If I squint, I can remember life before I was married.

Back when I dreamed of walking down an aisle in a white dress to a tuxedo-wearing man, professing our love for each other and walking off into the sunset to the Hallelujah chorus.

I’ll be in love, I thought.

Ahhhh. Yes.

Love.

A lifetime of chocolate and flowers and rose petals and candles and dinners at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

But here’s the thing.

True love?

The kind of love that stands the test of time?

It shows up in the hard times, in the lean times, in the middle of a mountain that you are trying to climb. Love doesn’t roar. Love doesn’t boast. Love doesn’t overwhelm. Often love whispers instead of shouts.

And sometimes? When you least expect it?

It makes an ordinary moment burst into brilliance.

Several decades ago, I did walk down the aisle to a tuxedo-wearing cutie.

This guy.

The one with the twinkling eyes and a sense of humor that still makes me giggle.

I wore my grandmother’s wedding dress with a monogrammed train and a veil covering the highest head of Aqua Net hair you have ever seen with a red lipstick smile the size of Texas.

There were twinkly Christmas trees and a white runner and candles everywhere and the scent of evergreen filling the air.

We said our “I do’s” in front of 350 of our closest friends and relatives.

Just between us?

I don’t remember much after the “I do.”

The rest was a blur.

There was a reception with yummy food.

And laughter.

And general merry-making.

And toasts.

And a song that melted my heart.

And then we hopped in our streamer and can covered car and left for a beautiful, vintage hotel in downtown Dallas called The Melrose.

And when I woke up in the hotel in the morning, the phone rang. Reaching over, I grabbed the phone cradle attached to a cord and sleepily whispered, “Hello?”

There was a brief pause.

And then?

A voice on the end said the sweetest thing I have ever heard, “Good morning Mrs. Wood. This is your morning wake-up call.”

I sat up straight in bed. I couldn’t believe it. He said my name.

MRS. WOOD.

Yes.

That was ME. I was officially, wonderfully, incredibly, amazingly, Mrs. Wood.

Forever and ever.

Amen.

I’ve been Mrs. Wood now for more years than I can count.

As Mrs. Wood, I’ve had hard times.

As Mrs. Wood, I’ve climbed mountains.

As Mrs. Wood, I’ve cried and laughed and giggled and watched as the years and my children grew.

All this life that I’ve lived.

All these minutes and days and years and decades.

All as Mrs. Wood.

And so it was that when we celebrated our anniversary this year, my husband surprised me.

He took me back to the hotel we stayed at that first wedding night.

The Melrose.

And when I woke up in the morning, the phone rang again. I answered the call again on a cradle (still) attached to a cord and sleepily whispered, “Hello?”

There was a brief pause.

And then?

A voice on the end greeted me with, “Good morning Mrs. Wood. This is your morning wake-up call. Your husband told us to wish you Happy Anniversary.”

Love.

It’s funny like that.

It shows up in the hard times, in the lean times, in the middle of a mountain that you are trying to climb. Love doesn’t roar. Love doesn’t boast. Love doesn’t overwhelm. Often love whispers instead of shouts.

And sometimes? When you least expect it?

It makes an ordinary moment burst into brilliance.

I love you, Mr. Wood.

And I always will. 🙂

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Comments

  1. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Oh, my goodness! What a beautiful story. These stories of you and your dear family make my heart happy. Best Wishes for many years to come.

  2. Image for Doreen Bednarski Doreen Bednarski

    Mr. And Mrs. Wood, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!! KariAnne, your style of writing brings me to tears everytime I read your posts. (I have learned to be sure I don't have eye makeup on. LOL) Today's post is so very precious and demonstrates the deep love you two share. You are truly blessed. I have to ask, where did you learn to write so vividly? You could write the the phone book and bring me to tears! I just love it.

  3. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Love your story, thanks for sharing. My husband and I will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary tomorrow and I wanted to say, I have one of those quite, don’t show emotion type husbands, Never brings me flowers, or gifts that I haven’t asked for. That’s not to say he doesn’t get everything on my birthday and/or Christmas list( so I do have to be careful with what I put down). This year before Christmas there was an exceptional warm day and he took a ride on his Harley and when he got home said he had to take a little trip and be back in about an hour. When he returned home he had an old time wooden sled that I had been looking for a few years ago and he remembered I was wanting one to decorate with. Love my quiet man!!

  4. Image for Mary Mary

    I love your frequent statements of love and adoration! I have been married 51 years to my sweetheart...and I still adore him! Happy anniversary...cherish each moment...they go by so quickly.

  5. Image for Fran Fran

    What a heartwarming story, it is truly the little thoughtful things in a marriage that are the most special. Happy anniversary

  6. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    Ahhhhh....you just gave me chills. What a sweet story and the photos brightened my dreary, sunless Monday morning with a smile. Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Wood!

  7. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Wood and thank you for sharing those precious moments and lovely family pictures.

  8. Image for JC JC

    Awww, so sweet!! Happy beautiful anniversary to you both!! Each day is such a gift. Cherish one another.❤ Great pictures to remember the occasion!

  9. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Happy Anniversary Karianne. My husband and I will celebrate 53 yrs this Feb. Got married in a snow storm which I guess is as lucky as rain. We too have had our ups and downs but it has all been worth it. Two beautiful daughters and 10 grandchildren. If we can still handle this pandemic and 24 - 7 hours of togetherness I guess it will last. Thankyou for your beautiful reminder that it is the little loving things that matter.

  10. Image for Lou E Gipson Lou E Gipson

    K~ Beautiful!!! Tugged my heartstrings 'til the floodgates opened! Thank goodness wearing not yet a drop of makeup! Remembering when i too had it all.. But that's another story for another time! "Tried..tripping across a soggy backyard in jammies and house shoes..Nikon in hand..perfect way to start a day filled with laughter..almost as good as your double strength caffeine fix yesterday! so enjoyable being high on life!"

  11. Image for Janet Janet

    Love this sweet sweet post. Your photos show all the love. I don’t always comment but I want you to know how much I just love your stories....and you!

  12. Image for Marcia A Masters Marcia A Masters

    What a sweet message to read first thing on my computer today! You write so beautifully. You mentioned somethings that reminded me of my 40 beautiful years I had with my husband before I lost him to cancer. We have both been blessed with a beautiful marriage and you honored your sweet husband as he honored you.

  13. Image for Jackie Jackie

    I love reading your stories....A true pleasure......thanks for sharing...they always put a smile on my face and they warm my heart!

  14. Image for Lynda Schneider Lynda Schneider

    OMG! You have such a way with words. Happy Anniversary!! Lovely pictures and a beautiful family. Congratulations!

  15. Image for Cindy@CountyRoad407 Cindy@CountyRoad407

    I adore your new photos and the family shot is the best! Your smile and personality are contagious so no matter how long you live and if your hair goes gray you will be cherished, loved and full of vivaciousness. Happy anniversary friend. You both get more handsome by the year.

  16. Image for Sharon Caulineau Sharon Caulineau

    Karianne, you have made my day! That was a beautiful rendition of love. As I look at the pictures of you and your family, I can see the love exchange. Wishing you a happy, blessed New Year, Sharon

  17. Image for Linda Linda

    Oh, the Melrose! I can't believe no one else mentioned it. I lived in Dallas for many years. I worked as the Accounting Manager at Coca Cola, right there on Lemmon Avenue, yep, right where they bottled the cokes in the window! The Melrose was the place that all our manager meetings were held each month. A real treat to go offsite for a meeting. The Melrose was so charming, even back then. The Oak Lawn area was so eclectic back in the day. Some of my favorite haunts were in the Oak Lawn/McKinney Avenue area. Gosh how Dallas has changed. It's good to know that you can still go back to the "honeymoon" memories! You should go every year or at least on milestone years!

  18. Image for Linda Linda

    Happy Anniversary to a beautiful couple and your children are just precious. Enjoy each other , time goes by way to fast. I was married for 44 years 4 months and 4 days when my husband walked out the door for work and our Lord took him home. Be kind to each other and say I love you often for we never know......

  19. Image for Sue Sue

    Wishing you and your husband many, many, many more years of love and happiness and please, keep sharing all of your wonderful stories with us.

  20. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Awl, KA - seriously. Mr. Wood is so awesome. . How truly romantic. ♥♥ What a great couple. Cheers to many more decades. Happy Anniversary!

  21. Image for Jeannie Jeannie

    Tears here. So sweet. I'd love that, too. You two are such a great couple. Happy Anniversary! Love that gorgeous family.

  22. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Happy Anniversary to you both. What a beautiful love story and family you have. Your writing brought tears to my eyes. May you be blessed with many many more years together.♥️

  23. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    Oh sweet girl your stories warm my heart. Thank you for sharing a story full of love that gives so many hearts hope. Adore you and Happy Anniversary! Thinking it was on December 18? Maybe not but I do know that is my birthday! Keep writing down memories! Best stories ever.

  24. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Oh, my! You do know how to coax out the tears! Sooo sweet, KariAnne! Such a precious story of forever love. And those pictures are the best! May the Lord bless you two with many more years together. Just wait until you get to 55! 😉😍

  25. Image for Sharon Sharon

    That is BEAUTIFIUL! Your story touches my heart and makes me smile . What a beautiful family, too. Happy Anniversary Mr and Mrs Wood😍

  26. Image for Stefanie Stefanie

    What a beautiful story. You are an amazing writer and every story you post alway captures the moment so perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing all these beautiful moments. Congratulations on your anniversary. I wish you many more wonderful years together.

  27. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Sweetest story EVER! True love just keeps growing and getting better and better until you think you will burst! Happy Anniversary!

  28. Image for Penni Penni

    You make an adorable couple and a beautiful family. So wonderful to see in our world today. You’re reaping the fruit of your faithfulness. Happy for you💕

  29. Image for Delanie Delanie

    Beautiful rememories! Such a sweet, sweet story of true love! My true love and I have been married almost 45....really?.....years, four beautiful children, nine adorable grandchildren, and a real life full of all kinds of experiences we wouldn’t take anything for! Even the bad times....they have honed us, strengthened us, drew us closer to each other and to the Lord. We are more in love today than ever and will be more in love tomorrow! Your blog is a bright ray of sunshine and a heaping treasure chest of ideas! Thank you!

  30. Image for Beth Beth

    Beautiful story as always! I'm about to get my first daughter-in-law and I kept picturing her (and myself) during this story. ; ). KariAnne you look AMAZING by the way.

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