Saturday, August 16, 2008

A tad bit late, but worth mentioning--our anniversary (updated)

July 29th was our 8th anniversary.

We revisited a favorite spot of ours, a restaurant we've been going to since before we were married---since before it had been "discovered"---The Vineyards in Garden Ridge. They now hold so many weddings there that it's hard to get a reservation on the night of your choosing. But we were able to secure a spot, and once you're out there, it somehow still has the same secluded feel it's always had.

The actual restaurant is so picturesque. It's a quaint converted farmhouse, complete with squeaky hardwood floors and a cellar down below (that's Garfield's favorite place to be seated, but it's too chilly for the likes of me). My favorite seating is on the enclosed patio with a view out on the vineyards and flower gardens. No matter which floor you dine on, there are no more than a handful of other tables within sight, so you almost feel like you have the place to yourself. (What am I doing...trying to sell the place?! Nevermind all these don't want to go there. Really. It's ugly, the food is repulsive, and you don't want to hog one of the few spots. Don't tell your friends, either.)

Anyway, while we wait for our food, we like to head down to the vineyard and walk around, picking and tasting a few of the grapes that are hanging on the trellises just above our heads. There are cows and goats meandering about, peacefully grazing right beyond the grape vines.

(No, the picture below is of neither a meandering cow nor a goat. But these are some of the flowers I spoke of.)

These last few months haven't been the easiest, but a marriage built upon the unshakable foundation of Christ is worth celebrating. It may not have been our liveliest date conversation, and our hearts were a bit heavy that evening, but there was comfort in sitting across the table from the person we'd been married to for eight years.

Being in that patio room with my husband took me back to times that were sweet. Times when our wedding was yet ahead of us. Times when our future was a rosy, picture-perfect scene from a fairytale. Times like our first anniversary, celebrated in that same room over the same food. Times when the realities of life were still naively tucked away somewhere, waiting to be unfolded bit by bit.

It reminded me that we've been through better, and we've been through worse. (Hmmm...rings awefully familiar to certain vows I recall making.) It reminded me that while I may not always deal gracefully with the circumstances of life, I am still blessed beyond measure by the man God choose for me to experience this life with.

And for that, I am so grateful.

(Update: Just to clarify, Hubby pointed out that the above post could possibly imply that we are experiencing marital strife, but that wasn't what I was referring to when I mentioned difficulties.)

Just for fun, here's a picture of us at the Vineyards on our eighth anniversary a few weeks ago. Below that, if you can see my tiny scanned-in picture, is us in the same exact spot on our FIRST anniversary! If I click on it, it gets bigger. Does that work for you, too? How do you get a scanned in picture to be bigger, by the way?


lizandbunyan said...

That's such a sweet post Stephanie.

I've always wanted to go to that place but don't think of it unless I'm driving by.

How special that you celebrated your 1st and 8th anniversaries there! Is it a tradition of sorts?

BTW, the pic does in fact get bigger when you click on it and y'all look very much the same--not any older at all! :)

Lory (1st time to comment, but long time reader.)

Stephanie said...

Hi, Lory! Thanks for delurking, and for the compliment. :)

Yes, we love the Vineyards, and it's kind of our "special occasion" place of choice--meaning we MAYBE get to go there once a year. We don't get to go on many dates. ;) (We also have the Entertainment card to use there, so if you go on Sun-Thurs. you get an entree free!)

Brittany said...

What a sweet place and date:) You did do a good job of selling it, I will say! Happy Belated Anniversary!

Ashley said...

Oh, what a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing such a sweet story. Lord knows Ryan and I have had our share of issues, but I love to look across the room and see the same man I have known for 14 years and I am so blessed that we love eachother more now than when we did then. You guys look great. I love your new blog look too!

Chef Mama said...

Steph, that was very sweet. And you both look even better than you did on your first anniversary! It's hard to believe you've been married 8 years. I remember you as a newlywed!

We also just went to the Vineyards Saturday night for our anniversary (which was actually on the 12th, but after 19 years you have to budge a little there). We had our entertainment book, but didn't know that Sunday-Thursday rule, so had a VERY pricey but oh so delicious meal! I thought of you as we drove there!

Happy Anniversary to the 2 of you!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for that sweet post, Steph. Anyone who's been married for as long as any of us (we had our 10 year this year) has bound to have issues of some kind. I think that's what make marriage even more sweet. After you come through the rough time, you have such a great appreciation for each other.

Love the pics, although they look like they could have been taken on the same day.

Michelle B. said...

What a wonderful post, Stephanie. You guys look no different than the first photo. Love the new look of your blog.

Cathryn said...

I got tears in my eyes reading that! And I don't think that can still be postpartum hormones... :) Love you!

Candace said...

Okay, you've convinced me to go there. Come on......cough up the location....RIGHT NOW!!!

Congrats on eight years. Oh and tell Garfield that I knew there was no marital strife! ;-)

Chelsea said...

The Vineyards is my favorite restaurant, too. Their Poblano Corn Chowder is amazing, and I could eat those crab-stuffed mushrooms every day for the rest of my life.

Glad you got a date night at a special place. Sometimes it's worth celebrating the tough times, too.

mattswife1990 said...

Hi, I think I've commented before but I'm usually a "lurker", too. I think I found you via "Life in a Shoe" some time ago...

You both look almost the same as you did on your first anniversary, but maybe even a bit younger! :)

That restaurant sounds like a beautiful place. We're originally from Michigan, and your description reminds me of a place where friends had their wedding reception. It was just picture-perfect. :)

Amy :)