We were married on the morning of August 27, 2011. Every August 27 since, we’ve taken a picture in the morning holding the photo we took the previous year. We wind up with kind of a tunnel where we can look back across the years. The differences in each picture show a snapshot of were we were in life each year, so they are all meaningful in some way. It’s also fun to see the differences in the photos. No matter what, these pictures are something we look back on and treasure.

Our wedding photo, 2011

We got married at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Neb. Because we had an eight-week engagement there were no churches, reception venues, or photographers available for an evening wedding on the last Saturday before Husker football started. So, Ann had a great idea to get married in the morning. It turns out, that was a perfect time of day for us because we had a full day to celebrate and Steve got to have bacon at the reception.

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First anniversary photo, 2012

Dressed for work, one year in! Steve was a middle school principal and Ann was VP of Communications for Time Warner Cable. We both were up and out of the house most mornings by 7:30 a.m., so we took a picture after work that day in our back yard.


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Second anniversary photo, 2013

Looking at this picture, Ann always says, “I loved that green jacket.” Steve just thinks he needed a haircut.

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Third anniversary photo, 2014

It was raining on Aug. 27, 2014, but we decided to roll with it and grabbed and umbrella and a willing neighbor to take our photo before we headed to work.

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Fourth anniversary photo, 2015

Ann was very sick on our fourth anniversary, recovering from several surgeries and very fatigued. She just got out of bed just long enough to take a picture and rested most of the day.

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Fifth anniversary photo, 2016

This year our anniversary fell on a Saturday, so no tie for Steve! You can take a look back at our first five years of marriage in a blog post wrote about Our Journey of a Lifetime.

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Sixth anniversary photo, 2017

And this is the year Steve left his job to focus more on the blog, so no tie, again!

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Seventh anniversary photo, 2018

As you can see, the sun was a little bright in our eyes this year. Also, ignore Steve’s legs. He had to get lower to be in the frame with Ann. This is, by far, the worst anniversary photo we’ve ever taken.

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Eighth anniversary photo, 2019

Hey, this weight loss thing might be working …

eighth anniversary photo idea


Do you have any special traditions to celebrate your wedding anniversary? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  • Just over two years ago, we stopped in Pawhuska to have lunch at Ree Drummond's @PWMercantile. From the person opening the door for us to the folks tending the line giving us water, we felt welcome from the moment we set foot in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.⁣
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But it turns out it wasn't just @thepioneerwoman and her husband, Ladd, who went above and beyond to welcome visitors. No, it turns out what they did was just par for the course in this town that's home to some of the friendliest and most welcoming people we've met in all our travels. ⁣
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So we bought a house there. We got it in part, so we could be a part of the community we've come to love. But we also got it so we could help welcome folks to town and let them know how glad we are they came to visit. Come and see Pawhuska. And when you do, stay awhile.
  • Fried dill pickles are a little different in North Dakota than they are in most other places we've been. Instead of just dipping some dill chips in batter, dropping them in the fryer, and then serving them in a basket with ranch, the folks there take their time and make a dish to remember.⁣
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They start with a dill pickle spear, wrap that in Havarti cheese, then put a wonton wrapper around it all. Then, they fry it, and slice it open just so before serving them alongside a spicy aioli dipping sauce. We had these at a complimentary meal at Outlaws Bar and Grill in @visitwilliston, North Dakota.⁣
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Let's be honest, these pickles are just one of many reasons we look forward to our return to @northdakotalegendary next year.
  • Have you ever had the chance to watch a cruise ship come into or leave port? These massive ships, often 1,000 feet or more long, can maneuver themselves by the dock so gently that you don't even realize you've stopped (or started) moving.⁣
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In Bermuda, we had the chance to watch the Norwegian Escape depart. We watched as she pushed away from the dock, then spun 180 degrees on a point before heading out to sea.⁣
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We've seen ships do this dozens of times. In fact, we've been on ships and have been part of this type of maneuvering dozens of times. And yet, given the sheer size of the vessels, it never ceases to impress.
  • You know you want to. Do it. Just book the ticket and go. At the end of your life, you likely won't remember most of the stuff you bought in 2019, but you will always remember the journey you took and the experiences you had. So enrich your life and go. We've never regretted spending money for a trip.
  • This just might be the sweetest, best pecan roll we've ever had. At the @PWMercantile, they bake these delicious treats daily. Covered in a luscious caramel and finely chopped pecans, these rolls are the stuff dreams are made of. Have you had one?
  • Smack in the middle of Portland, Oregon, we found the International Rose Test Garden. Set on 4.5 acres of land, the garden offers visitors a chance to see 10,000 rose bushes from about 650 different varieties. ⁣
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We spent more than an hour walking the carefully tended paths, snapping photos, and just enjoying the beautiful flowers. Our visit here made us glad that we literally scheduled time on this trip to stop and smell the roses.
  • Set in a renovated middle school in Grinnell, Iowa, Hotel Grinnell is one of our favorite boutique hotels. The owner thoughtfully designed the space and included touches from school including “Hall Pass” key card sleeves, and a bar cleverly named, “The Periodic Table.” We wrote a story on this hotel, you can read all about it on our blog. Link in bio. @hotelgrinnell #hosted @traveliowa
  • Everyone has a happy place, a spot where the world melts away and a sense of relaxation and calm settles in. For Steve, this place is on board a cruise ship, out on open water. He can spend hours sitting and watching the water, the ship's wake, and looking out for other ships. He loves soaking up the sun and fresh ocean air while cruising along on the sea. ⁣
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What's your happy place? ⁣
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