Twenty Years…and Counting!

My husband and I just celebrated a milestone: our twentieth wedding anniversary.  Twenty years!  When did that happen!?  How DID a Dane and a Texan end up hitched in New York City and settled in Connecticut? Do you believe in destiny?

In Houston in the early nineties, I was crazy-busy.  Going to school and working a first office job at the same time, I was juggling a lot.  I certainly wasn’t planning on meeting my future husband!

In a city of millions, we kept “bumping into” each other: the furniture store where he worked, in a hair salon, and then set up on a blind date!  When he first phoned, thinking he was a wrong number, I hung up!  Thankfully, he called back!  On our first date, he picked me up at my mother’s, and I waited upstairs while she went to the door.  Coming up to get me, she half-joked,  “You should marry him!”  Kim and I were halfway through dinner before I realized he was the salesman I’d met in the furniture store, where, when asked if he could help me, I froze and got tongue-tied. From that blind date on, we were inseparable.  He was charming, with a droll Danish sense of humor.  When I asked what they eat in Denmark, he jokingly replied, “Cats”.  So, when my dad was to meet him and asked what to make for dinner, I said, “Anything…but  lock the cat up!”  When Kim went back to Denmark for his parent’s silver wedding anniversary, we ran their phone bill so high, it would’ve been cheaper for me to have flown with him!

Young and fearless, just over a year later, we found ourselves in Bucks County, Philadelphia, engaged.  We’d both landed great new jobs, and with no vacation, we couldn’t get married back home in Texas. We decided we’d do a small wedding in New York City, and  go home that fall for a Texas reception.

We were on a shoestring budget.  My dress was off the rack at Macy’s; found on a lunch break, but beautiful and vintage-looking.  The wedding would be just fourteen people attending. My mom and Kim’s parents would fly in the day before the ceremony, and everyone would meet for dinner at the hotel the night before.

We got married at the Danish Seaman’s Church,  a historic brownstone in Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty visible in the horizon. (Kind of ironic, right)?

Visible behind the church, the day after our wedding, we visited the Statue of Liberty.

The best man was to drive my mom, my maid of honor, and myself to the church, just over the Brooklyn bridge.  In bumper-to-bumper New York traffic, we were already late when Kim, at the church with guests seated, phoned. (Remember “car phones” in those big black bags)?  In Danish humor style, the best man joked that I was having second thoughts …and hung up!  OH NO!!

We then realized there was some sort of hold up, and the Brooklyn Bridge was closing!  With GPS not yet a reality, we knew no other way to get there!    I spied a patrol car, lights on, in the next lane.  Grabbing all the layers of tulle attached to my head, I hiked up my dress and leaped out, much to the horror of everyone else in the car.  I ran up to the police car, knocked on their window, begging them to help me.  The female officer in the passenger’s seat took pity on me, instructing us to follow close behind them.  We arrived with lights flashing and sirens blazing…not many brides get a police escort to their wedding!

I’m finally here!

The service was held half in English, half in Danish.  (To this day, I’m still not positive what all I  said “I do” to).  We had  dinner in the cozy back room of a chic SoHo jazz restaurant.  There was a piano in the main dining room.  Much to my embarrassment, when it came time to toss the garter, someone opened the divider to the other diners, and someone else swooped me up, plopping me up on top of the piano!  (We later found out the gentleman playing a quick tune on the piano was Paul Shaffer from the David Letterman show)!  Then following Danish tradition, the toes of the groom’s socks were cut off.

We had a Danish wedding cake, a ‘kransekake”, at the church.  More like a cookie, it’s made with almond paste.

And a traditional American wedding cake at the reception.

1992

And twenty years later, 2012

Twenty years later, we’re settled in Connecticut, originally moving to open our own business, which we ran over a decade.  We’ve had much happiness and blessings, and our daughter’s the light of our life.  Someone asked me the other day how we’ve done it, when the divorce rate is so high in these modern times.  Oh, we can push each others’ buttons!  I’m a headstrong Texan with Irish, French and Greek blood in my veins, and he’s from the land of Vikings!  Maybe it’s that we’ve lots of common interests, and lots of different ones, too.  Maybe it’s because we have gone through so much.  We’ve had hurdles, from moving far from family, to going through the Immigration process, to health scares that thankfully, were not reality but  reality checks.  The first of my friends to get married, I used to feel a little wistful attending big weddings surrounded by everyone the couple knew.  In the end, it’s not the wedding that matters, it’s the marriage. Marry your best friend, and the rest will fall into place, don’t ya think?

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  1. Peggy Smith says:

    Nicole,
    Congratulations on being married for 20 years.
    Thanks for sharing your time of meeting each other and the beautiful wedding photo’s.
    I would say it was meant to be and God had a hand in all this.
    Wishing you and yours many more Blessed years together.
    Peggy

    Peggy, I agree, what are the chances of us meeting so many times? Thank you so much!  -Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Debbie says:

    Hi Nicole!
    I just sat down with my coffee and there was your link in my inbox! Congratulations on 20 years of blissful matrimony! I LOVE your story from beginning to end. YES, marry your best friend, and the rest WILL fall into place. I think you compliment each other very well! You are a beautiful couple! My sweet Yankee and I celebrated 21 years in September… We went out for a quick hibachi dinner before we had to pick up our oldest from work.
    One of the guests at our table said to us, " Happy Anniversary and congratulations on 21 years. No body’s married anymore."

    Keep doing what you’re doing and many more happy years together!
    xo Deb ( your beach bloggin’ sis)

    Hi Debbie!  Thanks so much!  Congratulations on your 21st anniversary! Hibachi is so much fun. For our anniversary, we had a nice family lunch out; it was a great day because the day fell on a school holiday and a day off of work for my hubby. Happy Anniversary! Farmgirl hugs to you! -Nicole

  3. Adrienne says:

    Congratulations on such a happy milestone and best wishes to you for many delightful years together.

    Thank you, Adrienne! Twenty years seems like it went by so fast!  -Nicole

  4. Mary Ann says:

    Absolutely! Happy Anniversary, Nicole, love your photos. I married my best friend and we’ve been married 34 years and still very much "best friends".

    MaryAnn, thank you!  34 years…how wonderful.  Wishing you many more!  Hugs, Nicole

  5. Mary Beth Schwarz says:

    You are both even more beautiful than on your wedding day. What a wonderful story of two people meant to be together. Have many more happy years! Next September we celebrate our 40th but the years have passed so quickly it is difficult to believe. MB in TEXAS

    Marybeth, thank you!!! (Blushing).  Next September you celebrate 40 years!  Awesome!  Congratulations…I love hearing that.  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  6. Laurie Dimino says:

    Congratulations Nicole!
    What a wonderful story and photo journey! My DH and I just celebrated our 18th Wedding Anniversary, on September 24th and are Blessed with 2 beautiful children.
    Isn’t it wonderful to be married to your best friend?
    In today’s crazy busy world, there’s nothing like coming home to your best friend at the end of the day, knowing you can always turn to him for love and support!
    May you be Blessed with many, many more happy years together.
    Hugs,
    Laurie

    So true, Laurie!  Congratulations on your 18th!  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  7. Congratulations!

    I think you hit the nail on the head, marry your best friend and it does all fall into place. But I would add that you also have to have the commitment to continue to be your spouse’s best friend. Even as interests change, goals are attained or released, and even if we may become almost unlovable or deserving of love during times of personal challenges, then the reward of renewed and love multiplied is felt.

    A good and successful marriage is a gift from God and I thank Him daily for the 28 years I’ve had with my loving husband!!

    May this anniversary be the first of several two-decade increments! Long life and blessing to you both.

    Beautifully written, Karen!  Thank you for commenting! -Nicole

  8. Dianne says:

    Happy Anniversary you two! What a wonderful story; a testament to knowing when something is right!
    Wishing you many, many more,
    Dianne

    Thank you, Dianne! -Nicole

  9. Beverly Battaglia says:

    Nicole, 20 years -so hard to believe. You were a beautiful bride, my beautiful daughter! I have missed you so much everyday since you live so far away. May you always be happy and glad God blessed you both with Audrey. Love always.

    Mother

  10. meredith says:

    Hi Nicole! Congratulations! Twenty is a big deal! My sweetie and I celebrated our 25th this year, and you are right- marry your best friend and you will get through anything! Loved your pictures!

    Meredith, thank you!  Congrats on 25 years to you! -Nicole

  11. Happy anniversary to both of you! I enjoyed reading your post about the wedding.

    Thank you! -Nicole

  12. Karin Thomas says:

    Congratulations on your 20th anniversary! I love the pictures and your story, especially the police escort. (We had a police escort to the hospital when our daughter was born). You’ve had many wonderful adventures and I’m sure there are many more to come. In September we celebrated our 41st anniversary. I don’t really know how that’s possible since we’re both still just kids! He has decided to retire early, so in a few weeks we will start a new adventure of our own. Wishing you many, many more happy years.

    Many thanks, Karin!  Congratulations on your FORTY-FIRST anniversary!  How exciting!  Thank you for reading and commenting! -Nicole

  13. Annette says:

    Congratulations on your first 20 years!!! I married my best friend 27 years ago and it is a real blessing. May God grant you and your husband many more years!!

    Annette, thank you, and the same to you!  -Nicole

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