share a lot the same views. Congratulation to you and your wife on the 12 years you’ve been together. We also have a much smoother marriage now, then our first couple of years, especially the first year. It’s a journey, isn’t it?

      1. It is such a journey, that first year seems like almost another life now. It was especially challenging for us going from a trans-atlantic long distance relationship to 24/7 close quarters. Yet it is without doubt the best gamble I will ever make 🙂

      2. I understand, we have a pretty cool story, we are different for sure:)

        I came over to visit my “friend” in August ’01 & went home engaged. My family didn’t know what to think lol

      3. Hahahahaha. I’m sure. Especially being that you’re from England, right? Very unconventional thing to do.

      4. Hahaha. Sounds like me with Canadians. I just knew I wasn’t going to marry a Canadian. Even my mom said at lunch with some colleagues of hers, “I’m positive my daughter’s going to marry a Latino”

  8. Lovely post! 💜 Congratulations on a wonderful marriage. A good one does take a lot of work, patience, mutual respect and love. Seems you have what it takes to stay the course.

    1. Thank you so much Kate. So true too, lots of work, patience and mutual respect indeed (maybe a little more patience for my husband. I’m a tad bit high maintenance 😉
      I certainly hope we have what it takes. I’m sure we do too. Thanks.
      🙂 ❤

  9. Congratulations!!! What a wonderful feeling to be together for decade to start with and sharing such a beautiful relationship…the human relationship in marriage is the essence of living…Yes, marriage is not any easy relationship, it needs good commitment and constant nurturing to build and sustain it. May God bless you and make this beautiful relationship eternal…

  10. Happy Anniversary!! Love the then and now pics…you guys haven’t changed much 😉

    Coming up to 20 yrs this January. That’s a long time, eh? lol. Lots of up and downs, that’s for sure. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that honesty is truly the best policy. As you know, living the kind of life I did wasn’t condusive to honesty, and my marriage suffered greatly. These last few years has been a brand new way of living and it feels like a whole new marriage. Respect is a big thing too.

    Anyway, congrats again!!


    1. Heyyyyyy Paul. Thanks a ton. Just a few more wrinkles. Hehehe. And maybe the hubby has a bit more chub – Eek!

      Wow, 20 years. Congratulations Paul. You two have really been through the wringer, haven’t you? Honesty and respects are such great principles and values to have. Sooooo glad you mentioned this.

      Your a blessing Paul. Many blessings to you and your wife for another 20, and more.


  11. Happy belated Anniversary, Staci!! Your views on marriage are spot on. I’m so glad that God brought you and Daniel together. He hand picked you for each other. It doesn’t get better than that!!

    1. Ohhhhh, thank you Kirsten. Marriage is definitely not easy. Being a strong feeler, I knew I had to make my decision to marry Daniel completely with my head. Feelings come and go, but principles and values need to stick.

  12. Absolutely beautiful. I’m so proud of you for sticking with your marriage even in the tough patches. I admire your strength. I believe marriage is for life but sadly my marriage did not last. The next time I say I do I’ll make sure its to the right man of God.

    1. Oh, thank you so much. Yes, it isn’t an easy ride, and definitely teaches us hard lessons along the way, but it’s worth it. I’m so sorry to hear that your’s didn’t last. I pray that you find a man that is a strong rock, and that will be all that God has made him to be, for you and your family.

  13. Congratulations Staci! May you have a lifetime of happiness and love! Certainly marriage is not a bed of roses all the time but the best part is growing together and learning together in an honest way. Knowing that there are faults within others and ourselves and accepting them and even though it sounds cliched – real love is about accepting each other and choosing to be with each other despite those faults. Oops did that sound too much like a lecture? lol! It wasn’t meant to be – btw I’m married for 24yrs. :))

    1. Ohhhh, thank you so much Anjali. And wow, 24 years of marriage. Good stuff. You don’t look old enough to be married 24 years. I guess you keep your age well eh 🙂
      Hahaha, no, it didn’t sound like a lecture. Beautiful words actually. Thank you so much for sharing them
      🙂 ❤

  14. Awww, this is the CUTEST post ever!
    You both look so beautiful together, and so happy…I can’t even..oh you guys are perfect! ❤
    I wish you two many eternities together, Staci! I'm like an official fan-girl now, I ship Staci and Daniel! Yay! 🙂

    1. Awwwwww, you are too much. I’m so blessed by your comment. Thank you so much for such kind words. An official ‘fan-girl’? Wow, I’m truly humbled, my friend. You always know how to brighten up my day.
      🙂 ❤

      1. Hahaha, I just say what I really feel. Much love! You brighten up my days too, my friend. ❤ 🙂

  15. Congratulations my dear Staci! I feel your love spread out strongly, may this journey of love continue on forever….

  16. Congratulations on 11 years! Very exciting! 🙂
    The first thought that came up about marriage for me was about how marriage is more about holiness than happiness. I read the book “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas early on and have found it to be true as I have journeyed further in married life. Ultimately, my husband and I will have our good and bad days together, but the important thing is becoming more Christ-like. The exciting thing, is that the more Christ-like we both become, the better we love one another!

  17. Congrats on 11 years! We celebrated 10 years recently and haven’t the years flown! I agree with you – marriage is no walk in the park. When listening to a sermon on “opportunities” a number of years ago, I recall the pastor saying that God doesn’t give you a great marriage – He gives you the opportunity for a great marriage. That about sums it up for me!

    1. Hi Merryn. Congratulations to you and your hubby on 10 years together. I agree with that about how God doesn’t already give you a great marriage. He works in us, and shapes us, kind of like how iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. It’s all about making choices, isn’t it? So tough sometimes, but we definitely grow.
      Thanks for sharing.

  18. So true, the joining of two in marriage or any relationship, not only needs love and understanding, but respect for each other and the ability to work together to make the bonding workable.

    You both apparently have the required temperament to ensure many more years in a successful relationship.

    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself 61chrissterry. Sometimes it’s pretty darn hard, and it requires tenacity and commitment. It’s not that easy living with me – Eek! Hehehe. Respect is a biggie.

      Thank you so much.

  19. Reblogged this on 61chrissterry and commented:
    This is so true, the joining of two in marriage or any relationship, not only needs love and understanding, but respect for each other and the ability to work together to make the bonding workable.
    It may not be so easy, but if the will is there, then there is always the probability for the relationship to be successful.

  20. You are right, there are no perfect people so by extension there would not be a perfect marriage. But I can’t think of a better substitute! Slowly and methodically you can develop that oneness marriage is supposed to be. Looking back on my 50 years married it was a pretty good journey!

    1. Oh wow, 50 years of marriage. Congratulations.
      I love how you mentioned how oneness in marriage is developed slowly and methodically. We live in a time of instant gratification, and marriage is definitely does not offer that. There have been ups and downs for me and my husband, but we have grown through them, and have served to teach us that we are not our own.
      Thank you for sharing.

  21. Oh my Gosh, you guys are so adorable !!! And I loved your post, Your strong moral values reflected through your words, I wish you and your husband a life full of health, wisdom and love ! ❤

    I adore you Staci! ❤ ❤

    1. You are sooooo sweet. Thank you so much for the sweet words and well wishes Zee. May you have a beautiful weekend sweetie.
      🙂 ❤

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