Eric and I celebrated ten years of marriage this month. I have a much better understanding now than I did a decade ago of why we use the term “celebration” in association with anniversaries. Marriage is hard, a lot of work, and a constant battle against selfishness to love the other well. Now that I think about it, every day we end together is worth rejoicing over!
Over the past year, we have fallen in love with our new home state of Michigan and wanted to take a trip to see some of it’s beauty. We decided to be unconventional and bring the boys with us. Although I initially wasn’t sure how excited I was about the idea, sharing our time with them turned out to be a blessing (thank the Lord for their great behavior on the trip). They were able witness and take part of our celebration. Their presence added to our joy!
On our first day, we explored 18th century Fort Michilimackinac which was a fur trading post. There were costumed interpreters and live demonstrations ranging from how they maintained gardens to (the boys favorite) shooting guns and cannons.
That evening we drove across the Mackinac bridge and into the Upper Peninsula. Eric’s coworker had suggested the ultimate man-restaurant in that the interior was covered (and I mean, co-VERED) in antlers and animal mounts. We tried Poutine Fries (fries covered in cheese curds and brown gravy). We saw Canada across the water in front of the restaurant (an unexpected surprise)!
The next day we took the ferry to Mackinac Island. It was everything (and more) that we had hoped! We rented bikes and rode the eight mile perimeter of the island. The kids shocked us with their endurance and I think we’ve found a new family activity to enjoy together! There were various places to stop and explore the island’s beauty. That ride was one of our favorite things from the trip! Per the recommendation of many Michigan friends, we ate some delicious Mackinac Island fudge!
On our way home, we made a detour to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. We conquered Dune Climb (my lungs were much more appreciative of the run down them)! We also went on the Scenic Drive in which we could get out and see sights. It is stunningly beautiful and the various color shades of the clear water is gorgeous.
We stopped at an overlook on top of a sand dune. I was shocked at its height and steep pitch! As you can see from the sign in the picture below, it isn’t recommended that you venture down. Still, there were a few
crazy adventurous souls who did (view the collage picture showing the dune and people on it below for an idea of how big the dune is)!
Before we left, we wanted to stop at a beach and look for Petosky Stones – Michigan’s state rock. Petosky is fossilized coral. It may seem silly, but I had been praying that God would let me find just one Petosky Stone. (If you’ve ever seen “The Long, Long Trailer” with Lucille Ball, you will understand why my family calls me “Lucy.” I am always hauling rocks home from our trips.) I so badly wanted a Petosky.
While the boys were busy not getting wet in the cold water (you can guess how that went – ha), Eric and I hunted for stones. We hadn’t been there five minutes when I looked down and saw a Petosky laying on top of a pile of rocks at my feet. I completely lost it and, “screaming like a schoolgirl” (Eric’s description), ran to the water to get it wet. The pattern of the fossil doesn’t show unless it is wet or polished so getting it wet is a way to verify that you found the real deal. God gave me a Petosky!
As an anniversary gift, Eric plans to have it polished and made into a necklace for me. I think it will be such a fun thing to pass down through our family’s generations!
But, equally special to me, is what Eric found on the same beach. He found a heart rock that now sits on a shelf next to our wedding picture. It was the perfect ending to an incredibly memorable trip – our favorite to date! It was a precious time of drawing closer to each other as a family while savoring time that was free of stress or responsibilities.
Yes, marriage is hard and ours is not perfect. But learning to honor God and our vows brings such joy. We thank God for giving us ten years. May He continue to hold and grow us as we strive to love Him and each other. To God be the glory!