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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  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
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You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
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We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
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Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
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This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
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Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
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Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
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Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
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It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
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What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome
  • Our daughter, Meghan, is a cardiac ICU nurse. Despite all of the current uncertainties in healthcare during this pandemic, early this morning she put on her scrubs and went to work a 12+ hour shift. 
She is not alone. Across the country and around the world, healthcare workers are putting the safety of themselves and their families at risk to help others. It's what they do. Every. Single. Day. 
We are incredibly grateful that there are selfless people like this in the world and we pray for them and we hope you'll join us. 
We couldn't sleep this morning, so we wrote instead. Click on the link in our bio to read our morning thoughts and prayers.
  • Trying to decide where we’ll travel this weekend. Covered porch? Living room? 😉
  • We are staying home. 
We've been here for almost a week now because Ann is one of "those people." You know the ones. Those people with an underlying health issue. Those people with a suppressed immune system. One of those people who could become seriously ill, need hospitalization, and even die if exposed to the coronavirus.  Those people need your help to stay safe and live. And all you have to do is stay home when you don’t NEED to be out.

Over the past few days, we’ve seen photos, videos, and witnessed first hand people of all ages (but mostly young people) gathering in groups for what us mid lifers would consider “non essential” reasons: birthday parties, movies, youth sports practices, St. Patty’s Day celebrations at the bar, spring break at the beach, and the like. 
We don’t understand it. 
We try not to judge. 
But just for a time during this worldwide pandemic, could we ask people who are participating in non-essential activities to consider who “those people” most at risk really are?

Those people are already battling serious illnesses.

Those people want to see their grandchildren grow up.

Those people need to do their jobs as nurses and doctors.

Those people are first responders. 
Those people run the grocery store, and the pharmacy, and the gas station. 
Those people pray for you and your generation. 
And what about those other people? 
The ones you know.

Those people who made sacrifices to meet your needs.

Those people who took care of you when you were sick.

Those people who went to your games and cheered you on. 
Those people who taught you in school.

Those people who helped you pay for college.

Those people who cooked your favorite dish for you.

Those people who taught your Sunday School class.

Those people who have forgiven you.

Those people who will always love you unconditionally.

We keep wanting to scream, “It’s not about you, it’s about those people!” But the truth of the matter is, IT IS ABOUT YOU. 
You have the power to help.
You have the power to influence others.
You have the power to flatten the curve.

And by not changing your behaviors, you also have the power to harm. 
How will you choose to use your power?j
  • We’re sharing your postcards and encouraging you to help others and stay positive. 
If you’d like to send us a postcard, mail to: Postcard Jar, PO Box 334, Crete, NE 68333.

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