Wednesday, January 25, 2012

20 Amazingly Long, Difficult, Sweet Years

I was one of those little girls who thought getting married would be like the princess who gets carried off into the sunset by the handsome prince. And while I did meet my prince, our life afterwards was no "happily ever after for ever and all time." Rather it has been filled with the sweetest of memories, the most difficult of times. Times when we loved each other fiercely, times when we could hardly get along, times when we stood together and stood strong, and times when we couldn't see eye to eye. The secret is knowing you are in it for the long haul. That this moment, however difficult, may end up being just a tiny blip on the radar of a life-long relationship.

I am certainly no example of how to do it right and do it well all of the time. I've made more than my share of mistakes. But I do love my husband, and he loves me; and we TRY to figure it out as we go along. We rely on the commitment that we made to each other when we were married. We pray often for guidance. We try to apologize and treat each other respectfully.

Some people seem to get this whole program much more quickly than have I. I think I'm a slow learner. But I'm determined to figure it out and maybe that's why my husband and I have been together 20 years (married 19). There are days when it seems like FOREVER and there are other times when I can hardly believe how quickly it's gone. I suppose that's natural. Either way, I'm grateful for what we have. I know it can and will get better and that makes me happy to know that he and I are on this journey together.

Here is a layout I created for Two Peas in a Bucket about the lessons I have learned over those 20 years:

For the left side of the layout, I used my Silhouette machine to cut the large "20" and the "years" text. (I actually welded together two words to get the word "years"). I then hand cut the dimensional banner and hung tags from it with twine.

Rather than just journal one long paragraph of text, I created paper banner strips that I hung vertically on my page. No reason not to make a layout more interesting just by changing up the way you approach your journaling:

Below you will find supplies to use to recreate this layout. Look for unique ways to present your story: eye-catching elements that elevate the journaling!

Supplies: (Click photos to link back to the supplies.)


14 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! You brought tears to my eyes, because I could say almost the exact same things you said here. Thank you.

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  2. so sweet and real. love it. and happy all those years together!!:)

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  3. Beautiful and eloquent post. Congrats on your long marriage and ever-evolving relationship. That's no easy feat. Gorgeous layout.

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  4. This is truly inspiring Jen!!!! The layout.... AND the Blog pot about marriage! Thanks so much for sharing! You're one of my favorites in the industry!!! Love your work!

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  5. Love this layout and post. I am only two years in and we've found it a struggle, but have also got some great memories. It's all worth it though!

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  6. LOVE this layout!~!!

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  7. Jen Harkema2:49 PM

    That's awesome and after having been married 21 years I can say I agree with you. You have to stick to your vows and work at it. It is hard yet rewarding. Your words and layout are beautiful, thank you for sharing.

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  8. Thanks for sharing and your thoughts on marriage! I'm definitely struggling with my 3 years of marriage and I'm trying to remember each day how I love my husband and how I can love him more.

    I totally love your layout!! Hope I get to do a similar layout in the years to come...

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  9. Well this is true love and dedication to one another, congrats on making it 20 years, here's to another 20 happy years together...you have captured this perfectly on this layout Jen, love it! Hugs!

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  10. What a nice story :) Good to hear the realistic stories of marriage rather than the fairy tales. Can I ask, what font you used for 20 years? I love it!

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  11. The "20" font is a silhouette shape as is the "year" and "s" in the title. You can find them in the Silhouette store. I believe they are created by Loni Stephens. :)

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  12. OMG you are soooo talented!! LOVE this!

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  13. What a wonderful page, Jen. So sweet. I know how you feel too. These are the same things I could say as well. My hubby and I have been together a total of 23 years. I have known him for 27 total. This year, our 17th Anniversary is coming in May. Marriage is hard work and has its ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade it or my hubby for anything.

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  14. This LO is wonderful! And thx for being so honnest about your relationship, it's really refreshing!

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