Happy Anniversary to Us

9 long short years ago, we tied the knot.  9 years on the 9th…isn’t that like our golden anniversary or something? Here’s one of my favorite pictures from our wedding:

On our early anniversary dinner a couple of weeks ago, we went through year by year and wrote down some of the most memorable events, good and bad, and things that changed us and made us who we are as a couple. It’s a good thing we had that nice dinner a few weeks ago, because tonight we’re having spaghetti here at home with the kids, which just screams of romance.  Anyway, here are a few of the items on our list…

* Got married (duh) and went on our honeymoon, which included a hurricane while on a cruise ship. Good times.
* Our apartment, which we were so eager to leave…why was that again? Oh yes, because we really wanted to grow up.
* Buying a new couch with some wedding moolah, and hauling the old Goodwill one to the dumpster late one night (it weighed like 1407 pounds). Matt wanted to invest all of the wedding cash, and I won, saying that there was no way we were having company over if they had to sit on that couch.
* Finding our first church home here, West County Christian Church, where we met great friends like the Pribishes, the Swinigans, the Willmeths, the Greenes and the Smiths.
* Y2K! Ack! The sky is falling! Er, maybe not. Jeremy and Kelly, friends from Effingham who actually lived one apartment complex over from us in STL, came over on New Year’s Eve to play cards and smoke cigars (Kelly, didn’t we actually try to do that too? So gross.) The guys drank “chamorgan,” a drink undeserving of further explanation. They thought it was very funny.

Fair St. Louis

Fair St. Louis

* Rams win the Superbowl, and STL goes crazy! Fun parade downtown, though we vow to never attend a celebration like that in person again.  It took like 13 hours to get back home.  I may or may not be exaggerating.
* George W. Bush was elected – we stayed up half the night watching results, and finally went to bed when we realized we wouldn’t know anytime soon.
* I discovered ebay, and started selling everything that wasn’t nailed down in our apt.
* Started house hunting!
* Bought our first car as a married couple, a Chevy Malibu. It rocked (that’s a joke). We drove it straight to Branson (woo-hoo!) for our first anniversary.

Rich and Karen's wedding

at Rich and Karen’s wedding

* Matt got a new job (the bank he’s at currently). He started traveling with some regularity, which I hated. Lots of trips to Iowa.
* REALLY started house hunting, this time with a realtor. Bought our first home! It was so cute and we were really proud of it! I still miss that little house.
* I quit my job as a private therapist for a preschooler with autism.
* 9/11. I was unemployed. Finally got a job and started work on our second anniversary. It was a nightmare of a job, and I kept it for 6 months.
* LEAVES. SO MANY FREAKING LEAVES. We failed to notice that our cute new house with the nice yard had 5 oak trees that were probably 50 years old. All we did for two months was rake.

Illini v. Mizzou football; I'm 5 mo. preg. w/ Luke

Illini v. Mizzou football

* We’re having a baby! Next thought for me: I have to push this thing out! Waaah! Oh, and I have to tell my new boss of one week that I’m having a baby. Cool.
* When I was 4 months pregnant, we got a new air conditioner at our house when ours broke. Matt calls it “the air conditioner from God” because our home warranty, which was about to expire, actually paid for the entire thing.  If you’ve ever dealt with a home warranty, you know that they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
*We became parents! Luke was born in December.



* I transitioned to part-time at my job, we found a great babysitter, and I had a sweet gig for the next almost-4 years.
* Bought a new house! On my birthday of all days! Matt’s parents were here with us that day, when we were looking “just for fun.” I had doubts after moving, because I missed our old house/location so much.
* Our pastor was fired, and we decided to find a new church. It’s where we go now.
* Chicago trip for our anniversary.

Telling Swinigans I was preg. w/ Bennett!

Telling Swinigans I was preg. w/ Bennett!

* Pregnant again!
* Ugh. We bought a minivan. I couldn’t live without it now, though!
* Started small group with some of the greatest couples on earth, including the Stuarts and the Greenes.
* My mom was diagnosed with cancer.
* My brother Jake moved in with us, and stayed for about 3-4 months. We loved it!
* Luke had a bout of 6th Cranial Nerve Palsy, which totally freaked me out (especially in light of my mom’s new-at-the-time diagnosis) and led to him having to have a CT scan. Basically, his eye started turning inward one morning without any warning, and it stayed that way for a couple of weeks. Scary stuff. Everything was a-ok; it was caused by a virus.

Eckert's Apple Orchard

Apple picking at Eckert’s

* Matt’s dream comes true, when the Illini men’s basketball team makes it to the Final Four. HERE IN ST. LOUIS.
* Not second in importance to that, but two days after the championship game, Bennett was born!
* Matt turned 30, and I threw a surprise party for him. And he was really surprised!
* A new air conditioner at this house. ‘Cept this one wasn’t from God, it was from our own pocketbook.
* Whole Pals family trip to Dallas, where my cousin David got married.

Eric & Andrea's rehearsal dinner

Eric & Andrea’s rehearsal

* Pals family trip to Table Rock Lake…such a great time!
* Then, onto Lake Delavan, for the boys’ first trip up there, with all of the Diehl family (and our “getting to know you” game!). Another fun vacation!
* Another anniversary trip to Chicago for Matt and me; we stayed on Michigan Avenue one night, which was incredible.
* Cardinals win the World Series!
* My other brother, Zach, moved in with us, for about 6 months. Again, it was awesome.
* I became a SAHM.

I'm something like 19 months pregnant here.

I’m something like 19 months pregnant here.

* Pregnant again! Woo hoo!
* First ER trip with one of the boys for an injury – Bennett fell carrying a Disney “Cars” toy (Chick Hicks, who’s a bad guy anyway) and had to get his wound glued back together.
* Family retreat with church friends to Pinecrest, which was really fun.
* Another trip to Lake Delavan, too!
* Jack Henry was born!
* Started blogging.

Jake & Dana's wedding

Jake & Dana’s wedding

* Remodeled our bathroom.
* Bought a Wii! Such fun.  But, mama’s about to put the kibosh on all games that are sedentary.  This is not going to go over well, especially with child #1.
* Started helping to facilitate the young marrieds group at our church.
* My mom passed away on July 7th, marking the end of a long, hard-fought battle.
* Much-needed vacation to the lake and The Dells.

24 responses to “Happy Anniversary to Us

  1. Happy Anniversary Nic and Matt! Loved reading all the highlights! You guys have built such an amazing life and family together.

    I think another one of your 1999 highlights should be that, without even knowing it, you played matchmakers at your own wedding for Kirk and I! Thanks! 🙂

  2. Happy Anniversary! I love how you listed the events that took place each year. Either you have a great memory, or you had this stuff written down. Impressive. I wish you many more years of happiness together.

  3. Happy Anniversary! Glad you were able to go out a couple of weeks ago. Have a great day!!!

  4. Sonya,

    Glad you were the first comment! When I first woke up and thought about this post, I was thinking that I should add that to 1999! 😉

  5. What a sweet post!

    I also went to West County Christian Church for a couple years when I was in high school. I loved the youth group!

  6. Happy Anniversary! We’ll have to set up a day that I can watch the boys and you guys can go out for an evening and just relax 🙂

  7. What a fun look back at the last 9 years.
    Happy Anniversary!

  8. Congrats on nine years… what fun. Those are some great pictures. I wish I had kept track like that!

  9. Happy anniversary! Here’s to many, many, many more wonderful years to come! 😀

  10. Happy anniversary! No one does awesome family history posts like you do.

    I had to add that that fireplace in the Easter photo looks … not a little …. not a lot …. but EXACTLY like the fireplace in our first house. We had a lot of photos taken in front of our fireplace like that too.

  11. happy anniversary matt and nic! this was an incredible post and brought back so many memories of the last nine years. i am so happy that you both found each other–you are absolutely perfect for each other and have made the most beautiful family. i’ll never forget the insane amount of fun i had at your wedding!!! you did fail to mention a very monumental historical event in these past nine years and it has something to do with our favorite basketball team (maybe it didn’t end the way it was supposed to, but it was monumental, nonetheless….) love you guys! enjoy the spaghetti 🙂

  12. This was so fun to read! Loved your usual humor, especially about things that weren’t necessarily a riot at the time! What a great way to review each year and remember . . .

    May I be the 1st to comment to Jan that the (ugly) fireplace doors were your in-laws’, not yours! I was more than glad to have our built-ins cover them up!

    It has been such a joy to watch you grow as a couple – and even more as a family – during the past 9 years. We love you dearly!

  13. Happy anniversary, Matt and Nicole!

    I will always remember when you and Matt started dating and when he showed me one of your senior pictures for the first time– I was so excited that Matt was dating such a pretty girl! 🙂

    Fun post, and great memories, for sure!!

  14. Nicole-
    Please tell me how you can remember all those things after having 3 children?!! Happy Anniversary to you guys. I enjoyed looking at the old pics since I didn’t know you back then. (You haven’t aged a bit!!) Mara

  15. That was a great idea. It will be fun to keep adding to the list as the years go on. Congratulations!!!

  16. happy anniversary! i still remember how pretty you looked at your wedding. congrats!
    (doesn’t it seem weird/amazing how much life has changed in 9 years?)

  17. I (STILL) DO!

    One day within the last couple weeks as I was driving home from work, I was reflecting on how bad of a day I had at work that day. Then, as I got closer to home, everything changed. I got a sudden feeling of relief when my focus shifted to the idea of getting home and knowing that you and the kids would be there, and I really looked forward to getting home to see you. It was just kind of a reality check that reminded me of how fortunate I really am to have you. I love you.

  18. Thanks, everyone (and especially you, Matt!) for your sweet comments.

  19. Nicole, you’ve seriously got to share how you remembered all this stuff. I don’t think I could do that…but it’s a really fun idea! Happy Anniversary!

  20. Congrats Nicole and Matt!

    It was really fun going through your timeline. . . and great pictures.

    ( I would like to add an unrelated sidenote that your hair ALWAYS looks awesome throughout the years.) *jealousy* 😉

  21. Happy Anniversary!!! Hi Nicole! I’m adding a comment. Aren’t you proud of me? I’m laughing so much about News Years 2000 because we did try cigars. I have pictures to prove it and the chamorgan was just disgusting. Jeremy threatened to make that several months ago. Too funny!

  22. wait, was that illini memory on there when i posted? this 30 thing…

  23. Um, sorry Heidi, but the answer is yes, it was there. Apparently 30 has hit you pretty hard! 😛

  24. Congrats Matt and Nicole! Best post yet. What awesome memories. Due to Scott’s “super” behavior and the invention of “the Diehl-O” I will never forget your wedding. (Ron, I think the Diehl-O needs to come back for the last Diehl wedding.) I adore the pic of Matt kissing you at Jake’s wedding! Didnt know you had a Malibu……trust me we share the same thought.

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