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16-2029621
We’re on Lucky #13!

Another year has come and gone and we’ve reached our thirteen year anniversary. If that wasn’t amazing enough, the thirteenth of January is our special day…thirteen years on the thirteenth. The only thing that could have been more awesome about that is if it were on Friday (you know…Friday, the thirteenth? 😜). Can’t win them all, I guess. We had to celebrate on a regular ol’ Monday this time.

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Lunch with some of my favorite people. 🥰

When we got married, I was excited about the prospect of what the future would hold but I don’t think I really comprehended how amazing it would end up being. Six children, three homes, a new horse, several cars, a heckuva lot of adventures, laughing until I felt like I was going to cry, lots of failures, so many tears, and one triumph after another and we’re just getting started.

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Whoops.

There are a lot of reasons I chose Jack as a spouse. A) He’s really handsome. Just ask anyone who’s seen him in real life. But just as I would hate to be defined solely on my looks, it ought to be said that there is so, soooo much more to Jack that I love.

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Jack taking a break from studying to hug his girls.

Jack has never once hesitated when it comes to being a father. While he wholeheartedly supports me taking the lead when it has come to how many children and how far apart, he was excited to see our family grow from the get-go. That meant a few meager and scarce times when we were still baby-faced ourselves, but the payout has been amazing. Without those sacrifices and faith that everything would work out, we wouldn’t have seen nearly as many blessings as we did as each child has joined our family. I will forever proclaim that it doesn’t matter how much money a family has, there can be love and happiness just as abundantly as when the bank account is full.

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Jack has never been one to take himself or much of anything too seriously. It makes me giggle every time someone who might not know Jack very well says they’re surprised he has a good sense of humor because he looks so stern all the time. I tell them it’s his pondering face because I have plenty of photo evidence and stories to back up that Jack is really a twelve-year-old boy trapped in a man’s body and is just as rascally.

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We lived like this during our Texas stint for an entire week. 🤣

While Jack really and truly enjoys the finer things in life–food, root beer, suits, chocolate, seafood, fishing, tools, cars, etc–he isn’t tied to things. He’s just as happy with a hand-me-down as he is with something brand new. It doesn’t matter if it has a ding or a scrape because he’ll either ignore it or fix it and if he doesn’t have it, then he’ll make do.

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That message is painted under one of our walls in Iowa. 💕

It wasn’t long after meeting Jack that I tumbled head over heels for him for being a hopeless romantic. He still surprises me with small gestures of love and appreciation from wildflower bouquets to late-night at-home dates. We occasionally get to do some extraordinary things together but most often, it’s the simple stuff that makes me swoon.

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He pounded in the last of the fence posts for me. 🤣

He’s not squeamish about getting his hands dirty. Unless it means cleaning up kid vomit or poopy diapers. He’ll do it–he’ll just be gagging the whole time.

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The sea calls him.

I don’t know what it is about the water, but it has a strong hold on Jack. He is always saying how he’d live at the beach if he could (pass…I’m a lake girl myself). Since we don’t live on the coast, he takes advantage of the open water however he can get it–family reunions to Florida, trips up to the Great Lakes, or fishing in our pond. Maybe he’s secretly a merman and is saving telling me that secret for when we’ve been married longer…🤔

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That’s only half the number of kids we now have!

In all phases of life, we have truly had joy and happiness. It’s never a dull moment, and as parents, we have learned so much about ourselves as we have watched our family grow and grow and grow…

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…and grow into the beautiful family we now have today.
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Last year, we were able to sneak away for our anniversary to Tennessee but this year, having just gotten back from Florida, then Nebraska, and with Jack leaving on a work trip the following week, we kept things pretty lowkey. Fine by me!

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Ethiopian food. Who knew?

We love the kids but sometimes, they can be real downers when it comes to trying new food, so on a rare childless date night, we decided to give Ethiopian food a try. It was a fairly simple setup with steamed veggies and curried meats that were eaten with a springy crepe-like bread. Not necessarily something I’ll be craving anytime soon but hurray for new experiences. Good to know I could survive in Ethiopia if needed.

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With the limitless options downtown Indy has to offer, we decided to go to a comedy club to share a laugh. Lucky us, we ended up being the resident judges and were able to participate in the improv show that was mercifully family-friendly for my delicate ears. Jack is always reminding me how sheltered I am, and I remind him I live most of my life surrounded by children and hardly leaving my home, so of course I am.

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A manly man can push a stroller and look good doing it.

The following day, we rounded up the kids to join in the celebration of the genesis of our family and took them to the mall to spend some Christmas money. Since it’s a once a year tradition, it’s a pretty big deal to the kids. It’s not often that they get to make the kind of life choices of what toy is going to join their collection.

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Then we went home and had a soak in the hot tub Jack found and fixed up from a free listing on Facebook. Again, Jack’s handiwork never fails to impress and I for one am thrilled to have a hot tub of bubbling water ready for me whenever I feel like getting in.

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The actual day of our anniversary was so normal it would have looked like a regular day on the farm to anyone else. Jack trimmed back our overgrown lilac, even though it was probably a few months early to take on the job. I whined a little, he rolled his eyes, and the next thing I knew, he was outside cleaning it up while I was busy inside repainting the kitchen.

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Only a month late for our birthday lunch visit, we went to school and surprised Claire by having eating with her. We spied Evelyn leaving and going back up to her classroom and Kate passed in the hall. It was fun treat to see the surprise on the girls’ faces when we showed up.

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Back at home, the three youngest went down for their naps, while Jack and I talked about our goals for the future. Of the whole anniversary celebration, that was my favorite part. I suspect thirteen years from now, I’ll be amazed at the direction our life has taken us and it’ll be beyond anything I can comprehend at the moment. All I know if that I’m excited to have Jack to share it with.

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Dinner was prepared together. Jack taught the girls the art of homemade spaghetti noodles while I prepared dessert.

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Peter loves him some noodles.

Dinner was a rare treat of everyone enjoying the food–inevitably we have one or two complainers, but not with homemade noodles and sauce. That made for another very appreciated anniversary gift: kids eating their food without having to be prompted and without muttering about how they don’t like it.

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That’s a long noodle.

Our anniversary came to a quiet close and it gave me plenty of time to reflect on all that time has brought us. I’m extremely grateful for Jack–I know there are plenty of rotten people out there but somehow, I won the lottery and got Jack. He’s endlessly patient with me, even when I have severe bouts of mom brain. Instead of angry, he calls me a passionate woman, like my hot temper is a commodity. He doesn’t withhold forgiveness, even when I do stupid stuff, like drop siding on his head or pinch his fingers with a fence crimping tool. He’s given me everything I could have ever asked for, from horses in our backyard to children filling our house. He works hard to provide, so I can work hard to run our home. He makes chores entertaining and observations a learning experience. He’s the white unicorn, the Prince Charming, the kind of guy every gal wishes she had…and he’s all mine.

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Playing games and working on books. Perfect end to a perfect day.
Happy thirteenth anniversary to us! I have a feeling it’s going to be a very good year and I can’t wait to see what it all brings. 💕
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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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