Today We Shall Eat Cake + Enjoy The Flowers

July 14, 2014

Today is a very special one because it’s July 14, 2014 and 13 years ago today I got married! We were so young, so daring, so full of hopes and dreams… Today we’re not the doe-eyed dreamers we once were as much as the let’s-do-it doers and that’s something age and marriage gave us both – gumption, courage, fire. We’ve had many good times but also hard ones like when we had to count all of the change in the house in order to procure enough to buy groceries. I remember when my husband sold all of his belongings to be able to afford my wedding ring and a flight to America to marry me. I remember our honeymoon in San Francisco and how exciting it was to be in a city I had only dreamt to see back then and how we looked at rental apartments while there because we were convinced we’d found our dream city. Only we were too broke to make that happen.

Today We Shall Eat Cake + Enjoy The Flowers

Marriage isn’t easy but what relationship is? There are none without compromise, tears, joy, heartbreak and smiles that extend ear-to-ear. It’s impossible to have a perfect life with someone, but it’s entirely possible to have a happy life . Happy doesn’t mean trouble-free. Life is hard and sometimes we grow together and other months, we drift apart. But we come together again. And we just keep going. One thing I’ve learned with my marriage is that the growing apart at times doesn’t mean it’s over. It only means that you have to keep walking ahead until your paths converge again. Humans evolve. We aren’t going to be the same people we were when we got married. When I read articles about how couples “grew apart” I often wonder what they went into marriage expecting. That they’d always be the same and want the same things and just follow protocol forever?

To think of where we are today, and that we have a child now on our journey with us, is mind-blowing and beautiful. It’s also hard to grasp that 13 years have passed because it seems like we’ve been together my entire life while it also feels like yesterday that we met online in a public forum where I was writing back and forth to a woman on the topic of masculinity vs. femininity and female objectification. And to think that a topic like that piqued the interest of a German journalist and computer science genius living thousands of miles away is just a riot. I remember back then (1998) I confessed to my mother that I was dating a man on the internet that I hadn’t met in person yet and the first thing she said was, “How do you know he isn’t a serial killer or rapist?”, because back then that was what most people thought when they heard about online dating. We wrote back and forth for nearly a year before we met for the first time and we were engaged within two weeks. That was 15 years ago in the Autumn of 1999. Then we were married in 2001.

Writing online has brought me uncounted blessings like a beautiful marriage and a glowing career. No serial killers mom!

Today my husband sent me gorgeous flowers that I’m holding above. And champagne that I’ll be holding in my tummy later on after the baby is snoozing. He also gave me the most beautiful ring to symbolize the birth of our son. I burst into tears the moment I opened the little black box with the exact same gold lettering on it that he gave me holding my engagement ring many years ago.

Thank you Thorsten for living with me, putting up with me, loving me and always being so loyal and caring. And for being the most wonderful daddy to little Aidan. I loved you from the first time we talked on the phone for 5 hours back in 1998 and I’ll love you forever + ever. Happy Anniversary my love.

(photo: thorsten becker)


  • Reply Laura July 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Happy anniversary! What you said about growing apart and then coming together again is so true. We’ve been married for 26 years (!), I was still in college when we married. It’s been a journey of growing up together.
    The flowers are beautiful.
    Show us the ring!
    Thanks for a lovely post.

  • Reply Janet Kemp July 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Congrats Holly and Thorsten…..

    Love the sentiments that you expressed above, Holly. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Tomorrow, I, we, will be married 36 years. We have shared many ups and downs, our ‘spiderweb’ of life supporting us through good and difficult times.
    I think after all we have shared, we have more respect and love for each other.
    Our children are now older than when we first committed to each other and we have 2 beautiful grandchildren.

    Thanks for reminding us about the important connections of life.

  • Reply Yuko | northfield gate July 14, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Happy Anniversary Holly and Thorsten! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story – this brought tears to my eyes… I’ve been married to my American husband for almost 7 years (I’m a Japanese girl living in upstate NY), and having ups and downs in marriage/life sounds all so familiar… And those details are what make our life all the more special! Wishing you many more years of happiness together! xx

  • Reply April Louise July 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Beautiful story, I wish you all many more happy years to come. Congratulations and well done.

  • Reply Roberta Beyer July 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Happy Anniversary Holly! I loved your post.

  • Reply Elenor July 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Ah, that last bit brought little happy tears in my eyes. Love! So beautiful.
    Happy anniversary!

  • Reply tinajo July 14, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    How fun, I met my husband 15 years ago too and July 7th we had been married 13 years as well! :-)

    Must have been good years for all of us, don´t you think? ;-) Congrats!

  • Reply Mimmi July 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Holly&Thorsten!

    You have such wisdom…. Life {&marriage} IS beautiful with all its imperfections.

    Enjoy your special day!

    xx [one month from today! my husband and I are celebrating our 10th]

  • Reply Marilyn July 14, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Congratulations to you and Thorsten! Reading this post was so sweet and had me smiling the whole time. I loved reading your story and your honesty. There are too many “perfect” love stories online so it’s refreshing to read something REAL! ♥

  • Reply Sandra Garth July 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Happy Anniversary! !

  • Reply Kelly July 14, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Beautiful, honest tribute to your marriage. My husband and I share almost the exact relationship timeline (13 years in August, met in ’99) and this was just the perfect read for me today. Thank you…and happy anniversary.

  • Reply Sri July 15, 2014 at 7:01 am

    I decided to look you up online after borrowing your “Decorate Workshop” book from our local library – and this is the first post I’ve read on your blog. What beautiful and honest reflections on what it is to be married! I’m almost 13 years married, and what you’ve written here really resonated with me. Congratulations on your anniversary, and thank you for sharing your insights and experience with us all. xx

  • Reply Joanna July 15, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Happy Anniversary!!! I did not expect to get emotional, but I did. Thank you for sharing your story and have a wonderful celebration. :-)

  • Reply Simone from Küchenzirkus July 15, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Lovely post and happy anniversary!

  • Reply Cate July 15, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I can so relate to your post. I met my English husband at a gig where he was playing in Australia, two nights before he flew off to Japan. Today we have almost 8 years of marriage which has included financial hardship (especially when we decided to start a not for profit together), travel, adventures and our lovely adopted 17 year old cat Mr Pablo. A week and a bit ago we moved to Leipzig, Germany for a new stage of life, very exciting and more than a bit scary.

  • Reply Lynne July 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Happy Anniversary. A lovely story.

  • Reply Holly {Avenue} July 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Happy anniversary Holly and Thorsten. Really enjoyed reading your story and encouraging words. Much love, Holly x

  • Reply Martine | Mom. Wife. Blogging Belle. July 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    How wonderful — such a sweet account of this special day. Happy Anniversary, Holly and Thorsten! Wishing you all the best.

  • Reply Beatrice July 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Happy Anniversary! and to a lifetime of happiness and joy together!

  • Reply Joni July 15, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I love hearing the stories of how people meet…It shows how truly amazing Life can be! The Best to You…

  • Reply Lucy Chen July 16, 2014 at 5:06 am

    This is so sweet! Happy Anniversary, Holly and Thorsten.

  • Reply Mimi July 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    What a lovely tribute to a great marriage. Its so nice to hear you speak so lovingly about your husband and the institution of marriage. Yes, it is a journey with many twists and turns, but if you vow to hang on when the road gets a bit bumpy you both emerge stronger than ever. I’ll be celebrating our 35th anniversary in September and each day I look at my husband, I love him more. Happy Anniversary!

  • Reply Lemuel Danilo July 16, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    First, congratulations…you both are an inspiration to many people especially in this day and age. Upon reading your story, I remembered a lesson in Theology that says marriage is a commitment. This means that a couple should continually work on their relationship and you have done exactly that.

  • Reply mel July 17, 2014 at 3:34 am

    Holly this has been the most enjoyable heartfelt post I’ve read out there on the net for a while. I just love hearing about how you two met, your story is too cool, an absolute hoot! It’s so clear that you’re both a wonderful team and lift each other up which is SO important. Blessings and happiness to you both for your anniversary. Mel xx

  • Reply leigh-ann July 21, 2014 at 3:17 am

    happy anniversary! thanks for the unique insight into marriage – i’m not married yet but it makes me look forward to it. :)

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