A few weeks ago, my husband asked me to marry him again. I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't! He wants to renew our vows on a cruise ship! We've already set the date for July 3, 2010 (our 6 yr anniversary) and the ship will leave out of Mobile, AL, a 7 day cruise. We are waiting until after our trip to Disnay in August to finalize everything. The cruise line offers a vow renewal package and for a very reasonable fee, they will set up a space for the ceremony on the ship, the captain will lead the ceremony, we will get a renewal of vows certificate signed by the captain, there will be ceremony music, a photographer, wedding cake (2- tiered!!), and more! Super exciting!! Our hope is that our parents will join us and renew their vows as well (we all share the same anniversary). My parents seem to be on board and my mom is already planning attire. We will have to work on my husband's parents though b/c his mom is afraid of cruises.
I honestly didn't expect to even be thinking of renewing our vows until at least our 10 or 20 yr anniversary (yes I do plan to stay with him that long, LOL!), but even now, I feel that the vow renewal will be very meaningful and important to us. Some of you may not know, but Hurricane Katrina hit just one month after our very first wedding anniversary. We were still newlyweds and loving every minute of being a married couple. Katrina came and washed it all away. Our memories from when we were just dating, our memories during our first year of marriage, our gifts of love that we received at our wedding, and our house that we turned into a home together. Everything. All we had left were a duffle bag with a weekend worth of clothes and each other. To say that it was stressful would be an understatement. We were without a home for nearly 4 months. We stayed in a hotel for a little over a month and then moved to temporary housing on the Little Rock Air Force base. We were so thankful to be out of the hotel and grateful to have a house to stay in until we were able to find a permanent place to restart our lives, but the house was not in the best condition. They were actually in the process of tearing these houses down b/c they were so old. The one we stayed in was infested with flies. It was BAD. But the peopel there were so nice and accomodating and the help we received from strangers was amaazing. However, through all of that stress, our marriage was affected in ways we hadn't even imagined. We were fussing with each other, blaming each other, and even at times ignoring each other. Eventually we would fall into a place where the new us turned into the norm. Our communication with each other lessened, but we didn't realize this. We stopped eating dinner together b/c for over a month we had no choice but to eat out or to grab dinner at a church. Then once we moved to the base housing, if I cooked, we had to eat on the old couch b/c we didn't have a dining table. It became the new norm for us. Also, prior to Katrina, my husband and I used to get in bed together (at a reasonable time!!) and watch animal planet together. Our favorite show was Animal Cops Houston. Corny, I know, but so us! For the month that we stayed in the hotel, we were glued to CNN and to our phones searching for family and friends. Then at the base housing, we only had the little tv in the living room. This became our new "thing" to do, which really isn't bad, but we never again would lay in bed together and watch animal cops before kissing each other goodnight. So many other things have changed since the storm and it has had an impact on our relationship. One that we failed to realize. But it's there. Things are different. And we both are determined to get that spark back. We feel as though our newlywed lives were snatched away from us by Katrina. We went from being the loving newlywed couple, to being a stressed out newlywed couple, who forgot what life was like before Katrina. It's sad and I can only imagine that the "Katrina divorce rate" is very high b/c of the stress it caused to so many.
Add to that, infertility and military life, and you've got one stressed out newlywed couple. I think the fact that we made it through 5 yrs (in July) together and that he still gives me butterflies in my stomach speaks volumes for our love for one another. My husband retires from the Air Force on Jan 1, 2010. Our house is on the market and we plan to buy our dreamhome in Mandeville, LA. We will be back near the city that we love. We drove through New Orleans and went to metairie on Saturday and my husband was brought back to a happier time when we used to take long walks at Lafreniere Park, or play scrabble until 3 am and then decide that we want to go to Bud's Broiler for a burger. We even drove past our old townhome and reminisced. It was so sweet to see him so happy. He is ready to move back just as bad as I am.
So 2010, for us, will be a new start. We hope to pick up where we left off before Katrina. We know that life often throws us curve balls and we will be prepared for them, but in July 2010, I will be marrying (AGAIN) the man of my dreams and we will relive the newlywed life that was washed away with the storm. Love you baby!