ThinkstockPhotos-101777993Jill says: Last Thursday was our 32nd wedding anniversary. (Of course, we both thought it was #33 until we did the math!) If you’ve been hanging around here very long, you know that celebration has been hard won!

Mark says: Anniversaries can offer a bit of a “reboot” for your marriage, if you’ll make a priority to celebrate it in some way.

Jill says: It’s a time to talk about memories, share hopes and dreams for the future, play together, and take some time for just the two of you.

Mark says: Jill and I chose to do a four day getaway to Holland, Michigan for this year’s celebration. We’re not “dress up and go to an expensive restaurant” kind of people. We’re more “lay on the beach reading books side by side and finding a not-too-expensive place for dinner” kind of people.

Jill says: What are you planning for your next anniversary celebration?  Need some ideas? Here are 10 ways to celebrate your anniversary:

1) Write love notes to each other.

2) Go away for an overnight at a hotel in town. (We use to bid on a local room.  We can usually find one at about the $45 bid price.)

3) Go away for an overnight for a couple nights in another town. (Two of our personal favorites here in the Midwest were Lazy Cloud Inn in Lake Geneva, WI and The Barn in Dahinda, IL.)

4) Have friends or family keep the kids for a night and stay home alone in your own home. (One year the kids went to Grandmother and Granddad’s for a week and we stayed home alone for a week! Wahoo!) Just having dinner for two in the quiet house is quite refreshing!

5) Take a staycation.  One year Mark took the day off work and we spent the day sightseeing in our own town.  We ate at restaurants we’d never been in, shopped at downtown stores we had never shopped in, and enjoyed museums and art galleries we didn’t even know existed!

1042978366) Take a tour of your dating spots.  When Mark and I started dating, I was living in the Alpha Chi Omega house at Butler University in Indianapolis.  Mark was living in a mobile home across town.  We have revisited the mobile home park and my sorority house as well as favorite restaurants and parks where we used to spend time.

7) Plan a big trip for the future. If it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. Just adjust. We had planned to take a cruise for our 10th anniversary. As we approached that summer, it became obvious we still couldn’t afford it. So Mark took me to a local lake, rented a canoe, and we “cruised” the lake!  Sometimes you have to adjust!

8. Plan for a big trip in the future and actually do it. After our 10th anniversary cruise didn’t work out, we saved for many years and were able to do a cruise with our family for our 25th anniversary!

9. Do a Getaway with God retreat. One year we went to a retreat center to set aside 24 hours to read God’s word together, pray, walk, and talk.  We thanked God for years He gave us together.  We thanked Him for redeeming the broken places in each of us and in our relationship, and we sought God’s direction for the next season of our life.

10. Head out on an unplanned roadtrip for the day or the weekend. Pick a direction to head in and see where you end up.  This is hard for those of us who like to plan and know all the details, but is a gift to the spouse who’s more spontaneous!

Mark says: Doing something special for your anniversary is important. It says “we are important,” “our relationship matters,” and “we have something to celebrate.”

Jill says: Honestly, we’ve not always “felt” like celebrating. Sometimes our anniversary has fallen during hard seasons. However, even in those times, we’ve done something special to celebrate the commitment. We’ve set aside our differences or conflict for the day and done the right thing by celebrating.

What about you?  How have you celebrated your anniversary?  You can post your ideas as comments on this post here!

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