Thursday, August 18, 2016

Love Your Spouse Challenge

Eveland-Smith Photography, Hutchinson, KS
I've had two friends - Millie Dearden and Julie Christie -  "tag" me on Facebook to do the Love Your Spouse Challenge. I was slow at tag in grade school. (Any speed genes skipped straight by me and were gifted to my sister, Lisa.) I thought about those unorganized plastic tubs of photos ... and my speed for a newfangled game of tag didn't get much faster.

I told Randy that I couldn't decide whether or not to even do the challenge. (After he stuck out his lip in a fake pout, he told me to do what I wanted. OK, one more reason I love my spouse.) After all, I've declared my appreciation for my spouse via blog posts on our anniversary and on Father's Day - several times. (Click on the links for even more photos.)

But in Frank Sinatra fashion, I'm doing it "My Way." In the challenge, you're supposed to post a photo a day for seven days to your Facebook page. I decided to do all my photos in one blog post. I'm usually a follow-the-rules kind of girl.  Case in point: The black and white engagement photo.

Yes, there was color film back in the olden days when we got engaged. However, the photo I carefully pasted into a wedding scrapbook book was a black and white print. Unlike the majority of the thousands (tens of thousands?) of photos I've taken through the years, this B/W gem didn't end up in a plastic tub, so I could put my hands on it quickly.
Back in 1981, couples had to provide a B/W head and shoulders shot for inclusion in the lifestyle section of a newspaper. At that time, I was a reporter at The Hutchinson News, working in the Focus department, the very department that was responsible for writing up engagement announcements and laying them out in the Sunday paper. I followed the guidelines to a "t" and provided just such a photo.

Randy has carried the color version in his billfold for the past 35 years. The bedraggled version is what happens in a billfold picture sleeve - even when you don't carry a billfold every day.

We honestly don't have a lot of photos together. I will pretty much do everything in my power to avoid a camera unless I'm the one holding it. I couldn't find any "together" photos from our honeymoon or our first house.
But I did find this gem from a bridal shower. Sue Thole made the hen and rooster aprons for us. We still have them.
Stan Reimer Photography, Pratt, KS
We used  a portrait from our wedding for our first Christmas card together. Photo Christmas cards are a tradition that we continue today.
Emily Brensing Photography, Stafford, KS
In fact, our 2015 card featured the whole family, which has grown a bit since 1981 to include a daughter, a son, a son-in-law and two granddaughters.
We were both in this photo - complete with my lovely glasses and Randy's lovely mustache. At least I was smiling.) It was taken moments after Jill's birth. 
One of my favorite photos is just after Randy became the father of 2.  He was a good Daddy from the time they were little ...

...  until the time we were celebrating the senior night of our "baby" from his high school football team ...
Photo by Gina Dreher, Gingerroot Studios, Wichita
or dancing with our daughter at her wedding.
This grandparenting job is pretty special, too.  (We need to update this photo. Kinley hasn't changed so much, but Brooke will be a big 2 year old next month.)
Who would have thought - 35 years ago - that we would be taking "selfies" with a phone. This is our latest selfie, taken earlier this month.

I've already shared more than the seven photos. Big surprise, right?!

And maybe this little exercise to Love My Spouse is reflective of the bigger picture after 35 years of marriage. It takes some work. It takes an investment of time and effort. It hasn't always been rosy. Sometimes, it's a mess - just like those tubs of photos. But I am so very thankful to share life on the County Line with this special guy.
Jill's wedding - 2009 - Photo by Gina Dreher


  1. Now that is a great challenge and I can see the love in every photo of the two of you. To grow old together and see it in photos is a very special thing. Thanks for this. Hug B

    1. Thanks, B! I love photos, too. I just don't like to be the subject.

  2. Special photos. Special memories. Special couple. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Awwwwwh look at you two gorgeous things! The love shines through in all the photos. A beautiful post Kim.

    1. Thank you, Lynda. We sure look young in those old photos!