Sept. 10, 2019 - 25th Anniversary

Twenty-five years ago, Dan and I said "I do". I was 25, he was 31 and we had no idea what lay ahead. But marriage makes you take it one day at a time, and if you're lucky, you grow together and make a life. We count ourselves as some of the lucky ones.

Twenty-five years covers two houses, three dogs, one cat and three different minivans. The minivans were necessary for carting around the little girls we created. Oh, our girls. Our best accomplishment and our biggest sorrow.

Of course our marriage has been tested. Aren't they all? Dan's battle with alcoholism and his work to get sober made us both better. Shannon's illness and death gave us a choice - throw in the towel or get stronger together. We're still here...

And now, we enter a new phase. Erin heads back to school in 10 days and, at this point, she has no plans to live under our roof again. The empty nest feels like it's truly beginning. Willow Lane will be quieter without Erin, but it is as it should be.

Today we will enjoy the day at Lake Hubert. A place we've visited during each of our 25 years of marriage. A place where we get to remember the good times. A place where Erin said she feels the closest to Shannon.

It's been a big summer for me - turning 50 and now our silver anniversary. I hope there's a lot of life left to live. While we mark these milestones, hopefully, they are just a stepping stones to what's next. We've got places to go, people to see, and things we want to do.

So, Danny, here's to 25 and to 25 more... if I had it to do over, I'd do it all again...