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April Jeppson: How is it my 17th anniversary already?

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Seventeen years. That’s 6,205 days. That’s how long I’ve been married. When I realized it was 17 years, I asked myself how I was old enough to have been married that long. I work with people who are 17 years old and they are basically adults. There are days when I feel like I’m still 17 years old, so I’m a little blown away that I’m that much of an adult.

April Jeppson

After I got over the shock that I’m basically my parents’ age, Brian and I were trying to figure out how we were going to celebrate. Our anniversary fell on a Wednesday this year. Mid-week celebrations are always a little harder, especially when it’s a school night for littles. We thought about heading out to dinner, postponing till the weekend but ultimately settled on dining in.

Brian set the kids up with some video games, and him and I snuggled up on the couch together alone. I love snuggling with my family — it’s a Top 3 activity in my book. However, getting all five members of my growing family to fit on our regular-sized couch can get tight at times. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being mildly uncomfortable when it means that I get to spend time with my kiddos. However, on my anniversary, I wanted to live a life of luxury. I wanted to have the couch to ourselves.

Sprawled out on our couch together, eating a gourmet Arby’s dinner and watching a comedy on Netflix was perfect. I didn’t have to share my fries or my shake. I didn’t have to sit on edge, hoping that we picked an appropriate movie for my children to watch with us. I didn’t have to dress up. I didn’t even have to wear pants. I was allowed to just be — just relax and enjoy two hours with the man of my dreams.

The whole experience made me giggle. When we were first married, it was Red Lobster and a movie. Then when our kids were babies, we thoroughly enjoyed splurging on a babysitter and just leaving the house together. Now I’m content with fast food on my couch. That’s how I know I’m old enough to have been married for 17 years. I no longer require the fluff and the frills to celebrate a special day. I can make any day special as long as I’m with the right people.

Tonight is family night at the Jeppsons. What started as a cost-saving way to have fun, has turned into something we look forward to every week. I’ll get home with the kids around 5, and the house will be filled with the smell of garlic. Brian’s homemade pizza will be on its final minutes in the oven and everyone will ask what movie we’re watching tonight. Then we’ll grab our dinner, go down to the family room and snuggle together around the TV. I can guarantee my arm, or my butt will fall asleep at some point tonight, but I don’t care. I will be with my family, and that’s all that matters.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.