Last December, my husband and I celebrated 14 years of marriage.  It seems crazy to me that we’ve been together so long!  Actually, this May we will have been together 16 years (from the time we started to date to now).

Where has the time gone?

Our engagement and wedding were both interesting and a little tricky to navigate.  My husband grew up in Japan, and he’d been in the U.S. just 2.5 years when we got engaged.  He is the oldest son, so there was an expectation that he would go back to Japan and live next to his parents and help take care of them when they got older.

That didn’t happen, but over the years, his parents have come to accept his life here.

His sister has also been extremely flexible.  She and her husband moved into a house right next to his parents.  My husband’s brother-in-law agreed to change his name to his wife’s maiden name so the family name will continue even though my husband is not there.

We’ve all found a way to work out our international marriage, but things weren’t always so smooth.

When we got married, we were blessed to have my husband’s parents’, sister, and brother-in-law fly to the U.S. to take part in the wedding.  My husband’s grandpa recorded a video message for my husband.

My uncle was so excited, he arranged to have the video played during the reception.  When the video played, I could see my husband become visibly uncomfortable.  Of course, the recording was in Japanese, so only my husband and his family knew what it said.  My uncle urged, “Translate for us.  What is he saying?”

My husband politely declined to say and the video was shut off.  Only later did I find out that the message was his grandfather imploring my husband to come back to Japan because it was his duty.

Awkward.

Another awkward moment was during our actually wedding ceremony.  The priest skipped the “You can now kiss the bride” part because he didn’t want to offend my husband’s parents.

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Despite the challenges of navigating an international marriage, my husband and I are both happy with our decision.  We had the opportunity to travel to Japan two years after our wedding, and we were able to have a Japanese wedding ceremony.  I even got to wear a kimono!

We haven’t been to Japan since then because the kids were too little, but now that Cuddle Bug is almost 5, we hope to go in the next couple of years.

???????????????????????????????Recently I was able to receive Personal Creation’s “Love Is” Wall Canvas.  I love this because it reminds me of our wedding (we had this read as one of our readings during the wedding Mass).  We’ve had a crazy ride together in our 16 years, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

This beautiful wall hanging reminds me of that every day.

Disclosure: I received this wall hanging for review purposes only.  No additional compensation was given.

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